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June 8, 2012 / Wythe

Official Wizards name generator: tested, approved

Fucking around with random generators is always fun, even when a given generator is mad official, as is this one from WotC. I must say, however, this generator is highly advanced, giving you plenty of input and output options. It does suffer from the problematic old convention that [1 fantasy name = 1 name + 1 faux-First Nations kenning] (e.g., Frodo Ringhumper, Harry Lightningsneeze, Elric Emosword).

We begin with the randomized output. Here are my random test-names:

1. Norhorn Sandtracker
(Male Gnome Sorcerer)
Also known as…
Norhorn the Destitute
Sandtracker the Destitute
Norhorn Sandtracker the Destitute
Norhorn Sandtracker Champion of Prophecy

Okay, nice, gives me some flavor. Norhorn isn’t just a “sandtracker,” whatever that is; he’s also broke. GTK. Attempt-the-second:

2. Yllalynn Jewelkeeper
(Female Dragonborn Artificer)
Also known as…
Yllalynn the Thief
Jewelkeeper the Thief
Lady Yllalynn Jewelkeeper
Lady Jewelkeeper
Lady Yllalynn Jewelkeeper the Thief
Lady Jewelkeeper the Thief
Yllalynn the Cursed
Yllalynn Jewelkeeper the Cursed
Lady Yllalynn the Cursed
Lady Yllalynn Jewelkeeper the Cursed

Okaaay… I don’t know that I needed quite that much variation ‘pon the same theme. But I like “Yllalynn,” though I don’t think any player I know would ever use it (#hardtopronounce #forcedfemininesounds). Lucky no. 3:

3. Stoatis Latekin
(Female Revenant Shaman)
Also known as…
Stoatis the Poisoner
Latekin the Poisoner
Lady Stoatis Latekin
Lady Latekin
Lady Stoatis Latekin the Poisoner
Lady Latekin the Poisoner
Stoatis the Dispossesed Champion
Stoatis Latekin the Dispossesed Champion
Lady Stoatis the Dispossesed Champion
Lady Stoatis Latekin the Dispossesed Champion

Again, over the top with the variation, but finally!, a non-kenning last name. Thank IO, DRAGON-GOD OF LINGUISTICS, or whatever fantasy enthusiasts say upon #winning.

Examining the input mechanics is also revealing. Given the options gender/”race”/class/background/status/fame, here are the annotations to the input drop-down boxes:

  • Warforged are the only race that normally are ungendered, though other races have names that are common to both men and women. If you select ungendered for a non-warforged race, you’ll receive a name appropriate to either gender.
  • What is your character’s race?
  • The name generator only produces names for races from the PHB and PHB II and a few other sources. If you want a name for a race not listed, choose the race that seems closest in terms of language and culture.
  • What is your character’s class?
  • What is your character’s background?
  • Is your character primarily seen as a commoner, a noble, or an adventurer?
  • How famous is your character? What level of adventures does your character engage in?

Here’s what I selected, having little idea what, in 4e, a Deva is, nor why she should want to identify herself on the Fantastical Census as “Geography, Wetlands” instead of, I dunno, “Deva/non-white astral-American,” or some other more geophysically descriptive term. “Geography, Wetlands” just sounds like the most awful/awfully interesting town to have grown up in, so I picked it.

  • Gender: Female
  • Species: Deva
  • Class: Artificer
  • Background: Geography, Wetlands
  • Profession: Adventurer
  • Fame: My character is reviled by society

The output for my character was, alas, another kenning-as-last name:

1 name:
Fhalove Ironwill
(Female Deva Artificer)
Also known as…
Fhalove the Swampmucker
Ironwill the Swampmucker
Fame-Seeker Fhalove Ironwill
Fame-Seeker Ironwill
Fame-Seeker Fhalove Ironwill the Swampmucker
Fame-Seeker Ironwill the Swampmucker
Fhalove the Traitor
Fhalove Ironwill the Traitor
Fame-Seeker Fhalove the Traitor
Fame-Seeker Fhalove Ironwill the Traitor

But at least I’m a swampmucker! Though isn’t that slightest bit redundant? Do we need a computer algorithm to tell us that someone born in the swamp who is hated by her peers could be, in a 7th-grade/pejorative way, “Swampucker the Traitor?” Shouldn’t names add something, rather than flatly describe…?

Finally, here are some other options suggested for my poor, hard-lifed PC:

20 names:
Gurlynn Eternal (F Deva Artificer)
Hollyatris Reborn (F Deva Artificer)
Caiatris Mithralsoul (F Deva Artificer)
Gracetranna Cursebreaker (F Deva Artificer)
Oolastine Peacemaker (F Deva Artificer)
Wandarath Devilbane (F Deva Artificer)
Eilstine Lawgiver (F Deva Artificer)
Magora Youngsoul (F Deva Artificer)
Victalyassa Messagegiver (F Deva Artificer)
Loralyassa Humblevoice (F Deva Artificer)
Therhana Trueblood (F Deva Artificer)
Araella Justiciar (F Deva Artificer)
Fhalynn Wiseone (F Deva Artificer)
Ravadiana Eternal (F Deva Artificer)
Alukain Reborn (F Deva Artificer)
Daratris Gloryheart (F Deva Artificer)
Yllaatis Cursebreaker (F Deva Artificer)
Bretranna Peacemaker (F Deva Artificer)
Krisstine Devilbane (F Deva Artificer)
Marstina Youngsoul (F Deva Artificer)

And if “Krisstine Devilbane” isn’t just the BEST emo porn name… I’ll eat my copy of the PHB.

Long/potentially useful earlier post on fantasy names >>

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