#12 The Name Game

By Shamus Posted Sunday Mar 31, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 23 comments

I can see that some people have trouble with this sort of thing, so as a public service here are the three steps to naming your character in a fantasy setting:

  1. Research a diverse set of mythological stories and legends.
  2. Collect a list of characters who have traits or themes that you would like to explore in your own character.
  3. Name the character after your favorite Jedi or Ninja Turtle.

Shamus Says:

I like how Josh is even attempting to grief them with his name.

Shawn Says:

You’ll notice this is the first time Sapphire has actually looked attractive in the comic, as opposed to like a transvestite with giant breasts.

Lazerturkey was the name of a particularly obnoxious griefing hunter in WoW. (If he had been a druid, the name would have been stupid but it would have at least made sense. But he was a hunter!) Stabby McStabsalot is my personal favorite of the names mentioned. (Although now, 2 years later it occurs to me that Stabby McStabbington is funnier.) Baron VonBadass was a running joke from Fear the Boot, our little injoke for fans of our then home.

One odd thing that happened during the original run of Chainmail Bikini was the Fear the Boot forums had fans of the podcast, fans of the comic, and the two rarely crossed over. After the initial podcast Shamus and I recorded to announce the comic, our interaction with the hosts was generally limited to technical matters, and the comic and the podcast generally didn’t have much at all to do with each other after a while. We were essentially two independent groups of creators/communities under the same roof. There’s a lesson here for future webcomic creators, in that generally this is a less than advantageous situation.

Ideally if some site brings you in to do a comic, people will not only read your comic, but become fans of the other content on the site, be it podcasts, blogs, whatever. If you’re going to do a comic/podcast/blog/whatever combo, it would probably be a wise idea to coordinate with the other creators. Tackle similar topics now and then, mention the other guys now and then, etc. It’s something to keep in mind if I ever branch out from Clockworks to include other steampunk or gaming stuff.

(Now, the Escapist is something of a different story, having enough content that only those with way too much free time will read or watch everything on the site. Still, from my view there appears to be a decent amount of coordination.)

EDIT 2019: Shawn was right about the Escapist back in 2010. They were still running the place like a magazine. They had a weekly topic. The editorial staff would build their content around it, and those articles all went up on the same dayTuesday, IIRC.. External contributors like me were gently encouraged to cover similar topics, although our content was staggered throughout the week.

Since the reboot, the Escapist has a much looser approach to content creation. The external gaming news cycle will still push the site into covering certain topics, but it’s no longer handed down from management. So the site has a handful of articles covering the hot news item, and then a week later – once the audience has stopped caring and moved on to the next thing – I’ll show up to cover the same story in my column. Don’t ask me for hot takes. My most common hot take is, “How interesting. Let me think about it for a week.”

To tie this barely-justified digression back to tabletop games, I’ll point out that the site now has a weekly feature called Escapist Unplugged that covers the hobby.



[1] Tuesday, IIRC.

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23 thoughts on “#12 The Name Game

  1. baud says:

    Hey, Shamus, FIY this post is in the D&D Campaign category instead of DM of the Rings like the others.

  2. BlueHorus says:

    I kind of thought that Lady Sun-Sky looking kind of like a man in (chainmail) drag was part of the point: no matter how beautiful, charismatic or female her character sheet says she is…she’s still played by Marcus.

    Mind you, by that logic, Ragmar should be a lot less built whenever he appears…

    Also, it’s entirely appropriate that Josh’s character just ends up with his name, since he’s basically a series of stats and rules exploits with no personality.

  3. Hal says:

    FWIW, I started listening to Fear the Boot because they interviewed you way back during the DMotR days.

    They’re still going, albeit with a different cast than back in 2007 (?).

  4. Chris says:

    When it comes to ingame names, its always funny how its always a blend of clashing naming styles. From people trying to use a funny name like lazerturkey or pie, to people trying to use a somewhat useable if unlikely name like Ailishia, to people trying to get a name even though its already taken like XxheadhunterxX, Fvnnyguy69 and johnny2.

    What I think is the biggest problem of modern online gaming is that games use the nickname of the service you use. If you play on a Playstation it uses your playstation name, if you play on xbox your xbox name. Which means evreyone who ever made a PS/Xbox name is taking up a possible name. The pro is that its easy to find someone’s profile since their name is equal to their ingame name, but it also makes it impossible for people who are new to ever get a decent name without adding numbers or X’s everywhere.

    The only thing I hate in games is if someone puts their birthday in their nickname. If youre killer98 then I first think youre a 13 year old with a silly name, then I realize youre actually an adult and Im old.

    1. Zaxares says:

      Names like those are why I can never find true immersion in an MMO. I always name my characters after doing research into the game’s lore and world, and then giving my character a name that would be appropriate for their origin and culture. But all that immersion goes right out the window the moment you see “Legolass69” or “CaptinJakSparrow420” run past. :P

      1. BlueHorus says:

        ‘Oh mighty heroes, I need for you to find the long-lost magical sword of Truth and Justice and use it to slay the Lord of Darkness and his evil hordes. But you will have a greater chance of success by working together in a group.

        >Would you like to form a party with DankMemesBilly, JESUS_DIED_LOL, XxBluntMastrr420xX, IWasInYoMommasAssLastNite and PWNIN_N00BS_4EVA?


      2. default_ex says:

        I never cared for that one myself but then again, I had two offenders on my EQ account. Haakin Upslows, a barbarian shaman and Soondead Gunnabiteit a wood elf ranger. Haakin does kind of have a barbarian sound to it though. The ranger, well I enjoyed ranger jokes way too much in that game.

        Almost forgot the high elf wizard. Agmar Aswethinkweism. Roleplayed him as an insane wizard, Incubus fans might get that one.

  5. kdansky says:

    That transvestite joke as a comment did not age well.

    1. kunedog says:

      It raised a chuckle, though I’d argue that’s still an amazingly strong jawline.

      1. DerJungerLudendorff says:

        You could split wood with that chin.

        The comment has some pretty toxic implications though.

        1. DHW says:

          No, it really doesn’t.

        2. kunedog says:

          Good, then. If there had to be something “toxic” (whatever that means) about it, at least it wasn’t anything he actually said.

          Though out of curiosity, I looked back at all the previous appearances of Sapphire, and I can’t tell what Shawn was explicity saying either. The body already looked quite feminine IMO, and the face is always (at best) ambiguous.

        3. Sartharina says:

          … That men and women have distinctively different facial structures, and Sapphire’s was more masculine?

          1. kunedog says:

            I agree with that. In the comment, he seems to be saying that this drawing of her is different, which I just don’t see.

    2. shoeboxjeddy says:

      Yeah, exactly what I was thinking.

    3. DHW says:

      Nah, it’s fine.

      1. shoeboxjeddy says:

        If you’re going to post “NUH UH!” as a comment, instead post nothing and save us all the effort.

        1. DHW says:

          The original comment was just “YUH HUH!” so, y’know, right back atcha.

    4. Zaxares says:

      It did not, no. Although in fairness to Shawn, I believe that most people using the term “transvestite” back in the 80’s and 90’s didn’t really mean it as a pejorative. It was just a blanket term for any kind of gender bending involving cross-dressing back then, and understanding of gender dysphoria and the myriad ways it can manifest itself was largely unknown by the general public. (In some ways, it still is.)

      1. kunedog says:

        Wow, I thought I was being fair just by laughing (or not) at the joke. I’d hate to see what unfairness to Shawn would look like.

  6. Askebay says:

    Great! Happy to see you back on the webcomic business!
    DMotR is still a fundamental piece of rpg culture for our group.

  7. Anachronist says:

    “Overkill” would have been an appropriate name for Josh’s character.

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