22 November 2013

The Feeling Wheel (with bonus Random Emotion chart!)

This is, apparently, called the Feeling Wheel.

There's a lot of overlap between Psychology and tabletop games, and this wheel categorizes emotions in a way that I'd honestly never thought of. You could turn this pretty easily into a "random emotions" chart. Just take the chart and roll 1d6 if you want your basic emotions, or consult this longish chart I created if you're looking for a more subtle emotion for your randomly generated needs.

Not bad, right? Randomly generate a person using your favorite ruleset and then give him a random emotion to be in the throes of when your bold adventurer's party meets them. Help visualize the emotions of the mighty villain you just rolled up by randomly generating him a dominant emotion! Why decide between Guilty, Frustrated, or Joyful when you have this chart?

Create a Helm of Emotions and have the players be in-character consumed by a completely random emotion each and every morning!

Or possibly something you just thought of now that's probably twice as creative as what I thought. It's your game, probably. If it isn't, maybe it should be?

Anyways, here you are. Please enjoy.



  1. You know for all the emotions on the chart, I've only ever found need of about four when portraying NPCs (or even PCs) -- anger, fear, hope, or despair. These actually get some play in D&D through spells and class features like Barbarian Rage, Cause Fear/Turn Undead, Bardic Music/Good Hope, and Crushing Despair.


  2. I have the d6 with those first six given in little cartoon faces (from Gamescience?) and use it some. I'd be tempted to just print the wheel on cardstock and attach a spinner. The inner circle is obvious from expression etc. but you (the PC) would need to observe, converse, etc to figure out which of the outer circles apply (they seem to go from general to specific feelings, right?).