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The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Topic Started: Apr 4 2012, 08:54 AM (25,023 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
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Slamexo
Mar 30 2013, 12:41 PM
Having just wrote a character that can do martial arts over on Mini (not that she'll be doing it anymore, but hey), I can say that it's really not that big a deal from my perspective. In a sense I suppose it's not that much different from a character who knows how to operate a gun, in that it just changes how the actual post might play out. In the end of the day deaths are pretty much always choreographed anyway, so whoever has the advantage in a fight will only make a difference in terms of how the scene plays out. Important, but also dynamic, which is good..

Let's face it though, most advantages and disadvantages have very minimal effect on how a character performs in the game. Instead they just serve as more of a thing to think about when reading and writing their story, as well as a way to keep kids nice and realistic in that no-one's perfect or perfectly awful.
That's true, and I don't actually know anyone in real life who is skilled in martial arts either, so I can't speak from experience on how it would affect a fight. I was just curious in general.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Ruggahissy
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i'm not upset
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As far as martial arts, I'd say it's not much use because kids have weapons and it's really a hand to hand kind of thing. It's biggest advantage to me is that it might make you more agile and quick.

I think the only time it ever actually helped me was when I had a kid who was on the wrestling team who ended up rolling around on the floor with another kid from the wrestling team on the island.
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umop-ap!sdn
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upside-down
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I put Jaq in for martial arts because I wanted her to be different for a cheerleader. It also seemed to fit with her anti-government motiff but that's because I listened to a lot of Anarchy Club (see sig).

On another note, I've been getting frustrated by the fact that after I podt in a thread, it doesn't seem to go anywhere. But I am realizing that while my characters are in threads, I'm not letting them do much, which therefor makes it hard for other characters to react.

Writer's block happens when you are not sure how characters would react. If characters don't act, there can be no reaction. Likewise, drunk internet posts happen when you shoot flavored vodka, and I am going to get off the internet now.

It was smirnoff too. Not even anything to be proud of. Happy Easter!!!

Anyway, I will be a more assertive writer. This is my pledge.
It's kiss or kill and shoot to thrill when you do what you do.
I would not die for anyone, but I would kill for you.


G009 Cassidy Kant
A contestant, a seeker, an abstainer, a klutz, a case of survivor guilt, a repenter, a star crossed lover, a star crossed lover, a damsel in distress, a hot mess, an inspired dreamer, an unwanted ally, a pawn
B034 Joey Caputo
A scout, a follower, a tracker, a rebel without a cause, a slaughtered guinea pig
G017 Jaquilyn Locke
A victim, a survivor, a team player, a doubter, a hunter, a person, a schemer, an instructor, a nomad, a deserter, a self-appointed savior, a repenter, a failure, a hypocrite's scapegoat

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Outfoxd
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On martial sport vs. self defense there's a lot of counter arguments for the "sport doesn't work on the street" defense.

The biggest idea is that lots of self defense techniques tend to maim, or kill an opponent, and can scarcely be used against a resisting opponent (sparring) and so their utility is limited. Meanwhile sport martial arts can spar and use their techniques in full force or near full force with a person actively resisting, which means you're learning stuff that can be used against someone trying to not let you do them.
V5 Characters:

Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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Jonny
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You hate kings and you think kings are really stupid. They are petty, bossy tyrants and are really full of themselves and are basically awful in every way.
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backslash
Mar 30 2013, 12:31 PM
martial arts
Pretty much anything in the Advantages and Disadvantages sections means complete shit when it comes to who actually has "the advantage" on the island. Saying that your character is easy to get along with and well-liked does not compel other characters to be accommodating to you or be more easily manipulated by you, and saying that your character's awkward and not very socially capable does not prevent them from forming friendships and alliances on the island. Similarly, martial arts training does not give any "advantages", because the way a fight goes down is always going to be the result of a negotiation between involved handlers and not a comparison of stats. If a character with no martial arts training just got kill rights on a character with a red belt in BJJ, all that does is narrow the scope a little of what kind of kills are possible. Specifically, it makes it a little less plausible for the fight to go down along the lines of the untrained character choking the BJJ expert out.

Here are the things that martial arts training, or firearms training, or survival training, or any of these things actually do, in a practical sense:
1) They maybe get you some kill rights that you wouldn't otherwise get, or get you an offer for a cool fight scene you wouldn't otherwise get. Some handlers want their characters to die in specific ways, and dying against a martial arts expert is potentially (though not very often) a criterion that a rolled handler might be interested in.
2) Okay now the important one: it informs your character's mentality. Martial arts training isn't just something wherein you flip on a fight switch and now you're in fight mode and you've got better fight stats. It's a way to inform your character's reactions to his or her situations, a lens to view everything through. Being a martial artist might lead to a character being overconfident in their chances in a fight, or might lead to a disciplined, regimented approach to the horrors of the island, or any number of reactions or combinations of reactions. The advantage of including martial arts in your character's biography is that it opens up a set of interesting mental and emotional processes.

So... largely the same as any other hobby. Basically, imagine there's a separate "real advantages" section in your profile, and then put everything even remotely interesting about your character in there. Those are all the things that come pre-packaged with your character and give you opportunities for interesting scenes or emotional arcs. Martial arts goes here too.

If you want to read a character for whom martial arts is a huge, huge advantage (not in fight scenes, though maybe in fight scenes too? I don't actually read those), look at Grim Wolf's Mirabelle Nesa in V4. Just go for the first few posts, even, and you'll see what I mean.
Jeremy Franco is alive. You can write a better ending, goddammit.

Charlie DuClare is dead. And nothing was easy anymore except to smile.
Julian Avery is dead. Courage was the man with a gun in his hand.
JJ Sturn is dead. Fuck it, all good things gotta come to an end.
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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I agree with Jonny and also would like to add a personal bit about my process with advantages and disadvantages from a staff standpoint.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to critiques, and one thing I always jump on is advantage/disadvantage balance. I like to see profiles a. have at least two of each and b. have them be both diverse and legitimate.

This is not because they bring a huge amount to the table on the island. Maybe, way back in V1-early V3, they meant a bit more. Back then, fights got a lot of attention and screen time and were a big focus for many handlers. Nowadays, that's a lot less a thing and even when it is most handlers can do a pretty good job of whipping fun stuff up for totally unskilled characters. For my part, I informed my characters' fighting techniques and abilities through the media they'd have been exposed to, which is the lens through which most of us encounter violence. This is where "It worked for Han Solo!" as a combat tactic comes from and such.

What advantages and disadvantages are very good for, though, is displaying that a handler has spent some time getting to know their character as a multidimensional thing. Every person in the world has a few good things about them and a few bad things about them, and asking for advantages and disadvantages forces the handler to flesh some of those out (in the specific context of a death game, granted). It's an exercise in creative thinking. This is also why I hate, upon asking for more disadvantages, seeing a preexisting injury or medical condition tacked on. It's not delving deeper; it's adding a new thing that's usually not very integrated into the rest of the character. (Of course, this isn't a complaint at all about characters who are conceived this way from the start because the writer has a legitimate interest in exploring the scene potential created by such a thing.)

I want there to be at least as many disadvantages as there are advantages because that shows that a handler is thinking about their character as something other than perfect. It's all too easy to get caught up in characters being cool or awesome (I imagine every handler on the board has some experience with that). Characters doing cool stuff can be great fun, but only if there's some core behind that, some reason to care about them or some adversity they overcome in completing their challenge. It's the reason so many people claim to dislike Superman; if he's all-powerful and always makes the right choice, who wants to read about him?*

Often, disadvantages are where the human elements in characters come from. They're your characters flaws and idiosyncrasies, the stuff that can be interesting to read about. Having an idea of that stuff before you start can be a huge help.

So, balance is the key to advantages and disadvantages, but less balance between characters and more balance within a character, proof of a thorough amount of thought and interest in the character as a person in a way which is often hard to get at in a bio.

This is also why phoned-in disadvantages are a thing I pretty thoroughly try to work out of profiles. Since every character can, if thought of as a person, have issues that they can be confronted with, it's pretty lame to see someone go "He's not trained with knives".

Similarly, I dislike characters with "no real advantages" because that is, again, setting up a very flat character for the island, which is no fun to read about.

I feel like I'm forgetting stuff or being unclear, but I forgot I have a thing to go to today, so I'll maybe clarify in a later post. ><

*Yes, I realize that is a huge oversimplification of Superman that bears little resemblance to the reality of his comics. It's a reason other people use that makes a good illustrative example, especially since I'm leery of using "Mary-Sue" in an explanation for the sake of clarity for those who may be unfamiliar with the term.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
Library Vee
Misty Browder drawn by Ryuki
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Badb
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Trained for combat by a cabal of hacktivists.
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MurderWeasel
Apr 1 2013, 02:17 PM
*Yes, I realize that is a huge oversimplification of Superman that bears little resemblance to the reality of his comics.
I'm just going to shake my head at you in the corner for perpetuating this negative sterotype of Superman.

V5:
B035 - Ray Gilbert - DECEASED - Guy Fawkes Mask - Too Far Gone
G029 - Zoe Leverett - DECEASED - Machete - To Really Be Alone, To Pick At All the Bones
[/spoiler]
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[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently

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[15:16] <Naft> My college once nearly burned down because someone tried to make a bong out of dollar bills and the fire alarm didn't work
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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So, in trawling the V1 board to update my lengthy treatise on rolls in SOTF, I was struck once again by how different the culture seems. People were really, really involved in tracking the game as it went on, talking characters, hypothesizing about the plot, etc. It's kind of cool, and is really getting me excited about V5 again.

Also, at this point it appears V5 will have ~140 characters. I think that's a pretty good number, being solidly above V1 and V2, but not quite as far out there as V3 or V4. It is, I think, around the number of V3 kids who didn't get killed in their first thread.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
Library Vee
Misty Browder drawn by Ryuki
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BROseidon
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Fata viam invenient
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Necrooooooooooooooooooooooo.

In all seriousness, now that v5 has started, this thread should get some good use :)
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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Outfoxd
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Holy fuckballs that was surprising.

You know what I'm talking about.
V5 Characters:

Leona Van Kamp
Current Thread: Arcadia


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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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We all knew somebody was going to do it. Let's be honest.

I'm just glad, as I said in chat, that it was much, much better than Mr. Pierce.
V6 Tributes

Spoilers, Ricky didn't win V5

Things We Say
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Espi
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Beep Beep
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This is true. ._.

But yeah, it was a pretty good first death, which is a nice way to kick off the version.
V5: Cut Short


V6: Broken Down


V7: Unprepared
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Aura
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Has seen that which cannot be unseen.
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Dang. I knew that someone had to be the first death... I just wasn't expecting it to be him.
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umop-ap!sdn
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upside-down
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Edited by umop-ap!sdn, May 29 2013, 01:54 PM.
It's kiss or kill and shoot to thrill when you do what you do.
I would not die for anyone, but I would kill for you.


G009 Cassidy Kant
A contestant, a seeker, an abstainer, a klutz, a case of survivor guilt, a repenter, a star crossed lover, a star crossed lover, a damsel in distress, a hot mess, an inspired dreamer, an unwanted ally, a pawn
B034 Joey Caputo
A scout, a follower, a tracker, a rebel without a cause, a slaughtered guinea pig
G017 Jaquilyn Locke
A victim, a survivor, a team player, a doubter, a hunter, a person, a schemer, an instructor, a nomad, a deserter, a self-appointed savior, a repenter, a failure, a hypocrite's scapegoat

Achievements Unlocked!
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BROseidon
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Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
I was surprised, to say the least.

Yeah, um. Wow. Was not expecting that and
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The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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