OngoingWorlds blog

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


What’s in a Name?

hello my name is meaningful

So you’ve created a brand new game, you have everything set out the way you want it, and you even have the world mapped out for your future players. The only thing left is to try and figure out your character group names. In some cases, the default names are good enough. But you may want to put in something different. So how do you come up with some awesome group name?

Well, you could always go and look at a random generator online, or from the list here. But not everyone wants to do everything the same as somebody else. That is ok. In fact, thinking of your own group names is very admirable. If you have a Co – moderator on the game with you, you can always talk it over through email. If you agree on a name, great, if not keep working at it

What makes a good group name, though? The most memorable group names are ones that are easy to pronounce and easy to remember. This isn’t to say that you can’t have outlandish names, just make sure that you can pronounce them. If you giggle or get tongue-tied while saying the name of the group, don’t use it. If you have to put a dictionary right pronunciation after the name, it is probably too hard to pronounce to begin with. Simply calling a group “The Hunters” is good enough. Calling them “The Fluberobrgasicoth” is not. For all you know, you just insulted someone.

Having unique names is good, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go for unique. I’m just saying to try to keep it simple enough that anybody from ages 5 to 105 can pronounce it easily. You want people to want to be a part of these groups, not to shy away from them because they can’t pronounce what they are. If you had to choose between being a Hunter or being a Fluberobrgasicoth, being a hunter is an easier choice. Off the top of your head, you know what a hunter is and does. A Fluberobrgasicoth is unknown, unfamiliar, and requires at least one paragraph to describe what it is and what it does. As a mod, you should only put a description of the group if you are wanting them to do a certain thing that is outside the realm of common knowledge, not describe something you have made up just becauseinteresting funny or interesting.

Now, making a character group name based off of a known word (i.e. any Pokémon name) is fine. Again, as long as it’s easy to pronounce, you will have characters created with that group title. Based off of what word you use, people may or may not join that group. At that point, is up to future players, as it is with any group name. It could be the world’s most awesome, amazing, and unique name ever, but the player decides if this is the group they want to play under.

In some cases, you can have a name for your group that seems self explanatory, but you’ve decided to take them in another direction despite their name. For example, a hunter may hunt people, animals, or mythological beasts. However, your game may have them hunting other things, such as gold in caves, a certain plant, or even a precious jewel. In this case, putting a description either in the Game Description or Game Information is necessary. You may even want to put a description of each character group in the game information just for the fun of it or to refresh people’s memory on what each group actually is. This is good for players who may or may not have experience in role playing. Each game is different and their description of their group, even if the groups have the same name. Not every role playing game is going to be like D&D, even if your game is a D&D knockoff. A description of each group is fun, and very useful to the players.

Just because you want and unique name, does it mean your group has to be outlandish. A unique name is great to have, but not always the best for your game. Sometimes, keeping it simple is the name of the game.