Sunday, January 30, 2022

P.A./Sci-Fi Random Inspiration Generator

    I Love random generators. As a GM I have found over the years that making use of various generators can really take my imagination and my games into some fun directions that I wouldn't have otherwise gone in.  Over the holidays I was reading a a gaming blog post (sorry I honestly don't remember which one) about suggesting going through your Sci Fi book collection and randomly opening to a page, taking the first word that jumps out at you on that page and jot it down.  Then after you have a nice list to work with voila a Random Inspiration Generator is born!  

     So I did just that I grabbed a stack of my Sci-Fi (many P.A. related) books and the below list was created. Unfortunately in a cleaning binge, I put the books back up on the shelves before I wrote down which ones I used. * Doh*, I know I used Hiero's Journey, a random Deathlands book, Ensign Flandry and several others. I think it was 6-7 books in all.  Some of the words may initially seem bland, but don't be surprised they can spark some unexpected creativity when you are stuck for an adventure theme, or suggestion for an NPC or contents of a vault chamber!    

P.A./Sci-Fi Random Inspiration Generator

 1 Wrinkled

2 Other

3 Tangled

4 Monsters

5 Starless

6 Rust

7 Rustling

8 Run

9 Corroded

10 Survivors

11 Ruined

12 Howl

13 Cache

14 Map

15 Scorching'

16 Fury

17 Boss

18 Outpost

19 Empty

20 Family

21 Artifact

22 Engine

23 Dark

24 Underground

25 Vanish

26 Poison

27 Traitors

28 Cautious

29 Worn

30 Flicker

31 Sand

32 Abandoned

33 Attack

34 Shunted

35 Deep

36 Scent

37 Stolen

38 Strange

39 Watching

40 Violent

41 Power

42 Love

43 Blessing

44 Silent

45 Lured

46 Desert

47 Brute

48 Distant

49 Death

50 Harm

51 Shredded

52 Old

53 Bones

54 Acid

55 Attack

56 Resupply

57 Kick-Ass

58 Awesome

59 Road

60 Traders

61 Hollow

62 Repair

63 Ally

64 Tomorrow

65 Painful

66 Smoke

67 Beacon

68 Sun

69 Irradiated

70 Mutation

71 Secure

72 Claws

73 Teeth

74 Terrors

75 Blaze

76 Glass

77 Carnivores

78 Slime

79 Concealed

80 Feared

81 Books

82 Guards

83 Pipe

84 Wounded

85 Dissolve

86 Strike

87 Marauder

88 Frozen

89 Metal

90 Screech

91 Cover

92 Vanished

93 Masks

94 Territory

95 Profane

96 Stuck

97 Deathtrap

98 Rocks

99 Charts

100 Exterminate


 So lets see if this idea generator works...

Testing it out, I have no preconceived notions...  First question how many rolls on the table do I make?

I'll roll a d6 to determine that... I get a "6" six rolls.

First I roll "84 - Wounded" - so someone or something is wounded...interesting..

Roll 2 is " 87 - Marauder" - seems we are dealing with a wounded marauder encounter...

Roll 3 is "8 - Run" - A wounded marauder on the run? wonder why they are on the run?  Are the local authorities after them??  Lets keep rolling...

Roll 4 is " 42- Love" - Ok now we are definitely getting a theme here, a wounded marauder on the run, and love is involved? They fall in love with the wrong person?...lets do our next roll...

Roll 5 is "27-Traitors" - So I'm starting to see a Romeo and Juliet type of scenario here. A Marauder falls in love with someone from outside their group, this person is maybe part of a group that the marauders prey upon or is their beloved part of the local Establishment/Authority?, are viewed as Traitors by both sides perhaps?  One last roll to go...

Roll 6 is "93 - Masks"- At this point I'm thinking we are dealing with a couple of lovers on the run, one is wounded, one is a Marauder and the other is not, they are considered traitors by both sides and while on the run are hiding out under some sort of covert/masked means.  Maybe pretending to be someone other than who they really are...

     Lets take these ideas just a bit further... Starting with the Marauder....who are they?  

For me a great resource for additional ideas is Pinterest.. I have several collections of different images I have saved over the years, filed under different boards.   Looking around I quickly find one that jumps out at me!

I know this is a cosplay image of Jack from Mass Effect (image by Sabi Noir) but it really inspires me with some ideas.. So I'm thinking the Marauder is a female.  Now I need a name.... how about Jax or Jaxs? I like the sound of that...My google fu finds a few more cosplay images of this character..

This is the cosplay actress Anna Moleva

     Great I like this, so what about her beloved?  I think this person will be a member of the "Authorities" Going through my Pinterest boards, I find the below image.  He looks like he has been through some rough times, ragged uniform, some possible injuries and a cornered look in his eyes. So lets tweak the above narrative a bit, the Marauder isn't the one that is injured, instead it is this guy. Maybe he is some sort of scout or pilot? He could have crashed on the planet and/or been captured by the Marauders. Jaxs and he are on the run and he is injured. Maybe she helped him escape? Due to his injuries, he can't travel far without frequents rests?

     I could keep going with this, work on his background some more, he needs a good name, but I think the list has proved it can work with some imagination.  When used with a campaign, I'd plug in my campaign factions and regions to flesh things out more.  This took a bit more of a Sci Fi direction than gritty P.A., but with some tweaks the above could readily work in P.A. Campaign. For a Gamma World Type Campaign Jaxs could be a member of the Knights of Genetic Purity or Red Death, her lover could be from a Hi Tech Enclave of Restorationists or Maybe he is a member of the KGP and she is a member of the Friends of Entropy. Lots of options.  

     Working this into a campaign the party could stumble upon these two hiding out in some ruin or under disguise in a village or town, or the party could be hired by rival factions/Cryptic Alliances to hunt down and kill/capture these two...lots of possibilities. Maybe he has valuable information on secret vaults or tech? I may have to revisit these concepts again in another post.

Have a great weekend!

Good Gaming-B.B.



  1. Like MSJX you have been exploring some randomization. Nice! I think it was Grognardia that referred to this concept as the oracular nature of dice, the reliance upon randomization to help move the story forward. I love your addition of Pinterest sourced art!

    1. Hey Christian, thanks for dropping by and commenting.