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Punny Name / Tabletop Games

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Punny Names in tabletop games.


  • The names of most items and monsters in the card game Munchkin are punny names.
    • Two of the better examples are the Broad Sword, a weapon only female players could use, and its counterpart the Gentleman's Club, which only men could use.
      • An Expansion for and the namesake card within that expansion for the Super Munchkin spin-off game is called the Narrow 'S' Cape (Narrow Escape) which has with an image of a very thin cape with an 'S' on it similar to Superman's logo. It can be sacrificed no matter what to allow the Super Munchkin it is equipped to to flee a battle, even if they usually wouldn't be allowed to flee (ie. making a narrow escape).
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  • In the fantasy Tabletop RPG supplement Citybook III, the House of Infinite Dreams bordello has a major-domo named Haakon Slash ("hack and slash").
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • In the Eisenhorn trilogy, one of the Daemonhosts is called Prophaniti.
    • Angron and An'ggrath, respectively the Daemon Prince primarch of the World Eaters and the Lord of Bloodthirsters (Khorne's Greater Daemons), noted for their unbridled rage.
    • Kharn the Betrayer, whose name is derived from the Arabic word for "betrayer".
    • Some of the names for humans used by other species fall under this category: the Eldar's term "mon-keigh" sounds somewhat like "monkey", and the Tau's term "Gue'la" sounds somewhat like "Gweilo", a Cantonese slang term for outsiders.
    • One of the Dark Eldar chiefs is named Kruellagh the Vile.
    • Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain books are loaded with punny names. Winetha Phu, the nuns of Gavarone,
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    • The Primarch of the Night Lords Traitor Legion — which has a theme of darkness and terror — is called Konrad Curze. And the name of the Callidus assassin who takes him out? M'Shen.
  • One of the supplementary books for the old d6 Star Wars RPG has a vignette about a ship being captured by pirates. As the ship is being drawn into the pirates' vessel, the captain notices something and begins laughing, to the puzzlement of his crew. The pirate ship drawing them in is called the 'Harmzwuay'. Yes, the ship was in 'harm's way'.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Apes of Rath.
    • One card name made punny by its flavor text: Goblin Offensive. They certainly are.
    • Double-sided cards which do two different things depending on which "side" you play are named after common phrases. There's "Dead // Gone" and "Assault // Battery" among others. One of the comedy sets takes this even further with "Who // What // Where // When // Why".
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    • Two-Headed Giant of Foriys is an early example.
    • The cards of the joke sets Unglued and Unhinged.
    • Quick Sliver. Not a typo.
    • Perhaps not necessarily a punny name, but we do have the character Mangara, whose name is an anagram... of "anagram".
    • Unlike the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game (the East Asian version of Yu-Gi-Oh!), the Japanese version of MTG is somewhat more serious (unless the English version is meant to be funny sometime), therefore the use of punny names is much less frequent. One non-jocular use is for the spelling of the word for "Ogre", which is typically transcribed as オーガ (Ōga) in katakana just like most foreign words, but for the Kamigawa block alone, it is more "mythically" spelled as 大峨 (Ōga, literally "large mountain") in names and flavor texts, probably to make Kamigawa Ogres more mythically Japanese than they are.

  • Warhammer Fantasy: Lizardman names are often Incredibly Lame Puns on real words, such as the names of foods: Xilicuncani (chili con carne), Xhilipepa (chili pepper), Manquoxutni (mango chutney). At least they're getting (slightly) better — Skink Priest Tehenhauin (two in one) used to be called Tini-huini, and was originally introduced alongside Itzi-Bitzi and Tiktaqto.
    • There´s also the Gwakamol Crater in Lustria.
  • The World's Easiest Role-Playing System, A.K.A. TWERPS, was a game that took this to Hurricane of Puns levels for various characters.
  • These are often chosen for character names in Paranoia under the format Name-Clearance Level-XXX, with XXX theoretically being the character's home sector: Anne-R-KEY, Ton-O-FUN, Tra-Y-TOR.
  • Japanese has a rather simplistic phonology, and a system of phonetic notations known as furigana, which enables it to ornate itself with all sorts of colorful puns. And it seems that most recent cards from Yu-Gi-Oh! are designed primarily with puns and pop culture references in mind. These range from some obvious ones such as "Ms. Judge" (who, well, is a judge who "misjudges", and also is the female counterpart of "Judge Man"), to some more subtle ones such as "Kozmo - Dark Rose" (whose English name is "Kozmoll Wickedwitch", and which is based on "Darth Maul" and "Nessarose," an obscure name for the Wicked Witch of the East). Many of these puns only work in Japanese, and in some cases, only in the Japanese spellings; for example, "Yuki Usagi" is spelled with the kanji 幽鬼 (yuu-ki, literally "ghost ogre") that are amusingly mispronounced yuki ("snow", and in conjunction with usagi, forming "snow rabbit/hare", the Japanese name of the mountain hare), which forms a pun so complex that the English name ends up sounding odd and as unpunny as it can be: "Ghost Ogre and Snow Rabbit". In some cases, the puns are too difficult and end up being ignored completely, such as the case of the "Fire Fist" monsters whose Japanese names are blends of the names of characters from the Chinese classic Water Margin and animal names. In other cases, attempts at English punny names are hilariously desperate, such as "Dicephoon" or "Beautunaful Princess" (the latter's Japanese name, again, is a ridiculously convoluted pun). In a few other cases, the Japanese puns completely went over English translators' heads, such as "Reimetsu Jutsushi Kaikuu" (from Kuukai, a Japanese Buddhist monk; in English "Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer") or "Shourei Jutsushi Jougen" (from Genjou, Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang's Japanese name; in English "Jowgen the Spiritualist").
    • One notable pun is used on the name of the card "Yuujou YU-JYO." It was already mentioned in the manga when Jounouchi Tatsuya stops being a bully and starts becoming Yugi's best friend. It comes from the names of Yugi (or Yuugi, which means "game", also as in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Yuugiou) "the King of Games"), Jounouchi and the word yuujou "friendship." The card's less punny English name, "Yu-Jo Friendship" is supposed to be based on Yugi and Joey (Jounouchi's English name).


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