Friday, May 13, 2022

d100 (x 4) - Bynames, Sobriquets, and Epithets

We’ve all been there: in dire need of a memorable Name during play to hastily christen an NPC to make them more meaningful, or requiring one as we make our preparations for the next session. Spontaneous Namecraft is a tad tricky though. When Naming things, should I have the luxury, I do tend to try to speak it aloud a few times, just to ensure that it flows off the tongue without too much stumbling and can’t be inadvertently mispronounced into something silly or humorous (a very common conundrum in my games that can be a bit derailing). While onomastics are intensely interesting to me, I’m usually a little more concerned with having something immediately accessible to solve the problem.

Specifically, I find myself often in need of Names for Gods/Deities/Tutelary Spirits and such for How I Handle Clerics (every Spell gets its own Source, so having at least eight on hand by Second Level is useful). This led me to start assembling a list of interesting Bynames/Nicknames because those are just more evocative to me when referencing such things. These have also been extremely useful for Formidable Wizards (and the line between the two does blur a bit) and even Infamous Monsters.

I know it is often bandied about that one should never “Name” the Monster (i.e., endeavor to refrain from referring to them by their Statblock Names in play) and this is excellent advice to preserve some of that mystery, but I do heartily recommend Bewtowing a Name on your Monsters. Especially any with say...a Fairy Tale Weakness.

Referees needn’t have all the fun namesmithing, however. They may be suitable or appealing for some Player Characters as well 😊. These nicknames can serve a bit of a double-duty with their implications of characteristics/personalities sometimes (and therefore this Table might have other uses as a source of distinguishing Traits or Cues), but they also are occasionally used to humorously contrast things (think of “Little John” as a good example of this).

I didn’t want to run out right away, so technically we’re sitting on Four Hundred here. Combine with a d4, read across and select, or simply cross them out as you use them. I’ve also provided a convenient perchance generator below to showcase how these can be applied to generate some occasionally compelling Names in a pinch.

1 comment:

  1. Neat! I like the given names your generator is popping up too, Nilus, Clytomedes, Helios. Do you have a d100 table in PDF for names, too?

    ReplyDelete

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