The Name Game


One of the most important things involved in character creation is choosing your character's name. Your character's name will be a reflection of persona and identity. A well-chosen name will be a source of pride, motivation, and visualization for long nights of gaming with this character.

One of the most important things involved in character creation is choosing your character's name. Your character's name will be a reflection of persona and identity. A well-chosen name will be a source of pride, motivation, and visualization for long nights of gaming with this character. This said, there are several factors to consider when choosing a character name. The following are merely guidelines to follow, and remember people, rules are often meant to be broken.

Sound: The general sound and rhythm of the name is very important. You, as well as your GM and other players, will say it over and over again. Does the name sound pleasing when you say it aloud? How does it sound with the surname and possible middle names you are considering? Is the name pronounceable? Because you are subjecting others to saying the name over and over, this is an important consideration. No GM is going to want to say the name "F'Darnyddlagh" that often, and chances are great your character may suffer from some unfair prejudice. I'm sure you catch my drift.

Uniqueness: It is hard to find the perfect balance between finding a name that is unique and special but doesn't seem too off the wall. While many seek the strangest name possible, sometimes it can be your downfall (see Sound, above). You will have to determine your priorities. There are benefits and disadvantages to both having a common name and a very unique name. Common names are easily spelled and recognized and are more easily associated with a character "type". For example, the name "Vlad" screams vampire, the name "Mary" generally says religious or virginal, and the name "Gladys" simply says old lady. This can be helpful or hurtful in character development. Stranger names like "Cynbarin" or "Braetanyen" sound paganly medieval-ish, but that's about all they invoke.

Popularity: Character names tend to follow trends and cycles of popularity. These patterns generally follow television and movie trends, and quite frankly having 5 "Aragorn"s in one circle of gamers is rather annoying, no matter how popular the recent version of the movie has made the name. Put simply, popular does not equal better. You should have learned this fact in high school.

Meaning: While you won't think of the meaning of your character's name every time you play, it may be important to choose a name with a meaning to reflect the character's persona. You can also choose meanings to reflect qualities and traits you feel your character possesses. There are also names to reflect a particular occupation. Examples of such names are: Chapman (English for merchant); Cooper (English for a maker of barrels); Shumacher (German for shoemaker); Giardino (Italian for gardener). Or you can choose a name with a meaning that just seems cool.

Origin/Time Period: There are no concrete rules stating you must choose a name from a specific origin, although depending on the game system you are playing within, certain origins are more appropriate for certain characters than others. When consulting novels or history books for popular names from a specific time period and region, be aware many authors use Anglicized versions of names from history. For example: King Charles of Spain. Charles would be the English version of Carlos, which was the name he actually used. There are many interesting names from a wide variety of ethnic and historical origins, and many of these names can be combined for an original sound. This is not to say, however, that I suggest naming your Anglo-Saxon Blacksmith character "Xiang Cohen."

Finally, a rundown of the basic Do's and Don'ts:

DO: Try to be as authentic/historically accurate as possible in selecting your name. It makes the gaming experience more fun in the long run because it allows you to "get into" your persona better.

DO NOT: Name yourself after an actual historical personage, a legendary personage, a literary character, or copyrighted character (unless specifically playing that person in a specific RPG - is that specific enough?)

DO: Try to keep the size of your name in perspective. Remember, your name must be spoken by others quite often, as well as written down in many instances.

DO: Remember that naming/spelling/pronunciation "rules" are not universal. A common mistake is assuming that modern English pronunciation and spelling rules can be applied to medieval names. Modern English pronounces "y" and "i" the same in many words, but in Middle English and Old Welsh, they represent different sounds.

DO: Be aware some first names in use today were not always in use. Some names used as first names today were used only as last names in period. Other modern first names are misinterpretations of period records. Many names thought to be medieval may sound period but are modern inventions. Just a few examples of these are: "Bethany", "Branna", "Corwyn", "Eilonwy", ''Fiona", "Liam" and "Megan".

DO NOT: Use a name generator. The names are always funky looking, silly sounding, and completely lacking of any originality of the gamer.

Last, but not least - be thoughtful, but have fun when choosing the name for your character. Remember your character is an extension of you - the fantasy version of you. If all else fails and you choose a name you dislike later, bear in mind in the unfortunate world of gaming, characters often meet their demise and you'll get to start the naming process all over again with a new character.

And, as it says in the D&D Hero Builders' Guide, "No Bobs".
The half-orc barbarian named Bob in my game quickly got the nickname "Skullcrusher" when he cleaved two skeletons in one shot, and we called him Skull from then on. If you don't make up a good name, your friends will--and you might not like it.

I have to admit that I have been guilty far too many times of creating rather long names. It's become somewhat of a tradition with my group that my characters in Call of Cthulhu always have four names. Then there was my Starfleet Captain back in the early 90's that took great joy in introducing himself as "Captain Muhammed Yusuf Ali Farhan of the Federation Starship Excalibur". Every time we encountered a new vessel, I could see the rest of the group cringe as I took a deep breath to properly introduce myself. (Let's not even get into my Half-dragon Cleric Cecil.)

Excellent article. I promise to try and live by its advice from now on.

Excellent article.This should be on page 2 of the PHB.The name of your character is as important as the dice rolled for abilities.It spurs imagination,life,and creedance to your creation!Don't shortchange yourself or your fellow gamers.Work on the name!

So, once I showed up for a one-shot game with a half-orc named Grom. He joined the party, which contained a dwarf named Grom. :)

DO NOT: Use a name generator. The names are always funky looking, silly sounding, and completely lacking of any originality of the gamer.

Unless you actually tweek the name. We played GURPS Terradyne way back and one of the caracter was named Yrlwickson which originally came out "yrlwcsn" from the generator.

What I like to do is take my name and play with the letters until something cool comes out.

I've actually had good luck with some of the better name generators, like EBoN; even if you don't find the specific name you want, looking at a few suggestions often prompts better ideas as well as giving one a general idea of which sounds are more common for the names being generated.

Name generators are excellent for GMs to make quick names on the spot for NPC that are never heard from again. As a GM, the one thing I hate is when the player asks the local merchant his name...that is a time when bob sounds rather nice...

EBoN is an excellent name generator. You can pretty much chose a name that sounds cool and looks good on paper...if the player is so inclined to right it down.

Don't shun name generators; they're hilarious! One of my more well-developed and enjoyable characters grew from the Generator-spawned name "Modig the Physician," a journeyman wizard run in a home-brewed gaming system.

My main character's name is my online sig, my two Elf alts have names pulled from my copy of the Tolkien Languages Mini-Dictionary (affectionately referred to by Yours Truly as the Middle-Earth Baby Name Book), the name of the Human Druid I've recently rolled up is the Aboriginal word for 'boomerang' (Kylie... hey, it *looks* like it should be a name), and the name of my Gnome Illusionist was pulled straight from the Players' Handbook.

Hey there,

Let me also cast a vote in favor of name generators. They're wonderful in getting my imagination going for names.

And as far as "appropriate/inappropriate" names for the genre you're in, while I do try to respect that, I tend to like descriptive, Dickinsian names for my characters: a human bard with a low INT named Kony Horé (accent on the "e'), my main LC fighter Lojak the Lumper, elven mage Byron Craddock, dwarf Dinkus McThud, Star Wars Gungan Chu-Chu Fluxx and Living Death noble Lord Algernon Raffles.

-Smokestack Jones
Maker of the Sampo!

Hey Arin - 'Kylie' is a girls name! A very popular one here in Australia, actually, especially due to it being the name of our most 'successful' dance music pop star!
Maybe we should be naming our characters 'Britney' or 'Madonna' in Australia? ;)
I too, will defend Name Generators, but not for games set in worlds with pre-defined languages (especially historical ones). They're fun. However, all of these pointers are very important. Another I should add is "avoid PRETENSION" - that is, you and your character should be a bit more down to earth :)

(of the alias name collection)


my brain is MY name generator.

"my brain is MY name generator."

AHA! So, that is why you call yourself the "Mystic Assassin!" Not that "Shark" is much better, but I do have a great story for how it came about. On to my point!

I think names are great ways to simply capture quirks or traits of a character. Po the Monk and Grutarr the Barbarian instantly conjure iconic images we use to define our gaming genres. But beware! The pulp comics of the silver age brought this skill to a ridiculous level. Flash, Hulk, Johnny Flame, Wonder Woman... to name a few. Don't get me wrong, a great name usually means something even if the name orignally had no meaning. Yes! Meaning can be given to a name depending on the level of success a character achieves: "He is Conan!" "Oh Romeo..." and "I... am...Capt. James T. Kirk." Did these names have any meaning before the characters that possessed them became famous? Not that we are readily familiar with. However, we have come to know the ideals these names stand for as easily as the golden arches on the side of hamburger hill road. It is much harder to achieve this with a name that is terribly inappropriate. "deliver these baskets to Nemesis, the local florist," or " I am Capt. Bunger K. Tikiploop," or as we all love "Fear the cold blade of Bob."

To sum it all up, strive for that name which gives a hint of meaning. Or at least, create one that can be injected with meaning to match the flavor of the genre. I think that this was the most important aspect of the article.

I played a covert-ops-agent who suffered from IBS his name was...

Special Agent Flatch

...and WHAT is wrong with "Mystic Assassin" ?

it has meaning too, you know!

LOL! I knew that would get a rise out of you! I'm just bustin' on you. I happen to live in Mystic Connecticut and your choice of name gives me a good laugh.

"Martha, I know that you don't really go to the chowder hall on Thursdays... Are you involved with the recent hits?"

The name of my longest running character ever was originally rolled randomly using a system I came up with on the spot. The name was: Aaqecpui

It sounds really stupid at first, but I made that name INFAMOUS among my group. He's still the most remembered character I've played. I did come up with a "real name for him eventually, but , you know, I never needed to use it.

As my NAME states...

I will assassinate your entire city!

muah ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Arin is so wrong about the Aboriginal word for boomerang being Kylie. What nonsense. Boomerang is Aboriginal for boomerang! The word 'boomerang' is Aborinal and means 'killer stick'.

Kylie, on the other hand, is Aborinal for 'she who, despite being small enough to fit in one's pocket, and actually being older than she looks, has a cracking arse on her nevertheless.'

Sorry. Aboriginal. Forgot the 'G' and the 'I'. I apologise for my ignorance to all the Aborigines out there, and I won't do it again. Sorry. Terribly sorry. Sorry.

Er... Yes, sorry.

uhh... you can apologize for spelling 'apologize' with an 'S'

^ British spelling, and often times Canadian spelling - the Queen's English. You must be American, Mystic.

Hey Mystic, bring plenty of ammo! You might nail all eight local citizens, but you'll never wipe out all the tourists. You'll recognize the tourists by their asinine driving and rude, overweight spouses. I just KNOW they've got a spawn point hidden somewhere around here...


sorry Nephandus

I often forget just how diverse, complicated and generally confusing the English language can be at times...

...oh yeah,

I'm actually South African

Mystic Assassin, (It's a stupid name that, innit) I'm actually English. We, intellectuals that we are, spell apologise with an S, medicine with an E, and we switch over the letters R and E in centre. So shut up, you... you... South African eejit.


Somebody get Olly some dental insurance and a better navy...sheesh.

I already apologi'S'ed for THAT misunderstanding...twit.

By the way...

'medicine' was a BAD example.

AND while I'm at it...

My name rings fear in the hearts of the inhabitants of a certain small town in Connecticut.

What's wrong with my dental insurance and navy, Mr./Ms. Assassin?

Contrary to popular belief, we don't all have craggy teeth and our navy is no longer composed of a mallard duck named Terry.

I think that's a bit of a cheap shot, in all fairness. I could tell a joke about South Africans, but you'd just say I was being racist.

lol...and WHY would I say that?

Well, in England, in the Eighties, there was a song called 'I've Never Met A Nice South African' that was banned from all radio stations because of the fact that the South African population got all uppity and said the song was racist.

Well, that's funny as hell...

The thought of a bunch of ex-nazis who fled to the dark continent to avoid allied capture...bitching about racism. Humans are sad sometimes.

Anyway, my mother is from S.A. she married my dad who is from Oklahoma and HIS grandfather is from Wales. So that makes me...well...

I'm what you call a 'global-mutt' so all that PC/nonPC smack doesn't ever really bother OR pertain to me...

What were we talking about?

Aye, I'm an Iro-anglo-saxon-scotch-germani-franco-canadian-native american-jew. And that's only the ones I know about! So I'm a mutt myself!

As for shooting tourists, shark, I agree that alot of ammo is necessary and they must be punished for driving like morons! I too live in a tourist trap... *shudders*

My name is borrowed from greek Theo meaning God.

Also, a theophany is an appearance of god in the flesh. I chose Greek words because the minotaur is a Greek creature. Foreign languages that most other people in your group don't get can be very fun, provdided it sounds good.

I recommend:
Greek, Latin, Gaelic, for medieval
Any language other than Spanish, French, or Italian for Sci-fi
For somewhat modern-day america plots, I reccomend any normal sounding name with bizarre names for agents, spies, etc.

Here's my favorite source of names...

My mother is from Pohnpei, Micronesia (god bless you) and my father from the wonderful state of toothless wonders known as Maine, USA. A search through my own family tree has turned up a wealth of character names and backgrounds that I use as inspiration for my campaigns.

-Jack the pirate, a scurvy cast-off from a Spanish privateer. (He found the local natives fair enough to sire 18 children, including my great, great, great grandfather)
-Sir William Marshall, historical figure (the Marshall family tree is beyond measure, and I hope someone finishes the research my grandpa started)
-Misako Takara, a Capt. Tokara's daughter and nurse (She dishonorably fell in love with a "Jack" descendant before the end of WWII)
-Lady Elizabeth Boynton, heiress to the Boynton empire, (Unfortunately, she ran off to America with a brassy, handsome soldier named Michael Marshall)

I have based many rich characters (names included, yet slightly altered out of respect) on my ancestral roots. I think we mutts have a great opportunity to absorb and dissect many different outlooks and perspectives. We can draw from our backgrounds as if they were well-crafted supplements that are undeniably plausible. I don't mind being a mutt at all. It is a part of me I value quite dearly, and it has inspired endlessly.

Thankfully, no one was named the "Mystic Assassin..." ;)

S' a good name, Theophanes, particularly with your entymology behind it. You are clearly a very intelligent person.

I called my character Mandrake Redswift, if only for the fact that I liked the sound of it. The entymology behind it is less complex and impressive. Mandrake is a plant, long associated with witchcraft and magic, believed to grow from the dead sperm of hanged men, whereas Redswift was just your basic 'get two nature words, bung 'em together, they're your elven last name'.

I'm quite proud of it though, it's a nice name.

Oh, and if anyone's interested, I believe the song 'I've Never Met A Nice South African' is from the same stable as the never less than delightful ditty 'Let's Kick A Welshman Up The Arse, For Fun'!


We were back on topic for a minute, at least.


Shark...shouldn't you be off the coast of Hawaii, biting off the arm of some random 12-yr old surfer girl?

Mystic Assassin that's a terrible thing to say!

*head drops*

yeah...I know...I'm sorry..., I...I just...

I think I need a hug.


Is it just me or does Olly seem to inspire people to silliness?

It's been a while since I haven't had that much fun loging on to this site. Thanks guys. It's a refreshing change from some other people I haven't read in a while.

Is that a compliment or an insult?

I do tend to inspire silliness, I don't know why. A lot of people seem to think I'm on LSD, but I'm not, it's just the way I am.

Silliness is a wonderful thing.

Life is still worth living when stuff is still funny...


You know what great silliness is. It's sitting in church and trying not to laugh when your brother points out how ridiculous Mrs. Carlisle’s face looks with that booger clearly visible from 10 meters (keep in mind, we're supposedly closing in on 30). It's watching your buddy try to explain to his new girl friend that his character really would attack hers in this situation. It's telling the state trooper that your car wasn't speeding, it's just that your '81 Plymouth Skyhawk station wagon LOOKS fast. It's getting teased by a wonderful, severely handicapped friend and realizing she's got you pegged but good. It's watching your most hardcore power-gamer roll 13 consecutive ones and then rolls a twenty when he's putting it back in the dice box and reaching for another (you can see the veins popping!). Silliness is coming through the door and catching your fiancée waddling down the hall to the closet where you keep the extra toilet paper. Boring? We don't need no stinkin' boring!

No Swimming!


Mr. Sharky, I believe you might be onto something with this 'Silliness is' lark. I can see it now. A series of cartoon strips about two naked six year olds who are married... Oh wait...

Why would you keep the extra toilet paper down the hall? Oh, I get it...just for the minute chance that you might walk in on you fiance waddling down the hall...

brilliance...sheer brilliance!

(Takes a deep bow)
Thank you, thank you! Aargh!

...uhh... back, someone help me up... my back!

Lessee, better fess up now.

Silliness is trying to convince a message board that you were the one walking through the door, and then remebering your fiance reads these.



A shark with a racing stripe!!

Well put! Well put! I appreciate your considerate and tactful response. Could not have put it more eloquently myself.

Yes, you see, I am known in these parts as the Carcharhinus milberti. Ahem... well...yes. I guess what a layman would call, to put it bluntly, the BROWN shark. Not that I would admit this to the other boards (mostly political OP ED pages) I post on.

Which brings us to another great topic germane to this article.

!!!Setting Context!!!

(echo effect)

It is one thing to be called "Hack VonButchen" in your Ravenloft campaign, but would the same name be appropriate in a Hello Kitty campaign? Even if we took the same character, would the change of venue warrant a different name? I add this because I have begun to see more and more people use the same name for multiple purposes. Colchester the Wild West sheriff, Colchester the woodland ranger, Colchester the sea dog, Colchester the Rogue Squad. pilot, and so on and so forth. Obviously some will be appropriate to pass over than others, but should one put the effort into always coming up with a new name for each character?

Colchester kind of works wherever, because it could be used as a last name. Like Sarkley. Or McAllister. Or Skywalker...

No, scratch that last one.

My favorite 'Hello Kitty' PC was an 8th level cuddle-bear named Flopsie Bumblewumbletinkle...



I once played a session as a 5th level mugwump cuddlywuddly who went by the name of 'Grabthroat Arsekicker'

He was fun.

"should one put the effort into always coming up with a new name for each character?"

Good question. From campaign to campaign, I'd say it doesn't necessarily matter - especially for players who like to recycle the same character archetype in every genre. I've been known to do this myself with NPCs: in my Call of Cthulhu campaign, you might meet a controversial Catholic exorcist, only to meet a lightly disguised version of him in my fantasy campaign. I changed his name and gear enough to be in keeping with the fantasy setting, and presto! The rewarding part of this (to me) is that a lot of the players who loved him in Cthulhu didn't even recognize him in D&D.

In a continuing campaign, the same practice would be lame. My character Colchester the Ranger dies, and I replace him with his son Colchester, Jr. Bleccch. Time to think of a new name and character concept.

For those of us who are writers...

I think the urge to create 'new stuff' just comes with the territory.

My first name means Most Praiseworthy
and my second name means Praiseworthy
and what I want to kniow is, 'when I was born, how did they know ?'

I am also a mutt because My surname denotes an arab tribe but our more recent family tree is from the indian subcontinent, persia, afghanistan, and everyone knows the north indians were celts. So I reckon I am an arab, persian, mongol, mughal, indopakistani, celt. Any way its all a load of crap because the whole human race can be shown to be originally descended from a few hundred families from africa.

I love names, and name meanings. I'm the sort of guy who browses the internet looking for those kind of things. A name is often pretty discriptive of where a person place or thing comes from.

Last thing I'd like to say is: in western culture the name meaning is usually not given much importance nowadays. In muslim cultures its absolutely essential that the name has a good meaning. However, in Zulu culture ( and I think in african culture more generally ) names can have good or bad meanings as long as they are descriptive of an individual. For example an orphan child might be named 'unloved'. This freaked me out because it was so different to my traditions.

Anyway, there is another strand in African culture, of the secret name. It is a name known only to the close family, and knowledghe of it makes you closer to the individual.

I leave the very last word to the latr Bob hope:

Q:'What do you call a man who ate his fathers sister?'
A:'an Aunteater'

Q:'What do you call a man who ate his wifes mother?'

Q: What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?
A: Cliff.

Also, on the subject of heirs etc, such as Colchester Jr. and such, one of my characters was actually named after his father.

We called him 'Dad'

My brothers and I used to carry around our handicapped friend and pass him off to the next, as we would get winded. Often the passes were a quick affair.

His name was 'Chuck.'

"Anyway, there is another strand in African culture, of the secret name. It is a name known only to the close family, and knowledge of it makes you closer to the individual."

Interestingly, the Internet has become a similar environment. My fiancée does not call me "Shark."
At least, not *outside* of the bedroom!!! Heyyyyy.

What about those names which shouldn't have any connection to the character they belong to? Like a pro athlete named Marion, or a cop named Tracy. Is this an effective way of establishing distinction or just a cheap trick which can possibly backfire? I wouldn't want to be one of those kids who gets stuck growing up with a gay name.

Not that there's anything wrong with gay... huh, guys?

To add to your comment, Shark, I'm actually called Olly by a number of people - because it's my name.

Also, Shark, I don't know if this is of any consequence, but here in jolly olde England, we have a particular colloquialism, which refers to the behaviour of certain young ruffians and womenfolk of easy virtue, when they are patrolling around the drinking establishments, usually in the wee hours of the night, looking for sexual adventure. We call this behaviour... "Sharking"

And thoughts?

(Sucks thoughtfully on pipe, adjusts monocle, offers scone to Eliza the servant girl)

So, sorry, Shark, dear boy. I did mean 'Any thoughts', but my asinine, clumsy fingers are quite uncertain on this new-fangled keyboard I have recently purchased from my local electronics supplier, and thus, I did type 'And thoughts'. I apologise whole-heartedly for my foolishness, my cartiliginous friend, and hope to hear from your responses soon...

(Polishes monocle on vest, puffs on pipe, gropes Eliza's gluteus maximus unashamedly, as she bends over to pick up a discarded pipe-cleaner.)

That would also suggest as to the predatory nature of a shark AND to the social terminology of the person who could be considered a "sexual predator"

*urp* oh, excuse me...I just philosophized

Are you sure, my South African friend? I do worry of the antics of today's womenfolk, who give up their virtue at the drop of a hat. I hear some of them are even willing to show their tuppence to any young knave. I remember when I was a lad, you had to take a girl to dinner, buy her presents, show her a good time, before you ever got to see her tuppence. How times have changed...

[Sucks on pipe, Leans forward to more closely inspect Eliza's tuppence.]

Any thoughts? Any thoughts, indeed! Very well. If you would bear me the generosity of your time, I would love to impart upon you the precise nature of the Shark... Splendid.

Is that a Smith and Wesson? Nice piece, Mr. Townsend.

[sips scotch lightly]

I would ask that you imagine yourself at a Texas All-You-Can-Eat Steakhouse. Yes, yes, yummy. Of course... Now at this steakhouse, you can have as much steak as you're inclined to want. Naturally, you become quite the connoisseur of fine bovine. You eat steak all day, everyday, you become accustomed to its nuances, its particulars, and you surround yourself with the very finest Texas has to offer. (Especially the very well-endowed ones, eh lads!!?!!) But eventually, you become weary of the steak... You do not realize it, because it never happens at any one moment. The change of appetite comes in unnoticed pinches. What else is there, cuisinely speaking? Unfortunately, one must only masticate upon red meat in Texas. A shame really, especially when you are quite certain that... "other..." culinary delights abound just beyond your scope. No doubt, something altogether fascinating! Any suggestions?

[Twists handlebar mustache gently and spots Jeeves beyond the cover of Olly's pipe smoke, quickly averts gaze]

Sorry, come again? Would I... right now? Umm. No thank you... I said I'm fine Eliza. Away now, please... Dammit woman, if I want some, I'll ask!... *sigh* Terribly sorry 'bout that, gents...

No, it's my fault, Shark, I shall discipline my servants better in future, and will lash Eliza until her shoulderblades are exposed when you leave.

Anyway, dear boy, what's to be done of this food in Texas? Hmmm? [Sucks thoughtfully on pipe] Do they eat fish in Texas? Nice piece of cod's jolly good for you, so I hear. We're eating it all the time, here in England. It's ruddy good. I myself have never been to Texas, but I've heard that it's quite nice, I was told that, for a portly gentleman like myself, there's some steakhouse where you can purchase a big old steak that overhangs the plate for just $4.95.

[Sucks on pipe, leisurely, kicks Eliza to the floor, orders her to lick up the spilt tea)

$4.95? No, good chap, you've missed the whole damn poin... right. Umm, yeah, I suppose you can find what you're looking for in terms of cheap meat. You'll find the cheapest Texas meat sitting in Oval Office! (haughty laugh) I just made a funny! Oh yes. I rock.

[blank expression returns to mustachioed face, sips more scotch]

Ha ha ha! Ho ho ho! You are truly a funny gentleman, Mr. Sharky, we must do this more often! Ho ho ho! Yes, Mr. Bush is a complete half-wit! Ho ho ho!

[Orders Eliza to laugh with him, even though she hasn't got the joke. Slaps her about brutally when she states this fact.]

Names I have used:

Fornoth High priest of Archon
Brother Michael Lord Knight of the Star
Solon the imperceptible
Wulf the Wily
Mikhail Oglu ( the vulture ) Actually I stole this from a Conan comic. It was just too good. This guy was a real baddass. One of the very few non good characters I've ever played. Its great being able to use cliche badass dialogue:
- 'where are your women ? I want your women !'
- 'all life is a trick, dog '
- 'kill them, kill them all!'
- 'trust me, on my honour as a horsethief.'
- 'Jamail is a good boy, I'm sure he won't talk, but what I say is, why take a chance ?'

I've never played a woman. Strange that.

Go figure, my taste for meat has returned with a vengence! Smashing!

[hand holding scotch begins to shake as servant girl Misty straightens Eliza's clothes which have torn]

Is Misty one of yours, Shark, I don't believe I've slept with her before...

[Cackles evilly, twiddles moustache, adjusts monocle so it glints evilly in the light]


[removes white glove and gently brushes it across Sir Olly's face, mustache wiggles back and forth]

There's no need for that, Mr. Sharky. I was simply enquiring politely.

If I wish to kill, maim and fornicate with my servants, I am entitled to do so, as a bonafide mustachioed, monocle-wearing, cruel, English aristocrat.

Oh... yes... quite... There is the matter of an apology required on my part. Please, forgive an old fool. My estate calls, and I must... Well, carry on then.

[dons top hat and long coat] Thanks chaps, for the drinks and all. Jeeves, get Misty into the coach, we shall retire now. Good day, gents!

[doffs cap to room]

Good day to you, sir, and a safe trip back to... wherever it is you come from...

[To evil, bald-headed scarred butler] James, ready the torture chamber for Eliza. She will sense my displeasure for her behaviour this evening...

More gin? Anyone?

Mo arrives on the scene, ready to defend Eliza's honour with his life.

Mr Olly,

You are a cad sir, and a bounder, and a rascally knave.
No Gentleman, Certainly no English Gentleman would so oppress a lady, even one of humble birth.

No, the fairer sex are to be cherished, and protected, I offer you my protection fair Eliza !'

voice from Dungeon 'Thank you sir ! He locked me in ere e did when I wouldnt show im me ankle! I'm a good girl I am !'

Silence! [Stamps on floor] There you'll stay, you greasy urchin!

James, dispose of this Mohock.

(James advances menacingly)

Silence! [Stamps on floor] There you'll stay, you greasy urchin!

James, dispose of this Mohock.

(James advances menacingly)

Right, time to dispose of the pleasantries...

[Draws sword cane. Removes white glove, and smacks Mo lightly round the face with it.]

Mohammed, sir, I challenge thee to a duel. Choose your stoker...

As you say, since you have issued the challenge, I shall choose the weapons. I challenge thee to a duel by punchline ! and Shark will be the judge as to who wins.

I will supply a joke and you will supply the punchline.

If you guess the correct punchline, or if shark rules that your punchline is better than the real one (which I will supply) then you win . Otherwise you will have to cede the fair Eliza to me, and also recite the good old Anglo Saxon Runes 3 times:

' Mo is a happennin dude yo !'
' Mo is a happennin dude yo !'
' Mo is a happennin dude yo !'

If you agree, then here's the joke:

'Two friends were on a trekking holiday. One week into the holiday, they decided that they were tired of each others company. They agreed to split up the next day and meet at the pub next evening.
Accordingly, they went their seperate ways. At night, they recounted the days adventures to each other.
Said the first friend, 'I went down to the beach, I met a group of fellow travellers and we spent all day swimming, playing beach volleyball and doing watersports. How did your day go?'
Said the second friend, with a gleam in his eye ' My life has been completely changed ! I went down the valley along the railway line, and I found a young lady completely naked tied to the tracks. I released her and carried her to the side where we made passionate love. My love life will never be the same again!
Said the first friend 'you lucky stiff ! is she good looking ?'
said the second friend ' supply punchline '

Please no-one else give Olly the punchline !

voice from dungeon 'you tell im sir. I can tell a real gennelman I can. I'm a good girl'

And the second friend said...

"I don't know, I couldn't find her head!"

The Brutish Olly delivers the correct punchline ! and Mo is struck a fatal blow!

He clasps his hand to his bosom and cries 'alas cruel world ! I was too good for you ! my noble virtues and manly parts are undone by a common ruffian of low degree ! Farewell fair Eliza ! the fates themselves conspire to thwart our alliance !'

Mo dies. There is a desperate wail from Elizas cell followed by silence.

Olly rushes to Elizas cell to have his wicked way, but is confronted with a pile of smoking ashes. Apparently in her grief over Mo Eliza has immolated herself using the spare grease from the chips she had for dinner, the straw bedding and the torch on the wall.

Olly screams 'Nooooooooooooooooooo !!!!!'

End of Play



I was going to have Scotland Yard come to the scene to investigate the screaming, but, alas, the play is ended. *brushes away tear for missed opportunity*

So, what was this thread about again?

It was a good play. I quite enjoyed being villainous, and getting to scream "Noooooooooooo!"

A 'twas a good play... Better than the Frantic Assembly's Rabbit, anyway.

God that was rubbish. The Frantic Assembly's Rabbit. Such rubbish. Just an awful, awful play. Sorry, but I went and saw it. RUBBISH! I'm sounding a bit like a theatre critic now, but it was. Just awful. If you ever see a poster advertising Rabbit by The Frantic Assembly at your local theatre, do NOT go and see it. Avoid it like true evil itself.

I paid eight pounds to get in, watched it, and said "Well, that was eight pounds I could have spent taking up smoking or something!"

It was 'supposedly' a comedy, but there was one flaw in this, in as far as, they'd forgotten to put any jokes in. I was sitting there, in dead silence, listening to people laughing at jokes that couldn't have been more obvious if they'd been wearing Elton John-style glasses and tartan stockings! And they weren't funny. At all. And I'm thinking has the world gone absolutely crackers? This isn't funny! I was about to grab a random member of the audience, start shaking them and and shouting "Why are you laughing? Why?"

God... Just an awful, awful play. Beyond redemption. Even the bit where the bloke's kid died in hospital was poorly executed. And then there was that fella getting his tackle out in the second act, for no reason at all. And the drug use, which had diddly squat to do with the story. It was just a load of theatre snobs getting together going, "Let's put on a play that only we'll like, because we're so superior to our audience, but they'll pretend to enjoy it by laughing occasionally. And it can have drug use, and nudity, but it'll have nothing to do with anything. And throughout will be crap music! Yes! I like that idea. Give me some more red wine, Samantha..."

If you ever think about going to see Rabbit by the Frantic Assembly, DON'T. It is the most vile piece of theatrical turd anybody could ever waste their money on. Pretensious theatre for pretensious people. Even if you're tempted by the nudity advertised on the poster, don't, it's some old bloke with a knob like a mini-chipolata bearing all on stage, for no particular reason at all. I didn't need to see that.

Oh god... I almost shouted out "HE'S BEHIND YOU!" at one point. DO NOT GO AND SEE RABBIT BY THE FRANTIC ASSEMBLY. THAT IS ALL.

End rant. Sorry if it seemed a little unrelated to this topic, but as an actor, and a lover of theatre, I thought it was my solemn duty to inform you of the shocking awfulness of this 'play'.

And if you think you'd like to see it because you are mildly masochistic and enjoy laughing at crap, don't. Trust me, I'm saving both your money and your soul by saying this...

OK, I've got something that might get us back on track (though I have major doubts).

Whenever we game, it seems like everyone has trouble remembering the characters' names. Of course, it doesn't help when one of the guys can't decide on a name, but it seems that whenever someone, including the GM, needs to say a character's name, he's got to look at the sheet.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

I think the likelihood of the gamers remembering a PC's name is greatly determined by its simplicity, or irony.

e.g. - simplicity - joe

e.g. - irony - squash the club-wielding ogre (OR) canyonpuss the brothel girl

Interesting names, Ass. I have to argue with one point in this article, anagrams can make good names for characters, just as long as they're done well.

For example, we once had a gnome rogue named Mema in our group, and the player's name was Emma. But Mema sounds like a legitimate name, so I allowed it. We also had the slightly more obvious human noble, Ajessic, who's player was called Jessica, but that sounded like a good name, also, so I allowed it.

Ashagua said:

"Whenever we game, it seems like everyone has trouble remembering the characters' names."

This is a serious problem, and it can really kill the mood. As a GM, I write down all characters' names when they are first introduced, and I address each player by his or her character's name as often as I can. After a session or two, I have no trouble remembering any of them. Now, the legions of NPCs I use - that's a different story. But I have a database for them, and my players forgive me if I occasionally have to look down and refresh my memory about the name of the bawd they met seven sessions ago.

As for the players, I try to get them to do the same. It takes them a bit longer, on average, to get the hang of each other's names - don't ask me why - but they eventually stick. I've never had to penalize anyone in XP for not using in-character names, but I have threatened to on a few occasions.

I agree with Cocytus, here. As a classically trained actor (I seem to be saying that a lot. Ah, Egotism!) I always address my players by their character names, or if I forget, 'Elf' or 'Good sir, dwarf' depending on the character's race.

I have a bit different approach to naming characters (or cats, or dogs). For example, I like names which sound weird and strange. That may be a real and existing name, but not from my native language. I like such names as Mahmud or Beibut, or Kutsyk (this last one is the best). It sounds weird and looks fine, isn't it?