Recent Statuses

4 mos ago
Current Because asking the mods "gib power" is a much better bid than demonstrating a groundswell of supporters, right? #Wraith4Mod2K19
4 mos ago
4 mos ago
@KingOfTheSkies but could you fix it with Flex Tape? I say nay-nay
4 mos ago
That last status was literally the most mind boggling thing I've ever read. Bravo!


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<Snipped quote by DocTachyon>

This is a bizarre concept but hey, accepted!

And without a sample. I'm a goddamn legend.

(The sample which I will still be making... Eventually...)

Issue 9.2

New York City, NY --- Manhattan

Peter had heard of the Blue Beetle before, but he had always seemed like more of a hobbyist than anything -- a few stories here and there, nothing major. Not that it was much more than a hobby for Peter, anyway, but that the man decided to stick around for Supervillain Happy Hour said something about his character. Whether it said he was suicidal or heroic Peter wasn’t entirely sure, but it was better riding high in space-age tech than it was swinging through grungy streets and fighting the worst kind of flash mob this side of Star City.

The Bug’s interior was like the Jetsons had met the modern age -- futuristic technology called down to Earth by curved plates of blue metal and screens embedded in every surface. It was mad science and careful precision all in one; tremendous shining scanners and stealth shielding controllers paired with exposed sores overflowing with wires of every color, giving insight into the guts of the machine. Lightning in a bottle.

It was everything every tech company on the planet wanted: next gen stealth tech, unbelievable speed, and Peter had a feeling that the onboard systems would give anything Luthor or Wayne/Sionis was putting out a run for their money. He knew that Norman would burn down the city for it if he had the chance, Lord knows OsCorp couldn’t put it together themselves. That left Kord, but Ted probably had better things to do than cramming his dad-bod into a Blue Beetle suit.

Pfft, Ted, first name basis. I’ll just invite him down for some Smash Bros and pizza. On the other hand, he was more familiar with Kord than the clown in the blue jumpsuit. He was a whirlwind through the cockpit, pressing at buttons and pulling levers as the giant bug whirred over Manhattan, bound for Herald Square. His gun jingled at his hip, rustling against the fabric of his jumpsuit. It was all smooth, a hard metal chassis over some mechanism Peter could not describe. Something about it made his skin crawl, he felt the suit bunching up at the back of his neck.

He rubbed at it and went to the port window and gazed out over the city through the yellowed glass. More fires and pillars of smoke reached out from the city like black tentacles dragging at the sky. He put a hand against the glass. He felt the steady hum of the engine as The Bug swooped low. Quiet screams reverberated through the metal, from somewhere in the lost city below. Peter looked back to the Blue Beetle, tapping away at his machines.

Some average joe in a beetle costume, here against all odds to fly the Bug-mobile into battle with gods and monsters whirling around like a metahuman themed edition of celebrity jeopardy. Maybe he was after fame, glory. Perhaps it was the adrenaline. Maybe this whole thing was to make one hell of a sales pitch for his wonder car. Could be personal tragedy, too, that always motivated the heroic types. The question nagged at Peter, a gnat swirling over his vision and blazing past his ears. They burned underneath his mask.

He thought about May and Ben and everyone back in Queens. They would be rejoicing in a bug free section of the city while Peter was playing mop up with the insect squad. He wondered if May had wound her way up to his room yet and discovered he wasn’t there, window ajar during the worst crisis the city had seen in decades.

He imagined her nagging and screaming over the phone, dropping Anna Watson’s name twelve times as she was given to do when she got stressed -- but the sound would be lost to the hordes roaming the streets like packs of hyenas, and the fleshy thud of fists into stomachs and bones cracking like firecrackers.

Like tenderizing meat. The thought welled up in Peter and laid back down on him like a weight on his chest. He stepped out of the Blue Beetle’s view and rolled his mask up over his nose; it was hard to breathe. Maybe some smoke was getting through the Bug’s filters.

Ben would be sitting at home now, watching that same smoke rise into the air through the same tube TV he’d had for years and had refused to get rid of. He’d be scratching at the little round scar and lines of stitches on his abdomen as Peter had seen him do when he did his crossword puzzles. The same scar from the tiny little brass bullet, now in a plastic evidence bag webbed inside the fireplace for safekeeping. The same bullet from one of Tombstone’s people.

Whoever he was, he probably didn’t have anything to do with this. At the moment he was likely ducking under alleyways and sewers and all the places people like him tried to hide from hell like this. He was almost certainly at his most vulnerable now, stretched thin trying to protect criminal assets when half his goons suddenly decided they liked murder more than dope.

Who am I kidding? I couldn’t find him even if I wanted to. He could be anyone. Peter’s mask began to leak down his face, sealing and binding itself back together into black silk as it passed his exposed lips. Until he hit the Thompson Memorial and looked for answers, all he could do was sit on his hands and wait. There was always the chance he wouldn’t find anything there, anyway -- it was already public that he’d hit the Police Station, and Tomby would’ve deduced what files he’d stolen and gotten his man out. Just like that, to the wind.

Spider-Man.. He was more like an insect, skittering around in a glass jar he couldn’t see. He turned on his heel and stalked back towards the window. He pressed his fingers against the glass. It vibrated in time with the engine, silent, but thrumming with power.

He imagined Flash Thompson, running scared through the streets and holding his red letterman tight to his body, with a hand clamped over his neck. Like it’d protect him from the bugs. He thought about all the times Flash had tripped him, taken his lunch money, thrown him down the halls and pumped his muscles like he was a goddamn god. Peter saw a slobbering group of muscle heads, bounding through the streets towards something he couldn’t see. He felt the liquid and sinew reinforcing his muscles, laced between the myofibril, his biceps were taut, bulging with impossible strength.

The Bug surged forward and Spider-Man spotted him, someone blue-and-yellow bounding over pavement and flinging himself over cars, with what looked like a little girl wrapped in his arms and the squadron of civilians snapping at his heels. A spiked tail trailed behind him, snapping in the wind. There was Peter’s X-Man.

And there’s something I can do about it.

“Pop the hatch B.B., I’m seeing bold and brash, twelve o’ clock!”

"Back moondoor," the Blue Beetle gestured to a closed trapdoor at the rear of the vehicle, "Opening in 3, 2, 1..." He hit a button on the console which briefly opened the door, and then quickly closed it again behind Spider-Man.

Spider-Man launched out of the hatch and twisted in the air. His first webline tagged The Bug’s bottom and his momentum carried him up The Bug’s bow and over again to the aft. The webline bounced against the stealth plating and it fizzled, adjusting to the change in scenery. He tapped his opposite wrist and a glob of webbing crumpled a car’s canopy a dozen yards in front of the X-Man with a resounding “THWANG”.

“Yo! Blue Man Group! Now or never!” He shot a long, trailing line down to the other hero and pulled himself up, wrapping the other line tightly around his fist.

If I dislocate another shoulder, I’m gonna kill somebody.
Following the example of my peers, I figured I'd let y'all in on what I've been cooking up for a second character. I decided to ditch The Variety Hour for now, since the set-up for this one is too perfect. Sample is forthcoming.

<Snipped quote by Nightrunner>

Character motivations, man. I don't need to know yours.

I was confused about that, actually, because many of the motivation sections on accepted CSes (including mine and yours) were mainly about our motivations and goals for the story, as well as our influences. Which is it?
I'm the Spider-player, meaning I hold one of the biggest rogue's galleries and supporting casts, so I feel like I should speak to Hex's concerns, too. Claim culture is a very tricky area to deal with because I think we all pick our characters because we have some amount of passion for them, unless your name is Simple Unicycle. We tend to know these guys back to front, and we have a perfect little story built for them in our heads -- at least I do, for me. It's hard because we're trying to simultaneously strike a balance between telling a cohesive story that touches on all aspects of our character, but also leaving things open for newcomers. I've tried my best, but some things can't be avoided. My Peter is year one, so there can't really be a Kaine as one person wanted, and I had to shoot down Silk for another.

I guess I big question is, to what extent do we need to be open to this kind of thing? I think there is absolutely a problem with claim culture as Hex has said, but I think we need to be very precise in our handling of it. Maybe each of us can organize our supporting cast into 'tiers' based on importance to our story? And those tiers would essentially indicate how much someone would need to work with us to get an app for a given character accepted? But then, that might be asking much of the current player base. We could also maybe do a thing where we ask each player to throw together a list of some popular NPCs within their wheelhouse that they'd consider apps for? I know I have more than a couple I don't have any plans with that I'd be willing to give away.

Speaking to the larger issue of player retention, its probably really valuable to ask ourselves what things draw new players here, and what sort of things drive them away. I think that we should have a serious conversation with our newcomers that have stuck around, like Dblade and Ceta, and maybe Uni and I who only came around last game, as to what kinds of things were motivating them to stay and maybe what sort of pressures they felt that were maybe pushing them to leave? I think right now we're having a lot of old voices trying to deduce the problems that new players are experiencing, but maybe we should ask new players themselves. Hell, maybe stick a few feelers out into the wild and see what people think.

Personally, I was attracted to this group for the quality of writing and the subject matter of the game. I was almost never on the Guild at that time, so I wasn't really aware of any 'reputations' or anything. I was just a lone agent looking for a fun game. The GM team seemed strong and the OOC looked like a good time, so I threw my hat in the ring. Myself, one of the things I really didn't like is that it was hard to feel connected to the group. We do very much have a club of old hands here, and back in UOU, I felt like my stuff was mostly being ignored and that my contributions to the OOC were more or less glossed over. I ended up being fine with it, as I was having a lot of fun writing Vig and I enjoyed shitposting with Nightrunner and Uni, but I think really getting to know the group and feel like your stuff is supported is a huge part of what makes people stick with these games.

On that note, I don't think we necessarily play well with others as a unit. I still don't know very much about many of the people in this game, new and old alike, and I think that's maybe a problem a lot of us have. Hex is right -- strong games are made on the backs of strong groups of players. But so is Bounce, we need new blood. This game we're more or less missing Morden, MB, Sep, Ersatz, Eddie Brock, and more. They're missed I'm sure, bvut those losses haven't necessarily hit as hard because I think we're building another core of people who have stuck around. I think we need to make a bigger push to find people like that who will stay with us, and a huge part of that is being friendly and open and just trying to honestly get to know one another.

So this post has been rather long and rambly, but I just woke up (after royally fucking my sleep schedule), so hopefully it makes sense. Dog bless, love you hot boys.
My instinct tells me #2 as well, but I'm cautious as I think that was a factor in what killed UOU last time around. That said, thanks to the Discord, I'd say we have a more tightly knit group and that could enable us to withstand that threat, but I dunno.
@mattmanganon How would you feel about a JoJo CS getting dropped?

If you don't know JoJo, for the uninitiated; basically, throughout the world, a select handful of people have special punching ghosts that give them superpowers that are usually really funky and esoteric. They're not conventional "superheroes", but a superheroic narrative tends to be a big part of it, especially for what I have in mind. And they don't wear 'costumes', but sometimes their outfits can be...

New York City, NY --- Manhattan

“When the truth is found / To be lies / And all the joy / Within you dies…”

Peter’s Spider-Sense didn’t feel the same as he launched himself from the Queens-Midtown tunnel. There was no stabbing behind his eyes, no irresistible pull on all of his senses. It was a film over his perception, a creeping sense and a chill over his body. It felt like seeing Ben in the hospital, no pain, just dread in every fiber of him.

“Don’t you want somebody to love? Don’t you need somebody to love?”

His headphones bumped in his ears as he swang, yanking himself through the air and banking turns around the sheer faces of buildings. By now the bugs had breached Midtown and swelled into Grand Central like a typhoon, sweeping tourists into the sickness. Already the violence had leaped into the streets of Murray Hill, cracks and snaps and snarling screams erupted from the streets below. Lines of smoke were smeared into the sky, like a decidedly macabre Bob Ross painting.

“Wouldn’t you love somebody to love? You better find somebody to love, love…”

Peter fell lower from his swing and slammed into the side of a building, running down the surface of it and making shrill squeaks across the glass. He shoved off from it and hit the pavement at a sprint. This street was clear, but the buildings around him framed the picture of 5th Avenue’s chaos.

A horde of tourists and locals clashed in the road in a flurry of fists and feet and teeth. It sounded like a butcher shop, knuckles crashing into the soft tissue, and the stench of blood hung in the air like a thick fog bleeding off into the side alleys. One man dragged another behind him by what was left of his hairline, holding a cracked baseball bat in the other hand. The man in his grip gnashed his teeth and thrashed, broken legs splayed underneath him spasticity. Peter thought he saw ragged bone moving underneath the folds of his flesh, making tears and scarring the muscle inside. The first man dropped the second and brought his bat over his head, readying for a final grand slam.

A globule of webbing tagged the bat and it shot from the guy’s hand and bounced across the concrete. The sound echoed through the alley and his head snapped forward, looking for the unseen assailant.

“There's your problem, you gotta choke up more on the bat!” Spider-Man bounded forward and launched a packet of webbing into the man’s chest. He took it with a grunt and charged forward like a deranged animal, forgetting about his former target. His whole body twisted and spun as he ran, slobbering for a shot at Peter.

Peter aimed low and tapped his palms without missing a beat. Webbing stuck fast around the civilian's right leg and he dropped forward like a sack of bricks, his nose made a sickening crunch against the pavement. Peter sidestepped the man and glued his torso to the ground with a blob of webs in the same motion.

The man with broken legs was still coming, dragging his weight across the pavement with his bare hands. His fingertips were bloody and raw from the effort but he kept coming anyway, making swipes at the black leg of Peter’s costume as he drew close.

“Take five, man... and buy some leg braces.” Peter fired a web across his back to fasten the man to the ground and then threw himself out into the main body of the brawl, which had already begun to twist into the alley.

Peter was a whirling dervish through the crowd. He pulled one man into another and webbed them together before using them to push over a behemoth of a man who had squeezed his bulging muscles into a ‘I LOVE NY’ tank top that was a size too small and stained with blood. Webs came out in sheets from his wrists, plastering people to each other and into the ground, tying up their limbs so they could do nothing but gnash their teeth.

“If you’d all form an orderly line, please!” Peter absorbed a shoulder check from a pasty office clerk and hurled the man over his shoulder, knocking over another row of combatants like bowling pins. He lashed out with his fist and felt something break against it, when he felt a buzz against his leg that probably wasn’t the ankle biting toddler trying to pull out his tibia.

Incoming call from EYE-EMOTICON EYE-EMOTICON.” A robotic voice dinned in his ear. He picked the toddler up by the scruff of his neck and launched him across the street.

“Accept!” Peter yelled into the mic on his headphones. He webbed a net for the toddler on the other side of the road as the little boy came screaming down from the sky.

“This is TGI Spidey’s, may I take your order?” It was as much a response to Scott as it was a call to the legions of drooling tourists around him, screaming for his blood.

“We’re almost at Central Park, how you holding up?” Static crackled in the other teen hero’s response while Peter felt a collarbone give way under his kick. The crowd was thinning now, mostly tourists and big guys that survived the initial melee.

“I’m -- Hey! We’re not holding a kegger down here! Peter danced backward as a muscled arm lanced from the crowd, slinging a forty of vodka like a club. A web pulled the drink from the man’s hand and the glass exploded across the ground. Instantly Peter was on top of him, slamming a knee into his solar plexus.

“Sorry, sorry. I’m near Murray Hill, seeing what’s to see from the Empire State. There’s a lot of party guests out here,” Peter fired a web from either hand, hitting on gaudy superhero logos emblazoned on two people’s shirts, “I don’t think I brought enough *hng* goodie bags for everyone.” Peter tugged on the lines and they collapsed onto the concrete.

“Alright, we’ll swing down that way to help you out! Just hold on, we’ll be there in fifteen, alright?”

Swinging’s my thing, Polyphemus. Peter shoved one of the last combatants to the ground and pinned her there with a web. The street was mostly deserted now, by Peter’s measure -- but there’d be more, soon. If there weren’t any left to stream out of Grand Central, Penn Station was just around the corner.

“Meet you by Herald Square. Til’ then I got a date with the tourist patrol.” The suit squeezed around Peter’s torso and pressed the ‘end call’ button on his headphones, and the song began its din in his ears once more.

“When the garden flowers / Baby, are dead, yes…”

Peter jumped into the sky and web poured from his hands and twisted itself into a line. He swung forward and shifted his grip on the line, releasing, and he landed against glass and concrete launching off and upwards into the sky. The Empire State Building. He started the crawl up the side of it and settled into a run, dashing across long panes of glass and steady stretches of rebar and concrete supporting the building’s height.

The city expanded before him as he climbed. The block gave way to the neighborhood and then to the borough at large, a concrete jungle of architecture and art spanning out to beyond the horizon. It was form and function and style married in a mish-mash of decades and styles nestled together on one isle, one city, one voice. One New York. And it was on fire.

Pillars of smoke stood out from the skyline like the black towers spreading mechanical bugs through every major roadway. From this height, the people were ants, dueling on the rooftops and having mass warfare in the streets. Blue and red police lights were drowned in flashes of gunfire and explosions blossoming from every corner. Peter slipped and stumbled ahead on the face of the glass. He looked down and righted himself, but when he looked back -- What? That wasn’t there before.

It was some kind of aircraft, ugly and bulbous and blue, with spindly legs hanging off of it from either side. It looked a little like the spider symbol on his back, but blown up to incredible proportions. Engines hummed steadily beneath its chassis. Giant yellow eyes stared into the city beyond, undoubtedly hiding whoever was inside the cockpit.

Peter attached a webline to the Empire State and flipped backwards, rocketing down twenty feet in the blink of an eye. The ship disappeared as fast as it had come into his vision, as if it was simply plucked out of reality.

What? That can’t be right… He stared at the spot for a moment, looking for some kind of shimmer in the light, a failure to maintain the illusion. Peter frowned and ran back upwards, as the bug once again came into view.

Ah, bottom facing stealth plating. That’s some kinda advanced… Peter coiled the muscles in his body and leaped off from the building, making a lump for the aircraft. He fell in the open air as the craft went invisible again and he fired upwards. The line connected with something that wasn’t there and he brought himself around with his momentum, landing on top of it. The metal gave a dull clang as he landed. Shit, that’s some kind of armor.

He rapped his knuckles on the top.

“I really hope you’re on my team, dude.” Peter searched for any divots in the plating, signs of an entry hatch. “If not, you’d better leave the keys in the ignition for me.”
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