First, the Impulse system.
- A host (i.e., an RS Mod or Assistant) shall sponsor the event.
- A panel of three judges shall judge the posts on the criteria listed below. Obviously, judges cannot participate in the fights. Since judges have to be common for all fights in a tournament, judges cannot compete in a tournament at all.
- A total of three (3) actions shall be taken by both parties.
- A word count limit shall be placed upon the set. All tournament posts shall be in the range of 300 to 1000 words. Posts outside of this range are not disqualified, but they will be penalized in the final judging.
- The goal of the sparrers is not necessarily to kill or incapacitate the opponent (though it's possible and even likely that that will be the character's goal). The goal is to write a convincing and quality post that responds to the previous and is easy and fun to read. That's really it. Write a story, and make it enjoyable, believable, and well-written.
- The sparring format shall be Semi-Consensual.
- Semi-Consensual Sparring is a middle-ground between Consensual and Non-Consensual Sparring.
- Consensual Sparring means that the opponent must consent to any attack upon them. This includes any liberties you may be tempted to take with their character. Effectively, you have zero control over your opponent's character. ALL attacks are written as cliffhangers. In some progressive formats, multiple attacks can be "queued up," but they still cannot be assumed to connect.
- Non-Consensual Sparring means that you can unilaterally decide how the opponent reacts to your attacks. This isn't innately bad; with friends who are sparring in good nature, it may work out well. But all-too-often, too many liberties are taken with the opponent such that the opponent's character doesn't react in the way that that character would, or the defensive or evasive abilities of the opponent are misjudged. Often, this isn't done maliciously, but arguments can break out over it, and it undermines the spar if the contestants are arguing about actions via OOC.
- Semi-Consenual Sparring, then, is the combination of both of these formats. Actions can be assumed to be carried out, provided that they don't inflict any injury on the opponent. Depending on the contestants and the environment in which they learned to spar, this can mean anything from a handshake to a light jab, but any stronger attacks must be left as cliffhangers, as with the Consensual method. However, more in line with the Non-Consensual method, the action usually progresses more quickly.
- Once all agreed-upon posts are made, the posts will be scored on the following criteria:
- Wordsmanship: This portion of the scoring refers to the quality of the writing itself. Nothing else is considered. Some questions to ask when scoring on quality could be:
Did the author use repetitive language? Conversely, did the author regurgitate a thesaurus on the post? Neither is desired.
Did the author use the proper spelling, syntax, grammar, and punctuation?
Did the author lay out the post using a logical structure? For example, did he summarize his perception of the previous action, then post his reaction to that action, and then post a new action for the opponent to discuss?
- Description: This portion of the scoring is in regard to the details of the post. Does the author use an adequate degree of descriptive language to describe the actions, emotions, or sensations taken or experienced by the character? Is sufficient language present to remove any ambiguity from the post?
Also, is too much detail present in the post, such that it becomes a chore to read? There's a time and a place for everything.
More specifically, was the descriptive language laid out to maximum effect?
For instance, it may not be prudent to give a bunch of description to the way the clouds move out of the way of an attack and completely gloss over the impact is has on the landscape. In some cases, though, that might be appropriate. That's what the judges are for: to judge fairly and with context.
- Realism: This portion of the scoring relates to the actions carried out within the post. Realism is used as a term to describe that a cause could create an effect, but not necessarily that it subscribes to the laws of the universe in which we as authors find ourselves. It's making a pseudo-logical argument for your action. Specifically, could the character have done what was written, within the confines of the world in which he finds himself? Why?
- Originality: This portion of the scoring is intended to rate the departure from the normal. While there is a time and a place for a pure slug-fest, it's far more interesting to read (and, in my opinion, to write) a story where something unexpected occurs. Does the character use some environmental factor to great effect? Does the author take a moment to describe the impact the character has on the environment? Out-of-the-box thinking is credited here.
- X-Factor: This is really the catch-all. It's impossible to predict all of the different things that could take place in a spar; the possibilities of the imagination are infinite. But sometimes, something deserves credit that doesn't fit neatly into one of the other four topics. Did the author have you rolling in laughter until you had a stitch in your side? Did the post in some way stand out as a paragon to the rest? Some degree of freedom is afforded here for the judges to record such things. Note that this may not get many (if any) points on most posts, and that's okay. If every post had an X-factor, then none of them would stand out, would they?
- Each category is scored out of ten points. Each judge ranks each post individually out of a total of fifty points. The scores are then sent via blind ballot (i.e., private message) to the host, who averages the three scores for each post. In the case of a three-round spar, then, there is a total of 150 points available to each player. The Host will then declare the winner.
And the Simple Two-Attack sparring system:
Three methods of Sparring
Actions per Post
- Consensual Sparring involves each player determining what actions and effects influence their characters.
- Non-Consensual Sparring centers around each player determining their actions and how they impact other players' characters.
- Semi-Consensual is a combination of the above two. Each player still decides which actions and outcomes influence their characters in a meaningful result. Insignificant effects on other players' characters are determined using the Non-consensual method.
- Two major actions for a character per post.
-Actions are something that gives a character an advantage of some sort in a post.
-Two attacks for example.
-Or one attack and one defense.
-Talking would be free because no advantage is gained by talking.
- Actions by other players must be resolved.
-Meaning if a player receives two attacks in the previous post and wants to attack with two attacks instead of defending against those attacks the player must first resolve the two attacks without defending.
-They hit, determine the results.
- A player gets 48 hours to post before he or she loses her actions, and the other player gets another post with two actions.
- Judges and criteria for it should be determined ahead of time by the event, players, or thread creator.
- Conflict should be resolved between players if possible, if not the thread creator then escalating up to RS Assistants and Moderators.
- Standard RS rules apply:
- Respect each other.
- No Godmodding.
- No Metagaming.