Gaming Terms that Annoy You... and why


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've been playing tabletop RPGs for a while, and over the years, I've run across a few terms used by gamers that really rub me the wrong way.

Are there terms that annoy you?

I'll start with my two biggest pet peeves...

Gish for any "warrior/mage".

"Gish" is a term from AD&D 1st Edition, from the 1983 AD&D Fiend Folio.

The Gish was a military order within the Githyanki society consisting entirely of fighter/magic-users. In the campaign I ran back in the mid-80s, the Githyanki were a major force of opposition to my PCs. The finale of the campaign was when the PCs infiltrated (and eventually commandeered) a Gish voidship on the Astral Plane. I ended up having to write a bunch of lore about Gish military traditions and practices to support the adventure.

I don't know exactly when the term morphed into a generic term for any warrior/mage class combination... and I really wish it hadn't. In my mind, the Gish are very specificly a githyanki military order.

Calling any generic warrior/mage a "gish" makes as much sense to me as calling any soldier from any nation or time period a "Navy SEAL."

* * *

Fluff for non-rules world lore.

This one annoys the stuffing out of me.

The actual, real-world meaning of "fluff" (when not pertaining to something physically fluffy, like a kitten's fur) is "Something of no consequence" or "a mistake or blunder; especially an actor's memory lapse when delivering lines."

To call world-lore "fluff" dismisses it as unimportant, especially when constrasted with "crunch" for game mechanics. And to me, the opposite is true.

I am very much a narrativist role-playing gamer. When I game, the story is what the game is about. The rules/game mechanics exist purely to serve the story. To me, the reason there are game mechanics at all is so that the players all know what the extent or limits are to their own stories. Without any rules, an RPG becomes a game of "Let's Pretend." (Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that! See the The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Muchausen for an example of a completely narrativist RPG with no actual game mechanics.)

In my mind, wold lore is the most important part of any role-playing game. It's the most interesting part to write, requires the most creativity, and is the most fun part to interact with—either as the GM or as a player. I'm of the opinion that a good GM can use any RPG ruleset to tell the same story and make it fun to the players. To me, it's the game mechaincs that are dispensable, as they can pretty much be replaced with any other set of mechanics to serve the same story.

For example, "Curse of the Crimson Throne" is still "Curse of the Crimson Throne" even if you convert the rules to Dungeon World.

I become much less interested in playing RPGs with anyone who dismisses a game's world-lore as "fluff." (I also find the term "flavor" for world-lore to be dismissive, although much less so than "fluff.")

* * *

Anyone else?

Paizo Employee Developer

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I agree with you on those two. One of mine is overuse of acronyms, mainly because I often don't know what the person is trying to convey which might just be on me. ;)


Adam Daigle wrote:
I agree with you on those two. One of mine is overuse of acronyms, mainly because I often don't know what the person is trying to convey which might just be on me. ;)

Amen! Is it going to kill people to write the acronym out at least once?

An even bigger annoyance to me are arbitrary pejorative labels. "Oh, the munckin is upset by rules, big surprise!" or "Only carebears complain about evil characters."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Any term that attempts to separate the setting/world from the mechanics. Whether that's terms like "fluff/crunch" or even just contextual misuse of otherwise valid terms like "roleplay," "mechanics," etc.

In my ideal gaming experience, the rules/mechanics are basically the laws of physics of the setting. Thus, every rule I read informs me about the setting, because that's how things work in that world. For me, the rules and the world are synthesized into a cohesive whole. If the mechanics tell me that a dagger will never kill a high-level character in a single hit, then don't accuse me of metagaming when my character, who lives in a world where a dagger can't one-shot an experienced adventurer, is suspicious of the dagger-assassination of a high-level character. Or from the other direction, if you're going to try to tell a story in which a thief could sneak into a powerful character's room at night and lethally slit his throat, do not then tell me that daggers' mechanics are such that that wouldn't be possible.

Any element of the world/setting that a character could possibly perceive, interact with, or react to is a mechanic. Any mechanic/rule which could affect, alter, or be affected by something in the setting is itself part of the setting. They are not separate things.

EDIT: Oh, and don't give me that "Oh so you're saying everyone has a little HP bar over their head" crap, either. Just because the characters don't see injuries in the form of points doesn't mean they have no concept of injury, or no ability to see the difference between minor and life-threatening physical harm, or a wildly inaccurate understanding of the relative lethality of various weapons/attacks/hazards. All you're accomplishing with that argument is to free me from the obligation of considering the validity of your opinions in the future.


Trying to call barbarians "barb" in normal conversation. It just sounds like you're saying bard. It's not that hard to give us the other three syllables.


Haladir wrote:


Quote:


Fluff for non-rules world lore.

Yes, and using fluff for rules that are not numerical or stat-affecting. Just because it isn't math does not mean it's not important.


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Stormwind Fallacy....mostly because I know the discussion following after is going to be laborious and annoying.

Falling (within the context of classes losing power) because of the same reasons as above.


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Realistic/realism...it always seems to be followed by some reason why x cannot be accomplished even if the rules perfectly lay out how to do it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Also, "rollplay," "munchkin," "rules lawyer," or any of the other terms/expressions whose current use originated in the attempt to make RPGs be the one type of game where being good at it is bad and being bad at it is good, and whose definitions only very slightly overlap with actual cheating or ill-will, just enough to make the use of the pejorative look a little more defensible than it truly is.


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Jiggy wrote:

In my ideal gaming experience, the rules/mechanics are basically the laws of physics of the setting. Thus, every rule I read informs me about the setting, because that's how things work in that world. For me, the rules and the world are synthesized into a cohesive whole. If the mechanics tell me that a dagger will never kill a high-level character in a single hit, then don't accuse me of metagaming when my character, who lives in a world where a dagger can't one-shot an experienced adventurer, is suspicious of the dagger-assassination of a high-level character. Or from the other direction, if you're going to try to tell a story in which a thief could sneak into a powerful character's room at night and lethally slit his throat, do not then tell me that daggers' mechanics are such that that wouldn't be possible.

Any element of the world/setting that a character could possibly perceive, interact with, or react to is a mechanic. Any mechanic/rule which could affect, alter, or be affected by something in the setting is itself part of the setting. They are not separate things.

This is extremely appealing. Recently played a came where a high lvl NPC was one shotted by an assassin. It was a struggle to parse how plot-death looks to this character and how he would react. Would he try to Breath of Life this guy? The guy didn't go down to a flurry of blows, he went down to a single knife through the heart. This character knows that BoL does not work on death effects, he may or may not know about assassin class features but does he know that no damage die were rolled?


Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.


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jocundthejolly wrote:
Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.

I have never seen that one in a bad light personally, hell in my home group it's usually the second dibs, right after arcane caster. And I do mean someone will yell out "I'm the skill monkey"


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Between skill monkey, healbot, caster and meatshield, yeah, I'll take skill monkey.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Ironically, everyone I heard call someone a Healbot detested adding technology to their game.


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'Reroll' (characters) and 'toon,' neither of which made any sense in their original contexts, let alone what people use them for now.

Also acronyms. The point is to actually communicate, not obfuscate.


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Meatshield and healbot don't get seen much in our games unless its my good friend from highschool's warforged cleric.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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jocundthejolly wrote:
Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.

Wait, you've seen it used as a derogatory term? Really? Huh. I've only ever seen "_____-monkey" used as a shorthand for meaning that your abilities are focused heavily into whatever thing comes before the word "monkey". Can you provide an example of how it was used negatively? You've got me fascinated and curious. :)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Voss wrote:
Also acronyms. The point is to actually communicate, not obfuscate.

To be fair, acronyms only obfuscate if the listener doesn't know what it means. "Automatic Teller Machine" is no more communicative than "ATM".

It's kind of like hearing someone say something in a language you don't know, and then accusing them of not realizing that "the point is to actually communicate".


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Jiggy wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.
Wait, you've seen it used as a derogatory term? Really? Huh. I've only ever seen "_____-monkey" used as a shorthand for meaning that your abilities are focused heavily into whatever thing comes before the word "monkey". Can you provide an example of how it was used negatively? You've got me fascinated and curious. :)

I perceive -monkey as disparaging, not neutral. First, I don't like terms that seem to reduce a character to certain (game) mechanical choices. Second, to me -monkey means that someone does certain low-status tasks repetitively and mindlessly, e.g., A trained monkey could bag groceries, mop floors, what have you (I would never talk that way about people who do those jobs, I'm just adducing examples). Irina Krush once complained that fast time controls chess players to "clock punching monkeys". No one refers to a thoracic surgeon as a scalpel monkey or to the head chef at a Michelin starred restaurant as a kitchen or cooking monkey.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Voss wrote:
Also acronyms. The point is to actually communicate, not obfuscate.

To be fair, acronyms only obfuscate if the listener doesn't know what it means. "Automatic Teller Machine" is no more communicative than "ATM".

It's kind of like hearing someone say something in a language you don't know, and then accusing them of not realizing that "the point is to actually communicate".

In the Midwest because the company Tyme had a monopoly or something on ATM machines they were called Tyme Machines because they had a big "Tyme" across the top.

So, when we moved to Seattle, our first day there we're checking out "The Ave" (University Ave, the main shopping area of the UW) and I ask this hippie we're walking by "hey man, you know where a Tyme Machine is?"

To this day I don't think I've seen anyone that confused in my life. :-)


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I can't understand why they always refer to an ongoing adventure, with multiple story arcs, as a Champagne.

I've never been able to make that connection, I mean, sure I like Champagne, but how does that relate to a long term adventure?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't like champagne.

I do love a nice Caribbean rum though. :-)


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jocundthejolly wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.
Wait, you've seen it used as a derogatory term? Really? Huh. I've only ever seen "_____-monkey" used as a shorthand for meaning that your abilities are focused heavily into whatever thing comes before the word "monkey". Can you provide an example of how it was used negatively? You've got me fascinated and curious. :)
I perceive -monkey as disparaging, not neutral. First, I don't like terms that seem to reduce a character to certain (game) mechanical choices. Second, to me -monkey means that someone does certain low-status tasks repetitively and mindlessly, e.g., A trained monkey could bag groceries, mop floors, what have you (I would never talk that way about people who do those jobs, I'm just adducing examples). Irina Krush once complained that fast time controls chess players to "clock punching monkeys". No one refers to a thoracic surgeon as a scalpel monkey or to the head chef at a Michelin starred restaurant as a kitchen or cooking monkey.

It may tie back to background such as growing up with an uncle who called himself a grease monkey (a mechanic for anyone who doesn't know) . But like Jiggy I have never heard ____ monkey used derogatorily. I have used monkey used that way just not with a qualifier.


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"cookie-cutter" to describe PB characters. The belief that stats some how mandate a character's personality is something ill never understand.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They may not be strictly gaming, but the terms neckbeard and fake geek really set me off, and actually calling someone by either term will get you bounced from my game and kicked out of my house.


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Graywolf777 wrote:
They may not be strictly gaming, but the terms neckbeard and fake geek really set me off, and actually calling someone by either term will get you bounced from my game and kicked out of my house.

What if someone called you a fake neckbeard?


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Talonhawke wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.
Wait, you've seen it used as a derogatory term? Really? Huh. I've only ever seen "_____-monkey" used as a shorthand for meaning that your abilities are focused heavily into whatever thing comes before the word "monkey". Can you provide an example of how it was used negatively? You've got me fascinated and curious. :)
I perceive -monkey as disparaging, not neutral. First, I don't like terms that seem to reduce a character to certain (game) mechanical choices. Second, to me -monkey means that someone does certain low-status tasks repetitively and mindlessly, e.g., A trained monkey could bag groceries, mop floors, what have you (I would never talk that way about people who do those jobs, I'm just adducing examples). Irina Krush once complained that fast time controls chess players to "clock punching monkeys". No one refers to a thoracic surgeon as a scalpel monkey or to the head chef at a Michelin starred restaurant as a kitchen or cooking monkey.
It may tie back to background such as growing up with an uncle who called himself a grease monkey (a mechanic for anyone who doesn't know) . But like Jiggy I have never heard ____ monkey used derogatorily. I have used monkey used that way just not with a qualifier.

That's interesting, thanks for pointing that out. No one so far shares my viewpoint so maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine (my perception and emotional response).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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jocundthejolly wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
jocundthejolly wrote:
Skill monkey annoys me and should be retired from RPG parlance as one of those terms of derogation which have been discussed so much recently on these boards.
Wait, you've seen it used as a derogatory term? Really? Huh. I've only ever seen "_____-monkey" used as a shorthand for meaning that your abilities are focused heavily into whatever thing comes before the word "monkey". Can you provide an example of how it was used negatively? You've got me fascinated and curious. :)
I perceive -monkey as disparaging, not neutral. First, I don't like terms that seem to reduce a character to certain (game) mechanical choices. Second, to me -monkey means that someone does certain low-status tasks repetitively and mindlessly, e.g., A trained monkey could bag groceries, mop floors, what have you (I would never talk that way about people who do those jobs, I'm just adducing examples). Irina Krush once complained that fast time controls chess players to "clock punching monkeys". No one refers to a thoracic surgeon as a scalpel monkey or to the head chef at a Michelin starred restaurant as a kitchen or cooking monkey.
It may tie back to background such as growing up with an uncle who called himself a grease monkey (a mechanic for anyone who doesn't know) . But like Jiggy I have never heard ____ monkey used derogatorily. I have used monkey used that way just not with a qualifier.
That's interesting, thanks for pointing that out. No one so far shares my viewpoint so maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine (my perception and emotional response).

Now, I have heard people disparage someone's job by saying something like "a trained monkey could do that". But almost every time I've heard "skill-monkey" (or something similar), it's been positive, such as in a request or an offer:

"Dibs on playing the skill monkey!"
"Can you help me build a skill monkey?"
"I wish I were more of a grease monkey so I could fix my own car."

But now you've got me curious whether the two different types of references to monkeys could share an origin. Hm...

Sovereign Court

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people talking about "builds" does truly rankle me because it makes it sound like the mechanical choices made about what abilities to select are the most important aspects of a roleplaying game persona.

I may be old fashioned but I still think background stories and motivations are instead the most important aspects of a character.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The above is a decent example of what I was talking about.


Claxon wrote:

Stormwind Fallacy....mostly because I know the discussion following after is going to be laborious and annoying.

Falling (within the context of classes losing power) because of the same reasons as above.

I am not familiar with this Stormwind Fallacy.


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Haladir wrote:
Are there terms that annoy you?

Yes.

Before I say what it is for me, I want to apologize to everyone who uses it casually - I actually really like most people who do this, it's just... the term itself rankles me on a level I can't quite put to words.

Using, "to hit bonus" instead of, "attack bonus" - I said I'm sorry!

I know, I know - it's just kind of part of the gaming culture, but it's so incredibly off-sounding.

Me, reading a conversation wrote:

Person A's post: "What is the 'to hit bonus' in that situation?"

Me reading, silently: It's "attack bonus" - literally in the rules, that's what it's called - just say, "attack bonus," that's all I'm asking, just say...

Person B's post: "Your 'to hit' would be a +12."

Me reading, silently: ... daggummit.

It not even shorter - 'to hit' is five letters and a space (six characters total), while 'attack' is six letters (still six characters total).

It flows awkwardly in English conversational structure.

It doesn't even make sense within it's own wording.

I love you all so dearly, but daggum, for some reason that is completely unfathomable this structure hangs on and thrives through conversation.

I mean, even saying, "bonus to hit <subject>" flows better, but it's so consistently, "'to hit' bonus" (or "'to hit' value") in so many conversations that it's just... it's weird.

In the end, though, it's one of the least offensive things that people can do that gets a visceral, "Naaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwoooooo, c'mon, wwwhhhhhyyyy~?" reaction from me, silently. So you do you, Paizo. You do you. I'll just suck it up.

:)


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Jiggy wrote:
In my ideal gaming experience, the rules/mechanics are basically the laws of physics of the setting. Thus, every rule I read informs me about the setting, because that's how things work in that world. For me, the rules and the world are synthesized into a cohesive whole. If the mechanics tell me that a dagger will never kill a high-level character in a single hit, then don't accuse me of metagaming when my character, who lives in a world where a dagger can't one-shot an experienced adventurer, is suspicious of the dagger-assassination of a high-level character. Or from the other direction, if you're going to try to tell a story in which a thief could sneak into a powerful character's room at night and lethally slit his throat, do not then tell me that daggers' mechanics are such that that wouldn't be possible.

For me the mechanics are the abstraction of the story... not the story itself. And BTW, there are many ways that a dagger CAN one-shot even a mighty adventurer. They just require one of many possible mechanics in play... or the blessing of something that mechanics does not touch. (Marvel's classic In-Betweener from the original Adam Warlock series is a perfect example of such a character)

Story events are the core of the world... Not all of them boil down to player-accessible mechanics.


deusvult wrote:

people talking about "builds" does truly rankle me because it makes it sound like the mechanical choices made about what abilities to select are the most important aspects of a roleplaying game persona.

I may be old fashioned but I still think background stories and motivations are instead the most important aspects of a character.

I often use a character's mechanics to inform their backstory and character.

Like, say, I make a swashbuckler who specializes in using a katana. Why is he using that particular weapon? Is he a samurai himself who eschewed traditional samurai sword techniques because said techniques failed him when he needed them most? Was it a trophy that his adventurer father won that he consequently taught himself how to use because he thought it looked cool? Maybe he is a follower of the Tien goddess Shizuru, and using her sacred weapon is his way of showing his devotion for her.

All 3 stories are reasons why I might build a character that way. All 3 suggest radically different characters, who nonetheless would be well-represented by a swashbuckler using a katana.


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Haladir wrote:


To call world-lore "fluff" dismisses it as unimportant, especially when constrasted with "crunch" for game mechanics. And to me, the opposite is true.

I am very much a narrativist role-playing gamer. When I game, the story is what the game is about. The rules/game mechanics exist purely to serve the story.

I see where you're coming from... and I've seen James Jacobs say the same thing... but I don't really agree with the sentiment.

The world Lore is one of the main driving points of the game... absolutely. However, of the entire game system... it really IS dismissable and unimportant.

Before I get tackled and beat on... I just want to clarify. The 'world lore' is usually the first thing that players and DMs start to mess with when they start the game. The authors point out the races, and kingdoms, and gods... and the players say "Ok, I like that god... I like that race... but my monk comes from this region over here... so we need to add a monastery in that mountain range... The DM looks at it and says Undead are all evil?? Well I want a non-undead lich here... and Ohhh look a new sourcebook on Magnimar... Oh, But I already killed that ruler, so in MY game he's dead... I don't like these gods here... so I won't use them. Guns??? Catfolk??? Not in MY game... Ohhhh and I want drow to be up and wandering the streets of magnimar... because I have a reason why!!! Crashed Spaceships??? NOOOOPe, Don't think so! Soooo these three countries are gone, and these homebrew ones take it's place...

The core rules usually get some kind of houserule between tables... but the majority of it is completely compatible from table to table. I see people disallowing summoners... but I don't see anyone taking a monk and just not using Ki pools... It's kind of carved in stone. (Sometimes a soft stone...) but if the class is allowed, then the mechanics are allowed...

Setting specific books? I'd guess each table has only read about 60% of them... and most are DM specific anyway. We read the areas we play... and if our game changes stuff, then it's dismissed. After Kingmaker, No two Stolen Lands/Brevoy areas are going to look the same anymore. Any setting books there are going to be hit and miss.

For me, I'm all about the narrative story and the mechanics serve the story... but the 'world lore' only exists as far as IT serves the story too, and if there is a contradiction then the DM's story trumps all.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:

Using, "to hit bonus" instead of, "attack bonus" - I said I'm sorry!

I know, I know - it's just kind of part of the gaming culture, but it's so incredibly off-sounding.

Me, reading a conversation wrote:

Person A's post: "What is the 'to hit bonus' in that situation?"

Me reading, silently: It's "attack bonus" - literally in the rules, that's what it's called - just say, "attack bonus," that's all I'm asking, just say...

Person B's post: "Your 'to hit' would be a +12."

Me reading, silently: ... daggummit.

It not even shorter - 'to hit' is five letters and a space (six characters total), while 'attack' is six letters (still six characters total).

It flows awkwardly in English conversational structure.

It doesn't even make sense within it's own wording.

I love you all so dearly, but daggum, for some reason that is completely unfathomable this structure hangs on and thrives through conversation.

I mean, even saying, "bonus to hit <subject>" flows better, but it's so consistently, "'to hit' bonus" (or "'to hit' value") in so many conversations that it's just... it's weird.

You can tell who's a grognard by that. In the AD&D rules, it was literally called a "to hit" bonus, quotation marks included.* I mean, you're free not to like it, but if you really don't know where it came from, that's where. :)

*:
AD&D DM Guide wrote:

If you opt for a per level advancement in combat ability, simply use the table but give a +1 "to hit" bonus to fighters who attain the second level of experience shown in each group of 2 levels, i.e. 1-2, 3-4, etc.


To-hit bonus is also clearer. To new players, "attack bonus" could mean anything.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

For me it's a general tendency to take someone's opinion and treat them as if they hold an extreme, hyperbolic position:

"I like to build an effective character" becomes a munchkin, powergamer, rollplayer or any other one-dimensional caricature.

"I like the use of DM fiat" becomes make-believe storytelling where none of the rules are ever followed.

It's really easy to attack the extremist view of just about anything and almost nobody holds extreme positions (pretty much by definition) so the conversation descends into fruitless "show me where I said...." on both sides, rather than exploring some alternate views. :/


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Are there terms that annoy you?

Yes.

Before I say what it is for me, I want to apologize to everyone who uses it casually - I actually really like most people who do this, it's just... the term itself rankles me on a level I can't quite put to words.

Using, "to hit bonus" instead of, "attack bonus" - I said I'm sorry!

I know, I know - it's just kind of part of the gaming culture, but it's so incredibly off-sounding.

Me, reading a conversation wrote:

Person A's post: "What is the 'to hit bonus' in that situation?"

Me reading, silently: It's "attack bonus" - literally in the rules, that's what it's called - just say, "attack bonus," that's all I'm asking, just say...

Person B's post: "Your 'to hit' would be a +12."

Me reading, silently: ... daggummit.

It not even shorter - 'to hit' is five letters and a space (six characters total), while 'attack' is six letters (still six characters total).

It flows awkwardly in English conversational structure.

It doesn't even make sense within it's own wording.

I love you all so dearly, but daggum, for some reason that is completely unfathomable this structure hangs on and thrives through conversation.

I mean, even saying, "bonus to hit <subject>" flows better, but it's so consistently, "'to hit' bonus" (or "'to hit' value") in so many conversations that it's just... it's weird.

In the end, though, it's one of the least offensive things that people can do that gets a visceral, "Naaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwoooooo, c'mon, wwwhhhhhyyyy~?" reaction from me, silently. So you do you, Paizo. You do you. I'll just suck it up.

:)

How do you feel about favorite as a verb?

Sovereign Court

Jiggy wrote:
The above is a decent example of what I was talking about.

Actually, you're not giving yourself enough credit. I did indeed see your referenced post. I didn't quote you but I was indeed responding directly to it. (Apologies for any confusion on failing to quote-wasn't trying to imply your view was without value by contradicting it). I felt a countering/divergent opinion had its place, coupled with an explanation.

I'd have thought someone espousing the virtues of playstyle relativism wouldn't be absolutist in one's own view ;)


There are RPG topics that bother me, when brought up again and again, but not many RPG terms actually really annoy me.

There are terms from other tabletop formats (wargames) and related (hobby) that rankle me to no end.

Like "batrep" instead of battle report, or "make it pop" when describing a painting technique that causes a mini to stand out. One makes the speaker sound like a pretentious clown and the other just sounds perverted.

One new term that has sprung up in recent YouTube videos, is "cav" in place of cavalry. One guy must have said it fifteen times every two minutes all through a twenty minute video. My comment to that video represents the sole time I have ever threatened somebody physically on the Internet, if they didn't shut up (comically, of course).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"Fluff" doesn't bother me because I first heard it in a wargaming context, where the delineation is stark and sharp. With that said, I try not to use it around people who dislike it.

"Gish" was a new one on me, and these boards remain the only place I've seen it. I therefore don't dislike it because of the Githyanki, but because I find it stupid and unevocative. It strikes me as a nonsense word pressed into service to describe something we have terminology to discuss.

Which leads me to:

Unexplained acronyms and jargon. Jargon is often used to simplify communication between equally-versed sorts, but it also forms an obnoxious exclusion zone well out of proportion to the complexity of what is being discussed. This is a hatred I got to nurture while working in education in the era of NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

Most pejorative labels for gaming styles quickly wear out their welcome.

_______-point build. I detest point buy in Pathfinder and D&D for essentially arbitrary and unfair reasons, and every time I see this come up, it inevitably turns into bickering about where points would have been best spent. (Amusingly and hypocritically, I have no beef with the old World of Darkness system, L5R's XP-builds, and numerous other gaming systems where character creation is based upon a set number of points to be assigned) Suffice to say, this is a dislike I will not bother trying to defend, because there is no logical defense.


I don't like it when people call paladins "pallys", clerics "healbots", melee focused classes "beat sticks", "meat shields" or "tanks". I guess the pattern is that I don't care for most MMORPG terms. The first one I just think is annoying and the last four are unnecessarily pigeon-holing and usually inaccurate to what the character does.

On the other hand, "caster" gets a pass from me. It just seems like a more concise way to refer to "magic-users" in general.

The comic "Knights of the Dinner Table" gave me a list of RPG-related jargon that I hate that would be too long to list. It's like Jolly Blackburn has never actually heard people talk to each other before...


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Oh! I despise MMO-talk when it applies to a tabletop RPG.

"Tank, DPS, CC..." Ugh.

Paizo Employee Developer

phantom1592 wrote:
Haladir wrote:


To call world-lore "fluff" dismisses it as unimportant, especially when constrasted with "crunch" for game mechanics. And to me, the opposite is true.

I am very much a narrativist role-playing gamer. When I game, the story is what the game is about. The rules/game mechanics exist purely to serve the story.

I see where you're coming from... and I've seen James Jacobs say the same thing... but I don't really agree with the sentiment.

The world Lore is one of the main driving points of the game... absolutely. However, of the entire game system... it really IS dismissable and unimportant.

Before I get tackled and beat on... I just want to clarify.

<snip>

I see where you're coming from too, but what you're describing as 'world lore' is what I'd call "Setting." I also totally agree with you that that's one of the first things that GMs, players, and groups tinker with. Heck, there's even an enlightening thread here on the boards about Making Golarion "Yours". (Which is fascinating as a contributor and creator.)

Where "fluff" comes into play most often it's used is in a smaller factor than overall setting. It's bits and pieces that help contextualize everything. The descriptive text for a monster in a bestiary, for example, is what I, and many, call flavor text. (Instead of "fluff" I much prefer the word "flavor.") From that flavor, you know that goblins are maniacal pyromaniacs and that blue dragons are schemers. Much of what people call "fluff" is also what is what the vast majority of the people who play Pathfinder use to guide decisions in making adventures and adopting character concepts. That said, we've always said that people should change and adapt things to suit their own style of play and their particular group and preferred setting, but the fact is that at the core of things, flavor text, or "fluff" drives much of the creativity of individual games, even if individual players make a conscious decision to change it.

I'm totally not trying to be confrontational, by the way. I just wanted to point out what I saw as a difference between setting and flavor text. Settings are less assumed overall than individual pieces of flavor text.


Joana wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Using, "to hit bonus" instead of, "attack bonus" - I said I'm sorry!

I know, I know - it's just kind of part of the gaming culture, but it's so incredibly off-sounding.

Me, reading a conversation wrote:

Person A's post: "What is the 'to hit bonus' in that situation?"

Me reading, silently: It's "attack bonus" - literally in the rules, that's what it's called - just say, "attack bonus," that's all I'm asking, just say...

Person B's post: "Your 'to hit' would be a +12."

Me reading, silently: ... daggummit.

It not even shorter - 'to hit' is five letters and a space (six characters total), while 'attack' is six letters (still six characters total).

It flows awkwardly in English conversational structure.

It doesn't even make sense within it's own wording.

I love you all so dearly, but daggum, for some reason that is completely unfathomable this structure hangs on and thrives through conversation.

I mean, even saying, "bonus to hit <subject>" flows better, but it's so consistently, "'to hit' bonus" (or "'to hit' value") in so many conversations that it's just... it's weird.

You can tell who's a grognard by that. In the AD&D rules, it was literally called a "to hit" bonus, quotation marks included.* I mean, you're free not to like it, but if you really don't know where it came from, that's where. :)

** spoiler omitted **

It's not just a grognard thing. I've only been playing TRPGs since late 2011.

It just makes more sense as a term. Additionally, the word "attack" is used in like 4 different contexts in Pathfinder's rules. People gripe about how "level" and "level" get confused too much but the overuse of the word "attack" in the rules with no indicator as to which context it means when so many are so dadgum close to each other brings me great pain.

So sorry Tacticslion, but I'ma keep using to-hit instead of attack.


Cole Deschain wrote:

Oh! I despise MMO-talk when it applies to a tabletop RPG.

"Tank, DPS, CC..." Ugh.

Yes, because for the most part they're wholly inaccurate for the tabletop medium. Tanks: There is very little way in this game to force something to fight you and ignore others. "Tanking" has to be accomplished through role play and/or positioning. DPS: Is absolutely meaningless in an RPG. What they mean is "damage per round", at best.


Upon thinking about this further, it's not MMORPG terms I hate, it's reductive phrasing. I don't like "skill monkey" (agreed that it has a prejorative connotation) or "face" any better than the others. I don't like characters being referred to by their class or race either, for the most part.

I don't like characters being reduced to their attributes because I think it honestly is a sign of, or leads to, a lack of immersion in the character and I think it detracts from a good atmosphere for role playing. When I hear these it makes me think that people aren't trying to get into their characters and don't care to. I find that a missed opportunity.


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Basically what you're saying is you don't like succinct language because you want people to measure up to whatever random standard you have set for whether someone is a "real roleplayer".

It's not other people that are the problem.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Sundakan wrote:


Basically what you're saying is you don't like succinct language because you want people to measure up to whatever random standard you have set for whether someone is a "real roleplayer".

It's not other people that are the problem.

Isn't "things that annoy me" always going to be subjective? (I doubt the standard is random).

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