Names & Naming
I cannot begin how important this can be for your character.
Names have an influence on role-playing, just as the other parts of a backstory. It can sometimes make or break a character, especially how other role-players interact with the character ICly and OOCly. The game’s genre also plays a hand in this.
A tongue-in-cheek or parody style game can have cheesy joke names, with a lean on puns and double-meanings.
A more serious or semi-serious game world would have more “serious” names attached to it. I’m not saying you can’t have a little fun with your name in a setting, but be mindful of the type of game and genre it belongs in.
Pick names that are logical based on race, environs, and lore. Sometimes taking a look at the way names are done in the game’s lore and such can give you a good idea of what you can name your character – and what to avoid.
Explore words and names that are unique or borrow from other sources, just make it your own. Search engines, literature, and your imagination are great tools or examples – and what to steer clear from. Trying a baby name sites/books or a random name generator (using your search engine of choice) might be a great solution for many names. Another source could be using names from literature, film, and giving them a twist, to make them “yours”, not “theirs”.
We don’t need any more Gandalfs. Just sayin’.
- For MMORPGs, hop on a “scout” or “throw-away” character and check out the NPCs in local towns that your character may start in. That can help you find out what naming structure is being used for a particular race or area.
- If your character’s name is taken, try replacing a vowel, or shifting/adding a letter. Check and make sure it still “fits”.
- Names that are offensive should be avoided unless others rules are in play.
- Anything remotely sounding like a first person shooter handle or a trendy chat/leet handle would not be a great idea (hehe). Whatever you decide, make it pronounceable, easy to type (within reason) and something that “fits” the game world. Avoid names like Merlintwo, Tissue, Leetodin, Thunderbunny, Xhottiex, Xbox or Dsjhfg, or similar “easy” fixes. While these -could- be fine for screen or avatar names – but they are not RP friendly.
- The random name generator that come with most game’s Character Screens tendd not to be the most “friendly” rp-wise. Coming up with a few backup names could work to your advantage.
- Most MMORPGs have a Naming Policy and sometimes a RP Naming Policy for their RP servers/realms. It’s a good idea to check them out.
- Try to void alternate (ALT) characters ( examples: ä, ê, ô, ú, ) if at all possible. In MMORPGs, they can make it difficult for others to find you for RP and tends to be a headache overall. Yes, you may really want the name Marion, for example – but there are plenty other names that you can find that can work. If for some reason you must have a name and it’s taken, go dfor it. Just try to keep it to one ALT code character.
- If your character’s name sounds weird to you or friends if you toss it out to them, it probably is.