The Jargon of RPGs
Ok, now you know what an RPG is, now let’s set down some terms that are going to come up, likely pretty often.
The people playing in an RPG. Most of the time this does not include the Referee, but it may.
The prompter and master of the rules. While it is not required that the Referee know the rules perfectly, it is up to the Referee to make judgment calls when there is doubt.
The imaginary (or imagined, if historical people are being used) people of the story. Most characters will be played by the Referee, but some (usually 1 each) are played by the Players.
- Player Characters (PC)
The characters portrayed by the players. These are the characters the players have direct control over, and are their avatars in the fantastical world
- Non-Player Characters (NPC)
The characters played by the Referee, such as the innkeeper, the local guards, and even monsters met in dark places.
- Character Sheet
It’s often easiest to keep a sheet of a characters statistics for quick reference. These are called character sheets. They can be hand drawn or printed from various sources. Often they are annotated in pencil for easy erasing if statistics change.
If you’re not a player of games, you may not be aware that there are more than one kind of dice. Dice sets, purchasable from online stores, or preferably a local comic, hobby or board game store (more recently, some bookstores have started carrying dice,) most often come with a four-sided, six-sided, eight-sided, ten-sided, twelve-sided and twenty-sided die, each numbered from one to N (where N is the number of sides.) Commonly, but not always, dice sets come with a second ten-sided die that counts from 10 to 100 by tens. These dice are referred to by the dN notation where N is the number of sides. In most cases, you will be asked to roll XdN, in that case roll that die X times (or roll multiple dice at once if you have them) and sum the result. If X is omitted, it means you roll 1 of these dice. There is a special case for d100, which is rolled by rolling d10 twice, treating the first roll as the 10s column and the second roll as the 1s column (treating 00 as 100.) This is where the by-10s d10 comes in handy.