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Roleplay / Freedom City Play By Post

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"Like a Saturday-Morning Cartoon that airs on HBO."

Created in 2007 and currently in its fifteenth year of operation, Freedom City Play-By-Post is the oldest and most active play-by-post setting on The Internet for Mutants & Masterminds, the superhero role-playing game by Green Ronin. Taking place (mostly) in M&M's default Freedom City setting, in the present day, the game has become a massive Shared Universe, involving dozens of active players with over a hundred Player Characters. Most of the staff are fans of both superhero comics and TV Tropes, and they welcome characters who draw from the common tropes and themes of superhero comic books.

The default game setting is the "World of Freedom" described in Freedom City and its supplements. In 2016, Bedlam City from Plain Brown Wrapper Games was integrated into the FCPBP game world. In 2019, the city of Vibora Bay was imported from the Champions setting.

This isn't the place for bloodthirsty Iron Age vigilantes, or for superheroes who think that the whole idea of superheroes is silly. The feel of our Player Characters falls somewhere between the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, and the Modern Age. They're all basically the Good Guys. Character 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 into the DC Animated Universe, then they'll probably fit in here, too.

Many of the tropes in this game can be found on the pages for the Mutants & Masterminds role-playing game, or the Freedom City setting for that game. This page is intended for tropes unique to FCPBP and its characters.

This play-by-post setting provides examples of:

  • Catchphrase: The players who often meet in the chatroom and/or in-character make up a lot of these, including "Stab-Punch!" and "KISS HIM/HER, YOU FOOL!"
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: FCPBP players periodically discuss which real-life actors they would cast as their character, and some even use real-life headshots for their "out-of-costume" character pictures.
  • Comic-Book Limbo: The fate of characters whose players leave the site, or when a character is otherwise no longer played. While the characters are assumed to still exist, chances of them warranting much more than a brief mention are low.
  • Comic-Book Time: Played straight for the individual stories as a matter of necessity, given the play-by-post format, but Averted for the overall Shared Universe timeline, which moves forward in real time.
  • 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 their superheroes. Other dimensions, like Erde and the Terminus, on the other hand...
  • Crisis Crossover:
    • The demonic invasion, when Hellion's father came with a demonic host to bring him home. It wasn't technically a Red Skies Crossover, but the skies above Freedom City were red...
    • The third Grue Invasion, when they finally activated their experimental bio-weapon, Atlas. (Oh, Crap!.)
    • 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.
    • 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's 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.
    • The Terminus invaded Earth-Prime again in 2018. As with the canon invasion of 1993, this invasion provided the origin story for multiple PCs.
  • Cross Player: Despite the real-life gender gap among the players, the gender ratio among the PCs is more or less even.
  • Dysfunction Junction: FCPBP has no shortage of emotional problems among the cast. (Or the players, for that matter.)
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Players who stick around over the long haul gain not only in-game bonuses, like power-ups or extra character slots, but also nifty titles like "Gold Status."
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Superheroes work hard, play hard, live fast, and die young. But the staff requires that it be kept off-screen and PG-13.
  • Evil Counterpart: The world of Anti-Earth, where everyone who is good on Earth-Prime is evil. It includes the "Young Imperials," who are are the Evil Counterparts to Young Freedom.
  • Fiction 500: Several PCs rank among their number, including Asad, Ace Danger and many more.
  • Fictional Country: Players have created a few.
  • 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.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Many PCs bond this way, in times of danger and havoc, leading to deep appreciations of each other. Recently, the young heroes Archer II and Facsimile started bonding in this way, after having spent a short time antagonizing each other.
  • Five-Man Band: On Young Freedom, Edge was The Hero, Blue Fox was The Lancer, Midnight was The Smart Guy, Wander was The Big Guy, and Cobalt Templar was The Heart.
  • Gender Bender:
    • Doc Otaku once tested a Gender Reversal Ray on Avenger, Dark Star, Doktor Archeville, Geckoman, and Wesley Knight. Hilarity Ensued.
    • Earth-XX is an entire (player-created) Alternate Universe of gender-swapped characters.
  • 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 "Game Master" 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.
  • Harmful to Minors: While some PCs have backstories including traumatic childhood events, the minimum age for FCPBP PCs is 16, in order to avoid this happening on-screen.
  • House Rules: FCPBP has them. They are constantly evolving. The Moderators are generally reasonable people, receptive to player input and willing to change.
  • Mutants: The "Terminus Babies" concept created by Kit on the official Mutants & Masterminds forum was integrated into the FCPBP canon, and it served as the Mass Super-Empowering Event for several PC heroes.
  • Not Wearing Tights: The Moderators specifically want to avoid this trope. This is a game about "superheroes", not "people with powers".
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Moderators also want to avoid this trope. Player Characters should fit better into the DC Animated Universe than they would into Heroes.
  • Play Every Day: This certainly isn't required, but it does help. Hitting 100 in-character forum posts inside of one calendar month would gain a character the maximum possible Experience Points for that month, and pulling it off once will get the player into the "100 Club." This 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 under 6 months. But most players are not so prolific.
  • Psycho Rangers: The Spectrum Knights are a player-created NPC villain group, a more politically-focused Expy of the Red Lantern Corps whose Revolution Will Not Be Civilized.
  • Random Number God: FCPBP uses Orokos to resolve and keep track of die rolls.
  • Retcon: Usually Averted. Once a character is submitted and approved, they are a part of the FCPBP canon from that day forward. Exceptions are sometimes made, most often when a player is permanently banned from the site for bad behavior. In one case, a very active and well-liked player wanted to play a Legacy Character whose Super Hero Origin story would have been incompatible with the story established by a former player who had wandered off before making any significant impact on the site canon. In this specific case, the Moderators chose to retcon the previous player's character out of existence to make way for the new version.
  • Shared Universe: The premise of the entire game. All story threads take place within the same 'Verse, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Shining City: As with the canon version, the FCPBP version of Freedom City is this. It is a city populated by heroes, the home of the Freedom League and by far the most active part of the setting.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Husband-&-wife duo Fast-Forward and Hologram host Supercrime!, an Expy of MythBusters that airs on the Discovery Channel. In one episode, the duo (and some accompanying heroes) went on a trip to 65 Million BCE to explore dinosaur-related superhero stories.