Lexicon for Random Generation

Here we introduce a lexicon for Random Generation with common terms and definitions. I will update it and think about moving it to a wiki of some sort or an open source site like github.

The Basics

Random Generator: Generates a particular type of item (artifact?), such as a Dungeon Name, City or Password. Usually named "City Generator" or "Password Generator". May be very simple or complicated generation system depending on the item being generated.

Simple Generator: Generates one artifact and does not reference other generators.

Complex Geenrator: Generates one or more artifacts, using other complex or simple generators in the generation process

Artifact/Object / Result: Result returned by a random generator or a random table.. This may be composed of other artifacts into one whole result.

Generation Algorithm: Method used to generate the artifact.

Generation Sources

Source tables: Random Tables and their subtables for a Random Generator

Content Source: The data used to create generated content for.

Random Tables

Random Table: Will return (typically) one option and could be defined by being simple written down. A simple table for colours would be 1d6: 1-2 Blue, 3 Green 4 Red 5 Yellow 6 Orange. A random table could be a simple random generator.

Sub-table: A Random Table that isn't used on it's own, but called from another Table (Example of colours??)

Table path: Path of tables to get a particular result from going through several sub-tables.

Frequency or Range: The Range for which a particular item occurs in a Random Table. Our sample colour random table has the Frequency of 2 for Blue.

Re-roll: Indicates rolling again on the table with the same modifiers

Roll Modifier: Some random tables may have a positive or negative modifier. A Random table needs to be ordered in a particular way for this to make sense. (Examples!!)


Randomisation Method: This is a way of generating a random number or result. This could be a dice, a draw from a deck of cards, the random ball for a lottery result or the third person to walk through a door.

1d6, 1d100, 1d1000, 2d6: Dice notations where 1d6 would represent one six sided die (result range 1-6), 1d100 would represent a 100 sided die (which does exist) and 1d1000 a 1000 sided die, normally a result achieved by rolling 3 ten sided for the numbers on the units, tens and hundreds. (EXample!). 2d6 represents the sum of two six sided dice giving a range of 2-12.

Bell Curve A bell curve distribution (2d6) is counter to a flat distribution (1d6).


Generator Creator: Creator of a random generator User: Consumer of a random generator, who uses the generator to create an artifact. These might be games masters, players, book authors, adventure writers or world builders in the context of Pie and Dragon and RPGs Other Roles: Content providers, site owners.

A Beginning

Leave a comment or tweet with anything that needs adding or updating.