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
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" ...so 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
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!