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Author Topic: Naming Dream Rules  (Read 2105 times)


Naming Dream Rules
« on: May 15, 2019, 09:57:05 AM »

Naming Dreams

Kimeti, kiokote, and acha are not named by their parents, nor do they choose their names. Instead, every one of these kin has a profound dream while he is still in his sac, and this dream determines his future name. Each is born with an instinctive knowledge of this name and it is often the first words he speaks. Some Kin have nicknames, which are either merely shortened versions of their names, or clever words that mean the same thing (Chirp for Cicadasong, or Bob for Up-and-Down, for example).

For this reason, names are a big deal in Matope and we encourage you to be creative and reasonable with them. Names in Matope must:

  • be unique, no two kin have the same name or the same dream;
  • be a real word, an English word, and not too scientific a term;
  • be familiar to a swamp-dwelling creature who has some ancestral knowledge of other climes (for example, names referencing deserts, tundras, etc. are exceedingly rare but not unheard-of; names referencing the Swamp are much more common); avoid these if possible;
  • must not reference human culture too directly, for example by being an item Kin would not have/cannot create due to lack of thumbs and materials, or referring to particular human-specific mythology;
  • be relatively short--more than a few words is too long;
  • be spelled correctly, although whether you use British or American spelling it up to you; "creative" spelling, even if it's just an extraneous "e" at the end of a word, is NOT allowed.

Naming tips:

  • Keep it simple! This doesn't mean one-word names necessarily, but it does mean simple words and phrases that avoid elaborate terminology. "Smiling Aura" is preferable to "Felicitous Ambience."
  • We will be buckling down on words that imply complex systems of science. General/generic/common names for stones and plants are fine (Diamond, Jasper, Pearl, Orchid, Lily) are fine, specific or Latin names are not (Chrysoberyl, Clinohumite, Epidendroideae, and Asteraceae). When in doubt, simplify.
  • This doesn't mean we don't want you to exercise a good vocabulary. Just be reasonable.
  • Names that imply major social taboos will be rejected. Names that imply cannibalism, incest, rape, etc. will be rejected, primarily for OOC reasons but also because the Swamp is unlikely to bestow her own children with such a name, even if they engage in such practices. Minor vices--lying, unfaithfulness, etc.--are fine as names, and in fact we have a Kin named "Rotten Liar." A Kin named Philanderer would be unusual but not unheard-of.
  • Probably the absolute best way to approach a name is to approach the naming dream first, and then the name, even if you never plan on writing out the dream. It makes it easier to ensure you've chosen a solid one that won't give your colourist a headache.

Totoma Names

Unlike the other Kin, Totoma are born live. This means that, strangely, Totoma are robbed of Naming Dreams. In a concept that will surely seem incredibly alien to the other Kin, the Totoma neither dream their names nor are given them by their parents: instead, Totoma earn their names through some act of bravery or valor. Your Totoma will be certed as "Totoma" until he is an adult, at which point your chosen name will be assigned to his cert under the assumption that he has earned it (meaning yes, you will choose a name for your newborn foal). Please remember that this severely limits available names for Totoma: be ready and willing to explain what act gave your Totoma his name. This also means that phrase-names like Carries-All and Spills-Blood are far more common than single words, although these do exist. The Totoma do not go in for purple prose and flighty poetry, so make your name as simple and straightforward as possible.

To die nameless is the greatest shame a Totoma can face (and so the name Nameless is not an option for your Totoma, in much the same way we would not name a baby Coward), and so some older nameless Totoma are driven to perform suicidal acts of sacrifice to earn a name. These unlucky but brave few are given the post-mortem honorific "who-died-honorably," such as Travels-Far, who-died-honorably: perhaps a Totoma who perished in his journey to the Swamp.

While nearly all Totoma names are the result of physical strength, even the Totoma recognize that not all are so hardy. Therefore strategic intellect, stealthiness, a talent for tracking prey or enemies, or even a particular knack for singing the glory of fighters or honoring the dead can earn a name, although this path is more difficult than simply performing an act of strength or hardiness.

The Bottom Line:

The key to a good name in Matope is this: keep it simple. Avoid 'purple prose' names. Don't dive into the thesaurus. Remember that these are swamp creatures and, while intelligent, they are not an advanced society, and these names are a translation of a concept into words. Do it as neatly and as succinctly as possible!

Staff members will review all names before certing, and if yours is borderline, questionable, or inappropriate, they will send you a PM to let you know, and to find something more suited to the world.

Writing Naming Dreams:

There are almost no restrictions on naming dreams. They can be long, short, even one sentence--they may even be a drawing to represent merely a strong image. Feel free to break out of your comfort zone and be creative in your formatting--these are dreams, after all, and dreams follow no rules. Frequently these dreams express something about the personality of the Kin, but they absolutely don't need to.