Generator Building Part 3 - Patterns in Smell and Taste

Duncan Thomson

Today we're breaking out Taste & Smells and adding new patterns to the Potion Generator.

This is part 3 of a series of articles on Creating a Random Generator. Part 2 is here. And part 4 is here.

Patterns in Generators

There's a simple fill-in-the-blanks type of generator which is fairly straightforward.

1) [DragonName] is a [red|blue|green] dragon with a nasty [bite|breath weapon|partner]. Their weakness is... [flattery|magic bottles|cake].

Which is a great way of doing generators but can get repetitive fast.

There are several ways to change the pattern for more variations without adding new elements. Changing the order, leaving elements out or using parts of a subtable

2) This [red|blue|green] dragon is known for it's [bite|breath weapon|partner] but can be bribed with [flattery|magic bottles|cake].

3) The wyrm [DragonName] has a nasty [bite|breath weapon|partner]. Their weakness is... [flattery|magic bottles|cake].

4) A dragon known for a fearsome [bite|breath weapon|partner] and a penchant for [flattery|magic bottles|cake]. Most sightings identify them as [red|blue|green] and they are most commonly known as [DragonName]

It can take a bit more work to make sure things work with all of the variants!

This simple dragon gen at Perchance shows off these different templates in action (feel free to copy and expand).

Potion Tastes and Smells

We're going to split out one of our subtables in the potion generator and add a couple of easy variations.

Currently we have one template of

This [Liquid Descriptor] liquid gives the drinker [Potion Effects] for 1d6 minutes.

And in the liquid descriptors we identified themes of taste, smell, strength, sensations and appearance.

We're going to take out "taste" and "smell" descriptors and make them into a separate subtable.

Finding the taste/smell descriptors in the list gives

foul sweet heady pleasant vile fiery noxious wonderful subtle delicious bitter

There are some colours such as "lemon" and "peach" which could also be in here but we'll leave them for now. There is also "foul-smelling" which we'll also leave for now.

Taking these out from the descriptors we add them to a new subtable "Taste & Smell". There was also a duplicate of the descriptor "wonderful" in the list.

Adding New Templates

Adding two new templates with both the Liquid Descriptor and Taste & Smell gives gives.

This [Liquid Descriptor] liquid gives the drinker [Potion Effect] for 1d6 minutes.

A [Liquid Descriptor] with a [Taste & Smell] taste gives the power of [potion_effect].

Drinking this [Liquid Descriptor] elixir grants [Potion Effect]. It has a [Taste & Smell] smell.

The New templates in Perchance look like

This [liquiddescriptor] liquid gives the drinker [potioneffect] for 1d6 minutes.
A [liquiddescriptor] with a [tasteandsmell] taste gives the power of [potioneffect].
Drinking this [liquiddescriptor] elixir grants [potioneffect]. It has a [tasteandsmell] smell.

In Chartopia I changed the "Edit Mode" from "Random Table" to "Template" and the code looks like

This CHART(29380) liquid gives the drinker CHART(29381) for 1d6 minutes.
A CHART(29380) with a CHART(29383) taste gives the power of CHART(29381).
Drinking this CHART(29380) elixir grants CHART(29381). It has a CHART(29383) smell.

Which in the editor looks like

Chartopia new potion templates

Just a Taste or Smell

Synonyms for taste and smell include

odour, scent, flavour, tang

Using just the Taste & Smell subtable and the the synonyms we get a 4th template

This potion has a [Taste & Smell] {taste|smell|odour|scent|flavour|tang} and gives [potion_effect] for 1d6 minutes.



is randomly choosing one result between the six options.

The Original Template

The original template descriptor allowed for taste and smell in addition to all of the other effects.

To give the same option we'll add a fifth option choosing between [Liquid Descriptor[ and [Taste & Smell]

This {Liquid Descriptor|Taste & Smell} liquid gives the drinker [potion_effect] for 1d6 minutes.

This gives an equal 50% chance of either Liquid Descriptor or Taste and Smell, giving far more tastes and smells than the original but that's fine for the moment.

Finishing Up

So we now have five templates instead of one ad a Taste and Smell subtable. Using the original content and a few synonyms for taste and smell.

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.