Sun May 17 2020

Another Dungeons & Drangons Loot Table Generator? Why not...

Quick summary: I wrote a simple-to-use D&D loot table generator.

When I designed The Secret Stash and it's loot table I was looking for a fitting generator but couldn't find one which gave me what I needed. I just wanted to press a button and get treasure chests full of possible loot. Ideally a mix of semi useful items and some random, useless crap.

But I didn't find one that looked good and simple on the surface but also provided the customisation I hoped for. So I decided to write my own. The plan was to have a one-click solution for most cases and some finer adjustments when I need something specific.

The hardest part was to get an initial list of all the items. I started to copy & paste names, descriptions, prices, etc. by hand into a Google table until I got to the magic items list. Then I wrote a little script which extracts all the items from a website automatically. This was supposed to take a couple of days... not weeks.
When it came to the mundane items, I grabbed most of what The One Loot Table To Rule Them All had to offer. I also experimented with modifiers to artificially add more variety. So the item "Jerky" can become "Beef Jerky", "Goat Jerky" or "Deer Jerky". Similar a sheet of paper can be "rotten" or "wrinkled". A woolen scarf can be "blue", "red" or one of some other colors. Those modifiers don't change the price and only apply to some mundane, almost worthless items.

I also added the option to have keywords in the description (or as a property). Those keywords show up as links and open a dialog for an explanation on what the word means in the context of D&D. I only added a few to the list so far. More as a proof of concept than a real reference for every possible mechanic.

What comes next?

There are some plans for the future. I am not sure when I will come around to implement them or in what order. But here is what I would like to do.

  • This generator currently is for Dungeons & Dragons only. The system is built in a way which would allow me to add other systems easily but I would need to source all the items, certain rules for keywords, etc... first.
  • More keywords with an explanatory dialog
  • More items & modifiers for existing mundane items
  • Display options for the table (show/hide description, source, weapon & armor stats)
  • Function to re-generate single items
  • Form to submit new items to the complete list
  • Possibility to add own items to a generated table
  • Find a better solution to display the "rarity" distribution
  • static link to a generated loot table
  • better support for mobile devices

I will probably keep updating this post with detailed release notes when I update the generator. If you are curious about the development — follow me on twitter. It's very likely that I will post about updates there.

Update - June 5th 2020

  • You can now replace single items with a random item of the same rarity and rougly the same costs
  • The category of the item is now shown above the description
  • you can toggle all descriptive elements and the randomize-icon in case you only want the item name and cost

You can find the generator here.