The Random NPC Description Generator 9/11 '16
This morning it's been rainy here, so I'm off the road. Decided it was a good time/opportunity to do some work on a little project that I've had brewing in my back brain for several years.
It all started when I fell in love with a program created by rpg game master Bruce Gulke called Tablesmith ( http://www.mythosa.net/p/tablesmith.html ). If you're a gamer who is using a Windows system, I highly recommend it. It's basically begware and well worth the money he asks for it if you can swing a few bucks.
That said, it's Windows only. I asked him a couple years ago about any interest he might have in creating a mobile app, and that conversation didn't really go anywhere.
If I had the time / inclination to do it properly, I would learn enough code to create the app myself, but I've never been a programmer - not really on any 'true' level.
I can figure out Google Spreadsheets though, and I just knew that there had to be a way to do what I'm looking for in there.
I'm here to say that I've figured it out!
Okay, maybe it's better to say that I've figured out a lumpy, hacked together with duct tape means of effecting something similar with a bit more effort on the part of the user. (Tablesmith is still a far superior product.)
I really think this will be useful to not just gamers, but also writers once I build out some parallel versions (this is for fantasy npcs, but could easily be tweaked to work for modern characters filling the background/environment of any genre). The concept could also be used to build out any kind of 'random' description you want - rooms, environments, scene backdrops, groups (organizations, religions, governmental crews...) the list of possibilities are absolutely endless.
If you would like to check it out the link is:
This is a 'public' copy, so you can feel free to edit to your heart's content. The results auto generate any time there is a change to the sheet.
That's probably my next project for the sheet - to find a way to get the sheet to create a new entry without having to edit anything. I'm currently just changing an empty cell and then doing an undo/redo until I get a satisfactory response from the sheet. A push button in a cell would be perfect.
One of my primary purposes is to help myself get past those times when I'm feeling 'artist block' by creating a place I can auto generate an interesting sounding character to draw. A way to make it 'mindless' so I can just start working and let the ideas start flowing later.
Anyway - as always, I welcome thoughts/opinions/suggestions below or using the comments function on cells within the sheet itself.
Some feedback I'm especially interested in:
- Is this something you think you would use?
- Would you be more likely to use it if I made it more pretty/refined?
- Is there something you feel is missing from this version (the fantasy RPG character version)?
- Would you use a different version - i.e. Not for rpg work, but for generating some other random data for writing or...?