Posted by: akalsaris | April 16, 2010

Names, names, names! By The Daring Crutumal Nightraider Many-Daggers

Did you ever notice that in most RPGs and movies, people somehow have names that are appropriate for what they do in life?   It always seemed like a nice thing to me – rather than my nondescript name, I could be James Who-Kills-What-He-Eats, or James o’the Knives, or James Stouthammer, depending on whether I was a barbarian, rogue, or dwarven fighter.  Hell, even James would change to something more appropriate, like Jamusiel or Jamesunar.

Most of the time, I try to resist this.  I come up with a character concept like “half-orc barbarian”, then I choose the name based on the culture he’s from rather than the occupation, then I work on the character.  I usually get my names by googling “Finnish names” or “Irish boys’ names” and picking something from that list, depending on the culture I’m aiming for.  My own gamer handle, AkalSaris, comes from my first online game, when I randomly came up with something vaguely arabic.

For a while, Opinicus and I were also firm believers in the Random Name Generator from an old April Fools edition of Dragon magazine.  Here’s how it works:

Roll 1d6.  On a 1-3 it’s a consonant, 4-5 it’s a vowel, on a 6 it’s either a vowel or you can choose to finish the name.  If it’s a vowel, roll 1d6, then continue to the next letter. 1-A, 2-E, 3-I, 4-O, 5-U, 6-Y (sometimes).

On a consonant, roll 3d6 or 4d6 and count up to the number, skipping all vowels.

No, it’s not a perfect system, but it’s fun.  My personal favorite was Funuqunuz Mnnnfh, while another randomly generated one was Jooe.  I just did it right now and got: Foayoor Uymink.  Sounds like a CN Drow Ranger to me!

For those with a less random system in mind, here’s an official D&D one:  This gave me the awesome name of The Daring Crutumal Nightraider Many-Daggers.  I totally need a fold-out business card with that on it.

With that in mind, here’s a fun little challenge.  The following are all D&D characters that I have played within the past year.  See if you can match the names to the characters.


Larz Rockfist

Anton Goodman

Chieharu Hoshina

Anskar of Namdalen

Isolde Kappel

Jey Buyeaux

Dr. Draco Daedelus, M.D.


CE Male Human Infernal Warlock 7

NE Male Human Ranger 10/Scout 3

NG Male Halfling Rogue 3

CG Female Human Pact Warlock/Assassin 11

NG Male Human Weapon Master 1

CG Male Dwarf Fighter 12

NG Female Human Psion 5



  1. Oh! OH! don’t forget my elf binder, Oyjhit… say it fast and you see why it was an awful, awful, name.

    I also remember Matt using it the first time and getting Thor… and he called Bulls**t.

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