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General Game Glossary

This glossary was created with the intention that it remain mostly truthful, but still lighthearted. More or less as an annexe to the new player advisory.


  • AH: AceHigh.
  • Alt: Alternate character; a second account. Allowed for non-cheaty purposes. Don't be a dick.


  • Badnav: A rare glitch that locks an account to a singular location, preventing you from playing the game. There's inbuilt measures to help get you unstuck, but use the “Tell us about a problem” button if symptoms persist.
  • Banhammer: To ban someone from the site, so they can't play any more. If you have been threatened with it, pull your socks up.
  • Banter: Out-Of-Character chat. Occupies the right side of the screen on desktop, and may either be “global” (viewed by everyone on the island) or “local” (viewed only by players in the same room as you).
  • BOINC: A program that lets you donate your idle computer time to science projects. The Island has a team on World Community Grid (WCG). You should join!
  • Buff: Temporary (usually) enhancement of equipment or ability.


  • Charm Vampire: Emily and Seth, found in Improbable Central. Given this name, beware of marrying them.
  • CMJ: CavemanJoe, the Island's admin. He is hoster, developer, writer, and Ban-dealer-wither all in one. He quit his job for you to play this game! Support him!
  • CoC: “Code of Conduct”. The Island's rules, which you can read here.
  • Contestant: Just about every inhabitant of Improbable Island, with the possible exception of the various shopkeepers and utter lunatics.1)
  • CC, or CC404: CyberCity 404.


  • Debuff: Temporary (usually) reduction of effectiveness of equipment or ability.
  • Distraction: The in-house messaging system. Content may be monitored to prevent abuse.
  • Drama: Negative social interaction. AVOID.
  • Drive Kill / DK: Your ongoing aim in the game is to destroy the Improbability Drive.2) Doing so is referred to as achieving or attempting a Drive Kill.3) Colloquially referred to as “taking tea with Horatio,” a tradition that rose out of S1 vets playing Jokers saying they were off to have tea with the Drive, and the equally cheeky nickname S1 vets gave to the Drive, Horatio Entwhistle.
  • Dwellings (also Dwelling, and Dwellings system) A facillity whereby contestants were able to construct a building, and name it, then use it as a house, or shed, or whatever they darn well wanted. See wiki page on Dwellings. Replaced by Places.



  • Faded: i.e. faded into the background. A term used to describe the character of a formerly active player. If a player stops logging in or otherwise becomes unable to roleplay, someone may describe the character as “faded”. The character isn't dead, but since the roleplayer isn't around, you should assume they're off doing other things and are thus unavailable for major happenings.
  • Failboat, The: Purgatorial destination of those defeated in jungle combats, or unlucky in some Improbable Events.
  • Flavour text: Permanent written descriptions of what's going on or the surroundings. Provided to give players a 'flavour' of the context they are experiencing. Often unread despite being usually very useful.
  • Fourth Wall: The conceptual barrier between the audience and the action occurring in a presentational art form, such as on a stage or screen. Roleplayers ask that you don't break it.


  • Glossary: Reference of dubious use.5)
  • Green: Shorthand for Green Titan. A super-tough monster that multiple contestants can fight at once. Won't attack back, but regenerates health over time.



  • IC: [1] Improbable Central, an Outpost. [2] “In Character”.
  • ICMoD: Ice Cream Machine of Doom7). A persistent relic from the Pilot, constructed by DeadMeat and Snickerer with assistance from others. Battle-ready machine with turrets, thick defensive armour, and the ability to produce ice cream in any flavor you so wish – if it's working.


  • Jungle: (Verb) To repeatedly seek out and defeat monsters in, well, the Jungle. If someone says they're “jungling”, it means they're trying to level up.8)



  • Level up (~to): The process or act of going from one level to a higher one. In gaming parlance, to have your character attain an improvement or promotion.
  • LM: “Long Midnight”. Scheduled nightly maintenance that renders the game inaccessible in the short term, but keeps the Island running smoothly in the long term.9)


  • Mods: Moderators. People designated and authorised to apply law and order. You do not want to annoy these people. Things that annoy them include having to enforce law and order. If one them is talking to you and fingering the dice in his/her pocket, you have annoyed a mod and serious grovelling is called for.
  • Mount: The noun, not the verb10)11). Any of a range of beasts of burden available for contestants to purchase. Sometimes said to be of debatable and changing tactical utility.
  • Midnight: Scheduled, automatic, routine site maintenance that renders the game temporarily inaccessible.



  • OOC: Initialisation of “out of character”. Anything said or done by a player, as opposed to their character.


  • Petition: To file a bug report using the “Tell us about a problem” button.
  • Pilot, the: The open playtest of the earliest version of Improbable Island that ran back in 2008. Shit was a lot weirder in those days.
  • Places (also 'Places system') Major revision of Dwellings system (see above). Buy a patch of land, build your own little place on it. Sounds pretty straightforward, huh?
  • PvP: Initialisation of “Player versus Player”. At time of writing PvP combat is generally not condoned, except in pre-arranged role play situations.



  • Red: Shorthand for Red Titan. A super-tough monster that multiple contestants can fight at once and moves quickly towards outposts.
  • Requisition / Req: The common currency of Improbable Island. See also cigarettes, SP.
  • Rookie: A new player. Noted for confusion, glazed eyes and asking lots of questions that veterans sigh heavily about. They rarely go unanswered, though.
  • Rollover: The little text box that pops up when you mouse over someone's name in the chat.12)


  • Seasons: Improbable Island's history consists of seasons: The Pilot, Season One, and the currently airing Season Two. The transition between them included a Reset and a great deal of changes, explaining why many roleplayers more or less strictly discern between them.
  • SP: Supporter Points. Awarded to players that donate real money to the game, or otherwise deemed deserving through contests, BOINC altruism, etc. Can be spent on special enhancements at the Super Fancy Fun Club.
  • Special: [1] Abbreviation for Joker Special, an improbable beverage usually produced by the next Joker if you ask nicely. [2] A certain kind of comment. After buying some, one can write comments without the Contestant Somebody attached to the beginning. Don't be a dick.
  • Story: The in character roleplay channel, visible on the left-hand side of the screen on desktop. If someone asks if you “want to story”, they're asking if you'd like to roleplay with them.


  • Tea With Horatio: See “Drive Kill”.
  • Timesten / Timestenned: To multiply a value by, well, ten. In the early days, a lot of the game's mechanics ran off very small numbers. Then inflation hit rebalancing necessitated making all those numbers larger. If you hear somebody say a bit of gear or a monster “hasn't been timestenned”, it means it still uses the old combat values and may not work as intended.



  • Veterans ('vets'): Established players. They frequently have colored names or special titles, many DKs or high action level rankings. Not necessarily any wiser than the average rookie.


  • Wall: (Verb) To stop responding in the Story channel suddenly and without explanation. If a character's “walled”, their roleplayer has likely been called away by real life happenings. In other words, they're dealing with the fourth wall.
  • Watcher, The: the one running the whole show. Literally. She uses the Failboat as a mobile base of operations from which she can rain doom and heavy amounts of snark on contestants.


  • XP: Experience points. The number that goes up when you defeat monsters in the jungle, and goes down when they defeat you.



Wrong! Utter Lunatism is a prime qualifiction for being a contestant on Improbable Island!
You knew that, right?
In modern gaming parlance, this is our New Game+ system.
Forums are dead - can this be scraped?
I think you mean 'usefulness'.
Sometimes the restaurant runs out of ingredients, meaning it can't be bought until players supply the herbs themselves.
This was a red link even on the old wiki. Also I have no idea what namespace it should go under.
“Level Grinding”, in MMO talk.
Not actually all that long any more!
Don't even go there.
Aww. You're taking all the fun out of this.
Some other web games use the term 'Rollover' to describe when its server ticks over at midnight. We call that “Long Midnight” here.
gameplay/guides/glossary.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/30 06:55 by clarissadunst