For GMs: These are rare, but when a system or supplement offers ways to generate towns/cities or planets on the fly or with minimal prep, which do you prefer?


I should have added a 3rd option of "no systems, just ideas/guidelines."

@attercap Actually, I think multiple choice would be good. When I have a good idea of what I want I like the latter, but when I don't have too much of an idea I like the random rolls.

@Provinto @attercap I would be very curious to know the rationale for the folks who voted for tables. It's not the way I play and I want to understand that difference of perspective.

@anahata @Provinto @attercap my take would be: tables are fast (just roll up stuff) and enjoyable (integrate it all into a semi-coherent story after rolling up some stuff).

@kensanata Hmm. Okay. But what do you do when the table gives you nonsense that cannot work together? Reroll?

@anahata @kensanata For random rolled cities/planets, sometimes results that don't work on the surface level means they're hiding a story. I think random roll tables for these situations are a framework to give ideas and not being rolled as "must be this."

@attercap @anahata perhaps it would be useful to look at actual examples? For me the results work like writing prompts and I feel that good tables don’t need to be incoherent. Then again, slight incoherence result in better creative pushes. Conversely, boring tables are sure to generate coherent results.

@kensanata @attercap One example that comes to mind is the random town / village generator in the D&D 3.5 DMG. I remember rolling on those tables a few times and getting absolutely nonsensical results that contradicted one another. I think this is going to be a difference of opinion, likely--I value thing that make sense, high verisimilitude.

@anahata I'm not quite sure which tables you are referring to. Generating Towns, pages 137 to 142?

@kensanata @attercap I think that's it, but I remember there being something about a puppet government, too, and I'm not seeing that there. Hmm. Might be misremembering.

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