Monday, July 10, 2017

The Scarabae Urban Dictionary

Scarabae is a land of slang, euphemism, and colorful language. I can't explain why, but I am enamored of the idea of letting slang used about gaming slip into the slang used by the fictional residents of my game setting in a metatextual way. Which, of course, is probably an idea that will make Scarabae the most annoying setting ever to a certain kind of gamer. So it goes.

Here are some repurposed phrases and how they're used on the streets of Scarabae:

Adventurer - "Adventurer" is used euphemistically to mean "One of flexible ethics who will take on life-threatening jobs in hopes of financial gain."
Put your money in the safe and lock up your sons and daughters, I just saw a party of adventurers roll into the neighborhood.
Related Terms - Party (an allied group of adventurers or a group of adventurers hired to pursue the same task).

Buff - Anything, but especially magic, that enhances one's capabilities.
Don't hire Tomas for the burglary job; he's a crap thief unless you have someone to buff him up all the time.
Related Terms -  Debuff (anything that is detrimental to one's capabilities, example: Man, this flu is really debuffing me).

Chunky Salsa - The end result of a body that has been subjected to horrific levels of violence.
Dude, did you see Sharla after she tangled with those trolls? Nothing left but chunky salsa.
Related Terms - Red mist, example: She was standing there one minute, got hit by a boulder the next, and poof, just red mist.

Crawl - To traverse a dangerous area. Most often used as a suffix to words like hex or dungeon.
The trip to Bortan Bay was a long one, we ended-up hexcrawling for about a week and a half.

Crit - A horrific injury inflicted with malice. Not necessarily fatal.
You should have seen it, she walked right up to him and critted him. Blood everywhere!

Face - Someone adept at social interactions (and especially manipulation and deception).
Leave talking to the guards to Alex, he's the face of the party. He could talk someone into buying the Bifrost bridge.

Gish - Someone adept with both magic and weaponry.
Lance is a real gish: good with a spell, good with a sword. I wouldn't mess with him.

Glass Cannon - Someone who is deadly, but physically fragile.
Melinda is a glass cannon; her spells will tear you up something fierce, but she crumples like a lawn chair at the slightest touch.
Related Terms - Squishy (one who is physically frail and in need of protection).

High Level - Someone who is powerful.
Don't trifle with Shiva's feelings, you mess her about and she will mess you up. You know she's high level!
Related Terms - Low level (one who is weak), Level up (to gain a new power/ability or to become more powerful in general).

Hit Points - A way of speaking about the state of one's health, luck, and level of exhaustion.
I've got three arrows in my leg, I'm feeling a little low on hit points right now. Can I have that healing potion?

Meat Grinder - An area, region, or location that is infamous for its danger.
Are you sure you want to go into the Ruins of Skull Island? That place is a real meat grinder; almost nobody returns from there.

Meatshield - A warrior hired for protection, often by a spellcaster.
Now that he's got money, Pharasmos the Firelord is always accompanied by an entourage of meatshields.

Mook - An unskilled or unworthy opponent.
I can't believe they sent a kobold assassin to kill me! That guy was a total mook to someone of my level.

Murderhobo - The worst sort of adventurer; a violence-prone transient.
Jill had to break up with Markus; turned out he was a murderhobo at heart. Murderhoboes are not boyfriend material.

Name Level - The state of being a famed, recognized, or at least notorious adventurer.
Oh hey, look over there, isn't that Blue Widow? I knew her back before she hit name level, I wonder if she'll still talk to me.

Rez - To bring back from the dead.
Xian died down in the Caves of Despair, but we managed to get his corpse out of there in one piece so we'll just rez him later.

Roll to Disbelieve - The act of disbelieving the reality of a situation that you are in.
I woke up without feet again today. I rolled to disbelieve and sure enough, it was just the teenage illusionist next door's magic going weird again.
Related Terms - Saving Throw (An act taken to preserve life and limb, example: When the floor collapsed beneath me I made a saving throw and managed to grab onto the ledge before I fell to certain doom).

Side Quest - Engaging in extraneous activity or travel not related to the task at hand.
We were supposed to be clearing the ratmen out of the old brewery, but we wasted a bunch of time on a side quest to find some dumb magic amulet.
Related Terms - Grind (to engage in monotonous adventuring, example: We spent way too long grinding in the Tower of the Fish God.)

Skillmonkey - One who focuses on depth or variety of skills over combat prowess or magical ability.
Sven's a skillmonkey, he can pick locks, find traps, fix your plumbing, knit you a hat, walk a tightrope, paint your kitchen, and sing you a lullaby--all at the same time.

Tank - A heavily armored warrior who can take a massive amount of damage before going down.
See that dwarf over there in the plate armor? Total tank. I watched five guys try to take him down over the course of an hour but eventually they just bored and left.
Related Terms: Armor Class (the state of one's defensive capabilities, example: You can definitely take that guy, he's clumsy and has a low armor class).

TPK - Total Party Kill, an expedition or adventure from which there were no survivors.
Did you hear that the Red Knives sneaked into Castle Thermador? TPK...ain't none of 'em come back.