Miseries & Misfortunes Character Generator

Mostly for my own entertainment, I created Miserables and Misfortunates: a web app that generates random level 1 Miseries & Misfortunes characters. It really helped me wrap my head around character creation prior to getting the game to the table. I think it shows off the interesting range of characters possible within this system.

A few notes on the randomizaion of character creation choices:

  • Governing abilities are not modified. They are flat rolls. If you used this generator but wanted to allow modification of governing abilities, you would need to update measures, languages, and skills accordingly.
  • Languages are randomly determined prior to determining viable lifepaths. Occultist, Philopher, and Jesuit lifepaths are only options if Latin is on the list of known languages.
  • A wealth rating over 16 removes Filou and Gamine from the list of possible lifepaths.
  • Illiteracy (an intelligence modifier less than -1) removes Clerk from the list of possible lifepaths.
  • Having children, a spouse, or in-laws removes Gamine from the list of possible lifepaths.
  • Musketeer and Petty Noble are weighted more heavily than other lifepaths if a character has a patent of nobility.
  • The governing ability for the rider skill is not listed. I used Dexterity but can update it if corrected.
  • Hermetics does not have a base governing ability (based on my reading of another forum thread).
  • Lifepath skills that include options are written as text; the option is not randomized (e.g. the Americain(e) must choose and write in their additional religion).
  • Gear options (e.g. the soldier’s kit) are randomly determined.
  • Skills with a rating of 0 (or less) are listed as such, though the character will have to roll unskilled (1/10) until the skill is improved to a positive value.

Thanks to @pepe_andre and @luke for answering questions about character creation that made creating this possible.

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Questions that I still have about character creation:

  • What is the governing ability for Rider?
  • Can a character who owns property be a Jesuit, given their vow to " To live happily in holy poverty and without property or income. "
  • Can a character who owns property be an Americain(e) as their starting lifepath?
  • What happens if a character with a -2 con mod rolls 1-2 HP? Do they die during character creation?
  • Can a character with a -3 con mod choose to be a Gamine (given that the Gamine rolls a maximum of 3 HP)?

Very, very cool.

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Questions answered:

Rider: I dunno. Wisdom? Charisma? Dex works too.
Jesuit: they gotta give it all up…in their vows. Traditionally (and according to Dumas), they kept it.
Americaine: yup

and minimum starting HP is 1 regardless of all other penalties.

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Generator now adjusts minimum HP to 1.

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Revised the layout to be more mobile-friendly.

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Pretty neat. I thought about this for a log time, but never has the time to learn the necessary coding skills to build anything like this. It’s really great, thanks!

After using the app for a day or two I came across two things that would be nice to have:
1.) When using my phone the abilities and their corresponding modifiers are listed separately. Would it be possible to use a smaller font for the modifiers and list them underneath their corresponding abilities?
2.) Any chance there could be an option that the algorhythm can choose lifepaths according to the highest ability score? I guess this is hard to pull off, but instead of fully randomizing lifepath choice, it would be nice to only get a soldier if e.g. strength is your highest ability.

Thanks for the app! It’s really a great tool.

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  1. I agree that modifiers should go next to their attributes. I will reformat the mobile layout.
  2. I am interested in rewriting the function to assign lifepaths based on attributes (rather than chance). The challenge is determining the appropriate criterion for each lifepath. I have done this for B/X D&D and it was straightforward (prime requisites flag the important attributes quite clearly).

I sketched together how the app could choose lifepaths and I would be interested in feedback on these choices:

If you have a Patent of nobility, lifepath chosen by the sum of two stats:

  • Musketeer: High str + dex
  • Petty Noble: High int + cha

If you do not have a patent and know Latin, lifepath determined by religion and int/wis:

  • Jesuit (If Catholic)
  • Philosopher (if not Catholic and Int > Wis)
  • Occultist (if not Catholic and Wis> Int)

If you do not have a patent, do not know Latin, and your wealth class is below poverty, lifepath determined by highest stat:

  • High Strength: Soldier
  • High Intelligence: Clerk
  • High Wisdom: Filou
  • High Dexterity: Gamine (if no spouse or children), otherwise Sailor
  • High Constitution: Americain(e)
  • High Charisma: Filou

If you do not have a patent, do not speak Latin, and your wealth class is poverty or greater, lifepath determined by highest stat:

  • High Strength: Soldier
  • High Intelligence: Clerk
  • High Wisdom: Passeur
  • High Dexterity: Sailor
  • High Constitution: Americain(e)
  • High Charisma: Factotum

To set these, I mostly looked at the governing abilities for lifepath skills, so that characters would tend to be competent in their starting skills.

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Implemented these changes. Lifepaths are now chosen by checking nobility, latin, and the highest governing ability. Happy to revise based on feedback. Additionally, Rider is now based on Wisdom (after I noticed that the character sheet refers to Horsemanship as a Wisdom-based skill).

[edit: I also adjusted the saves to poison/plague and terror, to incorporate their respective modifiers.]

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My tiny burning coal of a heart burns with new heat.

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If folks are curious about the likelihood of rolling the various lifepaths, here are the results of a test that ran the generator one million times (my browser froze briefly).

[edit: adjusted math to increase odds of rolling an occultist]

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Give me a minute and we can compare that with census data from the period…

But at first blush there are too many Americaines. There were probably just a few dozen in Paris at the time.
Musketeer and PN seem about right. Jesuit seems a little high on its own, but about right as a stand in for all clergy.

Factotums seem low! There should be many servants in the city.

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THIS IS SO FUN. Is it creating L1 characters? Can we make a mode that creates L3 characters?

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Yes, so far it only makes L1 characters, though it could be expanded to L3 (it will just have to choose which skills to advance each level).

I’ll do some tinkering with how life paths are chosen to shift the ratio of Americain(e), Factotum, etc (while still choosing lifepaths that align well to the rolled governing abilities).

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I think we could make an assignation heuristic:
Assign a level point to the first skill for which the character has a bonus. Then the first skill on the lifepath, then second, etc. Then a random core skill.

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