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 NPC names: mundane versus exotic?
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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2022 :  03:29:19  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the reception thus far. So...there IS a place for punny names in a generally serious tabletop gaming campaign as long as they require some effort to "unpack" and/or sound simultaneously natural?



To be honest, I don't like it. But to each his own, and all that... And I can still participate in a thought exercise about something, even if I don't like it.



Well, think on this: going by the law of averages, you yourself have likely come across a punny name and didn't "get" it because the reference was obscure.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2022 :  04:53:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar


Well, think on this: going by the law of averages, you yourself have likely come across a punny name and didn't "get" it because the reference was obscure.



It's likely. It took me a while to catch the name Bistro Battenrooj.

Really, it's all about whether or not the pun or reference draws attention to itself.

I've an author friend who dropped a reference to an inside joke in one of her novels. Even knowing it's there (I suggested it, somewhat in jest), it's still barely noticeable. Maybe two dozen people would get the reference.

Something like the Scarlet Marpenoth, though? That doesn't just draw attention to itself, it's got a huge sign pointing to it saying "POP CULTURE REFERENCE HERE!!!" Even if you don't get the joke, it's still drawing attention to itself, by how out-of-place it is.

But then again, that's all my personal opinion. Piers Anthony is proof that some people love the puns and such in their fantasy.

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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2022 :  01:04:05  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Something like the Scarlet Marpenoth, though? That doesn't just draw attention to itself, it's got a huge sign pointing to it saying "POP CULTURE REFERENCE HERE!!!" Even if you don't get the joke, it's still drawing attention to itself, by how out-of-place it is.


This is the second time (at least) that you've dropped that name; should I be concerned that I am either too dense or too much of a philistine to comprehend its true meaning ?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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HighOne
Learned Scribe

172 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2022 :  02:16:17  Show Profile Send HighOne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Something like the Scarlet Marpenoth, though? That doesn't just draw attention to itself, it's got a huge sign pointing to it saying "POP CULTURE REFERENCE HERE!!!" Even if you don't get the joke, it's still drawing attention to itself, by how out-of-place it is.


This is the second time (at least) that you've dropped that name; should I be concerned that I am either too dense or too much of a philistine to comprehend its true meaning ?

It's a reference to The Hunt for Red October, a John Clancy novel. Scarlet is a shade of red, and Marpenoth is the 10th month of the Harptos calendar. "Red October" is the name of a submarine in the Clancy novel, and the Scarlet Marpenoth, which appears in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, is also a submarine of sorts.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2022 :  03:56:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HighOne

It's a reference to The Hunt for Red October, a John Clancy novel. Scarlet is a shade of red, and Marpenoth is the 10th month of the Harptos calendar. "Red October" is the name of a submarine in the Clancy novel, and the Scarlet Marpenoth, which appears in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, is also a submarine of sorts.



Tom Clancy, actually, but otherwise correct. They also made a movie of it, with Alec Baldwin, James Earl Jones, and Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius. I don't recall being particularly impressed by the movie, but the book is one I'd highly recommend.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2022 :  07:26:29  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HighOne

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Something like the Scarlet Marpenoth, though? That doesn't just draw attention to itself, it's got a huge sign pointing to it saying "POP CULTURE REFERENCE HERE!!!" Even if you don't get the joke, it's still drawing attention to itself, by how out-of-place it is.


This is the second time (at least) that you've dropped that name; should I be concerned that I am either too dense or too much of a philistine to comprehend its true meaning ?

It's a reference to The Hunt for Red October, a John Clancy novel. Scarlet is a shade of red, and Marpenoth is the 10th month of the Harptos calendar. "Red October" is the name of a submarine in the Clancy novel, and the Scarlet Marpenoth, which appears in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, is also a submarine of sorts.



Noooooooooooooooooooooo. Why did you spoil the illusion? What is now seen cannot be unseen.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
283 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2022 :  13:31:02  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a fan of the random generators out there whenever I get stuck on naming people. As for earlier comments about seeing a name and not realizing it was a real Terran name, I used to thumb through phone books (kids, those were real at one time!) and see last names of people that would make terrific names for characters and NPCs. Since phone books have become extinct, I resort to online generators or simple programs (Everchanging book of names, for one, which amazingly, still functions under Windows 10 without an emulator).

"Intimidation is a weapon of the Legion. Intelligence is not." -Illidan Stormrage
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2022 :  16:07:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Varl

I'm a fan of the random generators out there whenever I get stuck on naming people. As for earlier comments about seeing a name and not realizing it was a real Terran name, I used to thumb through phone books (kids, those were real at one time!) and see last names of people that would make terrific names for characters and NPCs. Since phone books have become extinct, I resort to online generators or simple programs (Everchanging book of names, for one, which amazingly, still functions under Windows 10 without an emulator).



A friend and I were at IKEA, once, noticing the names of things there could be used for D&D characters.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2022 :  19:20:53  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Varl

I'm a fan of the random generators out there whenever I get stuck on naming people. As for earlier comments about seeing a name and not realizing it was a real Terran name, I used to thumb through phone books (kids, those were real at one time!) and see last names of people that would make terrific names for characters and NPCs. Since phone books have become extinct, I resort to online generators or simple programs (Everchanging book of names, for one, which amazingly, still functions under Windows 10 without an emulator).



It is certainly possible that you just sparked off a market for used phone books .

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2022 :  00:58:31  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found three more Simons.

* Simon Stonebreaker (a Dwarf ) in the Shadowdale supplement of the AD&D 2e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Box Set.
* Simon Thrithyn in Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.
* Simon Dessino in both The Vilhon Reach and the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

It ought to be noted that Ed Greenwood was involved with three out of the four above products and he alone wrote Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6427 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2022 :  10:17:43  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I found three more Simons.

* Simon Stonebreaker (a Dwarf ) in the Shadowdale supplement of the AD&D 2e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Box Set.
* Simon Thrithyn in Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.
* Simon Dessino in both The Vilhon Reach and the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

It ought to be noted that Ed Greenwood was involved with three out of the four above products and he alone wrote Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.



In the Realms it might be Si-mon as opposed to Sigh-mon.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1048 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2022 :  14:46:44  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I found three more Simons.

* Simon Stonebreaker (a Dwarf ) in the Shadowdale supplement of the AD&D 2e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Box Set.
* Simon Thrithyn in Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.
* Simon Dessino in both The Vilhon Reach and the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

It ought to be noted that Ed Greenwood was involved with three out of the four above products and he alone wrote Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.



In the Realms it might be Si-mon as opposed to Sigh-mon.

-- George Krashos



Having grown up in a multicultural environment, I have heard it pronounced both ways so that would be a mundane name in my experience.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Azar
Senior Scribe

764 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2022 :  17:15:50  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I found three more Simons.

* Simon Stonebreaker (a Dwarf ) in the Shadowdale supplement of the AD&D 2e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Box Set.
* Simon Thrithyn in Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.
* Simon Dessino in both The Vilhon Reach and the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

It ought to be noted that Ed Greenwood was involved with three out of the four above products and he alone wrote Volo's Guide to Waterdeep.



In the Realms it might be Si-mon as opposed to Sigh-mon.

-- George Krashos



In The Forgotten Realms, are there canonical examples of grammatically identical "Earth names" that possess alternative pronunciations?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2022 :  18:28:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Varl

I'm a fan of the random generators out there whenever I get stuck on naming people. As for earlier comments about seeing a name and not realizing it was a real Terran name, I used to thumb through phone books (kids, those were real at one time!) and see last names of people that would make terrific names for characters and NPCs. Since phone books have become extinct, I resort to online generators or simple programs (Everchanging book of names, for one, which amazingly, still functions under Windows 10 without an emulator).



A friend and I were at IKEA, once, noticing the names of things there could be used for D&D characters.




While the gazebo is a well known demon, a pergola is much less well known, but infinitely more dangerous. But you should really fear a pagoda.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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