Do Humans have True Names?


Rules Questions


Or anything like that? I know outsiders do, but what about mortals? Or for that matter I guess Native Outsiders...


I think they did in 3.5's Tome of Magic, if that's where you're asking from. Haven't come across True Names in PF.


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Quote:
Many spellcasters believe that a true name is inscribed on the essence of every creature, a secret word that describes it so perfectly and utterly that to speak the name is to define the being. For mortals, this name is buried in the soul, hidden away from prying and dangerous eyes. Outsiders' true names take the form of sigils carved upon their very essence.

It appears they do, there just aren't any rules for it.


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Ah, OK, just making sure.

I had to face down a Horned Devil earlier today (as a level 6 sorceror), and it told me it would let me leave if I told it my true name, so I did. I'm wondering what's going to come of this...

(I accidentally disturbed it by dropping a pebble into a pit to see how deep it went... the answer was apparently "Into hell or damn near it." And I stuck around to see what was coming out... But I got out of it alive at least!)

But yeah since it came up it occurred to me to wonder whether, like, Assimar have true names, and if possibly the "True Name" wizard discovery could find the true name of some 20th-level Aasimar Oracle or something.


Interesting. The next question is how do you know your own True Name?


The DM said I did, so either that or I guess I could have allowed it to find it by scanning me?


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that was a bad move, before you know it its gonna be identity theft central. that demon is gonna sell your name to all his dodgy demon buddies, and they are gonna be making fraudulent credit card charges, opening up library cards and joining rewards programs in your name all over the world.

Dark Archive

Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Interesting. The next question is how do you know your own True Name?

I'd say unless you're playing in a campaign in which true name are relevant and a prominent feature of the story, you just don't know your own, or the names of others. Provided you are mortal. Outsiders probably all know their own true names, including native outsiders, but strive to keep them concealed.


Only if one assumes that true name is separate from the first name.


st00ji wrote:
that was a bad move, before you know it its gonna be identity theft central. that demon is gonna sell your name to all his dodgy demon buddies, and they are gonna be making fraudulent credit card charges, opening up library cards and joining rewards programs in your name all over the world.

Well, I'd say that still beats the alternative of dying messily on the spot - no way I could survive more than two or three hits and it could easily outrun me.


Hmm, I would say Outsider(Native) would classify as a mortal...

I would say Outsiders would know theirs but I would say a Outsider could find/force a Mortal's Soul to reveal the mortal's True Name.

Dark Archive

Azaelas Fayth wrote:

Hmm, I would say Outsider(Native) would classify as a mortal...

I would say Outsiders would know theirs but I would say a Outsider could find/force a Mortal's Soul to reveal the mortal's True Name.

A native outsider could be either, as they are both mortal and outsiders.

If we take the phrase "buried in the soul, hidden away from prying and dangerous eyes" to mean unknowable by anyone or anything. The only exception I would think of would be a specific mortal's patron deity, or if a mortal had died and gone on to whatever. After death I would think a mortal's true name would be less hidden.

Of course, you'd have to wonder what effect knowing a mortal's true name would have. There are rules for knowing an outsider's true name, but not for anything else (that I know of).


Drejk wrote:
Only if one assumes that true name is separate from the first name.

No need to assume (unless you think your first name is secret and buried in your soul).


I would say knowing a Mortal's True Name would simply let you cast a spell to make them a Slave to the Caster.

Dark Archive

If True Names are used as a campaign feature, I'd say knowing a target's true name grants your spell a +2 name bonus to the spell's DC.

I'm just looking at this from a player's perspective. Would I want to play at all if it seemed like half the villains all knew my true name, or if the one big bad who did kept showing up, and perpetually made me their slave? In such a case, having your true name known would be the equivalent to being dead in a way that makes you un-raisable.


EDIT: Ninja'd by Dust Raven! The below was actually in response to to Azaelas Fayth. Actually, let me just go ahead and quote him properly.

Azaelus Fayth wrote:
I would say knowing a Mortal's True Name would simply let you cast a spell to make them a Slave to the Caster.

That's more or less exactly how Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark handled it (although that came out before Tome of Magic).

EDIT: I suppose, more technically, it allowed you to give them a single, unbreakable command or alteration that they forever after followed as if you were their own choice (-ish). But you could basically make them your slave forever.


You may want to check out the book of exalted deeds there are rules there about true names

Shadow Lodge

The Golux wrote:
st00ji wrote:
that was a bad move, before you know it its gonna be identity theft central. that demon is gonna sell your name to all his dodgy demon buddies, and they are gonna be making fraudulent credit card charges, opening up library cards and joining rewards programs in your name all over the world.
Well, I'd say that still beats the alternative of dying messily on the spot - no way I could survive more than two or three hits and it could easily outrun me.

Maybe, but you've certainly given this Horned Devil some serious power over you, and devils are known for being able to engineer fates worse than simple death...


I was thinking a Year long ritual kinda thing...

But a name/circumstance bonus or a Geas/Quest effect would work better and already covered in the rules.


Maybe it works like in the Dresden Files.

Your True Name is your given name. All of it (first, middle, last), said in the exact same way with the exact same inflections you say it with. And the only way someone can use it against you is if you tell them your name of your own volition.

Ex: Every Tomogassarus, Dickartuth, and Harryusthra knows his name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, but it doesn't matter a lick unless he tells a denizen exactly what his name is exactly how he would naturally say it.


I was down at the pandimensional security bureau the other day and the amount of paperwork you have to fill out to get your truename changed is ludicrous... and the lines... gods the lines!


If they had more than one Vogon working the booths the line would move a lot faster.

Dark Archive

tennengar wrote:
If they had more than one Vogon working the booths the line would move a lot faster.

That's only because they'd all just be told to stand in line again.


A human's true name is inscribed on its soul and can't be known until death.

I forget where I read this but that's essentially how it works for non-outsiders as outsiders don't really have a soul like humans but are some odd concoction of a direct manifestation of the soul rather than a soul in a suit for non-outsiders, basically.


The Golux wrote:

I had to face down a Horned Devil earlier today (as a level 6 sorceror), and it told me it would let me leave if I told it my true name, so I did. I'm wondering what's going to come of this...

(I accidentally disturbed it by dropping a pebble into a pit to see how deep it went... the answer was apparently "Into hell or damn near it." And I stuck around to see what was coming out... But I got out of it alive at least!)

You're doomed...

The worst that could have happened by not giving the devil your true name is that the devil would have killed you. Instead, you gave it power over your very soul. What's a mortal lifetime compared to spending the rest of eternity in slavery and torment?

Death... you should be so lucky...


Well that was creepy. But in seriousness, my character realizes that he is in A BAD SITUATION (tm) and is planning to consult with whatever clerics he can get a hang of about how to deal with it, in addition to planning ways to possibly get out of it, get the better of the devil, and/or hopefully kill it once/if he gets to a high enough level.


Are you a Solo or part of a Party?


One of the real tricks about this whole thing is the fact that the devil could have given your name to another devil, or even created a contingent contract of some sort that, if it were destroyed, let's your name be known throughout the multiverse.

If you ever get powerful enough, my recommendation is to planar bind the thing, force it to surrender its own true name (as well as any power it might ever gain over you with yours), and work at redeeming it (a helm of opposite alignment should fit the bill nicely).

Here's the thing: you're in a Tight Spot (tm), as you, yourself know.

The most valuable thing you can have, now, is information. My guess is the GM is using this (or has plans to, maybe even "just in case") as a potent story hook for compelling your character to adventure.

Anything else about your build that we should know? You're a 6th level sorcerer... you wouldn't happen to be a half-elf would you? I know a great party trick if you are. It could help out immensely later.


Part of a party, though who shows up each session varies slightly. I'm human (party ha enough half-elves and elves) so no paragon surge cheese, though the DM also is pretty forgiving of stuff as long as you don't try anything super-cheesy so I probably wouldn't anyway. Not exactly an optimized build since we rolled stats, though I came up 25-point equivalent due to luck. Sounds like some good ideas you have there, though, and as a story hook I'm interested to see where he goes with it.


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The Golux wrote:
... as a story hook I'm interested to see where he goes with it.

I would be as well.


It's not exactly cheese, I don't think. You're expending spell slots in order to gain additional spells for a short while. It simply makes the a slightly less-versatile but closer-to-wizard-equivalent with a slight benefit of being able to "prepare" on the fly (as a standard action).

It's extremely useful, but less game breaking than many other things.

EDIT: Also, yes, please keep us updated! I'm curious...

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