The Flavor of Names

When I was writing the Victorious RPG, I ran into a bit of a conundrum. Well, several actually but this post I’ll note just one. <G>

There are two schools of thought in the RPG community regarding naming. The first is that the different names given to rules, items, and events provide the flavor of the game and thus it’s something to be cherished. Call of Cthulhu, White Wolf, and many indie games fall into this mindset.

The other school is that such gratuitous renaming is unnecessary and confusing. Call things by their generic name, and it increases understanding. Universal game systems tend to fall into this category, especially games like GURPS and the Hero system.

I tried to strike a balance in Victorious, providing flavor where possible but not getting into really obscure terms. For instance, Teleporting is called Translocation, Force Fields are Force Screens, and Mind Control is Mesmerism. However, I also use terms like Martial Arts for all trained hand to hand combat, Blast for all sorts of radiant energy attacks, and Skills as, well, Skills instead of Talents or Feats or such like.

Those fine folks who have the pdf of the rules, or those lucky few (so far!) with the hardback, feel free to chime in on this subject. Do you think Victorious went too far? Do you think Martial Arts should have been Baritsu or Blast is Bolt?

Genteel Magistrate, whose acronym is GM and thus covers both bases.

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