The All-Purpose Dictionariopede

In the interest of being slightly less oblique, I’ll be putting definitions for the various theatre, RPG, and made-up terms I use on this blog here. I’ll try to add terms as they occur in my posts. If there are terms you don’t understand or that should be on this list, e-mail me at BobbyArcher (dot) Zombie4Hire (at) gmail (dot) com or make a comment on this post.

Agency Scale (noun, roleplaying) – The gradient in roleplaying games between strict railroading and complete sandbox player agency.

Dictionariopede (noun, made-up) – An overly complicated way of saying dictionary.

General Admission (noun, theatre) – An arrangement whereby seating is not pre-assigned and audience members choose their seat upon arriving at the theatre. First-come, first-served.

GM (noun, roleplaying) – Game Master; a general term for the individual who “runs” a roleplaying game, arbitrating challenges, describing setting, and playing NPCs. Also known as a Storyteller (ST), Narrator, Director, or Dungeon Master (DM) in certain systems.

LARP (noun, roleplaying) – Live Action Role Playing; a game much like more traditional tabletop roleplaying, except that instead of sitting around a table and describing the characters’ actions, the players act out their characters’ actions (within reason). Costuming and social interaction tend to take precedence over combat and stats in many instances and a LARP usually has many more players than a standard tabletop game.

NPC (noun, roleplaying) – Non-Player Character; any character in a roleplaying game that is not portrayed by the players. Typically refers only to people and creatures the players are expected to interact with, as opposed to mindless monsters.

PC (noun, roleplaying) – Player Character; the characters portrayed by the players of a roleplaying game.

Player Agency (noun, roleplaying) – The principle whereby the players are allowed to act according to their whims and the characterization of their PCs, and are not forced to follow a pre-planned plot or course of action.

Production Concept (noun, theatre) – The collection of themes, setting, and ideas that a director and designers arrive at to ensure that all the elements of a production fit smoothly with one another and serve the desired artistic aims.

Railroad (verb, roleplaying) – To force a group of players to take certain actions or follow a certain pre-planned plot, either through disallowing any other action (hard railroading) or by subtly encouraging the players to take the planned action (soft railroading).

Reserved Seating (noun, theatre) – An arrangement whereby seating in a theatre or auditorium is assigned when the ticket is purchased.

Sandbox (noun/adjective, roleplaying/video games) – (adj) A game in which the players are able to go anywhere within the gameworld and interact with it freely and in ways that do not necessarily further an overarching storyline.
(n) The gameworld in such a game.

Theatre Time (noun, theatre) – The inexorable fact that no play will ever start on time. For example: 8:00p in theatre time is equivalent to 8:05p or even 8:10p in real time.

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