D&D 5E Do you love Awesome Names?

Do you love awesome names?

  • Awesome names are awesome.

    Votes: 50 56.2%
  • D&D is serious.

    Votes: 18 20.2%
  • You lost me at Fonkin Hoddyspeak.

    Votes: 12 13.5%
  • I would never vote in a poll that would allow me to vote in it.

    Votes: 9 10.1%


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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Given the vast panoply of names in the real world, it just seems a bit stuffy to me to waste energy on getting worked up by someone else's PC names, especially those like the aforementioned "Bob". I mean, I've met Bobs whose name were "Bob," not abbreviated "Roberts."

Even "Fighty McFightface"- which, for the record, I don't care for- might be legit somewhere in the world, linguistically speaking. I mean, my given RW name is derived from words with actual meanings and cultural references. If I were to translate it all into English, my driver's license could legitimately read "Little Holy Elf-King".

No, I'm not going to make a PC by that name.
 


Corwin

Explorer
I love awesome names!

My current character is Makhanen Flowerbrow Vigo-Thundraki, goliath EK. Goliaths traditionally have long names. But his companions just call him Big Mak.

The character before that was a drow bard. I went impossible to pronounce and with an overabundance of apostrophes. Because that's how I like my drowish, don't judge! Anyway, his name was Z'aknef'ru'el Ilyx'vursh'an'myr (pronounced Zack-neff-roo-el Ill-icks-versh-an-meer). My DM hates me.

But my favorite 5e character has to be my half-elf (raised by high elves) assassin named Leth'ael. But that's a different campaign with a different DM.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
For that I am glad. I'm glad you had fun. Hell, I wouldn't have given you too much flak for it, though I would have raised an eyebrow. ;)
Side note: Kalvin's player has gone on to a reasonable career in the industry: he now co-owns Moon Design/Chaosium/Runequest/whatever-it-is-this-week. :)

There's where you're coming a cropper, mate. It's not about "taking it seriously." It's about not being a wankpuppet. If you look around the table at characters with appropriate names and deliberately trot out "Sir Kalvin of Hobbes," you're just being a jerk.
OK. let's look at what else was in the party when dear old Kalvin showed up: (note I allowed players to run two characters at a time...still do, for all that; also note the party had just gone through some massive turnover due to deaths, retirements, and player changes; only 4 characters held over from the previous adventure)

Dwalin the Steadfast - Dwarf Fighter/WarCleric, senior surviving member of the party
Judah MacAbee - Dwarf Assassin, named - I think - after a comic book character
Tabatha Greenbuck - Hobbit NatureCleric (Druid), party NPC healer-type, was originally Dwalin's hench
Thorn - Dryad WarCleric/MagicUser - same player as Kalvin (oddball character that had just joined before the previous adventure)
Jack Napier - Elf MagicUser - same player as Judah and same source for name I think (just joined now)
Lorithen of Ravenwood - PartElf Ranger/Illusionist (dead, revived just before Kalvin's first appearance)
Moth - Elf Fighter/Assassin, sent by Judah's guild to spy on him, same player as Lorithen (just joined now)
Steng, Pira and Boregod - all NPC warrior types just now recruited by the party as a front line. I played Boregod as a joke; Steng and Pira were more serious
and last but not least, the module I was running (WG4 Forgottem Temple of Tharizdun) gives the party an NPC with a pun name who they'd met just before Kalvin was found.

And then in comes Kalvin. Sir Kalvin of Hobbes, found chained to a wall deep inside the dungeon.

Depends. If you're* so self-centered you impose your humor** on people who don't really want it, if the only person amused is you, then yeah, you're a wankpuppet. That's what I'm talking about.
Well, one of the tests I'm going to do if-when joining a new group is to try a bit of humour...the results will go a long way to determining whether I come back, for in my eyes a game without humour is a game without life. If that makes me a wankpuppet, well...can't help you there.

As difficult as it might be to believe, I don't have a problem with any of those. Those are at least suitably "fantasy," even Elena, which is somewhat exotic. It's not Sir Kalvin of Hobbes, or Fighty McFightface, or Bob the Cleric.
Elena = ELENA = Elf Lawful Evil Necromancer Assassin. She came in as a Thief/Magic-User (thus hiding both her real classes); when she was recruited and someone asked what she was all about her answer went something like "It's all in my name, mate" - took 'em ages and a few "Charm" spells to figure it out. :)

Somewhat amazingly, now I think of it, I've never had or seen a character named Bob. Haven't had a Fighty either, though close: Fightsky went by early in my current campaign.

And yes, my tolerance for names does have a limit, somewhere way out there. A character played in another game had the dubious moniker of "Mr. Giggles", which goes beyond even what I'll put up with.

Let me put it like this. For me, if it's my regular Wednesday AL game (like I'm off to in a matter of minutes)
Have a good game, eh!
who cares? Nobody at that table is invested in Storm King's Thunder. We're scalpin' Nazis, not creating a collaborative story. Hell, nobody really roleplays; it's an exercise in killin' giants, more of a wargame than an RPG. So names don't matter even one little bit. If you want to try to be funny, have at it.
That sounds like the type of game I tend to run, play in, and enjoy.

My home table is different. There, we're engaged in collaborative storytelling.
Which is already much more serious than anything I've ever run, or am ever likely to.

Side observation: you've managed to do in reverse what's always been my perception of how home games (fun) and AL games (serious) relate to each other. Neat trick! :)

It's just plain rude to insert Fighty McFightface into an exercise where everyone else is committed to the story. It shows you care more about your cheap joke than anyone else at the table. I don't think that kind of behavior is defensible. It's not about BadWrongFun, either, in terms of the game; it's about being able to interact with other human beings with sensitivity, i.e., not being a selfish wankpuppet.
Put another...perhaps kinder...way, it's about being the right player for the right game.

Lan-"my only regret about the name 'Sir Kalvin of Hobbes' is that I didn't think of it first"-efan
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The character before that was a drow bard. I went impossible to pronounce and with an overabundance of apostrophes. Because that's how I like my drowish, don't judge! Anyway, his name was Z'aknef'ru'el Ilyx'vursh'an'myr (pronounced Zack-neff-roo-el Ill-icks-versh-an-meer). My DM hates me.
Can't say I blame him! :) I'd hate to have to write that all out every time your name came up in the game log; "Zack" it would very quickly become. :) Still, great name.

That said, as DM I like to know both the full name and what you're going to go by. The full name gets logged (as long as it's not a state secret), the go-by name gets used. And if a nickname crops up, so be it; referring back to some posts here where people get offended if their character's full and correct name isn't used every time - do you really expect people to repeatedly wrap their tongues around that mess? :)

Lan-"and this name gets mispronounced every time anyone says it for the first time; I'm just used to it"-efan
 

R P Davis

Explorer
Side note: Kalvin's player has gone on to a reasonable career in the industry: he now co-owns Moon Design/Chaosium/Runequest/whatever-it-is-this-week. :)

That's brilliant. I'm jealous. :)

Judah MacAbee - Dwarf Assassin, named - I think - after a comic book character

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maccabees

Well, one of the tests I'm going to do if-when joining a new group is to try a bit of humour...the results will go a long way to determining whether I come back, for in my eyes a game without humour is a game without life. If that makes me a wankpuppet, well...can't help you there.

That depends entirely upon the group. If they want to go a direction you don't, and you insist on going your direction, well...the shoe might very well fit, should you insist they adapt to and accept your direction. Not that you would, but since we're dealing in hypotheticals. ;)

Elena = ELENA = Elf Lawful Evil Necromancer Assassin. She came in as a Thief/Magic-User (thus hiding both her real classes); when she was recruited and someone asked what she was all about her answer went something like "It's all in my name, mate" - took 'em ages and a few "Charm" spells to figure it out. :)

That I adore.

Somewhat amazingly, now I think of it, I've never had or seen a character named Bob. Haven't had a Fighty either, though close: Fightsky went by early in my current campaign.

I've encountered a Bob the Human. Oddly, his player turned into an excellent player. He was brand new, never rolled a Platonic solid before, never role-played before. He took about 30 minutes to grok what was going on, but stuck to the name and role-played the character as an amnesiac.

Never had Fighty McFightface. I just made that up based on the internet rage for that particular naming convention.

And yes, my tolerance for names does have a limit, somewhere way out there. A character played in another game had the dubious moniker of "Mr. Giggles", which goes beyond even what I'll put up with.

Thanks. You've just made that little tic over my left eye come back.

The closest I ever came was having a cavalier whose warhorse was a mare named "Buttercup."

Have a good game, eh! That sounds like the type of game I tend to run, play in, and enjoy.

It was a great deal of fun. We just flat-out attacked a couple of storm giants who weren't even doing anything. We were trying to commit suicide, because all of us are bored with our characters. Still didn't work. Dang it. I'm so SOFA KING sick of the cleric I'm playing. I want to try something new.

Which is already much more serious than anything I've ever run, or am ever likely to.

Horses for courses, me ol' china. :D I've been doing this long enough that I lose interest in the crunch almost instantly. Without the crunch, all that interests me is the story, setting up a scenario and reacting to how the players react.

Side observation: you've managed to do in reverse what's always been my perception of how home games (fun) and AL games (serious) relate to each other. Neat trick! :)

I've never been in an Encounters or AL group that's ever been anything other than a barrel of never-serious laffs. My home games for the last few years have been spun off AL groups, taking the people who want more in-depth exploration of characters and RP.

Put another...perhaps kinder...way, it's about being the right player for the right game.

Namby-pamby PC gone mad! TRUMP MURIKA HURR DURR

Seriously, though, thank you for putting it more kindly. ;)

Cheers,

Bob

www.r-p-davis.com
 

Corwin

Explorer
Can't say I blame him! :) I'd hate to have to write that all out every time your name came up in the game log; "Zack" it would very quickly become. :) Still, great name.

That said, as DM I like to know both the full name and what you're going to go by. The full name gets logged (as long as it's not a state secret), the go-by name gets used. And if a nickname crops up, so be it; referring back to some posts here where people get offended if their character's full and correct name isn't used every time - do you really expect people to repeatedly wrap their tongues around that mess? :)
Oh, totally agree. He was widely referred to as Zak. Both in character and OOC around the table. Of course, in character, I loved having him throw his full name around when meeting new NPCs or in formal situations. Just to have it roll off my tongue.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Never had Fighty McFightface.

(Edit)

The closest I ever came was having a cavalier whose warhorse was a mare named "Buttercup."

Closest I came was The Gnome Ranger*. He had 2 repeating crossbows with silver tipped bolts, and rode a Giant Space Hamster named Mithril.





* true name never revealed
 

Corwin

Explorer
Back in the 2e heyday, we loved playing Al Qadim. With its unique races outlook and exotic classes, we had all manner of crazy, cool characters. I remember playing an ogre textiles merchant for a while. Stuff like that. Well, one day I decided to bring in a new PC to the game. He was a plain ol' human fighter. Your basic desert nomad type. I ended up naming him Djinar Ik-Fatir.

Give it a second. It'll come to you...
 

Yardiff

Adventurer
It depends on the game being played. One persons awesome is another persons groan and head shake.

I just read a cool name that I'll probably use on my next character if I remember. Joe Kerr

In a traveler game I played a skilled pilot named Ford Harrison.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
I don't allow real world names, joke names, or names with superfluous apostrophes. This is one of the few hard and fast rules of my games and I will happily kill a PC with a bad name.

I run Forgotten Realms normally and I have a spreadsheet with a list of nearly 5,000 names by Ed Greenwood so my players have a list of suitable names to choose from. (It also does double duty as a source of NPC names.)
 


ehren37

Legend
Back in the 2e heyday, we loved playing Al Qadim. With its unique races outlook and exotic classes, we had all manner of crazy, cool characters. I remember playing an ogre textiles merchant for a while. Stuff like that. Well, one day I decided to bring in a new PC to the game. He was a plain ol' human fighter. Your basic desert nomad type. I ended up naming him Djinar Ik-Fatir.

Give it a second. It'll come to you...

Quite possibly the best D&D I ever ran was a 3E Al-Quadim campaign that heavily drew from romance anime tropes. The party was a boy band called the Djovial Djinns. It was a ridiculous cartoon of a campaign that several of us cried during, and also featured a session where the main goal was to sell the concept of toilet paper over wiping with your hand to the grand caliph
 

guachi

Adventurer
One thing I kind about Mystara/The Known World is that many of the nations are basically not-X analogs from Earth. So names of PCs and NPCs can be Earth names that are generally easier to remember, pronounce, and gives players a quick sense of an NPC just from his name.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I've encountered a Bob the Human. Oddly, his player turned into an excellent player. He was brand new, never rolled a Platonic solid before, never role-played before. He took about 30 minutes to grok what was going on, but stuck to the name and role-played the character as an amnesiac.
One of my favourites was a character (not mine) whose initial rolled-up stats were somewhat less than impressive...and thus was born Knottwoor.

Knottwoor Thmutch.

The closest I ever came was having a cavalier whose warhorse was a mare named "Buttercup."
Very first character in my current campaign was a Cavalier who called his horse White Lightning despite its being jet black in colour. (disclaimer: it's a generally accepted trope in our games that intelligence is the dump stat for Cavaliers and sometimes the horse is smarter. Sir Kalvin was a real standout in this regard as his starting intelligence was, I think, 10; the average of most other Cavaliers was about 7)

It was a great deal of fun. We just flat-out attacked a couple of storm giants who weren't even doing anything. We were trying to commit suicide, because all of us are bored with our characters. Still didn't work. Dang it.
There are few things in this unverse so resilient as an adventuring party. Worse than weeds, they are. :)

Another name story: a character in a game run by a friend (that I'm not in) is named Sodoff, as that was the first thing heard from the player on being asked "What's your name?" by the DM. :)

Lanefan
 

Jacob Marley

First Post
Say Aliens was a game session. Was the player of Hudson was being the jerk because he wasnt being serious enough?

How does the name Hudson not fit with Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, or Burke. Seems to me like Hudson's player understood the tone. Now, if you are referring to how Hudson was played, then you've exceeded the context of this thread - which was discussing awesome versus serious NAMES.

The tone of the game is a group effort by all the players. Moreover, tone is not some homogenous thing in the campaign world.

Indeed. Hence: If the game is serious, play serious; if the game is humorous, play humorous. This is a reference to names.

At the start of any campaign I have run there has been a discussion among the players and myself as to how we want the campaign to feel. Do we want beer and pretzels or Game of Thrones or whatever. As the game emerges there will absolutely be moments of levity in a serious campaign and moments of sadness in a humorous campaign. That's to be expected. The problem comes when you have one player who insists on making Fighty McFighterface when the rest of the group wants Game of Thrones. That person is being the jerk.

What kind of jerkwad decides to play a guy named "Fatty" Arbuckle! Didn't he know that the DM had a very serious campaign arc for his character? How are people supposed to buy into this trial adventure with a name like Fatty?!

The name "Fatty" was given to him by his classmates. My first post in this thread I said I am entirely fine with nicknames being given to characters, even humorous ones within an otherwise serious campaign.

Well, one of the tests I'm going to do if-when joining a new group is to try a bit of humour...the results will go a long way to determining whether I come back, for in my eyes a game without humour is a game without life. If that makes me a wankpuppet, well...can't help you there.

The group I play with frequently laughs and jokes throughout a campaign. And yet our PC names are serious. Do you come back?
 


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