Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dungeon Slang, where are you?

So where's the dungeon slang? We've been playing D&D and it's descendants for 30+ years now, where's the dungeon slang? I'm not really aware of a lot of it.

Could it be the RPG hobby is so jargon filled it comes with a ready made lexicon of terms to initiate the neophytes that there isn't a lot of slang?

Do we play in such small groups slang doesn't develop quickly or stay for long? I'm pretty sure online mmo land has a few slang terms that have leaked out into the wider world .

here's three I can think of :

Dungeon Crawl- door smashing , secret door checking,trap dodging, monster hacking dungeon based adventure.

Dice Chucker- a player who has a virtual fetish with dice.

Run, A- a pass into a dungeon or other adventure.

So is there Dungeon Slang that doesn't come from the mm0-land?


  1. most of my slang comes from card or board games.

    Like "hit me" from Blackjack when I want something given to me.

  2. I can think of only a few of "player types" such as munchkin, fat-beard, and rules lawyer. Fairly certain those three have no MMO basis.

  3. "rules-lawyer" could I forget that one.

    "munchkin"....arghh, there's another one

    "fat beard" is one I'm totally ignorant of.

  4. Technically, isn't grognard/groknard slang?

  5. TPK
    beer n' pretzels
    dread gazebo

  6. How about:

    'level' or 'level up'
    roll a natural 20 (said when someone does something really well, even in real life)
    roll a natural 1 (said when someone really bungles things, even/especially in real life)
    tank (was using this long before MMOs even existed) or meat shield

  7. lot's of cool stuff in the comments, thanks all !

    grognard - was a derisive term referring to napoleons veteran soldiers, back while there was still a Napoleon. The term was adopted to make fun of grumpy old war-gamers and has been adopted by role-players.

    TPK- ooooh, good one.

    beer n' pretzels- doesn't exist solely in dungeon-land or RPG it's a much more general gamign term.

    one-shot- hmmmm.... not sure about that one

    Dread Gazebo- is that slang? I know the reference but wasn't aware there is a situation that phrase applied to.

    "level" and "level up"- are carries over from video/computer gaming

    meatgrinder- I've seen it used as a military term. It does have application in dungeon-based rpg.

    tank- is comic book land talk prior to migrating to rpg talk.

  8. "Run" actually sounds like it may have come from Shadowrun.

  9. I know I was involved in "runs" prior to shadowrun, the term might be military slang/jargon.

  10. Fatbeard = A player of older editions/versions of games. Known for being incredibly stubborn, hating anything new, and having a tendency towards being bearded, overweight, and sometimes implying a lack of social skills/hygiene.
    I first heard it in the late 90s, and Mongoose Publishing wrote a D20 guide I believe(not 100% certain) Slayer's Guide to Fatbeards to go along with Rules Lawyers, Game Masters, and Female Gamers.

  11. Yeah, it is weird that there isn't more D&D slang. Maybe its because the games and books are written by so many different people. When we played Apocalypse World, we picked up its slang really quick from the rules. It was kind of weird really; that's never happened with us in a game before.

  12. I hear a ton of RPG jargon! I hear old terms taken from boardgames (house rules and dice "throw") and wargames (rule-lawyer, grognard and sandbox gaming). I hear terms that are unique to D&D (hack-n-slash and Monty Haul) or the hobby in general (target number and point-based system). Terms borrowed from video games (drop item and TPK), which are are a rehashing of actual tabletop effect in a VG format. And a flood of terms established on the internet (fantasy heartbreaker, crunchy/fluffy, christmas tree effect and golf-bag effect).

    This site has a ton of RPG terms:

  13. Funny, I've been thinking about this more, and today I started reading Freemarket. There's a section at the beginning "Freemarket jargon". It really game terms, but it's interesting that they try right off the bat to establish their own slang.