Bio Critique Central (Full Version)

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Ronin Of Dreams -> Bio Critique Central (12/11/2014 0:34:53)

Welcome to one of the older traditions from the former age of the RPA, and one of the first to return to help Roleplayers refine their skills via community efforts! Character biographies can be one of the most detailed tools for a roleplayer to utilize for consistency, and a form of bio is often required by DMs within their RP threads. However, not all bios are created equally, nor is there a standardized form that works universally for all RPs. In fact, practice over time tends to lead to each roleplayer creating their own style, and that can influence their character bios just as much as their writing techniques.

So, unlike former iterations of Ratings threads, this particular thread will be attempting to help in a slightly different manner. There is no universal power level, after all, nor universal technique. Instead, this thread is meant to give roleplayers a place to ask specific questions about their character bios and seek help or assistance where necessary. Answering these questions or calls for aid will be your fellow peers amidst the community, who should offer concise answers and constructive criticism where appropriate.

Make no mistake, this is as much a testing ground for new ways of community interaction as much as an aid. While myself and other RP Staff will attempt to answer and critique, this is meant to be a peer-run project. Given how many bios may be in the queue at once, RP staff will be adding links to the bios to this post, as well as linking to posts answering that bio’s questions, just for some ease of reference for all involved. First there will be an ‘Active’ category for bios that have not had sufficient critique. After between 3 and 5 good responses that cover the RPer’s questions about their bio, they’ll be moved down to an answered category called “Critiqued Bios”. This sweep of updating links should occur weekly, so it is still worthwhile to read through the thread if you are in a helping mood.

However, before we start the foray into returning the RPA into a place of learning in addition to the home of the Proving Grounds process, there are a few rules and guidelines to follow in addition to the Universal Rules:

Specific Rules and Guidelines for Submissions

  • 1. Lead with your questions first. It makes it easier find solutions to a problem when knowing it upfront before reading through the bio.
  • 2. Be clear with what you are asking. It is hard to answer a question that no one understands, after all. If you think your bio is good, and just want a second opinion, ask for a General Overview.
  • 3. If you are asking about whether equipment, powers, or abilities are overpowered, you must give some form of context. Power is relative. The Elemental Championships are just one such ‘standard’ that provides context.
  • 4. Ask reasonable questions. “Fix my History please?” would not be a valid question. “What can I do to flesh out my History?” would be.
  • 5. Include all relevant portions of the biography for your questions. A full bio may not be necessary, but if you want help with your History section, you probably should include not only the History section, but also your characters Personality.

Specific Rules and Guidelines for Critique

  • 1. Be civil in your criticisms, and add to the discussion. The keyword driving this thread is *constructive* criticism! Saying that “this is bad” or “that bit is wrong” isn’t very helpful, and will be frowned upon.
  • 2. Make it clear which question you are answering. Bold each section, number them, or indicate it well with phrasing.
  • 3. Answer completely, but concisely. We are here to set those seeking aid on the right path, so they can maintain their own styles, not rewrite an issue for them.
  • 4. Check back after posting a critique, in case there are follow-up questions.

Active Bios for Critique

Critiqued Bios

Legendium -> RE: Bio Critique Central (12/11/2014 3:34:40)

This seems interesting. So we don't only have to ask specific questions, but can also ask for General Overviews?

Ronin Of Dreams -> RE: Bio Critique Central (12/11/2014 23:29:05)

The way I feel about it, is that a General Overview is the same as going "I think this bio is actually fine, but can someone double-check me and see if I'm blind to an issue?" Its still a question, but rather than asking for specific details and therefore specific criticism, its asking on a general level and would therefore likely get a quick, if generalized response. "Maybe the History could get a bit more to it," as a response to a General Overview request instead of a power balancing request, which might receive something like: "you should try to make your abilities more thematic with each other, since they are all Water element anyway, but they don't fit the fighting style you've portrayed elsewhere. Maybe transform Power A into a more subtle effect, or pare down Power B from being long-range into something of a close burst to fit the dynamic impact of your combat style."

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