The (Pathfinder) Roleplaying Game Dictionary
This massive book clocks in at 53 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover leaving us with 49 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
“So, the other day while the GM had almost TPK’d us, he told me off as I was above character, describing how I’d be able to RAW Take 20, and then he’d suddenly argue my character build’s baseline, without which I could have never gotten to this level of being able to tank DPR, right? Which I btw. only did to make the cleric-guy less of a heal-bot, and then, suddenly, this whole thing became the tired old RAI-discussion…”
If you’re reading this review, then chances are you understood the entirety of the above, which you may very well overhear at a table. Once we take a step back, though, we’ll realize that, for non-gamers, this sounds like gobbledygook.
Every hobby, every science, every component of our lives does have its own terminology, its technical terms. Roleplaying games, as a medium, have more than most, as the hobby is wholly contingent on language and the associations you can conjure forth. As such, we have developed quite a set of terms, and while some, like THAC0 have gone on towards more obscure old-school games, the more rules-heavy recent games have added a copious amount of terms, while also borrowing heavily from video games.
This, surprisingly, can present a quite distinct entry barrier for new gamers. Enter this book.
What we have here, is basically a dictionary of game- and gamer-lingo, focused on Pathfinder.
We begin with the very basics that include shorthands like RPG and describe roleplaying games; Game Master and player, level-ranges, mechanics, dice and their notation – we move, in a sensible manner, from the large categories and frame to the smaller components: The book categories the sections from Rules and Game Mechanics to terms denoting adventures etc,, gaming materials, etc. SRD, 3PP, difficult terrain, light, planar basics, conditions – and we even get explanations of pure slang in the end – from GMPCs to TPKs, from rollplayer to roleplayer…
Oh, and we even get a detailed Index!
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious hiccups or omissions. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf features nice stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and comes with an EPUB-version.
Michael McCarthy’s Roleplaying Game Dictionary for Pathfinder is amazing. It is a godsend for new players and really handy as a starting point for people wanting to understand gamer-lingo. This book, in short, is a really great supplement that achieves its goal remarkably well. Organization is excellent…and it’s PWYW (pay what you want)! This must have been a ton of work, and frankly, I wholeheartedly suggest dropping the author a tip for this book – any supplement that helps new folks get into our hobby should be applauded. 5 stars + seal of approval, highly recommended for new players!
You can get this super helpful dictionary here on OBS for PWYW!