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Friday, 31st October, 2014

  • 07:08 AM - Lanefan mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Module with a good map
    If it's not too late I'll add to the already-listed plugs for L1 Bone Hill (great dungeon design, lots of ways in and out, lots of choices once inside), Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (if your group is masochistic enough to want to map lots of irregular-shaped caverns), and Forge of Fury (probably the best d02-or-later module I've seen). Another one I'll lob out there is Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. Here you can try mapping both the outdoors and the dungeon (half the adventure takes place before you get there, if the DM so decides), though the dungeon itself doesn't have nearly as many in-out choices or paths between levels as Bone Hill. Scrivener of Doom - I've been looking for a paper copy of Caverns of Thracia every time I've been at GenCon, so far no luck; but I've heard many good things about it. Lan-"the Rappan Athuk mega-dungeon would keep your group mapping for years except it would kill their PCs long before then"-efan

Wednesday, 8th October, 2014

  • 06:41 PM - Balesir mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Attacks invalidated by interrupts
    What keterys and Scrivener of Doom said, plus I don't see many interrupts that trigger on a hit for just this reason, too. Interrupts that push or move generally trigger on either movement ("enemy moves adjacent to you") or targetting ("enemy targets you with an attack"). These power specifications deal with the consequences via simple timing logic.

Sunday, 5th October, 2014

  • 11:08 PM - pemerton mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Grugnur died prone in a pile of his own swordthanes!
    Thanks Scrivener of Doom. The campaign is definitely coming to its close: the players are aware that they've ony got a few levels left, and have as their plan to take out Lolth and then Orcus in that remaining time. What they will do about the Dusk War and the Lattice of Heaven I think they still haven't decided, although giving the Raven Queen control over Winter in the Feywild is a significant boost to her power. They also have an unfulfilled promise to Kas to track down Jenna Osterneth. I need to somehow bring that back to bite them soon.

Wednesday, 13th August, 2014

  • 08:18 PM - Sadras mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Hey DMs, what are your quirks at the table?
    I DM standing up - fortunately, I am only 5'6" so I don't tower over anyone - purely because I find it helps me remain energetic and focussed. Yeah, this for me and I'm around the same height, and I'm agreeing with Scrivener of Doom :p I don't do all NPC voices, but one "sound" I have picked up from 4e's Cairn of the Winter King, is the owlbear's "Woot". Every time I introduce an owlbear and it happens to cry out, I enthusiastically "Woooooot", its long, loud and proud! I also had some fun with TToEE recently when Zuggtmoy was released (PC's messed up badly), and the sealed doors were being violently opened one by one in the background, a minute apart...suddenly evoking a loud "Bah!" at the table and watching their surprised/confused faces...when the second last seal was broken, worry had replaced surprise and confusion. So yeah, my quirk: Noises.

Sunday, 10th August, 2014

  • 11:28 PM - pemerton mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Session Report - Against the (Frost) Giants
    Scrivener of Doom, thanks. The last time I GMed G2 was for AD&D, back in the mid-80s. I remember the verticality of the layout being a factor back then, too - I remember the high-level fighter jumping over the edge to escape some giants, because the player knew his PC could survive the maximum falling damage. But you're probably not surprised that I think 4e handles it better. It's not the most deep and meaningful scenario I've ever GMed, but it is visually exciting (at least in the mind's eye!).

Monday, 21st July, 2014

  • 03:25 PM - TwoSix mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Legends & Lore 7/21/14
    Arcane Archer may have been renamed to Spell Sniper - see that feat tucked away at the bottom of the list. (here's to hoping you haven't heard this from 99 other people already!) Scrivener of Doom indicated otherwise. I forget if it was here or on

Monday, 20th January, 2014

  • 03:36 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Pushing the 4th edition envelope
    fjw70, Scrivener of Doom, and Quickleaf, thank you guys for the kind words. its pretty easy to implement and provides an aesthetic that myself and my players are familiar with and appreciative others. If folks want to fiddle around with it, they might find some fine. It is, of course, "metagamey" so it won't work for all tables. Interesting ideas. I'm already considering adding something like the "drama point" from Hillfolk - you earn them for conceding some purely dramatic point; a promise, say, or forgiveness. Maybe these could be surges, too? Might work. I forsee a bit of an issue when "each time you *spend* (as opposed to lose) a healing surge you get X" abilities. @Manbearcat , do you find any need to increase the bonus at Paragon/Epic tiers? Surges seem to gain uses, then, anyway. In a related system, I'm also pondering on giving APs for skill challenge failures. This might reduce the pressure to 'always use the best skill' while adding drama to challenges by tempting a "well, two failures is OK ...

Sunday, 24th November, 2013

  • 04:47 PM - Mercurius mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post What do we know about The Sundering?
    Thanks Scrivener of Doom - you pretty much answered all of my questions, except for one: Do we know when the last installment comes out? It sounds like they're trying to pull off one of those "It was all just a weird dream" moves with 4e.

Tuesday, 29th October, 2013

  • 12:57 PM - Mercurius mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Gaming Dedication Likert Scale - How do you characterize yourself?
    To the last few posters, remember - the descriptions are meant to be more descriptive than definitive. I tried to paint a broad brush - there isn't supposed to be a 100% match, just "I'm more this one than anything else." Scrivener of Doom, just based upon what you wrote, it sounds like you are at least Very Serious. The purpose-built room is Diehard-worthy, but the key is how much mental space, time and energy that gaming consumes. If during those months that you're not playing, gaming isn't still somewhat primary in your leisure time in terms of secondary activities - reading, planning stuff, etc - then I'd call you Very Serious. But if, while focusing on business stuff, you're still working on game stuff at nearly every spare opportunity, then you could be Diehard.

Tuesday, 8th October, 2013

  • 06:50 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Adapting "Ghost Tower of Inverness" for 13th level PCs
    Yeah Scrivener of Doom that's it. For anyone curious here's the Wikipedia page: It's basically a madhouse dungeon with chessboard puzzles, reverse gravity, and no rhyme or reason to things being there. I want to maintain some of that maniacal hint at the dead mage's questionable character...but my style of game is more about internal logic. I'm redoing the map probably in much the same way I did for Dragon Mountain; i.e. a vertical section pencil sketch. It is pretty wonky the way they did it in the original C-2. Having read the entire adventure over, it's actually not as interesting as I remember it from playing it in 1e. It must be one of those where it plays better and is more interesting on the player side than it reads.

Monday, 16th September, 2013

  • 10:23 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Guiding players to more sandbox-y play?
    Scrivener of Doom I am a big fan of creating party cohesion, whether thru "here's what you have got in common - now why?" or some other technique. IME this doesn't lead to sandbox-y play however. Maybe it's one of the ingredients that helps the players get into it, but it has definitely not been a game-changing one for my group. "You all oppose the tyrannical prince. Why?" "You all are loyal to your kingdom and king. Why?" Then I get some players who seriously answer, most who give a quick stock answer, and then waiting around for adventure to come find them.

Friday, 5th April, 2013

  • 12:19 PM - Pour mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post D&DN going down the wrong path for everyone.
    ...s about people's behavior... or maybe (maybe even probably) both. Nem was personally targeted. And if you switch 4e to PF, you might be nose-disjointed, too. Here, when I change a few words, this is how it reads. Let me know your feeling: "So when I say the following, I do it with the utmost respect (targeting you): Maybe the PF community needs to acknowledge that unwelcome things are going to be said about PF in D&D5 threads, specifically because D&D5 is supposed to improve on D&D in all its forms, no matter how anyone felt about it. Maybe the PF community needs to let it go. I enjoyed PF. But if I am going to talk about what D&D5 needs, I am going to make negative comparisons with PF. And I do not need my thread hijacked every time I do that. It is counter productive." I mean if that's not dismissive, "quiet down kids, the adults are speaking" type of tone and approach to a public forum, I'm not sure what is. That is the real trolling. And we were doing so well... @Scrivener of Doom Black Swan, eh? Hehe not bad. How about "We exist no matter how much you want to deny, undermine, or ignore us- and we're part of the D&D legacy no matter how much it grinds your gears". Maybe a little long for a game title...

Monday, 21st January, 2013

  • 07:31 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned Scrivener of Doom in post Article: 8 Ways to Run a Game Online
    @TerraDave : This is a fine place to post any comments, in my opinion. I agree with you on all points. I like Tabletop Forge combined with Google Hangouts for the closes to 'real life' experience I know of. @Hussar : You're probably much more accomplished in this field than I am. I'm technologically deficient, but all my experience in online gaming is presented in the article including all the systems I've been able to figure out or game with other people. I've checked out Roll20 which looks pretty awesome, and I'm vaguely familiar with OpenRPG but found them not as user friendly. I'm sad to say I don't actually have much experience with VTT and if anyone has more info on it, I don't mind them sharing it here. @Morrus : No kidding? Wow, good to know that! :D I've always liked DND online games. Used to have a great pbp community there and ran a cool game for a year or two there. @Scrivener of Doom : Sorry to disappoint. I actually have next to no experience with classic VTT programs. They were always too unwieldy for me and I mostly game with people face to face. Sadly, I'm techno deficient and writing on an apparently very high tech topic. I didn't realize there was so much out there. @Rabbitbait : thanks for the info! I've checked out Roll20 but haven't played a game using it (I just watched the tutorial and made an account). Also, I think Robin D. Laws was using Tabletop Forge with Google Hangouts when we did a playtest and that was pretty awesome. I have no direct personal experience with Tabletop Forge but it appears to be pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing! *** Unfortunately, I've been writing my articles well past 11 PM as work is so crazy right now with working overtime and all. It's just really hard to justify extra work and research to family when I make so much more with a day job. I have to say I love the writing though, and connecting with other RPG experts is ...

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Friday, 20th January, 2017

  • 06:10 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Who's still playing 4E
    I like your take on Abeir. I'm also still using the 4E Realms. Aside from the worst world map in the history of RPG publishing, I find it's a really evocative and inspiring campaign setting. Thanks! It really is a bad map. Someone made a corrected fan map, but they also changed things like the underchasm and the like, and removed all spellplague stuff, which made it unusable for me. But yeah, the 4e Realms is one of my favorite settings. Don't really care for it post-sundering, though. I've instead made my own version wherein the gods that came back PS are back, though some with stories tied to my PCs, Netheril is still a strong nation, but it lost Shade Enclave and grounded the other one, resting it atop/between three massive pyramids. Now Netheril is a nation rebuilding itself, searching for an identity after throwing off the rule of the church of the goddess they now simply call The Doom of Netheril, when they mention her at all. Thay has taken advantage of Netheril's lost power to try and fil...

Thursday, 19th January, 2017

  • 03:52 AM - Shasarak quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    Salvatore didn't create the Realms. And he really makes no effort in his "stories" to try and work with the feel of the Realms. There's a lot of irony reading about RAS criticising others for not grokking the Realms when he is renowned for ignoring FR canon. Oh and for making up stupid names, dagnabbit.... Thats right, Ed Greenwood created the Realms. Which canon were you particularly annoyed with Bob ignoring?

Thursday, 12th January, 2017

  • 07:07 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Comprehensive list of 4E stuff?
    Free? Yes. Legal to distribute? Yes, where I live; no in many other places. You will notice that I did not include any sort of link with my post. Edit: Just for the sake of clarity, AbdulAlhazred is writing about the Character Builder; my post referred to the Compendium. Yeah, well, Old CB is something some people DO legal have access to anywhere. That was the only reason I mentioned it.
  • 01:14 PM - darkbard quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Dark Sun character background help request
    I can imagine her being the keeper/apprentice keeper of some ancient Green Age ruin of a temple of knowledge (imagine bas reliefs of sphinxes and whatnot) where she communes with the ghosts who teach her mysteries of the past. That explains her theme, the warlord hybrid, and even the artificer MC. Yeah, artificer is doable, especially with the ghost of the past theme. This is good! Similar thoughts were already being bounced around in our discussion: something akin to the relationship between Buffy and the first slayer in season 7, should you be familiar with the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though with the timelines reversed. The only question then becomes: Why is she adventuring? Perhaps a monster moved into the ruin. Perhaps her ghosts sent her on a vision quest (imagine seeking out a seed of a tree of life). Perhaps the seismic activity and/or a major sandstorm has buried the ruin. Yes, there would need to be some catastrophe or similar motivating factor for her to leave the shrine or sa...

Wednesday, 11th January, 2017

  • 10:41 PM - quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Comprehensive list of 4E stuff?
    There is an offline version of the Compendium that has absolutely everything, including sources. Lets make sure we're on the same book/page here. An offline version of the subscription-only Compendium that is preferably free and legal to distribute?
  • 04:30 PM - darkbard quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Dark Sun monsters beyond DSCS?
    Someone compiled a list: Thanks, Scrivener. I did see that, but it doesn't include potentially apt monsters from MM3, MV, or MV:TttNV, some of the better designed monsters for 4E in my estimation. Nevertheless, it *is* a useful resource!

Sunday, 8th January, 2017

  • 02:00 PM - The Fighter-Cricket quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Help with Eberron
    I would recommend reading Queen of Stone by Keith Baker. Unlike Forgotten Realms novels which are, at best, setting malware, the majority of Eberron novels actually do a great job of staying true to the setting. Queen of Stone is set in Droaam and really brings it alive. I would second this opinion. A majority of the Eberron novels are really not that bad. Funny, but I finished the Dragon Below Trilogy only yesterday and find it not only a fun an engaging read but also a great use of the Eberron setting. The first Dreaming Dark book was also written okay-ish and had some good insights into how Eberron works. I had to stop during the second book because my brain started to melt. Keith Baker is a good setting writer. But as far as stories go... meh. (Haven't read the Queen of Stone, though. Maybe he got better with the time?)

Friday, 6th May, 2016

  • 09:13 AM - pemerton quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Session report - the Mausoleum of the Raven Queen
    I save all of your session report posts and read them both as inspiration and as a reminder that I really need to lift my game as a DM!Thanks, Scrivener of Doom. I'm glad you find them interesting. How I wish someone at WotC during the 4E years had grokked 4E, especially the Epic Tier, in the same way you had/have. I think Chris Perkins seems to have got it, based on the columns he used to post on the WotC website. But to get up on my soapbox a little bit: in the D&D GMing community there seems sometimes to be too much timidity about letting the players take the reins of the game and really do things - dramatic things, world-changing things - with their PCs. At low levels this won't necessarily be such a problem, but once you get into paragon and epic, where the PCs are the equals of kings and gods respectively, the GM really has to let go of control, and instead feed the fires of the players' own enthusiasm. Make everything count - so then the players will really see the point of playing the game (and I think 4e does ask for quite a bit of buy-in by players, because it's not a simple system); but the flip side is that if everything cou...

Friday, 15th April, 2016

  • 12:29 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Scrivener of Doom in post WOTC Online Content
    I've got the Portable D&D Compendium running on my laptop so it definitely exists. I love it. I live in one of the most Third World parts of a Third World country where the average internet connection speed is slower than that of Afghanistan (and I am not joking) so being able to look things up without lag or connection problems has been really helpful. I use Masterplan for monster building. I basically build all my own monsters so I had a lot of custom stat blocks saved from using the online Adventure Tools (which I also had to do because the ridiculous 100 monster cap) and I was able to import these, plus some of the others I specifically saved because I thought they might be useful, so my Masterplan stat block library is quite comprehensive. Yeah, I have happened upon a copy of the object code. It looks like what I have is a JavaFX application, Java anyway. It would be cool to have the source...

Sunday, 31st January, 2016

  • 08:32 AM - thanson02 quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Who's still playing 4E
    I've taken the whole traits/bonds/flaws system wholesale: I love it. I still use 4E backgrounds etc... but I love the way these really flesh out the character especially for those players who sometimes struggle with that sort of thing. And I've coupled that with inspiration as well. They actually covered this ides in a Unearthed Arcana article that is all 4E, but covers the mechanics that led into the 5E version.

Friday, 22nd January, 2016

  • 02:08 PM - Manbearcat quoted Scrivener of Doom in post WhT makes a good campaign?
    4) Daring? That said, I like your twist so much better. (It reminds of an interview I went for about 25 years ago and I was asked for my strategy for the department I could be leading [trade finance]. "I would go with the three Cs: cotton, coal, and seafood." Yeah, I got that job and my interviewer later became a business partner in some other ventures.) :) Daring is definitely the way I wanted you to think I was going...exceeeeeeeeeeeept.... ...this may have been a super-duper lame attempt at an ultra-juvenile deez nuts joke...:o

Thursday, 21st January, 2016

  • 09:54 AM - Jhaelen quoted Scrivener of Doom in post SRD5 Yet another chance to clone 4e?
    And once you've gotten used to the tools it's hard to go back to the old way of doing things.True. Unfortunately, after my character reached Paragon Tier, due to my chosen Feats, the Character Builder no longer calculated my bonuses correctly*. So, once you have to recalculate your bonuses manually, anyway, the advantages of using it start to fade rather quickly. *: I'm playing a Dragonborn Dragon Magic Sorcerer Ninefold Master, and there's several feats and class abilities that only apply if a power's damage type matches (one of) your breath weapon's. Unfortunately, while the Paragon Path's Powers always match your breath weapon's type, the Builder just says 'damage type varies', and doesn't apply the bonuses.
  • 05:34 AM - Raith5 quoted Scrivener of Doom in post SRD5 Yet another chance to clone 4e?
    Need? Not really. Nice to have? Absolutely. And once you've gotten used to the tools it's hard to go back to the old way of doing things. It's a bit like finding information via Google instead of my high school and university experience of using cards in a library. It's simply a more efficient use of your time. I should have prefaced this by saying that I play 4e and I dont use the online tools! We are currently 30th level so our character sheets are extremely complicated - the fighter in the party uses a two sided A3 sheet and mine is in danger of requiring a microfiche reader to read. What I meant to suggest is that I think 4e is touch too complicated in perception (and a little bit in practice) but I think the main bits of 4e I love could be ported into the much simpler chasiss of 5e.

Wednesday, 20th January, 2016

  • 10:43 PM - MoutonRustique quoted Scrivener of Doom in post SRD5 Yet another chance to clone 4e?
    Need? Not really. Nice to have? Absolutely. And once you've gotten used to the tools it's hard to go back to the old way of doing things. It's a bit like finding information via Google instead of my high school and university experience of using cards in a library. It's simply a more efficient use of your time. Bwahahahahahahah... *cough* *cough* HAHahahahahahaha! I remember that time - wow, those were the "bad old days" indeed! Although... the "depth" of research required was often less than (serious and committed) teachers now demand. Similar to open-book-exams in that way. But still, I'm laughing at you so hard (also, at myself, btw :p) - man... it's hard to believe that was only... well 2 decades ago - crap! I'm OLD! I hate you now... *sulk*

Tuesday, 19th January, 2016

  • 12:02 PM - Raith5 quoted Scrivener of Doom in post SRD5 Yet another chance to clone 4e?
    I agree. If I hadn't found cloned tools to replace the online tools (which will eventually be turned off) I don't think we would be continuing with 4E as much as I personally love it (it remains my favourite edition from the 35 years I've been DMing and playing). You could probably argue that they are intrinsic to the 4E experience. But the other fact remains: 4E is simply not as popular. I have always seen the need to have online tools as a problem of 4e. If the game is so complex that it needs a computer program to set up your character - well, for me that is sign of a problem. While it is hard to disagree with the latter point, I still think there are particular elements of 4e that could have broader appeal to some segments of the 5e community. I am sure there are some that would like the option of more complex melee classes for instance. But this leads to me to think that the SRD may be a chance for someone to create 4e inspired modules for 5e, rather than revamping 4e itself.

Tuesday, 29th December, 2015

  • 11:26 AM - Matrix Sorcica quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Phandelver to Tyranny of Dragons?
    It would be easy enough to sandbox that location between the Mere of Dead Men and Neverwinter as there are lots of canon locations for inspiration. I was even thinking of posting a thread to do this. Please do :) (oh, and what about that Neverwinter entry on your blog ;))

Saturday, 26th December, 2015

  • 04:02 AM - cavalier973 quoted Scrivener of Doom in post 4E WotC Tools dead?
    Ahhh, thanks everyone for reminding me why I let my subscription end in October. And a bigger thanks to those who pointed me in the direction of the offline replacements.... :) Someone got you the print copies, eh? *Resumes hammering the "Get off my Lawn" sign into the ground*

Saturday, 21st November, 2015

  • 12:33 PM - aramis erak quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Future format of books that mimic SCAG: Will you buy them?
    I'd very much prefer something else. $40 for 160 pages is a tough sell. But... if that's the format they eventually put the finalised Eberron material in, then yes I'd buy it. (But I won't be buying the "Dalelands AG" or the "Birthright AG", or whatever - only the book that hits my specific interest.) DING! I can't justify the asking price for that page count. 160 page hardcovers... Well, let's see. FFG sells 96 page HC for $29.95. Their 160pp books tend to be in the $40 range. Their 300 page ones run $60+ Looking at their price list, Strongholds is 144pp, and $39.95. Stay on Target is 96pp and $29.95 Almost certainly, with a couple of caveats: - Quality is always a factor. If the maps suck, the writing sucks, etc. forget it. My affirmative assumes competence. - No more Realms. I haven't bought SCAG because it covers the Realms. I really wish the Realms would just find a corner and die, but that's not happening. Eberron, Greyhawk, Ravenloft, and Dark Sun are all gimmes, thoug...

Tuesday, 17th November, 2015

  • 04:17 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Scrivener of Doom in post Adventure Ideas You Doubt You'll Ever Be Able To Run
    Bummer, Midnight is such a neat setting. I think we all have ideas we want to run, but never have the time to pull it off. I dream of doing a sci-fi mashup that draws from all the various movies, so that you have Predators and light sabers and space wizards and Vulcans and all sorts of absurdity. I keep dreaming about doing a classic sword and planet campaign. I want to do a Warhammer 40K campaign with the characters of Star Wars translated to that setting. Then there’s a spy campaign set in the 80s, like the good old days of Top Secret/SI. Within D&D, just once I’d like to get back to a campaign shining heroes and good for the sake of goodness, but my gaming group prefers more morally ambiguous/amoral characters on the whole. I also really want to go back and revisit some of the old editions (particularly the white box and 2e). But again, my gaming group did not particularly care for the 1e system when I ran that for a campaign (even though I enjoyed the heck out of it). Midnight. I jus...

Tuesday, 27th October, 2015

  • 01:58 PM - The Hitcher quoted Scrivener of Doom in post A Quick Look At EN World's Demographics
    We're everywhere, mate. And it looks like 1% of the Australian population is on ENWorld.... You've lost some zeroes there. In fact Canadians and Americans get a higher percentage than us, although we come in third when adjusted for population (see my post a few pages ago).

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