A couple weeks ago, I started a new campaign with my friends here in Korea. I’m extremely lucky to have a great group of nerdy friends like me who like to play video games, read fantasy novels, and play Dungeons & Dragons. We were sitting down to our first session and it came time for character introductions. There were only 3 PCs this time and here’s what they came up with:
Galembor, the male Human Wizard
Gwenn, the female Human Rogue
and last but not least,
Philibuster Cloroxington, the male Dwarf Hybrid Paladin/Ranger
I honestly thought the last guy was joking, so we started getting into the game and I gave them some flavor text on where they would be starting off. I asked the last player what his name was again and we all laughed a bit when he flatly said, “I already told you. What, did you think I was joking?”
Did I stop the game right there and force him to make a new name? Did I limit his creativity and personal investment in the persona he created? Of course not! I made a quick note of his name and we got right to business.
I’ve been at game sessions where DMs limited a player’s creativity by telling them their name wasn’t good enough and forcing them to change it on the spot. Where’s the fun in that? As a DM, I put a lot of time and energy into the game and I am most satisfied when my friends are having fun roleplaying and kicking ass.
Is it really that important what name they’re using? I would argue that it depends on your role at the table. As a player, yes, it is important to feel like your own creativity, actions and efforts have an impact on the game world. As a DM, no, it is not important as it does not have an impact on the main objective of keeping the fun and action going smoothly. As long as a name isn’t blatantly inappropriate then why make a fuss about it?
Here’s a list of some of the more memorable character names I’ve encountered:
The Dude King. a male Goliath Warden
Iron Man, a male(?) Warforged Invoker
Nonamea, a female Human Fighter
and probably my favorite so far
Omgawolf, a male Razorclaw Shifter
What do you think? Should players be restricted on name choice? Is it up the DM to determine what’s appropriate, or should the players decide? Have you ever told a player to change their name? Has a DM ever told you to? What other awesome/silly names have you encountered at the game table?