A Suggestion for Character Creation

  • Right, so we've all had the mary-sue litmus test reccomended to us when making our characters. I'd like to ask, what does everybody think about the idea of making the character's mary sue litmus test score part of the character submission sheet? Having to post that number might serve as a warning sign or as an incentive - either for the user to be proud of a low score, or to take into consideration, "Hmm, the character has that score… Do I really want to be posting a character everyone has seen scored that highly? Maybe it's time for some work."

    What are your thoughts? I think it could be useful.

  • I think that it should be encouraged, but not required. I'll go ahead and do it for all my profiles in the future. In fact, i might just go back  and do that with a few of my current profiles.
        Good call 🙂

  • In my opinion I don't think it should be required, but honestly all it strives to do is bring down people's bio's. Plus, there will always be bias or even the possibility of faking a score. I dunno, haha just my opinion.

    I'm not saying people would do that here, but let's face it, we're talking about forcing people to do a test that in my opinion isn't quite as accurate as it COULD be. I'll admit there's some sort of accuracy, but eh, idk.

    I've put in some of my characters and some did very well, others did well, not so well in a midrange thing. I'm not using that as a source of accuracy, but if you put in some other fictional characters, you'd be surprised just how many could be classified as "mary sues" based on its standards.

    I also feel like a test isn't needed; you can tell by their history and flaws etc. Plus when we talk about literature theory, every character is an archetype of some sort. Granted, they are unique, but I dunno, I just have never been a fan of the test. I've had characters score well, and others in the middle range, personally I don't care. However, on my old site it got to the point where learner rp'ers and those who weren't as high up in their idk what to call it, were discouraged because of demanded criticism.

    People would say stuff based on tests, they'd feel bad because of their scores, etc, and some I swear were not as Mary sueish as they had received. This is supposed to be an rpg and even a creative relaxing writing enjoyment; not a place to demand such a thing in character creation.

    I mean, overall I understand why you'd want such a thing, and respect the suggestion, but I don't think something like that should be demanded/required. Good suggestion though Rainman, ^^…
    I just don't agree with the requirement =p

  • In my experience, the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test, while admittedly not perfect, is extremely good and one of the best such out there. In this case, it's especially useful, because in my experience it's only real faults are that it breaks down when evaluating powerful characters from original universes. Since all of these characters are both fanmade additions to an existing setting, and since the redwall setting's characters in general don't get all too powerful, error in the test isn't so much an issue.

    What it "strives to do" is give the roleplayers on this site an extra diagnostic tool and incentive to improve. I don't really appreciate your implication that I'm some snooty fellow trying to introduce something so I can "bring submissions down" and have more people to point my fingers and laugh at.  A low-scoring character is an achievement to be proud of, something that can be displayed to all, so I hardly credit your argument that it'll only cause bad feelings.

    And if it shakes things up some… Well, I'll be frank. Some things need to be shaken up. I would like to see the quality of roleplaying on this site become somewhat higher than it is because the players themselves are motivated to get even better than they are. I'm not out to cow people into conformity to some standard, I want to encourage self-motivated improvement.

    Also, notice that nowhere did I say that "Beyond a certain cutoff point characters with too high a score can't play." For one thing, I don't have the authority, and for two, that's too inflexible. A high score would be something for others to notice in voicing potential concerns about the character, not an absolute criteria. However, if you post a character that rates a 54 on that mary sue test, and that's out on display, it might make you think about the integrity of the character, and motivate revisions that would frankly bring the character great improvement.

    As for people flubbing their test results, well... If it's really that big of a disparity, it'll look funny that a character with so many "warning signs" got such a low score, and anyone can give a shot at filling out a UMSLT for the character. If there's a signficantly different result, then we know there's a problem.

  • I think it could be recommend but not required.
    I don't think it's fair to make people do the test on their characters when they submit a character profile.

    You can suggest that they do the test, but ultimately it's up to them.

    And if you see the "warning signs" and suggest the test to them and they don't feel like taking the test, well then don't join topics if that person is playing that character.

    Also, for some newer RolePlayers, playing their characters help flush them out and the player can add to the character profile.

  • I never said that's what you are or that is what you're trying to do, I said that is something IT can do, I apologize if you took those implications. I also credited your suggestion, I was just letting you know from my experience what it might possibly do, that is all.

    My point is that obviously a 54 doesn't need a test for people to say it does not belong. However, say everyone is getting 16's and belows and they can't get below a 25 for a character they love, don't you think that'll dishearten them a little bit. My other point was that as said, this an rpg site. Yes it is beneficial to be a great rper, I've had plenty of great rp's with you average old every day player.

    And if you're going to think I'm making implications against you, you're wrong. So, to that I'm not fond that you think I was making any implication. However, your defensive response is making me start to change my mind. All I did was say why I personally thought it was a bad idea. Not a bad idea as in stupid, but why I don't think it fits for the type of site we have, and why I'm so worried about something like it.

    Never once did I say something about you in there. I said what the test has done and what I've seen certain people make of it.

    Whatever, I'm ending my response here.

  • When you said that "the only thing it [my suggestion] strives to do is bring down people's bios," the direct implication of that wording is that the only thing I strive to do by making the suggestion is bring down people's bios. Now, I'm glad that's not what you actually meant, but text being as impossible a medium as it is to convey tone and context, it's very easy to misenterpret even completely benign statements as more combative than they are intended. And as I explained, the wording on this one is somewhat unfortunate. So you can hardly fault me for interpreting it the way I did.

    And, on your first note… Well, of course it's going to dishearten them a bit. It's quite disheartening to come to grips with your character's flaws as a literary character. However, it is also a very beneficial exercise to do so. I for one was immensely disheartened when, many many years ago, I was told how ridiculous one of my characters (A black furred, white haired, red eyed anthro cat who was also the anthropomorphic personification of Death, i.e. a Grim Reaper) was. I was crushed, because I loved that character immensely. However I also came to realize that what they were saying was quite true, and my skill as a writer and roleplayer gained immensely from it. I went on to heavily remold them into something true to the essence of the character but much better than the first incatnation, one that I could actually be much more proud of. So no, I am not overly concerned with the effects of helping people realize the areas in which they can improve, even if that's not always a perfectly comfortable experience.

    A roleplay can be immense fun without being coddling. It can have laudable overall standards of quality without being in any way exclusive or snobbish. I would like to see this roleplay have all of those characteristics; to a wonderful extent, it already does, but I feel that including the test score as one of the items in a character sheet can help it move even closer, by a significant margin. That's all. I appreciate your concern, but I do not believe it will unfairly persecute or marginalize anyone like you worry about.

    I'm also not wholly averse to it being a strong recommendation. I just worry that if it's only a recommendation, then all the people who don't get good scores just won't post them.

  • Okay, enough of this.  It is not necessary to continue with the tireless arguing.

  • Guys, this is just for fun! No need to get angry about anything  😃

  • I'm neither mad nor trying to cause a heated argument. Kaden has very respectably put forth his concerns, phrased in the form of a debate, and I am simply trying to reply via the same format to better explain and convince with regards to my opinion.

    This is after all a suggestion on my part, there should certainly be discussion. I'm not trying to ram this through or shoehorn it onto anything, and I respect everyone's rights to voice their thoughts and concerns. I'll simply try to explain why I think they don't need to worry, in reply.

  • I'm super seriously you guys, it's all good  😃

  • I never framed it as a debate. It is merely a reply Rainman, and yes what Marsh said. I do not want t have to reply to this again 😣 takes forever to do anything on this crappy loaner computer as is

  • Well, you could have fooled me, since we've been going point-counterpoint-rebuttal for a couple posts now. If you don't want to continue the discussion, well, no one's forcing you to.

  • Topic locked until further notice, this is getting out of hand.

  • The topic has been unlocked. I feel that the situation is under control now, but if it gets out of hand again I will permanently lock it.

    Thank you Rain and Kaden for your input, but in the future please specify that you are not debating. It would save a lot of unnecessary strife if you said before paw that you aren't trying to argue your point.

  • Right, well obviously I've done more than my fair share of advocating here. What's everyone else think?

    I'd also like to retract the idea that the test result be made a mandatory part of the character sheet, and instead simply back including language in the "how to write a character" post that strongly recommends doing so. It fits the mood of the site better, and based on previously stated opinions in this thread has more support anyways.

  • I like this suggestion more. Simply have it as a recommendation in the "How to write your character."

    It's helpful for new players to get used to making their characters.

    But to more experienced players, they may find having the character in an actual RP helps flush out any problems with the characer and the character gets developed that way.

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