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Roleplay / Ravenwood Arena

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Found deep within the red-rock mesas of central Utah, the idyllic town of Ravenwood has become home to a very... interesting new subculture. The original population is unaware of this, of course, but that doesn't mean the place isn't absolutely crawling with all manner of thrill-seekers from all across the globe, and quite frequently from well beyond the globe.

Welcome to the Ravenwood Arena, a place where anyone looking to write up a character and beat the hell out of other people will feel right at home, just so long as they don't mind potentially dealing with tiny robots made of knifes and packing all of the firepower in their chassis, space marines, or beings of pure intellect and shadow that honestly probably shouldn't exist. If you want to dive right into the action, you and your opponents will take turns writing up an epic duel or careful battle of wits, staged on outlandish and occasionally impossible battlefields, with the winner decided by the cheering audience (So remember, kids, style matters!). On the other hand, if you're not interested in all of that violent stuff, you could always swing by a shop or tavern and just socialize with the other weird denizens of the town. Plenty of people are more than willing to talk and tell you a little about themselves.


When you’re ready to start exercising those writing muscles, swing on by!


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    General Setting Tropes 
  • Advantage Ball: The voters tend to lean towards whoever they think does the best job of holding on to this.
  • Adventurer's Club: The whole town (aside from the normal folks) is one big collection of would-be adventurers or wayward vagabonds.
  • Anachronism Stew: When a medieval archer dukes it out against an invincible, teleporting demon dual-wielding revolvers and has a legitimate shot at winning, and that’s ‘’normal’’, you know things have gotten screwy.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Why is this random town in the middle of nowhere some kind of interdimensional nexus? Eh. Because.
  • A-Team Firing: This is used as an excuse for a fair number of gun-based fighters, particularly when the target doesn’t have a feasible way of dodging bullets.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The Arcane Bazaar is not in Ravenwood, per se, but the dimension that houses it can only be accessed from the Arena HQ or within the city limits.
  • City of Adventure: For some reason or another, every character is eventually drawn to Ravenwood with an urge to get involved in some sanctioned violence.
  • Combat Referee: The voters fulfill this role on a meta level.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Not usually supposed to happen, as the format is simultaneously collaborative and competitive, but occasionally someone will simply outclass or overwhelm their opponent.
  • Elseworld: Many characters either started as characters in other stories or mediums, or have since developed stories outside of the Arena.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: An inevitability when you’re letting a large group of people make whatever characters they want. Ravenwood runs the gamut from medieval warriors to space mercenaries.
  • Finishing Move: The last posts in a fight before voting begins are almost always used to execute this trope - the community refers to them as Finishers.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The city of Ravenwood just seems to collect interdimensional travelers like dust.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: When your boards revolve around making characters to pit them up against each other, this is just bound to happen. Uberphish, one of the forum’s mods, has a fair bit of this in and of himself.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Writers are expected to define the capabilities of their characters ahead of time and then work within the established limits; otherwise, fights quickly devolve into escalating nonsense.
  • Magitek: Many characters utilize this in their powersets, but the Arena itself utilizes a wide array of magic, tech, and magitech for everything from medical treatment to transportation.
  • Masquerade: This is the in-canon term for a sort of perception filter that affects people who are unaware of the supernatural world. Some people are easier to break out of it than others.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Ravenwood is set in modern times, more or less.
  • Original Character Tournament: This is more or less why the forums exist, though plenty of people have voiced interest in branching out into other, less competitive forms of collaborative writing.
  • Pocket Dimension: Aside from the aforementioned Arcane Bazaar, the Arena’s Headquarters and all fight locales are on these demi-planes. It makes hiding things easier, and allows for some really amazing scenery.
  • Popularity Power: More or less how the results of fights are decided. Some people vote on style, some on tactics, but the positions of each fighter by the time the post limit comes around plays a huge part in who people will usually side with.
  • Portal Network: The Eldritch Legacy, co-founded and run by one Ignatius Q. Walowik, is the largest one of these around, granting access to most major locations in the setting.
  • Rewrite/Orwellian Retcon: The Ravenwood Arena is the reincarnation of The Tandy Arena. Most people opted to start their characters over from scratch, but a few kept their history in some vague way for as long as they didn’t feel like contradicting it with new plot.
  • Rule of Cool: A good standby for bypassing physics to set up set pieces during fights. So long as believability isn’t stretched beyond all reason, voters seem to love a good bit of badassery.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Mid-fight banter would be much harder, otherwise.

    Character Tropes 
  • Abnormal Ammo: Many characters. John Erikson in particular, as his experience with serial alien abductions has given him access to weapons that shoot lava-grenades, electric spines, and many other bizarre and deadly things.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Lord Stabby the Slasher is one (see Flying Weapon). Kyr can create them. Many other characters use them.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Flint O’Hammond’s frequent expeditions into ancient ruins became so well-known for being action-packed thrill-rides that he started selling his jounals as pulp adventure novels.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Played straight for most off-world characters (including actual Greys), though averted with Eithne Walowik. Her text is in english (because her writer was too lazy to invent a new language), but in-character her language is foreign.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Alyx Error, the Arena’s CEO and Public Relations specialist, is so androgynous as to seemingly flip between genders at random. Min Zhān, a humanoid slime creature who also holds an administrative job in the Arena, literally does.
  • Anatomy Arsenal:
    • Nearly everything on this trope’s list appears on a character somewhere along the line.
    • Due to a genetic modification that lets her manipulate and transform her body, Layla Logan's entire anatomy embodies this trope.
    • Googol Plex’s right arm is composed of a colony of nanomachines and can fit most of the arm-related entries.
  • Artificial Limbs: A common feature among future-tech characters. Über’s right arm was replaced with a high-tech limb capable of temporarily fabricating video game assets in reality. Because SCIENCE!
  • Aura Vision: Common in magically talented characters.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Several characters share the names of the writers who ‘control’ them, with varying degrees of similarity between them.
    • At one point, the character of Über was literally the author, drawn into the world through unknown means. It was eventually realized that this broke a lot of things and was generally stupid, and he was downgraded to a less direct clone of his author’s personality.
  • Background Magic Field: A lot of the typical mage characters like interacting with this, in various ways.
  • Badass Beard: Flint, though that’s a bit of a given.
  • Badass Normal: A rarity in Ravenwood, Brackdon Cawr uses a few magical items, but otherwise relies entirely on his own skills as a ranger (the medieval kind, not the D&D class) in combat.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, if you’re fighting Iggie and value your life, DO. NOT. TOUCH. CLINK.
  • Black Cloak: Kyr is a mysterious being who may or may not be just a (grey) cloak, albeit with a strange, sentient darkness living in it.
  • Blessed with Suck: Soon after receiving his cybernetic arm and eye, Über found he couldn’t turn off the latter, leaving him with a constant glowing green light in his skull and scrolling text in front of his vision. This led to some pretty serious insomnia.
  • Bio-Augmentation/Designer Babies: The Logan twins are former PMC operatives who underwent brain surgery and genetic modification to better suit their respective occupations within the corporation.
  • Brain–Computer Interface:
    • Aside from having an AI living in his brain, Über can access the internet via the cybernetic junk in his head and browse it with his eye.
    • The Logan twins, Lorne and Layla, both have quantum computer chips implanted in their brains that enhance their abilities in various ways.
  • Broken Bird: Demise, a grim reaper analogue who once held his position with pride… at least, until an unknown force wiped out his race, leaving him with an unholy number of souls to usher into the afterlife, followed by none.
  • Butt-Monkey: John takes this one a bit too literally… Or rather, the aliens who have a fondness for probing the same guy over and over do.
  • Canon Welding: Though limited, the character roster does include a Pokemon Trainer (who apparently became a pyromancer at some point) and a UNSC Spartan from an Alt-Future Halo universe.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Kyr can amplify his physical abilities at the cost of being proportionally weakened/harmed when the effect ends. Other characters occasionally sacrifice some of their well-being to add power to their magic.
  • Chase Fight: Extremely common, due to characters with differing optimal engagement ranges.
  • Combat Compliment: The more enthusiastic and respectful characters often give these.
  • Combat Parkour: Kyr loves this trope. Spontaneous incidents of it also crop up occasionally.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Tends to go over well with the voters; the biggest risk in going for a Rule of Cool approach is being countered by someone employing this trope.
  • Combat Tentacles: Iggie has two on his shoulders, though he usually ends up using them to hold onto his arms when they come loose. And then swing them at people.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Marcus Maiastes is de-powered Hermes, and yet other characters are still able to utilize ‘religious’ powers without worshipping the Greek Pantheon.
  • Cyborg: There are several characters that fit this description, including one who is also a catgirl, for some strange reason.
  • Deflector Shields: A common spell and ability in the Arena.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: A reasonable tactic when you can regenerate (Iggie) or lack vital organs entirely (Kyr).
  • De-Power: Marcus Maiastes is quite literally the Greek god Hermes, cast off of Olympus for generally being a pompous douche and a prankster.
  • Detachment Combat: Ignatius Walowik can basically survive anything, given enough time. For as long as his limbs aren’t attached, though, he has no qualms about using them to hit things.
  • Elemental Absorption: Present and accounted for. Unsurprisingly, this happens most often with fire.
  • Emergency Transformation: Googol is actually two brothers in the same situation, exiled from their world into one that doesn’t really have the tech to let them separate just yet.
  • EMP: Frequently created by both magical and technological means in order to attack an opponent’s electronic equipment.
  • Everything Sensor: High-tech characters such as Julian the Spartan (a Halo expy) often have one of these.
  • Exploited Immunity: Clink, as a robot, has little to fear from fire and smoke; he didn’t mind hanging around in the middle of a forest fire, but his human opponent had to retreat. In general, invoking this is a good way to win points from the voters.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Annoy Kyr and this is what happens.
  • Eye Beams: Clink has one of these, though it’s strong enough to even melt through his own chassis, so he uses it sparingly.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Über got one of these in the form of a cybernetic eye, though all it really does is spam him with ever-scrolling text detailing the world around him. In combat it’s great, but in everyday life it’s just maddening.
  • Flying Weapon: Lord Stabby the Slasher, who is fond of casting spells, slicing things apart, and drinking beer.
  • Full-Contact Magic/Elemental Punch: Brendan would like you to meet his fist - which is on fire.
  • Functional Magic: The Inherent Gift and Rule Magic subtypes are both quite popular.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Averted in most cases, with many characters’ eyes glowing merely because they are cybernetic or they were just born that way. Played straight with Clink.
  • Guns Akimbo: This is popular with most gunslingers in the Arena. Clink takes it a step further by toting twin chainguns in his diminutive frame.
  • Hammerspace: More than a few fighters utilize some form of this so that they don’t have to lug their crap around everywhere they go. Clink is basically a walking armory.
  • Homing Lasers: Brian has used a magical form of this powered by stalker-love.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Über, at least in out-of-combat stories, took a bit of time to get used to his powers.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: Pinball carries solid steel spheres that follow this trope (non-comedically) while under the influence of her powers.
  • I Call It "Vera": There are quite a few named weapons in the Arena.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: This is where John Erikson gets his equipment. He’s not entirely happy about it.
  • Inertial Dampening: Pinball can toy with this trope thanks to her powers.
  • Jet Pack: In a strange twist, two of the board’s first fights featured characters using these facing off against characters capable of fire manipulation. The resulting burns were quite painful for the unfortunate aviators.
  • Little Bit Beastly: As you would expect in a realm of gamers, geeks, and anime fans, Ravenwood has more than its fair share of humans with the odd animal part.
  • Losing Your Head: Ignatius. In the past, before the new boards, it was a near inevitability that he would eventually decapitate himself in order to chuck his screaming head at opponents.
  • Magic Music: Norman Linsburg has an MP3 player whose music can create supernatural effects, and before the transition to the new forums one of the veteran members had a character based entirely around this.
  • Meaningful Name: Demise, Forge, Pinball, Nameless, Fiona Nicholson (though you have to slur that one a bit), among many others.
  • Mercury's Wings: Markus used to have these, obviously. Nowadays he has to do with a pair of fake wings made by Daedalus. As in the guy that made Icarus his pair.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Clink looks like he’s all leg on the surface, but inside his tiny chassis he keeps an ungodly number of guns and a slew of little robotic arms to wield them with.
  • Nanomachines: Googole Plex’s right arm is entirely composed of these, allowing it to transform into all sorts of fun things!
  • Nobody Can Die: Played straight… for now.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Kyr has an ability whose description links to this trope. He got it from a Slender Man-esque thing he absorbed, so his usage of the trope is horror-flavored.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Flint “Blast” O’Hammond.
  • Paradox Person: Kyr is the foremost example; one of his primary abilities is flat-out turning off his interaction with entire segments of reality. Brian the magical-girl boy also counts, in that his magic system involves imposing new rules on reality in his local area, which then let him do magic.
  • Physical God: Markus used to be one of these, before he pissed off the wrong people and was thrown off Olympus.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Most transhuman fighters are this, if only because no one’s dared take up the challenge of writing a truly inhuman character just yet.
  • Psychopomp:
    • Demise was one, as you might have guessed from his name. Once his race was obliterated, though, he took up a role as hitman for the dead.
    • Markus was the original psychopomp (for the Greeks, at least) before his fall.
  • Robot Buddy:
    • Clink was originally built by Iggie as a mobile turret. When he eventually gained sentience, he was every bit his ‘father’s son. He’s since split off on his own after dear ol’ Dad starting getting overprotective.
    • Clink’s ‘little brother’ Crank would also fit the bill, except he’s a bit hard to move.
  • Run or Die: Kyr attempted to invoke this at the beginning of his fight with John, after shrugging off an incineration blast thanks to his fire immunity. John was unnerved but far from cowed.
  • Sanity Slippage: A pretty serious story arc for Über on the old boards. If his eye-based insomnia doesn’t ease up soon, it probably will be again.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: A fair number of characters are a lot less interesting than they would have you believe. Ignatius and Marcus in particular seem to think they’re hot stuff.
  • Stepford Snarker: A few characters who were quickly and violently drawn through the masquerade went through this phase. Über hasn’t quite left it yet, using sarcasm to ward off the inevitable mental breakdown.
  • Super Reflexes: Characters tend to have this by default.
  • Super Speed: Markus’ trademark power, ever since ancient Greece. A bit dumbed down as of his fall though.
  • Technicolor Eyes: In a collaborative fantasy land, there are a whole lot of eye colors on display, very few of which fall in the natural range.
  • Technopath: Eithne Walowik, though her world is in an age of industrial revolution, so her knowledge of and power over truly advanced machines is limited.
  • Teleport Spam: Hello, Iggie. Will you ever get tired of using this? No? What a surprise.
  • Thinking Out Loud: For the sake of the audience, a lot of characters do this during fights. Über does this most times, partially out of habit and partially because the AI in his head can’t read his thoughts, so he feels the need to grave her with his train of thought.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Iggie is the posterboy for this. The trope also has a lot of tradition in the community in general.
  • True Sight: Kyr has an ability whose description links to this trope.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Most tech-based fighters who have powers, rather than just gear, gained them through something like this. Über gained his through a strange, futuristic orb. Or rather, he gained then by dropping it.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Googol Plex and, to a much lesser degree, Über.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: This is the gist of a lot of (highly entertaining) in-fight banter.

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