I was going to FLock this, but fuck it. I'm still pissed.
First off, I want to thank everyone for confirming my suspicions about the RPG Force of the Blow.
(For my original call for people to check both Revelations and Force of the Blow, go here.)
I have emailed the players in Force of the Blow. To see the text of what I wrote, you can click on the cut.
From: liz_marcs [email stripped]
To: notamistake and puffy_xander [multiple emails stripped]
Dear notamistake and puffy_xander:
I apologize in advance to sending this to your multiple email addresses, but since I don't know which ones you check regularly, I thought that I'd send them to all the related email addresses I could find for both of you.
Your recent RPG, Force of the Blow came to my attention my attention last night via my LJ Friends' List, su_herald, and a private e-mail. I was urged to read your RPG and take a very, very good look at it.
I read through your initial posts, and I have to say that I found your basic premise very interesting.
Especially since I already wrote this story in November 2002. It's called Revelations.
You can read Revelations on Fanfiction Dot Net and check the date for yourselves.
In addition, you can find Revelations in the following places:
- The initial recommendation to the Better Buffy Fanfiction List in November 2002.
- The Better Buffy Fanfiction Archives.
- Darkness Within, where it won best story in June 2003.
- Map of the Human Heart, although the fanfiction archive is currently down.
- Buffy Fanfiction Archive, where it was uploaded in June 2003.
- The XanderZone Archive.
The above list of archival sites is by no means extensive. Revelations has been around for a long, long time; has been read by a lot of people; and has been nominated for several fanfiction awards. This is not exactly a low-profile story. When people who've read Revelations read your RPG, it raised an awful lot of red flags, especially with the similarities.
To round up specific instances of direct correlation between your RPG consisting of nine posts starting in August 2005 and my eight-part story published in November 2002:
- Takes place during S7 of BtVS
- Takes place during S4 of AtS right after Angel's soul has been restored
- Faith (for different reasons in my story and in your RPG) is not going to Sunnydale and is staying with Angel and his people at the Hyperion
- Angel receives a mysterious call from Buffy saying that Xander is dangerous and that if he's seen he must be captured; killed if necessary
- Buffy's call causes a lot of confusion among Angel and his people, but Faith stays out of it
- Xander shows up out of the blue and indicates that he needs Faith (in my story, to take her back to Sunnydale; in your RPG, to talk to her)
- Angel and company do not attack and instead start asking questions
- Faith is impressed that Angel and company ask questions first and unfavorably compares the Scoobies as a group that hits first and asks questions later
- Angel makes Xander sing for Lorne before he's allowed to interact with Faith or to stay in the Hyperion (additional reason in my story: to find out if Buffy and the Angel crew have a legitimate reason to go after Xander)
- Lorne asks to speak to Angel alone after Xander sings for him
- Xander's humanity was stripped away as a result of his confrontation with Willow on Kingman's Bluff when he was subjected to Willow's dark magic
- Xander is descended from an ancient line of demons called "Pythias," which were the demons that served as the Oracles at Delphi
- Xander was, in fact, all-human prior to Willow's spell, since the Pythias had intermarried with humans for millennia; but Willow's spells against him on Kingman's Buff brought that heritage to the fore
- Xander does not know what is happening to him (in my story only), and he doesn't know what he is (in both stories) and he believes that he's going crazy (in both stories)
- When Xander finds out that he is a demon, he believes that he doesn't have a soul
- Xander "knows" things that other people do not know, but he can only know dark or evil things
- As a result of the things he knows, Xander has killed people in Sunnydale
- When Buffy finds out about Xander killing people, she immediately goes on the hunt for him with the intent to kill him
The list above is not taking account some instances of very similar wording between my story and your RPG. This is just taking into account the similar plot points. And, as you can see, that's an awful lot of coincidence between your RPG and my story, especially considering that your RPG is still in the beginning stages and that my story is relatively short.
I'm not amused or happy about this.
Aside from what appears to me to be, at the very least, a generous borrowing from my story Revelations, there may be additional complications that you are not aware of that were partially responsible for me abandoning the Where Fools Go series that took place in the same fanon universe I created.
Please email me back at your earliest convenience so we can discuss this and reach a resolution.
And yes, I'm still fuming.
We're in email discussions now and I have high hopes that this can end happily for all of us. One of the RPGers got back to me with an apology and was very sweet about it. I made clear that I'm not interested in killing their RPG, provided I get credit.
Thank you all for your support. Here's hoping reasonable discussion brings about a happy conclusion. :-)