What's in a name?

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Names in tabletop games can be a challenge. Whether picking the perfect name for your character or trying to come up with a proper name for an NPC that was suddenly propelled to the forefront, we’ve all run into a moment of hesitation as to what to do.

For plot relevant NPCs, we usually think up a name before the session starts, so we have some time to find the right one. Looking at the NPC, we think up a name that fits with their role as well as the setting. Its easy to slip up though: a perfectly appropriate name might by accident reveal key plot points to the players - I still groan at “Remus Lupin” from Harry Potter as revealing the secret the second he was introduced. On the other hand, this can also make an NPC more memorable. A demon named “Decorum” - well known for calling everyone every bad name under the sun - was a very memorable character, and demons can get away with having weird names. To my shame though, his name is perhaps overshadowed a bit by the disaster that was Threedoorius, the demon who’s house had three main entrances T_T

For impromptu NPCs - and there are a lot - a common tactic is to have a list of names prepared, or to use a random name generator to generate one on the spot. Its easier than having to think up something, though mad respect if you are able to pull that off on short notice without external aid. Be sure to keep notes though, as you’ll have to remember those names between sessions!

With RPGpad, you can of course keep these notes on the wiki quite easily. Moreover, you can even make an entry without a proper name - such as “Mysterious Stranger from the Red Dragon Inn”. Its easily renamed once the PCs figure out that the Mysterious Stranger is actually King Harold in disguise!

Who is your favourite NPC, be it your own or from a game you played in, and what were they called and why? Check out this weeks changelog and come share your story on the forum!