We’ve covered city names so we figured we would keep to the topic and move on to Non Player Character(NPC) names and concepts. When you are rolling a character it usually isn’t too difficult to think of a name or concept, but when you DM you will be expected to pick dozens of names. There is a Wizard of the Coast(WoTC) name generator but it leaves much to be desired. We use three alternative methods, them being history, literature, and anagrams.
I am starting to believe that history majors might make the best DMs around. Both literature and history are full of great characters. Currently the Alpha group are escorting wagons and among their NPCs are two drivers and a “runner” named Cherame’ (cher-ah-may). Cherame’ is based on a WWI carrier pigeon by the name of Cher Ami. He was recognized as saving over a hundred US soldiers despite being shot while leaving the battlefield; he was awarded a medal. Be wary though of highly popular characters as they can be easily recognized. That however is where anagrams come in.
Anagrams are a personal favorite. This can be used in collaboration of both history and literature. It can also be used to give the names a secret meaning. A character based on Cloud Strife can now be called Lucid Foster without fear of your character’s inspiration. An NPC who is a “small town girl” (and presumably lives in a lonely world) can now be known as Lilat Wrongsom. Simply use an anagram generator such as the one listed below and search the finds for solutions, you will have plenty of options. Make sure to limit it to 2 or 3 words so you can get a usable name out of it.
www.wordsmith.com/anagram - Best anagram creator around.
www.tvtropes.org - Great for character concepts but it might ruin some pop culture for you.
www.rinkworks.com/namegen - For when you’re feeling lazy.