1. n., in general use, an adherent of the metaphysical principle of the ego; solipsist; from psychoanalysis, Freud’s German das Ich “the I”; Latin ego, “I”; c. 1920.
2. in games, syn. for mentalist. See also psionics.
Addendum: Not to be confused with egotist, an unfortunately common description for those who enjoy playing characters with mental powers.
pl. n. elementals; adj. elemental; adv. elementally
1. n., in animism and, later, medieval European alchemy, spirit entities that embody natural objects and lifeforms; in alchemy, they embody the four classical elements, earth, air, water, and fire; creatures that may be considered elementals include fairies, gnomes, elves, banshees, nymphs, goblins, mermaids, trolls, etc.; from Medieval Latin elementalis, elementum “first principle”; c. 15th century.
2. in Dungeons & Dragons, original D&D monsters, magically-animated creatures composed of the classical element after which they are named (air elemental, earth elemental, fire elemental, water elemental); they have powers related to their element, can see in the dark, and are immune to poisons and paralysis; also archomentals, primal elementals, paraelementals (ice (air + water), magma (earth + fire), ooze (earth + water), smoke (air + fire)), quasi-elementals, shadow elementals, storm elementals, taint elementals, ruin elementals, ectoplasm elementals, genasi, necromentals, and others; c. 1974.
3. in World of Warcraft, mobs divided into the four classical types; they resist attacks related to the element of which they are composed, and can be Banished by warlocks.
4. in the Final Fantasy video game universe, enemies and bosses based on D&D elementals; examples include the usual four, plus dark elementals, holy elementals, storm elementals, earth chaosjets, fire chaosjets, water chaosjets, air chaosjets, Ice Azer.
5. in the World of Darkness role-playing milieu, three different entities; in Changeling: The Lost, a variety (seeming) of changeling with powers associated with elements or other physical properties; in Exalted, a variety of god; and in the classic WoD, Umbral spirits.
Addendum: From The Lord of the Rings, Book I, Chapter 3 “Three Is Company,” Frodo Baggins’ greeting to Gildor Inglorion.
Addendum #2: In the first edition of LOTR, it was Elen síla lúmenn omentielmo. This was incorrect Quenya, and Tolkien revised it.
p.n. Elf, pl. n. elves, adj. elven, elvish, elfin
1. in common usage, a small often mischievous fairy; from Old English ælf; akin to Old Norse alfr.
2. in Old Norse mythology, a mysterious race of sylvan beings, often associated with the agrarian gods, the Vanir.
3. in the writings of JRR Tolkien, a race of quasi-divine beings who dwell separately from other races, and figure prominently in the history of Middle-earth; the Sindarin word for “Elf” is Edhel.
4. in fantasy literature and gaming milieux, a race of beings patterned to various degrees after the elves of Tolkien; usu. tall, fair, magical, and having pointy ears. See Fëanor.
Addendum: In the less creative books and RPGs, elves are always tall, peaceful, bow-using cracker-munching forest-dwellers with Vulcan ears. They bear little resemblance to (a) the diminutive elves of Anglo lore, (b) the elves of Norse mythology, about which very little knowlege has survived, or (c) Tolkien’s own Elves, or Eldar, who were quasi-divine, quasi-immortal, and who lived simultaneously on two planes of existence. Note that elves are traditionally the enemies of dwarves; this is also from Tolkien.
pl. n. encounters; v. to encounter, encountering, encountered
1. in general usage, a meeting, esp. one unexpected and/or conflict-oriented; from Middle English encountren, Anglo-French encountrer, Latin incontrare, contra “against”; c. 13th century. Ex: Our trip back to Earth would have been uneventful if we hadn’t encountered the alien ship on LV-426.
2. in (esp. tabletop) role-playing games, a singular interaction with one or more non-player characters or monsters, or an environment, often but not always including combat; each encounter can be thought of as a single scene or episode in the ongoing story (and in LARPs encounters may be referred to as scenes); a series of encounters will constitute a scenario; c. 1970s. Ex: Rory’s new character survived three encounters before he got swallowed by a purple worm on dungeon level three. Also wilderness encounter, random encounter.
v. to encrust, encrusting, encrusted; adj. encrusted
1. v., in general usage, to cover or coat a surface; esp. to add decoration; from French incruster, Latin incrustre, Indo-European kreus-. Ex: The jeweler encrusted the ring with jewels.
2. gerund, in fantasy games, esp. computer RPGs, the act of adding to the magical properties of a preexisting object, ostensibly by covering it with jewels or other materials with magical properties. Ex: Look, just go to the encrusting screen, select the Sword of Slicing, then add the Jewel of Sharpness — now you have +2 against armor.
pl. n. encumbrances; D&D-ism
1. in general usage, a burden or impediment; from Middle English encombren, from Middle French encombrer, from en- “to cause to be” + combre “dam, weir”; c. 14th c.
2. in Dungeons & Dragons, rules to determine the weight and bulkiness of an adventurer’s possessions.
3. in tabletop and computer RPGs, a value to determine (1) the maximum number or weight of possessions and equipment a character may carry and (2) how said encumbrance slows the character’s movement and/or affects health and causes weariness. Ex: Sir Goodalot can’t pick up the Ring of Ethnic Cleansing — he’s maxed out on his Encumbrance. You’ll have to drop something. See inventory.
p.n., a player obsessed with the details of White Wolf’s World of Darkness as described in countless supplements; said player is always willing to regale other players with knowledge from their storehouse of arcane WOD lore, whether it’s appropriate or not. Ex: Um, did you hear what Steve’s doing? Encyclopaedia WODica over there is telling the other players how the Ravnos antediluvian got nuked by the Technocracy — that’s out-of-character knowledge! See also Cammie lawyer.
1. abbrev. “experience points.”
2. in gamer lingo, any points, advancement, or reward offered for success in an RPG. Ex: Player: “Okay, I defeated the fomori, where’s my EP?” Storyteller: “I’ll give you one Reknown.” Player: “Yeah, yeah, it’a all EP. What can I buy with one Reknown?” Also XP.
Addendum: On the one hand, if you’re trying to recreate sex acts in World of Warcraft, you need to find a better way to spend your precious, precious life. On the other hand, in-game sex play keeps Second Life in business.
pl. n. espers
n., in science fiction media and gaming milieux, persons with (usu. natural rather than supernaturally-based) psionic powers; from ESP “extra-sensory perception” + -er “one who”; c. 1950.
Addendum: A character loses essence as they get cyberware implants, thereby placing a limit on how much cyberware a character can have.
pl. p. n. Eurogames; also eurogame; gerund Eurogaming
n., a type of board game, after the style of games developed in Europe (esp. Germany), characterized by emphasizing mechanics over theme; usu. diceless; typically less confrontational than American games; players often pursue goals independently and non-competitively. See co-operative play game; compare with Ameritrash. Examples: El Grande, Carcassonne, Power Grid.
n., in role-playing games, the in-game event that sets the plot in motion; usually takes place after an informal bit of character interaction, during which the characters introduce themselves. Source.