Overview: An Infinitely Versatile Toolkit for DMs/GMs of Pathfinder, 5E, or Any RPG Rules System
Are you a GM for any fantasy RPG? Good! This PDF and full-color hardcover book will be useful to you. It's as simple as that. You'll eventually be able to generate entire Adventure Paths dynamically and on-the-fly, with zero preparation, simply by rolling a few dice.
Not sold? Read on. Or, just download a free preview and see if it's the sort of thing that would be useful to you.
The FlexTale Encounter Generator is a set of flexible, creative tables that quickly let you generate all of the following:
- Mundane equipment contents
- Monster encounters
- NPC gear
- NPC names
- Faction names
- Faction descriptions
- Villains & motivations
- Secret doors
- Skill challenges
- Social challenges
- NPC quirks & traits
- Combat traits (advantages and disadvantages)
- Quest "strings"; i.e., adventures or even entire adventure paths!
A simple roll of the dice, and you have your result.
Make any adventure, in any campaign setting, in practically any rules system, infinitely reusable and dynamic with the FlexTale Encounter Generator.
The Ultimate Goal: Create On-the-Fly Adventure Paths
The ultimate goal of this project is to generate Linked or Threaded Dynamic Quests.
The holy grail. Strings of dynamically-generated Quests, each linked one to the other in some manner. The thread of which quests and events evolve depends on the nature of what has come before, and the outcome of each quest, that is determined at least in part by the PCs' actions.
I describe this as the "holy grail", because if pulled off completely and correctly, it means you as a GM can show up completely unprepared, and just keep making dice rolls to string further events and quests along, essentially generating an entire Adventure Path on-the-fly, using nothing more than the single FTEG book!
- Event 1: A wandering monster encounter with Ettins results in treasure, which includes a jeweled dagger.
- Event 2: When the PCs go to sell the dagger, the shopkeeper contacts the noble household who had reported it missing. A social challenge results between the party, and the town militia, who accost the PCs and accuse them of theft.
- Event 3A: Escape from the jail and dungeon where the PCs have been imprisoned, if they failed at the test or were overwhelmed in the ensuing fight.
- Event 3B: If the party were successful in sweet-talking the guards, they are soon set upon by the ruffians who actually DID steal the dagger, wanting to know where their comrades are--it turns out that the Ettins from Event 1 slew the original thieves, and now the rest of their guild is out for revenge.
- ...and so on!
Books: A Library of GM Tools
At some point, this will evolve beyond what can possibly fit in just one book. It's as simple as that.
There are two kinds of FTEG books.
- The General-Purpose Book is what you get with Version 1.0. You'll get lifetime PDF updates of this as it continues to evolve.
- There are several Context Books, to be released in the future. Context Books can be added in BackerKit after this Kickstarter ends, or you can get all of them with one of the "Global" pledge levels.
Context Books Planned:
- FTEG: Cold Climates
- FTEG: Deserts
- FTEG: Forests
- FTEG: Jungles
- FTEG: Mountains
- FTEG: Plains
- FTEG: Swamps
- FTEG: Underground
- FTEG: Urban
- FTEG: Aqueous
- FTEG: Gothic Horror
- FTEG: Castles
- FTEG: Druid Forest
- FTEG: Book of Names
- FTEG: Mines
- FTEG: Ruins
- FTEG: Wastelands
- FTEG: Sewers & Tunnels
- FTEG: Hills & Highlands
Please refer to pledge levels for details on what level gets you what books.
You'll be able to Add On individual PDFs or hardcovers in BackerKit.
I'm always open to creative suggestions, too! Here's what's on the radar so far.
Note that all of the "Additional Context Books" that are unlocked as Stretch Goals will be available for individual purchase via Add-Ons, but even better, they'll be INCLUDED in the "Global" pledge levels who are slated to receive ALL terrain books. So basically, the bigger we get, the better the value for those pledge levels.
- UNLOCKED! $1,500: Additional Terrain Context Book: Gothic Horror
- UNLOCKED! $2,000: Additional Terrain Context Book: Castles
- UNLOCKED! $2,500: Additional Context Book: Book of Names: Quickly name NPCs, Factions, Geographical Features, Regions, and more with tens of thousands of unique name results, and a nearly-unlimited number of possible combinations!
- UNLOCKED! $3,000: Additional Terrain Context Book: Druid Forest
- UNLOCKED! $3,500: Additional Terrain Context Book: Mines
- UNLOCKED! $4,000: Microsoft Excel files for EVERYTHING that's published. Available as Add-Ons.
- UNLOCKED! $4,500: One Free Context Book! Dynamic DM backers get one free Context book PDF. Hardened Dynamic GM backers get one free PDF and an at-cost hardcopy print code for that selected PDF.
- UNLOCKED! $5,000: FlexTale Solo Adventuring Rules. All backers of the FTEG at Dynamic DM level and above will get a free PDF of this rulebook when it's created. This will almost certainly be a separate Kickstarter project, so that I can devote the right amount of energy, support, art, supporting tools and products etc. to it.
- UNLOCKED! $5,500: Additional Terrain Context Book: Wastelands, PLUS a second FREE Context Book!
- UNLOCKED! $6,000: Additional Context Book: NPC Generator: No time to prep? Need a bit more interesting NPCs with flavor and life? No problem! Roll a few dice, and you'll have living, breathing, interesting NPCs, tailor-made for the context you need.
- UNLOCKED! $6,500: Additional Terrain Context Books: Ruins, PLUS a third FREE Context Book!
- UNLOCKED! $7,000: Additional Terrain Context Book: On the Road, PLUS a fourth FREE Context Book!
- UNLOCKED! $7,500: Additional Terrain Context Book: Sewers & Tunnels.
- UNLOCKED! $8,000: Additional Terrain Context Book: Hills & Highlands.
- $8,500: Additional Terrain Context Book: Lakes, Rivers, and Ponds.
The FTEG is all about crunch, and GM utility. So I'll be offering a variety of crunch-related products as Add-Ons via BackerKit survey following the campaign. (Prices are subject to change, but will almost certainly end up being the numbers that will appear in BackerKit.)
Note that all hardcopies also automatically include corresponding PDFs.
- Dark Obelisk 1: $40 PDF, $75 hardcover (includes Adventure Book and Dramatis Personae & Bestiary)
- DO1 Premium Atlas: $5 PDF, $30 hardcover
- Dark Obelisk: Berinncorte Basecamp: $25 PDF, $55 hardcover
- DO: BB Premium Atlas: $1 PDF, $20 hardcover
- Dark Obelisk 2: $40 PDF, $70 hardcover
- Character Compendium 1: $20 PDF, $35 hardcover
- Character Compendium 2: $20 PDF, $35 hardcover
- Villainous Compendium: $20 PDF, $35 hardcover
- Artifacts & Artifice Volumes 1 & 2: $40 PDF, $85 hardcover
- Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm Volumes 1 & 2: OGL Monsters: $45 PDF, $90 hardcovers
- Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm Volume 3: Custom Monsters: $25 PDF, $45 hardcover
- Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm Volume 4: Incarnae of Aquilae: $25 PDF, $45 hardcover
- Suggest a Table: $50. You'll tell me what sort of FlexContent table you'd like to see, and I'll design and author it. Personality quirks of NPCs? Venereal diseases acquired in brothels along the Dagger Coast? Edible fungi with side effects? You name it, I'll bring my creativity to make it happen.
- Additional Terrain Book PDFs: $5-10 per. Or just upgrade your pledge to a "Global" level and save 50%.
- Additional Hardcopy Codes: $10-15 per. Remember that your hardcover pledge gets you the General-Purpose book. For just $15 per additional Terrain, you can get codes to order the other 10 terrain-contextual hardcovers at-cost when they're released. Note that this includes all future versions of these books! Or just upgrade your pledge to a "Global" level and save 50%.
Hasn't Something Like This Been Done Before?
Yes. At least, the monster-and-treasure parts.
So Why Should I Care About This Iteration?
We firmly believe this approach is better, and much more useful to all GMs/DMs.
FlexTale takes a different, and even more flexible approach, to generating dynamic content.
Here's what sets the FTEG apart from other tools:
- Random Monster Encounters: At Version 1.0, this constitutes the main work of the book. I'm well aware that wandering monster tables have been done quite well elsewhere. I do think that the FlexContent approach to this task does provide a great deal more flexibility, scalability, and contextual appropriateness than other products.
- Dynamic Skill Challenges: Beyond the current version is where the true innovation is introduced. Randomly generating complex and interesting Skill Challenges can take many forms, but at their heart, they consist of stages, or layers, of mostly skill check-based activities, each offering the opportunity to progress or fail along the track. Below is an example of a Skill Challenge, taken from Dark Obelisk 1: Berinncorte.
- Dynamic Social Encounters: These are similar in structure to a Skill Challenge, but focus more on social interactions, conversations, and NPCs. Below is an example, taken from DO1.
- Dynamic Quests: Fetch, defend, escort, collect, slay... these are common tropes that we're all familiar with. Roll a few dice, and generate a brand-new Quest, with dynamically-determined quest type, sources/givers, objectives, obstacles, targets, rewards, conclusions, and epilogues. Below is an example of a Quest, again from DO1; this one has intentionally been selected because it's a little bit different from "kill 5 giant rats in the tavern basement".
- Scalable: The tables in the FTEG are meant to scale to any level of difficulty. In practice, this means there are difficulty bands: Low, Standard, Advanced, and Elite. Each corresponds to a range of character levels of the party who is adventuring.
- Context-Appropriate: Different tables provide contextually-appropriate content for a variety of circumstances. In addition, four Contexts dictate what to do with your dice roll, depending on the circumstances; this dictates a contextually-appropriate probability to each possible outcome.
- Sized: Most tables are usable for a variety of sizes of result. For example, you may need a Treasure that's in a huge shipping crate: use the Large size. Or, a Treasure that's in a hip-high barrel: use the Medium size.
- Thorough: Over 100 tables are planned for the next version, with dozens more beyond that intended for future versions.
- Easy to Use: A single dice roll starts things off. Further rolls may be required, but it still takes merely seconds to produce a result.
- Integrated with IGS Adventure Products: Beginning with Dark Obelisk 2: The Mondarian Elective, all Infinium Game Studio adventures and campaign settings will reference FTEG tables. This has two invaluable impacts: first, it simplifies the adventure books themselves; and second, it makes every adventure infinitely reusable, since each random encounter, each room, each door even, is different each time.
How Do You Get Infinite Dynamic Content?
There's three levels at which a FlexContent lookup table offers dynamicness that's appropriate to your situation:
The Table Itself:
- With over 100 tables planned, there's a huge variety to choose from. Middling potions? Advanced coins? Trivial beasties, in the savannah? Pick the right FlexContent table for your needs from a huge variety.
- Each FlexContent table has four Contexts. You use one of these to interpret your dice roll.
- Here's an example from the free sample:
- Each dice result, in each table, lists separate outcomes for each of four difficulty bands: Low, Standard, Advanced, and Elite.
- Furthermore, each monster that's referenced has, itself, four statblocks across these difficulty bands. So even with a result of "1d4 Ankhegs", each monster used means something terribly different depending on the difficulty band your PCs are at.
- Here's an example from the free sample:
Using & Referencing in an Adventure
Dark Obelisk 2 extensively makes use of FlexContent tables in the FTEG to make its content interesting. Here's an example of how to reference tables in the FTEG to quickly and easily make even the most mundane of containers dynamic and versatile:
With over 50 tables already finished, you could already run a pretty decent random adventure with the dynamic content you can generate from the book as it is just in Version 1.0. Here are some more examples of the sorts of things you can quickly, easily, and dynamically generate.
Hierarchical, or Layered, FlexContent:
In this example, you roll first on the Armor, General table; from there, you may be called upon to roll on additional FlexContent tables.
The FlexTale Difference
There's a whole free PDF dedicated to explaining this, but here's a simple, easy visual.
Here's an example from the free sample FlexContent table you can explore in more detail:
Your pledge gets you a lifetime subscription to the FTEG. This is a product that will evolve over time, and as more IGS adventures are published.
Here's what you get:
- PDF of every version that is published, as soon as it's published.
- For pledges that involve a hardcover, you get the hardcover of Version 1.0 included with your pledge. For every future version that is published, you'll get a discount code to get a hardcopy of that new version at-cost... typically 50% or more off of retail / public pricing.
What Versions Are Planned?
Good question! All the content for version 1.0 is done already, and will fulfill immediately upon conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign.
Future versions are as follows:
- Version 1.0: Supports Dark Obelisk 2: The Mondarian Elective. Includes more than 50 FlexContent tables covering monsters, treasure, mundane items and equipment, locks, secret doors, doors, skill challenges, and containers.
- Version 2.0: Supports Artifacts & Artifice books.
- Version 3.0: Supports the Druid Enclave book.
- Version 4.0: Supports the Character Compendium 1 and 2, and Villain Compendium books.
- Version 5.0: Contains a full monster tableset supporting the Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm books, which includes all OGL monsters, Volume 3's custom monsters, and Volume 4's Incarnae.
- Version 6.0: Supports the Dark Harbor line of books (KS coming soon!).
- Version 7.0: Supports the Western Realm Gazetteer book, and full dynamic encounters.
What Tables are Planned?
This is a more involved answer, but here ya go!
Risks and challenges
Version 1.0 doesn't really have any risks... the content is complete.
Future versions will be produced anyway as part of the needs of authoring future IGS books and gaming products. So the fate of future FTEGs is tied to the production timing of those books. Historically, the big risk there is timing: my target dates are influenced by my day job and full family life, and frequently, I'm overly optimistic with how rapidly I can produce.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)