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View Full Version : Troubles naming a Guild/Organization/Church



Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 01:39 PM
Hello. I was just thinking about an BBEOrganization that I was working on when I realized that I had no name for the darn thing! :smallsigh: As I haven't really done this kind of thing before, I decided to turn to the forums to seek help.

So, how does everybody else go about naming their own Guild/Organization/Church/ect? I mean, is it just sticking two cool sounding words together with no rhyme or reason? Or is there more meaning behind your naming conventions?

Thanks in advance. :smallsmile:

Voshkod
2008-10-01, 01:41 PM
It depends on a lot of things. Are they public or secret? Do they have a happy face they present the world as a disguise over their evil?

Jayabalard
2008-10-01, 01:55 PM
I tend to think about it from the point of view of the people in the organization, especially it's founders.

Unless I am playing a somewhat silly game, then it tends to be something like "Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night"

Thane of Fife
2008-10-01, 01:55 PM
Hmm, well, I usually pick an evil-sounding name which is associated with the cult (say, Mog), select a plural noun which describes a group of people who amake up the cult (say, Sons), and put them together (say, Sons of Mog).

This works reasonably nicely for churches and such as well.

BRC
2008-10-01, 02:00 PM
The more powerful an organization, the less detailed a name it needs.
For example, lets say there is an assasins guild, when it's small you can call it "The east-river assasins guild", then as it grows in power it is referred to as "The Assasins guild", then, as it's power dominates the local area, it can be reffered to simply as "The Guild". When you say "The Guild supports him" or "I heard he owed money to The Guild" everybody knows which guild you mean.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 02:04 PM
It depends on a lot of things. Are they public or secret? Do they have a happy face they present the world as a disguise over their evil?

Well, for the organization I mentioned, they are made up of a bunch of Corrupt Inevitables (I can't remember the number, around 14), and are secretive in nature. That's one of the difficulties the PCOrganization would face, no one believes they exist. Well, they know that their minions exist, but beyond that, yeah.

BRC
2008-10-01, 02:05 PM
Well, for the organization I mentioned, they are made up of a bunch of Corrupt Inevitables (I can't remember the number, around 14), and are secretive in nature. That's one of the difficulties the PCOrganization would face, no one believes they exist. Well, they know that their minions exist, but beyond that, yeah.

Corrupt Inevitables, "The _____ Gear"
The Shattered Gear
The Rusted Gear
The Blackened Gear
The Scorched Gear

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 02:12 PM
I tend to think about it from the point of view of the people in the organization, especially it's founders.

Unless I am playing a somewhat silly game, then it tends to be something like "Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night"

That would work usualy, though for the more alien beings that could get a bit difficult.


Hmm, well, I usually pick an evil-sounding name which is associated with the cult (say, Mog), select a plural noun which describes a group of people who amake up the cult (say, Sons), and put them together (say, Sons of Mog).

This works reasonably nicely for churches and such as well.

That's definately viable.


The more powerful an organization, the less detailed a name it needs.
For example, lets say there is an assasins guild, when it's small you can call it "The east-river assasins guild", then as it grows in power it is referred to as "The Assasins guild", then, as it's power dominates the local area, it can be reffered to simply as "The Guild". When you say "The Guild supports him" or "I heard he owed money to The Guild" everybody knows which guild you mean.

I see what you mean, and it is natural for people to shorten a name for ease of conversation. But if you have a lot of guilds, it could lead to confusion.

Voshkod
2008-10-01, 02:16 PM
For a group like that, I'd go with something enigmatic. Consider the real world example of the "Majestic Twelve." The name has little to do with the purpose.

So, for example, the group could be the Red Stones. Why? Perhaps all the members carry small red stones with which to identify themselves. Perhaps because they conduct horrible sacrifices out on the moors which leave the standing stones red.

If you're not afraid of flying by the seat of your pants, you can give them a name without knowing why they have it. Listen to your players' ideas of what the name means, and pick the one that's most inspiring. A GM should never be afraid to backfill a story.

Telonius
2008-10-01, 02:18 PM
How "mechanical" are you portraying the group? You could have its name simply be a collection of numbers that make sense only to them.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 02:22 PM
Corrupt Inevitables, "The _____ Gear"
The Shattered Gear
The Rusted Gear
The Blackened Gear
The Scorched Gear

Hmm.. the gear thing would definately work, but their icon would have to be reworked to account for it. I'll load it up later to show what I already looks like. It shouldn't be too hard to do though.


How "mechanical" are you portraying the group? You could have its name simply be a collection of numbers that make sense only to them.

They use replica of the other races to do their work. They are pretty obviously not living, but the idea was that as the game goes on and on their creations become harder to differentiate between living and machine. It throws in the questions of "What does it mean to be alive? Are these creations alive?"

Jayabalard
2008-10-01, 02:25 PM
some things to think about:


Would the group even have a name for itself? It it's a small enough group, then "us" is probably sufficient. Naming yourself can make you vulnerable, and requires a certain amount of hubris.
The name the members call themselves isn't necessarily the same as the one that that outsiders or enemies call them. The latter may be more interesting or useful. Different groups of outsiders may call them different things.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 02:29 PM
some things to think about:


Would the group even have a name for itself? It it's a small enough group, then "us" is probably sufficient. Naming yourself can make you vulnerable, and requires a certain amount of hubris.
The name the members call themselves isn't necessarily the same as the one that that outsiders or enemies call them. The latter may be more interesting or useful. Different groups of outsiders may call them different things.


Hm.. I haven't thought of it like that. They may just as well not care if they have a group name or not. I'll have to think on that one some more.


For a group like that, I'd go with something enigmatic. Consider the real world example of the "Majestic Twelve." The name has little to do with the purpose.

So, for example, the group could be the Red Stones. Why? Perhaps all the members carry small red stones with which to identify themselves. Perhaps because they conduct horrible sacrifices out on the moors which leave the standing stones red.

If you're not afraid of flying by the seat of your pants, you can give them a name without knowing why they have it. Listen to your players' ideas of what the name means, and pick the one that's most inspiring. A GM should never be afraid to backfill a story.

That's a good idea. Let the players (unknowingly) decide the name. Definately make things easier on me.

Storm Bringer
2008-10-01, 03:20 PM
as others have said, the group may not actually have a formal name per se, but just be 'the covenant' or 'the Clan'.

or, they could have a simple name that they use which is a shortening of a longer formal name. for example, they could be called "The Seekers of the Most High Truth', but refer to themsleves as 'The Seekers'.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 03:30 PM
I've thought about it, and I've decided that they would name themselves. Even though they are Corrupted, they are still Inevitables, so they would feel obligated to give themselves a designation.

Talya
2008-10-01, 03:47 PM
So, how does everybody else go about naming their own Guild/Organization/Church/ect? I mean, is it just sticking two cool sounding words together with no rhyme or reason? Or is there more meaning behind your naming conventions?



Nara Aesera Nahid, Heartwarder and High Priestess of Sune (despite being a sorceress), managed to assume control over several allied churches and businesses dedicated to Sharess, goddess of Hedonism, then used this to advance the worship of Sune in Calimport. Her Basillica of Burning Passions is the largest structure in the city, and is considered one of the Nine Magical Wonders of Faerun. (I just made that last bit up...i have no idea if Faerun has nine wonders.)

If you're going to found a church, make sure it's fun.

Siegel
2008-10-01, 03:52 PM
What aim do they have ? Do they want to create Law and Order through 'androids' or just to take 'world dominition' with them or what ? That would help...

The Brazen might be a good shortform.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 03:58 PM
Nara Aesera Nahid, Heartwarder and High Priestess of Sune (despite being a sorceress), managed to assume control over several allied churches and businesses dedicated to Sharess, goddess of Hedonism, then used this to advance the worship of Sune in Calimport. Her Basillica of Burning Passions is the largest structure in the city, and is considered one of the Nine Magical Wonders of Faerun. (I just made that last bit up...i have no idea if Faerun has nine wonders.)

If you're going to found a church, make sure it's fun.

Hmm... you know, I have a church in the works, and this brings up some things I didn't think about. Like how it would mesh exactly with other such churches, and how things would change if the PCs actualy got involved. I guess I need to plan it out a little more than I have been.

Jayabalard
2008-10-01, 03:59 PM
What are the organization's aims?

If they're looking at getting rid of impurities to leave a purely ordered remainder, then "Crucible" might be a good word.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 04:08 PM
What aim do they have ? Do they want to create Law and Order through 'androids' or just to take 'world dominition' with them or what ? That would help...

The Brazen might be a good shortform.

They are actualy in an arms race with the PCOrganization, trying to find a set of books with vast power. One of them contain recepies to create extremely potent poisons and diseases (like, homemade nation wide epidemics). Another contains the plans on building a super fortress. They are all artifacts of great power (some more so than others, obviously). So yeah, the "World Domination" bit.

(I don't have my notes with me, so I can't quote what exactly each one does)

Mark Hall
2008-10-01, 04:16 PM
Hmm, well, I usually pick an evil-sounding name which is associated with the cult (say, Mog), select a plural noun which describes a group of people who amake up the cult (say, Sons), and put them together (say, Sons of Mog).

This works reasonably nicely for churches and such as well.

And Klingons. ;-)

However, I tend to go with a very simple name, except in the case of organizations that are semi-secret and want to inflict fear.

Cuddly
2008-10-01, 04:22 PM
I named a Cult of Vecna that had infiltrated Pelor's Church the "Left Hand of God." They functioned as a paramilitary unit for Pelor's Church, while advancing Vecna's interests in the region. I think the dual meaning behind the name was clever.

You could simply give them a name like Unit 113 or something similar. Whatever their particular unit name in Mechanus was, they kept it simply because beings of perfect law have no way to come up with clever metaphorical names.


Nara Aesera Nahid, Heartwarder and High Priestess of Sune (despite being a sorceress), managed to assume control over several allied churches and businesses dedicated to Sharess, goddess of Hedonism, then used this to advance the worship of Sune in Calimport. Her Basillica of Burning Passions is the largest structure in the city, and is considered one of the Nine Magical Wonders of Faerun. (I just made that last bit up...i have no idea if Faerun has nine wonders.)

If you're going to found a church, make sure it's fun.

Ugh. TMI.
:smalleek:

Forgotton
2008-10-01, 04:27 PM
it seams to me you have allready nearly naimed them a couple times
Inevitables
start with that as your root word but let it slip out to your players in pieces as they folow the breadcrumbs of info from NPC's trying to locate the culprates.
the cutpurse at the end of the alleyway once questioned about the strang goingon's say's fearfully "its those danged, Inevit- somethings. thier bad for buisness"
then expand on it at a tavern.
"h ya i heard of something like that" Exclames the bard performing at the local tavern! "it was something - stalkers." after some pressing and your party giving out the tidbit from the thief. he then says "humm.. Yes YES! thats it thier the Inevit-stalkers. all i know is..."

Voshkod
2008-10-01, 04:29 PM
Have each of their minions have a brass gear or somesuch on their person. Perhaps an earring, or embedded in their shoe heel, or (for the real crazies) embedded in the palm of their hands. The group uses it for identifying their own; the PCs can use it to name the group.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 04:30 PM
I named a Cult of Vecna that had infiltrated Pelor's Church the "Left Hand of God." They functioned as a paramilitary unit for Pelor's Church, while advancing Vecna's interests in the region. I think the dual meaning behind the name was clever.

You could simply give them a name like Unit 113 or something similar. Whatever their particular unit name in Mechanus was, they kept it simply because beings of perfect law have no way to come up with clever metaphorical names.

Ah, but they are no longer perfect beings of Law. They have been corrupted. It's like taking a Inevitable, and making it Insane. Add in a little bloodthrist for flavor, perhaps a dash of self-loathing at their fall from perfection, and there you go.


Ugh. TMI.
:smalleek:

Um.... did I mis-read it? I get the feeling that something went over my head.

Cuddly
2008-10-01, 04:32 PM
Ah, but they are no longer perfect beings of Law. They have been corrupted. It's like taking a Inevitable, and making it Insane. Add in a little bloodthrist for flavor, perhaps a dash of self-loathing at their fall from perfection, and there you go.

The nature of their fall- was it being misled, HAL like, or just generic cackling mad? And how recent was it? I'm guessing they're LE?

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 04:39 PM
The nature of their fall- was it being misled, HAL like, or just generic cackling mad? And how recent was it? I'm guessing they're LE?

I... hadn't actualy planned that yet. But, I just got a briliant idea. They where originaly tasked with bringing the Far Plane to order. :smallbiggrin: It goes without saying, they failed. Spectacularly. After thousands upon thousands of deaths, more than a few defects would surface in the replacements. Especialy when the Far Plane is concerned. So they rebeled, fled to the Material plane, and decided to say 'Screw you' to Mechanicus and do what they want instead of their programing. Of course, that is just one idea. I'm open to ideas on the matter.

About how recent it was... I'd have to say this should have happened some time ago, but not ages. More likely within the past thirty years. If it takes an Inevitable (even a corrupt one) longer than thirty years to get together a organization and start mass producing minions for world domination, then it just dosen't seem right.

And yeah, LE is the standard. Possibly a few of the more demented ones being NE, and at least one being CE. Boy, that one CE one would be totaly messed up. :smallsmile:

Talya
2008-10-01, 04:41 PM
Um.... did I mis-read it? I get the feeling that something went over my head.

I have no idea what the TMI thing is referring to. I provided next to no information about the Basillica. Evidently merely founding a church devoted to beauty, love, passion, and hedonism is TMI.

Stupendous_Man
2008-10-01, 05:42 PM
Hello. I was just thinking about an BBEOrganization that I was working on when I realized that I had no name for the darn thing! :smallsigh:

That's easy.

http://photos2.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/e/3/f/e/event_958366.jpeg

BRC
2008-10-01, 05:47 PM
I... hadn't actualy planned that yet. But, I just got a briliant idea. They where originaly tasked with bringing the Far Plane to order. :smallbiggrin: It goes without saying, they failed. Spectacularly. After thousands upon thousands of deaths, more than a few defects would surface in the replacements. Especialy when the Far Plane is concerned. So they rebeled, fled to the Material plane, and decided to say 'Screw you' to Mechanicus and do what they want instead of their programing. Of course, that is just one idea. I'm open to ideas on the matter.

About how recent it was... I'd have to say this should have happened some time ago, but not ages. More likely within the past thirty years. If it takes an Inevitable (even a corrupt one) longer than thirty years to get together a organization and start mass producing minions for world domination, then it just dosen't seem right.

And yeah, LE is the standard. Possibly a few of the more demented ones being NE, and at least one being CE. Boy, that one CE one would be totaly messed up. :smallsmile:

Alright, so their goal is to do what they wnat, not neccessarily to spread Chaos.

As for being NE or CE, Inevitables are inheriently lawful, they are law incarnate. Ergo, a Neutral one or a Chaotic one would be heavily defective, it would likely appear as a sort of Mutant inevitable, it's gears squeaking and grinding against each other.

As for a name, I would go with somthing like "The Defects", "The Irregulars" or "The Nonstandards". They would know what they are, defective inevitables, whether they see that as a bad thing depends on their mindset.

Ghal Marak
2008-10-01, 06:02 PM
Ah, I finaly got home and found my notes. Here is the original banner of the group. http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee358/Ghalmarak/TheNineUnknownMenBanner.png
There are nine of them, and the ninth being the leader.

The books are actualy stolen from a library on Mechanicus.

Hmm.... Defect. Intresting.

EDIT: Using this (http://www.tranexp.com:2000/Translate/result.shtml), I found out that Corrupt in latin is Perversa. In fact, playing around with translations on this thing is pretty fun.