1. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    Semi-Useless Super Powers

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by Snowmantheory, Aug 11, 2012.

    I'm working on a book that has a group of people who have pretty lousy powers. They will learn how to use them better, but their powers are no Superman. So far I've got the ability to rhyme everything, the ability to influence the outcome of dice, coin tosses, etc. and the ability to take in and retain obvious facts. Got anything else?
     
  2. JessWrite
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    JessWrite Word Nerd & Proud! Contributor

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    Sounds like a cool book!

    Hmm...what about someone that randomly glows like a lightbulb, food powers (like he can turn anything into food :p), the ability to inflict headaches, and the power of shape-shifting into a harmless animal or bug. Hope these help in some way!
     
  3. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    Every power has the potential to save the world :) yes, it helps. Thank you very much!
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your story. You should come up with the powers yourself.

    If you don't exercise your imagination, you will have a flabby one that yon have no confidence in. Munch on the bullet and commit to relying on your own imagination.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Ever seen The Lost Room miniseries? they don't have super powers but it's about some super powered objects - each one
    has some power attached to it - I remember one was a pencil that every time you tapped it, a penny would appear. It
    was driving the owner nuts because in order to make a million he had to keep tapping the pencil. I think also in the
    Greatest American hero - another good one, he could make himself invisible but it wouldn't last long. He'd appear
    at the least convinent time.
     
  6. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    I like to hear what the readers like as well as thinking of my own stuff, I do understand where you're coming from though. I've come up with many ridiculous powers, but if the readers don't like it, that's a problem.
     
  7. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    Lol, I like that. Powerful items right there, I think I could definitely work that in. Inconvenient working powers would also make a nice entry into my story. Thank you for the ideas, I'll add those in ASAP.
     
  8. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    What about the ability to communicate telepathically with fish... oh wait. That's Aquaman lol :) Um... What about the ability to tell if someone is lying, or not only be able to believe lies, not truth. Ability to smell really well. Inability to tolerate certain noises. Having a more powerful ability, but having to perform a certain tedious action afterward (got that from Darker than Black anime) Idk, stuff like that.
     
  9. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    If they have lousy powers .... maybe they synergize when working as a team?
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I once wrote a little superhero spoof about a guy who had the superhuman power to sleep through just about any amount of noise or disturbance. It was fun, but didn't go anywhere.
     
  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Oh , I just thought of another one - The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Hutchet Bishop - one of my favorite books as a child.
    Each of the men had seemingly useless powers but when they worked together managed to get themselves out
    of a jam. I think it's mentioned on Wikipedia.
     
  12. fwc577
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    fwc577 Member

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    Reminds me of the sidekicks from Sky High.
     
  13. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    I love this community so much, I thank you all so much! These are precious!
     
  14. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    How about one to hover just, like, a few inches off of the ground? So you couldn't, like, fly anywhere. Just sort of...float.
     
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How about something both nearly useless and embarrassing? Like, the character has superhuman strength, but only when he really, really has to go to the bathroom badly. So he has to hold it in if he's to do anything superhuman. And if he accidentally soils his pants, he loses his strength, so he'd have to be really careful when he tries to lift a building over his head ...

    The possibilities are downright nauseating.
     
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  16. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    So much inspiration! This book is getting written.
     
  17. Pickled_dirt
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    Pickled_dirt Member

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    Maybe the characters in the story are mildly retarded? Or taking mundane, every day things and turning them into super powers. One of them is convinced that he he has the ability to see through windows. Another can make a high pitched whistling with his sinuses, which is extremely annoying. The last guy wears a long leather jacket and makes whooshing noises when he runs.
     
  18. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    The Lost Room has already been mentioned and yes it was brilliant. But none of the powers were that useful or else came with problems. So the comb that allowed a man to move hugely fast through time, only worked for ten seconds and left the user with vertigo problems. I seem to recall that somewhere on the net someone - fans I suppose - made a list of the objects and what they could do.

    And the sidekicks from Sky High, more a children's movie, but still somehow funny. There was the guy who could glow - how super useless is that! Its the sort of super power you wouldn't want to admit to because its just too embarrasing. And a girl who could shapeshift into a hamster (?). Not really that useful though it did save the day.

    Also check out the 4400. A lot of them had completely useless abilities as well, and some of them positively things you would want to get rid of. One girl could cause plagues, but she couldn't control the ability, meaning she was as dangerous to her friends and family as to her foes.

    Cheers, Greg.

    Found it on the wiki - wouldn't you know it!

    Oh and don't forget Misfits. Even though he turns into an uber baddy, the power one guy has to psychokinetically play with milk is pretty rank.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  19. shaylyn
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    shaylyn Member

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    this is an entertaining thread to read :)
     
  20. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    I agree with you there -it's always better to have your own imagination solve problems for yourself. But it can also help at time even with just suggestions that can eventually branch off into another kind of power altogether. In my case i got a light/pressure power (still not entirely sure how it works) in my book but at least it fits with the story overall. i think the inspiration for that came from Avatar: the last airbender -but it is so far off that i can hardly relate the two.
     
  21. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    Wow! This thread is more popular than I expected! Let's go for a second page ;)
     
  22. Snowmantheory
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    Snowmantheory Senior Member

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    Looks like I created the second page...
     
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  23. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Just realised that there's another show to consider (when season three turned up on my doorstep). Warehouse 13.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  24. Warp Zone
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    Warp Zone Contributing Member

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    What about the power to give inanimate objects a most fantastic mustache?
     
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  25. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That. Would. Be. HILARIOUS *rofl* You just put an image of random boxes and tables in my head all with huge moustaches and a pair of sunglasses :D

    One Japanese anime I remember had a character - a child sorceress - whose control over her powers were rather poor, so whenever she was asked to conjure something, she'd always conjure a pile of carrots :D and it's funny because the MC has a phobia of carrots :rolleyes:

    How about the ability to turn into an immovable rock? But the character can't move when he's in rock form either :D
    How about the ability to eat everything and anything, including tables and other inedible things? :D
     

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