"Anyone else noticed most of the quests are built around Death and Crazy?"
Viridian Dreams is the website of Viridian/ S'Tarkan, author of Team 8 and Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past, and long story short, his forum is full of writers, or at the very least people with too much time on their hands. One of these good/bored writers started Ninja Quest, a play by post game, and the forum hasn't looked back. There are a number of quite good, currently running quests (Play-by-Post Games with collectively controlled protagonists), several dropped quests and Let's Plays and a complete Let's Play.There be spoilers.Currently Running:
Assassin Quest: Increasingly alcoholic Felix is an assassin, he does assassinly things. Like killing and power levelling and putting on a play of The Princess Bride.
High School AU Crossover Quest: "I'd like to think Leto was a slacker musician in another life." Crack discussion between the author of NQ and uq somehow turns into a four-author (NQ, FQ, VQ, uq) Megacrossover. Stars Kaspar, who is not cowardly so much as sane, being a Muggle until recently and now attending school with the lovely characters from the other quests.
Hollow Quest: "Hunger and fear are the only realities in dog life: an empty stomach makes a fierce dog." - Robert Falcon Scott
Necromancy Quest: Leto is a the new Abhorsen (Lawful Good Necromancer) and makes very lazy, uncharacteristically cheerful necromancer. Together with his head pet zombie octopus and immortal step-grandmother they attempt to rewrite reality, not die (in his case), die (in hers) and not be turned into a gibbering, tortured wreck by the necromancers and nasties out to get him. Set in the Old Kingdom 240 years after the events of Abhorsen (no canon knowledge required).
Pilgrim Quest: Pilgrim Tobias goes to check on the seal binding back an ancient evil, only to find that a wizard already broke it. And now he must set off on a journey to prevent the destruction of all he knows. Pray he's successful.
Vampire Quest *No Sparkles allowed.* Lucy Abbott is dragged into a Crapsack World, beaten to death, drained of blood and a few hours later awakes to find she's a vampire. It gets worse. Hey, at least she's better off than most people around her. Also stars the thousand times cloned Irish emperor of more than a continent and his one eyed, 8 foot tall, armoured, snarky, doctor of a little brother - Lucy's first minion.
The Alcatraz: The first assignment posters work through with Felix is in 'Direstone Prison', an island prison continually surrounded by fog and only reached by specifically tasked transport barges. Until Felix caused a mass prison riot that basically overthrew the prison guards, it had been a very secure facility.
Authority Equals Asskicking: In AQ, this is played out by the Guildmaster, the head of the Crimson Winds Guild, being able hide in the middle of a room, and not have the main character notice him. In VQ this is played out by the disembodied voice that lords over Lucy being, apparently, more powerful than she is.
Back from the Dead: Part of the Vampire Turning process. Peri many, many times. Leto technically.
Badass Bookworm: Hume and Catherine of AQ spend quite a bit of their time in the library, but if Catherine's mentioned poisoning is anything to go by they aren't to be messed with. Also, considering Ryoko basically shived a mage in the kidney, and she was just a student back in Japan, she earns her spot here as well.
Chaste Hero: Subverted in AQ, NQ, VQ and possibly uq. With Felix already having lost his, and with posters trying to get Leto and Lucy into their respective love interest's pants, Ryoko is the only one who (thankfully) hasn't lost, or tried to lose, hers. Kade was apparently in a relationship with Felicia, so confirmation awaiting to see if Kade made his move.
At this point Lucy is officially and canonically an unchaste hero.
A entity quite literally called "The Empire" exists in AQ, as an expy for the real world's Holy Roman Empire.
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: While Felix might not technically be a bad guy in AQ, his job as an assassin at least puts him a similar category. The recent sort of reconciliation with his mother (after her death, mind you) gets him right here.
First Girl Wins/First Guy Wins: Posters seemed to really rally around Peri and Michael as the two to be paired with Leto and Lucy (respectively) in NQ and VQ. If Lionel manages to get Ryoko out of Kidney's adrenal glands then he could also count. Subverted in AQ if only because, technically, the first 'girl' you see is your sister...
Forensic Drama: You never know what's going to happen in a Quest. One moment, your protagonist could be just sitting around minding their own business. The next they could be nearly raped, stab the would-be-rapist in the kidney, and then need to dissolve their body in a chemical tub in order to get rid of it, to avoid getting both herself and her mage convicted.
Generation Xerox: Leto's looks and powers were deliberately built in to his line. Take the Abhorsen from two thousand years ago and you'd still be able to tell they're related.
Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: Probably the most prevalent trope in the Quests, as of late almost all of the Quest protagonists have developed one (or more) distinguishable character flaw (usually Played for Laughs). So far these flaws include:
Immortal Life Is Cheap: Peri feels this about herself and is quite blasé about losing her life. Her mind is another matter entirely and the fact her life is so cheap while others' aren't is the root of a lot of her issues.
Immortal Procreation Clause: Played straight with the Vampires, top of the food chain, nigh on immortal and very infertile. Averted in NQ where the immortals are as fertile as regular humans.
Immortality: Peri, Cain through his 1001 body hive mind and quick healing, Lucy and probably Michael have this via Healing Factor as far as we know.
Improbable Age: The Lawful Good Necromancer with the ability to walk through death, bring back souls and banish the walking dead is 16, the summoned Familiar who shivved a guy in his kidney and then promptly committed conspiracy to dispose of the body is around the same, and the Vampire Queen who is preparing to lead an assault on the mutated continent of Australia against a mega-corporation in order to save the teleported island of Ireland is 18, recent 19 at the latest.
Knife Nut: At the beginning Ryoko only had an affinity for knives, yet presently she seems to embrace this trope fully. There are three significant knives in Familiar Quest at the moment.
Life Imitates Art: The author of Familiar Quest evaluated his own fitness after Ryoko took her endurance test in preparation for rigid psychical training. He did much worse than her and took up daily running to remedy the situation.
Magic Versus Science: In a way in NQ, magic doesn't work properly below the Wall and the southern technology falls apart in the North. However if you made that same technology in the north it would work just fine, what matters is where the item was manufactured not what it is.
Miss Gant refers to Damon Gant. Quite suitably she takes part in tampering with the crime scene.
Peri refers to creatures from Persian mythology; fae, who can't get into paradise due to being on the wrong side during The Fall, originally chaotic neutral, later benevolent. Likewise Sassanid refers to Persian dynasty.
Mood Whiplash: Try comparing the overall tone, actions and dialogue of AQ while Felix is at the Guild Grounds compared to when he's out an about on his assignments. Also, arguably Cain's mood could suddenly shift from threatening and dangerous to lighthearted and banter-filled (and back again) in earlier posts of VQ.
Power Gives You Wings: Lucy's vampire quickenings have an effect on her body that depends on how the posters play her. One of the results of these quickenings was a pair of wings (after she plummeted a vertical mile, whoops).
Relationship Upgrade: Lucy and Michael; a small one when he explains the armour, full one when they kiss after he tells her about his past. Another now they've slept together.
Felix and Lizbeth sleeping together.
Peri and Leto sharing a nice kiss (on the lips and on the cheek) after back-story exposition
Required Secondary Powers: Peri doesn't have them, she heals no better than a normal human. However if she doesn't have a habitable body when she crosses between worlds a new one forms. This is the same for all Free Magic Creatures and the Greater Dead and the most significant trait the Shiners kept aside from not passing into the world beyond the end of the River.
Take a Third Option: Starting to become a running theme in Ghostbusters: Japan Quest; when Michiko gets an email telling her she can respond to any one of three previous emails offering her either a chance at fame, riches, or vengeance depending on who she responds to first, she responds to the mysterious sender first, telling him she's going to try for all three. The request is granted.
We Need a Distraction: Said word for word at the climax of the escape from the mansion in GB:J, when they have to fend off not only the approaching ghosts, but also retrieve some items from both the PCOC AND Nocturne forces guarding the only portal out.