Random Race & Culture Generator

This set of tables is intended for the GM that needs a race, be it space opera, fantasy, or any need, and has not a clue what they want.

Randon Race & Culture.pdf (123.7 KB)

Wow. That is thorough! Especially the cultural aspects. It would be nice to see more charts for generating more varied physical traits, but even in it’s “anthropomorphic animals” approach it is still impressively varied and prone to interesting results. Even if you just want to use the culture charts for preexisting races, I can see this being a great tool. Consider it joinked!

I’m thrilled you’re having fun with it.

I am specifically avoiding any race that is established. Lacking any information on genuine alien taxa I must needs use what we have. Not wishing charts the size of Battlefield Earth, I stuck to what I could do off the top of my head.

You are by no means limited to anthros. I’ve use full on bird hipped non avian Dinos as sophant races. Not following the charts dogmatically is mentioned. Heck roll twice and mix. Get catmatidc and pussyfoot around.

At the end of the day it is a tool to jog your creative bump.

Absolutely! As a mostly solo rpger now I need this sort of resource if I’m using a rules-lite system or something with no setting. I found a much less robust resource to use before and ended up with inspiration from earth creatures that was still useful. With this I wouldn’t have had to go to other sources (or think too much) about the cultural aspects. Thanks for the great contribution to the community. You can of course release it on DriveThruRPG if you wanted it to reach even more people whether for profit or not.

Sound advice there! I’m definitely going to play around with this some more and see what sort of things I come up with, using your chart results as a jumping off point.

I think if you publish it, you would be well served to make some of the tiers of the first chart a bit more visually obvious. A couple of times I accidentally read results from the wrong level. Even something as simple as faintly colour coding the backgrounds for each tier would likely be enough.

Looks like you accidentally replied to the wrong person, I’m not the the author of the supplement. I realize the last comment of my post looked kind of like I was the author giving permission, but it was simply nosy advice. :grin:

I would love to put it out for a greater audience but it would needs some additional formatting. I have an idea for the category, sub-catagory issue.

I made a few changes as to hope things are listed. Feedback welcome.

Randon Race & Culture.pdf (112.9 KB)

This is a definite improvement. Much more readable. Since your specifically request additional feedback, here are some suggestions.

  • Combine pages 1 and 2. I suggest replacing the “by Garry Stahl” of page 1 with the “Copyright 2016 Garry Stahl” of page 2, and put the Phoenix Graphics logo at the bottom of page 1.
  • The Subtitle would read better if is was “A random generator of Fantasy and Science Fiction races for the beleaguered Game Master”
  • I would modify your spacing to clean up some of the page breaks. Some specific examples:
    • Page 4. Drop “36-49 Feline” and its first three entries to the top of page 5.
    • Page 5. Drop Marsupial to begin on page 6.
    • Drop Invertebrate to begin on page 7.
    • If the previous drops haven’t already pushed “Other Psychology” to the top of page 8, and "About Their Culture to the top of page 9, do so.
    • By now you should see the pattern, “What Are They Good At?” starts at the top of page 10, “Government” at the top of page 11, etc. These may seem individually to be trivial changes, since singly they are, but collectively it will further improve readability.
  • The “95-00 Weirder” chart.
    • It’s name doesn’t match the format of Vertebrate or Invertebrate. In fact, all three of them use a different name format. It doesn’t matter which you use, but all three should match. I suggest either just the word alone or “Word (d100)”.
  • Reproduction list. Three suggestions for addition. “Budding - Young grow on their parent and drop off when fully formed”, “Fission - The parent divides into one (or more) new individuals. This could be simply cloning, or triggered via sexual reproduction.”, “Parasite - Young develop inside a host and emerge when ready. This could be destructively or not, the host could be the parent or not.”
  • Type chart in the Government section. entry 66-70, Noocracy can have its Definition shortened to “Decision making is in the hands of philosophers. (advocated by Plato)” or even shorter to “Decisions are made by philosophers. (advocated by Plato)”.
  • Again, the Type chart in the Government section. An additional type could be “Rule by individual(s) selected via lottery, who serve either for life or a set term.”
  • The last line which begins with, “So we close.” This would visually read better as being separate from the Tech Levels chart if it had it’s own section heading. Perhaps “Conclusion”.
  • If you’re going to request feedback as part of the document, you should include a means for anyone who in the future comes across this PDF to send you their feedback. Even if you just create a gmail address just for this like “Phoenix-Graphics@gmail.com” or some such and have it redirect any emails to your personal address.

Lastly, if you’re considering expanding this system further, here are a couple of concepts to which could each be the basis of additional sections.

  • Instinctual Hard Wiring - I’m thinking behaviours and modes of thinking. This could include things like a species blind spot against recognizing a specific animal type as sentient, or a compulsion to attack other males when they enter an annual breeding frenzy, or an action or emotion which is triggered by an event such as tigers’ reaction to chase and pounce on a fleeing man-sized or smaller animal, or an inability to recognise sound patterns as being melodious (ie: deaf to music - it’s just meaningless sounds to them), etc. The more subtle of these could even be unknown to the race themselves.

  • Physiological Distinctions - I’m thinking things like if they had an especially short or long lifespan, or if they had sexual dimorphism such as one being greatly larger, stronger, smarter, etc than the other. This goes beyond cultural mores and into biological disparities. If adult females are twice the size as adult males for instance it will greatly affect a number of things from their society, to their architecture, and their technology. Varying maturation rates would also be interesting. What if the race had several biological castes like some insects do? This could be interesting, especially if the race were NOT an ant or bee like race. Any unique requirements (they need methane air, or must swallow food alive, etc.) Again, such things would have far reaching consequences. Any sensory limitations, adaptations, or expansions beyond “human norm” - things like black an white vision, telepathy, a lack of an expected sense (blind, deaf, etc), echolocation, ultraviolet vision, and so on. A multi-stage life cycle - if there are two or more distinct stages they go through throughout their life with each having different physiology, behaviour, cultural roles, etc. it would have a huge impact on the race as a whole.

I’m going to stop now or this post will never end. Once my idea generator revs up to speed, it’s hard to make it stop… :smiley:

I like the additional reproduction methods. As to all the formatting suggestions. It has never been formatted per sey. Just one long pre-production document. I’ve never considered this done. I keep coming back to it.

Very useful. Thanks!

A note on the psionics table on page 10.

Most systems of psi include the term Clairsentience which I’m guessing that you are using the term Esper for?

That term by itself is unclear if not further defined, as it is often used in place of the term psionics or to categorically refer to all beings that have some sort of mental based powers, regardless of the type of power.

Clairsentience = remote sensing - see, hear, taste, touch, smell, psychometry - sensing the past, precognition - sensing the future, astral vision - sensing other planes or dimensions, aura vision - sensing energies given off by creatures and objects, etc…

Changed the above, and listing here. I forgot rodents! I also removed “Homo” from the primate list as if you wanted a humanoid, you would not be using this document.

A note to sexual dimorphism, etc… I’m leaving some things up to the GM to think about. Again, avoiding Battlefield Earth. I gave it another editing pass. I swear typos generate when you’re not looking. So it’s prettier tighter, and I hope better.

Randon Race & Culture.pdf (123.7 KB)

Ah, by the way, the file name needs a typo fixed… “randoN” probably should be “randoM”.

Youy pick your battles.

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Pretty cool!
Thanks for sharing!