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Character Generator w/ bg
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2018 21:41:03

I'm looking at the v1.5 document.

Things you might like:

  • It's a system-neutral way to give a qualitative description of a character - personality, traits, etc.
  • It's easy to mix and match different elements, rolling up some and assigning others non-randomly.
  • The brief personality descriptions give you a good thumbnail picture of each type: desires, temptations, fears, etc. For some characters, the personality description alone may be sufficient, and you won't need to roll up the other elements.
  • Similarly, the Virtue and Vice descriptions are brief but also flexible and useful. Rolling up either or both might sufficient for some characters, without having to roll up the other elements.
  • The Stat Archetypes are descriptive and system-neutral, not numeric, but it'll probably be easy to figure out which character stats you should nudge up or down.

Things you might not like:

  • If you're looking for a quantitative character generator (rolling up specific stats and selecting a particular species), you'll want another tool. That's not what this is.
  • Since it's system-neutral and setting-neutral, there's nothing to factor in differences between species (which ones are taller, stronger, faster, ...). Obviously, you could decide for yourself that Hobbits will tend toward certain personalities and Wookiees toward others, but that's on you. This tool makes no distinction.
  • The probability distributions are odd here and there. In the d10, d12, and d20 columns, the tables make the middle rows more likely than the upper or lower rows. So far so good, if the intent was indeed to make the middle rows more likely. The 3d6 column, however, makes the top row the most likely outcome. That is, rolling 3-7 on 3d6 is more likely than any other table result (probabililty 36 out of 216 instead of 27 or lower for other results); that seems like a mistake, or at least it's an unexplained inconsistency with the other tables. Another unexplained probability quirk is that the d100 column makes the middle row the least likely result instead of the most likely, with only a 3% chance instead of the 11-13% chance for each of the other rows. These unexplained quirks seem more like mistakes than design features, but if they're deliberate, it would help if the text pointed them out.
  • The Encounter column (which is called Common Professions in the text) is fairly brief and generic. If you have a setting, and if you want a table of common professions, you'll probably want to cook up your own list. Also, note that because of the probability quirks mentioned above, farmers are either the most likely or the least likely profession, depending on which dice you use. Or guards can be anywhere from least likely to most likely, again depending on the dice you use.
  • Mistake: The Vices table lists Crazy as the bottom entry. The text explanation uses Deceitful instead. The obvious fix is to decide on your own whether the character is Crazy or Deceitful. I mention this because it looks like a mistake the author might want to fix in a future version.
  • Mistake: Every d12 column leaves out a roll of 4. This too has an easy DIY fix, but I mention it in case the author wants to fix the tables.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Character Generator w/ bg
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FRPG6 Dialogue Engine
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2018 10:21:02

It's on the right track, but it needs work. Its worthy goal is to guide how NPCs converse and react without falling into the rut of having all the characters sound and act the same.

The Vocal Quailty Table can be skipped. Variations in vocal quality are a good thing, but the random combinations of keywords from this table aren't inspiring. Suppose you roll up Throat, Jargon, and Child-Like. That's too arbitary. Instead, ask yourself how someone like this NPC would talk and skip the table.

The Dialogue Mood & Topic table is more promising.

Good elements of the Dialogue Mood & Topic table:

  • I like the mix of response types. Each row has a common theme, with variations for the friendly, hesitant, and hostile columns. There's a row on generalities, a row that touches on character motivations, a row for commentary on the scene or conflict, and rows for the character's personality, virtues, and vices. That gives a good mix of things for an NPC to mention.

Not-so-good elements of the Dialogue Mood & Topic table:

  • Despite the table's strengths, it can be disruptive to the mood and flow and unnecessarily time-consuming if you stop to make a series of dice rolls and table lookups - only to find out an NPC says, "Nice weather, huh?" or "Idiot."
  • You can offset that disadvantage by pre-generating a few conversational things for each PC, but a) that could involve a lot of prep work for conversations that might never happen, and b) your prep work might not cover all the potential conversations anyway. Instead, you might need to hone your skills at improvised NPC dialogue instead of relying on table rolls.
  • The product description says certain other generators by the same author are "required." They're not. In particular...
  • The table cites the Fact Generator in case you need inspiration for a character making small talk. Do you really need inspiration for small talk? Just have the character state something minor and obvious about whatever's going on at the moment. Rolling up (for example) "Further" or "Manipulate" from the Fact Generator doesn't help.
  • The table cites the Motivation Generator in case you need inspiration for an NPC discussing motivations. While you might want that inspiration, the table isn't "required" if you already have some character motivations in mind.
  • It cites the "FRPG conflict or Plot Generator." If you're using those to generate situations, fine, go for it, but they're not required. The table has the NPC commenting on the scene or conflict, which works no matter how you came up with the situation.
  • It cites the Character Generator for references to the character's personality, virtues, and vices. Again, the extra generator isn't required. You can still use this table no matter how you create your characters.

The Archetype Dialogue table is the most helpful piece.

Good elements of the Archetype Dialogue table:

  • Whereas the Vocal Quality Table is completely arbitrary, this table is very much not arbitrary. It's not a random combination of disconnected elements. It's a unified set of guidelines on how nine different character archetypes might handle a conversation.
  • Each column adds a useful element for each archetype. Which archetypes are more interested in taking action, or more interested in discussion? What are their likely goals? What are some typical things for them to say?
  • The Pressured and Relaxed columns in particular are a nice touch. They offer a straightforward approach for altering a character's behavior in high-pressure or relaxed situations, namely, by temporarily using a different profile. For example, a Caregiver has a set of reactions, but in a high-pressure situation, the Caregiver temporarily becomes a Skeptic. In a relaxed situation, the Caregiver temporarily acts like a Lone Wolf. That's an interesting extra dynamic for character interaction.
  • You could skip all the rest of the FRPG6 Dialogue Engine and just have the Archetype Dialogue table ready for quick glimpses during play. Assign each NPC an archetype, either in advance or on the spot, and glance at the Archetype Dialogue chart when you need a quick inspiration for how the NPC might react.

Not-so-good elements of the Archetype Dialogue table:

  • The archetypes are listed without the descriptions you'd find in the Character Generator. That's a negative if you'd want the extra description (and if you weren't planning to use the Character Generator), but the archetype names are obvious enough in most cases. If some of the labels are less obvious to you, skip them. The Character Generator isn't required, as stated in the product description.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
FRPG6 Dialogue Engine
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5e x 5 Combat & Conditions
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2017 08:08:49

Out of 43 pages, 36 are the content. Page 5 is worth reading, as it gives you the 'first step into the ideas, etc, the 2 authors used to convert 5th edition (d20), into d100. P7 and 8 are the contents page, listing order of combat, movement, attacking, damage and healing, traps, conditions, diseases. Some pages can appear quite 'empty', as they only contain 2-5 lines.

For £0.76/$1.00, it's quite informative as a conversion.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
5e x 5 Combat & Conditions
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Aioskoru World Guide
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2016 07:49:14

This PWYW product is a work in progress, but even so there's already incredible detail about the physical aspects of the planet as well as details of the magical aspects of the world itself. Links in the .pdf give access to updates for specifics and I'm eager to keep an eye on changes that will lead to a fantastic result.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aioskoru World Guide
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