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So What's The Human Called, Anyway? (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’S RESOURCE supplement by Creighton Broadhurst

So your PCs have wandered into a nearby town. Perhaps they are relaxing in the tavern talking with the locals, haggling with a merchant or trying to gather information about a nearby ruin from a sage. Then they ask “so what’s this bloke called, anyway?” At this point, the GM normally uses the first name that pops into his head (probably “Bob,” or the one he used minutes ago for another NPC) crushing the players’ suspension of disbelief.

So What’s The Human Called, Anyway? banishes this problems by providing 500 first names and 250 surnames and nicknames of Anglo-Saxon, Finnish, Greek, Roman and Viking origin. Divided by culture, these handy tables enables the busy GM to generate literally thousands of unique names for use in his campaign. Players can also use the tables herein to create cool names for their PCs that suit the background and flavour of their GM’s campaign.

Download a free sample at ragingswan.com/humancalled

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PZOPDFRSP101205E


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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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An Excellent, Simple Tool

*****

The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19450.

Ithmar Adlard, Emmi Keto, Cassander the Gentle, Luciana Numidicus, Gorm Skull Splitter, Hanish of Girsu, Sunilda the Weaver, Clovis of the Teutons, Kifi of Nuweiba, Mathfrid of Lorsch. Do you recognize these great names? No? That’s probably because I just generated them using Raging Swan’s name generators, So What’s the Human Called, Anyway I and II, two 13 page books loaded with tables for historically accurate name generation.

OVERALL

Not being a historian of any kind, I cannot attest to the historical accuracy of the lists. More important than the historical reality of the names though, is that they do allow you to create names for a variety of cultures that have identifiable differences and distinct characteristics. That said though, the real strength of this product lies not in its content, but rather what you do with said content.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
The layout is clean and simple with readable fonts. Unfortunately, plain is the word that comes to mind when assessing the appearance of So What’s the Human Called, Anyway?. The lack of artwork and preponderance of charts reminds me of a statistics book. However, it’s a name generator, not the catalogue of works at the Prado and the format allows for name generation quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Raging Swan is known for simple, elegant layouts. I expect it just doesn’t work as well aesthetically for a product like this.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The mechanics work exactly as intended and generate tons of different names using two percentage rolls, one for first names and one for last names. If you have a die roller you can speed it up, and if you made an app for that you could do it even faster. Those aren’t really mechanical considerations however.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
While the books are both positioned as name generators, their utility extends well beyond that. It can be used to generate a name for anything. Need a town in an Egyptian setting? You are covered. Need a list of the professions of the businesses on the street? You’ve got that too. Want to instantly have a set of names that define your orc baddies as being a culture apart? Done.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I think So What’s the Human Called, Anyway? is a great product. As I mentioned, the utility extends way beyond simply generating random, culturally-appropriate names for NPCs and I have no doubt it will be making regular appearances when I plan campaigns or build characters. I really do wish it was just a tad more interesting to look at though.


2.5 star review

***( )( )

So What's a Human Called, Anyway. by Raging Swan

This product is 13 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, and credits. (5 pages)

Names(5 pages)
Here we get groups of names broken up in random tables. First we get Anglo-Saxon names, there is 50 each of male, female and surnames. Next we get Finnish names broken up the same way as the Anglo-Saxon names. Greek names come next which is done different and I honestly don't know why. We get 50 male and female names each and then 50 nicknames which is just descriptive words like short, tall, fat etc. Roman names goes back to the normal format and we get 50 male, female and surnames each again. Then Viking names go back to having 50 each of male and female and then 50 nicknames.

It ends with a OGL and ads. (3 page)

Closing thoughts. There is no artwork in the book. I wanted to like this book I really did cause I find things like this handy. But I noticed some of the names with a quick check at online naming sites are wrong. Most are fine but a few are wrong gender or seemed to be spelled wrong. Then I don't know why some of them have nicknames instead of surnames since having full names for cultures seems to be the point of having a product like this. I really wanted to like this product but it needs work and really needs to have the Greek and Viking surnames added and the product cleaned up a little. Still it is useful and handy for 2 bucks. I can't recommend it, but if you would like to have a handy random name chart for a couple of cultures this isn't to bad, but not to good either. So what's my rating? Well I do hope they make more of these and go back and fix the problems in this one. For now though I am giving it a 2.5 star review. Worth the asking price barely and of limited use.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Botches in nomenclature make this one worse than it could be

**( )( )( )

This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside the front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC and foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages for the tables, so what exactly is included?

We get 3 tables per cultural background, each table featuring 50 names: Male names, female names and surnames. We get Anglo-Saxon names, Finnish names, Greek names, Roman names and Viking names. the latter getting nicknames instead of surnames, as old Norse nomenclature usually uses the father's name and a suffix for a surname.

Unfortunately, the Viking name section is majorly flawed: "Svart" is given as a male name and actually means "black" and has not been used as a name. If you'd go for designation, you'd call the guy "Svartr" instead, but that's a nickname, not a proper name. Another major hick-up would be "Hallgrim" as a female name - Hallgrim is a male name that can be suffixed via an -a into the female variant - "Hallgrima" would be a viable female name. These are but 2 examples, with other names not adhering to any of the Scandinavian name-conventions. I'm not that versed in Finnish names, but the mix-ups from the Viking-names would make me interested in whether there are glitches there as well.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a 3-columns per page standard and is elegant. The pdf comes with full bookmarks. While I didn't notice any obvious mistakes on the Roman, Greek and Anglo-Saxon names and can't comment on the accuracy of Finnish names, I was severely disappointed by the glitches in the Viking-names. Seeing that this product sells us names, glitches with regards to gender or nomenclature are a severe flaw, at least for me. There are not many glitches in this product like this, but seeing that there's not much more one can botch in such a product, I'll settle for a final verdict of 2 stars, as the pdf at least partially botched its intent. Had a DM presented me with a valkyrie named Hallgrim, I would have fallen laughing off my chair...

Endzeitgeist out.




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