Noah (angelbob) wrote,

I've been thinking about role-playing games a bit more, recently. I very nearly got to run a Call of Cthulhu session, though it turned out to get cancelled at the last minute (ah, scheduling). So, semi-relatedly, here's a lovely little excerpt from DM of the Rings about place names, which is part of the reason I enjoy Call of Cthulhu -- it's most frequently set in the mystical and fantastical land of Eastern Massachusetts, in the dark, obscure and perhaps wholly legendary years between 1920 and 1930 AD.

Nobody wants to play a campaign with Emporer Fred or High Chancellor Gary, and so the usual approach is to give everyone high fantasy names like King Geon’ai, Sir Lua’an-Eradin, or Lady Alaain Mera-Dovrel. You know, strange and fantasy-ish. Of course, this means the names will all be unpronouncable, difficult to spell, and easily confused. For fun, have your players describe the plot of your campaign after it’s over. I promise it will sound something like this:

The dragon guy with that black sword was oppressing the people that lived on those hills. Then that one king with the really long beard got that one chick with the crazy hair, and she went to that one lake. Then she got corrupted by that curse thing that made her attack that group of guys we found dead. You know, the ones that had that +1 sword and the bag of holding? Once we broke her curse she told us about the dragon guy and gave us that thing. And the map. Then we found the dragon dude and kicked his ass.

It’s like living in a word without proper nouns. I’ve always wanted to make a campaign like this:

The Dark Lord Walter, wielder of the Black Sword of choppery, was oppressing the peoples of Pittsburgh. Then King George Washington enlisted the help of the Warrior Princess Rapunzel. Sadly, in the Land of Yellowstone she fell under a spell and slew the Steelers, Knights of Pittsburgh. At last the heroes freed the princess, traveled through the kingdom of Barstow, and confronted Walter in the land of Spokane.

Sure, it sounds stupid, but you have to admit: your players will be able to remember, pronounce, and even spell all of the important people and places.
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