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Old May 25th, 2023, 08:53 PM
Bhelogan's Avatar
Bhelogan Bhelogan is offline
Druid of the Coast
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Meet the Judges

Hello, and welcome to the thread where the Judges will introduce themselves, and give you some insight on what they are looking for.

To repeat what is in Competition rules and rules queries for Outplay 2023, judging this year will use the following matrix:
  • Enjoyability and Creativity - 10 points (How well did you like the content)
  • Clarity, Formatting, and Technical - 10 points (Was the post clear, easy to follow, Used these system rules correctly)
  • Grammar and Writing - 10 points (No obvious spelling errors or grammatical blunders, how was the quality of writing?)
  • Moved the Plot / Acted true to Character - 10 points (Did posts move things forward, and fit the theme of the character doing them?)

No separate mechanics scores this year. (If you would like more info on why, we dig into it in the Video here)

Last edited by Bhelogan; Jun 1st, 2023 at 10:17 PM.
Old May 26th, 2023, 12:06 PM
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Retry Retry is offline
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Judge Retry appears!

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Greetings space cadet!! This is Retry from Talos One, I am speaking to you from across space and time! This message your are reading now is from the future!! I'm attempting to contact you with how to easily win this competition an- hold on...


Alright, I have been reminded that none of that is true! Also, not how forums work. Got excited.

Anyways, welcome!~

This is year three for me in this seat!!~
For those of you who are new and/or run in different circles than I - I'm Retry! I have been around since late '18 and have been running games here on the site since early '19. I have mostly run Dnd5e games but have recently parted ways to start running the Cypher System.

Off-site I run a bi-weekly 5e campaign for my wife and her friends that has been running for three years straight now. I also run "Amazing Tales" games for my daughters and now my friend's kids as well. Other than that I like to play my harmonica or piano and have been trying to get back into doing pixel art as a hobby.

Here is how to score the most points with me:
- Help others shine and you'll shine with them.
- Big posts do not equal good posts! Find a nice balance for word amount and make sure it packs a punch!
- I tend to enjoy those whose PCs or narration make me chuckle.

I wish you all the best of luck out there!
Remember, the first one to light a fire on a space shuttle earns a first-class ticket to the airlock~
(he/him) | Status: On hiatus | Post status: halted

Last edited by Retry; Jul 18th, 2023 at 07:36 AM.
Old May 26th, 2023, 06:48 PM
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savoylen savoylen is online now
Happening Now!
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Savoy here, at your service as one of your Judges!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you bring to the table in this year's competition. I'll be serving as Judge this year (or backup GM if Bhelogan falls into a black hole or needs backup for any reason).

Firstly, I appreciate the commitment and hard work that goes into competing on RPGCrossing. Please have a sense of humor and humbleness when receiving feedback from us or if you don't advance as far as you wished. You're signing up for criticism and praise but its that first one that gets people sometimes.

I'm always a bit surprised how things turn out each year so please handle each other (and the judges/host) with care. Your relationships are the most important thing to care for - after all, getting to know each other and building a community through shared experiences is what we're all about. It helps if you remember that each time to jump into an Outplay thread.

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As a judge we want to give guidance on what will help hone and deepen your already strong role playing skills and sometimes, we have to dig deep to find something that might help or sets one post apart from another. Regardless, these are just our opinions and always meant to be constructive. Don't take it as a personal hurt or attack.

That isn't why we do this.

My best 'pro-tip' for you is not to get too hung up on the numbers game but to really lean into the judge's comments. There is some real gold in there and if you really want grow in your skills the Outplay arena, that is exactly what you'll do. Truly, we're here to build you up - both when you advance and when you don't.

A little about myself and what gets my attention:
  • I'm a teacher, Engineer and woodworker artist in RL - so I really get into both the details (the pieces must fit together very well). If its not a new take on an old trope, you might want to keep thinking. Originally and innovation are my happy places.
  • I enjoy a laugh like the next person, but this isn't a sit-com either. The tone and timbre of your posts should match the character and spirit of the scene.
  • If your post can be lifted out of the action and no real substantive changes would have to be made (meaning you didn't advance the plot or move toward the goals), then you won't score well with me no matter how clever the post.
  • Be crystal clear on the mechanics. If you're not sure about something, ask in the support forums and then make you post.

- Savoy
Iron DM 2023 is here - Check it out!!
GM of: Dark*Matter: The Hoffmann Institute (2007 HOF),
Traveller: The Third Imperium, Strixhaven: Academy for the Gifted & Game of Thrones: House Ascending
New here? Try a New Player Solo Game for 13th age, CoC, DnD, FATE, Pathfinder, Traveller.
Old Jun 1st, 2023, 06:57 PM
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orcbane orcbane is offline
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Hello and welcome, fellow cool person on the internet who enjoys writing and RPGs!
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They say those who can't do, teach. That's just not the case. Teachers do!

I've found the truer story to be that those who can't do, judge!

I'm not great at the activity of playing PbP RPGs, so that makes (don't listen to him!) me uniquely suited to judge the PbP RPGing of others.

I am actually quite practiced at passing judgement on writing.

My experience in this arena includes work with a major literary journal, (he's a crazy person!) a major national writing workshop, and freelance editing for people with more money than literary skill (he's lying!).

Oh, I also work in the marketing and communications field with a Fortune 100 company (see?! This guy is terrible!), where I regularly workshop and edit copy from a variety of professional and amateur writers (they all hate him!).

Yes, yes... be intimidated by my astounding qualifications...(OMG run now!)...

I'm not here to provide a hardline rating on every little detail. I don't expect world-class professionalism nor laureate-grade poetics. We're playing RPGs on a forum on the internet. I'll be chill about it (he won't!), I promise.

To provide a little insight into what to expect from me, here's my personal notes on the four grading criteria. Or, as I like to call them, (this won't be good) "Grady-poos" (yikes!):

Enjoyability and Creativity - This is a big one for me. It may even impact the other scores. For example, if your post isn't enjoyable to read, I'm way more likely to focus on writing mistakes. If you can make me go "ooo, neat!" then you're on the right path.

Quick tip: contribute to the worldbuilding.

Clarity, Formatting, and Technical - I suggest keeping it simple, unless you have a really good in-character reason to make the formatting complex. I have some eye-tracking issues that can make oddly formatted text difficult to read and extra-difficult to give a high enjoyability score to. Don't be afraid to get creative, I won't be mean about it (don't listen to him, he totally will be mean about it!), but definitely preview your format before setting it in stone.

Quick tip: if you hit "Quote" on a character application or Hall of Fame in-character post you like the formatting of, you can steal that post's bb code!

Grammar and Writing - I'm hoping to see some clever play and some elegant of prose. I want every word to pull double duty so I'll find a new layer of complexity lurking below the surface when I come back and read it again. I'm a firm believer in descriptive grammar, not prescriptive grammar, (gross, who does this guy think he is?) so feel free to get creative with your writing. Remember that communication is transferring meaning between people. If I can tell what you mean, you've succeeded.

Quick tip: I prefer a superbly short post to a languishingly long (you see what I have to put up with?) post.

Moved the Plot / Acted True to Character - Remember that this hobby is one of storytelling. Don't backtrack the story, don't stop the story in its tracks. Help propel the story forward. Shine a light in new corners. Keep the "Yes, And!" rule of improv (gag!) in mind. And please don't try to power-write over your fellow players. That's not a good look.

Quick tip: Bonus Points for your character engaging with another character's Flag. DO IT!

Last edited by orcbane; Jun 2nd, 2023 at 08:51 AM.
Old Jun 7th, 2023, 10:08 AM
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rhaiber rhaiber is offline
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Oh wow Ö Um, hi. Ö Is this thing on?

*** Taps mic, then winces as the sudden sound of shrill feedback rips through the air, only serving to make this moment even more awkward than it already was. ***

So, I guess Iím supposed to tell you a bit about myself. So Ö yeah. Iím rhaiber and this is my first time up here on the judges platform in any sort of official capacity, though I did do a little bit of support last year. Iím a just thinking about it makes me feel oldlong-time site-member, but have somehow avoided any real position of responsibility up until now; however, I am really excited to see all the wonderful work people put into this competition. I have had so much fun taking part in Outplay in the past and for me, the experience really helped me to grow as a player and a writer. Would really like to be able to give back to other players now, to give them feedback and encourage their own journeys and development.

Off-site, I spent the better part of two decades teaching English literature and composition, so I look forward to seeing some quality writing here. Prior to that, I studied theatre and stagecraft, so I generally look for posts with dramatic character development and engaging dialogue.

Now, I guess I should tell you what Iím looking for in a good post, right?
  • Authentic Voice: This is the number one for me. Your writing should reflect the individual personality of both yourself and your character.
  • Be Original: Try something different. Break the mold. Stand out from the crowd. I like to reward players who take a chance on something, even if that chance doesnít always work out the way they expected. This is not to say that tropes and archetypes are verboten, but try to take a new spin on things if you are using them.
  • Teamwork: I know this is a competition, but itís a competition to tell a collaborative story. Interact with your fellow players. Pick up on details in their posts, build upon them, and provide support. And keep your interactions both IC and OOC collegial. No one likes to see in-fighting.
  • Maintain a Sense of Fun: Iím not saying every post needs to be Richard Pryor in his prime, but Iím always in a better mood when I read something that makes me smile. Never forget that we are all here to play a game.
"He looked to the Kender for wisdom. If there was one thing she was good for, it was pearls of wisdom. Wisdom buried beneath twelve hours of stories about obscure relatives." -- Imveros
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