What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet;
Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare
He knew a thing or two did old Bill Shakespeare. Though even he would never have called Twobeers Barrelbelly sweet-smelling.
So we were having a discussion in kin chat about character names and that has prompted this entry about my character names.
Back in the distant past I started with my first MMORPG, Everquest/Everquest 2 (I played them interchangeably for a while). And, of course, I needed a character name. This is the moment when you realise that a great number of people play online games and that all the clever names that you think of are already being used (a bit like finding a name for your Google Mail). I’m not entirely sure what prompted me towards Keli but the reasoning behind it was:
It was short (nothing worse than people mistyping your name for group invites or getting irritated at typing some long name in chat)
It was easily extendable for alts – e.g Kellion, Kellori….
It was gender neutral
Amazingly, it was free – seems Keli is not a particularly popular name.
So Keli was born and continued through EQ2, Vanguard, Runes of Magic, WAR, Lotro. The first few years Keli was always a healer; latterly she is a tank with the name of Keli Shieldmaiden.
But of course we all like original and possibly amusing names too.
Twobeers was born in Vanguard. I was looking for something memorable and that fitted a dwarven character – a bit of a scoundrel but loveable. Liked a drink! The name came from a Marx Brothers film, A Night At The Opera:
Groucho calls, “Two beers, bartender,” and Chico, without batting an eye, calls out, “I’ll have two beers, too”
The surname Barrelbelly was obvious really :)
Now Twobeers plys his trade in Lotro and often seems to end up in some sort of scrape, though he is quick to blame his friend Nutkin for these.
Snoring is just my laugh out loud name as it is coupled with the surname Loudly. Though I contend that Snoring is a good name for a dwarf character and is based on the medieval Scandinavian Snorring.
One name I did use in Lotro with the deliberate thought of all the possibilities is Lacking. Initially I used names like Lacking Refinement and so on. Then, wonderfully, Lotro introduced a new title, Easily Lost. Well, of course Lacking immediately gained that title to become Lacking Directions, Easily Lost.
The latest Lacking belongs to a kin called Elevensies so on screen he appears as Lacking Elevensies.
A completely different type of name I’m now using is Geoffroi, and I’m often asked about this. I was creating a RP character, a wandering troubadour from Harad. At the same time I was researching family history and came across an ancestor that exactly fitted what I was looking for, Geoffroi II le Troubadour Rudel de Blaye. There is a text published on him – Geoffrey Rudel or The Pilgrim of Love here.
I have a wonderful list of character and guild names from EQ2 but now that I play on a roleplay server, most would be totally unsuitable and get you banned. So funny though, I am amazed at people’s inventiveness.
Here’s an example I saw in Lotro – Dwarves can choose titles based on their origin, usualy mountains. One such is The Blue Mountains. Not so long ago, I saw a player who had called himself Scree Slope of The Blue Mountains. Genius!