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OREO
2013-02-22, 03:29 PM
This is my first post in the Playground... so forgive me if what I'm asking for already exists somewhere else on the site.

There seems to be a lot of terms (slang/D&D short-hand/Idioms) thrown into many of the posts and I'm wondering if there is a source I can reference that will explain what those terms are in fact referring to?

For Example:


Sword & Board (I assume this means fighter using a shield?)
Skillmonkey
Tank (high hit points/high AC?)
The Mailman
Melee vs. Mundane Melee
Trippers
Nerf (to Nerf something?)
Gentlemen's Agreement


...and so on. I'm sure there's many more like these in use so what I'm hoping for is a slang lexicon of sorts or perhaps users can simply add entries to this thread and build one right here.

Silverbit
2013-02-22, 03:53 PM
I think I know most of these:
Sword and board: Not just a fighter, can be anyone with a shield and a single handed weapon.
Skillmonkey: The "Rogue" archetype, as opposed to the fighter or wizard; has a skill for every situation.
Tank: Yep, you're correct there. Generally more optimised tanks can heal themselves somehow.
The mailman: As far as I know, it's an optimised Sorc that can deal massive amounts of damage from far away. I'm not sure though.
Melee vs mundane melee: Don't know.
Trippers: Characters focused on tripping, often they wield a spiked chain or other such weapon with the trip ability. They can be very effective at controlling large amounts of enemies.
Nerf: To make something less effective, ie taking a wizards familiar away, removing druid Wildshaping, etc.
Gentlemen's agreement: This varies, but it's generally an informal arrangement. Normally it involves players not making hyper-optimised builds that destroy everything, and on the dm's side not showing too much favouritism or random bullying. There's a thread about it somewhere.
I hope I've been helpful, and welcome to the boards :smallsmile:.

Edge of Dreams
2013-02-22, 04:09 PM
When people talk about "mundane" they mean "without casting any spells or relying on clearly magical abilities". So, a Scout/Ranger archer build is a mundane archer, but a Cleric who uses Divine Power and Zen Archery is not a mundane archer because he's relying on spells to buff himself. Mundane melee classes/builds (Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, Monk, etc.) are often contrasted with so-called "gish" classes/builds which buff themselves with magic in order to fight better or use melee attacks mixed with battlefield control spells (Magus, Duskblade, Eldritch Knight, etc.)

OREO
2013-02-22, 04:53 PM
Nice... that's helpful. Thanks!

Here's another one... TPK... Total Party Kill?

SilverLeaf167
2013-02-22, 05:43 PM
Nice... that's helpful. Thanks!

Here's another one... TPK... Total Party Kill?
Yes, precisely. I'm assuming you know what that means, but just to make sure, it means all the PCs in the party dying (duh)... though typically used when speaking of a single encounter that happened to kill them all, technically even if they die one at a time over multiple encounters the adventure as a whole can be called a TPK.

Treblain
2013-02-22, 06:00 PM
Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18512) is the Common Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Terms thread. It was last updated in 2008, but most of it is still good. Some of those terms aren't in common use now, but I don't think that many new ones have arisen for 3.5 or older editions.

Devils_Advocate
2013-02-22, 06:05 PM
There's an old thread for this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18512), but it's hardly comprehensive. No "skill monkey", no "tank", no "meatshield" (which I think is just the same thing as a tank?), etc.

Your best bet for most of this stuff is probably just to consult the general resource for slang, i.e. Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/). Because it really does seem to be a general resource for slang, rather than just a resource for general slang; which is to say that it covers all manner of obscure jargon.

Often a single term will have multiple unrelated definitions, but it should generally be clear from context which one is being used. For example, looking up "PHB" gives the gaming lingo definition as the sixth result. If you're trying to find out what it means in the context of discussing roleplaying games, it's clear that this is the relevant definition.

And needless to say Urban Dictionary is an excellent resource for non-standard terminology in general.

OREO
2013-02-22, 07:13 PM
...ding ding, we have a winner! Though I was convinced there must have been a thread discussion on this stuff at some point in the past I certainly didn't think it would be from 2008 (o0). That's a HUGE list!

A few years late for the contributing author(s), but a big thank you is in order just the same!

Arbane
2013-02-22, 07:40 PM
There's an old thread for this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18512), but it's hardly comprehensive. No "skill monkey", no "tank", no "meatshield" (which I think is just the same thing as a tank?), etc.



I had the impression a meatshield is considered a bit more expendable, and doesn't hit as hard - the group's fighter is a tank, a summoned Celestial Badger is a meatshield. But I could be wrong.

Quorothorn
2013-02-22, 08:20 PM
Just to add a few tiny bits of info in case they're helpful: The Mailman, IIRC, is specifically a Sorcerer/Incantrix (Incantrix being a Prestige Class from the Faerun setting) who relies on Orb/similar attack spells and a bunch of other tricks to get direct hit point damage through quickly, in high quantities, and regardless of how good the target's defences are: so named because nothing (not Armor Class, not Spell Resistance, not elemental resistances/immunities, nor saving throws) will prevent the character from delivering damage to its targets. This is somewhat in contrast to the "usual" accepted optimization paths for an arcane caster which are more about battlefield control/advantage, save-or-lose spells, and so forth.

A "Skillmonkey" can either be a type of character, or a class (though usually they overlap for obvious reasons--most characters that are "Skillmonkeys" must have levels in a Skillmonkey class to be effective, and most classes that 'qualify' as Skillmonkey-ish have that attribute as a main strength). For a class to be considered "skillmonkey" material, it generally needs to give out 6+Intelligence (or 8+INT) skill points per level and/or have an extensive list of class skills. (Which is why Monks don't quuuite work for the archetype with their multi-attribute dependency and 4 skill points.)

And much of the time a Tank character will, in addition to simply having great defences, be obliged to have some way to prevent enemies from just bypassing them to get to "softer" members of the party. (Tripping is actually a possible example of this.)

You'll probably see "sword and board" used in a somewhat pejorative fashion much of the time, as by the rules of standard 3.X D&D it's generally a subpar mechanical choice compared to wielding a single, two-handed weapon.

TuggyNE
2013-02-22, 09:14 PM
Gentlemen's agreement: This varies, but it's generally an informal arrangement. Normally it involves players not making hyper-optimised builds that destroy everything, and on the dm's side not showing too much favouritism or random bullying. There's a thread about it somewhere.

So there is. :smallwink: (That reminds me, I need to pick up a few loose ends in there....)


I had the impression a meatshield is considered a bit more expendable, and doesn't hit as hard - the group's fighter is a tank, a summoned Celestial Badger is a meatshield. But I could be wrong.

This is loosely correct, but they're still somewhat interchangeable; meatshield is closer to pejorative, but it's still sometimes used of the party fighter. (Especially by a stuck-up Batman wizard*.)

*Batman refers to a particular philosophy of playing/building a Wizard, in which absolutely everything is prepared for. It can be rather devastatingly effective.


And much of the time a Tank character will, in addition to simply having great defences, be obliged to have some way to prevent enemies from just bypassing them to get to "softer" members of the party. (Tripping is actually a possible example of this.)

Ironically, in 3.x specifically the best tanks may be spellcasters using BFC (battlefield control) spells and lots of personal buffs to have high AC and enormous miss chances.

Jay R
2013-02-23, 11:09 AM
A tank and a meatshield may be the same person, and usually are, but they mean different aspects.

The tank is somebody in heavy armor who moves into melee and mows down the enemy. The term refers to the fact that he is heavily armored to not take damage.

A meatshield is somebody who keeps the enemy off the spellcasters so they can cast. The term refers to the fact that the casters are hiding behind him.

nedz
2013-02-24, 06:55 PM
Just to clarify

The Mailman (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19868534/The_Mailman:_A_Direct_Damage_Sorcerer) is a specific High OP build.

Skillmonkey is a party role. Traditionally parties present four threats Arcanist, Healbot, Skillmonkey and Meatshield. Traditionally these were Wizard, Cleric, Thief and Fighter but you get the idea.

Holocron Coder
2013-02-25, 11:48 AM
For the whole tank vs meatshield difference, I've usually seen them used as such:

Tank - high armor, high avoidance, durable, etc. Defensive fighters fit here.

Meatshield - low/regular armor and avoidance, but so many hitpoints that soaking up damage is depended on instead of avoiding the damage. Good example is a really-high-Con Barbarian.

ClockShock
2013-02-25, 05:56 PM
The difference (if any) between Tank and Meatshield varies from group to group (as can be seen by the other posts so far).

However it is of note that Tank can also be used as a verb.
"Go tank the BBEG while we clear out the mooks."

In my opinion:
- The Tank has abilities to help them do their job (such as tripping, or otherwise preventing enemies from moving freely). In this way, they are built for their role and can actively aggravate the enemy.

- The Meatshield is just a damage soak (albeit, quite an effective one when in the right situation), without all the fancy bells and whistles. In this way, they are little more than a sack of meat that you hope your enemies will waste their time with.

nedz
2013-02-25, 08:35 PM
- The Tank has abilities to help them do their job (such as tripping, or otherwise preventing enemies from moving freely). In this way, they are built for their role and can actively aggravate the enemy.

- The Meatshield is just a damage soak (albeit, quite an effective one when in the right situation), without all the fancy bells and whistles. In this way, they are little more than a sack of meat that you hope your enemies will waste their time with.

A smart enemy will ignore both.
Can't hit the first one, and the second one won't hurt me.

AttilaTheGeek
2013-02-25, 10:59 PM
I've also seen "Tank" used as a verb, as was mentioned. To tank an enemy is to draw their fire or attacks, presumably away from more squishy party members.

"Nerf" came about with the comparison of paintball guns to nerf guns- they're both toy weapons, but nerf guns are much weaker and not really effective. "To nerf" and "to hit with the nerfbat" both mean "to weaken", as in weaken a weapon, class, feat or build.

Another term you might hear is DPS or DPR, which stand for Damage Per Second or Damage Per Round. They're pretty self-explanatory.

Last, but certainly not least, welcome to the forums! :smallsmile: