I have gaming to thank for my vocabulary. Fantasy literature helped of course, but it was the tabletop that forced me to interact with all those wonderfully obscure multisyllabic monsters. After all, you can’t just skim past riposte when you’re in a duel to the death. Celerity may save your unlife if you happen to be a vampire. Learning that concubine is not another word for “queen” is important for a young gamer / diplomat. And knowing a bit of prestidigitation can help you steer clear of gaol when you’ve been up to some skulduggery. 

There are a̶n̶y̶ ̶n̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶f̶ 6,350 academic papers on the benefits of this hobby. But speaking as a writer, it was always the word-lore that struck closest to home. Of course, as you may have guessed from today’s comic, the obscurity of some of these words can lead to trouble.

The most famous example has to do with the legendary monster known as Gazebo. By the same token, some of you may recall how, on this very comic, the infamous tlkeen longsword managed to cast confusion on my entire group. I’ve even heard tell of some neophyte acolytes who assumed that “turn undead” let them impersonate zombies. In other words, there might be a reason that the original Keep on the Borderlands put a literal glossary in its appendices.

And so, as we leave Wizard and Thief to their relationship troubles, what do you say we try and improve our Knowledge (diction) scores? What is your favorite RPG word? What weird, obscure, impossible-to-use-in-normal-conversation, sesquipedalian humdinger have you picked up from this hobby? Shout out your favorites down in the comments!


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