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Author Topic: What do reviewers look for in character apps?  (Read 269 times)


Offline phinneas

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What do reviewers look for in character apps?
« on: Nov 14, 19, 10:08:05 AM »
Question: What do reviewers look for in character apps?

Answer: In response I'm going to post a reference document from the Review Board, which the current crop of reviewers use to try and keep our feedback consistent. Please remember that this is just a guide, and reviewers may alter their focus depending on the particular character being reviewed. This isn't a science. Still, these are the minimums that we try to remember to check with each app.

1. Name: Check cultural norms for the Territory, and ensure that if the character name doesn't match the naming convention for that Territory, there's a satisfactory explanation for it. Also, if there are special characters in the name, change the username for that subaccount to remove them.

2. Age: Are they old enough to have survived the Purge? If so this should be reflected in their History (at the very least). Also, check their math to make sure the birth year and age correspond.

3. Race: Ensure this is Short-lived, Long-lived, or some fractional declaration of mixed blood. They may include the character's ethnicity here if they wish (Dharoan, Pruulian, etc), but this must be in addition to their actual race.

4. Caste: If the character is Landen or Jewel-less Blood, this is where it should be noted. If a character has trained into any caste rather than being born with it, that caste should be noted here as trained. (IE, Trained Black Widow.)

5. Territory: Do the character's race and physical features match those of the Territory's cultural reference? If not is there reasonable explanation within the History? Is the Home Territory one that is currently open for new characters?

6. Jewels: Check HBC posts on the sheet to make sure Jewels were rolled, and cut/uncut status was copied correctly. If it is a Dark Jeweled character, check the player's Jewel ratio to make sure they have room for another Dark Jewel.

7. Play By: Does the avatar/face claim match the character's race? Long lived characters do not have facial hair, have golden skin, golden eyes and black hair. They should not deviate unless there is a note of mixed blood in their history or further explanation for the anomaly. Also, check Graphics Claim to make sure the face doesn't belong to someone else.

8. Distinguishing Features: Should be limited to two or three sentences, and only to describe DISTINGUISHING features such as readily visible scars or deviations from the cultural norm (a wingless Eyrien, for example).

9. Personality: Check that minimum word count is met (250 words). Does a sense of the caste come through? Is enough description given that it's clear what the character's general mien, disposition, and internal baseline are? Beginning with the Sapphire, this description should reflect the passionately violent and violently passionate nature of the Blood, with the emphasis on this growing stronger as the Jewels get Darker.

10. Likes/Dislikes/Fears: Are there 3 each? Are they fleshed out with a minimum of 2-3 sentences? Do they matter to the character? There is leeway here, as Lighter Jeweled characters require less weight and depth than Dark Jeweled characters. A Descent Green could maybe still get away with a sort of food as a dislike, for instance, if it's well written to paint a fuller picture of the character.

11. Strengths/Weaknesses: There should be exactly two of each, unless the character is Jewel-less Blood or Landen, in which case this section may be skipped if preferred. Are the strengths/weaknesses balanced or is the character overpowered (eg. strength in shielding and fighting but weakness is hearth craft)?

12. Family: Are all family members Green Jeweled or lighter (unless the family rolls were made by an HBC member)? Are either birth years or ages listed for all family members? Check the castes of the family members, and if there are high castes listed with no story purpose, push back on them. The parents of a character should be listed as normal with names, ages, and castes even if the character does not know this information.

13. History: Is the history at least 350 words? Is it reasonable and balanced? Does it fit with the other information in the character's sheet (caste, race, personality, etc.)? Does it respect the canon of the Territory it's in, as well as that of the board in general? Be wary of writers trying to establish canon via character histories ("she was the only Healer in the District!") without a stamp of approval from the proper plot lead. Likewise, if the History establishes things on behalf of other PCs, have the writer get a sign off from the relevant PC's writer. NOTE: The way a character feels about another PC is entirely subjective and does not require sign-off. For example, Halla's app might say that she thinks/feels Surry is greedy without issue. If Halla's app says Surry is greedy, or mentions things Surry has done, then Surry's writer would need to sign off. Lastly, if anything in the history jumps the shark, push back on it.

14. Writing Sample: Is it at least 250 words? Does it fit with the character's sheet? If the character is a multi-caste or very Dark Jeweled, ensure the writing sample gives an adequate snapshot of the character in action, and isn't just a post about them entering the scene for their forthcoming initial IC thread.  •  Discord: phinn#0798  •  Writer Tracker