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Style and Theme Guide for Freedom City Play-by-Post

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In Brief:


Freedom City is an optimistic, accepting and compassionate universe. There are problems, but almost all of them can be resolved with active participation by the protagonists. While there are elements of other genres, including science-fiction, horror, romance, fantasy and more, the main assumptions and base facts of the universe are inextricably linked to American comic-books from the 20th and 21st centuries. 


Other Genres:


Freedom City is a superhero universe. it is assumed that most PCs will be largely benevolent and interested in protecting those weaker and less advantaged with unusual abilities, resources or skills. Other genre tropes are allowed, to augment and expand on that base assumption, but they cannot replace it. 


Horror and urban fantasy, while useful for 'monster' or magic-themed characters, are not the focus of this game. A werewolf, vampire or wizard in a duster is judged by how well they fit the criteria of being a superhero.


Killing is, while not banned outright, not the norm. It's tonally different to kill robots, zombies or aliens and generally-speaking the death of 'normal' people is something to be used sparingly. A PC submitted with an existing body count will receive far more scrutiny than one without.


This applies most obviously to space opera, spy fiction or fantasy-derived characters. While there are some factions in-universe that are made up mostly of cannon-fodder that can be killed outright with no moral dimension, they are in the minority. Most villains in-setting are people to whom laws and social norms still apply.


While superhero fiction draws heavily from science-fiction and pulp stories, super-science is either present for narrative purposes or as special tools and resources of the heroes and villains. Overall technology is at the level it happens to be in our world.


World Divergence:


The world of Freedom City is largely like our own, but for a few differences.


The current President of the United States is the fictional politician JT Cahill.


Three fictional cities, Bedlam City, the Emerald Cities and Freedom City. Freedom City itself is located at the Great Bay of our Mullica River in real-life New Jersey, with some slight geographical differences. Bedlam City is in coastal Wisconsin, and the Emeralds are on the Washington and Oregon shores of the Columbia River mouth in the Pacific Northwest.


Superheroes, supervillains and various magical, alien or otherworldly beings have been responsible for or involved in major historical events such as the Second World War. The effect has been largely to prevent villains from making the world appreciably worse and keep heroes from making it noticeably better.


Character "Look":


Since it's a superhero game, there are three things that most obviously set it apart from, say, urban fantasy, fantasy, science fiction or spy fiction. These are code names, costumes and powers. Any PC submitted must have at least 2 of the 3. This helps maintain a site-wide aesthetic and the basic tropes of superhero stories, where the extraordinary is both everyday and elevated or mysterious. 


Code Names: They should be descriptive, or at least evocative, of what the character is or does. A sufficiently unusual name (like X-505, K'tlyss, etc) can serve as a code name.


Costumes: So long as the costume at least nominally protects the wearer and/or their identity, what a PC wears is entirely up to the player. In-setting a PC can have a costume that is assumed to be immune or non-hindering to their powers, does not get damaged outside cosmetic effects, and can look like anything the PC wants for free. 


Powers: A 'power' means anything a 'normal' person could not do unaided. This means cybernetics, being able to turn to shadow, superhuman agility, incredibly-fast thinking and laser eyes all count as 'powers'. This also includes special tools or knowledge not available to most people, like sorcerous studies, a gun that shoots sleeping gas, comprehension of alien mathematics allowing instant intra-galactic travel, etc.


Character Scope:


A new player has three slots, 2 Power Level 10 and 1 Power Level 7, with a hard Power Level cap at 15 with 250 Power Points. Only NPCs are allowed to advance further, and then only if the concept justifies it sufficiently to the Administrators. 


Within those bounds is approximately the range most comics run, with accumulating Power Points analogous to the steady buildup of established skills, accomplishments and reader-interest growth of comic-book characters. You have your low-power but high-skill street-level crime fighters, your moderately-capable mystics, novice cosmic heroes and so on.


Changes to the character can be submitted for Character Editing at any time, in any way, so long as some kind of general reason is given for the change.


For player characters, there are few restriction on concept besides ability to build it and that it conforms to site content guidelines. 


Notes on Building:


One problem new players can run into is the question of what 'fits' the style and tone of Freedom City Play-by-Post. A few examples below:


Alien Soldier/Warrior: "Alien" can mean anything from hailing from another dimension, another planet, even another point in time. What matters is you're not from around here and your life has been significantly shaped by learning or having to fight.


Backstreet Crimefighter: 



Edited by Ari
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