This thread is property of @IndieComicsFTW.
Today I thought I do my best to make some guidelines to help others who ask alot how to make a decent tourney. So with what I learn and seen others before me did, I will try to pass down here for future reference. Im not the best writer, so grit your teeth and smile Grammar Nazis!
Special thanks for Sir Methos, Floopay, and Diredrill as well more for adding to this.
Starting a Tourney, what level do I want to set?
This is the first step period. You as a Tourney maker must decide what level of play. Is this Street Level? Like Batman or Spider Man? Mid Tier like Iron Man or Aquaman level? Maybe you want a High Tier like Thor and Superman! Either way you need to plan ahead on "Limits" for a Tourney.
Also what goes hand in hand with this is a big tourney or a small one? By that I mean how many players will participate? Most use the 16 man rule. 8 Matches, then 4, then 2, and the final round after that. Your choice.
A good level system is the Floopay System.
- No more than 2 powers
- Strength max is 4 tons
- Outside of gear, no
- Nobody above peak human speeds and reflexes
- Energy blast maximum strength is no more powerful than a .50 caliber rifle.
- No adamantium or vibranium
- No telepathy
- No more than 5 powers
- Strength Maximum is 25 tons
- Speed below Mach 1
- Reflexes limited to Iron Fist levels
- Durability limited to Spiderman and/or Beast
- Energy blast, maximum strength is no more powerful than a fragmentation grenade
- Limited Vibranium / Adamantium / Enhanced Metals / Enhanced Materials. I will allow Wolverine, but no suits (Black Panther with Vibranium Suit not allowed)
- Limited to mind reading
- Cloners and Duplicators can make up to 3 clones or duplicates.
- Strength Maximum is 80 Tons
- Speed must be equal to or below Mach 8
- Durability is limited to Iron Man level (Bleeding Edge Armor)
- Energy Blast maximum strength is powerful enough to destroy a building (smaller than a skyscraper, about the size of a bar or liquor store)
- No limitation on enhanced metals
- Can read minds across the city, and can control minds
- Cloners and Duplicators can make up to 5 clones or duplicates
- Savage Hulk strength
- Speed limited to Wonder Woman level (below Superman)
- Savage Hulk durability
- Energy Blast maximum strength is powerful enough to wipe out a city
- No limitation on enhanced metals
- Moondragon / Martian Manhunter level telepathy is allowed
- Silver Surfer level characters
- Herald level to be more specific
- Below the Tyrant
- Below Skyfather level
- Thanos level characters (including Darkseid, Orion, Despero, etc.)
This system is very useful in thinking of a tourney level to start at. With mainstream characters as a bases that most people are familiar with.
Below is a few examples of types of tournaments and levels they are played at to show you what I am saying.
This is a standard Tourney build. You pick a restriction level. In this case no one who can beat Silver Surfer. Simple enough. The players then add character they want to use to fit this level. Then as the maker you can tack on more rules, and I will cover why most Tournament builders do this later. The point here is setting a clear definable level that most people know.
This is a tourney where someone lays out pictures, or whole teams, of characters for you to pick and use. This is also simple, but be forewarn it can be really hard to balance. By that I mean your knowledge of a character may not be the same as someone else who can use that character in a "I win" way. Hopefully people will call it out when they see it, or you have to address the problem when it arises.
These are by far the hardest Tournaments to make. They require a lot of work to balance out. Very few people can make a decent one, when they do come together they work beautifully.
These are Tournaments where you are paired with a Partner(s) and debate together as a team. These are really hard to find enough people for and hard to finish as a tournament due to drop outs or people having partners that shaft them with no debating on their part. Fun tourney, but requires steady playing people to work.
Limits, this is very important part believe it or not. This is where you weed out the crap that is just not debatable. Examples below and why its important to regard these things.
. These are 2 big things. There is no real debatable way when people pull "My character winks you out of existence." or "I go back in time to kill you as a baby." arguments. These are 6 year old children arguments and have no point on a tournament. Its best to make sure they are simply not part of a tournament.
These are game breaking abilities that most guys of any comic line cannot compete with. Leads to nothing but trouble. Must keep out of Street Level Tourneys or at the least put a restriction on it in some form.
Some fiction these go hand in hand. However many comic characters are not Psychics nor Magic Users. Thus no way to debate against it. I won many matches with this underhanded tactic. Make sure you either mention there will be guidelines for Telepathy, Technopathy, and Magic, or dis allow it altogether.
What is that you ask? This is my catch all for abilities that defy all common sense and logical debate. Examples. Midnighter Battle CPU. It can, and has been argued to play out every possible win and lost, thus your guy wins by default against a equal footing opponent. It is a near non debatable power. Fantomex Misdirect. Here is a power that has no explanation how it works, only that it fools everything from Celestial Tech Machines to Omega Level Telepaths. It is a stupid PIS power with no feats to debate against it. Domino Luck Power. Another stupid power with no real way to debate for or against. The only logic applies to it is she cannot lose no matter what due to her luck. Its dumb and pointless to allow for any debate.
Another limit that needs to be discuss before hand. Some characters can Battle Field Remove a foe and win by standing there as last man standing. This is near non debatable as well in street level tournies. In the higher tiers most characters have Dimension or Universe travel ability. Keep it in mind with anyone who can Teleport.
Gear is a big role in Tourney builds. Sometimes the gear itself (like weapons, devices, ect) can break the limits. Its important to keep that in mind. Also most tourneys tack rules on gear. For example, Standard Gear is a common theme. Like Spidey with Web Shooters, or Green Lantern with Power Ring. Sometimes people like to use non standard gear like Wolverine with the M-Blade. Point is make it known if your allowing only Standard Gear, or players must label gear with team. One of the two options.
This is also a make or break limit. Characters like Ultimate Reed Richards can make reality warping Cosmic Cube with a hour prep in his time slowed base 0_0! It can easily break limits as well. Prepping for an opponent is essentially useless, if you don't have any information on him. Prepping for an opponent if you know his strengths/powers, but not his weaknesses, if more effective. And prepping for an opponent where you have full information on him, is by far the most effective. Make sure you outline prep. Outline what prep can be used for, how much time, what are the limits people can do with it, ect.
Its your Tournament, have fun with it!
Alright, you have your limits, what type of tourney action you want, and now what? This is where you get creative. I have tried many forms of adding "flavor" to my Tournaments. Like I will make Objectives DnD (Corny sounding but hey) style matches where you do not have to beat the enemy team, just convince me you would complete the objective! I made tournaments with "Perks" in the matches. You make for benefits for that match that will help the other guy team wins, each team can pick one of the four perks to help beat the other team! Example, when you make every match add in on the bottom like so.
Maps: Your Team is given Intel on the entire map before hand, all the best spots to snipe, ambush, ect. This also applies to knowing the populace in great detail you will be up against. This also includes where your enemy will come from.
Dossiers: Your Team gets full bios and history of your enemies.
Ignore Me: You get a special spray that will keep the populace of any level from bothering you up close and personal like.
Blood Lusted: Your team work is sacrifice a bit, but going berserk with no morals is fun too.
Like so. You can make gift bags in the sign up thread where the players get benefits throughout the whole tournament! All they have to do is pick their gift bag with the goodies it may contain, and add it to their team roster. Heck you can make special rules like "Make a all Marvel team and you get this benefit for the whole tournament. All DC teams have this benefit." Example: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/battles-7/jokergeist-s-party-tournament-in-session-1471905/
Have fun with it. Make it yours. This is the random fun that makes tourneys interesting. Remember to balance it though!
Alright we have the Sign Up done, we have players, now you just need to make matches! To keep it simple lets cover the basic of Building a match. You will first need to pair up foes with foes.
Player 1 vs Player 16
Player 2 vs Player 7
Once the parings are done you go to start a new topic, and then set up the matches (Threads) themselves. In the threads you should have these key things.
of "Insert name here" vs "Insert name here"
Then in the main topic . I use Copy and Paste from the sign up threads to make it easier. Saves time on typing. Teams starting with Gift Bags or Special Rules from the sign up thread should be labeled with the team it self.
. On those tournaments with objectives, take the time to use Open with Painter, and make colored stars where objectives are as well where players start. You can also simply state who starts where and what is where on the map.
Self explanatory I think, this is where you would labeled the conditions of the win, and set the mood of the debating fun.
. I include this as sometimes people forget what they are allowed to do and not to do. Add this in a Spoiler Block for people to remember easier during their match. It also avoids headaches along the way.
This is where you can display special gear, rules, people, whatever that is affecting this match. The fun stuff.
When all matches are made let the players know they are made. Its that easy.
Examples of good match set ups.
This is the last step of any match. Who won? The main way is voting. You can be the tyrant of who lives or dies, or let the community vote freely who they thought had won in the This is key word here. Thats why we are here after all, to prove to others why our guy may win. Not the bias who you think may win. If you want that kind of vote make any normal battle thread. This is a respectable performance of 2 debaters battling it out with words like the Roman Senates of old! So whether your the tyrant voter, have a picked line up of judges, or allow majority rules you need a voting on who wins by
Voting should occur from a posted time limit you set, or till everyone agrees they are ready for votes. Examples above will show ya how its done.
Keeping track of Threads.
This is where alot of people have trouble. I myself have a simple system I like to share that works for me.
I open up Word Document or Notepad. Standard features for Computers. Then I Copy and Paste the webbars gibberish (yeah I call it that) and paste the threads I made in the document for easy access.
Like so. Then I can bring up the Document, copy and paste the web address gibberish to the web bar, and TADAA! Instant access.
I myself and others like to participate in our own tourneys. I make them up for the sake of creating some good debates. How do you make a tourney as the Dungeon Master (ftr, I never played DnD, I was a Warhammer 40k Guy) who sets all the matches up? How do you do this without being bias? Easy. I always have another user make my matches, or I make all the matches have the same scenario so no one is getting any special treatment. I also try to pick my own character towards the end. That way no one feels you jipped them of the better picks. Ooooor you can make a alternate account to look like your being fair >_> the cowards way!
Another problem that can and will occur is people slipping characters in tourneys that clearly break the rules someway. How do you deal with this? There is a few ways.
- Make sure you post ahead of time your not playing games, if you break the establish limits, then your character is disqualified.
- You can do what I do most of the time. Nerf them. State clearly this character breaks the rules so will only be debated within the limits. If say he broke the rules by being a 20 toner in strength, the limits were 10 tons, well now this guy is for all intents and purpose 10 tons in strength.
- Last option is halt the match, force them pick a new character within the rules, and remake the match with that character.
Another thing that comes up alot is uneven players or teams. People have lives outside Comicvine and they have responsibilities in the real world. It happens alot in tournaments. So you might have uneven teams at one point or another. How do you deal with this? There is 2 effective ways I deal with it.
- You make a 3 way match. 3 person free for all. I myself hate this type of match and try to avoid it. It happens though and can quickly solve things. So ask around who wants a 3 way death match.
- Bring back another player. Someone lost a match? Maybe they were too busy at that moment to finish the last match? Second chances are great and a easy solver of problems.
One of the key differences between a successful and a failed tournament idea comes to formatting. I'm not talking about the tournament format, I'm talking about the OP in general. Make sure everything is clearly labelled and easy to find. I know you will probably put a lot of time in making sure your OP is written well, but odds are people aren't going to read 90% of it. You're best off making sure the important information is easy to find, and that aesthetically, it's pleasing to look at.
The things people tend to skim for are "Power Levels", "Team Sizes", and "Rules". I always make a point to have those parts of the OP clearly labeled, easy to read, and as specific as possible.
It's best to be as firm on this as possible. There are a lot of people who try as hard as possible to sneak someone into a tournament who is clearly outside the limits. They either use loopholes, or will drastically understate how powerful the character is, and then as soon as the tournament starts they glorify all their character feats and it'll become very apparent they are above the tourney levels. If you are uncomfortable allowing a character, it's best to just let whoever it is know that the character won't be allowed.
I've also found it best, at least in my experience, to let people know if a character is brought in who is outside the tournament limits, that character will flat out be removed with no replacement.
There is no such thing as a bad match-up. You can make 1 vs. 1, 3 vs. 3, 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. all, etc. etc. I myself have tried (and failed a few times) to make these. The key is finding a way to allow these threads to thrive with as little confusion and chaos as possible. When you are doing more than 2 people in a match-up, sometimes it's best to put a post limit before the thread is open to votes, or even placing a post order to force contestants to PM you questions rather than flooding their tournament thread with spam.
Example methods for making tournaments easier to read:
Post orders: Make an order in which people are allowed to post. For example, contestant A posts first, B second, C third, B fourth, C fifth, A sixth, C seventh, A eighth, B ninth, and then it opens to voting. This would force contestants to put more thought into their posts, and consolidate their information into better formatting.
Post Limits: Allow each debater a maximum of X posts before the thread is open to voting.
PM Questions directly to you: One of the biggest downfalls of any tournament is that debaters decide it's up to them to hash out some minor detail in their own thread BEFORE they get you involved. This leads to threads being filled with spam and those threads usually wind up with nobody actually reading them before voting because they're 8 pages long and 95% of it isn't worth reading. Before you make a thread, create a PM for each match-up that contains only the debaters for that match and yourself. All their minor questions and details can be hashed out in the PM without flooding their threads, and you can see what they are arguing about so that you yourself can lay down the law if necessary.
Time-Out Limits: Sometimes threads get delayed between rounds because someone flat out can't find time to post. I have often found myself too busy to log onto comicvine for extended periods of time, and I don't really expect people to wait on me. If you have a speedy tournament and don't want delays, a Time-Out between posts is a good way to go. If someone doesn't respond within a certain period of time, they are eliminated.
Ignore Outside comments: Sometimes someone will pop into a tournament thread and start debating for their favorite character, despite the fact that they are not in that tournament. It's best to ask debaters to ignore outside commentators unless they are specifically asked for. Even then, it's best to have someone ask you for permission before doing so. Remember, someone outside the tournament is just that, outside the tournament. Having them come in and assist in a debate can be construed as unfair for whoever their opponent is.
In the end it is your call. Whatever you do with your tourney, have fun with it. Hope these guidelines from my own experiences can help ya out in future tourney making. There is many other types and things I may have not mention, and I am sorry for being human. There is many people on this site that have tourney building experience. Call them out and they will surely help you. Thanks for reading and debate on.