"Like a Saturday Morning Cartoon that airs on HBO."Currently in its fifth year of operation (est. October 2007), Freedom City Play by Post is the largest and most active Mutants & 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.
Catalyst wears a bright yellow fitted Hazmat Suit as a costume. It's Other then a pair of goggles instead, it looks like a standard hazmat suit and has been used to pose as a faceless chemical worker or someone from the city.
Crapsack World: Averted on Earth-Prime. The main universe of the Freedom City setting is an optimistic place where most people are basically good and most people love superheroes. Other dimensions, like Erde and the Terminus, on the other hand...
The "Halloween Special," where the fight between Hades and Baron Samedi spilled over into massive waves of undead and cultists flocking to Freedom City.
"ArchEvil" had Doctor Archeville's Superpowered Evil Side finally take over and unleash a number of magical and scientific monstrosities in the name of "reshaping" the world.
Then there was the time the Gorgon showed up in orbit, threatening to encase the Earth in gray goo due to the taint of the Terminus.
The "Hot Zone," where the city came under quarantine after a villain released an airborne mutagen that resulted in most of the city developing superpowers... control not guaranteed.
The Day of Wrath, where Curator(the setting's Braniac-equivalent) androids turned out to have replaced several heroes and caused brief chaos throughout the city with the help of the Foundry's robots, followed by the rescue of those replaced.
Fun with Acronyms: One of Doktor Archeville's robots, a Helpful Electronic Robot with Thoughts [formed] Out of Light, could be known as HERTOL. However, the robot's German designation is Nützlicher Elektronischer Roboter, mit Gedanken Aus Licht, or NERGAL.
Magic Versus Science: Played straight with Doktor Archeville, who believes that all "magic" has a rational explanation (mutant powers, alien tech, or some other as-yet-unexplained "natural" phenomena, combined with "you people are gullible superstitious idiots"). Ironic, considering that Archeville's Super Intelligence used to be the result of being the descendant of an Eldritch Abomination before his cleansing and infusion with nanites.
[[Averted Trope Averted]] with Arrowhawk, and Catalyst, who are both scientists in their secret identities, yet, unusually for superheroes, have a realistic level of specialty in their chosen disciplines.
Jubatus' days being 150 hours long, he's got time to read up on any and every topic under the Sun.
Graft is a doctor and medical researcher, so while he's versatile within his field, he's useless in other scientists.
Shout-Out: Chris Kenzie (Geckoman) and Liz Lawlett (Spellbound) are deliberate references to another character whose mythos loves Alliterative Names. (Pay attention to the initials...) His origin story also involves a rocket crashing into a field, and he wears a large yellow letter on his costume.
Nichtuberall, Archeville's secret retreat in the Mars/Jupiter asteroid belt.
The Speechless: When Sage's Psychic Powers first manifested, during a gymnastics competition, the trauma of linking with every mind in the room rendered her permanently mute. However, her Telepathysubverted this trope rather than play it straight.
The Liberty League (JSA, The Invaders)). Made up of either the heirs to Golden Age legacies or characters who were actually there for the Golden Age.
The Knights of Freedom (Outsiders). IC, The Knights were intended to be this sort of group - a "gray ops" team, less concerned with public relations than the Freedom League and dealing with cases beneath their notice. OOC, they were an excuse for a group of players who liked each other in Real Life to play together. Unfortunately, while the team was a very effective investigative and fighting force, it was also a volatile mix of Capes and Cowls that eventually collapsed under the weight of their own differences. However, the former members still come to each other's aid regularly.
Dead Head's on both sides of this. When he and Wander finally met, some heroes showed concern for him over the beating he was taking, but others did nothing, knowing that even if she did manage to 'kill' him, he'd eventually reanimate.
In brute physical terms, Jubatus is distinguishable from a normal cheetah only by (a) his oversized braincase, and (b) the extra-long, extra-slim digits on his forepaws.
What the Hell, Hero?: The Moderators would prefer that any player think twice before writing their character as taking an action which would invoke this trope. Please do not list specific examples here.
Our Gargoyles Rock: Custos, Etain's friend and occasional ride (cause she can't fly), is a sixteen foot tall gargoyle. He is made completely out of stone, very intimidating, but also like the original intent of gargoyles a guardian against evil supernatural beings. In truth he a conciousness of the original gargoyles who can travel and inhabit the bodies of any of the local ones, he was inactive for centuries because no one ever thought or remembered to ask gargoyles to help with their original purpose.
Space Alien: Philotherian, Red Moon, Scholar, Starlight, Stormbreaker, Wraith.
Our Zombies Are Different: Dead Head did not lose any of his intelligence, nor does he crave brains. He can animate corpses as mindless, non-hungry zombies...usually.
Our Vampires Are Different: Red Moon is in a state between life and death due to a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong. She does need to feed on blood to move, but her body is corpse-like and lacks all sensation. Direct sunlight incinerates her, and cosmic energies are tremendously harmful.
Arrowhawk is a good example, standing up to Malice'sfirepower, continuing to fight Lugat Vorkolaka after getting impaled with his sword, and surviving the blast from an exploding ammunition dump at point blank range by hunkering down in an elevator.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.