Thursday, August 2, 2012

Naming characters

For me naming characters is easy when I have time to put thought behind it. But sometimes when I have to come up with names quickly for npcs it can be harder. Sometimes using name generators is not possible or it feels just lame option after you have clicked dozen times and you haven't got any name that you want to use.

Problem with name generators:
It takes time to find a suitable name.

Then I start to look around. Author of the book scrambled or altered is a good option. Or taking a product name to use or alter slightly. One Vampire: the Masquerade sheriff's surname was Crusti. Crusti is a brand of chips, but it sounded like dramatic old European vampire name, and still does. One motorbike driving gang leader Brujah was Heller inspired by Hell's Angels. Heller is actual surname I found out later so it was good and suited him.

There are dozens of names for npcs I have created from different real person names and product names this way.

But name can be also from items or other things. For example Straw McCloud can be a Fading Suns Charioteer pilot (I have a straw next to me and it's been more cloudy than clear summer).

Few examples I do right now using my surroundings.
- Toby Diskos (Tobacco and Diskos sports club pennant)
- Ash Tray (that's lame and obvious but could work)
- Rod Ernest Orwell (Rodeo energy drink)
- Toby Yellow (Yellow table)
- Orlando Trax (X-Tra Orange Cakes)
- Evira Glass (Evira company sticker and glass bottle)

It is easier to create more fantasy type names than realistic names this way. These names could work with scifi or fantasy setting better than modern world. Fantasy names are easier to generate. Just scrabble a lot.

In comments you generate names using these methods!
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