7DS: On the Subject of Naming

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    Zombra
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    Since the tweaking of character descriptor names was mentioned in the Motivations thread, I wanted to weigh in on a few that drive me crazy, and share some other observations.

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    “Rogue”: Every other non-magical Specialty is an adjective (Deadly, Priestly, Tactical), but based on what it means in the game (“criminal”), the Rogue you mean here is the noun form. When used as an adjective, Rogue means savage or disobedient. A rogue elephant isn’t sneaky and dextrous. A rogue policeman isn’t especially good at picking locks. It’s confusing and conflicted to use the word this way. “Roguish” would be the adjective form of the word, though that doesn’t work either, as it implies a personality, not a skill set.

    I recommend “Crafty”, as it’s an adjective that indicates skillfulness in illicit matters, which is exactly what we are going for here, right?

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    “Pitfighter” and “Soultender”: Why make up new words for two of the classes when the other six are perfectly good English? What’s wrong with Pit Fighter and Soul Tender? It’s strange and unnecessary to flout the language like this.

    If the intent *is* to create new words to give a sense of a fantastic, unique setting, then do it for more than two classes. (Ideally, in this case, do it for all of them.) Wizards could be Spellwrights; Archers could become Arrowmasters. This is the sillier and less desirable route in my opinion, but I understand if this is the kind of “vibe” you want to go for.

    In either case, the point is to pick a convention and stick with it; this inconsistency looks careless.

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    “Dabbler” or “General” for a character who has a broad base of magical knowledge is a little weak. I suggest “Elemental”, or perhaps simply “Magical” or “Mystical”.

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    “Fast” sounds a bit mundane. How about “Nimble”, “Agile”, “Swift”, or “Adroit”?

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    “Necromancy” is cumbersome next to the other magic descriptors. Fire Wizard, Winter Wizard, Nature Wizard, Necromancy Wizard. See what I mean? Death Wizard may be a little boring, but reads much more smoothly.

    Side note: it would be pretty cool if certain terms automatically combined on the character sheet … so my Death Wizard might be listed as a Necromancer. This could solve the problem of certain clunky-sounding combinations.

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    I’ve had some of these conversations before, so forgive me if I’m repeating myself. Careful use of language is an obsession of mine. Also I’m a bit bored 🙂

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