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View Full Version : Naming Conventions (or why the GCG is a godsend to some)



The Ghost
10 January 2004, 08:48 AM
ok, generally i'm not a picky gamer.

in D&D, it's fine to have whatever silly name you want. "Ripp Torr" was some fighter my friend had.

but in Star Wars, i've become obsessed with having names that hold true to the feel of the setting. i mean, how often do you see people come up with names that are just ghastly or plain.

please tell me i'm not the only one who cringes when people use monikers like "James" for a SW character.

Darth Fierce
10 January 2004, 11:33 AM
Personally, I agree that the GCG's naming convention system is great for the most part. I don't think rolling the dice to come up with NPC or PC names is so great though...is it just me or does anyone else not like the idea of finding a "Bail Bombaasa," "Jaina Gast" or "Padme Valton" (hmm..."Padme Valton" I wonder if she could be the heiress of a galactic-chain of hotels fortune?) on every human-inhabited planet the players "visit" with a significant population?

That said, I think creative GM's or players can come up with a plethora of names if they don't use the roll of the dice with the naming system.

Darth Fierce :vader:

Nova Spice
10 January 2004, 04:15 PM
please tell me i'm not the only one who cringes when people use monikers like "James" for a SW character.

No, you're definitely not the only one, Ghost. I cannot stand, particularly in a game like Galaxies, for folks to have Zabraks named: "Bart" or Rodians named: "Thomas."

It's quite annoying. I have four character accounts:

Jowltharr-Male Wookiee Teras Kasi Artist
Milanna Noor-Female Human Medic
Raba Hui-Male Rodian Marksman
Gralanna-Female Wookiee Scout

As far as PnP experiences, I am fortunate enough to have PCs that take pride in their character names. I've yet to have a questionable name from them.

The Ghost
10 January 2004, 07:00 PM
i spend time now and then coming up with appropriate sounding names just so my friends don't have to wrack their brains about it.

add to the GCG the Callsigns for Wookies and Corellians from the short-lived Star Wars Gamer. those were great.

Darth_Cassed
10 January 2004, 08:39 PM
The problem with our group is that none of us refer to our characters by their character names, we always forget them and call each other by player names.

We should work on that, it enhances the experience. Anyone else have this dilemma?

Talon Razor 'GM'
10 January 2004, 09:17 PM
In my games, I always make it a point to call the players by their characters names. They actually pick up on it and it's slowly transforming them into roleplayers.

As for naming, I never have a problem with naming something. I always make sure everyone has a good name too, no cheesy names are allowed in my campaigns.

That's why the Star Wars Random Name Generator (http://www.dimfuture.net/starwars/random/index.php) is such a great website. I use it all the time for naming NPCs that I don't want to waste alot of time on. A page with several hundred names from this site is a great aid in a game.

farr0095
11 January 2004, 02:44 AM
Originally posted by The Ghost
but in Star Wars, i've become obsessed with having names that hold true to the feel of the setting.

I agree one-hundred percent! But I like to take it a step further and play word games with my character names. I often go to a Greek-English Dictonary (http://www.kypros.org/cgi-bin/lexicon/), a Croatian-English Dictionary (http://www.hnk.ffzg.hr/jthj/dictionaries.htm), a Maori-English Dictionary (http://www.learningmedia.co.nz/ngata/) (another here's another (http://kel.otago.ac.nz/translator/), any variety of other language translators, or a Baby Name and Meaning Site (http://www.babynameworld.com/) to gather my character names. This way I throw in hidden meanings.

A favorite NPC that came about as this was a Jedi named Sasha Thanatos. I found that Sasha is "Pet form of Alexander" and Alexander means "Protector of Man". Not bad for a Jedi. But then Thanatos is Greek (rougly, sometimes I change the spelling to protect the innocent ;)) for "Death". I used that to foreshadow the Jedi's doom and future fall to the Dark Side. A scholarly gamer of mine, having studied Greek, picked up on the last name. He questioned me, probably wondering if I knew what it meant and quickly realized the probable implications. :D

Too bad that game died out. :(

So I love to play around with that kind of information and find different meanings with character names!

Ardent
11 January 2004, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by farr0095
A favorite NPC that came about as this was a Jedi named Sasha Thanatos. I found that Sasha is "Pet form of Alexander" and Alexander means "Protector of Man". Not bad for a Jedi. But then Thanatos is Greek (rougly, sometimes I change the spelling to protect the innocent ;)) for "Death". I used that to foreshadow the Jedi's doom and future fall to the Dark Side. A scholarly gamer of mine, having studied Greek, picked up on the last name. He questioned me, probably wondering if I knew what it meant and quickly realized the probable implications. :D


Sure it was a Greek scholar? I mean, I know we covered Thanatos in Greek mythology, but not everyone suffers through that.

Thanatos was, probably unsurprisingly, also a major villain in the Marvel universe. And yes, his goal was death and general disarray.

johnnyputrid
12 January 2004, 06:13 AM
I actually had one of my PCs name his scoundrel "Ty-Quon Dho". He never put two and two together and I didn't have the heart to tell him. He played that character for a year before he figured it out. Still, it was decent attempt at a Star War-ish name.

The Ghost
12 January 2004, 07:48 AM
also, i find Egyptian names can be quite Star Wars-y.

that's where i got half of my first Jedi's name. the other half was a psychology concept invented by Jung.

JediJester
14 January 2004, 12:09 PM
I don't like cheesy names for main characters, but am not picky about minor ones (such as shop keepers and thugs).

I am currently playing with a GM who has a habit of making up some funny names. They fit the SW feel, but when are actually spoken, tend to sound quite funny. Example: Gramorrean named Grach Snivv who has become known as Crotch Sniff amoung us players.

Darth_Cassed
14 January 2004, 12:23 PM
What about non-character names? Starship names?

Do you guys mind cheesy ship names? Such as the Run Like Hell. We always thought about naminga ship the Unknown. That would be hilarious on an Imperial ship.....some poor sensor officer would be losing his life for insubordination....

Bar names are always big, our d20 GM sent us to the Sexy Gammorrean. Needless to say my guard was constantly up in that place.....

JediJester
14 January 2004, 11:40 PM
Ship names can be as corny as anyone wants in my book. I fact, I think I prefer them to be more on the absurd side of things unless they're military vessels.

Darth Fierce
15 January 2004, 04:32 AM
As far as ships go, I like ships which have names that aren't too "over the top," but have a clever feel to them. Maybe that's why I liked Zahn's choice of names for Talon Karrde's ships (e.g., Etherway, Uwana Buyer, etc.) so much.

For Imperial ships, I prefer a regal or predatory feel to the names. Maybe it's just me, but I was getting sick of almost all ISDs being named after figures/creatures in Greek/Roman mythology after we saw the Chimaera in the Thrawn trilogy.

Darth Fierce :vader:

johnnyputrid
15 January 2004, 06:28 AM
My scoundrel, Jo-Maas Toraan, has his own ship, a real beat-up rustbucket called the Lolliipop. It's a good ship.

coldskier0320
16 January 2004, 08:33 AM
For Imperial ships, I prefer a regal or predatory feel to the names. Maybe it's just me, but I was getting sick of almost all ISDs being named after figures/creatures in Greek/Roman mythology after we saw the Chimera in the Thrawn trilogy.

Yeah! How did they know what the Greeks/Romans were coming up with?!:mad: Did the romans have a working HoloNet transceiver prototype that we have yet to discover? If so, we're STILL in the dark ages!:P Yeah, names like Chimaera, Griffin, Gorgon, Manticore, etc. are OK, but in moderation. I liked the Death's Head, Bellicose, Stormhawk, etc.


My scoundrel, Jo-Maas Toraan, has his own ship, a real beat-up rustbucket called the Lolliipop. It's a good ship.

Oh geez.:rolleyes: :P

Darth Fierce
16 January 2004, 09:45 AM
*A singsong voice comes from Darth Fierce's breathing filter*

It's the good ship, Lolliipop... taking a sweet trip to Jabba the Hutt's...:D

*Darth Fierce hopes nobody takes him to court for not paying royalties or possible copyright infringement* :rolleyes:

Darth Fierce :vader:

Soontide
6 February 2004, 10:47 PM
I find that changing a single letter in mundane names tends to make for some good star wars sounding names. For instance. Take the name Jason Williams. Change the s in Jason to a K and the ms in Williams to an n and you get Jakon Willian.

as far as ship names go, The stranger the better but I tend to give them names that evoke a feel about them. For instance, a scout ship named the "silent witness". A corellian corvette used to smuggle troops and equipment into a blockaided system called the "Lucky Mole", etc.

as far as military ships, I add "ator" to the end of quite a number of things. For instance the "repudiator" was a victory class star destroyer in one of my games. Also, the "Validator", the "Invicerator" and the "Liquidator" were ships that I have used. Yea, sometimes the naming convention becomes sort of a joke, especially when the players come up with background with ships with names like "the Irritator" and "the Mashed tator" come up.

JudroBathens
7 February 2004, 01:06 AM
I agree entirely about players coming up with non-SW sounding names; you get that from time to time, of course, but mostly my players are pretty good. I have a 'Troy Sunbeam' in my group, which was a reasonable effort but not quite the thing (I think 'Sunbeamer' might have been a skoche closer); there's also a 'Mari Seymour' (the 'Mari' part is great, but 'Seymour' gives me fits; I got around this, though, by 'revealing' to the character that she was actually heir to the throne of a particular planet... so now, having succeeded the late king, she is simply 'Queen Mari'--much more SW-ish).

There are some good ones in the group, though; 'Ashla Stardreamer' is one I was quite happy with. That same player has a Bothan Jedi named Kev Sey'lya (the last name being inspired by Mount Seleya from Star Trek III , but nicely tied in as a Bothan-sounding name). We also have a 'Cuthbert Gilahd', which sounds good to me (he got the first name from The Dark Tower), and a Wookiee who usually goes by 'Barrage' but whose given name is 'Shorworr' (thanks to the Wook name article from SW Gamer).

When I come up with names for NPCs, I pretty much wander all over the map. For aliens particularly, I'll just put random syllables together (though if there's an example for that given species, I'll usually try and come up with something that sounds reasonably similar). A favorite technique of mine is just to take a real name and rearrange the letters until something good appears; as an example, I once came up with a Senator who was peripherally based on the character Johnny Fontane from The Godfather; I just fiddled with the letters until I got 'Thanefin Jonyon'.

JediJester
7 February 2004, 01:54 PM
As long as a name remotely resembles any given examples for the naming conventions for a certain race, I don't have any problem. If the character's name is an obvious break from the naming traditions specified for a race, I usually ask them to include in their background story why they have a name that is not the norm for their race.

I've never made a character change their name for two reasons. Firstly, it's like saying "your ideas are stupid" and, secondly, I don't feel I'm the final authority on what names do and don't fit in the SW universe. I've had corellian named James Hall and a wookie named Woog (strong as an rancor, dumb as bricks and that was all he could ever remember of his name).

I feel that when a character comes up with their character, a large part of their character is the name. Certain names bring certain images to mind for certain people and often it helps them play their character better. Just because I couldn't play a hard-a$$ soldier-type named Hooby doesn't mean that it's not a good name for a character. Besides, I know plenty of people who have ridiculous given names, why would the SW universe be any different?

Kyle Pantrakahs
26 February 2004, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by JediJester
. Besides, I know plenty of people who have ridiculous given names, why would the SW universe be any different?

Definitely agree with you there. Thankfully, though, my PCs are pretty good with names and we haven't had any ones that have really made me cringe...except "Legolas Lemme", taken from the player's favorite LOTR character and RL last name. *Sigh* And guess what his weapons of choice were? :rolleyes:

Changing subjects slightly, when scrounging for ideas in mythology and other literature, it's a good idea to look for very obscure characters or places, whatever that not everyone will immediately recognize. Also, if you just add, subtract, or substitute a couple of letters can usually help but not always. Two very big examples from the EU are Elassar and Isolder.

dgswensen
26 February 2004, 07:13 PM
Would this be a good time to plug my Star Wars Random Name Generator (http://www.dimfuture.net/starwars/random/index.php)?

:D

Kyle Pantrakahs
26 February 2004, 07:22 PM
Sure! lol ;)

Darklighter
1 March 2004, 09:58 AM
I have to say that dgsewnson's Star Wars Random Name Generator has been indispensable for me. Another resource that I recommend checking out appears on the site, The Adventures of the Chaos Crew (http://www.the-chaos-crew.com/swrpg/index.htm).

Just follow the GM Material and Resources links to access the Star Wars Name Gazetteer. I find this handy for some guidelines on naming alien characters.

On another note, I think it's perfectly acceptable to give a character a sort of mundane first name. Witness Luke, Leia, and Han. Or Ben, for that matter. It's the last name that has to be in the Star Wars vein. Names I've come up with in this way (for human characters): Jake Vericon, Dan Cloudrunner, Shay Toma, Rain Sabano, Marc Ryfe, and Dev Dewson. All of those first name's can be found in North America (although I'm sure that Rain and Dev are rare).

Female Togorian character: Mrrava (and the Gazetteer helped me with this one).

Male Sullustan: Rien Sovo

Twi'leks: Jhadi Aresu, or Jhadia'resu (female); Nomar Avun, or Noma'ravun (male) - and again, the Gazetteer helped with these, in combination with the Name Generator.

Anyway, just some thoughts there. :)