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  #1  
Old Aug 21st, 2020, 07:10 PM
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Outplay 2020 Final Judgements


Congratulations on all of our Finale participants! In the D&D Bracket, we have rhaiber (Ginnifer) and pianoman90. In Shadowrun, we have UngainlyFool (Bonus) and Blackfyre (Tamara). And, now for the winner:

 
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Last edited by Bhelogan; Aug 24th, 2020 at 12:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old Aug 21st, 2020, 09:30 PM
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As I predicted, this round was even more difficult to judge than any of the previous rounds.
Both players have done an amazing job creating interesting characters. Their posts have all been well written, have reacted well to each DM update, and were entertaining.

To make it this far, they had to exhibit a firm grasp of the rules, have a certain amount of luck with the dice gods, and write superb post after superb post, beating out an incredible number of talented players.

Both Blackfyre and UngainlyFool are to be commended on doing such an amazing job in this competition.

All of our players have done a great job of showing RPGCrossing just what Shadowrunners are made of, but these two took it to the next level.

Now comes the hard part. Deciding which one I chose for first place, and which one I have to choose for second.
Again, I wish I could vote for both of them. But unfortunately that is not an option. When I brought it up to one of the Admins, their eyes glowed red and smoke came out of their nostrils. Between you and me, in complete confidence here in the voting booth, I do think one of our admins might just be a Dragon in disguise...

I really could not find fault with any of the posts that would make deciding who to vote for easier.

In the end, I had to find that one small thing that tipped the balance of the scales.

That one thing came in the final posts of the round. Both players did an amazing job of wrapping things up, but UngainlyFool pulled ahead at last moment, crossing the finish line by a hair.

I appreciated that they both looked out for each other, and for Ju1c3, in their final posts, but two things stuck out for me. The fact that Bonus also took a moment in a very tense and dangerous situation to do what she could for Dug.

And though I didn't read them until after my decision was finalized, and didn't let weigh into my decision, as it was outside of the requirements of the competition, but I really enjoyed UngainlyFools epilogues.
I really enjoy things that show a character as a flesh and blood being with a past and emotions.

So, UngainlyFool gets my vote as the SR Champion of this years Outplay competition.
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  #3  
Old Aug 21st, 2020, 10:12 PM
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I approached this round with a more rigid scoring metric, know it would be a doozie to judge. It didn't help. You were both just so good! I scored a daily winner, and the plan was to hand the crown to the player with most daily wins. Of course, the score would be two and two for the last round.

Quote:
"Your man behind the bar gave me that first credstick, so that's it except for talking to the crowd before you, Dug." Friends call him that and enemies call him that. Which one am I now?
This won Ungainly day one right there. It was such an excellent callback and felt perfect for the character.

No specific quote won day two, but Blackfyre was on point. I could just see Tamera in my mind going point by point, not letting these drek heads push her around. She wasn't going down without a fight. It almost made me forgive you for depriving me of tweaker grandma

Once again, that laser focus. Blackfyre was the first to put all the pieces together that this wasn't the test they'd initially thought. More importantly, they did it in a way that I never doubted that it was Tamera that figured it out and not Blackfyre delivering the conclusion through Tamera.

Ungainly had been building towards this moment the entire competition. It wasn't just the tie to Ju1c3 either. Bonus had gone out of her way to forge as many connections as she could and it paid dividends here. Her interactions just felt so real. Especially trying to pin it on the dragon. It's always the dragon's fault, especially when it isn't chummer!

So then day five, who would take the crown? I had to go back to my central tenant of judgment/feedback. Who's building something for us all to enjoy? Getting out of dodge was the most obvious thing for Tamera, it was a very organic conclusion, but Blackfyre didn't build much with that was given in a post with such a huge twist! Bonus also behaved very characteristically, but Ungainly wrung every drop out of that twist for a dramatic impact. Bonus was here to save someone and she'd be damned if she'd leave a man behind. She even found the time to insult the villain in a way that felt 100% authentic.








With the score 3 to 2, I hand the win to UngainlyFool's Bonus. Congratulations
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Old Aug 22nd, 2020, 07:36 PM
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Of course the last round of a competition like this is mostly about preference and style. Both of the contestants have every right to be proud of their accomplishments so far - and they didn't let us down on the final lap.

Congratulations to both of you on a GREAT ending and strong finish.


My pick for winner for the last round is Pianoman90.

In this round I'm just going to focus what worked for me for my final pick.

Pianoman90 seemed to be pacesetter for quite a bit of the competition and this didn't change for me in the last round. There is a list of pros and cons for making the first move on a round of posts but one of those is using it to set your own stage and make the other players respond to it. Our winner made good use of this but it only works if the entry is amazingly tight and aligned the spirit of the scene. His was consistently so.

I think another standout for Pianonman90 was his early use of his character's voice early on in each post and the effective integration of Shugaro's active dialogue earlier to get the impetus of that moment going almost immediately.

There is a smattering of other little differences that made me cast my vote the way I have but it bears repeating that both of our final competitors are truly gifted and both deserving to have made it as far as they have - there was so much to love about each and very post.

Congratulations and well done!!

- Savoy
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Last edited by savoylen; Aug 22nd, 2020 at 07:38 PM.
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  #5  
Old Aug 22nd, 2020, 07:54 PM
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For my vote, I had to look at what the Crossing Companions were trying to do here. Initially, this was just set up, as the D&D players started to pick up on early, as a test by the sponsors to see who would take a leadership role in resolving a problem. Both contestants were going to be admitted, but someone had to be assigned the squad leader. By the original plan, Sir Ethan had been the one to alter the scorecards and set the scene. But, early in the week, we realized that it was going to be thought to keep things engaging the whole time sticking to the story, which is where plan B kicked in.

In any case, throughout most of the round, I get the feeling that Ginnifer kept looking backward and recounting things that had happened during the course of the competition, instead of driving to a resolution. Despite sniffing out the real intent very early (props. for that), she didn't do as much else to move the narrative forward. Shugaro, to me, was consistent the whole competition. Perhaps a little boring at times, as we would have liked to see something really unexpected. But, it worked for me in the end.

The gamble Ginnifer made to cast the sleep spell at the end was very risky. I really tried multiple times to drop hints that is probably wasn't the best course of action both with the narrative in-game, and the Q and A in the rules query threads. I know the sleep spell might be a great tool to stall someone for X amount of time. But, it has a lot of built-in mechanical problems the way the spell in D&D 5E is implemented. You could applaud the dedication to stick with the plan through two sets of posts, but I was really hoping Ginnifer would go a different route to try and stall the attacker. In the end, she put herself to sleep, and nobody else. Knowing when to take a risk, and when the chance of a payout on that isn't worth it, is a big part of these competitions. The decision in the end, was the final piece that tipped my vote to Shugaro.

So, my vote goes to pianoman90's Shugaro.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 09:05 AM
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Broad commentsI agree with much of what the other judges have said, including and especially the positive! As always, I'm going to focus on development here, and so I will come off very critical. But these are exactly the quality of posts I'd expect in the last round of Outplay. Thank you both for sharing all your time, all your effort, and all your creativity. It's a pleasure to read and learn from.

We are given here a freeform segment after the wild creativity of last round. I really expected you guys to seize the reigns of the story here. Both both of you seemed quite hesitant to do so, especially once the prospect of making to-hit rolls popped up. A lot of what happened early on was effectively denying or rejecting the very premise of the scene. That slows everything down. This scenario creates its own genre, and the players can stress the flavor that enhances their own character and story. I got glimpses of what this might look like on Ginnifer’s side, but Shugaro, after a round or two of struggle, got his hands on a useful flavor and approach, and stuck to it.

Once the threat of violence appeared, you naturally went into combat mode. This is dangerous. Most of us are not at our best, narratively, in combat scenes. We think about dice and ranges and saving throws. Some of that happened here, and it meant that we lost of a lot of interesting detail: both on your sides, and on the villain’s side (what’s his deal, anyways? We did not create much of an opportunity to learn…)

I kept points as in previous rounds, but I don’t think they provide a lot of insight. Writing quality was obviously consistent and great. Lengths (bless your souls!) were for the most part spot on. On a day to day basis, I think Ginnifer got the better of Shugaro out of the gates in the first post, but Shugaro really took control after that, in terms of story, flavor, and theme. In the remaining head-to-head daily votes, I’d grant them to Pianoman90.

My VoteI cast my vote for Pianoman90’s Shugaro

Personalized commentaryIndividual feedback:My broad summary thoughts are above. Here are my daily on-the-spot reactions to each post.

 

 

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Last edited by Wynamoinen; Aug 24th, 2020 at 10:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old Aug 23rd, 2020, 09:20 AM
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Ginnefer and ShugaroRhaiber: When I saw Ginnifer, my first thought was "too cliched". In this, I have had my previously held beliefs challenged. She is fresh. She is creative. She is tied for first for my all time favorite spell flavor (with Thorsten, who... Well, go look at who won this competition in the early 2010s.) You did an incredible job bringing this character, her history, her future, and her personality to life. Her meaningful connections to the other characters throughout the competition were a joy to watch form, and I love that you were able to display them once more in the final round.

pianoman90: Shug is sort of... Boring, in the dwarfiest way possible. This isn't a bad thing. In fact, I really enjoyed the steadyness of your posts. Come in, show up, do your job to the best of your abilities. Do the same thing again the next day. Consistent quality is a pleasure to see.

AND. Oh man you grabbed the bull by the horns this last round. The elf by the ears. The Tarrasque by the tail. Watching the dwarfy, fatherly Shug take control of the scene was everything I could have hoped to see from him this round. Whether it was in accusing Dug, martyring himself for the future of the younger folk, or jumping in front of the assassin's blade, he felt like he was doing all the right things at all the right times, even when he was wrong.


Rhaiber, Pianoman90, you were both incredible throughout the competition, and in completely unique ways. I couldn't have imagined two characters who were better foils for one another, and you made them work seemlessly together. And, because this is a competition, I do have to pick one of you.

My vote for Outplay 2020 goes to pianoman90's Shugaro.
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  #8  
Old Aug 24th, 2020, 12:34 PM
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Anybody who has been paying attention to my feedback and voting will know that I'm not one for giving fancy speeches or writing up eloquent lines praising everybody involved; When I'm talking in a capacity such as this I like to get straight-to-the-point. I've taken a couple of extra days beyond that of my other Shadowrun Judges becuase for the majority of this competition, I've consistantly put Blackfyre at my #1 spot. There's a lot of small touches that Blackfyre put in place with Tamara that really stand out to me, little behaviourals and mannerisms that breathed life into Tamara.

UngainlyFool, however, was able to pull all of Bonus' strings as a character in the last round and really pulled through with the writing in the end and it's that neat little ribbon on top that swayed my opinion to vote for UngainlyFool.
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