Terminology used by the developers of Planescape:Torment and Dungeons and Dragons, and terminology from other games that is useful to be applied to the game


A[edit | edit source]

  • AC: Armor Class. Dungeons and Dragons armor defends solely by reducing the chance to hit altogether. It has the somewhat confusing quality of being better as the number decreases. It can be increased with equippable items, such as rings and earrings, and spells such as Armor and Shield. For the effects of armor in other games, see 'Armor', below.
  • Accuracy: Value representing the chance to hit or miss a target with a physical attack. Affected by Blindness.
  • AI: Artificial Intelligence. The code that governs NPC behaviour, whether it be team members or enemy monsters
  • Aggro or Aggression, the code that directs monsters to pursue and attack targets, and choose which particular players or characters to attack first
  • AE: Area Effect. Also AoE, Area of Effect. An area, usually a circle of a given radius, usually centered on the target or user (except e.g. for Ground Targeted Area of Effect), in which effects or damage, usually of spells, takes place, or game variables are in effect, such as when the distance between a monster and player character is checked to determine whether the monster will attack the player (Aggro)
  • Area: Usually, a location in the game. Also see Area of Effect, above.
  • Armor in games can represent a wide variety of values. It can be a way to absorb a percentage of damage or reduce damage by a set amount. In games like Fallout, armor applies both types of reduction. In D&D, it is represented by Armor Class and Resistances. It was additional HP in the Quake first person shooter (the same effect as the Temporary hit points of spells such as Cloak of Warding and Vampiric Touch)
  • Avatar: See Model
  • Axe Weapon type. Slashing / edged damage

B[edit | edit source]

  • Beta: Phase of testing software, open to the public
  • Blades: Weapon type. Edged weapons were the mainstay of medieval warfare. Damage type is usually called Slashing
  • Bottleneck; also Choke point: A narrowing of the path that can be used to tactical advantage. Small groups move into the narrow part of the bottleneck, in a line with its members to the left and right of each other, until they fill the entire width of the path. This forces the enemy to engage them along this narrow front with only a small part of its larger numbers. Larger groups can, with a similar rank, fill a larger portion, keeping the enemy in a relatively more confined position, and thus able to engage with relatively fewer units

Tactical advantage: Asterisk (*) force. Tactical advantage: Plus sign (+) force.

     ____ _                                      ____ _
____/ *                                    _____/ *
__+_+ *                                     __+_* * 
    \_*__ _                                     \_____ _

This works even better in real life than in games, because of the space required to swing a weapon, and undefended blows being killing blows rather than a loss of HP. It does not work at all in games where units cannot attack diagonally on the screen

  • Bug: Game construction, usually unintended by its developers, but intentional mechanics that are disadvantageous are often mistakenly called Bugs by players. Intentional or unintentional construction that game companies do not wish to change is routinely deemed "working as intended" in order to divert player dissent. If it leads to benefits for players, game company interests and player jealousy usually lead to it being called an Exploit. Strategy that capitalizes on benefits of game construction, usually ones not intended by the developers, or Bugs

C[edit | edit source]

  • Camp: To remain in one strategic place and repeatedly kill people or mobs
  • CC: Crowd Control: Damage reduction strategy, reducing damage by incapacitating attackers
  • Choke point, see Bottleneck: A narrowing of the path that can be used to tactical advantage
  • Chr: Charisma
  • Concentration of Fire: A tactic that aids Damage Reduction. A given amount of damage from multiple sources is set against a given amount of damage from another multiple sources. If damage is spread out between targets, then they survive longer to do more damage. If damage (fire) is concentrated on one target at a time, that target and successive targets die sooner, reducing damage. Known as Focus Fire in WoW[1]
  • Club: Weapon type. usually Crushing damage
  • Con: Constitution
  • Cooldown: The short period of time before a skill can be used again. Spells such as Missile of Patience and Ice Dagger have multiple missiles possible from a single spell, with a cooldown period before the second missile can be used
  • Copper: Copper commons
  • Critical Hits or critical strikes: Attacks which hit a vital spot and do more damage than normal, especially ones that are made from behind or while using Stealth
  • Crushing and other names, including Bashing or Blunt: Damage type using blunt instruments and supposed to be better against skeletons, despite the fact that Slashing / Blade / Edged weapons are superior in all respects. Piercing weapons can get between plates of armor, but bashing weapons have always been used in medieval warfare against unarmored opponents, or to beat the opponent to the ground, where they would be finished off with stabbing weapons. Maces are the exception; they are actually piercing weapons which use the weight of the mace to apply force to a tiny area, and can actually puncture armor

D[edit | edit source]

  • D&D: Dungeons and Dragons
  • Damage over Time, DoT: effects, e.g. Swarm Curse, that deal increments of damage; damage at intervals, repeatedly, and usually for a set duration
  • Damage type: Slashing, Piercing and Crushing are physical damage types that distinguish weapon damage; the other types, other than Fire and Acid, usually represent magical damage. See any Enemy NPC article for the full list
  • Deader: Slang term from the Hive culture, to describe dead people or corpses, and metaphors derived thereof. A subject that comes up often in a Ward dominated by the effects of poverty and the influence of the Dustmen
  • Dex: Dexterity
  • Drop: synonym for Loot, or verb meaning the Spawning of Loot into the game environment
  • Duration: A set period of time during which a game variable is true and active, e.g. the period during which the AC bonuses of Armor and Shield exist, and the amount of time that Stealth remains active after it is 'broken' by interacting with doors or containers (or by combat; see Baator)

E[edit | edit source]

  • Exp, Experience: See XP
  • Exploit Strategy that capitalizes on benefits of game construction, usually ones not intended by the developers, or Bugs. The name reflects the judgement by 'legit' players that an advantage that 'exploiting' players choose to use is in some way a detriment to the legit players, which is an entirely subjective viewpoint within game experience, which is always subjective

F[edit | edit source]

  • Fallout The Fallout post-nuclear roleplaying game series, like PS:T, also by Black Isle
  • FF Final Fantasy
  • Fist Weapon type, varying damage; a weapon attached to the wrist and forearm to allow piercing damage with punches and swipes. In RL, a weapon of less finesse than others, because of the inability to employ the movement of the wrist, not more, as is implied by giving them to the skillful weapons expert Thief Annah. It has the advantage of allowing the full force of a blow to travel directly to the target from the arm, possibly punching through armor, but does not benefit from the additional force of the swing, which consideration lead to the development of longer and longer weapons, i.e. polearms
  • FPS: First person shooter; 3D game, looking through the character's eyes, with a gun
    • Frames per second, the performance of image rendering
  • Friendlies Other party members or friendly players. What not to hit with Area Effect spells or Splash damage

G[edit | edit source]

H[edit | edit source]

  • Hammer: Weapon type. usually Crushing damage
  • Heal over Time or HoT: healing effects, e.g. Regeneration, that heal at intervals, repeatedly, and usually for a set duration
  • Homebrew: Custom applications to run in conjunction with normal game files
  • HP: Hit points. The number of points of health; damage decreases these and when they reach zero, the game character or enemy is dead, or knocked out
  • HUD: Heads-up display

I[edit | edit source]

K[edit | edit source]

L[edit | edit source]

  • Lag: Time delay between sending a command to the game and your character actually performing the action. Frequently cursed when the time delay is longer than expected
  • Loot: synonym for Drop, an item reward for killing a monster, or verb meaning to transfer Loot from the game environment into a character's inventory
  • Lore: rating that is compared to unidentified item Lore value, if it equals or exceed the value, you learn the item properties

M[edit | edit source]

  • Mez: Mezmerize. Form of Crowd Control that can be broken by attacks. Also, Sleep
  • MMO, MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online, - Role Playing Game. Games where many players log in to a persistent game world and play the game together
  • Mob: NPC monsters. Probably originally meant a group of monsters, judging by the name, although it is said it stands for "mobile", when electronic games first became sophisticated enough to display character movement...Yeh, I didn't think so, either
  • Mod Modifications to a game, unofficial, released by fans. Files created for a game to add functionality or change the trappings of a game, usually created by people not employed by the game developer
  • Model The 3D frame upon which Textures or texture maps are applied

N[edit | edit source]

  • NPC: Non Player Character. Sometimes, party members. Usually, AI-controlled people or creatures

O[edit | edit source]

  • Overkill In games with set HP values, Overkill is an amount of damage far exceeding what is necessary to kill the target. Can also be used to describe any other unnecessary measures, especially ones that are quantifiable, such as Overhealing

P[edit | edit source]

  • Patch Modifications to a game, official, released by developer. Files created for a game to add functionality or change the trappings of a game
  • PC: Player Character, as opposed to NPC. Also Personal Computer. Depends on the context
  • Piercing: type of damage. Weapons such as rapiers and daggers can strike between plates of armor; the rise in their use, and the use of the piercing spike of polearms such as Halberds, and crossbows and early firearms, all of which could penetrate armor directly, led to the abandonment of full suits of heavy armor towards the end of the Middle Ages, although the use of helms and breastplates for protection of the head and torso continued
  • Platform: Game type designation based on the hardware required to play the game. e.g. PC (Personal Computer), PS3, Wii, Xbox
  • Platform game: Timing and spacial awareness are required to navigate these mazes of platforms, precipices, and moving obstacles
  • Portal: In PS:T, swirling vapour glowing blue and a shimmering fall of glowing white particles mark the disruption of matter by the highly energetic state of these interdimensional pathways that allow the party to Zone
  • Power, Mana, MP, Magic Points: Spells outside of D&D often have an MP cost with higher spells costing more points. Commonly used in RPGs
  • PS:T Planescape:Torment
  • Pull A way to finesse Damage Control with movement control skill, rather than the skill of choosing when and on which targets to use Crowd Control (CC) abilities

R[edit | edit source]

  • Radius: Distance from the center of a circle to its edge, which in games determines the area of effect of damage spells, or other game variables such as the area within which characters can trade items to each other
  • Regeneration, regenerate: Heal over Time; incremental healing
  • Resistance: Values that absorb a percentage of incoming damage in D&D set for each Damage type. For Resistance in D&D, PS:T and other games, see Armor and Damage avoidance
  • Rest: Resting in D&D regains spells as well as hit points, and always takes eight game hours. Resting in Inns can regain more HP. See the Sorcerer's Place[2] and Spells article for the very short list of places where the party can Rest
  • RL: Real life
  • RPG: Role-playing game
  • RTS: Real-time strategy, e.g. Starcraft

S[edit | edit source]

  • Save: Saving the game, obviously, but more usefully, saving cannot take place while within roughly a screen width's distance of enemies, whether they are visible on the screen or not
  • Saving Throw: Representation of a character's ability to avoid various effects, usually from spells. Like AC and THAC0, the lower the better.
  • Sim: Short for simulation
  • Slashing: See Blades
  • Sleep: Similar to Mez. A form of Crowd Control
  • Spawn: A game entity, usually NPC, being rendered into the game world, or PC being rendered and gaining their interface with the game world
  • Splash damage: An AE type of damage, usually in addition to normal damage, which surrounds the point at which the normal damage originates, and can usually harm Friendly units
  • Spawn point: position at which an entity spawns, sometimes fixed to a particular location
  • Stealth or stealthing; ability which renders its user invisible or near invisible and unable to be attacked until the user attacks. Usually a prerequisite for special attacks that automatically do high amounts of damage and/or an increased chance of Critical Hits. Unlike stealth in other games, PS:T's stealth is not negated entirely after an attack, see the Baator article
  • Strafe: Originally, in warfare, shooting while moving, then in First Person Shooters, moving sideways while shooting, has come to mean moving sideways in MMOs et al.

T[edit | edit source]

  • Tank: Character, usually, with more HP and/or armor than normal. Part of the damage control strategy, tank character classes are usually given Taunts to augment the Aggro their damage causes
  • Taunts Abilities that keep monsters attacking the user instead of characters with less damage protection
  • Teleport: A transition between locations, see Zone. There is only one device used for teleportation in the game: the Modron Cube; for the blue dimensional transport effect, see Portal
  • THAC0: To Hit Armor Class 0. Chance to hit an enemy with an Armor Class of 0. The lower the THAC0, the better.

U[edit | edit source]

  • Undead: Ghosts, liches, skeletons, vampires, zombies; often raised by Necromancers, all susceptible to abilities granted by gods opposed to their unlife, and usually with resistances to non-magical weapons

W[edit | edit source]

X[edit | edit source]

XP: Experience Points. A certain amount of XP allows progress to the next level. Also, Exp

Z[edit | edit source]

  • Zerg: Overpower with force, especially force of numbers, rather than skill; using large numbers of smaller/weaker resources to achieve a task typically achieved by fewer larger resources
  • Zone, zoning: Game Area or sub-area, and a verb meaning, to transition between Zones, either with zone transition areas (over which the cursor will transform into a brown cross with arrows on each end), or portals (purple cross), or with dialogue options, as in Ravel's Maze and Baator and with the Modron Cube

See also[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

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