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Love the Creature, Hate the Name


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I absolutely love the concept and execution in game terms of the Bugbear. But I despise the name. It's comical and trite to me. It doesn't inspire the fear that the name is supposed to be derived from.

Does anyone else have creatures they love but the names just let them down or turn them off? What do you do about it?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

It may not be quite the same thing, but for my core setting I wanted Hobgoblins to be a core race. However, I knew going in that I didn't want them to be called hobgoblins. I gave them a new name and decided that hobgoblin was actually a slang term or slur that they would NOT respond to well.

So, maybe that's an out. Pick a name you like more for what the race call themselves. Bugbears probably don't call themselves bugbears.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bulette. This one's weird. Any normal person would say this is either pronounced boo-LET, or it sounds just like "bullet." But the official pronunciation back in 3.5 days was boo-LAY. I'm the kind of person who can't let a word go mispronounced, so I assure you I'm not exaggerating when I say that this makes me absolutely FURIOUS. THAT'S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.

Medusa and Gorgon. Medusas should be called gorgons, Medusa should be their queen/goddess, and Gorgons should not exist.

Neothelid. Only because I only ever glanced at the name and for YEARS, I called it the NeoLITHid. It made sense!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Sandal Fury wrote:

Bulette. This one's weird. Any normal person would say this is either pronounced boo-LET, or it sounds just like "bullet." But the official pronunciation back in 3.5 days was boo-LAY. I'm the kind of person who can't let a word go mispronounced, so I assure you I'm not exaggerating when I say that this makes me absolutely FURIOUS. THAT'S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.

Medusa and Gorgon. Medusas should be called gorgons, Medusa should be their queen/goddess, and Gorgons should not exist.

Neothelid. Only because I only ever glanced at the name and for YEARS, I called it the NeoLITHid. It made sense!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had that issue with neothelids.

For me it's urdefhans. I don't even know what to make of that name.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You're the fans.

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Ifrit & Efreet.... I mean really?

This is almost as bad as Sauron and Saruman!


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Sandal Fury wrote:
Bulette. This one's weird. Any normal person would say this is either pronounced boo-LET, or it sounds just like "bullet." But the official pronunciation back in 3.5 days was boo-LAY. I'm the kind of person who can't let a word go mispronounced, so I assure you I'm not exaggerating when I say that this makes me absolutely FURIOUS. THAT'S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.

It'S even worse if you are german because there is a german word Bulette that basically describes kind of a meat loaf


6 people marked this as a favorite.

In Spanish Wraiths are translated as "incorpóreos" while Incorporeal creatures are "incorporales" which is almost the same word and exactly the same concept. So my players get confused about them and leads to me to have to explain each time an incorporaeal appears if it's a wraith or another kind of incorporeal.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The New York City Bulette is always a nice experience.


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We just default to calling them land sharks. sounds cooler too.


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Kileanna wrote:
In Spanish Wraiths are translated as "incorpóreos" while Incorporeal creatures are "incorporales" which is almost the same word and exactly the same concept. So my players get confused about them and leads to me to have to explain each time an incorporaeal appears if it's a wraith or another kind of incorporeal.

I call wraiths wraiths, I don't translate them. In fact, I only translate monsters that can be translated with taste and style. If the translation is bad or confusing, I always go for the original.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sandal Fury wrote:
Bulette. This one's weird. Any normal person would say this is either pronounced boo-LET, or it sounds just like "bullet." But the official pronunciation back in 3.5 days was boo-LAY. I'm the kind of person who can't let a word go mispronounced, so I assure you I'm not exaggerating when I say that this makes me absolutely FURIOUS. THAT'S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.

If the word is French, that's how it would make sense. I never knew it was pronounced "boo-LAY", but seeing how it's spelled, it makes sense using French spelling rules. Kind of like a beret.


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Seisho wrote:


It'S even worse if you are german because there is a german word Bulette that basically describes kind of a meat loaf

Just in regional German dialects anyway. No self respecting Austrian would call a Laberl a Bulette and I doubt Bavarians would either.

also

Quote:
If the word is French, that's how it would make sense. I never knew it was pronounced "boo-LAY", but seeing how it's spelled, it makes sense using French spelling rules. Kind of like a beret.

uh..that's not how the force works. in french -ette is never pronounced lay, it's baguette with an [et] sound and not bagay, the name's Anette and not Anay. double-t e means the wourd is pronounced with a hard 't' sound


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alexpm100 wrote:
Kileanna wrote:
In Spanish Wraiths are translated as "incorpóreos" while Incorporeal creatures are "incorporales" which is almost the same word and exactly the same concept. So my players get confused about them and leads to me to have to explain each time an incorporaeal appears if it's a wraith or another kind of incorporeal.
I call wraiths wraiths, I don't translate them. In fact, I only translate monsters that can be translated with taste and style. If the translation is bad or confusing, I always go for the original.

I usually do the same, but I don't when I have players who are familiar with the game and want to use the translated names.


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THUNDER_Jeffro wrote:

It may not be quite the same thing, but for my core setting I wanted Hobgoblins to be a core race. However, I knew going in that I didn't want them to be called hobgoblins. I gave them a new name and decided that hobgoblin was actually a slang term or slur that they would NOT respond to well.

So, maybe that's an out. Pick a name you like more for what the race call themselves. Bugbears probably don't call themselves bugbears.

In my homebrew, Hobgoblin is just a racial slur which will start a fight if you use it around one. I call them the Khol-Ari or the Tolk Pat-Kahl, depending on which continent my game happens to be set on at the time.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Oread. How do you pronounce that? I'm not overtly great at english and it has always confused me. I suppose that since they're earth elemental-descendants their name could be formed from the word 'ore', which would give a pronunciations like or-aad or or-add. But, in my eyes, it could also be oh-reed or oh-red.


A male bulette should be bulet, and pronounced boo-lay (or boo-let). Just like Daniel/Danielle.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Kileanna wrote:
alexpm100 wrote:
Kileanna wrote:
In Spanish Wraiths are translated as "incorpóreos" while Incorporeal creatures are "incorporales" which is almost the same word and exactly the same concept. So my players get confused about them and leads to me to have to explain each time an incorporaeal appears if it's a wraith or another kind of incorporeal.
I call wraiths wraiths, I don't translate them. In fact, I only translate monsters that can be translated with taste and style. If the translation is bad or confusing, I always go for the original.
I usually do the same, but I don't when I have players who are familiar with the game and want to use the translated names.

Tarrasque (english) - Tarasca (spanish)

- Final fight, the GM goes and says: La Tarasca te rasca la esparda.

Most idiotic laugh ever.

- GM: a Solar appears before you.

- Player: oh, is it barren? Can we build something on it?

- Rest of the table: you can't be serious


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sandal Fury wrote:
Bulette. This one's weird. Any normal person would say this is either pronounced boo-LET, or it sounds just like "bullet." But the official pronunciation back in 3.5 days was boo-LAY. I'm the kind of person who can't let a word go mispronounced, so I assure you I'm not exaggerating when I say that this makes me absolutely FURIOUS. THAT'S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.

Actually, both pronunciations are right, and there are two others, too. Dragon #93 had a pronunciation guide from Frank Mentzer. boo-LET, byoo-LET, boo-LAY, and byoo-LAY are all correct. Because of course they are.

This sort of nonsense is all Gygax. The man was a visionary, but consistency was not his thing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Blymurkla wrote:
Oread. How do you pronounce that? I'm not overtly great at english and it has always confused me. I suppose that since they're earth elemental-descendants their name could be formed from the word 'ore', which would give a pronunciations like or-aad or or-add. But, in my eyes, it could also be oh-reed or oh-red.

It's Greek. Or Greek-derived Latin, depending on who you ask.

With my own indifference to other languages pronunciation rules (because English's lack of consistency makes it a horrible first language with lots of bad habits) I've always gone for O-re-ad, though the first two syllables tend to blur together. Like Oreo, but with ad rather than o at the end.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Blymurkla wrote:
Oread. How do you pronounce that? I'm not overtly great at english and it has always confused me. I suppose that since they're earth elemental-descendants their name could be formed from the word 'ore', which would give a pronunciations like or-aad or or-add. But, in my eyes, it could also be oh-reed or oh-red.

/ˈɔːriˌæd/ or /ˈɔːri.əd/ .It's from ancient Greek.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
William Werminster wrote:
Tarrasque (english) - Tarasca (spanish)

Tarasque (French)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
JosMartigan wrote:
I absolutely love the concept and execution in game terms of the Bugbear. But I despise the name. It's comical and trite to me. It doesn't inspire the fear that the name is supposed to be derived from.

Fear the Bugaboo.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Vidmaster7 wrote:
We just default to calling them land sharks. sounds cooler too.

Linkified that for you.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

With the proper accent boulet can be close to boo-lay, but an -ette terminaison in French never makes a lay sound.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I recall reading somewhere that from the very beginning of the game it was intended to be pronounced "BOO-lay". May DrDeth can help us out with this one.

Paging DrDeth, Paging DrDeth.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

If that's the case, has anyone claimed the alias "Robert Bulette"?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I will not swear that I am 100% sure on this, but...

I'm pretty sure I remember seeing some place names in Cajun country ending in -lette that were pronounced as -lay.

Scarab Sages

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Sandal Fury wrote:

Medusa and Gorgon. Medusas should be called gorgons, Medusa should be their queen/goddess, and Gorgons should not exist.

Actually, they totally should - they should just be called Khalkotauroi.

Muse. wrote:

Ifrit & Efreet.... I mean really?

I've always taken issue with this as well. Kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel there.

Along the same lines: Daemons??? C'MON!

This isn't a kind of 'monster,' but I also always objected to the 'Magus' class - if anything, I think a 'Magus' should be a rigid, combat-inept, Mesopotamian star-priest/ceremonial mage (rectangular beard optional, but recommended!), not the name of the resident warrior-mage hybrid.


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Lot's of Love/Hate for the Bulette. Not surprising, it's iconic.

And yes, a lot of different spelling (more authentic vs. anglicized being most common) issues for similar or essentially same creatures.
What I hadn't expected was the translations from English into other languages causing so much chaos. That's really interesting.


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And then there's ankheg, solely for it's original spelling of ahnkheg. Because, I guess, TSR had too many consonants in inventory and needed to use them up. :)


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I don't particularly like that many creatures. But there are plenty of those obscure creatures in the bestiaries with stupid namse that makes me hate them:

Wikkawak - Seriously? It's a white-furred bugbear, why give it an extremely silly name?

Svartalfar - It pretty much means "Drow".

Pretty much any creature who's name starts with X.

I totally agree on the Medusa/Gorgon, really puts me off every time.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rub-Eta wrote:
Svartalfar - It pretty much means "Drow".

That one's straight out of norse mythology though, it literally means "black elves". I've been calling Drow "myrkálfar" (murky elves) in home campaigns for a decade (TBH I never liked the sound of "Drow" however you pronounce it.)


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I just thought of a weird dungeon idea. So you have 6 doors behind one of them is a land shark. You and one other keep choosing doors til one of you are eaten by the bullete.

Liberty's Edge

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Wikipedia wrote:

Etymology

Its name is derived from the Middle English word "bugge" (a frightening thing), or perhaps the old Welsh word bwg (evil spirit or goblin), or old Scots bogill (goblin), and has cognates in German bögge or böggel-mann (goblin), and most probably also English "bogeyman" and American English "bugaboo".

In medieval England, the Bugbear was depicted as a creepy bear that lurked in the woods to scare children. It was described in this manner in an English translation of a 1565 Italian play The Buggbear.

I am always annoyed by Paizo's calling a winged horse a Pegasus. Pegasus was the name of the winged horse ridden by Perseus. Using "Pegasi" as the plural annoys me even more. Even if there were more than one winged horse, Pegasus is a Greek word, and the "-us singular/ -i plural" construction is Latin. Saying that the plural of Pegasus is Pegasi is like saying the plural of Zeus is Zei.

While I'm ranting, it's is a contraction of it is; its is a possessive pronoun.


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Theconiel wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:

Etymology

Its name is derived from the Middle English word "bugge" (a frightening thing), or perhaps the old Welsh word bwg (evil spirit or goblin), or old Scots bogill (goblin), and has cognates in German bögge or böggel-mann (goblin), and most probably also English "bogeyman" and American English "bugaboo".

In medieval England, the Bugbear was depicted as a creepy bear that lurked in the woods to scare children. It was described in this manner in an English translation of a 1565 Italian play The Buggbear.

I am always annoyed by Paizo's calling a winged horse a Pegasus. Pegasus was the name of the winged horse ridden by Perseus. Using "Pegasi" as the plural annoys me even more. Even if there were more than one winged horse, Pegasus is a Greek word, and the "-us singular/ -i plural" construction is Latin. Saying that the plural of Pegasus is Pegasi is like saying the plural of Zeus is Zei.

While I'm ranting, it's is a contraction of it is; its is a possessive pronoun.

Their, There, They're *pat pat* it will be OK.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I like devas, but it's terribly confusing having both "monadic devas" and "movanic devas".


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Voss wrote:
Blymurkla wrote:
Oread. How do you pronounce that? I'm not overtly great at english and it has always confused me. I suppose that since they're earth elemental-descendants their name could be formed from the word 'ore', which would give a pronunciations like or-aad or or-add. But, in my eyes, it could also be oh-reed or oh-red.

It's Greek. Or Greek-derived Latin, depending on who you ask.

With my own indifference to other languages pronunciation rules (because English's lack of consistency makes it a horrible first language with lots of bad habits) I've always gone for O-re-ad, though the first two syllables tend to blur together. Like Oreo, but with ad rather than o at the end.

Narquelion wrote:
Blymurkla wrote:
Oread. How do you pronounce that? I'm not overtly great at english and it has always confused me. I suppose that since they're earth elemental-descendants their name could be formed from the word 'ore', which would give a pronunciations like or-aad or or-add. But, in my eyes, it could also be oh-reed or oh-red.
/ˈɔːriˌæd/ or /ˈɔːri.əd/ .It's from ancient Greek.

Thanks! Always good to learn something new.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
Svartalfar - It pretty much means "Drow".
That one's straight out of norse mythology though, it literally means "black elves".

I know. But apparently they needed to make an obscure off-shoot race (that how many uses?). They may as well differentiate between "Dwarfs" and "Dwarves" at that point (and I would hate that equally).

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I've been calling Drow "myrkálfar" (murky elves) in home campaigns for a decade (TBH I never liked the sound of "Drow" however you pronounce it.)

I'm not a fan of just "Drow", I either say "Drow Elves" (Drau Eleves) or just "Svartalver", because that's what they are.

Scarab Sages

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"Drow" actually comes from Scottish Celtic mythology, apparently as influenced by Nordic.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just thought of a weird dungeon idea. So you have 6 doors behind one of them is a land shark. You and one other keep choosing doors til one of you are eaten by the bullete.

Suppose you had three doors. The GM tells you that behind one of them is a bulette. You pick a door. Before opening it, the GM opens one of the two doors you didn't pick, revealing an empty room. You now have two closed doors and one open, safe door.

The GM then tells you that you can either open the door you originally picked, or you can switch doors and open the other closed one.

Assuming you want to fight a bulette (hey, everybody needs XP), what should you do?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
quibblemuch wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just thought of a weird dungeon idea. So you have 6 doors behind one of them is a land shark. You and one other keep choosing doors til one of you are eaten by the bullete.

Suppose you had three doors. The GM tells you that behind one of them is a bulette. You pick a door. Before opening it, the GM opens one of the two doors you didn't pick, revealing an empty room. You now have two closed doors and one open, safe door.

The GM then tells you that you can either open the door you originally picked, or you can switch doors and open the other closed one.

Assuming you want to fight a bulette (hey, everybody needs XP), what should you do?

Just because the room looks empty means nothing. It could lie underneath! so you definitely have to go in the room and "chum the waters".


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Assuming you want to fight a bulette (hey, everybody needs XP), what should you do?
Just because the room looks empty means nothing. It could lie underneath! so you definitely have to go in the room and "chum the waters".

HA! Ah, gamer math... I always forget it's different than regular math :)

FUNDAMENTAL THEOREM OF DUNGEONEERING: There's no such thing as an empty room. There's only a failed Perception check.


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♫♫If ever I would eat you
It wouldn't be in summer.
Eating you in summer
I never would do.♫♫


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quibblemuch wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just thought of a weird dungeon idea. So you have 6 doors behind one of them is a land shark. You and one other keep choosing doors til one of you are eaten by the bullete.

Suppose you had three doors. The GM tells you that behind one of them is a bulette. You pick a door. Before opening it, the GM opens one of the two doors you didn't pick, revealing an empty room. You now have two closed doors and one open, safe door.

The GM then tells you that you can either open the door you originally picked, or you can switch doors and open the other closed one.

Assuming you want to fight a bulette (hey, everybody needs XP), what should you do?

In that case, you probably have a Monty Hall GM. ;)


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just thought of a weird dungeon idea. So you have 6 doors behind one of them is a land shark. You and one other keep choosing doors til one of you are eaten by the bullete.

Add a mechanism to spin the room each time and I think you're done.


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"Shaitan": I normally try not to care when mythological creatures are inaccurate. But I can't fathom the connection with stone. Just because you needed a 4-genie set? No, not accepting it.

Hobgoblin is also not great because it makes them sound like nice goblins for some reason.


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Sandal Fury wrote:

Bulette. This one's weird. Any normal person would say this is either pronounced boo-LET, or it sounds just like "bullet." But the official pronunciation back in 3.5 days was boo-LAY. I'm the kind of person who can't let a word go mispronounced, so I assure you I'm not exaggerating when I say that this makes me absolutely FURIOUS. THAT'S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.

Medusa and Gorgon. Medusas should be called gorgons, Medusa should be their queen/goddess, and Gorgons should not exist.

They should, except under different name...

Iron-Bull-That-Turns-Into-Stone... Ibttis?


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Muse. wrote:

Ifrit & Efreet.... I mean really?

This is almost as bad as Sauron and Saruman!

It's particularly annoying in those languages where Efreet is written and pronounced as ifrit (e.g. Polish).


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Rub-Eta wrote:

I don't particularly like that many creatures. But there are plenty of those obscure creatures in the bestiaries with stupid namse that makes me hate them:

Wikkawak - Seriously? It's a white-furred bugbear, why give it an extremely silly name?

Svartalfar - It pretty much means "Drow".

Pretty much any creature who's name starts with X.

I totally agree on the Medusa/Gorgon, really puts me off every time.

It's lovely to see comments where someone thinks words from other languages sound "stupid" or "silly". And by "lovely" I mean it kind of pisses me off.

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