Random generation is often used as a tool for world builders, games masters and adventure writers, but they can also be useful for players of RPGs too.
Many players have trouble generating names for their characters, and we've looked at some random name generators before in a post about Random generation resources.
In addition to helping out when stumped for a name, these generators can give an idea of the kind of names used for an unfamiliar culture or setting for those of you who want a character with a name to match their surroundings.
For those times when you are short of time or inspiration, random character generators can provide a valuable service. This may also characters created for one-shot adventures or as fill-ins for a short-term campaign.
The more popular the system and the fewer the house rules involved then the more likely you are to find a generator that can create a decent character. Finding a generator for vanilla Pathfinder is more likely than one for a custom Savage Worlds campaign using a homebrew setting and four different rules supplements!
These could also be used to give inspiration when stumped on what characters to play or unfamiliar with a system. Or for new players who aren't interested in spending an hour generating a character from scratch!
And some of you just like to play something you might never consider otherwise. Like a lottery!
Sometime you want to add more detail for your character, adding the bits outside of games statistics. The background tables for Traits, Flaws, Bonds and Ideals in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition are an example of this.
You can use random generation can be used to determine appearance, backgrounds, pets, apparel, dreams, fears and more.
Again you might be using this as inspiration, when in a hurry or when you are stumped.
Many RPGs have some generators in their core rules or setting rules, specific to game or setting. Legend of the Five Rings and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay both have a good selection of tables.
For a number of tables try the character generation chapter of Ultimate Toolbox.
There is a background generator for Pathfinder which takes into account character race and a couple of other inputs.
Leave a comment with your favourite generators and check back when we add a more exhaustive list of resources!