Updated: Jan 6
One of the main tasks a GM has to accomplish is coming up with NPCs. This can be quite the slog if, like me, you create dozens of NPCs for each time the players enter a city or town or encounter a band of travelers on the road. We here at Headless Hydra Press have an NPC generator (we are beefing up our generators so mayhap we will add a name generator soon) but it only provides details of the NPC and not the name. And while we have an article or two or even three about creating NPCs, naming them is an art all its own. So, I present to you some of my favorite NPC name generators that I personally use as a Forever GM.
This one is pretty much my go-to generator in most cases just because it goes several steps further than just a name and includes several details including physical appearance, plot hooks, ability scores, personality traits, alignment, and even some background things in addition to surnames. Some cool names that were generated on the site when I tried it out for this blog post: Gregory Serpentwind, Ragash Shadowslayer, Doran Morningfall, Cedany Duststone, and Cirdire Birlond.
This generator is surprisingly complex and useful when you want a more focused name generator. You can select various language roots for your names which you can mix and match, and you can generate however many names you want at a time. It doesn't provide surnames, however. Still, the versatility provided me with such names as: Cyris, Gadrid, Glovhorna, Aradan, Oymund, and Chatilia.
This one is probably one of the most well-known of the group. It's extremely comprehensive and you can get a name for just about anyone and anything. Need a name for a character and you want it to be inspired by a certain anime or video game? This generator has it with Avatar names, Diablo names, Bleach names and more. Superhero names? They've got it. D&D or Pathfinder? Look no further. There are even generators for classes, towns, and lots more. However, sometimes the names are a little repetitive or janky. Still, it works well in a pinch and is most people's go-to spot for generators. Some of the D&D names I created for this blog post were: Halkas, Ozira, Quabbis Gobblefront, Naelan Drusore, Grymore Flintbane, and Falos Silverhands.
This one is pretty straightforward with an easy-to-use interface. You simply select whichever gender and then first, last or both for names - then select race and you're good to go. No frills, just names. Unfortunately, it only lets you do one name at a time, but there are some good results. Here are some I got while using the generator for this post: Tsarra Caunder, Arnould Géromé, Dahk Turnskull, Lovisa Copperpot, Nidlebis Carbone, and Sancho Milelot.
This one is very well laid out, and they've got a ton of different generators for different fantasy races and classes, second only to Fantasy Name Generator. It also has the added bonus of being able to generate multiple names at once and choose from several different parameters. Unlike some of the other generators on this list, it's very D&D centric. Some of the names I got while using the generator for this post were: Faylen Grady, Elberos, Shaeris Underpipe, Darrielle Frostheart, and Halu the Shady.
This one is a bit of an odd duck in that it has lots of different parameters to fill out, and as such is sort of confusing at first and comes up with some wacky names (you can base some names on a name you enter into a field). However, there are some gems to be found there and the number of options you can check results in some good variation. There are also several other generators there like Hero Names, Business Names, and even Street Names. Some names I got were: Shanderson Sandysorty, Bailas, Antirees Toranic, Lobiel, and Wardblex.
This one is pretty handy because they have D&D name generators for different races, but they also have several other generators for Skyrim names, Fantasy names, and even Sci-Fi names. There aren't any surnames (unless you pick certain categories like Fantasy Names), but there are multiple names to choose from with each click. Some of the ones I got were: Nilvalor, Lestrana, Heinorin, Sylrel, Davon Snowtail, and Savanna Onuldi.
Leave it to Kobold Press to Take all the Work out of generating names and provide some for you, ready to go, without the generation. We love these guys.
Any name generators you love that you want us to check out? Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below! Also, if you enjoy NPC related content, make sure to check out our newest venture called Villains & Villagers! - Joe