August 19, 2011

PC Naming

Just a quick thought today.
Why is it that players get to name their characters? This is akin to a character naming himself. Naming is done by parents, outside the control of the character. In real life I was not able to make my own choices until after I was born, so why should a character be able to do so? After all I didn’t get to pick my real name; it was something I was stuck with. In real life, my name is something I have to deal with that was not of my choosing; so why can’t a character carry that same baggage.

Of course, players get to name their characters because it is the player’s creation. And they will be stuck with that name for an entire campaign (or until the character dies) so it only makes sense to allow them to choose something they will like and are comfortable with. After all, not many people would like to be “A Boy named Sue”. However, in a purely simulationist game it would be best to have characters named by something other than the player who is to play the character.

A Boy Named Sue
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