"The creation of tables, programming and testing is a cumbersome part that has to be done with patience and a lot of care. But when you see your idea become a reality and you see that the result is useful, it is the most fun."
Interview with Lorenzo and Javier of Role Generator
Q&A with Designers of Role Generator
How did you get into creating random generators?
We started creating random generators on the Android Mobile platform (2017), with an app in Spanish with some simple generators.
Over time we received a lot of messages from players who wanted to be able to use it on other platforms like iOS and in English. (since the app was only in Spanish and paid).
Four years after that we decided to create RoleGenerator, aiming for any user on any platform, in English and for free.
What generators are you most proud of creating and why?
In principle RoleGenerator has generators but also simulators.
Among the generators, one of the ones we like the most is the Random Terrain (Land) Generator. It is quite simple to use but it is a very powerful tool when you have to improvise or want to create new zones quickly. As a creative resource it helps a lot and can also be used on hex maps.
Of the simulators, our favorite is the Trial and Judgment Simulator and the Pursuit and Ambush Simulator. In our opinion it is quite a nice help for DM's who need to resolve these situations in an unbiased way.
What is the most fun thing about creating generators?
Maybe the magic is in that moment when you come up with an idea or need and then the moment when it becomes a reality.
The creation of tables, programming and testing is a cumbersome part that has to be done with patience and a lot of care. But when you see your idea become a reality and you see that the result is useful, it is the most fun.
What are the most biggest challenges of creating generators?
If the generator is simple, the biggest challenge is to make it useful.
You can have a huge database that, if you don't make the result practical, will end up being a generator that you won't use in your games. In the case of more complex generators (or even simulators or map makers where a lot of mathematics is involved) the challenge is making it as coherent as possible.
In random generators this is a bit absurd, since Random already goes against Coherence, being two opposite poles. But the challenge is there. Within all the chaos that a random module can generate, giving it some coherence helps DM's to use it as a creative base and get inspired for their game.
How do you use random generators yourself?
In the design group there are several players who use them in different ways. On the one hand, they use them as creative support when creating campaigns or One-Shot games.
When we are players instead of DM's we use the character creators to give originality and a grotesque or picturesque element for a background. Normally reality always surpasses fiction, so any content created in a random generator, no matter how outlandish it may be, you can turn it around to make sense in the background.
On the other hand, they use random generators when they have to improvise. This helps bring the world to life, immersion and enhance the players' experience.
Are they in a frontier tavern? Having them meet peasants or travelers is something that helps to get out of the way, but adding a half-orc demon hunter who is looking for a sorceress who curiously dresses like one of the players... those moments are priceless.
What is the most interesting generator or tool you've seen?
Of the generators: Dungeon Master’s Design Kit de Harold Johnson and Aaron Allston. (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. ISBN 0-88038-599-5 9780880385992) [or a scanned version on DM's Guild]. This book is a true masterpiece. It is divided into parts, and has one of them that is for generating adventures. Donjon used this database to make one of his generators (Random Adventure Generator), giving digital support to this great content and therefore I think it is the most interesting generator I have seen.
Of the tools: watabou (Oleg Dolya) has the best map creators I have ever seen. In addition, their policy of sharing their work with others is very admirable and says a lot about their love for the role games. It is certainly the most interesting tool.
What are your next big projects (generators or otherwise) that you can talk about?
RoleGenerator was born very recently. The idea of making it grow and see how far it can go helping DM's in their games. This is the illusion with which we started this journey and we hope it will not end.
Right now RoleGenerator has narrative and generic generators, for any role-playing game set in epic medieval fantasy. We have prepared several new modules for specific games such as D&D and we do not rule out in the near future to start creating content for other genres.
We are native Spanish speakers, so it is quite difficult for us to offer quality content in English. Thanks to the collaboration of Orkish Blade (Ben) and authors like Shaun Hately, who allow us to use their contents in English, we manage to get generators with a minimum quality to be used, although there will always be bugs on our part that we will have to solve to improve the tool.
Where can people find you on social media?
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
We want to thank the content authors Orkish Blade, Shaum Hately and Oleg Dolya for allowing us to use their tables and maps in English to make RoleGenerator more complete.
On the Internet you can find many websites with random tables and generators, and the more there are the better for the players and DM's that use them. Each of them have the essence of their authors and enrich a lot the role playing games.
Thank you very much Duncan for giving us the opportunity to participate in your interviews and help us to make the project known. We hope you liked it and that it was helpful!
You can find more more Creator Interviews on Rand Roll.