"...to use them [random generators] as a seed for one's imagination to explore all sorts of fantastic stories, both at the gaming table and beyond"
This time is the turn of Charlie of Ancient Quests
Q&A with Charlie of Ancient Quests
How did you get into creating random generators?
I always liked video games like Dwarf Fortress and Rimworld -- especially the idea of exploring strange and unknown worlds inhabited by weird beings and creatures that create bizarre art and have odd joys and problems. I eventually found that even in those video games; I actually enjoyed the excitement of the randomized elements far more than the repetitive labor of the gameplay.
This led me to first browse random generators - Donjon's was my first love - and then create my own to add my own style. Moreover, I was overjoyed to find that DM-ing table-top RPGs dove-tails with this hobby quite nicely. I started by making small random generators to be used with niche play-by-post roleplaying communities, and soon graduated to DM-ing real tabletop D&D which I've loved ever since I started, and making generators for that.
What generators are you most proud of creating and why?
In my current project, the Ancient Quests GM Generator, I am most proud of the world generator because I am confident that it genuinely surprises the user and genuinely evokes a new theme, atmosphere and feeling with each re-roll.
I am also proud of the Loot Pile generator. It is able to very quickly create a wide variety of treasure that is usable, is fun, and is not too overpowered, by offering plenty of odds and ends, reasonably powered magic items, and plenty of powerful but single-use-only items, which are really fun combined with a gadget-user class such as 5e's Thief.
What is the most fun thing about creating generators?
It is by far to use them as a seed for one's imagination to explore all sorts of fantastic stories, both at the gaming table and beyond.
What are the most painful lessons you've learnt from creating generators?
Coding is hard, but rewarding! There have been several points where an extremely simple fix took an extremely long time.
Most recently I spent 12 hours with an inexplicable crash bug in my Mobile version of my generator, unable to know what went wrong -- turns out all I needed to do was add 1 word to the code!
How do you use random generators yourself?
To come up with ideas for both D&D game play, and for ideas for my rules-free roleplaying engagements, as well as for story writing ideas, and simply for daydreaming fun.
What are your next big projects (generators or otherwise) that you can talk about?
I have just submitted a mobile version of my App to the Android Play Store, and I'm excited to share it there! Check it out here and let me know of bugs. The website version is free while this app has a small price, so the app can be used as a way to support development.
Where can people find you on social media?
I try to avoid social media :-)
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
As mentioned above, I just submitted a Mobile version of my Ancient Quests GM Generator to the Android Play Store, so very soon, you can use it on Android Smart Phones.
You can find more creator interviews on Rand Roll.
What do you like about the Ancient Quests generator?