LotRO: What’s in a name?

Original Ranni, my Lore-Master in LotRO

The Original Ranni as she was created.

Many moons ago I beta-tested lots of games. My character names of choice were Ranika and Rakina and I used them for years! When I was accepted into the closed beta for LotRO I created characters with those names but, when open beta started, I decided I was tired of those names. I’d used them for so long I wanted a name *from* them, a way to, I guess, honor those character names but I wanted new at the same time. That’s how I came up with the name Ranni. It was, for me, a shortened and cuter version and I thought I was being original. It wasn’t until a few years later that I finally looked up the name Ranni to see what it meant.

I’d been getting gob_tons of weird tweets on Twitter that I did not understand. Most were in a language I didn’t understand but, almost daily, for a couple of years, those tweets came in by the bucketful! I learned that Ranni was the name of a village in India and meant “Queen of the Eastern Hill lands”. There is also a Bollywood actor and a sports person with Ranni, or some form of, in their names. Those last two, I learned, were the reason for the tons of tweets I was getting.


I’ve been a bit dismayed with my main server’s world chat lately. The fighting, the elitism and the religious and political debates are happening more frequently and, at times, it kills my want to play. I could turn world chat off, yes, but I like to keep it on for the lively conversations (that are light-hearted and fun) as well as questions from folks just starting the game. Easy going banter doesn’t always break the immersion for me but that’s not happening as much when I’m playing so I decided to create a new character on Laurelin, the EN-RP server hoping to find a more peaceful world chat community. Given this is the official RP server I didn’t want to slap any ole name on my character but I couldn’t think of anything fitting. I decided to use the random name generator on the character creation screen to make sure my new Minstrel had a name befitting Middle Earth on an RP server. After much click-through I saw a name I really liked.

Piba, my new Hobbit Minstrel in LotRO

This is the best of the 3 pictures I have of her.

I created her knowing I wanted to give her a back story. I thought about this as I was folding laundry, before creating her, and decided she’d be a Minstrel and a cook who wanted to travel past the bounds of The Shire in order to please folks with her music and her goodies, you know, make a name for herself. We used to have these story telling events on Windfola where people would bring their baked goods and a poem or song they’d written and, usually, around a campfire, we’d enjoy an hour or so together as a break from the heavy ‘war is coming’ story lines of Middle Earth. This was the inspiration for this character.  I knew I wanted a short name, one that was unique and easy to remember. When I saw the name Piba I immediately thought of the pibgorn in game. HOW CUTE? And fitting, no? I accepted the name and entered the world quite pleased with myself. I was standing in Archet about to start on her Bio when I decided to look up the meaning of this name so I could work it into my story.

People. Look.

Screenshot of the definition of the word Piba

What is that? What the ever_lovin_heck is that? I can’t use that in my back story else it’d give a whole new meaning to making people happy with my goodies. A.R.G.

So, for now, Piba doesn’t have a back story on her bio page. I thought about rerolling her but, in the end, I really like this name. I don’t yet have a last name and that’s bugging me. I want a name to reflect her baking/cooking but I’m clueless. It’ll come. I had an amazing time on Laurelin last night and it was exactly what I needed. Hopefully I’ll have her story worked out and a last name for Piba soon.



Posted on June 1, 2016, in Blogging, Gaming and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Whenever I pick a name, I feel I’m “off” somehow and that I’ve missed a chance. Normally, the name then builds its own meaning by its association with said game. I need better names.

  2. During the F2P beta, I used the name generator and of all the weird names it gave me, I kept Evil and Hay (that I remember); Evil cracked me up because of some of the dialogues from NPCs that add your character’s name to them just made or funny sentences.

  3. I’m surprised you could create a character on the Euopean server, I thought that wasn’t possible anymore.
    I have a file of character names I’ve used or like the sound of that I look at first. If none fit the character I’m making, sometimes I’ll roll through the random character name generator and use part of one of those to get a name I like.
    I’ve been playing on Landroval and don’t watch chat too much, as I’m usually out somewhere trying to stay alive. It is generally pretty civilized, with some pretty interesting lore discussions.

  4. handsomerob14

    I feel your pain. Every time i think upa name i’m dissapointed a little. Sorry for thw difficulty that you face!

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