07 August 2014

Meowing Magic-Users

I was recently reminded of my first exposure to a gamer colloquialism not used by anyone in my own gaming group.* I heard it in the 1980s when I was attending NOWSCon, a small gaming convention held by the Northern Ohio Wargaming Society. I was playing in the first round of an RPGA-sanctioned event, and the DM said something about a "mew." He mentioned it several times, which invariably left the players exchanging befuddled glances, until one of us asked, "What is a 'mew'?" He appeared to be quite shocked at the question and answered, "A mew! A magic-user of course!" At this the whole group said "Ohhh!" in unison, and I said, "Oh, you mean an 'm-u'" (which we always pronounced as two distinct letters: "M.U.") Normally, we just said "magic-user" — it never really seemed like the sort of word that needed to be abbreviated or initialized. If anything, we tended to favor longer, more flavorful descriptions. Each to his or her own, I guess.

[mew] or [myu]
A pronunciation of the abbreviation "m-u" for "magic-user" in earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons.

* My recollection was spurred by reading something in Google+ in which a magic-user was referred to as a "MOO." This is new to me and I don't know whether it is an acronym or yet another alternative pronunciation of "m-u."

[Edited from an article originally posted here in Fudgerylog.]

06 August 2014

Back to the Module and Other Sayings

Gamers, like most hobbyists, have their own jargon. They also have their own colloquialisms. Most of the gamer colloquialisms with which I am familiar are related to Dungeons & Dragons, so instead of recording them in Creative Reckoning (where I am transferring most of my old Fudgerylog articles), I thought they would be more at home here in Applied Phantasticality.

In any event, some of the [Old School] gamer colloquialisms that spring to my mind are:

back to the module
A statement made by the DM or a player to signify an end to the players' out-of-character chit-chat and a resumption of active gaming, usually made emphatically: "Back to the module..."
In role-playing games other than Dungeons & Dragons usually rendered as back to the adventure, back to the scenario, or back to the story.
blown out of existence or B.O.E.
Eradicated beyond all hope of resurrection, as in, "Would you like to have your character blown out of existence?"; inspired by the sphere of annihilation described in the Dungeon Master's Guide of 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

[Edited from an article originally posted here in Fudgerylog.]