Random Generation has been a thing in roleplaying games ever since the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons and the internet is full of websites with various weird and wonderful generators.
So let´s take a look at some of them!
Random Name Generators
World Builders have to name all sorts of things, Games Masters need names on the fly and Players can spend hours trying to think of a good name for their character.
For inspiration the first place I would recommend is Fantasy Name Generators. There are literally hundreds of generators here. I found generators here for Library Names, Coat of Arms and My Little Pony so take a look around.
3 random elf names turned up "Braern Krisneiros", "Taredd Adric" and "Nesterin Ilihorn". 3 random Islands turned up "the Howling Ait", "the Roaring Island" and "the Pure Atoll".
There is another decent Fantasy Name Generator at Rinkworld.com. Part of a larger gaming site, this generator will produce many names to more generic criteria such as medium length, consonant heavy and idiot names. There is also an advanced interface which will require some reading of the instructions. My first three short names were "Phaik", "Cess" and "Atasa". My first three mushy names were "Doodlepuff", "Schnooglemoofie" and "Wuddlyhoney"!
Random Generator Sites
We've mentioned ENWorld before and it has a resource for Random Generators created by the community using a tool called O.G.R.E. (Online Generic Randomizer Engine). Users can create their own or use others, looking at the most recent or drilling down by category. Three of the most recent generators were for a "Random Spell Generator", a "Riverlands/Marsh Settlement Generator" and a "Random Dungeon Room Generator, System Agnostic".
There is a excellent list of generators at at Chaotic Shiny for Culture, People, Places and Names and far more.. Three random picks include the "Motto Generator", a "Zombie Swarm" and "Futuristic Spare Part Generator". Take a look through to surely find something of use.
, a website with a programmer who has written wide variety of generators
Random.org is a little different, going into more detail about actual randomness and providing randomisers for dice (six-siders), numbers, passwords, calendar dates and playing cards. It also gives links to learning more about randomness and statistics.
http://donjon.bin.sh/ has another list of generators, but as well as a general list there are ones specific to systems such as D&D4E, D&D5E and Pathfinder as well as some for Weird Fiction and Science Fiction. Of note are a Random World Generator, Random Weather Generator and SciFi World Generator.
Decent generators also exist in dead tree format, of which I would heavily recommend the Ultimate Toolbox from AEG, which is almost 400 pages of random tables in d20 format to help build characters, cities and worlds in a generic fantasy setting. Favourite tables include "Character Motivations", "Gravestone Descriptions", "Campsite Descriptions", "Rogue Guild Descriptions" and "Random Spoons". Sadly the physical form tends to be fairly expensive but it is available in PDF format at DriveThruRPG.....
Next up would be one of my favourite treasure generators in the 3.5 Draconomicon although this is hard to get hold of. An honourable mention should also go to the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons which has many weird and useful generators included throughout and in appendix C.
Last up are is a generator for random characters at Springhole.net which is a site for writing and roleplaying tips. This won't create the stats for a particular RPG but will rather create you a character personality, appearance or backstory! Useful for gamesmasters, writers and players alike.
That's it for now. Let me know your favourite generators in the comments!