View Full Version : Need some naming help

2009-03-25, 10:04 AM
In discussing my suggestion for a fix for the 3.5 fighter, it was pointed out that there was a strong possibility that the fundamental rules of D&D made fixing any of the classes operate against the game system itself. The game was designed to favor spellcasters and, in such an environment, trying to make reparations without granting spellcasting in some form was doomed to failure.

With this in mind, I figure designing an entirely new system would be in order. However, I suck at names. I could never come up with something like "Steel Wind" or "Duskblade" or "Darkstalker" or anything along those lines. I am a number cruncher and fluff kinda guy, making sure fluff works with crunch.

Therefore this thread is for anyone who wants to help me name stuff. Right now I am working on the 'class' concept, trying to come up with good names for classes. One-word names are best, but if it is a really good two-word name (War Mage, for example, is not what I deem a good name, I could come up with that) I would accept it. Right now I have a Knight (Hurt things first, faith healing second), Wizard (Blaster, curses, and summoning), Priest (Faith healing first, blaster second), and Rogue (skill tricks master, backup combat) because those are just how my brain thinks of names.

So, any and all CONSTRUCTIVE input is welcome.

2009-03-25, 02:27 PM
I'll just put out some random names. I'm not shooting for anything in particular, so they'll be hit and miss

Redguard (a paladin of war)
Brigand (good replacement for the rogue name)
Magus (flavorful replacement name to wizard)
Widowmaker (No! bad Graymayre!)

2009-03-25, 02:37 PM
I'll just put out some random names. I'm not shooting for anything in particular, so they'll be hit and miss

Redguard (a paladin of war)
Brigand (good replacement for the rogue name)
Magus (flavorful replacement name to wizard)
Widowmaker (No! bad Graymayre!)

Ok, what's an axiomite and the others do? I like the names, but have no clue what they mean.

2009-03-25, 06:33 PM
Axiomite: A warrior of law

Auramancer: a Master of auras. Since all magic (in 3.5) exudes an aura, that means this person has a general control of magic.

Poacher: obviously someone who hunts illegally, but it can also mean one who kills or steals for illegal means.

god-touched: one that is touched by the gods (and thusly, has some amount of divine power)

Magus: File missing

Brigand: a synonym for rogue.

Thane of Fife
2009-03-25, 07:24 PM
Well, the first thing to do is decide on whether you really want classes or not. Classes can guide a game into a genre very easily, and they allow for strong archetypes and niches. Not having classes, on the other hand, allows for freer game play and character creation.

For example, having a Fighter class and a Spellcaster class quite clearly defines some stuff about your game, in comparison to a game which treats fighting and spellcasting merely as different skills.

Assuming that you want to keep classes, then you need to decide what kinds of classes you want.

D&D, for example, traditionally used an archetype-based class system, with classes representing different fantasy archetypes. Originally, these were broad - fighting-man, cleric, magic-user - and they have since gotten much more narrow - samurai, swashbuckler, fighter, rogue, assassin, ranger, paladin, etc. If this is the kind of class system that you want, then pick simple names which everyone can easily understand. The main advantage of this kind of system is that things are easily recognizable and are fairly generic - those three OD&D classes, for example, can apply to almost any fantasy setting imaginable. Even the more modern host of archetypes can be culled into a list that defines a setting. On top of this, there's the advantage that you can find characters who fit the archetypes and build the classes around them.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game, FATAL, Rifts (sort of), or ICAR, on the other hand, use professions as classes. One might see Soldier, Priest, Brigand, Alchemist, etc. This tends to work out pretty similarly to the archetype method, and again has the advantage of relatively obvious, suggestive classes.

The third option would be what you appear to be tending towards, and what D&D appears to have become, which would be mechanic-based classes. Here, a class isn't defined by what it is, but what it can do. For example, the archetype method might say "Hmm, I should do something with Conan. How about a barbarian class? It can fight well, and do some sneaky stuff, and be good at surviving, and have sudden bursts of strength." The mechanics-based option, on the other hand, might start with "Hmm, a class that has to manage bursts of strength could be fun. We'll give him one burst per two levels. It could be cool to give him other things to spend the bursts on, too, for when he gets to high levels and has lots of bursts for just a few fights." This would be what gives us Duskblades and Warblades and whatever else.

Basically, you need to tell us what kinds of classes you want, or we can't help you.

2009-03-25, 09:47 PM
Before you start adding artificial restrictions to your system, you should work out a theme. Do you have any specific world plan in mind, or are you trying to make a catch-all fantasy system that can be applicable to any number of world concepts and campaigns? If it's the former, you're going to want to build up your imaginary society to the point where you can just pluck ideas for classes out of your established lore; if it's the latter, you're going to want to be as generic and widely-applicable as possible, so your concepts can be easily molded into any number of character ideas.

(if you haven't guessed already, I'm a LOT better at the flavoring than the number-crunching. We could co-DM! :p)

Think of what your players might want to be, of all the mutations of all-powerful fantasy badass there are out there. A priest is pretty cool - but are you talking the mace-swinging, armor-wearing battlefield cleric of traditional D&D or the robed, soft-spoken guy that turns wine into a drinkable messiah analog? An idea would be to create your magical archetypes first, build hybrid magic-melee classes off that, then flesh out as the flavor allows. Here's some ideas in convenient list format:

Priest (said robe-wearing light magician, a direct channel of divine power whose abilities would be more miraculous than material);
Sorceror (rather than the D&D sorceror, this would be a more traditional version of the theme, ie: a wizard who traffics with unwholesome entities in pursuit of earthly power and is capable of causing catastrophic effects in exchange for material sacrifices);
Wise Man/Woman (your typical generalist conjuror, who does not impose artificial limits on the source or effect of his knowledge; he would have a wide variety of powers to choose from but would be incapable of much potent impact until he specializes);
Minister (a battlefield priest, whose white magic would be directed less towards making mountains move and other enormous examples of his sponsor's power and more towards keeping himself and his company functional; he would have some combat prowess and powers that deal more with direct conflict);
Scourge (an armored knight-sorceror who supplements his attacks with black magic; he would be very attack-oriented, armed with malaisons intended to cripple or weaken his foes, or provide himself with trophies once he chops their faces off);
Adept (your jack-of-all-trades, like a bard without the fruity music specialization; an adept would be able to hold his own in direct combat while also having a number of magical solutions to aid in whatever non-rushing-at-you-with-knives problems might crop up);
Scoundrel (your rogue-analog, a poor direct fighter with large access to various skills and creative combat solutions; a scoundrel would have access to a number of non-combat skills and abilities, but would need a distraction or some specialization to fight one-on-one effectively);
Guerrilla (a scoundrel with larger direct combat arsenal, capable of holding his own in a face-to-face dust-up with a number of dirty-fighting skills and non-beatup-oriented abilities to get himself effectively in to and out of trouble);
Militant (pretty self-explanatory; a direct fighter, gets up in peoples' faces and hits them with things, solves problems by hitting them with other things).

As for specialized classes and prestige stuff, I've always been partial to the idea of giving each class so much junk to choose from that there is no possible way for them to gain access to the half of it, let alone everything. Your class on paper might say sorceror, but that wouldn't describe at all what you'd do: do you have access to the evil eye, do you conjure infernal helpers and bind them to this world; do you use your powers to augment your physical form in an attempt to achieve immortality/omnipotence/cupcakes/whatever; are you completely content with immolating the countryside and unraveling peoples' skins when they try to flee... well, you get the idea.

2009-03-26, 06:58 AM
I already have the theme. It is the medieval fantasy theme. The system, however, I want to design to be adaptable to different themes, which I seem to have done so far. My creativity comes in surges, so I have written down everything this time, but the names for classes I was having problems with. I tend to think in terms of rogue/priest/warrior/wizard because that's my experience growing up with D&D. I am hoping others can think outside this particular limitation I possess.

For the record, I have designed games before. I am not a novice, although I have never bothered publishing any of the games I made. (Even that really cool chess variant with terrain, which I should probably do something with rather than let it sit in my closet collecting dust.)

Yes, I am going with a class-based system. There are, however, no class levels in the design. It is closer to the profession-based class system previously discussed. When I get it farther along I'll publish details.

Thane of Fife
2009-03-26, 07:30 AM
What kinds of class names do you want? Are you looking for synonyms for fighter, rogue, wizard, etc? Or do you want names like Duskblade, Swordsage, etc? If the latter, then it would be helpful if you told us what kinds of classes you wanted names for.

2009-03-26, 07:55 AM
I am working the other way.

I am designing classes based on cool names and descriptions.

Thane of Fife
2009-03-26, 08:24 AM
That seems like kind of an odd way to do it. But, whatever. Here:

Roll once on each chart, then put the two words together:

Table 1:
1 Battle
2 Dark
3 Oath
4 Light
5 God
6 Sword (or other weapon)
7 Saddle
8 Blood
9 Fist
10 War
11 Spell
12 Tome
13 Crypt
14 Bone
15 Death
16 Life
17 Dawn
18 Swift
19 Strong
20 Hell

Table 2:
1 sworn
2 blade
3 acolyte
4 sage
5 stalker
6 hunter
7 bearer
8 bringer
9 cloaked
10 born
11 chaser
12 slayer
13 mage
14 mancer
15 voker
16 knight
17 swinger
18 forged
19 judge
20 bound

Some examples:
Swordstalker - Basically an assassin, I guess
Saddleslayer - Specializes in fighting mounted foes
Warblade (that one's already taken, though)
Bloodbearer - Kind of like a necromancer mixed with a truenamer
Acolyte of Light - A cleric-type.
Saddlemancer - Alright, they're not all good.

2009-03-26, 09:43 AM
See, those are the kinds of things I can come up with. I was hoping with something with more flavor. Something someone has put some thought and heart into.

I appreciate the tables, though. If I have to I'll use them.