Since the first characters of Dungeons and Dragons were generated with six-sided dice (d6s), randomisation has been a large part of many tabletop role-playing games.
We have used dice, cards or other methods to determine the attributes of our characters, populate the worlds around them and determine their successes or failures when characters interacted with worlds, sometimes with unexpected consequences! Traveller and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st and 2nd Editions) are both systems that embraced randomisation in all aspects of character creation!
Sometimes randomisation and choice complemented each other, with some systems embracing it and others attempting to remove it completely. There has been a trend to remove randomisation from many systems
Randomisation for World Building
The randomisation we´re most interested in here is the generation of things to populate the world. Random tables for magic items, wilderness encounters and dungeons have been a staple of the fantasy landscape with the Dungeon Master´s Guide of AD&D 1st Edition a prime example!
Many of the random tables are straightforward such as one d100 roll returning a monster type for a dungeon. We´re interested in the more complex random generation such as magic items, dungeon rooms, detailed encounters, art objects and spaceships!
We will take a look at some of the tools that exist and how randomisation can help out world builders, scenario writers or simply the game master under severe time constraints.
Randomisation Tools at Pie and Dragon
With skills as a programmer I´m intending to provide tools for creating detailed random objects, hooking into whatever ecosystem for random generation already exists and complementing, extending and adding to it.
First up will most likely be random art objects, different types of pies and some random encounters. The random art object will likely get expanded to a full hoard generator, building up from existing tables, pinterest research and feedback from the community.
Leave a comment if you have any existing tools worth looking at or random generators you would like to see!