How many of you sometimes have issues coming up with names for your campaigns? If you’re anything like me, probably more than a few of you. And I’m sure you have your solutions to that problem. Techniques such as phone book surfing, online random name generators, Scrabble tiles… They all work. But I’m going to give you one more option.
Do you find yourself frequently driving or riding somewhere along a city street or highway? Maybe you take public transportation, travel by taxi, or are stuck in traffic during rush hour every day on your commute? If so, I have an idea for you.
Every standard license plate involves a combination of letters and numbers to uniquely identify the car as registered with a government somewhere. Could be a state. Could be a country. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is that combination of letters and numbers.
Glance at a license plate (safely of course, not endangering yourself or others) and see if any of the letters on it tickle your fancy. Does it hint at a word? Or a name? Acronym? Phrase? Anything? If so, write it down or remember it for later. If not, glance at another one.
Here’s a few I came up with the other day:
Out of this list of 10 different groups of letters, I quickly came up with: Saxon, Werwick, Rizza’j, Dygga, Nyx, Wibbix, Hava, Ehtu, Kirgum, and Rie. And I’m sure I could come up with more if I randomized the list a bit. But I’ll be content with simply writing down 10 more another day and figuring out how my brain wants to arrange the letters to make up names.
Any of these names could be used for NPCs, places, monsters, items, and more…
So the next time you’re on the road, take note of a few license plates. If you’re on a long trip, you can even use that time to generate tons of names for your next campaign so they’re ready to go.
Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick is a Software Engineer who manages (or is that mangles) Game Knight Reviews and tinkers with writing game materials via his Moebius Adventures imprint. When he’s not writing about gaming, he’s actually gaming or at least thinking about gaming in some capacity. During the non-writing, non-gaming time he’s likely trying to keep up with his wife and two daughters or wrangling code for a living!