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Issue 10

New York City, NY --- Thompson Memorial Hospital


“Guh-buh--...” Nonsense-words spilled out over Peter’s cracked lips like the blood that leaked from his mouth as he wrenched himself over the rooftop gravel, little stones grinding into his chest and spiking pain up through his ribcage. His Spider-Sense didn’t matter anymore, it was a constant background, crackling TV Static over the violence and the twisting slurry of his costume over his skin, the black tainted red with his blood.

How did this happen?

Hairs jolted up on the back of his neck -- the air behind him was crackling, ionizing faster than Peter could think. His muscles moved on their own, throwing him up into the air and crashing down to the side and flopping like a dying animal as a brilliant bolt of lightning obliterated the rooftop, sending plumes of gravel into the sky. Peter flipped onto his back and his fingers flashed spasmodically into his palms, sending out arcs of webbing blindly. He had to hit something, anything.

There was a force on the other end and he was in the air, over the lip of the roof, nothing between him and the ruinous concrete but a drop. His muscles screamed and his grip tightened around the line, refusing to release. His costume gelled together, black cells trying to weave an impact barrier as he was yanked back and jerked to the ground. His face hit first and his nose exploded into blood and phlegm.

“Urgh-!” He had barely hit the ground before he wrenched his torso around and tucked his shoulder, moving below the vibrating speed of a passing fist.

“C’mon, Spydah-Man.” An Austrlian accent cooed. Peter could scarcely hear it over the wardrum of his own heart in his ears. “Give us a fight, now.”

“The Spider’s all tuckered out, Frank.” Peter hardly registered the shifting of gravel before there was a gloved hand around his neck, lifting him into the air. The costume railed as it could, weakly, tiny tendrils sluicing themselves from the membrane of the costume and slapping against the glove weakly.

“This way, Sanders.” A third said, somewhere beyond the haze of Peter’s vision. “I wanna see him fucking joke when his heart stops.”



The background buzz of electronic drones had subsided in this part of the city -- the horde that swept to Madison Square Garden had left the Upper East Side deserted, a sky free from bugs and streets free from deranged civilians, spare the stragglers that dragged shattered legs behind them, enroute to join their fellows.

Spider-Man swung high, switching off of each web at the low point of its arc, prioritizing speed. The X-Men had parked their battle wagon some miles away -- miles that didn’t pass quick when hauling a blue fuzzball. He hooked a right turn and skipped over a rooftop like a stone across water -- his hand came out and another web snapped to the skyline, he felt the suit with him then, making microscopic adjustments to the cadence of his swing, ensuring he’d hit on target.

It’d be moments before the Four Freedoms came into view -- if the newly topless Empire State, and the streaking trails of flying metahumans were to be believed, it was the place to be. Maybe if Peter got there fast enough, he could get in a few licks on the chrome-domed dude, and -- Blue Beetle’s earpiece snapped to life in his ear, back in comms range.

”Hey, kid! Things are getting wrapped up here -- I’m about to check on our friend in the Bug, but it’s looking like we have a man down at Staten Island. Think you could swing by?” Peter heard The Blue Beetle’s voice in the background, having failed to deactivate his own mic. Swing. Bwahaha!”

Rescue duty? Again? Peter’s muscles jerked as he overextended on his web. He released and slung another, leaning into it with his shoulder. He stuck himself to the nearest skyscraper and steadied. Wall-crawling boo-boo patrol, at your service

”I got it, B.B. … Save some cake for me.” Spider-Man tapped his comms device and shot forward into the sky. He felt his suit worm into his muscles and he fired another webline, hanging a turn down the island.

Oh, what am I complaining about? I could show up at the Four Freedoms anyway, have Captain America and that weird arrow dude tell me I did a great job running away in the first place. He adjusted his angle at the subtle indention of the black fabric, instinct guiding his hand, and he crested over the next building, bringing the next row of concrete towers into view.

One stood out -- The Thompson Memorial Hospital. He hadn’t realized he was passing so close. The fibers of his suit quivered, on edge. Like a spider raising its forelegs in warning.

He held onto his web for a moment longer and released at the tip of its swing, launching up above the sweeping cityscape. The Hospital’s lights winked dimly in the encroaching night sky, warding the darkness. The helicopter pad atop it sat unused -- they were probably more concerned with keeping the building shut and the bugs out than accepting helivac patients. Tombstone’s people could be with them now, sequestered from the ICU to the labs, hiding needles of heroin amid crates of narcan, away from the Hell that dwelled outside. Dennis Carradine could prowl the halls, swiping his mop from one side to the other.

He’d probably already forgotten about the man he’d shot.

Spider-Man refused to forget.

The next web brought him low and he let go, loping between rooftops and springing towards the Hospital. He was a hunting dog, and blood was in the air. His legs pumped and he was in the sky again, one last webline before -- goosebumps rippled across his skin, and the fabric of his suit stuck fast to him, sealing his pores and insulating his body.

Spider-Sense? What the hell is--?

His muscles had started to spasm before the feeling of burning got to his brain. There was shock up and down his body as his fingers opened involuntarily and he plummeted, arms pinwheeling and legs splayed. A smell like chlorine jumped up his nostrils and he hit the gravel of the Hospital’s rooftop hard, pain lancing up his back.

“Aw, that was so not crash.” Spider-Man grunted. Spider-Sense flared and he rolled into it, bouncing off the rooftop as another arc of lightning crackled past. He swiveled in the air, white lenses turning to meet his attacker. He was six foot at least, wrapped in black tac gear -- it was a little like what the MSF’s tower mercs had been wearing, but higher end. This one had a yellow belt wrapped around his waist, it was about as thick as Peter’s biology textbook. Electricity crackled across his body, sparking from the belt to nodes around his joints, joining together into a glowing ball in his hands.

“Cut it out dude, you're gonna ruin your electric bill.” Peter moved to fire a webline, but there was a black blur and something rammed into him, flinging him down the rooftop. He adjusted in mid-air and landed on his haunches, hands forward and ready to fire. There was a second player on the rooftop, in the same gear as the first, but his chest was sheathed in a red and blue polymer plate. Shielded red goggles hid his eyes.

“Couldn’t wait five minutes for my coffee break, webs?” He said, rolling his shoulder.

“You’re right red, take a load off! I’ll deal with Sparky here first,” Spider-Man said. He fired a salvo of webs at the new opponent and sprang to the side. Bounding off one hand, he flipped onto the rusted steel of the Hospital’s AC unit as webs sealed the new player’s hands in white gunk.

“Think he’s all you gotta worry about, Spydah?” A voice tinged with an austrailian accent rose from the rooftop around him, and with a resonating clang the AC unit lurched, metal screaming as bolts burst and the unit was tossed into the air. Peter’s muscles sprang in a tenth of a second and he jumped, spinning backwards in the air. A dent the size of Peter’s whole body marred the side of it. Suddenly, there was a hand as big as a baseball mitt around his ankle and he smashed into the ground. He pulled forward before the pain had time to reach his nerves, away from the new combatant’s steel corded grip. There were spiderweb cracks along one of his eyes lenses -- the suit liquified it, trying to repair the damage. He squinted, one eye closed.

“Aw,” Peter coughed, “all three of the Musketeers? You shouldn’t have…” Bones in his knees clicked and ground as he staggered to his feet. His shoulder blades stood out like razors and he hunched. You could count each bone of his spinal cord, bulging from his back, each bundle of neurons frazzled yet pounding with electric potential. Peter chanced a glance backwards, eyes darting faster than most men could perceive.

Number three made Captain America look like a schoolboy. He’d forgone the armor of his fellows in favor a stretched black long sleeve. The plates of his muscles were like armor in and of themselves. He cracked his knuckles and the sound reverberated across the rooftop. Like gunshots.

“Take it as a compliment.” The red one said. His hands began to shake. Faster. “Whole squad of Enforcers just to crush one little bug.” In moments, his hands were a blur, shaking the webbing that held them apart, vibrating through.

“Surprise parties are always nice. Can’t say I’m a big fan of the guests.” Peter said. The suit fluttered. Gravel shifted behind him. Movement. He swallowed.

“How’d you goons know I’d be here, anyway?” Peter’s eyes tracked Red, his movements, the shifting in the soles of his feet. He watched the arcs of electricity sparking around the hands of the man in yellow, crackling with death.

Red laughed. “Things you stole only lead one way, dipshit. Tomb--” Yellow’s face scrunched up.

“Shut the fuck up Sanders. Move, now. Yellow snapped. There was a low hum of power, lightning given form. Yellow’s nodes sparked. Peter’s muscles coiled. Red looked back. The big man stepped.

“Hold him still, Oliver. Don’t get squeamish when he starts to fry.” Yellow said. The air was still. Peaceful, almost. The currents were gone, like the air channel was preparing to conduct motes of lightning, jumping from one atom to another. Gravel shifted behind Peter.

Spider-Man exploded to the side and a gigajoule of electricity sparked past him and into the washboard chest of the big man. He gargled out a scream and Peter flung himself into the air on his own power, dispensing bursts of web fluid down on his opponents. His brain weaved a web between them, a map of attacks, movements.

“Watch your aim, Shocker!” Spider-Man called. He dodged between arcs of lightning, trying to keep red suit down while the big guy recovered from his surprise defibrillation. He could dodge the shots, as long as it was the only thing he had to worry about. “Wait, wait, my bad, isn’t that taken? Sparkplug?” Peter flipped away from another shot. Yellow grunted.

“Sanders, get moving!” He turned away from Spider-Man and pointed two fingers at the man in red. A bolt arced between the two men, frying bundles of webbing on contact. Red goggles locked onto Peter’s lenses.


Peter’s muscles hardly had time to coil and spring before Red was upon him, an unrelenting whirling dervish of fists and kicks and blows delivered so quickly that each strike blended into the next. Peter twisted away from the strikes and zipped away on a webline, higher into the air, narrowly avoiding another megajoule of electric death.

Peter contorted his body in the air, staying aloft on weblines strung between the surrounding skyscrapers, weaving a very literal web. The red speedster darted from point to point on the ground, ready to obliterate him if he ever touched the ground… Or if sparky got in a lucky shot and brought him down.

“Woah, guys, one supervillain at a time!” Peter shouted. He sprung from an elastic strand and fired between the maze of his webwork, dotting the ground with globules of webfluid. “Come on, Speed Demon, slow your roll.” Another arc of lightning whisked past his head as he spoke. He flipped backward and scurried along his webs.

“See Lightning Lad, there’s a good name -- Speed Demon. We’ll get t-shirts printed, and --” Spider-Man began, but the man in yellow cut him off.

“Sanders, wake Oliver. I’ll deal with the webhead.” He commanded. Speed Demon changed his trajectory in an instant, weaving between blasted heaps of gravel and nodes of web to the big man, who was slowly working to regain his footing.

“Hey! Three players is already more than enough.” Spider-Man complained. There were more arcs of lightning by the second, blasting through the openings in his labyrinthine web, like a cage of lightning between him and the other two villains.

Peter’s eyes flickered over the rooftop as he danced over the web. There had to be something to give him an edge. He eyed the crumpled remains of the AC unit, lying in scattered pieces among the gravel.

Galvanized steel… Aluminum… It should attract. Webs lanced from Peter’s wrists and Yellow jumped to the side, instinctively, but Spider-Man wasn’t aiming for him. Pieces of metal were spirited away, strung up and into the great lattice hanging above the hospital. He was like an orb-weaver, swinging above and below his creation and applying the metal, gluing them to stress points as lightning tried and failed to strike him. The bolts twisted in the air as they were fired, unsure of their target -- looking for the easiest path, the most conductive surface. The remains of the HVAC began to thrum with power, vibrating with endless joules of electricity as Yellow tried and failed to hit, blasts arcing off into shards of fans and metal chassis -- irresistibly attracted to the path of least resistance.

“Wallcrawler!” Yellow screamed. A tremendous bolt launched from his hands, rocketing towards the white spider emblazoned on Peter’s chest. The bolt faltered and changed course, splitting into little streaks of lightning and dissipating into parts of the HVAC.

“Megawatt!” Peter called back. “Hey, another good one! I’m two for two!”

“The streak ends here, underoos.” Speed Demon shouted. The big man was up again, sporting a blackened mark on his chest. It was red and angry beneath the char.

Okay, not… Favorable. At least they can’t hit me up... The big man crouched, low, and the rebar supporting the rooftop screeched as he launched himself, soaring up and beyond Peter’s web and into the sky. His frame was big enough that he seemed to blot out the sun, the black silhouette of death. He hung in the air for a moment, priming his legs for another shot on landing.

“...Here.” Peter finished aloud.

“You guys have a Kangaroo!? PETA’s gonna be pissed!” Peter talked as he worked, firing two weblines to either side of tugging back on them, bracing for launch. A good slingshot kick should knock him clean away from the roof, and --

Lightning shot up, the perfect angle to sever one webline and have the other pulled out of Peter’s hands, unbalanced. He tipped backwards, down below the swoop of his web and a hand came up, to pull him to safety, but it was too late.

Speed Demon descended on him in a moment, sweeping in with the force of an F1 racer. He jumped and pulled Peter the rest of the way to the ground, crashing into gravel at impossible velocity. Pieces of it flicked up like bullets, tearing through his costume and leaving bleeding rents in his skin.

Peter didn’t have time to think before Speed Demon went to work. There were fists and knuckles and crunches and blood from every angle, sprays of red and the combined squelch of meat as Speed Demon worked him like a tenderizer. He felt a rib crack in his chest. Two. He couldn’t see anything through the flurry but the descending form of Kangaroo, obliterating the hanging web with the force of his body, pulling it all down at once -- the stretch and crack and squeal of concrete connection points begin ripped apart.

Fists turned his head into a blender for his own brain, crashing from one side of his skull to the other. His chin was like a speed bag, knocked forth and back by the flurry of blows. Hairline fractures erupted all at once across his chin and his jaw, blood began flowing into his mouth.

Run. It was all he could think. Darkness closed at the edges of his vision.

Run. He needed a way out. He lashed out at once, with everything he had, muscles splayed out in blows easily dodged, leaving holes in the roof’s cement. Knuckles pulverized his muscles for every attempted strike, punishing him for his insolence.

Run. His brain drew inward like a wounded animal, a spider with its legs ripped off by a cruel child, searching for any survival instinct against impossible odds. His suit bubbled and festered, black tendrils drawing themselves outward from muscles and sinew and bone, preparing beneath the surface. They speared out together, all at once, a network of spines and thorns and bristles and spikes, warding off any attacker. Fists too fast to react crashed in anyway, drawing lines of blood and shards of finger bone. Speed Demon yowled and danced backwards, shaking his knuckles out.

“What the fuck was that?” He shouted.

Run. The spines withdrew and Peter flopped onto his stomach, crawling along the rooftop, vying for escape. Run, c’mon, run, c’mon…



Peter’s hands pulled as they could against the hand around his throat, pockmarked with injury and blood dripping down the black fabric. Lightning crackled in the distance, and huge muscles closed in to turn his remains to powder.

Have to… Run. He shifted his wrists upward, adjusting the angle, and let loose with what webbing he had, spewing into Speed Demon’s face, filling his eyes and nose and mouth.

“Gobdbdamnbitb!” Speed Demon choked out, stumbling away, pulling at the substance choking his airways and filling his eyes. Peter lurched forward and the edges of lightning streaked across his back, incinerating a line of his costume and blasting his skin. He stifled a scream and took one last step. Foot over the ledge, up, and out.

He was in the sky again, finally away. Webs launched from his wrist and snapped to a skyscraper. A few more swings and the ‘Enforcers’ would be in the dust, Megawatt and Speed Demon and --

Kangaroo leapt from the rooftop, across the gutter of open air between the buildings. He slammed his shoulder into the connection point of the webbing and shattered the building’s facade, breaking through and sending shards of stainless steel and granite wall to the streets below. Peter’s lifeline snapped, connection point destroyed, and he plummeted, pinwheeling, trying to get his hands in front of him.

He focused, like he had before, at the police station. Uncertain phantom hands merged in his vision, steady coalescing into one.

C’mon, c’mon… He aimed. The skyscrapers were passing so quickly now, endless stonework of walls speeding by.

Now-- It was too late. Metal and plastic groaned as a teenager destroyed an industrial garbage bin with his body, sending chunks of green metal and heaping piles of trash into the street.

He lay there, for a moment, waiting for his brain to stop pinballing around the inside of his skull. The moon shone down, framed by buildings on either side, silver light painting piles of garbage and twisted metal in sharp relief.

Every bone in his body cried as he rolled himself from the crumpled bin, hitting the concrete with a wet smack. He gurgled as he rose, supporting himself with the wall. He couldn’t decide if he was supposed to swallow the blood to spit it out. He thought he felt a tooth floating around in it, by now stained red with his suffering.

He let the blood dribble from his mouth, around the edges of his lips and down through torn holes in his costume. He looked up. No one was coming for him. Maybe this was enough. Maybe the Enforcers though he’d learned his lesson… Whoever they were.

He set his eyes front, and nearly cried as his neck protested the movement, reaching out into his chest with icy fingers of pain.

It would be a long walk home.
<Snipped quote by Lord Wraith>

My time has almost come.

Just wanted to pop my head in and say that I can entertain a Silk concept, @NinaDivine! PM me what you're thinking and we can work something out.

Also wanted to say that things have finally started to clear up for me and its full steam ahead on posts! Looking to have a Spidey post for tomorrow, and hopefully a debut for Vig n' Clark shortly after that.
<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.
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