Roleplay: American Paranormal Society
"Goddamn it," Oliver sighed, silently pressing a button that sent out a very loud and very obnoxious alarm reverberating through the submarine, "what's in my ship now?"
—Oliver sums up the American Paranormal Society's adventures.
An RP on the website NationStates
, featuring players from other RPS such as Elfen High
, A World Beyond
, and Super Teens Stuff
.Can be found here.
Run by Nationstatelandsville, a Deadpan Snarker
and Cloud Cuckoolander
, and featuring other wackos such as Nightkill
, who are characters in of themselves. In fact, one could say that the real people behind this are more cartoonish than the characters.
Founded in 1801 as a recreational group, the New England Paranormal Society (predecessor to the current American Paranormal Society) was a purely recreational group of rich members who hunted monsters of folk lore and the likes for sport. Many major figures joined this secret fraternity, including one Abraham Lincoln. By 1850 though, it had set up branches all around the country, adopting it's current moniker. In 1949, each of the branches were attacked and destroyed by the Soviet equivalent, the Оккультные Investifastions агентства (Okkulʹtnye Investifastions agentĚstva), Occult Investigation Agency in English, leading to a series of repercussions that left the country vulnerable to attacks from Soviet-owned monsters. The Society reformed in 1975 with the tasks of protecting both humans and monsters, as well as keeping these creatures hidden from the public view. In the Cold War, it also had the goal of defeating the OIA at every turn. It's USSR counterpart was disbanded in 1988, leaving the Society to focus on it's priorities of supernatural management.The modern APS is a recognized agency of the federal government, though it mainly works of it's own agenda. The Society is the only entirely equal opportunity employer. It will hire ANYTHING that goes through it's courses, passes the final exams, and has been an American citizen for five years, whether they be monsters, aliens, dinosaurs, or just humans. It is housed in four main buildings.
The Lincoln Institution - Located in the quaint little town of Arkham, Massachusetts, this university is where all cadets (aged 18 for the most part) are taught how to work and serve in the Society. A four year term filled with arduous training, intense studying of all fields, and mediocre cafeteria food awaits all who enter these hallowed halls, which have been constructed a top the remains of the original NEPS base.
The Franklin Avenue Building - Seemingly an average warehouse in St. Louis, Missouri, this is actually the base of operations for all of the APS. Teleportation discs, weapons (which range from before the birth of Christ to 200 years ahead of modern technology), robotic assistants, you name it. They're all here. Underground is a resting quarters for visiting agents, an assembly hall, mission assignment rooms, and interrogation rooms for any of those who harbor an illegal monster or break any other law or regulation about the paranormal world. It was invaded and partially destroyed midway through Chapter One. It is rebuilt during the gap between Chapters 3 and 4.
The Lyndon B. Johnson Building - An ordinary building to the naked eye, this is where all decisions concerning the Society's actions are made. Consider it the headquarters of a massive corporation, with the bases being regional offices and warehouses in one. Just with more demons and vampires. Located in New York.
The San Diego Zoo - Oh, it's just a zoo, right? Wrong. Beneath the main zoo is an underground cavern that contains pens for all captured monsters. Some of it's inhabitants consider it a prison, some consider it a haven. They all agree on one thing though. The food is just as bad as the Institution's.
Fort Kennedy - A fortification commissioned by Johnson, another president who was a member of the APS, as a secret location for weapons to be built in case of a war against the USSR. It has since been cloaked by magic, erased from history, and is now the fifth largest APS base. Can be found somewhere in the state of Washington and is the regional base for the Northwest. This is made the replacement headquarters for the APS after the Franklin Avenue Building was seized.
The Society also works out of smaller bases and such, but the big stuff goes down in the prior locations.
The story is far from simple, with many more villains than heroes. In fact, some of the heroes are villains themselves.
This RP contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Francesca, the oni.
- All Myths Are True: Even creepy German folktales. Especially creepy German folktales.
- Alpha Bitch: White, Grey's successor. She's actually a very kind leader, but she hates the Sixth Brigade and regularly tries to screw them over.
- Alternate History: The latest chapters have shades of this. For instance, Michelle Bachmann won the 2012 Presidential Election.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. Monsters are treated and tried as individuals. It may seem as though every monster the Brigade encounters is evil, but they are either hunting these creatures specifically or being hunted by them.
- Several species still fall under this trope, most noticeably bat-demons.
- Anything in the "daemons" category of monsters.
- To an extent, Chthonians. They're actually simply chaotic, not always evil.
- Amicably Divorced: White and Gabriel have had a very, very long romantic history but, as far as we know, are currently not together. They still flirt a lot and are better friends than most of the characters. Also, they don't seem to have been married, but one can never be sure.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Averted and played completely straight. Depending on the place in Europe you're in, it could be either one.
- An Asskicking Christmas: In October, yes, but it's still at the North Pole.
- Anti-Hero: Nico and several other members of the Society are Type V's. The Society by nature is a Type IV.
- Anything That Moves: White.
- Anyone Can Die: Raj can die. So can James.
- Arc Words: Chapter 4 has "The day has ended. The night has come." Usually said to Nico, usually after Nico has been referred to as "the Destroyer".
- Author Appeal: Some of Nat's personal interests crop up: The final battle against War in Ch. 3 is fought in Area 52 from Doctor Who, for example.
- Bad Ass: It's a job requirement.
- Bad Ass Long Coat: Oliver has been wearing a trench-coat since Chapter 2.
- Not to be outdone, Nico wore a greatcoat throughout Chapter 2.
- Green bad-ass trench-coats are now the official uniform of the Sixth Brigade, as of Chapter Four.
- Big Bad: Rurik, after many, many false leads.
- Bad Boss: Rurik Udovin, just... Rurik Udovin.
- Bad Santa
- Badass Santa
- Berserk Button: If you hurt either Raj or Nico, the other will find you. And he will kill you.
- Nico didn't take to kindly to being referred to as "squid" for a while, but he mellowed about it and it's pretty much stopped.
- Big Bad: Rurik Udovin, mysterious co-founder of the New England Paranormal Society who was wiped from all records and imprisoned below the Sphinx. He's manipulated everything from the very start through his minion, Mc Millan.
- Big Good: Grey seems to be this during the first two chapters, but post-mortem, his flaws start to be recognized, particularly his policies towards secrecy. Come the fourth chapter, even Oliver starts to criticize him.
- White has taken over this role, and surprisingly, is pretty good at it.
- Bilingual Bonus: The incantations for summoning the Horsemen.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: White started off as this, but that nasty character development got in the way.
- To clarify, she acts like a sweet person to most people. When dealing with the Sixth, she shows her bitchy side. However, when dealing with Gabriel, she shows her softer side and, since his introduction, has largely softened up.
- Bi the Way: Nico and Raj.
- Black and Gray Morality: The Society has saved the world and regularly defends it from horrible threats. However, Fantastic Racism saturates its ranks and they will kill (not arrest) most any monster that they find. Until White's era, it was common practice to kill agents when they retired to stop them from talking.
- Black and White Morality: Gwen, despite all evidence to the contrary, latches onto this.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall Nico does this all the time.
- Break the Cutie: Raj is basically an untrained Nico, and he gets pissed if you hurt his mentor/boyfriend. Pissed Raj is bad.
- Broken Ace: Nico started off as your go-to guy for ass-kicking. Then, he got broken when his secret nature (being a Chthonian) was revealed.
- Buffy Speak: More so than one would ever believe. Oliver is probably the worst offender.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Subverted. Nico may be good at what he does, but Oliver will not handle any shit from him. He keeps a gun on his person at all times specifically tailored to kill Nico in order to keep him in line.
- Canon Immigrant: Wayne is an odd example. He was born in Super Teens Stuff, but, as of Chapter Four, he has joined the cast of this RP. He is also quite literally an immigrant, since he simply came over from his world.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Completely intentional, mind you.
- Characterization Marches On: At first, White started off as Grey's beautiful but bitchy secretary. With her rise to the head of APS and the introduction of Gabriel, however, she has genuinely loosened up and is now a genuinely nice and sort of goofy person.
- Chew Toy: Nico has been exiled from R'yleh, faced extreme racism from certain members of the Society, his mentor died, his world was destroyed, his father disowned and depowered him, he got the shit beaten out of him by Deimos and Phobos, and his beloved died. Goddamn, I'm starting to feel a bit guilty about all this...
- Commie Nazis: Averted. There are Nazis. There is an organization which boils down to the supernatural KGB. They fight. A lot.
- Cool Ship: The S.S. Nemo, a super advanced submarine.
- Cool Sword: Plenty.Including but not limited to: The Blades of R'lyeh, The Blade of Huang, and Gwen's personal sword/fuck-your-shit-upper, Cortana.
- We get a quick look at the Sword in the Stone, Clarent. It comes with Ominous Latin Chanting (though it isn't really Latin) and everything!
- Cute Monster Girl: Francesca,an Oni.
- Crapsack World
- Crapsaccharine World: Heaven, though different from the one in Elfen High, certainly inspiration from it in levels of shittiness.
- To be more precise, the angels are far nicer and more casual, particularly Michael, but Jesus is a horrible person and the only souls that are allowed in Heaven are the ones that would benefit it politically.
- Cross Over: An in-universe example. Nico often uses his fourth-wall breaking powers to converse with Wayne, from Super Teens Stuff.
- In order to defeat the Horseman of Apocalypse War, Nico calls upon his allies from all across the multiverse. These allies include Wayne and Valtherzaw from Super Teens Stuff and Crowley and Lewis Jameson from Elfen High. Hilarity Ensues.
- Dark Action Girl: The Celtic triple goddess Morrigan
- The Roman war goddess Bellonia
- Darker and Edgier: Chapters Three and Four somewhat, compared to the first two. The Arc Words seem to hint that this will get more prominent as time goes on.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oliver. Francesca has her moments as well.
- Deus ex Machina: Pretty much how the Sixth Brigade won all of it's fights against super-powerful beings, be it either with the aid of some other deity or the intervention Nico Mckickyourass.
- Notable exceptions include when James won a philosophical debate with a Chinese dragon, saving him and everyone else in Japan, and when Raj killed the Celtic God, Mannan.
- Disc One Final Boss: And how! First came Chester, antagonist of the first two chapters. Then the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse through the second and third chapters. By the fourth chapter, Rurik Udovin has risen and cemented himself as the greatest asshole in history.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Chapter One is very disjointed and character-driven, which is strange compared to the extremely plot-based nature of the succeeding chapters.
- Expy: Wayne, in the most literal sense.
- Fair Folk: They are a bunch of evil spirits who resemble shadows. However, it is revealed that what the Sixth Brigade think are Fair Folk are actually travelers from another dimension. Real Fair Folk look incredibly similar and have pretty much the same abilities, sans the whole necromancy thing.
- Fallen Angel: Gabriel, Raj's replacement.
- Fantastic Racism: Humans towards paranormals. Goddamn everything against Chthonians.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Subverted with Gwen.She is surely very ladylike,but unfortunately,she is also a massive Lethal Chef
- Five-Man Band: Seven, actually.
- The Hero: Oliver.
- The Lancer: James. Nico. Occasionally Roland. Gabriel seems like he might end up being this.
- The Smart Guy: Oliver. He can still kick ass.
- The Big Guy: Nico. Francesca.
- The Chick: Raj. Gwen. They can still kick ass too, and are far from the being useless.
- Tagalong Kid: Raj, unless you piss him off.
- Sixth Ranger: Raj and his replacement, Gabriel. To a lesser extent, James or Durim. A meta-example would be Gabriel and Raj's Real Life creator, Nightkill.
- Five-Token Band: God's Angels, after the 90's.
- Hammerspace: Justified with Nico. He can reach between dimensions.
- Gray and Grey Morality: The group frequently lapses into this when fighting their enemies. In fact, for the most part, it seems the only crimes Rurik and the OIA are guilty of is being Russians.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Let's see... Hans first started off as one of Those Wacky Nazis, then got captured by Soviet spies, then joined the APS, and is now The Dragon. Who knows how long that particular change will last though, what with Rurik being... well, Rurik.
- Heroic Lineage:It's hinted in Chapter 4 that Gwen could be a descendant of King Arthur himself.
- Oliver is the son of a disgraced ex-president of the APS and is descended from General Braddock. Post-werewolfization, he is a member of the same pack of werewolves as Romulus and Remus, actual heroes.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Gwen to Francesca, occasionally.
- Lighter and Softer: The APS under the leadership of White, of all people. How ironic, considering the direction of the RP.
- Masquerade: Duh.
- Meaningful Name: Nico Hawkeye, a sniper. This could be an example of Meaningful Rename though, depending on which part of Nico's new identity came frost.
- Nice Hat: Fedoras are also part of the uniform.
- Gwen replaces the Fedora in favor of a Deerstalker,though without a pipe
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Cloak and Dagger, an agency that is higher in influence than the APS and six times as secretive.
- Rurik Udovin and David Herring were this until their back-stories were revealed.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Subverted and Lampshaded. There is ominous chanting when summoning a Horseman of Apocalypse, and it's supposed to sound like Latin, but it's actually Portuguese. Mc Millan explains that he doesn't speak Latin, but it's kind of weird that the Horsewoman, Pestilence, does the Portuguese thing too.
- Once an Episode: A battle with bat-demons.
- Chapter Four gets a bit more creative and features Super-Duper Bat-Demons.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: The Sword in the Stone itself makes an appearance. It can only be used by Gwen.
- Order Vs Chaos: According to Nat, the battle between the APS and Rurik boils down to this.
- Our Angels Are Different: They are shapeshifters who kick significant amounts of ass. Gabriel is a more stereotypical angel physically, though this is most likely a choice or is due to the fact that he is a lesser angel. Also, they're incredibly diverse.
- Our Demons Are Different: They are physically and mentally indistinguishable from angels, being that they are indeed fallen angels. Gabriel may or may not be one.
- There is an entire category of monsters known as "daemons", but demons do not fall under this category. Daemons are embodiments of evil, typically evil spirits.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They are the honey badgers of the paranormal kingdom.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Normal zombies have yet to make an appearance, but there are corpses reanimated by the "Fair Folk".
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: The Angel Diversity Movement of the 1990's.
- Put on a Bus: Raj just up and disappears, though Nat and Night have hinted that there is more to it than that.
- Really 700 Years Old: Oliver spent 800 years in the space between dimensions, not aging a day.
- Redemption Equals Death: David Herring.
- Retcon: Did you know that Nico once killed James? No? Good. Cthulu wants it that way.
- A few other in-universe examples are becoming more obvious. Most obvious James was erased from existence. There used to be another Gabriel, too.
- Ret Gone: James.
- Running Gag: Michael and Gabriel keep in touch via divine versions of popular social networks, and Michael's accounts are constantly being hacked.
- Shout-Out: Many. See Author Appeal.
- Teasing Creator: Oh, do I ever love this!
- Tempting Fate: Oliver to Durim: "Don't provoke the Lord of the Dark! Who pisses off something with that kind of name?"
- Token Minority:Gwen is of Welsh heritage. Oh, and does she revel in it.
- Raj is Indian. Not surprising, considering that Nightkill is himself, Polish.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Francesca and Gwen.
- The Ace: Santa Claus. He has a revolver and deer-pegasi.
- The Alcoholic: Roland.
- Francesca, by virtue of being an oni.
- The Krampus
- The Men in Black: The APS, of course.
- The Mole: James claims to have been one for the Cloak and Dagger, but Oliver doubts that, as the Cloak and Dagger do not behave the way James describes them as having behaved. He betrayed the "Ca D" of course, otherwise he wouldn't be alive anymore.
- The Obi-Wan: During his lifetime, the President of the APS, Grey (H. P. Lovecraft, a Chthonian, living out a new life), was this to Nico, and to a lesser extent, Oliver.
- The Order: The defunct Knights of the Round Table were this.
- The Verse: Nightkills Shit.
- They Call Him Sword: Oliver, the werewolf, is called "the wolf" by so many enemies, it's unbelievable.
- The Unmasqued World: Due to the events of Chapter Two, the existence of the monsters has been revealed to the public. Chapter Four begins with White revealing the existence of the APS to the world as well. Not much time has been spent dwelling on the implications of it all yet, but a majority of Chapter Four will be.
- Wham Episode: Chapter Four. Holy shit.
- Who You Gonna Call?: The APS is a Type 3. Still, they didn't manage to avoid breaking the masquerade.
- We Can Rebuild Him: James, after being partially turned to stone by the Blade of Huang.
- Weirdness Magnet: The Sixth Brigade, specifically Nico.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Gwen.Having a Knight In Shining Armour mindset doesn't help her either.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nico is the Destroyer. 'Nuff said.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Averted. The souls who escaped from Heaven are integrated into society rather uneasily, but still integrated. They aren't exactly zombies, either.