- Survivor (tournament)
The Survivor tournaments are a series of writing
tournaments that are held three times a year, along with two iterations of a spin-offseries of tournaments called Rurouni Taikai. Originally held at [http://www.ffonline.com Final Fantasy Online] and [http://www.shoryuken.com Shoryuken.com] , the Survivor tournaments are now based out of [http://www.randominsanity.org Random Insanity] , though the tournaments themselves are often held at other message boards.
The best way to describe a Survivor tournament is to call it organized competitive
fan fiction. Participants choose a character from the allowed sources (which change for each tournament to promote play of new types of characters), and then write from the perspective of that character for the length of the tournament, while at the same time using the battle system to vote for or against other participants in an attempt to eliminate them and advance to the next round.
A Survivor tournament is run by a host, who may also have one or more co-hosts helping him or her. The hosts are responsible for the overstory of the tournament, the settings in which each round takes place, the creation and balancing of the battle system and the tallying of the votes at the end of each round. Hosts have ultimate control over the tournament, but must remain impartial towards the participants.
Survivor tournaments typically take place over a period of seven days, with each round lasting for the majority of one day. However, various factors such as delays and
omakerounds (rounds in which no gameplay takes place, usually meant as a short break for the participants) can lengthen this amount of time. Before the tournament begins, a drafting thread is put up. This is where people can sign up to be participants in the tournament (known as sponsors), and usually requires them to provide information such as the character a sponsor will be playing, the source of that character, and various gameplay information as required by the tournament's battle system (such as character classor alignment).
Every round, the characters of the sponsors are brought to a new location, which may either be an original creation of the host or a location picked from a video game, movie, book or other source. The sponsors also receive a full set of votes for the round, based on the battle system of the tournament. During the course of the round, sponsors write their characters interacting with both other characters and the environment. They also use their votes in order to damage and/or heal other sponsors, either in relation to the actions they have written their characters doing or strategically in an attempt to push the damage level of other sponsors above their own.
At the end of a round, the host stops all voting and then tallies the votes of the round, eliminating a predetermined number of sponsors based on the damage totals. These sponsors become Fallen, and while they are no longer capable of winning the tournament, they are allowed to continue their characters' stories in later rounds and are usually given a small number of votes with which they can continue to influence the outcome of the tournament.
In the final round of a tournament, the battle system is usually abandoned in favour of a format similar to that of the final episodes of the Survivor television series. The remaining sponsors are given no votes, and their fate is decided by the Fallen, who are each given a small number votes which they can cast on the sponsor they want to see win the tournament.
At the end of the final round, the sponsor with the highest number of votes is crowned the winner, and the tournament moves into the epilogue/afterparty stage. Here, participants can complete the stories of their characters and vote for awards in a variety of categories, such as Best Story, Best Comedic Character and Best Duel.
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