1. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Is this family to ridiculously overpowered?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lorddread, Nov 3, 2011.

    Basically, you have a super hero who gained in an accident the ability to manipulate and make use of the infinite metaphysical energy source of the universe, which she usually uses to affect:

    Energy Manipulation And Creation.

    Psychic Powers, Telepathy, Clairvoyance And Telekinesis


    Mega Strength, Speed, Invulnerability, Stamina, Longevity

    Flight And Teleportation

    Warp Vision, Which Causes Distortions In Reality

    Super Intellect And Photographic Memory

    Their power levels and potential abilities are technically infinite, but they must only use the tiniest fraction of it or cause absolute destruction around them. Each family member draws their power from a different aspect of the All-Power, coloring their personalities and abilities in different ways.

    The story sort of takes place in a version of the 70's where the weird stuff in old comics is real and always has been; and the hero, Sovereign, is like a sort of female Superman equivelent. Does her (and her children and grandkid's) skill set sound to over the top? Also how might the twentieth century have been affected by the prescence of this family?
     
  2. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    There's a pretty popular book whose main character is almighty.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't like it when superheroes are TOO powerful. It's difficult to write an interesting story about a character who can literally wave his mighty hand and do anything imaginable. It sounds like your heroine could stop a supernova from exploding just by batting her eyelashes in its general direction. What is there in the entire universe that she could possibly fear, or would cause her even a moment of worry?

    I thought Watchmen had a pretty decent take on this, with Dr. Manhattan. When he got godlike powers, he pretty much stopped caring about the human race - he'd grown beyond humanity and we just weren't relevant to him any more.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry - double post.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The essence of good writing is conflict. An all-powerful hero has no conflict because she can't (it seems) be defeated by anything. Most superheroes have something that can destroy or defeat them, and their villains have an irritating habit of seizing upon exactly that. Hence the drama in the story. I like Minstrel's example, wherein an almighty superhero ceased to be a hero. The lack of a threat to the superhero means there is no reason to care about her, and you want the reader to care.
     
  6. Loopstah
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    Loopstah New Member

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    Sounds interesting.

    They will always be very careful at limiting their own powers to avoid the associated destruction that can occur. I imagine one or more of them may have let loose at one point in the past and killed people accidently and therefore the others only use their powers when needed. The temptation this provides, ultimate power for the price of being a force of chaos and death, could be an interesting plot point, or even the origin of the villain.

    I imagine their impact could be massive. If they are patriots then one or more of them could have defeated the Nazi's and Communist Russia with ease. From your description they are effectively walking nuclear weapons, fly or teleport into the enemies base of operations and unleash their power, KABOOM! Following on from that I could imagine them withdrawing from society due to being feared by the humans or because they don't want to be used as political weapons.

    On the other hand if they weren't that patriotic and didn't take part in WWII or Vietnam or other big events, I could imagine people disliking them for not doing their bit and preventing conflict. People might be envious of their powers, or alternatively set up cults worshipping them. Then again I can't imagine any governments allowing superhumans to just live their own lives even though they couldn't actually do anything to them. If they do the Superman routine I can imagine them being tolerated, but there would always be the question of what if.

    It reminds me a bit of Hancock and how he only ended up in jail because he chose to go. How do you tell superhumans what to do?
     
  7. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    If your characters are effectively omnipotent, then the only conflicts they could face are either from within themselves, or from someone else in the family. The latter is very much the basis of the ancient mythology when gods used to battle against one another. The comparisons with Dr Manhattan are also good ones, regarding whether they would care about insignificant animals, like humanity, when they have so much power in their hands. For example, would it be believable for them to worry about using too much power and destroying the earth, when they could just fly off to somewhere else in the universe/multiverse and start again?
    With Superman, and most other super-powered heroes who are to have continuing, rather than one-off adventures, the creators usually build in a limiting factor to either their powers or their personalities. There is good reason behind this: it allows the creation of different antagonists that pose a threat to the hero. What is the threat your family faces?
     
  8. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Well the plot is basically about the grandson of Sovereign, Martin Olympus (his dad is Hermes), deciding that maybe it'd be better if he used his powers for more mundane forms of do gooding, like using his super brain to do stuff like cure cancer. And the issues this desire causes.
     
  9. SnappyUK
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    SnappyUK Member

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    The graphic novel "Justice" by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross and Doug Braithwaite deals with a similar situation, only it's the supervillains that use their abilities to cure famine, poverty and illness. they then use the opportunity to turn the world against the "heroes" for acting like gods and only stepping in to do the interesting disaster-averting stuff instead of dealing with the underlying challenges faced by humanity. Of course, there's an underlying twist, but I won't spoil it for you. ;)
     
  10. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    When I read this I instantly think of The Watchmen's "Dr Manhattan" and how difficult it is for him to find conflict and create a compelling plot.

    Perhaps you could make the "One power" somehow tainted limiting it's use to varying degrees? have "evil" one power users as a consequence of the one power's existence?
     
  11. soital
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    soital Member

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    In my opinion by struggling on the inability to use the majority of the power and only a fraction of it, you would be opening yourself to many mroe possibilities.
     
  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    In every fantasy novel with a magic system, their needs to be clear cut rules on things they can and cannot do. There also needs to be clear set in stone limits that you cannot break later on.

    An example for you would be:

    Cyclops has to wear glasses to keep his eyes under control. You cant all of the sudden change that halfway through. The readers already take this for hard fact and expect it to be there forever.

    Wolverine cant die. So you cannot up and have him randomly die. Again, the readers take this for hard fact from the start.

    Basically the point is, in a story with a magic system, there needs to be constants. The readers need to feel what you are writing is believable and not going to change over and over as the story progresses.

    So what I am trying to say is, keep your powers however you want, just put limits on it. And keep these limits and constraints in your entire story. I am not saying you cannot have your heroes evolve and get stronger. But there needs to be, like I said, clear cut basic rules that cannot be changed or overcome.

    Making up a magic system that works and is believable is harder than people think. Take your time with it.
     

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