GURPS · Solo

In which our Hero acquires a name….

(For those who came in late: having created a new fantasy world from scratch using this procedural system, I’m now creating a hero to explore it, in preparation for a solo-play campaign.  Enjoy!)

Since this is going to be a solo adventure, I’m going to make the sole PC an all-rounder rather than a specialist – there’s no-one else to help me out here, so I’ve got to be able to go it alone!

And since this solo campaign is meant to serve as an example, showing how the system works in practice, it’s probably best if the main character is fairly generic.

So let’s make a character who is a kind of plain-vanilla RPG dungeon delver – someone who makes a living by investigating old ruins and turning up treasure and ancient lore.  A “tomb raider”, if you will.  And let’s make them male and human, just to hit all the cliches.

What’s in a Name?

And let’s start with a name.  For that, I’m going to head to my naming tables…. specifically, my tables of Human Names with a Fantasy Flavor. 

(Rolling repeatedly …)

Eion?  Devlin?  Corbin?  Peregrine?


Ahah – “Torian”.  I kind of like that, but since it kind of reminds me of George R.R. Martin’s “Tyrion,” as in “Tyrion Lannister,” I think it might be better to change it a little.

Hmmm… what about “Temian”?   That sounds good to me – it’s certainly “generic fantasy” enough to suit a very plain vanilla strong-jawed fantasy hero!

Thus the mighty Temian was born!

Now for a last name.


For a name form, I get [CREATURE][ACTOR].  Rolling to fill those slots, I get (Local Monster) and “Fell”.  Interesting!  It appears Temian (or someone in his family?) has a reputation for slaying a certain kind of local monster.  I wonder what kind?

And this begs a larger question: where is Temian from, anyway?

A Hero’s Homeland

Dimlight Range 1Where in the world is Temian from?  All we know about him so far is that he makes a living by investigating old ruins.   Thinking back on the world we just built, it makes sense to say that he grew up in Eldervale – a valley full of strange folk and ancient ruins.  This starts to make him feel real already.

But what kind of Monsters lurk in Eldervale, such that Temian has a reputation for slaying them?  We don’t yet know… so it’s time to turn to the system.

(Rolling) (If you’re interested, here I’m rolling on the tables for the “Monsters” part of the system, which I haven’t yet posted on the site.  I will soon!)

Trolls like this, maybe?

Result: Trolls or Troll-kin.

Well, that makes plenty of sense – the folk of Eldervale tend to stay in the troll-free valleys, but the mountains above are known to be full of trolls.  No doubt some of those trolls make their homes among the ruins…

“Temian Trollfell” does sound kind of cool.  And yet, I can’t help but think that “troll” is kind of overly obvious as a fantasy reference, and the alliteration makes it all seem a bit too convenient.   Plus the folk of Eldervale should have names that sound a bit strange and foreign.  Is there another word for “troll” that might be less obvious here?

A tiny amount of internet “research” leads me from the word Troll to the old norse word  Vaetirr – which is much less obvious, and has a nicely foreign ring to it.  It means something a bit more like “wight” or “spirit”, but that’s ok – traditionally, all these distinctions are  lot looser than the old Monster Manual suggested.  Let’s go with that!

Our hero is now named “Temian Vaetirrfell” – and we know he’s from Eldervale, and has a reputation for dealing with trolls, spirits, wights, or similar.

We’ve also just learned that the mountains around Eldervale are home to some sort of hostile troll-spirits called Vaettir.  Intriguing.

EDIT: I’ve had second thoughts.

On reflection, I think perhaps this name is a bit of a mouthful.  At the same time, though, I really like these new troll-spirits we’ve created in Eldervale…

What if we kept the name “Temian,” but gave him a much simpler surname?   That would make things a bit easier on the tongue.

We could still keep “Vaetirrfell,” too, by declaring that it’s a nickname that Temian acquired in Eldervale, by being good at dealing with the Vaetirr (troll spirits) that haunt the region.

A New Surname

I’m looking for a single syllable name.  I could go with “Fell”, since that’s already come up -“Temian Fell” sounds good.  But maybe “Fell” is a bit too grandiose, and therefore cheesy.

Hmmm….  I think I ought to roll for a few results here and here.

GURPS Fantasy Folk
I plan never to miss an opportunity to post pictures of this excellent book!

(Rolling… rolling…)

“Temian Wyrd”?  Too grand.

“Temian Gray”?  Fairly cool.  Shades of Dorian and Jean, though.

“Temian Bale”?  Reminds me too much of “Bales” from GURPS Fantasy Folk.  (Which, as I’ve said before, is such a great book!)  Plus there is the Batman issue.

“Temian Pale”?  Too emo/gothic.

“Temian Wren?”  Not bad.  But something about it sounds too repetitive to me: too many “em/en” sounds, maybe.

Ok, this is going on far too long.  Let’s just stick with something pretty close to what the dice gave us originally, and name him Temian Fell.  Who cares if it’s cheesy?  He’s meant to be a very generic “hero” type, so cheesy is fine!

In the next post, I’ll actually stat up Temian Fell for GURPS.  Then we’ll get to playing!




One thought on “In which our Hero acquires a name….

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