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The General SOTF Discussion Thread
To a large extent, yes, the fighting was more aimed towards fighting in a competitive sense than in a writing sense, at least in my experience. If you were fighting, the intention was often to try and 'win', because there was a much bigger prestige tag attached to kills (and weapons, for that matter. See V3 for some seriously audacious and silly stuff over weapons). I wouldn't go so far to say that ALL the fights were like that, but a lot certainly were (I remember doing a couple in that vein as Bobby).

People didn't care about killing characters off... sort've. There was definitely more fodder, and more characters people just plain didn't care about - which inclined them towards just plain being killed. For example Tyson Neills, whom I submitted purely for the purposes of keeping continuity and then killed off at first opportunity because I disliked him that much. On the other hand, there was also more experimentation, more willingness to just play around a little with the characters. I wrote both Maxie and Dacey on vague whims. They wound up being my best characters in V3. Spontaneity, eh?

Janie Sinneave
Okay, this is a pretty solid start to be going on with, but I'm going to temporarily deny Janie, pending a few edits - which are mostly to do with elaboration, to be honest.

Basically I'd like a little more on Janie's habit of dropping her hobbies. Was there a particular reason for this? Overall it seems like she's quite an impulsive person, so I can understand if it was the 'Ooh, new shiny!' type of effect, but some more detail there would be nice.

Similarly, if Janie was like this with most other hobbies, what made horseback riding so different for her? You say she fell in love with it, but not why - which is what I'd like to know.

I get that the teachers presumed Janie would be like her brother, but what resulted from that? You don't really say how she was treated, which makes her reaction (deciding to look like 'a troublemaker') seem very capricious. It'd also be good to know how her parents reacted to this drastic change in look. Basically this section just seems a little odd. Why did she try to conform so hard to a stereotype? Like I said, it seems quite capricious/spiteful, maybe irrationally so.

The stereotype thing makes me curious as to whether Janie tried to fit in with that group of people as well as just following the look, as an aside.

The lead in to Janie's sewing hobby is quite abrupt, a little bit random and quite honestly feels slightly fillerish? Like, I don't object to picking up a hobby on the internet, but it just seems like you put it in there for the sake of it being there. It could definitely do with some more bulk.

I'd like a little more about how Janie interacts with her parents and her sister. Is Janie jealous of Samantha? Same with Janie's social life, as it's currently a little bare bones - especially considering one of her advantages is being socially active.

Finally, I'd like some elaboration on Janie's trusting nature in the biography, as it currently doesn't really come up at all, and it ought to be covered if it's considered a disadvantage. As a by-no-means essential suggestion, one or two extra points in the strengths/weaknesses would be quite nice, too.

Let me know when you've finished edits!



Natalia "Koala" Kowalski
Quote:
 

Biography: Natalia Amber Kowalski was born to Australian veterinarian Karen Abernathy and Polish astronomer Joseph Kowalski. Both grew up in Washington, Joseph living in Seattle and Karen living in Newcastle. Both attended Renton High School, and fell in love. They married and moved to a small house in suburban Seattle.

The relationship between Natalia and her family are varied. Natalia's younger sister Rebecca is short tempered, and she argues over a lot of things with Natalia. Most of these arguments are over things that aren't really important, such as chore assignments, privileges, the remote, the usual sibling fights. Rebecca has a natural disdain for her older sister that stemmed from a lot of arguing as children. Rebecca often voiced her opinion, and Natalia found this annoying. Instead of trying to compromise, Natalia argued back, due to Rebecca saying this in a demanding tone, which Natalia finds annoying.. ((You've clarified but in doing so have made a redundancy. Natalia found what Rebecca did annoying because her tone was annoying. You need to take this section and reword it. What basically seems to be going on is that Natalia basically found Rebecca bratty and annoying, with it being demeanour rather than what she said. You also have an extra period here)). Seeing this as a threat, Rebecca would rebut, and an argument would erupt. Seeing no way out, Natalia would continue these arguments. On the contrary, Rebecca's twin sister, Jessica, is much kinder and sweeter. Natalia and Jessica are close, and Jessica confides in Natalia often. Natalia is often willing to look after or carpool Jessica and her friends, which annoys Rebecca. Natalia and her parents also share a close bond. Her mother sees the tension between the siblings, and often takes the family out to dinner or to the theaters. Natalia loves these, and she and Jessica get excited over these outings. Her mother is more involved in her life than her father, and Natalia doesn't mind that.

Her first stuffed animal was a stuffed koala that her mom got from a souvenir shop in Australia on a trip shortly after Natalia was 2. She loved the stuffed animal, naming it Skip. She brought Skip everywhere she went, including school. Even now, Natalia sleeps with it, and sometimes sneaks him into her locker.

When she entered school, Natalia was quite shy. She met a girl named Denise, who was quite the social butterfly, and made fast friends with her. Feeling less shy around Denise, Natalia made friends with other girls that she was introduced to. Another reason she made friends was that she was kind and friendly to her classmates. Plus, unlike most girls her age, she made friends with the opposite gender, because she couldn't find anything different about boys, other than the shorter hair and all that. ((This is kind've clunky)). Even now, she is well-liked by most of her classmates, and makes friends with everybody, as long as they'd like to. Associating with some of the outcasts at Aurora doesn't put her in the popular crowd, but has friends in there as well. Natalia loves to help people in need, especially those being bullied. ((Why is this?)) That doesn't necessarily mean she makes friends out of pity, Natalia is just a kind person who'll help anybody out of trouble.

Despite having many friends, there was a small group of kids who teased her throughout the school years. They often called her 'Koala', because she still carried Skip around and her last name sounded like it. She resented it at first, but the group of kids persisted. To get back at them, she officially adopted it as a nickname in the 5th grade. The other kids liked it too, and a lot of her classmates have been calling her 'Koala' ever since.

Her parent's jobs affected her greatly. Koala's dad got her a telescope at age 7, and she began to look through it often. She began to write down all the constellations she's seen, and sometimes brings up the topic of constellations n conversations. Her mother took her on trips to the vet, and she learned the basics to caring for a dog. Her friendly and willing-to-help attitude helped with calming some animals down, and lessened the stress of having to deal with a frightened pet. Curious, Natalia began to ask why the jobs were important. Her parents told her that it was to help society by keeping their pets healthy and enrich their knowledge of the universe. Excited about how her parents were helping people and wanting to help people too, she aspired to follow in their footsteps. Natalia began to take a lot of Biology and Astronomy classes, and works hard to get a job in either profession. She wanted a pet, but Jessica had a severe pet dander allergy.

The Kowalski parents wanted their children to be well-rounded. Luckily, Natalia wanted to be well rounded too. Sadly, Natalia wanted to see if she liked other things, not instruments, as she was enrolled in flute classes along with her siblings during 3rd grade. Despite trying not to collaborate, ((I think you mean 'cooperate', and what kind of 'other things' would she have rather done, and why did her parents direct her towards music in spite of that?)) Natalia was surprised when she played well. Taking a liking to the classes, she worked harder, and eventually learned the instrument. Natalia stopped taking the lessons in her sophomore year, but often browses the internet for music sheets. She recently joined the School Orchestra.

When Natalia entered middle school, Denise moved to St. Paul. Even though they kept in touch, Koala was still distressed, and sought out a new best friend. After finding another best friend (Ashley Warner, a girl in the year under Natalia.) she found that she thought girls were very pretty. After some soul-searching, she realized that she found both genders attractive while in her freshman year. This awfully disturbed Natalia, as some people might make fun of her. Then, she realized that some people might know, maybe her openness to friends might have given people ideas. (('some people might suspect' would probably work better here)) Scared that she'd be ridiculed at school for being a bisexual, she began to flirt with her male classmates in order to establish herself as a heterosexual, and eventually started dating Edgar Wood, a guy she really liked, and is still with him. Whenever she finds she's attracted to a girl, she reminds herself it'll strain the relationship with her parents and she's already with Edgar, and checking out other people when you're not single is also frowned upon in society.

The Kowalski family is are Catholics, but not very good ones. They don't go to church on a regular basis, and generally allow their children not to go. When she did attend, Natalia found that church greatly depressed her, making it look like that it was hopeless to try to get into heaven, and that she was more likely to burn in Hell. It also deeply worried her that she found girls to be cute, but she reminds herself that it might cause herself to be ridiculed. ((If she'll help people out in the face of bullying, it doesn't seem to me she'd be so centred on her own reputation)) Plus, she's dating Edgar. After a while, Natalia began to think to herself, and question God's existence. She looked through several books on history and biology, and found that God might just not exist, and science explains evolution and the creation of the universe better than the Bible. Satisfied with this answer, Natalia became an atheist. This has lifted the 'heaven-hell' stress off her, and Natalia is happy for that. The only belief of her faith that remains is that of chastity which she believes is for everybody because you have to wait until you're done with your education so that you don't have to schoolwork while nursing a child, and you might not be responsible enough to care for a child.

Her grades vary from subject to subject. Her experience with Astronomy got her determined to get good grades in science. Contrasting, she struggles with Language Arts, due to being a poor writer, and math confuses her. Natalia also downright hates Vietnamese due to the level of difficulty and Mrs. Tran's methods of teaching, including the no-English rule. Gym is a struggle, mostly due to her shape. Natalia doesn't really try, and is apathetic to her Gym grades, mainly because she believes that most of the jobs in the world require intelligence. She hopes to follow in either of her parent's footsteps, and strives for good grades in classes she believes are essential to being either an Astronomer or a Veterinarian. Since math is essential to Astronomy, Natalia is disappointing by her Math grades, and often asks her parents to help her with the subject, to which they're happy to oblige.

Advantages: She's well liked, and might be able to make alliances. Her kind demeanor and friendly attitude might allow people to trust her.
Disadvantages: Natalia isn't physically fit and has low stamina, so fleeing isn't an option. Plus, Natalia will be willing to make allies with anybody as long as they want to, and that might give murderers a chance to manipulate her. ((Is she's that trusting, you need to explicitly refer to it in the body of the profile))

Introduction Thread
Hiya Neo, we met earlier so I'll skip over the usual stuff and just say hi and welcome.

Natalia "Koala" Kowalski
Quote:
 

Biography: Natalia Amber Kowalski was born to Australian veterinarian Karen Abernathy and Polish astronomer Joseph Kowalski. Both grew up in Washington, Joseph living in Seattle and Karen living in Newcastle. Both attended Renton High School, and fell in love. They married and moved to a small house in suburban Seattle.

The relationship between Natalia and her family are varied. Natalia's younger sister Rebecca is short tempered, and she argues over a lot of things with Natalia. Most of these arguments are over things that aren't really important, such as chore assignments, privileges, the remote, the usual sibling fights. Rebecca has a natural disdain for her older sister that stemmed from a lot of arguing as children. Rebecca often voiced her opinion, and Natalia found this annoying. Instead of trying to compromise, Natalia argued back, mostly due to the demanding tone. ((You've changed this by approximately two words, that's not really clarification as to why Natalia finds her sister voicing opinions annoying)) Seeing this as a threat, Rebecca would rebut, and an argument would erupt. Seeing no way out, Natalia would continue these arguments. On the contrary, Rebecca's twin sister, Jessica, is much kinder and sweeter. Natalia and Jessica are close, and Jessica confides in Natalia often. Natalia is often willing to look after or carpool Jessica and her friends, which annoys Rebecca. Natalia and her parents also share a close bond. Her mother sees the tension between the siblings, and often takes the family out to dinner or to the theaters. Natalia loves these, and she and Jessica get excited over these outings. Her mother is more involved in her life than her father, and Natalia doesn't mind that.

Her first stuffed animal was a stuffed koala that her mom got from a souvenir shop in Australia on a trip shortly after Natalia was 2. She loved the stuffed animal, naming it Skip. She brought Skip everywhere she went, including school. Even now, Natalia sleeps with it, and sometimes sneaks him into her locker.

When she entered school, Natalia was quite shy. She met a girl named Denise, who was quite the social butterfly, and made fast friends with her. Feeling less shy around Denise, Natalia made friends with other girls that she was introduced to. Another reason she made friends was that she was kind and friendly to her classmates. Plus, unlike most girls her age, she made friends with the opposite gender, because she believed the 'cooties' thing stupid, and doesn't see anything wrong in making friends with boys. ((This basically boils down to "She doesn't see anything wrong in making friends with boys, because she doesn't she anything wrong in making friends with boys" perhaps reword this to something more along the lines of not seeing boys as all that difference from her girl friends?)) Even now, she is well-liked by most of her classmates, and makes friends with everybody, as long as they'd like to. Associating with some of the outcasts at Aurora doesn't put her in the popular crowd, but has friends in there as well. Natalia often makes friends with outcasts, mostly to help them out of bullying. ((This has interesting connotations. Is Natalia a bleeding heart who makes friends with people out of pity, then? This needs elaboration))

Despite having many friends, there was a small group of kids who teased her throughout the school years. They often called her 'Koala', because she still carried Skip around and her last name sounded like it. She resented it at first, but the group of kids persisted. To get back at them, she officially adopted it as a nickname in the 5th grade. The other kids liked it too, and a lot of her classmates have been calling her 'Koala' ever since.

Her parent's jobs affected her greatly. Koala's dad got her a telescope at age 7, and she began to look through it often. She began to write down all the constellations she's seen, and sometimes brings up the topic of constellations n conversations. Her mother took her on trips to the vet, and she learned the basics to caring for a dog. Her friendly and willing-to-help attitude helped with calming some animals down, and lessened the stress of having to deal with a frightened pet. Curious, Natalia began to ask why the jobs were important. Her parents told her that it was to help society by keeping their pets healthy and enrich their knowledge of the universe. Excited about how her parents were helping people and wanting to help people too, she aspired to follow in their footsteps. Natalia began to take a lot of Biology and Astronomy classes, and works hard to get a job in either profession. She wanted a pet, but Jessica had a severe pet dander allergy.

The Kowalski parents wanted their children to be well-rounded. Luckily, Natalia wanted to be well rounded too. Sadly, Natalia wanted to see if she liked other things, not instruments, as she was enrolled in flute classes along with her siblings. ((So uh... Natalia didn't want to start playing the flute? Why did she take to it that much if she had a problem with being asked to play instruments? I forgot to mention this earlier, but an approximate time/age she started playing would be good here)) Natalia was surprised when she played well. Natalia stopped taking the lessons in her sophomore year, but often browses the internet for music sheets. She recently joined the School Orchestra.

When Natalia entered middle school, Denise moved to St. Paul. Even though they kept in touch, Koala was still distressed, and sought out a new best friend. After finding another best friend (Ashley Warner, a girl in the year under Natalia.) she found that she thought girls were very pretty. After some soul-searching, she realized that she found both genders attractive while in her freshman year. This awfully disturbed Natalia, as she might not be able to make friends with everybody, and people might already assume this because she sometimes ogled some of her female classmates. ((Was she really that blatant about it? If it was something that Natalia was conflicted about, then why would she have been openly staring at other girls in that way? Further, earlier in the profile she suggested that Natalia is okay with not making friends if people don't want to, so why would it bother her so much?)) Scared that she'd be ridiculed at school for being a bisexual, she began to flirt with her male classmates in order to establish herself as a heterosexual, and eventually started dating Edgar Wood, a guy she really liked, and is still with him. Whenever she finds she's attracted to a girl, she reminds herself it'll strain the relationship with her parents and she's already with Edgar, and checking out other people when you're not single is also frowned upon in society.

The Kowalski family is are Catholics, but not very good ones. They don't go to church on a regular basis, and generally allow their children not to go. When she did attend, Natalia found that church greatly depressed her, making it look like that it was hopeless to try to get into heaven, and that she was more likely to burn in Hell. It also deeply worried her that she found girls to be cute, but she reminds herself that it might cause obstacles between herself and homophobic potential friends. ((So wait, she's SO worried about what not even current but potential friends might think of her that she closets herself? I thought she already had tons of friends, why would she get so insecure?)) Plus, she's dating Edgar. After a while, Natalia began to think to herself, and question God's existence. She looked through several books on history and biology, and found that God might just not exist, and science explains evolution and the creation of the universe better than the Bible. Satisfied with this answer, Natalia became an atheist. This has lifted the 'heaven-hell' stress off her, and Natalia is happy for that. The only belief of her faith that remains is that of chastity which she believes is for everybody because you have to wait until you're done with your education, and you might not be responsible enough. ((Clarify that this view is to do with chastity at school college age. It's implied but not explicitly stated that this is what is meant. There's also an extra space between 'everybody' and 'because'. You also don't explain what "you have to wait until you're done with your education" means. Why do 'you' have to wait?))

Her grades vary from subject to subject. Her experience with Astronomy got her determined to get good grades in science. Contrasting, she struggles with Language Arts, due to being a poor writer, and math confuses her. Natalia also downright hates Vietnamese due to the level of difficulty and Mrs. Tran's methods of teaching, including the no-English rule. Gym is a struggle, mostly due to her shape. Natalia doesn't really try, and is apathetic to her Gym grades, mainly because most of the jobs in the world require intelligence. ((Could do with tweaking this just a little bit more to make it clear that that's a personal view rather than a blanket stated)) She hopes to follow in either of her parent's footsteps, and strives for good grades in classes she believes are essential to being either an Astronomer or a Veterinarian. Since math is essential to Astronomy, Natalia is disappointing by her Math grades, and often asks her parents to help her with the subject, to which they're happy to oblige.

Advantages: She's well liked, and might be able to make alliances. Her kind demeanor and friendly attitude might allow people to trust her.
Disadvantages: Natalia isn't physically fit and has low stamina, and might not be able to flee a murderer. Plus, some people might take advantage of Natalia's trust. ((How? Please elaborate. Natalia comes across as friendly and maybe a little dependent on her friends, but not completely guileless))

Home is Where the Heart Isn't
Makatala snuffed something between a laugh and a sob into Michelle's shoulder. She'd always had a way of saying things that brought a smile to her face, even when she was upset. This time, though, it wasn't enough to break the cloud of Kam's mood. What had happened was just... too much for a little silliness to send lifting off of her shoulders, even though she didn't doubt that Michelle had been mostly serious.

"A very sad panda," she murmured as response.

Michelle suddenly nearly slipped, catching Kam by surprise before the two of them managed to steady themselves. Right, skates. Duh.

Sniffling, Kammy nodded, tears still streaming down her face.

"Let me give you a hand, t-then."

They moved back to the bench, sat, and then Kammy was stuck to Michelle like glue, wrapping her arms around her girlfriend and crying again, head tucked just under Michelle's collar bone. Parts of Kam felt bad, springing this on her. Other parts just wanted Michelle to soothe the hurt away.

Your Top Ten
I claim no credit for the Inactive Bear. I just wrote the scene, the concept was all Wheeler.

The Mafia Waiting List
If you need to bounce general stuff off me, feel free, though it can be tricky to navigate, considering I enjoy playing quite a bit and it's obviously unfair if a player knows anything about the game's set up.

I'm intending on putting together a modding guide soon, as it happens.

The Mafia Waiting List
Updated. Please try and keep us posted on the progress of your game and whether you want to keep it on the list.

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Don't force it.

By the nature of SOTF a lot of relationships are predetermined and as opposed to happening organically, they're more of a "These character are already together" type affair.

Pregame is very helpful for teasing this kind of thing out, because there's such a thing as characters which click and characters which don't. For example, although they didn't interact a great deal (and this makes me realise exactly HOW many of my character were in predetermined relationships... huh), Jessie and DK clicked as a pairing. As Dan mentioned a couple of pages ago, there's such a thing as good chemistry between handlers, there's also good chemistry between characters. Those two worked well. Kris and Etain worked well. Lizzie/Bounce and Alice worked well, and that was something that only came up in post game. Feo and Ethan worked, dysfunctional as they were.

On the flipside, sometimes those relationships just don't work so well, and the worst thing you can do is push it through in the face of that type of thing when it isn't working. Brock and Hilary weren't that great as a couple, overall, and as a matter of fact, if Brock hadn't died so early, Stefan and I had planned to write the relationship pretty much breaking down, because just like in real life, sometimes things don't work out. Another not-me example was when I was reading the interactions between Zach and Mae over on Mini. Shawn/Mae/Zach didn't feel like a love triangle, a lot of the time, it felt like a relationship and a jealous third wheel (no offence intended, it was still enjoyable to read) Overall, you need to keep in mind that sometimes it's a lot better to allow things to build organically rather than being predetermined. Trying to push a romance through when the characters don't click just feels forced and false. I would absolutely love to see more romances that evolve over time - not a knock on anything at all, just something I think would be neat.


Natalia "Koala" Kowalski
*cough* I of course meant 'closet'

I'm going to start to sound like a bit of a broken record now, however, I'm not knocking you back for no reason. More detail means, well, more detail. Generally speaking detail is more than adding another line. You also have a slight problem with your responses to my asking to elaborate, as instead of building on what is already there, you actually add entirely new elements (a good example being Rebecca's drug habit and Natalia's phobia). Remember that elaboration is just stacking blocks on top of what you've already done, rather than starting a brand new set of blocks. ...And that was a mangled metaphor, but in brief: consolidate, don't branch out unless asked.


Quote:
 

Biography: Natalia Amber Kowalski was born to Australian veterinarian Karen Abernathy and Polish astronomer Joseph Kowalski. Both grew up in Washington, Joseph living in Seattle and Karen living in Newcastle. Both attended Renton High School, and fell in love. They married and moved to a small house in suburban Seattle.

The relationship between Natalia and her family are varied. Natalia's younger sister Rebecca is short tempered, and she argues over a lot of things with Natalia. Most of these arguments are over things that aren't really important, such as chore assignments, privileges, the remote, the usual sibling fights. Rebecca has a natural disdain for her older sister that stemmed from a lot of arguing as children. Rebecca often voiced her opinion, and Natalia found this annoying. Instead of trying to compromise, Natalia argued back, mostly out of the tone. ((What does 'mostly out of the tone' mean? That doesn't make very much sense. Do you mean that Natalia didn't like HOW Rebecca voiced her opinions as opposed to not liking her expressing her opinions in principle?)) Seeing this as a threat, Rebecca would rebut, and an argument would erupt. Seeing no way out, Natalia would continue these arguments. On the contrary, Rebecca's twin sister, Jessica, is much kinder and sweeter. Natalia and Jessica are close, and Jessica confides in Natalia often. Natalia is often willing to look after or carpool Jessica and her friends, which annoys Rebecca. Either way, she loves both her siblings, even though one is a drug addict. ((You forgot to remove this reference)) Natalia and her parents also share a close bond. Her mother sees the tension between the siblings, and often takes the family out to dinner or to the theaters. Natalia loves these, and she and Jessica get excited over these outings. Her mother is more involved in her life than her father, and Natalia doesn't mind that.

Her first stuffed animal was a stuffed koala that her mom got from a souvenir shop in Australia on a trip shortly after Natalia was 2. She loved the stuffed animal, naming it Skip. She brought Skip everywhere she went, including school. Even now, Natalia sleeps with it, and sometimes sneaks him into her locker.

When she entered school, Natalia was quite shy. She met a girl named Denise, who was quite the social butterfly, and made fast friends with her. Not feeling shy around Denise, she made friends with other girls Denise introduced Natalia to. ((This needs some tweaking as it flows very awkwardly. I suggest something along the lines of 'Feeling less shy around Denise, Natalia made friends with other girls that she was introduced to'. Sorry for not picking it up during a previous critique, but since you have other edits to make, I figured I might as well mention it)) Another reason she made friends was that she was kind and friendly to her classmates. Plus, unlike most girls her age, she made friends with the opposite gender. Even now, she is well-liked by most of her classmates. Natalia is extremely loyal to her friends, and will defend them from bullies. ((Detail is still sparing here. Why was she fine with making friends with boys even though others aren't? Why are her friends bullied? Does she deliberately make friends with people who would get bullied? Is Natalia not exactly in the popular crowd?))

Despite having many friends, there was a small group of kids who teased her throughout the school years. They often called her 'Koala', because she still carried Skip around and her last name sounded like it. She resented it at first, but the group of kids persisted. To get back at them, she officially adopted it as a nickname in the 5th grade. The other kids liked it too, and a lot of her classmates have been calling her 'Koala' ever since.

Her parent's jobs affected her greatly. Koala's dad got her a telescope at age 7, and she began to look through it often. She began to write down all the constellations she's seen, and sometimes brings up the topic of constellations in conversations. Her mother took her on trips to the vet, and she learned the basics to caring for a dog. Her friendly and willing-to-help attitude helped with calming some animals down, and lessened the stress of having to deal with a frightened pet. Curious, Natalia began to ask why the jobs were important. Her parents told her that it was to help society by keeping their pets healthy and enrich their knowledge of the universe. Excited about how her parents were helping people and wanting to help people too, she aspired to follow in their footsteps. Natalia began to take a lot of Biology and Astronomy classes, and works hard to get a job in either professions. She wanted a pet, but Jessica had a severe pet dander allergy.

During her late elementary school years, Natalia wanted to have varied hobbies. She searched for one, but found an unlikely hobby in the flute. Natalia and her siblings were enrolled in instrument classes by their parents, who also wanted their children to be well-rounded. ((This is unclear. Was it Natalia who wanted to develop more hobbies, or was it something decided by her parents? Those last couple of lines say contradictory things)). Natalia was surprised when she played well. Natalia liked the flute lessons, and likes playing the instrument. ((Saying she liked the lessons and liked playing flute in the space of a sentence is redundant, try and express that in a different way)) She recently joined the School Orchestra.

When Natalia entered middle school, Denise moved to St. Paul. Even though they kept in touch, Koala was still distressed, and sought out a new best friend. After finding another best friend (Ashley Warner, a girl Denise had introduced her to in Kindergarten) she found that she thought girls were very pretty. After some soul-searching, she realized that she found both genders attractive while in her freshman year. This awfully disturbed Natalia, as both her parents often voiced their homophobic ideas. ((Prime example as something that has come completely out of nowhere. Could you explain further about Natalia's parents' homophobia?)) Scared that she'd be ridiculed at school for being a bisexual and being disowned by her parents, she began to flirt with her male classmates in order to establish herself as a heterosexual, and eventually started dating Edgar Wood, a guy she really liked, and is still with him. ((I actually quite like this element, though is there any reason Natalia thinks people would've assumed she was a lesbian/bisexual in the first place?)) Whenever she finds she's attracted to a girl, she reminds herself it'll strain the relationship with her parents and she's already with Edgar, and checking out other people when you're not single is also frowned upon in society.

The Kowalski family is are Catholics, but not very good ones. They don't go to church on a regular basis, and generally allow their children not to go. When she did attend, Natalia found that church greatly depressed her, making it look like that it was hopeless to try to get into heaven, and that she was more likely to burn in Hell. It also deeply worried her that she found girls to be cute, but she reminds herself that it's frowned upon in society. ((You still have the extra space between it's and frowned, and this is still a repetition. I would've thought that her parents' homophobia was a lot more crucial towards this view than what society thinks, considering Seattle is pretty liberal)) Plus, she's dating Edgar. After a while, Natalia began to think to herself, and question God's existence. She looked through several books on history and biology, and found that God might just not exist. Satisfied with this answer, Natalia became an atheist and believes in science and disproves most religious explanations on evolution and the creation of the universe. ((This science part might be better served integrated into the 'and found that God might just not exist' section)) This has lifted the 'heaven-hell' stress off her, and Natalia is happy for that. The only belief of her faith that remains is that of chastity which she believes is for everybody because you have to wait until you're fully mature to have children, or your body might not be able to handle it. ((This is confusingly worded. I would restructure it to read something more like 'faith that remain is that of chastity, as she believes that people should wait until they're fully mature to have children'. Having said that, there are plenty of examples of young pregnancies that have gone fine, so I would suggest moving this more towards being about mental maturity and the issues with trying to get through college and so on. Also, there IS such a thing as safe sex, bear in mind. As it stands, I'm not sure I'm convinced by this as a reason for believing so strongly in chastity))

Her grades vary from subject to subject. Her experience with Astronomy got her determined to get good grades in science. Contrasting, she struggles with Language Arts, due to being a poor writer, and math confuses her. Natalia also downright hates Vietnamese due to the level of difficulty and Mrs. Tran's methods of teaching, including the no-English rule. Gym is a struggle, mostly due to her shape. Natalia doesn't really try, and is apathetic to her Gym grades due to her believing that it's no use, and intelligence is more sought out in this world. ((You didn't alter this sentence, so it's still worded really weirdly. Please refer to the previous critique)) She hopes to follow in either of her parent's footsteps, and strives for good grades in classes she believes are essential to being either an Astronomer or a Veterinarian. Since math is essential to Astronomy, Natalia is disappointing by her Math grades, and often asks her parents to help her with the subject, to which they're happy to oblige.

Advantages: She's well liked, and might be able to make alliances. Her kind demeanor and friendly attitude might allow people to trust her.
Disadvantages: Natalia isn't physically fit and has low stamina, and might not be able to flee a murderer.
((There's actually less here now than before, please add another disadvantage at the absolute minimum))

The V5 Weapon List
No, you don't.

Natalia "Koala" Kowalski
Wow, I apologise for the typos in my critique, made some mistakes there.

--

Quick note ahead of time - in places your grammar and sentence structure is really broken and doesn't flow or run properly. You really need to work on proof reading your work, because in quite a few instances, some of the information just doesn't make much sense because of how it's been worded.

Bear in mind (and I know I screwed up the formatting in one place so that's not completely clear) that if, in the text, I yellow-text something, it's a correction. From now on I'll be doing that in green, to make it more clear.


--


Quote:
 

Biography: Natalia Amber Kowalski was born to Australian veterinarian Karen Abernathy and Polish astronomer Joseph Kowalski. Both grew up in Washington, Joseph living in Seattle and Karen living in Newcastle. Both attended Renton High School, and fell in love. They married and moved to a small house in suburban Seattle.

The relationship between Natalia and her family are varied. Natalia's younger sister Rebecca is short tempered, and she argues over a lot of things with Natalia. Most of these arguments are over things that aren't really important. ((For example?)) Rebecca has a natural disdain for her older sister that stemmed from a lot of yelling. ((This doesn't make sense. Why would the disdain appear from yelling? Yelling isn't a trait of Natalia as a person)). Rebecca often voiced her opinion, and Natalia found this annoying. Instead of trying to compromise, Natalia argued back. Seeing this as a threat, Rebecca would rebut, and an argument would erupt. ((Why does Natalia, who you've taken pains to point out is a very kindly person, get annoyed purely by her sister expressing opinions? Is there anything particularly objectionable about these opinions?)) On the contrary, Rebecca's twin sister, Jessica, is much kinder and sweeter. Natalia and Jessica are close, and Jessica confides in Natalia often. Natalia is often willing to look after or carpool Jessica and her friends, which annoys Rebecca. Either way, she loves both her siblings, even though one is a drug addict. Natalia and her parents also share a close bond. Her mother sees the tension between the siblings, and often takes the family out to dinner or to the theaters. Natalia loves these, and she and Jessica get excited over these outings. Her mother is more involved in her life than her father, and Natalia doesn't mind that.

Her first stuffed animal was a stuffed koala that her mom got from a souvenir shop in Australia on a trip shortly after Natalia was 2. She loved the stuffed animal, naming it Skip. She brought Skip everywhere she went, including school. Even now, Natalia sleeps with it, and sometimes sneaks him into her locker.

When she entered school, Natalia was quite shy. She met a girl named Denise, who was quite the social butterfly, and made fast friends with her. Not felling shy around Denise, she made friends with other girls Denise introduced Natalia to. Another reason she made friends was that she was kind and friendly to her classmates. Plus, unlike most girls her age, she made friends with the opposite gender. Even now, she is well-liked by most of her classmates. Natalia has many friends, mostly for her kind demeanor. ((This remains redundant. You've already said she's kind in this same paragraph)). Natalia is extremely loyal to her friends, and will defend and stick with them. ((Defend them from who/what and stick with them through waht?)) Her good-nature and kindness to everybody makes it hard to believe that anybody would kill, especially close friends. She isn't pacifist, but doesn't like the death of others. ((This is pretty cursory justification for the future disadvantage, as it again isn't explained. What in her life has made her encounter death on such a personal scale? This comes off as very awkward, as it feels like a direct allusion to the game, and SOTF hasn't been around, in universe, for four years. Her outlook on violence needs revising to more general lines, as opposed to it being gear towards a kill or be killed scenario)).

Despite having many friends, there was a small group of kids who teased her throughout the school years. They often called her 'Koala', because she still carried Skip around and her last name sounded like it. She resented it at first, but the group of kids persisted. To get back at them, she officially adopted it as a nickname in the 5th grade. The other kids liked it too, and a lot of her classmates have been calling her 'Koala' ever since.

Her parent's jobs affected her greatly. Koala's dad got her a telescope at age 7, and she began to look through it often. She began to write down all the constellations she's seen, and often rambles on about the history of each constellation randomly in some conversations. ((Relevant conversations? If not, then this is a really weird habit to have)) Her mother took her on trips to the vet, and she learned the basics to caring for a dog. Her friendly and willing-to-help attitude helped with calming some animals down, and lessened the stress of having to deal with a frightened pet. Curious, Natalia began to ask why the jobs were important. Her parents told her that it's to help society by keeping their pets healthy and enrich their knowledge on the universe. Excited about how her parents are helping people and wanting to help people too, She aspired to follow in their footsteps. Natalia began to take a lot of Biology and Astronomy classes, and works hard to get a job in either professions. She wanted a pet, but Jessica has a severe pet dander allergy. ((This still has tense issues)).

During her late elementary school years, Natalia wanted to have varied hobbies. She searched for one, but found an unlikely hobby in the flute. Natalia and her siblings were enrolled in instrument classes by their parents, who also wanted that children well-rounded.. ((Delete the extra period)) Natalia was surprised when she played well. Rebecca, naturally hating her sister, called out every mistake she made. ((You explained that Natalia and Jessica argued, but not that it was a hatred. If they have this much enmity, you need to elaborate further.)) Due to this, Natalia became nervous of performing, and gained Atychiphobia ((This is a pretty simplistic depiction of how somebody would gain a phobia, and I find it implausible that this phobia would only manifest as part of a fear of performance. That type of phobia is generally pretty comprehensive, in which case it should be a MASSIVE part of Natalia as a person. My advice is to keep the explanation as it is whilst removing the phobia, as I can believe that somebody harassing Natalia about every mistake would cause her to develop nerves)). She recently joined the School Orchestra, but is still nervous about performing.

When Natalia entered middle school, Denise moved to St. Paul. Even though they kept in touch, Koala was still distressed, and sought out a new best friend. After finding another best friend (Ashley Warner, a girl Denise had introduced her to in Kindergarten) she found that she thought girls were very pretty. After some thinking, she realized that she found both genders attractive. ((This STILL needs more detail. It's very blunt. Sexuality isn't a matter of just 'doing some thinking', it requires serious soul-searching in the vast majority of cases. Even if you just emphasise that it took her a while to acknowledge it, a concession towards time would be nice)) Scared that she'd be ridiculed at school for being a bisexual, she began to flirt with her male classmates, and eventually started dating Edgar Wood, a guy she really liked, and is still with him. ((Natalia didn't need to come out and from what I can see, isn't out. Why did she feel the need to overcompensate towards guys?)) Whenever she finds she's attracted to a girl, she reminds herself it's frowned upon to like the same gender and she's already with Edgar, and checking out other people when you're not single is also frowned upon in society. ((You used frowned upon twice in one sentence, and whilst homophobia is a very real problem for LGBT youth, bear in mind Aurora has a prominent Gay-Straight Alliance and there is a local LGBT association, so it's not like everyone would reject Natalia if she came out of the college))

The Kowalski family isn't very religious. They don't go to church on a regular basis, and generally allow their children not to go. When she did attend, Natalia found that church greatly depressed her, making it look like that it was hopeless to try to get into heaven, and that she was more likely to burn in Hell. ((If they're not religious, why do they even go to church in the first place? Her parents being Catholics but not hugely devout worked better)) It also deeply worried her that she found girls to be cute, but she reminds herself that it's frowned upon in society. ((You have an extra space between 'it's' and 'frowned'. Also this is another repetition, and slightly flawed for the reasons I mentioned above)) Plus, she's dating Edgar. After a while, Natalia began to think to herself, and question God's existence. She looked through several books on history and biology, and found that God might just not exist. Satisfied with this answer, Natalia became an atheist. This has lifted the 'heaven-hell' stress off her, and Natalia is happy for that. ((The implication is that she believes science disproves God, can you make that more specific or clarify if it's something else, so as to not keep us guessing?)) The only beliefs of her faith that remain is that of chasity and nonviolence, which she believes are essential to anybody. ((Elaborate on why she thinks this))

Her grades vary from subject to subject. Her experience with Astronomy got her determined to get good grades in science. Contrasting, she struggles with Language Arts, due to being a poor writer, and math confuses her. Natalia also downright hates Vietnamese due to the level of difficulty and the Mrs. Tran's methods of teaching, including the no-English rule.. ((Remove the 'the' from 'and the Mrs. Tran's', and the additional period)) Gym is a struggle, mostly due to her shape. Natalia doesn't really try, and is apathetic to her Gym grades due to her believing that it's no use, and intelligence is more sought out in this world. ((This sentence makes no sense, I suggest rewording to something like "Natalia doesn't really try, as she believes that intelligence is more highly valued than fitness, making her apathetic towards her gym grades)) She hopes to follow in either of her parent's footsteps, and strives for good grades in classes she believes are essential to being either an Astronomer or a Veterinarian. Logically, Natalia is disappointing by her Math grades, and often asks her parents to help her with the subject, to which they're happy to oblige. ((Logically doesn't seem like the right word here))

Advantages: She's well liked, and might be able to make alliances. Her kind demeanor and friendly attitude might allow people to trust her.
Disadvantages: Natalia isn't physically fit and has low stamina, and might not be able to flee a murderer. Plus, Natalia is a kind person, and she wouldn't kill anyone, even under extreme circumstances. ((I would still like strong grounding in the profile for this disadvantage, as well as a stronger disadvantage in general, as this section is currently still very minimal as a whole))

Home is Where the Heart Isn't
Kammy couldn't help it, the dam had well and truly burst. She'd held it together this long, but now that Michelle was here the emotions just came pouring out. For a few seconds, she just sobbed into her girlfriend's shoulder, burying her face there, wet with hot tears. Kam tried to keep herself from hysterics, suppressing the wailing that was just begging to come out. She had to stay together, if only so she could explain to Michelle.

A couple of deep and shuddering breaths followed, and without breaking the embrace, Kammy drew her head back so she could look at Michelle's face, concerned of course.

"It... it was my parents. Again."

Makatala knew that she really didn't have to add anything else to that. This hadn't been the first time that something like this had happened. Kam clashed with her parents a lot, and considering how close they were otherwise, there was really only one thing that they argued about. Kammy had mentioned offhand that she'd gone with Michelle to watch a new movie - wanting to talk about the film, of course... and her mom had latched straight onto the mention of her girlfriend. Expressed that typical 'disappointment', that expression of shame on her mother's face that she couldn't just be a 'normal' girl with 'normal' relationships. Alea flouncing off, saying she was sick of Kam's 'drama'. Taimane staring quietly into the table, saying nothing, torn between her parents and her sister. The solemn expression on her father's face as he pronounced how 'wrong' what Kam chose to do was...

It was, however, the first time that her father had lost his temper about it.

"D-dad called me disgusting."

The tears welled up again and Kammy's face went straight back into Michelle's shoulder.

Natalia "Koala" Kowalski
Sorry about how long it took me to get back to you, I've been preoccupied, since this is my last week home before heading back out to university.


* 5'10 and 163 lbs is still not particularly overweight, it's on the high end of a healthy BMI.

--
Quote:
 

Biography: Natalia Amber Kowalski was born to Australian veterinarian Karen Abernathy and Polish astronomer Joseph Kowalski. Both grew up in Washington, Joseph living in Seattle and Karen living in Newcastle. Both attended Renton High School, and fell in love. They married and moved to a small house in suburban Seattle.

The relationship between Natalia and her family are varied. Natalia's younger sister Rebecca is short tempered, and she argues over a lot of things with Natalia. Most of these arguments are over Rebecca's secret drug use, which has deeply bothered Natalia. She persuades her to stop using them, but Rebecca gets violent whenever she tries. Natalia knows it's no use, because if she tells her parents, Rebecca will use them anyway. On the contrary, Rebecca's twin sister, Jessica, is much kinder and sweeter. Natalia and Jessica are close, and Jessica confides in Natalia often. Natalia is often willing to look after or carpool Jessica and her friends, which annoys Rebecca. Either way, she loves both her siblings, even though one is a drug addict. Natalia and her parents also share a close bond. Her mother sees the tension between the siblings, and often takes the family out to dinner or to the theaters. Natalia loves these, and she and Jessica get excited over these outings. Her mother is more involved in her life than her father, and Natalia doesn't mind that.

((Okay the part with Jessica is substantially better, but the elements you've introduced with Rebecca open up a whole new can of worms. For a start, since you've only put that in after I asked you to add more detail, I really get the impression that the drug habit is filler more than something you've put serous thought into. The attention paid is quite... cursory. It's a REALLY big deal that an immediate family member has a drugs addiction, and I think you're better off excising that part altogether. It's unhelpful to Natalia as a character and it's another example of an incomplete thought. How would somebody that young get drugs? What kinds of drugs? Since when has this been going on? How did Natalia find out? Why does she not think her parents will be able to intervene? It's raised a whole host of unanswered questions, and I think your best option is to alter that part. Why not just have Natalia and Rebecca with a combative relationship?))

Her first stuffed animal was a stuffed koala that her mom got from a souvenir shop in Australia on a trip shortly after Natalia was 2. She loved the stuffed animal, naming it Skip. She brought Skip everywhere she went, including school. Even now, Natalia sleeps with it, and sometimes sneaks him into her locker.

When she entered school, she made fast friends with a girl named Denise, and made more friends. ((This reads very confusingly. She made friends with Denise and made more friends? It's a bit of a redundancy, especially considering the following sentence. Sorry that I hadn't picked up on it previously)). Another reason she made friends was that she was kind and friendly to her classmates. Plus, unlike most girls her age, she made friends with the opposite gender. Even now, she is well-liked by most of her classmates. Natalia has many friends, mostly for her kind demeanor. ((You've already described her as 'kind' once already. How is she kind? Why does she make such an effort to be friendly and nice to seemingly everyone?) Natalia is extremely loyal to her friends, and will defend and stick with them.


Despite having many friends, there was a small group of kids who teased her throughout the school years. They often called her 'Koala', because she still carried Skip around and her last name sounded like it. She resented it at first, but the group of kids persisted. To get back at them, she officially adopted it as a nickname in the 5th grade. The other kids liked it too, and her classmates have been calling her 'Koala' ever since. ((Be careful with your phrasing. It's unlikely that everyone would call Natalia Koala. Perhaps reword it to 'and a lot of her classmates')).

Her parent's jobs affected her greatly. Natalia's dad got her a telescope at age 7, and she began to look through it often. She began to record some made-up constellations in a notebook, and likes to tell other people about them. ((If Natalia is enthusiastic about astronomy scientifically, why would she make up her own constellations? Further, what's to tell about made up constellations?)) Her mother took her on trips to the vet, and she learned the basics to caring for a dog. Her friendly and willing-to-help attitude helped with calming some animals down, and lessened the stress of having to deal with a frightened pet. Curious, Natalia began to ask why the jobs were important. Her parents told her that it's to help society by keeping their pets healthy and enrich their knowledge on the universe. Excited about how her parents are helping people and wanting to help people too, She aspired to follow in their footsteps. Natalia began to take a lot of Biology and Astronomy classes, and works hard to get a job in either professions. She wanted a pet, but Jessica has a severe pet dander allergy. ((This whole part is phrased really awkwardly. You keep swapping between present and past tense, so I would suggest rewording this part to be a bit more internally consistent)).

During her late elementary school years, Natalia wanted to have varied hobbies. She started playing the flute, and was a good player. Natalia took classes until she began to master the instrument. She recently joined the School Orchestra, but is nervous about performing. ((Why is she nervous about it? You still haven't explained that))

When Natalia entered middle school, Denise moved to St. Paul. Even though they kept in touch, Natalia was still distressed, and sought out a new best friend. After she had found a new best friend, she realized that she found both genders attractive. ((I find this oddly worded too. Generally speaking you don't just come upon a new best friend with ease. Generally people get closer to others they already knew. This whole concept just seems a little weird. It's not like Natalia didn't have other friends to fill the gap that Denise left, you don't just go and find somebody to be your best friend, it doesn't work like that. The realisation of her sexuality is still very abrupt)) Scared that she'd be ridiculed at school for being a bisexual, she began to flirt with her male classmates, and eventually started dating a guy she really liked, and is still with him. Whenever she finds she's attracted to a girl, she reminds herself it's wrong and she's already with a guy, and this suppresses the feelings for the time being. ((Not essential, but it would be helpful if this boyfriend had a name, either as an NPC or someone else's character. Also, why does Natalia think 'it's wrong'?. Does she have a genuine moral objection to same sex relationships, or is it 'wrong' in the context that it's wrong to look at other people whilst you're in a relationship?))

Natalia doesn’t go to church often. It greatly depresses her, making it look like that it's hopeless to try to get into heaven, and she's more likely to burn in Hell. It also deeply worried her that she found girls to be cute, but she reminds herself that it's wrong. ((See above on the 'it's wrong' thing)) After a while, Natalia began to think to herself, and question God's existence. She looked through several books on history and biology, and found that God might just not exist. Satisfied with this answer, Natalia became an atheist. ((This is a much better explanation, it just requires some emphasis on her atheism being more scientific)) This isn't a problem with her parents, as they aren't very religious and don't attend the local Catholic church on a weekly basis, but when they do go, they allow Natalia not to go. ((This section, on reflection, has a bit of a problem with continuity. You talk about church like it STILL depresses her. However, if Natalia is a dedicated atheist now, then logically going to hell should no longer be a problem to her. Further, if her issues with bisexuality were religious, then why do they still apply now that she's given up her faith? In any case, I think you need to rearrange this paragraph - talk about her parents being semi-practicing Catholics first, then how church depressed Natalia and so on, and THEN talk about how she became an atheist)).

Her grades vary from subject to subject. Her experience with Astronomy got her determined to get good grades in science. In contrast, she struggles with Language Arts, due to being a poor writer, and math confuses her. Natalia also downright hates Vietnamese due to the level of difficulty and the teacher. ((Does she not like his methods, or does she not like him?)) Gym is a struggle, mostly due to her shape. Natalia doesn't really try, and is apathetic to her Gym grades due to her believing that it's no use. ((No use in what sense?)) She hopes to follow in either of her parent's footsteps, and strives for good grades. ((If Natalia strives for good grades, how does she react to her poor grades in Language Arts and Math? Do her parents try to give her a hand with schoolwork? Does the school attempt to support her writing skills?))

Advantages: She's well liked, and might be able to make alliances. Her kind demeanor and friendly attitude might allow people to trust her.
Disadvantages: Natalia isn't physically fit and has low stamina, and might not be able to run. ((Run in what sense? Run at ALL, or run in the sense of fleeing from danger?)) Plus, Natalia is a kind person, and she wouldn't kill anyone, even under extreme circumstances. ((This isn't quite sufficient as a disadvantage. Kindness does not necessarily mean somebody wouldn't do something like that. If Natalia's morality is so firm that there's no way she would EVER play, then you need to emphasise that in the profile, as I'm currently really not getting the impression of somebody whose morals are so uncompromising. Very friendly yes, but unshakeable convictions, no. I'd like a stronger disadvantage than this))

SOTF v4 Mafia, Game Thread
See you in the fallout.

Project: Wiki
Deleted it and blocked that editor for 10 years.

No, seriously.

Home is Where the Heart Isn't
Sitting on a park bench, Makatala checked her phone, a beat-up old Nokia. A few seconds later, she checked it again. Looking at the time, counting down the seconds until Michelle would be here. About half an hour ago, she'd sent a text to her girlfriend, asking to meet up with her. A couple minutes later, the reply had came, saying sure. Kammy hadn't gone into the details, but she'd made it pretty clear that she really needed to see Michelle. Over the phone wasn't the right place for this type of thing.

The weather was good, and there were plenty of people out. Lying in the shade of trees, playing games on the expanses of grass. Walking their dogs. She felt detached from all of it though, as if watching a scene from a movie as opposed to real life playing out in front of her.

It wasn't much of a walk from Kam's home to the park, so she'd been waiting a while. Really though, every tick of the clock was so agonising that it barely mattered if it was five minutes or twenty that she'd been sat there. Kam felt physically sick and torn in half at the same time. Mentally, she felt numb... like her mind had been plunged into ice water. Underneath the hurt was anger, impotent anger that in many ways only added to the pain. Kammy didn't want to be angry at anyone, and the fact that she was made her resent those emotions.

She just... couldn't handle this alone. She was trembling on that park bench, and in the bright warmth of the sun, it clearly had nothing to do with the temperature.

There was a sound nearby and Kammy looked up. On any day but today, she would have smiled. Her mouth didn't even twitch. Michelle was rolling along the pathway on skates towards her. As her girlfriend approached, Kam opened her mouth to call out a greeting, picking herself up off the bench... and then just burst into tears.


Sports Team and Club Members (WAIT 48 HOURS AFTER APPROVAL TO POST HERE)
As was LITERALLY just posted, please leave at least 48 hours post approval before replying here.


SOTF v4 Mafia, Game Thread
This isn't really good enough. Vote: Mimi, in a bid to get this phase actually moving.