Roleplay: Last Voyages RPG
No warnings, no second chances... until now.
Heaven is not what it is said to be.
Hell is not what it is said to be.
The saved are not forever happy.
The damned are not forever lost.
—"Oran" by Steve Mcdonald, describing the story of St. Oran
Throughout space and time travels a barge
, commanded by the mysterious Admiral
, a figure often spoken of but never seen
. The Admiral has collected together
a group of unique people. He has set them a task.
There are two kinds of people. There are the inmates
, lost souls who have died. Presented with the harsh reality of how very near to utter annihilation their souls have come
, they are given an option
: live as an inmate aboard the barge, endure the trials
set before them and learn from them
, and be eventually granted a second chance at life
They are governed, cared for and protected by their wardens
, individuals of moral character (in most cases) given the task to look after them and stand as their moral compass during their time aboard the Barge. They have struck a deal
with the Admiral. In exchange for their service, conditional upon redeeming and graduating their inmate, the Admiral will give them one thing. One thing that they need desperately enough
to stay on the barge. Some are former inmates
As well as each others company
, wardens and inmates have to deal with Ports and Floods. Ports are where the barge docks in different worlds
, of varying levels of safety and sanity. Floods are where random phenomena and occurances strike the barge itself. There are normally two or three of these kind of barge events a month.
A journal based Dreamwidth RPG
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Tropes that apply to the barge as a whole
- Anachronism Stew - The Barge has aliens that have perfected time-travel living with people who don't know what washing machines are.
- Anyone Can Die - Because anyone can be revived from death on the Barge with the equivalent of a week-long hangover from hell, serious business often goes down at least once a week.
- The Atoner - Inmates are on the Barge to make up for what they've done in life.
- Back from the Dead - see Anyone Can Die.
- Big Bad - There's not really one for the overarching game, but during big events certain characters fill the role:
- In Masterworld, The Master (shockingly enough). Judas and Iago were his Co-Dragons.
- In the Four Horsemen plot, Arthas Menethil.
- Cobra Commander has served two stints as one - first during his nanomite takeover, and then again a year later when he forced the Barge to crash in the Land of the Dead.
- For Halloween 2011, the usurper masquerading as the Admiral was eventually revealed to be Randall Flagg.
- Black and Grey Morality - The main conceit of the Barge isn't as cut-and-dry as you'd think. Wardens don't have to be paragons of morality to get their jobs done, a lot of crimes go unpunished by authority figures, and the ports and floods cause serious trauma - and sometimes even death - to Warden and Inmate alike. A case can even be made for the Admiral having Orange And Blue Morality, since no one knows what he is or what his standard of "redeemed" is; if anyone complains about him too loudly, they receive a cookie.
- The Bridge - Mysteriously, the Barge doesn't seem to have one... or maybe it just hasn't been found yet. It's there, it's just incredibly difficult to get to.
- Common Tongue - Barge denizens come from a multitude of different places and times, but there hasn't been an arrival yet who couldn't speak or understand English.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist - There's a week long 'death toll' which is basically a hangover from hell, but death has no major side effects after resurrection.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks - Warren White left behind his pet shark, which now resides in a common room.
- We Named the Monkey Jack - The shark was named Warren, after the inmate. Hilarity will inevitably ensue now that Warren the Inmate is on the same boat as Warren the shark.
- Evil Versus Evil - Some of the Inmates would rather tear each other up forever than get with the program.
- Failure Is the Only Option - No one's every going to REALLY escape from the Barge/kill the Admiral/take over the ship. Because that would break the game, donchaknow.
- Magnificently subverted when Randall Flagg kicked the Admiral's ass and took over for Halloween 2011.
- Fountain of Youth - One flood turned all the Inmates into kids between five and thirteen, while the exasperated Wardens had to keep them all from running with scissors and pulling each other's hair.
- And another, later flood, pulled the same trick on the Wardens, forcing their perplexed Inmates to take care of them.
- Good Is Not Nice - Wardens, though nominally on the side of good, are often a morally ambiguous lot.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen - The Admiral is known as a voice and, OOC, an icon of a captain's hat. Wardens, who have presumably seen him in person to make their deals, usually claim to not be able to remember what he looked like.
- Hilarity Ensues - Kissing floods, gender-flip floods - floods seem to exist to make hilarity ensue. Ports or Breaches are usually much more serious.
- Hollywood New England - The Bostonian characters have their accent sneak into their posts. Fun to read, and apparently even more fun to write.
- Identical Stranger - Since there are no restriction on characters played by the same actor, this is fairly common. A good current example is Robert Capa and Jonathan Crane.
- Karma Houdini - Happens fairly often. Sometimes inmates vanish from the Barge without being redeemed, sometimes wardens get away with offenses with only a slap on the wrist.
- Kissing Under the Influence - The Admiral places mistletoe all over the Barge during Christmas - ANY two characters caught underneath will find themselves first-basing it.
- Not What I Signed On For - The floods and ports affect everyone on barge, including the Wardens. Many aren't pleased by the Admiral letting that happen.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping - A meta example, since some character accents can be hard to maintain.
- Police Are Useless - Averted, many of the Wardens who were previously in the police force are very competent.
- Self Restraint - A few Inmates are happy on the Barge and intentionally stall their progress because they don't want to leave.
- Super Empowering - The Admiral has the power to remove and restore the canonical abilities of any Inmate. He typically only does this at the request of a Warden. On the character side, Arthas can turn Barge denizens into Death Knights and Cobra Commander used to do this through his nanomites.
- Zen Survivor - Many Wardens and Imates have achieved this after going through an awful lot of floods, ports and general barge horrible.
Tropes that apply to current characters on the barge
- Artifact of Doom - Frostmourne, Arthas's soul-devouring sword. He can use it to turn other Barge denizens into Death Knights. The Marquis' Lament Configuration also qualifies.
- Asskicking Equals Authority - Arthas does as he pleases, he's strong enough to thrash ninety percent of the people on the Barge.
- Authority in Name Only - Some wardens are significantly weaker than their inmates. The Marquis De Sade and Mark Lilly rely on trust and being decent people to keep their inmates from overpowering them.
- Beard of Evil - Rhade in the mirrorverse flood had a beard. The "evil" part is subverted because, as he was an inmate at the time, his mirrorverse self was a better, more moral person than his normalverse self.
- Berserk Button - Arthas' reaction to any instance of mind possession by an evil force is frightening.
- Beware the Nice Ones Stephanie Brown is generally recognized as a force to be reckoned with, with or without her superpowered boyfriend in the vicinity.
- Big Brother Instinct - Dean Winchester lives for this. A lot of the Barge boys have recently rallied around Arya Stark, including Jesse Pinkman and Arthur Pendragon. Allen Francis Doyle has also taken on this role.
- Future Badass - Claire and Dean both have badass future counterparts, but they don't know about them yet.
- Genius Bruiser - Most Barge denizens assume Perry's a brainless brute, but he's smarter than he lets on.
- Heroes Love Dogs - A common theme. Jim Kirk has a dog named Aristotle, Claire Bennet has three dogs, Steph and Kon have a Kryptonian puppy.
- Improvised Weapon User Toto managed to cobble together a nasty virus and infect a large proportion of the barge.
- Interspecies Romance - Agent K (human) and Narvin (Time Lord), Stephanie Brown (human) and Kon-el (Kryptonian-Human Hybrid Clone)
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold - Jesse Pinkman. Definitely a jerk, but protective of kids and good with his AA group.
- Leave Me Alone Satsuki, one of the most antisocial barge residents, would love little more than to never have to talk to a human again.
- Legacy Character - The barge is now home to all three generations of Batgirl.
- Mad Scientist Megamind and Iris, although both wardens, have been known to design questionable devices.
- The Man Behind the Curtain In March 2013, the Admiral was once more replaced by an impostor who made drastic changes to the barge. That impostor was ultimately revealed to be Toshiko Sato. She was taken down and immediately demoted.
- Naytheist - Dean has seen angels, demons, and gods. That doesn't mean he acknowledges the divinity of any of them.
- The Nicknamer Kay and Doyle. If either one of them gives you a nickname (e.g. Slick, Darlin', Princess, etc.) you know they like you.
- Noble Demon - Arguably Arthas. He's not above killing (or enabling others to kill), but he's not malicious and has genuinely tried to help Drake and David graduate.
- Official Couple Stephanie Brown and Kon-el are engaged to be married just as soon as they both get off the barge.
- Claire Bennet and Jesse Pinkman were almost sort-of engaged, but they broke up.
- One-Letter Name - Agent K and Professor X (although he's still young and mostly called "Charles").
- Only Known by Their Nickname - Agent K.
- Agent K has told his real name to Narvin ( Kevin Brown)
- Overt Operative - Narvin casually introduces himself to everyone as "Coordinator Narvin of the CIA"
- Parental Substitute Barbara Gordon is officially adopting Cassandra Cain. Unfortunately Superman has left, but in his time he was this for Kon-el.
- Plucky Girl - the Perky Blonde Squad has faded, the flagship remainders of which seem to be Stephanie Brown and Claire Bennet.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something - Holy crap, Arthas. A royal who fought on the frontlines, killed Orc Blademasters, and tracked down demons to the uncharted north to slaughter them brutally. And that's just the shit he did before he came to the Barge.
- Shadow Archetype - As a panfandom game, there are some interesting examples:
- Arthas Menethil is an obvious shadow counterpart to Elric considering he's an Expy of Elric cooked up by someone who apparently completely missed the point.
- Jesse Pinkman and Lua Klein are arguably a subversion in that they actually have the same bad traits, but each would probably claim that they're total opposites if confronted with it.
- Sinister Shades - Agent K, particularly during the mirrorverse event, when he was the sociopathic version of the character from the original comic books.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps - Subverted by Jesse, a wannabe tough guy who almost always wears long sleeves that hide his tattoos.
Tropes that apply to characters that were formerly on the Barge
- Asexual - Castiel, as an angel, avoids things sexy. Seventh Doctor gets nervous at the implication of sex. And the Sixth Doctor's equally O.O at the idea. Vasilia Aliena is openly asexual after an awkward intervention by her also-asexual warden Sherlock Holmes.
- Asshole Victim - Harold Lauder got a nasty welcome to the Barge, but as anyone familiar with his canon knows, he kind of had it coming.
- Badass Family - The Fire Nation royal family. Iroh is considered to be one of the best Firebenders in history, Zuko came seriously close to overpowering a Death Knight and Azula was not to be messed with either.
- Badass Grandpa - Iroh, the quiet and Zen fellow over there sipping his tea, also happens to be one of the most skilled Firebenders in history.
- Big Damn Hero - Will Parry got his moment when he saved David from vampire Hoffman.
- Bond One-Liner - Buffy does this. For example, after defeating a Virtual Reality Grid Computer Game version of Arthas she quipped "Game Over."
- The Chessmaster - David and Bourne in a way - their whole time as pairing was made up of the two of them trying to out-manuever one another. David loses in their first two face-offs, manages an ultimately pyrrhic victory in the third, and finally comes off better in the fourth.
- Cluster F-Bomb - Malcolm Tucker. Even when he got his memories and story rewritten for Master World, his language didn't change one bit.
- Combat Stilettos - Rayne's stiletto heels are quite literally designed for combat. They are metal spikes to impale people with. Miss Parker always fights and trains in stilettos as well.
- Deal with the Devil - Dr. Facilier conned plenty of people into making these in life. He spends a lot of his time on the Barge thinking about the ones he made, how they went wrong, and how to get by without their benefits. (He's also the picture on the trope page, natch.)
- Even Evil Has Standards - In a humorous example, the meticulous eater Rex Lewis is horrified by Impostor Bourne's bad table manners.
- Free-Love Future - Subverted by Chief Stildyne. His universe has a lot of things wrong with it: the monolithic and failing government overshadows the day-to-day lack of hetero (or homo) normativity in all but certain cultures.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop - Costigan and Dick during OS-19, while looking for information about David and Kirk. Although really, which one was which is up to debate, as while Dick acted more friendly and social he also dangled a guy off a building to get info while Costigan just interrogated them.
- Heel Face Mole - The Baroness faking a redemption, like she did at the end of her movie in LV canon.
- O'Brien pulled a similar fakeout, which lasted a solid couple of months before he couldn't keep it to himself anymore.
- Heroes Love Dogs - Jon Snow has a wolf.
- Hero Killer - Sylar was the original Barge deathbringer, before Arthas came along and stole his crown.
- Immortality - The vampires, and the Time Lords are essentially immortal.
- Impoverished Patrician - Viserys, who was aptly known in his time as the 'Beggar King'.
- Improvised Weapon User - Bourne is the king of this. More surprisingly, his inmate picked up on this too.
- It's a prison setting, so almost any weapon an inmate would be armed with will be of the improvised kind
- Ineffectual Death Threats - Surprisingly enough, Heero hadn't made a single one, despite being the poster boy for this trope.
- Finally gets to give a death threat to David. Given his track record, David's got nothing to worry about.
- David later himself gave death threats to Bourne and Claire during his Villainous Breakdown while trapped as a rat. Time will tell if they're ineffectual. They weren't.
- Jesse got in trouble for explicitly threatening Barron and Richie. Except for some Good Old Fisticuffs, nothing has resulted from these threats.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy - Not romantic, but unusually harsh. Amanda's warden deal consists of giving her surrogate parents, John and Jill, a happy ending with their biological child. This requires the erasure of the time she spent with them from history, meaning they won't remember her as a part of their family at all. Cue angst, since their approval and affection were the only things keeping her going for the past few years...
- Something Chief Stildyne rarely wants to talk about. But he wouldn't be here if he weren't head over heels enough to throw his career away in order to save the beloved servants of and never see the (straight, unhappy in the military, vicious torturer type) man he loves again.
- Karmic Transformation - Bourne did this to David as punishment for impersonating him, trapping him in the form he hates the most - a rat. Though it was only for a few days, it shattered any chance of trust ever forming between them.
- Kick the Dog - Coyolxauhqui's murder of Remus Lupin.
- O'Brien's torture of Sveta Nazarova.
- Life Isn't Fair - Bourne had a tendency to tell David this. We later learn that it's more or less his life philosophy.
- Love Triangle - Rex was caught in one with Iago and Wichita.
- Mad Scientist - Rex Lewis/Cobra Commander was by far the most prominent and straightest example. The Rani was another, and to a certain extent Findthee Swing (with his obsession with cranial measurements) very nearly qualified as a third.
- The Man Behind the Curtain - During Halloween 2011, the Admiral was overthrown and replaced by an impostor. That impostor was ultimately revealed to be Randall Flagg.
- Manipulative Bastard - The Master, Adam Monroe, Sylar, Rex Lewis and Achilles de Flandres are the best examples of manipulative bastards from days gone by. Malcolm Tucker did his level best to be one. Profit, Iago, Hoffman, Barron, Slater... the list goes on and on.
- My Greatest Failure - Will Graham still feels this way about John Doe's excruciating murder of Sgt. Howie.
- Nano Machines - Cobra Commander's nanomites brought vampires back to life, gave demons back their powers, electrically shocked creepy stalkers, and generally did whatever the plot required.
- Naytheist Angua, like many Discworldians, doesn't bother to believe in the gods because she knows they exist.
- Nerd Glasses - The Scarecrow wears a pair as Jonathan Crane. Walter White also wears glasses.
- New-Age Retro Hippie - Mariska. When she's not busy eating people, she's all about peace, love, hallucinogenic drugs and not showering.
- The Nicknamer - Malcolm Tucker. Parker was "Scully", Paddy was "Baldrick" (after a flood that resulted in Malc getting nicknamed "Edmund"), and when Columbus was his warden, Malcolm made a habit of calling him by every major Ohio city and town (Cleveland, Livonia, even Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) except Columbus.
- Odd Couple - Bourne and Nygma - arguably the worst two wardens on the Barge - have formed an unlikely friendship.
- Official Couple - Snape and Martha are a married couple and were for years the penultimate Barge offering to this trope.
- One Steve Limit - Subverted: at one point there were four characters named Eddie - (Eddie Nygma, Eddie Brock, Eddie Russet, and Eddie Spinola).
- Only Known by Their Nickname 21, Heero Yuy, Jason Bourne, and Mr. Pink. All aliases, and none of their real names have ever been revealed.
- Rachel refused to tell people her real name throughout her tenure, and instead went by Xena.
- There were also two Armands. Bonus subverted in that there were what, six muns named Kim?
- Jason Bourne has shared his first name (David Webb.) with Costigan and Claire.
- 21 reveals his first name in his letter to Santa (it's Gary.)
- Miss Parker to such an extent her name isn't even in her file. She told one person (Paddy) it, and another got her initial when they left. (Snape.)
- Panthera Awesome - Chang has a baby panther.
- Parental Substitute - Heero Yuy had two daddies during his inmate stint, Slade and Cooper. He also had a maternal figure in Una Persson (as a result of her literally being his mom during the Wild West breach). Zuko also had Iroh, but that one's canonical.
- John Kramer, though not present on the Barge, continues to drive Amanda's actions as her surrogate father.
- Walter White destructively fills this role for Jesse both before and during their time on the Barge. Sarah Connor has also taken on the role of Jesse's surrogate mother.
- Pet the Dog - Wardens and inmates alike are prone to getting these from time to time.
- The Riddler may have handled it in his usual style, but he did exhibit genuine compassion for Profit when he was 'poisoned'.
- Perry's awkward comforting of Sveta after he found about about the curse and how it ended.
- Heero told Olive he'd kill anyone who tried to go after her like they did to Sveta.
- Arthas has one of these every so often with Drake and David.
- Ariadne's warden stint with Heero was one long Pet the Dog moment.
- Bruce Wayne in the aftermath of the badcanon flood, when he pleads to the Admiral to let him save ASBAR Dick Grayson from that thing.
- Similarly, Jason Todd got one when he protected Dick Grayson, Age Twelve from his psychotic caretaker.
- Cooper hugged Heero in the Isla Nublar port after Heero took a velociraptor off a cliff with him.
- Cobra Commander had a small one when he spared Billy Costigan and his warden from the nanomites.
- Playing with Fire - At one point the Barge had a good chunk of the Fire Nation's royal family here.
- Power Perversion Potential - David uses his Bourne morph to score a kiss with Claire.
- Preacher Man - Not a preacher technically, but Sgt. Howie is by far the most devout member of the Barge.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone - Viserys has intensely disturbing dreams which may or may not be this. Buffy also has prophetic dreams occasionally.
- Reverse Mole - Heero went along with David for a while to get information about his plans.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers! - Inmates who have powers frequently attempt to get around the Barge's rules through the use of them. David probably is the patron saint (or patron sinner, as the case may be) of this trope.
- Scotland - At one point there was an oddly disproportionate number of Scotsmen on the Barge: Neil Howie, Malcolm Tucker, Montgomery Scott, and James "Destro" Mc Cullen.
- Shadow Archetype - As a panfandom game, there are some interesting examples:
- John Doe and Sgt. Howie. Both are devout Christians, but one wants to save people and the other wants to see them burn. Highlighted when Doe kidnaps Howie and slowly starves him to death.
- Billy Costigan, though one of the more morally sound Inmates, was nevertheless a Shadow Archetype to his Warden, Dick Grayson. Like Hoffman and Graham, both men went into law enforcement. Unlike them, both Costigan and Grayson led double lives as part of their work. Grayson was able to successfully accept his duality; Costigan on the other hand had a breakdown and turned to drugs to cope.
- Slade Wilson was Jason Bourne taken to his logical conclusion. As Bourne's former inmate, the significantly older Slade was a grim example of what Bourne could become. Bourne's The Stoic and emotionally reserved; Slade is shallow and emotionally blunted. Bourne has trouble relating to others, Slade usually doesn't bother. Bourne is willing to break the rules to win, Slade wins at any cost, as Dick Grayson can attest to. Generally speaking, whatever traits Bourne has, Slade played them to their extremes, becoming a stone-cold mercenary to Bourne's emotionally damaged Hitman with a Heart.
- Will Parry was an inversion to David in his approach to violence - while both kids were warriors, David was raised in a military family and saw violence as the only solution that ever solved anything. Will, on the other hand, was raised with his father absent and forced to care for his mother. As a result, he preferred nonviolent solutions whenever possible despite his considerable skill as a warrior.
- Mark Hoffman. It's not too obvious since the two don't interact much, but he's clearly Will Graham's dark counterpart. Both were children of poverty who went into law enforcement and were traumatized in the line of duty. But while Graham resolved to fight the darkness within, Hoffman embraced his darkness and became a serial killer.
- David Harris is an interesting case in that he can be considered a Shadow Archetype to two characters: Heero Yuy and Will Parry. David and Heero, sworn archenemies, parallel and invert one another in history - both were pulled into war against their will, but Heero was pulled into war from a young age and accepted it, while David was pulled into war as a teenager and rejected it. Both are antisocial personalities but in opposite ways - Heero is a introverted recluse while David is an extroverted jerk. Even in the team dynamic they invert one another - Heero gathers a team around him, living up to his codename, while David as the sixth Animorph rebels against and eventually betrays his team.
- The Riddler is Tim Drake's shadow counterpart, an older Tim without the noble driving force and with a personality much more disposed towards self-interest and endless gloating.
- Showing Off the New Body - David resolves to use Bourne's body to find the Admiral. What does he actually end up doing? Mostly showing off and being a giant troll.
- Spot the Impostor - When David kidnapped and morphed Jason Bourne. Slade and later Will Graham were able to see through his masquerade - the rest of the Barge was clueless. Rhade could smell that Rachel was female even in morph as a marine.
- Taking Up The Mantle - With Bruce gone, Tim has taken it upon himself to be the Barge's Batman.
- There Are No Therapists - ... except for Dr. Crane, but you'd have to be crazy to hop on his couch.
- And now also Hannibal Lecter. You'd have to be even 'more crazy to hop on his couch.
- Token Minority Martha, Iroh, Luke Cage, Simone Betheson, Tyr, Roxy.
- Facilier (though Creole is technically mixed-race)
- Judas is rarely actually portrayed as middle-eastern in any of the interpretations of the musical he's from.
- Took a Level in Badass - Sarah Connor between Terminator and Terminator 2, effectively becoming her complete opposite, and might this Troper add, having no hesitation in breaking Silberman's arm, threatening to pump him full of Drano, or stabbing him in the knee with his own pen. What a distance from the quiet waitress in pink, the Damsel in Distress of the first film.
- Took a Level in Jerkass - Bourne's gradually become harsher and more antagonistic as time has gone on, though it's not entirely clear if this can be attributed to his trials with David or just him revealing more of his true personality.
- The Unfettered - Irving Braxiatel is a perfect example, delibrately putting aside his morals to save Gallifrey, regardless of how many genocides it takes. Achilles and Bourne bring up the vanguard.
- What Did I Do Last Night? - Prefect and his inmate Barron Sharpe get drunk and paint a terrible, terrible mural. They remember it, but agree not to talk about it.
- Why Did It Have To Be Water? - Bourne only has one fear - large bodies of water.
- You Are Number Six - Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor (although they never in canon go by number names and characters on the Barge don't always know what "number" Doctor each is, but players use the numbers OO Cly for convenience). Seven-of-Nine. 21.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form - Castiel's angelic form explodes heads, burns out eyes...is generally not good for human life forms. So he goes around in a human suit.
- You Look Familiar - Costigan recognized Bourne when he first met him. This didn't end well.
- Mal's confusion of Costigan with Cobb ended very, VERY poorly for both of them. May be an example of Beware the Nice Ones, and a consequence of Mal's in-canon Break the Cutie. (But they still ended up as a couple all the same...)