Charges, in this sense meaning formal accusations, are what agents of the PPC use to evaluate a badfic. During the course of a mission, the agents compile a list of charges against the fic or, in cases of a Mary Sue, the Sue. When they have enough of a certain magnitude, they are then authorized to do the Duty. (The most common Duty is assassinating a Mary Sue, but it can also involve exorcising a wraith, or whatever else must be done to repair the damage a badfic does to the corresponding canon.)
Charges are important because they qualify why a character is a Sue, or why the fic is bad. PPC agents do not enter and destroy badfics simply because they do not like the content: their charge lists are a form of literary criticism. The fact that a mission's charge list objectively substantiates the faults of a badfic is one of the greatest defenses the PPC has against being called trolls, griefers, or bullies. Most subjective charges (such as "this fic is annoying") are more for humor than anything else.
Please note that not all charges apply in all circumstances. For instance, while wearing a Daft Punk t-shirt in Middle-earth is certainly a charge, wearing one in a Doctor Who fic may not be—no matter how you feel about Daft Punk. Also, charges may not always hold the same magnitude from fic to fic.
Charges are supposed to be read out before the Mary Sue is taken care of, the wraith disappears, and the mission is finished. It's Da Rules.
Charge lists for various fandoms can be found in Section D of the PPC Handbook.
Types of Charges
Charges run from the completely legitimate, such as throwing canons out of character, to the ever-popular subjective charge of annoying the agents. Most charges fall into five general categories: canon violations, space-time distortions, technical improbabilities, language abuse, and subjective charges.
Depending on their severity and number, instances of canon violation can be the most detrimental to the world and its characters. Charges in this category include, but are not limited to:
- Character Disruptions
- Being a non-canonical relative of a canon character
- Causing canon characters to be Designated Misogynistic Bastards, Token Homophobic Jerks, Token Lecherous Jerks, Unrealistically Tolerant Pillocks, and/or woobies when they otherwise aren't
- Character replacement
- Throwing a canon character otherwise OOC
- Environmental Disruptions
- Social Disruptions
Space-time distortions may overlap with other charges. These include, but are not limited to:
- Altering the canonical timeline
- Anachronistic cultural contamination
- Time compression or expansion. Causes/results include:
- Unintentional use of hammerspace
In lots of badfic, the author didn't quite think things through. Charges of technical improbability have to do with the likelihood that a given action could not occur as described due to factual details unknown to or ignored by the author. Charges of this type may include, but are not limited to:
- Bad Biology
- Bad Characterization
- Bad Physics
- Space-time distortions (see above)
- Bad Plot Devices
- Bad Psychology
Charges of language abuse are not usually sufficient to warrant an assassination/exorcism by themselves, but they certainly are annoying. (An exception to this rule is the DTE mission log, in which fics are targeted for language abuse specifically.) Language abuse charges include, but are not limited to:
- Mangling the English Language
- Mangling Historical or Canonical Languages
- Employing Fangirl Japanese, especially in continua wherein Japan does not exist
- Employing Grelvish, Coney-Grelvish, Fan'ni, etc., in the place of real canonical languages
- Ignoring the naming conventions of a canonical society
- General Mangling
Subjective charges may not be used to justify an assassination/exorcism, but may be added to make the agents feel better. The most famous of these is annoying the agents, but others examples are:
- Claiming that the fanfic is "not a Mary Sue" when it has all the recognized characteristics of one
- Committing fashion crimes
- Displaying extreme stupidity or causing canon characters to act stupidly
- Employing melodramatics, especially melodramatic death speeches (may need to be given posthumously)
- Hitting on PPC agents' lust objects
- Pretending to dislike or be angry at a lust object when it is PAINFULLY OBVIOUS that the original character only exists to enact the author's own wish-fulfillment fantasies as the lover/partner of her crush.