Part 2 - Characters and Powers -- The Basics

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Part 2 - Characters and Powers -- The Basics

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:42 pm

Character Rules

-This is a one-character-per-account forum, meaning you may have multiple characters, but for the sake of us looking good, they must each be made on separately registered accounts.

-You may have as many characters as you feel you can handle, so long as they are all sufficiently active.

-No Mary Sues/Marty Stus: I need none of them here.
A Mary Sue is a character who is so perfect they are annoying.
Mary Sue/Marty Stu:
In fanfiction, Mary Sues are characters who are usually extraordinarily gorgeous, amazingly talented, unusually powerful, and exceedingly attractive to whoever the author has a crush on. They often possess ridiculously fancy and pretentious first names -- Angel, Raven, Jewel, Lorelei Bianca Julia Marizza Snape -- and are very, very annoying..

In Fanfiction, a Marty Stu is usually attractive, misunderstood, angsty, and often has some sort of tragic past. He is so perfect as to be nauseating. He usually winds up romantically involved with one or more of the author's favorite characters, saves the day, upstages all of the real characters, etc.

Here, the same general view apply, most likely without all the romance stuff. I've got a sharp eye for these kinds of characters. Depending on just how bad the Mary Sue levels are, the warning for it will be worse. Mary Sues/Marty Stus are bad writing. Don't make them.

Fun Link:
For some pretty awful examples of OCs gone south and people pointing out why they are flawed with funny little reaction images, see The Mary Sue Facepalm Tumblr Page.

-When filling out the template, make sure the information is provided outside of the bold code. Also, please delete the information outside of the bold code before adding in your own.

Basic Power Rules

-Basic Powers are in essence, singular, linear powers with very conditional real life use, with a number of drawbacks and limitations. They start very small in scope and capabilities by nature, and are often further restricted by other limitations meant to make them balanced with other starting powers. One could say that the more potential that a power has in the future, the more restricted it is at the beginning.

-The following are examples of some typical basic powers and the expected amount of limitations to a given power.

Fire Manipulation:

Fire Manipulation wrote:The user is capable of manipulating fire in the area, though no more than what could be found in a tribal bonfire. They can move the fire around and give it direction, but not much else.
This power is balanced with other starting powers since it gives a defined limit to the amount of fire they can manipulate, and the power only manipulates, it doesn't generate, which could be an advancement of the power later on. Furthermore, it has the limitation of not having precise control over the flames, only able to move them.

A similar ability would be the power to Generate Fire.
Fire Generation wrote:The user is capable of producing fire from their body. They are immune to the heat of their own fire, and can choose where from their body the fire comes, but have no control over it otherwise. They can only produce a tribal bonfire's worth at any given time before tiring out.

In the above circumstance, the power to generate the fire with no agency over it after it's launched gives the user a distinct disadvantage when using the power, meaning they could either make their basic power stronger with special properties (Soul-Burning Hellfire or Bone-Chilling Coldfire), or add a couple of small power benefits to weaken the blow. In this circumstance, they chose to be immune to their own fire, and added a bit of precision to their production, since it was restricted to being produced from their body.

There is also the option to have a very restricted combination of the two, where the user could both generate and control fire.

Pyrokinesis wrote:The user is capable of generating fire and manipulating the fire they generate. They can only manipulate the fire they've generated, and can only maintain control over it within 10 meters (30 feet) of themselves, but otherwise can produce and control about a tribal bonfire's worth.

Pyrokinesis like this can both generate and control fire, which means that it needs more restrictions due to its higher potential in basic nature. One of the staple restrictions for a power like this would be a restriction to controlling only their own fire, that which they generated themselves. But that's only one restriction, and a power like this one would need another pretty good one to get by. A few options come to mind, like a significantly reduced "Amount"* (in Fire's case, from a Tribal Bonfire to a more modest Campfire), or a restricted range (from "anywhere they can perceive" to 10 meters).

This example went for the of the two options, but technically it could have chosen both, and been able to generate fire and manipulate any fire within their range and amount. Or heck, they could have gone with all three and been able to generate and control Soul-Burning Hellfire within their amount and range, as compensation for their over-restriction.

Obviously this is just Fire Examples, but the same restrictions could apply to any manipulation of intangible elements, like Electricity, Light, Wind, Smoke, and other things of that nature.

Barrier Generation:

Barrier Generation wrote:The user can generate totally immobile barriers anywhere they can see which have proportional durability to surface area. They will not move for any force which cannot break them. A barrier the size of a dinner plate can block low and standard caliber bullets.

This example is a basic Barrier Generation template using Immobile Barriers as the basis. It has all the necessities of a barrier generation ability, the bullet threshold (essentially it's "Amount"), and the stated understanding that not even the user can move them, only things that break the barriers will cause them to move.

The other option would be Mobile Barriers, which would have the same bullet threshold, but anyone and anything can move them, thusly they become more of actual shields than barriers, dispersing impact rather than blocking it outright.

You could also apply more restrictions to it to give the barriers special properties, like Energy Barriers which can cause harm to foes by being made of energy.

There is also the defensive power option of being more durable yourself, without needing the barriers.

Dense wrote:The user is more dense than the average human being, making their body more difficult to harm. They can survive low caliber bullets, but are a bit slower due to increased mass.

In this circumstance there isn't really an 'amount' so the bullet threshold is their entire body. Thusly the bullets they can withstand are a bit lower. This is one of those powers which has very few restrictions on it in its basic nature, and is rather difficult to restrict. Note that in this case "Survive" doesn't mean "isn't affected by" they can take a bullet and live, but this power does nothing for their pain tolerance.

Interaction Powers:

Clock Manipulation wrote:The user is capable of manipulating varieties of clocks in the area in many ways, ranging from changing their readout, to disassembling them or altering their shape. They cannot assemble clocks from parts, and thusly must use existing clocks. These clocks may be no bigger than a sports sedan.
On Switch wrote:The user may remote-activate any electric device or circuit, but may go no more precisely than activating it. They also may not deactivate already activated electronics.

Interaction Powers are basically powers which focus on interacting with existing items or sources. Basic Fire Manipulation is technically a form of Interaction Power, and Pyrokinesis is partially one, however, there are many kinds of interaction powers. Typically, though, they are more specific than the likes of Pyrokinesis and thusly have larger basic amounts and are able to be more precise in control or specific interaction. Clock Manipulation can alter the shape and readout of Clocks, and even disassemble them to basic components, affecting clocks up to the size of a Sports Sedan, and On Switch is so specific in purpose that it can work on anything the user can see.

Interaction Powers are also perfect setups for Thematic "New Power" Advancement. The above power "Clock Manipulation" would be a perfect setup for Time Manipulation powers a-la Clock Theme. Interaction Powers are also the Basic Level of higher powered abilities when complete: "On Switch" could advance into a very powerful Electricity Manipulation Power whenever released from its restrictions.

"Specific Powers" are a name for limited or single-purpose Basic Powers that aren't designed in the fashion of Manipulations. This would be a power like the following:

Hyper Hands wrote:The user is capable of moving their hands and arms with astonishing speed, faster than the trained eye can see! They can move their hands at well over 500 mph!
Double Jump wrote:The user is capable of making a second jump in mid air by kicking off the ait as though it were an elastic, spring solid, like a trampoline! This can gain distance or divert damage from falling.
Prehensile Tail wrote:The user has a prehensile tail akin to that of a monkey. It is an arm's length long and may grasp and hold items, holding roughly the same strength as a normal arm as well.

Specific powers could be looked at as small quirky powers which have to potential to grow. Typically, Specific Powers (if nurtured) can grow into tremendously powerful powers by virtue of advancing even to the full capabilities of similar, less specific basic powers, or can even blossom into full-fledged powers on their own.

For example, Prehensile Tail could branch into a powerful and unique ability involving precise stretching and super strength. Hyper Hands and Double Jump could become specialized Super Speed and Flight Powers respectively, or even bloom into the full powers at a boosted basic Amount.

Interaction and Specific Powers make up the bulk of the world's Power Holder population, as well as the majority of untapped potential. After all, these abilities are simultaneously very limited in scope and relatively benign, meaning there is little need to get better at them by virtue of an accident causing public tragedy.

Super Speed:

Super Speed wrote:The character is physically faster than human beings tend to be. They can sprint up to 100 mph, but the highest speed they can run comfortably is 60mph.

Enhanced physical traits are a common and iconic superpower. In the case of super speed, the user is capable of moving faster than any human, olympic or otherwise. In fact, in a burst they can hit over 4x the speed of the fastest olympic runners! However, super speed does nothing for their reflexes, endurance, or their ability to resist friction. A full sprint at 100 mph would run the average basic speedster ragged.

The same can be said about any enhanced-trait basic power. The highest they could possibly do would be 4x Olympic records, but they would only be comfortable with a little over half of their highest capability. So an individual with basic Super Strength could hoist over 1500 kg (1.5 tons) but would only be comfortable holding and sustaining maybe 900 kg (2000 lbs). Notedly an midsize car weighs in at the upper limit of their lifting capacity, which means they could Clean and Jerk an SUV if they had to. The issue is that this does nothing for their durability, speed, stamina, or anything of the such.

Another power which often entails going fast would be Flight!

Flight wrote:The user is capable of lifting off of the ground and soaring through the skies. They can manage a speed of 50 mph at their top speed, but would otherwise be more comfortable around 30 mph or so.

Flight is essentially a form of Super Speed which doesn't have the restriction to the ground. So they could limit this power in some other respect and be able to fly on par with speedsters. If they decide not to, they are only around half the speed of a Speedster, having to restrict their 'Amount' instead, since there is balance due here. Asides a third dimension there is little separating the common Flight Power from the common Speed Power.

Lycanthropy:

Lycanthropy wrote:The user is capable of transforming into and reverting back from a man-wolf hybrid, gaining fur, claws, and fangs.

Therianthropic transformations like Lycanthropy allow the users to gain access to the basic natural weapons of an animal type without losing what makes them human. Sometimes a power grants them access to other abilities inherent to a given animal for certain drawbacks, such as entering a berserk frenzy when you activate the power, but you gain enhanced strength and smell from the power. Transformation drawbacks like a berserk rage require two points to be bought off: One to remove irrational behavior or evil tendencies, and the other for the second. Permanent transformations are viable as well, but are sort of a middle ground which provide no benefit or detriment (asides socially).

Wolf Form wrote:The user is capable of transforming into and reverting back from a full wolf form, with all the properties of a wolf, with the mind of a human.

Full-On being able to transform into a Wolf would give you all of the capabilities of a Wolf, with none of the physical traits of a human. So while you would have all of the speed, fur, natural weaponry, and senses of a wolf, you would lose some color in your vision, the ability to talk and communicate (no vocal chords), and the all-important opposable thumbs. Permanence for this would be considered a downside, considering the drawbacks, but you could balance out Permanence with the ability to Speak like a Human. Corresponding Therianthropic and Full Animal Transformations (Lycanthropy and Wolf Form) are Power Tricks One Another, and can be advanced simultaneously when on the same character.

It should be noted that not only Mammals are viable, you can have Ophidianthropy (Were-snake/Lamia), Avianthropy (Were-bird/Harpy), or any other form of Zoanthropic Transformation.

It should be noted that the powers granted by a Therianthropic Transformation abilities, and even full animal forms, are designated by a very stock and basic version of that creature, with no mythological capabilities even if that's thematically appropriate, and no abilities that only some members within the creature's type possess. This means that Weresnakes and Snake forms will need to spend a point for poison (even if they are Were-Vipers or Were-Cobras), but can have slithering and fangs and powerful constricting abilities. Harpies and Bird Forms will need to spend a point for sonic attacks or hypnosis, but can have winged flight and talons. Centaurs would need to spend a point for Enhanced Accuracy, but can be fast as a horse. Etc, etc.

"Amounts" for Therianthropes are usually set by the creature they are emulating, and only change if one advances it with a point to "Supernatural" levels. So a Harpy can fly around 40 mph, but is locked at that speed cap until they spend a point on "High Speed Flight" or something similar. Of course, at that point, the "Amounts" will advance as normal.

More Powerful Powers:

Teleportation wrote:The user is capable of teleporting anywhere they can see within 30 feet of themselves. This means that they move from one point to another without occupying the space in between at any point. They cannot alter their current direction or velocity, nor can they teleport anywhere they cannot see. They can teleport one time each post, following these restrictions.

Teleportation is an extremely restricted power which, in its base form, has little utility even as far as mobility powers go. Basic Teleportation cannot be used to teleport anywhere you cannot see, so it can't be used in perfect darkness, at least not without running serious risks with serious consequences. You cannot change your current direct at the end point with basic teleportation, so appearing behind someone still requires you turn around to be looking at them. You cannot change your end velocity from your starting velocity, so if you're falling or in a car, you'd best aim for the water. And as if that weren't restricted enough, they are restricted from teleporting with frequency any greater than a single time in each post.

Each time you apply a point to a teleportation power, you may buy off a restriction, letting you now do that ability. So for one point, you can now change your end velocity or change direction, or teleport to a place you cannot accurately perceive or teleport with higher frequency (starting with twice per post, and expanding from there as you continue advancing your teleport ability).

Telekinesis wrote:The user is capable of controlling objects from a distance. They are limited to about 50 lbs of lift capacity and can move the object only generally, not precisely. The object is limited to around 25 mph.

Basic telekinesis is unable to affect people in the same way as objects, but otherwise can affect any object within its amount. Common restrictions and flaws include a Tether which makes the telekinesis able to be disrupted by severing the tether, or restricting the range Amount (10 meters is the basic amount). Each restriction allows you to double the amounts seen in the basic template (before any other modifiers), or with one you could affect resisting targets (they can still fight your telekinesis, they just don't automatically succeed by moving). Simpler restrictions like requirement of hand gestures could be used to gain small power benefits, such as being able to control items more precisely (thread a needle with the mind).

Mind Reading wrote:The user can tap into the surface thoughts of unwilling targets they touch, and the personal thoughts of willing targets they touch.

Mind Control wrote:The user can compel unwilling targets they touch to perform simple actions, like move in a certain direction, punch a person within arms reach, call their own mother fat and ugly (though they will know they are being compelled to do so). They can also totally control a willing target they touch's actions (the willing target must be willing to begin with, but will not be conscious of their actions while controlled). Either effect can be resisted.

Mind powers are very godmoddy, and thusly they are difficult to regulate and maintain their status as cool mind powers. Essentially, Basic Mind Powers require physical contact regardless of their nature. This means unlike other powers, you cannot exchange the requirement of touch for other restrictions, or remove the restriction at all until much later (at least after putting 5 points into the power).

Player characters are all but entirely resistant to mind powers, they can be resisted with a simple concentration of willpower, sometimes even less. What constitutes as "Unwilling" is essentially anything other than the character giving a solid and confident "Yes" to the question "Can I read/control your mind". They have to know it's about to happen, and be confident in their choice in order for the power to consider anyone willing.

Furthermore the basic amount for mind powers is 'One Person', and doesn't change without expenditure of a point to get the multiple targets feature. This means that a basic mind reader can read a single mind, and a basic mind controller can control one individual, both regardless of the degree.

As far as NPCs go, the player can use their powers on an NPC far more freely than they can on a Player. The person controlling the NPC may still opt for the NPC to resist in certain circumstances, but often times, that would just get in the way of advancing the plot.

A person actively resisting mind powers (knows they are happening and does not wish it to happen) is essentially immune to them. A point can be spent to gain partial reading/control of actively resisting targets, which will have half of the capabilities of normal. You can suggest half of an action (punch... but what do they punch?), or obtain half of the surface thoughts of a person actively resisting (every other word thought or just the first or last half).

Mind Powers are going to be on Probationary Allowance. If nobody ruins it for everyone else, then everything is cool with it.

Healing wrote:The user is capable of causing the body's natural healing processes to speed up with a touch, allowing them to seal up small wounds like scratches, cuts, and bruises. They cannot heal themselves this way, only others.

Healing is a pretty high-up power which has a great deal of demand in any self-respecting hero team. All-in-all, healing's basic restrictions are in how weak it is at first, its "Amount" is not very large or helpful. As with all "Amounts" it increases as the healing power evolves, which there is plenty of room to do: The ability to heal poisons or oneself,  the power to fix fatigue, the power to fix incurable damage (however slow it may be), healing at a range or even in an area. Healing also has room for a few flaws, such as Empathic Healing, where the user takes the healed damage onto themselves, or perhaps they can only 'heal' objects (repairing them in the process).

Changing the target from others to oneself costs nothing but now the power would be "Regeneration" with all the same limits (they cannot heal others now), requiring all the focus of a healing power as well to take effect.

Creation wrote:The user is capable of creating any geometric object or common object (sphere, cube, pyramid, hammer, lens, disk, etc) from thin-air, but these objects may be no bigger than 2 cubic feet. These objects are composed of an translucent etherous solid, must be moved by hand, and weigh roughly as much as a wooden counterpart.

Transformation wrote:The user is capable of changing any solid into steel within 1.5 lbs of material by touching it.

Creation is a powerful ability since it allows the user to make just about anything they'll find themselves needing within a certain range of will. It's basic restrictions are a lack of control over it without touching it, and the fact that it's obviously a facet of their power. They could trade either of these out if they could only emit the creations from their body (limiting its surface area). So another Basic Creation Power would be the power to pull realistic objects from one's body. Advancement potential includes the power to control the items telepathically, and the ability to make very detailed and precise items, like a functioning gun.

Transformation powers are the ability to transform things into an equivalent amount of another thing. Basic transformation powers range a great deal, but as a rule of thumb:
-If you can transform only on thing into one other thing (metal to wood, iron to glass, broken objects into repaired ones) the ability can have other benefits, like being ranged, increased "amount", or being vice-versa (the other way works too).
-If you can transform one thing into a broad group of things (lead into any other metal), or a broad group of things into one thing (any metal into gold), the ability should remain as close to the template as possible.
-If you can transform a broad group of things into a broad group of things (solid into another solid), you will need at least another good restriction, such as being slow transformations or limited to a single transformation in a post.
-Your power will not be able to start off being able to change anything into anything else. This will require late-game advancement, after at least 5 points are placed into the transformation power. Furthermore, the power will have to already be at the point of changing a broad group into another broad group, otherwise, you'll need to buy upwards to get here.

Time Manipulation wrote:The user can manipulate time to reverse or skip time forward a microsecond by blinking.
Time Dilation wrote:The user can close their eyes to slow time a significant margin (but not stop time) so long as their eyes are closed.

Time powers as Basic Powers are extremely rare to discover due to the fact that they require sensory deprivation of all accurate senses for at least the first 5 points of advancement, and thusly the users are incapable of experiencing their effects first hand to "Discover" them. Manipulation of time is limited to extremely tiny "Amounts" such that even high level practitioners can only manage to influence time by a second or two, wherein slowing and speeding up is usually limited to a personal awareness level, so users often believe it to be more about thinking time than anything else.

Essentially, if you want to start with Time Powers, be ready for a long, long trek up the ladder, with the real possibility of your character remaining wholly unaware that they even have them for a great while. You can make time-based power tricks (such as Reversing an Object's Time to fix it, see Part 3) which hold more innate power than your basic Time Power, however, Time is only a descriptor at that point, you may not abuse a power trick to bypass the limits of Time Manipulation or Dilation.

Other Simple Powers:

Martial Art wrote:The user of this power has been blessed with an uncanny mastery over a martial art without even the need to try. They have solid control over their body's movements and can perform borderline supernatural feats of martial prowess.

Yes, martial arts mastery is also a viable Basic Power. There's not a whole lot to say on this one, it's basically just supernatural mastery over fighting. You select a martial art your character is good at and they are really good at it. If you can figure out ways to extend the power with points, you can get even better at it.

Supernatural Attractiveness wrote:The user of this power is smoking hot, their beauty transcends genders, and allows everyone to see how beautiful they are. Nothing much to this power, it's very helpful though.

While I personally dislike this power (see: Mary Sues), there is nothing wrong with being supernaturally sexy if that's literally all you can do as a Basic Power.

Talent wrote:The user has an uncanny knack for a certain task despite never once practicing it.

A Talent is basically exactly like Martial Art, except in an area that has basically nothing to do with fighting. For people who just randomly became master guitarists because of their powers.

-Your character cannot have had their power all their life. It awakens during high school in either Freshman or Sophomore year.

-Basic Powers are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but as a rule of thumb, we don't like Basic Powers that have too many restrictions and benefits to begin with. Try not to have powers like "6 seconds of super strength every day" since that sort of ruins the feel of the site we're going for. Even if it does ramp up the super strength to ridiculous levels, it's not what we were going for when the site was conceptualized.

-This site is going to run on an honor system, meaning that we only hold people to their word, and will try not to ban powers outright. You can get away with having a whole lot of power on this site, especially at later levels, but for all intents and purposes this site is a freeform narrative roleplay, and thusly a lot of player interaction will be going on, and not a whole lot will be in place to stop anything from going sideways asides some core rules (See Part 1), and personal integrity of the player you're RPing with. We apologize ahead of time if people get really gung-ho with their powers, and if it gets out of hand, we'll likely establish a more exacting and cohesive system.

*"Amount" is a relative term specifying a general or specific quantity that best represent's a power's upper limits at the current level. Some powers have multiple "Amounts" including Distance, Weight, Volume, Time, among other things, while others are sort of abstract and only have one "Amount". Defensive powers have a 'Bullet Threshold', Mind Powers have a Target Cap.

You can use any unit of measurement you wish for measurable "Amounts", but if you are getting really abstract or subjective (such as seen in Fire Manipulation spoiler with "Tribal Bonfire" and "Campfire") you should provide an image with recognizable measurements  to compare to (Banana for scale)

Amounts that are not stated are, depending on the power, assumed to be irrelevant or unaugmented (weight on Fire Manipulation, Time on Super Speed), unlimited by the power (perception range on Fire Manipulation being implied, Time on Flight), or minimum/negligible (Range on Transformation defaulting to Touch, Talent defaulting to augmenting only oneself)

Typically, certain keywords will trigger what is done, such as "in the area" typically implies the ability will have perception-based range unless stated otherwise, but would sometimes otherwise default to "that they touch". Things that are irrelevant are typically assumed such because adding in such stipulations to a power wouldn't even change anything about the power's basic nature, like weight limitations for manipulating fire (which only sometimes has weight).

If a question about an unstated amount comes up in regards to an individual power, just ask a staff member to rule on it.

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