Sep 5 2011
I love random generators of all kinds. Especially when it comes to coming up with names for NPCs or creating all the small details needed to flesh out one of the less important places in one of my campaign worlds, I am glad that random generators for this kind of stuff exist. My favorite series of random generator packs is created by Hannah Lipsky of Chaotic Shiny Productions. In the past I’ve reviewed both the Kingdom Builder Generator Pack and its sequel. Today I want to have a look at the City Builder Generator Pack.
The City Builder contains the following random generators: a Complete City Generator, a Tavern Generator, the Feature Namer, a Crowd Generator, a Rumor Generator, the Merchant Generator and the totally awesome Market Map Generator.
The City and Tavern Generator each create a pretty detailed description of a complete city and a tavern respectively. You just press a button and a new randomly generated description is generated, there are no setting to be made. But the software allows you to edit your results and save it to a RTF file. Following are examples of the output generated by the City and Tavern Generators:
There are seven major districts: Guild, Temple, Military, Merchants’, West Quarter, Nobles’ and Fortress
Areas of interest include: The Pine Statue, Radarus Forum, Troll Museum, Messcrown Storehouse, The Smiling Dog Inn, The Barkshark Spire, The Limping Blade Inn, and The Daring Duchess Inn
Its people take pride in their beautiful ancient architecture, patriotism, superstitions, monks, enchanters and local fighting schools. Their patron deity is the God of Names.
Some current rumors:
Kakil the butcher is being unusually quiet.
Chaemn the servant believes that Troumner the bandit is involved in business dealings with Isairakri the shepherd.
Criv the assassin claims to have proof that Elath the moneylender’s father is planning something.
Tramnax the gambler’s father is waiting in the tavern.
Jatimo the moneylender is going to run off with Nykur the guide’s daughter.
Overall quality: Shady Cleanliness: Somewhat grubby, but decent Size: Large
Drinks: Fairly priced, poor quality, far above average variety
Food: Overpriced, poor quality, somewhat limited variety
Rooms: Overpriced, small and medium sizes, most vacant
Popularity: Very crowded, a few shady characters
Noise level: Loud Sobriety: Most patrons sober
Dark corners occupied: 25% Patrons openly armed: Most
Attractions: major brawl
Menu: slightly torn around the edges
Bartender: female, green eyes, very busy, glares at party immediately, speaks with a heavy accent
Noteable patrons: the amourous drunken druid wearing a religious symbol and the drunkenly ranting bard who clearly has a bodyguard
House special: Semi-transparent blue with blue flecks and a stick of cinnamon in the mug. The drink smells heavenly and tastes like ginger. It can be smelled on a drinker’s breath for several hours.
The Feature Namer, Crowd, Rumor and Merchant Generators let you choose the number of results you want to have generated. In addition to that you can choose what type of Feature or Merchant you want to be generated. The Merchant Generator also allows you to exclude sellers of magical items by checking the “Historical” check box. I especially like the Rumor generator which can also be used to generate adventure hooks if you have trouble coming up with ideas of your own.
In my opinion the Market Map Generator is the highlight of the pack. It generates a beautiful map of a market place including descriptions of all the market stalls and buildings. The generator gives the user a plethora of options. You can change the scale of the map, choose which types of merchants and other structures you want to include. You can also choose between four different background decorations (blank, parchment, cobbles and grass). The map can be saved as PNG file.
The software has been written in .NET and should run fine on Windows XP or newer. The City Builder sets you back mere $3.95 and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. But I doubt this guarantee is actually needed. It’s a great piece of software for a very reasonable price. If you like random generators you should definitely get a copy of the City Builder Generator Pack!