Monday, 1 July 2013

The Wonderful World of Fluff (pt 3) - Putting a name to a face

Good Morrow!
I hope you have all been well and that much xenos blood has been spilled since last you were here.
Today we delve back into The Wonderful World of Fluff, into a rather difficult topic to cover, simply because of the sheer depth and massiveness.
The Topic being, Names.
It may seem simple now, but I hope that as we go on you learn to value names as every good storyteller does.

So, why names? Are they really that important? Surely it is really easy to name things?
So first off, names are, in my humble opinion, the most important tool in storytelling, imagine me telling you about the Autarch Tom from the Craftworld Waterpuddle and how he won against the green menace the brocoli men on the planet ... You get the picture.
Without creative names that make the story sound more interesting people simply switch off, this is one of the reasons the games workshop special characters (z.B. lugft huron, tyrant of badab) are so popular, because they just sound so cool.
And in response to how easy they are,... Well that is up to you, but the more you think about them the better.

Choosing names

So to explain how to choose a name and give the different sections of a name let us take the example I used in my very first 'In Practice' blog post.

'For'Tem Master of Genes on Commorragh, Exiled of Malan'Tai, Keeper of the Lost key'

So first we have just the name ''For'Tem'' which is really simple but effective, which eldar or elf (if you do play fantasy also) I find it is really easy to make great names, firstly take a letter, any letter.
Let us say, R, and then choose whether you want that to be the first sylable or whether you want to extend it, this is because eldar names more often than not are two or three syllables long, I tend to only use two.
So then all you need to do is say out loud the first one sylable sound that comes to your mouth when you say the letter, do this twice and you have a name, choose the order.
So for instance Remtei (R,T)

In the In Practice I will try my best to come up with the best strategy I can find however the other method I often use regardless of army is think of any word that means anything and run it through google translate. Simple and can come up with some really effective names.

As in the example another really good way of distinguishing characters and allowing thier names to speak for themselves is by titles.
Titles are simply what they have been called by folklore, their name amongst the troops, positions they hold or any other kind of rewards or honours they have been awarded with.
What this does is allows you to give the readers/listeners a sneak peak into the world of your characters without you even having to have spoken a word of your story,
These are so simple to create, you can even create these from games you have played with the characters themselves.
Say you play a game against an imperial army and your leader suceeds in blowing a tank up that mathhammer would have not predicted as likely, you could call him Lasereye or some such like title.
The final reason to do this is to connect with other fluff that already exists, so for instance in this example The Master of Commoragh links For'Tem to the Dark eldar which opens up a wide variety of different stories to explore.

I do really hope this has been a good exploration of the world of names,
As a topic that has been so widely covered all ready in so many fields, trying to put my own spin on this was quite a Challenge but I think I have done this to the best of my ability, please let me know however if you disagree, agree or have other ideas that could work!
As always, I would love to hear from you guys and what you are working on,
Please leave us a comment to let us know, but without furthur adue, till next time.


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