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The Realism Litmus Test Revived
Topic Started: Sep 15 2012, 02:51 PM (2,118 Views)
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I was doing some thinking, and I remembered the Realism Litmus Test. Basically, it's a test to see just how realistic your character is. Ask yourself these questions regarding your characters, and add and subtract points as directed, and see how your character scores.

As a note: this is not a meter of how good your character is. There have been unrealistic characters played well (an example would be v1's Madelaine Shiohara), and there have been realistic characters played poorly. This is more of a guide to see how close to reality you should make your characters.

EDIT: Any ideas on how to tweak this are welcome.

Section 1: What's in a Name?
  • Is your character named after you? (This includes first, middle, or last names, nicknames, aliases, or chat names)? (+3 points)
  • Is the character's name have an unusual spelling or pronunciation of a more common word or name? (e.g. v4's Chadd Crossen or v1's Cillian Crowe, etc.)? (+5 points)
  • Is your character's name a noun or adjective not normally used as a name? (e.g. Storm, Rock, etc.) (+5 points)
  • Does your character's name have unnecessary hyphens, apostrophes, or other punctuation? (Emphasis on unnecessary. Mary-Anne wouldn't count. Ma'ry-A'nne or Mariana-Regina or something like that would.) (+5 points)
  • Does the character have more than one first, middle, or last name without reason? (Meaning like Ebony Darkness Dementia Raven Way, as opposed to Stacy May-Mordetsky or Venice Pennington-Johannes) (+3 points)
  • Is your character's name particularly unusual when compared to other characters in the setting? (As in a Fausto surrounded by people named Mark, Mary, and Jack) (+1 point)
  • Does your character's name describe his or her personality? (e.g. Alma means kind, Curtis means courteous, etc.) (+2 points)
  • Does your character have a nickname or pseudonym? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if it is a "dangerous" nickname. (e.g. "Stone Cold," "Dagger," etc.)
    ** Add no points if the nickname is a contraction or an English equivalent of the character's name.
  • Is your character's name foreign, even though your character isn't? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if your character has a Japanese name despite not being Japanese. (+5 points)
  • Is your character named, or nicknamed after another fictional character? (For example, naming a character Edward Elric.)(+10 points)
    ** Add an additional 10 points if the character is named yours after a character from Battle Royale, Hunger Games, or SOTF.
Section 2: Beauty's Only Skin Deep
  • Is your character highly attractive? (+3 points)
    ** Add only 1 point if it is mentioned that your character has to work hard to maintain their physical attractiveness.
  • Is it stated in their profile that many people are attracted to him or her? (+3 points)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if any of these people are involved with someone else, or 1 point if said character isn't seriously committed to that relationship.
    ** Add an additional 10 points if any characters are attracted in defiance of sexual orientation.
  • Does your character have an unusual eye or hair color, or otherwise exceptional eyes or hair that don't occur in nature? (barring contacts or hair dye or the like) (+5 points)
  • Does your character have a demeanor that somehow reflects deep sorrow, a tragic experience, etc.? (Regina's longing gray eyes always seemed to portray a sort of deep sorrow and resentment because of her horrific past) (+4 points)
  • Is your character fashionable beyond their years? (Being well-dressed is fine, but you don't generally see a student constantly wearing business suits or ballgowns to class.) (+2 points)
  • Does your character dress in a manner that you find particularly sexy, attractive, or cool? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 3 points if it would be illogical for said character to dress this way (dressing in designer clothes while all their siblings can afford is hand-me-downs is a good example; or dressing in miniskirts on school campus even though it's against the rulebook).
  • Is your character described as being particularly skinny? (+2 points)
  • Is your character unusually slim and svelte without having to exercise or diet to keep the weight off? (+2 points)
  • Is your character unusually muscular and ripped without having to work to gain that type of body? (+5 points)
  • Does your character have a "natural hourglass figure" that requires no upkeep? (+3 points)
  • Is your character unusually developed for his or her age? (for example, a 13 year old girl is of average height and weight that has D cup breasts) (+5 points)
  • Does your character have any markings or piercings that a person under 18 years of age should not have? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if the character has any tattoos.
    ** Add an additional 1 point if it professionally done without their parents signing for it while underage.
  • Is your character exceptionally pale or tan? (+1 point)
  • Is your character much older or younger (read: several years, not just a year or so) than the rest of his/her classmates? (+1 point)
    **Add an additional 3 points if it is because of a tragic occurrence in his/her life that resulted in them missing out on a year or more of school?
  • Does your character look or act much older than the average high school student? (+2 points)
  • Subtract 3 points if your character is overweight for the full duration of the story. Having been overweight but losing it prior or being "busty" doesn't count.
  • Subtract 3 points if your character has any stand-out physical features that would make them unusually unattractive, such as bad acne or a very large nose.
  • Subtract 2 points if your character is very smug, arrogant, conceited, or vain about their looks.
Section 3: I Don't Want Your Life Story!
  • Does your character have someone that is very close to them that is also played by you? (For example, a best friend.) (+3 points)
    ** Add an additional 3 points if the other character you play is a sibling.
    ** Add an additional 6 points if the other character you play is a twin.
  • Is your character of above average intelligence? (+1 point)
    **Add an additional 3 point if he or she is a genius.
  • Is your character related to royalty, nobility, high-ranking government officials, etc.? (+4 points)
  • Is your character rich or well-to-do? (+2 points)
  • Is your character the last surviving member of their family after some horrible and tragic accident occured? (+4 points)
  • Does your character have amnesia? (+4 points)
  • Add only 1 point if your character never remembers anything of what he or she has forgotten.
  • Does your character have an angsty past? ("Angsty" meaning something particularly unusual. A bad breakup wouldn't count. Watching your parents die would.) (+5 points)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if he or she constantly angsts about it during the story? (Sometimes is understandable, but we're talking about every scene or post.) (+5 points)
  • Does your character's behavior stem from their tragic past? (+1 point)
  • Was your character an illegitimate child? (+1 point)
  • Was your character ever kidnapped or abducted before SOTF? (+1 point)
  • Was your character abandoned by their parents? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if there was no good reason for this to be done.
  • Has your character ever sold him or her self? (+10 points)
  • Has your character ever lived in extreme poverty? (As in being unable to consistently afford food, clothes or shelter.) (+3 points)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if your character has always lived in extreme poverty?
  • Did your character ever run away from home? (for more than just a few days) (+1 point)
  • Did your character ever suffer constant emotional or physical abuse? (+2 points)
  • Did your character ever suffer sexual abuse? (+5 points)
    ** Add an additional 10 points each if it for either rape or incest.
  • Has your character had numerous sexual partners? [+2 points]
    ** Add an additional 2 points if nothing bad ever happened. (STDs, pregnancy)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if nothing bad ever happened without any protection. (read: if a female character is not on birth control and/or using condoms, she's likely to wind up pregnant. If a male character refuses to wear a condom, he might easily contract an STD. Fact of life.)
  • Does your character constantly feel guilty about something that happened in the past? [+1 point]
    ** Add an additional 2 points if there is overwhelming evidence that it wasn't their fault.
  • Prior to the SOTF program, has your character ever committed a serious crime or felony that would have caused jail time? (+5 points)
    ** Add an additional 10 points if he or she mysteriously manages to get away with the crime.
  • Is your character, or should they be, classified as insane prior to the events of SOTF? (+20 points)
  • Does your character consider their beauty/talent/skill/etc. a curse? (+3 points)
  • Does your character carry a deep, dark secret with them that no one else knows? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if it will it affect their actions over the course of the game.
  • Has your character knowingly killed somebody before SOTF? (+15 points)
    ** Add an additional 15 points if it was deliberate.
  • Subtract 1 point if your character harbors a crush on a fellow classmate whom they have no hope of ever dating.
  • Subtract 3 points if your character harbors a deep hatred and resentment of another character due to jealousy.
Section 4: It's Not Just About Looks!
  • Is your character unusually accomplished for his/her age? (+2 points)
  • Is your character fluent in more than 1 foreign language? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 2 points if your character is fluent in more than 2 foreign languages.
  • Has your character travelled extensively? (+1 point)
  • Does your character collect things you consider intellectual or cultured? (+1 points)
  • Is your character consistently radical and ill-behaved without proper repercussions? (+3 points)
  • Does your character find that they are a "natural" at something they have never tried? (+3 points)
  • Does your character have an amazing singing voice? (+1 point)
  • Subtract 1 point if your character has ever fairly lost a fight or competition against someone who was not the character's rival, but add 1 point if your character has never lost any fight or competition.
  • Does your character play a musical instrument well? (+1 point)
    ** Add one point each for any of the following: guitar, bass, piano, violin.
    ** Add an additional 2 points if more than one of the above were selected.
  • Does your character have the ability to "just know or "sense" things? (+5 points)
  • Does your character speak with an accent? (+1 point)
  • Does your character have a major quirk or habit in common with you? (biting your nails, "child-talk" around boys, etc.) (+2 points)
  • Does your character have a physical "handicap" listed that does not provide a significant hindrance? (Having only nine fingers, for example.) (+3 points)
    ** Add an additional 3 points if it is one that normally WOULD hinder them significantly but isn't treated as such.
  • Does your character have a mental disorder? (+5 points)
    ** Add an additional 5 points if it is one that would normally keep them out of high school.
    ** Add an additional 5 points if you plan on using that disorder as an excuse for your character to kill. (+5 points)
    ** Subtract 5 points if said disorder significantly handicaps your character, i.e. Downs Syndrome or something along those lines.
  • Do animals or children instinctively like the character? (+2 points)
  • Is your character stated as being exceptionally popular? (+2 points)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if this is in spite of the fact that they are rude and uncivil towards most of their classmates.
    ** Add an additional 1 point if this is in spite of the fact that their classmates seem to detest them.
  • Subtract 2 points if your character has a dependency or addiction that is or would be very hard to break (such as smoking, gambling, drugs, alcoholism, a sex addiction, etc.). Subtract an additional 1 point if your character never overcomes this addiction.
  • Subtract 2 points if your character has significant personality flaws (We're talking self-centered, lazy, awkward, stuff like that.)
  • Does your character have a special birthmark or other marking? (+2 points)
  • Subtract 1 point for each of the following that applies to your character:
    ** He/she remains in a committed relationship for the full duration of the story.
    ** He/she does not learn from major mistakes.
  • Is your character described as "not understanding human emotions," "having no empathy for others," or something along those lines? (+10 points)
Section 5: All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
  • 1) Does your character have any particular skill at which he or she is among the best? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if your is character widely known for this skill.
  • Is your character exceptionally good at something that most high school students have no practice in? (+2 points)
    ** Add an additional 3 points if your is character exceptionally good with any weapons.
  • Is your character in a band? (school-oriented groups do not count) (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if he or she is the frontman.
    ** Add an additional 2 points if the band is good enough to go pro.
  • Does your character have large amounts of disposable income? (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 1 point if this is in spite the fact that he or she does not have a job.
    ** Add an additional 2 points if this is in spite of the fact that his or her parents aren't well-to-do.
  • Subtract 2 points if your character either held a job up until the time of their class trip and regularly attended it, OR your character is repeatedly fired from and/or cannot keep a job because of incompetence.
Section 6: Stay in School! School is Cool!
  • Does your character often skip class or not come to school at all without facing any proper repercussions? (+3 points)
    ** Add only 1 point if said character often gets in trouble for skipping class and/or school.]
  • Is your character enrolled in classes that he/she would (or should) not be taking? (e.g. a slacker character is enrolled in A.P. Calculus) (+1 point)
  • Add an additional 2 points if he or she does exceptionally well in this class.
  • Is your character at the top of his or her class? (+2 points)
  • Is your character on a sports team? (cheerleading counts) (+1 point)
    ** Add an additional 2 points if he or she is a star player on any team.
    ** Add an additional 2 points if he or she is a captain or co-captain.
    ** Add an additional 1 point if he or she wins a major game/competition/tournament for any team at any point.
    ** Add an additional 2 points if your character is on 3 or more varsity teams.
    ** Subtract 3 points if your character is on a sports team but never gets to play, is horrible, or serves as a benchwarmer or waterboy/girl.
  • Is your character very (very being the keyword here) proficient at martial arts of some kind? (+3 points)
  • Subtract 1 point if your character maintains a stellar GPA because he or she takes easy (slack-off) classes.
Section 7: Your Character and You
  • Is your character a mouthpiece for your views, and constantly talk about them? (+2 points)
  • Does your character share EXACTLY the same religious and spiritual views as you do? (+2 points)
  • Is your character described as an atheist that detests fundamentalists? (+2 points)
    ** Add an additional 2 points if there are not many fundamentalists in the story?
  • Does your character crush on characters that you would crush on in real life despite it not making sense in context? (+1 point)
  • Does your character possess skills or qualities you wish you had? (+1 point)
  • If your character were a real person, would you want to be friends with him or her? (+1 point)
  • Do you attempt to make your character the focal point of every storyline you enter? (+3 points)
  • Do you feel that your character is, in general, more important than the other characters you roleplay with? (+1 point)
  • 0-15 or less is appropriate for anybody to handle, and a recommended target especially for beginners.
  • 16-25 is beginning to push it, especially for a beginner, but if written by someone with at least moderate skill is still fine.
  • 26-35 is pushing it. Beginners should definitely stay away, and you should try toning them down unless you consider yourself an expert.
  • 36-45 is pretty unrealistic. No matter how good you are, you should tone your character down quite a bit.
  • 46 or greater is irredeemable - this character probably isn't salvageable and you should start from scratch.

Female #16: Jaime Schanbacher; Status: ACTIVE 0
Female #42: Sabrina Luz; Status: ACTIVE 0

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I have 16 Points for Joachim Lovelace, and I did not counted the accent question (I assume he speaks with a Seattle accent, which could be considered realistic in Seattle)

So... this is good? Yeah, this is more realistic than I expected.
Fiyori Senay

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Miranda ended up the most Sue-ish out of my three (at thirteen points). I guess it's because she's kinda supposed to be a bitchy popular girl? XD

The other two? Alex got six points, and Lana ended up with seven. I might take this again, though, because I might have messed up.

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i'm not upset
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Paris: 19

Mara: 17

Michelle: 3

The naming stuff kindda shot me in the foot out the outset because being named after a fictional charter earns you 10 points and both Mara and Paris were named after other characters. Paris gets his namesake from the prince of Troy in the Illiad and Mara from several characters named Amaranta in 100 Years of Solitude (it's complicated. The book reuses names a lot). They also racked on points for being physically attractive and knowing more than one language.

Michelle was almost in the negatives. Being captain of a sports team got her to 3. I wasn't aware keeping a steady job was something unusual O_o
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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We've done this test for a few characters in chat. Heather Pendergast from v1 got 56, Mariavel Varella from v2 got 72 and Alexia Morgan got 86.

Edit: We have a winner! Reiko Ishida at 92.

Edit 2: Josh Goodman takes the crown at 160!
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 15 2012, 05:15 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.

18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!

16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene

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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
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Okay, my results are in:

Rachael Langdon: 13
Claire Monaghan: 7
Sophie McDowell: 6

Rachael scored really high because her last name was based on Robert Langdon from The DaVinci Code. All in all, I'm pretty cool with this.
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Fata viam invenient
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Matt- 16, with more than 1/2 those points being Armenian physical stuff (more facial hair, looking older)

Cassandra- 13

Virgil- 20

I don't know what to make of Virgil being my least realistic character...
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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A Delicate Machine
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Michael: 11

Daniel: 8

Alice: 5

Michael and Daniel mostly got bumped up because they're best friends/proficient in ASL, but I still find it kind of amusing that Alice is the most realistic.
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Here's the scores my characters got:

Mallory McCormick - 0 (She got some points for being captain of the girl's soccer team but lost them for having a steady job and some other thing.)

Naomi Bell - 12 (Naomi scored a bunch of little points, given that she's popular, pretty (but works at it,) smart, etc... she's a goldmine of those sort of traits, honestly.

Joe Carrasco - -3 (I don't remember how that happened.)

Slightly different rules would probably be in effect for Program, but ran my Program V2 characters through it anyway.

Dylan Walker - 6 (Mostly due to angsty past. I'm pretty sure 'parents being carted away by the government to presumably be shot' count...)

Marley Jenkins - 3 (Mostly because he's good at sports and plays the violin, although he lost a point for being in a relationship with Ash, amongst other things.)
Edited by Violent-Medic, Sep 15 2012, 08:07 PM.
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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Chase got 1, with the few points he did get being taken away by working at his dad's garage.

Amy got 8, and I can't really remember how.

Both Francis and Owen got 11, mostly due to being on sports teams and playing instruments, although Owen also got boosted for being friends with Amy, and they would have had more had they not had severe flaws (naivety for Owen, high temper for Francis).


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Mains Shaggy Verde
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Allrighty, let's see how realistic my characters are:

Test results

And doing the math, their scores are:

Venice: 16
Ruth: 7

Venice's biggest killer was her name, but her hobbies and being rich didn't help much either. I'm surprised Ruth turned out as normal as he did, but I am happy with it. Not too shabby for my first character.
Edited by Un-Persona, Sep 16 2012, 12:35 AM.
V7 relationship thread! Say hi to my kids!
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Cannon Fodder
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Ethan Johnson's score is about a 7.
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Ethan Johnson If you notice anything about my posts that could be improved on, feel free to PM me.
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Mr. Danya
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Ryan Banks: 4

Dave Russel: 7 (But I had to add five because he's unusually well developed for his age) (*Eyebrow waggles*)

Gabriella Parker: 20 (Musical passion inflates the hell out of her result, which seems a bit silly but I don't take this test seriously anyway)
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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Cody: 10
Jessica: 3
Sean: 0

Seven of Cody's ten points were because of his football playing. + 1 for being an exceptional quarterback, 1 for being recognized for it, +1 for playing football, +2 for being a star player, +2 for being captain. Amazing how many points one thing can get you.
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Interesting test. I've seen it before, and I think it's a good idea, but on the other hand I also think it has some serious flaws. Specifically, there's a lot of room for fudging and under-reporting. Also, a lot of the questions are so out-there as to almost never be applicable for SOTF. The weighting also seems a bit odd; I've seen characters in this thread with scores higher than other characters I find to be more realistic than them. I think this test fails to account for the fact that execution makes a far bigger impact on realism than concept nine times out of ten.

That said, I fed through my original V4 kids, pre-island for the most part except for stuff regarding fights and mistakes and such. Here's what turned up, with annotations where appropriate (basically, I'm only included what I ticked "yes" on unless the "no" is interesting):

Final Total: 2
This seems very low to me. Aaron was no bastion of realism.

Final Total: 5

Final Total: 0

Final Total: 7

So, yeah, there we go. I think maybe the scorecard is the same despite some older questions being omitted? Not sure. Also, if anyone wants to check my math, feel free; it is rather late and I'm barely cogent. ><
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