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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  02:17:18  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I had to hazard I guess, I'd say most of the fantasy fiction consumed by people invested in the Realms is Eurocentric. Background informs standards, yes? Naturally, a certain range of names is going to be old hat by this point.

quote:
Originally posted by HighOne

I think I was young enough when I encountered Star Wars that its names never had a chance to bother me, so it's hard to judge. If I'd seen it when I was 30, then yeah, "Luke" probably would have bothered me for the same reason that "Paul" does today. Leia and Han, on the other hand, are far enough removed from my experience/neck of the woods to pass for fantasy.



Basically, "First work wins, or, er...loses." as it were ?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've never seen the name Leia outside of Star Wars


Well, both Tarkin and Jan Dodonna called her "Leah" at some point . You had two pronunciations to choose from!

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Honestly, for Star Wars, I'm more bugged by names like Sheev and Wilhuf (who I thought had the worst first name in Star Wars until the name Sheev was introduced!).


Quite frankly, "Sheev" didn't faze me in the slightest. Whether that lack of reaction was a result of exposure to the early Star Wars Expanded Universe or because I've consumed a bunch of fiction in general, I'm not sure, but the point still stands. I think it works both as a proper name and as a potential nickname (perhaps a moniker he picked up during his racing days?)

quote:
Originally posted by AuldDragon

I didn't intend to infer that ALL of them were in those products, but there's a big difference between the list of NPCs in the old grey box, and the City of Ravens Bluff accessory. I'm not really even directly criticizing that later product, since I believe most of those characters were created by RPGA members who played in the Living City campaign; it's just something that really takes me out of the material, much more so than an occasional name will do so in other products.


...plus every work produced in the interim between the two and after the latter's debut.

My goal here is threefold.

  • To make players/DMs not feel so bad about their own creativity or (hopefully momentary) lack thereof. If these names were given the green light for official products of a popular campaign setting of arguably the most popular tabletop roleplaying game on the market, then average folks spectating from afar shouldn't beat themselves up too much.


  • To realize that the occasional "plain" name isn't so egregious a sin. By my reasoning, if you can crank out twenty, fifty or one-hundred reasonably fantastic (i.e., based in fantasy...not necessarily "amazing") names in a row, you're allowed to slip in the odd "Jonathan" or "Cardinelli", whether because you just need to fill in a gap or because you genuinely want to feature that name.


  • To have others understand that it is possible to come up with a name that sounds unique by their limited life experience, but in all actuality already exists...as all our experiences are limited by definition. It isn't exactly improbable that a writer here and there came up with a combination of sounds in their head that another culture already imagined long ago.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.

Edited by - Azar on 30 Sep 2021 14:44:10
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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  02:22:40  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here are the elves. Yes, even Corellon's children got in on the fun.

* Aerie.
* Aerith (Based on a character from the video game Final Fantasy VII ?).
* Adrianna.
* Agatha.
* Alain.
* Alex (A thousand apologies...Lord Alex).
* Alexa.
* Ali.
* Alisia.
* Alton x3.
* Amber.
* Anwar.
* Arianna.
* Asala.
* Asha.
* Ava.
* Aya.
* Aziz.
* Bass.
* Beldan.
* Bodhi.
* Briza.
* Callum.
* Coran (Corran).
* Cree.
* Dahlia.
* Darien.
* Dawn.
* Delina.
* Devlin.
* Elena.
* Gaelan.
* Gaelen.
* Garrik (Garrick).
* Havel.
* Icarus.
* Jeremi (Jeremy).
* Jon.
* Kai.
* Kerri.
* Kira.
* LeMond.
* Liriel.
* Lorien.
* Lucan.
* Lucia.
* Lysander.
* Maya.
* McGinn.
* Mehmet.
* Meira.
* Michal.
* Mira.
* Morgan.
* Nadal.
* Nera.
* Noori.
* Nura.
* Nym.
* Piri.
* Rashad.
* Raji.
* Rebekkah (Rebekah/Rebecca).
* Sh'aun (Shaun).
* Sabal.
* Sai.
* Samia x2.
* Shakti.
* Sheera.
* Spivey.
* Taran.
* Tasha.
* Thanatos.
* Tiago.
* Tim.
* Victoria.
* Vyncint (Vincent).
* Wyllow (Willow).
* Zhai.
* Zhora.
* Zoran.

Flowrana Taareehugge, huh? Why didn't they go with "Flowery Treehugger" ?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6473 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  02:56:04  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some people struggle with FR names. Even many published authors. For me, real world names are a total no-no. The only exception is if you come up with a different spelling which can make it a little more "fantasy-like" (I did that for King Davyd of the Kingdom of Man ... sue me )

I detest joke names, but am okay with anagrams of real world people names if you are winking at friends or fellow designers/players (as long as the name works).

I struggle with names from a RW trope - like "Raji" below - being attached to an elf. I'm old school in that regard and unashamedly so.

My Realms names follow a general Tolkien vibe, pay attention to common FR naming examples from various regions (within reason - not a fan of the Rashemi having a RW slavic naming convention) and chop and change them till they look "right". At least to me.

I'm not sure I hit the target every single time, in fact I don't, but I expect that no one will ever do a list of "Bad names George Krashos has come up with for the Realms" and that's about as good as you want it, I reckon.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  03:18:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

If I had to hazard I guess, I'd say most of the fantasy fiction consumed by people invested in the Realms is Eurocentric.


Not just Eurocentric, but specifically western Eurocentric. A lot of the British Isles, maybe some France, not so much of any other part of Europe. Which is largely, I would say, because it's what Tolkien did and so much fantasy follows his template.

I have read fantasy that wasn't based on that default, but it's definitely a smaller part of the genre.

quote:
Originally posted by Azar


Quite frankly, "Sheev" didn't phase me in the slightest. Whether that lack of reaction was a result of exposure to the early Star Wars Expanded Universe or because I've consumed a bunch of fiction in general, I'm not sure, but the point still stands. I think it works both as a proper name and as a potential nickname (perhaps a moniker he picked up during his racing days?)


I'm not saying it's bad as a Star Wars name or bad as a sci-fi name, as in, something that doesn't fit -- I'm saying it's just a bad name.

It could work as a nickname, I guess. I just can't stand the name, by itself.

Actually, a Star Wars name that does bug me is Jun Sato, especially with the fact that they make him look Japanese. Ezra Bridger bugs me, too.

quote:
Originally posted by Azar


To make players/DMs not feel so bad about their own creativity or (hopefully momentary) lack thereof. If these names were given the green light for official products of a popular campaign setting of arguably the most popular tabletop roleplaying game on the market, then average folks spectating from afar shouldn't beat themselves up too much.


I would counter that just because someone approved them, it doesn't make names like Bistro Battenrooj and Charles Oliver O'Kane fit the setting. Approved or not, they break immersion as soon as they come up.

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

To realize that the occasional "plain" name isn't so egregious a sin. By my reasoning, if you can crank out twenty, fifty or one-hundred reasonably fantastic (i.e., based in fantasy...not necessarily "amazing") names in a row, you're allowed to slip in the odd "Jonathan" or "Cardinelli", whether because you just need to fill in a gap or because you genuinely want to feature that name.


I can see using one of those names because you want to, but as for filling in a gap, there are too many ways to avoid using familiar real-world names. As I've commented before, something as simple as changing a couple of letters, or playing with the order, can give you an entirely different name. Jonathan can become Jathalon or Jolathar or something like that. Cardinelli can become Dracalenni or Carliden or something else.

A name doesn't have to be awesome, it just needs to not break your immersion by being out of place.

All that said, a writer can dodge the real-world name thing a bit by simply going outside the normal British Isles thing. I had read pretty much everything Elaine Cunningham wrote for the Realms before finding out that Danilo, Matteo, and Tzigone were real-world names. Because I was not familiar with names from further afield, they didn't break immersion for me when I first saw them.

I've also seen fantasy writers that used a more even mixture of fantasy and real-world names. It's not the best workaround, but it's better to have a mixture than it is to have one or two oddballs that call attention to themselves.

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

To have others understand that it is possible to come up with a name that sounds unique by their limited life experience, but in all actuality already exists...as all our experiences are limited by definition. It isn't exactly improbable that a writer here and there came up with a combination of sounds in their head that another culture already imagined long ago.



This one I can agree with. One name I thought I was making up turned out to a not overly common but not entirely unknown name, and another that I thought I'd made up turned out to be an Irish one. The first one, there are at least a couple of celebrities with that name or a variation of it. I'd not heard of them when I came up with the name -- one now well-known one wasn't even born, then! -- so I thought it was something entirely original. The other one, I thought for 20 years that it was something I made up and I was rather proud of it, and then one day I saw that someone at my company had that name -- hell of a shock, that one!

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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  03:21:00  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Some people struggle with FR names. Even many published authors. For me, real world names are a total no-no. The only exception is if you come up with a different spelling which can make it a little more "fantasy-like" (I did that for King Davyd of the Kingdom of Man ... sue me )

I detest joke names, but am okay with anagrams of real world people names if you are winking at friends or fellow designers/players (as long as the name works).

I struggle with names from a RW trope - like "Raji" below - being attached to an elf. I'm old school in that regard and unashamedly so.

My Realms names follow a general Tolkien vibe, pay attention to common FR naming examples from various regions (within reason - not a fan of the Rashemi having a RW slavic naming convention) and chop and change them till they look "right". At least to me.

I'm not sure I hit the target every single time, in fact I don't, but I expect that no one will ever do a list of "Bad names George Krashos has come up with for the Realms" and that's about as good as you want it, I reckon.

-- George Krashos



In my experience, the names that tend to escape criticism - barring those clearly intended to evoke laughter - are surnames that mash up a pair of adjectives/verbs/nouns.

"Starseeker"
"Battlehammer"
"Skywalker"
"Honeylocks"
"Drakebane"
"Nimblehand"


...and so on and so forth. By comparison, their creators rarely catch as much guff.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  03:53:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar


In my experience, the names that tend to escape criticism - barring those clearly intended to evoke laughter - are surnames that mash up a pair of adjectives/verbs/nouns.

"Starseeker"
"Battlehammer"
"Skywalker"
"Honeylocks"
"Drakebane"
"Nimblehand"


...and so on and so forth. By comparison, their creators rarely catch as much guff.



Even Tolkien did that -- particularly with the hobbits of the Shire. Bracegirdle, Proudfoot, Brandybuck...

He also gave us Thorin Oakenshield.

That's likely why names like that aren't even noticed: they've been there since the beginning of modern fantasy.

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Eldacar
Senior Scribe

431 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  11:54:47  Show Profile Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Ezra Bridger bugs me, too.

While I can't find a specific reference right now, I believe that at least the "Bridger" part of his name was allegedly chosen deliberately by the series creator of SW:Rebels, namely that he was a "bridge to a new era" (since his story takes place essentially between the prequel-era things, and the original trilogy era). Meaningful names are, after all, all over the place in Star Wars.

The name "Ezra" also means a helper, or one who aids/protects, so that too is likely designed to very deliberately and thematically evoke certain things and meanings; a made-up name would be less able to do that.

quote:
As I've commented before, something as simple as changing a couple of letters, or playing with the order, can give you an entirely different name. Jonathan can become Jathalon or Jolathar or something like that.

Baldur's Gate 2 may already have done that with Jonathan - at least, it sounds very similar to the real name of the mage Jon Irenicus, namely Joneleth Irenicus (shortened to Jon Irenicus after the elves kicked him out).

"The Wild Mages I have met exhibit a startling disregard for common sense, and are often meddling with powers far beyond their own control." ~Volo
"Not unlike a certain travelogue author with whom I am unfortunately acquainted." ~Elminster
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2021 :  15:32:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Ezra Bridger bugs me, too.

While I can't find a specific reference right now, I believe that at least the "Bridger" part of his name was allegedly chosen deliberately by the series creator of SW:Rebels, namely that he was a "bridge to a new era" (since his story takes place essentially between the prequel-era things, and the original trilogy era). Meaningful names are, after all, all over the place in Star Wars.

The name "Ezra" also means a helper, or one who aids/protects, so that too is likely designed to very deliberately and thematically evoke certain things and meanings; a made-up name would be less able to do that.



A made-up name has the same meaningful impact as a real-world name, if people don't know the meaning of the latter. And I'm fairly certain that most people don't even think about meanings of names, anymore, they just go with either family names or something they like the sound of.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2021 :  13:05:15  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Azar


To make players/DMs not feel so bad about their own creativity or (hopefully momentary) lack thereof. If these names were given the green light for official products of a popular campaign setting of arguably the most popular tabletop roleplaying game on the market, then average folks spectating from afar shouldn't beat themselves up too much.


I would counter that just because someone approved them, it doesn't make names like Bistro Battenrooj and Charles Oliver O'Kane fit the setting. Approved or not, they break immersion as soon as they come up.


I counter your counter with this rebuttal: if you're making fat stacks like Salvatore was (is?), you've got carte blanche in the fictional worlds. Throw in spunky heroine Sahkra Fyce or opportunistic merchant Al Varice if it makes you happy.



Seriously, however, you've made your point. Allow me to defend myself by saying that the connection between "Batenrooj" and "Baton Rouge" wasn't made until someone here pointed it out; I have zero experience with the city itself and so it only makes sense that particular relation remained beneath my radar. Finally, "Batenrooj" is a rather tame example among outré individuals such as "Muffinhead" and "Runabout Kickastone".

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

If I had to hazard I guess, I'd say most of the fantasy fiction consumed by people invested in the Realms is Eurocentric.


Not just Eurocentric, but specifically western Eurocentric. A lot of the British Isles, maybe some France, not so much of any other part of Europe. Which is largely, I would say, because it's what Tolkien did and so much fantasy follows his template.

I have read fantasy that wasn't based on that default, but it's definitely a smaller part of the genre.


This ties into...

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

To have others understand that it is possible to come up with a name that sounds unique by their limited life experience, but in all actuality already exists...as all our experiences are limited by definition. It isn't exactly improbable that a writer here and there came up with a combination of sounds in their head that another culture already imagined long ago.



This one I can agree with. One name I thought I was making up turned out to a not overly common but not entirely unknown name, and another that I thought I'd made up turned out to be an Irish one. The first one, there are at least a couple of celebrities with that name or a variation of it. I'd not heard of them when I came up with the name -- one now well-known one wasn't even born, then! -- so I thought it was something entirely original. The other one, I thought for 20 years that it was something I made up and I was rather proud of it, and then one day I saw that someone at my company had that name -- hell of a shock, that one!



Some of the "tricks of the trade" you've highlighted tend to work well with a certain generation or range of consumers. As time goes on and the spotlight is increasingly shone on non-Western European fiction, simple exposure is going to take away much of the mystique associated with names once thought of as exclusively exotic.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Ezra Bridger bugs me, too.

While I can't find a specific reference right now, I believe that at least the "Bridger" part of his name was allegedly chosen deliberately by the series creator of SW:Rebels, namely that he was a "bridge to a new era" (since his story takes place essentially between the prequel-era things, and the original trilogy era). Meaningful names are, after all, all over the place in Star Wars.

The name "Ezra" also means a helper, or one who aids/protects, so that too is likely designed to very deliberately and thematically evoke certain things and meanings; a made-up name would be less able to do that.



A made-up name has the same meaningful impact as a real-world name, if people don't know the meaning of the latter. And I'm fairly certain that most people don't even think about meanings of names, anymore, they just go with either family names or something they like the sound of.



In all fairness, folks who are passionate about writing (i.e., writers) usually think about those little semi-obscure details and consumers often appreciate those sorts of details when revisiting fiction.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2021 :  10:43:28  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

Baldur's Gate 2 may already have done that with Jonathan - at least, it sounds very similar to the real name of the mage Jon Irenicus, namely Joneleth Irenicus (shortened to Jon Irenicus after the elves kicked him out).



That was an unobtrusive choice because, for a goodly-sized chunk of the game, the player didn't truly know anything about his race/species. I'd bet my bottom dollar that most players just assumed he was human.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2021 :  15:07:11  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Half-Orcs, anyone?

* Dorn.
* Feng x2.
* Fowler.
* Hakan.
* Mara.
* Norris.
* Oleg.
* Shay.
* Toren.
* Vernon.
* Veron.
* Wingham.

...and this is the lone Orc.

* Anya.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2021 :  15:27:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

Half-Orcs, anyone?

* Dorn.
* Feng x2.
* Fowler.
* Hakan.
* Mara.
* Norris.
* Oleg.
* Shay.
* Toren.
* Vernon.
* Veron.
* Wingham.

...and this is the lone Orc.

* Anya.



Yikes. Some of those are *bad*.

A half-orc named Vernon? *shudders*

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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  04:57:24  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

Half-Orcs, anyone?

* Dorn.
* Feng x2.
* Fowler.
* Hakan.
* Mara.
* Norris.
* Oleg.
* Shay.
* Toren.
* Vernon.
* Veron.
* Wingham.

...and this is the lone Orc.

* Anya.



Yikes. Some of those are *bad*.

A half-orc named Vernon? *shudders*



It's a fine Christian name and he's a good boy deep down. You'll not besmirch his reputation.

In all seriousness, how could you possibly refuse a Forgotten Realms adventuring group consisting of Rico, Tim, Jamal, Tim and Vernon?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  14:58:55  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What do you find more bothersome: apostrophes or clusters of/consecutive consonants?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  16:02:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

What do you find more bothersome: apostrophes or clusters of/consecutive consonants?



Apostrophes, though a single one isn't too bad.

Certain real-world languages do go heavy for consecutive consonants*, so it's not uncommon in some names -- like Schmidt.

*(At least, this is the perspective from someone speaking a language that doesn't go for a lot of consecutive consonants. YMMV, of course)

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Azar
Senior Scribe

784 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  22:19:31  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Certain real-world languages do go heavy for consecutive consonants*, so it's not uncommon in some names -- like Schmidt.

*(At least, this is the perspective from someone speaking a language that doesn't go for a lot of consecutive consonants. YMMV, of course)



Hm...at least one example should have been provided .

Here's a few: Rrannarr, Gllynkk, and Vippxx.

For whatever reason, names similar to the above really grind the gears of specific fantasy aficionados; it's as if they're violating some unspoken rule of good taste.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36123 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  22:58:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Certain real-world languages do go heavy for consecutive consonants*, so it's not uncommon in some names -- like Schmidt.

*(At least, this is the perspective from someone speaking a language that doesn't go for a lot of consecutive consonants. YMMV, of course)



Hm...at least one example should have been provided .

Here's a few: Rrannarr, Gllynkk, and Vippxx.

For whatever reason, names similar to the above really grind the gears of specific fantasy aficionados; it's as if they're violating some unspoken rule of good taste.



Okay, yeah, I can see that. Rrannarr could possibly slide -- but not the other two. Consecutive duplicated consonants really don't serve much purpose, unless there's a syllable break betwixt them, and I've no idea how you're supposed to say some of them.

Some consonants just don't go together, depending on their placement in the word. That's why I've never liked a couple of the bits of Realms profanity Ed has given us: hrast and tluin. Not only do I not know how to pronounce the letter combos leading these words, those combos interrupt the flow -- and profanity should, in my opinion, flow out smoothly.

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Azar
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Posted - 12 Oct 2021 :  10:49:05  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Okay, yeah, I can see that. Rrannarr could possibly slide -- but not the other two. Consecutive duplicated consonants really don't serve much purpose, unless there's a syllable break betwixt them, and I've no idea how you're supposed to say some of them.


Apostrophes and consecutive duplicated consonants, huh? I knew that you weren't going to get Drizzt Do'urden anything for his birthday, but to not sign his cast in the hospital? Oof .

Okay...how about names that are phonetically similar to Earth equivalents yet grammatically different?

Agatha <-> Agetha.
John <-> Jaan.
Ryan <-> Raian.
Teresa <-> Tairaysa.

A cheat?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Some consonants just don't go together, depending on their placement in the word. That's why I've never liked a couple of the bits of Realms profanity Ed has given us: hrast and tluin. Not only do I not know how to pronounce the letter combos leading these words, those combos interrupt the flow -- and profanity should, in my opinion, flow out smoothly.


"hrast" is definitely easier to pronounce than "tluin", I found. Maybe certain curse swords are designed to be drawn out in order to reflect or perhaps convey the deeper severity of their meaning?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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TBeholder
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Posted - 15 Jan 2022 :  18:31:55  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Though not all are fantastic, I�ve found this resource to be of truly epic help when needing a name on the fly.

https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/

Even Wizards have one of those. https://www.wizards.com/dnd/article5.asp?x=dnd/dx20010202b
But why use just one?
https://www.fantasynamegen.com/
https://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-name.php
http://chaoticshiny.com/namegen.php
http://www.generatorland.com/gloriginals.aspx (includes pirate "<Name> <Nickname>")
http://gangstaname.com/names/pirate (also pirates)
http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/
https://www.elfnamesgenerators.com/
https://www.name-generator.org.uk/
https://www.namegenerator.biz/
https://www.namegenerator.co/
https://www.namegeneratorfun.com/

But then, why use non-adjustable generators for Genericland?

https://www.namegeneratorfun.com/markov - Markov generator (remixing a set of sample names)

There was a great one, but the site expired. https://web.archive.org/web/20190917194714/webspace.webring.com/people/pz/zircher/ang3.htm
The basic functions work from webarchive or local files, so you can generate one entry with any of those pre-made rulesets (like "lizardsssss") and your own random seed ("Translate" button).
The advanced functions (User Created and a batch of names) don't work (console reports at least 3 errors in names_vars2.js). Though these scripts could be fixed on a locally saved page if you know your way around JS.

And for extra silliness: www.codenamegenerator.com ("Operation: Fuchsia Tiger Asteroid").

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  02:56:12  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A lot of times, I'll look at the various name generators, and really not care for what they're spitting out... But I can usually take one of those names a tweak it a couple times and make something that does work for me.

I've got a spreadsheet of names that I've created. I've been keeping that list for many years, now; it originally started as a series of hand-written lists, compiled on loose-leaf notebook paper in a single binder. Many of the names are crap and will never be used, and because I've come up with a lot of names over the years, many of the decent ones will never get a chance to be used, either... Sometimes I look at the list, looking for a name, and one immediately jumps out at me. Other times, I look, and I find one that kinda but not quite works, and then play with it (generating more names) until I get something I like.

Having this list has made it really, really obvious that I favor certain letters and patterns... Two-syllable first names starting with K, for example.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 16 Jan 2022 02:58:59
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Azar
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Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  13:45:32  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've got a spreadsheet of names that I've created. I've been keeping that list for many years, now; it originally started as a series of hand-written lists, compiled on loose-leaf notebook paper in a single binder. Many of the names are crap and will never be used, and because I've come up with a lot of names over the years, many of the decent ones will never get a chance to be used, either... Sometimes I look at the list, looking for a name, and one immediately jumps out at me. Other times, I look, and I find one that kinda but not quite works, and then play with it (generating more names) until I get something I like.


A similar method has proven useful for my own tabletop gaming interest; instead of paper, I began with a computer. Basically, a word processor is left running and it is occasionally fed names for potential NPCs. Whatever names aren't created by dint of my own imaginings/idle thoughts are typically plucked from various sources (e.g., sounds/audible speech in video games or chatter from online personalities). However, I don't fancy lifting anything in its original form; most resultant names were first modified significantly from their source and then those are further tweaked to generate additional variants. Not only is avoiding plagiarism important (even if I'll never profit from these efforts), but I like to exercise my own creativity...no matter how limited.

quote:
Example -> "Rasmarus/Rassmarus/Rasmarius/Rassmarius"


Incidentally, like you, I too abide by Sturgeon's Law. Thankfully, there's plenty of fertilizer for future growth.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Having this list has made it really, really obvious that I favor certain letters and patterns... Two-syllable first names starting with K, for example.



For whatever reason, I gravitate towards the letter "n" (it infrequently appears as the first letter, but it will show up).

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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TBeholder
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2207 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2022 :  17:42:50  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

A lot of times, I'll look at the various name generators, and really not care for what they're spitting out...

Generic generic is generic.
The good ones are specific or tuned.
Markov generates "in the style of", so it's going to produce many good results if given good samples.
Let's try with collected names from clan list in Cormanthyr.
Spaces were replaced with CHAR(10) aka LF for input, the opposite for output so that this post doesn't eat 3 screens of vertical space. Re-opening the page via link between tests.
quote:
from spreadsheet, parsed:

> Namyriitha Ornthalas Naeryndam Puorlaas Luthais Khyssoun Arkhun Tehlmar Phraan Alabyran Cohnal Unae Hastos Symrustar Raerauntha Syviis Ajaar Ajaar Isciira Ecaeris Purtham Lhoris Alea Laosx Vhoorhin Uschymna Synnorha Kuornos Ahskahala Iefyr Yrthraethra Onvyr Delmuth Itylra Neldor Ahrendaaria Fhociin Taenya Galan Thallan Braern Amrynn Khyrmn Talanashta Wylym Jonas Yrlissa Paeris Elidyr Axilya Otaerhyn Jaonos Rathiain Myriil Myriil Thiilthan Shyael Eallyrl Wylchyr Urmicca Shyrrik Cathra Kerym Glynnii Ardryll Conall Nyvorlas Maaleshiira Pyrder Pywaln Tathaln Chaalmyth Jonik Jonik Dathlue Sadalymn Amkissra Dasyra Raibyr Llarm Ruvyn Tannyll Mothrys Rhangyl Mihangyl Aneirin Gylledha Taredd Sandew Seith Gweyr Dyffros Llamryl Rychell Goronyyv Eyrynnhv Cystenn Dannyd Rhys Myrddin Haryk Kuskyn Cheyrth Nlossae Jharym Katar Cluym Nuala Corym Shalantha Rhalyf Csharynn Garynnon Garynnon Edyrm Aulauthar Edwyrd Leojym Meira Nelaeryn Ildilyntra Llombaerth Uldreiyn Illitran Venali Josidiah Taleisin Ysmyrl’da


...results in (3 runs):
quote:
from Markov mixer:

> Alas Cohnas Galaar Galla Uschyraar Yrlis Khyssa Ala Hastosx Usciin Wylraernth Khymrustar Paenya Ahskahais Lhociin Hashta Yrlidyr Ahskaha Amrustosx Ornosx
--
> Khyraun Itylya Naethra Alas Deldorlis Has Isciis Raeris Phran Symn Yrlidyr Jonaethais Vhoor Kuoris Itylya Amrynnorlidyris Ahskahais Phran Has Raeris
--
> Naera Ornthallan Puorha Vhorhin Itylrae Raethra Kuorlidyrmn Paeriira Itylymnaethrenya Syviin Laos Alanashtar Taerissa Pae Ajaanae Bra Tallan Luthaissoun Cohna Has


This gives a good idea of how good Markov mixer is. Some obviously unusable results, but many are good.
Also, we can see that removing "Laosx" oddball from the list would probably improve the output. It's fairly common with parser-mixers, Markov chains or not. Which is why containing such oddball elements in a separate set and using them more carefully (below) usually helps.

quote:
I've got a spreadsheet of names that I've created. I've been keeping that list for many years, now;
...
Having this list has made it really, really obvious that I favor certain letters and patterns... Two-syllable first names starting with K, for example.

Indeed, names are made of parts. So you could break them into desirable elements (prefixes/roots/suffixes) and composing schemes (usually it will be something like "root_basic_1+root_basic_2+suffix", "root_color_1+root_basic_1+suffix", "prefix_1+root_basic_1+root_fancy_1", etc).
Once you have all these lists in a spreadsheet, all you need for a working name generator is:
- formula that picks a random element from the given set - little more than INDEX (..., RANDOM(...), ... ), copied for each possible component,
- formula to concatenate those fragments (trivial), for each scheme.
Add fancy user-friendly extras (COUNT for more editable sets, batch generation, forms) to taste. Press "refresh" until you like the result.
It's tidier with writing actual functions, of course, but even this will do the job.
Of course, real coding also allows to have all modification friendliness of a script in more convenient usage formats such as bookmarklets on JavaScript or full GUI on Python (constructed in PyGlade), with just a little extra effort, so there's also that.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 26 Jan 2022 21:53:31
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Azar
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Posted - 02 Feb 2022 :  00:49:29  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the treasure that DMs/GMs value the most is a solid list of names .

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
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Posted - 26 Feb 2022 :  16:15:48  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a scale of one to ten on the "Cheese-o-Meter", how would you rate "Feegora Spiche" for an Oghmanyte philosopher?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 26 Feb 2022 :  16:37:54  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

On a scale of one to ten on the "Cheese-o-Meter", how would you rate "Feegora Spiche" for an Oghmanyte philosopher?



It seems ok to me but then it depends on how you sound it out in your head. For me, that means rolling the 'r' in the first name (so kinda Scottish accent) and the last name with a sort of German accent so it has a long 'i' and that "hard ch" sound.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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George Krashos
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Australia
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Posted - 27 Feb 2022 :  09:13:47  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

On a scale of one to ten on the "Cheese-o-Meter", how would you rate "Feegora Spiche" for an Oghmanyte philosopher?



It would read better as "Phegora Spich".

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 27 Feb 2022 23:41:30
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 27 Feb 2022 :  16:22:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

On a scale of one to ten on the "Cheese-o-Meter", how would you rate "Feegora Spiche" for an Oghmanyte philosopher?



It would reach better as "Phegora Spich".

-- George Krashos



How about changing the apparent gender? Phegor Aspich.

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Delnyn
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Posted - 27 Feb 2022 :  19:33:31  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

On a scale of one to ten on the "Cheese-o-Meter", how would you rate "Feegora Spiche" for an Oghmanyte philosopher?


It would reach better as "Phegora Spich".

-- George Krashos



How about changing the apparent gender? Phegor Aspich.


Be careful,"Phegor" is only one syllable away from Baalphegor. Mistaken gender will not work to avert the rather negative consequences.
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Azar
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784 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2022 :  02:32:54  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the reception thus far. So...there IS a place for punny names in a generally serious tabletop gaming campaign as long as they require some effort to "unpack" and/or sound simultaneously natural?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.

Edited by - Azar on 07 Mar 2022 10:36:25
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 28 Feb 2022 :  03:03:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the reception thus far. So...there IS a place for punny names in a generally serious tabletop gaming campaign as long as they require some effort to "unpack" and/or sound simultaneously natural?



To be honest, I don't like it. But to each his own, and all that... And I can still participate in a thought exercise about something, even if I don't like it.

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