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Name Game

By Shamus
on Monday Jan 2, 2006
Filed under:
Tabletop Games


In our D&D campaign, I borrow heavily from other sources of fiction. I’m sure many DM’s do. For the curious, here is where I’ve lifted from:

The concept of the Mage’s Guild is stolen from Morrowind, as is the name of the Bitter Coast region in western Dunlock.

Endo is named after one of the more obscure henchmen in the movie Lethal Weapon. He is NOT named after Cannabis. (I had no idea Endo ment that until AFTER I’d introduced him.)

Noreeno gets his name from”Mike Toreno, the government spy from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Citadel may be named after the Citadel in Half-Life2 (which I’ve spent a lot of time with this year). It could also get its name from Citadel Station in System Shock, which I havn’t played in years, but which affected me so strongly I wrote an entire novel based on it.

“The Lich King”, the title given to Mordan, was first used in Warcraft III.

The “Dravis” part of Dravis Lorman comes from the villian of the same name in Descent II.

The way Mordan seeks to recapture the orb is very similar to the way Sauron seeks to recover the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. The fact that this contest happens in the shadow of a great mountain only underlines the fact that LotR has left an indelable impression on my mind. Also, the name “Dunlock” seems very Tolkien-esque. I would not be surprised to find that name came from the novels as well, although I can’t recall anything by that name off the top of my head.

Dawn’s Bride (a ship the players have ridden on many times during their adventures) probably got its name from Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis.

In my first campaign (which is not available online) I had a family of nobles named Loric, who were deliberatly named after King Leoric in the original Diablo game.

The name Enoch is taken from the character of Enoch Root in the book Cryptonomicon.

But I’m not the only one to pilfer names from more talented sources. Dan pulled the name of his Wizard, Skeeve, from the book Another fine Myth (the first of a series of eight) by Robert Asprin. Eric used the Dune books as the source for both the name of his character (Thu’fir) and his sword (Fai). Pat took the name Eomer from Lord of the Rings.

At least we steal from the best. :)

Comments (10)

  1. Ethan says:

    Indeed. Mega props to he who lifted Skeeve. Great series of books, I was sad to see them close.

  2. Jon says:

    Dunlock does sound tolkienesque, it rather resembles the name Dunland which is the name given to the western foothills of the Misty Mountains in case you were wondering. I too have used a variety of sources in my campaigns, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all! Let me also take this opportunity to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading this campaign! If I could get my wife to keep notes of my campaigns I would, but I’m afraid she likes to play too much!

  3. Amazon warrior says:

    My first character was heavily based on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. He was (essentially) a Weyrsinger called D’kale who’d lost his dragon somewhere on the planes (this was a planescape campaign). And he kicked a$$! :D

    My current character has an unintentional literary origin. In many ways, he’s a lot like Fitz from the Assasin series by Robin Hobb, but without all the self-pitying nonsense. But I didn’t really plan it like that. I just wanted to create a character who had a good reason to have monster ride and handle animal at third level, and the easiest way to explain this (for the settng) was that he grew up in a stable, essentially. I threw in illegitimacy for the interest, and spiced the mix with some injustice.

    Also, the only time I’ve ever run a game, it was set in ancient Rome and was a kind of murder mystery in the style of (and in the same time-period of) Lindsey Davis’ “Falco” series. Fortunately, none of the players had ever read any of them! And only one knew much at all about ancient Rome, and she was only there for 1 session. Phew!

  4. God of Awesome says:

    I usually don’t do this for player names. but for classes in my online P&P games. Like when Psionic (Blatantly stolen from DnD) multiclasses as Warriors, they would be called Jedi, and multiclassing as Wizards would be called Sith. I also had Adepts (Sorcerer/Psionic) and Heralds (Psionic/Cleric) that were taken from a series of book I don’t know the overall name of.

  5. Brendan says:

    I’ve found that at least a few place names in Morrowind were stolen from works by Raymond E. Feist. The mining village of Caldera being stolen from the dwarven capital of Caldara is the only one i can think of, but there are others

  6. Dannerman says:

    Brendan Isn’t a Caldera a kind of volcanic crater? (or something like that) – The isle of Vaardenffel (however it was spelled) is a Volcanic isle after all. (Red Mountain)

    I’m sure you’re correct about other references, though – I’ve not read any Feist myself.

  7. DungeonHamster says:

    Not sure how much this ties in, if at all, but the phrase Lich King always makes me think of the Witch King of Angmar.

  8. Shimmin says:

    Comment 3 looks to be spam advertising, Shamus.

  9. NomadElves says:

    Tolkien stole most of his names from the Poetic Edda anyway.

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