KISMET'S FANTASY NAME COMPENDIUM
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There's a lot of stuff in a game that benefits from being named: player characters, NPCs, locations - you get the idea. I've found that giving something a name makes it seem more real and more valuable, and distinctive names help everyone to distinguish and remember NPCs with greater ease. It also makes a game feel more fantastic and different if fantastic and different names are used. Some games don't need fantasy names as much because they're set in the modern world; in that case, you can just pull out a phone book and find names. But many games have imaginary races, special items, amazing creatures, and ancient places that beg for names that are out of the ordinary.
It can be surprisingly difficult to come up with good names off the top of your head, especially while a session is underway, so I offer this list as a quick reference tool. This list was created for character names but you can also find names for creatures and places. You can preview the names by using the links above and you can download a PDF version to keep and print. I use this file myself when I run so I know it can be of help.
Most of the names I list can easily be altered to suit a male or female character. It's usually just a matter of adding different endings to a name, and most of us have noticed which endings clue you in to whether a name is meant for a male or female. To alter a female-sounding name so that it will suit a male character, try adding the following to the body of the name:
For example, Abria ends with -ia, which is often affixed to the end of female names. Let's try removing the final -a- so that we are left with Abri. Then let's see what we come up with when we add more male-sounding endings (some endings don't give very pleasing results, so you can forgo what you don't like): Abrian, Abriant, Abriard, Abrias, Abrien, Abrilen, Abrion, Abrius, Abriym. By doing this, we have effectively generated nine variants that can be used as separate names.
If you would like to do the same to make a name more feminine-sounding, try adding one of these endings to the name:
For example, Alovandre can be modified thusly: Alovandra, Alovandriss, Alovandrea, Alovandrelle, Alovandrene, Alovandria, Alovandrice, Alovandrie. (And there's eight more names you can use.) Certain endings may not always sound right, but you can use others instead.
These suffixes are provided in the .pdf list of names at the very end of the document for quick reference.