Character Name Choices For Your RPG

Choose Character Name
Choosing your character’s name.

Choose A Good Character Name

You’re ready to choose a character name for a role-playing game in which  you want to participate. Your character’s name has the same importance as your name. A character’s name sets the stage for the kind of aura your character is carrying.

Let’s look at a couple of examples to see how this is true. You are in a medieval fantasy campaign and create a very muscular six foot 4 inch tall male barbarian with the name of… “Wimpy”. That doesn’t match very well now does it? How about this one, you create a female elf thief with amazing dexterity and name her “Clumsy”. While these names are obvious for their incompatibilities we can also look at other names that do not match. “Tumper the Doomslayer” who happens to be a very weak but intelligent first level magic-user.

How To Select A Character’s Name

As a general rule, when selecting a name for your character keep this in mind:

Make sure your character’s name matches your character’s background, purpose, class and attributes.

Therefore, it actually makes sense to first fully create the character and then select the name rather than the other way around. This may not always be possible where a character’s name is required before the character is built such as in the detailed character building process of ROK II. In that case, you will need to consider the kind of character you will ultimately be creating and a suitable name for him / her.

Should I Select Both A First And Last Name?

Yes you should, but if you have to think so much or think too hard just make it a good first name. Some dungeon masters may not need a last name. You can also use a title rather than a first or last name. For instance, you can be “Dr. Stephen” or “Sgt. Mack” if you are in a modern role-playing game. For medieval fantasy you can choose “Tack the Slicer” or “Melodee the Priestess”. The title can really add a lot to your character’s aura and be very good for role-playing introductions with other player characters and NPCs. In systems like ROK II , there are set titles from which to choose from.

Where Can I Get Character Name Ideas?

One of the best places to come up with some names if you are playing a middle ages theme are history books. There are a lot of historical records of the world’s monarchies and their genealogical lineage. These should give you plenty of ideas when naming your character. For science fiction think of the latest space movies. You can use modern names as wll just tack on something techie like “John the Computer Engineer”. How about someone picking the name for you? For faster access to a name or name generators consider these:

If you look up a name and discover its meaning it can play into your character’s background. Good luck with thinking up a unique character name. Feel free to comment with ideas for good name combinations that you’ve used in the past.