1. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    Unique powers

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by stampman, Sep 15, 2015.

    Ok, so I am turning to you good people to reap some ideas. I really want to build a rich detailed universe, and being a superhero type universe, powers are very important. Problem is, I don't want to just use the archetypes presented in the Big Two (Marvel and DC), or at least not with a good deal of variation to avoid creating clones of Superman, The Hulk, The Flash, etc. And I would very much like a world where science, or pseudoscience, is the definitive answer for their abilities. Meaning no magic. So far, I have a man who absorbs kinetic energy, a guy who can excite nerve endings, a few telepaths, a man who can create pocket dimensions, and a teleporter. This is where I turn to the internet for assistance. I need some unique ideas for abilities, or unique spins on classics.
     
  2. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is an X-Men that can absorb kinetic!

    The real truth of this comes back down to how in a sense there is no more original ideas. It is going to comeback around to what you do differently.

    So the big question I have for you. Is what is the system? DC and Marvel sort of have what I would call "a clustered system" everyone has there own backstory and spin on powers with virtual no rhyme or reason. Because they are independent media's that exist in the same world and thus interact. While something like...(thinking) okay anime is all that pops into my head but Naruto, or Bleach, or even DBZ and SailorMoon have more a connected concept. While everyone can do different things how they go about doing different things is really dependent on the system they all share.

    Have you thought about this? Because which system you use will vastly change how you go about creating powers.

    Sorry I don't have any ideas for you off the top of my head. In either case I hope I inspired ideas for you. :)
     
  3. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    I do plan on writing at least short stories for each character down the road, with explanations as to how they acquire their abilities.
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Meaning no connecting rhyme or reason?
     
  5. A J Phillips
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    A J Phillips Active Member

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    How bout a "puppetmaster" capable of animating the dead? Kind of like those ghost whisperers and people with a 'sixth sense', only augmented and weaponized. (this is a concept i am already using in my own story, but it's far outside the realm of supers, so you could tailor it for some kind of crazed villain.) You could have a druidic type, that would fit more for a good guy. They could be like a benevolent version of Poison Ivy, with a bit of an uber green thumb. They could utilize plants in scientific as well as super-natural ways to become a mega-healer of sorts, and if need be, conjure a giant Venus Fly Trap to devour baddies. There could be someone with super-speed, but not in some fanciful, god-like Flash sense. Perhaps they were an olympic track star, who had cybernetic augments fitted into their legs. This person could run much faster, jump higher, and be truly supernatural without being overpowered like the Flash running at supersonic speeds and legs turning into circular blurs. If a human could run 100 mph, is that not supernatural while remaining somewhat tangible? Just a couple ideas i thought about, hope it helps Stamp.
     
  6. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    A select few were given powers by a main villain for reasons, some were born with their abilities, others were experimented on or were the result of an experiment gone awry. So standard superhero stuff.
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah but the point being they don't have to follow a set pattern. Anything works right?

    Example. In my world there is a magical model. All super powers come from magic so some things can't be explained by that model. Like my avatar. She teleports short distances(5-10 feet) because my magic model can't explain phasing. So I gave her a teleport that could practically only be used like phasing.

    Your world has no such limit. Right?

    Okay I will add one to your hat of ideas.

    Wind Manipulation
     
  8. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    Other than being able to explain abilities with some kind of pseudoscience, there are no real set limits. And yes they are a bit jumbled up. Like with my character who causes pain. He just doesn't cause pain. He excites the nerve endings by sending signals to them, which the other person's body and brain receive as pain. My teleporter folds space around himself, enabling him to cross great distances and even cross into other realities or dimensions, with great strain of course.
     
  9. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've also been working on a super hero themed universe. Here's what I have so far:

    June Anderson, AKA "The Stormbringer", has the power to create portals. She is limited to only 2 portals, but later develops other abilities related to manipulating space, such as creating TARDIS-like rooms that are bigger on the inside. She also goes on to control time, gravity and energy in later stories.

    Boris Petrov, AKA "The Teslageist", has an above-average IQ and can see how the universe works. These allow him to take a pile of rubbish and make something useful out of it, though the better quality tools and materials he has access to, the better the end result. His crowning achievement in the first book is a self-aware stealth suit with magnetic gauntlets.

    Delta Stevens, AKA "The Amber Wasp", is a girl who was paralysed from the waist down. She stumbles upon a jewel with the power to turn her into a four-armed, winged insect-human hybrid. While in this form, she regains the full use of her legs, but her attitude becomes somewhat aggressive.

    Four yet-to-be-named people also separately have each of the four powers June Anderson will one day master:
    "Violet Vortex" can manipulate space. (portals, enlarge / shrink objects, etc)
    "Fast Forward" can manipulate time. (can slow down and almost stop time, or speed it up)
    "Gravity Guy" can manipulate gravity. (levitation, ability to control the weight of objects, appears to have great strength while looking skinny)
    "Coulomb Damsel" can manipulate energy. (can drain the energy from objects or add energy to them, creating beams or balls of energy to use as weapons)
    Being separate people, they cannot combine their powers in the same way June can.

    "The Illusioness" has the power of perception. Blind and deaf from birth, her only understanding of her affected senses comes from other people. As well as being able to experience the senses of those around her, she can also control their perceptions. While she cannot delve into another's memories, she can project herself into their dreams.

    I hope that gives you some ideas - feel free to use as many as you like.
     
  10. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    Don't forget regressive genes giving a character animal powers, only use an animal not usually seen (e.g. Vole-Man, Poodle Princess, etc.)

    How about a luck manipulator. When he gives people bad luck, he has to give himself bad luck as well. His catch phrase is, "how bad could it possibly get?"

    Characters with trivial powers and aren't superheroes (ex. can make flowers bloom) or developed amazing skill as an attempt to understand their trivial power (ex. Plague - a character who has studied his power to make flowers bloom and has discovered a drug-based way to create zombies or people who are still alive, but robbed of their self-will by drugs).

    Some powers are just archetypal (such as speedsters or energy projectors) and there's nothing wrong with having a few of those.
     
  11. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could make the general population preoccupied and obsessed with ideas of spirituality, imagining themselves ‘in tune with the energies and vibrations of the universe’. This would give them the notion that they could, theoretically, overcome the laws of nature, if only they could discover the correct meditation technique. They consider themselves to be almost super-heroes. In turn, this leads them to overlook the more mundane aspects of life, their ignorance of common issues is great.

    Any technology that is far in advance of someone’s understanding, will appear magical to them. So anything that falls outside someone’s personal expertise would evoke a ‘that’s amazing’ reaction.

    In the future, professional knowledge and skills will become increasingly advance and specialized, making them incomprehensible to anyone outside that particular profession. Medical personnel will be perceived as super-heroes, as they will appear to perform miracles. The ability to cook fried rice, without it becoming a sticky mess, will be perceived as a super-power. The ultimate in bravery and courage would be to remove a spider from the bath. Taking this principle to its ultimate and ridiculous conclusion, one of the greatest of all super-heroes would be: Bicycle Repairman!

     
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  12. MrStoryTeller
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    MrStoryTeller Member

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    I remember some character in a comic, TV show, or movie had a really cool and unique spin on a cliche power. I think it was a guy who could stop time, but he could only stop time as long as he could hold his breath.

    This works very well, because having the ability to stop time is uber powerful, but every hero needs some kind of weakness, but instead of using the "It takes up a lot of energy" the creator spun it with a fun twist where he could only use it holding his breath, which is almost the same thing, but also very different depending on how the character uses it.
     
  13. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Depending on how many people you want in your group of supers, you could look to archetypes present in mythology and folklore.
    Like, someone who controls plants (Demeter), or was engineered to be physically perfect (Sleeping Beauty).
    The sad truth is, unless you go crazy specific (he can psychically command crayons) there isn't a power or character type which hasn't been "done" in the vastness of the DC and Marvel universes.
     
  14. Kata_Misashi
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    My say on it, have a power that's not unique and make it unique. I mean being able to control a element by itself is boring but give it a situation (Like a gun that's shoots bullets that alter the wind... *I know bad example, but you get the idea!*). Not 100% unique but still unique in a way.

    By the way...
    I think your thinking of DragonBall Z my friend. ^w^
     
  15. ShalaylaW
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    ShalaylaW Member

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    I know you're thinking more scientific type powers so how about a character that can "tune in" and control the tone in a room. Like say he/she combines all the little noises in a room and a general 'note' can be found within all that noise that he/she can manipulate to control emotions. I know it's hard to explain, but think of how you feel when claustrophobic. The bustle of people, too many voices, footsteps everywhere, all crunching down on you to make you feel uncomfortable. Well, this person can then up the frequency and make you nearly pass out from fear, for the tone of the room is impacting your mind more. Just thoughts!
     
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  16. Kata_Misashi
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    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    That's just plain beautiful!:superagree:
     
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  17. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    That's an amazing idea! I use telepathy alot in terms of powers, but everybody has their own spin on it. This guy could use perception (whether it be visual, audible, tactile, etc) to instill fear in people.
     
  18. Shattered Shields
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    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

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    What about a teleporter who can only go where there is light? Or where the sun's rays strike the earth?
     
  19. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I once had an idea for a super-detective whose powers were hyper-accute senses, but he had synaesthesia. Identifying a culprit because he smelled a particular piano arpeggio, or recognized the color of their voice.
     
  20. MrStoryTeller
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    Really? I never watched DBZ, I guess I heard about it in a YouTube video or something o_O
     
  21. ShalaylaW
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    ShalaylaW Member

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    Thanks! :)
     
  22. ShalaylaW
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    Thanks! I hope it gives you some ideas :) Yeah, I find telepathy is used a lot but it's a pretty flexible power to make unique.
     
  23. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I've been doing this same thing, writing a hero themed universe. Conventional powers mostly are fine as long as you have a way to use them creatively.

    I actually have a similar situation in which the backstories all come from different places and time periods. I do have a great magic war that granted millions of people with abilities at that time and the powers eventually decayed from multiple to maybe one or two per person over the centuries that passed. There's a couple outliers who have no connection to the war that I made sure to explain too. I like to use a sort of class system to organize who's what by connecting them to a reason if more than one person gains their ability from the same event.

    Mostly, OP, if it's gonna be a multiple system like THE BIG TWO then it's gotta be believable on pretty much all sides, in some way.

    A couple of my character abilities

    Evelyn Shields - An Umbramancer who's able to solidify shadows and bend them to her command. She's able teleport through shadows that are large enough to fit her frame (and if it's another person's shadow she paralyzes said person until she climbs out.) Depending on how entrenched in darkness she is she can also phase. She also can travel to and through shadow realm, which is a realm that's perceived as pitch black to non umbramancers which proves useful from time to time. Non umbramancers can enter that realm but will never escape because they end up falling infinitely due to it not having a single solid platform. Umbramancers can move freely through the realm due to having control over the shadows it's no different than taking a swim (but in actuality they're moving the shadows around them as propulsion, not themselves) and they can exit through doors (other shadows)

    Eventually Evelyn learns how to Void, which is creating a shadow by forcibly removing all light particles from and area, which grants her even more freedom with her abilities.

    Tonya Harding - She has the ability of vibrokinesis. She can absorb and expel and produce kinetic energy. Such as absorbing the impact of a bullet and letting it fall to the ground as if it never fired.

    She can absorb the kinetic energies of things she has direct contact with which allows her to do a signature move called Kinetic Lock in which she absorbs all the kinetic energy produced from someone's body. Depending on how vindictive she's feeling she can stop at preventing someone from moving their joints to as far as stopping the flow of blood in their body and the movement of bodily organs such as the lungs and heart.

    By using Hyper Vibration techniques she can vibrate through matter and disrupt molecular structures or speed up her molecules to extreme degrees.

    Seismic Incisions use vibration to weaken and tear apart molecular structures. Allowing her to rip through steel and other hard materials like paper if she puts enough force through.

    Another Hyper Vibration technique she uses often for physical combat is Sear, turning her hands (and occasionally feet) into super heated boxing gloves basically allowing her hands to mimic red heat. She levels this up eventually to Brand (Orange Heat) and Smelt (White heat)

    She has even higher tech called Burst Vibration Techniques which exude mass amounts of kinetic force. Two current signature moves being the Quake Punch and Reject Mode. Quake punches are punches that exude enough force to register on the Richter scales despite not moving tectonic plates. Believe it or not she has enemies who can survive them.

    Reject mode is actually a panic procedure done by her body when she receives far too much energy at once. Her skin turns red. Her body then refuses to accept any further energy and expels it exponentially faster rates. Which includes speeding up her heart rate, blood flow, and the bursts of energy exerted in all of her attacks and movements. Any attempt to transfer energy to her body is denied and rejected immediately back into the source object. Meaning if she punches a stone wall she'll transfer the energy of both her punch and whatever the wall would transfer back into her arm plus whatever energy her body is expelling through the reject mode and Tonya will receive none. Most likely the wall is destroyed.

    The problem with Reject Mode is it's very life threatening in contrast to its extreme power and can cause Tonya a heart attack. Not to mention little actions like footsteps can leave cracks or even craters depending on if she's running or not. The threshold to activate this mode also scales with Tonya's tolerance and strength. She at one point may not be able to handle 2 tons worth of psi and then as she trains she may be able to withstand billions. So gauging when her body has absorbed too much is left up to mostly fate.

    Jay Braddock aka "Jetstream" - A Homo Sapian Aquarius. Thanks to his ancestral history of people who're trapped on the Lost Islands, islands that recede below the sea for the latter half of the year, their people evolved gills, hardened skin, bone, and muscular structure to withstand excessive water pressure, stronger senses and reflexes to catch fish. They also have tons of indigenous water magics.

    Jetstream can control the surface tension of water which gives the allusion of him walking on it. He can conjure water spires which he uses to ride from ocean to land to and from school. He can pull moisture from the air to make water constructs, but prefers not to disrupt the environment unless it's extremely humid. He instead carries a water pack with 3 gallons of water he can conveniently use in a sticky situation. He can control several other aspects of water like buoyancy and density, however he has little control over vapor and even less control over ice.

    A fun thing to do is really just fiddle around with scientific possibilities especially as far as I went with Tonya. It makes writing for them so much fun as long as it's slightly believable.
     
  24. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    You may want to rethink the name Tonya Harding.
    She was a figure skater in the early nineties who got in trouble for attacking the competition.
     
  25. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    Mayhaps it IS the same Tanya Harding...
     

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