2017-Feb-19, Sunday

mindstalk: (Default)
Ari told me a trick he uses as a GM for naming NPCs: pick a language to be thematic, type words into Google Translate, use. So one NPC is Hungarian or something for "Betrayer", and is intended to backstab the PCs at some point, and the players have no clue.

Neat trick, but one not relevant to most of my PCs these days, where I expy some anime heroine and don't try to hide my work. (Latest: Kyouko the Dungeon Slayer, an adaptation of Sakura Kyouko.)

But someone was recruiting for an all-evil PbP game, which isn't my usual thing, but I got tempted to try to think of something anyway, It's D&D3.5, so I figured I'd start with a druid, for maximum mechanical cheese. Evil druid? Sure, he wields the power of nature for evil. Or he wields the power of nature, and is a selfish jerk. If you want philosophy, you can talk about predator/prey, nature red in tooth and claw, social darwinism.

Race? (Meaning species). I like elves as an idea, but have been avoiding them, because a 1st level 100 year old character just hurts my head. But for the character I was forming? The guy who can feel superior because he lives 10x longer than you is a perfect fit.

And even better, there's the gray elf subrace, with +2 Int. Literally smarter than you. (D&D swaps gray and high elves from Tolkien: "high elves" are like the Sindar default, gray elves the longer-lived and smarter and more arrogant 'Noldor'.)

Great, a racist gray elf druid! What to name him? I tried thinking of 'elvish' names on my own, but wasn't getting far. (I hate coming up with names.) Time to try the language trick! What are elvish languages? Tolkien was inspired by Welsh and Finnish, Order of the Stick uses pseudo-Latinate names. I started with Welsh. What's a word? Well, 'racist'. So I type that in... and get 'hiliol'.

Hiliol the elf. I dunno about you, but I figured I was done on the first try. Feels vaguely elvish, doesn't have an obvious gender. (I was figuring I'd go for androgyny, a la Vaarsuvius in Order, though he's since become male -- trying to improve the human stock by fathering lots of half-elves. But anyway.)

That was a stroke of luck, really; I've since tried some other words, and they translate to words that are so flagrantly Welsh as to be intrusive. Like 'twyllwr' for "deceiver" or 'celwyddog' for "liar". (Hiliol's Big Crime was fraud, trying to convince foolish humans that he could give them elven lifespan.)

Finnish could have worked, its 'racist' is "rasistinen", though I just realized it sounds like an import of 'racist', so maybe not.

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