Saturday, January 9, 2021

Why I Don't Mind Aerith and Bob

 Although I have gone into details on names in my campaigns before let's talk about it again. Why? Because it is on my mind, no more than that.

 In the Blackstone campaign the highest level character and leader of leaders is Doomsman the Destroyer, from the Northern Tribelands, a barbarian who rose to be the greatest living swordsman in the world and a powerful baron. I once had someone say he thought the name Doomsman the Destroyer was ridiculous and he would NEVER let a player have such a ridiculous, unrealistic name.

  I jokingly told him I made him change the name to Ruine Zerstorer.

"Much better!" they wrote.

Yes, I did indeed laugh out loud.

In game Doomsman is from the Destroyer tribe - everyone from the tribe is called 'the Destroyer'. I could make them all be called 'der Zerstorung', I suppose, but why? I mean, exactly WHY would I use the exact same name in a non-English language to sound 'more realistic'?

  Look at my mine - taking the meaning and translating it my name means 'Powerful Ruler Shortguy'.My oldest son? 'God Has Given Shortguy'.

This leads Jack to talk about being an ancient Hebrew and calling for your kids, 
"Gooood! God has Given! Get in here and wash your hands, it is dinner time!", or,
"God Has Given, get your brother Who Is Like Unto God, and your sister Wished For Child and start cleaning your rooms! Ugh!"

I also really like my wife's maiden name translated: 'Fair Skinned Maiden with Black Hair' which is literally true.

How about some Puritan names, eh? Like the Barebones family.
Yes, these names and people are real or my name isn't Dick Stump.

There were the brothers Praise God barebones and Fear-God Barebones. Praise God became a member of Cromwell's Appointed Aseembly (whichw as nicknamed 'Barebone's Parliament'). One of Praise God's sonw was named If Christ Had Not Died For Thee Thou Hads't Been Damned Barebones, nicknamed Damned Barebones. He went on to found the first fire insurance company in London.

My own kids are a little jealous of our Hispanic friends. As Jack says,

 "If I were to name my son John of the Cross people would look at me funny. But if you meet a Juan de la Cruz no one blinks."

So let the names fly, fast and free.


  1. I, Gift of God Lofty Treehedge, Son of Twin, approve of this post.


  2. Completely agree, Powerful Ruler! ;)

    Also, the audience didn't seem to mind the fact that the last two kings of Westeros were called literately Aerys and Bob (Robert)...

  3. Great point and lots to play with in crossing languages barriers. You could have a group of six guys who are John, Johann, Ivan, Sean, Jan and Jean - everyone is John where they're from, no problem mixing people up.

    Conversely, there can be a lot of fun to be had with names that sound similar to outsiders or are difficult to pronounce by anyone but the locals. I worked in a place with a Cara, Caoimhe, Cora and Ciara which caused many interesting conversations trying to figure out who a phone call to the lab was for.

  4. hahahaha tell them that De La Cruz is a surname. Also we see it in reverse: John Martinson sounds like a cool name from a movie character. Jose Martinez sounds like your average classmate