View Full Version : [wRHG Tournament] The Valley of Dreams R3: Corrupt Connection

09-29-2014, 11:00 PM
"Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,—
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone."

It's dark.

You shiver and push forward. You tell yourself you'll see light eventually. It can't stay dark forever.

You don't know where you are. You haven't seen or heard anything in hours. The air is so heavy that it feels like swimming through molasses. It sucks the warmth right out of you and you think, not for the first time, that it would be easier to simply give up.

No. You have to keep moving forward. You'll find the light, and then you'll be safe.

The ground begins to shake and a low snarl shatters the silence; the sudden stimulation grates your senses.

You turn towards the sound and clench your fists. A monster? No, it doesn't matter what this thing is. You're not going to let it have its way with you, not after all you've been through. You're ready to fight back.

It roars at you and you summon your power to strike it down.

Nothing happens.

The monster pounces on you, throwing you to the ground. It presses down on your chest and places a claw against your throat. Its flesh is so cold that it burns. It bends down, possibly to look at you, and its sour breath curls around your face. You feel it pull back to strike the final blow.

This time, nobody is going to save you.

The Third Dream: Corrupt Connection
So far, you have had the resources to make your way through the Valley relatively unscathed. You've had your wits, if somewhat strained; you've had your past, however distorted; you've had your powers, even if they weren't actually your own. This is where that ends.

What happens when you lose access to the tools you have taken for granted at the times you need them most?

Only the third dream will tell.

Round Prompt
This round, your story must involve one of your characters (it does not specifically have to be your character) losing their powers and/or weapons. The loss may occur for any reason at any point in (or before) the story, and may be reverted by the end of the story. What exactly is lost is up to you; powers and weapons are the standard, but you may also lose access to other, more mundane senses, abilities, or tools.

Crucially, the character is aware that they have lost access to their abilities and/or weapons, and this loss has a major impact on the characters and story. General themes this round are vulnerability and powerlessness.

Important things to note is that, again, this loss should carry some actual weight. It's not a superficial loss like losing a tool your character wouldn't have to use anyways. I mention this because you will get nailed on skill points if you turn your story into unmitigated angst and/or base it on an incredibly contrived, easily resolved issue. You will also get nailed on rubric points if your conflict is based specifically on missing a certain ability a la plot tailored to the characters (e.g., your plot involves specifically having to set a thing on fire, but oh no, you don't have fire powers anymore) as opposed to some problem caused/exacerbated by taking something for granted in general.

You have a 4000 word limit.

Betting Phase
The betting phase lasts four days and ends at midnight CST on Friday, the third of October. This is the time to declare 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 October twenty-fourth (10/24/14). 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.

The wRHG characters have to be main characters, not just present 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.

BoomerangReturns (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85261-Sirius-Nightshade-The-Lord-of-The-Night) (6) vs. WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?78734-Handyman) (5)
BoomerangReturns vs WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?88487-VoD-R3-BoomerangReturns-amp-ErrorBlender)
Wager: 4 tokens
It belongs in a museum!
There are legends of an artifact of unequaled power hidden deep within the ruins of an ancient civilization. So many people have failed to retrieve it that it's doubtful the artifact even exists--but of course, it's difficult to confirm or deny when you're dead.

Setting: Ruins, probably but not necessarily involving traps.
Scenario: One or both of your characters are searching for an item hidden in the ruins.
Prompt: This is a MacGuffin plot prompt, meaning that the driving plot force is the search for this item. Your character may or may not retrieve it and the nature of the item is not important. Obviously, you can have other plot developments, but make sure that the main one is this search for the MacGuffin.Vitriolic Best Buddies
Sometimes you have a very good friend that you constantly insult and degrade and attack. It's not because you secretly hate them--it's because you trust them enough to not take offense. Anyways, for this narrative challenge you must write this relationship between two main characters (they do not necessarily have to be your two characters, but they do have to be main characters). You get points for portraying it realistically and still demonstrating that they are actually good friends.

Nikx232 (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?74661-wRHG-Haku-%28Updated%29) (3) vs. ErrorBlender (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?58743-Cooper-Price-Bl-An-C-Blast-Android-Class) (2)
ErrorBlender vs Nikx232 (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?88487-VoD-R3-BoomerangReturns-amp-ErrorBlender)
Wager: 2 tokensA Meal to Die For
You've been cordially invited to a special dinner party. Only fineries of the highest quality will be served, of course. Just make sure you come alone; we don't want any riffraff, now do we?

Setting: Fancy dinner party.
Scenario: Assassination attempt.
Prompt: One of your characters must be the assassin. The reason for the assassination, the method thereof, and the target is is up to you. The assassination does not have to be successful.CHARACTERIZATION
Characters and their motivations drive the plot of the story, so it's important that they come off as believable (though not necessarily realistic) people instead of cardboard cutouts with tape recorders taped to the back. Well, now it's even more important to do it well because a huge number of points are on the line based on whether you can do it better than your opponent. This narrative challenge requires that every character who appears in the story (or at least has speaking lines or an otherwise active role) has a personality. Remember, show us who your character is through their actions, dialogue, and choices--don't just tell us and think we'll believe it. Credit is given for believable characters with distinct personalities. This means that while you can get full credit for Characterization points with flat (if consistent) caricatures, that's not going to fly here.

Submitting Stories:
You will PM your story directly to me before the due date, midnight CST of October 24th. 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.

Full tournament rules and guidelines are here. (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85710-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-Rules-and-Guidelines)
General tournament discussion and due dates are posted here. (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 R2: Reviled Reflection (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86759-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-R2-Reviled-Reflection)
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)

09-29-2014, 11:00 PM
Okay, after my unfortunate technical problems, we are finally back on the road with the tournament. Here are the results to the previous round, which you can view here (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86759-wRHG-Tournament-The-Second-Dream-Reviled-Reflection-Place-Your-Wagers).

As with last time, 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)
ErrorBlender (lost)
Tokens: 2
Round Score: 74
Cumulative Score: 156
Scores: 40/29/0/5/0

WafflesMgee (won)
Tokens: 5
Round Score: 89
Cumulative Score: 199
Scores: 40/29/0/20/0

Kyra (eliminated by loss)
Tokens: 0
Round Score: 84
Cumulative Score: 196
Scores: 35/34/0/15/0

BoomerangReturns (won)
Tokens: 6
Round Score: 85
Cumulative Score: 160
Scores: 35/35/15/0/0

Nikx232 (won by forfeit)
Tokens: 3
Round Score: 65
Cumulative Score: 134
Scores: 20/35/0/10/0

There were six forfeits: Tremorfist, zoomxoom, Shadowkirby, Aquila, The Strongest, and Xate.
Current rankings are as shown below:Format is Username: Tokens/Completed Rounds/Cumulative Score
1. BoomerangReturns: 6/2/160
2. WafflesMgee: 5/2/199
3. Nikx232: 3/2/134
4. ErrorBlender: 2/2/156
5. Kyra: 0/2/196
6. Tremorfist: 3/1/69
7. Aquila: 1/1/78
8. The Strongest: 1/1/77
9. Xate: 1/1/67
10. Tantalum: 1/0/0
10. zoomxoom: 2/0/0
10. Shadowkirby: 1/0/0
Subscore explanations will be sent out tomorrow (I'm still finishing them up, but I wanted to get the round information out).

The mean total score went from 82.1 (89.6 only counting people who submitted both rounds) last round to 79.4 this round. The median total score went from 77 (82) to 84. Mean skill score went from 32.9 (35.2) to 32.4. Median skill score went from 32 (37) to 34.

Proofreading got much better from last round to this round, but Plot and Characterization generally suffered. A major problem was the absence of a plot, where the main conflict either did not match up with the resolution or did not appear altogether. Clarity also took hits, mostly from verbose language, undefined character motivations, and zig-zag chronology--all things that make it difficult to keep events clear. Characterization issues were generally of inconsistency or flatness from lack of apparent motivation. Remember, you get points for characters who have distinct and consistent personalities.

Many of the grammatical and style errors from last round persisted into this one. Common issues were incorrectly punctuated/capitalized dialogue tags (The correct way to punctuate dialogue is "Hello," said Jeff. where you end the dialogue with a comma to indicate that the dialogue is finished, but the sentence is not.), incorrect tense (switching between past to present), incorrect use of semicolons (They're used to link two related complete sentences as in "I won't go out today; it looks like it will rain," or to separate items in a series when the items have commas, as in "I have visited Vancouver, Canada; Hangzhou, China; and Adelaide, South Australia.") and general wordiness. Here's a tip: if you can remove a word without changing the meaning of the sentence, do so. It takes a while to learn how to say things concisely, but it makes your writing more interesting to read and, more importantly, readable.

09-30-2014, 02:24 AM
All or nothing then.

I bet 2 tokens. Add me another Deal with the Devil.

09-30-2014, 05:46 AM
Four tokies.

09-30-2014, 09:48 AM
All right, that's the wagers placed. I've updated with prompt information.

Best wishes to everyone on this round! Work hard and write good stories.

09-30-2014, 01:32 PM
Wow, that was unbearably close. I can't believe I won by one point. Good job to my opponent Kyra, and I am now ready to face

The Waffles

09-30-2014, 02:26 PM

09-30-2014, 05:21 PM
Just realized I'm paired up with Error~ 8D

10-01-2014, 12:35 AM
All right, subscore explanations have been sent out. If anyone has questions or wants clarification on points, feel free to PM me.

10-22-2014, 04:25 PM
Hi there, this is just your friendly reminder that stories are due this Friday at midnight CST. Make sure you submit on time, and happy writing!

10-24-2014, 11:09 PM
Apologies for the triple post. The due date has passed and I have received BoomerangReturns' and ErrorBlender's stories.

Nikx232 and WafflesMgee are no longer eligible for the next round, but may still submit their stories in the next two days for points, scores, and rankings.

I will post the stories when I have both stories in a matchup or the late due date rolls around.

10-25-2014, 12:53 AM
So its basically me and Boomerang at the final round?

10-25-2014, 10:14 AM
I guess so.

That makes me mad since I think Waffles was active not too long ago. Maybe like yesterday or the day before.

10-25-2014, 11:23 AM
The last round will probably be you two, yeah. There's still the matter of this round. If other stories get submitted, then the match is still on and it's still possible to be eliminated.

If that happens, I'll figure something out for the last round.

10-25-2014, 11:43 AM
I actually forgot about this whole thing (recently started university, a lot of new stuff goin' on) and by the time I remembered about this whole thing it was too late for me to write a story worth submitting.

10-25-2014, 12:31 PM
I've fallen behind the schedule, but I do plan to finish this piece after my midterms.

10-26-2014, 11:20 PM
The late due date has passed, so Nikx232 and WafflesMgee are now forfeit and both BoomerangReturns and ErrorBlender have won by default.

The judging phase will be done by the end of this week, assuming nothing unexpected comes up. Although there's nothing to vote on this round, it's still much appreciated if you read the stories and give feedback. (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?88487-VoD-R3-BoomerangReturns-amp-ErrorBlender)

11-04-2014, 12:05 AM
Just a status update: the stories have been scored, but I need to write up the subscore feedback. This means that the fourth and final round of the Valley of Dreams will go up tomorrow (or this, depending on time zones) night.