Wildcard is an IRC-based freeform roleplay
based around a future world in which virtual reality is everywhere. It has been considered cyberpunk overall, though the fact that most of the plot is set in virtual reality means that the genre shifts on occasion as the characters travel to fantasy, scifi, or just plain weird simulations. The main plot revolves around a group of characters who are unable to leave the group of virtual reality servers they find themselves lured into, and thus are at the mercy of the whims of the servers.
The website, including logs of each session, can be found here
. One of the GMs is a troper here
, as is the owner
This roleplay provides examples of:
- A God Am I: Crimson fancies himself so far above humanity that the best analogy according to the human culture would be that he is a deity.
- Artificial Intelligence: Here called "Puppets" in a shout-out to Otherland.
- After the End: The sim Necropolis.
- Angst: Quite a bit, though it's spread out.
- Anyone Can Die: A number of players don't mind losing characters, leading to a small pile of corpses fed semi-regularly.
- Back from the Dead: Sirena somehow refuses to stay dead after Dread kills her.
- Being Good Sucks: Sirena makes this comment, pointing out that her constant devotion to the ideal of altruism and community spirit gets her no thanks and much pain. But then again...
- Being Evil Sucks: Sirena also points out that Jen's utterly alone and miserable because of this. Confirmed later by Jen herself.
- Beneath the Earth: The sim Eclipsed took place entirely in a series of caves.
- Bi the Way: Several characters.
- Bland-Name Product: GlobalCities, a VR hosting service similar to the now-dead Geocities.
- Bondage Is Bad: Jen, considered by most to be on the villain side of the spectrum, enjoys bondage to the point where most BDSM fans refuse to sleep with her.
- Bullying a Dragon: Frederick is fond of doing this towards Dread. Usually his fear and latent self-preservation kick in before he crosses the line though. Others have followed his lead.
- Break the Cutie: Sirena has had a series of minor breakdowns, followed by, at last, a rather more complete breakdown. Similarly, Word of God states that Sethiss may undergo this soon.
- Contemplate Our Navels: In particular, one scene between Sirena and Frederick about altruism versus selfishness. While Frederick is tied up and only semi-coherant. And Sirena isn't doing much either.
- Creating Life: Jen works as a particularly talented AI programmer who doesn't realize how alive her creations truly are.
- Cyberspace: The main setting of the RP.
- Deadly Euphemism: Dread informs one character that another won't tell anyone his secret, ever. He then kills her.
- Deal with the Devil: Dread offers to connect Sethiss to someone offline who might be able to help get them out, in exchange for a favor of his choosing at a later date.
- Debut Queue: Characters tend to trickle into one of the active groups which eventually collide into the 'main' party.
- Depraved Bisexual: The villain Dread. Emphasis on villain, who comes with a very literal form of Mind Rape (he's a Telepath) as his main hobby. In consequence, gut-wrenchingly subverted: Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male (we are not laughing ... all the time, at least) and Rape Is Love. Attempting to insinuate such to his victims tends to make for an extremely good insult.
- Digital Avatar: Used by each of the characters when connected to the net.
- Do Androids Dream?: A major theme of both the main plot, in which it gets harder and harder to tell humans from AIs due to the lack of outside verification, and one of the side plots, which revolves around the creation of such lifelike AIs.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jen, when caught crying by Marcus on two occasions.
- Dread Made Them Do It: Frederick and Sirena finally end up in bed together - as Dread forces Frederick to rape Sirena.
- Dying Declaration of Love: Sirena makes two: one is hardly a surprise, and the other is that she loves her twin sister she claims to hate.
- Eye Scream: Paul had his eyes made deliberately made over-sensitive to light, then a burnt out with a bright lamp.
- Evil Twin: Jen would like to think she's this to Sirena.
- Fetish: Plenty, thanks mostly to Author Appeal.
- Forgets to Eat: According to Word of God, Jen does this frequently.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Subverted. Jen appears to have forgotten her sister in the banality of her normal life... at least, until it becomes clear she's instead thrown herself into her work as a way to cope with the immense feeling of loss and helplessness.
- For Your Own Good: Excessively, particularly between the server Cyrex and the trapped Citizens, or the villain Dread and his victims.
- Genocide Dilemma: The only way out of the sim Dominion involved killing the dragon deity holding the sim together, dooming millions of puppets to oblivion. This appears to be a reoccuring theme.
- Gilded Cage: Crimson, originally sequestered so that while a growing infant he wouldn't be contaminated by Rule34, has found that his playpen has become a prison cell - he's grown into exactly the kind of AI you never let out of the box.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Sirena's avatar is an angel, while Jen's demonic avatar contains batwings. Dread, meanwhile, has fallen angel wings.
- Harmless Villain: In the RP this was based off, Jen was rather a villain. She seems to be significantly less able to cause mischeif in her new incarnation.
- The Heart: Sirena, when she's not having a moral breakdown.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Frederick about Elizabeth. Also Sethiss about Liska.
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Sirena is killed shortly after learning Frederick's secret.
- Lampshade Hanging: A favorite tactic of several players.
- Living Toys: The sim Thread turns the characters into living plushies.
- The Metaverse: Those that aren't trapped in cyberspace tend to use it more along these lines.
- Manic Pixie Dream Boy: Andrew attempted to play this role to Jen. It ended badly.
- Moral Dilemma: Sirena runs into these fairly often, mostly of the "following your morals vs not being dead" type.
- Morality Pet: Sirena attempts to be this to Frederick
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Played with often when Dread sets his sights on someone.
- Not Safe for Work: Some sessions, called "redlogs", are explicitly marked as this in the history list.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Sirena and Jen, who have been separated since the beginning of the RP by Sirena's entrapment, bear little similarity in personality or online avatar.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The trapped characters didn't know each other beforehand and weren't designed to be a functional party. It shows.
- Reused Character Design: Some of the players use this, importing characters from other RPs, and many of the characters in Wildcard originally were in its predecessor, Crimson Feather.
- Sapient Cetaceans: The Cetacean Communication Project. Language issues aside, Hakumele's alien way of thinking causes some clashes.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Marcus' companion AI Sofia often finds herself being called Sophia in narration, and just TRY spelling Adrethyrian or Joukahainen correctly on your first try. These and other spelling errors are corrected before the logs are uploaded... usually.
- The Spock: Crimson, to the degree that he sees himself as a higher life form for being so rational.
- Stalker with a Crush: Adrian to Sirena, making it very uncomfortable for her when he becomes trapped.
- Stock Dinosaurs: The creator of the RP really likes raptors. Many of the players agree.
- Tabula Rasa: Jen's AI Melody was created as this. It remains to be seen if she'll become corrupted by the cruel world or become a Seemingly Profound Fool.
- Team Mom: Sirena plays this role more often than she'd like.
- Technobabble: How the tech works.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: See Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, above.
- Time Stands Still: The sim Necropolis.
- Transsexual: Jen's AI Jaeson, according to Word of God.
- Uncanny Valley: Crimson slips into this at times, as he's not very good at emulating humanity.
- Virtual Celebrity: Jen's AI Melody was created to be a virtual Idol Singer. So far it's not going as planned...
- We ARE Struggling Together: Those trapped characters that are sure they are human are dedicated to getting offline, though they argue about the methods almost constantly. Those that are sure they are Puppets have no real interest in this goal at all. And those that aren't sure there's even a difference... they tend to screw everyone else's efforts over.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dread's entire motivation is to turn his unappreciating victims into Ubermenschen, making his main focus truly well-intentioned. Of course, there is some Social Darwinist in him, and he occasionally goes out of his way to destroy (usually synonymous with 'kill') people, usually those that he deems have demonstrated their own ignorance repeatedly. At the core, he is the polar opposite of a misanthropist, not only loving mankind, but actively trying to usher it toward betterment, one humble step at a time.
None of his victims know just how much he appreciates them, nor his motivation, but if they did, they would agree he's overshot his mark by a few hundred miles on pretty much all accounts.
Worse? He knows. It doesn't stop him.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Discussed frequently with regards to the value of Puppet lives.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Jaesan, an AI to begin with, disguises himself as a woman named Jaenelle when he strikes out on his own, mostly so that Jen won't find him.
- Winged Humanoid: Sirena's avatar is an angel, and Jen's is more devilish but includes wings, as does Dread's.
- Win to Exit: Each sim has a win condition; However, it seems winning each sim gets you into another sim. The exit from the server seems to be nonexistant.
- Wrench Wench: Despite being a programmer, Jen's tendency to work online with simulated tools gives her the trappings of this archetype.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Those killed in the sims die in real life.