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Rank (Your Own) Characters!
Topic Started: Jan 3 2017, 01:23 AM (2,227 Views)
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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1) Squirrel (REVo)
2) Hansel Williams (V5)
3) Dougie Sharpe (TV2)
4) Brandon Baxter (V5)
5) Matthew Weiss (TV2)
5b) Oskar Pearce (V6)

Oskar Pearce was an excellent concept from Sansa that he let me run with, and I will be forever grateful. I wound up hero'ing him off due to my girlfriend's escalating health issues and also went inactive as they exacerbated. I still loved him, though, even though we were together a short time.

Matt Weiss was an experiment to see if I could tell a narrative as well as poke fun at common SOTF occurences, with his death thread resulting in a series of opinions I mined from the community. It was mixed site-side, but I adored doing it and would do so again.

Baxter's complex. I think I wrote a good story and I also achieved some pretty satisfying things with him - ruining Laurels' favourite Journey song is definitely an accomplishment in my book - but when I look back, Baxter left too early, I think. I don't regret hero'ing him but if I were to do it all again I'd make some definite changes to his character. He was very safe for me as a writer, no real risks.

Dougie is sort of my lost kid in that I almost prefer him to my most popular kid, with one huge exception. Dougie was an exploration of telling more by what you don't say vs what you do say, and the jury's out as to how successful I was. I got to write with a fantastic partner, butted heads with Toben 3 seperate times, and wrote a death post that I was super proud of. The one glaring spot about Dougie was that I went inactive near the end.

Hansel is basically a no brainer. I don't feel as if I was consistent with him - upon re-reads I actively grimace at myself - but he was a character that I absolutely adore and spent so much time with him. I'm 100% satisfied with the way his arc turned out, and though I would likely caution a younger Naft as to the pace of his writing, I wouldn't change anything. Not a goddamn thing.

The squirrel should be obvious. I bamboozled you. All of you. You all were bamboozled.
A list of the dying, a list of the damned.

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After a lot of very painful inner debate and soul searching I decided to give my ranking list

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Beep Beep
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(Revised from this post which was written 9 months ago)

8-Riley Parker (TV2)-Mostly out of disappointment, I had a ton of thoughts but they got all jumbled and never felt like a person that remained consistent from one scene to another.

7-Nina Clarke (V5)-Had a good start and end point, but 100% filler in between with nonsensical decisions and way too much padding.

6-Theodore Fletcher (V5)-First character but had some good stuff to glean from. Those interpretations weren't intentional and at face value for me he's just buried under overzealous newbie syndrome.

5-Henry Spencer (V6)-My pregame favorite for V6, had trouble translating his voice to the island. Some good bits but a lot of empty plotlines and never really does anything impactful.

4-Gwen O'Connor (V5)-Had a rough start and end, awful death, but the time between with Group Nap Time felt really good as a stable point. Had a strong thread after Michelle dies and with Kam but nothing else.

3-Lucy Williams (TV2)-My shortest character, but her story was concise and didn't have anything unnecessary. Transition from sandbox could've been better. Had a lot of fluffy sandboxes and one really good one.

2-Alice Baker (V6)-Solid conceptual grasp and executed well. Had a quiet story but good interactions. Lost a bit from slowdown but made the most of her scenes and had decent development over time.

1-Blair Moore (V6)-Very daunting premise but a successful take on a really challenging concept with a different character than I'd worked on before. Not just my longest character but one I felt had a good voice, had a really strong time of character growth, great interactions with her original allies and overall my best work in spite of some fairly notable flaws.

From worst to best descending. Obviously my opinion which means it's totally wrong.
V5: Cut Short

V6: Broken Down

V7: Unprepared
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With the benefit of hindsight, of course. Here we go.

I need to separate this into two groups - characters I actually at least sort of played, and concepts that I basically didn't play or inactived out on.


6 (tie). Zilya Merchenkov
6 (tie). Sarah Dao

Hur hur, I'll be clever and self-insert some of the other handlers. What a great idea! Not.

5. Staffan Kronwall

I think he would have been higher up had I played with him for more than one post, and had Dan and I decided to just make original twins based off of people with different names and not total carbon copies instead of... well, carbon copy away.

4. Trent Hunter
3. Alicia Murazek
2. Dean Portman
1. Jamie Li

The top three were all basically concepts that I really dug and really wanted to write, and just basically either in Dean's case - ran out of time and became inactive, or in the case of the other two... became inactive. Man, I really have an inactivity problem. I recall being really proud of Jamie Li's profile and she was going to be my v4 "flagship" if you will, but then I up and disappeared for six years. It's also probably why I've already been contacted and given permission to people for both Jamie and Alicia for second chance games.

Actual Characters (this list will be long, dammit)

20. Rupert Stockton

What the hell was I thinking? I've been asking myself that a lot lately. What a hot tire fire mess of a profile. It isn't my biggest SOTF regret, but dammit, it's close.

19. Alexander Ovechkin
18. Wade Wilson

Someone said in the write-up of Alex that it was like (to paraphrase) "Dodd realized that the character wouldn't work and basically gave up on him". Which pretty much nails it, sans I think at the time I quit the site and left all my characters inactive (oh look, there it is again). Wade - same thing, and even worse, I went around writing a shitty attempt at "Deadpool in SOTF", which I've seen referred to (not favourably) as "Doddpool". Bad ideas. I'm not proud.

17. Mary McKay
16. Arturo Villamor
15. Andrew Lipson
14. Gilbert Archambault

I group these together because it was pretty evident that these were characters written for shock factor - they were made to have bad things happen to them, and that's lazy writing and a shitty, shitty way to go about it. Art less so, but I didn't know how to write him and he got fed to Cillian Crowe waaaaaaaaaay back in the v1 days, so he's just kind of there. And Gilbert's a wiener.

13. Adam Dodd (v3)

Yep - I agree. Years after the fact and with the benefit of hindsight, bringing Dodd back wasn't a good move for v3. I'm too lazy at this second to go find the critique, but I think someone said that it would have been great had he actually gone and acted differently, versus just trying to do the same thing over and over again that worked in v1. Are you listening, past-me? Ya coulda been a somebody, but instead? Yawn. How much monologuing can you possibly do? It's ludicrous. I have a lot of regret about v3 Dodd, and reading it back, it's like... it doesn't work. I was a little high on myself and my "legacy", and you can tell, it's all over the damn page.

12. Angelina Kaige

So low, because honestly? Not my concept - not my character. Plus, she... didn't really do anything. Except be involved in my #1 all-time SOTF regret - the events of "It's Everywhere, it's Everything". If I could retcon one thing out of existence that I wrote in SOTF, it would be that thread. That's enough energy expended on that.

11 (tie). Ken Lawson
11 (tie). Burton Harris

Burton was a decent concept, and I inactived before I could ever post with him. Fuckstick 2009 me decided to bring him back to see if I could. What an asshole. The only reason they're so high is because they're not irredeemable, and they've given birth to the "Kenurton" and "Nurtmeister" things, which I for some reason giggle at. I like funny words, you see.

At this point, I start actually liking things about my characters.

10. Adam Amato

Adam was actually kind of fun to write, and as has been pointed out (and I again agree with), connecting him to Dodd was a stupid idea and I shouldn't have done it. With that being said, I probably could have seen him sticking around for a while and see what kind of trouble his temper could have gotten him into, but alas... inactivity rears its ugly head and Adam was cut short.

9. Sidney Crosby

In my opinion, the worst thing about Sidney Crosby is that he's Sidney Crosby. While yes, it was v1, and yes, the laws of physics and rules of the universe generally didn't apply back then, it would have been so much better had he been a "generic" sports star, and not like, modeled after one of the best NHL hockey players of the last twenty years. I had Dodd going on, who at the time was on his holy crusade of vengeance against Cody, and it was a nifty difference to have a kid who was a capital-C coward. I'm not sure what other people think of him, but Sid and I are okay. For now.

8. John Sheppard
7. Ryan Atwell

These two just didn't have enough to them. Ryan ended up finishing very high in v3, but he just sort of showed up, and I attempted to explain it away by having him be off-screen "hanging with Dean Portman", who as we all know is maybe a thing? Maybe? Hard to be sure. John was okay, and ended up dying in the warehouse explosion, but I wish I'd gotten to write him a little more - I dug the concept. But he was ... just sort of there.

6. Cole Hudson

Ahhh, one of my first SOTF characters. I liked Cole. He had an admittedly weird profile story that... maybe I thought was a good idea at the time? But I think with some revamping I could totally make him work in a current-era style version. He's a relic of the v1 era, but I have a soft spot for him. Were other people to rank my kids, he probably wouldn't finish as high, but... I dunno. I liked what I got out of him.

5. Andrew Ponikarovsky

Wasted potential - again. I remember going back and reading the end of his story when I returned after I left the site the first time, and I was SO disappointed. I was really enjoying where he was going, and the thing with him and Carmen had some potential to be fun. As a fun side-note, this is the SOTF character that has caused me the most grief, as the RL friend that the character used to be named after ended up finding it and was REALLY unimpressed with me. Hence why he's named after a 2000s-era Toronto Maple Leafs winger.

4. Amanda Jones

Had I gone the original route that I was going to go with her? Things. Would. Be. Different. It's pretty well-known that I killed her off in what amounts to a temper tantrum, and it's an egregious waste of a character, who on her own, could have added some stuff. The original plan was for Dodd to save her (because like, apparently I had a hero fetish) and die, and Amanda would have been my go-to. In an alternate universe, maybe Amanda Jones won v1. Her and Madelaine were a great duo, and were fun to write. It's cool to know that someone has already asked me for her for a future second chances version, and so she'll be returning to a Mini near you. I'm stoked to see it. She probably didn't need to be the president's daughter, or vp, or whatever. That was a little silly.

3. Eddie Serjeantson

The Sarge was in charge... that is, until the Sarge was no longer in charge, because the Sarge... was dead. *glasses swoop down, cue "Won't Get Fooled Again"* <3 Sarge.

2. Adam Dodd (v1)

For all the ...misgivings that I have about certain things that I wrote twelve years ago, I still like Adam. He's me - or at least, he was when he started out. Which gives me not only an interesting look into how much I've changed as a person in twelve years, but how I perceived myself and my actions to be in that kind of a situation. Obviously things get a little crazy once the incessant song-posting comes along, and the crazy monologues probably needed to just stay to v1, but with a few (maybe two that I can think of off the top of my head - Kaige thread mentioned above) exceptions of things that I wish I'd never written, I'm still kind of proud of him. He started off very much not the person he ended, and at the time in v1, that was a lot more development than half of the cast got. I have a hard time reading some of him, but that he made it that far... the more world-weary, 31-year old me today still feels pretty good about that.

1. Keith Jackson

This might be a surprise to some people, but I'm actually way more proud of Keith Jackson than I am of any of my other writing. Not that he's outwardly spectacular by any means, but he's solid, and he's very much NOT Dodd, and not a character designed to prop him up. Keith did his own thing, talked in a funny way (yeah, I don't know either), and just gradually lost his hope as he heard about his friends dying one by one. That's what the site was all about for me when I joined. Take a character and strip them down, bit by bit. It's why I love the TV show Survivor. It's why I dig this site. At it's core - it's not about shock, it's not about grossing people out. I always saw it being about taking a character on a journey. It's why I'm good with v1 Dodd, and it's why I'm good with Keith. I don't know if I've ever been able to do that with any other characters I've written. That he's currently incomplete, well... that's going to get rectified, believe me.

Well, that's it.

Holy crap, that turned out long. Guess I'm still a little talky, even now. I'll work on that, I promise. It's almost 4am. I have to work in five hours. DAAAAMNNN YOUUUU SOTFFFFFFF.
The Future

The Past

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V3 World Heavyweight Champion
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I have written/adopted many characters so I am only choosing my top 5 best to get into detail about:

1. Steve Digaetano: In my own opinion, Steve is my best writing. He was fleshed out more than any other character I've written, thanks in part to writing a lot with him in Pregame. He had established relationships going into the game, and as arrogant as it might sound, I believe that his overall arc turned out to be very interesting. Outside of meeting up with Gabe (who almost cracked my top 5), no part of Steve's island adventure was super mapped out. A lot of the action scenes he was in came about naturally or built up over several threads (killing Evan). Most people know that I wanted to win with Steve over Riz. As much as I do like Riz and as much as I am grateful that the other handlers in V3s Endgame voted for him to come out the winner, I really wish I would have been able to write Steve's endgame. I knew I was going to have either Steve or Riz in the Final Four and had endgame plans for both, but alas, Steve fell to the rolls. I tend to write a lot of my characters based on my RL friends, and Steve is based on one of my best friends. I think out of all of my RL inserts, he is the most true to actual person. I am very proud of Steve's story, and if anyone chooses to read any of my characters, I recommend starting with him.

2. Robert Adams: Rob was my very first character, and he turned out to be one of my best. He is named after a kid I went to grade school with, but outside of his name, he is an original concept. Looking back on it, the only thing I would change about Rob's story is that I would have had someone other than Mari kill him. Nothing against Mari's handler, but realistically speaking, Rob should have wrecked her in their fight. It still kind of bugs me to this day, but all of the other handlers were busy at the time Rob was rolled, so it was a case of having only one option.

One thing with Rob that I'd like to address, is there was a comment in the V2 Read-a-thon along the lines of Rob suffering from a lot of character interaction with people who were handled by myself or Baby_g. Just for clarity sakes, that had a lot to do with handler inactivity at the time, and Megami saying, "Hey, take these characters and get rid of them. They are past their inactivity warnings." So if you read Rob and/or Matt Drew and get that same vibe, hopefully that gives a bit of insight as to why that was happening.

3. Daniel Kensrue: Three threads on the island, and yet I loved how he turned out. DK was my attempt at a legit self-insert, and was a case of me feeling that he was not meant to be a long-game player. Every move he made and every word spoken was meant to portray exactly how I myself would have reacted in that situation. I didn't get to RP with Aaron (Crash) very much in any SOTF capacity, so getting to write another scene with one of my RL best friends was awesome for me. It is one of my favourite scenes I have been a part of, up there with Wild International, and Episode 1087.

4. JR Rizzolo: Riz would be higher on this list except that everything up until he abducts Cara is a giant steaming pile of shit. I am legit embarassed by the Joker mannerisms and quotes, and the writing quality up until the Cara part. It is fucking terrible, and if you haven't read Riz, please start at the thread "The Wind Below" and for the sake of my embarassment, please ignore everything up until that part. Everything after that I am happy with. I had wanted to write a very violent and over-the-top villain since I joined but none of my attempts had lasted long enough to build them up to it. Long story short for Riz is that had it not been for Mimi asking me in the chatzy if I had anyone who could kill Cara, then Mimi also being super open minded to the slow methodical death that was inflicted on Cara, Riz wouldn't have won V3. So, thanks Mimi for Riz turning out to be a pretty good character. Also, Riz was part of my favourite scene I have written in any aspect of any version of SOTF. Writing the scene Episode 1087: Murder on the Midnight Wire was so much fun. Jer and I brought out the best in each other writing the Riz vs Eddie fight. It was fun all along because the rolls had been set to private for this one, so no one knew if Riz or Eddie were coming out of the fight the winner. Though Jerred had the brilliant idea for the title. For those who don't know, Episode 1087 was the final episode of the Ed Sullivan Show, so anyone who knew that before reading the read could have figured out that it was Eddie's final thread.

5. Nik Kronwall: Nik was super fun for me to write because I got to write with a lot of my favourite people on the site. Tre, Chelsea, Dodd, Ricky, I really enjoyed writing Nik alongside all of you. I think Nik was one of my most transparent characters as in I really tried to give an insight into what he was thinking and how he was processing it the whole time. I really enjoyed writing the fight scene with Craig Hoyle. Ricky is a very easy person to work with from a writing perspective, and he helped make that fight feel very realistic.
Is in...
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Ah fuck it, I'll do a real one. I liked Dodd's method of starting with the worst and getting progressively better so I'm stealing that. Also I have roughly 10 things I'm procrastinating on one of which is feeding myself. Like Adam as well, this will be long,

17. Michael Sekooler (Program)

This was garbage and I think at the time I had too many characters across the various games and I just gave the fuck up here. It's not a bad concept at all, especially in the Program-verse. Just like....God, I did not try. He lasts two threads, does nothing and is killed by Bcarve who beats him to death with a shovel, which is the best thing Michael ever did. I purposely keep him out of lists of my kids and it's become a running joke for Courtney to bring him up so I can remember how poorly I did.

16. Norma Jean Torkleson (TV2)

Mimi convinced me to be in TV2 so she wouldn't be alone and also said I should try to make a character not based on someone I know. Norma happened. She was also my attempt to write someone dumb. I honestly don't remember anything about her. Seth had to remind me that he killed me because I couldn't even remember how she died. So forgettable that I can't recall anything she did and I was the one who wrote it.

15. Liz Polanski (Second Chances)

I had to do a ton of work to overhaul Liz's profile to make it suitable for uh, someone giving it a better critique and she died in the first roll. She just kindda didn't have enough time for me to get a feeling for her. Oh well.

14. Sally Connelly (V4)

Kindda fun, but ultimately shallow character. My first character to die ever. The death holds up alright, but she was also Reiko's first kill which I regret with the benefit of hindsight. Actually she was made entirely because Rocky asked me if I could make an ice skating rival for Rieko. Good dry run for some parts of Mara's personality later? This is probably the least emotionally complex character I ever wrote. But hey, real!Sally was cool with being a flat villain as long as she was 5 pounds lighter than real life in her profile.

13. Jeanette Buendia (TV1)

I made this character in part, again, because Rachel who was playing April wanted a friend for her character. I'm starting to see a pattern with these kids I'm not so proud of. Wacky, weird and with an attempt at some depth and emotion at the 11th hour. This concept was a little too thin for me to work with and I didn't go in with a plan so she tends to be kind of annoying and doesn't contribute a ton. I had some idea of having her be a player that kind of lulled people into a false sense of security with her goofy behavior. I heard that second chances Jeanette is good though? So at least something came out of this.

12. Sally Connelly (Second Chances)

A slight improvement! Still nothing to write home about though. In this iteration her rival is not Rieko, but Nick Ried. I don't know why I felt she needed a rival every time. She lasts um...two rolls longer, but she shows that there's a little more to her than just a vapid, mean girl. Not a lot more, but a little more. Truly what second chances is all about.

11. Autumn O'Leery (V4)

I adopted this girl from Mimi when she went inactive. Autumn had this insanely complex, sprawling soap opera backstory, much of which wasn't even written down in the v4 pre-game but that I had to be told about via the different participants. There was so much to remember to juggle with Autumn that it was difficult. I can juggle a lot with my own children because it's like starting with one ball and then progressively getting tossed balls until you're juggling 6. If someone throws all six at you at once, you're gonna fuck it up. Toben said that fact that she out-lasts all the other players in that drama makes her feel a bit displaced, which I agree with. I will say though, I love the hell out of her death. Weak story, excellent death.

10. Kendra (Program)

There must be something about the Gregory sisters. They were my two most successful mini entrants. I think Kendra is my guilty pleasure. Her plots were not terribly strong, she did not forge strong relationships and sometimes she was a bit forced (why did you break out into a ballet routine in the middle of a death game?) but I liked her character. She was a cute ballerina with the mouth of a sailor that was just a bit bewildered by the whole situation. Maybe if she was less abrasive people would have stopped running from her.

9. Hazel Jung (v6)

We have now entered into the "okay zone." Hazel is okay. I adopted her from Sansa and her scene with Min Jae at the car port and the one at the end are strong, but I'm not going to lie to you. Zarina was carrying more of the weight there. That's kind of Hazel's problem. Again, I struggled to get into this character's head and she's bolstered up by the fact that everyone around her is carrying more weight. Jeremy and Jordan and wonderful as are Min-Jae and Nate and they elevated Hazel. I couldn't recommend her on her own, but if you get recommended any of those people, Hazel doesn't drag anything down or distract in any way.

8. Mary-Ann Warren (v4)

This is my favorite adoption, if that counts for anything. I was the FOURTH writer to take her which may be an SOTF record? However, I was also the one who had her the longest. Mary-Ann was blessed with having a very compelling romance with the superior RJ Lowe when I came in, so my job was easy. Their romance chugs along well, but when he dies the narrative meanders until you get to a really upsetting Peter Sui death that I think still haunts Rattle to this day.

7. Isabel Guerra (v4)

Hey it's me. This was my self-insert and the first character I submitted. I think I was too self-absorbed when writing this character. She's full of self-reference and sometimes that locks you out from what other characters are doing. I didn't have time to pre game with her so her story is littered with flashbacks that ultimately don't matter. She has a blue text voice that follows her sometimes telling her that she sucks. But once she got into the escape plot things start to roll and she comes out of her shell a bit more. Super rough start, pretty good finish (though she is an afterthought in the labyrinth of scenes that is "Monsters"). Most improved sticker.


6. Paris Ardennes (v5)

We're slowly creeping up into the "good zone." I love Paris. He was some of the most fun I have ever had writing a character. He was twisted, crazy, evil and charming. He was very experimental in that I felt that it was hard for me to manipulate people if they knew what the character was thinking so I just cut that piece out and he spent all of pre-game scamming and lying to people without anyone aware that he was malicious. As the game went on, the other writers began to have their suspicions he might not be on the level until it's revealed he tricked someone into committing a murder for him. He is not without problems, major major problems. One, that he never had a proper opponent so we never got a chance to know if he really was so good at manipulating since everyone he encountered pretty much just took him at face value and trusted him. Two, which Mara said, sometimes his dialog tended to sound overly artificial. Three, his death was a bit of an anti-climax which is due in part to really bad OOC stuff taking the wind out of my sails. By the time he was rolled, I had had to deal with a lot of unfortunate OOC things that made me want him dead as soon as possible. He probably deserved better, but again, I hear that his Second Chances run is phenomenal. Dreams do come true.

5. Ethan Kent (v4)

I waffled as to whether to put Paris ahead of Ethan or Ethan ahead of Paris and Ethan won out for having a more consistent story. Aside from facilitating the escape, I like how weird a character he was. Like, a computer nerd with the arrogance and confidence of a jock who was also an insatiable ladies man that would probably die from one of his millions of allergies and asthma. Weird. But it worked? He's borderline a villain that's only redeemed by his relationship with Feo as well as his desire to prove how awesome he is by blowing himself up. He's like a math rock star.

4. Michelle Wexler (v5)

When I make a character I tend to use a person I know as the base-concept of the character and then they kind of grow and change on their own due to their experience as well as my own personality getting in there. Michelle is based on my best friend in the world who I would die for, which is probably why she turned out the closest to the real person. It was very hard to try and capture the essence of the world's most adorable human, but I made a good effort. Special shout out to Espi as Gwen in making the group great. Her story is heartfelt, tragic and engaging (though she has a really bad dream-sequence I wish I could erase). Oh and a death that made a bunch of people cry. Go hug your pet.

3. Taryn Gregory (Evolution)

My first character EVER to be in a game. Evolution started a bit before v4 did. Taryn has all the classic Rugga staples: cute girl, emotional problems, family issues. She's kind, but no-nonsense and ruthless because of her desperate attempts to beat the clock and win before her mother dies of terminal cancer (her family was on the way to the hospital and she got nabbed buying a drink from the gas station while they filled up). Evo is very short, but I liked her mother-like personality and her relationship with Kate as well as the slight twist at the end regarding her motivations for saving her new friend.

2. Caleb Daimond (v6)

Naft disagrees with me here and ranked Caleb # 1. I like him, but not more than the top two I think. He's this paranoid, low self-esteem mess who creates a lot of his own problems and hides behind jokes. Positives: very short story, almost no fat on the narrative, well constructed. Even his weird side-trip with Maria serves the purpose to explain more about him and demonstrates the toll the insomnia is starting to take. Cons: not a lot of time to flesh him out. However, maybe he didn't need more time. Maybe he's fine as is, which is something that he never thought about himself.


1. Amaranta Montalvo (v5)

Uh, I think she's well tread ground. She won. The best thing about her is how she starts as this broken person and then eventually morphs and changes in to a different kind of broken person that still maintains the same core. In Adam's read through I think he said "I hated her in the first three threads and then I started to like her" which is how I feel too, I think. She started as someone whose own sister was psyched to hear she died in a plane crash (Amaranta's is by far the most fucked up family of any kid i've written), but by the end you're kind of rooting for her.

1. Nick LeMonde (v4)

When v4 ended and v5 started I was very worried that I would never make anything as good as Nick LeMonde again. He was largely ignored at the time of v4 despite coming in 20th place out of roughly 1,204,324 kids because in a sea of Maxwells, Emas and Reikos who wanted to read about a goof built like a fridge with a doomed romance? He's a kid with Aspergers who loves everyone with all his heart, but wants to live so he enters into a player alliance with Teo and Gracie and kills, feeling terrible about it the whole way through. The alliance is thrown out of whack when a girl with a crush on him named Jessica shows up and he has to figure out how far he's willing to go to live. His death is also somewhat experimental but I've always like it. A nice end for a nice boy.
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I'm going to massively pretty this up later, but heres my order in the meantime based on some sort of combo of how good their stories turned out and how much I enjoyed writing them:

1. Jacqueline "Cameo" Conroy (Virtua)
2. Aston Bennett (v4)
3. Maxim Kehlenbrink (v6)
4. Jason Andrews (SC2)
5. Ma'afu Tuigamala (v4)
6. Yoshio Akamatsu (BRAURP)
7. Holly Hadaway (TV1)
8. Jaxon Street (TV2)
9. Lyndi Thibodeaux (SC2)
10. Jacob Charles (v4)
11. Anna Kateridge (SC1)
12. Erin Underwood (P2)
13. Brendan Wallace (v4)
14. Janie Sinneave (v5)
15. Yuko Sakaki (BRAURP)
16. Ramona Shirley (Virtua)
17. Sarah Tan (v4)
18. Preston Grey (SC1)
19. Matthew Payne (P1)
20. Anna Hitchins (TV1)
21. Chanel Martin (P1)
22. Clio Gabriella (v4)
23. Paige Strand (v4)


  • Cameo is probably the only character who went exactly the way I wanted her to - my first round Mini characters were all pretty exaggerated (I think that's the term Toben once used) but Cameo was a case where I felt it actually worked, if only because I had a great cast to work off.
  • Aston/Maf/Maxim were adoptees that really tested my writing abilities and of course there's stuff I wish I could change (probably ending Maf's story in the same place as Nick, getting rid of a bunch of formatting stuff for Aston, haggling better for a hero card for Maxim) but I'm ultimately proud of what I was able to do and the writing opportunities it led to for them.
  • Jason was someone I had a blast writing. I conveyed him well and I'm super bummed I didn't get to go further.
  • Yoshio I can look back on sort of fondly now that time has passed since his death thread was one of my favourite on-site writing experiences.
  • Holly/Jaxon/Erin didn't last long but I felt I conveyed them pretty well (heroism/sass/menace respectively). Jacob worked out the most consistently of my original v4ers but I felt I could have done more. Same with Anna Kateridge. Lyndi was short-lived because I had my eyes elsewhere but compared to other kids I've handled I actually got to do a lot with her so I'm pretty okay with how that turned out. Brendan was my first character and my SI so he's in here just because.
  • Janie/Ramona/Preston I didn't really do anything or have any plans with so they sort of floundered. Yuko was the first death I wrote even if she didn't do much so she's here as well.
  • I forgot I actually adopted Sarah Tan in v4 for a hot minute before she went back to selphie, for some reason I thought I was only babysitting. She's alright I guess, I never really got her downpat and had to do a lot of guessing for her motivations but I loved writing in Eep.
  • I did get to do things with most of my Round 1 Mini kids but looking back they were all waaaaay exaggerated and not my style anymore, Matthew in particular (but writing that scene with Luke was another fantastic site experience so I'm mixed). Anna I'm okay-er on because outfoxd managed to salvage her and bring her comparatively down to earth which kinda proves it was probably just my bad writing and not the characters fault lol. Chanel lol no.
    I did the one thing I wanted to do with Clio and I'm good with that. The rest could have been greatly improved though.
    Paige was fodder I have no interest in anymore. Laurels did her better in SC.
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I can't sing but I wrote you a song

Wrong notes but the melody's so clear

When I'm lost, I'm still close to gold

cause I found my treasure in you
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These are the rankings.

1) Gary Kwan

That's it. He's the only one I've done. I wish he made it to the main game, I had big plans for him. However, I like where his Meanwhile thread is going.
Song currently stuck in my head: UNLIMITS - Shinkirō


V6 (Pregame)

Gary Kwan - "Fuck you." - I-II

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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
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I've finished two versions!! I do this thing to celebrate!!

Green-text characters fall on the 'upper' range of their category, close to crossing over to the next category. Red-text characters are the inverse, close to falling into the next category below. Orange-text characters, as shamelessly stolen from Brackie, have yet to be completed.

And yes, I am including almost everything I have written for SOTF. I do not write throwaway anything, I try to put good work and character into every bit of content I put out.



V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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do you want to go to war, balakay?
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So, maybe a month after I came back in October, I made a ranking of my characters as I felt about them at the time. Since then, I've done some reading, done some writing, and I've reevaluated how I feel about a lot of my characters. So I redid the list.

How I've done it this time around: I tried to sort my characters in to one of six tiers - "Excellent", "Good", "Okay", "Meh", "Bad", and "Current". From there, I sorted them on how I liked them based upon the tier that they landed in. That gave me the master ranking, which I pretty much agree with. I have twenty-nine ranked characters (rather than the 31 I'd talked myself into earlier, apparently).

So with that being said, let's get started.

Current Tier:

  • Connor Lorenzen (V7)
  • Morgan Dragosavich (V7)
  • Ross Miller (V7)
  • Claudeson Bademosi (V7)
  • Ariana Moretti (V7)
  • Kate Sanderson (PV2.5)
  • William Apgar (PV2.5)
  • Fisher Darden (PV3)

So these are all my current characters. I'm going to refrain from ranking them because they're all in progress. V7 is still in pregame, PV2.5 is underway, and I haven't debuted Fisher yet in PV3 sandbox, so I'm choosing not to rank 'em. The most I'll say about all of the ones I've written with - so far, I don't think any of them suck. So that's cool. Hurray for not sucking (yet).

Bad Tier:

29. Rupert Stockton (V2)

Oof. I'll quote my earlier rankings when I said "What the hell was I thinking? I've been asking myself that a lot lately. What a hot tire fire mess of a profile. It isn't my biggest SOTF regret, but dammit, it's close." The profile is awful, the character is bad, and he BOUNCES OFF THE GROUND because he's too fat when they drop him off. Dodd. That's now how physics work, bro. Come on, you're better than that. Rupert gets an F-. For the record, Rupert's SC3 rights belong to Aura (have fun with thaaaat).

28. Mary McKay (V3)

Mary takes one of the longest plummets, sliding all the way down to the second-last spot on the rankings. I am not qualified to write a pregnant girl in SOTF. I wasn't then, I'm not now. Not only was she only there for the morbidity factor, her kill of Guy was vile and her eventual death at Wade's hands was even worse. For shitty shock factor, I can't recommend anyone read her, ever. She sucks.

27. Jodene Zalack (V3)

What's this? A new character that wasn't on the last ranking? How can that be? Well, I'll tell you. I'm an asshole - or at least, played one in SOTF, and in the V3 era, I decided to sign up as a new user and post with another character, changing my writing style et al, just to see if anyone would figure out that it was me. Nobody ever did, but that doesn't mean that the character was any good, rather, she was the opposite. Bland to the point of being boring, she didn't do much, killed someone in a scene, and then was part of a Wade Wilson inactivity massacre because I found it too hard to keep up. Another blight on my resume, no doubt about it.

26. Alexander Ovechkin (V2)

I'm happy to see Ovi and his Capitals playing the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning right now, because I've always been a fan of him as a hockey player. As an SOTF contestant, he's a bad sequel to what Sidney Crosby was, and he's hindered by the fact that I went inactive with him halfway through V2. At the time, Ovi was a guy who spoke in broken English and was the newest NHL superstar, so it made sense that - hey, they took Crosby, why not take Ovechkin too? Unfortunately, in a common theme for me, I tried to recapture the magic and came up short. It was just a bad concept and as Ruggahissy said in her Ovechkin write-up from way back: "It looked like Dodd realized he was a bad concept and gave up on him". Bang-on, Vicky. Bang-on.

25. Burton Harris (V2)

I know, Kermit. I know. Please keep your outrage to a minimum. Burton tumbles down the rankings because while the memes about him are hilarious, I went back to actually read his posts. I liked the profile that I did for him, but when I went to see how many times I posted with him, I realized... I never did. The only posts from Burton on-island were when Xaldien took him over and made him the weed-demon that we all now know and love. So unfortunately, while I love the gags and the jokes, he doesn't make his way out of the "bad" tier because I never actually posted with him at all. His SC3 rights are currently held by Kermit.

"Meh" Tier:

24: Arturo Villamor (V1)

Something that I've found for myself is that throughout my SOTF time, I've done pretty well at coming up with interesting characters, but have suffered in trying to figure out how to play these characters in-game. Thankfully pregame makes that a lot easier now, but in V1, that wasn't really a thing. So while Art is a pretty decent character (and based entirely off of a former coworker of mine) by profile, his in-game sputters and dies really quickly at the hands of Cillian Crowe. I couldn't figure out how to write him, so I fed him to Cillian. Icky.

23: Zilya Merchenkov (V2)

The Riser insert. I'm not sure why I decided to insert characters of other handlers. That was a little unusual. Funny enough, I never actually posted with her and she was handled by Mitsuko, who didn't exactly do a bang-up job of my characters once I was off the site. Since the concept wasn't tremendous nor did the character ever actually get posted with by me, she probably should be closer to the bottom than Art. Art still slides beneath her by the fact that he was one-and-done.

22. Sarah Dao (V2)

So here's an interesting thing. I actually posted with Sarah a hell of a lot more than I figured - I had an entire thread with her, where she ends up teaming up with An-Linh Tuan, who is a Makaze character. Which ... I'm not sure if An-Linh was supposed to be a Makaze insert too, but that's a little odd. Anyhow, she ends up in Dan's hands once I peaced out of V2, and ends up dying via Rob Adams. She's a lot less crappy than I remembered her to be, and she's only down this far because I genuinely didn't remember writing so much of her until right now. Fuckin' weird.

21. Andrew Lipson (V1)

Adam Sandler in a wheelchair, ho! Yeah, not ACTUALLY Adam Sandler, but the friend I based him off of by name and appearance did use to have a striking resemblance to him. The character while on-island is okay, but as discussed, his kidnapping and the circumstances of his death are a little preposterous and OTTP. I should have just had him on the trip or whatever, but the V1 times were strange days. Anyhow, I wish I'd maybe just had him roll off the cliff or something, as the death was pure schlock. Not great stuff.

20. Dean Portman (V3)

Ahh, the ghost of Dean Portman, he who basically didn't end up appearing on the island at all in V3. He was as close to an NPC as you could get from 2008 until 2018, when I finally finished the V3 epilogue, giving him a little scene and a pretty decent death. I wish I'd actually written him at all, he could have been fun, though he's got all of the hallmarks of classic Dodd, so if I were to put him into a future SC edition I'd need to clean that up a bunch.

19. Alicia Murazek (V4)

Alicia had a really strong profile, and then V4 proper came around, and I just wasn't sure what to do with her. Writing a cheery, bubbly girl wasn't something that I really had to do, and so she ended up getting fed to my own character, Staffan. I wish I'd at least fed her to someone else, as it's really seen as a cheap death now, even though I go against popular opinion and don't believe it's all that bad. Pretty much one-and-done keeps her firmly at the top end of the 'Meh' tier. Her SC3 rights are held by Somersault.

18. Wade Wilson (V3)

Okay, so. This one might give people cause for pause. "Adam, seriously? Wade? Doddpool? He's this high? How is he not in the bad tier?" So look. In 2008, Deadpool was in fact a comic character, sure. But we had real-life characters inserted on a semi-frequent basis. I changed certain elements (and probably should have changed the name), but admittedly this was the intention. Naturally, as Deadpool has become a phenomena in the world since Ryan Reynolds made a rad movie out of him, he's been looked down on. So yeah. I get it, he cleared out inactives in a gruesome and gory way. He was a terrible, terrible illustration of how to properly write mental illness. He was off-the-wall wacky and crazy for his whole SOTF journey. He repeatedly broke the fourth wall. But he wasn't SUPPOSED to be a realistic character at all. Admittedly, yeah. Am I a skilled enough writer to write Deadpool? No. No, I'm not. But I tried to take similar tenants and make a crazy, wacky villain that at the time was close enough in style to other characters of the time. Do I think he's really good? No, I don't. Do I think he's completely irredeemable? No, I don't. His beginning post and his final battle with Eddie Sullivan are parts of the story that I think are actually pretty decent, and while I'm not overly proud of my effort with him, I also don't revile him like I revile someone like Rupert, who I did write. I've defended him in chat before, and I'll continue to. He's a miss, but he's not all hot garbage.

17. Gilbert Archambault (V1)

I don't have a whole lot to say about Gilbert. He was written to be a weiner, to be a bit of a plot device for Dodd. Did he have a small story on his own, sure. But he wasn't supposed to be this thing just to prop up Dodd. By the time that I got him into the game, there weren't many people left, and it seemed to make sense to give him a preexisting relationship to at least give him a modicum of connection to the players left in the game. He was pretty much always going to be fodder though, and I can't deny that. He's BARELY out of the "okay" range, and that's mainly because he's just such a little weiner. I can't say that enough.

Okay Tier:

16. Trent Hunter (V4)

I had a hard time getting off the ground with Trent. He's got a little bit of an unusual backstory and philosophy, and Toben said on his wiki write-up that he doesn't quite fit the V4 character M/O, which I agree with. I had one thread with him, but then real-life jumped up and grabbed me and I just never posted with him again. He had his collar detonated in an announcement, so that's pretty much the epitome of "okay-to-meh". He's at the bottom of this tier because he's not outwardly objectionable and I actually recall liking his concept, but I just couldn't pull it off.

15. Staffan Kronwall (V4)

Dan and I were going to write brothers. So we did. But we based them off of real-life hockey playing brothers, which I wish we hadn't. I think were his name "Steven Knowles" or something like that, he probably jumps up a few spots. He was always going to be the villainous brother of the two, and he entered the game with a bang with a dual-kill in the church. After that, I poofed and Dan picked him up and continued his swath of destruction until both Kronwalls went out almost back-to-back fighting one another. He's this high mainly because Dan did an excellent job with him and their final fight scene was really cool.

14: Angelina Kaige (V1)

Sooooo, another questionable decision to leave Kaige in my "okay" tier, I know. Outside of the weird rapey sex fetish subplot thing that I have zero idea why I came up with, Kaige did her job. She was a killing machine, and was supposed to be an obstacle for the kids to try and surpass. Of course, since half of v1 was inactive, she racked up an excessive kill-count as I tried to get the numbers down so we could end the version. My favourite Kaige scene is probably the one where she pretends to be a student to try and lure some kids in. I should have done more of that, and less of the weird rapey stuff. WTF, 2005 me?

13. Ken Lawson (V3)

Burton Harris part 2! I have zero idea how this character was allowed through. Zero. Absolutely zero. But when I was writing him, I actually dug what was happening. Ken is basically what I would have done had Burton been written by me in V2. He would have unnerved people, having them not wanting to ally with him but actually have good ideas for getting out. Alas, I swapped him out, and came up with a nifty death for him. Of course, maybe I shouldn't have gotten so meta-in-joke with the gravestone, but nobody's perfect, you know? I didn't mind Ken at all, and while he didn't make much impact, he won me a BDA, so I can't drop him too many spots. Ken's SC3 rights are owned by Naft, if I'm not mistaken.

12. John Sheppard (V3)

My gay V3 football kid. He's the epitome of "okay", since he didn't really do a whole lot, followed a few groups around, and then got blown up in the warehouse in one of my favourite all-time posts that I wrote from 2005-2011. I don't have much to say about him, really. He's okay, and if you read him you probably won't gain much, but you won't lose anything either, and the warehouse explosion will make up for anything you lose (in my own humble opinion).

11. Adam Amato (V2)

The very top of the "okay" tier is based off a university friend, whose wedding I coincidentally went to a few years ago. Weird. Adam didn't do a whole lot in-game aside from be aggressive and threaten people in church not to swear in church, but he was the first example of a character that I wrote that had a temper, and I felt that until I went inactive and Mitsuko picked him up and fed him to Brandon Cuthbert of all people, he was actually going pretty well. Don't go inactive, folks. It's bad for your characters health.

Coincidentally, the top ten characters are here and they coincide with the beginning of a new tier.

Good Tier:

10. Jamie Li (V4)

Poor, poor Jamie. In my last ranking, I had genuinely forgotten that I posted with her. Imagine my surprise when I looked at her wiki entry and she had FIVE THREADS and a pregame. What the holy hell? Outside of the final thread she's in where SOTF_Help is controlling her, I actually had a bit of a v4 showing with her. It seems like I was struck down by sporadic activity and slow threads, but Jamie was starting to be the character that I envisioned her as when I wrote her bio. I remember being excited to play her, and she would have been my V4 'flagship', if you will. All in all, she doesn't make a whole lot of impact, but she's not bad. Inge has rights to Jamie for SC3 and I look forward to seeing what he does with her.

9. Ryan Atwell (V3)

I am conscious of the fact that Ryan is the odd man out in the V3 final ten, and I am aware of the criticisms of him that his "wandering around with Dean Portman" was only glossed over and not actually RPed, and that he was just a tool for Adam Dodd, but that's not exactly accurate. Yes, he interacted with Dodd, which is its own separate can of worms, but I was enjoying writing someone who was more of a deep thinker and felt themselves more at one with nature. I didn't write a lot of him, but the best stuff I did was the stuff with him and Steve, and that was pretty much the back half of his story. He's the outlier in the V3 f10, as I said, but I liked what I did with him, and I'm reminded of the guy I based him on when I read him, so I see that as a success.

8. Cole Hudson (V1)

My first SOTF death was Cole. I'll let my earlier ranking speak for itself: "I liked Cole. He had an admittedly weird profile story that... maybe I thought was a good idea at the time? But I think with some revamping I could totally make him work in a current-era style version. He's a relic of the v1 era, but I have a soft spot for him. Were other people to rank my kids, he probably wouldn't finish as high, but... I dunno. I liked what I got out of him."

7. Andrew Ponikarovsky (V2)

Once more, with feeling: "Wasted potential - again. I remember going back and reading the end of his story when I returned after I left the site the first time, and I was SO disappointed. I was really enjoying where he was going, and the thing with him and Carmen had some potential to be fun. As a fun side-note, this is the SOTF character that has caused me the most grief, as the RL friend that the character used to be named after ended up finding it and was REALLY unimpressed with me. Hence why he's named after a 2000s-era Toronto Maple Leafs winger."

The addendum to Pants is that he's actually been really well-received, even though he was abortive and died in an inactive-cleanse. As far as my own characters that had short stays (which were numerous) he's probably the best of the bunch, because he had his own clever way about him, he read uniquely, and his interactions with Carmen were cool. I'll never bring him back since, like, read the above, but he was fun.

6. Adam Dodd (V3)

Adam is this high on the list because of the supporting characters that are coming after him. Look - I get it. I know that I shouldn't have brought him back in V3, and I didn't write him at all likeably to boot. I tried a few of the V1 things that made OG Dodd popular and they didn't hit, because we'd read that story before. So my opinion of Adam was pretty sour for a long while. I re-read him, and while I didn't like a whole lot of it, there were some decent parts there. The best part of his story (and I guess I can pimp myself a little here, since this is a ranking of my own guys) is when he dies. I am still incredibly proud of his death post, and it put an end to my most (in)famous character. Dodd in V3 has given birth to a storyline that I have been writing since I came back and that I'm already really excited about and happy with. While a lot of that story revolves around Keith (who's higher on the list), without Dodd to have the other half, it doesn't work.

So the second half of Dodd, while not my best work, and a bit of a misfire (to quote Naft) is brought way way up by his death and the events that follow it.

Excellent Tier:

5. Amanda Jones (V1)

She was almost the top of the "good" tier, but I thought more about it and decided to slip her into the excellent tier. The hard part about writing two characters in the same group, or "handlercesting" as we've taken to calling it, is that both of your characters have to be distinct and different from one another while still maintaining the integrity of the scene. While Amanda has some weak points at times - she tends to fall by the wayside when Adam monologues, and her death is literally me protesting a surprise death of another character, I almost entirely had planned to have her survive Dodd and outlast everyone else in the group. As such, while Dodd was often at the forefront, I tried very hard to make sure that Amanda had her own distinct personality and some of her own baggage that I could come up with when I was writing her once Dodd died. Of course, then I threw a temper tantrum and shot her face off. Stupid me.

Alas, Amanda died really unceremoniously and as people have mentioned, tends to get overlooked by Dodd at times, which isn't what happens when you lose a girlfriend. I can chalk it up to writing this character when I was 19 and had yet to have a relationship, so I didn't get it. I do now. With that being said, I still think she's one of my better works and I'm proud of her. I'm especially proud of when Dodd shoots Marcus, and she disagrees so vehemently she leaves the area. Amanda's SC3 rights are currently held by Bowser, though a character named Amanda appeared in an SC2 announcement with Dodd as fluff, though I think we're saying it's a different Amanda. So have fun, Bowser!

4. Eddie Serjeantson (V1)

I love the sarge. Unashamedly, I love everything about this character. EVEN THE DAMNED MURDERBUSH DEATH. Eddie actually manages to fall in the rankings based upon the strength of the characters around him. The original list, he was number 3. Originally when I was writing this out, he was number six and V3 Dodd was number 4, but I switched them around. Dodd isn't good enough to be in the excellent tier, and if I'm counting the surrounding story in ranking his character, I have to account for Eddie's memory being a major factor in my all-time favourite piece of my own SOTF writing; "The Essay". Barring a minor catastrophe, I will 100% be playing him again in SC3.

3. Sidney Crosby (V1)

Imagine for a second that instead of being named 'Sidney Crosby', he was 'Sidney Craven" or "Sid Carswell" or something like that. Instead of being a famed hockey phenom from Canada, maybe he's a highly-touted draft pick of a professional hockey team. Imagine those two things are different. Barring the questionable V1-era kidnapping, I think he's a tremendously good character whose defining characteristic is his cowardice. Sid is a coward from front to pretty much his end, and he manages to stumble and bumble his way into the final 4, where he comes face to face with an old nemesis, who eventually defeats him, though it leads to his undoing. His final act, and perhaps his only act of bravery gets him killed, but defeats his greatest enemy. Sid Carswell might die, but he has a massive impact upon the final act of v1.

Of course, his name is Sidney Crosby, and in the years that have passed since 2005, he's turned in to one of the greatest hockey players of our generation, winning three Stanley Cups and becoming a world renowned athlete. So naturally, people are going to say "man, what the fuck was he thinking?" Of course, were I to go back and retroactively change his name and a few details about him, then give him in a RAT to someone who wasn't familiar with him, they'd probably really enjoy him. So here he is, at number three.

2. Adam Dodd (V1)

I stand behind every word of the 50 - 75,000 words of V1 Adam Dodd outside of the rape scene and the Danya face-to-face. Barring that, he's SOTF's first winner and I'll always be proud of what I accomplished with him. Adam at the beginning is a stark reminder of the person that I was at 19, and it's neat to see how things have changed in the 13 years since.

1. Keith Jackson (V3)

Keith was the top of my last rankings when he was incomplete, and at the time I think a part of that was that I had already made the decision that he would survive over V3 Dodd in the epilogue that I was writing, and maybe tossed him up there to gauge how people thought of him. I still like him. I still enjoy him for all of the reasons that I did before, but now I think he's properly earned the spot at the top of the list. He got an ending that answered a lot of long-unanswered SOTF questions, and he's got more coming that I think people are going to really enjoy.

So that's it! In classic Dodd fashion, here's 4000+ words about my characters. Hope you enjoyed.
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