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Roleplay / Pinnacle Academy

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A superhero chat RP on discord, using Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition rules.

Pinnacle Academy serves several purposes. On its face, it is a school for aspiring superheroes. It is also, however, a nexus of interdimensional portals, and thus a center of inter-world diplomacy.

The game focuses on the Tomorrow Vigil, a team of five students with varying degrees of superhero experience, and their mentor. And their boss. And a whole cast of characters with a spectacular array of issues that come together to make a superhero academy work. For a given value of 'work'.


Aside from a wide variety of "minis", the main story is divided into arcs. The story so far includes:

  • Arc 1: As Pinnacle Academy prepares for opening day, the team is put together to investigate a terrorist attack on the school, leading to a literal journey into Hell and a fight with an evil god who's breaking out of his prison.
  • Arc 2: The team attends a ceremony in Silen space, only for it to be crashed by agents of the Deneb Imperium plotting to turn Pinnacle Earth into the beachhead from which they can embark upon a multidimensional conquest spree.
  • Arc 3: An assassination attempt on Sumire leads the team to investigate a camp where captive mad scientists are being put to work, which segues into intervening in a war between the Ranger Corps and the Central Islands orchestrated by SHOCKER.
  • Arc 4: Following up on leads from the third arc, the team leads an operation on Watson Earth to capture a large-scale arms dealer who's branching out into selling across dimensions.
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  • Arc 5: While dean Carroll is being held hostage, the team must visit Primal Earth and try to simultaneously prevent a breakdown in peace negotiations between the Rikti and Vanguard while also somehow preventing the Rikti armies from returning home. Then a Murder Mystery throws everything for a loop.
  • Arc 6: In a continuation of the events from arc 3 and 4, the team is putting together a trap for the archvillain Doctor Combat. And then Sanctifer gets involved.

Records can be found at here.


This RP provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Melissa Terigen is this to Daphne. Not because Daphne finds her unattractive (far from it), but because Melissa's crush on her is clearly a result of the Mind Rape she underwent at Candace's hand, and taking advantage would be abhorrent.
  • Abusing the Kardashev Scale for Fun and Profit: Pinnacle Earth itself is nearing level I on the scale. The Silens and Denebians are strong Type I civilizations. The old Denebians were a solid Type II, with multiple Dyson spheres. The Annihilators are a pair of Type III civilizations, each one controlling their respective galaxy with energy to match.
  • Abusive Parents: Alicia's, quite probably Wraith's, very possibly Yaraghiya's mother, every foster family Sig was placed with... It's a common theme.
  • Academy of Adventure: Pinnacle itself.
  • Action Girl: A big chunk of the cast. The GM has specifically designed the game to have as many male characters as 'traditional' superhero media has female.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Doctor Dexter Darien.
  • Affably Evil: Astra is polite in all of her appearances, can be friendly, will Mind Rape innocent people without a second thought.
  • Affectionate Parody: The fifth arc is one for Ace Attorney.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Generally averted. Thermakron is a perfectly heroic robot. Overseer may be evil, but it's a Lawful Evil, loyal minion first to the autocratic regime that created it, then after said regime's fall to its nearest approximation it can find. Deino starts out as an obedient servant of the Deneb Imperium, only acting against them after being subjected to Mind Manipulation, then later on turning against them of her own free will thanks to intensive counseling. Played straight with General Eris, though, who wants to wipe out large swathes of the human population of Earth Watson.
  • All There in the Manual: Some nontrivial amount of in-character discussion and exposition about the setting happens outside of the game itself, in the document referred to as the Crime Bible.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Tagton, the alien mercenary, takes his payment in human artwork - presumably expecting to sell it for a high price on another planet.
  • Alien Invasion: Arc 2 is about preventing one, and Arc 5 deals with the peace negotiations that conclude one.
  • The Alliance: The Silen and six other interstellar powers have formed a shaky mutual defense pact to resist the Deneb Imperium's advances.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: A downplayed version. The Silens are not dead-set against intervening in human affairs, but they want to do so in ways that don't result in a diplomatic incident. Naturally, this slows things down.
  • Alternate History: The various earth-like dimensions. This includes Pinnacle Earth itself, where superheroes started showing up in the 20s, the Ku Klux Klan was utterly destroyed in the 30s, Madagascar was blown up by aliens, superheroes and magicians working with the World Health Organization wiped out Malaria, and Pittsburgh has been ruled by supervillains since the late 80s.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Played with in the second arc. Since the Deneb Imperium's entire ideology is based on their unshakable arrogance and conviction in their inherent superiority, the Vigil con them into believing in the existence of "Deneb Unconquered", a parallel-universe version of the Imperium that's even more massive and overpowered, and hostile to them.
  • Amazon Brigade: Of the six members of the Tomorrow Vigil, five are girls. Actually all six, once Cerulean gets to do some soul-searching.
  • Androids Are People, Too: To the extent that the Tomorrow Vigil raided a hell dimension to rescue one.
  • Apocalypse How: The Shattered Aegis world is undergoing a version of nuclear winter due to an Annihilator probe exploding a good chunk of it, then exploding on it.
  • Arms Dealer: Arc 4's Warlord, from the Cyberpunk Watson Earth, sells military hardware (including Magitek Mecha-Mooks) for billions of dollars, and has started into branching out to other dimensions, selling weapons to SHOCKER. He's also an expy of Yuri Orlov.
  • Artificial Intelligence: It's still an experimental technology for Pinnacle Earth, but is widespread in some of the dimensions it connects to.
  • Back from the Dead: Shade gets "killed" in the fifth arc. Being what she is, it's a mere inconvenience.
  • Back Story: Many of the minis revolve around one member of the Vigil exploring the backstory of one of the NPCs.
  • Badass Army: The Ranger Corps and the Central Island's kuniochi both qualify.
  • Badass Normal: Some of the students at Pinnacle Academy are supposed to be this. So is Reaper.
  • Badass Boast:
    Doctor Menlo: "That's what my team and I do. We find an impossible situation against an enemy that holds all the cards and cannot possibly ever be defeated. Then we figure out a way to defeat them.
    "Don't ask for a singularity bomb.
    "Ask for our help."
  • Baleful Polymorph: Astra is a big fan of these, combining mental and physical transformations. Strike, Alicia, and Daphne at one point have all been on the wrong end of her transformation spells.
  • Battle Thralls: The Nexar Battle Dolls of Watson Earth are intelligent robots whose mind was deliberately crippled to keep them obedient.
  • Being Good Sucks: Alicia Carroll very strongly believes so. So does Astra, which is why she wants to make sure her daughter doesn't develop heroic inclinations.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Cerulean: Don't abuse your power over other people.
    • Daphne: Don't enforce luddism.
    • Kaelis: Don't rub her mind-control fetish in her face.
  • Beware the Superman: Part and parcel of Shadow's stated ideology.
    • In Desai's dimension, a conflict between normals and superhuman apparently ended with the latter taking over the world.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Sumire's kuniochi.
  • Brainless Beauty: Those are clearly Astra's type, and she's more than willing to turn people into this.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Shade's pet theory is that Alicia Carroll is pulling something like this on Daphne.
  • Break Them by Talking: On occasion. A regular modus operandi of Alicia Carroll.
  • Breather Episode: Arc 4 is largely this, as are some of the minis.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In the climax of Arc 5, Incandescent attempts this on the Vigil. It does not go well for her.
    • In one mini, Daphne attempts to lean on Astra. Astra proceeds to demonstrate why she isn't too concerned about heroes possibly stopping her.
  • Cast Full of Gay
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: As a general rule, the team's not gonna turn down an opportunity to help someone.
  • Cliffhanger: Many game sessions end on one.
  • The Con: Most of Arc 2 is devoted to the team pulling one on the Deneb Imperium.
  • Cooldown Hug: Every now and then.
  • Cop Killer Manhunt: The fact that villains fear this is why many of Pinnacle Earth's heroes don't bother with a secret identity.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Gods with the fate domain, such as Anarktron and Gargantor, do this as part of their power. Both of them were involved in shaping Cerulean's backstory.
  • Crapsack World: Several of the dimensions linked to Pinnacle Academy are this. Watson Earth is a cyberpunk dystopia. Yaraghiya's world is beset by monsters that can only be opposed by a tyrannical theocratic Evil Luddite regime. Shattered Aegis is post-apocalyptic. And so on.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Most fights in the 4th arc basically involved the Tomorrow Vigil - a full-fledged superhero team - inflicting these on criminals and mercenaries in a cyberpunk dimension.
  • Cyberpunk: Watson Earth in a nutshell.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shade herself wants to establish this. Selena was apparently another example, which is one of the reasons Solaria wants people to remain aware of the trope.
  • David vs. Goliath: The heroes versus Entropy.
  • Deathworld: Yaraghiya's world, where Tribulation - effectively an expy of [[Web Original/RWBY the Grim]] - is always trying to kill everyone.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Happens on a surprisingly regular basis. Entropy in particular comes to mind.
  • Doomsday Device: In arc 5, it is revealed that a portal to Andromeda is involved. That is, a portal to a galaxy controlled by the Annihilators.
  • The Dreaded: The Annihilators, two rival empires from the Silens' dimension who rule the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies, respectively. Their mere involvement is often enough to get all parties to nope.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Cerulean's past is abusive as hell, Mezlisa was a victim of a mind-controlling demon, Strike (and her world) have suffered too many Mind Control accidents to count, and the NPCs don't fare any better.
  • Egopolis: Subverted with Solaria's World: She doesn't call it that, and neither do its residents. It's only the people at Pinnacle Academy who aren't native to it who call it that, because there isn't any other, more convenient name for it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: While they're technically Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and not as incomprehensible as most examples of this trope, the Annihilators fill this niche: Impossibly-powerful aliens who destroy entire interstellar civilizations by accident, paying them no mind in the process.
  • Elite Mook: The kaijin are this for SHOCKER. The Nexar Battle Dolls are this for Watson City.
  • The Empire: Several.
    • The Deneb Imperium is a Space Opera one from the Silen dimension - a feudal empire of racist dark space elves who view themselves as the Master Race of the cosmos.
    • Sikandria, from Solaria's world, is a Medieval European Fantasy version - a kingdom that was gradually corrupted by Sanctifer into a hive of corruption and demon-worship that's making its neighbors very, very nervous.
    • SHOCKER is either this or a Nebulous Evil Organization. They've been trying to conquer Ranger Earth for generation, but it's left ambiguous whether they've conquered their own home dimension first.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: The surviving society of Yaraghiya's homeworld, which survives Tribulation's monsters only through worship of Purity. Except that Purity may very well be an agent of Gargantor, and it's very much looking like the apocalypse that ravaged their world was originally planned to allow Purity to take over...
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Briefly alluded to. Whatever it is the interstellar empire known as the Infernal Hierarchy did, it was bad enough that even the genocide-happy, mass-enslaving Deneb Imperium thought they'd crossed one too many lines.
    • A bank robber from the My Hero Academia Earth gets offended at someone impersonating All-Might, demanding to know what they've done to him.
  • Evil Is Petty: Very often. Frequently seen with senator Young, who takes special delight in tormenting dean Carroll.
  • Evil Overlord: Two of Pinnacle Earth's villains fit the trope: Professor Cryo, who has managed to take over an American city and keep control over it for decades, and Nollius, who rules over the magical city of Avalon.
  • The Fair Folk: They've yet to appear in-person, but Kyoko - one of the villains from Lightning Strike's past - has been mentioned, and apparently runs Glamour LLC as a fair folk Megacorp.
  • False Flag Operation: Entropy's plot in arc 1 involves framing the Silens for terror attacks.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Deneb Imperium's ideology revolves around Denebian superiority to basically everyone else.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Denebian ambassador from Arc 2, full-stop.
  • Fetish: Mind-control seems to be a pretty common one on campus. Reportedly, this high concentration of hypnofetishists is not coincidental.
  • Fiction 500: Two of the most powerful individuals on Pinnacle Earth are George Li, the president of Omnicorp, and Doctor Dexter Darien, the arguably-Mad Scientist owner of Venture Industries.
    • An NPC's mother is explicitly said to be one of the 500 richest people on the planet.
  • Final Death: Very worryingly, Doctor Trick has apparently researched a way to inflict it on divine entities with Resurrective Immortality.
  • Forged by the Gods: The Solar Blade, a powerful magic sword created by Solaria. Lost decades ago, but it's hinted that Team One are close to recovering it.
    • The Slave Bell was an artifact of magical enslavement forged by Gargantor, but was destroyed at some point in the backstory.
  • Friends with Benefits: Daphne and Sig (though it eventually becomes clear that it's more than that for Sig).
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He's more relevant to the worldbuilding than to the actual plot, but Baraka gets mentioned at one point. Started out as a goblin bard. Became a king, nearly conquered a continent, scammed gods, and ultimately became a demon prince through sheer Magnificent Bastardry.
  • Functional Magic
  • Gayngst: Generally averted, despite the Cast Full of Gay having many other causes for angst.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: One aspect of Pinnacle Academy revolves around higher-tech factions sharing their technology with other allies. The Silens are negotiating giving some of their Space Opera tech to Pinnacle Earth, while Pinnacle is providing better information and communication technology to Ranger Earth, which seems to be lagging half a century behind. Meanwhile, Sanctifer is smuggling modern weaponry to the medieval empire of Sikandria.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the eventuality that her plans to liberate the Cryosphere fail, Alicia's backup plan involves tricking Professor Cryo into abducting the daughter of Astra, leading the latter to destroy the former. Alicia does not expect herself to escape Astra's wrath if she pulls said plan.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Many examples. The Tomorrow Vigil win many, perhaps even most of their victories via outsmarting the villains.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Even the nicest among the heroes are perfectly able to fight an Evil God to the death and launch a raid on another world to arrest an interdimensional arms dealer.
  • Good vs. Good: Arc 3 revolves around SHOCKER's plot to make the cold war between the Central Islands and Ranger Corps turn hot.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: In Arc 2, the team pulls a massive con to convince the Deneb Imperium that it must abandon its ambitions of interdimensional conquest, lest it will make itself a target for a stronger, parallel-world version of itself that already controls Pinnacle behind the scenes. Since many billions of lives depend on the bad guys continuing to believe this bluff, the actual details of what the team did on that trip have to remain a closely-held secret.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Denebian artificial intelligence the Vigil effectively abducted in Arc 2 has done this by the time she shows up again, thanks to extensive counseling.
  • Guile Hero: Considering the complexity of the schemes and counter-schemes that both the good and evil factions pull, this becomes a necessary trait for the good guys very quickly. As early as Arc 2, the Vigil are only able to save the day by pulling a complex con on enemies that vastly outgun them. Alicia Carroll, meanwhile, lives and breathes guile (though whether she counts as a hero is up for debate).
  • Higher-Tech Species: The Silens (and Denebians, and other major players of their dimensions) are this to Pinnacle, the Rikti are this to Primal Earth, and the Annihilators and Council of Galaxies are this to everyone else.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: A theme that's examined, re-examined, then turned on its head and shaken down for its lunch money. It's the given justification for practically everything Alicia Carol does, rightly or wrongly. It's also the mindset that caused practically every single problem that happened in arc 5.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Why Daphne's high school crush on Annie never went anywhere.
  • Indy Ploy: The Tomorrow Vigil often has to resort to these. Special mention goes to the second arc, which the team spent improvising a massive con against the Deneb Imperium.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Doctor Dexter Darien".
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The "mirrors" used by Pinnacle Academy, which are what allows it to exist as a dimensional nexus. Each one connects to another universe, and the one person who could make them is dead, so their number is currently fixed.
  • Interspecies Friendship: To be expected in an interdimensional hub like Pinnacle Academy. Shade (drow-raised-as-human, now turned goddess) with anyone else, Strike (human) with Kaelis (orc), Daphne (human) with Yaraghiya (unnamed blue-skinned four-armed species)...
  • Involuntary Charity Donation: In the climax of arc 4, after the Vigil capture multi-billionaire Arms Dealer Warlord, they hack his bank account and redistribute his fortune to hundreds and hundreds of deserving targets.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Crops up in a number of places.
    • Alicia Carroll blames herself for Erin Celeste's death.
    • Strike, over failing to stem the endless tide of mind-controlling villains on Unity Earth.
    • Mezlisa, over her actions knocking Baroness Killgrave out of the fight, but also preventing the team from arresting her.
    • Kaelis, years ago, turned down an invitation to Mind Control University. Years later, another member of her order accepted said invitation, and ended up being instrumental to the institution being destroyed from the inside. Kaelis still isn't sure whether her decision was the right one, but she clearly blames herself over some who fell victim to the school in the interim.
  • Kill the God: Entropy, pretty much an evil god and Discord Expy, dies in the climax of the first arc. Shade inherited her powers in the backstory because her predecessor was killed by Solaria's agents.
  • Les Yay: All over the place.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Love Potion: Candace Macmillian made one and used it on Melissa Terigen.
  • Loyalty Mission: Several NPCs have a "side mission" associated with them which is being pursued by one or two of the Vigil members.
  • Mad Scientist: A number of those are being held in a work camp the Vigil liberates in Arc 3. Venture Industries' tagline is "giving mad scientists respectable jobs". Doctor Trick is a particularly dark example.
  • Magic A Is Magic A
  • Magic Versus Science: Averted. Several magical factions have displayed a willingness to branch out into technology, and Causality achieved her mastery of sorcery in the first place by researching the physics behind magic.
    • Also played with, in that the Technology Professor and the Magic Professor *despise* each other.
  • Meat Puppet: General Macmillian is killed by Sanctifer and turned into this early in Arc 6.
  • Mechanical Lifeform: The silens, robots from a Space Opera dimension who overthrew their creators and kicked them off-planet. Being a species of former slave, their culture highly values freedom.
  • Megacorp: Pinnacle Earth has two notable ones:
    • Omnicorp, run by George Li is stated to control 1/12 of the world's economy, has raised an artificial island off the East coast to build Megalopolis on it, sponsors the massive superhero team known as the Omni-Force, and are in competition for control over the high-tech sector with...
    • Venture Industries, run by Doctor Dexter Darien, prides itself on "giving mad scientists respectable jobs", has constructed an orbital elevator and a city in geosynchronous orbit, and are fully embracing transhumanism.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Supposedly, Astra was placed in a super-prison designed to contain even someone of her power. It becomes fairly obvious early on that her "prison" doesn't keep her in so much as keep her potential rivals out.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Professor Illbien holds this position.
  • Mind Manipulation: Demons frequently engage in it. As succubi, Mezlisa and Wailing Gesture are both specialized in it. Doctor Menlo displays some interest in the field, as does Cerulean, albeit not for entirely practical reasons. Unity Earth is falling apart because cosmic events have made it so easy and effective there that paranoia about mind-control has become both widespread and completely justified.
  • The Mole: The Silen government knows it has a few of these feeding the Deneb Imperium information. The Vigil uses that to feed the Imperium disinformation.
  • Moral Myopia: General Mac Millian's zealous defense of his daughter. While a parent defending their child is to be expected, he never addressed the fact that she had resorted to Mind Rape and was, in fact, a dangerous villain.
  • The Multiverse: Pinnacle Academy connects to multiple dimensions. Worlds involved in the story include (but are not limited to):
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Pinnacle Academy itself. Also Omnicorp, Venture Industries, the Order of the Sacred Flame, Shadow, the Combat Network, and more.
  • Ninja: They come in two variants - the Kuniochi that serve Empress Sumire, and the supersoldiers of the Combat Network.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The climax of the first arc involves multiple hero teams from several different dimensions fighting Entropy in several separate temporary pocket dimensions. We only get to see the Tomorrow Vigil fight.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Denebian Ambassador in the ending of Arc 2 when everything goes to pieces.
    • The Vigil in Arc 5 when they realize a portal to the Annihilators' territory is involved.
    • A common reaction once the heroes realize they've been stranded on Unity Earth.
  • The Order: The Order of the Sacred Flame, which gathers Solaria's paladins.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The "dimensional revolution" - that is, the increasing frequency of contacts between different dimensions - ensures that a lot of worlds run into this. The Tomorrow Vigil, in particular, become a heroic OCP to the corrupt powers that be on Watson Earth.
  • Pals with Jesus: One of the Player Characters is a young goddess. The elder goddess, Solaria, is implied to be behind the formation of the Academy in the first place and has taken a personal interest in Tomorrow's Vigil.
  • Pointy Ears: Denebians have them.
  • Power Nullifier: The crowhei, a magical crowbar that nullifies all that which allows human beings to become more powerful than human beings are supposed to be. Superpowers, technology...
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Pinnacle Earth's Ted Cruz is President Corrupt.
  • Pulling the Thread: Investigating a bomb attack at the start of the first arc gradually leads the team to discover Entropy's scheme to spark interdimensional conflict as he returns to the world.
  • Race Against the Clock: In the run-up for arc 5, Doctor Menlo spends weeks in near-constant Super Speed trying to find some way to save Evolve:Grow without Alicia's Shoot the Dog solution. Arc 5 itself also turns into this with its Ace Attorney Affectionate Parody.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Surprisingly, not the Player Characters - despite the occasional upset, Tomorrow's Vigil usually get along well, act professionally, and try to live up to their reputation as heroes. Team One, however, could practically be the Ur-Example of this trope in action, with all the headaches that implies.
  • Reality Ensues: The team spends most of Arc 4 being a heroic Outside-Context Problem in the dimension of Watson Earth... until in the climax, Pinnacle Earth's White House explicitly orders them to cut it out because of the potential harmful ramifications of interdimensional incidents.
  • Religion of Evil: The Shadow Church that worships Gargantor, god of Tyranny.
    • Sikandria, as a nation, is moving toward the worship of Sanctifer.
    • Downplayed Trope with the Deneb Imperium, who don't worship any gods, but whose State religion views the pursuit of power itself as holy.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Despite embracing a few romantic tropes (the bad guys, with rare exceptions, are well and truly fundamentally vile people, technology can and will be used as a tool of oppression...), the story and setting veers hard toward the enlightenment end (Androids Are People, Too, anti-technology forces are clearly malevolent, The Federation is much likelier to be on side of good and decency, the protagonists aren't by any means the only ones working to save the world, Living Forever Is Awesome, the transhumanists are on your side, fate can and often should be thwarted, and heroic scientists abound).
  • Saintly Church: Solaria's clergy is this; Shade's seems to be heading toward a The Sacred Darkness version of the trope.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Entropy. His arc happens due to the can breaking.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Selena, Solaria's sister. She's effectively sealed herself inside the Moon with the End to keep it from destroying the world.
  • Secret Identity: Subverted to a degree. Many heroes on Pinnacle Earth are fully public with their real name and identity, under the logic that if anyone tries to mess with them or their families, the entire super community will come down on them like a bag of titanium forged bricks. This seems to be working just fine, though a few characters, particularly those from other worlds, view the practice as a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Sentai: The entire Ranger Corps is a planet-wide Badass Army of these.
  • Shoot the Dog: Alicia is perfectly willing to sabotage the peace negotiations between the crumbling Primal Earth and the Rikti, if it means keeping the Rikti too busy to crush their own subversive elements. Other people... disagree.
  • Shout-Out: "The global economy contains 1.4 quadrillion U.S. dollars worth of wealth. OmniCorp owns 116 trillion dollars of it. That's one out of every 12 dollars in the world. What did you do today to get OmniCorp the other 11?"
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Several of Alicia Carrol's rants to the more idealistic Vigil members are essentially this. The extent to which they are swayed varies.
  • Sinister Minister: Any priest of Purity can safely be assumed to be this.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Not the setting, but the team itself. A lot of the debates between team members seem to be based on where each member of said debate falls on the scale. The game itself manages a healthy balance of both.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Inverted with a vengeance. Word of God is that the game deliberately tried to have the opposite female-to-male ratio as most superhero media.
  • Space Station: Venture City, a massive station in geosynchronous orbit housing hundreds of thousands of people.
  • Spanner in the Works: Especially in the 3rd arc, which starts with the PCs foiling an assassination attempt, and whose climax involves ending the fighting between the Ranger Corps and the Central Island by revealing the former was being manipulated by SHOCKER.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Subverted. Daphne attempts it against Astra at one point. It fails miserably.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Pinnacle Earth's mutants. Lightning Strike and Shade also have inherited their abilities due to their family history.
  • Take a Third Option: While most of the Rikti military has been away trying to conquer Primal Earth, a movement in favor of increased freedom and individuality has been growing back on their homeworld. The invasion force coming back home would mean this movement would quickly get squashed and turned and brainwashed back into conformity. Alicia Carroll wants to prevent that by sabotaging the peace talks between Primal Earth and the Rikti. Daphne wants to prevent that by finding some technical trick or another to strand the Rikti invasion force somewhere on its way home. Ultimately, a better solution presents itself when they realize that, due to how much of the Rikti force is comprised of Primal Earth humans who were conscripted and mutated, many of them would actually rebel if given the chance.
  • Taken for Granite: When Strike attempts to take Astra down during the opening ceremony, one of Astra's spells turns her into a statue before she can land the first hit.
  • The Theocracy: The society on Yaraghiya's world, which is ruled by the clergy of Purity.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: "Look, we should at least have them fight Nazis or something. Nazis are the weakest form of fascist that your class can be expected to frequently encounter."
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: As expected in a super hero work, this rule pokes its head out frequently, with different members of Tomorrow's Vigil and different heroes around the setting all having clashing views on it. The fact that one of the members of the team is the goddess of assassination has not gone unnoticed...
  • To Hell and Back: One of the first things the team does is go into a hell dimensions to rescue a hostage (and, in the process, several other thousands of souls) from Wailing Gesture.
  • Technology Levels: In-universe, futuristic technology levels are divided into three wide categories:
    • Interstellar Age Technology: Nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, fusion power, warp drives, representing the gradual move from Type I to Type II on the Kardashev scale.
    • Galactic Age Technology: Dyson spheres, ringworlds, picotechnology, jump drives and stargates, representing early-to-mid Type II civilizations.
    • Cosmic Age Technology: Pocket universes, hyperspace, femtotechnology, temporal technology... the move to Type III civilizations and reality warping.
  • Trojan Horse: Two for the price of one: When the Denebians demand that the Vigil turn over Cerulean as a prisoner, the Vigil pretend to comply... by turning in Mezlisa shapeshifted to imitated Cerulean, and Shade hidden in Mezlisa's shadow.
  • Trojan Prisoner: See Trojan Horse above.
  • Unperson: Sumire is revealed to have done this to one of her sisters a century earlier, to the point of making nearly everyone forget her very existence. This was meant as an ironic punishment, since it was said sister's pursuit of fame that led her to merrily skip across the Moral Event Horizon and provide a spectacularly nasty bio-weapon to SHOCKER.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Averted trope by necessity, given the nature of the medium.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Denebian ambassador undergoes an extremely satisfying one at the end of the 2nd arc.
  • Wham Line:
    • From Cerulean's Personal Story: "and Sig would still be dead."
    • From Arc 5: "What's so terrifying and destructive about a portal to Andromeda?"
    • From Arc 6: "He's dead." Revealing that the general currently negotiating with dean Carroll in her office is a zombie puppet.
  • What Measure Is A Nonhuman: Completely averted. The heroes treat Silens (alien robots), and for that matter a forked copy of a Silen's mind, as no less of a person than any of them.
    • It is acknowledged that the English language and American legal system are not quite up to the task of dealing with the philosophical implications of brain uploading and forked minds.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: Gods of Fate, such as Anarktron and Gargantor, are able to manipulate the weave of fate itself. Retroactively in Cerulean's case. It's implied that fate magic works similarly to the Simurgh's powerset, thanks to a reference to another universe casually dropped by Alicia.
  • World Half Full: The multiverse is a scary place full of injustice and terrible evils too powerful to confront... for now. But heroes working together are making a difference, and the protagonists save several worlds and right many wrongs over the course of their adventures, while working on the bigger picture at the same time.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: The Eternium shards salvaged from Entropy's body are extremely valuable - to civilizations that have built Dyson spheres across multiple star systems. Pinnacle Earth completely lacks any of the tools necessary to manipulate or work them in any way. They are left with nearly four hundred pieces of reality-warping metal, each one of which is 'more valuable than the planet on which it rests' - which, of course, means they can't sell it to anyone.
    • Shade gave one of the shards to each of the heroes who fought Entropy. This means that each one of the heroes is now in possession of something only valuable to Galactic-Era civilizations, many of which are more powerful than them and not very ethical.
  • Year X: In Watson Earth, it is, canonically, 20XX.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Dean Carroll is a target of this. From more than one person.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: A favored approach of Sanctifer. And a special power of Mezliza - normally, succubi can only take souls from willing people in fair negotiations - a condition she can entirely ignore.

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