Hyborian Locations

BagoGames: “Conan Exiles” (CC BY 2.0)

If places such as an ophidian, beast-cursed port of reverie with a history lost in the mists of time are close to your heart, you may like this location description generator that owes so much to the works of Robert E. Howard, nowadays best known as the chronicler of a certain barbarian, thief, reaver and king.

The Detail button produces a brief portrayal, while Description spits out a whole sentence.

The place names are generated from syllables, and could still have some bumps ironed out. But I consider the lacking articles more troublesome, as the generator is not yet capable of inserting a suitable indefinite article.




It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Superstition generator

17th century painting of Stockholm, depicting an ominous ‘sun dog’ event in 1535.

This simple generator is a slightly tweaked version of the ‘Superstition Generator’ from Johnn Four’s Role Playing Tips newsletter #356. As this is a direct conversion, there are no options to select from. Just click the button to get the latest rumor from the superstition front.



It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Monsters Are Individuals

Image: Wesnoth community artists.

This is an exercise in making monsters more individual, created for Johnn Four to support his Roleplaying Tips newsletter scheduled for June 8, 2018.

In my usual style, the monster generator has four entry points:

  • Summary: This is just the name of the monster species. No details are included, output like this can be useful when calling this generator from other generators.
  • Detail: An additional tidbit of detail is included, still limitting the output to a single line of text.
  • Description: This is paragraph’s worth of details about the monstrous individual and its pecularities. Now the creature even has a name.
  • Stats: This is a similar listing of monster details, but arranged as a bullet point list for users who prefer this kind of presentation.

All of these options are included in the same generator, they use the same data for randomiaation and present the results in different styles. Each button creates a separate random result.






It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Make Money with Campaign Logger!!1

stash of medieval coins
Wickham Market Iron Age coin hoard (photo: Portable Antiquities Scheme,
CC-BY 2.0).

While I restarted my work with the treasure generator, I kept adding coin-related subtables until I realized that maybe money warrants a generator of its own (which the treasure generator can then call, as required).

So today’s generator is right on the money: it produces different types of coins that should work in most fantasy and medieval settings.

The generator produces results on three four levels, depending on which subtable is called:

  • summary: a terse couple of words just stating the type of the coin
  • detail: a slightly longer description, specifying also the condition and possibly a complication as well
  • description: a one-line description about how the coin actually looks like
  • stats: the description in list format.





It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Arthurian Names from ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’

Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898): “The Lady of the Lake Telleth Arthur of the Sword Excalibur”
This randomizer collects character names from the Arthurian epic Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. The legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are not brimming with gender-neutral names or even surnames, so those options are sadly lacking from this particular name generator.

 

 

Also, the full set of initials is not available for either gender, but the full Campaign Logger table does offer the following subtable options:

  • “{female a}”,
  • “{female b}”,
  • “{female c}”,
  • “{female d}”,
  • “{female e}”,
  • “{female f}”,
  • “{female g}”,
  • “{female h}”,
  • “{female i}”,
  • “{female j}”,
  • “{female l}”,
  • “{female m}”,
  • “{female r}”,
  • “{female s}”,
  • “{female t}”,
  • “{female v}”
  • “{male a}”,
  • “{male b}”,
  • “{male c}”,
  • “{male d}”,
  • “{male e}”,
  • “{male f}”,
  • “{male g}”,
  • “{male h}”,
  • “{male i}”,
  • “{male j}”,
  • “{male l}”,
  • “{male m}”,
  • “{male n}”,
  • “{male p}”,
  • “{male s}”,
  • “{male v}”,
  • “{male w}”

You can call those subtables directly from Campaign Logger like this:

{lib:name-malorian#female f}


It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Modern American Names

map of North America
Image: WikiMedia Commons
This generator produces modern names, based on the most common US first and last names. Select from a random name for a male, female or a character of an unspecific gender.

 

 

 

The actual Campaign Logger generator allows selecting the name not only based on gender, but also on the initials (for both first and last names) – so you could request for example a male name beginning with an E and a surname starting with a V:

 


It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Dungeon Adventure

dungeon chamber
screenshot: “Legend of Grimrock” by Almost Human.

This generator produces short dungeon adventures.
For background information, see the Designing the Dungeon Adventure Generator
post.

This generator is intended to give the Game Master an inspirational draft that should be detailed into a more finished description.

 


 

Designing the Dungeon Adventure Generator

Dungeon Adventure is the most complex generator I have written for the Campaign Logger game mastering tool so far.

Before the actual dungeon is created, the generator starts by setting down some variables in the background. Note that the following is the order in which these variables are set, which is not the same order in which they are presented in the output.

Motif
This is the general theme of the dungeon that the Game Master can use as an inspiration when fleshing out the details. Ideally the motif should show throughout the dungeon to give the adventure a distinct atmosphere. The motif can vary from a simple vermin-infested pit to a more challenging infernal portal.

Goal
The goal is simply to aim which the adventurers are trying to achieve in the adventure. In the initial version of the generator, the goal can be either fighting, capturing, rescuing or escaping.

The goal can have an effect on the adventure’s title, as it also randomly sets related  goaldescription and symbol variables that may be used in the title. If the goal is for example fighting, one possible value for goaldescription is “bring me the head of” and similarly the symbol value for the same result would be “blood”. These results could produce adventure titles like “Bring me the Head of the Dark Wizard” or “The Blood of the Hulking Colossus”.

Difficulty
For now the difficulty level is random, but maybe some day it will be possible to choose this via a user-selectable parameter. The difficulty levels are apprentice, journeyman, master, adept and legend.

Villain
The villain is randomized based on the difficulty level. Apprentice-level villains are mostly ordinary humans like cultists and madmen, while legendary villains can be ancient wyrms or demon lords.

Macguffin
A macguffin is a plot device that draws the characters into the adventure. The macguffin may not even have a real purpose for solving the adventure, it is just something that puts things in motion.

Treasure
Currently treasure generation is completely random, although it could well be connected to the difficulty level. The treasure also has a complication that hopefully gives the adventure ending an interesting twist.

Complication
A complication is a factor that affects the whole dungeon – something that creates an additional element of danger or complexity to the adventure.

Scenes
The adventure starts with a hook, continues with a number of action and development scenes and finishes with a finale and a resolution. All of these phases alternate between action and development variants. This means that plot development will always be followed with action, and vice versa. This formula is based on Flint Dille’s beat chart concepts as utilized in Mike Pondsmith’s “Dream Park: The Roleplaying Game” (R. Talsorian Games 1992), as well as Hollywood script formulas.

The Door Dilemma
The room descriptions also list exits, although I’m not sure how useful this is. As the rooms are random, the exits may not always make sense if you draw a map. Therefore the listed exits should be considered only as suggestions.

Maybe some day we will have support for variable matrices and the dungeons can be actually mapped with logical connections between the rooms…

Duration
In the end, the generator also produces an extremely crude estimate of the scenario’s duration. This is based on purely on the number of the generated scenes. The value varies between 90 and 240 minutes.

Friends & Relatives

Raphael: “Self-portrait with a friend” (1519)

Characters need friends and contacts both to ask help from and to rescue from whatever predicament the game master has whipped up this time.

This generator creates one line descriptions of family, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances for just such occasions.


The button calls for the {lib:friend#detail} version of the generator, which adds to the relation either a habit, personality, complication or goal (or a combination of those) to make th person feel more memorable.


It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.

Random Meal

The well-stocked kitchen, with Jesus in the house of Martha and Mary in the background.
Joachim Beuckelaer: “The well-stocked kitchen” (1566)

To complement the Random Drinks table, here is something to go with the brew.

The summary subtable lists the recipe and the main ingredients (when appropriate):


The detail subtable contains information also about the finishing and/or the general appearance of the meal:


Bon Appétit!


It is not possible to specify subtables for generators embedded in the blog, but the source data for this generator is available in the GitHub repository. You can copy and paste the .json file contents into the Generator Service text box and start experimenting with the generator. Subtables can be specified in the resultPattern string.

If you are already using Campaign Logger, open one of your campaign logs, click the cogwheel-shaped Options button, select Manage Custom Generators, then Add new generator… and paste the generator data in the text box. After you save the generator, click the Show Generators button in your campaign log to access the new generator.