OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers

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Naming your character without looking like a twit

hello my roleplay character name isFor many people, naming your character can be one of the hardest things to do. After all they are a extension of you, an avatar of your will.

Two hours later you are still stuck on what to call your character. You panic a bit so you put down the first name that pops into your head.

Stop!…I mean it..You’ll regret it. Seriously! Worse you’ll not be taken seriously or be thought of as a bit of a 2 watt bulb. You character will be ignored, ridiculed and you’ll have to wear the cone of shame and you don’t want that now do you?

But wait! We can help. You need ideas and suggestions, then here are some.

Suggestions & Ideas

  • Avoid variants on an existing character’s name like “Pickard” or “Arragrorn”. It’s not funny or clever. The only time something like this is acceptable is when everyone else has the same style of name or the game is based around clichés. Seriously..avoid it
  • Keymash names – These are ones where they keyboard is mashed randomly. Most of the time you end up with gibberish, but occasionally you get a name that’s sounds alien or exotic. Throw in some hypens (-) or apostraphies (‘) to make the name more pronounceable.
  • Use real names but from a culture different to yours, keeping in mind the setting the character will be used in.
  • Pun names – suitable for comedy based games. These are ones that when written down they look normal but when said out loud they sound a bit rude or amusing, such as Phil FeBuggure (Filthy Bugger), or Seymour Nipples (See more nipples). Just make sure the game you are using this type of name in allows them and don’t be upset if the name is declined. The more subtle the better.
  • Wikipedia – Click the random page option and make a name up around the article headline
  • Don’t forget middle names, but don’t go overboard
  • Single names – Some characters are simply known by one name, such as Cher or Jaxx
  • Close your eyes, turn your head randomly- Base the name around the first object you see
  • “Leet” speak : Hax0r, (#R!5 or anything like this. Go ahead..do it..you obviously don’t value your kneecaps. Anytime like this which is hard to read and even harder to type is just going to piss off other players in the game.

Chris Kentlea has been a roleplayer since ohh… just after the wheel was invented. He creates resources for roleplayers at DriveThruRPG. He blogs at http://enneadgames.com

  • A great article. I typically find myself borrowing surnames from other TV characters, often for NPCs. BehindTheName.com is a great site for getting names for those of non-English nationalities, something I find myself playing a lot.

    • Thanks for suggesting that! It looks like a useful resource for also finding a name that has some meaning, which I like a lot!

  • Mobius64

    You see, now I just feel stupid. I didn’t get Seymour’s or Phil’s names until now. D:

    • OMG!

    • Chris Kentlea

      Awww , but as i said,the more subtle the better :-p

  • Alex

    Wicked article! CK = dude.
    Aww Mob64/Plisk, well what a nice revelation, heh heh.