Naming a character: why character names matter


Pathfinder Society

1 to 50 of 321 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

Hi,

I've seen lately some character names that well... need some work.

It's often one of the things that as players we do think of last in the creation process but I believe that the name you give the character matters.

I know PFS is never going to go the way of the names we see in mmo's. Im a Neverwinter player who is astounded at the lack of imagination people put into naming their characters (if any at all).

If you dont know what to name your character , use a name generator. I used the Baldur's Gate generator for years. Do a search in google, you will find a Plethora of generators not only tailored for race but also class.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

7 people marked this as a favorite.

behindthename.com is my go-to site - you can plug in a "meaning" you want there to be in the name, and it'll search for you, or you can search by language, by mythology, etc.

I agree that there are many names out there that are just...eh...let's say, painful to the ear for a fantasy setting...

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

No Bobs at my table!!!
;)


I have a Why-Knee Face.

Silver Crusade

I'm using a pseudonym.

Sczarni

6 people marked this as a favorite.

PATHFINDERS HAVE MANY NAMES, ALL TASTE THE SAME.

LIKE CHICKEN.

Andrei Buters wrote:
No Bobs at my table!!!

OK IF BOB EATS YOUR TABLE?

Liberty's Edge

Anagrams are a good way to go. Well, in someone else's case anyway.

Liberty's Edge

I dont mind Pseudonyms or Anagrams. Just keep them Fantasy based if you need to use one.

Naming a character after particular band/actor/bandmember/toilet freshner is just not cool.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Pittard wrote:

It's often one of the things that as players we do think of last in the creation process but I believe that the name you give the character matters.

Well, it matters to you. Heck, it matters to me, at least most of the time. But, some players enjoy joke/pun names, and others don't see their characters as much more than a set of statistics; different RPG players roll differently.

Yes, Bob the Ranger or Elvish Presley the Bard break the verisimilitude, but not everyone feels the same (or cares)...and, in a OP environment, you can't always pick who you play with. Unfortunately, I think this is an area where you're just going to have to grit your teeth and bear it.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have definitely seen some names lately that have been less than inspiring. Some of my character names just come to me. A few I get from behind-the-name. My favorites I've mostly mashed together from taking syllables from the names of whoever/whatever inspired the character, mashing them together, and then changing letters until something works. The ones I've liked best from that method have been Raylos Chattra, Durnolf Banderswel, and Anrissana.


Most of my characters have names that are puns or references in other languages. This is mostly because I don't get naming conventions for the fantasy races and playing around with foreign languages makes it come off as...I dunno, exotic I guess, while still actually meaning something to me, anyway.

Never really cared much for name generators or minded if people made joke names, but to each his own.

Silver Crusade

13 people marked this as a favorite.

I will freely admit that if I ever play a Mwangi druid with a velociraptor companion, I'm naming the companion "Clever Girl" in Swahili.

But that's honestly as cheeky as I'd ever get with names. Prefer immersion.


I think my monk The Grabbler would disagree

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Sometimes "clever" names are entirely reasonable. A nickname that the character has picked up. I have an Alchemist named Dorian Warden, but he goes by Pyro most of the time.... There's a player I know who has a character Ehryk Efehrc, but he has the nickname "Door's Bane" (a nickname I've seen in action).

By and large, the names I've seen in PFS have mostly been decent, including FtF games, what I saw at PaizoCon, and PbP games. (There is one actor name I've seen, although it was an unusual enough name that it actually sorta worked. I didn't realize until I saw the last name that it was an actor's name.)

Shadow Lodge

I name all my characters Keht... Keht the sorcerer, keht the monk, keht the necromancer and so on.

That said I have an exhaustive back story on why they are all called Keht.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

You can't pick your coworkers names
Or their noses.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

*sighs* Some of the people at PaizoCon...

Of course, my brother and his friends were little better.

Liberty's Edge

I like to figure out at least a semi-clever name if I can. Based on a comic book character, a word that is somehow central to the character concept, or maybe an obscure reference that fits their theme. eg. My Shoanti barbarian, Thaghoum Izar, fights with an earthbreaker-a weapon that reminds me a lot of a stegosaur's tail spikes.
Half-orcs, however, always have "grim" a part of there name in honor of Gazgrim, my first 3.0 half-orc barbarian. If it doesn't have "grim" in it, it's just not an orcish name.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

But wait, I have a fighter named Bruce. I'm quite happy with it. Of course I also have an gnomish oracle named Ollydentericrickhabbelcutter but humans can call him Olly and an aasimar named Chair. I think that it is possible to over-think this situation.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Todd Lower wrote:
and an aasimar named Chair

I demand you name your next character Table.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

I GMed for an Azaroth and one I.P. Freely at PaizoCon. -_-

Liberty's Edge

I apologize for this thread. I think it was just me typing what I was thinking for a few split seconds. Its not different than hiding Dennel Hamshanks in a scenario and watching 3-4 peoples heads jerk upright as they ask you to repeat that last part of the guys name just to make sure you arnt making things up.

I do however dislike the pun name, the no place in a fantasy game name.

However I will contain my rage...

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Xuttah wrote:

I like to figure out at least a semi-clever name if I can. Based on a comic book character, a word that is somehow central to the character concept, or maybe an obscure reference that fits their theme. eg. My Shoanti barbarian, Thaghoum Izar, fights with an earthbreaker-a weapon that reminds me a lot of a stegosaur's tail spikes.

Half-orcs, however, always have "grim" a part of there name in honor of Gazgrim, my first 3.0 half-orc barbarian. If it doesn't have "grim" in it, it's just not an orcish name.

Thagamzier started as a farside joke, but its now the official name for the stegasaurus's tail...

Sovereign Court

SCPRedMage wrote:
Todd Lower wrote:
and an aasimar named Chair
I demand you name your next character Table.

Too late. I already have a character named tavolo.


I have a Cleric of Love named Drakaar Nawaar. While everyone seems to get where the name came from, he quickly just becomes Drakaar at the table. Most of my other characters are corruptions of names from mythology, literature, or history.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I do the whole "check which Earth-expy Golarion culture the character is based on and conjure a name based on that" thing with most of the my stooges, e.g. Vasco Cantige the taldan sailor(yes, he sings sometimes), Ekewadu Oditobe a-Namtambu the Zenji magister, etc.

Sometimes though, verisimillitude has to end and references take the stage. For instance, I have a dwarf oracle named Freki "Captain" Ironblood who may or may not be based on a Dwarf Fortress AAR. It's a Finnish thing I guess, since there's like five of those around these parts.

Then there's a smattering of acrobats, scoundrels and ninjas here. all of them referencing Assassin's Creed either with their names(Azio Fiatore, Deska Pasmond, etc) or their reminiscent abilities. Finns are weird.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I need a name for a PC who may or may not (haven't decided yet) be the sister of my Tien Eldritch Knight, Jiao-long. Hm...

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I knew a guy whose name was Jim. So each of his characters was also named Jim. To separate them, their last name was their class. So there was "Jim Magus" and "Jim Paladin" and "Jim Fighter." It was ...

... yeah.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:


Thagamzier started as a farside joke, but its now the official name for the stegasaurus's tail...

Yep, I know. :) The character is Thaggum for short.

The Exchange 5/5

I have a friend named Bard... really. So when you say "hay Bard" at the table and the Fighter answers...

The Exchange 5/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing that has always bothered me about names in fictional settings... why don't we have two people with the same first name?

I've worked in an office with 3 people named John. Out of 5 people.

And please-please-please pick a name I can say... one that is easy for me to read and remember.

if your PCs name is 15 characters long and has more X's and Q's then vowels... please try to understand when I call you "Bob".

I have heard that the most common first name in the world is

guess?:
mohammad

and the most common last name?

guess?:
Lee.

question...:
How many people named Mohammad Lee are there?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@nosig:
That would be why I selected "Thomas" as my pseudonym - easy for Inner Sea natives to pronounce. That, and selecting a pseudonym typical of my birthplace would risk defeating the purpose of having one in the first place. So "Thomas" it is!

The Exchange 5/5

Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:

@nosig:

That would be why I selected "Thomas" as my pseudonym - easy for Inner Sea natives to pronounce. That, and selecting a pseudonym typical of my birthplace would risk defeating the purpose of having one in the first place. So "Thomas" it is!

and, for me, it makes your character name memorable. I remember it now. If someone asked me about him - I could say a few things about a Cleric of Iomedae (sp?), who is often mistaken as a paladin by other Pathfinders...

Shadow Lodge 4/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't care what you name your character.

I don't care if you RP or not.

I only care that you are mentally present and engaged in the game we are playing.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

nosig wrote:
One thing that has always bothered me about names in fictional settings... why don't we have two people with the same first name?

There's an NPC named Kyra in one of the sanctioned modules. It amused me, for some reason.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I try to keep things fantasy-sounding, but I also keep to a chemistry theme in naming my characters:

-Butyl Ithyomsson, cleric of Torag
-Friedel Crafts, and her mighty steed Aryl
-Aziridine, the archer
-San Xiao Ji Jia Ben (which theoretically translates to "trinitrotoluene"), my bombing alchemist

and so on.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

6 people marked this as a favorite.

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

Dunno if this is what she was going for, but:

Spoiler:
My brain just wants to remove the "-rga" to make it Metroid.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

There are a few of us that remain.

..Exit stage left!!!

:-D

The Exchange 5/5

Eric Brittain wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

There are a few of us that remain.

..Exit stage left!!!

:-D

yeah... it would be like nameing a Heavens Oracle Betsy....

'heavens to Betsy' Snagglepuss

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

You're despicable.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

nosig wrote:
Eric Brittain wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

There are a few of us that remain.

..Exit stage left!!!

:-D

yeah... it would be like nameing a Heavens Oracle Betsy....

'heavens to Betsy' Snagglepuss

Heavens to Mergatroid

The pink cat from the Laugholympics. He was a commentator where all the competing cartoon company's teams of cartoon characters went on a cross country road rally against one another. Mainly Hanna Barbara and Warner Brothers.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have a wizard with an owl familiar name Whom. :-)

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

I recommend a book called the Story Games Names Project. Lots of good names sorted by cultures, and in blocks of 20 for a certain type of die.


Mike Mistele wrote:
Matthew Pittard wrote:

It's often one of the things that as players we do think of last in the creation process but I believe that the name you give the character matters.

Well, it matters to you. Heck, it matters to me, at least most of the time. But, some players enjoy joke/pun names, and others don't see their characters as much more than a set of statistics; different RPG players roll differently.

Yes, Bob the Ranger or Elvish Presley the Bard break the verisimilitude, but not everyone feels the same (or cares)...and, in a OP environment, you can't always pick who you play with. Unfortunately, I think this is an area where you're just going to have to grit your teeth and bear it.

Didn't one of the main books (or perhaps it was a 3.5 book) specifically say not to use these type names?

Sovereign Court

Andrew Christian wrote:
nosig wrote:
Eric Brittain wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

There are a few of us that remain.

..Exit stage left!!!

:-D

yeah... it would be like nameing a Heavens Oracle Betsy....

'heavens to Betsy' Snagglepuss

Heavens to Mergatroid

The pink cat from the Laugholympics. He was a commentator where all the competing cartoon company's teams of cartoon characters went on a cross country road rally against one another. Mainly Hanna Barbara and Warner Brothers.

Definitely Hanna Barbara, but I think older than that. I think the Laugholympics used cut pieces from older, longer cartoons. (at least I think so).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I've only played two paladins, but they were definitely the most fun to name. 'Kezemiah Burnham Graveglory' and 'Sir Enoch Branwyn Taargus'. All bombast, all the time!

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Todd Lower wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
nosig wrote:
Eric Brittain wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

My wife's Heaven Oracle is named Merga Troid.

Any old timers get it?

There are a few of us that remain.

..Exit stage left!!!

:-D

yeah... it would be like nameing a Heavens Oracle Betsy....

'heavens to Betsy' Snagglepuss

Heavens to Mergatroid

The pink cat from the Laugholympics. He was a commentator where all the competing cartoon company's teams of cartoon characters went on a cross country road rally against one another. Mainly Hanna Barbara and Warner Brothers.

Definitely Hanna Barbara, but I think older than that. I think the Laugholympics used cut pieces from older, longer cartoons. (at least I think so).

Apparently it was called Laff-A-Lympics and it was all Hanna Barbara. Divided into the Scooby Doobies, Yogi Yahooeys, and the Really Rottens.

I just remember when Captain Caveman was one of the contestants.

Grape Ape, a shark, and the dune buggy were all characters.

Liberty's Edge

Eric Brittain wrote:


..Exit stage left!!!

:-D

Stage right, even!

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

12 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm thinking about a rakasha tiefling named kooshka. Has to be female though.

Spoiler:
I had a friend who's son was telling me he made a bard with the catch off guard feat and would use summon instrument to make improvised weapons, like guitars, and beat people with them.

"So you made El Kabong."
"Who?"
"Quickdraw McGraw's alter-ego?"
"Who?"

Gods I'm old.

1 to 50 of 321 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Naming a character: why character names matter All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.