- John Crichton Effect
- The entry of a new PC during the middle of an adventure. Usually with upsetting or disastrous results with the rest of the adventuring party. This title refers to the popular Scifi show "Farscape", where the main protagonist was accidentally teleported into a crew of fleeing space fugitives on a stolen ship. He was knocked out cold because he overreacted to what was going on. A common PC reaction to similar circumstances.
- Juicer Problem
- Any time a game gives PCs an option for significant power with drawbacks that would be horrific to a real person, but, since the PC is not a real person, the drawback is not compelling.
- Usage: "He's going to kill my character's wife if I don't give him back the superweapon? She's not a PC, it's not like I care. Man, this is just a Juicer Problem."
- The term is a reference to Juicers in Rifts whose awesome combat power was balanced by a significantly shortened lifespan. This would be horrific to any real person, but unlikely to faze any players since it's rare that enough time passes in-game for it to be an issue. Coined by tk421 on the RPOpen board.
- A long, curved, single-edged sword used by Japanese samurai. In the modern era, katanas have become the subject of numerous myths related to the quality of their construction and their sharpness, including the claim that a katana was considered a poor blade unless it was capable of cutting through four condemned men in a single stroke. In reality, late-medieval period European swords, especially those of the Toledo tradition, matched or exceeded the katana in quality. A katana is often considered the favored weapon of a ninja, though this is ahistorical (prior to the Edo period katanas were restricted to the samurai class).
- This, in turn, has led to stories of gamers seriously overestimating the abilities of a character armed with a katana. In the most famous story, a PC attempts to cut through the armor of a modern tank with his katana. Thus, the term is also sometimes used to mean an unrealistically powerful weapon, or a weapon which is sought-after for "coolness" value regardless of its relevance or usefulness to a campaign or setting. Dual-wielding katanas (often by a character wearing a black trenchcoat) is a particuarly egregious and adolescent example. A number of games have also enshrined this fallacy, giving the katana unrealistically powerful game stats.
- Kewl Powerz
- Generic name for the abilities possessed by PCs in a game that are above and beyond those of normal men. Depending on the game, this can mean superpowers, magical ability, or whatever else the game will allow. The "l33tspeak" spelling of the term was initially meant to be dismissive of the kind of game where a character's abilities are more important than who the character is, but over time it's come to be used to specify that what the speaker refers to is the kind of ability that could be dismissed as silly overpowered chrome in certain genres. Like "roleplaying vs rollplaying", "Kewl powerz" as a term has become so cliche that it's next to impossible to use it without irony.
- Kill Them and Take Their Stuff
- A humorous description of the method which winds up being used by most RPG characters to solve problems they are having with other individuals or groups. It is the essence of the hack and slash style. Sometimes abbreviated to simply KTATTS on message boards, such as RPG.net
- Kingmaker problem
- A problem arising in game design - typically board or card games - whereby it is possible for a player who themselves has no chance of winning, to decide which other player will win. A typical case is a game in which an eliminated player is required to give all their resources to the player who eliminated them; in a game with two evenly-matched players and one who is behind, the trailing player can often choose which other player is able to eliminate them and gain their resources. A further common case is auction games, where a player can bid unnecessarily high and not only lose the game for themselves but give a permanent advantage to the player who received the bid resources. This is a problem because a kingmaking player, having no possibility of winning the game, no longer has any value for in-game resources; thus, their decision as to who to enable to win must be made via other factors, such as out-of-game grudges or friendships, or "revenge" for actions in earlier play (which can stagnate the game as players become reticent to attack each other for fear of revenge later on).
- King Rat
- The male equivalent of a Queen Bee. Exceptionally rare in RPGing due to the gender imbalance of the hobby.
- Term for an inelegant, nonintuitive or in some other way "broken" rule that stands out from an otherwise good design. For example, "The combat system is great, but the way it handles grapples is such a kludge." This term is borrowed from computer hacker culture, in which it refers to anything done in a way which is hasty, wrong, and/or inferior, but which performs the intended function.
- Origin: hacker slang. The canonical definition for "kludge" (which rhymes with "stooge," not "fudge" as one might expect) is something ugly but functional (compare "chrome", which is something beautiful but useless).
- Knights of the Dinner Table
- (often abbreviated to KODT) A comic strip drawn by Jolly Blackburn and now published as a stand-alone comic by Kenzer and Company that follows the story of several gaming groups. Because much of the comic revolves around the characters playing RPGs, most of the art frames simply show the characters sitting around a table talking to each other. Has famously represented or exaggerated a number of classic gaming urban legends, anecdotes, or problems discovered in systems, as well as spawning a number of memorable quotes of his own, such as "Hoody Hoo" as a cry of joy, "I waste him with my crossbow", and the description of the GM as "the gamer who never plays."
- The attempt to improve the proceedings with the addition of novel elements which has the opposite effect, usually because the novel elements are too ridiculous to take seriously. In gaming, this often refers to combining elements from different genres but it is not limited to this. The telling aspect on whether something is if it works, it isn't, but if it seems silly or otherwise detrimental to the enjoyment of the proceeding, then it is
- e.g. "Another Teen Pregnancy Where The Boyfriend With The Dark Secret Is Cheating On His Girlfriend (Who's Really The Summer Bay Stalker) Whilst Dying From Cancer."
- The term's origin can be traced to the comedy spoof movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, in which Dr. Evil threatens to lower Austin into a pool containing "sharks.. with frickin' lasers on their heads". The gaming analogy was first used on The Forge in this thread.
- Sometimes, Drowlesbianstripperninja. describes the classic character most male gamers (and many female gamers) have created at some point in their gaming lives, usually when they were about 15. The Lesbianstripperninja has certain key elements to her, namely, she always tempts men with her semi-nudity but never puts out (because the teenaged male player would be uncomfortable roleplaying sex with his friends' characters), but does put out with female NPCs (because the teenaged male player thinks lesbians are t3h h4wt!!!); she is extremely stealthy, deadly, and agile; and is invariably scantily clad. Typically she will be East Asian in appearance, but often a Drow Elf. See also Ninja.
- Level-Up, Leveling-up
- In RPGs where characters gain experience and advance in levels that provide increased benefit; the application of those benefits (increasing hit points, adding skill levels/ranks, ect.) is sometimes referred to as Leveling-up.
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