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Roleplay / The Shadow Of Greed

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The full lineup of the team. Top Row: Sam, Drake, and Samson. Bottom Row: Jack, Dana, Millie, Anton, Ivan, and Sarah.

The Shadow of Greed is the title of an all-Tropers Spirit of the Century game conducted over Ventrilo and OpenRPG. Ironeye is the GM, and the player list is as follows:

  • arks as Jack Courrier, a former (?) con man working for the U.S. government;
  • Jinxed Blackcat as Major Sam Gears, a spunky pilot whose state-of-the-art plane, the Sparrowhawk, is her baby;
  • Karalora as Millie Diamond, a wealthy, cosmopolitan and ebulliently friendly philanthropist seeking to rescue her fiance from an Egyptian cult;
  • Lanceleoghauni as Anton Korvanatz, a Husky Russkie scientific genius verging on Mad Scientist;
  • Matrix as Sarah the Singed, a mentally unstable pyromaniac from a Philadelphia crime family;
  • Thnikkafan as Samson, the World's Smartest Savage!, an imposing fellow who supposedly has the intellect of six men, but prefers to let his muscles speak for themselves;
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  • arimnaes as Dana "Great Dane" McCallister, a hypnotist, a former member of the mysterious Ordo Corvi, and the team's expert on all things that science can't explain; and
  • Taco as Drake Cob, an athletic knife fighter with ties to the mafia

Befitting the game, the individual story arcs ("novels") are usually no more than 1-2 sessions in length. However, signs of Arc Welding are becoming evident. Due to Ironeye's Complexity Addiction, the game has Loads and Loads of Characters who are all somehow related to the Myth Arc.

The discussion thread for the roleplay can be found here. For summaries of the game's backstory and plot, see the recap page.

This RP has significant player crossover with the Arimnaes Happy Fun Time Power Hour.


The Shadow of Greed contains examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Due to his player's computer issues, Jack Courrier has been absent since Sarah the Singed and the Lost Library with no in-universe explanation given.
  • Affably Evil: Every single villain who isn't shrouded in mystery, since that's the only kind that Ironeye can do and find entertaining.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Samson can be mistaken for any ethnicity, except that of the person doing the mistaking (his actual ethnicity is unknown).
  • Anachronic Order: Due to scheduling complications, the second half of The Spirit Centurions and the Caverns of Thule was played after the first half of The Spirit Centurions and the Fallen Eagle, which (aside from the prologue) takes place immediately after. This was followed by For the Right Pryce, which takes place after The Spirit Centurions and the Fallen Eagle, the second half of which was played the night after.
  • Baddie Flattery: Bernhardt genuinely does think highly of Sarah, which only makes him creepier.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Haast, al-Malik, Alistair Bentham, Tia Negra, Agent Morpheus, Garrison Grayson, Al Capone, General Wulf, Gorilla Khan, Doctor Methuselah, Boss Lee, and the Weaver all operate more or less independently of each other. We think. So far.
  • Black Cloak: The mooks of the Children of the Night, as well as the Weaver, one of the higher-ranking members.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Nazis try some on Anton, but he's been tortured so many times before that he's able to escape before Der Blitzmann inflicts too much harm.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: Dr. Albu, Dr. Gwyn, Dr. Weis, Dr. De Witt, Dr. Blanc, Dr. Bianchi, Dr. Baek, Dr. Grayson, both Grays, Jet Black, Rocket Red, Tia Negra, Dr. Brown, and Lt. Schwartz.
  • Con Man: Jack, though he's never seen pulling off The Con onscreen.
  • Cool Airship: New Atlantis, the Nazi armored zeppelins.
  • Cool Mask: The "Black Masks", Angel Rose, and the Weaver all conceal part or all of their faces and are also on the high end of the badass scale.
  • Crosscast Role: Matrix as Sarah the Singed, Ironeye as the female NPCs.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Seriously, why didn't Grayson just prove his research was sound by publicly demonstrating the doppelganger-producing powers of nethercite?
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Drs. Knichte, Gerald, Zeram, and Rox wrote a paper that discredited Garrison Grayson in the field of geology, so he decided to kill them all. Keep in mind that Grayson is an archaeologist, and thus didn't have much of a rep in the geology world anyway.
  • Domino Mask: The black mask worn by the two or more men sharing the "Black Mask" identity.
  • Dramatic Shattering: General Wulf's glass of wine when Anton disables Der Blitzmann in the middle of a torture session.
  • Dynamic Entry: Samson has this as an aspect. So far, he's only pulled it off in a car, but it was very dynamic. And hilarious.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Due to their mentors dying or disappearing, all of the main characters have a somewhat dark backstory, and only Drake has a backstory that doesn't get any worse than that. Sarah, Ivan, and Anton even have persistent psychological issues as a bonus.
  • Electric Torture: Of course this is Der Bltizmann's torture technique of choice! In particular, he has all sorts of dangerous-looking toys hanging on arms from the ceiling that can be used to electrocute people in different ways.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: The murders at the Ziggenheim Symposium begin with one of the front-runners dying, making every one of the entrants a suspect, as well as the members of the Council (for political reasons), and the backers of the entrants. The only NPCs without an obvious motive are Dr. Nicola Tesla, the hired security, and the hotel staff.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The game features intelligent, gun-toting apes.
  • From My Own Personal Garden: When Bernhardt has dinner prepared for Sarah on Thule, he claims the vegetables in the soup were all grown on Thule itself.
  • For Science!: Surprisingly enough, only Drs. Hibberton and Rox have so far attempted to try something potentially dangerous just because they can—the others are either doing normal science or quite intentionally making weapons.
  • Giggling Villain: Garrison Grayson, once he starts going insane.
  • A Glass of Chianti: General Wulf enjoys a glass of red wine when observing torture sessions.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Bernhardt orders Alan to put Sarah in a dress for dinner; in a twist, Alan allows Sarah to reject the slinky, scarlet dress, but then forces her to wear a lacy, pink dress that would look appropriate on a doll.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Der Blitzmann's suit explosively overloading didn't cause anyone permanent harm. Beyond that, Anton was able to take several minutes of dedicated electrical torture without any serious damage.
  • Historical Domain Character: Louis "Two Gun" Alterie, Al Capone, Frank Capone, "Big Jim" Colosimo, Vincent Drucci, John Duffy, the Terrible Gennas, Hermann Göring, Jake Guzik, “Bugs” Moran, Frank Nitti, Dean O'Banion, Grigori Rasputin, Yakov Sverdlov, Nikola Tesla, Johnny Torrio, Hymie Weiss, Frankie Yale, and Yakov Yurovsky.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Bernhardt is attracted to Sarah and wants her to love him, which leads to him setting up all sorts of unsettling situations. On the other hand, he intentionally acts like a gentleman once the pieces are in place, even acknowledging that he could have his way with her if he were that kind of man. This doesn't stop him from ordering Alan to strip Sarah out of her clothes and put her in a dress, though.
  • Interquel: Due to scheduling issues, Sarah the Singed and the Lost Library had to begin before the end of The Revenge of the Grey King, and canonically explains why the team that started investigating the jewelry store burglaries in Paris had no members in common with the team that ended up fighting Garrison Grayson. Since The Spirit Centurions and the Secrets of Atlantis was a direct sequel to Sarah the Singed and the Lost Library, it too became an Interquel. Hilariously enough, player progress in The Revenge of the Grey King was slow enough that the sessions were all completed in the in-universe canonical order despite Sarah the Singed and the Lost Library and The Spirit Centurions and the Secrets of Atlantis coming later in the novel order.
  • The Irish Mob: The McBride family in Philly and the North Side Gang in Chicago.
  • It's Personal:
    • For all of the things that Rocket Red has done, the reason why Sam hates her so much is that she "violated" the Sparrowhawk.
    • This is also why Victoria is so keen on bilking Millie out of her family fortune, rather than going for simpler get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: There's something going on involving Atlantis, a magical statue, an army of gorillas, secret scientific research, a government conspiracy, the Nazis, the Russian Civil War, a zeppelin-flying millionaire's pet projects, Chicago gangs, four assassinations, three master thieves, two holy relics, and a partridge in a pair tree. It's just that no one knows exactly what that is.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Lance playing Anton, made even more ridiculous by Anton having lived in Chicago since he was three years old.
  • Kill Him Already!: While pretending to change behind a screen as Alan watches, Sarah retrieves a gun hidden in her cleavage. Rather than shoot Alan through the screen or the moment she comes around the screen, she instead walks out and keeps the gun trained on him as they have a brief chat. This gives Alan time to charge her and pin her to the wall with only a leg wound to show for it.
  • Kudzu Plot: How did Grayson learn how to create the grey men? What is the Time of Nightmares? What does Gorilla Khan want with a copy of "On the Trail of the Lost Continent"? Why were the people who stole Aura's Breath dressed as Savio Bianchi's security even though they spoke Russian and worked Walter and Vicky? Why does everyone want the annotated copy of "Faust" so much? Why did the factions in Chicago react the way they did to Gorilla Khan's agents stealing a secret government weapon? What is Dr. Bianchi's secret project? Why are multiple people using the Black Mask identity? Which member of the Black Hand is Marius Chevalier's sister? Why is Tausret so loyal to the Weaver? How did Garrison Grayson transfer his consciousness from grey man to grey man? Why did Dr. Methuselah force the Spirit Centurions to learn more about their destinies? What item in Te-Kas' desk did Black Mask want so badly that he was willing to stage a breakout to get it? Where are the Nazis going to attack? What's with the new faction of bird-men? That's just an example of one still-unanswered question from each novel, with most of them having many more.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Over 100 named characters appear, with another dozen or so relevant in the backstory or doing things off-screen. Over a third of the cast appears on a somewhat regular basis.
  • Locked Room Mystery: The murder of Dr. Knichte. The only plausible solutions are Dr. Knichte killing himself and arranging it to look like a poorly-faked suicide or someone climbing down a sheer wall in a snowstorm, breaking into the room, closing the window, then throwing Dr. Knichte out the closed window. The cheat was Grayson's Applied Phlebotinum.
  • Love Triangle: Brandon, Sam, and Samson. Possibly Max, Millie, and Ian (and by extension, Millie, Ian, and Lilith) if the Weaver is to be believed.
  • MacGuffin: In most of the novels. Examples include an annotated copy of "Faust", the notes of Max Gentle, an Atlantean tablet, Jack's statue thing, Te-Kas's ring, and Aura's Breath (a weather control device).
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Methuselah, Doctor Bernhardt, Der Blitzmann, and Dr. Garrison Grayson, though all of the named scientists show shades of this to some degree.
  • The Mafia: Cosa Nostra, though it sits in the background. The mafia-aligned South Side Gang of Chicago, to a lesser extent.
  • Meaningful Name: Rocket Red (a commie), Garrison Grayson (morally ambiguous before he Jumped Off The Slippery Slope, controller of the grey men), Doctor Methuselah (very old), Dr. Bernhardt (causes internal combustion), Dr. Rox (rock expert), the Diamonds (rich), the Gears (mechanics), Walter Steele (steely resolve), Mack Silver (rich family), Lady Pride (prideful), Aaron Fell (assassin), and Dr. Gentle (kind and wimpy).
  • Mini-Game: The players can earn bonus Fate Points by writing "book blurbs" for each adventure.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Really Dr. Grayson? There was no better way to get revenge on the entire scientific community than rigging a competition by killing everyone who had a chance?
  • Myth Arc: The exact nature of it is currently unclear, but it definitely has something to do with Atlantis.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Weaver, Al-Sayyid Ifrit, Lilith, Gorilla Khan, Doctor Methuselah, Dr. Egon Bernhardt, Rocket Red, Jet Black, Aaron Fell, and Angel Rose.
  • Nominal Importance: In full effect. In some cases (Wagner, Finney, Alan the security chief), characters have been given names retroactively because they got promoted in importance.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: After Sarah gets captured on Thule, Dr. Bernhardt treats her to a private dinner where he tries to romance her. After several minutes of this, Sarah just punches him.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Korak has two: a parrot and a gorilla.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: All of the players except Lance (who tries), and perhaps Jinxed (since Sam's home town isn't specified), not that Samson, Millie, Jack, and Sarah have accents too far from those of Thnikka, Kara, arks, and Matrix.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • There are two Alistairs in the backstory, though the less important onenote  appeared in-game to die before the more important one became a recurring character.
    • The more important Henry made his first in-game appearance in a room with the less important Henry (who had appeared once before), which caused confusion when Ironeye didn't use their last names before the players pointed out the issue.
    • There are either two or three characters named Alan, depending on whether or not Bernhardt's mutant Alan is the previously appearing security chief, the Great War pilot from the backstory, or a new character entirely.
    • Al Capone has two high-ranking underlings named Frank and one occasional ally named Frankie (all Historical Domain Characters).
    • Jack Courrier has connections to two characters named John in his backstory, one of whom died before the game began. The other has made a single appearance in a subplot that features a Johnny working behind the scenes on the other side.
    • The two Sams are a female main character and a Historical Domain Character in a bit role.
    • There are two characters named Charles, though one died in the backstory and the other goes by "Dean".
    • There are two Michaels, though one is an angel and hasn't appeared in-game (and my only be a hallucination, while the other died in his first appearance). There's also a Mikhail, who is generally referred to as "Black Mask" because he's always in disguise.
    • There are two Yakovs, both Historical Domain Characters, who even share a patronymic: Mikhaylovich. Fortunately for everyone trying to keep track, one died in the backstory and the other hasn't yet appeared on-camera.
  • Playing with Syringes: Bernhardt likes injecting mental patients with serums to make them into monsters.
  • Precision F-Strike: While most characters (including all the gangsters in Chicago, oddly enough) speak civilly, Jack is not above the occasional profanity.
  • Psycho Serum: Bernhardt's mutant serum, which turns (almost) everyone injected with it into subservient mutant monsters.
  • Railing Kill: Komorov after getting shot by Angel Rose, but then subverted because his Plot Armor prevents him from dying from a single shot or a one-story fall.
  • Red Herring: During the Ziggenheim Symposium murder case, only one of various feuds and petty rivalries was actually relevant to the murder. Additionally, Dr. Methuselah was a full Red Herring suspect.
  • Refuge in Audacity: What would you do if faced with a hulking misanthropic sentient gorilla armed with a Tommy gun? Millie decided to walk up to it and make friends. Also, Dana has this as an Aspect and uses it regularly.
  • Retcon: Due to changes to unused Aspects, the "official" characterization changes over time even though the on-screen characterization remains consistent. Also, when players arrive late, they are sometimes Retconned into the scene.
  • Revenge: A key motivation for Garrison Grayson (against Knichte, Gerald, Zeram, Rox, and the PCs), Sarah the Singed (against Bernhardt), Jack Courrier (against the person responsible for John Courrier's death and the person who tried to kill Millie), and Sam Gears (against a former squadron-mate who seems to be connected to the death of Robert Gray).
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Of of the player characters have dead mentors in their backstory, but only Anton and Ivan have major emotional baggage.
  • Sanity Slippage: Garrison Grayson becomes a bit less sane every time one of his grey men is defeated. Arguably, he wasn't all there to begin with.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Henry Gerp's name comes from the names of a World of Warcraft character named Gerp (played by Scott Johnson, the host of The Instance, a popular World of Warcraft podcast) and Gerp's pet, Henry.
    • After Lance suggested the name "Miranda" for Millie's mother, her father was named Ferdinand in a Shout-Out to The Tempest.
    • Chester Finney, the deceased engineer, was named as a Shout-Out to Burn Notice, where a character uses the alias "Chuck Finley".
  • Simultaneous Arcs: The Spirit Centurions and the Secrets of Atlantis and the second part of The Revenge of the Grey King.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The Nazis have a fleet of armored zeppelins, mutation gas grenades, and Tesla cannons, among other things.
  • Super Serum: What Bernhardt uses to create his mutants; so far, only one of them (Nazi Alan) has retained human intelligence, but Bernhardt has also managed to make a weaponized gas version.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Primarily the Mook and cultured (General Wulf) varieties, though non-stereotyped Nazis also appear
  • Translation Convention: Used so far for Russian, German, and Arabic, since one or more of the player characters know one of those languages.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The entire middle third of The Spirit Centurions and the Fallen Eagle between burying General Gray (Golden Eagle) and getting to the base where Gorilla Khan took Colonel Malthus (Black Eagle), including one actual wayside tribe (the Lacertilians).
  • Wicked Cultured: General Wulf is polite and elegant, dresses well, enjoys fine wine, and is disgusted by his less-restrained allies (Bernhard and Blitzmann). He also gets off on the screams of torture victims.
  • You Got Spunk: Used by both Dr. Bernhardt and Alan with regards to Sarah.


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