The Jargon Wiki



About this post

This initial post was copied from the document created for The Gauntlet Slack. That document can be found online at

This is a wiki post, so those with appropriate trust levels (Trust Level 1 and above) can edit it. You can find more about wiki posts at:

About abbreviations and jargon

In conversations on The Gauntlet Forums and other social media platforms, it is best practice to first spell out what you plan to abbreviate. This prevents people from missing out on the conversation. Although others are encouraged to ask without hesitation, if they need clarification, sometimes these conversations are found after the members have moved on. Better to fix the problem before it starts!

Jargon related to the Gauntlet culture

These are terms that were embraced or invented by the Gauntlet, and are about the culture of play (instead of specifically about game systems).

7-3-1: A game prep technique of identifying 7 set pieces (NPCs, locations, objects, etc.), 3 descriptive details about each, and 1 way of embodying each at the table (voice, mannerisms, noises, etc.).

Campaign: Two or more linked series. Though a GM may require that players be able to attend each game session in a series, each series in a campaign must allow open sign-ups. Refer to open table and series.

CATS: A structure for expectation-setting conversations at the game table in which GM and players agree on the game’s Concept, Aim, Tone, and Subject matter. Refer to

Derole: To shift from inhabiting a character’s mental space into the player’s regular mindset, usually as part of a short break between game session and debrief.

Dreams: Usually in the form of “dreams to [person] for [reason].” Roughly similar to kudos or a star, though not usually used in the context of a single game session. Refer to stars and wishes. Inspired by the mechanic in Golden Sky Stories.

Lines and Veils: A pre-game safety mechanic inviting players to identify things they do not want to see in the game at all (lines) and things they want kept offscreen, faded to black, or glossed over (veils). A line functions much like a preemptive x-card. Lines and Veils were originally discussed by Ron Edwards in a piece called Sex and Sorcery.

Love Letter: A short note from the GM to a player who missed one or more sessions about what their character was up to in the interim, sometimes with a custom move attached to determine how well it went.

Open Table: A philosophy of allowing anyone to sign up to play. All games on the Gauntlet Hangouts calendar are open table. GMs may occasionally require that players be able to attend all sessions in a series, but most series on the calendar allow players to RSVP for any or all sessions as they wish.

Painting the Scene: Asking players to provide details that reinforce a theme. (ex., “What tells you that this is a town of the Faithful?” or “What in the room shows that Chad isn’t a complete douchebag?”)

Polling the Table: Asking players what they’re thinking of doing before breaking out dice.

Roses and Thorns: A debrief technique in which players describe something they liked during the session (a rose) and something that they didn’t like or that didn’t work for them (a thorn). Contrast with stars and wishes.

Script Change: Script Change is a safety, consent, and content moderation toolbox by @BrieBeau.

Series: A numbered set of game sessions on the Hangouts Calendar. There is often a preference, but not a requirement, that players be able to attend each session.

Stars and Wishes: A debrief technique in which players describe something they liked during a session, often something another participant did (a star), and flag something they hope to see in the future (a wish). Contrast with roses and thorns.

X-card: A safety mechanic used during game sessions when a player needs something cut. No justification or explanation are needed. In Gauntlet games, this is usually signaled by a player holding up an X formed with their arms or fingers. The Gauntlet requires the x-card be available and honored in all Gauntlet games. The X-Card was created by John Stavropoulos.

Abbreviations related to RPG game systems and podcasts

These are abbreviations of game devices or systems that often are found on the Gauntlet Slack. Some obvious ones that don’t come up often in our conversations (such as “D&D”) can be found doing a simple Google searches as well.

AP = actual play, a recording of a played gaming session, normally as a video or podcast.

AW = Apocalypse World

BB = Bluebeard’s Bride

BBtW = Battle Between the Worlds

BitD = Blades in the Dark

CYOA = Cheat Your Own Adventure

DR = Discern Realities

DW = Dungeon World

FatT = Friends at the Table (podcast)

FitD = Forged in the Dark, basically the licensing for running games using Blades in the Dark system. Sort of like the “PbtA” label, but for Blades in the Dark-type games instead of Apocalypse World-type games.

FoaBD = Fear of a Black Dragon

FtF, F2F, f2f = face to face

LB = Lady Blackbird

LotE = Legend of the Elements

LotFP = Lamentations of the Flame Princess

MH = Monsterhearts

MotW = Monster of the Week

NW = Night Witches

OSR = Old School Renaissance/Revival

PbP = play by post

PbtA = Powered by the Apocalypse

PSP = Pocket-Sized Play

SCUP = The Sword, the Crown, and the Unspeakable Power, a dark fantasy RPG reminiscent of the A Song of Ice and Fire and stories that focus on power, politics, and intrigue.

SotDL = Shadow of the Demon Lord

SotI = Sagas of the Icelanders

SWvM = Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn, a PbtA Dungeon World and Monster Hearts hack about interstellar drama, by Johnstone Metzger.

US = Urban Shadows, a PbtA dark urban fantasy game about faction politics by Magpie Games.

VtM, VtR = Vampire: The Masquerade or Vampire: The Requiem

WHtK, WHtK! = We Hunt the Keepers, a number of series and campaigns that are interlinked, run by Jason Cordova with the Gauntlet community, generally using Dungeon World. Also a series of recorded actual plays of these games released in podcast form.

WoD = Usually used to mean World of Darkness outside of our community, but occasionally used for World of Dungeons (which is more commonly abbreviated WoDu).

WoDu = World of Dungeons, a simplified, freely available Dungeon World hack by John Harper.

WWW = World Wide Wrestling, a PbtA wrestling RPG by Nathan Paoletta.

Abbreviations and jargon related to conversations in general

Many of these can probably be found by doing Google searches and are commonly used in our modern age, but are placed here because they crop up regularly in conversations.

IIRC = If I recall correctly

IKR = I know, right?

IMO, IMHO = In my opinion, In my humble opinion

IRL = In real life

TFW = The feeling when

Using abbreviations in posts

If you’re willing to make an extra effort, you can use the <abbr> tag in your posts. To use this tag write the abbreviation like this: <abbr title="LONG DESCRIPTION">ABBREVIATION</abbr>. It can be annoying but sometimes it can be helpful, especially if it’s not a very common abbreviation.

For example, adding <abbr title="The feeling when">TFW</abbr>, will produce this: TFW (hover your mouse over the underlined TFW)

pinned #2


Don’t mind me…just testing a reply to this post and seeing what’s up.