View Full Version : [wRHG Tournament] The Valley of Dreams R2: Reviled Reflection

08-09-2014, 11:00 PM
"Then one came in. Across the room
It stood up long and fair—
The ghost that was myself—
And gave me stare for stare."

How long has it been?

You stare down into the glassy water, oblivious to your surroundings. You can't even remember where you are or how you got there.

You cast your gaze down through the endless water. There's nothing down there but darkness; anything that goes down there probably won't come back. You blink, refocusing your eyes, and a face stares back at you through the water. You move to one side, and it moves with you.

Is that really your reflection? You see your features in its face, but something's off. What is it?

Frustrated, you reach down to disrupt your not-reflection. At once, its hands shoot out and grab you by the collar. You plunge headlong into the water.

You manage to break free and frantically swim up to the surface, but you can't reach air--it's like there's an impenetrable wall.

Simultaneously, you look up through the water and down into it from the other side. You watch as you struggle to break free. You smile for a moment and walk away.

Your strength fails and water rushes into your lungs. You fall away from the surface and crushing pressure bears down on your body. One thought crosses your mind as darkness closes around you.

The person leaving the water's edge was you. So who's the drowning person?

The Second Dream: Reviled Reflection
You survived the first dream. Now it's time for the second.

What defines you? Is it your power? Is it your skills? Is it your body, your personality, or your desires and needs?

It's time to find out.

Round Prompt
This round, you will switch defining characteristics with your opponent. Defining characteristics means the things that make your character different from some random person, namely powers, weapons, or certain skills. The degree to which defining characteristics are swapped is up to you, as is how aware your character is of the change, and how proficient they are with their different abilities.

The themes of this round are identity and dealing with the unusual. The idea is to write your character into someone with a different skillset and define your character as something besides the dude with x power. How would your character utilize said different abilities? How would it affect the people around them? How do they fare against their former powers?

The swap occurs before the story begins and you may choose the nature of the swap. If you wish, you may write as if your character has always had the swapped powers. Do remember that people reading your story may not have read the prompt, so make sure your story still makes sense.

Again, you have a 4000 word limit unless otherwise specified by a prompt.

Betting Phase
The betting phase lasts five days and ends at midnight CST on the fourteenth of August. This is the time to declare whether your bets. Your betting range is listed with your matchups below. Remember, if you take too long, your opponent might make the declaration before you, so if you want to go high risk you might want to declare fast.

Once your bet has been set, I will PM both of you your individual prompts and you can start writing.

If neither of you declare a bet by the end of the betting phase, I will set your bet to the minimum.

Deal with the Devil
Deals are exactly the same as they were last round.

You may request a Deal at any point during this round by either putting it in your bet declaration post or sending me a PM. I will issue the Deal 24-48 hours later (if I don’t, then PM me again). You may cancel your request at any point before it’s actually issued without penalty, but you may not re-request the Deal if you do so.

The Deal gives you one extra token at the end of the round, but you must hold up your end of the Deal for every round it is in effect or you will be penalized a token.

If you wish to use your shuffle on the Deal you get, just PM me saying so. Remember, you may only shuffle one Deal in the entire tournament and you are not allowed to return to your old Deal. You are also only allowed to shuffle the Deal you get the same round.

The writing phase ends at midnight CST on September fourth (9/4/14). Remember, you will be eliminated from the tournament if you submit late, so aim for a couple of days early if you’re bad at time zones. PM me BEFORE the due date about extenuating circumstances, but I will not be generous with extensions/passes. Three to four weeks is pretty generous as it is.

Here are all of the matchups. I will update this with individual prompts and bets as they are declared. Remember, you get your prompt once you declare your bet, so if you want more time to write, then declare your bet sooner rather than later.

Just as a note about prompts, if I say “your character(s)”, that means it must be one of the wRHG characters. If it does not say “your character(s)” (and instead says something like “one or more characters”), then any character may fill that role.

It apparently wasn't clear last time, but at least two of the wRHG characters have to be main characters in the story. You can't add in a character and completely turn the wRHG character into an extra, because that's how you lose universal points.

ErrorBlender (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?58743-Cooper-Price-Bl-An-C-Blast-Android-Class) (4) vs. WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?78734-Handyman) (3)
ErrorBlender vs WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87296-VoD-R2-ErrorBlender-vs-WafflesMgee)
Wager: 2 tokens
Underpass Overlook
Cheap hostels aren't ideal, but it's better than sleeping outside. You're only staying for one night; what's the worst that can happen?

Setting: A hostel under inclement weather.
Scenario: Multiple characters are sharing a hostel for the night and the power goes out. Someone attempts to break in.
Prompt: The person (or thing) trying to break in does not have to be one of your characters, but does have to be dealt with over the course of the story.Allegory
An allegory is where you get to get your symbolism pants on. In literature, an allegory is when you have a second, symbolic meaning behind the literal events of your story. It's fairly common in an allegory to have a character that represents an idea like death or love or other wonderful things like that. It's similar to using an extended metaphor where the entire story is the metaphor. You will be judged on how skillfully you can create an allegory. That is to say, you will do better if your allegory is evident, but doesn't get in the way of the primary, literal story. Basically, don't run around with the sledgehammer of symbology, because that ends poorly for everyone involved.

Kyra (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?77742-wRHG-Profile-Rykosar) (3) vs. BoomerangReturns (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85261-Sirius-Nightshade-The-Lord-of-The-Night) (3)
Kyra vs BoomerangReturns (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87295-VoD-R2-Kyra-vs-BoomerangReturns)
Wager: 3 tokens
Grandeur and Voyeurs
A canyon is a ravine that’s generally created by erosion caused by a river over a ridiculously long span of time. Not that it matters to you, because you have better things to worry about than the formation of geological features. Collecting information in hostile territory, for example.

Setting: Canyon.
Scenario: One or more characters is performing reconnaissance in the area and gets discovered.
Prompt: The reason for the reconnaissance mission must be explained at some point during the story. The actual events of the story may take place before or after the discovery of the spy.Antagonist Opening Scene
A quick search on TVTropes tells me that the name of this is actually "Villain Opening Scene", but I don't really like the term "villain" and I'd have to change the name in like five places to correct it. Anyways, it's exactly what you would guess: you start your story with a scene featuring your antagonist and his/her establishing character moment. This is used most frequently when the antagonist is the driving force behind the plot. You will be judged on how well you establish your antagonist with this opening scene (based on what he/she does) and also whether this antagonist opening scene is consistent with your portrayal of the character for the rest of the story.

Tremorfist (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?77796-wRHG-Character-Torvin) (3) vs. zoomxoom (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85977-The-Bio-Flower) (2)
Wager: 2 tokens
Burning Down the House
They said you shouldn't play with fire. Well, screw those guys, because what could possibly go--oh no.

Setting: A burning building.
Scenario: At least one of your characters have to escape a burning building at some point in the story.
Prompt: The burning building may occur at any point for any reason, but the reason for the burning building should be made clear at some point in the story. In case it isn't obvious, the burning building has to be a plot-important event, not just something that happens that only tangentially affects the story (so someone escaping a fire and finding out about a murder while in the ambulance would not be okay but someone committing arson to say, destroy evidence, would be fine).Red Herring
The red herring is a plot device used in intrigue plots, generally mystery fiction. It's a clue that deliberately misdirects the reader into coming to the wrong conclusion and conceal the real answer that's been there the whole time. The things that make a good red herring are first a strong intrigue with hints that actually do foreshadow the real solution and then the red herring hints that are reasonable and mislead the reader. You will be judged on how convincingly you make your red herring and then how you foreshadow the real solution, whatever it is. You will lose credit if you do things like repeatedly say "It couldn't POSSIBLY be X!", because that's not how a red herring works.

Nikx232 (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?74661-wRHG-Haku-%28Updated%29) (2) vs. Shadowkirby (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85090-The-Suicide-Sisters-(Eliza-amp-Bella)) (2)
Nikx vs Shadowkirby (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87297-VoD-R2-Nikx232-vs-Shadowkirby)
Wager: 1 token
What’s Yours is Mine
It’s stuffy in the gallery. You pass by one of the many items under fancy lighting and glance at the price tag. It’s more money than you’ve ever even dreamed of. There's a thick haze of perfume and tobacco smoke and it frankly makes you sick. You’d much rather not be here around the rich and inelegant and it’s not like you’re even here to buy. After all, why would you buy what you can just steal?

Setting: A gallery of some sort. Any variety of items can be on display.
Scenario: At least one of your characters attempts to steal one of the items on display.
Prompt: The story’s main focus is on the theft and/or the aftermath thereof. The theft may take place at any point in time during the story.Thematic Juxtaposition
Juxtaposition is the placement of two (frequently very different) things next to one another to compare or contrast. Thematic juxtaposition is using juxtaposition to get across a certain idea (or theme, if you will). Examples are things like technology and pre-development, order and chaos, or wealth and poverty. You will be judged by how evident your juxtaposition and the symbolic message attached to it is. Remember that said message does have to be relevant to the plot and story themes.

Aquila (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85608-L-L-Bust-the-Bounty-Hunter) (1) vs. The Strongest (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85793-Deul-Bul-Wildfire) (1) vs. Xate (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?55157-Lucario-quot-The-Blue-Brawler-quot) (1)
Wager: 1 token
Unlimited Soups, Salads, and Surveillance
You are to make contact at the disclosed location with the included supplies. This mission is of utmost importance. Do not fail.

Setting: A nice restaurant.
Scenario: One of your characters is a spy conducting an extremely important mission.
Prompt: The nature of the mission should be made clear over the course of the story, as is the reason why it's important. It may be a joint mission if you wish. The spy/spies are trying to keep their identity secret (so don't have them bursting in with guns blazing). You are allowed to give your spy characters extra equipment if you so desire.Must Let Them Get Away
This is fairly straightforward. For whatever reason, the protagonist must let the antagonist (or vice versa) go free. This means that this is specifically the protagonist not going after the antagonist, not just the antagonist making a crafty escape. You will be judged on your ability to make it so that there's an actual justification for why the protagonist lets the antagonist go.

Submitting Stories:
You will PM your story directly to me before the due date, midnight CST of September 4th. You may submit the text as is or a link to a pastebin or Google Doc or other file upload website, as long as I don't need to make an account to access it. I will make the topics and polls when the time comes.

There's no explicit bonus for submitting early, but I'll be able to get to your red pen reviews sooner and your subscore explanations will be more in-depth. It'll help keep the judging phase down to a week.

Ask any questions pertaining specifically to this round in this thread or by PM and I’ll pop them here as soon as I’m able.

Q: Does there have to be a certain explanation for why characteristics are swapped?
A: You can have any explanation for the switched abilities. You can also write as if they aren't switched (which is to say, these characters have always been in the switched positions). If you want, you don't have to explain it at all.

Q: Would it be possible to switch the abilities back during the course of the story?
A: The switched traits remain switched for the entire story. That means that the switch occurs before the story's beginning and if they switch back, do not do so inside the story.


Full tournament rules and guidelines (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85710-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-Rules-and-Guidelines)
General tournament discussion and due dates (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85572-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-General-Info)
The Valley of Dreams R1: Past Projection (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85916-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-R1-Past-Projection)
The Valley of Dreams R3: Corrupt Connection (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87771-wRHG-Tournament-The-Third-Dream-Corrupt-Connection-Betting-Phase)
The Valley of Dreams R4: Timed Transgression (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?88820-wRHG-Tournament-The-Final-Dream-Timed-Transgression)
The Valley of Dreams Concluded (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?90089-wRHG-Tournament-The-Dream-Concluded)

08-09-2014, 11:00 PM
All right, here are the results to the last round, which can be found here (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85916-wRHG-Tournament-The-First-Dream-Past-Projection-Stories-in-go-give-feedback).

Scores are listed in the following order: Rubric (out of 45)/Skill (out of 45)/Narrative Challenge (0 or 15)/Vote Points (5*votes)/Feedback (out of 10)

Kyra (won)
Tokens: 3
Round Score: 112
Scores: 45/37/15/15/0

Aquila (lost)
Tokens: 1
Round Score: 78
Scores: 40/30/0/5/3

BoomerangReturns (win by forfeit)
Tokens: 3
Round Score: 75
Scores: 25/30/0/10/10

Tantalum (eliminated by forfeit)
Tokens: 1
Round Score: 0
Scores: 0/0/0/0/0

The Strongest (lost)
Tokens: 1
Round Score: 77
Scores: 45/27/0/5/0

ErrorBlender (won)
Tokens: 3+1
Round Score: 82
Scores: 35/32/0/15/0

Xate (lost)
Tokens: 1
Round Score: 67
Scores: 20/32/0/15/0

Tremorfist (won)
Tokens: 3
Round Score: 69
Scores: 30/31/0/5/3

Nikx232 (lost)
Tokens: 1+1
Round Score: 69
Scores: 20/38/0/5/6

WafflesMgee (won)
Tokens: 3
Round Score: 110
Scores: 35/39/15/15/6
Which means that the current rankings are as shown below:
Format is Username: Tokens/Completed Rounds/Cumulative Score
1. ErrorBlender: 4/1/82
2. Kyra: 3/1/112
3. WafflesMgee: 3/1/110
4. BoomerangReturns: 3/1/75
5. Tremorfist: 3/1/69
6. Nikx232: 2/1/69
7. Aquila: 1/1/78
8. The Strongest: 1/1/77
9. Xate: 1/1/67
10. Tantalum: 1/0/0
So good job, you guys.

I noticed that a lot of you lost points in the rubric. Make sure you fill all of the rubric prompts, because you will lose hella points (five for a minor infraction, ten for a major) if you don't. The reason why the penalties are so huge is because this tournament is about writing within restrictions, so you're missing the point if you don't follow the rules. One major problem was wRHGs getting demoted to extras. Don't do that; they're supposed to be the main characters.

Subscore explanations are out. You will get my full feedback and comments when they are done (which will probably be in a week or so, but it might take a bit longer). PM me if you have questions about your subscores or anything else like that.

Just for those who are curious, the score categories in which people lost the most points are Clarity (but only because it's worth twice as many points), Plot, and Grammar and Style. Most people who lost points on plot did so because their story didn't have a distinct plot, which is to say, there was no clear conflict or motivation tying the story together. A story isn't just things happening, it's about a certain idea (or conflict, if you'd rather), and everything that occurs in a story should contribute to developing that in some way. If nothing changes with your characters from the beginning to the end of the story, you probably don't have a plot.

As for Grammar and Style, most people have a few consistent, main grammar problems. The things I saw most frequently across the stories were mispunctuated dialogue tags, run-ons, wordiness/redundancy, passive voice, and switching subjects in the middle of a sentence (which isn't inherently a bad thing, but is when you don't do it correctly). Anyways, remember to show, don't tell.

08-09-2014, 11:49 PM
And so, I bit my lips for my lack of reading skills, and that I lost by 2 points. Well, looks like "Know the rules" is what it's at.

08-10-2014, 12:58 AM
I bet 2 tokens. I still have my old Deal with me right, it just changes?

08-10-2014, 01:04 AM
Yes, you still have your Deal from the first round. I will send you your condition for this round shortly.

08-10-2014, 08:44 AM
Honestly very surprised I won via that.
I honestly felt it was a half assed story, but...wow, ok. I am going to say I will bet two tokens this round.

08-10-2014, 10:00 AM
I'm gonna go all in and bet 3 tokens this round. If my writing for round 2 sucks as bad as this last one did, then I deserve to be kicked to the curb.

08-10-2014, 11:50 AM
Do you have any set logical or illogical explanation for why the defining characteristics are being swapped? Or is that up to us to decide?

I'd ask this in pm, but it involves everyone so I figured I'd ask it here.

Also, I'll go ahead and bet one token for now, no need to get knocked out right away.

08-10-2014, 05:26 PM
You can have any explanation for the switched abilities. You can also write as if they aren't switched (which is to say, these characters have always been in the switched positions). If you want, you don't have to explain it at all.

Also, zoomxoom, you can't set your wager because your opponent, Tremorfist, beat you to it.

The Strongest
08-10-2014, 05:45 PM
I'm going to buckle down for a deal with the devil. Also, acknowledging the wager of one.

08-10-2014, 07:11 PM
I wager one token~!
Lets do this thing...better this time!

08-10-2014, 09:55 PM
All right, that's all of your wagers in. The front page has been updated with the submission information.

08-11-2014, 05:33 AM
One deal of the Devil, please.

08-27-2014, 09:17 AM
It's going to kill my non-existent reputation by saying this, and it kills me inside to say it as well, but I will probably have to withdraw from the tournament, as life has happened and I may not be able to finish my story in time.

08-27-2014, 11:48 AM
You can forfeit if you want, zoomxoom, but there's still over a week until the due date and you will not be automatically removed from the tournament as long as you submit something before the due date rolls around.

I'll keep you on the list for now in case things change and you end up still being able to submit.

08-28-2014, 07:56 AM
I'll be honest xoom, I've been hit with severe writers block myself, don't feel too bad, you have a big chance heh.

08-28-2014, 02:20 PM
Hi, this is your friendly reminder that stories are due in a week. Make sure you submit on time, or you'll be eliminated from the tournament.

I'm deeply sorry about how long I've spent working on red pens. Because of stuff going on (I had a week-long vacation and then moving and start of term), I'm still working on them. I don't know if I'll be able to get them to you guys at a useful date for this round, but rest assured, I definitely will finish them and get them back to you. It will not take so long in future rounds.

08-28-2014, 02:41 PM
I'm not sure if anyone told you this yet, but I'm forfeiting from the competition so I can focus on Classic Crossover and college. I need to set a few weights down from my shoulders so I can have a bit more time and space.

Wish I have enough motivation to do this, but my writing ability has since gone dry for the moment.

Hopefully next the soon.

09-02-2014, 08:34 PM
Just another reminder that stories are due on Thursday at midnight CST.

I'd like to clarify something about forfeits: If you forfeit a round, you forfeit the tournament and will not be eligible for future rounds. You must submit something to remain in the tournament. There are no penalties (except for normal points and votes lost) for submitting an incomplete story. If you tell me that you wish to forfeit, I will not mark you as forfeit until the due date rolls around. If you tell me that you wish to forfeit and do not rescind that declaration before the due date, you will not be given the two day grace period for submitting late and instead instantly be marked as forfeit.

Similarly, you are eliminated from the tournament if you submit late, but you will still be able to gain tokens, scores, and rankings for that round.

09-04-2014, 11:23 PM
All right, the due date has rolled over, and I received five stories, linked at the bottom.

Three people have forfeited: zoomxoom, Shadowkirby, and Tremorfist. They have been eliminated from the tournament and rankings will be adjusted accordingly.

The people who have not submitted their story (listed below) have 48 hours before they are automatically considered forfeit. They are eliminated from future rounds, but may still receive points, tokens, and rankings for this round.
The Strongest

Match links:
ErrorBlender vs WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87296-VoD-R2-ErrorBlender-vs-WafflesMgee)
Kyra vs BoomerangReturns (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87295-VoD-R2-Kyra-vs-BoomerangReturns)
Nikx vs Shadowkirby (forfeit) (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87297-VoD-R2-Nikx232-vs-Shadowkirby)

As per usual, please read the stories and vote and give feedback. You'll note my desire to keep stories anonymous for fairness, so please respect that when reviewing. Just a reminder that you can get up to three points per story reviewed up to a total of ten points.

09-04-2014, 11:55 PM
Oh dear. All 3 haven't submitted.

09-06-2014, 07:35 AM
I'd like to apologize right now for the mediocrity of my entry, by the way. I forgot to look it over, so the edges are very rough.

09-06-2014, 06:19 PM
Finally back, good luck to those who did finish their entries, even if i had submitted what I had written in time, the part i have finished doesn't meet the requirements of the prompt, things just took off for me the past few weeks, I'm sorry for not being able to see this through.

09-06-2014, 11:39 PM
I've been having internet problems, so this announcement is slightly late, but the late due date has passed and I have not received any of the other stories. So that means that those writers have forfeited and will not receive tokens, scores, or rankings this round, even if they still choose to submit their stories.

With that said, please check out the stories that have been submitted. Please vote and give feedback; both are very much appreciated.

09-15-2014, 06:42 AM
All right, this is a status update for people who noticed that R3 should have started a day or two ago explaining why R3 did not start a day or two ago, and indeed will continue to not start for a little while longer. As you may have noticed, voting is done for the R2 stories. Many thanks to anyone who voted, tournament competitors or otherwise.

I've had internet problems for the last two weeks where, for whatever reason, my internet will go down for days at a time. I've been using public internet and mobile internet to keep up to date and check in on IRC, but obviously that can only go so far. We do judging in a skype call, which I can't do over mobile or in public areas, and that, added onto the fact that many of the people judging are busy due to beginning of school, has made it prohibitively difficult to actually get judging done.

My internet is still having problems, but I've found a temporary solution that should make it possible for me to make skype calls, so hopefully we can get the judging out of the way in the next couple of days.

So what does this mean for you guys? It means that you'll have to sit tight for a while longer, and I don't know exactly how much longer. It also means that if you want to give feedback on stories for additional points, you are still able to do so until judging is finished.

But rest assured, R3 is going to happen. I've got the documentation ready and everything, so all that's left is the R2 judging.

09-21-2014, 11:21 AM
Apologies for the triple post.

I've sent out the R1 red pen feedback to the five people who have submitted their stories for R2 (Except for ErrorBlender, whose inbox appears to be full. Let me know when that's fixed and I'll send you your feedback, too). Everyone else will receive their red pen feedback fairly soon (but no guarantees on dates because I have several midterms this week).

I know you're probably tired of hearing this, but my internet has still not been completely fixed. However, we are partially through judging and will continue to work on that. Believe me, I want R3 to start as soon as possible, too.

EDIT: Scoring is done. I'm compiling subscore feedback and R3 betting phase will begin either at the end of today or tomorrow.

09-30-2014, 06:54 AM
Sorry, Jesse. I cleared my inbox.