Generator Building Part 2 - Banana, Gassy and Volatile Potions

Duncan Thomson

Before expanding the potions generator we're adding more ways to describe them in our first subtable.

This is part 2 of a series of articles on Creating a Random Generator. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here

We're adding some more colours and descriptors from an existing potions article and a word research tool.

New Potion Words

Currently we have two subtables and we'll look at expanding one of them to give more variety.

The descriptor currently has

bubbling, green, foul-smelling, red, thick brown, fizzing, glowing, blue, orange, slimy

Some of these are colours and others describe properties of the liquid or how it is acting.

Next up is to find a few places that describe potions.

Inkwell Ideas has a potion description chart so we'll pick some from there for "color" and "consistency".

There is also a tool at RhymeZone which I use for exploring connected words. We'll use this for further Ideas.

Rhyme Zone Adjectives for Potions

Why Add More Descriptors?

Adding variety is the first reason. And important for maintaining interest for a generator.

If a tools is used a few times variety matters less. But having many results improves chance folks will return.

If it's for personal use variety means less chance you'll get bored of it.

Using tools and existing resources save time in thinking of results and give us words we might not think of alone. Often we'll think of similar ones in categories we hadn't considered before.

Lastly this gives us lists we can re-use in other generators or share with others to use.

Adding Colour

Taking the Inkwell Ideas article we'll start with the colours list.

Of the 74 entries I want at most half, removing ones I don't like, already have or don't make sense.

Removing entries of two colours mushed together or require another roll is first step. Then any I don't know the colour of and duplicates of existing entries.

This takes it to down to 31 extra colours.

apricot, aquamarine, banana, black, brown, canary, chestnut, clear, fuchsia, gold, golden, gray, indigo, lavender, lemon, mahogany, mango, maroon, mulberry, peach, pink, plum, salmon, scarlet, silver, sky blue, tan, turquoise, violet, white, yellow

If you're building your own it's down to personal preference what you keep and what you don't.

In Chartopia I added these into the existing subtable "Liquid Descriptors". Updating tables of lists in Chartopia isn't always straightforward. Here the easiest solution I found was change the view to "csv" instead of "table". I then overwrote the existing list (10 entries) with the amended list of 41 (just the list, no numbers).

In Perchance I added the entries to the liquid_descriptor list, selecting the new ones and the TAB key to line the up with the existing entries.

Increasing Consistency

The consistency ones can all be added as they are. Although two are similar "bubbly" vs "bubbling" and "fizzing" vs "fizzy" this is ok for a generator.

They are

bubbly, clumpy, fizzy, gassy, runny, thin, thick, watery

And they can be added to the Liquid Descriptors in the same way as Colors

Exploring Adjectives of Potion, Elixir and Liquid

Then we can pull words from the tool at RhymeZone

From here we can pick

bitter, strong, soothing, herbal, mysterious, potent, sweet, heady, pleasant, strange, vile, cold, thick, fiery, wonderful, infernal, noxious, foul

Adding "Elixir" gives some more

alchemical, wonderful, subtle, restorative, marvellous, bright, delicious

"Liquid" gives

clear, colorless, hot, volatile, oily, dark, heavy, warm, thin, pale, syrupy, watery, milky, sticky, dense, concentrated, brownish, reddish, greenish

I've added these to the Liquid Descriptor list for both Chartopia V2 and Perchance V2.

Common Themes

There are some common themes in the descriptors around

  • taste
  • smell
  • strength
  • sensations
  • appearance

We'll explore exploring and splitting these out to other tables in future articles.

Finishing Up

New versions of Chartopia Potions and Perchance Potions are up.

Any questions or requests welcome.

If you've got feedback leave a comment, head on over to r/rpg_generators at reddit or come join the Rand Roll discord server.