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A fan-created Alternate Continuity play by post rpg based on the Marvel Universe. Hosted first at the now defunct MSN groups and now at Invisionfree, Marvels has been active since November 9th 2007 with no signs of stopping. Features a system that can be as simple or advanced as you want it to, allowing for great customization for characters, while maintaining balance in fighting situations.
Originally known as Casualties of War, based heavily in the Marvel Universe post-Civil War, it was eventually hacked. With some additions being made and some balancing issues being addressed, Marvels was opened a few weeks later. This time, rather than being based in any specific point in the Marvel Universe, the storyline was set in an Alternate Continuity based on both the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Marvel (Universe 818, to be specific), while allowing members to put just about any twist on characters that they want, in addition to allowing completely original characters. While a lot of characters work solo, most are banded together in different teams, each with specific mission statements and/or location.
The staff will regularly run large scale events, where the majority of the active characters on the site will join together in a larger storyline, often taking place in locations across the entire world. While many of these events are based on previous Marvel Universe Crisis Crossovers, most have an at least somewhat unique spin on the events. While most events are stand alone, some have been leading towards future events or have been slowly built to over time.
The site name comes from the Marvels graphic novel.
- Conquest (At the dawn of the heroic age, Kang the Conqueror attacks the world with a seemingly undending army. Upon his defeat, Kang is revealed to be a future Captain America.
- Galactus (Parasitic organisms known as the Galactus Swarm attacks the Earth. The organisms turn people into Zombies, while feeding off the world before ultimately trying to destroy it.)
- Ultron (Hank 'Ant-Man' Pyms's artificial intelligence Ultron gains sentinence and tries to take over the world by splitting up the various heroes and teleporting them into random groups before attacking them with his army of robots.)
- Secret War (Nick Fury leads an attack on North Korean to shut down their Super Soldier programs... Or, at least that is what it seems like. Currently ongoing.)
- Contest of Champions (A semi-annual event where each member can enter up to two characters into a fighting tournament led by the Gamesmaster, who just might have more of a reason behind the tournament than simply watching the heroes and villains fight.)
- Condition Red (A group of normal people, representing the members of the site, is empowered by a strange red light. After having had their powers for a few years, they are just now learning why they gained these powers.)
Currently Active Teams
- The Avengers (Nick Fury's secret black ops team consisting mainly of anti heroes. Predates the Ultimate Avengers from the comics.)
- Brotherhood of Mutants (A group of mutants based in the Savage Land. Apparantly led by Magneto, they fight for mutant superiority.)
- Chaos Swarm (A group of super powered terrorists led by Terrax, members including the Hulk, Carnage and Ares. One of the most feared forces on the site.)
- Crusaders (West Coast-based team of super heroes, who operate on their own, with no government backing.)
- Excalibur (British super hero team.)
- Generation X (A team made of teen super heroes based in New York. A team of True Companions formed during the Conquest event. Includes Spider-Man as a member.)
- Guardsmen (European Super Team based out of Berlin. Led by Iron Cross, a former Nazi super soldier.)
- Heavy Metal (Stark Enterprises' personal Super Team, consisting of several Powered Armor wearing heroes, including Iron Man.
- New Avengers (Believing that Nick Fury had a larger plan with the Avengers, Wolverine faked his own death and formed a team of his own.)
- Serpent Society (A team of snake-based criminals who is simply out to get rich.)
- Ultimates (The world's premiere Super Team, sponsored by S.H.I.E.L.D. and led by Captain America.)
- W.H.O. (The Weird Happenings Organization is a Tokyo-based team dealing mainly with the strange and unexplained.)
- X-Men (A team of mutant heroes protecting the world that fears and hates them. Notably formed by Charles Xavier's son, Charles Xavier Jr., the older Xavier having been killed years before the site's storyline started. Or has he?)
Tropes found in Marvels include:
- Anti-Hero: Many, including the Punisher and Wolverine.
- The Atoner: Several, including Synch whose ability to mimic powers led to him burning down his school when they first manifested.
- Badass Normal: The game contains rules for making your character a non-powered human, which gives your character a high amount of bonus at the start of the game, but also makes them much weaker than other characters in the long run... of course, most members can find ways to get around those weaknesses.
- BFG: Several character use these. Special mention goes to Rocket Raccoon, who got an Item of Power named BFG
- BFS and Absurdly Sharp Blade: Several. Most notably Excalibur, wielded by the Black Knight.
- Big Damn Heroes: Black Knight diving down and cutting off the Hulk's arm just as he is about to crush Aura.
- Ceri and Sunfire saving about half of Hong Kong from the Hulk.
- The Cape: The Sentry is the most prominent example.
- Card-Carrying Villain: A specific group of Villains at Marvels have always been seen as a way for their creators to just relax, get away from diplomacy and write a hell of a lot of violence. Therefore there are some villains you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley, or in the streets, or anywhere.
- For Example: Carnage or Terrax.
- The Chessmaster: Nick Fury. Professor Charles Xavier Sr. Forge, controlling the Brotherhood by keeping Magneto artificially alive.
- The Chew Toy: Several characters, but more especially, Henuki of the staff. No matter which character based on a Marvel Comics character he gets, you can be sure that Marvel will somehow screw them over in the comics.
- The Sentry: Killed in Siege.
- Cable: Killed in Second Coming.
- Doctor Strange: No longer Sorcerer Supreme.
- Ares: Killed in Siege.
- Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes): Imprisoned in Russian gulag in the comics.
- Daredevil: Only just returning from being evil after Shadow Land.
- Silver Samurai: Killed in Wolverine Goes To Hell.
- Human Torch: Killed during the Three storyline.
- Hawkeye: Going blind in Hawkeye: Blindspot.
- We're just waiting for Iron Man, Bug and Gambit to bite it, now.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Pretty much a stable, what with Spider-Man being one of the site's most prominent heroes.
- Crisis Crossover: Happens on a semi-annual basis, as described above.
- Death Dealer: Gambit has a habit of appearing on the site and has appeared under several members. In the Roleplay, he has flipped between the Brotherhood of Mutants and the X-Men.
- Death Is Cheap: The rules allow characters to be ressurected or having narrowly escaped death through retcons.
- Daken fighting his way through the Japanese Underworld to return to his body spiritually, after his body was sliced into tiny pieces by Black Knight. This small obstacle was removed with some participation by Kiji and the Hand who surgically and mystically restored his original body.
- Daken again, after being beheaded by Wolverine, Daken fought his way back though hell once more, injuring the Kami God of the Underworld and forever earning his place in their 'Hell'. This remains his incentive for staying alive.
- Determinator: Many. If any of the New Avengers are coming for you, you better run.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The heroes managed to defeat the Galactus Swarm, making them the first species in the universe to survive the infestation.
- Generation X defeating Nyx had much the same effect.
- Expy and Captain Ersatz: Only allowing characters from Marvel Comics and original characters are often subverted by either altering an existing Marvel character so it works like this of the character that the member wishes to use, or an original character is created in the same way.
- Vengeance is, for instance, a pretty obvious Captain Ersatz for Batman.
- For the Evulz: Some teams or factions are under no illusion of what they are. The Chaos Swarm is generally seen as Evil for Evil's Sake.
- Foreshadowing: The staff posted the chalkboard, which has given hints for a number of ongoing and future storylines.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The ability to make split second aiming decisions and being able to 'cap' a butterfly at 100 yards is always useful on the occasion that your character happens to run into a Super Villain. Aiming Powers such as Reflex Aim, Targeting and Instinctive Aim are a staple at the site. Characters with particular skill include: Hawkeye, Spider-man and Longshot.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: With each member being allowed four characters when joining the site and the possibility to buy more, this is unavoidable.
- Loads and Loads of Roles: Each member has access to at least four different characters. At the time of writing, the member with the most characters has 29.
- Powered Armor: The rules actively support the creation and usage of these.
- Examples Include: Iron Man, Warmachine, Iron Clad.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Several characters, what with them being demons or otherwise immortal or long lived, as granted by the Extended Life/Immortality power. The site's version of Wolverine is notable for having been alive since the stone age, opposed to his Marvel Universe counterpart having lived for a little more than 100 years.
- Retcon: Has happened from time to time, mostly if a member have taken over a scrapped character from another member.
- Space Opera: Although fought for in the past, Marvels is only recently coming into the prolific Roleplaying Area of Space Travel. Most notably among emerging Space Operas is the Infinity Quest, a storyline occurring at the time of writing this.
- Superhero: Seeing as how it is based on the Marvel Universe, there are plenty of these...
- Super Villain: And just about every character that isn't a super hero is a super villain.
- Super Soldier: So many. While not as bad as Ultimate Marvel, a lot of characters got their powers from Super Soldier programs or experiments, including, but not limited to, Captain America, the Sentry, the Vision and the majority of the Weapon Plus operatives.
- Super Team: Many, as mentioned above.
- Trickster Archetype: Spider-Man is this, especially after getting his Iron Spider Armor. Mysterio, Mastermind, Longshot and several others to varying degrees as well.
- True Companions: Generation X stand out, though the Crusaders can, for the most part, also qualify.
- Wolverine Publicity: To ensure greater activity, and invoking this, the rules allow characters to be in multiple roleplay threads at once.