Roleplay / Cerberus Daily News
Here’s a social experiment.
Take a popular sci-fi series (in this case, Mass Effect
Start up a news feed that posts official, daily, in-universe news blurbs.
Add a commentary box.
And just watch the roleplaying begin.
This is what happened to Cerberus Daily News, a fake news blog based off of the daily news feeds that would show up on Mass Effect 2
’s Start Screen
. Growing into a roleplaying site almost overnight, it has since created its own forum
, storylines, chat channel and site wiki
, staying true to its roots by releasing daily news articles on the state of the Galaxy written by its userbase.
Cerberus Daily News has played through the events of Mass Effect 2
and Mass Effect 3
, using the articles and in-game Codices as its backbone. Having rebooted its forums, it now explores events After the End
, choosing one of the game’s canonical endings and creating a scenario that takes place one year after the final events of the series’ finale (Specifically, in CDN's canon, Shepard was female and went for the Control Ending), using a series of community-written “Retrospectives”
to flesh out the forum’s current setting.
It can be found here
. The original (unformatted Wordpress site) can be found here
, its old forum can be found here
, and its wiki here
. If you would like to submit your own front-page story for the site, here are the posting guidelines
We are in the process of compiling our greatest adventures in the form of recaps. Please enjoy the first one: The Battle of Veratix Station.
Cerberus Daily News contains the following tropes:
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: One response to someone pointing out that the Blue Suns are only a short step away from being called the Azure Supernovas (in a thread in which organisation names were being mocked). Another pointed out that this would be an exceptionally bad name for an asari strip joint. Note that "Azure" is slang for an asari's genitals.
- Ace Pilot: Gatrinex, who was a Turian Hierarchy fighter jock. Most notably, he was the winner of the insane obstacle course that was the 7 Rings Race. Sadly, he died early in the Reaper War, shot down over Palaven.
- Actor Allusion: An actor named Carth Onasi plays a fictionalized expy of Kaidan in Citadel XXX. They're played by the same VA.
- Addled Addict: It’s impossible to tell if Eightball is this or a slightly terrifying form of Functional Addict. Even after he goes cold turkey, he’s as bizarre in his behaviour as ever.
- After the End: The forum is currently in a post-Mass Effect 3 timeframe. A couple of years have passed, with the relay network coming back online and galaxy-wide travel starting up again. Most of the nations and factions are in the process of rebuilding.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: D.W.I.C.K, apparently. It briefly appeared to have taken over Dwick Dwickcast Syndykyt. Terrorbyte activated it during a short-lived coup attempt following the real Dwick's multi-day disappearance. Hijinks ensured.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Choriick. Which are essentially salarian spider-dogs. Also Talxu, which are asari aqua-dogs (with a little chimp in the mix).
- All Drummers Are Animals: Skhash the drummer. A vorcha who plays drums for a red metal band. By vorcha standards, he's actually pretty well-spoken and shows considerable intelligence.
- The Alleged Car: Turul's ship, which looks like it belongs on a trash heap. Basically a Running Gag, in that most of Turul's infrequent but crazy road trips involve characters being introduced to the ship, often while hurrying to board it.
- All There in the Manual: The retrospectives cover what happened after the war for most factions.
- All ExtraNet Users Are Perverts:
Abad Sam-mel: What the hell?! 'CDN' stands for 'Cerberus Daily News', not 'Cosmic Dating Network', damnit.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Averted with the yahg, who are imagined not as bloodthirsty and uncontrollable but as a sophisticated - if dangerous - race who *can* integrate into the galactic community, if both they and the other races take steps to make it work.
- Amoral Attorney: Xavier Platt, more or less. This includes planning the assassination of political obstacles.
- Amusing Alien: The vorcha. Terrifying in battle. Hilarious as pets.
- Special mention to Curr the News Vorcha, whose popular show "News With Curr" is good for a laugh and/or the urge to end it all.
- Antiquated Linguistics: In one thread, Nikolai Aleksanders mocks the hyperbolic inanities of Wedeg Biigs by affecting a hammy and ludicrously purple posting style, which is rapidly adopted by everyone else in the thread, leading to an Antiquated Linguistics battle of sorts. Also a form of I Shall Taunt You.
- SerArcheosEater sounds like this; he speaks an old krogan language in a dialect that translates very much in line with this trope.
- Anyone Can Die: Board rules prevent members from killing each other’s characters without their express pre-approval. This doesn't stop several characters from meeting their end at gunpoint.
- Apocalypse Cult: A salarian version of this was responsible in part for the destruction of a salarian city with a WMD.
- Apocalyptic Log: When the Reapers finally arrive, many comments in CDN reports are filled with transmissions from worlds they are attacking. Many are suddenly cut off mid-sentence.
- As Long as There is Evil: The last sentiment of Discori, who as he dies mocks the idea that good intentions can ever change the nature of the Terminus. There will always be someone like him, no matter how often do-gooders put a temporary stop to it.
- Author Existence Failure: Happens in-universe when Suzi Spektre, the actress who plays "Shepherd" in Citadel XXX is killed during the Reaper attack on earth. Shepherd's role is taken up by Melody Jovia. The change in appearance is explained via the Cerberus "Elazar Project's" facial reconstruction, just like in the game.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Invoked in-universe with the Biotic lash technique used by Cerberus agents.
- To a lesser extent, Omni-blades are also being debated as near useless in many combat situations.
- Band of Brothels: The Illium Intimate Services Sisterhood, which does what it can to keep the industry safe and reputable on Illium. The Citadel has its equivalent, the Sapphire Alliance.
- Bears Are Bad News: Biotic grizzly
- Berserk Button: Very, very many examples. Some include:
- Accusing individual quarians of being responsible for their own fate.
- Calling Diplomatic Immunity a politician.
- Bad-mouthing Kirok's varren.
- Bringing up Janice Proctor's past Terra Firma membership.
- Calling Liria T'Remi a piece of meat.
- Big Eater: Dwick Junior, one of Branka’s varren pups. It turns out he’s biotic, which explains a lot. Dwick himself is also a total glutton, one of the reasons why the pup takes his name.
- Big Good: Possibly the Special Tasks Group. They coordinated the defence against the greatest pre-Reaper threat the board ever knew - QoroQ - and are perhaps, in a strange sense, the most likely protagonist faction.
- Biggus Dickus: Danny from Accounting, AKA Masturbatorum Throatfuck the Man Fortress. One of the stranger Brick Jokes.
- Blood Knight: Tethys Reave.
- Blue Blood: Mano’har, the exiled batarian nobleman. Has an appropriately Overly Long Name.
- Bondage Is Bad: Averted. Pleasant and respectable characters like Harrad Illum and his husband Cour, Daia T’Nara, and Jacob Angelaus all engage in it (though Angelaus’ girlfriend Nalia is a huge hypocrite, being publicly uptight and contemptuous of sexual urges).
- Book Ends: QoroQ’s first and final victims are volus, killed though grisly dismemberment and depressurization.
- Boring Insult: Not that it caused him any concern, but Cerastes received one of these from Haseri of all people, in a post where Haseri compared his current behaviour to that of a predictable cartoon villain. Being a respectable hanar, Haseri delivered it in the politest way possible. Being Cerastes, Cerastes wasn't unduly provoked.
- Brick Joke: Long-time members have long memories.
- Buccaneer Broadcaster: The Voice of Omega run by Job Larson and his hobo friends. Used primarily to talk about whatever rumours are currently spreading around Omega. With occasional conspiracy theories thrown in. Ask him about the Tusk-Man.
- Buffy Speak: Mandatory (Boss):
"That's all you unfunny assholes ever f***ing say, "WHELP WHELP WHELP" all f***ing day and f***ing night. Like some kind of thing... that screams whelp a lot".
- Butt-Monkey: Emon Spiza is designated this.
- Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards:
- Most NPC drell are this (to hanar); the player character drell, on the other hand, are often non-Compact.
- The miniature army of biotic volus hired by Terrorbyte, since repurposed by Dwick into a bodyguard/servant unit for Lydia.
- Cannibal Clan: Z-Tribe. A group of people from the Terminus sharing an account who enjoyed eating other sapient beings. They dine together as a family... often on a family, apparently.
- Cannibalism Superpower: "Devour The Hearts Of NKaria's Adversaries So That You May Take Their Power For Yourself", a side-scrolling platformer; distribution is banned in the Illuminated Primacy due to extreme gore, subversive religious themes, and depictions of intense violence. Featuring Jammin' Moxie, voiced by Tethys Reave.
- Child Soldiers: Part of several characters' background - most commonly turians or drell. The issue of child soldiers is currently a controversial one due to reports of underage drell soldiers used by the Illuminated Primacy; the drell rights groups have been making a fuss.
- Coincidence Magnet: Applicable to the entire forum, and the characters' habits of running into each other even when doing mundane things like grocery shopping. The characters often Lampshade it, usually by joking/theorizing that the CDN forums are actually an exercise in probability manipulation.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: See anything yellow and related to either Aphin, Tarn or Kittens? Don’t trust it.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Krogan, vorcha, and pretty much any mercenary on the board. To be honest, much of the humour runs on this trope.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Several. Job Larson lives and breathes them, along with anything to do with the paranormal, and hosts his own radio show pretty much dedicated to them. Also, Capice ran practically every Reaper-related rumour by the boards before the Invasion of Earth (to everyone else’s irritation).
- Continuation: Bioware’s official CDN news articles have ended, but forum members continue to create them in their absence.
- Cool Cat: Jammin' Moxie (moxies being four-eyed turian cats).
- Cool Old Guy: Mirqurios, Gorik, Aphin, Dwick, Kolhammer.
- Cool Shades: Julmoth. Twice as cool because he's a batarian.
- "I don't always come back from the dead, but when I do, I make sure to wear awesome shades."
- Cool Starship: Too many to name. Many were destroyed in the Reaper War, however.
- A thread in the old Virtual Lounge (the OOC section) is about inventing even more of these.
- The Hierophant-class
It is said that when the Hierophant of Gruul asked for a superweapon to destroy his enemies, he was told it could not be done. When he asked for a dreadnought, he was told that he did not have the budget. So he asked for a heavy cruiser, and told his men that it must be the best cruiser that could possibly exist, one that would crush his enemies and lead his fleets to victory. When he was brought back the design for the Hierophant-class, he asked why his men claimed that they could not bring him a superweapon."
- Cool vs. Awesome: Elcor vs. krogan
- The Cracker: Terrorbyte. His Sitcom Archnemesis Mekan of Omega slides into this sometimes, though he's nowhere near as malicious.
- Crapsack World: The Terminus Systems. The uncivilized half of the galaxy. One part Wild West, one part Mega Corp. playground, and one part Afghanistan.
- Cryptic Conversation: RememberTheBlitz will occasionally speak in this manner.
- Cute Young Feline Mammal ("Kittens") always speaks like this.
- Curbstomp Battle: Vakkel versus Blasphemous Xenophage. And There Was Much Rejoicing.
- Deadpan Snarker: A staple characteristic for the forum. Although the ultimate example might well be Dyson, the galaxy's most sarcastic geth, whose put-downs and come-backs (eminently logical, of course) became legendary. It had a disturbing habit of keeping tabs on other posters and linking effortlessly to previous posts as a means of demonstrating his opponents' hypocrisy or contradictions.
- Defictionalization: Technically, the whole site.
- Dead Man Writing: Last Wills and Testaments triggered by Dead Man Switches are so ubiquitous that Diplomatic Immunity once had one go off early as a gag.
- Depraved Bisexual: The least of Abattoir's faults. Same with Diplomatic Immunity.
- Determined Homesteader's Children: Younger characters from the turian separatist communities on Solregit.
- Distressed Damsel: Kidnapping is a very common occurrence, so much so that one child was given a subdermal distress beacon for “in the unlikely circumstance that you leave your father's line of sight again.”
- Doorstopper: The poems of Dord, an elcor poet whose works have been discussed on the forum. Her poem “help” is four million words long.
- Double Entendre: Some threads are FULL of them.
- Drinking Game: One has been created for nearly every notable character.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: A lot of these happened during the Who Goes There storyline and the Reaper War. For some, it even doubled as a Redemption Equals Death.
- Eldritch Abomination: QoroQ, definitely. Possibly "Kittens".
- Elseworld: Elseworld threads explore different “non-canonical” scenarios. They’re common enough that they had their own sub-forum for a time.
- Enforced Method Acting: The ending of the first "Dynasty Maker" arc involved the main character's player being kept in the dark as to a... certain all-important detail.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Most of the evil characters have a line they refuse to cross.
- Expy: Asharia is based off of a certain blood-spatter analyst.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Ket'Etal winds up acquiring a penguin, initially as a joke. He names it "Kettle Junior" and he ends up keeping it around for several months. Why a penguin? Because of this trope, essentially.
- Evil Albino: Cerastes.
- Extranet Counterattack: Taken to an extreme with Operation Down With Discord. Discori made some postings offering to sell slaves. An army of mercenaries launched a coordinated attack on his base.
- Executive Meddling: Temporarily happened in-universe to The Life Egregious.
- Eye Scream: Considering the average forum-goer’s occupation, bullets and knives to the squishy bits are a distressingly common occurrence. Just ask Davril, Dietrich, Aphin, or really any member of Cerberus before the end of Mass Effect 3.
- Fantastic Racism: Incredibly common. Nearly every race hates at least one other race by default, and practically everyone despises both vorcha and quarians. That said, after the Reaper War the latter race are more acceptable to many as members of the galactic community. Not everyone, though.
- Fantastic Slurs: Kickballs (volus), Furheads (humans), Blinks (batarians), Frogs (salarians), Flashlights (geth), Spikebutts (turians), Bluetits (asari), Lizards (drell or krogan), Buckets (quarians)...
- Faux to Guide: The "Serious Life Coach Column" should totally be taken at face value and obeyed to the letter. No flippancy or satire goes anywhere near those posts, honest!
- Fictional Sport: Pildavi, Trapball, Sarophan'tialamenus, Stickmatch, etc.
- Field Promotion: SvChief Jaquento Schmidt got one to GyChief after his unorthodox idea saved the Teutoburg Forrest from being destroyed by crashing into a planet. For another one (to OpChief) see Kicked Upstairs.
- Likewise for GyChief Tritt, who got his current rank after ending a hostage crisis with no civilian loss of life. Unfortunately, he's now stuck as company logistics NCO
- Fisher Kingdom: Jorgal Dwick's larger than life personality and physical girth are diminished when the asari finally start reclaiming the city of "Nos Dwicka" on Illium.
- Gambit Pileup: This happened when Varril was imprisoned and several different complicated plans were hatched to rescue him, but most of the disorganized confusion you'd usually expect is averted, as Varril gets out in the end.
- Genki Girl: Grackel and Naaya.
- Gladiator Games: The Chresk games. One NPC character, the Blue Volus, became famous for being the victor in a six-volus death match, and appeared on the boards as a player character a few years later, now running a cruise ship.
- Happily Bonded: Harrad_01 and his partner Cour.
- Muckracker and Vohkaidin.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Two volus engage in a BATTLE TO THE DEATH.
- Has Two Mommies: Some_Random_Merc
- Laelix, Harrad and Cour's adoptive son, has two daddies.
- Kolya (Human Quarian). Technically it was one dad and one Honorary Uncle and it was only for four years of his life but it still counts.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Happens with disturbing regularity. One example: Suri'Neyvi posts a disturbingly sexual image.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: TSS/Abattoir fanfiction is leaked. To everyone. The Sarcastic Salarian doesn't take it well.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Oddly enough, often committed by the villains.
- Hidden Depths: One of the central themes with Prax ("Deadbeat"), who clearly could be so much more than the apathetic layabout he chooses to be. Notably he is surprisingly well-read and able to write poetry in multiple forms and genres.
- Hideous Hangover Cure: Goronak's concoction. Whatever it is, it tastes awful, but works.
- Hilarity Ensues: Having been detained for questioning by Citadel customs, Thalyr'ra enlisted a deadbeat and a stoned krogan to break him out. The results were...chaotic, to say the least.
- After having a troubled recovery from her imprisonment by Abad Sam-mel, Cuddle Bomb decides to celebrate her newfound freedom by tackling that very same slaver in Afterlife, with a whole crowd watching.
- Hive Caste System: The rachni caste system has been expanded and defined in detail since the race made its return to galactic society in the aftermath of the Reaper War.
- Holier Than Thou:
- Kel'Jaroth might not have been religious, but he preached at everybody.
- Same with John Galt.
- Hurricane of Puns: This thread.
- Branka and Ket’Etal are among the characters who can’t resist these.
- I Call It "Vera": A somewhat archaic trope, but consider Quint's FMBLA and Aphin's Fishjolnir. The former is a gun that shoots spent heat sinks at their opponents. The latter is a three foot-long rubber fish on a handle.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: The calling cry of many a character. Pertinent examples include Emon Spiza and the more reluctant mercenaries.
- Insistent Terminology: The humans tend to insist that upon their heads they sport "hair" and not "fur".
- Capice: "Independent drell", not "non-Compacted drell". A bit of a Berserk Button.
- Nalia’Tonbay (Valaar Ke'el): A Lak'Ratar Veran is not a cape.
- Interspecies Adoption: Davril, a turian, adopted Flower, a human. Also Xuumo the elcor and his human adopted son/junior partner/meal ticket Alonso.
- Jerkass: A great many members of the forum; it would be shorter to describe who isn’t.
- Just Think of the Potential: A calling card for many former Cerberus members.
- Kicked Upstairs: When Jaquento Schmidt accepted a position at the Alliance Tower on the Citadel, he was promoted for formal reasons only, giving him rank superiority over his coworkers and a bigger pay check.
- Same for Gunny Tritt, whose new rank came with the billet of company gunny, placing him in charge of logistics and training, and taking him off the line. He's doing his best to get put back on the line, though.
- Killer Rabbit: An expedition to an uncharted planet yielded the discovery of small blue lizards with biotic powers, though they seemed pretty harmless.
- Klatchian Coffee: The coffee Cerastes makes once actually killed someone.
- Knowledge Broker: Notable examples include Dietrich, Cerastes, Zeela, and Kittens.
- Lady of War: See: Talyra Kerun and nearly every female member of the Solregit colony.
- Large Ham: Perhaps inevitably (due to Rule of Funny), the volus are the race most likely to fit the trope.
- SNOW VARREN SPEAKS IN GREEN, BOLD, ALL-CAPS SENTENCES, WITH NO CONCEPT OF FIRST-PERSON SINGULAR.
- Jon Briggs was a respectable BUSINESSMAN, whose BOMBASTIC and RANDOMLY CAPITALIZED speeches SHOULD NOT remind anyone of Peterman. NOT AT ALL.
- Jorgal Dwick and Terrorbyte have crafted their own small media empire by being a pair of hams.
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: The Omega-based organisation AEGIS walk the line between this and mercenaries.
- Let's Play:
- An in-universe example: Asharia plays X-COM.
- Some_Random_Merc is an AVID Alliance Corsair player.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The 12-day surreal comedy story arc that was "Dwickfall" AKA "The Twelve Days of Dwickmas". It comes up quite often nonetheless.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: It’s an extranet forum.
- Local Hangout: Aphin’s Place for the Citadel characters; the Periwinkle Paradise for denizens of Omega.
- Long Runner: Has been running for about five years now.
- Made a Slave: Given both Illium and the batarian slave trade, this happens every once in a while.
- Madness Mantra:
Suri: BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD
- Mad Scientist: There’s a few of them as well, including the seemingly unlikely Tuchankan Gothteng Vedix.
- Linya (Scientific Pursuits) subverts this, being a researcher who just happens to be an industrial-strength Cloud Cuckoolander and Genki Girl.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Happens when Abattoir decides to show up to the meeting that was meant to posthumously divvy up his territory.
- MSTing A fictional James Bond IN SPACE is ripped apart in one thread.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Several. The often antagonistic relationships between characters contrast with the out-of-character relationships.
- Mega Corp.: Titan Corporation (possibly the name seeks to lampshade its status?). Its corporate armies, general lack of ethics, questionable experiments, and household name paints it as a classic Megacorp.
- More Than Mind Control: Lydia’s ordeal, after she’s abducted and left to the mercies of Terna Caelnion, who aims to recondition her into being a loyal and docile slave to her former owners.
- Mugging The Separatist Survivalist: Sylvion meets Sicaria.
- Must Have Nicotine: Dano
- My Master, Right or Wrong: The indentured servants that belonged to Johnny/Some_Random_Merc. Goddess knows that he did some unpleasant thing, but they stuck by him.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: A significant number of characters behaves in ways you wouldn't expect from their species. Given this is Mass Effect, it's only to be expected.
- Mythology Gag: All day, every day.
- Naïve Newcomer:
- The raloi, in a cultural sense.
- Laykalar the hanar.
- Name's the Same: As a sort of conclusion to a running gag of the boards, serial killer The Tayseri Strangler ended up sharing the name of one of the forum's most respectable posters...along with many life details that were suspiciously similar, too.
- Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: The Camalan Grusto, who run post-war Camala as part of the Batarian Confederacy.
- Never Found the Body: Julmoth and Justicar Velinara come to mind. Also a useful tool for players who come back from hiatus.
- Never Live It Down: Where were the salarians at the Battle of Earth? Everyone else was there - even the remnants of the batarian fleet. Everyone. But not one of the four Council races. The Salarian Union has been in damage-control mode almost non-stop in the war's aftermath.
- New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: Efforts have been made to avert this. A thread in the former virtual lounge existed for the creation of sovereign nations within the Terminus, so that the region could be fleshed out consistently and with a fair amount of pre-established political backstory. It also provides plenty of inspiration for new Terminus characters. Still, Terminus nations are often invented wholescale, among the more prominent being the Theocracy of Gruul, the Technocracy of Valkar, and the High Republic of Orozvhad.
- Non-canon species are not permitted; although it's known that both the Turian Hierarchy and the Terminus contain several species as yet unrevealed, characters are limited to official canon species.
- Nice Hat: Stezenyn, the hat-wearing hanar; more recently, Skrat the vorcha.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- For over a year, Mekan and Dano faced accusations of this regarding the Systems Alliance-Vies War, which they were “credited” with starting. This was really quite unfair, as the board eventually acknowledged.
- Similarly, and predating it, the so-called Wagstaff Affair was a huge embarrassment for the Systems Alliance and CDN.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Lady Sweat.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Anyone who tries to do something helpful for Dani will find themselves screwed over by Dani. Most notably, Jil'Korah once brought her a new suit, only to be immediately mugged by her.
- Noodle Incident: Used all the time. Examples include: Tomaz’s pilgrimage, Spiza’s indentured servitude, the invasion of Gunny’s ship by krogan, and several of Aphin’s and Jules’ benders.
- No Social Skills: A seemingly common trait of the raloi. In Najhil's case, it's a result of the brutal, strict, state-run orphanage she was raised in. Some of the more technically-minded people are prone to this as well.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: One Classy Bloke - ha ha, it's a volus in a top hat with a cane! Funny, right? Well, he not only showed signs of being a Magnificent Bastard...he was a biotic vanguard on top of that. It doesn't help him in the end.
- Occupiers out of Our Country: This has been a growing sentiment amongst human colonists toward the Alliance's post-war government, which they consider to be exploiting their resources without recompense to aid Earth's reconstruction while simultaneously neglecting their needs.
- The history of the turian planet Solregit, from which several characters hail. The planet is divided between the separatist northerners and Hierarchy-loyalist southerners.
- Oh, Crap!: See Mass "Oh, Crap!".
- One Steve Limit: Averted. “Goronak” is such a prevalent batarian name that it’s become a racial slur. It actually means "second son"; it's so common as a name because the second son is blessed in traditional batarian culture, and many parents proudly name their second son "Goronak" to emphasis this.
- Only Sane Man: More than a third of the forum has experienced this at least once.
- Open Secret: Inconspicuous Organic was clearly a robust human specimen, NOT a form of synthetic intelligence.
- Abattoir and Velinara's "engagement" was this for a while until it became an open secret.
- Overprotective Dad:
- Davril – though his is perhaps justified in that his daughter is a nigh-constant Distressed Damsel.
- Upon finding out that a certain albino drell has started dating his surrogate daughter Shirin, Kirok drags Cerastes out to a bar and has a 'talk' with him. ... with a shotgun as the mediator.
- Play-by-Post Games
- Politeness Judo: When trying to convince a politician to come to a charity dinner, Laykalar the excitable hanar ends up talking to the man's staff. They try to get him to leave the conversation, but being too polite he can’t do that (or even take the hint). They grow desperate to get rid of him, and he thinks they’re being extra cooperative.
- Porn with Plot: Illium-based ExtranetPlayground is pursuing this niche with some success. Their flagship trilogy Citadel XXX is 'based on real events' in-universe, thus serving as an homage/parody of Mass Effect itself.
- Practical Joke:
- Private Military Contractors: About a third of the cast are mercenaries.
- Psycho for Hire: When most of the characters are mercenaries on a board created by a terrorist organization, this happens a lot. Lampshaded by some of the non-combatant members.
- Punny Name: In the spirit of several quarian names from the Mass Effect series (vas Iktomi, etc.), we have Sarve'er nar Kolepsi.
- Real Dreams Are Weirder: Branka’s dream about a hanar named Hot Dog handing out balloons and warning her about Japan. It became a moment of hilarity when Haseri’s player recorded a message based on the dream, and posted it in-character.
- Really Gets Around: Both Abattoir and Diplomatic Immunity, despite their rather fearsome reputations. Also Senn, Liria T’Remi, Vuk, and a few others.
- Red Shirt Army: Played in the background by many players.
- Remember When You Threw An Alliance Cruiser Into The Sun
- The Remnant: Several neo-Cerberus groups have formed in the wake of the organization's dissolution.
- The supposed existence of a "lost batarian empire" serves to inspire some batarian groups in the wake of the old Hegemony's collapse, giving them hope that a remnant of that Hegemony exists in a viable form.
- Mason Barnette is one of the few survivors of the once infamously wealthy colony of Bekenstein, and works for a revival.
- Replacement Scrappy: In-universe, the entire cast of The Life Egregious season five. Luckily Tethys Reave regeneratesnote and kills them all during a live broadcast.
- Retcon: Given how one character’s actions affect others’, this is suppressed whenever possible.
- The Reveal: A quarian with the screenname 18/q/f shows up at the boards. Her attitude, writing style, and infatuation with Abattoir make everyone think that it's actually Suri in some Paper-Thin Disguise. It's actually 'One Classy Bloke' the volus trying to lure Suri out
- Retired Badass: Ex-wrestler banker, ex-special forces cop, ex-mercenary ship repairman, ex-military mechanic...
- Rock Beats Laser: Sling Beats Drone.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Orion suffers from this in "So a krogan walks into a bar..." when he attempts to contact Asharia via text after drinking two shots of batarian ale and eating krogan food.
Son_of_Orion: ashria/sick/tuhaka's deligt/zakra ward/hlep
- Rule of Cool: How most stories are played. Not that there isn't a lot of serious drama and world-building.
- Running Gag: Very prevalent, very fluid. Examples include:
- The squirrel infestation in old Nos Astra (spreading into New Nos Astra). Cerastes released hundreds of breeding pairs of squirrels as a vicious prank, and ever since threads and posts about Illium have tended to feature a nod or two to the infestation.
- Diplomatic Immunity’s former habit of inviting new members of the forum for a “[redacted]”
- Cerberus projects going horribly wrong
- “Shut the fuck up, Elvis.”
- Pariah and the “slavery!” joke, an on-going gag at the expense of a character few of the other characters like.
- The fact that no-one remembers what QoroQ is, despite the events of the arc having finally been made public. Usually someone will mention it only for most of the board to then ask "what's qoroq?" or state that QoroQ was a fictional character.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Batarian Hegemony. One part antebellum slaveowners, one part goose stepping nazi, one part paranoid propaganda-spewing communist. Serve chilled. However, batarian space is in upheaval after the events of Mass Effect 3, and to some regard they're now The Alliance.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Used by rich members of the forum, with varying degrees of success.
- Grand Excecutor Menekhotep Tran'Darvas, on show-within-a-show The Life Egregious, embodies this trope to comic extremes.
- Serial-Killer Killer: Asharia.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The hanar are often like this, given their religious devotion to language and formality. Laykalar is perhaps the best example.
- Shaped Like Itself:
Sklikos Gamic: [...] ...The Truth of how the alien corrupters corrupted the Hierarchy with their corrupting Alienenss and how they control our glorious corrupted Hierarchy with alien corruption.
- Shout-Out: Very common. See: Expy.
- Show Within a Show: The Life Egregious was basically this; it also served to parody Cerberus Daily News itself, with many of the board's characteristics - the wackiness, the sociopathic and sadistic humour, the Rule of Cool - taken up to eleven, and with the sense of restraint and respect for the canon setting removed.
- She Is Not This One's Girlfriend And It Will Sodomize Your Eye Socket If You Say So One More Goddamned Time: Observe.
- Silence, You Fool!: Grand Executor Menekhotep Tran'Darvas, on The Life Egregious begins almost every sentence with "Silence!"
- Skyward Scream: Kirok, apparently, whenever Tethys Reave is mentioned.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The whole scale is explored, from beloved idealists like children's entertainer Uncle Garm Garm to the most pessimistic and brutal parts of galactic culture. The post-Reaper War period is potentially shaping up to be either complete hell or the beginning of a golden age, depending on who you ask. Such events as the curing of the genophage, the transition of the batarian government from Hegemony to Confederacy and the welcoming of both the geth and the rachni into the galactic community have divided characters considerably - are these changes for good or ill?
- Small Name, Big Ego: Self-described Terminus warlords are often referred to in these terms by others. Modas Gomorrian, for example, is accused of this by some for his claim to be poised to take control of the Eagle Nebula.
- Story Arc: Many, including:
- Dynasty Maker: Salarian posters wind up as contestants on a controversial gameshow.
- Who Goes There?, parts one and two: The Special Tasks Group enlists the board in an attempt to stop an Eldritch Abomination.
- The Systems Alliance-Vies War: Members of CDN are present for (and help instigate) the start of a small-scale war.
- The Hunt For Lydia: A respected board member is kidnapped, and the board helps track her down.
- The Reaper War (of course).
- Stupid Good: Iel’Verret is the nicest person on the boards, but he’s so painfully naïve he’d be a danger to himself.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of the first major characters, Inconspicuous Organic, was a robust human specimen and most certainly not an artificial intelligence.
- Summon Bigger Fish: In 'The Lost World' chapter 3; first invoked, then used fully.
- Take That!: The most prevalent example: The Life Egregious, or if you prefer, “How Not to Act at CDN.”
- The fourth season in particular, which mercilessly parodies the controversy surrounding the ending of Mass Effect 3, with neither Bioware nor the fans spared ridicule.
- Take Your Time: By player consensus, the events of Mass Effect 2 took two full years to complete.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Any elcor. Hanar are prone to it as well.
- The Engineer: One of the largest demographics after mercenaries. Quarians are especially prone to using this trope.
- Theme Naming: The elite Hammer operatives of the Paladin organization use callsigns named after medieval equipment. Allard Kyarlen is Helm, Jurea Foron is Dagger, Kiral Ohurdrat is Mace, Paroc Didonas is Sword, and Everett Maliszewski (Son_of_Orion) is Anvil.
- Third-Person Person: Najhil Holken (a poorly-socialized raloi), as well as Flak, Skrat and Dreket (all vorcha). The hanar, of course, speak like this all the time, though they depersonalize themselves and never use their name. And some of the drell have adopted the hanars' use (or non-use) of pronouns.
- Greaseboy does this, for some reason.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Mr. Koth and Mr. Synd, Rhapsody's two assistants.
- Timeskip: The forum timeframe jumped forward one year after the conclusion of Mass Effect 3, giving the setting enough time to begin healing itself from the catastrophic last days of the Reaper War.
- Took a Level in Badass: Stick around long enough and even the most ineffectual character may end up doing this.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cerastes had a thing for calzones. Until he ate one which had been poisoned.
- Uncanny Valley: In-universe, the avatar used by Ana Sari. Upon seeing it, Terrorbyte starts freaking out, and many other posters agree that it's disturbing. Something about a face that is almost-but-not-quite Asari makes them very uncomfortable.
- Uncoffee: Lesha. It’s only grown on a single world in the Terminus Systems. The Lesha trade is the cause of ongoing armed conflict and various other unpleasantries.
- Unexplained Recovery: Several, including Wedeg Biigs, who seems to have survived being swallowed and digested by a sea monster.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: It happens a lot.
- Unusual Euphemism: Shrell!
- Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Shadow Pyjak has, of course, a pyjak. But it’s a ridiculously fat and lazy pyjak, and she only acquired it when it was discovered already living in the apartment she shares with Branka.
- Vader Breath: The volus, of course. Often played for laughs.
- Wacky Cravings: Vox WILL get her peanut brittle.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A very common claim of Cerberus (and its former members).
- Weird Moon: The logo of the Dwick Dwickcast Syndykyt logo.◊
- Wham Episode: May 5st, 2012 (2186 in-universe), when the Reaper invasion began in the forums.
- The terrorist attack on Sur'Kesh in August 2013, which ended a period of relative calm in memorable fashion.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Julmoth and Diplomatic Immunity are very prone to this; the former once lost two weeks due to some really strong drugs and ended up on Earth with a bunch of human junkies and a volus prostitute.
- What You Are in the Dark: The Chresk threads were a near perfect example of this, as you'd never know who would actually bet on the slaves being forced to fight to gain freedom until they do so.
- Would Hurt a Child: Batarian slavers, notably. The backstory of "Jimmy" gives a disturbing taste of it.
- Wrench Wench: Kim (Digital Dragon) was one part this, and one part Playful Hacker.
- You No Take Candle: A common interpretation of vorcha speech.