Terminology used by the developers of Baldur's Gate and Dungeons and Dragons, and terminology from other games that is useful to be applied to the game.



  • AC: Armor Class. Dungeons and Dragons armor defends solely by reducing the chance to hit altogether. It has the somewhat confusing quality of being better as the number decreases. It can be increased with equippable items, such as rings and necklaces, and spells such as 'Armor' and 'Shield'. For the effects of armor in other games, see 'Armor', below.
  • AI: Artificial Intelligence. The code that governs NPC behaviour, whether it be team members or enemy monsters.
  • Aggro or Aggression, the code that directs monsters to pursue and attack targets, and choose which particular players or characters to attack first.
  • AoE: Area of Effect. Also AE, Area Effect. An area, usually a circle of a given radius, usually centered on the target or user, with exception of ground targeted AoE, in which effects takes place, or game variables are in effect.
    As of EE v2.3.673 and classic games, all radius stated in in-game description is actually diameter, and the given number is often not accurate. Refer to Range section below for measurement details.
  • Area: Usually, a location in the game. Also see Area of Effect, above.
  • Armor in games can represent a wide variety of values. It can be a way to absorb a percentage of damage or reduce damage by a set amount. In games like Fallout, armor applies both types of reduction. In D&D, it is represented by Armor Class and Resistances. It was additional HP in the Quake first person shooter (the same effect as the Temporary hit points of spells such as 'Cloak of Warding' and 'Vampiric Touch').
  • APR: Attack(s) per round, the number of melee or ranged attack(s) in 6 second. 1/2 means 1 attack will happen over the next 2 rounds, eg. 5/2 means 5 attacks in 2 rounds. See the Attacks per round page for more details.
  • Avatar: See Model.
  • Axe Weapon type. Slashing / edged damage.

B Edit

Tactical advantage: Asterisk (*) force. Tactical advantage: Plus sign (+) force.

     ____ _                                      ____ _
____/ *                                    _____/ *
__+_+ *                                     __+_* * 
    \_*__ _                                     \_____ _

This works even better in real life than in games, because of the space required to swing a weapon, and undefended blows being killing blows rather than a loss of HP. It does not work at all in games where units cannot attack diagonally on the screen.

  • Bug: Game construction, usually unintended by its developers, but intentional mechanics that are disadvantageous are often mistakenly called Bugs by players. Intentional or unintentional construction that game companies do not wish to change is routinely deemed "working as intended" in order to divert player dissent. If it leads to benefits for players, game company interests and player jealousy usually lead to it being called an Exploit.


  • Camp: To remain in one strategic place and repeatedly kill people or mobs.
  • Casting Time: Time spent chanting a spell before it can be cast
0 - instant, uninterruptible
1 - 10% time of a round
9 - slowest, 90% time of a round
Many innate abilities have the casting speed of 0, which means they can not be interrupted. The fastest casting time for most spells are 1, but spellcasters may also become uninterruptible if they manage to reduce the casting time to 0 (when combined reduction is equal or greater than the spell's casting time) by combining certain equipment such as Ghostdreamers' Robe
Siege of Dragonspear LOGOSOD00001 Icon SoD
This icon indicates content from the Siege of Dragonspear campaign of the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
, Robe of Vecna
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This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn campaign.
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Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition – Shadows of Amn (2013)
This icon indicates content from the Shadows of Amn campaign of the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.
(SoA) and Amulet of Power
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This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn campaign.
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Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition – Shadows of Amn (2013)
This icon indicates content from the Shadows of Amn campaign of the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.
  • Cheese: A tasty milk derived food, a cheap, cheesy and tasty strategy that often utilizes Exploits.
  • Choke point, see Bottleneck: A narrowing of the path that can be used to tactical advantage.
  • Chr: Charisma.
  • Concentration of Fire: A tactic that aids Damage Reduction. A given amount of damage from multiple sources is set against a given amount of damage from another multiple sources. If damage is spread out between targets, then they survive longer to do more damage. If damage (fire) is concentrated on one target at a time, that target and successive targets die sooner, reducing damage. Known as Focus Fire in WoW.[1]
  • Club: Weapon type. usually Crushing damage.
  • Con: Constitution.
  • Cooldown: The short period of time before a skill can be used again.
  • Copper: Copper commons.
  • Critical Hit: An attack which hits a vital spot and as a result, may do additional damage.  See the main article for more details.
  • Critical Miss: An attack roll of 1 which will result in a miss, regardless of any THAC0 bonuses.
  • Crowd Control, CC: Damage reduction strategy, reducing damage by incapacitating attackers.
  • Crushing and other names, including Bashing or Blunt: Damage type using blunt instruments and supposed to be better against skeletons, despite the fact that Slashing / Blade / Edged weapons are superior in all respects. Piercing weapons can get between plates of armor, but bashing weapons have always been used in medieval warfare against unarmored opponents, or to beat the opponent to the ground, where they would be finished off with stabbing weapons. Maces are the exception; they are actually piercing weapons which use the weight of the mace to apply force to a tiny area, and can actually puncture armor.

D Edit

  • D&D: Dungeons and Dragons
  • Damage over Time, DoT: effects, e.g. 'Swarm Curse', that deal increments of damage; damage at intervals, repeatedly, and usually for a set duration.
  • Damage type: Slashing, Piercing and Crushing are physical damage types that distinguish weapon damage; the other types, other than Fire and Acid, usually represent magical damage. See any Enemy NPC article for the full list.
  • Dex: Dexterity
  • DPS: Damage per Second, a formula for determining damage output in real time games. Baldur's Gate is pseudo-real time, with attacks that do damage a certain number of times per round, and thus weapon speed only affects killing blows or rounds in which character or monster break off combat for some reason. Every other round, everyone gets to attack, and so who attacked first is largely irrelevant.
  • Drop: synonym for Loot, or verb meaning the Spawning of Loot into the game environment.
  • Duration: A set period of time during which a game variable is true and active, e.g. the period during which the AC bonuses of the spells Armor and Shield exist, and the amount of time that Stealth remains active after it is 'broken' by interacting with doors or containers (or by combat; see Baator).

E Edit

  • Exp: Experience points, see XP.
  • Exp cap: Max experience points each playable character are allowed to gain.
  • Exploit: Strategy that capitalizes on benefits of game construction, usually ones not intended by the developers, or Bugs. The name reflects the judgement by 'legit' players that an advantage that 'exploiting' players choose to use is in some way a detriment to the legit players, which is an entirely subjective viewpoint within game experience, which is always subjective.

F Edit

  • Fallout The Fallout post-nuclear roleplaying game series, like PS:T, by Black Isle.
  • FF Final Fantasy.
  • Fist Weapon type, varying damage; a weapon attached to the wrist and forearm to allow piercing damage with punches and swipes. In RL, a weapon of less finesse than others, because of the inability to employ the movement of the wrist, not more, as is implied by giving them to the skillful weapons expert Thief Annah. It has the advantage of allowing the full force of a blow to travel directly to the target from the arm, possibly punching through armor, but does not benefit from the additional force of the swing, which consideration lead to the development of longer and longer weapons, ie polearms.
  • Fog of War: Parts of the map not yet explored are blackened; those explored but not currently observed by characters with Line of Sight are darkened.
  • Forgotten Realms: A rich, mysterious Medieval fantasy world Baldur's Gate game is set upon. See also the Forgotten Realms Wiki.
  • FPS: First person shooter; 3D game, looking through the character's eyes, with a gun.
    • Frames per second, the performance of image rendering.
  • Friendlies Other party members or friendly players. What not to hit with Area Effect spells or Splash damage.

G Edit

  • Gold, Common game currency. The currency in PS:T is Copper commons.
  • Grind, verb, Grinding, noun: Performing/performance of repetitive tasks to further game progress.


  • Hammer: Weapon type. usually Crushing damage.
  • HD: Hit Dice, also High Definition.
  • Heal over Time or HoT: healing effects, e.g. Regeneration, that heal at intervals, repeatedly, and usually for a set duration.
  • HLA: High-level class abilities, available once
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    This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal campaign.
    is installed.
  • Homebrew: Custom applications to run in conjunction with normal game files.
  • HP. Hit points. The number of points of health; damage decreases these and when they reach zero, the game character or enemy is dead, or knocked out.
  • HUD: Heads-up display.

I Edit

  • Infravision Elves, Half-Elves, and those magically enhanced, can see the heat emanating from bodies as infrared radiation; enemies and friends alike are illuminated when the character is selected. The player can turn on 'group infravision' in the game Menu.

K Edit

L Edit

  • Lag: Time delay between sending a command to the game and your character actually performing the action. Frequently cursed when the time delay is longer than expected.
  • Line of Sight: Players may know the location of a target, but if it is obscured by Fog of War or obstructions, then they do not have line of sight to it. Required for the casting of spells and attacking with ranged weapons; in BG, the party AI will send characters forward to gain LoS even if that puts them in melee range of the enemy. The player can still see through the eyes of characters that have been charmed by Sirines and the like, and are no longer under control.
  • LoB: Legacy of Bhaal difficulty, similar to Heart of Fury mode in Icewind Dale, was introduced to
    Baldur's Gate LOGOBG00001 Icon SoD
    This icon indicates content from the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition campaign.
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    Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition – Shadows of Amn (2013)
    This icon indicates content from the Shadows of Amn campaign of the Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.
    from v2.0+, it only be selected at the start of the game, can’t change afterwards. in which all non-playable creatures
    • HP x3+80 (player summons/familiars get x2+20, double the damage taken option, if not disabled, doesn’t apply to them)
    • +1 APR
    • THAC0 -5 bonus
    • -11 AC bonus
    • Saving throws -5 bonus (note: there appears to be a bug where STs are 5 points worse, not better)
    • Levels are treated as level + 12 for some checks
    • Non controlled sprites cannot fail morale checks
    • +75Gold Piece IMISC0700000 Item icon BG1 per pickup
    • Player max rest encounters increases by 1
  • Loot: synonym for Drop, an item reward for killing a monster, or verb meaning to transfer Loot from the game environment into a character's inventory.

M Edit

  • Mage: A class of character which is focused primarily on the use of magic.
  • Magic resistance: Percentage chance immunity against harmful (all
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    This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate campaign.
    Tales of the Sword Coast Icon
    This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast‎ campaign.
    ) magical effects from items or spells, some spells such as Greater Malison bypasses MR. MR is different from elemental physical and magic damage resistances, which are damage reductions, or heal on-hit for 100%+ values. Spells such as Lower Resistance lowers magic resistance while Protection From Energy spell raises magic damage resistance.
  • Meat shield: Tank or Pet that soaks up damage that would otherwise accrue to squishy Mages and the like.
  • Melee: From the word describing a chaotic or violent situation, the word that means, closeup combat with physical attacks. Non-ranged attacks.
  • Mez: Mezmerize. Form of Crowd Control that can be broken by attacks. Also, Sleep.
  • MMO, MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online, – Role Playing Game. Games where many players log in to a persistent game world and play the game together.
  • Mob: NPC monsters. Probably originally meant a group of monsters, judging by the name, although it is said it stands for "mobile", when electronic games first became sophisticated enough to display character movement.
  • Mod Modifications to a game, unofficial, released by fans. Files created for a game to add functionality or change the trappings of a game, usually created by people not employed by the game developer.
  • Model The 3D frame upon which Textures or texture maps are applied.
  • Mule Character that the player is not currently 'using', whose inventory can be used to store items.

N Edit

  • Near Level Death Experience: When a player nears an objective, a code is activated that alters the difficulty of the game. There is no telling where this code was first implemented, but it is widespread, indeed. Changing the rules halfway through a game is never a good idea, but in BG, this can actually be beneficial, as creatures that give higher experience can be spawned (beneficial assumes that the party can handle such creatures; a perfect example is the spawning of a Vampiric Wolf that gives high XP but can only be hit by magical melee weapons or magical ammunition). In other games it usually takes the form of increased Aggro rates, increased miss rates, critical damage by enemies, higher level spawns, and lag.
  • NPC: Non Player Character. Sometimes, party members. Usually, AI-controlled people or creatures.

O Edit

  • OP: Overpowered.
  • Overkill In games with set HP values, Overkill is an amount of damage far exceeding what is necessary to kill the target. Can also be used to describe any other unnecessary measures, especially ones that are quantifiable, such as Overhealing.

P Edit

  • Patch: Modifications to a game, official, released by developer. Files created for a game to add functionality or change the trappings of a game.
  • PC: Player Character, as opposed to NPC. Also Personal Computer. Depends on the context.
  • Pet: Entity, often 'summoned' by a character, that that character controls. Pets are very powerful because they are a Meat shield between the character and death; if things are going badly, the character can run while the pet holds off the enemy. In games without an AI that handles it, the character can even Kite enemies while the pet is doing damage to the enemy.
  • Piercing: type of damage. Weapons such as rapiers and daggers can strike between plates of armor; the rise in their use, and the use of the piercing spike of polearms such as Halberds, and crossbows and early firearms, all of which could penetrate armor directly, led to the abandonment of full suits of heavy armor towards the end of the middle ages, although the use of helms and breastplates for protection of the head and torso continued.
  • Platform: Game type designation based on the hardware required to play the game. e.g. PC (Personal Computer), PS3, Wii, Xbox.
  • Platform game: Timing and spacial awareness are required to navigate these mazes of platforms, precipices, and moving obstacles.
  • Portal: In D&D, usually a spell that allows Mages to travel or escape. In PS:T, swirling vapour glowing blue and a shimmering fall of glowing white particles mark the disruption of matter by the highly energetic state of these interdimensional pathways that allow the party to Zone.
  • Power, Mana, MP, Magic Points: Spells outside of D&D often have an MP cost with higher spells costing more points. Commonly used in RPGs.
  • Projectile Specs: Projectile specs, usually about projectile travelling speed, is seen in Near Infinity as units (pixels) per tick (1/15th second), horizontally. Like distance, its vertical value is also 3/4 of its horizontal value. Details about unit to inch conversion see Range section below.
  • PS:T Planescape:Torment.
  • Pull A way to finesse Damage Control with movement control skill, rather than the skill of choosing when and on which targets to use Crowd Control abilities.

R Edit

  • Ranged: Attacks that can be launched from a distance. The counterpart to Melee.
  • Range:
Personal - area of effect is centered on the caster
Touch - 1 ft, same as the reach of one-handed weapons
Short - 1/3 of visual range of caster
Medium - 2/3 of visual range of caster
Long - visual range of caster (28 ft radius)
The actual casting range is governed by creature’s visual range, which is 448 units (pixels) radius by default, as per opcode (.EFF) 262. The unit numbers can be seen by using IE source browsers such as Near Infinity, also be measured in-game by subtracting the horizontal differences between x-coordinate numbers (y-coordinate is ¾ of the x), units can be converted to inch by a denominator of 16, eg, 448/16=28 ft radius is all creatures’ default visual range, and the 40 ft casting range of the Fireball spell wouldn’t be possible to achieve without increasing caster’s visual range through the opcode, up to a maximum of 48 ft radius.
Melee weapon reach, is 1 ft for one-handed weapons, 2 ft for two-handed weapons.
Both weapon and spell casting range, with the exception of sequencers/contingencies, are also given an extra 2 to 3 ft (exact number varies depending on undefined situations), the distance is normally calculated from center-points of the two creatures, sometimes from the nearest rims of the two selection circles, or friendly alliance creatures will just bump the other (
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This icon indicates content from the original Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn campaign.
and later) to shorten the distance if the combined range is still too short for effects to take place. Due to sequencers/contingencies not gaining the extra range, any touch spells stored in them will almost always fail.[2]
  • Regeneration, regenerate: Heal over Time; incremental healing.
  • Resistance: Values that absorb a percentage of incoming damage in D&D set for each Damage type. For Resistance in D&D, BG and other games, see Armor and Damage avoidance.
  • Rest: Resting in D&D regains spells as well as hit points, and always takes eight game hours. Resting in Inns can regain more HP.
  • RL: Real life.
  • Round:
1 round = 6 seconds realtime
1 turn = 10 rounds = 60 seconds realtime
1 hour in-game = 5 Turns = 50 rounds = 300 seconds realtime
1 day in-game = 24 Hour in-game = 120 turns = 1200 rounds = 7200 seconds realtime
A maximum of 10 APR are allowed within one round, but only one spell or item use is permitted per round. There're spells like Improved Alacrity, Nahal's Reckless Dweomer, Spell Immunity to bypass such limits. One may also combine physical attacks with spell/item uses to make most out of the one round frame.
  • RPG: Role-playing game.
  • RTS: Real-time strategy, e.g. Starcraft.

S Edit

  • Save: Saving the game, obviously, but more usefully, saving cannot take place while within roughly a screen width's distance of enemies, whether they are visible on the screen or not.
  • Sim: Short for simulation.
  • Slashing: See Blades.
  • Sleep": Similar to Mez. A form of Crowd Control
  • SoA: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
  • SoD: Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear
  • Spawn: A game entity, usually NPC, being rendered into the game world, or PC being rendered and gaining their interface with the game world.
  • Spawn point: position at which an entity spawns, sometimes fixed to a particular location.
  • Speed Factor: Determines when (not how often) attacks occur within an actor's round, with smaller values occurring before larger. See the main article for additional information. For information on how often an actor attacks, see APR.
  • Splash damage: An AE type of damage, usually in addition to normal damage, which surrounds the point at which the normal damage originates, and can usually harm Friendly units.
  • Spread Specs: Spread specs, usually about how fast the AoE reaches its fullest, is seen in Near Infinity as units (pixels) per tick (1/15th second), horizontally. Like distance, its vertical value is also 3/4 of its horizontal value. Details about unit to inch conversion see Range section above.
  • ST: Saving throw.
  • Stealth or stealthing; ability which renders its user invisible or near invisible and unable to be attacked until the user attacks. Usually a prerequisite for special attacks that automatically do high amounts of damage and/or an increased chance of critical hits. Unlike stealth in other games, PS:T's stealth is not negated entirely after an attack, see the Baator article.
  • Strafe: Originally, in warfare, shooting while moving, then in First Person Shooters, moving sideways while shooting, has come to mean moving sideways in MMOs et al.


  • Tank: Character, usually, with more HP and/or armor than normal. Part of the damage control strategy, tank character classes are usually given Taunts to augment the Aggro their damage causes
  • Taunts Abilities that keep monsters attacking the user instead of characters with less damage protection.
  • Teleport: A transition between locations, see Zone. There is only one device used for teleportation in the game: the Modron Cube; for the blue dimensional transport effect, see Portal.
  • THAC0: To Hit Armor Class zero.
  • ToB: Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
  • TotSC: Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
  • Transition: Similar to Zone, except that it can carry additional meaning, where a character might be e.g. changing from one state to another (from a flying form, perhaps, to walking form) rather than merely travelling. Thus it describes better the zoning in Baldur's Gate, where the characters walk on one type of map, and when they click on and get to its edges, they do not automatically go to an adjacent zone, but instead the screen changes to the world map, where they can choose the zone to go to next. In other games, transitioning may be effected by colored or highlighted zoning polygons, or interacting with objects or NPCs that teleport the player directly to a destination.
  • Turn: an unit of time. 1 turn is the same as 60 seconds in real-life. 1 turns consists of 10 rounds, which is 6 seconds each.

W Edit

X Edit

  • XP: Experience Points, a crucial way of quantifying progress within the game. Killing enemies and completing quests will usually provide XP. Once a certain amount of XP has been reached, the character will advance to a higher level, with more HP and often new abilities. See also Exp.

Z Edit

  • Zone, zoning: Game Area or sub-area, and a verb meaning, to travel between Zones, either with zone transition areas (over which the cursor will transform from the normal circle of inward-pointing 'arrowhead' sections into a wheel with an arrow on the top left corner. In some games, such as early Fallouts, the zone transition may be colored. A Zone Wall is the outside edge of a map; in some games, there is no transition zone on some of the edges of the area; in Baldur's Gate, this is true of the walls on the edge of the World Map or edges that do not have another map adjacent to them, e.g., the eastern and northern edges of the Spider Wood map.

External linksEdit

Sources & referencesEdit

  1. Focus Fire article on WoWWiki
  2. kjeron's comments on Fireball blasts a little too big? and Projectile AoE size in Near Infinity threads on BD froum, special thanks to kjeron for the patience in PMs.
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