Home Forums General General Naming your warriors

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    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    Now that I have been playing IHMN, Daisho and Blood Eagle for several years I have found that one of the joys of the narrative style of play lies in creating heroes.
    This is something I, and indeed many others, have done by naming every single figure in their company/buntai/warband. This moves them from being Soldier A to being a little person in their own right.
    Then, when one of these lesser characters kills an enemy hero, achieves an objective etc., it starts a story that may well carry on into future battles.
    For example, I had a fun game of Blood Eagle with my regular gaming companions Phil and Hairy Dave last night. We have got into the habit of naming figures, initially the leaders and heroes, but more recently the rank and file as well.
    So last night, a lowly warrior with a battlehorn was named by me as Eifor the Tuneless. This fine viking made his way through several one-on-ones tootling his horn until the enemy finally decided to end him. He made his post-game survival check, so I feel his saga has only just begun.
    Do you name all your warriors, or just the leaders?
    Give us your best and most pun-ishing names 🙂

    Avatar photoMike

    I don’t go in for the comedy names unless the game itself is a comedy/parody, so in RPG terms, serious names for all my characters except for games like Paranoia and so on.
    All my character names and place names for that matter are chosen carefully as the etymology is a part of me creating the world.

    I don’t go in for naming minions/rank and file though.
    Just the main characters and or plot points.


    Avatar photoJust Jack

    My best hero so far was Victoria Scallopeni, best villain was Vito Squirreleone.



    Avatar photoirishserb

    Several years back, I started naming various “characters” in my African imagi-nation games, and found that it brought the games and fluff story around them to life in a whole new way, especially when I started blogging about it.

    Somewhere around the time I started that, maybe a little before, I bought a bunch of old GW figs  form a known as BadDawg on various miniatures forums.  As it turned out, he named most of his figs and painted the names on the bases.  When I finally adapted his figs into my post apocalypse gaming, I kept the names, even where I repainted the figs, and began naming all of my PA figs.  I have to say that it has become a dominating feature in the development of my PA gaming.  At this point, the story built around the “characters” (which is every fig now), is every bit as interesting as the games themselves.

    Like mike though, my names don’t tend to be overtly humorous, though my own silliness does permeate the process.  In my African games, I mostly use Swahili names and words, so the name often describes the character a little, for example the bad guy President of Mugaba’s last name means “wind bag” in Swahili, .  In my post-apoc games, names are just names for the most part, some describe figs, others offer some sort of irony; one very tough, wild and  “spikey’ looking fig is simply “Bob”, just to contrast the outrageousness of the fig.  I’ve repurposed orks as a form of genetically engineered mutants that have a special bond with plants (that humans have largely killed off) in my PA games, they typically take the names of flowers, so my old ork warbosses are named, Lilly, Tulip, and Daisey now.

    Avatar photoMike Headden

    My Frostgrave Dwarven warband are lead by Gorm the Less, ineptly assisted by his apprentice Ivar the Brainless. 🙂

    They have a pack donkey called Hoaty …. Donkey Hoaty …. I know, I know! 😀

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    Avatar photoGone Fishing

    I think naming characters in games can make a huge difference. If instead of moving knight B (the chap with the green shield) you are activating Lancevin the Fair, noble Paladin, it can bring tremendous life to a situation that always runs the risk of degrading into an exercise of die rolling and counter counting. If Fair Lancevin survives a combat or two, and in the process develops something of a back story – in his continuing quest to find the Maid Frideswide, last known to be in the clutches of a warlock (also named) – then that series of games becomes something truly memorable, worthy to be shared over pints for years to come. Even if he fails.

    Some of the best Colonial games I’ve ever played in named every one of the twenty figures in a The Sword and the Flame unit. It was amazing how attached to Private Jenkins one became – the joy when he won the VC was huge, and losing him (in this case, in the very next game) was something we actually talked about for years.

    As for humorous names, I love them. They do require a delicate touch, though. Too many and the game feels forced; but  a fair sprinkling can do wonders. For me at least they remind us that in the end we’re fiddling about with toy soldiers and things shouldn’t be taken too seriously. They also provide a thin wall between our little dramas and the often horrific events we are recreating. I still smile at the Russian mercenary Imaslav Urislav, the dreaded executioner MacAbre and the pirate ship Salty Swallow, terror of the high seas. (None of these names are mine.) But it must be said some periods seem to work better for this than others: Ancients (faux Latin alone provides countless opportunities), Dark Ages, Medievals, Fantasy (oh yes!) all the way up to  the 19th century work well for me; WWI, WWII and Vietnam, not so much. I suppose a gap of time or place helps.

    EDIT: Craig, meant to mention I love the name Erfor the Tuneless!

    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    My Frostgrave Dwarven warband are lead by Gorm the Less, ineptly assisted by his apprentice Ivar the Brainless. 🙂 They have a pack donkey called Hoaty …. Donkey Hoaty …. I know, I know! 😀


    I am so stealing ‘Ivar the Brainless’  🙂

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton

    I use a mixture of ordinary and humorous names in my games.  I spend a bit of time selecting the names of main characters and plot points.  Depending upon the size of the party the rank and file get names that help me identify them – Erik Greenbreeks, Gurly Pinkpants etc.  For most I try to use “period” names or variations of same.  And I agree that some delicacy is needed in naming “Johnny Foreigner” when using faux French/German/Latin/Greek etc.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    In both my SATF and Sultanate of Ifat imagination I have Fuad the Chronically Unluck and Hassan the Many-bladed. They are based on Laural and Hardy.


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