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Setting names


kristof65
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I'm currently working on an alternate universe setting for the Traveller RPG, and I'm having a problem coming up with a name for the setting. When I think about it, for that matter, I'm have a problem coming up with a name for any sci-fi setting.

 

Fantasy settings seem easy - pick something that sounds fantastic or descriptive, and apply it in some fashion. Tons of game designers, authors, GMs, etc have done this.

 

But it doesn't really seem so easy for sci-fi settings - look at the big two - Star Trek and Star Wars. It seems like most of the memorable futuristic settings have Star, Space or Planet in them: Stargate, Forbidden Planet, Lost in Space, and so on. If it isn't one of those three, it seems to be something that refers to the type of government - the Foundation Trilogy; or a war - The Posleen War series; or the capability of making war - The Lost Fleet series, or a person - Kris Longknife, Honor Harrington, etc.

 

Not sure what I'm really rambling on here for - it's not like I want someone else to come up with my setting name for me - I guess I'm just looking for inspiration...

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Nothing wrong with using a mythological name for a Sci Fi setting. After all the constellation names are based on mythological creatures even the home system in the Honor Harrington series is Manticore and one of the planets is Griffon (I'm sure its not spelled that way but you get the idea). In fact David Weber uses mythology names in almost all his books. Should work just fine for you.

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I suppose mythology would work, if it wasn't Greek, Roman or Norse. That would seem to contradictory to my setting's future history, which is dominated by India and China.

 

Anyone know any good myths (or even history) from the Far East regarding smaller armies managing to utterly defeat larger, more powerful ones?

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The Fiendish Star Empire of Fu Manchu

Stellar Blossoms

Dragons of the Stars

The Qin Dynasty Wars

Seven from Planet Xian

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Blaster

The Warring Stars Period

The Emperor's Return

Curse of the Terra Cotta Starships

The Mongol Starmada

Khans of the Stars

Sun Tzu's Art of Stellar Conquest

Shaolin Starships

Swords of the Emperor

Once Upon a Time in Qin Space

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Usually, when I name a sci-fi game, I name them after some specific quality about the campaign plot, usually with an "action-y" bent.

 

For space travel, a nautical theme often works, especially if you're waxing poetic. This can seem a bit cheesy to some people, but usually those people don't have a romantic bone in their body, so who cares about them. "Across the Sea of Suns" is a good example of this.

 

Your own title would work for a game about piracy: Sky Pirates. Or "Pirates of the Stars" if you want to be more lyrical.

 

If you absolutely insist on naming a campaign world with something to do with the Asian theme, unless you're going to be running a tongue-in-cheek game full of stereotypes I'd say away from the more tongue-in-cheek suggestions.

 

Unfortunately, there's a lot of combo-ideas in Chinese that sound really awkward to Western ears (see also, the title of the book "The Joyluck Club"). Chances are names like that would be the kind "really" used. For example, "The Romance of the Joyful Perfume Receptacle" (with the last part being the name of the starship) wouldn't sound too awkward in Chinese, but that's a very odd sounding name to Western ears. Even if you transliterated the name to something like "Tale of the Lucky Perfume Bottle" it still wouldn't sound that great, but imbuing a title or venture with a word of good fortune is big in naming, sadly. Though, "Tales of the Lucky Venture" actually doesn't sound too bad (especially if it's like Serenity and the ship's captain is anything but lucky a lot of the time, where the name starts to sound a little ironic).

 

All that said, here's my ideas. Obviously they won't all apply to your universe (especially if your universe is balkanized and not under some united and ancient Chinese Empire):

 

The Empire of the Dragon Throne (yeah yeah, I know *yawn* but it works)

Traders on the River of Stars

Tales of the Jade Stars

Tigers of the Misty Nebula

Mysteries of the Stars of the Jade Fan

The Lantern of Stars

The Dowager's Mask (which would be the name of a star cluster or something)

 

More military-sounding titles might be something like:

 

Letters of the Invincible Army

Banner of the Immortals

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Or you could go for a pulp feel and call it "Star Warriors from Planet X in Space" ::P:

 

I want 3.14% royalties on that if you use it. :blues:

LMAO. Wasn't there a B-movie named that?

 

 

Your own title would work for a game about piracy: Sky Pirates. Or "Pirates of the Stars" if you want to be more lyrical.

My board title actually came from one of my fantasy campaigns, Yrazul. I've been working on a RAGE based minis game dealing with ship to ship combat off and on. So I don't want to use that, for obvious reasons.

 

Thanks all. I wasn't actually looking for specific suggestions, as this is potentially a commercial product, just trying to get inspired. And I was. I did shy away from the Asian names in the end, simply because I don't want to have to have the setting overall too heavily influenced by any one particular culture.

 

I've got several possibilities now, though they may change later, primarly based on the nature of FTL travel, but ideas I wouldn't have come up with without reading the various ideas presented here. And better yet, I was even inspired for a little fluff piece for one section:

 

"My dad tried to explain it to me once. "Johnny," he said, "the stars we visit are like flies caught in a spiderweb. And our little starships crawl along the strands like little spiders, plucking all that is valuable from those stars. But it's a fragile existance - fall off the web, and you could be lost forever. No, son, it doesn't take much at all."
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