Name lists!

  • 6 Replies
Name lists!
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:26:20 AM »
    The name lists for the Dark Age playtest are part of what we're testing! Feedback is great!

    We did our best first stab at names from the backgrounds we want in the book. Vincent says he copy-pasted the ones he did, my SCA background made me push harder for historically accurate or at least plausible names, but we fully acknowledge it's a first stab. Native speakers and folks with deeper linguistic or scholarly background into those languages listed would be super welcome to offer corrections.

    If you are of a mind to submit a corrected name list, we would love to see it. If we decide we'd like to use it, we will ask your permission and of course credit you in the book.  As I said to DWeird over on anyway, I'd like the name lists to be solid. Names matter to me. My guiding principals in regard to name lists in Dark Age is as follows:

    • Believable names of the common folks of that language/area/timeframe - follow customs on gendered endings, etc.
    • Avoid names that would cause trouble in the culture or at the table, i.e. names that translate as insults or carry too much weight to get past, which is why Adolf is not on the Germanic list.
    • In each list, aim for a balance of simple and more complex. Don't change spellings to simplify, find a different name.
    • Weight the lists toward pre-Christian, but if some variant of John is the most common male name in the language by 500 AD, so be it.
    • Occasional familiar variants help convey that this is an inter-connected world - Gwilym and William and Vilhjálmr might all appear.
    • Each list can have a name or two that have come through intact to modern use, like Erik and Roxanne and Rachel and Matthew.
  • Variety is good! The name lists should be diverse and indicative of the language and culture, so when I hear about your NPC I can know something about their background from the name alone - is it Binyamin or Stanislav? Camille or Hilda?


Re: Name lists!
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 02:06:23 PM »
Are names lists for Peoples in your plans?  That was a (very minor) stumbling block for us last night.

Re: Name lists!
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 04:57:19 PM »
Have you tried looking through the Onomastikon?

Re: Name lists!
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 06:56:17 AM »

Re: Name lists!
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 08:12:57 AM »

Re: Name lists!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2015, 10:04:46 AM »
For norse names, i have some comments:

-Dustin may be an old old name - but everyone, scandinavians included, will mispronounce it grossly.
-Embla is a core figure in norse mythology (and so is Freja). They may come across as somewhat too obvious. Especially the first. Many names refer to gods and other figures, of course. Torstein for example.

-Names like Eirikr, (those ending with an r after another a consonant): Some research might need to go into this. There's a branch in norse names where icelanders have the ending -r and scandinavia not. I do not know wich one is the root, but Iceland wasn't colonized by this time. It shouldn't affect names like Hjalmar and Brynjar (meaning helm wearer and mail armour wearer).

As for the names of the common folks: We can't know for sure. The names preserved were most probably from the ruling and enforcing classes. Their meanings denote and connote warrior attributes, might, riches, heritage, and favor among the gods. Of course, such names have eventually trinkled down, but other than a few mentions here and there (sometimes in the sagas), we don't know too many träl (slave) names.

Re: Name lists!
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 12:47:53 PM »
Heard of the Story Games Names Project? There's an app for that! :)