Unless you’re deliberately aiming for humor, don’t give your NPCs silly names. Sounds easy enough, right?

The problem is that just like your kid’s class at school, your players probably have a knack for finding ways to mock NPC names that are even slightly dubious.

Case in point: Dolemite, from my friend Matt’s enjoyable D&D 3.0 campaign a few years back. His name wasn’t really Dolemite, but it was Dole-something (equally telling is which one I remember).

The first time we heard it? Poof. Dolemite. And later, Doleslaw — because we hacked him up like cabbage. Neither of which added to his Dark Villain street cred.

When you’re naming your NPCs, take an extra moment to do the baby name thing: How will my players make fun of this name? Most of the time, they won’t — but this will help you avoid the times when they might.

Alysia and I are in Florida until the 23rd. There’ll be a new post here every day, as always, but I won’t be able to respond to comments or email. See you soon!