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The Trouble With Names



It was an Aberrant campaign, with Bog Boy GMing, and me, Bubba and Mark playing. We were actually trying to take things seriously, but it all went horribly wrong on the name front. We'd carefully crafted our characters, each with a detailed theme, and a snappy Nova name (characters in Aberrant are superpowered individuals called "Novas").

But somewhere along the line we managed to come up with joke names for the characters, names far superior to the real ones, names which stuck. Stuck so well in fact, that while the only one of the real names I can remember is my PCs, I'll probably remember the three "joke" names for the rest of my days.

The Characters And Their "Names"

My character was a blind teenage American, whose senses had been expanded far beyond the human norm. Through touch, hearing and an inner awareness, he could sense his immediate location as good, or better, as any other person. He could "see" locations far, far away. He could visit a location, or touch an item, and see visions of its past. He could even see the future, dimly.

I called him FarSight, but pretty soon he acquired a probably inevitable tag...

Blind Boy.

Bubba meanwhile, had created his character with a single overriding objective in mind: Initiative. He wanted to go first, and he sacrificed everything to that end. Every point he could wring out of the character generation process went toward boosting his initiative. In combat, he got to take about four actions before anyone else even took their first.

There was just one problem. All those points that he hadn't spent on all the other stuff meant that he was pretty shit at everything other than going first. So, in our first combat, what did he do in each of those four "advance" actions..?

Say: "Err... I hold my action" that's what!

We started joking that his character's thought processes were so lightening-fast, he was already crippled by indecision before the rest of us had even realised anything was going down.

We dubbed him The Prevaricator.

And then we come to Mark's character. He'd created a highly academic archaeologist, with powers to reach deep into a person's mind, read the contents, and then rearrange them as desired. The campaign started just after the brutal slaying of his character's girlfriend.

The first scenario involved us tracking down her killers, and the campaign's long-term plot arc called for us to find the men who'd given the orders. Her slaying had left him pretty unbalanced, and very troubled. There was a lot of angst flying around. It was the whole theme behind his character (in fact, I think the shock of the murder had been what triggered his character's powers).

Anyhow, during one session I was being criticised by him and Bog Boy over something or other, and annoyed, blurted out a sarcastic: "Well it's okay for Captain Bereavement!"

To which Mark calmly replied: "It's Doctor Bereavement, actually."

And from then on, those were the names...

Blind Boy, The Prevaricator, and Doctor Bereavement.

We had tried to take it seriously. Honestly.

What do you think of this article?

It ascended to heaven and walked with the gods.
It was very good.
It was pretty good.
It was okay.
It was a bit bad.
It was very bad.
It sucked, really, really badly.