All right, friends! The time is drawing near for the festivities to begin! But before we stick our collective hand out further than we can pull it back, I just wanted to toss some things out for digestion. Much in the way a fly regurgitates corrosive acid onto its food.
First off, for what it's worth, I'll be the one to an extent "GMing" (narrating, modding, administrating, referee-ing, whatever term you're used to) our only current upcoming game, which really needs a name just so we can distinguish it from possible future ones. In effect, besides playing Alexander Louis Armstrong, this basically just means I'll be handling some descriptive elements (laying out the basic features and layouts of locations), playing some various NPCs, and arbitrating disputes. Of course, the latter is only neccessary when two players can't work out an agreement themselves. If two players agree on something between themselves, I won't trump that. Now, use of minor NPCs isn't an exclusive right. If you feel like grabbing some random, faceless waiter/child/hostage/puppy for a scene and playing them out a bit, that's hunky-dory. My responsibility is more in the area of "named" NPCs, such as (some) members of the Armstrong family, or anyone else of actual importance who isn't being represented by a player. If you'd like to interact with a specific series character who you could reasonably get in touch with, nab me for that. But the faceless masses are yours to puppeteer as you see fit (within reason)! There may be a few exceptions to this. Some characters might have an "attached" NPC to play as they wish themselves. If there's an NPC close to your character who you would like to requisition, just ask. This means specific, named characters, but not major ones. Hughes' player controlling Gracia would probably be fine. Roy's player controlling Hughes isn't. Roy himself controlling Hughes... well, I'll let you find your own opinion on that one.
Now, I know everyone hates being "railroaded" by the storyline. Nobody likes some power-tripping GM strapping them down to the table to shout the story at them through a megaphone. I make it a personal creed to try to avoid that. But there is one tiny concession I must ask. This may not even become an issue. But right off the bat, there will be a simple "hook" to draw the various characters into the story. You may feel it entirely justifiable that your character would honestly completely avoid getting involved in the situation. And you may be quite correct to feel that way. I'm not asking you to completely break character in order to pursue this hook. But if you feel your character won't be able to get involved with the scenario as it's presented, please do what you can to meet me halfway and find a way to make it in-character for them. If you need me to machinate some story circumstances to make it more plausible, please let me know. I don't want anyone acting what they consider to be wildly OOC just to make sure the plot doesn't leave them behind, but, well, I also can't afford to just let the plot leave anyone behind either. Trust me, you'll know what the scenario hook is when you see it. Just try to meet me halfway on it.
A few details on the setting. The lab 5 incident hasn't gone down quite yet. Homunculi are still an element that's more quietly in the background and very much unknown to military intelligence. Our dear Maes Hughes hasn't had his... unfortunate incident. We're primarily sticking to the anime continuity. However, we do have one character unique to the manga who's being worked in, and including others, as long as their existence in the anime canon isn't an impossibility, isn't out of the question. Aside from these primary guidelines of timing, it shouldn't be neccessary to pin down an exact month/day/hour on the timeline that this all takes place. If it turns out I'm wrong and this leaves some gaping ambiguity, I will narrow it down to clarify it, and clean your ears as penance. Yes, there's a good chance that events in this game may occur that would prevent the story from going down the way it does in the anime. That's more than fine. What's happened up to this point is what's important. What happens after is ours to alter as we see fit. THE POWER OF THE FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS. PIERCE THE HEAVENS WITH YOUR DRILL!
Aside from that, a few minor notes. I'm not anticipating an Elfen Lied-esque bloodbath here. The way this sits in my mind, physical confrontation, risk of life and limb, and combat won't be major focuses. Of course, I also didn't anticipate I would ever touch a live human female (and with laboratory-grade evidence!), so we'll see how that pans out. That's not to say the basic setup doesn't have some rather significant barbs and cruelties of its own. I hope none of you are afraid of getting your hands dirty. But would you have stayed on with us this long if you were?
Now, I'm not one to scatter plot details helter-skelter around. Spoilers, especially in a group RP, are bad juju. But, just as one last note on tone and setting, I would like to officially unveil the theme of this particular storyline. Drumroll, please.........
HWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWARGH! The theme is-
Yeah, Ed, you're not going to like this at all.
Anyway, anyone who has questions can shoot them my way or post them in the comments, and I'll endeavor my utmost to answer them! But the beginning is nigh, so I'm off to flesh out some details!