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So What's The Human Called, Anyway? II $1.99 $1.19
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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So What\'s The Human Called, Anyway? II
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So What's The Human Called, Anyway? II
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2012 15:07:05
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19450.

Ithmar Adlard, Emmi Keto, Cassander the Gentle, Luciana Numidicus, Gorm Skull Splitter, Hanish of Girsu, Sunilda the Weaver, Clovis of the Teutons, Kifi of Nuweiba, Mathfrid of Lorsch. Do you recognize these great names? No? That’s probably because I just generated them using Raging Swan’s name generators, So What’s the Human Called, Anyway I and II, two 13 page books loaded with tables for historically accurate name generation.

OVERALL

Not being a historian of any kind, I cannot attest to the historical accuracy of the lists. More important than the historical reality of the names though, is that they do allow you to create names for a variety of cultures that have identifiable differences and distinct characteristics. That said though, the real strength of this product lies not in its content, but rather what you do with said content.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
The layout is clean and simple with readable fonts. Unfortunately, plain is the word that comes to mind when assessing the appearance of So What’s the Human Called, Anyway?. The lack of artwork and preponderance of charts reminds me of a statistics book. However, it’s a name generator, not the catalogue of works at the Prado and the format allows for name generation quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Raging Swan is known for simple, elegant layouts. I expect it just doesn’t work as well aesthetically for a product like this.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The mechanics work exactly as intended and generate tons of different names using two percentage rolls, one for first names and one for last names. If you have a die roller you can speed it up, and if you made an app for that you could do it even faster. Those aren’t really mechanical considerations however.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
While the books are both positioned as name generators, their utility extends well beyond that. It can be used to generate a name for anything. Need a town in an Egyptian setting? You are covered. Need a list of the professions of the businesses on the street? You’ve got that too. Want to instantly have a set of names that define your orc baddies as being a culture apart? Done.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I think So What’s the Human Called, Anyway? is a great product. As I mentioned, the utility extends way beyond simply generating random, culturally-appropriate names for NPCs and I have no doubt it will be making regular appearances when I plan campaigns or build characters. I really do wish it was just a tad more interesting to look at though.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
So What's The Human Called, Anyway? II
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/16/2012 12:22:44
Some people are good at coming up with credible names at the drop of a hat, some people need to work at it... and for the rest of us, there are products like this book!

For this work, the author has delved into some quite obscure cultures to provide 500 first names and 250 place names from sources such as the Carolingian, Egyptian, Germanic, Gothic and Sumerian areas... you can choose to assign a culture to a particular group in your game world or just grab one at random. There are not any last names - you can use place names, the NPC's trade, or say he's 'Son of...'

It is a handy collection, especially for fantasy gamers. I must confess that for contemporary games, most of my NPCs were students from the college where I taught (and indeed there's a published spy adventure out there in which the terrorist gang is named after the members of one class... at their request!), but for most of us, it is a bit more of a challenge when you don't want all your NPCs to sound like the fellow down the street!

Read through the listings and pick names that appeal, or get your percentage dice out... and shortly you will be able to meet Ubara-Tutu of Nippur and his girlfriend Gemeshega (says the reviewer rolling her dice on the Sumerian table).

Naturally, these are just as useful if you need to name your next character and have come up blank when the GM wants to know your name. (I still remember one D&D character whose player was surprised when I asked him why he was named after a pot, saying he'd been playing that character for years... well, 'Samian Ware' could be a name if you aren't into archaeology!)

A useful product to have tucked away for that time when someone wants a name and you have gone completely blank!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
So What's The Human Called, Anyway? II
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/20/2012 11:31:22
This pdf is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages for the lists of names, so what's exactly up?

The names are presented by origin land with three columns: 50 male names, 50 female names and a third column with 50 additional names, Tribal names, Place names or names by profession, depending on the culture of origin of the name.

First are Carolingan Names and while I did not notice a name the German nit-picky linguist in me can't let stand like this: While the French accent aigu is retained, the Umlaut in AltmÜnster has been replaced by an "u", although an Umlaut is just as significant a distinguishing component.

Next up are Egyptian names, with which I'm not as familiar, but skimming through them, I did not notice any botches. The same holds true for the Germanic names - in fact, I was rather impressed by the selection of names here - there are some rather rare names included here that might be uncommon/unknown to even people from Germanic cultures.

In the list of gothic names, a male name is included that means "boarwolf" (Eberwolf). However, this is actually a valid name! One, though, should be omitted in games in German/with people adept at the language: The name "Patza" is a homophone with "Patzer", which essentially means "botch" - way to jinx a character! But again. nitpicking, the name actually exists and is a valid choice.
The final list includes Sumerian names and is actually the list I was looking forward towards - I love the ring of the names and ever since reading the Gilgamesh-epos. Subsequently, I asked an archeologist-friend of mine to skip over the lists and he didn't notice any glitches regarding gender etc. in this list.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any gender-mix-ups and glitches apart from the Umlaut-omissions. Layout adheres to the 3-column layout and provides three tables per page. The pdf comes with bookmarks and a printer-friendly version. Seeing that this time I did not encounter gender-hick-ups, I can't complain about anything there. However, meanings for the names would have been awesome and the bit of additional oomph that would have made this truly awesome. As written, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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