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What's In a Name?

by: Matt Conlon ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Finding the perfect name for your new D&D character can be daunting. You want a name that strikes a certain feeling in the people who hear it, one that hasn't been used a dozen times before, something unique? Perhaps a Dungeons and Dragons name generator is what you need!

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    Introducing Your D&D Character - Dungeons and Dragons Name Generator

    Hi-my-name-is   My new character is an incredible "tank" for the party. His consitution is a 20, strength an 18. He's got full plate and a razor sharp battle axe. In his offhand, he holds firm a large shield that bares his crest. He knows no fear, and enemies flee at the mere utterance of his name! ... Squee!!


    I've always had trouble naming my characters. I mean, no mater what my character does, or says, or wields, he's always going to have that name. His name should reflect his personality, or send shivers through the spines of his enemies. At very least, his name shouldn't suck.

    There are many rules of thumb that you can follow when creating names. For instance with Dwarf names, D&D's most common Dwarven heroes have first name that's generally two sharp syllables, and a last name that sometimes reflects the family vocation or pastime. I.E. Brogar Mugfoam. Elves seem to like apostrophes and softer syllables.

    Everyone is good at something, and my something is definitely not generating names for D&D characters, regardless of how many rules of thumb I observe... Here are some of the sources to which I turn when my naming skills (or lack thereof) fail me.

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    Any given Dungeons and Dragons campaign will have lots of NPCs to deal with, and many of them don't have names at all. Every now and then, an NPC suddenly becomes important enough that the party will need to referr to him once or twice, and a name becomes necessary.

    Most likely, the time it takes to browse through a list of names from ancient whenever just wont be worth it. For cases like these, Dungeons and Dragons name generators are perfect!

    There are uncountable Dungeons and dragons Name generators available on the internet, although they're not all for Dungeons and Dragons specifically. (Of course, neither are ancient Irish names, are they?) Currently, has got your back if you need a name for almost any Dungeons and Dragons character, whether it's a Dwarf, an Elf, a Hobbit (or Halfling!) an Orc, a vampire, or even a pirate!


    Name generators outside of the realm of Dungeons and Dragons can help sometimes, depending on the languages they offer.

    This one at allows you to select things like "Ancient" and some ancient mythologies.

    Other categories that can work are German or Welsh. Consider finding an English word, and translating it to one of those languages. Sometimes you'll come up with suitable results that actually mean something.

    If those don't do it for you, games like World of Warcraft usually have a random name generator as part of their character creation process. Another option is to use the built in name generators that most D&D character creators have.

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    Name Lists

    For those times where a Dungeons and Dragons name generator wouldn't cut it, consider finding a suitable name list.

    Depending on the game, it may be suitable to name your characters something simple and traditional. Perhaps something you might find occasionally in life, such as Willem, or something more common like Brian. Personally, I play Dungeons and Dragons to excersize creativity and enjoy the unusual. I generally prefer more unusual names.

    When looking for traditional, yet unusual names, I like to turn to names that were popular in ancient times. Unfortunately, I wasn'taround back then, so I have to turn to the internet for help. I'm apparently not the only person with trouble coming up with or selecting a name. Here are a few of my favorite lists. has this great list of names from ancient English times, complete with the gender for which it's intended, the meaning of the name, and even similar names. It was intended for couples to select a names for babies, but it works well. also has a similar list of Germanic names that usually suit a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

    Hero Builders Guidebook  

    Wizards of the Coast also included a few name suggestions in the 3.5 player's handbook in the racial descriptions. They later published a list of character names in the 3.0 book called "The Hero Builder's guide. This list is organized by race, and spans a multiple pages, starting on page 67.

    Easily one of the most impressive lists I've come across is this great list from and is a 280 page PDF of nothing but names! You can also buy a bound copy of it.

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    Special Thanks...

    Special thanks to Jason Morningstar at Bully Pulpit Games, for giving permission to link to The Story Games Name Project! Make sure to stop by there and see their games!