1. Holo
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    Holo Senior Member

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    Too many powers?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Holo, Oct 4, 2011.

    In my story there are two types of "werewolves". Werewolves are the type you generally see in fiction, anthropomorphic wolves that change on the full moon, aversion to silver, etc. The other type are lycans, which are basically the "original wolves" in that they are descended from pagan witches that were gifted with the ability to change into large wolves. Lycans are natural. Werewolves, are a failed experiment in which people tried to make a man-made lycan. Now here's the thing, since the lycans descended from magic users, I was writing them with the idea of giving them some extra abilities here and there aside from the typical super strength and transformation. For example, one lycan can fly and generate electricity. I somewhat based my lycans on the Japanese kitsune who have other abilities besides transformation. Is that too much? I hate to see characters with too many powers and abilities where they seem almost indestructible. So does a lycan with the ability to fly and generate electricity sound like too much? Granted, there are restrictions, such as not being able to use these powers in wolf form, but still.
     
  2. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    kitsune is the japanese for fox, not wolf be aware of that if you intend to draw any direct parallels during the story.

    i think it is a little bit too much, the whole thing about kitsune was that they were incredibly rare, even in mythologies. if you want to give them more powers as well as the were wolf abilities i would make them have certain limitations or restrictions. i.e. one is able to create lightning but it is inaccurate, uses a lot of mental energy or has a chance to back fire

    good luck, this is only my opinion, others may thing very differently
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's a little much. Once you start stacking incredible exotic thing on top of incredible exotic thing, then all of those things become less interesting.
     
  4. Holo
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    Holo Senior Member

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    Yeah, after thinking about it I realized it was too much. I'll cut the extra abilities out. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    My general rule of thumb with powers is that for each power a character has, they should also have a drawback, limit, negative consequence, tradeoff, etc for using that power. For example, if I wrote a character who could see in the dark at will, they would have to use it sparingly because it would slightly hinder their everyday eyesight with each use. Or if they sprout wings, it only happens at a given timing, not whenever they want it - this way they have to work things around the transformation and could run into issues if it's at a bad time. Powers are fine, and you can write as many as you can keep track of, but make sure to include checks and balances so that your MC doesn't become an annoying godlike being who never has to fear anything. I have a blog entry about this (in my WF blog) if you want to read it for more specifics.
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    To quote Suggestion Boy in Burnt Face Man 6: "How about a wolf who can fly and can speak Russian and has mean lasers that can burn through paper?"

    To be honest, flying and generating electricity seem like extremely dubious powers for anyone of that sort of descent. I assume you're basing your "lycans" on the Navajo/Native American witches? That seems as though it would make slightly more sense, being that the dire wolf (which was basically just a huge wolf) was most common in North America around 6,000 years ago, when Native Americans would be carving out their civilisation?
    Honestly, for any kind of creature descended from a witch, flying and electricity don't even seem logical. Fire, maybe. Fire seems logical. But really, for a werewolf, I'd draw the line at supreme physical strength, but not superhuman. They still have human muscles, but they'd be bigger and more efficient. That's what I'd draw the line at. Then again, if you've got a skinny guy, he'd become a skinny wolf. There'd be no problem with that as far as I'm concerned.

    People these days seem too concerned with making their creatures as strong as possible because they think it makes sense. I say it makes enough sense to have a skinny, weak guy being able to turn into a skinny, weak wolf. Same body mass and muscle mass and all that, you know?

    Back in the day, werewolves were creatures of horror; they represented that humans could change into something nasty while remaining utterly human, whereas vampires represented that humans could change into something utterly nasty and never be able to turn back. They're being far too romanticised now.

    EDIT: Oh, and I hate the term "lycan". I know it's just short for "lycanthrope", but "lycan" on its own doesn't have the same definition.
     

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