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Roleplaying Game Dictionary
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Roleplaying Game Dictionary

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Most likely, if you’re reading this, you’re a gamer. And I hope a dictionary of every term in gaming interests, and even helps you. But it isn’t really for you, it’s for your friend. That one who is a little interested in playing, and has tried a few sessions but has never been able to get into it. It’s written for your partner, who you always ask to join you in that next game you’re starting up. It’s written for your siblings, kids, coworkers, and parents to perhaps get them interested in something that you enjoy. Or at very least to help them to understand you.

Or, if you’re a new gamer and you’ve had to stop the session to ask “what does that mean?”, or “what was that?”, or even said “I don’t think I got that joke.”, the Roleplaying Game Dictionary is here to help.

Roleplaying games are a fantastic way of bringing people together, of experiencing new and fantastic worlds and stories. It’s a way to explore aspects of ourselves and our worlds that we might not otherwise be able to. It’s also very complicated.
This complexity goes way beyond rulebooks that are hundreds of pages long (or in some cases, spanning hundreds of rulebooks). There is an entire, complicated and mostly secret language around the game, that most gamers have been speaking for years without realizing it. This is a dictionary of that very language, an entire book peeling away one thick layer of complexity that keeps people away from our hobby. It explains as clearly as possible the language around playing, running and even designing games.

The Roleplaying Game Dictionary begins with basic terms like “roleplaying game” (A game where players pretend to be the characters that represent them in the game) and “game master” (A special player who takes the role of the world around the player characters), passes through more complex ones like “pacing” (The rise and fall of tension and uncertainty in a game over time, and the rate at which this change happens), all the way through terms very specific to our hobby, like “ten-minute workday” (The concept that the more powerful characters become, the more advantageous it becomes for them to use only their most powerful abilities before stopping to recover them, rather than using their abilities sparingly over time). It explains the difference between homebrew and a house-rule (one is a story, the other a game mechanic), and even goes as deep as to clear up the difference between an area and a room (a room is an area that is indoors).

And by the way, although this is a dictionary in terms of completeness, it’s been designed so it can be read. Nearly a thousand terms are sorted by topic and organized in a way that someone could pick the Gaming Dictionary up, flip it to any page, and have it make sense. But don’t worry, they’re also sorted alphabetically in the index, like you’d expect from a dictionary.

While this book covers a staggering number of terms related to roleplaying games in general, this edition also includes terms for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, specifically.

This book is available in both letter-size PDF and ePub formats, for you to enjoy on your favorite devices.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Derfael O July 23, 2018 2:15 pm UTC
Some things that I would've liked to have seen are a couple of the common fallacies mentioned in roleplaying games, such as:
Stormwind Fallacy - Optimization does not conflict with roleplaying potential.
Guy at the Gym Fallacy - Martials are not (and should not be) limited by what people can do in real-life.
Customer avatar
Michael M July 23, 2018 9:59 pm UTC
Thanks for these, I'll make a note to add them to the document when I get a chance. I hadn't heard the Stormwind Fallacy before, but the Guy At the Gym one is absolutely something I missed. Let me know if there's anything else you think is missing!
Customer avatar
Derfael O September 17, 2018 10:26 pm UTC
There is actually an entire list of D&D Fallacies:
Customer avatar
Michael M September 18, 2018 8:13 pm UTC
This is a great list, thanks!
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File Last Updated:
January 24, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on January 24, 2018.