Every few months the Refs at FC PbP offers the community a chance to write a small vignette. This helps enhance the community, flex our writing muscles, gives a chance to think more deeply about our characters, and earns the player an extra power point for the month.
Below are summaries of all prior vignettes, along with links to the thread where the vignette was first offered (and which in turn contains links to the individual character vignettes themselves).
List of Vignettes
Should auld acquaintance be forgot A Vignette detailing how heroes or villains spent the last few minutes/seconds of 2007.
What Price Freedom? A vignette about characters ,taking place on July 4th (game time, showing some thematic relationship to the concept/idea/virtue of “freedom.” The vignettes don't have to be patriotic necessarily nor are they limited to heroes only; they just have to be about “freedom” in some way.
Happy Birthday! Freedom City Play by Post turned one year old on October 24th, 2008. In commemoration, a vignette about that takes place on a character's birthday. Stories about how the character would spend their birthday, and how they view the passing of time, aging/maturing, or their own mortality (or lack thereof).
Bloody Valentine's Ah, February. A time for Groundhogs and Valentines, for Presidents Days and Fat Tuesdays.
And, for 2009, for the terrors of Friday the 13th!!!
A vignette that has some thematic relationship to the concept/idea of either “bad luck” or “horror.” Stories ideally describing the most horrific things characters have either experienced or imagined, or the most horrific thing they have performed (this latter part is obviously aimed at villains, since heroes shouldn't do horrific things), or about the unluckiest day the character ever experienced (which could include their Origin Story!).
FC PbP's Musical Episode The Maestro has enacted his most diabolical scheme ever! Acting in concert with Medea, the Conductor of Crime has found a way to force people… to sing! And not just sing, but to sing about themselves and their secrets! The duo plans to use their newfound knowledge to blackmail certain wealthy and influential members of the city. Daedalus, Johnny Rocket, Seven and Sonic will stop them… but not before a large pulse of the mind-manipulating melody goes off, hitting several PCs throughout the city.
The Masks We Wear Superheroes and supervillains are identified by their distinct costumes. For some, the costumes – such as battlesuits or magical garments – are the true source of their astounding powers. For others, the outfit has no intrinsic powers, but it's the symbolism in it and in the person who wears it that give it a kind of power. Costumes with masks can be even more iconic, due to the mystery associated with it.
But we all wear masks, in one form or another. In fact, we all wear several masks in the course of a day – you put on one face when dealing with your spouse in the morning, another when dealing with a supervisor at work, yet another when relaxing with friends. Most all of these masks contain elements of the real you, but only the ones you want certain groups to see. Changing your posture, your walk, your tone of voice and manner of speech, can all be used to alter your identity – to a degree – without masks or makeup.
A vignette about characters' costumes/masks, or about the 'masks' they wear when interacting with others. Why do they wear what they wear? Was it something they made, or was it handed to them? Is it meant to evoke certain images (of animals, or a certain profession, or an ideal)? Is it worn to conceal their identity so villains cannot target loved ones for retribution? Or to conceal oneself from some past misdeed for which they're striving to atone?
New Year's Resolutions A new year has dawned, bringing with it new opportunities, a fresh start. Will characters make any New Year's Resolutions, pledging to improve some aspect of their life? And if so, how serious will they be in holding to it? Will it be nebulous (“lose weight”) or precise (“lose one pound a week”)? Will your resolution be made known to others, in order to gain support in achieving it? Or do they keep it to themselves, a secret vow regarding some aspect of themselves that they would rather keep hidden (“give up bizarre internet pornography”)? A vignette about a character's New Year's Resolutions.
All Fool's Day Ah, April. It's got World Health Day, Earth Day, and Arbor Day. Passover and Easter. Tax Day, and 4:20. And All Fool's Day! A vignette about a pranks characters have pulled, or pranks pulled on them, or even their reaction to a prank they saw pulled on someone else.
House of L Revisited The reality-bending powers of Richard Milhous Lucas created the House of L timeline: a world where the Silver Age never ended in Freedom City. The world never really moved past the shiny optimism of the early 1960s, even keeping the same fashion choices. The Centurion survived the Terminus Invasion here It's a better world in many ways, a place of happiness, peace, and order. But it's also a deeply troubled world trapped in the mindset of an old man happier decades past, one where the revolutions of race, gender, and sexuality never really came to fruition. It's a place, in short, very much like the comics of the High Silver Age, leavened with just enough of the Bronze that minority characters actually exist.
This vignette covers what happened to characters in that universe. A world with a bright side as shiny as its underbelly is grim? The Silver Age isn't friendly to all character concepts, but Rick's not a murderer: the people are there, some simply very different. House of Lucas Wander (Wander-L) is a cheerful, boisterous acrobat with super-strength, while Geckoman-L was adopted by the Raven and became his successor. Tell their story in that other world, give us a day in their life: give us a 'crossover' with the universe of House of L.
Gruevasion For the third time, the Grue have invaded Freedom City. They have attacked the very infrastructure of the city and seeded their agents into every organization. They stir up unrest and chaos where ever they go, before they step out as enemies proper. Will the third time be the charm for the insidious alien invaders?! Not if our heroes have anything to say about it! And that's precisely what this Vignette is about! This Vignette is all about how the cities heroes stepped up to the plate and helped kick the alien invaders right back into space.
Grue sleeper agents are keeping the heroes occupied and spreading them thin combating various threats throughout the city. They're also slowing the evacuation process anyway they can. Atlas is a Grue/human hybrid is being controlled by the fiendish Grue Meta-Mind to attack his former friends and allies. But this is all a diversion from the Grue's true sinister plot: the destruction of the entire Earth! Amidst all this chaos the Grue Armada descends from the deep regions of space and begins laying siege to the city, unleashing their super-weapon: the aptly named Planet Cracker. The heroes have to stop the weapon in time to save the Earth, but also keep the Grue forces in check to ensure that there is a city left to save, and they have to free Atlas from the sinister alien control.
October 2010: Unbalanced
A war has been waged in the shadows. On one side, Hades, Greek God of the Underworld, bound to Tartarus by Zeus' decree after a failed attempt at invading Freedom City. On the other, Baron Samedi,
loa of death and corruption. Both seek to conquer not only all of Creation, but also all of the dead. Each thinks they're the most powerful death-god, the one who'll be standing at the end, and their petty squabbling has gone on for millennia. But now Hades has changed his game, and is in a position to get everything he's ever wanted.
Their war spilled out into the streets. Gang warfare between those allied, knowingly or not, with the Labyrinth and those under Samedi's sway is peaking. Zombies (and worse) roam the alleys. Ghosts and wraiths are appearing, as the fading walls between worlds are weakened further by the divine feud. How did the heroes deal with it?
Freedom City is full of superheroes, but they do not always travel in the same circles, even though some could easily do so. This is for OOC reasons: we do not allow players to have more than one of their characters at a time in any given thread (as that would throw a wrench into the end-of-month post counting). For this vignette, players were allowed to write what it would be like if their own characters met.
The hectic month of December offered two choices for its vignette, to help those that the holidays keep so busy: Heroes either took part in a public service announcement (on the television, by radio, even by poster or magazine),
Characters revisited any of the previous vignettes, providing the opportunity to expand upon previous stories these characters weren't around for.
Wuv…twue wuv…. In the spirit of Saint Valentine's Day, this vignette prompted explored a character's first time in love (or even first times with a specific partner) - be they first times falling in love, first times admitting love, first kisses, or first sexual experiences. Within the PG-13 board ratings, of course….
April 2011: Time Warp
Tears in the very fabric of spacetime are appearing, not just over Freedom City but across the globe! Some are spitting things out from different times, some are sucking in people and sending them to the past or future! What's causing them? Is this a prelude to some invasion? The result of an out-of-control experiment in some Hanover or ASTRO Labs workshop? Will the heroes get their taxes in on time?!
Legends of Freedom The heroes of the present fling a light into the future, inspiring heroism to come.
The monstrous Other side of the supergenius Viktor Archeville emerges in full, rendering his better half nearly powerless. Thus unleashed, Archeville attempts to take over the world with the tainted Atlanteans known as Deep Ones, Grue modified to possess many of the powers held by the Interceptors called Metaceptors, and the arising of the true monster that has lain hidden in Archeville's family line causes outbreaks of madness and riots across the globe!
On the heels of the chaos of Archeville, the silencing paralysis of order comes in the form of The Gorgon, an immense creature built by the Preservers, ancient sowers and uplifters of life throughout the galaxy. She comes in the form of an immense woman's head ringed with gigantic serpents, with the intent of coating the Earth and all on it, in it and under it with nanites that shall freeze it in indestructible stasis. While some take to the sky, space or other worlds in search of answers to the looming question, many others must remain on the ground and try to either soothe the panicked citizenry who know all too well how fragile their situation is, or evacuate them to worlds the Gorgon is not.
Another chance to revisit any previous vignette, taking the opportunity to play with a story in which characters weren't around for or stories that weren't submitted by the previous deadline.
A madman has unleashed a mutagen throughout Freedom City, granting everyone superpowers, or making existing superpowers go haywire. Worse, the mutagen will burn out a person's body in about two months. To contain the spread, the government quarantines the city, so it's up to the local heroes to both contain the newly empowered citizens (many of whom have gone mad with power) and cure them before their bodies burn out!
A chance for important support characters to shine, or for characters to revisit old vignettes (especially the PC Meet-Up).
As either part of a plot by some sort of criminal mastermind (August Roman is always a safe bet) or just a string of really bad luck, the heroes of Freedom City end up experiencing trials throughout the month that take them to the limit. Of course, the hero rises again, bruised, battered, but not broken.
On January 15, 2013 at 9 AM EST, a wave of violence sweeps through the heroes and villains of Freedom City, without regard for who and what they might once have been before. Some seem to go mad, laughing manically as they fall on their enemies alike like a rabid wolf gone among the sheep, driving some of Freedom City's worst to take shelter from the best gone evil. Some stalk their enemies with cruel, predatory intent. Their acts are showy and terrifying, sending the civilians in the street running in fear from their erstwhile protectors and criminals alike. Though deaths are largely limited to villains and criminals, the deeds are frightening enough, and deliberately, _mockingly_ public enough to strike at the very heart of Freedom City's trust in its heroes. As heroes and villains alike go mad, the heroes of Freedom must rally like never before to defend themselves, their families, and their cities from this unexpected attack.
The 'wrathful', as the press has dubbed them, will happily tell anyone what they're doing: Freedom City has tolerated scum and villainy for too long, and now they're going to destroy the enemies of Freedom whatever it takes, and whoever they happen to be. It looks as though judgement day has come…
Most superheroes have a cause. A focus. A reason for getting out of bed at night, putting on strange clothing, and beating up malefactors. Many tales have been told of their “big, sweeping” stories and not the night-to-night work, the same way your typical episode of Law and Order is less about a random mugging (and that's it) and more about mob ties, hate crimes, and/or strange sexual escapades. But what does a hero do on a “quiet” night. What sort of minor issues they deal with in the course of their duties which aren't necessarily salacious enough to draw in other heroes, but which still need to be resolved. After all, a hero's duties start with one injustice, no matter how small.
It's Fantasy Freedom, with a twist! For January 6, 2014, Freedom City was reflected in a fantasy mirror, as a city in a world of Arthurian myth and legend, where mighty knights and brave wizards battle foul fiends and twisted mystics in an effort to bring truth and justice to a lawless land. Heroes recast as a fantasy version of themselves. This version of Fantasy Freedom is closer to Thomas Malory's than Marion Zimmer Bradley's, a land with a really and truly holy Church that fights demons that just might be hanging around to try and steal souls, and where some medieval ideas are closer to truth than others.
A vignette detailing a hero's exploits from somebody else's vantage point. They could be heroic, they could be a victim, they could be a bystander. Anyway you slice it, this is their story to tell.
The end of August and the beginning of September mark a very special time of year for citizens of Freedom City. Summer is ending and fall is beginning, vacation is wrapping up and the school year is beginning! This vignette details just exactly what went on during those wild summer nights, or those less wild back to school mornings.
While the adult heroes of Freedom City spread out across the globe to combat the Incursion, the students of Claremont Academy are left to watch over their fair metropolis! When villains attempt to take advantage of the situation it will be up to these teen titans to rise to occasion! Against foes that give even the Freedom League and other seasoned veterans difficulty can they prevail? Can they even survive?! It may take a holiday miracle!