DM of the Rings XCIX:
Alliterative Antagonists

  By Shamus   May 11, 2007   141 comments

Saruon and Saruman are different guys?
The campaign isn’t over.

Just to have a little fun with your players, try switching the names of two characters which start with the same letter and see if they notice.

And by “fun” I mean, “abruptly realize that all your hard work and etymology research is a comical waste of time”.

A Hundred!20201We've got 141 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.


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  1. […] try to keep the names of NPCs the players will actually encounter fairly distinct too, otherwise this happens.  I also tried to include at least one fork in the longest bloodlines, and farm off a couple of […]

  2. nocata says:

    etymology research is fun! Smaug the dragon actually comes from the name of the dragon slain by Sigurd in the Wolsungasaga, and the Ring may also be derived from the same set of stories. oh, the magic of storytelling!

  3. Bartimaeus says:

    Hey, when I read the books the first time I got them mixed up, too…

  4. Gjallarhorn says:

    If I remember correctly, No Attention Span is a 5-10 point negative quality.

    Enjoy the extra cheeze!

  5. […] in one glaring, well-known way where the wizard Saruman occasionally becomes “Aruman.” Possibly the producers feared audiences would confuse Sauron and Saruman, and forced the name change. At that point, either they just did a rotten job of replacing […]

  6. Mithcoriel says:

    In the LOTR cartoon, they changed Saruman’s name to Aruman, to avoid exactly that.

  7. Amake says:

    What I find weird is how many people I talk to who can’t figure out how to pronounce “Saruman” as anything other than “Sauroman”.

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4 Trackbacks

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  2. […] long and confusing in an effort to make them sound fantastique, and 2) it's easy to succumb to the Saruman-Sauron Syndrome. Which, by the way, can also happen with modern names. Just think about how many female names […]

  3. […] try to keep the names of NPCs the players will actually encounter fairly distinct too, otherwise this happens.  I also tried to include at least one fork in the longest bloodlines, and farm off a couple of […]

  4. […] in one glaring, well-known way where the wizard Saruman occasionally becomes “Aruman.” Possibly the producers feared audiences would confuse Sauron and Saruman, and forced the name change. At that point, either they just did a rotten job of replacing […]

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