Names, And Why I’m Not Using Them

You may have noticed that so far, I have used only labels for nodes. There are no proper names. There are some good reasons this is so.

First, they simply don’t matter yet. I’m mostly focusing on what the entities are and the relationships between them. A name can certainly help, if one comes to mind, but I don’t need a name yet.

Second, in exactly the same way a name can help, it can also hinder. For my purposes, a good name gives an indication of the nature of the named entity. Right now, I want flexibility, so I’m likely to only nail the name down if I have a really solid grasp of the entity being described.

Third, and related to the second, by dealing with the attributes of the elements I make it much easier to fit the content in more places. What I have so far suggests a more or less ‘standard D&D setting’: medieval-style technology and culture, monster in the bottom of the mines, graveyard and catacombs and ruined castle. I could fit the current arrangement into many ‘standard D&D’ campaigns without too much trouble. Because I don’t have names yet, it could also be pretty easily placed in other not-so-standard fantasy settings: Flying Swordsmen would be an easy fit (I’d have to change the shape of the castle, the floodplain might be rice paddies instead, and the monster is more of a terrain feature than something to be hunted down. A weird west setting might be better than a wild west setting, but either one could work.

Applying names can force these decisions. I don’t need to decide yet, so… no names yet.

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