The GM's Toolbar

WARNING: This documentation, along with SceneGrinder, is ALPHA! It may change at any time, or lag slightly behind actual functionality.

Game Masters and Dungeon Masters have a lot of options when managing a scene. This i,s a short description of how these options are chosen and used in SceneGrinder.

Main Tool Bar

Above is pictured the main toolbar for scene management. You can hover the mouse over any icons to see its options, or just click it to open in place (um... in SceneGrinder... not this article). Everything is arranged in groups as follows...

Round & Turns Rounds & Turns

Use these functions to manage rounds and turns when the party is in combat.

Round & Turns

  1. Decrement current round.
  2. Increment current round.
  3. Advance turn.
  4. Reset round and make current turn the first in initiative order. (Also starts combat turn/round tracking if needed.)
  5. Turn off rounds and turn tracking.

A deep dive of Rounds & Turns will be handled elsewhere, but you should know that SceneGrinder displays all the characters (PC's and NPC's) in the Avatar List, in the order that the DM/GM specifies... and, of course, the most handy of which is "initiative order" for most game systems like Dungeons & Dragons.

When you increment or decrement a round, you are just saying go the next (or previous) numerical round... such as forward to "Round 3" or back to "Round 1." SceneGrinder will automatically advance to the next round if turn is advanced after every player has taken their action.

SceneGrinder considers "rounds" to be the numbered grouping in which all parties involved in the action (usually combat) get to take all their turns. A "turn," on the other hand, is one character's action specifically.

When you advance a turn, SceneGrinder moves the action to the player or NPC who is "next" in the initiative order (or whatever order the GM/DM specified during game setup). This can be done by the player during their turn, or by the GM/DM at any time.

Groups & Lists Groups & Lists

SceneGrinder gives you the ability to group your scene's characters. This is helps GM/DM's manage large scenes with hundreds of characters, especially during combat when you only have a few NPC's involved and don't want to deal with everything else in the dungeon or town.

Groups & Lists

  1. Filter the Avatar List to only show selected group.
  2. Quickly create a "current" group of everything the camera can currently see.
  3. Same as above, but name the group whatever you want.
  4. Hide or show the Avatar List.
  5. Toggle showing and hiding Markers.

Getting good at creating and managing groups of NPC's is a great way to "keep your cool" when running a scenario in a large scene.

Using tags to skip all dead character's turns is a great visual time-saver. This can be configured on-the-fly when needed.

It's not the only tool at your disposal for character organization... for instance, SceneGrinder let's you "tag" characters with a status (Asleep, Stunned, Dead, etc.) and the Avatar List can automatically hide or skip characters tagged in a certain way.

Checks Checks

SceneGrinder gives you the ability to group your scene's characters. This is helps GM/DM's manage large scenes with hundreds of characters, especially during combat when you only have a few NPC's involved and don't want to deal with everything else in the dungeon or town.


  1. Indicates which SceneGrinder check is being rolled or called for by the GM/DM. (Usually Initiative)
  2. "Calls" for the indicated check. This automatically rolls the check for all NPC's... but for player characters, asks the the player to make the check.
  3. Same as above, but the check is rolled for all NPC's and players. (No call is made.)
  4. Clear the check for the selected character.
  5. Clear the check for all characters.

This is how SceneGrinder automatically rolls initiative in Dungeons & Dragons, but any preconfigured check can be handled this way. This feature, combined with SceneGrinder's ability to show the Avatar List in "check order" is how the magic is done. For initiative, as an example, any time a character rolls a new initiative (for any reason) the Avatar List is adjusted to display the new turn order.

Summon/Add Characters Summon/Add Characters

Getting characters into your scenes is done with Summon/Add Characters.

Summon/Add Characters

  1. Add new characters to the scene.
  2. Summon existing characters from other scenes to the current one.
  3. Add an Effect to the scene directly.

All the ways to add a new character or summon an existing character are accessed through this menu group. Adding new characters can be done several ways... using templates, copying from existing characters, or copying whole groups.

Camera Modes Camera Modes

GM/DM's can view a scene from two different camera perspectives.

Camera Modes

  1. Overhead camera view.
  2. First Person camera view (our favorite).

A super helpful use of first person point of view is jump into an NPC's body and "see what they see." Resolve line-of-sight and "can you see that guy's head" issues pretty quickly.

The overhead camera view allows the GM/DM to view the scene from a birds-eye perspective. The middle mouse button (or double click) will send the camera's target focus point anywhere on the map, while the middle mouse wheel (or pinch-zoom) will allow panning in and out. Moving the mouse with the main mouse button pressed will pan the camera around the target focus point.

In First Person mode, you simple see through the selected character's eyes. WASD and arrow keys will move the character around the map.

Settings Settings

GM/DM's can view a scene from two different camera perspectives.


  1. Scene settings
  2. Environment Settings

Scene settings bring up a window where you can set the base settings for a scene, including name, allowed movement, grid size and scale, and other settings.

Environment Settings let you control lighting and weather.

Map Modes Map Modes

SceneGrinder lets the GM/DM work with the scene in one of four different modes, each one with their own use.

Map Modes

  1. Standard
  2. Model/Object Layout
  3. Wall Building
  4. Ground Editing

Standard mode is where you actually interact with your players, manage characters, and generally make the story happen.

Model/Object Layout is where you put things INTO the world. This involves selecting models and objects and dropping them on the man... then moving them around and sizing them.

Wall Building lets you actually draw walls in your scene.

Lastly, Ground Editing lets you literally paint the ground... with grass, dirt, lava, whatever... and then actually deform the ground into hills, valleys, mountains, etc.

World Management World Management

This group of buttons lets you create other scenes that are a "child" of this scene as well as view and import scenes.

World Management

  1. Go to world settings.
  2. View sub or "child" scenes.
  3. Add a sub or "child" scene.
  4. Import a shared scene from some other world to be a child of this scene.
  5. Delete this scene.

Sub-scenes, or "child" scenes, are a way to organize the scenes in your world. You might choose to place all taverns, shops, and other buildings associated with a particular town under that town's overview map. Likewise, with dungeon levels, of you can (and should) organize your towns and cities underneath one whole kingdom.

You can even import scenes that others have marked shared as a child scene.