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Fun With Acronyms / Tabletop Games

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  • James Bond 007 RPG couln't use the infamous S.P.E.C.T.R.E. for licensing reasons, so used a Suspiciously Similar Substitute; Technological Ascension, Revenge, and Organized Terrorism, or T.A.R.O.T.
  • NPC = Not Particularly Cooperative.
  • Dandenong Wargamers And Roleplayers Federation.
  • From Another Time Another Land. Also known as "Fantasy And Tales Of Adult Lechery".
  • Exalted has a very powerful Necromancy spell, typically only used by antagonists, that functions as a One-Winged Angel transformation immediately upon what would ordinarily be their death. Its name? Birth Of Sanity's Sorrow.
  • GURPS Illuminati included a sidebar on an organization that called itself "TRI", which stood for Three Random Initials.
    • Subverted in GURPS IOU, which stands for Illuminati University. People asking what the O stands for are told they're not cleared to know.
      • Not to mention an entire department called C.T.H.U.L.H.U., which stands for College of Temporal Happenstance, Ultimate Lies and Historical Undertakings.
    • GURPS itself is the Generic Universal RolePlaying System.
      • Prior to release, it was referred to as the "Great Unnamed Role Playing System" in at least one of SJG's publications.
  • BattleTech has a couple fun acronyms, one that has been explicitly explained and one that is merely fun. Myomer Acceleration Signal Circuitry is a movement booster, while the NARC Missile Beacon has never been explained.
    • You missed the Target Aquisition Gear, a spotting laser for artillery and semi-guided missiles.
    • It's also very, very common for Inner Sphere BattleMech designs to have both a name and a more "technical" designation which is a combination of letters and numbers that more or less obviously refers directly back to the name. So you have the COM Commando series (nominally starting with the -1A model, though the first to see print was the -2D), the PXH Phoenix Hawks, the CPLT Catapults, the GRM-R-PR Grim Reapers... It's unclear which is cause and which effect or indeed whether the acronyms have any meaning other than as back-references even in universe. (The Clans, incidentally, seem to have shed the habit and simply refer to their units by name alone.)
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    • FASA (the creator of BattleTech, among many other games) originally stood for the Freedonian Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Rifts Chaos Earth has the Northern Eagle Military Alliance
    • In the main setting, there's a famous suit of Powered Armor called the Strategic Armored Military Assault Suit. Presumably it lets you hit like a girl.
    • Then there are the Artificial, Robot, Cerebellum, Housing, Intellect, Experiment number <x> Master Computers built by the Cyberworks Aerospace Network before the Great Cataclysm (and one built afterward).
  • Monsters and Other Childish Things has the Monster Investigation Bureau, which is tasked with capturing and studying what they call Biological Extraterrestrial Merchandise — if you don't get the second one, that more typically stands for Bug Eyed Monster.
  • The game S.A.V.A.G.E. = Survival And Victory After Global Extinction
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  • GORE, or Generic Old-school Role-playing Engine
  • There is an Earthdawn adventure titled Terror In The Skies.
  • Mystara has "Elven Liberation Front" and "Free Armed Elven Resistant Youth" in Glantri — if you didn't guess yet, half of the time preoccupied with getting at each other's throats, as they come from two clans that don't get along at best.
  • In 1987, Milton Bradley put out a line of motorized action games called T.H.I.N.G.S. (Totally Hilarious Incredibly Neat Games of Skill). They used it in a motorized Girl Talk board game based off a Disney licensed product brand (hidden inside a crystal ball, voiced by Raven-Symone) a few years later.
  • TSR's Marvel Super Heroes RPG from The '80s used seven stats for characters - Fighting (ability), Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. Put 'em together, and what does that spell? FASERIP.
  • The RAY in RAY gun stands for Radiation Accelerating Weaponry.
  • Shadowrun has S.U.R.G.E., Sudden Recessive Gene Emergence, an odd phenomena characterized by the sudden expression of recessive genes, often triggered by manastorms. This can result in anything from Little Bit Beastly, to Beast Man, to Plant People. The scientists still haven't figured out quite why animal traits are common. They also copied the System Identification Number from Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy. There's also the Grid Overwatch Division which keeps a tight watch on the matrix, always trying to capture or take out hackers. The heads of their subdivisions for each grid are even known as "demiGODs".
  • Bliss Stage:
    Commander Jim Preston: "Keenan, suit up for a hot launch of the A.N.I.Ma. — Yukiko will Anchor."
    Keenan Caine: Roger that. Incidentally, what does A.N.I.Ma. mean?
    Derek Smith: Alien Numina Inversion Machine.
    Keenan Caine: ...Someone reads too much Carl Jung.
  • Champions:
    • The main good-guy agency helping your heroes is the United Nations Tribunal on International Law.
    • Villain organization VIPER was always written like the name was an acronym, but it didn't get an official "full" name until the Fifth Edition sourcebook. Venomous Imperial Party of the Eternal Reptile. That's what happens when you let the Victorian megalomaniac name your organization. The vast majority of Nest Leaders who find out the real name deliver a Flat "What" and make up their own interpretation.
  • Wisher, Theurgist, Fatalist is a meta-RPG by Jenna Moran in which the player characters use their stats of Knowledge, Insight, and Harmony to define the setting and play mechanics of a fantasy world.
  • In Eclipse Phase the rogue military A.I.s that destroyed Earth were called Tactical Information Total Awareness Networks. A decent allusion to Greek Mythology, but it does cause some confusion with the residents of Saturn's largest moon.
  • Some Game Masters refer to themselves as the Game Operations Director.
  • The Magic: The Gathering comedy expansion Unstable has a group called the Agents of S.N.E.A.K., which different cards claim stands for "Serious, Nonstop Espionage and Kidnapping", "Silent Ninjas Evading Any Kapture", "Sinister Nerds Eliminating All Knowledge", "Skilled, Notably Efficient Assassin-Kickers", "Spies Nimbly Eluding Adversaries' Knives", and "Subpar, Notoriously Evil Agent Killers".
  • Mutants & Masterminds Freedom City:
    • The superspy group in the Freedomverse is the American Elite Government Intervention Service. (Note that the aegis was a legendary shield.)
    • The HYDRA-type organisation is the Secret Hierarchy of Agents for Domination Over the World. The Mirror Universe Anti-Earth has its Good Counterpart Liberty's Insurgency for Goodness, Hope and Truth, and the Alternate Tooniverse Ani-Earth is home to the Sinisterly Named Acronym for Keeping Everyone Suspicious, because Snakes Are Sinister.
  • The Adventure Game Engine system's name appears to have been backronymed from Dragon Age. Other settings include Modern AGE and Fantasy AGE.


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