Goodman Games

Fan Forums
It is currently Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:23 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Naming your Character
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 7:13 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:44 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Richmond, KY
What method do you guys use to name your characters?

Me personally, I like to open any book at random, put my finger on a word or if I happen to cover more than one word with the tip of my finger then I use two or three depending, then modify the letters some how.

Example:
My current character's name is Reifdom - Which is "modifier" spelled backwards sans the "i".

My other method is to take two completely unrealted words and translate them into another language:

Example:
An old Warhammer RPG character I had was named Bubikoff Gallenstein - German for Bob Gallstone.

Two easy ways to name a character.

_________________
Punching holes in your soul like it's the hull of the Titanic


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:53 am 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2694
Location: San Jose, CA
Those are good tips to remember. I often hit a stumbling block when naming NPCs. Sometimes it just comes to me because there's a perfect name, but other times I sit there mumbling sounds (and looking crazy to anyone who sees it) until something seems to click!

_________________
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 2:27 pm 
Offline
Ill-Fated Peasant
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:34 pm
Posts: 6
Location: On the road.
You have to be careful with using foreign words; the WoTC forums are full of posts by writers that claim Drizzt's name translates to 'spit' in Finnish. You'd hate to sell a book, 'berg, then have rampant otaku readers chewing you out on line for poor character development. ;)

That said, names are always such a delicate balance between dramatic and corny. How much disbelief can you suspend? "Doc Savage" works for me, but I'm sure there are millions of readers that don't agree.

I run into the same problems with short stories / novels; get the name right and it will resonate with the reader until the end of time. Get the name wrong and it just fades into the cultural dross.

_________________
"Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!"

bag_boy@fastmail.fm


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:21 pm 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Goodman Games East
I'm a big fan of The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook. It has about 20,000 names and their meanings, across about three dozen ethnic categories. If I want to create a fantasy character based on an entry in the book, I just use the tried-and-true method of swapping a vowel or two. :-)

The book isn't in print anymore (I think), but it's easy to find on eBay or Amazon's Z-stores.

--Ken


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:15 am 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:44 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Richmond, KY
Ken Hart wrote:
I'm a big fan of The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook. It has about 20,000 names and their meanings, across about three dozen ethnic categories. If I want to create a fantasy character based on an entry in the book, I just use the tried-and-true method of swapping a vowel or two. :-)

The book isn't in print anymore (I think), but it's easy to find on eBay or Amazon's Z-stores.

--Ken


Must go shopping now!!!!

_________________
Punching holes in your soul like it's the hull of the Titanic


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:16 pm 
Offline
Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:04 pm
Posts: 66
goodmangames wrote:
Those are good tips to remember. I often hit a stumbling block when naming NPCs. Sometimes it just comes to me because there's a perfect name, but other times I sit there mumbling sounds (and looking crazy to anyone who sees it) until something seems to click!


I do the same thing! Sometimes I randomly type letters, or pick them from a short impromtu (mental) list of ones that are appropriate- for example, if I want a word to sound hard, I might start it with a G,K,Z, V, or X. I go from there, only picking letters that sound appropriate, and finally do a once over to add letters for pronuciation, or remove them when they're uneeded. I just try to keep in mind the overall flow of the type of word; more important ones tend to have more syllables (for me), unless they don't. :D

_________________
Proud Graduate of Parallel University.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: ColdStone Name Generator
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 5:29 pm 
Offline
Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 5:15 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Raleigh, NC
I mostly DM (okay, almost exclusively) and I want names to have a regional "sound" so I use the ColdStone Name Generator. It's made by a company called Beenox Inc. and is fully customizable - you enter the syllables you want and it randomly generates the name.

I've got different sets for different races and countries so that players always know that Shed'eth is from Ethnagaria, Liorion is an elf, and Higvar Orn Kapesk is from Erlacor.

Quite handy really. Not every name is a gem, but it's quite easy to generate off a list of 100 names with similar conventions to pull from.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:59 am 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:39 am
Posts: 35
When asked “what should I name my character?” by new players to my table, I usually take their middle name, modify it a bit, and make that their characters name. I find that newbies can get comfortable with a name that they are familiar with (and helps them answer quickly and stay in the moment when someone talks to them in character and calls their name.)

IE: Michael might become Mik’hale. John might become Jahnothan.

For last names I usually do what I saw some others do in the other posts. Start with a letter G X C F and works some vowels in afterward.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 2:12 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 12:25 pm
Posts: 13
Usually my setting have some degree of comparison to actual Nations, kingdoms, city states, or empires that have actually existed on earth at sometime.
The same can be said about those games that in which I'm just a player and have no imput on the setting creation.

Because of this the majority of us tend to use;

http://www.gaminggeeks.org/Resources/KateMonk/index.htm

As the prime source material for creating character names.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 9:21 pm 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 290
for characters i play, i usually take a look at how people like my character usually are anmed, and work frmo there

with my current rogue character, i picked a good sounding name and a variation of my RL surname for his

with a recent character that i made for a DragonMech campaign, i wanted somehting that had more meaning (and related directly to the character's mysterious past) so i popped upon a book on elves and named him with translations of some english words that had the desired meaning (or close enough)

when i don't particularly care, though... i have a couple tools that randomly generate names based on characrer race

_________________
Namfoodle "Sparklediver" Raulnor
{Wounds -12; HP = 11/23}


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:58 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 630
I've rarely had a problem generating names.
Once I have a solid concept of who a character or NPC is and who they are supposed to be, the name just sorta flows out from that.
I polish it afterward, throw in some variations for the character or NPCs native language, maybe swap around a syllable or two, but once the CONCEPT is named, the character is named.

I used EBoN for a while, but it was a toy that lost its luster quickly.

_________________
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:00 pm 
Offline
Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:04 pm
Posts: 8
I can usually come up with names quickly, and then later I'm also capable of realizing I made a horrible mistake when I say the name to my group... Either they can't pronounce it, it means something in the foreign language that the players speak (Latin, German, Spanish... Maybe French), or possibly, sounds funny in english.

_________________
I don't really have anything to say. And everything I do have to say is lies.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 5:41 am
Posts: 1
good, very good!
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:20 am 
Offline
Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 95
Normally I just sit and think until something that relates well to the character pops into my head. I try to stay away from anything corny or humerous.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group