No Rules Westbrook wrote:I have always done absolutely all question placement by hand. I don't think it takes that long (compared to how long everything else in editing takes), unless you're doing a massive tournament with more than 20 packets or something.
I don't think momentum is that big of a deal, but I do like the packet to look aesthetically pleasing - certainly adds to the polish of a tournament, and the feel of consistency in a set.
Most importantly, I deliberately place my favorite tossups into the 18-19-20 slots in the packet. Similarly, I'll move a bonus that I'm not wild about back to bonus 20 (especially if it's a hard set and I doubt every tu will be converted) Everyone remembers the last few tossups in a good game - and noone wants them to be the worst tossups in the packet (or the most "bleh" tossups in the packet - as in "bleh, another flippin tossup on this?, oh I guess it's fine"). If not just for pure entertainment value, why not take the time to do that?
Further adding to my suspicion that I am an avatar of Ryan Westbrook's hate and despair, I also do this and believe in it very strongly. I also try to make sure that you get a good alternation of answerline difficulties. Not necessarily hard-easy-hard-easy, etc., but enough to make sure that the hardest questions are distributed somewhat evenly.
Really, I've never understood randomization - constructing a set is such an intrinsically creative process, I couldn't imagine not wanting to shape the flow of the questions as well. You're not just putting questions in front of players, you're creating an experience for them, leading them down a path you've set out. Probably like an emotionally-draining, nightmareish hellscape of impossible shit, yeah, but definitely a path.