What Is X-Project?
What is X-Project?
X-Project is an X-Men Movieverse RPG on Dreamwidth. It is based on the first two X-Men movies (X-Men and X2: X-Men United), but it also incorporates events and concepts from a variety of Marvel properties, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, The Avengers, Agents of SHIELD) and a combination of the two Spider-Man franchises and the two Fantastic Four franchises, as well as other media, both print and cinematic/televisual.
What about X3, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class movies?
X-Men: First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, plus X3: The Last Stand are not considered canon for X-Project, but aspects of these films are also open to being used, provided they are adapted to meet X-Project’s established game canon and the “realistic” concept of comics concepts translated to a world not unlike our own. Likewise, future properties will be treated in the same manner, with aspects being adapted to fit the game’s existing canon.
What sort of format do you use?
X-Project uses a combination of in-character (IC) journals and narrative logs. Logs are written in 3rd person/past tense format, via chat, email and G-Mail's Documents feature. As XP occurs in real time (ie, a day in RL = a day in XP), we don't allow log threads on the boards - logs should be completed, compiled and posted as one complete document. Backdating is allowed, via both OOC note on the log, and actually changing the posting date on LJ.
Players and Mods
Who are you people?
The players of XP are a mixed bunch. Some have common roots in the comic fan-fiction community, others come from an online RP background first. Others have come in as a result of having friends suggest the game to them, or seeing our advertisements on the various RP advertising comms. We cover various time zones and countries, various backgrounds and lifestyles. You can find out more about individual players on the player pages, but the upshot is we're fans of comics, fans of roleplay, and very passionate about our game.
Who are the mods?
Do the mods act as GMs and control the game?
No. XP is primarily the players' game. In all cases, the players are in control of what is permissible as X-Project canon, with the mods acting as the final arbiters, and the Wiki as the record of what is considered game canon. The players develop and determine plots, create the gameworld, decide on character development paths. The mods are overseers, ensuring that there is no hugely disruptive change without bringing it to the players to discuss and protecting continuity and making sure things run smoothly. They are the game's administrators, rather than game masters.
World-changing decisions and policy changes are made by player discussion and vote. Players are encouraged to contribute and bullying and intimidating are against the rules.
So what do the mods do?
A Day in the Life of the Modteam should give you an idea of what goes on. Specifically?
Eva - handles the to do list, activity updating and calendar
Rossi - handles social media and wiki matters
Sam - rotating mod, handles drafts and sending but rotates the job every week to one of the other mods.
What’s this Phase 1 and Phase 2 business?
X-Project, after 11 years of continuous play, decided it was time for some renovations. There was a lot of accumulated stuff - unplayed characters, unused NPCs, plot ideas that people wanted to revisit - plus other things people wanted to introduce from the MCU and so on, and so the players voted on a relaunch. To distinguish between pre- and post-relaunch XP, we borrowed the terminology from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
So, you rebooted the game?
Not so much a reboot as relaunch. It was a partial reboot, in that the world is different, and a lot of the above-mentioned stuff will be freed up for re-imaging, but we also retained some of the old stuff too. Some players transitioned their characters over as-is, others brought in new versions of their existing characters, and some went for the complete new leaf. Also, various events and NPCs that people wanted kept also transferred over.
How do I tell what’s old XP stuff and what’s new?
That’s actually pretty easy. Anything that was previously created in Phase 1 will have a green button on it, like so:
Anything that continues on in Phase 2 will also have a yellow button:
Anything that was newly created or recreated for Phase 2 will only have the yellow button. Anything that was in Phase 1 and hasn’t carried over in some form yet will only have the green button.
There. Clear as mud. ;)
How big a change are we looking at here?
Big-ish. We incorporated elements of the MCU and other Marvel superhero properties, including adding to our version of SHIELD and bringing in the Avengers as NPC antagonists to the X-folks. The world itself also changed, with attitudes towards mutants much less accepting than they previously had been, and more realistic reactions to certain events in X-Men and X-2.
There were also some changes to the rules, including applications, so interested players-to-be should read through those.
How does the Phase 1 and Phase 2 thing work in-game?
When the Dark Phoenix attacked, she destroyed the barriers between worlds, which shattered the multiverse, including the X-Project universe as we know it. In order to save the X-Project (Phase 1) universe, Xorn used pieces of those other destroyed universes to put things back together, to create essentially an entire new universe, which we're calling Phase 2. The Phase 2 world contains some elements of Phase 1 - those characters, NPCs, villains, etc whose pages are marked with both a Phase 1 and Phase 2 button - but for the most part, it's a mosaic created of various broken pieces.
In order to maintain the integrity of the "new" world, while the Phase 1 PCs who migrate over will know what happened, none of the Phase 2 PCs, NPCs or villains will know. Furthermore, they cannot know - the Phase 2 world is too fragile and won't bear the weight of mass doubt and disbelief and revealing what happened will literally break the world. Phase 1 characters are forbidden from telling Phase 2 characters/NPCs/villains about what happened. Phase 2 history will know that something catastrophic happened, killing millions and decimating the mutant population - that 'something' will be explained as a "mutant attack", which increases the ill-feeling towards mutants into hostility in some places.
What about telepaths? Won't they "see" the truth?
No, because Xorn put a block in the minds of the Phase 1 survivors that prevents Phase 2 telepaths/empaths/etc from being able to see what actually happened.
Is there a Phase 2 history?
Sort of. It's a bit like when Dawn was introduced in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. The world adapted around her presence with the memories of the characters changing to accept her as always having been there. Phase 2, while it hasn't actually been in existence before M-Day, does have a history in order for the Phase 2 people to be able to operate as normal people with a past. There's a timeline of critical events for that 'history', including some Phase 1 plots. However, due to the various changes in the world, the details of those events do not necessarily match the plot. For example, San Diego earthquake happened, but not necessarily with Julio Richter and definitely without things like Scott Summers meeting the President and being filmed on national television.
So, when characters are brought in, they're filling them-shaped holes in the universe?
Not really, no. The moment a new Phase 2 version of a character is accepted, they've always existed in the Phase 2 universe with the history in their application, the same as a new character previously in Phase 1. They have no pre-existing relationships barring what's been worked out for the application, and they will never have met anyone outside of that history. So, with our Phase 2 version of Kitty Pryde, she isn't "replacing" the Kitty from Phase 1 - she's be a character in her own right, with none of the history or connections of Phase 1 Kitty. In fact, the only way Phase 1 Kitty will "exist" will be in the memories of those Phase 1 characters who are migrating over and remember her.
Can I apply for a Phase 1 version of a character if I like how they were set up before?
Yes, you can. M-Day is being set up so that people are scattered all over the world. It would be easy enough to explain their absence by saying they were flung into some corner of the world during things and have only just been able - or decided - to come back to Xavier's.
Wait what's this M-Day business?
M-Day is the official story in the Phase 2 world for why 90% of the mutant population suddenly (and literally) exploded on New Year's Eve 2015. The actual cause for the all the deaths is unknown to any Phase 2 native - they know that M-Day happened, but not why or what caused it. Phase 1 natives, however, are aware of the cause behind it - but are, of course, forbidden from talking about it with Phase 2 natives.
I'm still confused.
It's a tricky concept to understand. although we hope it will get easier as we go on with Phase 2. You're welcome to email the mods and ask us for more explanation - and suggestions for this FAQ are also always very welcome.
What happened in December 2020? Why is it okay to mention things now?
In 2019, the players, in the course of discussing the future of the game, decided as a whole to remove the taboo of the relaunch and allow characters to discuss what happened. In December 2020, Operation: Siege Perilous provided an IC explanation for this change and a meeting was held off-camera where Charles Xavier explained the situation. We are now playing out the consequences of this change.
In what time period does the game take place?
X-Project takes place in real time - the events of X2 are said to have happened in May 2003, and the game has continued on since then. One day in RL = one day in X-Project. So, whatever day it is today, that's the day it is in XP.
A timeline of important events in the Phase 2 universe’s history can be found here.
Where does the game take place?
There are three primary settings: Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center, Westchester County, New York; District X, a Manhattan neighborhood that is home to X-Factor Investigations and a number of graduates from the school; and the Snow Valley Research Center, which is situated on the tenth floor of an office building off the Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, New York City.
There are a number of other locations established in-game, and plenty that were previously established in Phase 1, and are awaiting reintroduction as is or reinterpretation to fit the new world.
How many mutants are there out there?
Before the Dark Phoenix Saga, there was a population of approximately 1.8 million mutants world-wide. The Dark Phoenix incident dramatically reduced that number - there are 90% less mutants in the Phase 2 world than in Phase 1, resulting in an estimated mutant population in the U.S. of around 10,000. The birth rate of mutants will remain the same, but it will take several generations for numbers to return to the pre-M-Day status quo.
There are proportionally more mutants in developed nations for a number of reasons: better medical care, which means problematic mutations wouldn't necessarily be the death sentence they would be otherwise, especially with facilities like Muir Island Research Facility available; a lowered risk of parents killing obviously-mutant babies due to lack of education on mutation; structured legal systems with less punitive options (such as stoning criminals to death) which would result in less chance of being 'punished' for being a mutant, and the existence of hate crime legislation which protects mutants more.
The rule of thumb in XP has been that the existence of mutants has only really been at a significant rate for the past four generations, and has only been common public knowledge since the 1980s to fit the movieverse setting.
What are the politics of XP?
The universe of X-Project (Phase 2) is a darker one than the previous incarnation. Mutants are far less accepted, often scapegoated as being responsible for any super-powered incident or property damage. This stems from a history of backlash against mutants over the years, for various incidents. At the time of the relaunch (January 21, 2015), the Event which causes the relaunch and subsequent damage has been blamed squarely on mutants, with mutant registration once more being called for and increasing incidents of violence and prejudice. Worse still, there are hints of more serious measures being advocated by sources close to the government. Mutants require a sanctuary - Xavier’s Institute has become that refuge.
How does the XP setting compare with real world events and history?
Unless otherwise directly stated in the game, real world history, politics, environment and weather all apply to X-Project. In the case of the 45th President of the United States, for reasons of game and player security, do not refer to him by name; "45", "The President" or "POTUS" are preferred. This is due to the tendency of pro-him trolls attacking any derogatory mention of him, even in fiction, which is something we want to avoid for X-Project. The players decided on this through a game vote in January 2017. Players are also asked to not link to RL news stories regarding the POTUS or his staff; however, the tenor of his presidency will carry over to the game.
- 1) For 'small' or 'easy' RL events, such as a new actress becoming popular, a big song, a celebrity death, etc, we mimic those in-game. Doing so doesn't cause any issues or complications, and generally won't be considered taking advantage of RL tragedy for gameplay.
- 2) For day to day politics, same thing. As long as it's not controversial or incurring large amounts of media attention, it's okay to reference. Again, it's not going to cause issues or complications (and hasn't so far) and means the players and/or the mods don't have to create day-to-day events from scratch.
- 3) For larger political events, especially those that fall into the tragic/protest/disaster category, we need to consider whether it is happening and if it is, (based on whether someone is using it), we should create analogies that include the mutant angle. Filing off the serial numbers, as it were. This will require discussion and mod approval, which will slow things down a little, but considering the ethical and personal problems associated with appropriating real tragedies, and the fact we wind up having this discussion every so often, it's a delay we'll have to accept. It will also require those wanting to react to something to provide the fictionalised version for people to react to, which will require work from the players.
When considering using real world events as they are happening, players are asked to consider the impact of these events on their fellow players and double-check with the mailing list to be sure they are not exacerbating existing trauma. It is possible to address such real world situations in other ways, such as fictionalising things for a plot to be run at a much later time, or reducing the impact of the event itself.
With regards to celebrities who are used as PBs for characters - the PB is not an exact duplicate of the character’s appearance, merely a reference. So while there might be a passing, vague resemblance of a PC or NPC to a celebrity, they’re not eerily identical.
What about internationally?
Previously, as part of Phase 1, countries such as England, Australia, Japan and the United States were struggling to adapt to the social changes having a super-powered minority population entails, with mixed results. Now, with the darker tone, attitudes towards mutants are less accepting - just how much they have changed will be determined by the players over time.
Carrying over from Phase 1, Canada has a successful mutant registration program, implemented through the health system and aimed at training young mutants in sufficient control to avoid harming others.
Also from Phase 1, Genosha is in a tenuous state of rebuilding following the Genosha Arc of June 2012, with former mutates and human citizens learning to live together. Its place on the international stage is even more tenuous, with other countries looking at Genosha as being controlled by a mutant dictatorship.
World politics are developed on a plot-by-plot basis, with the oversight of the mods for continuity.
Mutant terrorism (both pro- and anti- is a central theme in XP politics. Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants are the most well-known perpetrators, but they are not alone in their activism.
2002: X1: the Statue of Liberty incident where the world's leaders are nearly turned into mutants by Magneto.
2003: X2: Mutant registration is debated; Xavier's is attacked by William Stryker - Phase 1, with the President's agreement following revelations there's a jet under the basketball court. The Great Mutant (and Human) Headache.
2006 The Rictor Effect: Magneto destroys San Diego.
2008: Bhagavad Gita: a nuclear mutant terrorist explodes and kills 500,000 in India.
2012: Genosha Arc - The island nation of Genosha abducts a number of students and staff from the Xavier Institute; the government is ultimately overthrown by the combined forces of the X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor and the New Mutants.
Geography and Climate
What about the basics? Geography, weather, etc?
The general rule of thumb is this: unless specifically stated otherwise, things are the same as they are in the real world. So, if you're wondering what the weather is like in Salem Center on a particular day, check out a weather site or ask one of the players in the region what's going on. Sometimes the mods will announce what things are like for the purposes of gameplay (eg. a snow day might be announced for players to react to), but otherwise, things happen the same as they do in reality. The exception is large-scale disasters that would logically have a response from the teams - they need to be run past the mods to approve in order for players to react accordingly. Likewise, man-created disasters such as mass-shootings are generally not assumed to have happened, for the sake of courtesy to players who might have been affected.
For canon fictional locations, if it hasn't been mentioned yet, the likelihood is it hasn't been introduced yet. "New" locations will have to be run past the mods, usually as part of a plot, and in some cases where they're proposed as general plot locations, put to the player base as a whole for input before being introduced.
Significant events which happened in the pre-game past, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York, are deemed to have happened in the Phase 2 universe. However, sensitivity and consideration, as always, are requested for those intending to reference such things.
Culture and Media
Are there comics/superhero movies in the XP-verse?
With regards to the entertainment media, anything stemming from a Marvel property must not be referenced as fiction. For example, Guardians of the Galaxy did not appear as a movie in the XP-verse. Other properties, such as DC, anime and current television series that aren’t based on a Marvel property, are fine.