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Hanging Out
The door swung open, and there was Kaine. He looked a tiny bit out of it, but overall not bad. Kimberly had no clue how he did it. He somehow seemed to never be badly affected by any of the myriad substances he took. That was alright, though. She preferred him being at least mobile.

"Everything's good!" she replied happily, adding "Mind if I come in?" Not waiting for a response, she slipped past Kaine into the house.

"How's stuff going with you?" she asked, smiling.

She took a look around. Nothing seemed to foretell imminent parental doom, so she assumed they had the house pretty much to themselves. Patrick, Kaine's brother, might be there, but if he was he would probably leave them alone, which was how Kimberly preferred it. Kaine and Patrick were twins, but Kimberly couldn't help thinking of Patrick as Kaine's younger brother. He just seemed... less mature somehow. Maybe it was that he didn't seem to be much of a partier, or into drugs.

"So," she said, looking back to Kaine, "what's the plan for today?"

Adrienne Weiss
This character has been abandoned by the handler.

William M. Hearst
Very nicely done, Knight. William is APPROVED!

There is one tiny thing I'd like you to change before V4 proper: SOTF V4 is set in 2008, so William's birthday should be in 1990 to make him 18, rather than 1991. That's seriously the only issue I noticed, aside from a couple of tiny grammatical things.

Excellent job! Welcome to pregame.

Hanging Out
Kimberly Nguyen was on her way to her boyfriend's house, without a clue in the world as to what they were going to do when she got there. She'd been dating Kaine for a short while now, and things seemed to be going pretty well. He was cool, interesting to talk to and hang out with, and he always knew where to score interesting substances to sample.

Kimberly hoped she was dressed up nicely enough for the day. She hadn't gone all out like she normally did; she was actually wearing fairly normal pants and a black, bulky t-shirt, instead of her more typical costume-like attire. Still, she had her fedora, and her boots, so it wasn't like she was completely under dressed.

As she neared the house, she started to worry a little.

I hope he's here. I hope his parents don't answer the door or something horrible like that.

Kimberly wasn't even sure if Kaine's parents knew they were dating. She couldn't remember ever seeing them, but then again, she hadn't really spent much time anywhere where she'd have run into them. She certainly hadn't mentioned Kaine to her grandparents. They probably wouldn't have cared, but there was no use sharing information with them. It wasn't like they cared what she did. Besides, she didn't want to answer awkward questions about her romantic life. Things had been bad enough when they tried to comfort her after her first breakup. They hadn't listened when she'd explained that she had initiated the breakup, and was better off without the jerk anyways.

She walked up to the door, hesitating before knocking. There was no reason to be nervous at all, but she still was, just a little. Part of her liked that, that feeling that things could go any way that came with newer relationships. If they lasted a couple months, it would probably wear off, and she might get bored and move on, but that was part of life, especially in high school.

There was no point worrying about the future now. Kimberly reached up and knocked on the door.

I'd just like to add that I honestly think everyone's coming from the same place here. Criticism is fine. Maturity is good. That goes for people on both sides of the criticism. I think everyone can agree on that, right?

Adrienne Weiss
Hi KellyA! Adrienne is temporarily DENIED. There are some things I'd like you to fix up before I approve her.

To start with, her height and weight should be in a real sentence, not just a fragment. Her weight should also be purely in pounds.

The rest of her appearance section is pretty good, though there are a lot of places where you should use a semicolon instead of a comma (any time you join two phrases that could be seperate sentences, you want a semicolon).

Adrienne's biography is a good start, but it has some problems. Two of her interests, music and nightclubs, aren't mentioned at all. I'd like to see reference to them made in the bio. I also don't have a very good picture of Adrienne's current situation. What does she do when she isn't with her friends? Why does she stick with them? What does she think about other the other students? Why has she let her grades drop? Elaboration here would be really great.

There's one other big problem I foresee with Adrienne and her friends: all of them seem to be there to support each other. They seem designed to work together in V4 proper. Grouping characters is a very dangerous thing to do. The risk you run is that you end up just roleplaying with yourself, without anyone else to interact with, because you're characters' stories are too self-contained. I'm not going to say you can't do it, I'm just going to caution you to think long and hard about it.

I'm also quite worried that Adrienne is a premade player. She seems all about intimidation and violence. I shouldn't be able to tell from a character's bio that they will be an active and willing participant in the killing side of SOTF.

Adrienne's advantages and disadvantages also need a little work. I need to know more about her self-defense abilities in her biography, since they're mentioned as an advantage. I also need to know more about her determination, since her bio gives the impression that she is somewhat weak-willed.

I'd also like to know more about her hypochondria. The advantages and disadvantages sections are places to summarize things from the bio, not introduce entirely new material.

Post once you've got Adrienne fixed up, and I'll give her another look.

Eloise Heaton
Welcome to SOTF, Echo Hawk!

Unfortunately, Eloise is temporarily DENIED, and she's going to require some pretty major revisions.

The basic problems I have with Eloise all stem from one concept: realism. SOTF is about throwing realistic characters into situations they are entirely unprepared for and seeing how they react.

All characters in SOTF should be characters who would be appropriate for a realistic high school RP. Eloise is not. There are some elements I would like to see removed or excised because of this.

To start with, I'm really skeptical about the incestuous implications. I strongly doubt that, assuming incest is what's going on, no one would have noticed or caught it. It also seems pretty unlikely. If you want to keep this aspect of her character, you're going to have to do an incredible job justifying it, and quite frankly, I'd rather see it go.

I'm also having issues with Eloise's online gaming. It is, quite simply, way too big of a thing. Half or her biography is devoted to it, and you go into far more detail than we need. Her accomplishments are over the top (I'm looking at the part where she's the second best player in the world, the part where she's world famous, and the part where she's part of the longest game ever running here). I'd like this all toned way down.

The biggest issue I have with Eloise, though, is that she is obviously set up to be a player (someone who actively participates in SOTF, willing killing other students). There are tons of things screaming this to me: her eyes shining with "immense creepiness", her interest in SOTF, her interest in military history, her arrogance. I know exactly how she's going to act in the game, and that's a bad thing. I need all of this dialed way back or removed, particularly the interest in military matters and strategy.

I'd also like two more things removed:

The bit about rolling dice doesn't work. It feels too much like a slightly changed Two-Face shtick.

The other thing I want removed is the TVtropes references. A lot of people on here like TVtropes, and a good number of us (myself included) found our way here through the site, but constant references to it get really old really quickly, and drag the mood of the RP down.

For some good examples of realistic characters, I recommend you check out MK Kilmarnock's Liam Brooks and Solomir's Peter Siu. This helpful character creation guide is also a good thing to look over.

Post here when you've got Eloise fixed up, and I'll check her out again. Again, welcome to SOTF, and don't worry about not being accepted on the first shot; most character profiles require at least one round of revision.

Anna Chase
Alright Kami! Chase is APPROVED for pregame.

There are a few small stylistic things you may want to fix up before V4 proper. You use a couple words repeatedly, which causes some confusion. Specifically, you use "however" 19 times, usually in places where it isn't needed, and "often" 16 times, usually in places where all it does is weaken the statement being made. Those are just little stylistic things, though, and the the content of Chase's appearance and biography is very solid! Nicely done.

Introduction Thread
Welcome to all the new folks! I'm one of the aforementioned normal mods. Feel free to PM me if you need anything.

In The Park
((Everett Taylor continued from Simply Studying))

Everett was walking around the small park with a trash bag in his left hand and an absurd grabber-claw device that looked like some B-grade super villain's weapon in his right. He was wearing his oldest pair of jeans and a ratty t-shirt, a far cry from his more formal school attire. He was picking up garbage.

It was astounding how much trash could accumulate in a public area in the space of a month. Everett volunteered a lot of his already-limited free time, not out of a sense of altruism, but because he was pretty sure colleges liked that sort of thing. His applications were all already sent out; he was just waiting to hear back from the schools, but he still kept up with his volunteer work, even though it was no longer strictly necessary. It just wouldn't be right to bail on the causes he had supported for the past couple of years, even if they didn't mean much to him.

Besides, as much as he would have hated to admit it, he actually liked cleaning up the park. People took sickeningly poor care of common property, and it made him feel better to be able to give even a little bit back. It was his way of showing respect for his community.

The park was mostly empty, but there were a couple of people and two little kids. One of the kids ran by, dropping a candy wrapper as he went. Everett grabbed it with the claw, and deposited it into his trash bag. It didn't even annoy him. Kids littering he could understand. Litterers his age, or worse, older, though, they were what really bothered him.

Looking back at the ground, Everett continued his litter sweep. There wasn't all that much left now.

Noah Dudley
This character has been abandoned by the handler.

Thomas Forgraine
This character biography has had no alterations for more than two weeks and has been put in the abandoned characters forum. This profile is eligible for resubmission by the handler upon alterations requested from the staff.

D&D Night
Will chimed in, saying that he'd be willing to give Bounce a go as GM. Aaron's gut reaction was to feel betrayed, but then he thought about it. Really, he couldn't blame Will. Bounce probably would be a good GM. He would have no problems playing under her if it didn't mean losing his position as GM.

Bounce said that she would discuss it with Alice and Stephen, and at that point Aaron began to fear that she was actually going to go through with it. That would... well, that wouldn't be good at all. He didn't want to give up his position. It was pretty important to him. He'd played in games before, and it was great fun, but nothing rivaled being completely in control of the story. The ability to create a world, and the characters who inhabited it, and the horrible dangers it contained, and then share it... well it was pretty amazing.

Bounce took her leave. Aaron said a quick "Goodbye" to her, but wasn't really paying attention. No, he had more important things to think about. He had to figure out some way to get around Bounce's suggestion. He needed an idea of what to do if she didn't calm down, if she stayed annoyed.

Then it came to him.

Maybe she isn't mad. Maybe she's jealous.

If Bounce was jealous of his position as GM, everything would make so much more sense. Her needless overreaction would be explained. Jealousy was something he could understand, and maybe even deal with. He already had an idea of what he could do. He would just need some help. The best thing to do would be to talk to Will now, since Bounce would get the first crack at Alice and Stephen.

"Sorry today's session went short," Aaron said to Will. He wasn't really sorry, but hey, Will didn't seem the happiest about being dead, so some sympathy would probably make him more amenable to Aaron's position.

"I was thinking about what Bounce said. Maybe I could use a break now and then. Maybe we can start switching off sessions or something, taking turns running separate campaigns. That way, Bounce gets to run the game sometimes, like she seems to want to do so badly, but she gets to play, too! What do you think?"

That sounded reasonable enough. The worst case scenario was that Bounce was an awful GM, in which case Aaron could take things over full time again. In the best case, well, playing could be fun for a change, as long as it wasn't all he did.

"Also, if you need to use the phone to call a ride or something, go right ahead," Aaron said as an afterthought. He didn't want Will to end up stranded here for hours with nothing to do. That wouldn't favorably dispose him towards Aaron's suggestion at all.

Brendan Wallace
Thanks for bearing with me, incrobe. Brendan is APPROVED!

There's one little thing I forgot to mention in all my critiques, that I'd love it if you change for the final V4 submission, but it doesn't affect pregame acceptance at all. The term "claustrophobic" in regards to being near other people is a bit confusing, and I think you might be better served just using "anxious". As I said, it doesn't matter right now.

Welcome to pregame!

I've actually got to agree that writing for the sake of wordcount isn't very inspiring. The thing for me is, I need some sort of external motivation or challenge to keep me writing. Be it a class, NaNoWriMo, or SOTF, as long as I have a reason to write, I do. If I don't, I sit around doing nothing.

I tried to write a story outside of NaNo, and it took me three monthes to get as far as I did in the first week of November.

I know the philosophy espoused by NaNo is to write crap to fill 50,000 words, but I've found it's much more fun when you write something you actually enjoy. Sure, I look back on stuff I wrote two years ago and cringe, but it was good for not having done any creative writing in four years.

So, basically, I encourage everyone participating to not only write 50,000 words, but to write 50,000 good words (strung together into good sentences, paragraphs, etc.)

Apologies for the rant. I've just never gotten the appeal of words for words either, and some of my high school buddies very much embraced the philosophy (granted, they were being given points for it. I was the first one in my friend circle to finish, and the only one not doing it for a class grade. I think there was a correlation there).

Brendan Wallace
Alrighty. You're getting really close here. There are just a couple minor things I'd still liked worked out.

The first is his weight. 170 is dead-on average for 6'1", so I'm a bit confused by him being stated to be overweight.

I'm also a little worried about his newly added anger problems and "almost internationally famous" blog. The latter you can fix by changing to "mildly popular" or something of the sort (truly famous people on the internet tend to get stalked in pretty short order, and international fame is stretching realism a bit).

The anger issues are cause for worry because we try to discourage premade "players" (that is, characters who we can easily tell from a look at the bio will be enthusiastic participants in the killing side of SOTF). If you give a little more info on his anger, though, I think it can work just fine (what I'm specifically looking for is a note on the form it takes. If all he does is rant, we have no problem).

Let me know when you fix this up! Thanks for your continuing patience!

I did it the first time in high school, Senior year, and it wasn't that bad at all. 50,000 words sounds like a lot, but I know you guys are all good writers, and I'm sure you can do it if you try. Also, the cool thing about NaNo is that, even if you don't finish, you almost certainly do more writing than you would otherwise. It's a great exercise.

Some of us in chat were talking about this, and I remembered we had a thread for it, so I figured I'd just bring it back instead of writing a new one. Is anyone else here going to try NaNo this year? I've done it the past two years, and it's awesome. If anyone else is on the site, my username is KillerVole (like here).

Board Mafia Fallout Thread
Ban, were you annoyed because I was faking, or because you thought I'd killed you? Clu actually messed up the night kills day one. I killed Zabriel because he was using tropes and I was annoyed with someone in real life who talked in tropes. I had no clue it was his role...

I have to say, one of the most interesting parts of the game for me was sparring with Pigeon. He backed me into a major corner. I really didn't play that all out as well as I'd hoped to; I had the SOTF_Help contingency planned from the start, but wanted to hold off on using it as long as possible. My big mistake was, by arguing with Pigeon, I made myself a huge target for the mafia. They knew I wasn't on their side, so I was pretty likely to get killed, either for organizing/prodding people, or if they figured out my role.

This was a very interesting game overall.

Brendan Wallace
Thanks for the updates, incrobe! I appreciate that you're open to constructive criticism; it makes things so much easier for everyone!

There are still a couple of things I'd like you to fix up. To start with, Brendan's appearance is mostly quite well done, but you state that he is "slightly overweight" at 6'1" and 170 pounds. That's actually exactly in the middle of the healthy range of weights for that height. I recommend you check out this BMI calculator to help find a good weight for your concept.

I'd also really like to know what clothes Brendan usually wears. Please toss in a bit about his style of dress.

Brendan's bio is mostly well done. There are a few little things I'd like you to fix up, though. To start with, this sentence: "His father, Ray, was a pilot, and this busy job meant that Brendan would always move from school to school, from house to house, and never stay long enough to make any friends, and almost never tried due to fear of rejection." is really hard to follow. Could you split it into a few sentences? In the second bio paragraph, I would also recommend ending the sentence after "accident" and starting a new sentence with "His mother". It'll improve the flow a lot.

Another small detail is the name of the town. Bayview is only the school's name; the actual city is Saint Paul, Minnesota.

I'm a little confused by the sentence "From observing the drastic change in discipline, curricular, currency, road, and everything else, most annoyingly to him, Video Games and DVD’s, he became highly cynical and critical, though still remaining a top student in all areas except for Sports." If you could rephrase it a little to make clear exactly what caused this change, it would be great (was the change because of his new home, or simply time passing?). Also, "Video Games" and "Sports" should not be capitalized.

I'd also like it if you replaced the phrase "there, but not there," with something more to the tune of "hardly noticeable" or something of the sort. I actually like your phrasing a lot, but it comes across as pretty informal, and all the profiles need to be handled in a formal manner, as if written by an in-universe source.

I'd also like a little expansion on Brendan's psychiatric help (did he see the school counselor's, or someone else?) and his early rejection when he tried to make a friend.

Finally, and this is probably the biggest issue, his advantages and disadvantages should come up more in his bio. I think learning to be "extremely stealthy" from TV and books is a bit much, but saying he learned "the basics of stealth" would be perfectly acceptable, and still provide an advantage over the other students, most of whom have nothing like that. I also would like some clarification on what actions he can predict, and why. Similarly, I'd like to know where the ability to lie comes from, since he isn't a great actor.

As to disadvantages, I'd like to know where his claustrophobia and fear of insects (both very cool character traits) come from. Just explain them in his bio and you'll be good to go.

Don't worry about the huge length of this review; I just try to be thorough, and sometimes get a bit long-winded. I'm sure you'll be able to get Brendan fixed up! Post here when you've made the requested edits, and I'll give him another look.