Naming the Game

Hey there :slight_smile:

I would like to entertain some lighthearted brain-shaking about a silly topic: help me name my game! :grin:

We all know how hard it is to name a character. Well, naming the whole game is even harder! (at least for me :sweat_smile: )
I am currently torn between different directions, different souls if you will, and therefore I can’t settle on a name that would convey them properly.

So, let me tell you about the (still in development) game, and its salient features.

  • It’s about delivering the OSRest game experience possible, but with zero fucks given to nostalgia and old mechanics. It will check as many boxes as it can from the Principia Apocrypha , Finch’s Primer and other sources… but will probably do it in its own way :stuck_out_tongue:

  • I mean, proper focus on procedural exploration, story is there but mostly just an excuse to go adventuring, funnel-dungeon levels of lethality, play the Player not the Character, play the World not the Story, reward good ideas and creativity, etc… the good stuff :wink:

  • the main differences from a “normal” game of such kind are:

    • Players have their own play-sheet, and based on that they create on the fly a Character to play with

    • The game starts gmLess and in medias res… the adventure is already underway, you are already deep within the area, you have already fucked up and have been on the run. NOW you have a moment of respite to regroup. The game starts here.
      (unless it’s the continuation of a previous session, optional but possible)

    • Whenever a PC dies, and they will die like flies, their Player takes the role of “The Enemy” … basically a GM role shared by all the dead Players.

    • The adventure is over when all PCs are dead, or when all survivors escape the area/dungeon. Achieving the main “quest” is nice (gives you lots of XP) but optional (no survival? no XPs!) (or at least, much less than if you survived)

    • The trick is that the XPs go to the Player, not the Character. This way the next time we play you can create a new, slightly better PC, or re-create the previous one with, slightly improved, qualities and equipment. A classic Rogue-lite mechanic.

    • The focus is on survival first, and on adventure-performance second. Combat and violence are by no means the only solution, and definitely not the best or most convenient, most of the time.

Now… I can see it played in many different styles. Very serious, or very gonzo. Very grimdark, or very bright and hopeful. And in many different kinds of settings. The core rules already (should) work seamlessly in a dungeon as well as in a city or a forest etc.
That’s where I have trouble finding a fitting name.

I would love something iconic and meaningful like Trophy or The Well. But such names come from a specific feature of their (minimal but very evocative) setting. At the moment I have no such thing, partly because I would like for the game to be as dark or as bright as the Players want… and tying it to a specific setting (with its own tone and images) might hinder that (? :thinking:)

Some names I came up previously are FUBAR Dungeon and Old School (mis)Adventures.

But “fubar” is also part of some other game… better not to mix things up.

And both names mostly refer to the idea that the PCs have to deal with a fucked up situation. Funny and accurate, but not really inspiring?

Also, it feels a bit like mocking the style of play that I would instead like to celebrate :confused:

Any ideas? :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Fascinating challenge!

It sounds like a name that conveys the lethality of the setting and short shelf lives of the characters might be helpful in highlighting what makes this game unique. What about:

As Good As Dead
Dead Adventurers Club
The Dungeon of Slim Chances
Survive the Dungeon
The Mess You’re in


My two cents: Your fears about picking a default setting are unfounded. Having a default setting makes it not only easier to name your game, but much easier to make strong choices about its mechanics. And you can always clarify that GMs should feel free to adapt the game to other settings.

Except, as mentioned, the game is gmLess :stuck_out_tongue:
It is supposed to have zero or minimal setup.

  • it’s set in a something something fantasy world
  • the quest, its general location, and the overall starting situation are determined by a very brief series of tables providing something something evocative that the Players will use to flesh out the needed specifics
  • the PCs are similarly defined by “traits” representing training, qualities and equipment; but the “flavour” of these depends on the Players: you could play a brave mouse from the Cheese-city militia (:mouse:), just as easily as a reanimated skeleton florist with a penchant for “bone jokes” (:skull:), or ye olde human grave-robber with a personal hygiene problem (:dagger:).
  • the rest is then as serious or as gonzo as the Players want, with mechanics to get on the same page, and stay there with small course corrections as needed.

Considering that you only ever play “the delve” there is little need (or point) in defining anything that is not right there, in front of the PCs’ noses during “the delve”.

And I mean… what’s the setting of Knave anyway?
What’s the setting of Tunnel Goons?
Cairn and Trophy Dark barely mention “a forest” as the main place of danger and adventure.

But I digress :stuck_out_tongue:
@flyrefi do you have any name suggestions based on the info you know have of the game? :smiley:

How about: Old School Apocrypha

Too cryptic for the general population?
Too close to home for the grognards?
Sounds presumptuous?
Or just unexciting?
Too serious?


I mean… the game aims to offer a play experience comparable to that of classic old school style, baking into its rules as much “culture” as possible. But it does so in a non-canonical (aka apocryphal) way :stuck_out_tongue:

Is Olden Dangers 'n Delving too on the nose? :sweat_smile:

Or, some random ideas…
Together We Delve
Grognardpunk (more than the game name, this could be its genre :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )
Uneven Odds
Like Flies
Unknown Delves
For Today We Delve

Game title: “We’re All Gonna Die”

Ooooh, it is kinda vague but I’m not going to lie.

Like Flies is really evoking some stuff in my imagination nodules…

1 Like