RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying.
- Wildest character name?
- Wildest character concept?
11th: Wildest character name?
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly terrible at coming up with good names. I’ve played characters with really great names, but generally I either had help coming up with them or I took way too long to come up with them by myself. I’ve got friends who are significantly faster than I am. I remember the first game of Microscope that I ever played, and Mel came up with a volcano god and immediately named them Crackleback as if it was the most obvious name in the world. I remain impressed by that.
The name I’m still proudest of coming up with was Li’l Young’un (who I mentioned in my review of With Great Power). She’s the Korean-American teen superhero from Queens, whose name was based (both in- and out-of-character) on the Korean word yeong ung, or hero. In her backstory, the name started in Korean-language reports in her own neighbourhood as just a description, and was then picked up by English-language journalists and conflated with her young age to become her new superhero name: Li’l Young’un.
I guess a special mention should go to Emily’s Genesys games. One character was called Pixie Hilltop, after her appearance and the place where she’d been found as a baby, so I thought “If you’re going to be named like a Sonic the Hedgehog zone, then my character will be called Isola Angel.” (But the ‘g’ is pronounced like ‘h’, in the Galician style.) And then somehow I managed to convince another player to name her character Sforza Sandopolis. That was fun.
12th: Wildest character concept?
I’ve played some wild characters, but not that many whose wildness is unusual in the setting. For example, Chet Drakenberg was an over-priveleged were-dragon from an obscenely wealthy family and with a fondness for mystery solving, but that kinda fit in a setting where the PCs were all privileged kids at a magic school for magical beings.
The first character I thought of when I read this question was the barbarian Pheric from my Pathfinder campaign. The pitch of the campaign was that the setting world was based loosely on music (e.g. the ruler of the land was Lord Starfallen, based on David Bowie), and that we were musicians in a travelling band. Pheric’s instrument of choice was the cowbell (because every campaign needs more cowbell) and he sounded like a bad Christopher Walken impression. He was a barbarian (mechanically, at least) who was convinced to leave his parents’ farming village after some of their cows looked at him the wrong way and he killed them with his club. He hated cows, and his spotlight session involved him hunting down and killing the dreaded, two storey–tall Dire Bovine (fyi: mission accomplished).