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Not Quite the Arena Games: The Tournament of Heroes!


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I thought we might do something new for 2017: a Tournament of Heroes. The essence of the idea is this: We select a number of heroes, seed them in a bracket à la March Madness, and have them face off  (via polls) until a winner is crowned. I thought this could be a fun activity to participate in without an undue time burden for anyone (with the possible exception of myself).


The tournament would be executed in three phases, as outlined below:


Phase I: Nominations

I’ll open it up to all of you to nominate heroes you feel would be worthy to compete in such an event. The nomination process could begin as early as later this week, and I’d accept nominations for two to three weeks. Any characters receiving nominations and seconds would be eligible for the next phase, which is….


Phase II: Qualification and Seeding

All nominated and seconded heroes would be opened to a general vote to determine if they will compete. You will all vote on which heroes you want to see in action. Based on the vote totals, commentary in the thread(s), and other factors, the top X characters will be selected and seeded from 1-X. Qualification voting will be open for about a week, with seeding and other logistical stuff taking a few additional days. Once the brackets are set and revealed, all that remains is…


Phase III: The Tournament

Each round of the tournament will take about three days: 48 hours for voting, and an additional day or so for processing on my end. So we’re looking at about two rounds per week. Winners in each round will advance to the next round; losers go home. Within a couple of weeks, we should have a champion!


That’s the basics. One small detail is in order here: There will actually be four tournaments! We’ll do all the nominating at once, but the tournaments will be held one at a time. Why four tournaments, you ask? In order to accommodate different character types and power levels! After all, nobody really wants to see Superman take on The Green Hornet, do they? Of course not. The four tournaments will be:


a. 21 and Under: This tournament is specifically intended for those heroes who were introduced and/or spent most of their careers as teenagers (or younger). 


b. Street Level: This tournament features those heroes who specialize in fighting evil primarily using their skills rather than raw power. This is intended for heroes with no (or few) superhuman powers and limited (or no) superhuman strength or similar attributes. These are the kinds of characters you might find in a Dark Champions or modern action/adventure game.


c. Open Class: This tournament is for the bulk of traditional superheroes, especially those with powers far beyond those of mortal men. This could include, but is not limited to, energy blasters, mentalists, speedsters, FISS characters (Flight, Invulnerability, Strength, Speed--Wonder Woman, most Kryptonians [but see below], the various Captains Marvel, etc.), Green Lanterns, Spaceknights, undersea princes, mutants, most ancient gods and demigods, gamma-enhanced rage monsters, visiting aliens, guys who shoot frickin’ laser beams out of their eyes, and so forth. 


d. Unlimited Class: This tournament is reserves for the truly cosmic heroes, those whose colossal power can affect entire worlds, dimensions, or even realities. This includes people like Superman, Dr. Strange, Dr. Fate, Samaritan, Silver Surfer, Hyperion from Avengers NOW!, etc. Basically, if the character was disqualified by Logan from the Arena Games for being too powerful and/or unbalancing, this is where they’ll compete.


The distinctions may be a little blurred, of course. Nightwing could theoretically compete in 21 and Under, Street Level, or Open Class.  Which one should he do? Does Binary (Carol Danvers) belong in the Open Class or the Unlimited Class? These are the kinds of questions we’ll have to figure out as we go. I’ll look for your input and try to use some common sense. Ultimately, though, I will claim right of final adjudication in such matters.


I’ll do all of this right here in the Other Genres forum. I will likely need to beg assistance from a Moderator to close polls, hide threads, etc. to keep things tidy and organized. Otherwise, though, I’ll take care of all the administrative stuff.


So, is anyone interested?

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Voting has concluded in the Under 21 Qualifying / Seeding poll, and the bracket has now been set up.  Polls will (should) open tomorrow. I anticipate each round running for about 48 hours, with a day off in between for processing and additional setup on my part.


Here's how it will work: The single most important factor in determining the winner of each bout will be your votes! So come over and vote at the beginning of each round. Vote in every match. Post commentary. Persuade the readers why that character got your vote, and should get theirs. Blatantly promote your favorites. Have fun with it.


There is one other factor to consider, however. Sometimes strange and unexpected things happen in the comics, and sometimes the character who should win a fight...doesn't. Upsets can happen at any time. So in addition to your votes, there will be a "Whim of Fate" factor--namely, I will roll 2d4 and add the sum to the votes to give a grand total.  The higher grand total wins the match and advances; the lower grand total goes home. This won't change the outcome of most matches...but it'll change a few. It'll keep things interesting.* What can I say? Sometimes the writers do bizarre things with these characters.


So, look here for additional details, and let's get the ball rolling tomorrow.  Excelsior!



*Don't blame me. I got the idea from Logan.

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I thought about 3d6, but that gives a 3-18 range. Considering that we only had 20 people vote on the poll, I thought that would be too big an influence.

Hmmm... that's true.


How about using two opposing d6s for each character? One would be bonus points and the other one penalty points, which would give a range of +/- 5. If one character gets a +5 bonus and the other ends up with a -5 penalty to their votes, that would offset up to half the votes.


You could also do this with the d4s for a smaller range.

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All right, ladies and gentlemen, the First Round matches for the Under 21 bracket of the Tournament of Heroes have been posted!


Go vote! Debate! Expound! Have fun with it! Voting on all matches closes Thursday, February 2nd at 5:00 p.m. EST.

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"So, what happens if a match ends in a tie?"

-No One In Particular


Thanks, great question, NOIP. There are two tiebreakers:


1) If the heroes are tied after the votes and the Whim of Fate are totaled, the hero with the most votes wins.


2) I'm keeping a list of voters and selecting one at random for each match. This is the match's Power Voter. If the total points and votes are both tied, the character chosen by the Power Voter will be declared the victor and advance.


So make sure you vote in every match. Your vote could be the one that sends your hero to the next round!


Voting for Round 1 concludes in just under nine hours!

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Round 1 is now complete!  Congratulations to our winners: Lightning Lad, Nova, Magma (in our Thriller of the Day), Bouncing Boy, Karate Kid, Raven, Namorita, Cannonball, and White Witch!


As it now stands, the Round of 16 has 11 DC heroes (6 from the Legion and 4 from the Titans, I believe), 5 Marvel heroes (2 from the New Mutants), and nobody from anywhere else. Neither of our outsiders, Buffy or Violet, won their first round matches.


It is also interesting to note that of the 16 remaining heroes, 10 are female.


The Round of 16 matchups will be as follows:

  • Supergirl (1) vs. Lightning Lad (16)
  • Nova (8) vs. Magma (24)
  • Wonder Girl (4) vs. Bouncing Boy (13)
  • Batgirl (5) vs. Karate Kid (12)
  • Ms. Marvel (2) vs. Raven (18)
  • Batman (7) vs. Namorita (23)
  • Mary Marvel (3) vs. Cannonball (14)
  • Saturn Girl (6) vs. White Witch (22)


If it's all the same to all of you, I'd like to put up the next round on Monday, February 6th and run it until Wednesday, February 8th at 5:00 p.m. EST.  I have a few things I'd like to work out before starting the next round--like venues!


Stay tuned for further details. Thanks again for voting!

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At the rate we're going, this thing won't finish until sometime around June. Pariah I really suggest we speed things up a bit. Either quicken the pace so that each round takes no more than four days, or run two tournaments simultaneously.

I appreciate the concern. There are still some things I'm figuring out about this whole process. This first round brought up two or three issues I hadn't anticipated. Now that I've figured out some of these things, the pace should pick up. I anticipate that we call do two rounds a week from here on out, starting Monday.


Thank you for your patience.

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I've noticed that you're not voting with dice this time.


I'm a little weirded out by that, I'm not gonna lie.


It was the preliminary round. The dice will be back, oh yes.


Pariah, you had to tempt fate, didn't you? 

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