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Updated 
 13 August, 2006

Look to Catherine and Julie's 
3.5E D&D Campaign
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Throughout this site there are abbreviations and all kinds of game-related terms.  I don't want people who don't know the game or have all the material that I do to be confused.  So, here is a glossary of the terms and abbreviations that I use on this site.  

Game Concepts/Terms

Below is a description of what this site is all about, for those that don't play or are new to this kind of game.

Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game.  This is much like a group story or play, but the actions are described, not acted out.  One person playing the game is the Dungeon Master and the others are the Players.  Each Player creates a character, using standard rules and his imagination.  The Dungeon Master gathers or creates all of the setting information and develops a storyline, or adventure.  To play, the Dungeon Master starts to tell the story, and the Players add in descriptions of what their characters are doing in the story.  All the action follows the rules, with dice being used to determine random outcomes. Obviously, the story becomes unpredictable and keeps changing, which is the fun of the game.  The game is over when the story reaches a logical conclusion.  Most games take a long time to play, so the players meet on a regular schedule and play out chapter-sized parts of the story.  Most stories involve mythical conflicts between good vs. evil, with the Players playing the good guys.  Sometimes, players choose evil characters to play; however, they usually find that being evil is not as rewarding as it first appears.  Personally, I prefer that the characters are good. Anyway, the adventures and settings are as varied as they are in literature, so players network for new character ideas and stories.  This site offers some information in that network.

Abbreviations

These are usually the standard abbreviations used in the gaming industry.  The Fundamental Abbreviations are in a conceptual order, the Other Abbreviations are in alphabetical order.

Format: Abbreviation (What it stands for): definition 

Fundamental Abbreviations and Terms

bulletD&D (Dungeons & Dragons): The game we're discussing.  There are many different role playing games.
bullet3E (3rd Edition): D&D has undergone many changes since it first hit the market in the 1970's.  First it was called D&D.  There were some major changes made to the system and it became AD&D.  Then, they made some revisions and published as 2nd Edition AD&D.  They came up with some alternate rules, but didn't want to make them standard for the game, so they called those rules Player's Options and Dungeon Master's Options.  Then, they decided to redesign the game, using some of the best aspects of everything they had published before and changing some of the presentation mechanics of the game to make it more modern.  This last revision is what we're currently at: the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons (3E D&D).  In a way, each edition was an era of gaming material and had it's own gaming style.  Often, products and campaign setting timelines are referenced using the edition of the game to categorize them.
bulletd20 System: The D&D game system is based on game rules called the d20 System.  WotC created the system base, and then opened it to individuals and other game companies.  It's a cool collaborative idea.  However, the game settings (Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms) are clearly owned and copywrited to each individual company.
bulletAD&D (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons): Note the history of the game above.  AD&D usually refers to the 2nd Edition.  Many people still play this game and much of the support material for it (adventures, campaign setting, and source material) are the basis of 3E D&D support materials.  It was good information and fun stuff that is still being converted to the new edition.
bulletTSR:  TSR was the original company that published D&D.  It was bought by WotC in the 1990's.  TSR was once an abbreviation, but became the company's name.  
bulletWotC (Wizards of the Coast): The game company that started with the Collectable Card Game called Magic: the Gathering.  They made tons of money and spent it buying up other game companies, including TSR.  Recently, they were bought by Hasbro, as a subsidiary.  They make lots of interesting games besides D&D.
bulletPHB (Player's Handbook): The published game rules for the Players. In the d20 system, it is also called "Core Rulebook I".
bulletDMG (Dungeon Master's Guide):  The published game rules for the Dungeon Masters. In the d20 system, it is also called "Core Rulebook II".
bulletMM (Monster Manual): The rulebook that contains rules for presenting monsters for the characters to defeat. In the d20 system, it is also called "Core Rulebook III".
bulletDM (Dungeon Master):  The player that runs the storyline and determines the outcome of player's actions.  This is a fancy D&D specific title for the main storyteller.
bulletPC (Player Character):  The character that the Player has created, using the rules in the PHB and descriptions from his own imagination.  
bulletNPC (Non-Player Character): The characters the DM uses to populate the game world.
bulletCampaign Setting:  A campaign setting is a published game world, where you can buy world details including geographic maps, socio-economic info, fantasy myth and magic systems, NPCs and villain organizations for the players to meet and interact with.  Most campaign settings have additional material you can buy, including source books and adventure modules.
bulletFR (Forgotten Realms): An official campaign setting published first by TSR and now by WotC.  It was the primary campaign setting for 2nd Edition AD&D.  It is still one of the premier settings for 3E, with a large and vocal fan-base (this site is one example).  There have been many changes in this world, and if you are new to the game, I suggest leaping in with both feet and getting the FRCS hardback, mentioned below, as it will not only give you everything you need to play now, but it has an excellent synopsis of all that came before.
bulletGH (Greyhawk): An official campaign setting published first by TSR and now by WotC.  It was the primary campaign setting for 1st Edition AD&D and now for 3E D&D.  There was some support for it in the 2nd Edition AD&D, where the world went through several wars.  If you are new to the game, keep in mind that the old material reflects the world before the major wars.  Some countries are gone, and new ones have been created since the 1st Edition.  Unless you are playing in a pre-GH Wars game, you aren't missing anything sticking to the new supplements.

Other Abbreviations

bulletCC2 (Campaign Cartographer 2): From the folks at Profantasy Software.  The best fantasy mapping program on the market.  So good, that they had a deal with WotC doing 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms maps.  I got the disk for the FR maps and immediately got excited about the potential for posting campaign specific maps as players' aids.
bulletCD2:  (City Designer 2): Another Profantasy Software product.  Designs city maps for fantasy games.
bulletDD2 (Dungeon Designer 2):  Another Profantasy Software product.  Designs dungeon maps for fantasy games.
bulletDragon (Dragon Magazine): Dragon Magazine is a magazine published by WotC that features articles of interest to D&D players.  There is frequently an issue number after "Dragon", for example Dragon #282, that notes the magazine issue referenced.
bulletFRCS (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting):  The 3E campaign setting and rules update for the Forgotten Realms.  Even if you don't intend to use FR as a campaign setting, the book is worth the money just for the new feats, skills, prestige classes, spells, and magic items.  Of course, it never hurts to have a handy reference with towns and cities that you can drop into your campaign...  Do not confuse this hardcover book with the earlier AD&D boxed sets!
bulletGM (Game Master):  The player that runs the storyline and determines the outcome of player's actions.  This is a term used in many other RPGs.
bulletLC (Living City): The RPGA's FR campaign that allows players to play characters of their own design at tournaments and certified games around the world.
bulletMT (Master Tools):  WotC's software program for building characters, monsters, and other components of the game.
bulletR&R (Relics & Rituals):  A companion book for 3E by Sword & Sorcery Studios, a.k.a. the people at White Wolf.  I don't use it much, but I might one day reference it.
bulletRPG (Role Playing Game):  Games like D&D, where the players control characters in a story.
bulletRPGA (Role Playing Gamers Association): The worldwide organization that promotes gaming at conventions around the world by providing consistent quality scenarios and events.
bulletScarred Lands: the campaign setting by Sword & Sorcery Studios. It is much darker than I like, and sometimes unbalanced, but includes information that I may use from time to time.
bulletSword & Sorcery Studios: A subsidiary of White Wolf. 
bullet(WW) White Wolf Games:  A company that produces RPGs, including the popular and controversial Vampire: The Masquerade game, as well as other dark and gothic RPGs.

If there are terms or concepts used on this site that you do not understand, please feel free to send me an email and I'll try to answer your questions.

 


This page designed and written by Catherine Keene, unless otherwise stated. 2001-2005.
Direct comments and site problems to her at: KingsTears@aol.com
This page was updated on Sunday, August 13, 2006