- Alliterations. Dungeons and Dragons, Labyrinth Lords, Tunnels and Trolls; while they're all classic games, they're not what the game should be compared with. This game isn't classic, and it's not particularly old-fashioned, although older roleplaying games are its main focus. It also has a good mix of some independent games, Forge-style, if you will. But trying to have a slightly silly name reminiscent of the old classic isn't something that I relish. To people that like D&D, they'll still play D&D. For people that don't like it, they'll have to waste their valuable first impression time on insisting that it's not like D&D even though it has an alliteration.
- Long, Wordy Names. I haven't the testicular fortitude to name a game something like Lamentations of the Flame Princess or Descent: Journeys in the Dark (which isn't strictly a roleplaying game, but c'mon), or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. They imply a certain grandiosity that makes one think of five hundred page games with complex, interlayering rules that I dislike. If my game gets to be more than 50 pages, I'll be shocked and probably have to cut something. My inspiration is the Little Brown Books, not the Encyclopedia Britannica that is 4th edition D&D. Long titles suggest long-winded writing, and a certain lack of economy of words.
- Acronyms. GURPS is a horrible name. Horrible. I don't care what it stands for, when one says the acronym it sounds like a vulgarism for vomit. And if you say it out, it's another Long, Wordy Name.
- Colons. White Wolf lives off of acronyms, and they make buyers sound like idiots. What do they call a game about Vampires? Vampire: The Masquerade or Vampire: The Requiem. I realize that the game is marketed towards people who are interested in a "gothic roleplaying game", but the game would have had a much, much better title of just "Requiem" or "Masquerade." For another stinker, try "Mage: The Awakening." Again, just Awakening would have been a much, much better name. I just don't understand the point of having such a formulaic name. No, "Subject: The Descriptor" is straight out.
I'm currently toying with sticking one-word titles on top of my rough draft and seeing what sticks. For example, the name "Portcullis" makes it sound like a game about defending keeps and "Iron Gauntlet" makes me think of power metal and arcade games.
Clearly, naming a game is an art more than a science, and unfortunately, I'm a poor artist.