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Webcomic / Paonia Pawns

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Paonia Pawns is a long-running sci-fi webcomic by Michael J. Ahlers, in which a group of high school students learn that their universe, and a multitude of parallel ones, are being toyed with by a group of callous Reality Warpers called "The Players." Gaining the ability to travel between these universes, the heroes try to survive on a series of hostile alternate worlds and eventually strike back at the Players.

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Any new reader should be aware, despite the art-style on display, the comic's plot goes to some seriously dark places.

Paonia Pawns contains examples of

  • Alternate History: Every world the heroes visit is an example of this. "Paonia" is the name of the alternate-American state they themselves originally hail from.
  • Death of a Child: Benny's young clone gets tossed out an airlock when it is learned the original was a serial killer.
  • Kill 'Em All: Saintjohn ends up nuking all but five of the massive ensemble cast, including all of his fellow Players. It eventually gets undone, allowing for a mostly happy ending.
  • The Plague: Wiped out the population of one world, leaving the survivors confined to a handful of orbiting space stations.
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  • Planet of Hats: Hippie World and Pastel World are among those visited.
  • Reality Warper: The Players and people they give the power to can change reality simply by saying "Plot Change", and stating the alteration.

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