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  #1  
Old Jul 24th, 2015, 02:27 PM
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Final round judging

Four players. Four systems. One winner.

It's all come down to this:
Ekidnu - the champion of the Pathfinder bracket playing the "paladin", Kayla
Frostburn - the champion of the Shadowrun bracket, playing Quara - who married her guardian spirit
Melchior - the champion of the 3.5e bracket, playing Chezo the goblin chef
Bhelogan - the champion of the 5e bracket, playing the druid, Ivan

Only one can win.
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Old Jul 24th, 2015, 03:19 PM
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My Thoughts on the final round

Ekidnu
Kayla is a little too human this round. Not that generally being human and exibiting emotion is a bad thing. I like that. But she lets doubt get the best of her, and that's not what we're looking for in an 11th level adventurer. At this level, you may not be the best there's ever been, but you're certainly an incredible hero. So when she kinda lays down and gives up rather than try anything... It's very disappointing. I still love Kayla as a character, but this exchange in particular makes me think - maybe she'd be better off as a 2nd or 3rd level character: good at what she does, but with a long road ahead of her.

Frostburn
It's funny, when we were trying to justify how the Shadowrun characters would perceive this, we said "they can chock it up to drugs". And that's what you do, in spades. Maybe it's that my brain is hooked on fantasy, but Quara has this weird blend of gets it and doesn't get it. She espouses quantum physics, yet thinks this is all a hallucination. She talks as if she understands, but her inner monologue is totally different. I did really like how you took charge of the extreme free-form nature of the round and started doing things like making a living room and a pot of coffee.

Melchior
I love Meat, he's fun and interesting and... wait you're playing the goblin? Oh, okay. Chezo is pretty good, too - and I enjoyed his minor mental breakdown. His use of metaphor, even if it's makes him a bit of a one-note character, is exactly what one would normally be doing thrust into a crazy situation. That said, by the end of this all, Chezo himself wasn't the main draw of your character - it was your animal companion.

Bhelogan
I didn't really get off on the right foot with Ivan, because it stuck too much in my head that "well, the tobacco isn't poison, therefore this is all real". Also, as a character with 16 int and 20 wisdom, he should easily know what an addict and entropy are. And then, my opinion of him never recovered. And, not much of what he did tells me much about him other than that he smokes a pipe.

 
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 10:56 AM
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Ekidnu - Kayla
I felt that it took you until your 3rd post to get into the flow of things, but by the end you were fully into the scenario. You were so focused on the safety of the kids that I feel like you missed out on the bigger picture. Stealing the world and having the dog eat it was brilliant. I also liked the fact that you asked the gods why they didn't stop creating worlds, but wish you had made your position clear -- and explained why. Summoning Iomedae was a great idea, but I was a bit disappointed that you didn't do anything with her.

Frostburn - Qara
You didn't miss a beat getting into the scenario, chalking it up to drugs. I also like the way that even when it became a bit inconvenient to do so, you stuck with that hypothesis -- but didn't let it get in the way of the way you played your character.
You did a good job with stories and 'quotable moments' in character. While the way you introduced it was a bit clunky, the explanation of order & chaos becoming entropy was awesome. I also liked coming back to it with the quote "Death may be the natural conclusion to life, but let it be through entropy, not by the hand of some madman.” You had a different 'goal' that the others, who seemed willing to flatten the multiverse into one...
While the song at the end didn't really tie into the goals of what you were trying to accomplish, I really liked the idea of tying it back into the music aspect of your character from earlier rounds.

Melichor – Cheezo
Quotable moment "Chezo could not help but feel tiny and insignificant before them, like a beetle trying to fathom the magnitude of a titan". The idea of creating a 'stew' of universes was a good one and flowed into the whole "I'm a chef" aspect perfectly.

But let's be honest here... The true star of the round was the Meat, whom everyone -- including the other PC's -- had to love and provided the comic relief needed to break up the serious philosophical discussion.

Bhelogan – Ivan While you were a that is not in and of itself a bad thing!!!bit less verbose than the others, you made your position clear. You wanted a flattened out multiverse where everyone was mushed together, but I wish you had gone into a little more depth here. I just wanted you to get a bit 'deeper' here.

My vote goes to

 
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Last edited by Squeak; Jul 27th, 2015 at 10:57 AM.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 11:36 PM
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My vote:
 



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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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To start a special thank you to our guest players:

Thorsten & Admin TH:
You both did an excellent job this round, which is to be expected given your guys' pedigrees. My only complaint is that perhaps you two were too awesome. (How often do you get to hear that?) Your respective huge... talents... might have overshadowed some of the competition a tad, but only because you weren't pulling punches. You both lead by example this round, and made it much richer for it. The four contestants should count themselves lucky that you two weren't playing for keeps, as you two really showed why you guys' are power houses. Thank you for helping out and making this final round a memorable one.

Ekidnu
Let me be honest, there were a couple parts of the round where I wanted to grab Kayle and shake her. On one side you got me to emotionally react to the character, on the other hand I wanted her to get a grip too. For a high level character, she seemed too weak mentally and emotionally. More importantly as a holy avenger she seemed a bit overly weak in her faith, even in face of the magnitude of some of the revelations put forward. You did have some good moments, like stealing a universe, but you had some equally odd ones as well. Bringing your god in was an interesting move, but I'm not sure putting her in barista clothes was the right path to take.

Frostburn
As with previous rounds you did an excellent job of adding to the scene. The coffee table become a central piece of the role play for example. The approach you took on justifying the experience was expected, but you effectively took it beyond expectations via good role playing. Unfortunately you also has some roleplay missteps that I didn't expect, such as the dichotomy between Qara's concern for the children and her seemingly uncaring perspective on wiping out entire planes of existence. The other complaint that I had was that it seemed like you may have been trying to play "the game" rather than play the game so to speak, which I think perhaps might have caused my earlier comment. Overall, I think you should be proud of the fact that you represented the Shadowrun bracket, new to the Outplay experience, so well. You even had a chance to loop in a little of the lore.

Melchior
I enjoyed Chezo's chef perspective on things. More importantly I enjoyed Meat the dog, who became central to the whole later half of the round. The dog almost gave you an unfair advantage because you played chezo and meat off each other so well, an opportunity not as available to the others. I do have to wonder if you were getting Outplay fatigue though, as I had to hit you multiple times for ... and that's comeing from me. Not exactly the king of proof reading.spelling, which can be a real killer in this phase of the competition. I would also like to say that in practicality the dog could only eat so many treats. (I mean really he was tossed a biscuit or other snack pretty much every update, at some point the poor dog is going to explode.) Then again, given the nature of the locale, the dog probably just wished itself up an infinitely large stomach.

Bhelogan
At every turn during the round, you brought forward a cogent, well thought out and meaningful philosophical responses and questions to the scenario of a multiverse spinning out of control. Every other turn was sheer and utter insanity though. Don't lie you know what I'm talking about. I realize you were trying to play the character, but I'm not sure even a druid would go that far. I did give you credit for sticking with it to the bitter end though. You tried to address it, but I still thought you were a tad hot-n-cold with Dharn, which might have been another symptom of my root complaint. Perhaps a bit more consistency between the nutty druid, and wise philosopher.

 

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Last edited by Ion2Atom; Jul 30th, 2015 at 12:24 AM.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 02:14 AM
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Ekidnu - Kayla
Kayla is a complex character and she has an interesting persona that would make a great and funny addition to any party. But she feels like a young and untried adventurer, rather than a 11th lvl character. I mean, as an 11th lvl fighter, Kayla has the same challenge rating as an adult Brass Dragon or a Barbed Devil. At this level she has clearly experienced things (heck she was caught in the middle of a massacre according to her background) yet she still acts as a star-eyed youth. It might be how you've played her throughout the competition, and how you presented her originally, but this is my first encounter with her, and I would have liked to see someone more certain of herself and her abilities.

Aside from that your writing was good, and filled with great little tidbits. I like the fact that Kayla steals a marble containing the universe - hillarious. I don't get why you wanted to pull Iomedae into things, though. That only added to an already confusing situation.

Bhelogan Ivan
I have had a hard time trying to get a grip on Ivan. He is a druid trying to protect nature, yet he wants the powers that be to mush it together, and flatten every other world into one? That seems like a step away from the protector of nature he was made out to be originally. Not having any previous interaction with Ivan, I would have expected him to be a staunch champion of the "let things run its natural course" camp, so it took me somewhat by surprise to see him suggest such a random solution as to have the dog decide the outcome. Overall, Ivan seemed a bit conflicted to me.

Your writing was good, though, and your ornery approach to the appearance of the gods (and Dharn's antagonizing in particular) was amusing to follow.

Frostburn - Qara
Every post of yours has been a delight to read. Qara comes across as a strong-willed cynical woman who has seen a bit of everything, and defends herself against the world with a large helping of irony and sarcasm. I am left with a solid image of her at the end of each post, and that is really wonderful.

She does have a tendency to compare things with stuff from our present time (which would be ancient in an SR setting) instead of playing with the future to create new and strange SR material, idols and whatnot (which is one of the great strengths of sci-fi settings if you ask me), but that is such a minor thing compared to all the great stuff she adds. The coffee (a reoccurring subject for her it seems) was a great detail, and it managed to get the two colors to take human form just to partake in it. That should merit some award in and of itself. I also like that Qara did not get distracted from the task at hand, and continued trying to figure out how to solve the dilemma posed, rather than playing with the errant canine. Good job.

Melchior Cheezo
There was so much good to be found in your posts. Your writing is very good and in general always a fun read. Sadly you were outplayed... by your own dog.

Having a secondary figure - henchmen, pet, familiar, etc - is a great way to give yourself some room for more back and forth in your dialogue. I've done so myself in the past. But in Cheezo's case he was outshined by his pet to the point that I had to remind myself that Cheezo was also present in the room, and was supposed to do more than be the caretaker of Meat. Had Meat been your PC and Cheezo the sidekick, you would have gotten my vote without a second throught, but when it's the other way around, I feel you disregarded your main character in favor of your pet's antics.

 
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Last edited by Thorsten; Jul 29th, 2015 at 02:36 AM.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 02:18 PM
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Bhelogan (Ivan)
I didn't really get much of an impression of who Ivan is. He's... a hippy? A druid? It's good that he fits into any setting, but on the other hand he achieves this by not having enough of his own flavour.

Ekidnu (Kayla)
You've been very good all through the competition, and Kayla's got so much depth - even a level 11 character can be flustered, and suddenly being treated as a prospective deity would throw anyone of their game.

Frostburn (Qara)
My first impression of Qara was of a half-washed up semi-addict. I didn't like the idea much, but your writing and your descriptions built more and more depth and detail, giving a really complex and interesting character.

Melchior (Chezo)
Chezo's a great character, and has a lot of potential: a goblin who's more interested in being a chef, not a murderous fire-fanatic, is always a promising start. Sadly, I felt that his dog was so centre-stage, so well-written and interesting, that I didn't get as good an impression of Chezo as I'd have liked.

 
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 06:22 PM
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It ultimately came down to Melchior or Frostburn for me in this round. Neither Bhelogan or Ekidnu really shone with the opportunities presented this round. Although stealing a world was an interesting idea, both of these characters were outdone by the dog. It didn't really feel like Ivan or Kayla got involved in the final scene as much as they could've. Melchior it was another great round for you and Meat however I feel you relied a bit too heavily on the dog. It seemed less like trying to save the multiverse, and more like an abbott and costello routine. I feel that Qara was well done this round especially with the added difficulty of being the only non fantasy game in the contest. I don't play shadowrun, but I'm pretty sure it takes place far enough in the future that a lot of your references wouldn't make a lot of sense. The song at the end almost killed it for me, as it didn't seem to tie into anything else in the scene. Reading other judges comments it appears that ties into the character's background, so I didn't penalize you for it. At the end it came down to Melchior being outdone by his sidekick/steed. If he'd played Chezo as strongly as he played Meat this would've gone the other way, but I have to vote for...

 
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Old Jul 31st, 2015, 08:53 AM
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With a resounding 5-2 vote, this year's winner is clear:

 


I'd also like to say congratulations to all of our competitors this year for all their excellent writing, and double-so for all our finalists. This has easily been the best outplay to date, and is going to be hard to top.

Congratulations!
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