How to make a man wow name roleplaying games
Give me a name Naming of RPG characters
It's done: the freshly created character lies in front of you, dotted black and white, you have found a coherent background that is not too normal and not too crazy - you can actually start then, right? Well, almost, now you "only" need a name for the newly hatched, potential world saver ...
Now some of them will yawn and say: “Mei, don't make such a fuss about the name, they're all called Hans Wurst anyway” - I personally see it a little differently. After all, you have to live with the character's name for a long time (either until the round is over or until the character drops - both of which can take a long time if you don't act completely stupid ..). So I don't find it surprising when some players spend more than 10 minutes trying to find a name.
Everyone has their own way of finding a good name. Of course, it depends on the setting. If it is played in the real world, you can of course use the names that we also know today. Sure, if it takes place in the past, you should see what names were in use at the time. If you choose a character who comes from an important family, it can't hurt to find out which families had rank and name at the time. If you play sci-fi, a look at the rules (or the player's manual) often helps, there you can often find a few hints in the part about character creation or you can also use today's names. In my experience, the names sound a bit more exotic in sci-fi settings.
If it is a setting that has nothing to do with our real world, the first thing to do here is to take a look at the rules and regulations, name suggestions often already exist or you can see from the listed NPCs in which direction the names are moving. When I create a character for such a setting, I am always quite free, i.e. I try to think of a first name myself and then look at the last names to see which are the most common.
If there is a fixed grid for names of a certain class / race (similar to the "... son / daughter of ..." of the Arabs) then you should stick to it, after all, it gives the character additional identity and it seems far more believable when the proud warriors from the desert "Faruk, son of Nehazad" is called as "Hans Böckler" :)
Even if nowadays (and probably in the future too) everyone can be called whatever they want, I always try to find names that are as clear as possible. If my character is German / English / French, she will also be given a name that matches her nationality. Sure, you can also look at the French half-Japanese whose parents originally come from London and then call them Michelle-Natzumi Smith - but that only causes confusion and questions among the players and should (if you choose this path anyway) in the background be justified.
I also try to find a name that fits the role of the character, so for a fighter a rather “aggressive” name, for a mediator something “soft”. If the character has other characteristics that can be supported by name, I try to do it justice somehow. An example: my pilot and ex-legionnaire in Trintiy is called Jade Archer. In my opinion, the name is sufficiently short and straightforward, so it's easy to remember. The last name Archer fits in well with her job description, I chose Jade because this character has green eyes. This is of course total nonsense, because her parents could not know what she would later do for a living, nor did they know that she would have green eyes one day, but that is an open question :) What I want to clarify: a name that plays the role / reflects and supports the behavior of the character, makes it easier for you to breathe life into your character. Or would you confide in a doctor named Derek Butcher? Not me.
So you see, you can worry a lot about little things like character names. If you need a little help with finding a name, such a name generator might be of help: at www.schreibwerkstatt.de there is a list of different generators, just try it out. On the role-playing blog Edalon I found two lists of names, one with fantasy names, one with German names from the 20s (both as PDF), maybe there is something there. If you are looking for a Japanese or Italian name, the table on www.shadowhaven.de could be useful. And if you like it more down-to-earth, just take a look at www.beliebte-vornamen.de.
How do you choose the names of your characters? Do you have a lot of thoughts or are you basically indifferent? Do you have other sites on the internet where you can get your ideas?
Article image: Stockart © Fotolia
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