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🎨 Creative Interesting Superpowers Limits?

Tensen01

Go, Play; For Justice!
Validated User
So this is going to be a fairly specific thread, not about a general idea of Superpowers having limits, but figuring out those limits within the idea I have.

So currently my superhero game idea is that the PCs are all basically Homeless and Wayward Teens. They had all been abducted by an organization and used as test subjects in an attempt to give people super powers. But before the tests were finished the Big hero group came through and busted up the place and freed all the kids. Well now, months later, the kids powers are showing up... But the tests and experiments weren't done, so their powers are incomplete.

Now what I'd like is hopefully have a brainstorm about interesting limits on a lot of the standard super powers.

Right now some of my ideas are:

Super Speed, but the character isn't immune to the effects of going that fast. So they can only do it in small stretches or at slightly lower speeds.
Super strength, but again, his body isn't entirely adapted to it, so using it can hurt him if he tries too hard.

A lot of them might simple be "isn't immune to their power" but I'd like to make them more interesting than that. Any ideas are welcome.
 

KaijuGooGoo

Not Woke until I’ve had my Coffee
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Time Control, where slowing down the time stream makes movement almost proportionately more difficult. The net result is enhanced perception and combat skills (lots of time to think about things, look about things, and see things coming), but only limited enhanced movement.
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
"Requires contact" for something like telepathy or psychometry. This can mean direct physical contact, or knowing somebody - you can only track someone's mind if you've met them before, for example.
"Can't turn it off" is a classic for various powers like Cyclops' vision and Rogue's power-draining. And Rogue's requires contact as well!
"Can only see what someone else saw" for someone using ESP?
 

Tensen01

Go, Play; For Justice!
Validated User
"Requires contact" for something like telepathy or psychometry. This can mean direct physical contact, or knowing somebody - you can only track someone's mind if you've met them before, for example.
"Can't turn it off" is a classic for various powers like Cyclops' vision and Rogue's power-draining. And Rogue's requires contact as well!
"Can only see what someone else saw" for someone using ESP?
I like those
 

D13

Luckily Unlucky
Validated User
"Doesn't affect X." a fun one that also appears in comics pretty frequently. Green Lantern cannot affect yellow. Old Green Lantern could not affect wood. The limitation could also affect various objects or people, perhaps a super power like mind control doesn't work on women (Teela-O). A faerie's powers often has can't affect iron.

Uncontrollable is another limit that frequents comicbooks. Remember when Spider-Man's powers were in flux and sometimes he'd just stop sticking to walls? The first time Magik teleported she got stuck in a hell dimension for a lifetime and gained magical powers that allowed her to transform into a demon. Sometimes it's a substance that affects supers so they lose control. Red kryptonite is like a drug to superman that boost his abilities, but also makes him lose control.
 

Tensen01

Go, Play; For Justice!
Validated User
here's the basic list of powers I have compiled that I plan on allowing:

Super Strength
Telekinesis
Super Speed
Flight
Fire Control
Energy Absorption
Duplication
Energy Blast
Phasing
Teleportation
Size Change
Elongation
 
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Malckuss

Game Design Hobbyist
Validated User
The first idea that occurred to me is an elastic/elongation hero that using their powers is painful, maybe their skin can only stretch so far before tearing. Size change might have a similar issue, or be disproportionate. I blame binge watching Plastic Man as a child. Ditto heroes who extrude bone spurs, an exoskeleton, and the like. Loss of hit points/health since your skin is your largest organ.

Just saw your list.

It would be interesting if Fire control redirected the thermal properties in an area; start a fire here, freeze the other side of a room. It would also be interesting if energy absorption required a knowledge of physics, potential and dynamic/kinetic energy to keep local disasters from happening due to your powers. One thing that gets forgotten a great deal about teleportation is displacement. Air/water/ect has weight and causes pressure.
 

BlackFerret

Registered User
Validated User
Teleportation isn't just transporting. It involves essentially disintegrating and then reassembling yourself at the target spot. This means that you might suffer damage each time you do it. Alternately, the teleporter transforms their body into light and travels at light speed to the destination. While they don't necessarily need to see their destination, anything that blocks light will prevent them from moving through it, like a barrier. Mirrors might bounce them back, opaque walls would keep them at bay, if there was no way around them, and even a dense laser field would be like a solid wall to them, as it would be like flying into hurricane force winds.

Duplication requires additional matter to create the clones, kind of like Full Metal Alchemist's Law of Equivalent Exchange.

Size Change doesn't affect mass. So, if you shrink to the size of an ant, you still weigh 150 lbs and are like an iridium weight. If you grow to 50 feet tall, you are basically a big human-shaped balloon.
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
Super speed but it only works on specific, focused parts of your body. Want to flush that poison out of your system? Superspeed your heart. Need to figure out a complex linear algebra equation so you can calculate accurately where to shoot that missile? Superspeed your brain. Forget about running tho, legs are too big. The rest of your body can get hurt by not being as fast as whatever you're speeding up tho; tread carefully.
 

NIMROD TZARKING

Twisty Dr of Grumpy Souls
Validated User
General: Secondary metabolic enhancements haven't been applied yet, meaning the empowered teen needs to eat a lot. Even when completely satiated, they're only good for one or two uses of their power before they start to burn calories the hard way.

Duplication: There is no "reabsorption" mechanism. You can duplicate... and then, there's just another guy around. Who you have less and less in common with all the time. Who may decide to use this power himself.

Phasing/Teleportation: You can only phase/teleport living organic matter, resulting in a full body shave and exfoliation (not to mention the loss of equipment) when phasing/teleporting.

Telekinesis: Supercameral Integration is incomplete. The telekinetic experiences their telekinetic ability as a separate intelligence that must be cajoled into doing their bidding.

Size Change/Elongation Not all tissue types have been adapted to the procedure. The character's vital organs must remain in the traditional configuration, restricting them to limb-and-neck antics.
 
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