Jun 30, 2009

Inspiring Idea: Randomizers

Jun 30, 2009
Sometimes my mind goes blank. Not just about a name or a date or something trivial like that, I mean about everything.

Imagine that white, empty expanse in
The Matrix, but instead of Laurence Fishburne laying down some serious exposition, it's just nothing.

Peaceful, but not very helpful. Especially unhelpful when you're trying to come up with, or finish an idea.

That's why, occasionally, I need to get others to think for me. Specifically, I'm talking about The Internet. You may have heard of it; that shrine of all human knowledge and achievement. That amazing, omniscient gestalt - raining down brilliance and filth upon us all.

Ahhh - Refreshing.

"But who are you..." I hear you say, "to harness such a wild, dynamic and untameable force of nature?"

Well for one, I am someone who can hear what you're saying over the Internet. Pretty damn impressive. For two, I am one who has mastered the use of 'the randomizer'.

"But what is a randomizer?" I hear you interrupt again, "And why are you using the American spelling?" Well, I'll tell you.

A randomizer is simply a list. A list of ordinary, everyday things that the computer will pick and mix arbitrarily.

"But that sounds boring" I hear you say. Seriously though, can you stop interrupting? You're ruining this for everybody.

But in reply, may I say this:
They are kind of boring.

But in an exciting, helpful way! They 'greenlight' without discretion. They labour tirelessly to present endless arrangements of stochastic splendour. Without concepts of what makes sense - they often invent things that no mortal was meant to know.

I've found randomizers for everything, and I list them here for your convenience. If you know of any others, just shout them out. I know you don't have a problem with talking out of turn.

Writing Prompt Generator
Useful for getting an idea started - but I use it as a noun randomizer.

A topic randomizer - My personal favourite.

Quick and Dirty B-Movie Plot
The next big hit
Random-Generator: Character Concepts
Random-Generator: Character Quirks
For quickly filling out those Ancillaries, or even expanding a Main

Random-Generator: Multi-genre Plot Randomizers
To kick-start that framework

Rinkwork's Name Generator
This name generator is like an old friend.
Fake Name Generator
Give tedious details to characters with a click!
Batch Name Generator
Got a crowd? Need to write a list of names?
RPG Random Name Generator
For extensive lists of name 'flavours' - not just Fantasy
DnD Name Generator
Good high-fantasy sounding names

Random Word Generator
Quick and Simple
The Random Pairing Machine
Just keep clicking, and eventually something will click.
The Random Verb/Adverb Machine
Your character walks into a room and '...'
The Directors Bureau Idea Generator
A really nice looking match-up randomizer

Random-Generator: Super Powers and Origins Randomizer
Just as a starting point, of course

Buzz Phrases
Writing something set in an Office? Here's your punchline
Elsewhere: Band Name Randomizer
Works better than you'd think

Elsewhere: Post Modernism Generator
Pseudo-Intellectual Gibberish
Elsewhere: Badly Written Angst Poetry
Just in case you can't do it yourself
Elsewhere: Brag Generator
Personally I find this this works best as Insane Dialogue
The Video Game Name Generator
Just to get the brain working
Authentic Tweet Generator
Just to stop the brain working
Internet Rubbish Generator
WARNING: Do not look directly into it
Fantasy City Encounter Generator
Can be easily converted to other genres

Flash Face
Sometimes to write a character, you just need to see them.

Tone Matrix
And this a Music randomizer, just because it's so much fun.
I challenge someone to make something that sounds bad with this.

And these three are specifically designed for Role Playing, but still useful:
Green Box Generator
Random-Generator: Treasure
Your characters open a box, what do they find?
Random-Generator: Crunchy Bits
Random-Generator: Descriptions
Add background details - I especially recommend the Benign Encounters in 'Crunchy Bits'
Magic the Gathering Search
Struggling with a monster or event? Magic cards are great inspiration. Just don't plagiarise.
Gozzy's Random Map Creator
Skeleton Key Dungeon Generator
Location randomizer - Where are the exits? Where can they hide? Good for planning out complex choreography.
Insanity Generator
For that special idea - Unfortunately it is only military themed

Have A Slogan
Hilarious slogans

And there will be something for you here:
Seventh Sanctum
Creativity Tools
Random Generator

Updated: 15/11/09


  1. I accept your challenge to make somethign bad using the tone matrix! (goes off to use his epic powers of eww)

  2. It wasn't easy, but I think i have succeeded.


  3. This project nemesis roleplaying system seems pretty kickass, I should raid your bookmarks folder sometime Helmutt.

  4. *recreates and listens*

    Hey... hey that's kind of groovy. DA da da da DA da da da DAH dududuDUHH

  5. listen to it for more than 3 minutes, your head should start to hurt.

  6. Right click and use copy and past on the music maker to save and restore tunes.


  7. well, that one cut of my post, but you get the picture

  8. I like pictures better.

  9. I like picturesque butter.


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