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KISMET'S CHARACTER GENERATORS

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There are many character generators out there, mostly to help DMs come up with NPCs on the fly, but none of them are quite right for my needs. You know what that means, don't you? I've gone and made my own! My generators are system agnostic, but you can easily add any system-related options you want. The generators are not meant to draw up statistics, either. They focus on evocative details that give a greater and deeper picture of a person.

The Character Basics Generator sets up a number of parameters: Age, Reputation, Virtue, Vice, Recent Events, Desires, Physical Condition, Hygiene, Initial Impression, Sense of Humor, Availability, Habits, Profession, Hobbies, Religious Adherence, Religious Association, Religious Attitude, and Sexual Orientation. Any of these categories can be left out of a roll, removed entirely, or edited for your own needs swiftly. I am a big believer in Virtue and Vice when it comes to fleshing out characters, for instance; I use them across systems, but they are hard baked into the World of Darkness. If you want to replace them with Alignment, you can (or add Alignment and see how the three go together). The details are aimed at medieval characters by default.

The Character Background Generator whips up a lifetime in one click: Family Wealth, Family Lifestyle, Family Reputation, Childhood Homeplace, Parents, Early Parental Relationship, Parents Now, Relationship with Parent(s), Siblings, Relationship with Sibling(s), Extended Family, Friendship History, Major Childhood Event, Major Teenage Event, Major Young Adult Event, Major Adult Event, Major Middle Age Event, Romantic History, Marriage, and Children. Family Wealth might clash with Family Lifestyle, but some people live beyond their means or are close-fisted. If your character is an adult, you could ignore the Middle Age Event or add it to their adulthood experiences so far.

The generators are run through the RPGChartMaker site. If you like the options as they are, you can just hit the Roll! button to get a result. If you want to change the lists, you can add more in the List Entry box. You can drag and drop entries between the lists just by grabbing them with your mouse. If you don't want a list to be rolled, you can uncheck the box next to its name. You can even save your modified list to your drive and upload it on the site (to get a shareable link so you can get back to it on the site, click the Share button).

This doesn't take away the need for creativity; you will have to interpret the results, explain how they fit together, and perhaps change or ignore some aspects to suit your needs. But the generators should work well for both DMs and players. Did the PCs just take an interest in a nobody sitting in the tavern? Need a character for a game you were invited to at the last minute? Click away!

Sample Character

Let's look at the character I just rolled up:

Age: Ancient, Reputation: Unknown, Virtue: Self-Control, Vice: Sloth

Recent Event: Riot, Desires: More Time, Physical Condition: Decaying

Hygiene: Pleasant, Initial Impression: Ashamed, Sense of Humor: Cynical

Availability: Often Visited, Habits: Bragging, Profession: Carter, Hobbies: Juggling

Religious Adherence: Agnostic, Religious Attitude: Humble, Religious Association: Small Group

Sexual Orientation: Bisexual

This is a truly aged character who is in bad shape and probably dying. This person is social but doesn't have much of a reputation; this could be because of their constant bragging. Since the character is so old and being a carter involves hauling things around, it is likely the profession is what they used to do. But why do they seem to be ashamed? Is it because of what they've done to live? Or perhaps they are ashamed of the recent riot they witnessed? Either way, they will probably want help with their woes, since their sloth gets in the way of fixing their own problems. And if their sexual orientation never comes up, no harm, no foul. He could be a common old man about town, or she could be a fixture at a local inn. All we have to do is decide gender and give them a name (and I have name lists and generators here for that).

Let's learn more about this elderly character through the Background Generator:

Family Wealth: Poor, Family Lifestyle: Destitute, Family Reputation: Accepted

Childhood Homeplace: Isolated Home, Parents: Multiple Parental Figures

Early Parental Relationship: Parents Together Lovingly, Parents Now: Parents Alive, Divorced Resentfully

Relationship with Parent(s): No Contact With One Parent, Estranged, Siblings: One Sibling

Relationship with Sibling(s): Infrequent Contact with Sibling(s), Uncomfortable

Extended Family: Moderate Extended Family, Estranged, Friendship History: A Few Stable Friendships

Loving, Major Childhood Event: Catastrophic Accident, Major Teenage Event: Family Financially Ruined

Major Young Adult Event: Changed Professions, Major Adult Event: Overcame a Phobia

Major Middle Age Event: Acquired a Scar, Romantic History: Many Partners, Only Sexual

Marriage: Married Once, Too Young, and Children: Fertile, Multiple Biological Children

Since the character above is so old, it is unlikely that their parents are still alive, so those results can be removed. Their family was ruined by a catastrophic accident, forcing them to live hand to mouth. Upon growing up, the character took any work they could, becoming a carter because there was so much to do. Instead of relying on family, they look to a few close friends. They've had many partners over the years but none are close, and it's likely their early marriage ended in divorce. But they have many children. (You could roll again on the Relationship with Sibling(s) list to see how they get along with their kids.) If you wanted an event to mark their old age, you could roll again on the Middle Age list. And voila! Now we know where they've been all these years.

 

NPC Professions

Everyone has a job of some sort, a niche that they fill. Most people spend a good deal of their time working and some jobs come with a lot of politics. Was the local butcher framed by a competitor, who put poison in some meat delivered to the nobles? Are the guilds at war? Below is a small list of professions for NPCs taken from my own thoughts and the 2nd edition Dungeon Master's Guide. They are mostly general categories (I am not going to list every kind of cook, for example). If you have any suggestions, feel free to email them to me.

Animal Trainer / Breeder
Antique / Art Collector
Apothecary (part healer, part alchemist)
Appraiser (art, stone, etc.)
Architect
Armorer
Arrowsmith
Assassin
Astrologer
Baker
Barber
Barrister (a lawyer to appeal to court, king, council, etc.)
Bather
Beer-Seller
Beggar
Bellfounder (caster of bells)
Bookbinder
Bowyer (maker of bows)
Blacksmith
Brewer
Butcher
Carpenter
Carrier (messenger)
Carter (someone who hauls goods)
Cartwright (builder of wagons and carts)
Chandler (maker of candles)
Cook
Courtesan
Dragoman (official interpreter or guide)
Draper (cloth merchant)
Drug preparer (processing)
Drug-pusher
Dyer (one who dyes clothing)
Engraver (either in jewelery or masonry)
Entertainer (not bardic level, knows music, jokes, etc.)
Executioner
Farmer (on their own land or tenant farmer)
Food processor (butter churner, preserve maker, etc.)
Fisherman
Fishmonger
Fletcher (arrowmaker)
Furrier (tailor of fur garments)
Gardener
Glassblower (makes items made of glass)
Groom (man who tends horses)
Hay Merchant
Healer
Herbalist
Hunter (food)
Instrument maker
Interpreter

Jeweler
Laborer
Laundress
Locksmith
Local Law Enforcement
Maidservant
Makeup artist
Map maker
Masons
Masseuse
Matchmaker
Merchant (general)
Midwife
Miller (operates a grain mill)
Miner
Minstrel
Minter (maker of coins)
Moneylender
Mortician
Navigator
Painter (artistic/buildings)
Parchment maker
Perfume maker
Pest control
Plasterer
Ploughman (worker of the field)
Prostitute (a non-skilled street walker)
Roofers/Thatcher
Ropemaker
Rugmaker
Sage
Sailor
Scribe (creates new written works)
Scrivener (copies written works by hand)
Sculptor
Seamtress
Shepherd
Shipwright (builder of ships, boats)
Shoemaker
Slave Trader
Soapmaker
Spice Merchants
Spy
Stablemen
Swineherd (keeper of pigs)
Tailor
Tanner
Tattoo artist
Trapper (fur)
Vintner (maker of wines)
Weavers
Wet Nurse

 

Character Basics Character Background

 

 
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