p.n., role-playing game rules published in 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and originally developed for Dungeons & Dragons 3.0; publicly licensed so that third parties could produce their own games and supplements based on the rules; named after a twenty-sided die or d20.
Addendum: Some notable d20 games include Arcana Evolved, The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game, and the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. There was some controversy around the d20 System when supplements containing adult content were not allowed to bear the d20 logo by WotC.
Addendum: This article mocks the d34, saying “…there is absolutely no reason you would want to use a d34 or even multiples.” This, of course, is entirely incorrect.
Three 34-sided dice minus 2 (3d34-2), added together, produce numbers from 1 – 100 on a bell curve distribution, which is extremely helpful when producing percentile stats or determining percentile successes. I’m writing an RPG right now, and I would be using 3d34-2 for success rolls — if I thought anyone who might want to play my game actually owned three 34-sided dice, or would be willing to buy them.
As it is, I’m sticking with regular percentile dice (2d10). But if it were up to me…
pl. n. daikaiju; also kaiju
n., (“die kie joo”) a giant monster, as depicted in the kaijū eiga, or Japanese giant monster films; examples include Godzilla and Gamera; Japanese dai “giant” + kaijū “strange beast.”
v. to damage, to take damage, D&D-ism
1. n., loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property, or reputation; Middle English, from Middle French dam “damage,” from Latin damnum.
2. in games, generic term for any statistical representation of (usu. physical) harm to a character or an object. Ex: “Your mage is caught in the cone of the dragon’s breath.” “Do I take any damage??”
3. v., to cause damage in the sense of def. 2. Ex: If you want to damage the dragon, non-magical weapons ain’t gonna do it.
pl. n. damage dealers; abbrev. DD, pl. DDs
in MMORPGs, the character in a raid party responsible for primarily doing damage to mobs; complementary party members include the damage healer, and the damage absorber or tank; in EverQuest, these three together are called the Holy Trinity.
Addendum: If your gaming group plays with miniatures, doubtless someone will own dozens of miniatures in various states of completion. The unpainted minis are “dead lead”. “Dead lead” is also common amongst historical miniatures gamers, whose 15mm Age of Reason or American Civil War armies may be composed of hundreds of figures that take a person months to paint.
p.n. Death; pl. n. deaths; adj. deathly, deadly, dead; v. to die, dying, died
1. n., the permanent cessation of all vital functions; the end of life; Middle English deeth, akin to Old Norse dauþi “death,” deyja “to die.”
2. in computer and tabletop role-playing games, a character’s status when certain stats drop below a certain limit; for instance, in AD&D, when a character’s hit points fall to -10 or lower. See permanent death, resurrection.
3. p.n., an anthropomorphic representation or avatar of death; the destroyer of life, represented often as a skeleton with a scythe.
4. common name of Thanatos, cute younger sister of Morpheus, in Neil Gaiman’s graphic series The Sandman.
also de-buff, v. to debuff, debuffing, debuffed (EverQuest-ism); n. debuffer
1.n., in MMORPGs, a type of spell that temporarily reduces the abilities or stats of the target character or mob. Ex: Okay, I debuffed the orc, cast your nukes! See buff.
2. n. debuffer, in World of Warcraft, a member of a raid party dedicated to casting debuffs against the enemy.
Brian A. LaBounty, Kunochan
pl. n. deck protectors; also n. card sleeve, pl. n. card sleeves
n. a clear plastic or polypropylene sleeve designed to hold, protect and preserve a single collectible card; originally designed for sports trading cards; gamers will play with the sleeves on; c. 1995. Also top loader, a rigid plastic case designed to hold a single card. See binder.
pl. n. deckers
n., a person who utilizes a full-sensory immersion computer interface (a cyberdeck or deck), usually in order to perform illegal or specifically larcenous acts within a cyberpunk game setting; from hacker. Also netrunner.
Addendum: From William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.
Kevin C. Baird, W. Travis Nixon
pl. n. deduction games
n., a board game that requires players to use deductive reasoning and logic; often the game recreates police solving crimes; from Middle English deduccioun, Latin dēductiōn– “leading away”; c. 15th century. Also murder mystery game.
Addendum: the most famous example in mass-market games is Cluedo or Clue. Two well-known hobbyist games include 221 B Baker Street and Letters from Whitechapel; I cannot recommend the latter game enough.
pl. n. demons; adj. demonic; v. to demonize
1. in global mythology and folklore, a malevolent spirit, esp. one thought to possess a mortal’s body and influence their behavior for the worse; from Greek daimónion “divine thing,” from daímōn “spirit of a place or person”; c. 14th century.
2. in Christian myth, evil spirits that serve Satan and populate Hell. See devil, Satanism; also angel.
3. in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game system’s implicit setting, malicious otherworldly monsters (or fiends), chaotic evil, that serve various demon lords inspired by Roman and Christian myth; includes the creatively-named demon types I-VI, manes, succubi, croaking demons, groaning demons, hissing demons, howling demons, roaring demons, screaming demons, whispering demons, abyssal skulkers, blood fiends, spyder-fiends, and arrow demons; demon lords include Orcus (of the famous Wand), Demogorgon, and Juiblex.
4. in fantasy and occult gaming milieux, evil spirits based on the demons of folklore; often responsible for possessions, and capable of granting various magical powers; often summoned and controlled by clerics and sorcerers.