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The Random GM: NPC Names

The Random GM: NPC Names

Egyptian dice (600-800 BC)From the genesis of the D&D game, random lists have been used to create, inspire, and complicate games everywhere. A GM is essentially keeping all the knowledge of a fabricated world inside his or her head, along with all the relevant laws of physics and mechanics, which are transformed into a living story around the table. With that in mind, sometimes it is difficult to come up with appropriate names, descriptions, NPCs, castles, or environmental features on the fly. Luckily, there are certain tools that simplify a GM’s life no matter what game he or she is running.

These random generation tables can be used for just about any topic. The trouble is that though they are great to have, they take time to generate yourself. The good news is I have taken the liberty and done the hard work up front, leaving you free to copy, paste, and print right into your notes.

The first table presented here provides you with names for nonplayer characters. Names are important. They offer context, identity, and even evoke different feelings based upon their sound. It is no coincidence that a well-crafted name carries weight and can add dimension to a person or an item. For example, think of Gandalf. The sound and structure of the word gives it a vaguely medieval old-world connotation. The root of the word Gand, much like Rand or Brand gives a punchy masculine note. Finally, even the overall presence of the word is similar to grandpa, evoking perhaps age or wisdom.

This is why it may be strange to simply name everyone in your game Mike and Fran. It simply wouldn’t have the right ring to it. (Mike the prince of Undeath?) That is why I present a list of different names to maintain colorful variety and inspiration for your game.

You could roll randomly or choose one that suits the character you wish to portray! A random result could even give you a hook to help you build out that NPC’s personality, too. Additionally, some of the names are more gender neutral than others, and you can tweak them a bit to add a more feminine or masculine flare to them. The same holds true for changing a name from a more masculine one to a feminine one—do what you need to do for that character and your game! These can be starting points for you, not ending points.

d50. NPC Name

  1. Tact Haelstrom
  2. Amarra Bandarrion
  3. Aryn Sparrowhawk
  4. Baldrick Buntd
  5. Donald Whent
  6. Syrulliana Di’ Annte
  7. Quadina Redrook
  8. Jaq Le’quet
  9. Turnip Bellwater
  10. Fen Ulvcreen
  11. Stewart Inkpot
  12. Corina Camberline
  13. Jagod Di
  14. Bevel Left
  15. Elrik Von Sorensen
  16. Thayadora Ableten
  17. Grumm Orcheck
  18. Ademia Strom
  19. Sillari Kern
  20. Sir Drexel of Yourn
  21. Aureus Splitarrow
  22. Sils Worel
  23. Har Vin’ter
  24. Aster Balleenen
  25. Cordast Chin
  26. Breck Veldtner
  27. Lav Ichafor
  28. Milsa Tresant
  29. Mimos Allerdraak
  30. Gallaharra Troye
  31. Baelnor Vaeswan
  32. Megard Frunthwill
  33. Gorick Broadback
  34. Shenea Dronsch
  35. Rem Gunthwai
  36. Ung Dag
  37. U’legraf Gar
  38. Nanoka of Karr
  39. Oenn Whitsun
  40. Geffen Cauldry
  41. Pin Bellner
  42. Borodred Hillsson
  43. Eli Bannaran
  44. Justed Antenitor
  45. Luxara Domar
  46. Col Suttle
  47. Weylan Farce
  48. Kofgen Krevnar
  49. Tybris Strutt
  50. Gracen Hoth

11 thoughts on “The Random GM: NPC Names”

  1. Some of those names are awesome. Some I don’t care for, but hey, naming is always a matter of taste. And hey, free list.

    It certainly makes it easier to drop random improvised NPCs into a game to have a list like this at hand.

  2. Indeed, variety is the spice of life so they say! I think my favorite is Stewart Inkpot, perfect name for a mage’s nerdy apprentice.

  3. Great list, Frank. There are certainly some wonderful names there, and convenience is key. Waylan Farce and Luxara Domar are two of my favorites. Baelnor Vaeswan seems like it’s straight out of LOTR. Just has that same feel you were talking about. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love your shit! This is a solid RDG system! I hate when I ask who someone is and the GM just has that look of…oh shit…I didn’t think they would ever care about the name of the stable hand they are about to rob and trample…

  5. I was thinking Stewart Inkpot was a devious acolyte literally fudging the books at the local scriptorium. He’s actually running secret messages in th eilluminations for a subversive secret sect set to undermine the priest hood and step into the power vacuum once it collapses.

  6. I kind of like “Mike Lord of Undeath”, I’m to old to be a prince. This is great. Now we need some tables for various other PC/NPC races. I always find monster names the most difficult.

  7. “Mike Lord of Undeath” immediately reminded me of an episode from Rocko’s Modern Life where Heffer meets “Peaches, Lord of Heck”.

    Great list! As Mike said (that’s Mike Franke, not Mike Lord of Undeath) next we need some monster names.

  8. Thanks for the great list. You actually gave us over 10,000 names with that simple list. Just take any of either of the first or the last names (100 choices) to use as a first name, and then any of the 100 as a second name. Not bad!

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