Generate names for your tabletop RPGs with data from the U.S. census
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README.md

RPG Census

RPG Census generates names for your roleplaying game characters using data from the United States census. The names are chosen completely at random, which means that James Smith is just as likely be generated as Elden Aalderink. There is a tremendous diversity in American demographics, making RPG Census suitable for not only modern-day settings but also science fiction and even fantasy.

» Try RPG Census

RPG Census can also be used to create your own name generators, as described below.

The data

RPG Census uses data from the 1990 U.S. census consisting of approximately 5,000 first names and almost 90,000 surnames. This data is freely available at the United States Census Bureau's website.

Creating your own generator

You can create your own generator for use in RPG Census by creating a file with the following format:

title: American Top 3
patterns:
    Male: [male, " ", family]
    Female: [female, " ", family]
lists:
    male: [James, John, Robert]
    female: [Mary, Patricia, Linda]
    family: [Smith, Johnson, Williams]

Save the file with the extension .yaml (or download american-top-3.yaml) and then drag-and-drop it into RPG Census in order to start using it.

Getting creative

When you start writing custom generators, RPG Census can be used for generating much more than just names. For example:

title: City Professionals
patterns:
    West: [name, ", ", occupation, " from ", west]
    East: [name, ", ", occupation, " from ", east]
lists:
    name: [James, John, Robert, Mary, Patricia, Linda]
    occupation: [police officer, teacher, mechanic, reporter]
    west: [Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle]
    east: [New York, Boston, Miami]

Generators with only one pattern

If your generator only has one pattern, you can use the shorthand syntax below:

title: ...
pattern: [a, b, c]
lists:
    ...

YAML and JSON

The format used in the examples above is YAML, but you can also use equivalent JSON.