This article is also available on Tales of a GM.
As a GM, I use up names for the inhabitants of my world at a frightening rate, and I am sure that it is the same for your game. The current cycle of my Tales of the Hero Wars campaign is set in a wasteland blasted by foul magic, and home to several tribes of mounted nomads. Thus, my current requirement is for nomad names.
I have compiled a table of Mongolian-esque elements of names. This table includes an assortment of nouns, verbs, colours and numbers, some of them divided according to the sex of the bearer. Plus, there are a handful of linking words to facilitate some of the combinations.
Depending upon the roll of a dice, the elements of the table are combined to create suitably nomadic names. As the table features a translation of the “native” name, then English versions are also possible. As my game is set within a nomad tribe, then I use the English names as everyone can speak the nomad tongue.
However, if the game were primarily set outside of the nomad lands, then the native version would be preferred. Naturally, a nomad Hero could reveal the translation of her name to her fellow travellers. Thus, it would still be useful to know the meaning of the native names.
Here is a list of twenty female nomad names, along with a translation. Roll a d20, or pick the one that appeals to you.
d20 , Nomad Name , Translation
1 , Altan Boke , Golden Strength
2 , Altan Derkireci , Golden Runner
3 , Bayar Checheg , Joy Flower
4 , Burgujin Chagan , Eagle of White
5 , Chagan Sube , White Needle
6 , Ekejin Baghaturia , Mother of Bravery
7 , Erdenedei Bayan , Jewel has Wealth
8 , Erdenejin Noghu , Jewel of Green
9 , Getegurcijin Bayar , Tracker of Joy
10 , Osol Gal , Increased Fire
11 , Qara Enq , Black Peace
12 , Qara Vachir , Black Thunderbolt
13 , Qorin Burgud , Twenty Eagles
14 , Qutudei Suren , Dignity has Majesty
15 , Shria Tegus , Yellow Perfection
16 , Subedei Kecegu , Needle has Ferocity
17 , Surcidei Kelegei , Archer has Silence
18 , Surcijin Noghu , Archer of Green
19 , Teijurban Artai , Has Three Stripes
20 , Teinegan Ulagan , Has One Red
Likewise, here is a list of twenty male nomad names. Once more, the translations are also provided.
d20 , Nomad Name , Translation
1 , Altan Chinua , Golden Wolf
2 , Arslachin Bayar , Lion of Joy
3 , Arslachin Tegus , Lion of Perfection
4 , Artai Artaighuci , Striped Beast Herder
5 , Artaightachin Keletei , War Beast of Eloquence
6 , Artaightadai Yeke , War Beast has Greatness
7 , Artaighuchin Kecegu , Beast of Ferocity
8 , Artaighucichin Bora , Beast Herder of Grey
9 , Artaimachin Koke , Riding Beast of Blue
10 , Chinuachin Yeke , Wolf of Greatness
11 , Dalan Surcin , Seventy Archers
12 , Dologhon Oyugun , Seven Wisdoms
13 , Jurgaghan Artaighun , Six Beasts
14 , Koke Cuburi , Blue Flowing
15 , Oyuguchin Arigh , Wisdom of Purity
16 , Qachachin Suren , Flank of Majesty
17 , Taitabin Mongo , Has Fifty Silver
18 , Ulagan Delger , Red Abundance
19 , Unegechin Mongke , Fox of Eternity
20 , Unegedai Keletei , Fox has Eloquence
Should you wish, you could gain double service from this table, and use both columns to generate a nomad name. Applying this method, you could randomly pick from either column, perhaps rolling a d6 with the results 1-3 indicating a native name, and 4-6 a translated one. It could be argued that some nomads would stubbornly introduce themselves by their native name, while others would offer up a translated name.
Thus, you now have 80 nomad-style names to add to your game.
For more insights into how I GM, be sure to visit me at Tales of a GM.
Phil Nicholls, Tales of a GM