The Alexandrian

Fantasy Names

December 24th, 2012

Coming up with names for NPCs on the fly can be tough. It can be even tougher in a fantasy setting. About a decade ago, I started keeping a list of random names in my folder of generic GM tools: Pick up the list, pick a name, and you’re good to go.

I generated the list below a little over five years ago when I was working at a temp job doing a massive amount of data entry: I quickly realized that mixed into the hundreds of common entries like “Bob” and “Susan” there would occasionally be an unusual or flavorful name. So I started jotting those names down on a piece of paper. And they were great. Particularly because they were real names (which meant, among other things, that they were pronounceable).

So these have served me well for half a decade, now I offer ‘em to you in the hope that they might serve you well.

Playtest Tip: The process of picking up this piece of paper and looking at it, if handled properly, is indistinguishable from looking at any of your other notes. It also buys you a valuable breath of time in which to brainstorm the unexpected NPC and then put your thoughts into order before opening your mouth. Take advantage of both the bluff and the moment of reflection to sustain the illusion of the world for your players.

Gassan
Arcutela
Westhuis
Canellis
Richelle
Davlin
Virtucio
Vijeh
Maneja
Francia
Tulka
Mendelyn
Bulbuena
Kennard
Delev
Eidem
Shiarla
Starai
Benaitis
Belorit
Paiva
Opalach
Mederos
Cordero
Radu
Malak
Cargle
Zorek
Hatami
Shirish
Saralyn
Leka
Lukaj
Rukaj
Deakin
Istvandi
Nardis
Isett
Tanquary
Tortorano
Quaransa
Niccore
Jacczak
Hamma
Gavino
Narala
Harianto
Geotina
Filatova
Paylicek
Alstine
Gimello
Elsbury
Tele
Hamilla
Rubino
Vollmer
Fishel
Babaian
Oliva
Nauta
Klepperich
Machelle
Hitech
Soukaev
Elatab
Ryba
Klacik
Bilcaglia
Leunissen
Misra
Opet
Swanciger
Folloni
Churco
Paterno
Paoletti
Mrafa
Koetya
Santouiero
Stacho
Gassan
Addis
Siress
Dupere
Grinstead
Siddiqui
Oberempt
Komatina
Tyronda
Nodarse
Galardo
Raeder
Opalach
Bachtell
Jeddry
Garriel
Ja-Juna
Kalic
Routh
Malsam
Pintar
Jorn
Galatouk
Deyak
Matsegora
Pamulo
Gregorio
Sorrentino
Bindi
Renfro
Choquette
Shamoun
Harnid
Maestas
Skaret
Alag
Derosa
Agostini
Arcand
Therkelsen
Ferolie
Enlou
Salvemni
Menachem
Dedroza
Goffredo
Darag
Amato
Zurito
Parella
Ambrulavage
Kapoor
Drosdek
Dimyan
Arteaga
Isgrigg
Mazarkis
Solano
Nasim
Maida
Volini
Mudra
Beranek
Lera
Vroone
Kocurek
Allarde
Malunzo
Osier
Aric
Stathou
Moghaddam
Irick
Keoni
Liliana
Natic
Davidovic
Sergeon
Britten
Inchausti
Tapken
Collante
Lustig
Anjanette
Amoroso
Jenzabar
Jolinda
Coish
Arbetman
Dinken
Zarkowsk
Jeanah
Meruelo
Legault
Sadri
Badak
Pettinella
Corina
Javan
Piriyata
Pameo
Levtri
Sokullu
Didoy
Aneil
Amara
Parilla
Serre
Perrodin

9 Responses to “Fantasy Names”

  1. Lee Mohnkern says:

    These are great… way better than my list of randomly generated names from a computer program. You have helped us all a great deal, Alexandrian!

  2. Black Vulmea says:

    My high school 10th grade health teacher was Mr Goffredo – he was also the school basketball coach. His wife was pregnant at the time, so he used ‘Baby Goffredo’ in many of his hypothetical examples in class.

  3. Neophage says:

    Looks great! May I also recommend abulafia’s U.S. census name generator and the Everchanging book of names? Both are great for generating pronouncable names that are beleivable, and Ebon takes it’s source from literature, so the names are authenthic sounding at least. I have used both extensively.

  4. The Rot Grub says:

    This is a godsend! I’m just starting 2 campaigns and this will definitely come in handy!

  5. LS says:

    I’ve done this same thing in my workplace, actually. Though I’ve also recorded names which just strike me as awesome.

  6. Tom Coenen says:

    Thanks for the list. There is a blog dedicated to fantasy names:
    http://thefantasynameslist.blogspot.be/

  7. Fenyx4 says:

    The jig is up! Everytime my GM says a new NPC’s name I’m going to give him a piercing look and say “Did you just pull that from The List?”

  8. Crueldwarf says:

    From the russian point of view some of this names a pretty silly:

    “Soukaev” – Bitch-son
    “Ryba” – Fish

  9. Justin Alexander says:

    Those cross-linguistic oddities are almost unavoidable. For example, your name actually means “mean midget” in English. Weird, right? ;)

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