Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Easy Star Wars Names

Running Dawn of Defiance has been fun but some of the names in the thing are just not right. Star Wars names have a certain quality to them and I don't think it's that hard to come up with them but you do have to think about it a little bit.

Example: One of the early allies for the players is named "Sirona Okeefe". I don't mind Sirona really, but Okeefe? Is she Irish? Easily recognized ethnic names are kind of out if you're trying stick to that long time ago & far away thing. Part of it is how the name sounds, and part of it is how it looks on the page. For example, I would change this one to "Okifi" just to mix it up. The sound is mostly a change on the emphasis, but it looks different enough that most people aren't going to think about shamrocks and such when they hear it.

Another one is a stranded hiding-out leftover mercenary named Vazus "Mandrake" - seriously? Does he wear a top hat? Does he do magic tricks? I tried to emphasize the Vazus part and vowed to do a serious cleanup on these ridiculous names.

Now for Sirona I modified it and for Mandrake (grind) I tried to ignore the bad half. Besides these options you can use other words that just sound like they belong in Star Wars:

  • Jedi Knight Jeet Kun Do is a formidible fighter even without his lightsaber. More fun here.

  • Gran trader Gnip Gnop is a wealthy merchant who could be a patron or an enemy

  • Chewchilla the wookie berserker, is called a monster by some.

  • Trunkk Ajarr, Trandoshan Bodyguard (that's A-jar, emphasis on the "A")

There was an old (and bad) Avalon Hill game called "Freedom in the Galaxy" that was based on Star Wars and had some good names including a lizard man named Ly Mantok, a galactic knight named Vans Ka-Tie-A, and others:

A lot of those are pretty useful although Adam Starlight is clearly a DC Heroes name, not a Star Wars name. Boccanegra was a space pirate and I thought that sounded very much like a pirate name. I think it's Italian for Blackbeard or something anyway, so it fits.

 These are the bad guys and while not quite as colorful I think Thysa Kimbo (wink wink) is a darn fine name and I'd use that picture too. Smuggler, Emperor's Hand, whatever - I can find a place for her in the game. Here's her writeup in the game:

Illegitimate daughter of Coreguya, the princess has spent most of her adult life waiting for Coreguya to die so that she may ascend to the throne, oblivious to the fact that Redjac may have other plans for the throne that do not involve succession. She grew up pampered in the Imperial court, and became the bitter enemy of Zina Adora when she learned that Rayner Derban was more attracted to Zina than to herself.

For a complete rundown of names and a brief snippet and some pics go here and scroll down to "Player Aids". The characters are in the "Rebel cards" and "Imperial cards" files.

Poking around on the internet it appears that someone is using Freedom in the Galaxr to run a Star Wars campaign - now that's an interesting approach. Having a big board to jump around on could be a lot of fun.

Anyway there are some of my easy ways to fix or find names for Star Wars. Even looking outside of Wookieepedia, there are plenty of good candidates out there.


Barking Alien said...

"Adam Starlight"

That's terrible. Like Luke Skywalker. It'll never sell.


Animelibrarian said...

Actually, it's a very good game! Originally an SPI design, later picked up by Avalon Hill. It's a wargame, hence a bit complex, but does an effective job of simulating a handful of heroic characters challenging an empire of millions. One of the earliest attempts at depicting an insurgency and asymmetrical warfare. Several of the names are anagrams for SPI staffers, i.e., Drakir Greb is designer Richard Berg.