Just a quick comment today. To me, there are few things worse than showing up somewhere, really wanting to participate, but not being able to simply because everyone around me is using jargon that I just don’t understand. The frequent use of “Chargen” on the Internet is a great example. It took me forever to learn what it meant, and surprisingly it’s not on the Provisional Glossary. As my blog is mainly there to appeal to nascent designers, I thought I’d tackle this word so they don’t have to stumble around trying to understand it for as long as I had to.
Chargen is a shortened way of saying, “Character Generation.” Most games call it Character Creation, but somewhere a long, long time ago someone coined this word and it has stuck. Basically, it refers to the process of creating any character in an RPG, usually but not always before actual play begins. Pretty simple, but I promise, there have been tons of people who’ve gone years seeing this word but never getting what it meant.
I hope that bringing it up here saves some consternation for newer designers like myself. I know I wish I had understood the word a lot sooner than I did. It would have saved me a good bit of grief, heh heh.