Those that know me well, know that I have a HUGE pet peeve about stupid names people call their characters in MMOs. While I don't think everyone should have a cleverly thought out character name, history and character sheet right down to what his/her favorite color is… I do have an expectation that people will actually choose a proper name.
And not a thing. Like Pretzel or Peanutbutter.
Or a concept. Like Infinity.
Or a nonsensical phrase. Like Deathbecomesme.
Or something stupid and silly on purpose. Like GiggleSnort
Or two random words mashed together that "seem" like a tribal name. Like "BlueMoon".
Or worse, with utter lack of imagination, a "play" on the character's class or profession. Like "PallyDude".
Seriously though, I get that most people really don't care either way. And maybe the majority really are creatively stunted when it comes to such things. And others just want the shock and awe followed by 5 mins of Fame (until they are reported and a GM asks them to change their name or their pet's name).
So how do you go about finding a truly creative name for your character?
There are a few things to consider before you even choose a name:
- Consider the game's location, era and style. The era, or age, of Rift appears most like medieval times – with some techno-magic (some consider steam punk-like) and traditional magic.
- Consider local and racial lore of the character race you choose. What are typical names of that race in the game?
- If you are going to role play this character, the above are even more important, but if so you should also consider age, traits, personality and any habits or personal quirks he/she may have.
Here are a few hints and tips I have developed over the years to help you truly dream up a creative name.
- Look up popular names at baby name sites. Choose by culture: Gaelic, Irish, Arabic, Aztec, German and so on. Add a letter to a name, or take away one. Make it yours.
- Use a random name generator. See the list of random name generator sites here.
- If you must, you can also resort to famous characters from books and movies. A name I have often used over the years is based off a character in one of several favorite fantasy book authors (Melanie Rawn, Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, for exampe).
- Look for inspiration from epic or mythical eras such as ancient Rome or Camelot. But at least put your own spin to it.
My favorite "trick" to making a fantasy name is to choose 2-3 consonants and 2-3 vowels. Mix and match until you find a combination you like.
Here's a scramble: TSGRIOU
Here's some examples:
And so on…
*Note that I have selected name examples at random. Not because I wanted to ridicule or point fingers at someone, somewhere, who may have used the same name (or similar).
*Also note that I am most certainly the type that will report offensive names. And I know I'm not alone :P
Rift Naming Conventions:
Kelari names draw from the real world Greek language.
Eth names draw from Egyptian and similar languages for their forenames and their surnames evoke a
passion for the desert and the sun.
Bahmi names draw from ancient Mongolian. A Bahmi’s full name will include the name of their tribe in
addition to their family name. So Rahn Chuluun’s full name is Rahn Chuluun of the Red Sun.
Mathosian names took inspiration from European names, eastern European names particularly.
Elves are a combination of Irish and Native American names. Many names reference the natural world
that they strive to protect.
Dwarves often have Russian names.
These are all reflected in the name generator of the client.