A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

RPG Generator Adds Life to Novel

Hey there guys and gals!

Do you suffer from writer’s block? Have you found more than one character standing as a cardboard cutout with no depth? Do you want to add dimensions to your characters and fill them full of life? I have some really great news! There is indeed and app for that!

AC Arcana’s RPG Character Generator is just amazing. I sat for almost a month with writer’s block. I really needed a new character to make a scene work. Also, most of my other characters were just pieces of furniture – you know, not comfy and made of wood? So, I went online and looked for inspiration (as you do). I found many things I could purchase: writer’s dice, story dice, etc. None of them seemed to fit what I needed. I then went to my daughter (who writes lots of fan fiction) and said “Man, I wish I knew Java or C++. I would then create this really cool app that would generate a character based on certain parameters.”

“But there’s already one out there,” she announced.

“You have GOT to be kidding me!”

“No, really there is. See? Take a look.”

A few minutes later, I had an awesome character drawn up and a new subplot added to my novel. Yay me!

First of all, there is a free version with ads and a $1.49 version without. Right now, I have the free version. I will be buying it today because it is just that great. Although, this review is based on the free version for Android. I downloaded it from the Google Play Store.

RPG Character Generator - screenshot

The first thing you notice when you open the app is an array of character attributes. They are broken down into the following categories:

  • Role
  • Appearance
  • Personality
  • Birthplace or Home
  • Past
  • Religion
  • Family
  • Sexuality

For example, Role has the following drop down menus:

  • Role
  • Archetype
  • Preferred Weapon
  • Alignment

Even archetype has oodles of choices in a drop down menu: alchemist, assassin, brute, cavalier, craftsman, defender, diplomat, enchanter, entertainer, inquisitor, magus, monk, naturalist, necromancer, paladin, peasant, priest, ranger, sage, scout, sharpshooter, sorcerer, swashbuckler, thief, warlock and warrior. And if you don’t like any of these, you can always add your own by choosing “other….”

Once you make a choice in the pull down menu, a description appears under your choice. For instance, for Paladin it says “Choose a class geared towards protection and healing.”

There is a lock beside each of the drop down menus. This allows you to choose from only a few of them and lock your choices in place. Then you can hit the randomize button to get rid of the ones you don’t want.

Many of them are geared toward gaming. But, it can be used for other characters as well. My favorite Personality menu is “Quirks”. It lets you add just about anything (some examples are: activist, addicted to a Narcotic, arachnophobia, drama queen, schizophrenia, touchy feely are just a few) . You can add multiple quirks and you can even make up your own.

Once you have created your character, you can then save it (with his/her name that can be generated as well) in one of ten slots.

Here is the character sketch I created last night.

Dak is a tall, runty, young adult human male with spiked purple hair and green eyes. He is a priest who carries a quarterstaff. His alignment is neutral good. He is clean shaven and likes to wear chains, studs, leather coats, and bandanas. He seeks to know all the secrets of the universe and has a tendency to come up with strange and surprising ideas.  He always wants to ask about every detail about everything. He goes out of his way to find libraries, rare books, wise men, and sages alike to learn their secrets. He finds matter-of-fact, casual humor the most amusing and he keeps a lucky charm. He is an avid reader, tea lover and inventor. He was born in a small mountain village that was quickly built as temporary housing for a gold rush or mine. The village community all know each other well and are interested in each other’s lives. In his past, he was once married. He managed to find and fall in love again (after his marriage fell apart).  He devotes more time than most to matters involving his faith. His religion puts emphasis on the traditions regarding multiple gods. His faith has a local following only. He has an overall average sized family (with three siblings). He has family members who are addicted to some kind of mind altering substance. He is a member of the lower class with an average reputation.

All of that came from one little app.

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Hack and Attack

I have been introduced to a new ARG (Augmented Reality Game). It is called Ingress. This game was created by Niantic Labs, a subdivision of Google. I have never played an ARG before. I have been researching them lately. They are very fascinating to me. Here is more about my current obsession…

According to its Wiki, Ingress is “a near-real time augmented reality massively multiplayer online pervasive game created by Niantic Labs, a start-up within Google, originally for Android devices, and since July 14, 2014 for Apple’s iOS. The game has a complex science fiction back story with a  continuous open narrative.

The gameplay consists of establishing ‘portals’ at places of public art, landmarks, cenotaphs, etc., and linking them to create virtual triangular fields over geographic areas. Progress in the game is measured by the number of Mind Units, i.e. people, nominally controlled by each faction (as illustrated on the Intel Map). The necessary links between portals may range from meters to kilometers, or to hundreds of kilometers in operations of considerable logistical complexity. International links and fields are not uncommon, as Ingress has attracted an enthusiastic following in cities worldwide amongst both young and old, to the extent that the gameplay is itself a lifestyle for some, including tattoos.”

I am not so into it that it has become a “lifestyle” for me. In fact, I just like to take out portals when I am in the area. My husband and I usually travel together. Luckily, we are in the same faction. There is a green faction called The Enlightened and a blue faction called The Resistance. Each faction vies for control of portals throughout any one area. My husband and I are green, but live in a blue-dominated area. We are working to change that.

This game is a great social outlet. There are various Google+ groups for faction members of certain areas. They arrange meetups, raids and such. It is great fun. It reminds me of Geocaching. We still do that on occasion.  I will write more about that in another blog. I love games that force you to get out and actually do things – get to know your community and surroundings. I homeschool my kids and I work from home. So this gives me a chance to get out and meet people. And (unlike the SCA) it is free. The game/app is a free download and I usually make stops along a path that I am already traveling.

Check out this game! We can always use new recruits – as long as you choose The Enlightened. 🙂

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But I got Better

So many things happened to me because I got the flu. This illness kept me in bed for days. While lying there, with nothing much to do, I had time to reflect on things. Not only was I trying to cough up a lung, but I was also depressed. I have written about my depression before. I had gone to my doctor for a checkup. At that time, I thought I was really doing OK. Then, I lost my insurance. I am currently looking for new insurance. But in the meantime, I am looking for a way to combat all this without meds. I think I have found a solution called SuperBetter. This may seem a little silly. It did to me, at first.

This journey began a few months ago when I saw a TEDTalks video on Netflix. The series was called Life Hack. It was so amazing, I watched the entire series in one day. The one that really stood out was “Jane McGonigal: The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life”. This woman is amazing. I was really moved by her at the time and I shared her video with friends and family. Then, I moved on. I didn’t need her game. I was doing great! I got out of bed, I wasn’t crying non-stop, yadda-yadda-yadda. I didn’t think I was depressed. Then, the flu hit with a tsunami of headaches, fever, and sore throat. I went through tissues, paper towels, and (finally) toilet tissue. I went through the NyQuil and DayQuil. I still felt like utter crap.  What was I going to do? I forced myself out of bed. A couple of days ago, I wrote about how that went. I tried again yesterday. Instead of writing, I went back to Jane McGonigal and her SuperBetter game. This game can help you battle depression, kick an addiction, recover from an illness, lose weight, or just about anything. It is completely free and it is truly a blessing. Thank you Jane!

This is what I found – inspiration and the strength to beat up bad guys. The bad guys here are things like Sticky Chair. To beat Sticky Chair, I must get up and walk away from my seat. I just have to take two steps. I can also use Power Ups. I set my own Power Up as Cleaning for Five Minutes. I took the challenge and I got out of my chair. Then, I took it one more step. I unloaded and then loaded my dishwasher. It may not seem like much to the average person, but it was monumental to me. Then, just before going to bed, I brushed my teeth and cleaned my face.

Today, I have accomplished many things. Usually, the first thing I do in the morning is check my phone (emails and such). Today, I left it plugged in – forgotten. Instead, I got up and got dressed. First Power Up used! Now I am writing in my blog. Second Power Up used. Baby steps. Next, I will actually make breakfast for my family. I am still sick with the flu, but I am not down and out. I am on the mend both physically and emotionally. I think I can really beat Sticky Chair today. I am definitely on my way to getting SuperBetter!

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