Creating names for your roleplaying characters is always very tricky. It can be really difficult to come up with a name that is original and creative but also suits the type of character that you want to play. There is an easier way of doing it though, and in today’s video, I’ll go into the steps that I take to create great names for my RPG characters. So the next time you’re preparing your character for your tabletop roleplaying game, whether it’s a DnD adventure, a Call of Cthulhu campaign or even a Pathfinder game – use these tips to help you create the perfect name for your RPG character.
Struggling to come up with a great name for the RPG character that you’ll be playing? Here are some tips to get you going and help you create a name that you’ll love.
Come up with the name first – once you know the name of your character, you can then start to flesh them out.
How do you come up with a name that is new, original and that isn’t one that you’ve read in a book somewhere? Try the following steps to help you create a great name for your character:
• What is the world space?
o What is the setting, the culture and the lore that the game is set in? o Engage the GM – learn which part of the world inspires YOU, the player. o As the GM – make sure that you already have some character names in the
world, to help give the players an idea of the world space and inspire them to come up with a name that fits that world space.
• A name should reflect personality
o Strong, weak, complex, simple, clean etc.
o What is your PC’s worldview? Don’t underestimate the power of drawing from all aspects of your character to make a name.
o Consonants sound strong. Strong names feature consonants, soft names feature vowels. Erik versus Erin, Viktor versus Vincent.
• Choose an existing actor or character. Let them inspire you.
o Helps you with a point of reference when impersonating the character. o Allows you to ask ‘What would X do?’
o Using an existing character guides you and gives you focus.
• Choose a name.
o Something that reflects personality and general type of character you are naming.
o E.g. Patrick Stewart – played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek as well as many other films and tv shows.
o Once you’ve chosen your name, you then vowel swap.
• Vowel swap – replace the vowels in a name.
o E.g. Patrick = Petrock = Putreck = Potrack
o If you’re not finding a name that suits you, then change the consonants.
• Consonant swap – replace the consonants in a name.
o E.g. Patrick = Ratrick = Radrick = Katrack
• Once you’ve chosen a name, look at the emotive quality of the name. o What emotion do we feel when we hear the name?
o Names are culturally complex. What sounds strong to you might sound weak to others.
• What species or culture is the name?
o Different species and cultures will have different sounds.
o Ask your GM for hints. Do not ask and then ignore of you don’t like what the GM says.
o Don’t be afraid to change – as you develop the name, let it change. Don’t get stuck on a single name.
• What is the history behind the name?
o Where did it come from?
o The history can give you great RP moments, as well as can add to your backstory.
Your task – create a name and give it a touch of history.