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Website: Fantasy Powers League
The Fantasy Powers League, or FPL for short, began life in 1999 as part of Electric Ferret
, currently a site for discussion of crossover battles between entertainment media characters and writing of fiction, both Fan Fiction
and Web Original Fiction
alike. Electric Ferret itself started in 1997, inspired by the (now-defunct) WWWF Grudge Match
, presenting crossover fight fics between pop cultural icons
in commentary fic style, which led to the genesis of its own take on pop culture web battles in the form of the Comic Book Universe Battles (CBUB for short), featuring matchups written by the webmaster, the outcome of which can be determined via votes from visitors as the match stays up for a set period of time, and the outcome would be written based on the final vote count.
From the Comic Book Universe Battles, a new concept was born, as a group of CBUB regulars expressed their interest in doing similar matchups but using original characters of their own making. It was from there that the Fantasy Powers League came into existence, an interactive website where one creates their original characters and puts them in matchups against other original creations. It's Web Original Fiction
, it's Play-by-Post Games
... it has elements of both and at the same time it's something more. The original incarnation of the site ran from 1999 to 2009 and from simple X versus Y matchups the FPL site spawned its own in-character universe and continuity which led to much World Building
and the establishment of its own Universe Bible
. Then came the year 2009, where the webmaster introduced a massive site revamp for both CBUB and FPL alike, which saw an overhaul of the site interface. With the site revamp also came a Continuity Reboot
of the old FPL canon. Although having gone a long way from its more populous heydays in the first half-decade of the 2000's, the site still lives on with a small but tight-knit niche community.
Can be visited here
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FPL Site and OOC Tropes
- Continuity Reboot: The revamped FPL site that debuted in 2009 takes place in a new setting, thus disregarding the previously-established continuity in favor of starting from a clean slate.
- Doing It for the Art: The primary motivation behind most FPL members creating characters to begin with on the site, in both its classic and modern incarnations.
- Fan Fic: Character fics set in the FPL IC continuity would be considered this. But considering that the IC continuity is an original setting, it somewhat blurs the line between Fan Fic and Web Original Fiction. Most notable include Apocalypse and War of Drekis, which have in no small ways contributed to the shaping of the site lore as we know it.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The basic premise of the FPL, both in its classic and modern incarnations.
- Griefer: Used to be rampant under the open voting system, when one could simply rope in a bunch of friends who aren't interested in creating characters to begin with to simply vote for one's characters, which has came to be referred to within the community as the act of Vote Mongering, thus upsetting the voting dynamics of the site.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Oh hell YES. While site traffic isn't quite what is used to be compared to its heyday between 2000-2006, the sheer number of characters that have forged a lasting legacy on the site is simply breathtaking. See here and here.
- Mythopoeia: While on one hand is that All Myths Are True in the classic FPL continuity, a large part of the site's IC lore was also built from scratch over years of participation and contribution by mulitple creators. Also applies to the modern continuity albeit to a lesser extent. All Myths Are True, yes, but Earth as it's being portrayed is generally considered to be Like Reality Unless Noted.
- Rage Quit: If you aren't a dedicated writer aiming to improve the quality of your writing, chances are your characters are going to lose. A lot. And back when three losses meant retirement, this would also mean flooding the roster with tons of sub-par creations. Eventually, they either learn from the experts and brush up on their writing skills, or they end up rage quitting.
- Shared Universe: Naturally, for both incarnations. The development of the site's IC lore and continuity was anything but a one-man show.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: Not so much ever since the modern FPL was launched, but back in the far more populous phase of the classic FPL there were often unsuccessful creators who attribute their losing streaks to "elitist conspiracies" on the part of successful veteran creators, accusing them of Moving the Goalposts by forming their own voting cliques to dominate the kill floor. Suffice to say, most of these creators eventually Rage Quit, though a few did stay on and brush up their writing skills to become notable contenders on the kill floor.
- The Worf Effect: Due to the majority of the voters casting their votes based on writing quality rather than judging a fight based on character powers, trying to come up with an IC justification for say, a beat cop defeating an Eldritch Abomination can sometimes come across as this. OOC-wise, there are also rare occasions where a better-written character loses to a character with a more impressive power set but with a noticeably lower quality in writing. Generally, this trope exists in the FPL under a name coined by the old guard as The Supreme Irony of Khazan.
- World Building: As with both the classic and modern FPL, this is essentially the backbone of building the in-character continuity of the FPL universe alongside character fics.
FPL IC Tropes - Classic FPL (1999-2009)
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Master Chin's twin cleavers of death.
- Action Girl / Dark Action Girl: Whenever a female character is created for the site, chances are (at least 75% likelihood) is that she would be a permutation of this trope in one form or another.
- Action Survivor: The narrator protagonist in The End is basically one of these.
- An Ice Person: Toc Darkone, and Yagami Shinsuke.
- Anti-Hero: The Reavers, formerly known as the Maniacal Heroes is a team that is created specially to cater to anti-heroes.
- Bad Ass: Oh so many...
- BFG: Mc Doughnut: SUPAHCOP! wields a hilariously oversized version of a Khazan PD service sidearm, which naturally also does ridiculous amounts of damage to whatever he shoots at. Did I also forget to mention that it has unlimited ammo and possesses rapid-fire mode?
- Big Bad: There have been many characters who fit the Big Bad archetype, and some of whom are in fact the main antagonists in their own IC fics. Notable examples include Mr. Graves, Marc Dollar, Quietus, and Drekis. Pick your poison, folks!
- Card-Carrying Villain: Lord Canelaser, Eater of Widows.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Lord Canelaser carries a hidden laser inside his walking stick/dress cane.
- Humongous Mecha: Atom-A-Ton and Metalneck.
- Implacable Man: The Horsemen of the Apocalypse that graced the Apocalypse fic are one of the FPL's most iconic examples. Any character with sufficiently high levels of Regeneration, Iron Will, or any armor-based defensive powers basically count as one too.
- Kill Sat: Kill-O-Matic's Death Moon satellites, and Dollarcorp's Fist Of God.
- Knight Templar: The Chronomancer practically embodies this trope to a T, as well as overlapping with Well-Intentioned Extremist and Dark Messiah, fully believing himself to be pursuing the most noble of causes and as such justifies any atrocity he might commit in the name of protecting all of existence.
- Magical Girl: Elwin D'larthi, during her teenage years as Sailor Archer.
- Mega Corp.: Dollarcorp and Kill-O-Matic BIG GUNS from the classic FPL are two of the most well-known examples.
- More Dakka: BARE CHESTED THUGS, being the Affectionate Parody of Contra that they are, basically unload unholy amounts of dakka on their opponents as their power set. Joe Big Gunns plays this trope Up to Eleven, where his Hyperspace Arsenal basically allows him to unleash dakka to the extent of making him a Person of Mass Destruction. And if that's not enough dakka, he even has an option to call in a Kill Sat.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Supercomrade, an archetypal Husky Russkie Flying Brick superhero.
- Old Shame: Just ask any veteran creator now about the League of the Mentally Unstable.
- Shout-Out: Tons and tons of them, especially amongst the veteran creators.
- Sentinel Core, Sky Shroud and Omega Dark were expies of G1 Transformers characters Optimus Prime, Starscream and Megatron, respectively.
- Poe's characters like Babylon Jones, Bunny, and Jordan Kennedy were imported characters from his first webcomic, Exploitation Now. He has similarly imported Sara Amraphael from his second webcomic, Errant Story.
- Landon Morisato shares the same surname as the main character of Ah! My Goddess, Keiichi. And his earliest known incarnation was in many ways an Expy of Keiichi. Up to and including having a goddess for a Magical Girlfriend.
- BARE CHESTED THUGS is an Affectionate Parody of Contra, specifically back in the 8-bit days, up to and including being a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
- Elwin D'larthi, during her tenure as Sailor Archer was basically a homage to Sailor Moon; her power set however, is closer to that of Lina Inverse's though, including the iconic Fireball spell, and having Giga Slave as her Finishing Move.
- The Fettered: Having the "Restrained" character disadvantage generally suggests the character is this.
- The Unfettered: Again, The Chronomancer. There is no atrocity that he is unwilling to commit, no laws he wouldn't break, and no sacrifice too great for him in the pursuit of his goals; up to and including murdering past versions of himself.
FPL IC Tropes - Modern FPL (2009-Present)
- Anti-Hero: There are plenty of these, particularly in the Angels of Mercy, a public team open to anyone who's a little too dirty for the Sentinels.
- Back from the Dead: Becki Bloom: Twice
- Badass Crew: A lot even separate from the official teams. Notably Missing Hour, the Alpha Sentinels, and the Sin Eaters
- Dark Is Not Evil: Becki Bloom, the zombie girl is a member of the undead who fights on the side of good.
- Eldritch Abomination: Sayang seems like she's headed that way, Parasite definitely ended up as one.
- Eye Scream: Hansha's sad backstory
- For Great Justice: The generalized motivation for the aptly named Sentinels of Liberty and Justice. The Sentinels represent traditional heros with high respect for justice, moral ethics, human dignity, goodness, and warm pie just like mom used to make. They can often be accurately depicted as Lawful Good, but because like any public team any creator can add to the roster, this interpretation can be rather vague
- Flying Brick: There are a couple in canon, most notably Steel Will who causes sonic booms when he flies and shrugs off artillery shells to the torso.
- For the Evulz: The general motivation for the Fallen. Whether it's world domination, world destruction, or just sadism for sadism's sake, the Fallen are usually the big bads behind it all.
- Good Is Not Nice: Master Heaven doesn't care much about other people, not even his own nephews
- Meaningful Name: Kaufmann is a German surname meaning "merchant". Kurio Kaufmann is a curio merchant.
- Old Master: Master Heaven, very good at martial arts, not so good at raising children
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Hansha's character sheet feels like it fits better in an Anthology of short Horror stories rather than a fast paced comic universe.
- Powered Armor: Miss March of the Alpha Sentinels
- The Syndicate: An almost perfect description of one of the four main public teams, which is itself simply called 'The Syndicate'. While the Syndicate operates as a large connection of every organized crime group worldwide, it differs from the trope slightly in that no one is truly in charge, leaving crime to remain a free-market business.