Ways to choose character names

I don't really obsesses about many things in gaming but I do seem to be addicted to collecting character names. I have long lists of good names to use in MMOs and other games where you can name your character. It's a slightly odd thing to do but, at the same time, it's damn useful when you're trying to start a character on a server where people have had plenty of time to reserve every remotely cool/relevant/coherent name anyone could ever come up with.

I used to look at author names on books and make a note of good ones I then progressed onto reading the titles at the end of TV programmes (I warn you some of these ideas may result in similar obsessive behaviour on the part of the reader.) Of course, I'd look out for individual words in conversation or when reading that would do as a name. I've even used a road atlas of the British Isles and poured over the village names (guaranteed you'll have a great name in seconds if you look at some of the wilder parts of the UK.)

Having had a recent cull of names (some names that were brilliant when you thought of them are just plain odd two months later) and still possession more great names than I could ever use I decided to try to abandon my obsession or at least slow it down. It was all going well until one day, in a traffic queue, I happened to look at the number plate of the car in front. "VLK..... I thought. Volick? Velk? Vilocke?" Needless to say, I now have a small note book in the car that's filling up with number plate inspired character names.

What name finding systems do you have?

I used to use the predictive text on my mobile phone. Just press random numbers and until you've got two decent words, and concatenate them.

I generally use random letters until I get something I can mould into a name, or a random word on whatever page I'm looking at, which is how I end up with most of my nicknames, like this one.

As far as google says, my shaman's name is unique in WoW, although it did give my guildmates a bit of a challenge to pronounce it.

I like daft anagrams of words or names with a passing association to the nature of the character. For example, my WoW Rogue is called "Bohindroo" (anagram of "Robin Hood") and my Tauren is "Nasirief" (from "Friesian").

I've been using the same name (Asterith) for everything for the last 10-15 years or so. It makes life easier. Whenever I need to find a new name for whatever reason, I tend to just sit at my desk and look round the room for inspiration.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what type of character I'm going to create, what type of name would work and I do research on names from mythology, etc... Then I usually go with something completely lame because all the cool names I come up with are already taken

I did manage to snag Yowl for my Worgen though, so that's pretty good. The name belongs to a lvl 1 gnome on my account for the next few weeks

I turn to foreign language dictionaries. My main's name has been Akunin since UO, which is Japanese for villain.

I (almost) always use Zul in my character name if it's male, or Zula for a female. Then I will expand it with either a second word if the game allows it, or a few syllables, usually without any meaning.

Various characters I have are:
Guild Wars: Zul Aronos, Jula Jamari and ummm Look Into My Eyezzzz
WAR: Zularon, Zulegar
Eve: Zula Jamari

One trick I've taken up is for mail systems that autocomplete names (such as wow), to have a different first letter for each character.

post in wrong place

I've used two ways of choosing character names for multi-character games. For most single identity games I just go with Carch or BadKen. As a WoW altaholic, that approach didn't work so well, and I wanted a naming scheme that would make any of my characters easily recognizable. I ended up going with 3-letter names starting with Ke for Alliance, and Ku for Horde (just because it sounded more hordey). So I have Kea, Kes, Keu and Kux, Kuz, Kul on Staghelm.

That technique doesn't work very well for servers that have been around for a while, so I abandoned having similar-sounding alt names and just went with foreign language. I started this with a couple of Draenei alts, so I chose Russian. Now I have Zhulik, Plut, Poslanik, Koldun, Charadye, Dryd, Smyrt, and Okhotnichya, all Russian (or Anglicized Russian) words for class names.

Very little effort.

I usually just look around on my table for something that sounds cool... like... napkin, bottle, paper, speaker, crack pipe.

I usually hit up the random name generators, find something promising, and switch letters around till I find something that sounds nice. When that fails I have a list of names I've collected over the years and particularly like.

Scratched wrote:
I generally use random letters until I get something I can mould into a name, or a random word on whatever page I'm looking at, which is how I end up with most of my nicknames, like this one.

As far as google says, my shaman's name is unique in WoW, although it did give my guildmates a bit of a challenge to pronounce it.

Could be, but Shaman Fhgywmklb is really good at his job!

My inspiration came from 2 sources... Grinders and its alternate spellings of it is my toon identity. I've hated leveling toons and thought it was a grind, so that is one reason. Second, it was the nickname of a favorite poker player. I've chosen to keep the multiple spellings of the same original name for the ease of others.

I name them after my kids. This does lead to some odd occurrences, like the fact that I'm playing Oblivion yet again with a female character named after my six-year-old daughter, and I'm in the midst of the Dark Brotherhood questline. So my daughter is now a vicious murderer.

Also, when I'm putting varied clothes on her avatars in the Rock Band games, she never gets miniskirts, bare midriff shirts, or anything else like that.

Goquelyrslf is from antient Greek. And when making Grendwar, all I could think of was Guen the panther from Forgotten Realms. And Jadenfury, well, I wanted a character with "fury" in it, and "jade" somehow fit.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
I (almost) always use Zul in my character name...

But I want to talk to Dana.

My characters have always gotten random names: Telseer, Oogrik, Aierlock... whatever just kind of 'fits.' My WoW hunter's pets though are all breakfast food themed: Pancake, Waffles, Oatmeal.

Wrathful (and divisive in Dorjeshugden's case) Tibetan deities.

Anagrams here, pretty much too :).

My GWJ forum name is almost always available to me in whatever online game I'm playing. The genealogies in the Lord of the Rings appendices have been a good source of names for me (except in LOTRO, where they were all taken).

I have one name that I've been using since 2001. The others I'll usually go to a fantasy novel like LOTR and find a name for a secondary character that fits the character I'm creating at the time.

Grenn wrote:

MrDeVil909 wrote:
I (almost) always use Zul in my character name...

But I want to talk to Dana.

There is no Dana, there is only Zul.

The day I picked up Morrowind, my wife told me about a crazy cat lady that she works with who calls her own house several times a day to leave answering machine messages for her cats. She'd say things in baby talk like, "Hello, Mister Meow-merson. Don't worry, I'll be home at 6. Do you miss me?"

Morrowind has a race of half cat/ half humans that you can play.

You're damn right I named my character Mister Meow-merson.

Crouton wrote:
You're damn right I named my character Mister Meow-merson.

This is great a. because "Mister Meow-merson" is a sweet name and b. because it's given me the pleasing image of this lady one day forgetting to ring home and, arriving unannounced, finding her house is some sort of feline speak-easy.

All my names will start off as 3 syllables with random combos till i think of something that fits.

I try to pick short easy to type/pronounce names that fit the race of my characters.

NathanialG wrote:
I try to pick short easy to type/pronounce names that fit the race of my characters.

This coming from someone who insists on being called Nathanial....

Arise thread. Clocky made me want to do a search and this is the most recent thread on the subject.

I think of a silly kids toy that sounds similar to my last name and then smash the two or them together. That or, you know, Link is Link.

I name my characters after my kids, usually my daughter (well, her nickname, which is Ping). This has led to some unusual moments, like when a friend of mine kept telling me that I need to take the cannibalism perk in Fallout 3, and I politely pointed out that having a character named after my daughter eating the dead was not something I could really deal with.

I name all my characters after boobs. Rack, Bounce, Moan (related to boobs sorta), Knockers... Etc.