Random Omnipotent Being
|See also:||Self insert, Quest|
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A Random Omnipotent Being, usually abbreviated to ROB, is a term coined on SpaceBattles as a general hand-wave to excuse the setup of hypothetical situations. They are "often used as ways to set up scenarios for threads" but may also be brought up in discussions of fanfiction (especially self inserts) and quests.
TV Tropes says:
A ROB is used to justify ridiculous scenarios, or create events for people to talk about. A ROB is usually used as a Deus Ex Machina for a random event to set the plot moving in a quest.
On SpaceBattles, one user explained the origin:
Basically we, the forum, came up with the concept of ROB because we were tired of going, "Okay I've what I think is a really cool scenario so just assume it comes into being because of Q, 17-dimensional artwork gone awry, those mice from Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Time Lords on a really good day, Alien Space bats or what have you.. aw fuck-it. Let's just call it a Random Omnipotent Being and be done with it."
ROBs may change, remove, replace, or give something to a character, make a character do something, or transport a character from one universe to another, usually across dimensions In the case of forum discussions "character" can be understood to sometimes mean someone participating in the thread.
Variations of ROBs include BROBs (Bored/Bastard/Bad Random Omnipotent Being) and Crossover Obsessed Random Omnipotent Beings.
Crossover Obsessed ROBs are "often used when the thread's scenario involves lots of crossovers between fictional universes."