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Over the course of playing this game, you may come across words or phrases that you are unfamiliar with. We've separated this page into In-Character Terminology (terms that your character would likely be familiar with), Out-of-Character Terminology (terms which refer to the game itself and the roleplaying styles within it), and Safety Calls. Safety Calls are phrases used to indicate the appropriate OC (out-of-character) conduct when a player may be feeling uncomfortable with an IC (in-character) interaction. As Uptime will take place over Discord, we have also included some OC calls less directly related to player comfort under the same heading.

In-Character Terminology


A title given to very powerful mages. How someone becomes an Archmage is unclear, but their magical ability is widely regarded.

Custodians (of Reality)

A seemingly leaderless anti-magic group that has been gaining popularity in the Sanctuary recently.


The most fundamental Spell a mage can use, it improves a Quirk of yours in exchange for a sacrifice (such as gaining a negative Quirk). This is the Spell that all characters start with.


A usually Inner City mage who uses magic freely and without a care in the world for the sacrifices they endure. They gained their nickname for the love of magically floating houses, which are very commonplace in the Inner City.

Greed mages

Powerful mages who are so attached to wealth the sacrifice for their Spells is material wealth.


Usually Outer City inhabitants who prefer to keep their houses firmly on the ground, famed for their countless (one-sided) disputes with the Floaters, of which the Floaters remember none of.


Outer City inhabitants who watch the perimeter of the Sanctuary and guard it against beasts.

Inner City/ Inner Sanctuary

The innermost part of the Sanctuary (Inner Sanctuary), in its centre lies the Archmage's tower. It is constantly filled with floating houses, with the vast majority of its inhabitants being Floaters.

Outer City/ Outer Sanctuary

The outermost part of the city (Outer Sanctuary), more closely resembling a regular city. The majority population here is Grounders, so Floaters are not typically well liked. Additionally, there are strong mafia presences in some parts of the Outer City.


An event that awakens a mage's magic, usually a great loss the mage experienced.

Reality Bend

A powerful magic Spell, coveted by many mages, which allows you to shape reality to some extent. The cost is an equivalent sacrifice.


Where Ad Nauseam is set, the Sanctuary is a city for mages created by the Archmage about 100 years ago. It is surrounded by a magic barrier, stopping pests and potential enemies from entering.


A more advanced magic Spell compared to the fundamental Enhancement, it allows you to manifest/destroy matter in exchange for an equivalent sacrifice.

Out-of-Character Terminology


A term for roleplaying romantic or similarly emotionally intense relationships between characters.


A term for the separate chat 'rooms' within a Discord server. In-game, these will usually represent distinct places. There will also be out-of-character channels for GM announcements, player-to-GM communication, etc. Some channels may be read-only, meaning that you can receive but not send messages there, and some may be entirely hidden from you, only accessible to certain players. You can move between channels via the channel sidebar, where all channels will be labelled with a # (hash) symbol.


The debrief is an OC session where the GMs and players discuss the game. Players will have the opportunity to share what they got up to during the game, and GMs can share “behind the scenes” details about the game. This will take place over Discord after the final session.


Downtime refers to the period of time between sessions, which will last one week out of character. In character, exactly 19 hours pass and you may perform one significant action during it. During Downtime, you may finalise your plans with other characters by email if you wish, though the key part of Downtime is the Turnsheet. We strongly recommend taking a look at our Downtime, Emails and Turnsheets for more information.


After the seventh and final session of Uptime, players will be asked to submit an Eternity instead of a conventional Turnsheet. This Turnsheet details how the character wants to spend the rest of their life. The GM write-up for this will all be public and will give an impression of how each character is affected by the aftermath of the game, rather than focusing on any short-term actions.


A linear is a short adventure run by a GM for 3-5 players within the world of Ad Nauseam, taking place during Uptime, a little like a single short session of a tabletop RPG. Linears focus on adventure, exploration, and investigation and may happen spontaneously.


A term for the non-mechanical aspects of a game which add flavour and nuance. Think along the lines of character backstories, emotional interactions between characters, and building up your personal narrative around the basic mechanics of the game.

Game Moderators (GMs)

The people who moderate the Discord Uptime sessions, write Turnsheet responses, keep the wiki up to date, and generally run the game. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions, or take a look at our page if you'd like to learn more about us!

In-Character (IC) and Out-of-Character (OC)

These terms are used to describe events, places and people which exist within the world of Ad Nauseam (IC) or in real life (OC).


Metagaming is the practice of using OC knowledge to determine the course of your character's actions, for example by finding out a character's location or alliances through their player's Discord roles. While we understand that such knowledge may be acquired unintentionally, we trust players not to abuse it.

Non-Player Characters (NPCs)

Characters played by the GMs rather than you, the players. You can look through the NPC list here.

Player Characters (PCs)

Characters played by you, the players, rather than the GMs. You can look through the PC list here.

PvE and PvP

Terms describing the types of conflict which a character may face. PvE (Player versus Environment) refers to conflict between a Player Character and the world around them, while PvP (Player versus Player) refers to conflict between individual Player Characters. Please take a look at our Magic page for information on how the GMs will respond to PvP, and our guidance to players who may wish to engage in it.


A feature of Discord which allows an admin to easily control permissions such as access to hidden channels and the ability to send messages rather than simply reading them. This is a strictly OC feature of the game, and should not be used to gain IC information about other characters (e.g. their whereabouts, alliances or abilities).


The Discord server which hosts Uptime sessions of Ad Nauseam. It includes both OC channels (for general discussion, game rules and tech support) and IC channels (where the roleplaying will happen). You can navigate between Discord servers using the leftmost Discord sidebar, where all the servers you are part of will be shown as circular icons. For information on accessing the Ad Nauseam server, see here.


A short piece of writing completed by players each week, used to let the GMs know what each player character is doing during Downtime. You can find templates for each turnsheet at the bottom of your user page, and will need to create and then edit the template according to the guidelines found here. Your turnsheet can be freely edited up until 23:59 Thursday following a session, at which point - unless a GM has agreed to give you an extension - it will be taken as final. The GM team will then read each turnsheet, discuss what happens in regards to them, and give a written response to each player. You can find an example of what a turnsheet might look like here.


Uptime refers to the weekly sessions of Ad Nauseam, which will take place over Discord. During Uptime, you may use text channels to communicate with other online Player Characters and Non-Player Characters and to come up with plans for Downtime. We strongly recommend taking a look at our uptime page for more information on how we will be using the Discord format.

Uptime Calls, including Safety Calls

Uptime calls are specific phrases that may be used by a player or GM during uptime to succinctly convey something of OC significance.

The use of safety calls in roleplaying is important to help ensure that everyone is able to feel comfortable engaging in a range of IC scenarios with a wide array of people. We strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the safety calls that have been underlined so that you are able to recognise or use them as required.

As uptime will be conducted over Discord, we have also included a range of calls related to players needing to disconnect temporarily. When using a call during an IC interaction, we encourage the use of square brackets to distinguish them as OC calls!

We're not expecting to be using many of these except for the time in, time out ones to indicate start and end of roleplay, but we've included them here just so you're aware of terms we may use!

[Time In]

A call used by GMs at the start of session, or after “time freeze” has been called, to indicate that everyone should begin acting in character.

[Time Freeze]

A call used by GMs to indicate that everyone should stop acting in character and pay attention to the caller. This may be used during a session if GMs need to get the whole playerbase's attention or address a problem OC.

[Time Out]

A call used by GMs to indicate the end of the session. Once [Time Out] is called, everyone should stop acting in character.


This is a safety call meaning that everyone must stop roleplaying the current topic. All players seeing this call must stop roleplaying the topic in question. When used by a GM, this may indicate that the topic has strayed into themes which are forbidden in the game.


This is a safety call meaning that the user does not wish to further engage in this topic. Once this call is used, other players should carry on roleplaying, but should treat the player calling [OUT] as if they are not/were never part of the interaction.


This is a safety call meaning 'tone it down', to be used when player interaction is getting too intense and you would like to signal to others to tone it down without shutting down the roleplay altogether. This is particularly important in angry, argument-based scenarios or highly emotional scenarios that deal with sensitive themes.


This indicates during a high-stress or time-sensitive situation that you would like to pause to look something up or ask a GM about something. This call will hold for a maximum of 5 minutes, after which it is automatically void.


This call can be made after any other call to indicate that it is all good now, you are ready to jump back into the roleplay and the IC situation can proceed as normal.

[BRB], [GTG] and [AFK]

Short for 'be right back', 'got to go,' and 'away from keyboard,' respectively, and are used to indicate that a player needs to drop out of play for OC reasons.

[BRB] is used when you need to leave your keyboard briefly but intend to be back soon, especially if you anticipate returning before a particular interaction has ended.

[GTG] indicates that the user is logging off or needs to leave, either for an extended period of time or for the rest of session. Others will not wait for you to continue roleplaying but will not assume that your character has disappeared IC.

[AFK] can be used to indicate that a player is stepping away from their keyboard for a moment. This may be because they are feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed, because they notice their internet quality dropping, or simply because they need to take care of something away from their keyboard. As GMs we are aware that there are many reasons players may need to disconnect temporarily, and we aim to run Ad Nauseam in such a way that your experience will not be negatively impacted by needing to do so.

glossary.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/04 23:53 by gm_ivan