It's a good thing I had the presentiment to not sign up Explicitly for the daily post alphabet challenge. We've been in various stages of trying to get into a new Edifice for a little over two months now, and it's kept my output even more Economical than usual. But, it's finally at an End, and we Exchange money for keys later today! Excelsior!!
Although this Equivocally means that my Efficacy will actually further Erode for a while, it also means that after a week or so it will Escalate and Expand to a much greater, Even daily, proliferation.
In coming up with a couple more names for unplanned npcs in my Greyhawk game, I realised something enter.. er.. interesting. I like making non-player characters. It entertains me. My favourite part of making them, and generally the only thing I do to make them, is coming up with a name and personality.
I don't roll stats at all unless I absolutely have to. Even for a man-at-arms hired by the party, I eschew stats. He or she gets their attack roll based on their level, which is most likely zero-level-human, and that's pretty much it. In the incredibly rare instance that an ability check is needed, I assume it's an 11 unless I've already established there is something unusual about them. What about hit points? Well, level one fighting-men get a d6 in ODnD. Goblins are a d6-1. Goblins are able to drive peasants before them, whilst enjoying the lamentation of the women. Thus, here is the simple breakdown on ye common folke. Children, elderly, infirmed - 1hp; clerks, maids, typical townies - 2hp; farmers, laborers, healthy lads and lasses - 3hp; the burly blacksmith and other buff stereotypes - 4hp.
I got a little sidetracked, but it went in an acceptable direction. Back to names! I enjoy making up names and personalities. I have no trouble making up diverse personalities, and there are some great tables out there if I did. I should come back and edit this to give a ballyhoo to a couple of them.. With names, even though I love inventing them, I sometimes worry that since it's one person coming up with all the names of all the npcs, they will begin to sound like they're all cousins.
Today, while making two names for a couple hired spearmen that I hadn't foreseen, I thought "hey, I'm trying to make this as much a Gygaxian Greyhawk as possible.. how did he come up with names?" Easy - in addition to the much-discussed anagrams, he used lots of old obscure archaisms, oft times adjusted a bit. This has the added bonus of enjoying some synchronicity with Gene Wolfe's writing, so that makes it feel even better. Thus, I now share a few great links to aid in this method of coming up with proper nouns for a campaign.
Strange and Unusual Dictionaries
Worthless Word FOR the Day