An in-progress guide to Fantasy, currently covering treasure, potions and maps and pointing at other guides such as fantasy city and fantasy seas. Worldbuilding, characters and other sections still to come...
Aug 2023: Added several new sections.
[Image from Azgaar's Fantasy Map Generator]
This guide is a companion to the Random Tables Titles for Fantasy Guide.
Fantasy is the most popular genre for roleplaying games, and there are several guides existing for different parts of fantasy, including:
- Adventurers, Groups and Companions Guide and a separate pdf guide for characters
- Fantasy Cities Tools Guide and a separate Fantasy City PDF Guide for all urban terrain.
- Fantasy Dungeon Tools Guide and a separate Fantasy City PDF Guide covering all types of underground settings and dungeon adventure sites.
- Fantasy Hinterlands Tools Guide and a separate Fantasy Hinterlands PDF Guide, covering farmlands, roads and villages outside of cities and large towns.
- Fantasy Planes / Otherworldly Tools Guide and a separate Fantasy Planes PDF Guide
- Fantasy Seas Tools Guide and a separate Fantasy Seas PDF Guide
- Fantasy Wilds Tools Guide and a separate Fantasy Wilds PDF Guide
- Dungeons and Dragons Tools Mega-guide.
But some aspects cross through all of fantasy, including treasure, characters, world-building, dark fantasy and other areas.
Velas, Goddess of the Dawn, Myria, Goddess of Health, Mithror, God of Chance, Korion, God of Ice.
from the God Names Generator at Names Nerd.
So for general fantasy worlds its time to start with worldbuilding tools!
For your weather there is PBE Games weather generator, with results such as "Much warmer than average. Cloudy with heavy precipitation. Light winds." and "Warmer than average and increasing. Cloudy with heavy precipitation. Light winds."
For some random heraldry at Create a Random Shield with drawshield.net, featuring many styles and options. Or many at once with Azgaar at Amoria. Another option is Scrontch's Flag Designer with several options for filters
At bit different are star constellations for the skies, gods and legends. Watabout has you covered with Constellations.
Iron Arachne has procedurally built generators, including a Culture Generator with names, organisations, religion, taboos and other cultural details. Also useful for worldbuilding is the Organization Generator, Region Generator and Religions Generator.
Populate our world with all kinds of creatures with the Book of Monsters from Deep-Fold on itch.
If you want a calendar for your world, look at Fantasy Calendar, which has preset worlds and options for generating events and weather and phases of the moon. There is also a Fantasy Calendar Generator at donjon.
Pulling from the more detailed Random Table Titles for Fantasy, we have
- The Tome of Adventure Design (revised) from Mythmere Games has over 500 pages of tables and guidance for various fantasy adventures. If you have the older version you don't need the updated one as it's mostly a formatting update.
- From Dicegeeks there is the Book of Random Tables. This and four sequels are collected in the Great Book of Random Tables. More focused is the Book of Random Tables: Quests.
- Atelier Clandestin has a Sandbox Generator with hex maps and tables for filling them with settlements, npcs, dungeons and other pieces of interest.
- At 300 pages of tables for a dollar (last time I checked), the Fantasy Tome of Lists from JEN Games doesn't fit in Free / PWYW. There is also a Fantasy Tome of Lists 2.
- Never Engine has several highly rated Pay What You Want (PWYW) Encounter Generators including Fantasy Wilderness, Urban (Rough), Urban (Safe) and Civilised Countryside
- Shielddice Studio has Swift: NPC Builder, full of many d66 tables to build and inspire memorable characters.
Nonplayer Characters (NPCs)
You'll need NPCs to populate your games, so let's start with Role Generator's Improvised Character Generator, with lots of details to help bring them to life.
At 5thDnD is a Non-Player-Character Generator (system neutral), with results such as "Rageph (male). The grisled, drunken bloke is sitting down. He is impatient, mumbles too much, and juts his bottom teeth forward. He needs the weather to change.
An ex-adventurer named Evel seeks a company of adventurers to slay the Wyrm of the Golden Desert and retrieve its eyes. Moreover, the party must complete the quest amidst a terrible plague.
Some games know what the characters will be doing, but quest ideas are popular for game prep, sandboxes, rumours and as backups for characters veering off-course.
At dndspeak are 100 Morally Ambiguous Side Quests and 100 Side Quest Hooks. Those side hooks are also available at Dareheart in a Job Board Posting Generator. And at the same site is a Treasure Map Generator with a textual description.
Over at Chaos Gen (me) there are Fantasy Rumours and Plot Hooks, with a filter by environment such as city, wilderness and sea. For something quite different, I also created Fantasy Adventure Icons at Chartopia, with 5-8 fantasy-themed icons to interpret.
Taverns and Inns
Griffon's Rest. Triple Stars. Prince and Lichen. Glowing Witch. Sceptre and Lion. Apple Green Quarrel. Three Royals
...from Random Pub/Tavern Name at Red Dice Diaries. Easily updated to be the Griffon's Rest Meadhall, Glowing Witch Inn or Three Royals Tavern.
Inns and taverns are a staple for many roleplaying games. A cliched and yet reliable start to many adventures is to start them in a tavern. Taverns can also be the the place to find new recruits, search for rumours, restock on supplies. And even to have entire adventures.
For PDFs there is a Taverns section in the fantasy guide.
To generate taverns try DnD Speak's Tavern Generator. Donjon has a Random Inn and Tavern Generator with options of "Townsfolk" and "Adventurers" as patrons. It includes location, description, innkeeper, patrons, rumors and menu items such as "Braised Goose and Boysenberry Tart, Glass of Brandy (2 sp)"
For a venue with a battle map Taverns at Here Be Taverns has one for each location. Menu, characters and rumours included.
The Copper Sanctum has a standalone Not Another Tavern Generator with entries for tavern backstory, bartender, clientele, accommodation and an extensive Food and Drink list. For more layouts Inkwell Ideas has random floorplans at the Random Inn Generator – Floorplan with the option to include things like a cellar, 2nd level and hearth. There is also a separate Random Rumors tool. And one for Inn Menus tool
Role Generator's Random Tavern and Inn Generator has menu, customers and an event such as "A promoter is working his way around the tables looking for challengers to fight the local champion pugilist". Filters for type of tavern include "Island", "On the Road" and "Dwarfs"
For a grimmer version, Glumdark has an Inn and Taverns name generator.
For more names Seventh Sanctum has a Tavern Name Generator with entries such as "The Blue Wand Bar" and "The Spider and Dragon"
The Hellish Scrolls of Phosoli, a set of scrolls bound by leather cords. When first opened, it unleashes an ominous howl
...from ancient tomes at donjon.
For an option without magic items, 5th DnD's treasure tool returns 4 sizes of loot at once, from "minor personal loot" to "treasure hoard". For more specific items generate arcane tomes, magic rings and potions
Roll for Fantasy has a sophisticated tool for random loot generation is a (example below).
The place to start is Azgaar's Fantasy Map Generator by Azgaar. It has a many features and options for creating new continents, including names by culture, biomes, canvas size, number of towns and which elements to show. The maps can be edited and saved, parts can be regenerated and configured and style elements changed. There is also an option to use it offline with some reduced features.
Donjon has The Fantasy World Generator, making a hex overlayed map with terrain, castles, cities and ruins. The Fractal World Generator will make you a global map (with filters). And the Fantasy Town Generator creates settlements of various sizes with winding layouts.
Hexroll is a standalone generator that creates a hex-grid map with various terrains and marked location. Each map has encounters, settlements, npcs, dungeons and factions.
Watabou has Perilous Shores which generates realms with a few marked locations. There are several options to show and hide elements such as cities, hex overlay and forest type. Also known for Medieval Fantasy City Generator which has options for rerolling parts of the city, what legends to display, city size, features to include and number of roads. Cities can also be viewed in City Viewer.
D4 Caltrops has One Hundred Unconventional Potions with unique effects and Dnd Speak has a Random Potion Generator, combining effects from a few 1d100 tables. Fantasy Name Generators has generators for Potion Names and Potion Descriptions.
Fantasy Tool Recommendations
I'll come back and update the Guide so send me any recommendations for tools, tables and pdfs.