View Full Version : Naming Campaigns/Games... How Do You Do It?

12 June 2002, 08:21 PM
I am beginning to become a proficient GM(trying not to be cocky or somethig'), but I am having trouble naming games/campaigns, my most recent campaign is The Tale of the Crimson Seas, my pc's don't get it yet, but ALOT happens around those crimson seas. Anyway, does anyone have advice on naming games/campaigns, because I am always worried a korny name will make PC's take the game too 'unseriousley' Thanks for any help...

13 June 2002, 05:25 AM
The starfighter campaign I am prepping for the fall is called "Ravens Episode V: After Endor"
The players have yet to play the first four and as of now I dont plan on working on them, but I needed the backstory and it just feels cool.

One I play in doesnt have a name, we are Jedi in training, so I affectionally call it Jedi Candidate, after Pilot Candidate, the anime.

13 June 2002, 06:09 AM
The simplest way to make names is to look at what the focus of the campaign is. Try out a few different names until you come up with something you like.

Sometimes you can also come up with a very creative name that has double meanings. For example, one particular story has two major elements: first, a conflict in the area over illegal spice trade. Second, a romance between a PC and an NPC. The adventure/campaign could be called "Sugar and Spice." The title is the first few lines of that childhood poem ("Boys are made of snips and snails and..." you get the picture), while it also makes a reference to the spice trade. The PCs probably won't understand the meaning at first, but if it suddenly hits them, that's kind of neat.

Just be careful about how you name things. The above title is a good example. My PCs in one of the games I run probably wouldn't have any problem with this name. The others would probably make some sort of association I never intended, and the name could never be considered serious again. I personally am ignorant of the various connotations words have taken on in slang, so I have to be very careful when naming anything for certain gaming groups. When you have a similar situation, go for bland names.

13 June 2002, 09:12 AM
A few campaign arcs i've had are;

"Elmer's Legacy"- the PCs used to work for an old guy named Elmer at a repair shop (mostly combines and farm equipment) but when the old guy got carted off by the ISB for 'crimes against the state' due to his previous history in a pirate gang called Crimson Fleet during the Old Republic, the characters start in a race against the ISB to find where Elmer stashed the loot...

"Dark Missions"- the PCs are a group of dark force users in league with a Sith Lord... trying valiantly to become his apprentices and learn more of the dark side. To prove their worth, these apprentices are sent on a series of missions... voila, the name.

I agree with the aforementioned opinions- bland is good except it needs a double meaning. often, players don't even know the connection of the name and the campaign.. which makes naming the scenarios and campaigns an inside GM joke which only we can laugh at :D

Nova Spice
13 June 2002, 09:28 AM
Our current campaign is called "Piercing the Darkness". Its on the 17th adventure and my PCs have yet to figure out what exactly that darkness is.......one of the PCs is a crimelord and all the others work for him. They know their crimelord PC has people who want to kill him and them, but they don't exactly know everyone. I included Tempest Feud in this campaign and I must say the PCs have no clue as to what is really out there lurking for them......its almost eerie....but they won't find out until the 20th adventure when the campaign ends.....and since they visit the boards frequently I would prefer not to tell what is really out there (and no its not a Sith or Dark Jedi).
Basically I like to think of titles that would catch my attention if they were books. Some of my Campaign and Adventure names are obscure and seem like they make no sense to the PCs (that's usually because they yet to know what is going on....), while others like our Tatooine Campaign are not so deep....the Tatooine Campaign was simply titled: "Tatooine Travels".
I like writing and have a couple of fanfictions in the Fanfiction Forum, so I generally can come up with clever names that deal with something that will be revealed later in the campaign or something that deals directly from the plot.....if you sit down after you've thought out your campaign and start thinking of words that perhaps describe the emotion of what your PCs will be going through and what trials they face, you may be able to come up with something like, "The Crying Winds" or "The Stars of Despair." Something that sounds decent and gives you a good idea of how the campaign will be played is usually a good title. ;)
I hope that helps with your dilemma. B)

13 June 2002, 10:21 AM
when I bother to go for a campaign name at all. I useally just call my campaigns "Brian's SWRPG campaign" I tend to go for somethuing.. descriptive of the SETTING. my current campaign is VERY diffrent with a massive alternate timeline.. in my game the empire never aroise and the republic just collpased into anarchy (a side effect of this is both the jedi and sith exist in this setting, though none of the skywalkers are about..) what do I call this setting... Ruins of the Republic.. it's descriptive of the setting, and sounds nice

13 June 2002, 10:39 AM
These suggestions give me an idea, I hate to do this but I am goin' to change the name of my campaign, we haven't started yet, but I have given out an info sheet to some of my PC's, oh well they'll get over it...

14 June 2002, 12:55 AM
When I was working on my just-post-Episode I campaign ("An Ill Wind"), I turned to the old proverb, "It is an ill wind that blows no one any good." It can be read either of two ways; one, that things are really bad for everyone; or two, that even the worst calamity benefits someone... and that was certainly the case in Ep I. It's also a nod to the title of one of the parts of the SW ANH radio drama: "A Wind To Shake the Stars."

There's a wind like that blowing through the Galaxy now: a cold wind, a wind of ill omen, carrying whispers of worse yet to come.

evan hansen
14 June 2002, 05:37 AM
One of the more important thing to consider is the perception and, frankly, intelligence of the players you're with. I know far too many people who did not even remotely get why TPM was called The Phantom Menace. They just don't look at the greater story. And, well, they weren't to bright. ;-)

So if you have players that aren't going to understand a deep title, make it obvious. I think most of the Star Wars titles are pretty obvious, so that's a good start. I mean, if you have a campaign where the Sith returns, calling it (these are really cheesy examples. im sorry. bare with me on it.) "Sith Strike" or "Return of the Sith" or "Sith Rising" isn't necessarily a bad thing. It isn't creative -- and in this case they really are pretty stupid -- but it gets the point across to your players.

On the other hand, if your players are a little bit quicker, you can have fun with it. Use big words. Be creative. You could even teach your players something. Use a word or title like "Recrudesce" or "Sith Pall" as the title for a Sith campaign. Hopefully they'll already know what it means, and, if not, they'll look it up. VERY descriptive without being too long. It still hints at the plot (and ultimately, I think players that don't like their campaign titles don't like them because they don't see how it relates to the plot. so making it relate can be nice for them.)

Just some somewhat random thoughts strung together. Hopefully someone will find them useful. :-)

14 June 2002, 07:49 PM
I usually just choose a name based on what period its in and the general gist of the campaign. My current campaign (beginning in a few weeks) is called "A Dark Time", which I got from the Rebellion Era Sourcebook. The campaign is in the Rebellion era, and the characters are playing from the perspective of the Alliance, so the "dark time" refers to the Empire.

Usually, I opt for the bigger picture rather than something mroe specific. My last campaign was called "A Galaxy in Turmoil", which was also in the Rebellion era.

I think it also depends alot on what you are trying to convey to your players with the campaign name. If you are trying to hint at the campaign and how it will be, then choose carefully. If, on the other hand, you are just naming for the sake of having a name, then it doesn't really matter as much.

shadow master
14 June 2002, 11:19 PM
I agree that you should produce the name to help incorporate the feeling of the campaign. I once had a game based on fantasy, and I was hoping it would turn out sorta epic (it didn't). I called it "The Legends Campaign". I know, cheesy as it sounds, that is when I was a newish gm.
Currently I'm running a SW campaign about young Jedi with lots of Dark Side temptations and everything. It is called "Essence of the Force". I am hoping this does better than "Legends".

Lord Byss
18 June 2002, 05:03 AM
I just try to keep the name simple. My campaign is called "Rebellion!", gues what, its set in the classic era.

19 June 2002, 02:21 AM
Coming up with a cool title can also come back to bite you on the rear!

I thought I had come up with a really good title for me prequel era Jedi campaign, one that summed up the coming darkness of the Clone Wars.

The Rising Storm.

Do you think I felt a little sheepish when I saw Alan Dean Foster's prequel era novel on the shelf at the local bookstore? You bet I did!! :rolleyes: :D

I tend to use existing movie or book titles and 'tweak' them slightly (taking a leaf out of Farscape's book). In our intrepid Jedi's next game they will be going after a Hutt crime lord, so the title is (with apologies to Michael Caine! ;) ) Get Carga.

Puck :)

Random Axe
19 June 2002, 07:55 AM
I have used mostly album titles to name my adventures, usually ones that reflect on some major theme or themes in the adventure.

For example, "The Downward Spiral" was a long campaign that had to do with a lot of investigating and getting deeper and deeper in to a huge dark storyline. The chapter names were likewise named after songs by Nine inch Nails: Broken, Fixed, Mr. Self Destruct, Down In It, Burn, Happiness in Slavery. One of the key objects in the story was something called the Pretty Hate Machine.

"Dirty Work" was another adventure, surrounding a death on Nar Shaddaa of one of the PC's old friends, and leading to a Wookiee slavery ring based on Kashyyyk; using chapter titles from other Rolling Stones songs.

"A Game of You" was a title from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic series, an adventure that had to do with a bunch of mind-games I was playing on one of the PC's as he was being introduced into the ways of the Force. Those chapter titles came from other Sandman story titles: The Doll's House, Distant Mirrors, Brief Lives, Season of Mists, World's End, and The Kindly Ones.

And finally my latest creation is called "Stop Making Sense" with the chapter titles coming from Talking Heads songs: Crosseyed and Painless, Swamp, Slippery People, etc.

So for me it all comes down to finding a source of good names, and selecting a pattern of titles that are related to some major thrust in the storyline.

Dan Stack
19 June 2002, 08:22 AM
My campaign names are somewhat random. Somtimes they are just descriptive - like my Rebellion-era "Saga of the White Crane" as that is the name of the smuggler's freighter in that game.

For our all-Jedi, Rise of the Empire game I cam up with the name "The Twilight Warriors", a last generation of Jedi Knights before the fall of the Republic and the Jedi.

Though I had forgotten at the time I came up with the name for this new game, ironically, back in the late'80's that was the name my group back then used for our Rebellion-era (like there was any other back then) game. I dug up my old campaign notes in a nice .txt file and saw "This group of Rebels takes the name "The Twilight Warriors" in honor of an elite fighting force of the Clone Wars". Freaky - I linked accidentally linked pair of campaigns which are separated by over a decade in real-time and nearly thirty years in game time. :D

Neb Nova
21 June 2002, 07:38 AM
My current mini-campaign is structured as a trilogy. The mini-campaign itself has no specific name but each episode has a title that I made up trying to follow a classic Star Wars pattern:

Episode I: Shadow of the Tyrant
Episode II: The Traitor is revealed
Episode III: The Last Power

These titles are so generic that the players cannot guess what will happen in the game but they make sense once the game is played.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
21 June 2002, 12:14 PM
As a rule, I dont name the games or story arcs. Heck, even naming the campain is usualy an afterthought for my web page. So far it hasnt bothered my players at all, or so it seems.

Talon Kane
21 June 2002, 03:28 PM
When I run any campaign, I always gave the campaign a title that had an overall meaning to the main story. Then, I would name each adventure with cute and catchy titles that usually had some type of double meaning.

Take a look at Star Trek episodes for example. They came up with titles that set the mood for the episode. Some of them had double meanings are at least made you think about the title during the episode. "Darmok" and "Schisms" from Next Generation are good examples of this.

I plan on starting my SW campaign soon, but still don't have a title for it. The main focus will be taking the characters from the Episode III time period all the way through Return of the Jedi and more. I was thinking of naming it "Maelstrom" considering they will be watching the Republic fall and how chaotic their lives will become once it does.

21 June 2002, 08:10 PM
I keep the campaign title simple (currently Knights of the Republic...not of the Old Republic like the pc game), but then I give each adventure a title that hints what is in it but doesn't exactly give it a way...for instance the Crimson Seas could have something dealing with a red ship, or a bar called the Crimson Seas, or something similar and then run with that. Its kind of fun. BTW if you really want your players worrying, name the campaign or adventure after an Edgar Alan Poe story.

Moff Neomen
24 June 2002, 06:53 AM
I usually wait on naming my campaigns / adventures until after they happen. You never know if your campaign entitled "The Death of Innocence" is gonna turn into a wacky action-comedy due to the actions of your players. I would let the campaign play out, maybe naming halfway through. My only major campaign is named The Big Easy, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense...but it makes some degree of sense for a campaign about Black Sun Agents, and more importantly feels right. It came from a quote from one of their bosses..."What's to worry about? Easy money, no risks... it's the big easy."

Adventures I also usually name after, though I follow a specific format for that. I kind of follow a parody of the pulp adventure story names...a serious name, followed by OR a funny name...for example, "Conference Carnage, or Who Wants to Be a Demolitions Expert," or "Betrayals and Revelations, or Battle Royale with Cheese." I prefer witty titles...we have adventures entitled "Moffia," "Something Completely Different," and "Steal the Beacon."

Then again, that's because of the tone of my campaign. Yours is probably completely different. But the same stands...wait on naming stuff till you know what's gonna happen (and you're never completely sure till after it's already happened, with players doing their stuff).

5 July 2002, 06:52 AM
My campaign ("The Star Ace Chronicles") consists of four mega-adventures, each being named as follows:


5 July 2002, 07:27 AM
I name mine with what I hope are Star Wars movie sounding names. Since I want my games to be very cinematic, I usually do an opening crawl before each section of the campaign. My current campaign is divided up into three "episodes," and may go to six if everyone wants to play. I also am using the name of one of the adventures I'm running as the title of the second episode. So far, I have the following:

STAR WARS Episode 1: Shadow of Terror
STAR WARS Episode 2: Tempest Feud

as for the title of Episode 3....all will be revealed in about 2 months.