Sunday 26 May 2024

Name Generator: Morpheme+Word+Epithet

Who are these fellas and what are their names? Groupe de sorciers by Lucas Roussel


Millions of names!


Each name is made of three parts. A made-up morpheme, an English word and an epithet or honorific. The names are drawn from lists I wrote; there are 335 morphemes, 345 words and 311 epithets/honorifics. I use words rather than another set of immediately meaningless morphemes for a few reasons: 

  • Words colour the name, if the name has ‘cruel’ in it, the name instantly gives a hint to the character (but sometimes it just gives an interesting sound) in a very pulpy way that should be embraced.  

  • Words make the name a little quicker to read, the brain picks out the second word; so ‘Zhongcried’ is that much quicker to read and then physically pronounce than a random collection of phonemes like ‘Ibquneche’.

  • Along with epithets, words add a touch more memorability to a name for your players. If you generate something alliterative or with some assonance, all the better!

Of course, not all characters should have a name that fits these conventions, though these  principles can be quite effective. If a name is generated and the 'epithet' is in brackets it is an honorific and should be read before the name, not after. For example 'Ozdog (Master)' should be read as Master Ozdog.


Thanks to Paper Elemental for their clever html generator generator which I used for this post and for the Archons March On blog whose many numerous generators inspired me to give it a go myself. 

Click Generate for your name:

Click for the raw lists






Wednesday 14 February 2024

Savage World Personality and Character Generation

This generator is based on my Simple Card-Driven Personality Generation post but repurposed for a solo game I am currently playing which is set in a tropey, savage and primeval land. All the gifs are from Fire and Ice.

The How
Draw two cards from a standard deck of playing cards (jokers removed) and consult the table below. The first card drawn indicates the adjective - the second indicates the noun. Combine the words to form the character's personality type. Depending on its use, this table go a little beyond the remit of the previous generator and can suggest things that veer beyond personality, therefore it is as much a generator of characters as it is of personalities. 

The Table

Card

♦️ Red 

♠️ Black ♣️

King

Feral/Savage

Stone-faced/Stoic

Queen

Lustful/Lecher

Messianic/Idolator

Jack

Vigorous/Meathead

Die-Hard/Survivor

Ten

Covetous/Snatcher

Superstitious/Spirit-Heeder

Nine

Wicked/Bully

Thrill-Seeking/Bravo

Eight

Kowtowed/Toady

Cunning/Cut-Throat

Seven

Superior/Tyrant

Hot-blooded/Trickster 

Six

Obnoxious/Clamourer

Cold-blooded/Killer

Five

Simpering/Simian 

Wolf-like/Recluse

Four

Smug/Posturer

Unclean/Wallower

Three

Stubborn/Grump

Unsuspecting/Oaf

Two

Treacherous/Snake

Obscure/Madman

Ace

Preening/Aesthete

Civilised/Eccentric

 


Tuesday 6 February 2024

Dumb Duels - a Reasonably Engaging Dueling Minigame


No party wants to sit and watch another player fight a duel. I have and after a point, it's no fun at all. This is the inherent problem with duels in RPGs. Here's a relatively dumb method that should up the engagement for duels enough for you to possibly attempt one every couple of real world years. It has a smidge of inspiration from 'Everyone is John'.

After the duel has been challenged and accepted, tell the players you've got this dumb gameplay twist to try, and then give them the following: 
  • A quick overview of the area in which the duel will take place.
  • A brief description of the player's opponent.
  • Allow the duelling player to list some of their character's strengths, abilities, items, etcetera, that they could bring to bear in the duel to their fellow party members. 
Once this is done move on to the coaching stage. 


Now the character that will be fighting the duel is coached by the rest of the party. All present players partake in this whether their characters are narratively able to or not. Each player, excluding the dueller, suggests two 'moves' each. These 'moves' can be anything that the duelling character could reasonably do in a combat turn during the duel such as 'try to cut his head off' or 'do a flying kick' or 'tip over the acid vat' or 'magic missile!!!' or 'do an erotic dance'. Once these moves are collated into a written list, the duel can begin. The duel then works as regular combat but with the caveat that the duelling player can only select their actions from the moves they have been provided by the party. The DM controls their opponent as they would normally. 

If the duelling character expends all of their moves and the duel isn't concluded - evaluate everyone's engagement level and act accordingly. If they're engaged, the duel takes a pause for another round of coaching, if ambivalent or less, then the duel has probably gone on long enough and the novelty has worn off - end it quickly, possibly in a high stakes final turn with the dueller deciding on their own final move. Remember with all things, pace is king. 


Tips and Tweaks
  • For extradramatic dueling (and to end the duel faster) allow two moves to be performed by the duller in a turn. 
  • If you suspect your players will overanalyze or derail the coaching stage have the players write down their two 'moves' in secret without interparty discussion. This method can yield a higher quantity of 'sensible' suggestions especially if paired with a reminder. 
  • Consider the HD of the NPC opponent, if they've low health consider allowing the party to provide only a single move each.