Saturday Jul 13, 2024

JV’s Scene Designer 2.0

I liked and used my JV’s Scene Designer Oracle so much, that I have to decided to make it better. Check the previous one if you are interested in how it all started. Here I will be focusing on the new one right away.

Table of Contents

Scene Designer

1Complication or twist
2Negative setting event
3Flaw or weakness exposed
4Plot opposition
5Trait or edge helps
6World building
7Positive setting event
8Plot progress
9Plot progress
10Plot progress
1Scene relevant
2Scene relevant
3Scene relevant
4Particularly difficult
5Provides advantage
6Provides advantage
7Requires assistance
8Requires assistance
9Long or staged
10Long or staged


Negative/Positive Setting Event: Zombie Apocalypse? Bad means zombies! Good means finding healing herbs.
Flaw/Weakness/Trait/Edge: Paranoid character? A strange noise… Are they police members? Citizens ask for help!
World building: Party banter, taking a break, a moment, slice of life, it rains.
Scene relevant/advantage: An important clue lies behind a challenge. A future benefit.
Long or Staged: Dramatic Tasks, team effort. Roll 1d4 extra challenges.


→ World building – Athletic – Provides advantage
Interpretation: On the way, the PC spots something strange on the top of a tree. It seems to be an alien of some sort… (needs to climb to learn more). If successful, they will learn how this species protects its babies.

→ Complication or twist – Craft – Provides advantage
Interpretation: The engine of the Spaceship started making weird noises, sensors report some problem (needs fixing, but fixing it might give a chance of improving its turboboost for next mission)

→ Trait or edge helps – Perception – Particularly difficult
Interpretation: Since Marta is a botanic expert, only she may spot that special flower that contains a healing-toxin that might be able to cure Adam

Print Version

Consider inviting me a Ko-Fi for the effort 🙂 – if you like it

What changed?

JV’s Scene Designer

  • There was some redundancy between Plot Complications and Circumstances against plot.
  • I kept forgetting to recall both PCs specific weaknesses and traits into the story.
  • World truths and theme events should explicitly come into play.
  • Removed double skills in favor of slight more chance of combat.
  • Removed the difficulty differentiation, as it was not being relevant for me.

Advice for Solo

What is it for

The Scene Designer can help with writer blocks, when you get stuck or when you are not sure what happens between the Shire and Mount Doom. It focuses on what kind of challenge stands between your PCs and their goal, and reminds you that not everything is combat, but also about characters and the world they are in.

When to use

If you have a clear idea about where your game is going, and how the story is evolving, don’t force yourself to use the Scene Designer religiously on every scene! Give your own ideas priority and use this one on demand.

How to use

Each player’s mind works completely differently. Adjust to your playstyle. Use it partially or completely. You can even apply the challenges in scenes that you had already planned. For example, you had a Diplomat Mission in mind, but you got an Endurance challenge: Maybe one of the rooms get in Fire and your character has to hold breath! Or someone poisons your tea!

Quest Designer

The Scene Designer can be used to come up with quests or hooks too. Instead of reading the results as a specific scene, you can interpret it as a mission, with the challenge and type as features of the story.

For example: Personal Trait helps a plot + Athletic Test + Provides an Advantage

Interpretation: Since one of your PCs seem to be a Paladin, a fellow Cleric of the same religion (Type: Personal Trait Helps) approaches your PC, and asks help with the rescue of a Kid who fell inside a Crack after an Earthquake (Challenge: Athletics test), in return he will help you with an Amulet (Factor: Provides an Advantage).

Thanks, that’s it! Give this mechanic a go in either Solo, Coop or Group games and do reach out to share feedback, or comment below! Best regards. JV.


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