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Artifact Title / Tabletop Games

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  • In Chess, the rook's name refers back to the time when it was represented by a chariot (Persian rokh). It's been represented by a castle (or possibly a siege tower) for several centuries.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Some setting have a notable dearth of dungeons and/or dragons in them:
    • Spelljammer doesn't really have a whole lot of dungeons, being, y'know, a magical Age of Sail in SPACE. It did use the D&D core rules, just with added sailing ships.
    • Likewise, as of 3E, the Ravenloft setting is officially home to just one dragon, making the plural inappropriate. Her mate is only a Dread Possibility.
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    • Dark Sun could be more accurately described as Deserts and a Dragon (just the one).
  • Magic: The Gathering.
    • "The Gathering" was intended to be the name of the first game, and later expansions would add a corresponding subtitle, such as Magic: Ice Age. However, the creators eventually realized it would be bad for gameplay if cards from different sets had different logos on the backs, and once they were stuck printing "the Gathering" on every card, putting too much effort into subtitles that people would rarely see seemed like a waste.
    • The same thing happened with the Deckmaster logo still printed on the bottom part of every card's back when the Deckmaster series of card games haven't been involved with the product in years.
    • The spin-off variant known as "Elder Dragon Highlander" required you to include one of the five legendary "Elder Dragon" cards in your deck. This requirement was eventually loosened to require any legendary creature and the name was shortened to "EDH," which made no sense whatsoever to people who were unfamiliar with the original. (Ultimately Wizards of the Coast officially renamed the format "Commander.")
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    • The upkeep step was named that because many of the early cards had an upkeep cost that needed to be paid each turn. Nowadays, it's mostly used as a convenient time for abilities to trigger more-or-less at the start of the turn.
  • The title of Memoir '44 is a reference to the fact that the base game was released to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and as such the scenarios focused on the Invasion of Normandy and a few other periphery battles. Then the many expansions expand the scope of the game beyond Normandy to cover the entire Second World War, and so now the game's name makes less than it did before.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The game's title originally alluded to it being set in the far future of the Warhammer fantasy setting, though this bit of Early Installment Weirdness got dropped fairly quickly and now the two franchises are very definitely in their own universes. Similarly, while Warhammer has a namesake in Ghal Maraz, the hammer wielded by Sigmar before his ascension to godhood, Warhammer 40k doesn't have an equivalent weapon, though recent editions have at least put a futuristic warhammer on the rulebook's cover, so that's progress.
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    • No matter what year a story takes place, such as the Horus Heresy novels set in the 31st millennium or The Beast Arises series set a thousand years later, the franchise logo is going to keep the "40,000."
    • Averting this trope actually caused no small amount of consternation among fans. Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade, launched at the end of year 40999, was the subject of a worldwide campaign event back in 2004, where players' battle results influenced the outcome of the story (Chaos won a narrow, nearly Pyrrhic Victory, Eldrad Ulthran was killed, and the Tau took advantage of the situation to expand their territory by 33%). But in works published after Codex: Eye of Terror, the 13th Black Crusade was only discussed as a looming threat, and Eldrad was still a usable special character, leading fans to complain that Games Workshop was rewinding the timeline instead of advancing the setting. Then in 2017 came the Gathering Storm campaign event, which revisited the 13th Black Crusade... and had Abaddon succeed in destroying the Imperial fortress-world of Cadia, the Imperium bisected by the resulting warp rifts, and the Ultramarines' primarch Roboute Guilliman come out of stasis. The aftermath established that not only was Games Workshop now willing to make drastic changes to the setting, but in-universe Guilliman has concluded that due to millennia of poor record-keeping and time distortions caused by those warp rifts, he has no idea what the year actually is. So even as the story progresses, the franchise is still Warhammer 40,000.

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