## Sunday, March 17, 2013

### Transformed Names

I've talked a bit about tricks for rolling random names. Suppose you want to transform a name you already have, instead of roll a random one?

Pick a name from your list. If you can't decide, or if it's a long list, roll a d20 and use this table to narrow it down by first letter:

d6   Voweld20   Letterd20   Letter
1A1B11C
2E2D12W
3I3T13J
4O4F14Q
5U5L15V
6Y6S16X
7M17P
8H18K
9N19G
10R20Z

Break your starting name up into chunks, which are sort of like syllables, but not quite. To keep things simple, each chunk of a word ends with the next vowel... so "Dracula" breaks up into "Dra Cu La" and "Alucard" breaks up into "Alu Ca Rd". "Conan" breaks up into "Co Na N". "Gandalf" breaks up into "Ga Nda Lf".

Now, roll 5d6 and read the dice from left to right. Each die tells us what to do to one chunk of the name we started with.

• 1 -- Add a chunk in front of this chunk. Roll 1d20 and 1d6, read left to right, and change the results into letters using the table above. Don't skip to the next chunk; stick with this chunk.
• 2 to 4 -- change this chunk. Convert the first letter of the chunk to a number, using the above table, and add this die result to that number, then change it back into letters, again using the above table. Replace the last vowel with the vowel indicated in the first column of the above table (in other words, E, I, or O.) Skip to the next chunk.
• 5 -- Leave this chunk alone and skip to the next chunk.
• 6 -- Drop this chunk and skip to the next chunk. If this is the last die, drop this chunk and all chunks after it.

If you run out of chunks before you run out of dice, only 1s on the remaining dice count.

So: we start with "Dracula". We roll 5, 3, 1, 5, 4.

1. roll 5 = we keep "Dra"
2. roll 3 = we change "cu" to "fi"
3. roll 1 = we insert a new chunk (roll 10 5 = "ru")
4. roll 5 = we keep "la"
5. we run out of chunks, so the roll of 4 is ignored

Result is "Drafirula". Following similar steps with "Alucard", we get "Alufijord":

1. roll 5 = we keep "Alu"
2. roll 3 = we change "ca" to "fi"
3. roll 1 = we insert a new chunk (roll 13 4 = "jo")
4. roll 5 = we keep "rd"
5. we run out of chunks, so the roll of 4 is ignored

With "Conan", we get "Cowiquin":

1. roll 5 = we keep "Co"
2. roll 3 = we change "na" to "wi"
3. roll 1 = we insert a new chunk (roll 14 3 = "qui")
4. roll 5 = we keep "n"
5. we run out of chunks, so the roll of 4 is ignored

With "Gandalf", we get "Gawdivelf":

1. roll 5 = we keep "Ga"
2. roll 3 = we change "nda" to "wdi"
3. roll 1 = we insert a new chunk (roll 15 2 = "ve")
4. roll 5 = we keep "lf"
5. we run out of chunks, so the roll of 4 is ignored

You can, of course, modify vowels or add/drop extra letters if the name you roll triggers an idea ("Alufijord" becomes "Alufjord".) Or use the name you come up with as a pronunciation guide and change the spelling to suit the way you want it to look ("Gawdivelf" might look better as "Gaudivelf".)

Now, the trick to this is you can use a one or two word summary of whatever-you-need-to-name as your starting name and transform it to a name close enough that you can remember it.