Freedom City Play By Post

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Freedom City Skyline.jpg

"Like a Saturday Morning Cartoon that airs on HBO."

Currently in its eighth year of operation (est. October 2007), Freedom City Play by Post is the largest and most active Mutants and Masterminds play-by-post setting on the Internet. Set in M&M's default Freedom City setting in the present day, the game has become a massive shared universe involving dozens of active, semi-active and inactive players. It's a rigorous game, one where the GMs and experienced players are unafraid to heckle Trolls and Mary Sues out of existence. Most of the staff are fans of both comics and TV Tropes, which means they expect characters to draw from the common tropes and themes of comic books.

That said, they prefer to avoid certain comic book tropes. No Stripperific costumes, please, and no crazy Iron Age vigilantes. Hero(ish) PCs only, sticking to somewhere between Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Modern Age in feel, though the Refs are open to good arguments about all sorts of characters. Characters should be basically the Good Guys, and concepts should pass tests like, "Would people buy a comic book about this character?" and "Why would anyone talk to this character?" If your character would fit as a recurring character in a DCAU series, they'll probably fit in well here.

Many of the tropes in the game can be found on the pages for the M&M game or the FC setting, but there are quite a few largely unique to FCPBP. Please note that only tropes related to active characters will be listed here.

Tropes used in Freedom City Play By Post include:








Our Monsters Are Different

Stock Super Powers

Weapon of Choice

Out-Of-Character Tropes

  • All There in the Manual: Green Ronin has published over a dozen supplements with information about the Freedom City setting, and most of the active players have read ALL OF THEM.
  • Anthology Comic: What the site would be, if it were an actual comic imprint. The Moderators encourage players to run their characters as if they were the protagonists of a monthly superhero comic book. One of the first questions in the auditing process for a new PC is "Why would someone buy a comic about them?"
  • Ax Crazy: Generally averted. PC Villains were banned in part because the Moderators grew weary of explaining to some players the difference between a Super Villain and the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto.
  • Canon Immigrant: Several characters played at FCPBP were created for and/or played in other games over the years, especially the site administrator's signature character, Doktor Archeville.
  • Cardboard Prison: PC Villains were banned in part due to the desire of the Moderators to avert this trope.
  • Cast Full of Writers
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Averted. Several blocked attempts have been made to play hyper-sexualized adolescent female characters. The Moderators have been neither amused nor impressed. DON'T DO IT.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting: FCPBP players periodically [dead link] discuss [dead link] which real-life actors they would cast as their character, and some even use their headshot for their "out-of-costume" character pictures.
  • Comic Book Limbo: The Archives sub-forum. Or more harshly, the X-Vault.
  • Comic Book Tropes: In a game inspired by comic books, these are not only common, but encouraged.
  • The Danza: Several players at FCPBP run characters whose codename and/or secret identity match their usernames - Dr_Archeville plays Doktor Archeville, Supercape plays Supercape, etc.
  • Demoted to Extra: This is bound to happen to most characters. Players come and go. Interest fades and revives. Real Life gets in the way sometimes.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Players who stick with a character over the long haul gain not only in-game bonuses, like power-ups or extra character slots, but also nifty titles like "Gold Status."
  • Fifth Week Event: Several times a year, the Moderators announce "Vignettes" - short stories about a certain topic or in a certain style. Players can write the Vignettes about their characters for extra power points.
  • GMPC: Technically, Any PC has the potential to become this for any given story thread. Players are allowed to GM their own threads, so the lines between "Player" and "GM" blur at FCPBP. The overall atmosphere of the game is less "competitive" and more "cooperative." However, the Moderators have the final authority over any use of, or change to, any characters or locations from the canon setting.
  • House Rules: FCPBP has them. They are constantly evolving. The Moderators are generally reasonable people, receptive to player input and willing to change.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The chatroom degenerates into this with embarassing regularity.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are usually several dozen active PCs at any given point in time.
  • Long Runners: FCPBP has been online since October 2007.
  • Not Wearing Tights: The Moderators specifically want to avoid this trope. This is a game about superheroes, not people-with-powers. If you don't want to play a superhero, don't join this game.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: It has also been stated by the Moderators many times that this is the sort of character they don't want to see. This is a game about superheroes, not "people-with-powers." Think Justice League Unlimited, not Series/Heroes.
  • Play Every Day: This certainly isn't required, but it does help. Hitting 100 IC posts, which will gain a character the maximum power points for the month, and get the player into the 100 Club, would require an average of 3-4 posts per day. Such a posting rate would also allow the player to start earning Veteran Rewards in 6 months. But, again, players are by no means required to keep up such an insane posting rate to play at FCPBP, and most of them don't.
  • Random Number God: FCPBP uses Invisible Castle to resolve and keep track of die rolls.
  • Retcon: Usually averted. Once a character is submitted and approved, they are a part of the FCPBP canon from that day forward.
    • There has been one situation where a very active and well-liked player wanted to play a Legacy Character whose Super-Hero Origin story would have been incompatible with a previous player of said legacy. Since that previous player wasn't active anymore, and had hardly played the character at all, the Moderators decided to Retcon the previous character out of existence.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Electra & AvengerAssembled's baby. They have hundreds of pictures, which they'll happily share with their fellow players.
    • Alderwitch and Angrydurf's toddler also fits this trope.
  • Rule of Cool: FCPBP lives by this rule...
  • Shared Universe: The premise of the entire game. All story threads take place within the same 'Verse, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Especially in a play-by-post game. There are no other players sitting around the table to interrupt each other, so everyone gets a chance to ham it up. However, since power points are awarded based on number of in-character posts, not the length of individual posts, most players avoid full-blown walls of text.
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: Men vastly outnumber women on this site, so much so that new players are generally assumed to be male unless stated otherwise.
    • Cross Player: Despite the large gender gap among players, the gender ratio among characters is more or less even.
    • GIRL: This being The Internet, there have been a few players who were (and possibly a few that still are) doing this.
  • All The Tropes as a Gateway Drug: It's gotten to the point where perhaps half the player base (and one of the Refs!) has found the site through TV Tropes.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Despite superlative roleplaying by the players of characters like Malice and Belphegor, FCPBP ended the days of PC Villains after one too many threads descended into an orgy of weeks-long PvP and weapon measuring contests.
    • There was also concern that character creation and advancement as a whole was turning into a metagming arms race.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Freedom is a big city, and an even bigger 'verse.
  • The Wiki Rule: FCPBP has a Wiki, and players can earn bonus Power Points by contributing to it.