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Re: (TFT) Names
I think the worst I ever did for naming a character was when I told the DM I
was going to play a "serious gnome".
he asked, "What's his name?"
me: "Jedediah Bumblebutt."
me: "His mule is named Amaryllis and he spits tobacco to try and blind his
The character didn't live long for some strange reason. :)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 12:33 PM
Subject: RE: (TFT) Names
> I find names in Role-Playing Games to be very interesting, especially when
the players and Game Master are doing something interesting (or at least
funny) with them. They can be commentary on what happens in the game or in
the game world. In the game worlds we ran, even from early on, the race and
nationality tended to have an effect on the character names. As we noticed
and got more interested in what people (and places) were called, we also
noticed and indulged in some humor about it.
> One country would lengthen one-word names based on social status,
generally repeating the last syllable, so in the tradition of one small
coastal nation, Dov the child became Dovov the young man, later Dovovov the
warrior, who might become Dovovovov the stately gentleman. That was done for
cultural interest but also to tease the players.
> We too had cases where names were risk factors for horrible violence, or
for character interpretation. Especially for minor non-player characters who
didn't have much else detailed about their personality other than the ring
of their name, although sometimes this could be deceiving. One player still
reminds me of the brilliance of having one of the minor hired help named
Brint Grint, join the party with sinister motives. Who would suspect danger
from someone with such a name?
> At one stage, a player became interested in Non-Player Character names and
started asking me (the game master) what everyone's name was, including
mundane incidental merchants. My mental random name generator began to break
down, so when I would try to generate a name on the spot, "Bob" would often
come out of my mouth. Eventually, it occurred:
> Player: "What's the wagon merchant's name?"
> Me: "Bob."
> Player: "No! His name is NOT Bob!"
> I think it's particularly funny for people because identity and names are
so closely linked. Imagine if you had to live life with a name that seems
strange, hilarious, farcical, or whatever. "Oh... I _AM_ Peeblebreen
Quorhoon!" Also, who people think they are really does shape their
personality, more than we literally think about - we embody who we think we
are, and I've never even thought about what it might mean to be a
Peeblebreen until just now when I invented the name.
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