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KISMET'S FANTASY LOCATION BUILDING RESOURCES

 

Downloads

Location Worksheets (Google Sheets)

 

Location Basics and Extras and NPC Groups (files to use at RPGChartmaker)

 

Islands"Islands" by SnowSkadi (unmodified) used with permission

 

Introduction

I've seen a number of city generators over the years, from printed charts to standalone programs, and while some have been neat, none of them have scratched my itch just right. A few have been useful and included some unique offerings, like Chaotic Shiny's City Builder program. Recently, I've gotten my hands on Spectacular Settlements, a book full of random roll tables for settlements of different sizes. But generators seem to skimp on options to keep things simple, and other books don't usually provide fast ways to use them (like an app or site that will do the rolling for you). So I've created two different resources to help you generate fantasy locations (I'll be presenting modern options on my World of Darkness site, and you can add material for other genres, if you wish). Both methods are system agnostic and flexible. With a little effort, you can make them what you want them to be.

Option 1: The Google Workbook

First, I've made a series of Google worksheets to record all the pertient details about locations. The entire workbook can be downloaded in Google Sheets (just save your a copy to your own Google Drive or download it by using the File menu). You should be able to use the sheets for cities, neighborhoods, and buildings without much trouble. You can use the dropdown menus to make choices that feel right or type in options that come to mind. You can also change the options in the menus by altering the Data sheet (but don't delete it, or the dropdown menus won't work).

Below is a preview of the worksheets (for some reason, the dropdown menus do not function below, but they are fully functional if you view the full sheets at the link above). If you find errors, want to suggest additions, or have other feedback to help me make the worksheets even better, please feel free to contact me.

Random Generator Files

I've also taken all of the data from the worksheets and made three random generator files that you can load and use at the RPGChartMaker website. The first generator covers the basics of a location, such as age, reputation, and population. The second file covers extras that can be nice to know about a place, such as historic events, climate, and important buildings. The last one allows you to generate NPC groups (guilds, cults, and so on).

Use the Load button to load one file at the RPGChartMaker site (open another tab if you want to use the other file at the same time). If you just want to generate results quickly and figure it out from there, hit the Roll! button. It's set to make 10 rolls by default, but you can put in another number, if you'd like. If you let the site make multiple rolls at a time, then if you don't like a particular result, you can look at those further down the list.

There are a lot of options at RPGChartmaker that you can use to get the results you want. Here are some of the most helpful:

  • You don't have to include every list in a roll. If you click the dice icon near the list's name so it's deselected, it won't be used until you select it again.

  • You can add a whole new list by clicking the Add button at the top.

  • You can add new entries into a list by typing in the List Entry box and hitting the Add button there. You can even cut and paste entries from a spreadsheet into the List Entry box and add them all at once. From there, if you want to alphabetize entries, hit the A-Z button.

  • You can change or delete an item in a list by clicking on it (press Enter to put it back in the list, press the minus sign to delete it).

  • Each list also has a trash can icon in the top right-hand corner; if you don't want to see that list ever again, you can delete it that way.

  • You can change the fonts and colors by using the palette button. There are several templates available for you to choose from, and you can adjust from there.

  • If you've made changes to the file and want to save them (and if you want to save the roll results), use the Save button in the top menu.

Generator ExampleHere's an example of what the generator looks like

What to Expect

Everything starts with the bare basics about a place: name, genre, age, reputation, specialty, virtue, and vice. Reputation and specialty will establish how people generally feel about the are and give an idea about what it's known for. Virtue and vice are handy ways to encompass how a place really works and reacts. People in an area might make a big deal about its key virtue; they could be just as proud of their vice, framing it as a virtue, instead - but the locals still suffer because of it. If you are familiar with the World of Darkness, great; if not, here's the link to my custom-made Virtues and Vices. If you prefer to use alignment instead, feel free to add it.

I provide a history section to cover origins, major historic events, and what the location needs most. This can lead to inspiration for plot hooks about what's going on now. Next, I explore the population, from its size to its wealth to its level of crime. This can serve as a guide when portraying NPCs. These aspects are followed by details about a place's appearance, like lighting and sanitation. There's a brief geography section, too, since climate and terrain shape settlements in various ways.

Want to know what the notable local buildings are for? There's a section for that. Want to get an idea of the rooms in a building that stand out, or which kinds of shops are available? You've got it. The commercial section is about major industries, technology level, mass transit, and how available area services are. It's followed by a section related to threats, which may be temporary or deeply rooted; it's up to you!

There's also a section for details about local groups in the Google worksheets (a separate RPGChartMaker file will help you generate NPC groups). Why? Because many locations have organizations tied to them, and knowing which gatherings exist can help you figure out who's likely to be around.

For Example

For instance, I used the basics generate file at RPGChartMaker and rolled up these results:

Genre

Age

Reputation

Specialty

Virtuce

Vice

Desire

Population

Population Wealth

Government

Security

Fantasy

Long Running

Discounted

Vanity

Celebration

Vanity

A Makeover

Crowded

Average

Anarchy

Top Notch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Law Enforcement

Crime

Access

Repair

Impression

Sanitation

Lighting

Water Source

Streets

 

 

Appointed Sheriff

Sporadic

Often Visited

Fancy

Fuming

Poor

Blinding

Stream

Flagstone

 

 

I could interpret everything like this: The city of Dionysia is long running but discounted by others because it's a vain place where people just want to party. Since it's easy to get there and tourists visit to blow off steam, its streets are almost always crowded. By mid-day, residents are fuming, sick of doing any chores or work they've had to do. By nightfall, magical lights dazzle tourists, almost making them forget how rude the drunken locals get to be. All of this is to be expected of a city dedicated to Dionysus and anarchy. That doesn't mean that there are no consequences for harm or that crime is high; crime is only average for a few reasons. First, locals believe its each person's responsibility to keep the peace at a revel. Next, each major family has its own security forces. Finally, an appointed sheriff collaborates with those forces to ensure that security for the city top notch.

Locals are only of average means because of how they usually spend their money: on temporary fun and making things around them pretty. This means the city has flagstone streets, many lovely streams, and fancy buildings. The people, however, are often unpleasant to see and smell because they move from party to party, sleep in their clothes, and may forget social niceties like bathing. In addition, the aftermath of many parties takes considerable effort to clean up, with overflowing waste bins, vomit in the streets, and other fragrant problems.

 

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Resources are free for personal use; please do not offer them for sale or claim them as your own work.

Please do not repost material elsewhere; link to this site instead. Thank you, and happy gaming!

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