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Old Aug 6th, 2023, 07:55 PM
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Round 3 Results

Round 3 is complete! I'll admit, this is one round where I had no clue of guessing who would make it through, and who would not to the final round. All week I have been working out various scenarios in my head, trying to guess who would actually get through. Everyone was so deserving! Having said that, the judges did the hard work of sorting through the entries, and the results are in:

It looks like Wrong Way Wally, and Sherman will not continue on to the finale. Huge thanks to Vex and GleefulNihilism for your wonderful characters, your team play, and your participation in Outplay this year. It was an honor to have you hear!

Congratulations to Qiksilv and squirmonkey, who will compete in the final round. Will the experience of Qiksilv help carry Samual Adams past the finish line, or will the hot newcomer, squirmonkey, with Counselor Albright continue the trend of first-time competitors taking the crown? We will find out soon, we are headed to the finale!
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Last edited by Bhelogan; Aug 12th, 2023 at 08:40 AM.
Old Aug 11th, 2023, 11:34 AM
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The Watcher is Watching
With all the intensity of reactivating the ship’s systems, the commotion of fending off the security androids, and the excitement of discovering alien life forms, it was easy enough to forgive the members of the New Eden exploration team if they failed to notice a monitor in the corner of the bridge that came to life. The soft glow on the screen revealed the image of a luminous digitized face underneath a label that Sam and David had yet to turn their translation skills to. Had they done so, it’s uncertain if they would even know what to make of the title: Remote Holographic Artificial Intelligence Brainwave Emulation Relay. A nearby speaker emitted a soft, barely audible stream of melodic tones that might not even be recognized as language, while a series of characters in the bizarre alien script scrolled across the bottom of the display screen. The readout on the screen may have been scrolling by too fast for Sam's translation matrix to keep up with, but if he had tried, he may've made out something like this:

right-aligned image
”Sensors detect unidentified lifeforms aboard vessel. Lifeforms have proven effective in restoring limited functionality to a number of vessel’s systems. Lifeforms have initiated reanimation sequence of ‘passenger’ cryopods. Lifeforms have also disabled vessel’s security measures. Analyzing … analyzing… analyzing…

“Unidentified lifeforms constitute a significant threat. However, lifeforms interfacing with 'passengers' presents a 86.75309% probability of a favorable outcome. Assessment: to minimize threat, 2.5 unidentified lifeforms will suffice, while remaining lifeforms should be removed from vessel. Analyzing observed data to determine which lifeforms present optimal potential benefit to threat ratio… analyzing… analyzing…”

Lifeform observable data for threat/benefit analysis
GleefulNihilism as Wally “Wrong Way” Taplin
Enjoyability/Creativity6I still love Wally’s dialect and voice. He may have one of the clearest characterizations in this game. It felt like his posts this week got a bit repetitive. He more or less rolled the same 3d6 for every turn (I know he alternated a bit between his ‘you make do’ skill and his ‘paperclips and duct tape,’ but it also feels like he uses those two skills fairly interchangeably.
Clarity, Formatting, Technical8Your stat block and turn summary look much better this round, making it way easier for GM and judges to track what you’re doing. And you clearly have a strong understanding of how to use the system, though at times it feels like you might be bordering on abuse, with things like using a single roll to effectively repair both the sensors and the comms when the GM specifically asked for separate rolls, or using some shaky justification to make both your job training and skills work for every single roll.
Grammar/Writing7It may feel a bit like nitpicking here, but we’re in round 3 now so I’m going to be a bit more of a stickler on things I would’ve let slide in earlier rounds: things like inconsistent verb tense or misuse of homonyms - things that came up once or twice in each post (I pointed out a few examples in the detailed notes below, but not everything)
Plot Advancement/Character6I completely buy your characterization of Wally and everything he does is so logical based on what we know of him. However, this week he lagged behind a bit in plot advancement. The balance in some of these posts skewed a bit toward being reactive rather than proactive, and he backpedaled the action at times, sometimes bordering on tonal dissonance.

squirmonkey as Counselor David Albright
Enjoyability/Creativity10These posts masterfully convey internal conflict. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise but our ship’s counselor has the most interesting and compelling psychology. He has the most mystery still about his character, and the tantalizing reveals of his past and his motivation through flashbacks and internal monologue are thoroughly engaging for the reader. It’s great to see David differentiate himself and stand out from the pack –being the only non-Wrencher helps with that, but it’s the contrast against the rest of the group of his opinions on things like what to do with the aliens that really sells it.
Clarity, Formatting, Technical7Mechanics are David’s weak-point. His application of skills on Day 1 had a shaky justification and his use of the help action on Day 2 was incorrect. However, the help action is one of the elements of the Outplay system that saw some revisions and is not as clearly delineated as some of the other rules. He seemed to get things corrected by the end of the round, but overall he is not as strong here as other categories. I’d look to clean this up if he makes it to the finals.
Grammar/Writing10Looking at my notes, I didn’t find any issues with grammar or syntax at all.
Plot Advancement/Character9Once again David has positioned himself as a real protagonist in the story. Unlike last round, where he felt a little disconnected, here he is once again at the forefront, interacting with the others and exhibiting leadership. The intense internal monologues make it very explicit to the reader why he does what he does and how it fits with the rest of his character. There were two little moments that felt a little out of place for a counselor: making fun of Wally, and asking Sherman sensitive questions about his parents in an unusual setting without establishing a safe space, but you did at least acknowledge some of this awkwardness in the narrative.

Vex as Sherman the Stowaway
Enjoyability/Creativity8There was a little tonal dissonance on day one with Sherman shouting “Wheeee!” as the gunship crashed, but later in the week Sherman’s posts hit a great balance that allowed for upbeat innocence without feeling out of place with the rest of the story. There were even some truly poignant moments, such as his observations about the nature of family.
Clarity, Formatting, Technical9One thing I will say about Sherman’s posts this round: they are smooth and consistent. You come up with creative solutions, justify the use of skills and clearly delineate your expected outcomes while leaving room for the GM’s interpretation. I also find your summary blocks super clear and easy to follow.
Grammar/Writing9There was some slightly awkward syntax, but the sort that would only stand out to an English teacher or a copywriter, and not necessarily even grammatically incorrect, just a little awkward in places.
Plot Advancement/Character9There is a near-perfect balance between acknowledging and interacting with other characters and taking the spotlight to drive the plot forward in your own direction. One thing got me caught up this week: Sherman’s misunderstandings. First I liked them – it was a neat running gag. Then I found it hard to believe that he still labored under obvious misconceptions, like David being the captain. Then I realized you were committing to them because no one had ever corrected Sherman. But then I thought again-again and realised that no one is correcting Sherman because these gags only ever play out in internal monologues and he never says any of them out loud, which feels like a missed opportunity for character interaction. In the end, I don’t think you could be penalized for this, nor have I decided yet how much I like it, but if Sherman makes it to the finals, I’d like to see you take this to the next level and make it more than an inside joke with yourself.

Qiksilv as Samuel Adams
Enjoyability/Creativity9This week was really set up to lean into the engineering characters with so many objectives involving repairing systems and investigating alien tech. This was also a trap since it could’ve led to you doing the same thing over and over, but you cleverly avoided that trap and kept Sam creative. You still did some basic engineering repair moves, but you also took some risks offering the help action several times to try things that might otherwise be outside Sam’s wheelhouse, like linguistics and diplomacy. The fake baseball humor felt a bit cliche, but I love the way you used the absence of Piper to give us a window into Sam’s soul.
Clarity, Formatting, Technical9Your summary blocks are fantastic: clear delineation of the rolls you made and rationale, clear links to where the rolls were made and even to pertinent info from the OOC thread. Only one thing brought you down this week: the messy roll with the incorrect number of dice, and additionally an incorrect statement of results. Now you did the right thing by reaching out to the GM and explaining things in the summary of your main post, but this kept you just shy of the perfection needed to score a 10 here. Although I don’t feel like I can penalize you too much for that because you use the help action more than anyone, and I do love me some helpin’.
Grammar/Writing9One or two minor typos, usually involving usage of homonyms, but nothing that slows the reader down.
Plot Advancement/Character9Sam excels at teamwork. His actions almost always involve interacting with other characters, he uses the help action effectively more than anyone, and he addresses other player’s flags left and right. The only danger when it comes to plot advancement is that he could end up falling into the classic trap of the support character. If you make it to the finals, look for ways to help Sam take the spotlight.
"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
Help Me Find a Home for These Characters

Last edited by rhaiber; Aug 11th, 2023 at 07:30 PM.
Old Aug 11th, 2023, 01:22 PM
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Round 3Great work folks, this is the point in the competition where judging becomes more difficult as everyone is bringing their A-game.

I'm excited to see who we have heading to the finals! I wish you all the best!





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Last edited by Retry; Aug 11th, 2023 at 10:19 PM.
Old Aug 11th, 2023, 06:19 PM
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Last edited by orcbane; Aug 11th, 2023 at 06:22 PM.
Old Aug 11th, 2023, 07:31 PM
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Another brilliant round. I had to blow through this due to school cranking up next week so I might have missed some little details. I gave it a full read, gave it a day, and did it again. If anyone had any blaring issues, I sure didn't spot them. That says a lot for the quality of the work and coordination you are doing... I don't read anything outside the official thread so however you are doing it, keep up the great work on that front.

squirmonkey:: 31
David's best days for me were day 1 and 3 with low points at two. Though he was fun to read and an interesting character, I didn't enjoy some of the internals. There were also a few mechanical issues and at times I had a hard time believing his momentum in the story.

vex:: 30
I struggled with Sherman the most this round. His best days for me were 2 and at times, 5. The other three days, he didn't seem to be able to hold his own with the others. There were technical issues and some problems with the text that caught my attention, even though I wasn't looking for them. Moving forward you might want to double down on finding those.

QikSilv:: 34
Sam was the stand-out character for me this week... which surprised me. His weakest day in my book, was day 4. Overall, I was able to connect a bit deeper with him than previously which is a good thing! You seem to be headed in a good direction with him - keep up the great work finding that balance between distinguishing the character and being internally consistence.

GleefulNihilism:: 31
Wally has been one of my favorites from the 'get go'. This week his low points were days 1 and 3. There were some true stand-out moments that continued to set him apart. The writing is strong but this week, it didn't hold me to what you were laying down as in previous weeks. I'm still not sure why that is... I started to power through a few sections and then made myself go back and pay better attention. There were minor issues with language here and there but with a word-count like this, there are going to be a burp here or there until you hire an editor or decide to read it backwards once or twice.
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Last edited by savoylen; Aug 12th, 2023 at 02:54 PM.
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