What’s in a name?

Henry Fuseli - The Nightmare (1781)

Here are links to the PDFs:

My players are creating new characters for an upcoming campaign, and one of the morefrustrating and time-consuming components for them is coming up with a name that feels good to them.

Sure, some players can just whip-up a nice, setting specific name. Others cannot help themselves to making a ridiculous punny name. Even more, some create a derivation of their real name (Yes Fred, you can play Fred the Mage, again).

Now I do not recommend you, as the DM, set strict rules for names. But there is nothing wrong with the DM asking their players to at least try to generate something fitting for the setting.  You might even give a nudge players that unusual names may even become story elements.

What I highly recommend is that you provide a list of names that are setting specific for different playable races.  For instance, we know that the official 5E Player’s Handbook has some great suggestions based on playable races, but almost everyone of my players wishes there were just many more to choose from.  And for the indecisive players, a way to roll for potential names.

Here two 4-page list of names for playable races in my home world.  This is nothing original, but it is mine.  I wanted to provide Males & Females, First & Last Names, and Clan Names where possible.

Yep, there are a million name generators out there, but this one happens to be mine. I also keep these 2-page (duplexed) in my DM binder for on-the-fly NPC names.


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