On Random Generators with Russ Morrissey of EN World

The first part of a two-part interview with Russ Morrissey (Morrus) of EN World. I ask the same questions as we did of Emily of Fantasy Name Generators.

Part 2 can be found here.

Generators Q&A with Morrus of EN World

How did you get into creating random generators?

The first time I ever wrote a random generator was using a program called TableSmith which I think was probably around 15 years ago but I couldn't place it exactly. You can find it online to this day I'm fairly sure and it was a Windows app that you download and you make text files which had all the different parameters of your random generator. And I would create random generators for whatever game I was playing, which probably at the time was 2nd Edition D&D.

What Generators are you most proud of?

Probably my tavern generator...maybe because that brings together a whole bunch of smaller generators and I think the way I put them together in quite an easy format to absorb and read. You know a lot of generators sometimes come across as random lists...I think I'm quite proud of the way I formatted it to feel like a natural description of a tavern. It's quite complex, quite detailed, involved an awful lot of different tables but it was fun to write.

Example Tavern

What other Random Generators have you seen that you wish you had made?

None really...but sometimes I see some out there that I think are quite cool.

How do you use Random Generators in your RPGs?

I have an iPad when I'm running a game and I have OGRE (EN World's Online Generic Randomizer Engine). I basically know exactly where all my random generators are...so if I need it for some Technobabble because I enjoy my technobabble generators as well...If I need any of those then I can use them in-game on an iPad on the table in front of me while running a game.

What are your next projects, generators or otherwise, that you can talk about.

Well I know one I'd like to make but I'm not 100% sure that I can. I know that OGRE could do it...but it would involve so much work and such massive tables and such long scripts. But I do want to make a WOIN (What's O.L.D. is N.E.W.) character generator using OGRE. But I think that may be pushing the boundaries. I know it could do it. The tools are there, the logic functions are there, it's just a question of the sheer amount of stuff you would have to script for it.

Where can people find you on social media?

They can find me on Twitter as @Morrus, on facebook as Russ Morrissey and EN World.

Anything else you would like to say about your generators or your RPGs?

I hope people enjoy them, I don't know how many people really use them but they're there for people to use. If people don't then I certainly enjoy using them and I'll probably keep making them as and when I find I have a need for them in my game.

Further Reading

Part 2 of the interview covers more about OGRE and the What's O.L.D. is N.E.W. (WOIN), the RPG Morrus produced via kickstarter.

What did you think of the interview? Leave your thoughts in a comment or at Twitter @DuncanThom