Here’s a random fantasy/sci-fi NPC name: Vexrathaire.

Now turn away from your screen, grab a piece of paper, and try and write that name from memory. If you got it right, pat yourself on the back — but you’re probably in the minority.

When you introduce new names in your games, that’s a lot what it’s like to be a player. “Veksru…what?”

There are lots of ways to deal with this, but the best one by far is just to give your players a list of your NPC names.

Rather than spend time spelling them out loud during the game — which is pretty boring, and can really break momentum — just let your players know that you’ll be giving them a list after the session.

That way, the folks who like to take notes during the game know that they don’t have to worry about spelling, since they’ll get an accurate list later on.

Ditto for whoever is writing up your session logs (or blogging them), if you have a player who does that.

This approach also lets you use an on-the-fly list of NPC names more easily, as you can also provide the notes you took for each NPC to your players (if you like).

And that’s all there is to it: After the session, jot down or email out a list of the names that came up during that session (with or without notes, whichever you prefer), and you’re good to go.

It’s a simple tip, but it can make a surprisingly big difference in how your sessions flow — especially if you introduce more than one or two NPCs per session.