Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#1
My story, ANTIMATTER D, is about superheroes. I'm planning on introducing a truckload of superheroes as the story goes on, but I don't have many ideas (so far I only have about 17). 

In the setting, heroes are professional workers and are given a rank depending on their performance as a hero and the strength of their powers. The ranks are as follows, from top to bottom:
  1. Platinum (I don't need any for this rank)
  2. Diamond
  3. Gold
  4. Ruby
  5. Silver
I really need help with coming up with heroes that have interesting, non-generic powers, especially for the middle tiers. Any ideas?

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#2
Hard to notice superpower - as long as person doesn't bring attention to themselves - breaks something, pushes someone, makes a noise, they will be unnoticed and will seem like they belongs to the place. Maybe they can target 1 person to overlook even noises etc. Seems like more of a villain power. I have no idea if it is generic, since I don't really like superheroes genre.

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#4
I've always found coming up with original, unique and interesting superheroes is tricky. Villains more so! Sometimes, I find they come easier some days than others. 

And my inspiration comes from a range of places. Sometimes it might be a power or powers first, or I'll think of a character and then come up with their powers. Sometimes I'll have a plot or situation and then think of a character who will best 'solve' the situation. 

It's a bit tricky to know what your middle tier means without knowing what value of powers you're putting to the tops and lowers. 
You also ought to consider your power acquisition in your universe. Is it all cosmic? Are they 'mutant' people born that way? Gain powers through accidents? 


This site I have found very useful when thinking of powers and the characters that have them.  https://powerlisting.fandom.com/wiki/Superpower_Wiki 

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#5

EnhancedBeing Wrote: I've always found coming up with original, unique and interesting superheroes is tricky. Villains more so! Sometimes, I find they come easier some days than others. 

And my inspiration comes from a range of places. Sometimes it might be a power or powers first, or I'll think of a character and then come up with their powers. Sometimes I'll have a plot or situation and then think of a character who will best 'solve' the situation. 

It's a bit tricky to know what your middle tier means without knowing what value of powers you're putting to the tops and lowers. 
You also ought to consider your power acquisition in your universe. Is it all cosmic? Are they 'mutant' people born that way? Gain powers through accidents? 


This site I have found very useful when thinking of powers and the characters that have them.  https://powerlisting.fandom.com/wiki/Superpower_Wiki



Wow, thanks for that link! That's immensely useful.

I haven't really considered how to value each of the tiers yet. I might just make it so that powers don't really matter and heroic deeds are the only thing you need to do to rank up.

As for how people get their superpowers, it's through all possible avenues. Some are born with it, others are accidents, and others just appear naturally. I don't think I'll be delving too deep into what causes that to happen.

Those inspiration points are pretty good. I'll try to make something up that the situation requires.

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#8
Pinball: Literally turns himself into a cannonball sized ball of tungsten which can fly.

Urchin: A woman who practices martial arts and grows poisonous spines out of the calves of her legs (nowhere else)

Patient 99: Capable of growing chitinous exoskeleton over his skin into any shape he desires, but it needs to be surgically removed afterwards. Enhanced regeneration.

Unit: Young girl born with the power of gods, but her obsession with anime makes her unconsciously manifest a guyver like suit of armor.

Influence: Able to control reality in a field around him, but only within a few inches of his skin. He can expand the size of the field slowly over time, but he must remain absolutely still while he does.


I love coming up with super powers, feel free to use these if you want since they are just spur of the moment ideas :)

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#10

Patrick Wrote: Pinball: Literally turns himself into a cannonball sized ball of tungsten which can fly.

Urchin: A woman who practices martial arts and grows poisonous spines out of the calves of her legs (nowhere else)

Patient 99: Capable of growing chitinous exoskeleton over his skin into any shape he desires, but it needs to be surgically removed afterwards. Enhanced regeneration.

Unit: Young girl born with the power of gods, but her obsession with anime makes her unconsciously manifest a guyver like suit of armor.

Influence: Able to control reality in a field around him, but only within a few inches of his skin. He can expand the size of the field slowly over time, but he must remain absolutely still while he does.


I love coming up with super powers, feel free to use these if you want since they are just spur of the moment ideas :)


These are all really good ideas! Thank you!


Sleepingdragoon Wrote: I suggest not trying too hard to be unique with the powers themselves. What makes a superpower truly 'unique' is the person holding it, and the actions they take with it. Gives someone time stop, and the habits they make while in frozen time would vary wildly.


I didn't think about it that way. That does give me some ideas.

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#11
SuperPowers: Elemental Control (Fire/Water/Air/Earth/Electricity), Mind Control, AntiGravity, Magnetic Control, Body Switching, Create Light Flash, Superhuman Reflexes, steal other powers, never sleep, superhuman sight/hearing, powered up in the sunlight/moonlight, shift into a monster on command, claws, time travel one day back when mortally wounded (once a year).


Bonus: Flight/Speed/Strength/Invisibility/Teleport/Regeneration/endurance

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#12

Atzyn Wrote: I haven't really considered how to value each of the tiers yet. I might just make it so that powers don't really matter and heroic deeds are the only thing you need to do to rank up.

You need to figure out which powers, at which power level, and at which skill level, equate with the tiers.


Superstrength is great, but if it's limited time, limited scope, limited circumstances, it could easily drop it way down in the rankings.

The ability to teleport yourself, your clothing, and 15 pounds, at will, sounds pretty low end at worst, mid-range at most, but there's been some interesting talk about just how OP it really is when you bring in physics and some other stuff.

And the powers themselves? Don't worry about coming up with new and unique things, because the Seven Podlings of Faith and Duty know that Marvel ripped through almost every powerset possible during the 90's.

Worry about application. How it can and can't be used.

Make sure you have a framework for powers. Even if where they come from is a mystery, there needs to be straight and consistent rules for your powers if you're going to have any type of ranking system up there.

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#13

Ralts Wrote:
Atzyn Wrote: I haven't really considered how to value each of the tiers yet. I might just make it so that powers don't really matter and heroic deeds are the only thing you need to do to rank up.

You need to figure out which powers, at which power level, and at which skill level, equate with the tiers.


Superstrength is great, but if it's limited time, limited scope, limited circumstances, it could easily drop it way down in the rankings.

The ability to teleport yourself, your clothing, and 15 pounds, at will, sounds pretty low end at worst, mid-range at most, but there's been some interesting talk about just how OP it really is when you bring in physics and some other stuff.

And the powers themselves? Don't worry about coming up with new and unique things, because the Seven Podlings of Faith and Duty know that Marvel ripped through almost every powerset possible during the 90's.

Worry about application. How it can and can't be used.

Make sure you have a framework for powers. Even if where they come from is a mystery, there needs to be straight and consistent rules for your powers if you're going to have any type of ranking system up there.

This is great advice! Thanks.

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#14
Make it specific. 

'Fire' and 'heat' is very generic as far as superpowers go. But you could let someone superheat different parts of their body, or work only with molten metal manipulation, or be able to superheat metal WITHOUT melting it for some crazy engineering feats, or be able to superheat all electronics in the room but nothing else. That's a bit more memorable. 

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#16
Someone with strong electromagnetism powers would be immensely strong, and would basically have kenisis. I have a character like that in one of my story, and she uses the static in her hair to make it a weapon/tool/extra appendages.
And, if we have electromagnetism, let's reference the other three non-contact forces:

Gravity: self-explanatory, they could make black holes if they were strong enough(last-ditch self destruct move?) and also have kenisis. The limits are up to you.

Weak force: I don't know much about it, but I have never seen a superhero use this before. From what I know, the weak force is crucial in the radioactivity process(radioactive decay), so someone with a relating power could, say, touch a shoe and turn it into a radioactive trap. The weak force is stronger than gravity.

Strong force: the strong force relates to 'up' and 'down' quarks, the particles that make up protons and neutrons. With some research, you might find out that someone who can manipulate this can create antimatter, which uses negatrons. Don't forget that someone with this power, depending on their ability, can turn their power's raw power into matter itself(separating a down and up quark results in matter replication, creating a new down and up quark to pair with the separated ones)

I'd like to see the latter two become superpowers -I haven't seen those powers used yet.-

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#18
I don't think the focus should be on unique powers in and of themselves but either 

    1) Executing them in a unique way

   2) Putting clear rules and constraints, forcing the character to act creatively. 


  So let's talk number 1. Think of something like Multiple Man from Marvel. He can just create copies of himself, that's cool right, but kind of one note. But what if he used his powers really smart. What if the original never left his home and the "original" fighting in the field was just a clone, thus making him immortal. Maybe the original is really fat and never leaves his sofa. 

  Thinking about something more common place, let's look at something like wind control, ala the last air bender. What if instead of controlling the literal air, they actually were able to make vacuums for only a fraction of a second. So instead of being able to suffocate someone, they effectively could only move air around. And could do it that way.

  2) And this one is pretty obvious, just difficult in execution. You can limit their mana/ammo. I saw someone say gravity would be the most overpowered thing ever, but look at Kaladin from Sanderson's Way of Kings (spoilers I guess). His primary power is gravity control but he specifically can only 1) affect what he physically touched and 2) can only create vectors.  In practice he can use it on himself to fly. He can send someone flying into the air or launch a projectile, and he could apply two vectors on a person to rip them in half, but he can just raise his hand like a jedi and slam someone into the ground. He's completely limited by space. 

  And really there are a lot of good examples for this one, especially from Sanderson who lovesss hard magic. 

  Hm what's a good second pick. What if. . . .  Hm. . . everything I'm coming up with I want to use for myself. Oh how about time travle, the most op of all. Your character can go back in time, but only five seconds. And only when they die. You end up with scenarios where your character will intentionally die to force a redo and prevent a situation where they are crippled or unable to fight anymore. They could also end up in no win scenarios where their powers just won't help. Like if a drone is dropping a bomb on you, five seconds won't do crap. 

  

Re: Need help with creating superheroes.

#19

Atzyn Wrote: I really need help with coming up with heroes that have interesting, non-generic powers



How does physics/biology/magic work in your world?   What are the possible origins of super powers?

Alien technology?   Radioactive mutation?   Blessings from deities?

What are the limitations on what is possible?   Speed of light?  Time travel?   Resurrection?

Suppose you have a hero with super strength and super toughness.    How that will be implemented, and what the side effects will be, will depends on your world.   There's a big difference between a hero who is strong because they have nanites in their muscles, and a hero who is strong because popular perception thinks "They have a head shaped like a lion's head, so of course they will be strong".


Or you could take the other approach.   Decide what combat role you want a character to have: support, mobility, planning, melee offense, ranged damage, etc, and what you want them not to do, and what combat roles or power types they are weak against.   Then pick an ability and drawback that fits the role.

You want a magic support and ranged damage, but weak on melee and vs speedsters?   So perhaps a spell caster with long verbals, like a summoner.   Perhaps fae with a weakness to iron, who summons spirits.    Let's see, a 150 year old wood elf, whose forests were destroyed, and who has taken on a vow to attain justice, with the help of the animal spirits he can call upon to merge with his companions.   Doesn't like cities, hides his ears under a glamour, very attractive in an androgenous fashion, but reticent and bad with technology.   Never lies or breaks his word, but good at shading the truth and double talk.   Hate bullets, and needs a tank to stand behind, but won't partner with someone with massive metal armour - prefers the thick hide bestial transformation type of hero as a partner - a bit of a loner, only works in small teams.