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How To Go Far in SOTF
I totally agree on Mini! Actually, I've got more to add.

Mini is different from Main in a lot of ways. It's got a different pool of handlers who form the bulk of the userbase; in fact, some handlers play only on Mini. On the whole, as a site, it is way more invested in actually reading other people's work (I have statistical proof). Basically, on Mini you will get your stuff read, and you will hear back about how you're doing.

Since it's smaller, you're more likely to be able to establish your characters in the sort of role you want for them, too. Main may get swamped with villains within a few minutes of opening, but on Mini there's a bit more room to branch out. Handlers tend to take things a little less seriously, too. Winning isn't a no-holds-barred free for all. In fact, it's a lot more likely that you will win a game on Mini, simply due to math.

While you can have three characters per game on Main, and only two on Mini, the important thing to consider is overall numbers. V4 had 276 characters. It was the biggest version on Main. V2, the smallest, had 118. Mini's biggest game, to contrast, had 66 characters. Its smallest had 21 (and allowed only one per handler). That means, in the smallest Mini, anyone had a one in twenty-one chance of winning. To get the same in V2, you'd need to control five and a half characters. In V4, you'd need thirteen.

Even in the biggest Mini, you'd need three and a half characters to break even on odds in V1, and eight in V4. Nobody had eight characters in V4, even at the craziest level of adoptions.

Getting noticed is also easier on Mini. I'll go ahead and say I think a lot of the reason lots of folks started to read my writing was because they were reading it over on Mini, since that was the first place I ever wrote outside of a pregame environment.

Obviously, writing on Mini is not required, but I believe it is useful in many ways, and, more than that, it's just fun. It give an opportunity to explore stuff outside the normal SOTF paradigm, and to interact with handlers you might not notice as much on Main.





As to RP guides, I whipped this up without staff input or approval, so I didn't feel comfortable tossing it straight in there, especially since it's a bit more of a dialogue than most of them. Maybe once it lies dormant for a while we can pretty it up for the wiki or submit it for official guide consideration.

I'll try to think of some pointers on the habits! Also, if anyone else wants to chime in there, it'd be awesome.

How To Go Far in SOTF
DO read widely

Once again, the way in which this helps you stay in the game is not super obvious at first glance. Reading, however, is one of the most underrated aspects of SOTF. By reading other handlers' characters, you are better able to converse intelligently about them. You know which characters you like. You also know whose writing you like, who would be cool to do threads with, and so on. This is where the benefit to you comes in.

If you know a handler writes well, and you see that their character has potential for interesting interactions with yours, you can simply propose a meetup or a scene of some kind. By showing that you've read another handler's character, you are far more likely to positively predispose them towards working with you, as they will know that you have some grasp of their character and style.

More than that, reading engenders out-of-character goodwill towards you. Handlers like people who read their stuff. They like people who are involved in the game. I know it pleases me greatly when I can trade impressions with somebody without getting, "Oh, I haven't gotten around to reading that character yet" as a reply to everything.

Also, this is rather big-picture, but reading encourages other handlers to read as well. It's basically peer pressure to keep up and not be left out. SOTF's culture during V4 veered away from reading, and the entire game suffered for it. There were tons of redundancies and continuity errors. More than that, Heroes were scarce at some points because characters just weren't well-known. If site culture can be turned around again, so that reading is the norm rather than the exception, everyone doing quality writing is more likely to be saved just because the number of people seeing that writing will increase. You can't make a change without being part of it, so by doing your part and reading, you can help site culture move to better places.

DO NOT assume that you are more important than anyone else

You're not. I'm not. No handler is. By acting like your character is the center of things, you come off as rude and arrogant. You make yourself unpleasant to be in threads with, and drive quality handlers away.

This sounds really obvious, but it works its way in insidiously. If you think you "deserve" to be Heroed, or to be in Endgame, or to win, you've fallen into this trap, and I can almost guarantee that it is showing in your attitude and alienating others. This can manifest as always needing your character to come out on top or look cool. It can take the form of them never taking hits. It can be them monopolizing every scene for no in-character reason (some characters try to steal the show, and that is A-Okay! Just make sure it's the character trying to do so in-character, not you doing so out-of-character).

Basically, remember that every other handler may be just as excited and committed as you, and treat them accordingly. The goodwill that this creates will make things way more pleasant and will help you last.

DO NOT play to win

Alright, this one sounds counterintuitive in the extreme, given that this is a guide on how to get far in SOTF. When it comes to actually winning, though, it's a crapshoot. I've heard a rumor that wrestling bears for Odin's favor worked for Dan, but I cannot confirm or deny this, or any assertions about arcane rituals.

What I can say, though, is that if you play to win—that is, if you focus on winning as your highest and most important aim—your writing will suffer, and with it so too will your chances of actually winning. Only one character will win. If your plotline relies on it being yours for your character to be a satisfying read, you are stacking the deck against yourself.

Write your character so that each thread, each interaction, is important. Assume that they will die and do your best anyways, so that their story is a great one that will stand the test of time. Then, if you win, that's a happy bonus.

A personal anecdote here, because this is one that I can speak to and that relatively few other people can: I did not go into V4 expecting to win. I wasn't even hoping to that much. Kimberly was the character I thought least fitting for surviving until well over halfway through the game, and that was largely in the form of joking about a few things with Tre. I only gave serious thought to her living around the final 25, and only because I had some ideas I thought could go cool places.

That aside finished: basically, make the small things count. If winning is your end goal, the urge to put it above other things—things like consistent activity and quality writing—will be strong. If you win on rolls with no popular support, it won't be a positive experience for you or the site, and may well tank your chances in all future games. It's also so statistically unlikely as to be almost laughable.

While only one character may win, anyone who has a good time in the game wins in my book. Also, people who are not rabidly gunning for the win attract cards more than those who are. It's less of a risk. At the most cynical level, handlers who also are rabidly pursuing the win will probably not lend a hand if they sense direct competition, and handlers who like a character but not as a possible winner will be less likely to bail them out if they see it as likely to make them responsible for getting a bad winner to a version. If you're really obviously trying to win, trust me when I say that half the site will probably breathe a collective sigh of relief as you are rolled out.

DO prioritize characters

By which I mean, know which characters are working for you and which aren't. Be in tune with their stories. If you've really hit a groove with one of your kids and they get rolled, by all means use your Swap Card to save them!

This is not to say you should have a flagship character. In my opinion, you should not, at least not going into the game. A predetermined flagship, or "main" character, is likely to make your other characters suffer a lack of attention as a result. Give all your kids as much attention as you can, but if you're in a pinch, toss your energy where you're feelings things most and doing your best work. As I think I've harped on too much by now, the better work you do, the better your chances.

Also, reassess your characters regularly. You may be surprised. I've often had characters who didn't work for me at all at the start come from behind to become my favorites. I've had kids I was super stoked about not work out.

DO NOT treat characters as fodder

On the other hand, don't throw your other kids away. As I mentioned above, they may surprise you by taking the lead later on. They also require care and attention, so that their stories will be worth reading. Nothing annoys many handlers faster than fodder. "Well," they think, "he made two totally pointless wastes of space to eat bullets for Flag McShip. Clearly he does not need my Hero Card."

Fodder characters make the game worse. They do a disservice to you and to other handlers. They also drag down your average writing quality, and you don't want to become known for phoning in posts or, worse, leaving other handlers hanging. Prioritize your favorite(s) if you have no other choice, but make sure everyone still gets their fair share of love. Just give that extra bit of special shiny attention to whoever will get the most good out of it.

DO think strategically

There is some strategy to SOTF. It can pay to take a long view, and it can pay to take chances. Set up some foreshadowing you may not be able to cash in on, just in case. If Endgame's coming up, put in your very best effort. There's no way to use strategy when it comes to rolls, but be prepared for them and maybe even make plans in advance to make sure any deaths you may have to write go down well. In short, be a few steps ahead. It'll pay off with smooth, well-written scenes.

DO NOT try to game the system

You would not believe the bag of largely-unethical tricks I have seen drawn from in my time on staff. There are a fantastic number of ways to try to basically cheat. They are all really bad ideas. If you game the system in an unfair way, you are not just annoying the other handlers. You are annoying the staff team as a collective, and that is a very bad place to be in. If you go against the spirit of a rule, the staff will probably point this out and may well enforce according to the spirit, not the letter.

The staff team is not a computer in a bad sci fi flick. Staffers are bound to make the site as good a place for everyone as they can, and to ensure fair play. Allowing cheating because it is technically within the letter of the rules is not ensuring fair play.

Actual cheating (say, making multiple accounts to pad your numbers of characters) will probably get you banned forever. Quasi-cheating will probably put you on the staff's bad side while at the same time gaining you nothing except the ire of the other handlers. Don't do this, seriously. It has never worked, and trust me, I've seen all kinds of attempts.

A slight tangent: this is largely why we have various new rules and changes for V5. A lot of loopholes are closed in letter as well as spirit precisely because of this stuff. Writing up a massive legalese document to basically make sure things were fair and even wasn't my favorite thing ever to do. Don't try to cheat. Everyone will find out, and it will not be pleasant.

DO take precautions when you are going Away

If you're going to be gone for a while, get your characters out of threads in a graceful manner, or give other handlers permission to GM them. Maybe even find a babysitter. Most important of all, make sure your Away notice is valid, with every t crossed and every i dotted.

Remember, you may not ever have an open-ended Away. You may not give a range of dates. If you are listed as Away, you may not hang out in chat for hours on end or post everywhere on the board but in your threads. Doing these things will upset the staff, possibly to the point of revoking your Away, and they will also upset your fellow handlers, who will be thrilled when you get rolled since it will mean less rules abuse.

In general, do not post as Away unless you will be unable to post for the span of time you are claiming.

If you know you are going Away in advance, notify everyone as soon as you can, so that they can plan around it. Make sure that you've caught up on all the posts you owe before leaving. Make things as easy on your thread partners as possible, and they will be grateful rather than resentful.

A special note on babysitters: I hate seeing characters left with babysitters. It's damaging to immersion if a character suddenly acts all wrong, or if their voice changes. Nobody understands your characters as well as you do, so having somebody else write them is a potential road to disaster. In my opinion, the best solution when you're Away for an extended period of time is to get your character gracefully out of their thread. If that is unfeasible, it's best to grant your thread partners as a whole GMing rights, and let your character fade into the background, tagging along. Only if that is unfeasible for some reason should you get a babysitter, and you should pick someone who understands your character very well and who you trust. You should also be prepared for things to go in a very different direction from what you want/expect, and for it to be impossible to get things back on track. Needless to say, poor babysitting is bad news for your long-term survivability.

A final note: Sometimes, there are reasons to post as Away when you'll be around, but you should always note that you are doing so. I'm in that situation right now, as a matter of fact. A few things to note: 1. This is better in pregame than actual game. In pregame, it does not mess up staff bookkeeping. 2. If you can while in this situation, you should post. You should realize staff will probably not give you extra time if you're hanging around.

...Actually, you know what? I'm gonna make a thread for official Aways in V5 and also a thread for soft Aways, which are basically notifications that you'll be busier, slower, etc. We'll police normal Aways very strictly, and only they will give you extra time on the timer. This is all subject to staff approval, of course, but that should solve the issue. Treat the above as applying to normal Aways.

DO NOT constrain yourself in terms of thread partners

We've probably all seen handlers who only write with certain other handlers. Often, this manifests in strings of private threads. Even if it doesn't, it'll become clear when two handlers stick to each other like glue and prioritize each other over anyone else in the thread.

This is bad because it makes you come off as arrogant and unapproachable. Yeah, you and Handler X may have a lovely working relationship, but what about the rest of the site? Writing with many handlers is key to being able to adapt to situations. Insularity tends to put blinders on you, especially if you don't communicate widely (and most handler who write with only a few people also do not read very much). It turns things into an echo chamber: your thread partner and you think on similar wavelengths, so you'll likely both love any ideas you come up with even if they are completely stupid. Everyone else, meanwhile, may be groaning.

Broaden your horizons. Don't be afraid to write with people of a different skill level. Writing with people who you don't see as up to your level can be a challenge, but in a good way. It can also leave you pleasantly surprised to learn you have underestimated someone. Writing with someone you perceive as better than you can give you a great chance to learn of their working process and pick up some tricks, and to get your character in a really well-written scene. Writing with people is also one of the easiest ways to make friends, and friends help you get far.

I'm not saying not to work with people you like. I'm not saying not to work with people you like often. I'm saying to let other people in on the fun, too, and to be open to other experiences and diversity.

DO NOT vent your poor self esteem in chat

A lot of handlers do this. With all due respect, it does you far more harm than good. In the best case scenario, people believe you and try to make you feel better. Because they are presumably your friends, they will often try to prop you up even though doing so means lying through their teeth. A compliment fished-for is a compliment which is meaningless. Even if they like your stuff, you'll never know for sure, because you've tainted your own critique pool.

Remember, that's the best case scenario.

Worst case, they lie to you and also secretly resent you. Maybe they think your writing's not so great. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal, but because they have to act otherwise (or go conspicuously silent), your not-super-great writing attains the status of major irritant. Rather than being ambivalent, you'll have people sitting around, crossing their fingers for you to get rolled every two weeks. People will be hesitant to Hero you, and if you catch pity Heroes it will just increase resentment.

Even worse, people have a tendency to internalize negative things they hear a lot. SOTF's opinions can change like the wind, and if you keep complaining that your writing's no good then eventually it is pretty likely that you will convince the site that your writing is, in fact, no good.

The whole thing can also come off looking rather egotistical, like you're fishing for compliments or are full of false modesty. If you don't feel so hot about your writing, don't complain about it. Instead, ask for help improving, in a way that does not reek of self-flagellation. Try to do better and ask for feedback. Open dialogues with people you trust. All of these things will help you get to the point where you won't have to worry about bad self-esteem anymore.

Oh, and just a quick thing: everyone hates their writing sometimes. I do. Each of the popular, respected handlers I have talked with does. Published authors do. It's part of the craft, one that everyone must learn to live with.

DO write stuff you care about

The best and easiest way to get people to care about what you write is to care about it yourself. Phoned-in posts suck, to write and to read. Phoned-in characters are horrid. If you're invested in a plotline, it will be easier for you to keep focused. You will want to write. You will want to see things continue to develop. This sort of enthusiasm is contagious. It also pushes you to do your absolute best, to turn in high quality work.

Writing stuff you care about means writing better stuff most of the time, and better stuff means better chances to go far. Besides, why keep writing a character if you aren't enjoying it?

A side-note: Not every post is perfect. You won't like everything you write. That said, if you're in a rut, try to change things so you're having fun again. I've known some handlers who got lost with their stuff and just tried to soldier on, figuring they might have fun writing after the game if they won. This produced mediocre results and generally lost fans for the characters. The handlers were also not pleased with their stuff after the game was done. Don't let that be you.

DO edit

To take that further: edit before you post. Just do a quick proofread for flow and grammar. That single added step, which usually takes less than ten minutes for a medium-size post, has done more for the quality of my writing than anything else. People do not write perfectly the first time. Just taking a look, especially through use of the preview button, lets you see where you hit the wrong keys and said something opposite what you meant. It lets you avoid becoming a bad meme. It lets you get more bang for your buck, and it takes almost no work.

I do not advocate substantial changes once something has been posted, because that can be confusing to readers (who may read your stuff only once and have no idea of edits until later stuff stops making sense, and may not figure out what happened even then) and other handlers who are in the thread (who may have started their replies before the changes were made, and be very frustrated to have work invalidated).

That said, I believe fixing typos is always a good use of time, and encourage handlers to remove them at any time.

Oh, one last thing: you can disable the edit marker by un-ticking the box that says "Show that you edited this post". For IC posts, try to do this. It makes the thread reading experience a lot smoother, and avoids distracting readers by making them wonder what changed and why.

For the record, I proofread and edited this guide before posting (unlike most of my OOC posts) and caught a ton of typos and bad phrasings. I probably missed some, but just imagine how much worse it was before.

DO link your threads

This is minor. There's a tutorial here. Not doing it makes your characters a royal pain to read. I know many handlers have dropped characters due to incomplete link chains. I know I hate fixing them for other people, so it's a pretty low priority for my staff time. Take the two minutes to keep your character readable.

DO NOT make Hero deals

I almost left this off, now that deals are deregulated, making them an even worse idea, but I'm putting it in for historical interest and also because it applies to unofficial deals too, which I know people will try. Just mentally append "Also, they can back out and screw you over" to the end.

Hero deals sound cool in theory. You Hero someone else in exchange for their Hero card at a later date, or they Hero you in exchange for yours. It's just like having two swap cards, or maybe like being able to press the snooze button on the alarm clock that is the rolls.

Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out like that.

If you Hero someone else in exchange for a card later, you are gambling that you will get rolled before they do. This is not a safe bet. Several people in V4 got screwed over when the person who owed them a save got rolled first or at the same time as they did, leaving the person unable to hold up their end of the bargain. This means the people Heroed for nothing.

Worse, handlers sometimes go inactive without warning, or they get banned. In these situations, you are completely out of luck. You've burned a resource to save someone you care about for nothing.

Being on the end of the deal where you owe manages to be even worse.

If you owe someone a Hero, you have just committed to writing their fodder for the rest of the game. You will not win (unless you somehow both get to Endgame unrolled or something). You will not have any control over what point your character's story terminates at.

You will also never, ever catch a Hero from anyone until you've discharged your debt.

The reason for this is that your character is doomed, and everyone knows it. If you get rolled, then Heroing you just amounts to Heroing the person you owe a Hero to. If other handlers wanted to do that, they'd just do it directly, removing the risk that you get rolled again before you can pay your debt off.

Basically, you are selling your character's fate. It's bad on a practical level, and it is an extremely disheartening situation to be in. Just avoid it.

DO Hero characters you like

People who save others are more likely to be saved in turn. I try to keep my ratio about even, if not skewed in favor of helping people out. That is to say, I try to Hero people as often as I am saved (including Mini and Main in this discussion, 'cause everyone can save only one person per version in Main typically). If you Hero characters that you like, you push that back towards being a big part of site culture. You also show that you've read other handlers' writing, and that you're being a productive part of the site, a team player.

Obviously, don't Hero characters if you don't like them. Don't Hero characters because you're pressured to. A lot of handlers have never Heroed anyone, and are still awesome writers and cool people. If you'd rather write one of your kids than read someone else's, then don't play your card. Just, keep it in mind as an option. Besides, as I said above, people like to Hero people who Hero other people. It's like a big circle of sharing.





I'm leaving this here for now. I may write some more to add on later, but I started this back in March, and with V5 coming so soon I feel like I should post it when it can still actually do some good for folks. This is all just my opinion, based as it is upon personal experience and lengthy observations, which is why I'm not throwing it out for contention as an official RPing Guide. Still, I hope it is useful to the community.

Feel free to discuss, disagree, add your own ideas, etc. as you want. I'll gladly answer any question (except if I'm talking about you. Don't ask that. I'm not, and I won't answer if you ask since I already have).

How To Go Far in SOTF
Hi, everyone! This is something I've been considering doing for a while, and decided to whip up in my spare time, because it's something that is a goal for a lot of handlers but is equally something that many handlers don't have a clue how to approach. It seemed like a guide on the subject could be useful, and I've done a lot of learning on this very subject, through personal experience, observation over the course of V4, and reading back through the archives of past games. Therefore, without further ado, allow me to present a guide on how to go far in SOTF.

The first thing to grapple with, of course, is what "going far" means. It's pretty vague, and there are no guarantees of anything ever turning out as you hope. Basically, for me and for the purposes of this guide, "going far" means keeping your characters in play as long as possible, with a presumed goal of getting as close to the end as you can, maybe even winning. Another choice I am making for the purposes of this guide is to presume the most mercenary of motivations; that is, I'm gonna assume the worst and write as though all the reader cares about is going far. That's not how the game plays out, in reality, and it's certainly not how I played it, but I want this guide to be complete, for argument's sake.

A quick explanation of the basic theory behind getting far in SOTF:

To last, to win, to achieve your goals for your characters, you probably want to keep them alive as long as possible, or until the time is right for them to die. This is tricky, since all of the site's mechanics are geared towards the periodic elimination of characters. In effect, most of our rules make you kill your characters, which is probably not what you want to do.

This, of course, isn't being mean. It's how the game functions. If there were no rolls, if activity was not enforced, if heroes did not require a sacrifice—well, the game would never end. Lots of people go into each game gunning to win, and SOTF, as it currently functions, allows only one winner per version.

Some quick reminders: Twice each month, a bunch of characters get rolled to die. They absolutely must die unless another rule says otherwise.

The only rules that say otherwise these days involve cards. There have been other things done from time to time, but as of about V3, it's been straight rolls and cards.

A Swap Card lets you save one of your characters by sacrificing another. A Hero Card lets you save someone else's character by sacrificing one of your own. Also, and fairly vitally, it lets someone else save your character by sacrificing one of their own. A Roll Null lets its owner save any character, without sacrifice of any sort. Each card is good only once.

For the purposes of prolonging your stay in the game, Hero Cards and Roll Nulls are far more important than Swap Cards (though Swaps are actually quite useful, as I will explain later).

There are two major other ways to get your character killed. The first is far and away the most common: inactivity. You have to post at least once every fourteen days, or you get warned and/or lose your character. Similarly, if an area your character is in becomes a danger zone, you have to post to have them leave it within three days, or they are killed. It goes without saying that losing characters to inactivity is not a good way to get far in SOTF.

The other way, as of V5, is to bungle an escape attempt. It almost goes without saying that escapes are very very difficult and unlikely, and that legitimate attempts at escaping are pretty much incompatible with the goal of lasting a long time; odds are if one of your characters tries to break the game, they will die in short order, unrolled.

That's the basic mechanics. If you've got a good grasp of those, you'll hopefully see how everything else here follows logically from them. From here on out, I'm going to name behaviors, say what they are, and say how they will help you last longer in the game (or, in the case of negatives, how they will really quickly sabotage your chances). Oh, and one last tiny thing: don't ask me if I'm talking about your V4 behavior in these examples. I'm not, and I'm not going to discuss anything in the past in light of what I'm putting down here. These are general observations, not an attempt to call people out. Examples provided will be vague beyond possibility of identification, composites, and/or entirely made up. With that out of the way, I hope you enjoy the ride.

DO post frequently and maintain good activity.

This is the first and arguably the most important item on this list. Quite frankly, the only way to win SOTF is to have a character alive at the end, and the quickest way to ensure that you don't is to get your whole cast inactive killed. It's more complicated than just staying active, though.

Technically, you can skate by on the bare minimum. By the rules, if you post once every fourteen days, on the dot, and if you always post quickly enough to avoid collar detonations in danger zones, and if you follow any other specific activity rules that come up, your characters will not be inactive killed. If that's all you do, though, they will be unpopular and viewed as a burden. That's a great way to avoid getting saved when you get rolled, to annoy other handlers, and to generally make yourself unwelcome.

A bit of math (warning: this guide features math):

V4 lasted thirteen announcements. If we assume they came once every four weeks (or twenty-eight days), that means that you must post at least twice for every announcement with every character. If we add in another eight weeks to account for months that are not February, delays, etc., we can come up with a nice, even number: thirty. Thirty is the theoretical minimum number of posts a character would have to have in V4, assuming they hit Endgame.

Thirty posts may sound like a lot. It isn't. Remember that a post can be as short as a couple hundred words and still be counted for activity. Often, that's enough. Now, check out the post breakdown of a fairly average V4 thread. Notice that two members, Little Boy and ArmageddonCounselor, have nine posts apiece in this single topic. That's about a third of the minimum right there. Check out a more extreme example. MK Kilmarnock has 42 posts in this one topic alone! Now, there are extenuating circumstances here. His character, Liam Brooks, spent about half the game in this single topic. The fact remains, though, that he has more than the minimum number of posts theoretically required to reach Endgame in a single thread.

Next, remember the space of time here. At one post every two weeks, thirty posts amounts to over a year of writing (a year and four weeks, in fact). It's not hard to turn out thirty posts over a year.

The catch is, you should be posting far more often than the minimum.

Take a look at the most notable SOTF characters. How many of them have only thirty posts? Unless we're talking someone known for dying really early, I bet the answer is none. You see, posting every two weeks, on the dot, means your character is getting way less development than other characters. While you're posting once every two weeks, Handler X in the next thread over is posting once every two days. If you are otherwise equivalent in writing, Handler X's characters just have more of a chance to shine. This means that, if you and Handler X get rolled, the people with Heroes and Nulls to burn are going to see that Handler X's characters are more developed, giving Handler X a leg up when it comes to getting saved.

Beyond that, HandlerX has also proved that they will write frequently. A Hero Card is an investment. Heroing someone means that you have a vested interest in seeing the story of their character continue—so much of an interest, in fact, that you are willing to sacrifice one of your own characters, a resource you could otherwise use for your writing enjoyment and to get you closer to the end, to continue reading about the character you save.

Basically, handlers wanna get some bang for their buck. If you post every two weeks, well, that means they can expect one post from you before the next rolls. And, hey, you might get rolled again next rolls. Meanwhile, the same investment gets you seven posts from Handler X. It's pretty simple math.

As if that's not enough, slow posting makes characters hard to follow. Their stories become disjointed, since the space between readings is long.

They also share this effect with everyone in their thread. If you post infrequently, you force other handlers to conform to your schedule or to break post order. Either way, it's really annoying. Nobody likes having to rush a post to avoid going inactive because some jerk took thirteen days and twenty-three hours to cram out two hundred words of "Jim picked earwax out of his ears and ate it while the gunfight continued in the next room."

Now, you may wonder why, from a purely mercenary perspective (as this guide is being written) you'd give a hoot about ticking off other handlers. The answer is really simple: no one's gonna Hero somebody they can't stand. Personal feelings do enter into play, and nothing turns opinion of a character sour than dealing with them amidst bad etiquette. Alienating the board is the quickest way possible to knock yourself out of the game, bar going inactive.

On the other hand, posting frequently has huge benefits. It keeps your character in the public eye. It lets them develop. It lets you strut your stuff. Basically, it's a sales pitch, showing the other handlers just why, when you inevitably get rolled, they should spend their precious, limited resources on saving your character.

DO NOT take on more characters than you can handle

This is basically a corollary to the activity rule. It may seem obvious, given that characters are your resources for staying in the game, that you want as many of them as possible. After all, you are flat out guaranteed to be in the game for a number of roles equal to your total number of characters, assuming you don't kill them unrolled/Hero/go inactive.

Counterintuitive though it may seem, this is not a good strategy at all.

As mentioned above, activity is very important. Every character you handle is another character competing for your attention. If you have too many, it means you have to make cuts somewhere.

One option is to prioritize speed over quality. This is a bad idea. No one likes it when the board is flooded with a bunch of crummy posts. That's just a chore to read through. Similarly, handlers are pretty good at picking up on when someone's phoning it in. If you have mediocre characters, and Handler X has good characters, Handler X is the logical choice to Hero when you both get rolled. After all, we'd all rather read good stuff than bad stuff.

With speed out of the question, the next option is to prioritize quality. This is also a bad idea, for reasons mentioned above. Far, far better to have one good character who gets regular posts than three good ones who get posts every two weeks. If you're overworked, trust me, it will be very obvious. Then, when you get rolled, other handlers will note that you are overworked and think to themselves, "Eh, that guy has too many characters anyways. Maybe now he (I'm gonna use the masculine for the reader in this guide for ease of writing. No disrespect is intended) can actually focus on the other two characters he has. Once again, Handler X, who posts frequently, looks like the way to go.

There's always the third choice: kill characters off unrolled or Hero other people. This is also a bad idea.

Killing characters unrolled is probably the best option if you find yourself with too many, but even it is a pretty poor choice. It's wasting resources and time that could better be used elsewhere. Better to have devoted the time you spent phoning it in on whoever you tank unrolled making someone you do care about better. Better to have left the slot open in the first place, to let someone who did have time write—someone who might have had a Hero lying around down the road.

Now, I'm not trying to discourage unrolled deaths. I love them, most of the time. I believe, though, that unrolled deaths are best when they come because they are right for the story, not because someone got overworked.

Heroing is a much worse idea than killing your character unrolled. Your Hero card is a very valuable resource, and you get only one. You want to use your Hero for something important. As mentioned above, it's for when there's a character you just love reading.

In V4, lots of handlers brought too many characters and Heroed out the spares in the early parts of the game. This meant that there were very few Heroes around at the end of the game, and a lot of great characters—characters who, had there been cards around, would have almost certainly been saved—died because nobody could bail them out.

You may notice that I have not addressed making a deal at this point. That is because, as will be explained later, deals are almost always a terrible idea and should, as a rule, be avoided like the plague.

So, with prioritizing and killing out of the picture, what's left? Not registering too many characters in the first place. Pregame's a good time to figure out how many you can take. DO NOT exceed your reach for the game proper. It hurts you more than it helps.

(One final option: you can give your character away for adoption, handing them off to a less busy handler. This is very generous, and all around a pretty good choice, but it means giving up all control of your character and their story, and that can be really hard for some people [like me] to do. There's no way to reclaim them if you give them up, and other handlers may do things radically differently than you would have.

Also, you can go inactive with the people you don't like, but that ticks off everyone.)

DO be nice to everyone

Here's another big one. We've already established that annoying handlers is a great way to sabotage your chances of lasting in SOTF. The flip side is also true, though. Nice handlers, handlers who are chill and involved and respectful, tend to enjoy longer careers in games. This is because people tend to help out people they like over people they are ambivalent to (or worse, people they dislike). If you're rolled and Handler X is rolled, and someone else—call them Handler Z—has a Hero card and likes both your character and Handler X's character enough to save them, they are probably going to wait and see if anyone else steps in to save one of you, making their choice a lot easier. If that doesn't happen, though, and if there's no tiebreaker in the writing, they're probably gonna save whoever they have more warm, fuzzy feelings about.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: I am absolutely not endorsing lying, faking, sucking up, or manipulating people. None of these things work. I've seen them tried, and I've seen the results. They are not pretty. Remember, you are probably not a mastermind, subtlety is a very difficult skill to master and a very easy one to assume you have mastery of, and people tend to react incredibly poorly when it's clear someone is clumsily attempting to butter them up.

In fact, I have personal experience here. I'm not gonna name names, but a few former members of the site who I had some experience with tried sucking up in the hopes of getting cards. It came off obviously, awkwardly, and annoyed their targets. It basically had exactly the opposite effects they intended.

What I am suggesting is being, overall, a polite and decent member of the site. Don't blow up on people in chat. Don't respond to criticism defensively. (In fact, if you feel defensive, don't respond to criticism at all. It's how the pros do it.) Basically, don't be a jerk, do be nice. Chat with newbies. Swap wrestling talk in chat. Become a part of the community, pay attention to the social norms, and try to fit in. You'll find it a rewarding endeavor on a personal level, and you'll find people are helpful in way, way more ways than cards and all that direct stuff. I have people on SOTF who provide emotional support, proofreading, Star Wars jokes, and harsh harsh harsh criticism (by request, of course). Friends on the site give you a reason to want to do well, and are there to help you along the way.

DO NOT talk up your own characters

This one's tough, because, once again, it seems counterintuitive. On SOTF, the characters who go the furthest tend to be those who are the most popular. The best way to be popular is to be talked about. From there, well, what better way to get your characters talked about than to start conversations about them? After all, they're interesting, right?

The problem is, nobody likes a braggart, and nobody likes an uneven relationship. It is true that talking about your characters a ton in chat can get them press. It can even get them popularity, at least in a transient fashion. I watched it happen again and again in V4.

The issues arise from the fact that the hype is artificial from the start. Yes, people may be reading your posts. They may be giving you positive feedback. They may also be quietly gnashing their teeth, or picking your posts apart and noting everything about them that sucks. They may not be sharing these insights. They may be stockpiling them away and hoping like crazy that you get rolled out so that they won't have to hear about your character anymore.

I do not say this to engender a sense of paranoia in you. I say it because I've seen it happen, again and again.

I tend to have tastes and opinions that run counter to the most widely vocalized views when it comes to SOTF. What I noticed, though, during V4 was that the hyped characters would get all kinds of crazy positive feedback publicly in chat, but, when I pulled individual handlers aside by PM to talk about those same characters, they often found them distasteful, dull, or over-hyped. Often, they restrained their opinions for fear of hurting their friends' feelings, because they felt they'd be jumped for daring to disagree with the general consensus, or in an effort to be nice. The fact remained, folks weren't lining up around the block to save a lot of those big names when they ended up rolled.

Now, I feel really, really strongly that hyping your own character is one of the worst choices you can make as a handler. The logic behind this is simple:

If you're hyping your character in chat, people are going to read them, know about them, etc.

If you are a good writer, with compelling, interesting characters, people are going to read them, know about them, etc. whether you hype them or not. They will hype your characters for you, because people like to share cool stuff with their friends. There's a staff chat on Mini somewhere where I go, "Hey, guys, we should do rolls, but first you've just GOT to read this awesome post. The puns are the best." Handlers talk. They complain about characters and talk characters up all on their own, without any help.

On the other hand, if your writing still has a way to go, that's fine. Maybe you struggle with character consistency or grammar. We have all been there. My first thread is a mess of typos and broken post order. Most of my work in V4 pregame flew entirely under the radar, because most of it was, to be blunt, not very special. That's fine. Part of growing as a writer is looking back and marveling at how much you've improved.

The problem is, if you hype your character, you're forcing them into the spotlight, warts and all. You are drawing a lot of attention to writing that very well may have a long way to go. This is a very bad thing to do. It's not going to earn you constructive criticism. We've got a forum for that, and asking directly is better anyways. What it will do is breed resentment. Handlers will go, "Why is that character so hyped? They aren't very good. Oh, it's because Handler X won't shut up about them."

Basically, let hype happen naturally. That way, the achievement of positive feedback is more authentic and earned, and more likely to endure.

Beyond that, talking your own characters up gives the impression that you care more about them than you do about everyone else's characters. That may even be true. It's not necessarily bad. Thing is, everyone else may care more about their characters than they do about yours. That means they don't want to hear about your character nonstop.

I want to be clear about a few things at this point. First off, I'm not saying you should never talk about your character. People all share stuff sometimes. If all of chat's talking about something, and it has relevance to your character, by all means chime in. First, though make sure it actually is relevant to your character and that you are not monopolizing the conversation or forcing it down avenues it was not headed beforehand. If no one cares, don't force it. That's how stuff goes sometimes.

Similarly, I'm not saying never talk about your character at length, as the focus of a conversation. That sort of thing is better saved for PMs, though, with people who for sure care, or for when people directly ask. I highly recommend getting a couple buddies to trade character talk with. A few handlers (you know who you are) were a huge help by being sounding boards for me throughout V4. I just hope I did a passable job returning the favor. In fact, it might be good to make a pact with another handler or two. Agree to read each other's stuff and share your opinions. Agree to chat about each other's characters. Then make sure you hold up your end. That part is, of course, really important. You've gotta give to receive, or you'll annoy your buddies, and we've already dealt with why that's a bad move.

One final thing: Absolutely do not link your posts in chat unless someone asks you to. It is so annoying. It tends to drop people into the middle of threads without context, screw up new post notifications, and alienate handlers. Please please please kill that habit now if you have it. If you've gotta link and get an opinion right away, have a buddy for that. That way you'll get more than vapid "nice post" replies anyways.

Actually, one more one more thing: contests. DO NOT under any circumstances campaign for BKA or BDA. I know that winning is nice. I know there are shiny prizes. I know that nothing's a bigger turnoff than someone going "I'd love to win BDA!" or, worse, "Gee, winning BDA would be so nice. Too bad my dream will never come true..."

That is not subtle. It is a cheap attempt at emotional manipulation, and it gets trounced almost every time, and it deserves it completely. I will, on principle, refuse to vote for any kill or death I see the writer of campaigning for in chat. I know I'm not the only one. Similarly, never ask how someone voted. If they want you to know, they'll volunteer. The contests are worth winning, but only if you win on merit.

This was written, for the record, before we yanked nulls as prizes. It is now triply true.

DO play nice and play fair at all times

The best way to deal with people is above the board and in a fair manner. If you establish a reputation for screwing handlers over on deals, no one will make deals with you. If you make a habit of causing issues in threads, no one will write in threads with you. If you are known as honorable, cool, and easy to work with, handlers will be falling over themselves to involve themselves in your plotlines and to keep your characters around.

To be more specific: SOTF does have deals. It has promises and alliances, IC and OOC. If I tell you I'm gonna Hero you, and you get rolled, and I back out, you're gonna be annoyed. It's easy to throw around stuff like "If you got rolled, I'd save you." Don't say it unless you mean it. If you mean you'd save someone unless you were worried that doing so would mess up your own chances, say that, too. That's not bad. It's not wrong or shameful. It's being honest. If everyone's honest and open from the start, there are no nasty surprises. I make it a personal policy to overdisclose my plans as opposed to underdisclosing, because that way people know what to expect.

Reputations linger, and handlers talk. They ask feedback before entering into any agreements. I say really nice things about people I've had good experiences with, and I give warnings about people I've had a difficult time working with. You want to be someone everybody recommends, because that gives you the most options.

DO work to improve

Here's one that's less obvious. I can tell you right now, whether you're the newest newbie or a V1 veteran or James Joyce or whoever, that you have room to improve as a writer. You've also got something you do well (almost certainly. Let's give that 99% odds). The same is true of me. You always want to be making your stuff better, making each post edge out the last by a bit, making your characters more interesting and compelling to read.

Now for the tough bit: how does that help you stay in the game?

The easy answer is that it makes your characters better, which draws Heroes. This is true. It also increases your odds in the contests, which get you attention, which can also help let you stick around longer.

Less obviously, handlers love seeing improvement. They hate people who are stuck up. Any good writer thinks, from time to time, that they are a bad writer. Anyone who thinks they've reached the pinnacle of craft, who acts as though there's nothing else to learn, nowhere else to go, might as well give up and go home. That's basically it, the end, game over. If I save you, it's 'cause I wanna see more cool stuff, not the same thing over and over. If handlers see you improving, they may toss you a save to see where things end up, to see how you advance and where you go. We're all here to help each other grow, and a bit of humility and work are really appreciated by a lot of us.

Basically, improvement itself, and the pursuit thereof, are positive attributes. They attract Heroes and good thread partners, and their payoff is making you a better writer which also attracts Heroes and good thread partners. You win every way.

DO be receptive to criticism

This goes hand in hand with working to improve. I often tell this anecdote about a member who asked me for advice about what they were doing wrong, then, when I candidly shared my perceptions, proceeded to argue with me, defending their choices. It was the last time I shared criticism with that handler, because they clearly had decided they knew what was best and trying to help them was a waste of time and a massive frustration for both of us.

If you ask for criticism, from a buddy or on the board or whatever, or if chat happens to pick apart one of your recent posts because somebody noticed it, you should listen to what they have to say and give it an honest consideration. I'm not saying bow to the consensus. I am saying think for a moment about whether it's right.

If it is, thank the people involved and make the changes. If it's not, that's okay. I blow off my editors pretty regularly. That's part of being pretentious having an artistic vision. If you don't take advice, be polite. Don't tell your critics they're wrong. Don't defend yourself against criticism. If you've gotta say something, explain why you made the choice you made. Generally, don't even do that. Make your post and let your writing stand or fall on its own merits. At the end of the day, you'll be pleased or you won't. You just need to be gracious while getting there. Your own feelings matter most (even towards getting far; if you hate what you're writing you'll fail at most of the other things in this article).

This is basically a subset of working to improve, of course. Take criticism, make friends, improve, get Heroed, enjoy success, you know the drill.

Weapons List on the Wiki?
Also, the wiki's open for anyone to edit! If a member wants to put the time into it, I'm cool with it being there. I've had my own projects such as listing student numbers by version and comparing student placement by version that I just did for fun. If someone wants to do something like that for weapons, cool! I just don't think staff have time to make and maintain it.

Guilty Gear Mafia: Game Thread
Wow, that phrasing had me so focused I totally forgot the other bad part of that defense.

Going into speculation about the continued presence of active players is not a good technique. BRO or I could easily be scum. We could also easily be protected. I could be bulletproof ( ;) ). The mafia could be feeling unwilling to gamble on taking a shot likely to be blocked (an idea supported by their attack on p_a earlier, as she's a very skilled player who still ranks a bit lower in terms of instant notice).

Suspicion comes from statements and blunders, from uncharacteristic behavior, etc. Your avenue for finding suspicion is through matters entirely outside the purview of the accused. It's not like BRO and I can go, "Oh, right, might as well get nightkilled to prove we're town, then." You've used an argument impossible to meet in an attempt to sow suspicion where nothing valid exists to suggest it, and that's not really a good thing to be doing when suspicions are heading your way.

Guilty Gear Mafia: Game Thread
Saves should never be in fluff (nor roleblocks) because they reveal a ton of information that shouldn't be out. A roleblocker can learn that they targeted the vigilante, or that they blocked the serial killer, or something of the sort. Moreover, Ricky noted back at the start that he was gonna keep fluff minimal for balance.

I find some things about your post suspicious. Specifically, the following:

Quote:
 
I guess I am the most suspicious person in this game as of this moment, but I can assure you that I am not mafia.

Why does this bug me? Because I've used a similar trick before, as the serial killer. There's a fairly well-known, if rather rare, role in play called the lie detector. It can fact check a single statement each night phase. Statements like "I am the vigilante" or "I am pro-town" are great fodder for this, since they provide really useful information if confirmed/denied.

Statements like "I am not mafia" are often designed to look the same way, providing bait, but at the same time they can be very misleading. Okay, let's say I believe you're not mafia. Are you the SK? Some bizarre third party role, like a cult leader or a lyncher or something? It's impossible to say.

This could be over thinking things, but the phrasing itself is a very odd case of specificity that feels like a slip up to me, or maybe an attempt to tell the literal truth. "I'm pro-town," "I'm not scum," or "I'm on your side" are all just as easy to get out, make more sense in context, and would be a lot more reassuring. This, on the other hand, has me looking very suspiciously at this exchange.

Guilty Gear Mafia: Game Thread
Votes do not carry over day to day in any variant of mafia I know of, so revoting now is required, yeah.

VOTE SUMMARY:
Jimmydalad: 4 (MurderWeasel, BROtor, dmboogie, Skraal)

Katsumi Lin
Hiya, Mina! Before we give Katsumi a full critique, please be sure her bio conforms exactly to the template. Specifically, please remove the extra line between the biography and the advantages, and please break up the Appearance section into slightly more readable paragraphs. Also, please note that V5 is set in late spring 2012 (specifically in mid-June), and please adjust Katsumi's age so that it's accurate to that time. Post when you've got that done, and we'll give Katsumi a full critique. Thanks!

Introduction Thread
Hiya, Mina, and welcome to SOTF! Feel free to PM me or any other staffer if you have any questions (we have colored names).

V5 Five (Four?) -Man Band
Hey, everyone! Just stopping in really quickly to make sure everyone involved in any talks here is 100% up to speed on the new escape rules. As always, if stuff would work than it will work, but if it wouldn't work there are likely to be serious consequences. The staff has done a whole lot of system tightening, and the terrorists have closed a lot of the gaps from past seasons, so things are likely to be incredibly difficult, dangerous, and possibly lethal. I just want to make sure everyone's fully aware of this going in.

Anyways, that's all. Carry on. :)

Away
Handler: MurderWeasel
Dates Away: November 29, 2012 to December 1, 2012
Days Away: Three
Reason for Away: So, I've had work for eight consecutive days now, tomorrow making it nine. The next day I'm out of town, then I have work again. After that I should be back in action. In practice, I'll probably be here and may even be able to do some stuff, but I'm not sure since I've been pretty exhausted overall, hence my slower speed on staff stuff and posts the past couple days.
Characters: Adam Morgan, Susan Clarke, Lydia Robbins, Emily Nakoa, Steven Salazar

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Change of topic!

A thing I've heard discussed a lot, and have mentioned in the past, has been how different versions have different feels, or atmospheres, about them. This isn't really a measure of quality, just a way in which they're different. I've been thinking about that, and my thoughts are as follow:

I think V1, in many ways, felt like Battle Royale, the manga, the RP. It had a lot of similarities, and in some ways it benefited from that. As a smaller game, with a looser setting, there was lots of room to experiment. There was also a lot of surprise, with many characters, even fan favorites, dying unrolled because it was narratively appropriate. While some handlers were trying to win, for sure (once winning was a thing that could happen, I mean), many more were there first and foremost for the stories, and would kill their kids off when it seemed dramatically apt. The game had an edge of unpredictability because of that.

It also had breadth and scope. Lots of characters would make alliances and come up with detailed plans and do silly, trivial things, and it often felt like real journeys. More than that, the journeys in question felt natural, because they were by and large created on the fly.

V1 also had a, um, gonzo edge to it, with the ridiculous premades and crazy happenings and such. This is probably what it is most infamous for, but it does have a sort of charm when viewed out of the context of everything being strictly literal canon.

V2 was polished in many way, and it also saw SOTF establishing its own identity. It's probably the version I'm least familiar with, but its legacy seems to be as the quintessential SOTF game. While retaining some of V1's weirdness, it added a lot more characters who seemed to matter and stack up as actual factors in the game. Notably, the game ran right, with nothing weird added in.

I think, on the whole, it felt very cohesive in a way probably not seen since. A lot of characters had very dedicated followings. Some of them are remembered fondly today.

V3 was the first version I had experience with when it was running, and to me it feels very dark. V3 saw gore and violence and shock tactics scaled up a ton, though not really for the better in many cases. It was also cohesive in a different way than V2, being largely built around a predetermined plotline that took over a tenth of the characters out of circulation for a long while.

V3 also saw the beginning of the realism revolution, where being "awesome" took more of a backseat (I'm not implying that realism was entirely unvalued in past versions, but V3 saw it ascend to a much greater degree than before).

V4 was big. Because of that, it didn't have as cohesive a tone as past versions, where I think a much smaller group of handlers working together produced a setup more likely to have everyone on the same page. What I think V4 excelled at, though, was individual stories. It was the version of greatest depth, I feel, because all the kids were in from the start. There was a good chance the dude randomly foddered on the second day had actual pregame time under his belt, a story and friends and such. Any character alive at the halfway point had been through stuff, not just in a referenced way, and so you could track their journey. At the same time, I think this has made it a pretty difficult version for casual reading, because there are a lot of things buried under the surface, a lot of excellent characters who just never broke through to the general consciousness.

This got a bit rambling and diverted, but I'd be curious to hear other perspectives on the different versions. You don't need to be an expert in them to comment; I'm basing most of my V1 and V2 experience on reading Dodd and Riz. How does everyone think V5 is likely to differ from past versions? Anyone else see any interesting comparisons to draw?

Guilty Gear Mafia: Game Thread
I think assuming the vigilante got blocked may not be a safe bet. Often, vigilantes choose not to take shots unless they're pretty sure. I mean, this time there was a day one kill, which could speak to some hastiness, but I don't think it's at all certain. Un was acting pretty shifty (though, of course, I was stating that then too, so I'm probably biased).

More than speculation on night kills, I really think we should be poking through leads. That's where we'll get actual info. We need to catch scum during the day, because it's the only time we can. We've had two lynchless days, which isn't terrible, but what have we gotten from them? Not much, in my opinion.

Guilty Gear Mafia: Game Thread
If we do have a vig, they may have chosen not to act. Otherwise, someone may have not gotten their actions in.

I've been thinking a lot over the last phase, though, and I'm more than a little bit confused as to why we all suddenly stopped looking at jimmydalad. He met all suspicions by basically going "Oh, oops." Normally, I'm inclined to forgive mistakes, but we got nothing more. I'm still seeing him as my personal prime suspect, and I'd like to know more of what he thinks, since he was very content to let things derail off of him yesterday without offering any suggestions.

In fact, I'm convinced enough to VOTE: jimmydalad

I'd love it if he gives me a reason to unvote.

See with Eyes Unclouded by Hate
The girls seemed amused by the joke, but they kept being serious. Damn. It only lasted for a few moments, though, because Sophie noticed that the period was almost over. She took off, saying they should do this again sometime.

"Oh, yeah," Adam said. "Sure."

He wasn't planning on doing this again. Sophie and Jessica weren't awful, but they weren't his best buddies or his confidantes, and he didn't really see them becoming his emotional support in the short time remaining in the school year. No, they'd be more people to have a brief chat with between classes, but he wasn't about to go all soft and mushy and gush at them.

Fortunately, it was time for class, so they weren't making plans right then. Adam was sure he'd be able to come up with a good excuse by the time they asked, if they ever did. They probably wouldn't. It was probably just a meaningless pleasantry, like most of what his classmates spouted.

Whatever.

"I've gotta go inside too," he said to Jessica. "Later."

Then he headed off to class, not exactly looking forward to it and still too tired to focus.

((Adam Morgan continued elsewhere))

Bradley Edwards
Hiya, kervin! Bradley's profile is very good, but he is DENIED pending a bit of editing.

I'd like a bit more explanation of his hair length, since "short" covers quite a range for boys.

How does Bradley feel about his parents' insistence on him studying so much? Is there ever any conflict between them? How's their relationship in general? Does Bradley have any siblings?

Did Bradley feel superior to everyone, or just those academically less successful than him? Did he get in any trouble for his outbursts? What did his parents/teachers think of them?

How have Bradley's attempts at making amends gone, given that he's now near the end of senior year? Why do his symptoms still crop up, given that he presumably has acknowledged he's not actually better than other people?

What appeals to Bradley about the internet and video games? What does he like to read?

I'd like to know a bit more about Bradley's physical condition. Is he a lot weaker than average for a kid his age? How does his mom, as a nurse, feel about that?

Post when you've got Bradley updated, and we'll give him another look. Thanks!

Takeshi Yoshikawa
Hiya, Zabriel! Takeshi's profile is good, but he is DENIED pending a few edits.

First off, I'd like to know what Takeshi was wearing on the day of the abduction. This information isn't really necessary in pregame, but it's important for V5 proper.

I'd like to know a bit more about Takeshi's relationship with his sister. How much younger than him is she? Why does he see it as his role to scare off boys?

"GLSEN" is an an acronym that many handlers may not be familiar with, so a full name would be more useful.

Finally, I'd like to see Takeshi have one more disadvantage, ideally something stemming from his bio. Since he sounds pretty dedicated to nonviolence, that might be a good place to look.

Post when you've got him edited, and we'll give him another look. Thanks!

Joseph Fallows
Hiya, Burke! Before we give Joseph a full critique, please be sure his bio conforms exactly to the template. Specifically, please remove the extra line between his biography and his advantages. Post when you've got that done, and we'll give Joseph a full critique. Thanks!

NaNoWriMo 2012
Some of my friends have had great success skipping ahead. Personally, my mind changes so often it's not possible for me, 'cause I can't guarantee that when I go back to fill in things will end up at the same place. ><

Another thing I should probably have suggested way back for the US NaNoers: I've always found that Thanksgiving Break somehow results in less getting done, rather than more. Not quite sure how that works, but it does.

Characters sharing your name
Only one character's come anywhere close to sharing my name.

It was a "character" in the loosest sense of the word. It was Sycanus' teddy bear, the one she was in love with. I'm actually indifferent towards the whole thing. In general, my name's an uncommon spelling of an uncommon name, also loaded with horrible connotations, so it's not something that seems particularly likely to come up.