[Name / 9P] Rename my game? About naming games.

edited March 2014 in Game Design Help
In this discussion folks suggested I change the name of my rpg, which is currently Narrative Adventures Made Easy.

I asked my wife about the name, and she doesn't like it either. So change it we should!

Brainstorming, I can think of a few kinds of game names.

1. What the PCs do

I like this best. Dogs in the Vineyard is a good example.

2. What makes the game mechanics special?

Perhaps GURPS is the classic example.

3. What exemplifies the setting?

Dungeons? Dragons? Cthulhu? Toons?

4. Which type of people would enjoy the game?

I cannot think of examples off the top of my head, but consider a game title with phrases such as "for kids" or "solo PC" or "moral conundrums".


What else makes a game's name?

Any specific suggestions?

I would love to use Skills Talents Powers which blends the game mechanics and setting nicely. But too many things have the initials STP.

I am thinking of Upholding Power which could work if I more strongly suggest that a Player's first PC be a Champion. Is such a suggestion more limiting or helpful?

At the end of December I had ideas involving "something something For Everyone" but did not write them down and have now forgotten them.

Thanks for any help!


  • Personally, I like names that give some clue about what the game world is like. Also, nowadays, you want a name that is not a commonly googled word. For instance, I put "name rpg" into Google and the first hits were RPG name generators (like a fantasy RPG name generator).
    I think the non-abbreviated version of your game is nice. I think abbreviating it on the cover and in commerce websites will limit your exposure.
    Good luck!
    Dave M
  • Another element to consider is the culture you communicate with your naming convention. For example, in rpg culture you have the option of communicating straightforward, honest, no-frills adventure game by using a conventional name ("Something & Something" being the parodic extreme), or you can communicate emotionally ambitious hipsterism by having a weird, punchy name or an excessively florid one. Of course there are also other, lesser communication possibilities aside from that big continuum; e.g. adding "System" at the end of the name can place you in the generic/universal end of the pool, with strong trad expectations.

    (A theory on the above observation: trad games tend to sell themselves on being generic and flexible tools, perhaps oriented to a specific genre. Prog games tend to sell themselves on being unique and specific. For this reason the trad game is more likely to have a generic name vaguely indicative of a genre of adventure fiction, while the prog game is more likely to have a name akin to the name of a movie or a novel.)

    What is your game about? If you've got an elevator pitch, it'd make it easier to offer concrete suggestions. "Narrative Adventures Made Easy" isn't the most selling name ever, but if the game is in the generic tradition and doesn't have anything more compelling to it aside from being easy and being about narratives, then that might well be the best name for it. Truth in advertising, I say.
  • I've forgotten the expected player arc. David, what are players striving for? I was gonna suggest a name like "To Rule in Faerie" but then I thought that ruling might be the wrong goal (plus I know your world has a proper name, I just can't remember which one is for the whole deal rather than a particular spot).

    Eero, the features that stood out to me were "diceless two-player fairy tale adventure with some focus on the costs of heroism". There's some "rite of passage" in there too.

    "The Dreaming Crucible?" No, wait, that's already taken...
  • edited January 2014
    Don't choose a name that's impossible to find in a simple google search. Choose a name that makes people want to learn more. Assume all they are going to see of your physical book is the spine.
  • edited January 2014
    Just glancing at your NAME page, I see that it's a fantasy game, and you have lots of tremendously cool names for things:

    Magic Rules: Tempering and Sapping, Musing and Fortunosity, Laboritry and Phantasmography, Therianthropy and Semblancy

    Technology Rules: Alchemy, Chemstry, Machinery, Transmutery

    Races: Dweorgs and Kobalts, Bergtrolls and Barrowers, Pixies and Unseemly, Therions and Ogres
    Man, can you use some of that stuff in your name?
  • Preface: naming is an art, not a science. There's no tried-and-true way to get a perfect name. Some awesome names are surprise flukes that nobody saw coming.

    Jason's particularly spot-on with "Choose a name that makes people want to learn more." Dogs in the Vineyard is a really cool name because it invites questions. Why are there dogs in a vineyard? Why is there a vineyard? Why are there dogs? It doesn't even tell the casual observer much about what the game is; it only makes sense in hindsight. I will also point out that the name rings of religious (especially Christian) terminology, primarily because of the use of "vineyard". It brings to mind phrases like "casting pearls before swine". An RPG gamer will look at that and go "Why is this an RPG? What's that all about?"

    Also, read your name aloud. This will do wonders to make it sound interesting. Have someone read it back to you. It also helps you see how easy the game is to soundbite and be remembered. "Fiasco" is instantly memorable. "Lacuna" is instantly memorable. "Monsterhearts" is instantly memorable. If the average gamer hears someone talking about the game, will they recall what the name was, so that they can Google-search it later? A great way to ensure this is to pick a word that's easy to pronounce but at the same time evocative either in sound or meaning. Mashing up two words (Monsterhearts comes to mind, as does Mythender) is a great way to create this distinctiveness, by the by. Don't pick a word that could be easily misspelled.

    This is one of the reasons, I think, that "GURPS" works--not because the title is informative (it's just an acronym) but because it's a distinctive sound. Gurps. Gurps. Gurps gurps gurps. I gurpsly gurpsed a gurps of gurpsy gurps into my gurps. Easy to pronounce, it rolls off the tongue with a certain memorable cadence. And it doesn't match an existing English word. (On that note, now "GURPS" sounds like a sci-fi pseudo-profanity. :-P Gurps you!)

    Generic titles are not good, I will say that much. The reason something like GURPS gets off the hook on this is because the acronym itself isn't generic, and nobody ever talks about it as the Generic Universal RolePlaying System.
  • Generic is super bad for names. GURPS is a horrible name and only works because it is a relic of an age that happened to be ripe for it, and that age has passed.

    A good name should feel like it is narrowing your audience, not expanding it. But narrowing it in a way that intrigues and invites those who make up the potential audience in.

    A game that claims that it is for everybody is really going to be for nobody. Because roleplaying games don't reach the "everybody" audience and people interested in roleplaying games aren't interested in being everybody. So unless you actually think you've designed a game that will actually appeal to everybody (and you have not - the vast majority of my coworkers would be turned off by your game as soon as they see the setting, even the ones who enjoyed watching movies with hobbits) then generic, everybody-focused branding is doing you a disservice.

    In a game where many hundreds of people have written games for what is ultimately a smallish and flooded niche market, you need to spend a lot of time thinking about what really makes your game unique and awesome. Somewhere in that area of setting, mechanics, tone, etc. should be an evocative name.

    If you don't yet know what it is that really makes your game unique and awesome and evocative and you don't have the words to express that clearly, your game just isn't done yet. But you know that at least on some level, because you're here asking this question.
  • Generic is super bad for names. GURPS is a horrible name and only works because it is a relic of an age that happened to be ripe for it, and that age has passed.
    Yeah, but everyone remembers the name. That was my point. It's generic (which is always a strike against names) but it sounds funny. So it sticks in people's heads. Which is what you want in a name.
  • I've been going for lurid titles lately.

    Fairy Tale Assassin League: Broken Dreams
    Die Romeo Die
    Hungry Dragon

    Are the titles coming up. I'm aiming at distribution sales so the names and art need to grab people brousing store shelves. Popping up on internet searches is another consideration but God alone knows what makes that happen.

  • Somewhere on the Forge, I posted a similar topic when I was writing "Eldritch Ass Kicking". I actually had a friend feel uncomfortable about the name. Many folks encouraged me to keep the name though, because it really served as the elevator pitch in three words. I don't even remember where or how I came up with the title, but it probably sells the game more than any thing else that I have done. When someone hears it, they pretty much instantly decide whether it is something they might be interested in or not.

    But no pressure!

    Don't overthink it. Seriously, Dungeons & Dragons is the classic title that others try to mimic, even though I've probably played more D&D games without dungeons or dragons in them. I agree that NAME probably leaves something to be desired, especially if there is a built-in setting. As a generic system name? Maybe.

    Other titles may not have the same kind of energy, but your game isn't going to be a successful or failure based on it alone.

    Here is a suggestion. Make it singular, fitting that the game is about one hero's adventures (i.e. instead of Lords of Fae - how about Lord of Fae?) And actually, I dig the thing you have in the end about Heroic Occasions. That strikes me as kind of a fun title, though not perfect.
  • edited January 2014
    What struck me, glancing at your site, is how you have Nine Powers with correspondences to other setting elements: 9 types of dungeons, 9 types of contests, etc. Calling your game The Nine Powers would refer to the setting but also bring to mind the idea of magical powers, which is a attractive feature of fantasy RPGs. Having a cardinal number in the title implies a list, which many people find appealing. "What are these nine powers?" one might ask, driven by curiosity to open the book...

    (However, actually referring to super-powerful movers & shakers within the setting might be a turn-off for some.)
  • I like that!
  • I like Nine Powers myself, it would likely compel me to take a closer look at a game.
  • Grimm Journey
  • I think Nine Powers is good. I'd add a subtitle to give some information to someone skimming. How about Nine Powers: A Narrative Adventure Game.
  • edited January 2014
    Hi! Sorry I was away. Busy inventing more fraction math games for when I am volunteering in an elementary school this week.

    I do like Nine Powers. It does stand out, highlight a key feature of the setting, and is somewhat compelling. It does not pass the Google test with flying colors, but is not miserable there.

    Yesterday I read through the comments up through January 13th, and was struck by Adam Dray's compliment that I have some skill at smithing single words. I had been focusing on phrases for a name, not single words. So I spent some time with prayer, ten-year-old port, several appropriate root words, and Wikipedia's list of suffixes and came up with Heroloquy (speaking as a hero) or Heronomy (the customs of heroes).

    Those seemed ideal. Short, memorable, Google-worthy, and referring to what is special in both the mechanics (solo protagonist) and setting (how the Powers make the word conducive for heroism). However, I recognize that I have an above-average tolerance for cheesiness and worry they might provoke a grimace instead of curiosity.
  • Google-worthiness is generally overrated, it's much more important to be appealing to actual people. The big marketing thresholds for indie rpgs are not in between getting a person intrigued and having him find your website, it's in hooking that interest in the first place. Nobody's going to decide to google your game's name (and just that, with no context terms like "rpg" or "DavidVS" or something) and then just give up because that phrase exists somewhere in the Internet not under your control. That's an artificial concern translated directly from entirely different types of business.

    These invented word names evoke hipster fantasy to me: something neat, strange, probably urban, peculiarly aesthetic, narrowly focused. Something created by Jonathan Walton, in a word. For me personally, better than "NAME" (that's not a very appealing name at all for a game, I think) but worse than "Nine Powers" or "Grimm Journey". Those latter ones have the advantage of directly evoking adventure fantasy, which apparently appeals to me more on a gut level. Of course the actual product has to match the name, so whatever the game is like, that's what the name should be like as well. So if your game is more like Dreaming Crucible, then "Heroloquy" might be good, while if it's like Burning Wheel, then "Nine Powers" has more punch to it.
  • "Heronomy" doesn't grab me by itself, but it does make me wonder what the word means, which means you've got my attention long enough to read a subtitle or back cover blurb. If, in the course of answering my curiosity about the weird word, you can communicate to me "What the game's about and why I might want to play it," then you're golden. "Heronomy" by itself doesn't do that for me at all, though.

    "Heronomy: Sway of the Nine Powers" or "Heronomy: A Fairytale Test of Mettle" or something else that combines "catchy" with "descriptive" might be worth considering.
  • edited January 2014
    Good points, both.

    Also, my wife can't stand Heroloquy or Heronomy, so it would definitely need a byline.

    The advantage of "Nine" is surprising to me, yet understandable in hindsight. I had been thinking about "Vying Powers" or "Conflicting Powers" as references to both opposed skill checks (game mechanics) and the nine Powers (setting). But "Nine Powers" is indeed more catchy.

    Tangentially, I've grown fond of the word "ventures" which emphasizes risk. (But yesterday I could not find any good suffixes for it.) I like how it sounds. But in print it for some reason looks like "vultures" when I scan quickly. So Heroloquy: Solo Ventures and Nine Powers jumps out like a Greek myth about super-vultures, not a RPG.

    It's late. I'm rambling. Hopefully I am at least entertaining.

    I am still unsure whether recommending a PC's relationship to the Powers is more helpful guidance or needlessly limiting. A byline such as "Questing for Nine Powers" or "Pawn of Nine Powers" is more attractive because it is specific. But I have not put any PC job description in the setting aside from the expectation of a heroic protagonist.
  • Using variations on the word Hero when naming an RPG has the disadvantage that it a naming space that is crowded by heavy hitters already. The Hero/Champions game (one of the top 5 most popular games for 20+ years), HeroQuest, and many others. Plus the fact that the word hero is super commonly associated with RPGs in general. That makes that namespace cluttered and hard to craft your own thought-niche in. You'll automatically be diluting your brand by the close association with so many existing entities.

    Nine Powers, just by itself, is a catchy name. Especially if you have a repeating theme throughout your text of using lists of 9. A couple of games have used Power in their name, but none bigger than And it passes the Google test with flying colors, actually, because as soon as you add RPG to the search (Nine Powers RPG) you get nothing of consequence - just random pages that just happen to have all 3 of those terms in them. As soon as you claim that phrase, you'll own it both in Google and in people's minds.

    The thing about analyzing the Google-worthiness of your name is that it's about not diluting your brand. If all I remember about your original name is Narrative Adventures and I search Narrative Adventures RPG, I get a whole bunch of stuff that's not random, it's people actually talking about the concept of narrative adventures and RPGs. The words "Narrative" "Adventure" "Made" and "Easy" are used CONSTANTLY on existing blog pages of people talking about RPGs. And that's a good indication that it's a poor name.

    And yes, people use the words "Nine" and "Powers" a little, but not very often together, because there are no hugely popular games that use those words. There's a little association with superpower games, but it's not that bad. You would not want to name a game Six Attributes because that phrase is already heavily associated with the most popular RPG ever and a thousand heartbreakers as well.
  • Nine Powers is still a bit on the generic side, in my opinion. Nine is good and specific, powers not so much. I had a band once I wanted to call Nine Black Wizards. I would look at that game or book before Nine Powers. If your game has a theme with lists of nine, name it after the most prominent of those. Like, Nine Great Wyrms, Nine Dead Gods, The Nine Kings of Evermore, Nine Shards of Creation, etc etc.
  • edited January 2014
    I am also quite fond of how the word principal fits with RPGs. As the Player it can refer to the lead performer in a performance, as well as someone for whom another acts as a representative. As the PC it can refer to the lead character in a story, as well as the combatants in a duel.

    My brain is currently pondering names such as Nine Powers, One Principal and Principal and Nine Powers.
  • My brain is currently pondering names such as Nine Powers, One Principal and Principal and Nine Powers.
    Sounds like a X-Men game to me :D
  • edited January 2014
    Heh. It does.

    I could do Principaloquy: Nine Powers to make ancient Latin X-men that sounds suspiciously like Romans 8:38.

    Okay. My bedtime.
  • I liked "Pawn of Nine Powers", actually. There was something really cool about that. (Even "Pawn of Nine".)
  • Names that are hard to pronounce and/or spell are generally going to make it harder for word of mouth to spread.
  • edited January 2014
    Also, bear in mind that someone somewhere may have already thought of the name you've decided upon or, worse, a game with the same name already exists. Forex, Intrepid! used to be called Quest, until it was noted that there was already a game in development with that name. So John asked on UKRP for suggestions for alternative names, and Intrepid! pretty quickly emerged as the front runner. The rest is his&herstory.
  • Last night while falling asleep I was pondering whether to put "child" in the name as a hint that the game can be a kid-friendly introduction to RPGs.

    Something like Child of Skill and Powers.
  • edited January 2014
    Last night while falling asleep I was pondering whether to put "child" in the name as a hint that the game can be a kid-friendly introduction to RPGs.
    No, don’t do that. If you market it very obviously for adults, fine, if GMs want to run it for children they’ll adapt it, but if you market it specifically for children no adult will touch it.

    Out of interest, what would your answers be to the 5 bullet points in the OP?

    I’ve had a quick look at your game, and nothing jumped out at me name-wise, but I’ll give it some thought, and may come up with something later. Off the top of my head I’d suggest Tales of Adventure and Daring. Or, incorporating Yasha's suggestion, Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring.
    you can communicate emotionally ambitious hipsterism by having a weird, punchy name or an excessively florid one
    True dat, and I love the exprsssion emotionally ambitious hipsterism. That sounds way cooler- and a lot more marketable- than the expression I normally use to describe such games, to whit weird hippy shit.
  • Heh. Tales of Adventure and Daring makes me ask if I am the only one who is sad that the name Danger and Play was taken by a PUA site before a RPG.
  • edited January 2014
    Heh. Tales of Adventure and Daring makes me ask if I am the only one who is sad that the name Danger and Play was taken by a PUA site before a RPG.
    Yeah, Danger and Play sounds good, but I think that would be better for a book about roleplaying than for an actual game. Cf. Graham Walmsley's excellent blog compilation, Play Unsafe. Hm, the more I think about it, the more I think Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring is the one to go with. Naming is as much about creating a feel and an expectation as it is about referencing the setting and/or mechanics of specific games, although the inclusion of Nine Powers would kind of do that.
  • As requested...
    1. What the PCs do
    2. What makes the game mechanics special?
    3. What exemplifies the setting?
    4. Which type of people would enjoy the game?
    1. The PCs solve quests by cleverly overcoming obstacles to gain success.

    The obstacles are often defined by being slightly tougher than what is easy for the PC. A monster might have equal Melee skill. A door might be passable if the PC had two greater Machinery skill to pick its lock, or two greater Wrestle skill to knock it down. The PC needs to explore to find a situational advantage, find a better tool, use a skill with better leverage, or discover a way to go around the obstacle. This is not only a fun challenge, but is a real lesson about problem solving.

    The PC also has some limited/expensive consumable items that grant temporary skill boosts. These allow the Player to say either "I am not interested in certain kinds of obstacles and want a cheat for them" or "I feel rewarded by advanced planning and predict the quest will have this kind of obstacle."

    2. The Player need not know any game mechanics.

    The GM can do all the comparing of skill ratings with opposing skills or required "target numbers". The Player might enjoy being part of that. Or the Player might simply think, "My heroine is like Wendy from Peter Pan. She needs some way to get past the pirate besides fighting it with her knife. Maybe she could sweet talk him, but I do not want to try that yet. She is not strong enough to push open the door. Maybe she can find a crowbar, or get in through a window?"

    The latter is obviously very trusting of the GM's fairness and clear communication, but is what makes the game mechanics stand apart. The quests have all the creative problem-solving and careful resource use of "traditional" fantasy RPGs but without dice slowing down the story telling.

    (Dice are optional. My five-year-old son prefers them. He is developmentally at an age when comparing numbers is in itself suspenseful and exciting. Even with dice, the story moves really quickly.)

    3. The nine Powers have made the setting ripe for adventure

    Each Power has a different idea of what "success" looks like. Each oversees a specific kind of dungeon, contest, champion, gift, and monster.

    This allows a setting that (at least for biased 'ol me) "makes sense" while still being fantastic. There are reasons why dragons hoard wealth, villages have haunted houses, wuxia-style heroes wander from town to town righting wrongs, and great archers never run out of arrows.

    In other words, I have tried to carefully hang just the right lampshades.

    4. People would enjoy the game if they want a RPG that feels like a traditional fantasy RPG without the story telling slowed by game mechanics, especially if they are looking for a two-player game.

    It is not a "rules light" game. It is a "rules unobtrusive" game that works with only one PC.
  • edited January 2014
    @DavidVS That's very interesting, thanks. I'm wrestling with my tax return atm, but when I'm done with that I'll come back and have a closer look.
  • edited January 2014
    Me again. I've been thinking about this on and off during the past few days.

    Part of me likes Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring, but mostly that name makes me want to sing "Woo hoo" and the Duck Tales theme song.

    Flow of Mettle is the best I have thought of so far to communicate "rules unobtrusive" and "adventure story". It also blends two definitions of flow (smooth and/or plentiful movement, and being in the zone).

    Once the word mettle was in my mind, I thought up Loom of Ordalian Mettle just because I like acronyms. But there already is an RPG named Loom, so having the obvious shortened name for my game duplicate that is bad.

    May your tax return go smoothly, catty_big.
  • Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring

    This is by far the best suggestion I've seen here. As far as acronyms go 9P is quick and distinctive.

    Flow of Mettle is allright... but kind of awkward and people will almost certainly end up looking for it as "Flow of Metal" and not finding it in Google.

    Loom just begs for confusion.
  • I feel like in RPG land "Adventure and Daring" is a bit generic. If you could find descriptors that better separate your game experience from others', I'd recommend that. You've got some distinctive stuff -- heroism comes from sacrifice, the monsters and situations have fairytale color which draws on childhood fears, the protagonist is expected to mature and grow, right? Anything else?

    Nine Powers: Tales of Heroism and Loss
    Nine Powers: Tales of Wonder and Terror

    Maybe I'm parsing the game incorrectly and those are wrong, but they at least stand out from the field a little more.

    I like "Flow" and "Mettle", but the mix of game and character terms comes out incoherent for me. I'd prefer either "Flow of [something I do as a player]" or "[something about the fiction] of Mettle".

    Flow of Tales: Adventure and Loss in the Land of Nine Powers
  • Grim Flowing Principal Soliloquy of the Tales of Nine Powers in the Lands of Wonder and Terror for Adventure, Daring and Mettle, as Told by an Hero on a Journey to the Loom


    Seriously, though, ideally the designer would have a sharp opinion on what the cornerstone conceit or central cultural idea of the game is. This might not be entirely realistic, but I hope/suspect that you might discover a name that is simply right by looking calmly inward. At least, that's the way it works for me, I don't generally second-guess myself at all after I've chosen the "perfect" presentation name for a project. (Admittedly this observation is of no use whatsoever if you don't get this same feeling of certainty for some reason.)
  • I liked "The Nine Powers" the best so far, for what it's worth. Simple and to the point, but catchy enough to invite interest.
  • edited January 2014
    The Nine Powers is interesting - Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring is also decent.

    If the Nine Powers are things you have to test/overcome yourself again, you could always go with "Against the Nine Powers" or some version of that. Sets up the conflict and might draw people to think - who/what are the Nine Powers? Of course, I'm not sure if the Nine Powers are really the source of the conflict after all. You could definitely add a fat subtitle "Against the Nine Powers: an adventure game of heroism, cunning, and wonder for all ages". Actually, that would hook me in right there. (Had solo in there, but I realize this isn't a solo game!)

    Something like Quest of the Nine Powers could also work in that regard, but it sounds like a Choose Your Own Adventure (which isn't necessarily bad) or a teenage fantasy novel (which could be).
  • edited January 2014
    Thinking more on the word mettle led me to the word resolve, which fits both determination and problem solving. Clever Resolutions or Deft Resolve are yet other ideas.

    David_Berg, the short answer to "Anything else?" is unfortunately "not yet". Eventually I hope to compose an abundance of short adventures as I create them for my wife and sons. (I have three online that need updating with the new races/monsters, and a half-dozen worthy of archiving that are only written on papers in a folder downstairs.) In my head are two overall plots that start out well-hidden. The first is to stop the evil Power named Gnash from bringing its even more appalling sibiling into the PC's world. The second is to rescue Old Man River, who has been imprisoned by another Power. So some day I hope the answer to "Anything else?" will be "layers of mystery, intrigue, and problem-solving to maintain the balance as the Powers strive for dominance." But I should not advertise what is off in the future. Otherwise The Tenth Power seems a likable choice.

    Thank for the humor and encouragment, Eero_Tuovinen. Unfortunately, looking calmly inward led me to the current name, which my wife dislikes and which appears bad for eventual publicity.

    NathanHill, I have been thinking about (but searching this topic shows I had not mentioned yet) using the word "contesting" similar to your "against". The game mechanics use "contested skill comparisons", and as I wrote above the adventures will eventually center around the Powers striving against each other in tremendous but subtle schemes. So I was considering Contesting Powers but it never clicked for me. Perhaps because most of the Champions are appropriate options for a PC, so a PC might be directly serving one or more Powers, either as a permanent identity or in a sequence of appointments. Same with Against the Nine Powers. It seems to discourage one likely PC role. The byline you provided, "a solo adventure game of heroism, cunning, and wonder for all age", is a truly great summary.

    And I do like Nine Powers a lot. Just not quite enough to settle with it yet.

  • I like "Flow" and "Mettle", but the mix of game and character terms comes out incoherent for me. I'd prefer either "Flow of [something I do as a player]" or "[something about the fiction] of Mettle".
    A totally different direction came to my mind, actually: Nine Powers: Flow and Mettle
  • I hope you don't stress too much about this. Let it come to you, and there is no such thing as a really bad name... maybe.

    Maybe case in point - I just saw this game on RPGNow - "Adventure Fantasy Game". Wow.
  • Thanks, Nathan Hill.

    I am not stressing. The only sense of rush is because I would want to change the website subdirectory name sooner rather than later. That is well tempered by waiting for catty_big to return with his reply, since it would be a shame to decide without hearing his promised feedback.

    Tonight in the spa I thought of my favorite name so far: Trust No Powers.

    It's simple, memorable, and fits both the game mechanics (the Player's ingenuity is even more important than the PC's skill or talent ratings) and the setting (even the apparently "good" Powers cause problems because any virtue becomes a vice when exaggerated).

    I could reword that injunction as Don't Trust the Powers or Neither Skills Nor Powers or Weaving with Skills and Powers, but I prefer the most concise form.
  • edited January 2014
    I like Trust No Powers. It vaguely implies that, without the warning, you might be inclined to trust them, which is appropriate of a naive character seeking greater maturity. The title also has a subtle anti-authoritarian bent, which might be appropriate for a youth facing a world of adult perils.

    The only downside is the "Trust No One" connotations of conspiracy, spies and intrigue, which are wholly inappropriate. Hopefully a good subtitle and illustration would clear that up.

    Here's a thought: tacking an exclamation point onto the end, while perhaps a bit cheesy, might convey that this is more of a fun, empowered, and kid-friendly game, and not a grim conspiracy.
    Trust No Powers!

    (As before, all this is subject to whether I really understand the game or not, so please judge accordingly.)
  • edited January 2014
    Part of me likes Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring, but mostly that name makes me want to sing "Woo hoo" [snip]. ).
    Well, @w00hoo would welcome that I’m sure.
    Something like Quest of the Nine Powers could also work in that regard, but it sounds like a Choose Your Own Adventure (which isn't necessarily bad) or a teenage fantasy novel (which could be).
    Works for me, and I don’t think it sounds too much like a teen fantasy novel. I mean, it hasn’t got vampires or werewolves in it. Anne Rice? Nah, chips for me please.
    Thinking more on the word mettle led me to the word resolve, which fits both determination and problem solving. Clever Resolutions or Deft Resolve are yet other ideas.
    Can’t say I find these appealing. And, while mettle, flow and resolve are ok words in themselves, I don’t think they really work as elements of a game name.
    I feel like in RPG land "Adventure and Daring" is a bit generic
    That's not necessarily a bad thing. And to the general point that the name should describe what the game does, again, not necessarily. What the name does is makes someone pick up the book in a shop or trade stand, click on the link on your website or forum, or sign up for a game, and in many ways the less specific the better: you want as many people as possible to pick up it, and ultimately buy it, and remember, these people aren’t always RPers necessarily. In marketing terms, the name sells a dream, rather than explains exactly how to get there and what to do when you arrive. It also has separate resonances from the explanatory material. Think of Scrabble: does that describe putting little plastic tiles next to each other to make words? No, it refers to the sound made as you rummage around in the pouch for your next bunch of letters.
    Nine Powers: Tales of Heroism and Loss
    Nine Powers: Tales of Wonder and Terror
    More like it; of the two, I’d prefer the latter, as loss is a negative- marketing again. But…
    Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and DaringThis is by far the best suggestion I've seen here.

    Seriously, don’t sweat it too much dude, but obviously naming is an important part of the design process, and you’re right to be taking it as such. Hope this thread has helped. Oh and:
    May your tax return go smoothly, catty_big.
    Thanks! Finally submitted it this afternoon, hence my return to these blessed shores. Every year I tell myself I must get down to it much earlier, and every year I fail to do so :p.

  • Thanks once again for all the helpful feedback.

    A question about connotations: what seems the difference between
    Nine Powers: Tales of Adventure and Daring
    Nine Powers: Tales of Cloak and Sword

    I have realized that mystery, intrigue, and espionage are part of how I design plots for the sample adventures. Should words to that effect be in the game's byline? Or does anything related to cloak-and-dagger too strongly suggest corny melodrama?

    Also, since everyone (including my wife) likes Nine Powers, I need to start a new forum discussion about whether the current nine are "complete enough" or if I am neglecting anything obvious. It would be a shame to commit to the name if an upcoming revision added more Powers!

    For the sake of completeness, I'll add that my wife prefers Nine Powers: Great Adventures Made Easy to the two bylines above. She wants to say, "Honey, let's play Nine Powers GAME" because she is fond of the acronym. But she can always call it that despite what the website says.
  • Tales of Adventure and Daring has stumbling points and slurring issues at both ends of Adventure. Tales of Daring Adventure flows a lot better.

    Cloak and Sword sounds like a game about scoundrels, rogues, and thieves. Daring Adventures are things that heroes do.
  • Thanks, Johnstone. Exactly the kind of connotation-checking I was after.
  • edited February 2014
    @Johnstone Understood, but I think the and adds something to the name.

    @DavidVS One thing that occurred to me is you could set up an online poll. You could feed in about a dozen names, collated from this thread, and ask people to vote for one (or two maybe).
    You could either use a forum that supports polls, forex RPGGeek or UK Roleplayers, both of which I'm a member of, so I could set one up for you if you'd like, or there's the publicly accessible Survey Monkey. Just a thought.
  • edited February 2014
    What I mean is that in my mouth "Tales of Adventure and Daring" becomes more like "Tales of Venturing Daring." So all I see the "and" adding is a second opportunity to slur words together (of+adv being the first). Granted, I am the guy who once was talking about getting his bachelor's degree when someone asked "are you saying bastard's degree on purpose?" (and I wasn't, although I do now) so take it with a grain of salt.
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