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RPG Continuity

Like any story, the TFArchive RPG relies on continuity to fit its plotlines into a sensible framework.

Continuities

US Cartoon

The original cartoon series is considered the 'default' timeline for the TFArchive RPG. All of the events from the TV show are considered a part of the RPG's continuity, even the ones that contradict each other.

Marvel Comics

The Marvel Comics, including the Generation 2 series, are also considered a part of RPG continuity. Although numerous events clash between the comic and cartoon, the same can be said for events within the individual series so the number of headaches caused by this is minimal.

Japanese G1 Series

The Japanese G1 cartoons (and their accompanying manga) were once considered a possible future in the RPG's universe. However, the timeline has progressed to the point where most of the events in the Japanese continuity would have happened already if they were going to happen at all. Because of that, the Japanese stories are now considered an alternate universe.

Despite hailing from a different timeline, Japan-exclusive characters are a common sight in the TFA RPG. However, they are subject to some special [RPG Rules and Guidelines|rules]. In the past it was acceptable to have them hail from the future or from an alternate universe. However, any players who wish to bring a new Japanese character into the RPG are now required to 'Westernize' them to fit with the game's own backstory. In the case of minor characters like Artfire or Black Shadow that's easy to do, but characters such as Minerva require a bit more finesse. Japanese 'leader' characters such as Star Saber or Deathsaurus are severely discouraged in the G1 RPG. Under normal circumstances they will only be allowed into the game if a major storyline specifically calls for their presence. This usually requires a player to work closely with the RPG staff to craft a fitting storyline.

Modern 'G1' Lines

Because the TFArchive RPG predates the Dreamwave and IDW comic series, only a few story elements from those series have made their way into the RPG's history. The IDW stories are especially difficult to integrate into the RPG because of the vastly different universe that the company is building. In general, the RPG staff is willing to integrate story elements from the more recent series so long as they don't cause too many contradictions with already-established continuity.

Characters and character designs are much easier to integrate. Numerous RPG characters have adopted bodies from the War Within and IDW comics as well as the Alternators and Classics toylines. Such changes are encouraged as long as there's a logical reason behind them.

Non 'G1' Series

The Beast Wars, Beast Machines and Transformers: Universe series are treated as a possible future timeline for the RPG, albeit one that becomes increasingly unlikely as the RPG progresses. Robots in Disguise was adopted (in a modified form) as another possible future, but Gigatron's presence in the RPG's present has rendered that future all but impossible.

The Armada/Energon/Cybertron continuity is treated as a separate timeline entirely. Some elements from that universe have been adopted in the RPG – most notably Minicons, although they are generally treated no different than Micromasters – but recently this has been heavily discoraged.

The 2007 Movie universe and Transformers: Animated are likewise considered separate timelines, as are the numerous divergent micro-continuities and Japanese lines.

Origin Theories

The origins of the Transformer race is perhaps the biggest difference between the comic and cartoon universes. The comic vision of a race built by the god Primus to carry on his legacy is quite a bit removed from the cartoon, where the Transformers were a slave race who had overthrown their Quintesson makers. Both origin theories open quite a few doors as far as possible stories go.

A similar quandary arises when you take Unicron into consideration. In the comics he is a dark god, the Chaos Bringer and Primus' opposite number. In the cartoon, he was little more than a massive creation of the megalomaniac scientist Primacron.

No one theory has been declared 'right' by the [TFArchive RPG Team|RPG staff]], and it's doubtful one ever will. In this situation, as in real life, your characters are free to believe what they wish but they shouldn't expect to have their beliefs validated in this life.

Character Backstories

In some cases, the hardest decision to make when you're picking up a new character is which official backstory you're going to follow. For characters like Thunderwing, Nightbeat, Spinister or Bludgeon it's not an issue because they had no cartoon appearances to speak of, but for someone like Springer, Starscream or Optimus Prime, however, things can be quite a bit stickier.

When a character has conflicting comic and cartoon backstories, it is up to individual players to decide whether to follow one or the other, or attempt to blend the two. However, if a character's backstory has been established by a previous player new players are strongly encouraged to respect that.


 
 
 
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