Is that a trait of fallen london or a narrative device? Do people forget thair names? Do they sell their name on the bazaar? Most characters go by their title like "The Duchess" "The Sardonic Music Hall Singer" "The Merry Gentleman" or "The Traitor Emporess" rather than Queen Victoria.
Style choice on the part of the writers, allowing players more scope for their imagination.
There’s certainly some in-story reason for it - we’re explicitly told that no-one is allowed to use the Traitor Empress’s name anymore. Ditto the London Magazine, and, one presumes, all the rest of the people, locations an institutions that have suffered a rename.
It’s also heavily implied that names do have power in some storylines, though whether this applies only to names written in the Correspondence, or any name is uncertain.
There are many reasons not to take a name. It’s far harder to find somebody without one. Especially if they have a common title–there must be at least 37 “Erudite Scholars” in the University, and suchlike. And names just aren’t fashionable. The Traitor Empress herself has no name. Who wouldn’t wish to emulate her Enduring Majesty?
[quote=dismallyOriented]And names just aren’t fashionable. The Traitor Empress herself has no name. Who wouldn’t wish to emulate her Enduring Majesty?[/quote]That sounds like a great explanation! :)
But I read (or heard in a podcast) that some characters have descriptive titles instead of names so that each player can have their unique version of those characters, with whichever names they might prefer. So I guess that means that it’s a narrative device.
I think it’s both. Some characters are generic - there might be a hundred Grizzled Union Leaders or Loquacious Vicars. Others are clearly specific individuals. We’re in a city of namelessness - where all traces of Surface-identities are forbidden, by order of the Masters.
On a somewhat practical note, it’s certainly easier for them to leave generic characters genders unspecified, since English isn’t exactly brimming with gender neutral names.
Also there’s at least one story that makes a lot less sense if you assume the player knew one of the character’s names.
Uh, people have names, they get mentioned as existing, just not by the narration. Usually, some people are actually given names. I suspect it’s just a concession to the MMO nature, giving everyone their own versions of the NPC’s.
What’s in a name? A Rose would smell as sweet if called a Petite Thorned Flower. Coming up with unique names for dozens of chracters in a game is a mind-numbingly onerous and difficult task. The naming systems purpose is useful for informing of the character’s nature while avoiding the need for confusing verbal clutter al in one go. We know the Wry Functionary is a dry diplomatic type working around the Palace, but would this same image be conjured if his name were Sir Herbert Ford?
Of course there are named characters, they abound in the Ambitions. Another useful feature is that the player can interact with said characters, be it through marriage or murder, and it would not be odd to hear that your friend had different dealings with the same character. Why? Because they are not tagged by names but descriptions, descriptions that can be used by multiple people.
edited by Owen Wulf on 11/3/2014