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Tavern Name Generator

It’s a trope that every ttRPG adventure starts in a tavern. But they can’t possibly all start in the SAME tavern, right? So, if you run a lot of adventures, you’re gonna need a LOT of tavern names. This system is designed to generate thousands of unique tavern names. It won’t create every possible tavern name of course (why, “The Mayor’s Coinpurse” isn’t even on the list!), but it’ll give you all the names you’ll need for a lifetime of fantasy ttRPG games.

Name Format: Roll 1d20

The results tell you what sub-tables to roll on, and in what order. You can always add “The” to the front of a name, and may or may not wish to add an Establishment (from the eponymous table) at the end.

If you get a ridiculous result, like “The Ale Alehouse,” you can reroll, add an element (somehow “The Drunken Ale Alehouse” feels more like a real placename), or lean into it and come up with a backstory as to why the place has such a weird name.

01. [Descriptor][Creature]

02. [Color][Creature]

03. [Creature] and [Creature]

04. [Number][Creature]

05. [Number][Descriptor][Creature]

06. [Descriptor][Icon]

07. [Color][Icon]

08. [Icon] and [Icon]

09. [Number][Color][Icon]

10. [Descriptor][Tool and Weapon]

11. [Color] [Tool and Weapon]

12. [Tool and Weapon] and [Tool and Weapon]

13. [Number] [Tool and Weapon]

14. [Creature] and [Icon] (or [Creature]’s [Icon])

15. [Icon] and [Creature]

16. [Creature] and {Tool and Weapon]

17. [Tool and Weapon] and [Creature]

18. [Icon] and [Tool and Weapon]

19. [Tool and Weapon] and [Icon]

20. [Descriptor][Creature]’s [Tool and Weapon]

Descriptor (Roll 1d100)

01-03. Bleeding

04-06. Bloody

07-09. Bold

10-12. Brazen

13-15. Broken

16-19. Dancing

20-22. Dead

23-25. Docile

26-28. Dodgy

29-31. Dreaming

32-34. Drunken

35-37. Fireside

38-40. Grievous

41-43. Grubby

44-46. Grumpy

47-49. Noble

50-52. Number (roll on table XX)

53-55. Prancing

56-58. Royal

59-61. Salty

62-64. Shifty

65-67. Slain

68-70. Sleeping

71-73. Somber

74-76. Stingy

77-79. Stout

80-82. Swaggering

83-85. Venal

86-88. Vulgar

01-03. Wandering

01-03. Wealthy

01-03. Yawning

Color (Roll 1d20)

1. Alabaster

2. Amber

3. Ashen

4. Azur

5. Bronze

6. Copper

7. Crimson

8. Ebony

9. Gilded

10. Indigo

11. Ivory

12. Obsidian

13. Onyx

14. Plum

15. Saffron

16. Sepia

17. Silver

18. Umber

19. Unseen

20. Vermillion

Creatures (Roll 1d100)

You can always do a variant of any creature. If the “Wolf and Hart” doesn’t grab you, but the “Dire Wolf and Stag” does, go for it!

01-02. Archer

03-05. Bard

06-07. Beard

09-10. Cockatrice

11-12. Corpse

13-15. Courser

16-17. Badger

18-20. Basilisk

21-22. Beast

23-25. Boar

26-27. Chimera

20-30. Eagle

31-32. Elephant

33-34. Fey

35-37. Giant

38-39. Hart

40-42. Horse

43-45. Hound

45-47. Hydra

48-50. Jester

51-52. Knave

53-55. Kraken

56-57. Lion

58-60. Mermaid

61-62. Minstrel

63-65. Monster

66-67. Necromancer

68-70. Oliphant

71-72. Ogre

73-74. Ox

75-77. Paladin

79-79. Peacock

80-81. Priest

82-84. Rat

85-88. Rooster

89-90. Seer

91-92. Spectre

93-94. Swan

96-97. Unicorn

98-100. Wolf

Icons (Roll 1d100)

01-03. Ale

04-06. Alicorn

07-09. Amulet

10-12. Anchor

13-15. Arms

16-18. Barrel

19-21. Bone

22-24. Cauldron

25-27. Cheese

28-30. Chalice

31-33. Coach

34-36. Flagon

37-39. Flute

40-22. Grave

43-45. Head

46-48. Heart

49-51. Hoof/Hooves

52-54. Jewel

55-57. Key

58-60. Lock

61-63. Maille

64-66. Marksman

67-69. Mead

70-72. Mug

73-75. Oak

76-78. Robe

79-81. Ship

82-84. Swashbuckler

85-87. Teeth/tooth

88-90. Tusk

91-93. Wagon

94. Web

95-97. Well

98-100. Wineskin

Tools and Weapons (Roll 1d100)

01-04. Adze

05-08. Anvil

09-12. Arrow

13-16. Auger

17-20. Axe

21-24. Bolt

25-28. Brace

29-32. Buckler

33-36. Gimlet

37-40. Glaive

41-44. Hammer

45-48. Hatchet

49-52. Helm

53-56. Lance

57-60. Mattock

61-64. Pike

65-68. Plough

69-72. Rake

73-76. Saw

77-80. Sheer

81-84. Sickle

85-88. Spade

89-92. Spear

93-96. Spindle

97-100. Sword

Number (Roll 1d10)

If you roll on this chart as a descriptor for a noun, pluralize the noun. For example, if you get “Dozen” and then ‘Hound”, your tavern name is “The Dozen Hounds.”

1. Two

2. Three

3. Five

4. Six

5. Seven

6. Dozen

7. Score of

8. 40

9. 51

10. Thousand

Establishment (Roll 1d12)

These are all optional, but you can add this to the end of any name. It’s worth noting that if a place is well-known, its name may be shortened. A place may officially be the Crimson Cockatrice Cantina, but most folks just call it the Crimson Cockatrice.

If a tavern’s name feels too simple, you can always give it two establishment types. Perhaps it’s “The Crimson Cockatrice Lodge & Pub.”

1. Alehouse

2. Cantina

3. Lodge

4. Market

5. Mughouse

6. Pub

7. Rathskeller

8. Roomhouse

9. Taphouse

10. Tavern

11. Teahouse

11. Woodhouse

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Simple Dwarven Name Generator

The very first professional RPG writing of mine that was published was the elven name generator in Dragon 251. I’d done (and even been paid for) freelance work prior to that, but none of it was published before that issue hit the stands. It was the beginning of one of my early series, RPG name and language articles, which included the seven By Any Other Name, Cry Havoc, and Dragontongue articles in Dragon Magazine, What’s In A Name in Pyramid magazine, Call Signs in Star Wars gamer magazine, and some work on the online D&D name generator for 4th edition.

One of the things I am proudest of about the majority of those articles is that in addition to allowing random creation of appropriate-sounding names, the articles have just enough definition to allow the meaning of the names to be determined. It’s rough of course—this is designed to allow some fun details for RPG characters and stories, not create full constructed languages like Klingon or Dothraki. But I’ve found being able to tell someone their magic sword is named the dwarven name for “Dragon’s Bite,” and for the player to then use the article to name a back-up weapon “Dragon’s Fire”, adds a lot even with the fairly lose rules.

But while the elven By Any Other Name in Dragon 251 was the first of all of those to get published, I actually pitched (and wrote) a dwarven name generator first. It eventually got accepted and published in Dragon 261. I never felt “done” with that name generator, but honestly I felt like it was the best of all the ones I did (though the kuo-toa name generator is a lot of fun, too).

But I am always thinking about other ways to do similar things (even though, in the age of the Internet, I don’t know if there is any need for yet more simple name generators). I have wondered, for example, what the shortest possible useful name generator is.

I have made a dwarf name generator, with hints for definitions, with ten elements.

I suspect that is too short.

But it’s worth floating and see how people react to it.

To use the generator roll 1d10 twice, to determine the prefix and suffix of the name. for example, a y and then a 3 gives you Mhordun, which could mean Fire Rune, Scholar of Dragons, Treasured Scroll, Destined to Rage, or any other combination of similar words you like.

If you roll the same number twice, ignore the second result and instead do three word elements. For example if you rolls 10 and then 10 again, ignore the second ten and roll twice more (still ignoring 10s). If you got a 1 and a 8, your name is Wularnhar.

With these rules and just 10 intermixable name segments, you end up with hundreds of possible names, with definitions, to use for anything dwarven. If you want male and female names to be different, you can add some feminine suffixes (-a, dot, -gurd, -hild, -ir) to either use in place of some name segments below, or to add to the end of a name generated using the standard rules.

  1. ar – warrior, axeman, weapon, sword, spear, pick, retribution
    2. bal – armor, shield, guardian, ward, abjuration, iron
    3. dun – dragon, rage, fire, treasure, gold
    4. fel – thief, spy, shadow, darkness, assassin, death
    5. grym – ring, sorcerer, warlock, magic, eldritch
    6. kar – servant, slave, secret, traitor, lock, binding
    7. mhor – scholar, wisdom, scroll, rune, destiny
    8. nhar – battle cry, thunder, bard, horn
    9. thyr – ice, frost, calm, silver, cleric
    10. wul – craftsman, craft, skill, beer, mead, art, artisan, beauty

Pat-Reon

No, it’s not another set of dwarven name segments (though it could be — just use a d12 instead of a d10). It’s the main way I fund writing content for my blog. If you enjoyed this post, please consider backing me. 🙂