Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Core Names

Red Falcon. Elkhorn. Hawk the Slayer. Deathstalker. Names like this crop up in old modules and yellowed character sheets, on the covers of dog-eared gamebooks and musty VHS tapes. My friend Kent Bonifield once referred to such names as "core". For me, there's something primally, fundamentally old-school about them. I thought it would be fun to throw together a random table that could produce such names:

01 black
02 red
03 green
04 blue
05 gold(en)
06 silver
07 death
08 bane
09 doom
10 spell
11 dark
12 bright
13 light
14 dusk
15 dawn
16 shadow
17 steel
18 star
19 sun
20 moon
21 night
22 storm
23 fire
24 sea
25 wind
26 stone
27 leaf
28 river
29 war
30 blade
31 sword
32 horn
33 axe
34 claw
35 staff
36 spear
37 hammer
38 lone
39 falcon
40 eagle
41 hawk
42 dragon
43 wyvern
44 sphinx
45 griffon
46 lion
47 bull
48 panther
49 elk
50 bear
51 wolf
52 boar
53 rat
54 ox
55 fox
56 raven
57 serpent
58 soul
59 heart
60 strong
61 hunter
62 walker
63 stalker
64 killer
65 slayer
66 master/mistress
67 lord/lady
68 duke/duchess
69 king/queen
70 iron
71 grey
72 brother/sister
73 curse(d)
74 eye
75 tooth
76 shield
77 helm
78 fist
79 god
80 devil
81 demon
82 spirit
83 ghost
84 dread
85 blood
86 scar
87 hand
88 deep
89 rock
90 gloom
91 razor
92 bringer
93 ring
94 rune
95 weaver
96 caller
97 great
98 high
99 mega
00 ultra

(Core name generation is not an exact science. Players are encouraged to use their imagination when generating a name. One could roll two, three, or more times, and then combine, discard, and modify them as desired.)

(To put it another way, this table is kind of busted, but I just rolled up a guy named Megagloom and so I have to think that I did something right.)


  1. I've seen this kind of chart many times before and they're always fun. Shouldn't there be at least two columns though? That way you roll (clacky-clicky) bright...(clicky-clack-clack)stalker...Brightstalker. With the above I can see a lot of characters named Bluered, Brightmega and Stalkerstalker. ;)

    Barking Alien

  2. Yeah, you have a point about columns. I thought of that after I posted it, and I may go back and redo it... but come on, Brightmega and Stalkerstalker are great names!

    What can I say, I threw this together pretty fast. :D

  3. i have a Warcraft character that i am going to re-name, and though i was going to go with my in-guild knickname of "Biz Ley," maybe i'll try this table and see what happens. "Megagloom" is pretty damn sweet.

  4. I use this chart all the freaking time now. My dwarf ax-wielder "Starhammer" thanks you.

  5. Caduceus: Cool, I'm thrilled to hear that it's of use to somebody. This chart isn't one of my best, but if it works for you it wasn't a waste.

  6. Beware Weaverleaf the Elven Mage! :)

    I have a hireling name generator on Discourse and Dragons if interested.

  7. Duskmaster. Do I laugh or cry?;)

  8. Followed the link from Gloomspear's childhood torments, and thought this was silly...

    Then I rolled a few;

    Ironsword; Bluestaff; Redhand

    There's a fighter / MU / Cleric team about to explore the Keep on the Borderlands!

    Mind you, Seakiller, Shieldpanther and Ladyqueen? A killer whale, a He-Man plastic toy, and a transvestite dwarf...

    I am so stealing this,and I'm going to make my players use it.

  9. Oh no, it's definitely silly, and does produce crap results about half the time. Good to hear you're enjoying it, though!

  10. Hey, if possible, I'd love to use this in my latest RPG. Let me know, I'd give you full credit, PDF, and softcover of the book when it comes out. Thanks!

    1. Sure, that sounds good. I'm not too proud of this table, but if you find it useful and think others will, go for it. Also, if you feel like reworking it into columns (as others have suggested), feel free. Thanks!