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How do you come up come up with lore friendly names?

Araneae6537
Araneae6537
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I am thinking in particular of Elven/Mer names — Do you make something up that has the right sound? Use an in-game family name or even first and last name but in a different combination? I did the latter for one of my Dunmer, Servyna Venim, and someone told me there was a nasty NPC with that name, but I haven’t been able to find evidence, so perhaps they misremembered… Anyway, as I think about creating an arcanist or two, and also reconsider some of my existing characters, I am curious how others come up with names that fit in Tamriel. :)
Edited by ZOS_Hadeostry on February 7, 2023 4:24AM
  • isadoraisacat
    isadoraisacat
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    I use uesp for reference and there is some
    Checker on line you can look up user names to see if they are taken
    I forget where it is but you should be able to Google it.

    It’s the hardest when naming Khajiit but it can be done.
  • StackonClown
    StackonClown
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    apparently you also cant use names that resemble ingame characters etc closely. so not sure if 'Molagg Ball' would work?
  • Lykeion
    Lykeion
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    Not quite sure if this is lore friendly but there may be other ways you can tell the race by the name =)

    5whlz9wih7ch.png
  • BlueRaven
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    I go to a site like this one, then riff a name.

    https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Bosmer_Names

    That’s for bosmer names. But the have alternative sites for all of the races.
  • Dr_Con
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    I go to Urban Dictionary and find a popular term and replace one syllable in it with a voiced or unvoiced version of that same syllable
  • amig186
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    UESP has complete lists of every character of a given race in each game, divided by sex, and if that's not enough for inspiration you can look up 'elder scrolls name generator' to get an idea of the usual prefixes and suffixes.
    PC EU
  • Anumaril
    Anumaril
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    Taking names directly from the lore is one great way of doing it. I think the UESP has an exhaustive list of all the names of every character of every race that's ever been in a TES game, so you could simply go with those. If you want a unique name you could modify them.

    Combining names is also another way of getting lore-abiding names. Otherwise it's a matter of finding a name you like from the real world/other fantasy works, and then using your own discretion if you think it (1) fits within the TES universe, and (2) if it fits with the race you're making.
  • karthrag_inak
    karthrag_inak
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    Make up one's own lore? This game supposedly occurs on a continent, not in a gated neighborhood.

    All of this one's khajiits are named with names that seemed feasible and favorable to pronounce for a feline palate and dentition.

    This one's argonian, Driven by Remorse, was named after his most defining personality trait.
    PC-NA : 19 Khajiit and 1 Fishy-cat with fluffy delusions
  • Danikat
    Danikat
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    I use the UESP name lists to get a general idea of what I'm aiming for then go looking elsewhere on the internet for additional inspiration to come up with an original name which looks like I could add it into the UESP list without it looking out of place.

    For example when I was making my dunmer sorcerer I noticed a lot of the dunmer names reminded me of Welsh, so I went looking for old Welsh names and eventually settled on Ilorwerth, which is a variant of Iorwerth. (I find it amusing that makes his nickname, if he ever allowed anyone to call him by one, Iolo which is pronounced 'yolo'. He'd hate that.)

    I read somewhere that bosmer names usually don't have any meaning so I just played around with different names, words and sounds like I liked until I found one which stuck, I ended up with Sayel.

    I'd also say don't worry too much about sticking exactly to the lore or what other people will think, ultimately the most important thing is that you like the name and think it fits your character.
    PC EU player | She/her/hers | PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!

    "Remember in this game we call life that no one said it's fair"
  • Grizzbeorn
    Grizzbeorn
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    I do some research on UESP, sometimes in conjunction with this name generator:

    https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/elder-scrolls.php

    I have yet to use a name verbatim from a name generator, but instead use it for ideas to formulate my own.
    And, depending on race, what I typically glean from UESP with regard to character names is an obscure family name that might fit my character.
    (I come up with my Nord names in my brain completely from scratch.)

    Edited by Grizzbeorn on February 6, 2023 11:19AM
      PC/NA Warden Main
    • Supreme_Atromancer
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      ITT: yeah, pretty much UESP lol.

      I'm the same. I'll hit that site and play around with sound combos until I get something I like.

      My main is from Evermore, so I picked a name that had Gaelic roots, but sounds rather mainstream (or Bretonised, I guess).
    • BloodyStigmata
      BloodyStigmata
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      Like most here, I use UESP as a reference. I'll scroll through the lists, read the general rules for racial naming conventions, and if I don't feel like using one of the names there I'll try to dismantle a few a put them together in ways that sound appropriate for the given race.

      Occasionally, I'll ignore racial naming conventions entirely if I have a good reason. There's one thing to remember--just because races and cultures have general naming rules and traditions doesn't mean an individual has to follow them. There are also people who just straight up change their name or identity for various reasons outside of personal choice.
      Owner and proprietor of the Northern Elsweyr Guar Reserve and The Hunting Grounds Guar Reserve, Tamriel's home to all things guar.
      See the embedded brochures for all information regarding our reserves, as well as our collection status!
    • Soarora
      Soarora
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      Honestly, I just use the fantasynamegenerator website. Sometimes I’ll change some letters and I always mix up first and last name (if applicable) but I do like the idea that maybe somewhere an npc or an oc shares a name with one of mine… it’s realistic.

      Edit: There are two who break this, though. For my Soulrazer I went through a thesaurus. As for my Argonian with a Cyrodiilic nickname… well, it just matches him.
      Edited by Soarora on February 6, 2023 1:57PM
      PC/NA Dungeoneer (Tank/DPS/Heal), Trialist (DPS/Tank/Heal), and amateur Battlegrounder (DPS) with a passion for The Elder Scrolls lore
    • MudcrabAttack
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      Usually I’d place a prefix or suffix that fits the lore around a name on my mind.

      But if I come across a name in-game that I really like, I’ll look up a different family name from the lore names from the UESP list already linked above.
    • RaddlemanNumber7
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      I like my character names to mean something - Thunderous Light, Frozen Beauty, Silent Blade, Legend, Runaway Wizard, Ecstatic War Serpent. I use UESP language pages to translate them. Imperial names are translated into Latin(ish).

      The exceptions are Bretons and Dunmer, where I use TESIII NPC names, forename off one, family name off another, e.g. Simine Belette, Malan Favel.
      PC EU
    • lillybit
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      Dark elves are easiest for me - most of my characters have a variation of Lilly so I throw in a double "L" at the start. Surnames are more tricky but I will either look for something along the same lines as existing in-game names or use something that describes the class, like a sorc called Stormborn or Flamedancer for a DK, things like that. I figure something that could be a descriptive title gives you more leeway to fit with lore.

      It backfired for Necro, spent ages thinking of names when it was announced and settled on Shadecaller only for it to be used for mobs in an Elsweyr delve - I'm stuck with it now but still think it's a good name! :D
      PS4 EU
    • emilyhyoyeon
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      Over the years of playing TES games and making characters, I've gotten a feel for how the races' naming conventions work by picking out the linguistic patterns/traits from reading through the canon names listed on UESP.
      Zirasia Firemaker, imperial fire mage & sunbather _ Deebaba Soul-Weaver, argonian spirit minder & soul gem collector
      Tullanisse Starborne, altmer battlemage noble & ayleid researcher _ Qa'Rirra, khajiit assassin & dancer
    • NotaDaedraWorshipper
      NotaDaedraWorshipper
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      Being the huge roleplaying and lore nerd that I am with most mmos I've played, I often get the feel of the setting's naming conventions after awhile, and having been a fan of TES for many years I'm quite familiar with them.

      So I just make something up using that. Sometimes I use UESP to get a little inspiration or refreshen my memory of the races/culture I'm not very familiar with. Checking what synonyms and and letters are commonly used etc. If the naming conventions got a real life inspiration, like latin for imperials, then I sometimes check some of those names up to get the creativity going.

      Still remember from my WoW days how they added a couple of npcs which either had identical or very similar names to some existing characters of mine.
      So far that has not happed in ESO yet to my notice. I only found a lore/Morrowind character I did not know of when naming, who is very closely named to one of my dunmer. Both first and last name. There's like 1 or 2 letter differences between them. Which made it feel like I had really nailed a dunmer name.
      Edited by NotaDaedraWorshipper on February 6, 2023 6:13PM
      [Lie] Of course! I don't even worship Daedra!
    • Suna_Ye_Sunnabe
      Suna_Ye_Sunnabe
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      You don't these days, or you can get in trouble. /s.... maybe...
      Angua Anyammis Ae Sunna
    • Araneae6537
      Araneae6537
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      I like my character names to mean something - Thunderous Light, Frozen Beauty, Silent Blade, Legend, Runaway Wizard, Ecstatic War Serpent. I use UESP language pages to translate them. Imperial names are translated into Latin(ish).

      The exceptions are Bretons and Dunmer, where I use TESIII NPC names, forename off one, family name off another, e.g. Simine Belette, Malan Favel.

      I prefer when my characters’ names can mean something too. I think this works for some of the human cultures as you said and I named my Khajiit templar Yerah-do, referencing the Hebrew word for a full cycle of the moon and the Khajiiti suffix for a renowned warrior.

      I hadn’t found the language info on UESP before — thank you! :smiley: I think I will combine this info with the reference of names as I create my new characters!
    • Carcamongus
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      Well, in my opinion TES is broad enough to allow for a wide variety of names that appear lore-friendly. My main is an Imperial, so I gave him a name that ends in "us" and it looked good enough - though I also wanted it to be weird/goofy/not very pretty. I'd rather not use existing family (unless it's very common) or House names, as I much prefer to create a backstory that's independent from established lore, though the former can obviously still interact with the latter. In other words, no Carca Septim, even though it'd be awesome to be related to that lineage.
      Imperial DK and Necro tank. PC/NA
      "Nothing is so bad that it can't get any worse." (Brazilian saying)
    • Danikat
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      Still remember from my WoW days how they added a couple of npcs which either had identical or very similar names to some existing characters of mine.
      So far that has not happed in ESO yet to my notice. I only found a lore/Morrowind character I did not know of when naming, who is very closely named to one of my dunmer. Both first and last name. There's like 1 or 2 letter differences between them. Which made it feel like I had really nailed a dunmer name.

      It's happened to me a couple of times. Oddly enough both are names I've used in multiple games for years, not ones created specifically for ESO. There's a character in the Covenant camp in Cyrodiil whose first name is very close to my warden's last name. I've also got a nord character called Ember. (It doesn't come up often, but Ember is actually her nickname, her real name is Eleanora but that was also her mother's name so she doesn't like using it.)
      PC EU player | She/her/hers | PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!

      "Remember in this game we call life that no one said it's fair"
    • ZOS_Hadeostry
      Greetings,

      After further review we have decided to move this thread to a category we think is more appropriate for this topic.

      Thank you for your understanding
      Staff Post
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