Lore-friendly name generator

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dmbaturin's picture
dmbaturin
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The Simple Name Generator that the Downloads section suggests is good effort, but it has a number of architectural problems. First, it mixes up names from all games together, with a considerable speculative element. Second, its data is embedded in the code and it's hard to maintain.

I'd like to present a new take on that theme, a Lore-friendly TES name generator, hosted on modding-openmw.com.
First of all, it's a pure client-side web app that needs no installation (though we are planning to make an offline version). The code and data are under the MIT license, so everyone can host their own copy.
It looks like this:

Second, it allows you to choose the game to take names from, and produces strictly lore-compliant names without any speculation. Right now Arena/Daggerfall and Morrowind are supported, but it's easy to extend with new games and speculative grammars, because...

The grammar of character names is separated from the code and more or less editable for non-programmers. For formal language geeks, it's a context-free grammar defined in Backus-Naur form. It should be intuitive enough without knowing any of those words, but if anyone wants to help with adding data from later games, I can help with the format.

The downside of hardline lore-friendliness is that for some races in Morrowind, there's a limited selection of names. For Bretons or Dunmers, there are lots of possible first name + last name combinations that could appear in the game but don't, but for Altmers or Bosmers, it only gives you names that do appear in the game.
The only bit of speculation it has now is correctly gendered last names for Imperials. Roman last names have inflexions, and many names do appear in both masculine and feminine form in Morrowind (e.g. Artoria/Artorius, Vitellia/Vitellius), so real roman names and "sufficiently latin sounding" ones use different suffix depending on the selected gender.

By Oblivion time, the resident Latin speaker apparently left the team and they started giving Imperial characters incorrectly gendered names, so whether the same rule should used for post-Oblivion names needs discussion.

Any feedback is welcome.

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Aleister's picture
Aleister
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Hey there, I'm creator of small LUA tool that is name generator (link) and MWSE mod based on this tool. Would you perhaps like to join TR discord (link will expire in 1day btw) and talk about some cooperation? I'd like to improve my mod/tool and, at the same time, help to update your tool if possible (as someone said, it's good to have competing alternative if available ;)).

And yeah, you're right about databases embedded in main code, I was going to update it to make dictionaries to be outside of this code but never ended up doing it (so much other projects going on in meantimem etc.).

Side note, I really like that someone did create online tool, tbh that's what I was hoping to have someday, after TR one was no longer available (and the one by https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com is really bad one imho, so I never considered is as viable tool).

The Violet Euphemism's picture
The Violet Euphemism
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Some cool stuff, definitely.

There are actually 2 Bosmeri surnames in Morrowind, forgetting them atm. However as the Valenwood guy I should note the explanation for it in PT/TR lore is mainly that the Bosmeri surnames (including the Bosmeris translations of the Arena and Daggerfall ones) are their tribe's name (so "Anexamus Camoran" was a member of the Camoran tribe, therefore his surname is "Camoran", for example). However, the farther you get away from Valenwood proper the less and less you'll se Bosmer who are members of an actual tribe, and/or Bosmer who do belong to a tribe who care to freely give their tribe name. This doesn't particularly work very well with Oblivion and ESO but consistency was never TES's strong suit.

I do have many Bosmeri surnames made and the translations to all of the Arena/Daggerfall ones. Feel free to poke around the TR/PT discords or ask here if you want me to list them.

Rawr.

dmbaturin's picture
dmbaturin
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As of Discord, I have to say I really hate to see projects moving away from open, standard protocols to yet another proprietary walled garden and hoping it will be different this time. Don't take it personally, but don't count on me—I will not use Discord on regular basis. I will answer on the forum though!

As of Bosmer last names, that is interesting. Where does that lore come from? I haven't seen any information on the Bosmer language yet.
If you post the list, I sure can add a target like "Tamriel Rebuilt".

The Violet Euphemism's picture
The Violet Euphemism
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The Bosmer last names thing is more speculative on my part. In Morrowind there are 2 - Dorn'ke (I believe there's a second but UESP isn't showing it up, hm).
In the Words and Philosophy book, "Benoch" is a Bosmeri last name, and of course the Camorans have been a thing since Daggerfall with many notable members. So last names do exist in Morrowind+ lore, even if in game they seem to be rare. Which is why I made the lore about the tribe names. Not every Bosmer would be a member of a tribe, and naturally the further they are from Valenwood the less likely they'd be part of a Bosmeri tribe, thus the less likely they'll have a last name, therefore you're less likely to see a Bosmer with a last name in Skyrim, Morrowind, or anywhere else but Valenwood. 

Anyways, here's the Arena/Daggerfall surname translations, NOTE: Many of these combinations result in plural prefixes, the prefix plurals are shown in the prefix list:

Prefix: Tya/Tyai (Blue), Calo/Caloi (Fern), Thar/Tharri (Forest), Fir/Firei (Ivy), And/Andri (Moss), Lodel/Lodelthi (Night), Gren/Grenthi (Oak), Elis/Elissi (Pine), Bruch/Bruchei (River), Liil/Liilthi (Shady/Shade), Layn/Layni (Spring), Jal/Jalthi (Willow). 

Suffix: Bruk (Brook), Glenh (Dale), Vylch (Hollow), Vull (Lake), Elvull (Pool, literally "Small-Lake"), Bae (Run), Lill (Shade/Shady), Edhel (Sky), [Th]och (Thorn), Wel (Vale), Wing (Wind), [I]mil (Wood).

Full list:

Tyabruk, Tyaglenh, Tyavylch, Tyavull, Tyaelvull, Tyabae, Tyailiil, Tyaedhel, Tyathoch, Tyawel, Tyaiwing, Tyaimil
Calobruk, Caloglenh, Calovylch, Calovull, Caloelvull, Calobae, Caloliil, Caloedhel, Calothoch, Calowel, Calloiwing, Calloimil
Tharbruk, Tharglenh, Tharvylch, Tharvull, Tharelvull, Tharbae, Tharriliil, Tharedhel, Tharoch, Tharwel, Tharriwing, Tharimil
Firbruk, Firglenh, Firvylch, Firvull, Firelvull, Firbae, Fireiliil, Firedhel, Firoch, Firwel, Fireiwing, Firimil
Andribruk, Andriglenh, Andrivylch, Andrivull, Andelvull, Andribae, Andriliil, Andedhel, Andoch, Andriwel, Andriwing, Andimil
Lodelbruk, Lodelglenh, Lodelvylch, Lodelvull, Lodelvull, Lodelbae, Lodelthiliil Lodeledhel Lodeloch, Lodelthiwel  Lodelthiwing Lodelimil
Grenbruk, Grenglenh Grenvylch, Grenvull, Grenelvull, Grenbae, Grenthiliil, Grenedhel, Grenoch, Grenthiwel, Grenthiwing, Grenimil
Elisbruk, Elisglenh, Elisvylch, Elisvull, Eliselvull, Elisbae, Elissiliil, Elisedhel, Elisoch, Eliswel, Elisiwing, Elisimil
Brucheibruk, Brucheiglenh, Brucheivylch, Brucheivull, Bruchelvull, Brucheibae, Brucheiliil, Bruchedhel, Bruchoch, Bruchwel, Brucheiwing, Bruchimil
Liilbruk, Liilglenh, Lilthivylch, Lilthivull, Liilelvull, Lilthibae, Lilthiliil, Liiledhel, Liiloch, Lilthiwel, Lilthiwing, Liilimil
Laynbruk, Laynglenh, Laynvylch, Laynvull, Laynelvull, Laynbae, Layniliil, Laynedhel, Laynoch, Layniwel, Layniwing, Laynimil
Jalbruk, Jalglenh, Jalthivylch, Jalthivull, Jalelvull, Jalbae, Jalthiliil, Jaledhel, Jaloch, Jalthiwel, Jalthiwing, Jalimil

EDIT: The vast majority of the Bosmeris language so far is my own creation coupled with Hrafnir's stuff. Thoch and Imil depend entirely on if there's a prefix or not. If they're used on their own - it's always Thoch and Imil, if used as a suffix, -Thoch and -Imil will become -Och and -Mil depending on the prefix (with Thoch, it drops the "Th" if it comes after a vowel, with Imil, it loses the "I" if it comes after an "R" sound, or if it comes after a consonant + "D" sound, ie "Nd" or "Ld"). Most of the rest of the unique rules are based on the prefixes becoming plural depending on what the suffix is, it's usually "Li" or "Wi", in some cases "Bar" or "We" sounds, "Calo-" remains singular in everything but "Wi".

Other tribe names include the one from Daggerfall ("Sylch Greenwood" -> "Sylch Bosimil"), and a bunch of entirely homebrew ones like Ziffyl, Corthix, Serlift, Jalkin, Calobar, Krisilthi, Thorimil, Kahnik, Varaneth, Vrayden, Gorothge, and Cosurthor, to name a few.

Rawr.