“All our adventures together make a campaign. We all made up campaign names that we use for our heroes and wizards.”
—“Welcome to PARADIGM LOST,” Paradigm Lost #1 (April 1980)
In the Pandemonium Society, a player usually invents his or her own “campaign name,” which is a nickname used for the player as well as for the player’s characters. Society players tend to have a stable of characters.
Perusing issues of Paradigm Lost and Phenster’s articles in L’avant garde, I’ve gleaned a few things about “campaign names” and how the Pandemonium Society uses them. Though there are no strict rules, the Society does seem to adhere, more or less, to the following guidelines.
“One kid dropped what he was carrying so much, we made him carry the 10' pole. When we saw a monster, he had to drop the pole anyway. We started calling him Jinx, and we didn’t let him hold the lantern either.”
—“Rules the Pandemonium Society Doesn’t Use,” L’avant garde #35 (December 1980).
A campaign name is malleable. It may change according to events in game play or by player whim.
“My character is Phenster Prime, a magic-user…”
—“Riposte Like Fencing,” L’avant garde #43 (February 1982)
To distinguish a particular character, a second name may be appended to the campaign name, either before or after. The secondary name corresponds to a normal character name and is often inspired by the character’s experience. For example, Cypher, a thief, becomes Jule Cypher after she pulls off a risky heist, thereby acquiring a valuable cache of precious stones (L’avant garde #54).
This is not often done before the character has survived a few adventures. Exceptions are difficult to spot in the source material. One may be “Friar Jack Hazard,” who makes an appearance in an adventure run by Phenster (Paradigm Lost #2). It’s just as likely, though, that other of Friar Jack’s adventures are not recorded.
“Now, Mithrellas (her campaign name used to be Cypher) is the most powerful character in the campaign. She’s a wizard of the Seventh Order in the Banelore Cabal.”
—“State of Pandemonium,” Paradigm Lost #5 (October 1985)
There are some instances where the campaign name is dropped, and the character comes to be called strictly by the secondary name. Moreover, there is one clear case, cited above, where the player’s campaign name changes to a character’s secondary name.
When a retainer becomes a player character, it acquires the player’s campaign name. An example is Jinx, who has the habit to name hirelings after their weapon preceded by an ordinal number: e.g., First Halberd, Fifth Spearman. Appearing late in the house-rules series is a “Jinx Second Sword” (L’avant garde #74).
May well there were other cases in Pandemonium Society play that, not having occasion to be recorded, are now lost to posterity. We have license to adapt campaign names to our own purposes.