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Fantasy name generation

CupofJoe

Myth Weaver
One of my go-to places for names [at least the initial names] of characters is donjon; RPG Tools
I use it/them as a place to start before I eventually find out what they characters are really called.
 
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I think essentially a medieval ‘sounding’ name is just a medieval name. I like writing fantasy worlds that are inspired by medieval Europe (surprise surprise) and so what I do is do some research on that era, and the names people would really have. You can adapt or change them from there or leave them as they are.

Remember the medieval period is like 1000 years worth of history, with each era having its own culture and popular names. Early medieval names (in Britain) would be more like; Æthelflæd and Beornheard with late medieval names more along the lines of what we still use today such as, Matilda and Henry.

And remember, different cultures will have different and interesting names, Scandinavia will have different names to Britain to Spain to France etc. Researching a bit of history I think is worth it if you are creating a fantasy world inspired by a specific era of history such as the medieval period, it will imbue your story with details that feel more realistic rather than derivative. Or I should add that is what I notice when I read fantasy novels.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
One of my go-to places for names [at least the initial names] of characters is donjon; RPG Tools
I use it/them as a place to start before I eventually find out what they characters are really called.
Very cool site. If I was a gamer, I'd like to have found it.

I look at the Fantasy Name Generator when I feel very stuck on a name, always with the hope I will find something cool or close, that I can manipulate, but so rarely does it bare any fruit. But I do like it just for seeing what names of various regions should look like.
 

Queshire

Auror
I am normally vehemently against AI, but names are one of the areas where I could see them having use. I can imagine one being useful if you want a theme name like names related to colors or if you want names with like, a hard K sound or something in them. That said, AI is stupid. Best to double check that the AI isn't just stringing together random letters or you're not naming your hero "poop" in Mandarin or something.
 

_Michael_

Troubadour
I use ChatGPT on occasion for word-name combinations like "Half-Boot Hill."

Generally, I use ChatGPT to generate names by asking something like, "Give me a list of Hungarian-sounding names without using trademarked or copyrighted names." Then, I take those names and play around with swapping out letters and combining them. Generally, names are easy for me. I can come up with some pretty good shtuff by just musing on them for ten or twenty minutes. Reading a lot of fantasy novels helps because you get a sense of what sounds "dwarvish" or "elvish."

Another thing I do, now, is when I'm plotting out wide-scale world maps, I use small real-world town and village names from countries I want to borrow the sound of their language from. So looking over the map, you clearly see French-inspired names, Romanian-inspired names, etc, all grouped in kingdoms so it sounds realistic as you move across the geography and go from one linguistic region to the next. This prevents generic-sounding English names for being the norm across thousands of miles of terrain.
 
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