Generator Building 8 - Potions in Green Jars and Spherical Bottles

Duncan Thomson

We add containers without touching the templates of the exiting generator.

This is part 8 of a series of articles on Creating a Random Generator. Part 7 is here.

Potion Containers

Potions can appear in all sorts of weird containers. For this generator we're concentrating on some of the most common.

There are interesting ideas with these random potion tables and these 100 interesting potion containers.

With quick referencing to an online thesaurus and descriptive words tool we have.

containers - bottle, flask, vial, jar, beaker, decanter, vessel, pot

container colours - {green|clear|blue|red|transparent|amber|golden}

container material - {glass|stone|bone|ceramic|metal|crystal}

container shape - {ovoid|tiny|tall|clindrical|narrow|spherical}

container - {glittering|dusty|expensive|delicate|sturdy|ornate|warm|glowing}

And a few extras that can be applied to some containers. Not all of the time as it would bloat the text and we'd overuse the few options.

  1. etched with {runes|sigils|symbols}
  2. with a {cork|rubber|wax|metal|magical} seal
  3. depicting {nymphs|dwarves|elves|cats|goats|spiders}
  4. engraved with a maker's mark

And then we're adding them to our Chartopia and Perchance generators.

Perchance Containers

We're adding in the containers without changing the existing potion lists.

For perchance it was easy to add [container_template], which will be referenced from anywhere which wants to use a container.

Container template references lists for containerreceptacle (vial, jar, etc), containerdescriptor (green, ceramic, tall) and container_extra ("etched with runes").

They looks like..

enter image description here

For the [container_descriptor] it's kept compact by making each line a selection between related descriptors. If more were to be added or needed to be be re-used then they could be split out to a new list.

The "^2" next to bottle shows that it is twice as likely to occur as other results.

Lastly there are three templates

  1. [containerdescriptor] [containerreceptacle] ^2
  2. [container_receptacle]
  3. {[containerdescriptor] |}[containerreceptacle] [container_extra]

The first is the classic descriptor and container ("tiny bottle") and happens 2x as often as other entries. The second is simply the container ("pot"), giving a very basic option.

The second has receptacle and the extra. ("bottle depicting goats"). The {[container_descriptor] |} is a lazy way of having a 50% chance of a descriptor showing up.

The last thing to do is add three new potiontemplates to the [potiontemplate] list. Snipping pieces from the existing templates and referencing [container_template] to access our new container tables.

With the existing 6 templates this gives a 1 in 3 chance of a generated potion have a container.

  1. In {a} [containertemplate] is {a} [liquiddescriptor] [liquid_elixirpotion]. It grants [potioneffect]
  2. This {[liquiddescriptor]|[tasteandsmell]} [liquidelixirpotion] is in {a} [containertemplate]. It gives the drinker [potioneffect] for [effectduration]
  3. Contained in {a} [containertemplate] is {a} [liquiddescriptor] [liquidelixirpotion]. It grants [potioneffect] and has {a} [tasteand_smell] {taste|smell|odour|scent|flavour|tang}

One result is

In a green pot is a dark liquid. It grants ability to cast the same spells as the nearest spellcaster

Chartopia Containers

For chartopia I created a separate generator for the containers. Then we can include the container generator in new templates for the Potion Generator.

It has separate sub-charts for "Container Receptacle", "Container Descriptor" and "Container Extra"

The "Container Extra" it's kept compact by making each line a selection between related descriptors. If more were to be added or needed to be be re-used then they could be split out to a new sub-chart.

Then the main "Potion Container" template looks like

Chartopia Potion template

It includes the Unusual Containers from below. The basic "descriptor" + "receptacle" is the most common option, alongside a simple "receptacle" option. The other option is receptacle plus "Container Extra" (such as "bottle etched with runes"), with a 50% chance of a descriptor being included.

The separate Potion Containers generator is at Chartopia

Including the containers in the main Potions Generator, we add 3 templates to the "Potion Template" subchart.

The first one is

In {a} CHART(32709) is {a} CHART(32715) CHART(32723). It grants {{rolled_effect}}

Where the first chart is our Potion Containers generator.

Chartopia Potion templates including Containers

This is what the templates with containers look like in the editor.

One result is

In a blue bottle is a turquoise mixture. It grants nothing. It is in fact a type of tea. Slightly magical to keep it fresh and hot.

Unusual Containers

The next easy addition was a few unusual containers. There are

  1. leather gourd
  2. coconut sealed with a cork
  3. leather bladder
  4. mason jar
  5. scroll-tube
  6. conch shell
  7. sealed tankard

Added with a new list "containerunusualreceptacle" or sub-chart "Unusual Container" and adding this as an option to the [container_template]. So 20% of the containers will be from our unusual containers.

Finishing Up

So now out potions can come with containers. And we didn't touch the existing generator lists to do so.

New version 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.