Dr Archeville

The Newbie's Guide to FC PbP (edited 03/08/2015)

7 posts in this topic

 

"OK, I'm Here. Now What?"

 

The Newbie's Guide To Freedom City Play-by-Post

 

Welcome to Freedom City Play-by-Post! Or, if you're a returning player, welcome back! This is an all-in-one reference guide for how to get a new character up and running.

 

 

"What is this? Where am I?"

This is a forum-based role-playing game using the Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition rules (and some House Rules) and the Freedom City campaign setting, both from Green Ronin Publishing.

 

 

Contents

General Guidelines

Creating & Submitting A Character

Character Sheet Template

Getting Started / How To Play

Advancement & Awards

Non-Player Characters

 

Edited by Electra
re-linking

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General Guidelines

 

 

General Code of Conduct (In & Out of Character)

Bullying, harassment (sexual or otherwise), "vigilante justice," sexism, racism, or homophobia will not be tolerated in any form. If you have a problem with another player's behavior, feel free to send a Private Message ("PM") to the Moderators. (You can send a single message to the entire Moderator team by clicking on the "Staff Members" entry under "Groups" to the right of the "Compose Message" console.)

 

Joining The Site

We've had some serious problems with spammers in the past, so currently we are using a Recaptcha system to validate new users to the site. You should be automatically approved after passing the Recaptcha challenge.  If you have any difficulty with the system or need an accomodation please send Sorus an email at nbankey at gmail.com requesting approval.

We apologize for this minor inconvenience.

 

The Chatroom: Great Resource, or Greatest Resource?

We have a chatroom, linked at the top of the page. It should automatically log you in with your board username. There are almost always at least a couple of people in it, and sometimes there are one or two dozen. Please feel free to pop in anytime to chat with us, about the games here or most anything else. Some amusing nuggets from Chat can be found here.

Our one request is that you keep it PG-13, just like the rest of the board.

 

Differences between this play-by-post game and other play-by-post games

This site is built primarily upon player-driven content, as described under "How To Play" below.

The general atmosphere around here is much less "competitive" or "adversarial," and more "cooperative" than the group dynamics of most RPGs. (Although we do have a couple of prominent players who can't get enough of the PvP action, they're more the exception than the rule.)

Basically, we're all here to have fun, help each other have fun, and improve our writing skills. And we must be doing something right, because relative to most PBP games, empires have risen and fallen during the time we've been active. Most are lucky to last beyond 3 months. Freedom City Play-by-Post went active in October of 2007 and shows no sign of stopping.

The cooperative framework is one factor contributing to our longevity. Another is probably our relatively rapid advancement. If you take the initiative around here, your characters will be rewarded, tangibly. None of this "1 power point per story" or "1PP per month" nonsense. It's common for active characters to earn 3-4PP per month, and some players regularly earn 5-6.

Yes, this is different from most superhero comics, where the characters stay fairly static and any changes are either short-term things or occur after some big story arc. But most RPG players don't like static characters. They like to see them grow and evolve.

 

Read a Book!

It is A Very Good Idea to sit down with the core rulebook and just read the first eight chapters, in order. The book is not laid out in a manner that's conducive to cherry-picking. If you try to just read a few chunks here and there, you're likely to wind up very, very confused.

We default to Ultimate Power for rules pertaining specifically to powers. We also have House Rules which differ or expand on what's in the book. Reading the Freedom City campaign setting book is Another Very Good Idea.

The better you understand the rules & setting, the easier our jobs will be. The Moderators are happy to help you with rules you don't understand, but we also like to feel as though we're being met halfway.

Edited by Electra
changed approval information, minor spelling edits

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Creating & Submitting Player Characters 

 

Players at FC PBP get three active character slots, two Power Level 10 (150 Power Points) heroes and a Power Level 7 (105PP) hero.Players can earn more character slots by playing the same character over a long period of time (see "Player Awards" under Awards below). We encourage you to start one character at a time, so as to give each one their own introductory period to the game.


Genre & Tone

In the spirit of encouraging player participation and enjoyment, Freedom City Play By Post strives to provide an atmosphere which is LGBTQ-friendly, anti-racist, anti-ableist, woman-friendly and otherwise discrimination and harassment free. 

Bottom line: If feminism, same-sex relationships, or anti-oppressive practice makes you unhappy or otherwise makes you react negatively, Freedom City Play By Post is probably not for you.
 
Furthermore, the site also upholds the principle that your political, philosophical, and theological beliefs are respected. Whilst it is acceptable to explain your beliefs and disagree with people in chat (not to argue with them), please be aware that the site's policy on discrimination or prejudice against race, gender, or orientation will trump the respect for religion or politics. In other words, if your religious or political beliefs do incorporate the view that a certain race, gender, or sexual orientation is inferior or immoral, keep that to yourself.

This is a game based specifically on Western superheroes, mostly as found in comic books, but also in some adaptations to other media. Characters from other distinct genres of fiction, such as those found in anime, manga, video games, action movies, or horror fiction, probably won't fit. (Yes, we know, technically, anime and manga are types of media, not genres of fiction. The point stands.) Do not try to make a character with a giant mecha (though a giant battlesuit is okay!), do not try to submit a character with enough Minions/Sidekicks to make their own Sentai team.

As this is a superhero game, player characters are superheroes, and they are expected to act like it. That means making a conscious choice to use their gifts to help others, to go out looking for trouble instead of just waiting around for it to find them. This is a game for "superheroes," not "people with powers." Think less Heroes and more Justice League Unlimited. It means that while they may be flawed, while they may make mistakes, they learn from those mistakes, they always strive to be better people, and there are some lines (like murder) that they never cross. (We tried having both heroes and villains as PCs. It didn't work.) It doesn't mean that your hero has to have a codename, and a costume, and a secret identity, and superpowers, but it does mean that they should have at least one item off of that list. Otherwise, they don't fit the flavor of the game. We're not looking for morally-ambiguous antiheroes who would be more at home in an '80s action movie, an issue of Sin City, or Prototype.

The bottom line is, if you don't want to play a superhero, then don't sign up for this superhero game.

The tone of the setting lies somewhere between Bronze Age and Modern Age. The absurdities of the Silver Age are alternately indulged and examined, but they are not totally averted or mocked as they would be in an Iron Age setting, nor are they embraced entirely without reflection as they would be in a true Silver Age setting. We err on the side of embracing and celebrating superhero tropes rather than deconstructing them. But while we shy away from too much realism, our stories do include a fair amount of relevance. For example, a PC hero could recognize and seek to combat racial intolerance, but a character with super-strength will generally knock foes across the room, not punch holes through their sternums or cave their faces in. Real world issues are not off-limits, to a point - your PCs should be characters, not soapboxes. Many of our stories are mature, without being explicit. Or, to sum up:

  • Silver Age: Don't ask why. Just go with it, because it's awesome.
  • Iron Age: Ask why, but don't actually answer. Say "It's stupid" and toss it in the trash bin.
  • Neo-Silver Age: Ask why, try to come up with the best answers you can, and then go with it, because it's awesome.

A basic rule of writing any sort of genre fiction should be that you don't draw attention to the conceits your audience is supposed to suspend disbelief on.

As a general rule, both characters and stories here should be of the sort which would make it past the censors for PG-13 movies or prime-time network television. Sex, violence, word choice, and overall themes should not be more "adult" than something you would encounter in the DCAUYoung JusticeThe Spectacular Spider-Man, or The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

"Word choice" means, among other things, no F-bombs, S-bombs, C-bombs or N-bombs. Feel free to use censored language, such as "F**K!" or "%$@#&!"

Please try to avoid "Unfortunate Implications" in your character's backstory. We don't want another white guy who was given special powers by the brown people his ancestors or peers oppressed, or another woman who became a superhero because she was raped.

Special Note: We don't want to hear your opinions on Gamergate. We really don't.

Building Your Character

Maybe you have the perfect idea all fleshed out and ready to build. That would be great. But if you don't, all is not lost. There are plenty of resources to help you out.

The Heroes subforum of the Character Bank contains the sheets for all the player characters currently active in the game. You can see what other people are playing, and also get an idea of what your finished sheet should look like.

If you are not entirely comfortable with the rules system, you may want to start with a pre-generated superhero archetype.  You can find some in the first (red) chapter of the core rulebook, or Instant Superheroes. There are also hundreds available on this site, in the Consolidated Character Building/Archetype Resource Index. You are free to use these builds as-is, or customize them to your heart's content. Either option is less overwhelming than statting out a character from scratch. You can always submit edit requests to modify your build later, as you figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Character sheets aren't set in stone here.

Play what you want to play. We can't stress this enough. At any given point in time, we have anywhere from 15-25 or more active players on this site, each one running anywhere from 1-5 PCs in various threads all over the city (and beyond). About 10-15 of them are a core group of people who have stuck around for a year or more, while the rest are transients who drift in and out. You might have an idea for an archetype you'd like to try, but then you look at the Character Bank and see 6 of them already in play. This might discourage you. You might say to yourself, "this niche has been filled." Don't listen to that voice. There is plenty of room here for everyone. You could easily play your character for over a year without crossing paths with any of your doppelgangers. If there are 6 other characters who fill the same niche that yours does, by next month, or the month after that, they might all be archived for inactivity. And even with very similar archetypes, the characters themselves could turn out very differently. "Wealthy person using their resources to train themselves into a well-honed crimefighter, using advanced tech to aid in their battles" can describe Bruce Wayne or Ted Kord, two characters with very different personalities. A more detailed examination of this idea can be found here.

To get started building your own character, look to our House Rules and our Character Template. All characters must be bulit to conform to this template and these rules before they are submitted for approval in the Character Bank, and all characters must be approved by two different Moderators before they are legal for play. Please note that the Character Bank is for finished submissions, ready for Moderator auditing. That means "finished" both in terms of "crunch" (rules, stats) and "fluff" (history, personality, description, etc.). Both are equally important. If you want advice or input from fellow players on a partially-completed character before submitting it, feel free to post a thread (and any questions) in the Character Building forum.

If you are not sure what you want your character to look like, or how your character's stats square up with the look you want, consult the Photographic Height/Weight Chart, where you can see people who have the build you're thinking about.


Two Ways M&M is Different from D&D / Pathfinder / Et cetera

First, it's a point-buy system. When you create a character, there is no set order in which you purchase different types of traits. There are no random rolls. You build the entire sheet from the ground up, exactly how you want it. This makes character creation intimidating, but allows for the flexibility that is necessary to do the superhero genre justice.

If you're a newcomer to M&M, you're probably better off just taking one of the sample archetypes in the front of the rulebook, tweaking it a little, and taking it out for a spin. We're pretty liberal here about letting people make revisions to their characters as time goes on and they figure out what works for them and what doesn't. Your character sheet isn't set in stone, so don't worry about "messing up."

Second, Power Level limits. The way you build characters is, in a way, backwards from most other RPGs. With D&D, for example, you start with some traits at base levels, and then you stack as many bonuses on top of them as you can possibly scrounge up. With M&M, your Power Level sets a hard cap for your combat-related traits, which you build up to. Situational modifiers, like specialization with a particular power or weapon, would just stack onto your "base" attack bonuses in D&D.

In M&M 2E, your Power Level caps determine the maximum possible effectiveness you can have under the best circumstances - your favored weapon/foes/environment/whatever. Specializing doesn't make you "better" than another character of the same level. Instead, it makes you less effective when you're not "in your element," but it's much cheaper to build.

Say I've got a PL 10 character. I could buy his base Attack bonus all the way up to +10, for 20 power points. Or, I could give him +6 base attack for 12pp, the "Attack Focus (Melee)" feat (which gives +1 on all melee attacks), twice, for 2pp, and the "Attack Specialization (Staff)" feat (which gives +2 on all attacks made with a staff) for 1pp. So he gets +10 to attack with his staff, +8 to attack with any melee weapon/power, and +6 for ranged attacks. He's not as generally effective as the guy who just bought +10 base Attack, but he only paid 15pp instead of 20pp.

You can see how this thinking is totally backwards from just about every other RPG ever written.

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Character Sheet Template

This is the guide we'd like you to use when submitting a character for approval.

First: Create a new topic in the Character Bank forum with the subject line:

  • Character (PL) - Player (Status)

Example: Batman (PL10) - KevinConroy (Gold)

Second: In the post itself, please provide the character sheet, using the format detailed below. Please list everything (skills, feats, powers, etc.) in alphabetical order, and provide the power point costs for every category. It makes the Moderators' job much easier.

 

Player Name: You can use your messageboard handle, you don't need to submit your real name.
Character Name:
Power Level: 7 or 10 (105/105PP or 150/150PP)
Trade-Offs: +/-0 Attack / +/-0 Damage, +/-0 Defense / +/-0 Toughness (or "None")
Unspent Power Points: 0
In Brief: 1-2 sentences which sum up the whole character.

Residence: (Optional) Where the character normally resides / lives (if anywhere).
Base of Operations: (Optional) Where the character primarily operates or their headquarters' location, if anywhere.
Catchphrase: (Optional) Example: "Its Clobberin' Time", "By the Power Cosmic!", "Hulk Smash!" etc. 

Alternate Identity:
Identity: Public or Secret
Birthplace:
Occupation:
Affiliations: People and/or groups you work with.
Family:

Description:
Age: ??? (DoB: Year [Optionally, Day & Month])
Apparent Age: If applicable.
Gender
:
Ethnicity: Caucasian, Asian, Etc.
Height:
Weight:
Eyes:
Hair:

(Describe what they look like!)

Power Descriptions:
(Describe what their powers look like, if applicable)

History:
(Please remember we are a relatively family friendly site. Your story should be PG-13 at most. If your character wouldn't fit in an episode of Justice League Unlimited, The Dresden Files, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, please rethink it.)

Personality & Motivation:
(Describe why they do what they do here)

Powers & Tactics:
(In-character descriptions of how they do what they do)

Complications:
Name: Description

Example: Identity: Secret


Abilities: 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 0PP
Strength: 10 (+0)
Dexterity: 10 (+0)
Constitution: 10 (+0)
Intelligence: 10 (+0)
Wisdom: 10 (+0)
Charisma: 10 (+0)


Combat: 0 + 0 = 0PP
Initiative: +0
Attack: +0 Melee, +0 Ranged
Grapple: +0
Defense: +0 (+0 Base, +0 Dodge Focus), +0 Flat-Footed
Knockback: -0


Saving Throws: 0 + 0 + 0 = 0PP
Toughness: +0 (+0 Con, +0 [Other])
Fortitude: +0 (+0 Con, +0)
Reflex: +0 (+0 Dex, +0)
Will: +0 (+0 Wis, +0)


Skills: 0R = 0PP
[skill] [# of Ranks] (+[Total Bonus])
[skill] [# of Ranks] (+[Total Bonus])
[skill] [# of Ranks] (+[Total Bonus])

Examples:
Craft (Structural) 5 (+5)Skill Mastery -- would be used for someone with 5 ranks in the skill and a +0 Int modifier, and the Skill Mastery feat for that skill.
Knowledge (Technology) 8 (+10)Second Chance -- would be used for someone with 8 ranks in the skill and a +2 Int modifier, and had the Second Chance feat for that skill.
Languages 2 (English, French [Native], German) -- would be used for someone who speaks those three languages, but learned French first.
Notice 5 (+4) -- would be used for someone with 5 ranks in the skill and a -1 Wis modifier.


Feats: 0PP
[Feat Name]
[Feat Name]
[Feat Name]

Examples:
Accurate Attack
Dodge Focus 2
Equipment 2 (10EP)
Luck 2

Equipment: XPP = 5*XEP

  • Name (power breakdown, if applicable) [XEP]

Examples:

  • Gas Mask [1EP]
  • Sword (Damage 3 [Feats: Improved Critical, Mighty]) [5EP]
  • Undercover Vest (Protection 3 [Feats: Subtle]) [4EP]

Note: The Equipment block is only applicable if your character has the Equipment feat!


Powers: 0 + 0 + 0 = 0PP

Power Name Rank (Descriptive Name; Extras: ???, ???, Flaws: ???, ???, Feats: ???, ???, Drawbacks: ???, ???) [XPP] (descriptors)

Array Name Rank (Descriptive Name; Extras: ???, ???, Flaws: ???, ???, Feats: ???, ???, Drawbacks: ???, ???) [XPP] (descriptors)

  • Base Power: Power Name (Descriptive Name; Extras: ???, ???; Flaws: ???, ???; Feats: ???, ???; Drawbacks: ???, ???) {power cost/array cost} (descriptors)
  • Alternate Power: Power Name (Descriptive Name; Extras: ???, ???; Flaws: ???, ???; Feats: ???, ???; Drawbacks: ???, ???) {power cost/array cost} (descriptors)

Device Rank (Descriptive Name; 5*RankPP Container; Extras: ???; Flaws: Easy/Hard-To-Lose, ???; Feats: ???; Drawbacks: ???) [XPP] (descriptors)

  • Power Name Rank (Descriptive Name; Extras: ???, ???, Flaws: ???, ???, Feats: ???, ???, Drawbacks: ???, ???) [XPP] (descriptors)

Examples:

Electrical Control 10 (20PP Array; Feats: Alternate Power 2) [22PP] (electricity, genetic)

  • Base Power: Blast 10 (Chain Lighting; Extras: Autofire; Flaws: Action [Full]; Feats: Accurate; Drawbacks: Full Power) {20/20}
  • Alternate Power: Blast 10 (Ball Lightning; Extras: Area [50-ft. Burst, General]; Flaws: Distracting) {20/20}
  • Alternate Power: Stun 6 (Taser Blast; Extras: Range [Ranged]) {18/20}

Device 2 (Mighty Shield; 10PP Container; Flaws: Hard-To-Lose; Feats: Indestructible) [9PP]

  • Damage 3 (Feats: Improved Critical, Mighty, Thrown) [6PP]
  • Force Field 2 [2PP]
  • Shield 2 [2PP]

Note: If all Powers have the same Descriptor (all Mutant, all Tech, etc.), you can just write that directly under the Powers header.


Drawbacks: (-0) + (-0) = -0PP

Drawback (Description; Frequency: [Uncommon, Common, or Very Common]; Intensity: [Minor, Moderate, or Major]) [-XPP]

Example:
Vulnerability (Fire; Frequency: Common; Intensity: Major [x2]) [-4PP]

Note: You can only have a number of Drawbacks equal to your PL, not including Power drawbacks. Also, Power Drawbacks, such as Full Power or Power Loss, should be listed on the Power, not here.


DC Block

ATTACK              RANGE      SAVE                           EFFECT
Unarmed
             Touch      DC 15 Toughness                Damage (Physical)
Chain Lightning     Ranged     DC 25 Toughness (Autofire)     Damage (Energy)
Taser Blast         Ranged     DC 16 Fortitude                Stun (Staged)

 

Totals: Abilities (0) + Combat (0) + Saving Throws (0) + Skills (0) + Feats (0) + Powers (0) - Drawbacks (0) = 105/105 (or 150/150) Power Points

 

After you submit your character, it will take some time for the Refs to approve it. Two (2) Refs have to sign off on a character before your character will be accepted, so please be patient. Also, the more complicated a build is, the longer it will take to get approval.

Once you've received your two approvals, please edit your Profile so as to place a link to your character's sheet in your .sig line (via the User Control Panel).

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Getting Started With Your Character


So you've gotten your character written up, statted out, and approved. Great! Now what do you do with it?


How To Play

Your typical tabletop RPG works something like this: You have one GM, and a bunch of players. The players each run their one character. The GM controls the entire world, and everyone in it who isn't a PC. The GM is God, he makes the rules, he writes the plots, and the players (and their characters) learn as they go. There's a very clear line separating the two.

Here, the line between "player" and "game master" blurs, often to the point of non-existence. The Administrator and his team of Moderators try to maintain the overall integrity of the setting, but most of the story and adventure threads are run by players, for players (including themselves).

Playing here is simple enough. Someone starts a story thread in one of the neighborhood subforums and invites others to join. Every story has two threads, an In-Character ("IC") and Out-of-Character ("OOC") thread. Everyone takes turns posting in the IC thread, describing what their character says, does, and thinks, and posting any game mechanics for their actions, including die rolls, in the OOC thread. If combat is taking place, then whoever is GMing the thread will specify to the other players whether or not they are to post their IC actions in Initiative order.

 

  • Know How to Roll 'Em: We use Orokos to handle die rolls. Registration is free, and we request that you make an account with them. In the "Campaign Name" box, write the name of the thread. When you make a roll, please be sure to list as much detail as possible: what the roll is for, who you're targeting, any situational feats (such as Power Attack) that are in use, and the base save/DC. This info can be put in the OOC thread of the adventure, or in the Note field of the Invisible Castle form. (This is why we ask you to register with Invisible Castle: non-registered users cannot attach that data to their rolls.) Listing all this makes things clear and easy for all involved.

 

You may notice that many players choose a particular color or color/background combatination for their PC's dialogue and inner monologue. This is not required. It is a matter of personal preference. However, for the sake of consistency, we would prefer that you post any dialogue in "quotes" and unspoken thoughts in italics, just as you would see in a novel.

Moderators are not your only source for GMs. Anyone can GM a thread if they feel comfortable enough with the game and the rules to do so. You can GM a thread where your own PC participates, and you can even run a "solo thread," where you are the GM and the only player. You can run an "open thread," where anyone who wants to join in can, or a "closed thread," open only to those who are invited. The lines between "Player" and "Game Master," or "PC" and "GMPC" blur here. Player-driven content is encouraged. It's what keeps this site going. However, feel free to ask for Moderator input into a thread if there is confusion, either on the game rules or the setting. The Moderators may step in on their own initiative if they see something being mishandled.

Also keep in mind that canon named NPCs from the setting books are to be run only by Moderators, or with direct Moderator permission. If you want to use one, you have to ask first. However, feel free to make use of any of the unnamed templates presented in the books. Just slap a name on 'em and go. There is also an NPC subforum in the Character Bank, full of NPCs ready for use. NPCs labeled "Tier 1" are free for all. "Tier 2" NPCs require permission from their creator, and "Tier 3" NPCs are for use by Moderators or with direct Moderator permission only (all canon named NPCs from the books are Tier 3 by default).

The best ways to get in on story threads are to check out the chatroom and the Campaign Discussion forum. People who are interested in running threads post there to look for players, and people who are interested in playing post there to look for threads.


Extracurricular Activities

In the meantime, even if you aren't running and/or participating in a story thread, there are plenty of things to you can do with your new character which will earn you bonus points and don't require you to wait around for other people. You can write up journal entries for your character, or news stories about your character, and post them in your own thread in the News forum (feel free to start a thread there with your character's name as the title).

In that same thread, you can fill out and post The Interview ("the 20Q"), a relatively short in-character post where your character answers 20 questions. These questions take the form of an interview, whether it be for the news, a job, a debriefing, or even a dream or hallucination. The interviewer can be an NPC or another PC, your choice. The 20Q counts for your IC posts for the month, and it is worth 1PP by itself.

The 20Q's bigger, meaner older sibling is the Questionnaire ("the HellQ"). It is a very long questionnaire, which will force you to think about all sorts of aspects of your character which you would probably never have considered before. You should fill it out from the first-person perspective of your character, who should answer each question honestly and to the best of their ability. Every question must be answered, even if it is with an "I don't know" or "That question doesn't really apply to me." The HellQ should also be posted in your character's News thread. It counts as an IC post for the month, and it is worth 2PP by itself.

if you've read some of the later M&M2E supplements, like Freedom's Most Wanted or Paragons, then you probably noticed that the writers started including reputation tables with their character writeups, which list what information the PCs can be assumed to have about them with a high enough Knowledge or Gather Information check. We decided that this was a very useful tool, so we adopted it. Building a Reputation chart for your character is a great way to save time and make things easier on other players. Creating one, and posting it in the thread, is worth 1PP.

If you have a firm enough handle on your character and enough free time on your hands, you can build a character page in the FcPbP Guidebook. This can include things like character artwork, pictures of people who look like your character, an expanded backstory, creation notes, and details of your character's ongoing adventures. It should not just be a copied-&-pasted version of your character sheet. Look around the Guidebook at other completed character pages for ideas on what they should look like. A detailed Guidebook page is worth 1PP.

There are a few other fun things you can do with your character as well. We have a locally-hosted copy of Hero Factory, which you can use to make a character picture if you are not artistically inclined. It is unfortunately all in Portuguese and there is no English version, so you may have to use some trial and error. Be aware that there is no way to save your portrait within the program! Fechar does not mean save! You must take a screen cap to save your work. Alternatively, we have several artists who have been willing to share their talents. You can post in the Off-Panel forum to request character artwork. The muse is a tricky thing though, so patience is a virtue. If you are an artist and would be willing to draw for the site, you can earn a miscellaneous contribution award for that as well (usually 1PP per month).

We even have a page on TV Tropes (which may be how you found us in the first place). Feel free to add your character to it.

It shouldn't take too long to get the hang of how things work around here. Everything's pretty standardized, and most everyone you talk to will be willing to give newbies a hand. We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, so there are plenty of ways you can be notified of site downtime or any big changes. Be friendly, use the best grammar and spelling you can, and tell good stories, and you'll hopefully find this a fun place to hang out and play. Good luck!

 

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Character Advancement & Awards

In-Character Posting Awards: 1-5 PP per month

Characters will receive between 1 and 5 PP monthly based on their level of participation in the forum. Any character who "plays" during the month will receive 1 PP. Characters who are actively involved in threads, campaigns, and stories (more than 15 IC posts with that character per month) will receive 2 PP; characters who are extremely involved in threads, campaigns, and stories (more than 25 IC posts with that character per month) will receive 3 PP; characters who are ridiculously involved in threads, campaigns and stories (more than 50 IC posts with that character per month) will receive 4 PP as a participation award; characters who are monstrously active (100+ posts) earn 5 PP.

  • 1-14 IC posts = 1 PP
  • 15-24 IC posts = 2 PP
  • 25-49 IC posts = 3 PP
  • 50-99 IC posts = 4 PP
  • 100+ IC posts = 5 PP

Note: As a loose rule of thumb, IC posts should be no shorter than 500 characters. Spamming the IC threads, making little short posts and carrying on conversations one line at a time in order to boost your post count will not earn you PPs; it will just make others not want to play with you anymore.

 

Special Cases

Posts written entirely for Sidekicks/Minions, in which the main player character does not appear, count for full credit and are added to post count tally of their 'parent' player character at the end of the month.

Posts written primarily as a GM (when running an adventure for others) count for double credit (that is, each GM post counts as two posts); posts primarily written as or for an NPC (when running a specific non-player character to assist the GM) count as full credit. Both can be applied to any character you choose (or even broken up among multiple characters).

By default, using a retired PC or being involved in a non-canon post (such as "What if" or "Alternative Versions of...") means that posts are worth 1/2 of normal. The reason for this has been to stop over-use of such threads. 

However you can nominate one thread at the end of the month (when posting your post count) that is either a "Special Edition" (A non-canon thread or "what if" thread, or using an alternative version of your PC), or a "Guest Starring...." (A thread featuring one of your retired PCs). This can be a different thread every month. If you have more than one thread that is non-canon or features a retired PC, you can still have these posts counted, as previously, as worth 1/2 normal. 

For "What if" or non-canon "Special edition" threads, posts should be allocated to the PC you are using for that thread.

When using a retired PC in "Guest Starring..." thread, nominate one PC that all the posts are transferred to as a block. 

For GM posts in a special edition thread, posts are added to the total GM count (Which can be split and divided as you wish)

 

Other Contribution Awards

Refs (and Admins) who feel that a player is making a significant contribution to the site may give that player a bonus PP to apply to either of his or her characters. Additionally, characters who complete especially important, long-term story goals may also receive a contribution award.

The Interview (aka 20 Questions) counts as a Contribution Award, as it helps flesh out your character, which gives the Refs a better idea on how to challenge and reward them. Filling out the Interview earns you 1PP.

Those feeling more adventurous and tackle The Questionnaire (aka the HellQ); filling out the Questionnaire earns you 2PP.

Making an entry for the Reputation thread will also earn you 1PP.

Creating and submitting NPCs can earn points. The first two NPCs you submit earn you 1PP each.

With Ref approval, fanart can earn you 1PP (per month) for site service. 

Every few months the Refs offers a chance to do a Vignette. Doing one of these earns you 1PP - and 2PP if your vignette is at least 1000 words.

Note that the 20 Questions/Interview, Hell Q, Reputation post, and Vignettes do not themselves count as posts.

Contributing to the FCPbP Guidebook can earn points. Creating a page for your character -- which must be more than simply copying & pasting the fluff parts of your character sheet -- will earn that character 2PP. The content of these pages is flexible but take a look at existing character pages to get a better sense of what is expected.

Creating Guidebook pages for other topics or otherwise making significant contributions can also earn 2PP for the first page/contribution and an additional 1PP for each page/contribution beyond that in a given month, up to 4PP for three or more pages/contributions. If a page has been specifically solicited by a Ref it's worth an extra point to a maximum of 5PP earned in one month. The rewards for player character pages do not count against this 5PP cap; if you're inclined to complete full pages for three of your PCs over the course of one month they are each worth 2PP for each respective character. Other Guidebook awards may be assigned to whichever character the player prefers.

Refs (that is, Staff Members, Global Mods, and Admins) earn 1 extra pp every month, because you people exhaust us.

 

Power Level Caps

Players start with three character slots, two at PL10 / 150PP and one at PL7 / 105PP. After gaining 10PP, their PL advances by 1. Thereafter characters' PLs will advance with every 15PP, until hitting PL 15 (at 220pp). PL advancement stops at that point, but you continue earning power points, until you hit PL 15 / 250PP (but see below).

The advancement is summarized in the following charts:

A PL 10 character's advancement would look like this:

PPs earned          Total PPs          PL

   1-9                    151-159           10

   10-24                160-174           11

   25-39                175-189           12

   40-54                190-204           13

   55-69                205-219           14

   70-100              220-250           15

 

And a PL 7 character's advancement would look like this:

PPs earned          Total PPs          PL

   1-9                    106-114            7

   10-24                115-129            8

   25-39                130-144            9

   40-54                145-159           10

   55-69                160-174           11

   70-84                175-189           12

   85-99                190-204           13

   100-114            205-219           14

   115-145            220-250           15

 

Once your character reaches 250PP (and is "maxed out"), you do not have to retire them. Any posts you make with them will be added to the posts totals for another one of your PCs. Point totals will be noted as "[points spent] / [points earned {up to 250}] [[total points earned]]".

Ex.: Doktor Archeville is a maxed out character, with 250PP both earned and spent, but his player keeps using him, and earns another 10 points. His PP total would be listed as 250/250 [260].

 

Player Awards

To reward longevity and commitment to actively role-playing over a lengthy span of months, players are presented with Veteran Awards as they reach milestones of Power Points earned. Each month the highest amount of PP earned among a player's characters will be added to that player's Veteran Progress. As that total increases the player will earn Veteran Awards and receive the corresponding Player Tier:

  • 30PP: Bronze
  • 60PP: Silver
  • 90PP: Gold
  • 120PP: Platinum
  • 150PP: Impervium
  • 180PP: Orichalcum

Players who reach a Veteran Progress total of 210PP+ are awarded the ceremonial Electrum tier, which does not bestow a Veteran Reward but does come with substantial bragging rights!

An additional Veteran Reward, separate from the Veteran Progress, is awarded the first time a player maxes out a single character at 250PP total. It is therefore possible to earn a total of seven Veteran Awards.

Beyond the three character slots available immediately to new players - two slots at PL10 / 150PP and one slot at PL7 / 105PP - each Veteran Reward may be spent in the following ways:

  • One additional character slot at:
    • PL7 / 105PP
    • PL10 / 150PP
    • PL12 / 180PP
  • Promoting an existing character to PL10 / 150PP or PL12 / 180PP, with rollover PP earned*
  • 15PP worth of the following ranked Feats, divided as the player chooses between their characters:
    • Equipment
    • Minion
    • Sidekick

* Rollover Points: Characters promoted to a higher base Power Level have the normal number of PP plus a number of additional points equal to 1/3rd the amount already earned with that character. This allows players to adjust an existing character concept to a higher 'weight class' and does not affect Veteran Progress.

Veteran Rewards may be reallocated at any time with Referee approval by retiring a character, buying off ranked Feats with earned PP or otherwise returning the chosen benefit.

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NPCs & You

You may have noticed that the Character Bank has a Non-Player Character subforum.

Players here are welcome to submit NPCs! Here're the guidelines:

  • You can submit an NPC of any PL from 1 to 14, with the standard 15pp/level. It can be a local doctor, a handyman, a gang leader, a businessman with a dark secret, anything -- even an archnemesis for your PC, or your own Rogue's Gallery, or someone you can contact via the Connected feat!
  • NPC submissions have to go through the same approval process as PCs. This means the char sheets should use the same format, they should have solid backgrounds/motivations/personality, should fit within the overall campaign, will need two Ref approvals, and so on.
  • Once an NPC is approved, it will be moved to the NPC forum.
  • NPCs will be assigned one of three "tiers," describing how open they are to use. When you submit an NPC, you must also list which tier it belongs to. The tiers are as follows:

 

Tier 1: Open for anyone to use.
Tier 2: Can be used only with permission of the NPC's creator, and the creator has the right to request that they be the one to actually run the NPC.  (Most archnemeses should fall into this category.)
Tier 3: Reserved for Ref use only.
 

 

  • NPCs do not earn power points by being used in games. Players can submit requests for NPC "growth" to the Refs, but doing so will require some very good reasons for the increase.
  • Similarly, NPCs do not have Hero Points. NPCs can get the benefit of a Hero Point via GM Fiat, meaning the PCs facing the NPC gain a Hero Point when the GM "cheats" for the NPC. (To be specific, only the PCs who are directly impacted by the GM Fiat gain the Hero Point; if a GM uses GM Fiat to let an NPC power stunt some effect off a power, only the PCs who are affected by the new effect get the HP, not every PC around.)
  • If you wish, you can submit tweaked or revamped versions of canon FC characters. Such NPCs are always Tier 3; while we recognize that some of the stats in the FC books don't quite match what the character descriptions would indicate, we have more than enough PCs on the site that letting folks play with the canon characters just doesn't make sense.
  • Some NPCs may have fewer restrictions than PCs, and we may use them to test various House Rules.

Is there a reward for doing this, aside from the satisfaction of seeing a character you made be accepted? Certainly! Since letting players create NPCs, that's a bit less work for the Refs, so that's worth a Contribution Award! Specifically, you will get one (1) pp per approved NPC, for the first two NPCs; any more NPCs created after that net you nothing but a warm fuzzy feeling when you see them get approved.

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