I’m a bad, bad friend. For about a month now, I’ve been promising Hannah Lipsky from Chaotic Shiny Productions that I’d review her Kingdom Builder Generator Pack II, and just haven’t gotten around to it. But here it is.
Hannah sent me a review copy of her new software: Kingdom Builder Generator Pack II (a mouthful, isn’t it?) and I’ve gotten a chance to use it and enjoy it.
For those who haven’t seen ChaoticShiny.com, it’s Hannah’s site for random generators she’s come up with, allowing you to create civilizations, pantheons, mottos, regions and more. It’s a great way to piece together ideas for a campaign world.
The KBGP2 is an .exe file (sorry Mac users) which gives you lots of possibilities for designing your own kingdom, including fashion, armies, law, place names, conspirators, events, and even flags!
The first tab in the program is for your Kingdom & Hooks. This generates your Kingdom name, who its ruled by, prominent places, some laws, recent events in the kingdom, notable individuals, how the army is run, and current fashion. Some results seem odd (since it is a random generator), but you can get some really interesting variations on strange lands.
I had it generate me a kingdom, and here’s what it came up with:
Kingdom Name: Traetael
Ruled By: A philosopher-queen
Prominent Places: Kraemi Strait, Restdaisy Foothill, Treatmiss Jungle, Leastgator County, Wrackblade Wetlands
A Few Laws: The penalty for a nonhuman striking a courtesan is a few months’ imprisonment.
The penalty for insulting a juvenile is a few months’ imprisonment.
Recent Events: In a northeastern township bandits have become prevalent and a beholder has been plaguing a village. Meanwhile, an important bard has gone missing. A prominent socialite may be involved.
There has been a string of kidnappings near the eastern region and there have been severe droughts for the past several years. A prominent socialite may be involved.
A prominent socialite has been stirring up discontent in the southeastern township and there is a dangerous drought.
Notable Individuals: Alorrel, the proud master artisan who recently had a sudden change in alliance. She has few open allies. Rumors say that she has some interesting relationships with certain warriors. She can usually be found at all the biggest social events. She is wiry with mismatched eyes and black hair. The kind guard captain Scethai is her ex-lover. The arrogant adventurer Cansan is her lover.
Cand, the slothful, smug foreigner who has been preaching the new religion. He has questionable allies. He is short with a pierced lip and piercing blue eyes. The talented spy Inoulloe is his adversary.
Army: Traetael’s army is famed for its accurate archers and the use of flails. They often make use of rogues. They are famous for their high-quality weapons and for flashy tactics.
Current Fashion: This fashion features soft, scanty tan and blue-green garments. Tops are typically short sleeved with low necklines. Jodhpurs and pants are also customary. Capes are popular accessories. Leather and collars are staples of the style. Bright blue, deep red, and vibrant blue are also common colors. The wealthy and the poor wear very different clothing.
As you can see, there’s a lot of hooks there for you to expand upon. Even from the second line “Ruled by a philosopher-queen”, you begin thinking; how does being a philosopher effect her rule? With recent events, you’ve got at least three different game sessions each time you hit the “Generate Kingdom” button. That’s a lot! You’ll keep your party occupied for months!
Sometimes, the results are less than stellar (an example being that “the penalty for insulting a juvenile is a few months’ imprisonment”). However, it gets your mind working, in figuring out why that would be in this kingdom. And if you don’t feel like spending the brainpower, just tell it to generate again, or go over to the “Law” tab.
The other tabs are more detailed versions of the different events of the Kingdom & Hooks tab. you’re able to generate any number of armies and choose what suits you best, as well as place names (which could work very well when you’re in a pinch) as well as conspirators. The conspirators are a bit unusual, since I’m not sure why they’re named as such. I would most likely have named them “shady characters” if I was designing it, but I supposed conspirators works just as well.
The Flag tab is really cool. With it, you can come up with all kinds of strange and unusual coats of arms, with pictures of dragons, unicorns, pegasuses, and more.
You can set specific parameters, including colors, only using heraldric colors, and even import your own pictures for the symbols.
In all, the Kingdom Builder is a definite must-have for anyone trying to come up with their own kingdoms, and those who could use a little help coming up with various hooks and NPCs.
You can go and buy the Kingdom Builder Generator Pack II at RPGNow. It’s only $3.95. Pick it up!