Time for my second post on Nomenclature! I’ve realized there are a few words and designations that might need a little explaining here at the Consummate DM.
First is the phrase “mini-campaign.” I use this word to refer to a story arc within a greater campaign. I realize that this might be synonymous with others’ use of the word campaign (without the mini), but for me, a campaign refers to however many sessions it takes to reach the end of the Player Characters’ stories. While a given story might take ten sessions, the campaign could take years and years. The ten sessions is a mini-campaign.
The second is a distinction in capitalization – Player versus player. Obviously, every time I use the word at a beginning of a sentence, it will be capitalized and you’ll have to draw meaning from context. However, in the middle of a sentence, my capitalization will matter. But not much. Player with a capital P means the players who are not the Dungeon Master. They are the real world counterparts to Player Characters. When I use the word player with a lower-case p, then I’m referring to anyone at the table – Players or Dungeon Masters.
On that note, another separation – that between Player and PC. I think these two terms are consistently lumped together, and I want to make sure that my designations are clear. A Player is a human body that exists in the real world and plays role playing games. A Player Character is a character in the game world not controlled by the Dungeon Master. I know this sounds rudimentary and patronizing, but I constantly see phrases like “If your PCs are unhappy…” or “If a PC gets an unlucky die roll…” Player Characters don’t roll dice – Players do.
And last but not least, another example of capitalization – Drama versus drama. Drama is bad, drama is good. Drama with a capital D refers to the kind of stuff you find on teen girls’ LiveJournals. Anger and bitterness, bickering, shallow, childlike behavior, and so forth. When used with a lower case, drama refers to edge of your seat storytelling, the interesting clash between characters and forces in the gameworld. You know, awesomeness.
And there you go.