So, maybe a month after I came back in October, I made a ranking of my characters as I felt about them at the time. Since then, I've done some reading, done some writing, and I've reevaluated how I feel about a lot of my characters. So I redid the list.
How I've done it this time around: I tried to sort my characters in to one of six tiers - "Excellent", "Good", "Okay", "Meh", "Bad", and "Current". From there, I sorted them on how I liked them based upon the tier that they landed in. That gave me the master ranking, which I pretty much agree with. I have twenty-nine ranked characters (rather than the 31 I'd talked myself into earlier, apparently).
So with that being said, let's get started.
- Connor Lorenzen (V7)
- Morgan Dragosavich (V7)
- Ross Miller (V7)
- Claudeson Bademosi (V7)
- Ariana Moretti (V7)
- Kate Sanderson (PV2.5)
- William Apgar (PV2.5)
- Fisher Darden (PV3)
So these are all my current characters. I'm going to refrain from ranking them because they're all in progress. V7 is still in pregame, PV2.5 is underway, and I haven't debuted Fisher yet in PV3 sandbox, so I'm choosing not to rank 'em. The most I'll say about all of the ones I've written with - so far, I don't think any of them suck. So that's cool. Hurray for not sucking (yet).
29. Rupert Stockton (V2)
Oof. I'll quote my earlier rankings when I said "What the hell was I thinking? I've been asking myself that a lot lately. What a hot tire fire mess of a profile. It isn't my biggest SOTF regret, but dammit, it's close."
The profile is awful, the character is bad, and he BOUNCES OFF THE GROUND because he's too fat when they drop him off. Dodd. That's now how physics work, bro. Come on, you're better than that. Rupert gets an F-. For the record, Rupert's SC3 rights belong to Aura
(have fun with thaaaat).
28. Mary McKay (V3)
Mary takes one of the longest plummets, sliding all the way down to the second-last spot on the rankings. I am not qualified to write a pregnant girl in SOTF. I wasn't then, I'm not now. Not only was she only there for the morbidity factor, her kill of Guy was vile and her eventual death at Wade's hands was even worse. For shitty shock factor, I can't recommend anyone read her, ever. She sucks.
27. Jodene Zalack (V3)
What's this? A new character that wasn't on the last ranking? How can that be? Well, I'll tell you. I'm an asshole - or at least, played one in SOTF, and in the V3 era, I decided to sign up as a new user and post with another character, changing my writing style et al, just to see if anyone would figure out that it was me. Nobody ever did, but that doesn't mean that the character was any good, rather, she was the opposite. Bland to the point of being boring, she didn't do much, killed someone in a scene, and then was part of a Wade Wilson inactivity massacre because I found it too hard to keep up. Another blight on my resume, no doubt about it.
26. Alexander Ovechkin (V2)
I'm happy to see Ovi and his Capitals playing the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning right now, because I've always been a fan of him as a hockey player. As an SOTF contestant, he's a bad sequel to what Sidney Crosby was, and he's hindered by the fact that I went inactive with him halfway through V2. At the time, Ovi was a guy who spoke in broken English and was the newest NHL superstar, so it made sense that - hey, they took Crosby, why not take Ovechkin too? Unfortunately, in a common theme for me, I tried to recapture the magic and came up short. It was just a bad concept and as Ruggahissy said in her Ovechkin write-up from way back: "It looked like Dodd realized he was a bad concept and gave up on him". Bang-on, Vicky. Bang-on.
25. Burton Harris (V2)
I know, Kermit. I know. Please keep your outrage to a minimum. Burton tumbles down the rankings because while the memes about him are hilarious, I went back to actually read his posts. I liked the profile that I did for him, but when I went to see how many times I posted with him, I realized... I never did. The only posts from Burton on-island were when Xaldien took him over and made him the weed-demon that we all now know and love. So unfortunately, while I love the gags and the jokes, he doesn't make his way out of the "bad" tier because I never actually posted with him at all. His SC3 rights are currently held by Kermit
24: Arturo Villamor (V1)
Something that I've found for myself is that throughout my SOTF time, I've done pretty well at coming up with interesting characters, but have suffered in trying to figure out how to play these characters in-game. Thankfully pregame makes that a lot easier now, but in V1, that wasn't really a thing. So while Art is a pretty decent character (and based entirely off of a former coworker of mine) by profile, his in-game sputters and dies really quickly at the hands of Cillian Crowe. I couldn't figure out how to write him, so I fed him to Cillian. Icky.
23: Zilya Merchenkov (V2)
The Riser insert. I'm not sure why I decided to insert characters of other handlers. That was a little unusual. Funny enough, I never actually posted with her and she was handled by Mitsuko, who didn't exactly do a bang-up job of my characters once I was off the site. Since the concept wasn't tremendous nor did the character ever actually get posted with by me, she probably should be closer to the bottom than Art. Art still slides beneath her by the fact that he was one-and-done.
22. Sarah Dao (V2)
So here's an interesting thing. I actually posted with Sarah a hell of a lot more than I figured - I had an entire thread with her, where she ends up teaming up with An-Linh Tuan, who is a Makaze character. Which ... I'm not sure if An-Linh was supposed to be a Makaze insert too, but that's a little odd. Anyhow, she ends up in Dan's hands once I peaced out of V2, and ends up dying via Rob Adams. She's a lot less crappy than I remembered her to be, and she's only down this far because I genuinely didn't remember writing so much of her until right now. Fuckin' weird.
21. Andrew Lipson (V1)
Adam Sandler in a wheelchair, ho! Yeah, not ACTUALLY Adam Sandler, but the friend I based him off of by name and appearance did use to have a striking resemblance to him. The character while on-island is okay, but as discussed, his kidnapping and the circumstances of his death are a little preposterous and OTTP. I should have just had him on the trip or whatever, but the V1 times were strange days. Anyhow, I wish I'd maybe just had him roll off the cliff or something, as the death was pure schlock. Not great stuff.
20. Dean Portman (V3)
Ahh, the ghost of Dean Portman, he who basically didn't end up appearing on the island at all in V3. He was as close to an NPC as you could get from 2008 until 2018, when I finally finished the V3 epilogue, giving him a little scene and a pretty decent death. I wish I'd actually written him at all, he could have been fun, though he's got all of the hallmarks of classic Dodd, so if I were to put him into a future SC edition I'd need to clean that up a bunch.
19. Alicia Murazek (V4)
Alicia had a really strong profile, and then V4 proper came around, and I just wasn't sure what to do with her. Writing a cheery, bubbly girl wasn't something that I really had to do, and so she ended up getting fed to my own character, Staffan. I wish I'd at least fed her to someone else, as it's really seen as a cheap death now, even though I go against popular opinion and don't believe it's all that bad. Pretty much one-and-done keeps her firmly at the top end of the 'Meh' tier. Her SC3 rights are held by Somersault
18. Wade Wilson (V3)
Okay, so. This one might give people cause for pause. "Adam, seriously? Wade? Doddpool? He's this high? How is he not in the bad tier?" So look. In 2008, Deadpool was in fact a comic character, sure. But we had real-life characters inserted on a semi-frequent basis. I changed certain elements (and probably should have changed the name), but admittedly this was the intention. Naturally, as Deadpool has become a phenomena in the world since Ryan Reynolds made a rad movie out of him, he's been looked down on. So yeah. I get it, he cleared out inactives in a gruesome and gory way. He was a terrible, terrible illustration of how to properly write mental illness. He was off-the-wall wacky and crazy for his whole SOTF journey. He repeatedly broke the fourth wall. But he wasn't SUPPOSED to be a realistic character at all. Admittedly, yeah. Am I a skilled enough writer to write Deadpool? No. No, I'm not. But I tried to take similar tenants and make a crazy, wacky villain that at the time was close enough in style to other characters of the time. Do I think he's really good? No, I don't. Do I think he's completely irredeemable? No, I don't. His beginning post and his final battle with Eddie Sullivan are parts of the story that I think are actually pretty decent, and while I'm not overly proud of my effort with him, I also don't revile him like I revile someone like Rupert, who I did write. I've defended him in chat before, and I'll continue to. He's a miss, but he's not all hot garbage.
17. Gilbert Archambault (V1)
I don't have a whole lot to say about Gilbert. He was written to be a weiner, to be a bit of a plot device for Dodd. Did he have a small story on his own, sure. But he wasn't supposed to be this thing just to prop up Dodd. By the time that I got him into the game, there weren't many people left, and it seemed to make sense to give him a preexisting relationship to at least give him a modicum of connection to the players left in the game. He was pretty much always going to be fodder though, and I can't deny that. He's BARELY out of the "okay" range, and that's mainly because he's just such a little weiner. I can't say that enough.
16. Trent Hunter (V4)
I had a hard time getting off the ground with Trent. He's got a little bit of an unusual backstory and philosophy, and Toben said on his wiki write-up that he doesn't quite fit the V4 character M/O, which I agree with. I had one thread with him, but then real-life jumped up and grabbed me and I just never posted with him again. He had his collar detonated in an announcement, so that's pretty much the epitome of "okay-to-meh". He's at the bottom of this tier because he's not outwardly objectionable and I actually recall liking his concept, but I just couldn't pull it off.
15. Staffan Kronwall (V4)
Dan and I were going to write brothers. So we did. But we based them off of real-life hockey playing brothers, which I wish we hadn't. I think were his name "Steven Knowles" or something like that, he probably jumps up a few spots. He was always going to be the villainous brother of the two, and he entered the game with a bang with a dual-kill in the church. After that, I poofed and Dan picked him up and continued his swath of destruction until both Kronwalls went out almost back-to-back fighting one another. He's this high mainly because Dan did an excellent job with him and their final fight scene was really cool.
14: Angelina Kaige (V1)
Sooooo, another questionable decision to leave Kaige in my "okay" tier, I know. Outside of the weird rapey sex fetish subplot thing that I have zero idea why I came up with, Kaige did her job. She was a killing machine, and was supposed to be an obstacle for the kids to try and surpass. Of course, since half of v1 was inactive, she racked up an excessive kill-count as I tried to get the numbers down so we could end the version. My favourite Kaige scene is probably the one where she pretends to be a student to try and lure some kids in. I should have done more of that, and less of the weird rapey stuff. WTF, 2005 me?
13. Ken Lawson (V3)
Burton Harris part 2! I have zero idea how this character was allowed through. Zero. Absolutely zero. But when I was writing him, I actually dug what was happening. Ken is basically what I would have done had Burton been written by me in V2. He would have unnerved people, having them not wanting to ally with him but actually have good ideas for getting out. Alas, I swapped him out, and came up with a nifty death for him. Of course, maybe I shouldn't have gotten so meta-in-joke with the gravestone, but nobody's perfect, you know? I didn't mind Ken at all, and while he didn't make much impact, he won me a BDA, so I can't drop him too many spots. Ken's SC3 rights are owned by Naft
, if I'm not mistaken.
12. John Sheppard (V3)
My gay V3 football kid. He's the epitome of "okay", since he didn't really do a whole lot, followed a few groups around, and then got blown up in the warehouse in one of my favourite all-time posts that I wrote from 2005-2011. I don't have much to say about him, really. He's okay, and if you read him you probably won't gain much, but you won't lose anything either, and the warehouse explosion will make up for anything you lose (in my own humble opinion).
11. Adam Amato (V2)
The very top of the "okay" tier is based off a university friend, whose wedding I coincidentally went to a few years ago. Weird. Adam didn't do a whole lot in-game aside from be aggressive and threaten people in church not to swear in church, but he was the first example of a character that I wrote that had a temper, and I felt that until I went inactive and Mitsuko picked him up and fed him to Brandon Cuthbert of all people, he was actually going pretty well. Don't go inactive, folks. It's bad for your characters health.
Coincidentally, the top ten characters are here and they coincide with the beginning of a new tier.
10. Jamie Li (V4)
Poor, poor Jamie. In my last ranking, I had genuinely forgotten that I posted with her. Imagine my surprise when I looked at her wiki entry and she had FIVE THREADS and a pregame. What the holy hell? Outside of the final thread she's in where SOTF_Help is controlling her, I actually had a bit of a v4 showing with her. It seems like I was struck down by sporadic activity and slow threads, but Jamie was starting to be the character that I envisioned her as when I wrote her bio. I remember being excited to play her, and she would have been my V4 'flagship', if you will. All in all, she doesn't make a whole lot of impact, but she's not bad. Inge
has rights to Jamie for SC3 and I look forward to seeing what he does with her.
9. Ryan Atwell (V3)
I am conscious of the fact that Ryan is the odd man out in the V3 final ten, and I am aware of the criticisms of him that his "wandering around with Dean Portman" was only glossed over and not actually RPed, and that he was just a tool for Adam Dodd, but that's not exactly accurate. Yes, he interacted with Dodd, which is its own separate can of worms, but I was enjoying writing someone who was more of a deep thinker and felt themselves more at one with nature. I didn't write a lot of him, but the best stuff I did was the stuff with him and Steve, and that was pretty much the back half of his story. He's the outlier in the V3 f10, as I said, but I liked what I did with him, and I'm reminded of the guy I based him on when I read him, so I see that as a success.
8. Cole Hudson (V1)
My first SOTF death was Cole. I'll let my earlier ranking speak for itself: "I liked Cole. He had an admittedly weird profile story that... maybe I thought was a good idea at the time? But I think with some revamping I could totally make him work in a current-era style version. He's a relic of the v1 era, but I have a soft spot for him. Were other people to rank my kids, he probably wouldn't finish as high, but... I dunno. I liked what I got out of him."
7. Andrew Ponikarovsky (V2)
Once more, with feeling: "Wasted potential - again. I remember going back and reading the end of his story when I returned after I left the site the first time, and I was SO disappointed. I was really enjoying where he was going, and the thing with him and Carmen had some potential to be fun. As a fun side-note, this is the SOTF character that has caused me the most grief, as the RL friend that the character used to be named after ended up finding it and was REALLY unimpressed with me. Hence why he's named after a 2000s-era Toronto Maple Leafs winger."
The addendum to Pants is that he's actually been really well-received, even though he was abortive and died in an inactive-cleanse. As far as my own characters that had short stays (which were numerous) he's probably the best of the bunch, because he had his own clever way about him, he read uniquely, and his interactions with Carmen were cool. I'll never bring him back since, like, read the above, but he was fun.
6. Adam Dodd (V3)
Adam is this high on the list because of the supporting characters that are coming after him. Look - I get it. I know that I shouldn't have brought him back in V3, and I didn't write him at all likeably to boot. I tried a few of the V1 things that made OG Dodd popular and they didn't hit, because we'd read that story before. So my opinion of Adam was pretty sour for a long while. I re-read him, and while I didn't like a whole lot of it, there were
some decent parts there. The best part of his story (and I guess I can pimp myself a little here, since this is a ranking of my own guys) is when he dies. I am still incredibly proud of his death post, and it put an end to my most (in)famous character. Dodd in V3 has given birth to a storyline that I have been writing since I came back and that I'm already really excited about and happy with. While a lot of that story revolves around Keith (who's higher on the list), without Dodd to have the other half, it doesn't work.
So the second half of Dodd, while not my best work, and a bit of a misfire (to quote Naft) is brought way way up by his death and the events that follow it.
5. Amanda Jones (V1)
She was almost the top of the "good" tier, but I thought more about it and decided to slip her into the excellent tier. The hard part about writing two characters in the same group, or "handlercesting" as we've taken to calling it, is that both of your characters have to be distinct and different from one another while still maintaining the integrity of the scene. While Amanda has some weak points at times - she tends to fall by the wayside when Adam monologues, and her death is literally me protesting a surprise death of another character, I almost entirely had planned to have her survive Dodd and outlast everyone else in the group. As such, while Dodd was often at the forefront, I tried very hard to make sure that Amanda had her own distinct personality and some of her own baggage that I could come up with when I was writing her once Dodd died. Of course, then I threw a temper tantrum and shot her face off. Stupid me.
Alas, Amanda died really unceremoniously and as people have mentioned, tends to get overlooked by Dodd at times, which isn't what happens when you lose a girlfriend. I can chalk it up to writing this character when I was 19 and had yet to have a relationship, so I didn't get it. I do now. With that being said, I still think she's one of my better works and I'm proud of her. I'm especially proud of when Dodd shoots Marcus, and she disagrees so vehemently she leaves the area. Amanda's SC3 rights are currently held by Bowser
, though a character named Amanda appeared in an SC2 announcement with Dodd as fluff, though I think we're saying it's a different Amanda. So have fun, Bowser
4. Eddie Serjeantson (V1)
I love the sarge. Unashamedly, I love everything about this character. EVEN THE DAMNED MURDERBUSH DEATH. Eddie actually manages to fall in the rankings based upon the strength of the characters around him. The original list, he was number 3. Originally when I was writing this out, he was number six and V3 Dodd was number 4, but I switched them around. Dodd isn't good enough to be in the excellent tier, and if I'm counting the surrounding story in ranking his character, I have to account for Eddie's memory being a major factor in my all-time favourite piece of my own SOTF writing; "The Essay". Barring a minor catastrophe, I will 100% be playing him again in SC3.
3. Sidney Crosby (V1)
Imagine for a second that instead of being named 'Sidney Crosby', he was 'Sidney Craven" or "Sid Carswell" or something like that. Instead of being a famed hockey phenom from Canada, maybe he's a highly-touted draft pick of a professional hockey team. Imagine those two things are different. Barring the questionable V1-era kidnapping, I think he's a tremendously good character whose defining characteristic is his cowardice. Sid is a coward from front to pretty much his end, and he manages to stumble and bumble his way into the final 4, where he comes face to face with an old nemesis, who eventually defeats him, though it leads to his undoing. His final act, and perhaps his only act of bravery gets him killed, but defeats his greatest enemy. Sid Carswell might die, but he has a massive impact upon the final act of v1.
Of course, his name is Sidney Crosby, and in the years that have passed since 2005, he's turned in to one of the greatest hockey players of our generation, winning three Stanley Cups and becoming a world renowned athlete. So naturally, people are going to say "man, what the fuck was he thinking?" Of course, were I to go back and retroactively change his name and a few details about him, then give him in a RAT to someone who wasn't familiar with him, they'd probably really enjoy him. So here he is, at number three.
2. Adam Dodd (V1)
I stand behind every word of the 50 - 75,000 words of V1 Adam Dodd outside of the rape scene and the Danya face-to-face. Barring that, he's SOTF's first winner and I'll always be proud of what I accomplished with him. Adam at the beginning is a stark reminder of the person that I was at 19, and it's neat to see how things have changed in the 13 years since.
1. Keith Jackson (V3)
Keith was the top of my last rankings when he was incomplete, and at the time I think a part of that was that I had already made the decision that he would survive over V3 Dodd in the epilogue that I was writing, and maybe tossed him up there to gauge how people thought of him. I still like him. I still enjoy him for all of the reasons that I did before, but now I think he's properly earned the spot at the top of the list. He got an ending that answered a lot of long-unanswered SOTF questions, and he's got more coming that I think people are going to really enjoy.
So that's it! In classic Dodd fashion, here's 4000+ words about my characters. Hope you enjoyed.