Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Chain and Porcupine, famous for its Spicy Beef

Some of you know about Abulafia, which is a page of automated random generators. Some of you don't. Except now all of you do.

Though slower than dice tables, some of these are pretty good. Unfortunately a lot of them return pointless results ("Winddale""Sun Port") or randomly generate things it's hard to imagine needing in the kind of volume that'd justify going to a webpage just to make ("A doublet made of worsted wool emblazoned with an image of a red Orc").

For your edification and convenience I have gone though and picked out the better ones (locally defined as: 'ones which have produced at least one useful result for me on the first go'). They work fairly well to get the bones of a decent adventure, or (more likely) to flesh out something you've already put together which needs background details or secondary hooks.

The ones marked "oracle" are technically for use with "In A Wicked Age" but serve just as well as random D&D situation generators. Some have a tab marked "view source" which lets you see all the options and might actually be more useful than hitting "refresh" over and over. The ones not marked 'oracle' generally give you a few dozen results, a handful of which are usually decent:

A Nest of Vipers Oracle
"A precocious child disputing with philosophers and declaimers."

"Concise Theory of Chaomancy"

Arcane Books
"Experiments with Ether of Fate, by Rewan the Wizard"

Art, Grace, and Guts Oracle
"A corrupt guard, turning a blind eye to the illegal businesses that have paid him off."

Conan Oracle
"A mysterious cargo, arriving on a caravan from the far South, watched by many covetous eyes."

Elder Scrolls:
"The dark moon rises, the goddess of murder gathers more power."

Experimental Fantasy Generator
"Fountain of the Hundred Corpses"

Fantasy Place Name
"Brixstead Mire"

Fantasy Scenario Generator
"The story takes place in the Jagged territories. The scenario begins with a circus. The trouble is a direct attack against the adventurers caused by snake people pirates. To solve the problem, the adventurers must destroy/kill an object or individual. If a big fight happens, it'll be at Heavysky Bridge."

Fantasy Town
"The Sign of the Laughing Juggernaut, famous for its Herbed Oxtail"

Fantasy Town Event
"A city watchman was stabbed in the back near the St. Florus's Church but is expected to recover from his wounds."

Fantasy Town Feature
"Bedthorpley Crossing"

Fantasy Town Feature Description
"Crocodile Tabernacle is near The Sign of the Roaring Cook, which is frequented primarily by scribes."

Fantasy oracle compilation
"A hermit priestess, practicing obscure deprivations."

God Kings of War Oracle
"A prodigy-mage, still a maid, drunk with occult power."

Heavy Metal Fantasy Oracle
"A mighty six-legged feline, wicked and feral, acid saliva drooling from it's fangs."

Pirate Oracle - Black Sails on the Horizon
"A pet monkey, trained to do tricks."

Pirate Oracle - Cutlass and Dagger
"A smuggler's ship, with lights showing low on the water, signaling her contacts."

Pirate Oracle - Letters of Marque and Reprisal
"A fast ship, sloop-rigged and lightly armed, running before the wind, trying hard to escape pursuit."

Pirate Oracle
"A rapacious kraken, devourer of the mistress of a burly roustabout."

"Scorpions inside cleverly hidden pits - clouds of steam are produced, lightly obscuring vision"

The Treacherous Seas
"The aunt of a mighty priest, on the trail of a lustful nobleman."


  1. "A moongazer possessed by ten rival spirits."
    "A sorcerer's body, searching for its head."
    "A puppeteer's son was found with his tongue cut out, floating face-down at the Midchesterhead Aqueduct."

  2. "A doublet made of worsted wool emblazoned with an image of a red Orc" is possible the greatest Christmas sweater of all time.

  3. Oh, I'm sure we're about to get about a decade of hipster rocker moms posting their space invaders xmas sweaters, skulls-in-red-and-green xmas sweaters, and "r2d2 riding reindeer" xmas sweaters and posting them on tumblr.

  4. This is on a bit of a tangent but here is a link that would allow you to make some random Shakespearean insults if you wanted. ;)

  5. Zak, I 'run' Abulafia (which is to say, I pay for the hosting and am one of the contributors) - thanks for the review and links. For the past several months I've had new accounts disabled because of some serious spammer issues, but as of this morning I have re-enabled account creation. Registering an account will let you edit any page, seeing all the possibilities there and allowing you to add your own or make your own mash-up tables of whatever's there. Abu is not-for-profit in any way, your account is your own, and its just there to be a toy for people like us to make little snippets of stories and ideas. Thanks again for pointing it out to your readers.

  6. @Dave

    hey thanks! that's for you:

  7. Holiest of holy C's Zak. That's a bucket load of art. Nice work. (regarding that modernworld link)

  8. These links are pure win. Thanks so much for sharing. The ArcaneBooks in particular!

    I mean... who doesn't want to read this?

    How to Catch Fish with the Element of Air, by Ranh of the Syndicate

  9. I'm glad you are familiar with In A Wicked Age. I can't speak enough about what a fantastic yet simple product it is.