Mystaran NPC Generator (BECMI)

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Mystaran NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:17 pm

As I've recently started a new campaign with my co-workers, set in Norwold (precisely, the Skaufskogr region I've described in my articles on Threshold Magazine), I've decided to write a generator of NPCs that could be met in taverns in that region. Here is an example output in PDF, and here is the code (executable).

Hope it helps,
GP

P.S.: to run the code, you need Python and LaTeX (in particular, PDFLaTeX to generate the PDF output).

P.P.S.: as per the following posts, the program has grown beyond Norwold, and now covers Thyatis, Alphatia, Ylaruam, Karameikos, and most of Glantri and the Isle of Dawn (Thotian names need to be added).

P.P.P.S.: I've also written a cave map generator and a castle map (and 3D view) generator, which you can find in separate posts in the Squishy Bits area.

P.P.P.S.: in case you don't want to install anything, here is a web-based version. Unfortunately, it only prints out the NPCs as an HTML page -- no fancy PDF generation.
Last edited by agathokles on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:50 am

Made some additional fixes, so the generator now creates fully correct NPCs up to level 6 at least.

The generator includes the following features, at the moment
  • All RC classes and race, plus Bards, Lupins and Rakasta from Dragon Magazine, Foresters from DotE, and Dwarf Clerics from the Rockhome Gazetteer.
  • Background generator from the Northern Reaches gazetteer, except for the clan, honor and social level (although those could be easily added).
  • Name generators for Alphatians (mine), Thyatians (based on Giulio Caroletti's article), Northmen/Heldanners (from the Northern Reaches Gaz, although it is only partially complete), Heldannic Knights/Hattians (from the GazF), Dunael (new), Dwarves (from the gazetteer), Elves (new, based on typical names from the Gazetteers), Halflings (new, names are based on the Five Shires gaz, clan names from the Leeha articles).
  • General skills from the RC, plus some from the Elves of Alfheim, Rockhome, and Northern Reaches gazetteers.
  • Weapon Masteries from the RC and Dragon Magazine.
  • Equipment from the RC.
  • Spellbooks for Elves, Foresters, and Magic Users, based on the RC spells only.
  • Saving Throws tables up to level 6 (more for some classes), HP (almost correct computation) and AC.
  • Alignment-aware random selection of religion, including philosophies, pantheons and a selection of immortals appropriate to the area.

The main goal is to provide NPCs that can be hired to become hirelings or retainers. Since they are correctly generated up to level 6, the program will serve up to parties up to level 12.

Note that the class selection only takes into account minimum ability score requirements, not prime requisites, so it is possible that NPCs are generated with lower than average prime requisite scores -- this is IMO perfectly acceptable in BECMI: a Fighter with a low strength score may be a specialist in missile weapons or simply have suffered from wounds in past battles, a Magic User with low intelligence is a natural sorcerous talent, and a Cleric with low wisdom may be pious but not very perceptive or insightful.

All name generators and some of the other generators can be used on their own (and you only need to have a Python installation available, LaTeX is only used to generate the PDF format).

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby Robin » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:44 am

very useful and interesting...however I can't download/access the code files(is it excell btw?)
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:54 pm

No, it's a zip file with the Python source code. Anyone else has problems accessing the file?

BTW, I've updated the code. New features:
  • Generates Foxfolk names, as well as improved Rakasta names
  • Better generation of Immortals for Druids

As a consequence, you also get a new set of NPCs (a new pdf file has been generated).

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby Robin » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:16 pm

ok...I finally seemed sccesful in downloading it,...now find a way in accessing it..Luckily one of my gamers is a diginerd, so I hope he knows what to do.

The pregenerated ones look awesome and actually very detailed...so respect.
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:44 pm

Thanks! Let me know if you have problems running it.

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby Korro Zal » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:42 am

This is really useful! Thanks for making this.

By the way, there are a few errors I noticed in the character write-ups:

1) Dwarves need a minimum Con of 9, Elves a 9 in Int and Halflings a 9 in Dex and Con. Foresters need a 12 in both Str and Int. Some of these NPCs do not meet these requirements.

2) The characters seem to have one or two skills too many. You start with 4 + your Int bonus, and gain another at level 5 and every four levels afterwards.

3) Foresters must be Lawful and serve Ilsundal--there are Foresters of all alignments and with other immortals as patrons amongst the characters here. A Forester who loses their Lawful alignment or betrays the elves loses all their powers.

4) Any Rakes? (That's the other character class introduced in DotE alongside the Forester.)
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:41 am

1) I'll check. Foresters are certainly incorrect.
2) the extra skills are native languages
3) Yes, I need to fix them.
4) Rakes can be easily added (they are identical to Bards)
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:10 pm

Uploaded a new version:
  • Bug affecting the minimum scores checks for demihuman has been solved.
  • Foresters are now generated correctly (although obviously they are now much less common).
  • Rakes have been added.
  • Finally, I've modified the chances of generating Chaotic and Neutral Dwarves to be lower than those for other races (55% Lawful vs 33% for all others).

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:07 pm

More tweakings in the latest version:
  • Nicknames are now related to NPC traits or ability scores, and are more likely with higher levels (=higher reputation, according to Northern Reaches gazetteer)
  • Support for characters until level 9 should now be complete. Level 10 is almost complete.
  • Higher level NPCs have more/better equipment, including magic items (the selection is quite limited, though, and does not take into account the frequency of magic weapons -- so magic nets are as common as magic swords...).
  • Improved the quality of the experiences text.
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby Robin » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:02 pm

Really Agathokles. Awesome work. :o :ugeek:
I trully hope my diginerd :geek: succeeds in making it functionable for me. :roll:
As I am completely oblivious with the programstuff and so :oops: :( , but the Pregenerated examples, and the stuff you explain you've added seems awesome and extremely useful :lol:

Maybe this old tool I use in my campaigns might be useful for you :shock:
It is a D&D Treasure generator for BECMI as per RC and AC04 Book of Marvelous Magic :lol:
It was free shareware on the internet several years ago but I can't find the Link anymore :?
so here a copy https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5L0rnHMuzezZzhlT1psYXFQU0k/view?usp=sharing :mrgreen:
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:48 pm

Thanks Robin!

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby Sturm » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:05 am

Great, now you should expand it to all the Known World and Alphatia :)
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:47 am

That's not too difficult, although it is time consuming, and the software is not modular enough to allow me to exclude some areas easily (I need it primarily to generate NPCs in Norwold at the moment).
I'll be improving it further, but expanding to other regions will take more time :-)

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:00 pm

So, a new revision with some additional features:
  • Improved name generation for Alphatians and Elves
  • Slight weaking of nicknames (which now generally go between first name and surname or patronymic, except for Vatski)
  • Added the Shaman class (for Vrodniki, Rakasta and Heldann Shepherd Lupins) and spirits
  • Improved support for higher levels, including attack classes for demihumans and ST up to level 12 for all classes
  • Added male/female symbol
  • Added a table of contents
  • Minor tweaks and corrections here and there
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:15 pm

New release:
  • Added weight and height
  • Fixed minimum and maximum ability scores for Mystics and Lupins, as well as dex bonus for Rakasta
  • Fixed maximum level for Mystics and HP computation for Lupins, Rakasta and Mystics
  • Expanded spellbook support a bit
  • Some other minor fixes, including starting Tracking bonus skill for Lupins.

Todo: complete support for weapon mastery (Grand Master level), Saving Throws (beyond level 15), and spellbooks (levels 7-9). Add high-level class specializations (Elf Wizard, Elf Treekeeper, Knight, Paladin, Avenger, Druidic Knight). Possibly add more races (Gnome, Orc, Bugbear, Goblin, Centaur and Ogre are on my list) and breeds (Norwold Malamute, Lynxmen, Great Stovare, etc), as well as human ethnicities (Viaskoda, Kaarjalans, Lietuvans, Essurians, and Denagothians). These require some way to make certain classes and races more rare than others (at the moment, Humans and Fighters get a boost, everything else is mostly equally distributed, except Foresters and Mystics, which are much more rare due to the high ability score requirements).

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:13 am

This looks like an awesome thing.

Is this something that Vaults of Pandius might eventually be able to host as an online PDF generator?
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:08 pm

In theory, yes. In practice, I'm not so sure it could be done with the current setup of the Vaults.

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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:19 pm

Meanwhile, I've done a bit of code refactoring to simplify future development. Meanwhile, I've noticed that magical bonuses are not accounted for in the AC computation. I'll need to look into how to fix this, but it should be easy.

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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:32 pm

New release:
  • Fixed bug on AC computation when magical items are present.
  • Vastly improved the index. NPCs are now sorted alphabetically, and indices by class and by level are provided at the end.
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:41 pm

The refactoring made it much easier to cover alternate regions without compromising the use of the generator in my original use case. Thus, I've extended it to cover at least in part Thyatis, Alphatia and the Isle of Dawn, adding Ochalean names. I'd need to further improve by allowing changes in the relative frequency of character classes, though (e.g., to make Mystics more popular in Thyatis then in Norwold).
Here is an example of Thyatian NPCs.
As a further improvement, NPCs are now correct up to level 36, aside for the generation of spellbooks. However, high level mages tend already to take too much space, so no point in cluttering these character sheets with large spellbooks.

GP
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:06 pm

New update:
  • Added coverage for Ylaruam, including name generator
  • Fixed weight and height generator for various Lupin breeds
  • Reorganized code and the way I generate immortals and race/origin on NPCs in order to make it easier to customize
  • Same for classes and alignments
  • Added another Rakasta breed (Pardasta from Ochalea) as well as several Thyatian Lupin breeds.
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Re: Norwold NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:52 pm

Big Mac wrote:This looks like an awesome thing.

Is this something that Vaults of Pandius might eventually be able to host as an online PDF generator?


Ok, I must revise my previous answer to this question -- but not by much. Your idea pushed me to investigate relevant technologies (web development is definitely not my area, so I was definitely out of sync with recent developments), so I've now been able to produce a web interface (a simple form page with the various parameters and a submit button, which returns a pdf file), which can be deployed relatively easily. However, once packaged in the simplest way I found (a docker container, for the technically inclined), it 0.5 GB, which is probably a bit too much (most of it is, of course, the two underlying programs, Python and LaTeX, which are used to generate the PDF).
I have explored a bit the options for hosting a docker container, and they seem relatively costly (or at least it is hard to understand how they are priced).

In short, the answer is still mostly no, but in theory at least, it could be done. I'll investigate docker hosting solutions to see if I can find something free for small usage...

GP
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Re: Mystaran NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:15 pm

New update, mostly technical stuff:
  • Support for the generation of NPC parties (generates 5-8 NPCs within 2 levels of the chosen average level)
  • Improved the quality of the weapon mastery selection ("common" weapons by area are now more commonly generated, and sometimes new weapons are added instead of improving existing ones)
  • Fixed a bug in the Isle of Dawn configuration
  • Added web interface (via Flask) and desktop GUI interface (via Gooey, installation instructions are in the README file).
  • As mentioned above, the web interface can now be dockerized to make installation easier. This is only available for apt-based Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.). Instructions are in the README, but you need to have Docker installed.

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Re: Mystaran NPC Generator (BECMI)

Postby agathokles » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:40 am

New update:
  • Added generation of titles and class specializations for high level characters.
  • Added generation of NPC parties composed by one high level character and 2d10 retainers.

The example file for Norwold has been updated to demonstrate the first capability.

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