hack ‘n’ slash

also hack-n-slash, hack and slash, hack & slash, hack and slay
adj., a fantasy role-playing campaign based largely on combat; a game in which story, character, and plot take a back seat to physical confrontation. See also dungeon crawl.

Submitted by:

Matthew Cary

hail of bullets

n., a combat or attack with a tremendous amount of gunplay. Also fog of bullets. See slug-fest.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

half-elf

Elrond Half-elven from The Lord of the Rings Online.pl. n. half-elves; adj. half-elven; Tolkien-ism.
1. n., in the works of JRR Tolkien, an individual born of the union of an Elf and a Man; the four such unions in the history of Middle-earth were Lúthien & Beren, Idril & Tuor, Imrazôr & Mithrellas, and Arwen & Aragorn; the most famous half-elven were Elrond & Elros, grandsons of Idril & Tuor — they were given the choice between the fates of Elves and Men, Elrond chose to live and die as an elf, while Elros chose the fate (and lifespan) of Men. Also Sindarin n. Peredhel, pl. n. Peredhil, Quenya n. Perelda.
2. in Dungeons & Dragons, a player character race, the offspring of an elf and a human.
3. in fantasy gaming milieux, the offspring of a human and an elf, usu. with mixed traits of both peoples.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

halfling

pl. halflings
n., see Hobbit.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hand

A hand of cards in Star Trek: The Deck Building Game.pl. n. hands
1. n., in card games, the cards held by a particular player; from Old English, before 12th c. Ex: Two-seven off-suit — that’s a terrible hand.
2. in hobbyist card games, a set of cards held by a particular player, usu. kept secret from other players, from which the players draws cards to play; as opposed to cards that have already been played, or a deck that the player controls. Ex: Four Ensigns and a Diagnostic Check — that’s a terrible hand.
3. one round of dealt cards. Ex: Okay, it’s the Third Age — deal the last hand.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hand management game

Dominion.n., a card game in which players strategically or tactically select cards for their hand. Examples: Eminent Domain, Glory to Rome, Dominion.

Submitted by:

Paul Ang

hand-to-hand grenade combat

WARNING: For ranged attacks only.

n., any amazingly bone-headed move made during a role-playing combat session.

Addendum: This phrase comes from a Paranoia session many years ago. The player (who was admittedly new to role-playing) announced that he wished to attack his opponent with a hand grenade. The gamemaster, who was feeling unch
aracteristically kind, pointed out that the opponent was three feet away. The player reiterated his request. So the troubleshooter simply pulled the pin on the grenade, and handed it to the Communist Mutant Traitor he was fighting. The grenade went off, and they both died.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

Hanks, Tom

Tom Hanks Tom Hanksing a tank.v. to Tom Hanks, Tom Hanksing, Tom Hanksed
1. p.n., Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (1956 – ), film director, television & film star, and cross-dresser, best known to gamers as the star of the 1982 TV movie Rona Jaffe’s Mazes and Monsters.
2. v. to Tom Hanks, to take out a large target with a single hit; inspired by a scene in 1998’s Saving Private Ryan. Also one-shot.

Addendum: Source.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

harpy

A harpy, from a Japanese card game called Shinra Bansho.pl. n. harpies
1. in Greek mythology, one of three winged female spirits, agents of retribution for the god Zeus; originally imagined as beautiful, winged women, they later became large birds with hideous human female faces; from Greek  harpyia, harpazein “to snatch”; c.
2. in Dungeons & Dragons, one of the original monsters, a winged creature with the lower body of an eagle and the upper body of a human female; it has the power of a siren to use song to lure prey; in D&D 3rd ed., it was a player character race; also harpy archer; c. 1974.

Addendum: Harpies, as female human-bird hybrids, appear in various games, including Warhammer, Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Castlevania series, the Warcraft games; and the Hagravens in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

Head of Vecna, The

The Head of Vecna.p.n., see addendum.

Addendum: In AD&D, Vecna was a mighty wizard who became a lich, and finally a god. He left behind his petrified eye and severed, mummified hand which became mighty evil artifacts. To use them you had to cut off your hand or gouge out your eye as appropriate, and the item would graft itself to your body, replacing your original hand or eye and granting you impressive powers as well.

Anyway, some wag of a GM came up with the “Head of Vecna.”

Basically some Chaotic Evil bandit chopped off a peasant’s head, gouged out one eye, mummified it, put it in a cave with a few traps, spread a few rumors, and sat back to watch the fun. The essence of the joke is, of course, that you have to decapitate yourself to use the item.

I believe the party that discovered the item suffered four deaths to voluntary decapitation and another to party infighting over the item before the GM fell over laughing.

Submitted by:

Richard Kubik

healing

Scott Pilgrim gets an extra life!v. to heal, healing, healed; adj. healed; n. healer
1. in general usage, the act of restoring physical or mental soundness; repairing or restoring; from Middle English healen, Old English hlan, Indo-European kailo.
2. in games, the act of decreasing a character or unit’s damage stat; can be through rest, magical healing, divine healing (via cleric), first aid and medical attention, sci-fi medical action, and in computer games, health power-ups or extra lives.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

heavy

adj., describing any game with complex rules and long playing times. See light.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

henchman

Henchmen of The Monarch.pl. n. henchmen; v. to hench, henching, henchedD&D-ism
1. n., (obsolete) a squire or page to a person of high rank; Middle English henshman, hengestman “groom,” from hengest “stallion” + man “man”; c. 15th century.
2. in modern parlance, a trusted follower; connotatively a brutal thug.
3. in D&D, an NPC hired by the PCs to accompany the party, usu. to aid in combat. See hireling.
4. in superhero and espionage milieux, and any other game involving a supervillain, the faceless minions who serve said villain. See lieutenant.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hentai

Hentai.1. n., adj. (“hen tie”) (Japanese) pervert, perverted.
2. sexually-oriented anime or manga.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

Hero System

Hero games.p.n., one of the original point system-based games, published by Hero Games in 1989 and billed as being capable of creating any character in any genre; in practice it is only used in the Champions supers RPG.

Addendum: At one time Hero Games also put out supplements for genres other than superheroes, but these proved less popular than the Champions RPG and were gradually discontinued.

 

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hex

pl. hexes
abbrev. “hexagon”; in wargames and miniatures-based role-playing games, a single hexagonally-shaped space or area on a hex mat; used to represent the space occupied by a single unit or character, and to measure distance, line-of-sight, direction of travel, etc. See hex paper.

Hexes.
An illustration of the fundamental principles behind using miniatures on a hex mat. The goblin in the upper right-hand corner can move into one of six adjoining hexes. He has a clear line of sight to the elf (green arrow), and if the elf is within range the goblin may hit him with a tomato. However, the goblin’s LOS to the dwarf (red arrow) is blocked by the elf; without line-of-sight, the goblin can not attack the dwarf.

Addendum to the Illustration: Not to be pedantic or anything, but you are aware that the illustration accompanying this definition shows 8 (not 6, but 8) arrows proceeding from the goblin, aren’t you?

Reply to the Addendum to the Illustration: One would think that this was, in fact, an error in the illustration, and that the webmaster should get off of his lazy ass and fix it. One would think that, but one would be wrong. You see, I did it that way on purpose. You know how they hide “Hidden Mickeys” all over Disneyland, as a tribute to Mickey Mouse? Well, you have discovered a Hidden Chaos Symbol, as a tribute to Arioch of the Seven Darks. No, really.

Submitted by:

Mark Whitley

hex mat

Miniatures on a hex mat.pl. n. hex mats
n., a vinyl sheet ruled with lines forming a hexagonal grid, and designed to be written on with erasable ink pen; commonly used in RPGs and wargames for drawing maps; also battlemat. See hex, hex paper.

Addendum: Most commonly, maps are drawn on the hex mat at the same 25mm scale as lead miniatures; the mat is placed flat on a table; then the miniatures are placed on the mat, and moved around as game play ensues.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hex paper

Hex paper.n., paper ruled with lines forming a hexagonal grid; commonly used in RPGs and wargames for drawing maps. See also graph paper, hex mat.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hippocampus

No, it's not where hippopotami go to school.pl. n. hippocampi (never “hippocampuses”); adj. hippocampal; also n. hippocamp, pl. n. hippocampi; n. hippokampos, pl. n. hippokampoi 
1. n. hippocamp, in Phoenician, Etruscan, and Greek mythology, a monstrous chimera with the forequarters and head of a horse, and the hindquarters of an eel or fish; also Pictish Beast, capricorn; from Greek hippókampos, hippo “horse” + kámpos “sea monster”, c. 17th century.
2. n., an area of cerebral cortex which in cross section has the shape of a sea horse; named for the mythological creature.
3. in Dungeons & Dragons and derivative fantasy games, a marine steed; one of the original monsters introduced in the game.

Submitted by:

Kunochan

hippogriff

A hippogriff rider miniature.pl. hippogriffs; also hippogryphhippogryphe
1. n., a monster invented by the Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto in 1516, a winged steed born of a mare and a griffin;  has the head, talons, and wings of an eagle, while everything else is of a horse; from Italian ippogrifo, Greek hippo “horse” + Italian grifo “griffin”; c. 17th century.
2. in Dungeons & Dragons, one of the original monsters, a horse with the forequarters of a great eagle; they are animals, cannot speak, and are of neutral alignment; also  hippogriff dreadmount; c. 1974.
3. in the Warcraft computer games, flying mounts with the forequarters of a raven and the hindquarters of a stag.

Addendum: Hippogriffs can also be encountered in the Final Fantasy games (Japanese ヒポグリフ hipogurifu); and of course, in the video game version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Submitted by:

Kunochan