Most Recent Rules
This is a list of all the most valid rules for The Great Debate; additionally, each Season will be broken down and its unique contributions included into the overall scheme of the ruleset
Great Debate Season 11
As of The 11th Season of The Great Debate, we have introduced a new rule: You have a one-time substitution for your roster. Yes, you can make one replacement. The way this works is, you can use your 4th roster slot as a one-for-one swap between rounds by alerting myself and/or Chainsaw of the desire to swap before the next round goes up. The instant you swap out a character, the character who has been exchanged is no longer runnable in the Great Debate, until Finals.
FOUR VS FOUR, FULL ROSTER, NO-HOLDS BARRED, TEAM FIGHT FINALS IS PERMANENT. You do not get to appeal to us, you are doing a 4v4. Your replacement/substitute is absolutely going to fight in the finals. Got OOT'd? Enjoy being a man down, shoulda picked better. Got OOT'd? Enjoy being a man down, shouldn't have been ame ran a blatantly OOT person and argued them out of tier. This is non-negotiable, all finals henceforth are 4v4 to prevent 1v1's from favoring persons with specific, subversive matchups that inadvertently screw over one debater and put them in an inarguable corner.
Great Debate Season 10
You read that right. There is no Tribubal this season of the Great Debate.
Instead of holding a Tribunal, Sign Ups shall last for 3 weeks, with a hard limit cut off at 2.5 weeks: after that time no edits to teams shall be allowed so that rosters are finalized. If the timestamps on edited submissions is beyond this date and no Head Judge approved it, your team will be removed from competition.
Only judges shall be able, during this period of 3 weeks, to force people to change their stipulations or alter rosters. Participants can absolutely discuss with one another on if alterations should be made, but IN NO CIRCUMSTANCE are they to be treating this as an actual Tribunal.
Its became apparent that how a character behaves in any given combat is a crux of argumentation more often than not; if a character has no proof for how they fight, it causes ridiculous presumptions about how they fight such that the entire debate is a meta narrative on the topic and is boring to judge. That's what inspired this rule: Starting this season and onward, all submitted characters must have feats that showcase how they act in combat situations.
Head Judge Out of Tier
With Tribunal alterations, and with past precedent, the following will go into effect starting this season:
The Head Judges maintain the ability to, at any point in the tournament, officially hand down an Out of Tier ruling outside the confines of the ordinary rules; such an OoT ruling comes from our viewing the situation/evidence given for a character as unfair, deceitful, unfaithful, excessively powerful for tier, or any other various reasons.
If such a ruling is handed down, we will direct message the user and give them 48 hours to respond to the OoT ruling directly with us so that it does not influence this or future matches; if the response to our ruling is not satisfactory, it is upheld and applied to the match.
Great Debate Season 9
Character Selection Dibs
WHOMEVER MADE THE RT FOR A CHARACTER GETS FIRST DIBS!! Ask the RT creator if they are going to be running the character in question, as their claim WILL supersede your own.
Great Debate Season 8
People are too content to submit characters and sit idly by while they go untouched or unchallenged in the Tribunal. For this season, to get by the Tribunal, you are expected to make at least one contribution to the Tribunal process or face expulsion from this season of the tourney. This contribution can be in the form of defending another person's contested submission, it can be an analysis of why you think a character does not belong, it can be as simple as listing why you think another character fits the tier perfectly to preempt assault on said submission. The only stipulation here is that defending yourself does not count toward this goal. You must participate elsewhere.
We have new formatting guidelines to help both users and judges make more coherent arguments.
Users are now allowed three comments per response, totaling 25000 characters between them. This is to allow users to dedicate one comment to each matchup and never be required to split a matchup between responses. To reiterate, THREE COMMENTS. 25000 CHARACTERS IN TOTALITY.
The 48 hour response window still applies, as does getting two responses in at minimum. Contacting myself or Chainsaw is still the best way to clarify if extensions are needed or not.
Feats: Past seasons have shown that certain feats can cause calamitous issues, even amongst Judges.
For this season onward, NO FEATS ALLOWED THAT ARE NOT ENGLISH TRANSLATED, NO FEATS ALLOWED THAT OCCUR AFTER THE TOURNEY BEGINS, NO FEATS ALLOWED THAT ARE TRANSLATED AFTER TOURNEY BEGINS. All information must be readily available and presented upfront to ensure a level playing field. It is simply unfair to put the impetus upon one's opponent to translate feats and reasonably expect it to be knowable.
Scaling: Using contextless scaling is an issue for storied characters. As such, any scaling feats that significantly alter the character's perceived abilities (be they strength, speed, skill, etc) utilized for a Tourney-entrant must include a link to the character's RT whom they scale off of for their feats; in the instance said character lacks a RT, explicit context on why the feat is significant for the Tourney-entrant must be provided
Out of Tier Requests
Out of Tier has become too viable a strategy. Every single round someone seems to want to simply OOT every single character. It's absurd, asinine, and time-wasting.
As such, the way Out of Tier works will now be as follows:
You begin with 3 total requests to use on requesting an OOT review; each request can be used for ONE character. If your OOT Request is valid and upheld by judge panel review, that OOT Request is not subtracted from the 3 you are allowed to use.
Make an OOT request and it's found valid? You still have 3 to use. Use one and it's wrong? Down to 2, bucko.
In-character Motivation Stipulations
It's somewhat silly how far-fetched the motivations have come to try and bypass 'In-character' so that people can be shoehorned to act a certain way. As such, we have a simple change here: Motivation stipulations must be limited to canonical appearances with a list of issue/chapter numbers.
Great Debate Season 7 Rules
Outsourcing argument is no longer allowed AT ALL. It is no longer permissible to use arguments from other users outside of the most general sense like "I think you should elaborate on X point". If we have clear cut evidence of outsourcing arguments, both users will be disqualified.
If you're asking 'Where can I find [X scan]' that's fine, since I know that will be a question.
Great Debate Season 6 Rules
We have shifted between a 48 hour timeframe rule (you must respond within 48 hours or be disqualified) by itself and a 2 response minimum rule by itself in the past. Both of these have resulted in quite varied responses and scenarios which are imperfect. As such, we will be combining these two rules into one.
To restate: YOU NOW MUST GET IN A MINIMUM OF TWO RESPONSES IN EACH ROUND, AND HAVE NO MORE THAN 48 HOURS TO ENTER EACH ARGUMENT. We still don't care who goes first, but if nobody begins within 48 hours to adhere to the rule, well, that's all she wrote.
Past seasons have shown that gear can be an interesting issue.
Last season, Chainsaw and myself allowed for an interesting stipulation, wherein if a character had been shown to carry a piece of equipment or gear and reasonably could access it and consider it 'in-character' we allowed for it. This led to some downright interesting arguments on the subject, and it is reasonable to point out that some of the ensuing characters almost qualify as having directly altered stats, a no-no for us.
As such, Standard Gear only is something that applies here. What does this even mean, the more pedantic of you may (and will, I know you) ask? 'Standard' gear here is referring to a piece of equipment that is almost always connected to or associated with a character in their history, having been carried and used in at least two canon instances of their character history. For instance, Maestro having a trophy room of every powerful artifact and object in the Marvel Universe does not grant him the ability to use them; they were shown once. Batman using a Yellow Lantern ring in New-52 similarly would also not count as reasonable gear to have, he used it only once (yes this removes a lot of Batman's gear, Ame-no-nobuko looking at you).
Great Debate Season 5 Rules
Out of Tier Requests - How They Work In-Round
The past seasons have shown us that idling by in Tribunal and then just trying to hit your opponent with an OOT debate is a good maneuver and somewhat unfair as the debate then becomes about justifying feats or misinterpreting/misrepresenting them to win without facing your opponent in a debate. No more. The Tribunal process will be more rigorous this time around, and each round contestants will be expected to simply request a review of the character being in-tier or not and then proceed to argue as if they were in-tier regardless. If you win the appeal, kudos. If you win the round regardless, kudos. Such an appeal will be dismissed as 'evidence' of a character's innate superiority, sidenote for all you smug bastards already thinking it.
Great Debate Season 4 Rules
We were lenient before, but now we want complete RTs rather than a small substitute of 5 feats. We want no context to slip by us when Tribunal happens.
Great Debate Season 3 Rules
NO DUPLICATES ALLOWED. EACH CHARACTER SUBMITTED MUST BE UNIQUE, THIS INCLUDES DIFFERENT ARCS OF THE SAME CHARACTER. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED.
Voting Process - Judges
Previously, the winners of each round were determined by matter of vote on who debated better. However, it became apparent that said style of determination was flawed, and quickly became a popularity contest rather than a fair metric of which debate was better. Quite frankly, dozens of users didn't want to read every debate in a round and just voted for who was more active on Who Would Win.
In its stead we will now have Judges. Along with /u/Verlux and I, we have assembled 4 other judges to individually judge each match. 3 judges will judge any given match, and whoever wins at least 2/3 of the judges favor wins the match. Though it should go without saying, we believe the judges will remain fair and impartial in their judgements, and not show favor to any one person.
Number of Characters
Though we do not expect it to be an issue, we are also now requiring that debaters submit a fourth back-up character in case a mid-tournament swap is needed. Though it works in filtering out most characters, Tribunal is not perfect. Out of tier submissions can slip by and severely screw over debaters with their strength. This will hopefully alleviate issues with mid-tournament swaps when needed. Said Back-ups will be held to the same scrutiny of normal submissions, and said back-ups will only be used at our discretion. Users will not be able to swap to their backup for a more favorable match-up, and may only access it if another character on their team must go. As always, character's must have a Respect Thread available, or 5 feats if none is available.
Great Debate Season 2 Rules
Time Manipulation is banned
No Harming Allies, In-Character Mindset
Bear in mind the "In-character" rule from earlier. Turns out if you put Mortal Enemies on the same team they won't want to work together. Your submitted characters will have basic knowledge of who their teammates are and what they do, but they cannot outright attack their teammates with the intention to harm them. Additionally, your characters will be given 5 minutes pre-battle to strategize. They know the arena, but not their opponents.
Great Debate Season 1 Rules
Fight is to KO or Death
In-Character Mindset Introduced
All characters are fully in-character, no exception. Turns out if you have a goody two shoes hero and an unrepentant serial killer on the same team they may not cooperate with each other. The only limit to their characters is that they won't attack their own teammates, regardless of how badly they may want to. Your characters are spawned knowing the rough backstory, personality, and powers of their teammates, and that they have to fight the enemy team to win. They do not know the enemy team.