Sunday, April 20, 2008

[ Role-Playing II ] :: Names

Umm I know exactly what my character will be like, such as the personality and stuff I just can't come up with a good name, thats what I need help with.


The name is one of the most important parts to a character (you heard it from me. Others may say differently). For me, the name of a person gives me a place to start for their personality; if I should have a personality already, I try to find a name that would complete the character.

And He Shall Be Called...

Start with her/his background: where is she/he from? For example, one of my characters is half Russian, half Welsh. So his name shows that: Mischa Gareth Kaparov -- Russian first and last name due to his father being the Russsian, and a Welsh middle name in honor of his mother.

You know her/his personality; try to make it match the name. For Mischa, he's a quiet, intellectual sort. For someone else, such as Marlene Chaas, she's a rather bright and cheery type, rather round of face. Smart and girly, yet unique. For Jay White, he's tall, handsome, and comes from a prestigious family. Is a good businessman. Lynnea Chisholme -- tall, thin, blond, intellectual, businesslike. Depending on your view on a name, each name, by itself, speaks of a personality.

For choices in general, I would try name sites such as:

My favorite still has to be Keep in mind that every character requires a lot of thought; you're her/his "parent", and you want to give her/him a name you think that will be befitting of who they are.

Note: In roleplaying, one is often putting one's character in a world created by someone else. If this is the case, make sure that the names are acceptable for that world and that society (say, if you are playing an elf from Lord of the Rings, generally, it would be good to get an elven dictionary and combine a few elvish words together (preferably with meaning) rather than calling the elf "Bob". Please don't, by the way. Those who respect the work in which they're playing in will loathe you and refuse to roleplay with you.).

Names Without a Face

The opposite applies to you. Try to imagine what type of person you think would be befitting of that name. Will he/she be quiet or shy? Really brainy, somewhat brainy, or not-so-much brainy? If tossed in your average high-school, what "label" would be placed upon them? Geek, Nerd, Jock, Theatre/Band, Cheer/Poms, Emo, Druggies... the like. Physical descriptions as well. Tall or short? Long hair or short hair? How would they stand? If those don't work, consider what type of character would you, as their creator, be comfortable writing with? I will cover personality in closer detail in the upcoming posts...

Happy choosing!

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