also eighteen-zero-zero, D&D-ism
1. in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd. Ed., the highest possible Strength stat for a mortal player character.
2. describing the best possible. Ex: She’s not too bright, but she’s 18-00 in the looks department.

Addendum: In the original Dungeons & Dragons, 18 was the highest possible score for any stat, unless the character was a demigod. To placate players who wanted their Arnold Schwarzenegger-wannabe characters to have higher-than-18 Strength stats, 2nd. ed. added a 1-100 bonus system, to describe gradations of super-strength between 18 (human maximum) and 19 (demigod). So, for instance, a character might have 18-35 Strength, which wasn’t as good as 18-50 Strength. The new maximum was 18-00.


n., parody of roll modifiers; see addendum. See also xdn.

Addendum: in free-form roleplaying, which operates without a rules set, the gamemaster will often randomize results by rolling a die, such as a 20-sider. If the roll is high, the attempt succeeds; if the roll is low, the attempt fails; and if the roll is somewhere in-between, the gamemaster makes the decision based on his or her mood. Hence, 1d20+mood.

25mm lead

n., see miniature.


adj., describes anything beyond the limits of good taste.

Addendum: 288 means “too gross” (144 is a gross, 288 is two gross). Often used in mechanics-heavy games (such as Champions) to describe characters, units or powers that are extremely overpowered for the game in question.

5-foot step

The 5-foot step, visualized.pl. n. 5-foot steps
n., in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ed., Pathfinder, and the d20 System, a small position adjustment (one 5′ square or hex) for a character during a combat round that does not count as an action; similar to a shift movement in D&D 4th ed.; c. 2003.


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Atari Games

Atari Gamesn., out-of-print video and computer games, as collected and played by “classic” games enthusiasts, on refurbished systems or on emulators.

Addendum: MAME, the “Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator,” and Stella, an Atari 2600 emulator are two of the larger examples of fan-made, fan-supported emulators for playing classic games.

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Mark Whitley


The character ability screen in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.pl. n. abilities
1. n., in general usage, the physical or mental power to perform; from Latin habilis “skillful.”
2. in role-playing games, generally syn. with stat or skill; also ability score. Ex: I want to use my Strength ability to lift the car.

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above game

phrase, in role-playing games, syn. for OOC. Ex: Hey, if you’re mad at me, let’s deal with it above game, instead of your Ahroun going Crinos and ripping my Ragabash to pieces with his razor claws!

abstract game

n., a type of game, usu. a board game, where the mechanics have little or nothing to do with the theme. Examples: Lost Cities, Ra, chess.

action point allowance game

n., a type of board game in which each player can perform so many game actions based on points allocated. Examples: Through the Ages, Pandemic.


abbrev. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.”


Marvel's Wolverine, with his adamantium claws.

Marvel's Wolverine, with his adamantium claws.D&D-ism
n., in fantasy RPGs, esp. D&D, an imaginary metal that is harder than diamond; from adamantine, an archaic description of diamond or any hard stone, metal or gem. Ex: GM: “The fireball kills you.” Player: “But I’m wearing adamantium plate armor!” GM: “Okay, you’re roasted alive, but your armor’s intact. Roll up a new character!” See adamantium hero.

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adamantium hero

n., a role-playing character so tough and resistant to injury that s/he is able to shrug off normally fatal wounds with little or no effect. See adamantium.

Addendum: This isn’t a bad thing in superhero games, but in genres where combat is supposed to sometimes end in death, it gets ridiculous. TSR and Palladium are notorious for game systems that encourage this, but it can be observed in some of the more over-the-top anime and Hollywood action movies.

Most gaming systems are structured so one character can face several opponents at one time in a grand heroic tradition. Unfortunately, most rules set this up by allowing a character to absorb damage from all these opponents rather than by allowing them to avoid it. This results in a character immune to environmental hazards and who cannot be laid out in a single blow from a normal weapon, but must be beaten into unconsciousness by repeated blows or by emptying several clips of bullets into them.

This is also why most RPG characters can’t be assassinated — a surreptitious dagger to the neck only does a few points of damage, unless special rules are allowed.


1. n., in general usage, an undertaking involving travel, danger and unknown risks; often an exciting or remarkable experience; Middle English aventure, from Latin adventus, past part. of advenire “to arrive.”
2. in role-playing games, a single storyline within an ongoing game; syn. with module (def. 4) and scenario. Ex: When we’re done with this adventure, Melissa’s going to let Robert take over the game.

adventure game

n., sometime syn. for role-playing game.

aggravated damage

also n. agg damage, agg, v. going agg
n., in many RPGs, physical damage to a character’s body that can not be healed by normal means, such as bed rest; or damage that can only be healed by normal means (magical healing will not help). Ex: The dagger was made of iron, so the Elf Princess takes aggravated damage. See lethal damage.

aggravating damage

n., in a role-playing game, the results of a weak or ineffectual attack. Ex: GM: “The changeling’s looking really mad now; he seems to be preparing a cantrip.” Player (not impressed): “Ooh, I’m in big trouble! I sure hope my werewolf can withstand a few levels of aggravating damage.”

Addendum: spoof of aggravated damage.


v. to aggro, aggroing, aggroed
v., in MMORPGs, when a mob becomes aggressive and attacks a PC or (less often) another mob. Ex: I was kiting two bandits and ran too close to three others. They aggroed on me and I got kacked.

Addendum: The term is from the word “aggressive”, originating on MUDs. A mob that had been attacked would turn aggressive-mode on the attacker, and remain thus even if the character died; if someone bit off more than he could chew and was killed or chased away, he would usually ask for help in dealing with the now-aggroed mob.


Thankfully, the aliens are sexy.pl. n. aliens; adj. alien
1. adj., in general usage, characteristic of a different place, society, or nation; strange, bizarre or unaccustomed; from Latin alinus “that which belongs to another person, place, or object,” Proto-Indo-European al “to wander”; c. 14th century.
2. n., in science fiction media and gaming milieux, an extraterrestrial life form, generally from another planet, often intelligent, often humanoid, often intent on invading our world and stealing our women. See xenomorph, grey. See also race.

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alien eyes

Alien eyes.

Alien eyes.n., a result of three ones on a 3d6 roll; spoof of snake eyes. See alien. Also mutant snake eyes, freight train.

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James Vargas, Landon Schurtz