Saturday, August 11, 2018

RPGaDay Challenge 2018 - 11 & 12



Define 'Wild'.

Are we using wild to mean unusual, fun, and exciting or outlandish, crazy, and out of control?

If it's the latter, I don't really have anything. Such names and concepts probably wouldn't appear in one of my games.

Yes, I admit it, I am a bit of a 'Name Snob'. I can't help it. As soon as someone says, "So that's when my character, Conan McFighty, lept to the bridge...", I have already written off your character, the game you're in, your GM, and possibly all of your friends, family, and pets. 

Likewise, as far as character concepts go, if you are playing Star Trek and you want to be a Psionic Half-Klingon, Half-Vulcan liberated Borg, you can leave my table, my house, and never return to darken my doorstep again. No hard feelings. It's just clear to me you don't understand why we play Star Trek...or perhaps even what Star Trek is about.  

Do I still have to say immersion is important to me? I don't think I do. As a GM and occasional player I try to immerse myself in what my fellow GMs are running and in the effort my players are making to fit into my game. If you call your Superhero character Super Fire Guy, or Joe because that's the real name you came up with, or don't give him a name at all, dude you take me right out of it. I can easily suspend my disbelief but give me something that fits the suspension. That is, make the name and character concept fit the world. 

If the world is gonzo and wacky then I guess your paladin named Boo Boo is fine, but know that I now believe your world to be one of silliness. It's a comedy as far as I'm concerned. Please don't get too deep or bloody as it will through me off. If the gal on my left is Boo Boo the Paladin, this is clearly a humorous, possibly cartoon-themed setting. No? Then please explain...

Now, it's not that we haven't had odd character names and strange PC concepts. It's just that I don't think of them as wild. They may seem wild to you, but to me they would be best described as 'atypical'. In nearly every case however, they fit the genre and setting in which they appear. 

Here are just a few:

[Sadly, some of the best names and character concepts I've ever seen have come from my friends Allen Halden, Pete Hernandez, and Martin King, three dear gentlemen who are sadly no longer with us. I miss them. This was not intended as a memorial post but if it is so be it.]

IM-MA-N2 (Martin K.) - Star Wars D6 - A droid built by PC Smuggler En Fochs (pronounced Ian Fox) and his NPC mentor Tiree Palmight to assist Fochs in his efforts to get supplies past Imperial blockades. 

Made from Astromech and Maintenance Droid parts, IM-MA-N2, nicknamed MAN-2, had a hidden priority-one program to 'continually improve yourself to better help En Fochs fight the Galactic Empire'. Tiree had placed this directive in MAN-2 without Fochs' knowledge as Palmight was certain his own rebel activities and ties were going to get him caught sooner or later. It turned out to be true and Tiree was captured by the Imperials while Fochs and MAN-2 escaped.

Over time, MAN-2 improved his programming and skills and even replaced physical components in order to fulfill his 'mission'. He started out looking like an odd mix of an R2 unit and a Treadwell Droid and ended up humanoid with an armored body and the CPU of a Bounty Hunter/Assassin Droid. MAN-2 went from helpful and cheerful with perhaps a bit of a conspiratorial undertone to a hard edged, determined combatant sworn to protect the team with,  

Ipperius 'Ip' Witspear (Pete H.) - Homebrewed Variant D&D - Elven Wizard/Thief belonging to the now virtually extinct Pale Elves of Eldrindel. A con artist magician who mostly utilizes subtle spells and fast talk to fool people into thinking he is merely a charlatan or an entertainer. After many years of adventuring he opened a shop which buys, sells, and trades magic items and material components known as Witspear's Wondrous Wizardy Emporium.

Ip has a Manservant/Assistant/Employee/Bodyguard called Gronk. Gronk is not his name, that's just want Ip calls him as he can't remember his real name and has never bothered to learn to speak Troll properly.

You see, the world/setting is generally quite serious but Ipperius himself plays the fool so folks will underestimate him. He may seem a tad silly but there is a reason. 

Lt. Commander Green Shine Wandering Wave Miragh (Allen H.) - Star Trek, Last Unicorn Games - A Xelatian Science Officer and First Officer of the U.S.S. Thunder Bay, a Loknar Class Frigate in the Star Trek Original Series Movie era. In addition to his peculiar name (though he is addressed as Lt. Commander Miragh by the captain and crew), he is a primarily aquatic, squid-like being supported by an anti-gravity harness when out of water. Allen did an amazing job of utilizing his non-Humanoid anatomy, as well as developing his open, gregarious personality and welcoming culture. 

Lt. He Who Glistens In The Autumn Twilight Under The Third and Seventh Moons (Again Allen H.) - Galaxy Quest Homebrew - The second in command of the NSEA Galient, He Who Glistens in The Autumn Twilight Under The Third and Seventh Moons is a Humanoid insect being who, it is implied, is the first of his species to serve on an NSEA vessel. He possesses several special abilities based on his alien physique. The lieutenant's talents included clinging to various surfaces, communicating with other insectoid lifeforms, flying/hovering short distances (though he must remove his uniform to use this), and the ability to sense vibrations in the air with his antenna. 

There are others, in fact too many to put into any one post. If one checks back through my previous posts, I'm sure you'll find other characters as weird and bizarrely named as these. Perhaps more. 

That's enough for this question. Onward...

Barking Alien

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