Friday, February 7, 2014

What's in a name?

Work continues on Hand of Fate, but I've been having trouble deciding on a name for a race in the game, so I thought I'd make a post about it and get additional input.  The race is a subset of Fey that includes all the half-humanoid, half-animals... Satyrs, Centaurs, Minotaurs, Ratmen, Tengu, and Kitsune are just a few of the many possible examples of this Fey type.  Here are the 3 leading contenders for the name and why, but I welcome any other suggestions you may have:

1)  Beastmen.   This is certainly an apt description of them.  It's the name I went with initially, but I worried that some readers might think there are no females because of "men" in the name.  Beast People just doesn't sound right, Beast Folk is a maybe, but I went hunting for other options.

2)  Pooka.  This is the name used in Changeling: the Dreaming.  It has the benefit of being an actual name for a type of Fey, but Pooka is specific to Celtic lore and these creatures are found all over the world.  I figured it would be better to have a more general name and then say they are also known as Pooka or Hengeyokai or other names in certain parts of the world.  Also, calling a huge, angry Minotaur a "pooka" is liable to get you tossed through a window.

3)  Chimera.  In scientific lingo, a chimera is a creature with the DNA of 2 or more creatures, which perfectly describes these half-human half-animal beings.  And the name also has mythological roots, which is a bonus, but those roots are for a specific type of creature, not beastmen in general.  Will that confuse some people?

So, currently the draft says "Chimera", but I'd really like to hear your opinions... do I go back to one of the other choices, or maybe go with something else entirely?

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