What would you want in a shop generator?

Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

A while back I asked for some suggestions and advice on what people wanted to see in
a loot/treasure generator for PF2. We got some great suggestions and the loot2 generator is by far our most popular one.

In that vein I have been GMing abomination vaults. and the main town has several shops such as Magical curios, a general marketplace, arms & armors, etc. Populating the shops manually imo is a bit tedious. So, I'd like to automate the process.

The question is what would people find the most useful? The easiest solution would be
to simply run the loot generator a couple times, possibly at different levels and compile the results.

However, it seems to me that might not be the most useful, and realistically someone can already do that using our tools if that's all they wanted.

So, what would everyone like to see presuming they had use for such a tool? Different types of shops like blacksmiths, herbalists, trade goods that are all populated differently? Restrictions on the level/price of items available? Other options I haven't considered?

Hit me with some ideas.

Aside from the things you've already mentioned I think it'd be a good idea to include a rarity toggle for GMs who don't want accidental Uncommon or Rare gear showing up where they haven't got control. I mean they can remove that from the shop themselves but as long as we're spitballing.

I also think it'd be neat if it was possible to tell the generator what percentage of items should be of a given category. Say a magic shop where X% number of items were guaranteed to be scrolls, for example.

Also, in addition to the rough categories of shops, allow for totally custom shops where you can potentially check off what kinds of items you'd want to be included.

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A filter by sourcebook too, so a GM can limit stuff to the books he owns.

Sovereign Court

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Oh I can think of some things I'd like;

* Setting the shop's max item level. Bonus points if it adds in lots of lower level items, and a bit less once you get to the maximum. But in a sensible way; even in a level 1 shop it shouldn't be hard to find basic items.

* A well-chosen selection of mainstream items that have a bit higher chance of being generated. Like, there are hundreds of common level 2 items, but the +1 potency rune is much more important than most of them.

* Use item categories and perhaps traits to theme generated inventory.

* Clearly distinguish item rarity, perhaps a toggle how many non-common things can be generated.

* Good presentation of items (level, type, cost, book+page) and if you can swing it link to a full description (perhaps on Archives of Nethys).

* Name generator for the shop
* Some randomly generated flavor prompts for what the shop looks like
* Name generator for the proprietor
* Some RP prompts for the proprietor

Might be beyond the scope, but it feels like you're building the base functionality so I'll toss this idea:

Add a 'Settlement' option that generates between 1 and N shops with the combined loot available at the upper end of the Settlement Level.

I'm playing Extinction Curse and Book 3 has about a dozen small settlements between levels 1-5. Some of my players ask me what's available in each while traveling. I've been making it up on the fly but I'd have loved a tool to quickly flesh out the available inventory in the settlement which is probably only 1-2 shops for most of these, but could be used for larger places as well.

Damn. Lot of great ideas here. Going to just address them one at a time.


I like the rarity toggle idea. Definitely will throw that in the planning, although it will probably come after the basic framework. Percentages are easy enough. Have something like that built into the loot generator already.

Checkboxes for a custom shop. Interesting idea... I don't presently know how I'd implement that, but this entire project started as a way to practice and improve. This might be a great opportunity to do so.

@Mark Norfolk

Sourcebook filter will be tough. None of my current tools have sourcebooks anywhere in them. So, something like the spellbook generator which would be run to add some spell books to an arcane shop don't distinguish between core, apg, etc. This functionality might be added at some point, but probably not in a semi short time frame.


Max level item selection with a pyramid scheme of availability was the plan. Just have to think about a good way to build it.

Which does lead me to the question of how large should the shop inventory be? A store with a dozen items might not be worth generating. One with 200 might make people's eyes glaze over.

Regarding the trait shop selection just to make sure I understand, are you envisioning something like say selecting the necromancy trait to generate a shop populated with things like a staff of healing, dust of corpse animation, etc?

For flavor those are some good ideas and generally not too hard. Name generator for the proprietor might be difficult though. Would a link to Emily's fantasy name generator be sufficient?


Settlement option is a great idea. Should be fairly straight forward to incorporate(famous last words).

And final question. In particular with regards to magic shops, since lets face it, most PCs aren't going around shopping for silverware or a new dresser. How many/what categories should magic get broken up into? Should staves for example be a separate shop category, fall under the general magic store umbrella, both, neither?

Sovereign Court

Leitner wrote:
Damn. Lot of great ideas here. Going to just address them one at a time.

I'm just cherrypicking some things to reach to.

* Rarity toggle: I think the default is that Rare items don't shop up by accident, but Uncommon ones sometimes do. Rare items are something you put in intentionally as GM. So you might want to exclude them entirely, or exclude by default but allow switching them in. On the other hand, a "few" uncommon items by default, with option to open or close the sluice gates.

* Sourcebook filter would be very handy though. Especially with some toggles to quickly narrow it down to CRB, central rulebooks, or also allow setting and especially regional stuff. Like, if I'm doing a campaign in the far north, I should be able to easily exclude all the Mwangi, Tian, Osirion etc themed stuff.

* Inventory size: maybe you can say that anything more than X, say three or four, levels below the level of the shop is available for sure (if it falls in the shop's scope) and not worth mentioning. Overall I think you want to be able to present the whole shop on a single screen or (half) page.

* Traits: yeah, for example you might want to make a shop with items with fire and cold traits for an elemental magic item themed shop.

* Name Generator: yeah those are a whole world of their own, a good link to one would probably suffice. Although you could mock it with a list of adjectives and nouns and randomly pair them, and put in a link to a more elaborate generator if desired. I think a few prompts about decor and personality would add a lot of value to this as a "I need something to RP quickly" tool.

* Item Categories: I think it's good to stick with the item categories already used in the book, perhaps grouped a bit by user (weapons close to armor and shields; scrolls close to staves). But overall I think the item categories that exist in the rules make sense and are what people already know.

Okay. Tool is still very much under construction, but the work in progress can be seen here shop

I still need to add a lot of the logic for the blacksmith version. And make the lists of ancestry specific items, add extra toggle options for things like rarity, region, etc. Basically, most of the customization and flavor options aren't there yet.

Haven't had as much time to work on it as I'd like, and the family came down with Covid last week (we've all recovered). But progress should be slowly but surely happening.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It might be worth checking out this existing one: Tome of Infinite Shops

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If I were making a random shop generator, I would first make a shortlist of very common things that should always be found in shops, like healing potions and alchemical bombs and +1 runed weapons. Then add a section for more rarely seen items (even if they are classified as "common") that can be pulled from a random list by level.

Leitner, I've gotten good use out of your basic random loot generator, and have recommended it to many people. Keep up the good work!

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A table solely for randomly generating wacky shop names! :P

@nephandys Thanks for the link. That is indeed handy to compare against.

@Wheldrake First, happy to hear you are enjoying the loot generator. That is always awesome to hear.

As for the generator, that is essentially how it is currently set up. Each list has a set of common items I.E. alch fires, acid flasks, healing potions for the consumable category. The end goal is to have a bunch of tags such as the current elemental ones. So that you could generate an elven osirian cold/electric consumable store. The only minor issue is that some of the tags really don't have that much stuff. But maybe this isn't really that big of an issue.

@Radiant Oath The basic name randomizer has been added in! Just a few simple lists of words. And it adds extra possible options to the list based on your trait selection. So picking the acid trait adds words like Caustic, Acidic, etc to the possible outcomes.

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