I've been wracking my brain, on and off, since then, but still haven't come up with anything that I'm 100% set on. So I thought I'd throw it out to wider input once more to get some fresh ideas.
Here are the more refined criteria of what I'm looking for in a name:
- Evocative. The name should evoke something about what happens or features in the game (e.g. adventure, exploration, wonder, magic, the underworld, etc.).
- Non-descriptive. The name should not attempt to describe what the game is (i.e. that it's an old-school RPG or whatever). The intention is that a subtitle will carry that meaning.
- Accessible. Anyone who understands English should be able to get the vibe of the name. It shouldn't require knowledge of RPGs or the old-school scene. (Of course, I'm not expecting complete novices to get that it's an RPG, from the name alone, but it should at least sound cool or intriguing.)
- Genre-spanning. The name must encompass more than just classic fantasy. There are plans for a whole range of genre supplements, ranging from mythic Japanese fantasy, through post-apocalyptic, to sword and planet.
- Unique. The name should not be similar to the name of an existing RPG, boardgame, or computer game. Ideally it should be easy to google and should not come up with loads of hits for other games.
- Short. Ideally. Something like "Lamentations of the Flame Princess" (for example) is probably a bit excessive for my purposes, especially considering that there's going to be a subtitle, a book title, and probably a B/X compatibility logo on the cover as well.
Putting all those things together, it's a difficult task!
(You see how "B/X Essentials" breaks at least 3 of the above criteria.)
I've got a big list of ideas, but a few keep bubbling up to the top:
- Hex & Ruin. Sounds kind of apocalyptic / Moorcockian. Just about genre neutral enough to pass.
- Xthonic. I love the underworld vibe, and the unusual spelling makes it unique and searchable. A danger is that no one will know how to pronounce it!
- On the Borderlands. A little on the long side, but I think it has a nice ring to it and sounds perfectly multi-genre. (The reference to B2 is a bonus ;) Perhaps not quite as searchable as the other two suggestions.
A dump of a few other names in my list: Chaoslands, Xenolith, Xpanse, Weirdlands, Xerberus, The Creeping Hand of Chaos (a bit long), Blasted Worlds, Purple Worm, Into the Deeps.
Fire away if you have any ideas!