Exposing the recipe of the special sauce

One of the major differences between Chartopia and many other web-based role-playing random table generators out there is that a lot of information is hidden behind javascript.

Even non-roleplaying specific tools on the net like the amazing Fantasy Name Generator┬ánot only conceals a lot about how big and varied their selection is, but how it’s determining what name to give you.

Chartopia exposes everything.

Exposing the secret sauce
This chart view shows all the ingredients to what is a very complicated table. It would take a DM a long time to resolve this manually.

The true charm of Chartopia is being able to see the tables as if they were from a book. Sure, it’s not formatted to look like a book (although, with some clever use of css I could get it pretty close), but it doesn’t hide from you that, at it’s core, the data is from a table.

It means that Chartopia is not merely a database of massive amounts of data, but something that is trying to replicate the real world dynamics of pencil and paper rollplaying. If the table is a 2d12, then you’re going to see a minimum 23 possible results where results will favour the numbers around 10-13 (and 1 is unreachable).

But from here, the digital shortcuts come in to play. The names of other tables that would be called upon a certain roll can be linked via URL. Equations/formulas and other features such as Chartopia’s rollable lists can be styled to make them more obvious.

Take it a step further and we can show tables with formatting features such as images, bullet points, arbitrary links to, say, an online monster manual, rule book entry or the like.

So as much as the generators out there are useful, Chartopia does what they do with the quick-roll button. If you want to see the secret recipe that makes it all possible, then check out all the ingredients.

That is unless the author’s gone and made all the linked-charts private.

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