This foul-smelling liquid gives the drinker the ability to talk to animals for 1d6 minutes
[Cover by Alex Rosario on Unsplash]
A Potion for Success
In the post about resources for building RPG generators I mentioned starting a series on building random generators.
I'm using the theme of Magic Potions. It ties in with my next big generators project (Treasure) and can be used across games and genres. We're make it game neutral so we don't have to worry about rules.
With tweaking they could easily be chemical drugs for cyberpunk or a weird scientist's concoctions.
I'm starting with a single sentence as the basis for the generator. We'll get onto multiple and more complex patterns in future articles.
This [green] liquid gives the drinker [enhanced strength] for 1d6 minutes
The Components of Potions
Each section in square brackets we'll substitute for short lists to give variety. So "This green liquid" could be "this bubbling liquid", "this red liquid" or "this so bright it almost blinds you liquid".
There are lots of other components we can vary with a potion including
- Side effects
- Things floating in the liquid
- Unfortunate consequences if combined with other potions
To start with I'm picking one descriptive word and an effect.
The 1d10 descriptors for our first list are
bubbling, green, foul-smelling, red, thick brown, fizzing, glowing, blue, orange, slimy
Half are colours and a few will give players a little to think about. A slimy potion might be less attractive.
In Chartopia this is implemented as a Subchart called Liquid Descriptors. Then using "Insert Chart" and selecting "Liquid Descriptor" under Sub-Charts
In Perchance we add these values to the list "liquid_descriptor" and our text becomes
This [liquid_descriptor] liquid gives the drinker [enhanced strength] for 1d6 minutes.
The 1d10 potion effects are
- enhanced strength
- enhanced agility
- enhanced vision
- the ability to talk to animals
- immunity to fire damage
- the ability to fly
- an enhanced sense of smell
- the ability to climb any surface
- immunity to fear and a nosebleed
- a massive headache
The first eight are standard potion effects, and easy to adapt to different systems. No 9 "immunity to fear and a nosebleed" gives a useful effect and also a memorable drawback. The last gives no benefit at all, in the tradition of not trusting that potions will do something good.
Using "Insert Subchart" in Chartopia we can stick it into the template. It will appear as CHART(11111) where 11111 is the unique number for your Potion Effects subchart
So the first version of the potion generator at Chartopia is ready to roll on.
In Perchance we add these values to the list "potion_effect" and our text becomes.
This [liquid_descriptor] liquid gives the drinker [potion_effect] for 1d6 minutes.
The perchance Potions Generator V1 is also ready
That's enough for the first stage. We have a simple potion generator with 100 variations and two random tables.
In future articles we can look at input variables, expanding subtables, research, multiple patterns and sub-generators.
Here's a bonus image of the Chartopia generator being called in a discord server using the bot Twelves.