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%

Waterbizkit

Explorer
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 have to ask: is this serious or just hyperbole? Like... you haven't actually killed a PC because you didn't like their name... right? Because, and I'm just spit-balling here, if you were that "offended" by the name it'd make more sense to say something rather than strike the character down. So yeah, hoping this is some sort of extreme exaggeration for emphasis.

I've gotta say, some of you guys really have a hard-on for this kinda thing more than I'd ever thought possible. Not criticizing to be clear, just having one of those "Huh... alright..." sort of moments.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

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

With respect: in the context of the post I made regarding the myriad on names out there, how would you know?

I mean, what about something like "Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo"?

Or if someone went Xhosa (or other S. African language) with its clicks to name their PC?
 

Lanefan

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

Which leads to a tangential but related topic: serious vs. humourous characterizations or personalities. Some characters I play are quite serious. Some are completely over the top. Would you allow both?

lowkey13 said:
Whät äböüt necessäry UMLAUTS?

If it's not METÄL, it's not D&D.
In a joke one-off we did a few years ago umlauts in the names for some reason became a thing. The winner, however, was the guy (not me) who simply named his character Umlaut and had done with it. :)

Lanefan
 


Jacob Marley

First Post
Quite likely.

Which leads to a tangential but related topic: serious vs. humourous characterizations or personalities. Some characters I play are quite serious. Some are completely over the top. Would you allow both?

Absolutely. I have no problem with serious or humorous portrayals, so long as you are playing well with the rest of the group. That's the key, play well with the group. Know where those lines are in how serious or humorous you can push it. That I'm cool with. My frustration is every time discussions arise on these boards about character names I get told to lighten up or, worse, accused of being some kind of a dictator who only cares about my world and story! (Amusing since I run a sandbox.) It's a group decision to have a game with a particular feel, and I think it's disrespectful to try and subvert that feel.
 

Jacob Marley

First Post
Or if someone went Xhosa (or other S. African language) with its clicks to name their PC?

I'd be impressed if one of my players dropped an exclamation point in their character's name and could explain to me the significance of it. That's cool. But it would need to be in line and make sense within the overall game we were playing.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I didn't go Xhosa, but one of the last 2Ed PCs I played (in the late 1990s) was a Ranger of an "African" culture. Osibisa was his name*. He was a shipwrecked explorer trying to find a way home.





* The way he was kitted out and roleplayed, he was more Zulu than anything else...but I liked the band from childhood, and the name popped into my head the instant I came up with the concept. So I didn't even look for Zulu names.
 
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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.)
Wait. You're opposed to superfluous diacritics and you run a campaign in Faerûn?
 

SwivSnapshot

First Post
My user name on most forums is Swiv or SwivSnapshot and is joke name I had for a PC in an online game- a gnomish assassin with a James Bond complex ("Swivel Snapshot"), so you can guess my thoughts on the topic.

I also play a wizard named Hamish Onfife in a game with a DM known for his over the top whimsy.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
With respect: in the context of the post I made regarding the myriad on names out there, how would you know?

I mean, what about something like "Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo"?

Or if someone went Xhosa (or other S. African language) with its clicks to name their
PC?

On the topic of context, look at the rest of my post which you did not quote: I run FR. That name doesn't fit with my vision of FR, nor that of my players (especially the French names - yeah, I would know). African names would, indeed, fit with certain parts of FR, such as Chult. I know we had at least one Chultan PC in our games during the 2E era but I don't recall his name other than it having some African flavour.

Wait. You're opposed to superfluous diacritics and you run a campaign in Faerûn?

Yes, but you're confusing the real Realms with that horrible pastiche written by R A Salvatore. A big part of being a Realms snob is holding Salvatore's characters in the same contempt with which Star Wars fans hold Jar-Jar Binks who, like far too many Salvatorean characters, also has a speech impediment. ;)
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
I have to ask: is this serious or just hyperbole? Like... you haven't actually killed a PC because you didn't like their name... right? Because, and I'm just spit-balling here, if you were that "offended" by the name it'd make more sense to say something rather than strike the character down. So yeah, hoping this is some sort of extreme exaggeration for emphasis.

I've gotta say, some of you guys really have a hard-on for this kinda thing more than I'd ever thought possible. Not criticizing to be clear, just having one of those "Huh... alright..." sort of moments.

Hyperbole, of course.

I learnt to talk to my players about 36 years ago. ;)
 

Yes, but you're confusing the real Realms with that horrible pastiche written by R A Salvatore. A big part of being a Realms snob is holding Salvatore's characters in the same contempt with which Star Wars fans hold Jar-Jar Binks who, like far too many Salvatorean characters, also has a speech impediment. ;)
Allow me to rephrase:

You're opposed to superfluous diacritics and you run a campaign in Faerûn?
 

I don't mind "awesome" names as long as some thought has gone into it.

I mean, you can't get better than a Cavalier named Sir Kalvin of Hobbes.

But alas, that one wasn't mine; I merely had the honour of DMing it, many years ago.

Best one I've done in the last while for my own was Elena. Simple, normal name - right? - except in this case Elena stood for Elvish Lawful Evil Necromancer Assassin, which is exactly what she was...well, except for the Lawful part which didn't really survive contact with my playing of her. :)

Lanefan

I made Sir Lionel of Richie in high school.
 

gyor

Legend
"Awesome" names are good for character nicknames, like iceman, but usually not for actual names, unless your playing a kender.
 

I did once play a swashbuckler in 4e with a French accent called Major Dumas Diquehed.

Funny/ silly names are fine if everyone at the table is on board. If the game is that little bit silly and happy embracing the absurdity that D&D can often be.
But if the party is Ser James Lochspeare, Roderick the Green, Khalax Bladeward, and Flerd Dumpling then the last player is being disruptive.
 

MostlyDm

Explorer
I did once play a swashbuckler in 4e with a French accent called Major Dumas Diquehed.

Funny/ silly names are fine if everyone at the table is on board. If the game is that little bit silly and happy embracing the absurdity that D&D can often be.
But if the party is Ser James Lochspeare, Roderick the Green, Khalax Bladeward, and Flerd Dumpling then the last player is being disruptive.

Not necessarily. If the other three are a human, a half elf, and a dwarf, and Flerd is a halfling, we could chalk it up to cultural differences.

Flerd Dumpling is a far cry from Fighter McFightFace in my view.

But I guess I'm forgiving. One of my players had a water genasi named D'Sanii. And I helped round out a 2 man party with a meek DM-run human urchin cleric named Kit.

As I said upthread, I guess I'm more forgiving of goofy names than I thought. Meta jokes that are funny to us are fine... As long as the name isn't a joke within the context of the game world, I'm okay with it.
 

Not necessarily. If the other three are a human, a half elf, and a dwarf, and Flerd is a halfling, we could chalk it up to cultural differences.

Flerd Dumpling is a far cry from Fighter McFightFace in my view.
Yeah, halflings have a lot of latitude. In the first campaign I ever played as a kid with my friends, the obligatory psychotic little halfling was called Chives Tealeaf straight out of the sample names in the PHB.

I did once play a swashbuckler in 4e with a French accent called Major Dumas Diquehed.
From the same campaign: Antonio Alfonso el Ponce (pronounced pown-SAY).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I made Sir Lionel of Richie in high school.
Nice!

And Sir Ritchie of Lionel has a decent ring to it, too.
MostlyDm said:
But I guess I'm forgiving. One of my players had a water genasi named D'Sanii. And I helped round out a 2 man party with a meek DM-run human urchin cleric named Kit.
The name 'Kit' will now forever be associated in these parts with a brawny no-nonsense Fighter (now retired) from my current game; one of her hobbies (and occasional battle tactic) was breaking magic items to see if she could make them go 'boom!' in creative and useful ways...
[MENTION=40177]Wik[/MENTION] did I about get that right?

Lanefan
 

Bigsta

Explorer
My wife names all of her RPG characters after professional wrestlers. That is how we wound up with priest Shinsuke Nakamura in a western medieval setting.

I could suggest she pick a more appropriate name on such occasions, or I could keep my mouth shut and appreciate the fact I have a wife who plays RPGs, watches professional wrestling, and actually knows what she wants to name her character.

Her current character is a Dark Sun Halfling "vegetarian" (she doesn't eat humanoid) Barbarian named and modeled after WWE Smackdown female wrestler Alexa Bliss.
 

MostlyDm

Explorer
[13][/13]
The name 'Kit' will now forever be associated in these parts with a brawny no-nonsense Fighter (now retired) from my current game; one of her hobbies (and occasional battle tactic) was breaking magic items to see if she could make them go 'boom!' in creative and useful ways...

Hah, that's far more impressive than my Kit. He's just there to provide some buffs and Cure Wounds for the PCs.

He's more of a healing Kit.
 

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