Name Rules

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General Guidelines

On some islands, especially those with a Serious Medieval Atmosphere, we want names to at least sound "period".

Here are some guidelines. Or rather, these are the rules according to which Tom decides whether to deport a character because of bad names:


  • Misplaced name parts - e.g. in names like "Alfred of Somewhere", the "of" part (or "von", "de", whatever in other languages) belongs to the family name, not the first name.
  • Inappropriate names or callsigns - a name should be a name and not a designation. Titles like "duke", "king", etc. are obviously unacceptable, but other kinds of "titles" are the same. "John the Great" will be rejected.
  • Meshed names - if it appears that you misunderstood the page and put both character and family name into one field, we will cut out your request to save you from pain.
  • CamelCase Names, 1337-sp34k or other nonsense - I will make exceptions for cases that can be justified from real world history (see these historic examples), but most cases of CamelCase mean your name is out. And any numbers or punctuation marks, too.
  • Proper English words and phrases as names will only be accepted if they are professions (Miller, Smith) or other words that I subjectively understand as having been used as names. This is doubly true for "cool" and "Internet" names. "Vampirekiller" is a no-doubt rejection case, as is virtually anything with "Blood" or "Power", etc. in it.
  • Anything not covered by these rules that is a very obvious non-name that breaks the atmosphere. The rules are not an invitation for freaks to find some case that's blatantly obvious but doesn't fit into any of the above rules.
  • Tom has posted his opinion on names here.

Ways to Find Names

There are many name generators available on the Internet that can help create acceptable names for characters. Even if they don't create a name that you find usable, they can at least help generate some ideas. Some of these are listed below.

The Everlasting Book of Names
http://ebon.pyorre.net/ - A shareware name generator. Not nag-ware. Has core "chapters" that work without limitations. Expansion chapters require a license for full functionality.
Rinkworks Fantasy Name Generator
http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/ - Easy to use, contains many categories.
Fantasy Name Generator
http://nine.frenchboys.net/fanname.php - It may take a few tries to get something good out of this one.
US Census Data
http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/names_files.html - Not a random name generator, but a list of the most common first names for men and women in the 1990 US Census. Has 1200 male and 4200 female first names. You should be able to easily make variations on these, or use one straight off the list. There's nothing wrong with "John" or "Thomas" as a character name. At least people should be able to spell it correctly!
Google
If in doubt, Google it! - There are dozens, if not hundreds, of fantasy name generators available. Some are better than others. It may take a few tries to find a good one, but it's worth it.