The fight against the kobolds is going well. The PCs need only to dispatch two more of the creatures, and they’ll be able to move on to the next room.
That’s when someone suggests: “Hey. Let’s capture one of these guys and interrogate him!”
Even the most experienced GM might groan inwardly at this turn of events. Brain freeze hits as the PCs ask their first question:
PC: What’s your name, kobold?
GM: Uh … uhmm …let me think … uh, Bob?
GM: Yeah, Bob. You wanna make something of it?
PC: No. It’s just that ‘Bob’ doesn’t sound very, I dunno, kobold-y.
In the spirit of sparing the PCs of having to face any more kobolds named “Bob,” here are some name charts of common monsters to keep in your GMing toolbox for when the need arises.
And if you have any resources or links to fantasy names, or naming conventions you rely on during the course of play, please share them in the comments below.
1. Balak Bonecrusher
2. Piltzo Potbelly
3. Krelb Spinecracker
4. Billsy Bullring
5. Molly Legsnapper
6. Toom Irongut
1. Scrimp Willow
4. Jak Periwig
5. Ginger Swan
6. Daisy Dewdrop
I’ve found all the generators and utilities at http://www.mithrilandmages.com/ to be very helpful.
Thanks for the link. Generators are always helpful.
One of the things I do to come up with names on the fly is to look around the room or think of a word. I think drop off the first and last letter and bam that is the new name. Ex. Television=>Elevisio(or Elevi is nice too) or Painting=> Aintin.
Is this for a scifi game, or do use it for fantasy, too. I wonder, though if it would work much in my game. We play in the basement and the only objects are the furnace (Urnace) and the washer (Asher). Still, I applaud the inventiveness.
fistly, kobold… prisoner? weird.
Not so weird. It depends on your group’s style. Interrogating Meepo the Kobold can lead the PCs through a whole avenue of adventure in the Sunless Citadel. It’s also useful for avoiding traps in kobold lairs. Kobolds love booby traps and snares. Plus, what a reward for PCs who took draconic as a language. Of course, getting anything useful outta the buggers might require more than mere persuasion. Intimidate, anyone?
I try to rely on using foreign languages as roots for names. If I give a dungeon or city an Arabic feel, I usually have a few words in Arabic written down, and I just change pronunciation or alter it in some way to give it some uniqueness. This way, a list of 10 words can give you lots of variation for anything you need to name, from landmarks to people. And you can do it with just 15 minutes on Google Translate.
Do you like the German roots for some of mine?
Being German I would use the Worg names only as comic relief but maybe you wanted them to be funny. 🙂
Actually, I wasn’t going for comic effect. Well, they sounded serious when I spoke them aloud to myself … but then to the ears of English speakers, spoken German always *sounds* serious.
Really, though, I’d be interested in some German wolf names that don’t come off as comic. If you have, say 6 of them handy, I’d love if you would share them.
Hm, I’ve never named a wolf. I’ll try to think of something…
To shorten the waiting time here are the translations (or at least similar meanings) of the names you came up with:
1. Sternchen = Little Star
2. Bello = Barko
3. Brummer = Grumbler
4. Edel = Noble
5. Kuschl = Cuddle
6. Landjunker = Squire
Thank you Steffen. I think a worg named Cuddle would be adorable don’t you?
“Little Cuddle just tried to eat my face! Isn’t he cute?” – Yeah, very adorable. 😉
As we usually don’t bark orders at each other the way Germans in movies do it’s not easy to determine what sounds sufficiently harsh. 🙂
I brainstormed with my girlfriend and came up with a few names that will hopefully work for you:
That’s wonderful. My thanks to you and your girlfriend.
My source for hearing German spoken comes not from movies, but from having lived in or near communities with strong German heritage. A lot of great experiences, including many visits to Fredericksburg, Texas. Last I heard, the ticket taker at football games there still greets people in German.
It’s the little things like this that are *the* most helpful.
The article also reminded me how long it’s been since I’ve had my players face a “monstrous” humanoid… My players have killed a lot of people lately.
Bob the kobold says “good” to that. Kill more people’s and fewer kobolds. 🙂
Oh that rascally Bob!
I smell a sitcom. A fastidious, conservative Dwarf is forced to be roommates with a slovenly, liberal Kobold. Antics ensue…
I heard that Bob prefers to be called a progressive, but basically that’s it.
I like to use the Everchanging Book of Names:
I use different settings for different cultures/races.
Thanks for the link.
I usually pick a different world language per intelligent species. So let’s say the forest people speak Finnish and the Plains people speak Turkish (or whatever). Then I go to Wiktionary, type in an English word and get the translations. So, someone who is well known for protecting the village is called “Shield”: Forest people “Kilpi” or “Suoja”, Plains people “Kalkan”.
My own online name trick is to steal from Abulafia: http://random-generator.com/index.php?title=Name_Generators
Of course, I still say “Bob” too often during a session, because I didn’t remember to print out the right names…
That’s why I like something like this — you print it out and you’ve got a single sheet reference.
Maybe that should be a future post — the benefits of having single-sheet references.
Or you just throw a Bennie to the first player to come up with a good name.
What, you don’t have your players do all your work for you?