Section IV, Techniques
Subsection D, Room Terminology

Back to Rules

Room Terminology refers to the way techniques or effects are practically described in AltDBZ. When any technique is approved for use in the room, it has been broken down into room terms. Learning to understand the somewhat cryptic shorthand can help you make techs so that they come back to you faster, reducing wait time on applications.

The Basics

The most basic of room terms' use is relatively easy to understand. It simply takes a concept and asks it a barrage of technical questions, until almost every foreseeable situation has been accurately described with measurable numbers. It deletes any "flavor text" that some players might attach to descriptions of their techniques, and leaves only exactly what the tech does. For instance, take the following example of how the DBZ tech Solar Flare might be described by a player:

The mighty warrior forms his hands in a focusing gesture about his head to channel the power of the sun to his enemies eyes, shouting the words "SOLAR FLARE!", causing a burst of light so powerful as to blind them for a considerable amount of time.

If this was meshed into room terms, it might look like this:

User forms a gesture around own head and shouts tech name. Short burst of light is created in front of user's face, disabling visual senses of any characters with working eyes who were looking at it for 5 posts. User is not affected. Sun must be present and uncovered. Can only be used once per day.

This demonstrates a basic translation into room terminology. The more precise questions asked about speed, strength, and duration, the better. Generally speaking, duration is measured in posts or rounds (considered the same thing, here), speed and detection is measured in percent of somebody's particular power level, and power and durability is measured the same way. Remember, though speed and strength use the same kinds of numbers, they do not work together -- speed works with speed numbers and strength works with strength numbers.

One of the most common errors made my players when converting to room terms is describing where the percentages come from. Percentages are used almost exclusively over fixed numbers (50% as opposed to 1000 PL) because percentages scale up as a character grows stronger, and thus, a character never grows out of a figure that a percentage indicates. When you indicate percentages, make sure you indicate what it's a percentage of. 50% should be 50% KiPL or 50% PsiPL or 50% TotalPL (all PL types combined), or even just 50% of speed PL. We cannot directly work power level numbers and real measurements (like mph, or psi) together, so use only power level numbers. Additionally make sure you indicate whether the percent PL you indicate belongs to the user of the technique, or a victim, or somebody else. It should be exactly clear where your numbers are coming from.

The Blast Attack Kit

There is a collection of component common techs known as the Blast Attack Kit, which describes the various generic options one can expand upon with a basic projectile attack. When dealing with techs that do little more than fire a blast or stream and cause damage, occasionally, the staffers will use the BAK to describe it, which is usually what confuses most people about room terminology. A full and exact description of each modifier can be found in the ki section of the common techs area, but we'll generally describe the process here.

When an attack is described with the BAK, it is compared to a "standard" or gimme attack. A ki blast tech is compared to a normal ki blast. Then, elements of it are improved in given increments. A standard ki blast strikes for 30% user's KiPL (this is called the "natural charge"), and travels at 50% user's KiPL in speed. It can be charged by 10% user's KiPL for every full post beyond the first, up to a ceiling (also known as the "charge cap") of 70% user's KiPL (that's 5 charges total). It drains as much stamina as the damage it deals.

From there, we add components of the BAK to it. An autocharge adds the equivalent of one normal charge of damage to the natural charge without actually charging, effectively increasing how much damage it does when you simply point and shoot it. Giving a tech an increased charge rate does just that -- it increases how much damage is given to an attack each post it is charged. Adding a charge cap extension lets you charge your attack the equivalent of two normal charges higher. One important thing to note about the various "charge" modifications is that if you change the charge, it doesn't change how much these modifications do -- they're based on normal charges. The charge cap prevents any damage from going over it, so if you give a tech autocharges without extending the charge cap, you're effectively reducing how long you can charge it -- though the amount you can charge it to does not change. Additionally, in an extreme example, you can't raise the natural charge over the charge cap -- it must be extended to cover the natural charge of the tech as well as the maximum amount of charge the tech can hold.

Again, there are other terms in the BAK, but these are the most common, and should give you some insight to how they are used. They are used because when application handlers review these kinds of techs, they use the BAK to decide how many tech days it will cost your character -- another boon to understanding the BAK. It is important to note that the BAK only affects direct damage and speed of the main projectile. If you add other fancy effects, like splitting up the main projectile, or adding status ailments like some kind of poison, the BAK does not regard these.

Other Terminology

There are a spare few other terms to look out for, outside of the BAK but still commonly used in tech descriptions. One in particular to note is the difference between tracking, turning, and steering. They describe the ability of a projectile to change its direction mid-flight. Steering is the cheaper form, because it requires the user's total concentration on the projectile (psi users usually just have to concentrate one psi slot on it). Turning is one step above and one step back at the same time -- the projectile turns mid-flight whether the user wants it to or not, but the user does not have to concentrate for it to do so. Tracking is the superior of both of the others -- it is given a target, and it follows that target like a heat-seeking missile (and usually similarly dependent on some kind of trackable power signature) without it's user's intervention. Each of these things is measured in degrees, which indicates just how fast it can turn in a single post. 90 degrees means it can make the equivalent of a regular car turn at an intersection, while 180 degrees means it can make a U turn. Turning variants are usually capped at 360 degrees, and at this point are given credit to turn in just about any direction they want, whenever they want.

Back to Rules

Modified: 27 Jan 2005