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NPC in the Family Tree

16th Jun 2014, 8:00 AM

NPC in the Family Tree
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kidra on 16th Jun 2014, 8:00 AM

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Remembering NPCs is often difficult for some players. And even if they remember the NPC, odds are they won't remember his/her name. Which sometimes is party due to the fact that in fantasy campaigns, Everyone wants to make up a nice, mythical sounding name. Why name the local inkeeper Bob when he can be Erasmuel Loennmakeer?



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SeriousBiz on 16th Jun 2014, 11:03 AM

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DM of the Rings touched on this, too. All the hard work a DM puts in etymological research for naming conventions in the fantasy world vaguely resembling a medieval society is wasted, since we all know Arhippos Isthmateer Faustus, Archmage and Grand Alchemist of Blauerothon is going to be called "that wizard guy with the raspy nasal voice" by the players.

Unless they noticed his goatee, of course. After that, he'll be known as "the prime suspect".

Names

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kidra on 16th Jun 2014, 11:54 AM

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When I'm playing, I tend to just smush the NPCs name with a word, just so that I can remember. Our GM had an NPC earth elemental prince named Entemoc. For the first three sessions I had to refer to him as "Ente-face".

It only got worse when we found out he was actually NOT named Entemoc, merely masquerading as Entemoc. Of course, his ACTUAL name was just as difficult as Entemoc, so he became known as "Entemoc -not-Entemoc". To this day I don't know if any of us remember his actual name...

Bit on 17th Jun 2014, 8:32 PM

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An easy solution to this is to give the person a name and a title and make that their full name.
"Bob the Barbarian King is happy to see you."

Remembering NPCs

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mistriousfrog on 18th Jun 2014, 6:42 AM

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Names are something most players will forget. But it isn't really surprising, it it like being told a series of japanese names, a person without the cultural background will be unlikely to remember them at all.

But just because they don't remember the name, don't think for a second that means the players don't remember the character. Players have an uncanny knack for remembering every detail that could affect them. Whether it is the Grand Archduke of Melinny or a simple peasant by the side of the road, any NPC that you went out of your way to tell their name to the players, that is someone they will remember a year and a half later when he shows up in a tavern. Especially if that NPC did anything to even slightly agitate one of the PCs. Players always hold grudges against NPCs.
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