From Solas Tempus DB

Role playing is full of a lot of jargon. To make this worse a lot of games have their own sub-set of acceptable jargon, meanings which differ in various ways from generally accepted versions. This means that definitions of terminology can vary widely between games. Here is a list of jargon and terminology that we use here in this game.


1st Person
Referring to 1st Person Narration / 1st Person Perspective. Narration in the 1st person refers to a story which is told from the perspective of the person the story is actually about using terms like I did and we saw. While this is a rather common form of writing it is also considered to be limiting at times and many role players feel it is inferior to the 3rd Person Perspective showing a writer to be less skilled or experienced.
2nd Person
Referring to 2nd Person Narration / 2nd Person Perspective. This perspective is often used to address the reader themselves, using terms like you and you all, this also can be seen as breaking the 4th wall in literary terms.
3rd Person
Referring to 3rd Person Narration / 3rd Person Perspective. This is the most common for FFRP games, narrating in this style is done as if the narrator or story teller is looking at events from outside them, without being able to effect or change those events. The characters in a story do not see, hear, or interact with the narrator. This uses therms like he or they. Many role players feel this is the proper way to write in a role playing setting, though many still write in the 1st person.
4th Wall
The fourth wall is the invisible wall in a visual scene, either in a play, TV show, or movie. The wall where the camera sits or the missing wall that the audience is looking through into a scene. Sometimes in a story the writer will choose to break this wall and speak directly to the audience. In role playing terms this is similar to surrounding text in parenthesis or brackets to let the reader know the text within is not intended to be interpreted as in character.


Alternate Reality
An alternate version of an existing reality, similar to an Alternate Universe but occasionally (but not always) refers to changes on a broader scale.
Alternate Timeline
An alternate (usually artificially made) timeline, similar to an Alternate Reality or Universe but in this case often refers to one created through interference by a particular person, either on purpose or accidentally.
Alternate Universe
An alternate version of an existing universe. (see Multiverse)
Alternate Universe
Auto / Autoing
The act of playing for someone else. The RP equivalent of having a character on follow in an MMORPG. Sometimes a person who has to leave an RP scene before its completion will ask someone to auto their character. Other times someone may attempt to describe the actions of another persons character (with or without their permission) and this is called autoing.
An action which forces a player into dealing with a hit without possibility of avoiding said hit. Usually these actions take the form of a post which describes not only an attempted hit (worded in such a way so that it happens) but also reactions to it succeeding. This is usually evidence of an inexperienced role player.
Sometimes refers to a character bio but can also refer to taking a break for biological reasons (i.e. using the bathroom).
Bio Pic
Bio Picture / See Character Avatar
Blazing Umbra
See Power Gaming


Anything written in original source material, sometimes restricted to a single (original) author of source material. Please see the Merriam-Webster dictionary entry, specifically definition 3, or the Oxford English dictionary entry, specifically definition 2.
Character Avatar
An image showing what a particular character looks likes. Sometimes referred to as a played by in reference to using images of actors, models, or similar figures as the in-game image of a character. Also called a bio pic.
Character Bio
Similar to a character sheet, but focuses less on stats and more on personality, background, and abilities. Used mostly in FFRP games in place of a character sheet.
Character Sheet
A sheet (or document file) that contains all the stats of a particular character with emphasis on scores in various abilities and skills along with an inventory of equipment. Character sheets focus on stats and abilities used in dice rolling games to determine outcomes. Often character sheets are light on details such as personality, character history, and other information one might find in a character bio. Mostly used for dice-based / table-top games.
Combat Rounds
In many games combat is played differently than non-combat play. Being in combat rounds specifies that a game is being played within that context. Combat rounds tend to be more organized and use initiative to decide the order which actions happen, rounds to determine how much time is passing, and often wait until all active players have posted before moving from one round to the next. While this can significantly impact the speed of play, making things slower, it is also more organized and helps to ensure all players (no matter how fast they can type) get equal time playing characters and are given the opportunity to enjoy the game. Often combat rounds, even in FFRP games, uses some form of dice to determine the outcome of certain aspects of the game play.


Erotic Role Play
Free Form Role Play / A form of role playing that focuses more on writing and less on dice rolls. These games do not follow a system such as d20, Rifts, or Vampire the Masquerade but instead follow plot lines using free interaction between characters of various types.
Gary Stu
A male version of a Mary Sue.
The practice of playing a character to be invincible or otherwise untouchable, often times going well outside of the bounds of reason even in a made-up world.
Head Canon
An erroneous term referring to ones own additions to a pre-existing storyline, character, or particular story element. This is an erroneous term as canon is defined to be something contained in original source material. This term refers mostly to a complete and sometimes elaborate sets of alterations and additions to canon which encompass someones personal interpretations and vision for where they feel a story could have or should have gone. Such sets of alterations would fall into the category of a Alternate Reality or Alternate Universe.
In Character
In a role playing context this refers to the order in which actions are taken by players. It is usually understood that while a particular scene may be organized by some form of initiative (relating to speed) saying who gets to act and when, the actions happen roughly simultaneously. This term comes from table-top role playing.


A term used to refer to someone's main or primary character, often used in a sentence such as; "My main is available." or "I'd like to bring my main in." These simply refer to the most commonly played character for the player.
Marty Stu
A male version of a Mary Sue.
Mary Sue
A particular kind of character, that embodies absurd wish fulfillment for the player. Usually an indicator of an inexperienced or immature player.
When a character is played with and reacts to / uses knowledge the player has for which the character has no way to know. Another way to put this is when a player uses what they know OOC to influence their character(s) even when the character(s) have no way to know said information.
See Mundane
A term for a player often used in Journal based games (such as games played over mediums like Live Journal, Greatest Journal, Insane Journal, etc..). Not often used in live chat or forum role plays.
A collection of multiple universes bundled together by a common thread, also refers to the idea of multiple universes where any potential outcome creates its own universe where things are different from the current one. This generally carries that idea that for any particular set of conditions there is an alternate universe where that set of conditions exists.
A character that is entirely too powerful for the setting, similar to power gaming but in this case, the characters aggressively seek out situations to use their power in, even if those powers would never be reasonably called for.
Source of inspiration and creativity. Sometimes referring to where a writer looks to for inspiration (i.e. a person), though at times this is also erroneously used to refer to a persons character. Writers block will often be described as ones muse being burned out, missing, dead, or otherwise unavailable.


Non-consenting role play, usually referring to an ERP scene where one player chooses to play a character being taken advantage of, raped, or otherwise unable (or unwilling) to give consent to what is going on.
Non-Player Character, analogous to an extra in a movie or TV show. Someone who is there to facilitate the story and nothing more.
One Liner
A response to a (usually long) post which is entirely too short, usually one single line. Often this is seen as an indicator of a lack of creativity, though other times it is understood that a long or large reply isn't required.
Out of Character


Played By / See Character Avatar
Play by Email / Playing a role playing game via email being sent back and forth.
Play by Post / Playing a role playing game via posts on a forum.
Player Character
A single block of text encompassing a characters action, dialog, thoughts, or any combination there of.
Power Gaming
Playing an exceedingly powerful or overpowered character and/or using that characters abilities excessively in such a way that suppresses or discourages the role playing of others.
Putting a hat on it...
This phrase refers to making an audience aware that something is entirely too convenient, often through characters within a scene realizing it in some way. This is a form of breaking the 4th wall.
Player vs. Player when two players pit their PC's against each other.


Retroactive Continuity / To retroactively adjust previously stated events in such a way that they now have an entirely new context and meaning, also refers to adding previously unknown elements into a story line. In either case, this is done to facilitate a new story line or a new understanding of a character or plot point in order to open up new avenues of creative writing.
A segment of time within an organized turn-based role playing scene. Usually encompasses some standardized segment of time (15 seconds, 1 minute, etc..) used to measure our spell effects, how much time a character has to complete an action, and what kind of actions can be done / how long they last compared to the actions of others. This term comes from table-top role playing.
A particular role playing session, in character. Much like a scene in a play this can be a small chunk of a larger role play or just a single session played independently.
Sheeted Game
A game that requires characters to have character sheets with explanations on stats, skills, inventory, and other such things. Such information is often required to facilitate dice rolls or other forms of introducing random chance into a game when deciding outcomes.