Gryphon, The Journeyman Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

11/29/2022 10:53 AM

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0 wins / 1 loss


Lauded Sage



"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Hey I'm Gryphon!  The keenly observant among you will by now have realized that this is my profile page.

Some of my favorite works of fiction are:  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Dirk Gently books, The Lord of the Rings and especially The Hobbit, The Martian and Hail Mary, Star Trek/90s sci-fi in general but especially Deep Space Nine, Monty Python, and many of Brandon Sanderson's works.

In addition to writing and reading interactive storygames, I also enjoy writing fiction, hiking and camping in the woods, composing music, and I have an interest in the sciences.


Works by me:

Secrets of the Crag:  A traditional open-map dungeon crawl adventure.

Diplomat:  A cave-of-time story surrounding humanity's entrance into the galaxy.

Ruins of Anzar:  An item-based puzzle game surrounding the ruins of an ancient city.

Capture the Flag:  A cave-of-time story about a middle school capture the flag game.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Winner of the 2021 Culture Clash Contest! Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Given by BerkaZerka on 03/20/2022 - Great Contributions Given by EndMaster on 03/13/2022 - For your all your contributions to the site Given by Killa_Robot on 09/28/2022 - For great activity and pumping out fantastic storygames at a speed that puts most to shame. Given by mizal on 03/15/2022 - For being a reviewing MACHINE putting everyone else to shame. And the storygames are nice too!


Capture the Flag

=For End Master's Manifest Destiny contest=

When Alexsis starts trying to steal your favorite seat in the school cafeteria, things get serious.  The pair of you decide to resolve this dispute in combat:  a game of capture the flag.  Can you beat your nemesis in a game of capture the flag, and reclaim what is rightfully yours?

This story is a short cave-of-time style game with seven possible victory endings.  Happy flag-hunting!

Featured Story Diplomat

As humanity begins to leave their corner of the galaxy for the first time, they encounter previously uncontacted alien races.  As one of earth's leading diplomats, you will play a key role in shaping the future of your species in this unfamiliar world.

A mostly cave-of-time style story with limited rebranching in a few places, and five victory endings.


Winner of End Master's Culture Clash Contest

Featured Story Ruins of Anzar

When a thunderbird attacks you while you search for the missing Professor Keirz, you crash-land on a plateau near the legendary ruins of a ruined Anzaran city.  You must make use of the resources around you to repair your damaged flyer, find your missing friend, and unlock the secrets of the ancient Anzaran temple.

An open-map item-based puzzle game with one good victory ending, and one great victory ending.  Good luck exploring the ancient Anzaran plateau!

For End Master's Manifest Destiny Contest

Featured Story Secrets of the Crag


Discover the dungeon's secrets, fight deadly monsters, learn magical spells, and more in this traditional dungeon crawl adventure!  Can you survive the dangers of the legendary Crag?


An open-map dungeon exploration game using player stats and items, with eleven victory epilogues, as indicated by the first two digits of your score.

Thanks to Nightwatch for the fantastic cover art!

The Sea of Legends

An unexpected supernatural disaster leaves you and your your younger cousins adrift in a strange sea full of mythical creatures and beings. Can you and your cousins escape, or will you succumb to the deadly sea?

Currently, this is a short cave-of-time style game with three victory endings. It is complete in its current form, consisting of the first of many planned "episodes" for the game.  It will eventually be expanded into an episodic gauntlet-style game.

Your score indicates which ending you reached.  0 for a death ending, and a score of 1, 2, or 3 corresponds to one the game's victory endings.

Articles Written

A Guide to Character Creation for Storygames
A general guide to character creation, and tips tailored specifically for characterization in an interactive format.

Coding Item-Based Battle Sequences
Use this system to code flexible battle sequences using items, link options, and player stats.

Creating an Equipping System
How to create a system that will keep track of which item a player has equipped into a specific slot, such as having a "sword" in a "weapon" slot.

Recent Posts

Words 2: Gay Disco Bugaloo on 11/24/2022 11:19:24 PM


I get where you're coming from.  Sent is right that using "gay" as an insult has become completely divorced from its original meaning on CYS (and many other corners of the internet).  And you're right that using "gay" as an insult does continue to perpetuate homophobia, even if it's meant in an entirely innocent way by the person using it.  So... what does one do in that case?  Do the intentions or impact matter more?  Whose linguistic interpretation of the word is the correct one?

The linguistic side of things is really interesting here.  It's related to the trend of medical terms for intellectual disabilities being taken and turned into insults--like how "moron" and "retard" used to be a medical terms, and now people are doing the same thing with "special" and "autistic". 

In a more innocent way, people naturally trend towards hyperbole, and end up doing this with any medical term.  We say we're OCD when we're feeling a little stressed, or feeling ADHD when we're feeling distractible.  Teenagers frequently say they are "literally dead" when they find something slightly amusing. 

This is all technically inaccurate, and in the case of medical term usage, potentially harmful.  Using OCD/ADHD/autism as a common word trivializes the condition, and makes it harder for people without those conditions to understand how extreme the experience of having it actually is.

But at the same time, this isn't something that's going to change.  It's been shown time and time again that people will always wind up using new medical terms in this way.  On what grounds would you go about stopping or regulating it, anyway?  It can't be stopped, it's just a perpetual linguistic arms race.  It's messy and imperfect and has no clear and fair solution.  It just isn't a hill worth dying on. 

It's a grey area.  I've thought about this a lot, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

In linguistic issues like this, the side I ultimately fall on is "majority wins".  Whichever side has the most people using the word a certain way is correct about its definition.  Given the current linguistic trends, I suspect "gay" as an insult is probably on its way out.  It's getting less and less innocent usage, and being associated more and more with its negative origins.  Majority rules--if everyone agrees "gay" as an insult is bad, then it is.

But things are different on CYS.  On CYS, CYS majority rules.  And on CYS, the majority clearly believes that the use of "gay" as a non-homophobic insult is okay and acceptable.  So I figure people using "gay" as an insult is okay on CYS, even if it's probably not acceptable anywhere else.

Is this going to be a shock to gay people coming to CYS to the first time and seeing it used this way?  Yeah.  I was shocked myself the first time I saw it.  But you're going to get culture shock in some way any time you enter a new community.  I bet most Americans and British people are appalled when they first arrive in Australia and hear "cunt" being used in casual conversation.  CYS is not under any obligation to make its cultural idiosyncrasies palatable to casual strangers.  It sucks that some people's feelings are going to be hurt by this (and yeah, they will be hurt by this), but it doesn't mean CYS's linguistic oddities are necessarily bad and evil.  It's all about context.  The context here is pretty innocent.  No gay people were harmed in the making of this post.

A Possibly Gay Question on 11/24/2022 10:58:14 PM

Almost without exception, I have this thought every single time I come up with a story idea, even if it's only a sentence or two long in conception.  It has a 0% rate of panning out so far, so I'm obviously well aware that this thought has no basis in reality, but it happens anyway, so I've just learned not to pay any attention to it, and to focus on the writing.

Weirdly, pretty much the ONLY time I can think of this thought process not happening is with the games I've published on this site.  I don't mean I realized they weren't as good as I thought as I began doing the writing, I mean even in their conception I knew they were going to be small, mediocre projects that would be good, but not great.  It's certainly not a coincidence at all that these less ambitious projects are the ones I've actually been able to finish.

The only one of my works I could potentially see people paying money for is Secrets of the Crag, and that would have to be about twenty times longer and have some kind of overarching plot to it.  Doable, but probably not worth my time until I learn some more advanced computer coding.

If I wanted to write a story that I thought would make money, it would be an elementary/middle-school trilogy that, as a major part of the world-building, sorted people into categories that were relevant to a special skill set of theirs.  This is the trend I've noticed most in the really big series (harry potter, percy jackson, hunger games, warrior cats, etc.)  I have no intention of actually doing this because it would be dumb.

Probably the best thing I have going for me is that I'm pretty good with hard deadlines, even for creative work.

I empathize with Mizal regarding the difficulty of having arcs in CYOAs.  It's doable, and there are ways to take advantage of the format to go even deeper (as works like Eternal show), but it's a lot of juggling you need to do.

As for other people on this site, I think if EndMaster did (or had someone else do) a thorough sentence structure edit of Eternal, it could be published for a considerable amount of money.  The publishing industry doesn't like the branching format, but frankly Eternal is probably good enough to sneak through anyway.

How do you do a battle system? on 11/22/2022 8:26:31 PM

Here's an article I once wrote on a battle system

This might be a bit too hyper-specific for what you're asking, since it doesn't include a mechanism for leveling up.  But it probably wouldn't be too hard to code one in.

A Rant About The Chronicles of Narnia on 11/21/2022 8:58:06 PM

Honestly Jadis never really did it for me.  I've always found "pure evil" villains pretty boring.  I would have been very disappointed if the fake aslan ended up being a Jadis-driven plot, I've always found human (or, uh, ape) antagonists a lot more engaging than the supernaturally evil ones.

I'm 99% sure that Jadis and the snake lady from the Silver Chair are different witches.  They're never referred to as the same person, and Jadis was killed on-screen in the lion the witch and the wardrobe.  They don't look or act anything alike.

In response to Mizal, I haven't read much of Lewis's other work, but I did really like the Screwtape Letters, so maybe I should check out his space trilogy.  It's always interesting to compare how the same author's style differs when writing for children and adults.

A Rant About The Chronicles of Narnia on 11/21/2022 7:33:27 PM

Right, I've heard that too.  And I'm really glad they decided to keep him evil instead of playing into that.  I just wish they resolved that by highlighting the evil things he'd already done on-screen instead of making him more evil in unrelated ways.  Waltz (the one where he and Sisko bum around in a cave for 45 minutes) did that beautifully.

A Rant About The Chronicles of Narnia on 11/21/2022 6:09:35 PM

I was obsessed with these books as a kid, so any hope of objectivity is out the window for me.  You can never really get a true and accurate picture of a series you made your entire personality when you were seven.

The ending of book 7 didn't bother me at the time.  Looking back, it's a little weird.  Lewis's Christianity is present in the entire series, but it REALLY comes through here, in a way that's going to leave most readers wondering what the deal is.

I'm not categorically against it.  I think it would have worked a lot with better foreshadowing, and if the concept was explored with more depth and moral ambiguity, though this would have to be in a series aimed at older audiences.  There ARE a lot of unanswered questions this ending raises, and it would be cool to go into how the characters are dealing with everything that happened, if they're really completely satisfied with the in-name "happy ending" of things, and how they're dealing with the situation with Susan.  Obviously all this is outside the scope of the story Lewis was trying to tell, but it would be interesting.

I hear Neil Gaiman wrote a story called "The Problem Of Susan" which goes into this very discomfort, if you're interested.

Ending aside, The Last Battle is probably my second favorite book in the series.  It's certainly a bit convoluted, but I liked that part, I've always been a fan of complexity.  What I really liked was the evil coming from within Narnia rather than without, and being much more slippery and difficult to identify.  In the prior books it was a pretty clear-cut good-guys-sword-fight-the-bad-guys situation, but in this one the protagonists have lot more thinking they need to do.  They're playing a much more complicated game, and the old strategies aren't working.

Dawn Treader's my favorite.  Good book, solid concept for each of the islands.  And I'm a sucker for shmuck redemption arcs. 


As for other series with jarring endings, Hitchhiker's Guide ends in a very similar way.  Nobody really liked the ending, including the author (he was planning to write another book undoing it).  I don't like this ending either, but does fit in surprisingly well with the book and series.  Adams had been laying on thick foreshadowing and development towards it from the beginning of the book, which makes it seem more just pointlessly tragic than actually badly written.


I think they wrapped up the dominion arc very well in this series, but the storyline with the prophets was... weird.  They took Dukat's character in a very weird direction after "Waltz".  Not enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth though.

Myth and Religion Contest Results on 11/2/2022 6:50:40 PM

Congrats to Cel, and everyone who entered!  Congrats to all the noobs as well, strong first showing!

Hatter's Sketchbook II on 10/31/2022 8:05:02 PM


EndMaster's Myth and Religion Contest on 10/31/2022 2:09:21 PM

He still managed to hit "post message" though.  I admire the dedication

EndMaster's Myth and Religion Contest on 10/30/2022 11:31:15 AM

Well, here it is:  The Sea of Legends

Definitely the shortest thing I've ever written on this site, at 10,214 words.  Currently it has 3 different victory endings, and is cave-of-time style with no re-branching.  I do plan on revisiting this eventually and adding a lot more "episodes" that will take place after this one, but it's a complete story as it is now.