After finishing up the first campaign that I’ve intentionally completed, I have contemplated the lessons learned. This was the most character driven and story intensive game I had ever run. In this short series I’ll be sharing a few examples from the Solo Ravenloft campaign. Hopefully you’ll end up inspired to try something different for your next campaign.
Since this was very much a sandbox campaign, I wanted the player to feel like he could take his character anywhere in the Ravenloft domains to accomplish his goals. This meant that there were times when he drifted off in a direct I did not expect. Rather than panic, I employed a series of automated and random tools to help me keep the game going. I would record the results from the random generators for later use and to keep things consistant if the player chose to send his character back to those places at a later time. Here I will review the sites that I found so helpful during that game.
Chaotic Shiny’s Tavern Generator
This generator is very easy to use. Just go to the website. If you don’t like the tavern there, refresh your browser and a new one pops up. I always found one that suited my needs within 4-5 refreshes. The taverns generated will list aspects such as cleanliness, prices, a menu, patrons, bartender quirks and more. I love this site and will use it for any future fantasy games that I run.
Thousands of Medieval Names
Very helpful for finding a quick and unique sounding name. They have names from many countries, so that you can have NPCs from different domains have a certain flavor to match the area’s cultural influence.
Buck’s Random Dungeon, NPC, Town, Treasure Generators
Buck’s tried and true generators have been used by countless GM’s for many years. They are simple to use and come up with interesting things for you to use on the fly. Every GM should have this website bookmarked for their fantasy games.
What I did not find useful:
3.5 character generators. None of them gave me a ‘complete’ character. The closest I could find were unequipped characters. This resulted in the PC obtaining much more gold than he should have gotten. Since I didn’t mind, I left it as such. Many times it was easier to just use the NPC stat blocks in the DMG and just give the player character the appropriate amount of gold after the encounter instead of dealing with choosing equipment for the NPC’s every time. I also recycled NPC’s very often by simply changing their description and main weapon.