Oct 13 2009

Can You Describe Your Protagonist’s Superpowers in 1-2 Sentences?

When you’re pitching your story to publishers, please don’t waste paragraphs describing each character’s powers.  That’s space you could be using to develop personalities, character traits, the plot, relationships, etc.  As a rule of thumb, I would recommend keeping it simple–generally, if you need more than 20 words to describe a character’s powers, there’s probably too much going on.  (Main exception: if that extra space is crucial to understanding the plot).*

 

Here are some of the popular characters that have been introduced in the last ~30 years.

  • Wolverine has claws, regeneration and agility.
  • Cyclops has an eye-beam.
  • Spider-Man has agility, spider-webbing and danger-sense.
  • Storm can fly and control the weather.
  • Deadpool has regeneration, agility and sometimes strength.
  • Hiro Nakamura can stop time, teleport and travel through time.
  • The Haitian can erase memories and nullify powers.
  • Pretty much every other character on Heroes has a single power.
  • Reed Richards is smart and stretchy.
  • The Invisible Woman has telekinesis and forcefields.  And, umm, invisibility (though you hopefully knew that one).
  • Iron Man is tough, smart, and armed with lasers and conventional arms.
  • Hellboy, Hulk and Ben Grimm (among many others) are just super-tough.
  • The Human Torch, Iceman and Static Shock (among others) control an element, often alongside flight or another travel ability.  (Well, ice and electricity aren’t elements, but they’re very similar as far as superhero writing is concerned).

 

Virtually every popular hero introduced in the last ~30 years has superpowers which could be summarized in ten words.  (Can you think of any exceptions?  Spawn, Sandman and possibly Invincible are the only ones that came to mind).

 

Almost all of the modern characters that have really caught on have only a few powers that are easy to explain.   This is particularly true–perhaps almost necessarily true– when the story is about a group of superheroes rather than an individual.  You probably don’t have enough space to develop three powers each for a group of five (unless perhaps they’re very generic and require extremely little explanation).  When you’re dealing with a cast as large as X-Men or Heroes, I’d only recommend giving 3+ powers to characters that are unusually important.

 

*Off the top of my head, the only story I’ve read where the superpowers would have deserved more than two sentences in a page-long summary is Bitter Seeds.  Its superpowers come from demonic negotiations with human-hating spirits, which significantly affects the mood (e.g. the protagonists kill innocents to pay off the spirits) and drives the plot (e.g. the two main protagonists part ways over how to handle the spirits). Don’t spend more space on the details of the superpowers unless those details really help us understand the plot and/or characters.

97 responses so far

97 Responses to “Can You Describe Your Protagonist’s Superpowers in 1-2 Sentences?”

  1. Lighting Manon 14 Oct 2009 at 8:22 am

    Great article, thanks, I’ve always tried to hold my powers to a standard close to this, but it is always tempting to stray so you can be more unique and lists like these are inspiration to stay true to that level of simplicity. Plus, it gave me an idea for a power; fire blood! an individual whose blood is highly flammable but contains no powers outside of that, forcing them to focus on creating conventional explosives taking advantage of it using stored frozen samples.

  2. Ragged Boyon 14 Oct 2009 at 9:53 am

    I can’t help but feel that this article is partially inspired by my revamping to a much more complex power. But that’s just me being conceited. Anyways, here’s my attempt(s):

    (First, his former power)
    Showtime is versed in alien technology and can control water. Ten words! 😀

    (Now his newer power)
    Showtime’s suit allows him to summon alien technology at random. Ten words! 😉

    If I were to include a second sentence I would probably use it to explain the random factor. If I find writing his new powers to be a hassle, I’ll switch back.

    What do you think?

  3. Merideson 14 Oct 2009 at 10:02 am

    Very nice article. Thanks for putting it up!

    Ok, so let’s see how my characters match up… getting ready for NaNoWriMo!

    Lerin is mildly telepathic and can transform into a dragon late into the story. (14 words)
    Ronnie is telepathic and invulnerable. (5!)
    Griff manipulates metal. Later in the story, he will be able to absorb it. (13)
    Kyle knows when and where a phone will ring, before it happens. (12 and yes, it’s a lame power. So what.)

    Yay! Thanks again for the quick quiz!

  4. Wingson 14 Oct 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Meg manipulates and stores electricity. (5)
    Connor has aura-based abilities including force fields and force blasts. (10 or 11, depending on if aura-based is considered one word or 2)
    Ian can fly and heal physical injuries. (7)
    Darren is telekinetic and can later levitate. (7)
    Jazz shapeshifts into animals. (4!)
    Pierce manipulates metal and uses it as armor. (7)

    Darkstar turns invisible in shadow. (5)
    Hikari manipulates light. (3!)
    Synth can control and understand plants. (6)
    Masochist manipulates blood. (3 AGAIN!)
    (Instinct has no powers)
    Hummingbird can fly at supersonic speeds. (6)

    Woo!

    – Wings

  5. jmilbon 14 Oct 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I think I’ll give this a try.

    Knight-errant uses power armor, sword, blaster, and his bionic right arm. (12)

    StarPower has Amulet of Light that gives flight, force fields, blasts, and healing. (13)

    Night Angel has enhanced agility, reflexes, and can climb (almost) any surface. (12)

  6. B. Macon 14 Oct 2009 at 3:48 pm

    [In response to a discussion about a troll that has since been deleted]. I didn’t get a chance to read the troll’s post before it was deleted, but I’ve read a few of his comments before and I suspect I know more or less what he said.

    “What is he, your nemesis or something?” I don’t think he’s competing in my niche. He disdains popular fiction. In contrast, sales and audience size are very important to me and anybody else trying to become a professional writer. (Sales and sales projections are the single biggest factors determining which stories get published and how much the authors are paid).

    I have two goals for my writing: 1) Write the best I can and 2) Attract as many readers as possible. Nothing else matters. If you are proud of your work and it is popular enough to sustain you, it does not matter what anybody else thinks.

    In contrast, if an author is proud of his work but has trouble finding readers, he won’t have work for long.

  7. B. Macon 14 Oct 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Hello, RB! “I can’t help but feel that this article is partially inspired by my revamping to a much more complex power.” Nah. 😉

    When you’re explaining just the powers, I wouldn’t recommend getting into the origin or source of the powers. You can handle that elsewhere.

    However, I like the sentence “Showtime’s suit allows him to summon alien technology at random.” If I had written the sentence anticipating that I would describe the alien suit elsewhere, I’d say something like “Showtime can summon random alien gadgets–sometimes useful, sometimes not.”

  8. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 15 Oct 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Hello everyone. Yes, I know, another long absence etc. Haha, but the school holidays are over so my visits will be few. Heck, I’m only here now because I’m coughing my lungs up and can’t go today. Haha.

    Isaac can fly, shoot energy blasts and will develop the power for shields. (13)

    Kamari has the same powers as Isaac. (7)

    Tristram has the same powers as Isaac, but is weaker, and can hack computers. (14)

    Klemente can shapeshift. (3!)

    Atalya can fly and has some martial arts ability. (9)

    Requiem can roughly predict if someone (non-specific) will die, talk to the dead, and sense if someone has died in a room in the past. (25)

    Livian can communicate with animals. (5)

    Cain has ice powers (creation, manipulation etc) (7)

    Out of all the powers, Klemente’s is the simplest to explain. Haha.

  9. ShardReaperon 15 Oct 2009 at 5:42 pm

    K, here we go:

    Jake can control electricity, stick and climb to walls, and has super agility.

    Karnak has the ability to absorb weapons into his skin, thus becoming a walking weapon. He also has the power of cellular regeneration.

    Derek absorbs energy to teleport and create energy orbs. Said orbs have different functions (flame, grenade, tar, etc.).

    Alan has superhuman accuracy and cryokinesis. He also has some form of enhanced vision, usually to spot targets too far away for others to see.

  10. Tarik_92on 17 Oct 2009 at 5:00 am

    Dragon has elemental manipulation and martial arts.
    Armory can use anything as a proficient weapon, marksman.
    Titan manipulates energy.
    Mage is a mystic with vast powers.
    And Rogue Hawk has animal powers.

  11. B. Macon 17 Oct 2009 at 7:35 am

    Hello, Tarik!

    I’d recommend being more specific on Mage and Rogue Hawk. “Mage is a mystic with vast powers” is probably not clear enough to indicate to readers/editors what the character can do. In contrast, “Storm can control the weather” is easier to grasp.

    Also, I think I know what you mean by “Rogue Hawk has animal powers,” but it might help to be more specific there, too. If his powers work like Vixen’s, then you could probably describe it as “Rogue Hawk can take on abilities and strengths of different animals,” etc.

  12. thablueon 17 Oct 2009 at 11:50 am

    Hmmmm…here goes:

    Rue has super strength, healing, speed and agility. She is also relatively immortal.

    There. Two sentences, w00t! Any other superior abilities she has are more the result of lifetimes of study than any supernatural power.

  13. Wingson 17 Oct 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Dang! Another person with a Titan character!

    Well, the name IS cool…

    Here are the Darkstar Rising villains and second-gen Specials:

    Frostbite can manipulate ice. (4)
    Soothsayer can see the future. (5)
    Sparta has mind control. (4)
    ((There is one more hero who I am still trying to create))
    Remembrance reads minds and can bring memories to life. (9)
    Harbinger/Infinite is an empath whose other power is random. (10)

    Alcatraz is an escape artist. (Not really a power, but 5)
    Scapegoat can cause pain to rebound upon the giver. (9)
    Pathos gains different powers from emotions. (6)
    Shift shapeshifts into humans. (4)

    – Wings

  14. Tarik_92on 17 Oct 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Lets see… more specific.
    Mage can do Alterations/transmutations, conjuring/summoning, enchantments, divination, evocation, Necromancy, and abjurations.

    Rogue Hawk has abilties depending on what animal spirit he calls forth from the Native American Zodiac i.e bear, wolf, eagle.

    Titan is a relative name and probably will no be used.

  15. Tarik_92on 17 Oct 2009 at 10:14 pm

    oh. hello B. Mac

  16. Scott Jordanon 20 Oct 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Can change body heat and transfer it into objects (10)
    Can manipulate shadows to be used as weapons and portals (10)

  17. Jackon 21 Oct 2009 at 2:37 pm

    What to do you mean?

    Cuz, I’m a Marvel fan and powers take paragraphs to truly explain? Limits, powers, ect? Do you mean basic?

    Iceman would be create,control, and become ice. He can also manipulate it moisture and is immune to cold temperatures.

    Is that what you mean by summing it down? If so, that makes sense.

  18. B. Macon 21 Oct 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Yeah, you’re summing it up for the benefit of editors (and maybe prospective readers) that want to quickly evaluate whether your story is interesting enough to read. In most cases, the details of the powers don’t matter. Realistically, you have a few minutes to convince an editor not to toss your script.

    For the overwhelming majority of scripts, spending more than a sentence or two on the powers is unwise. “Iceman controls ice.” That’s all the editor needs to know about his powers. Anything more than that is probably a distraction from the details that will really make the story stand out. What’s his personality like? What are his style and voice like? What are the people around him like? What’s he trying to accomplish? Why will we care about him? Such questions are far more important than the details of his powers.

    Also, on a final note, I think that generally the vast majority of Marvel characters have powers that are easy to explain. for example, “Storm controls the weather” vs. a grab-bag of unrelated powers for Superman. “The Thing is supertough” vs. “Wonderwoman is supertough, can fly, and can force honesty.” This may be because the most prominent Marvel characters were built for teams (the X-Men, Fantastic Four, most of the Avengers, etc). In contrast, DC characters (particularly those written before the JSA was introduced in 1940) were more likely to be loners or partners rather than teammates. If the character is written as a loner, the author can afford to give him more complex powers because he doesn’t have to spend as much time on other characters.

  19. Jackon 21 Oct 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Well yes but Iceman’s only power is not control of ice he has a secondary mutation? Ice is his first power, the other is very major and used quite often

    So would you put Iceman’s powers” Thermokinesis,cryokinesis, moisture, and organic? (I said two but he has two powers with two side abilities)

    Or would I just put the power he started with in volume one aka ice? Won’t an editor be upset if the guy has four powers and you claim he has one only? Or what?

    I understand the details of the character are more important though, just curious.

  20. B. Macon 21 Oct 2009 at 4:56 pm

    “Or would I just put the power he started with in volume one aka ice? Won’t an editor be upset if the guy has four powers and you claim he has one only? Or what?”

    I’d recommend covering only what appears in the first novel or comic book arc you’re trying to sell. Then, if you want to give him more powers as the series progresses, you can work that out with your editor. However, leading with the four powers will probably take a lot of time without contributing much.

    For example, put yourself in the mindset of an editor trying to evaluate whether the story is interesting enough to buy. Does “Iceman can manipulate ice and control moisture and make slides out of ice” give you a better picture of the story than “Iceman can control ice”? Probably not– I think the extra words are a waste.

    Generally, I’d recommend delving into the powers only if it would help set the mood/tone or you have some other solid reason to. For example, if your character can control fire but his powers are magically fueled by killing people, that sets a different tone that “he can control fire.”

  21. Contra Gloveon 13 Apr 2011 at 3:48 am

    Time to necropost…

    Here are a few I can think of:

    – Naruto can make temporary copies of himself, throw energy bolts, and call out a demon fox. (16 words)

    – Ichigo Kurosaki can whip out a ghost-killing sword. (7-8 words, depending on whether “ghost-killing” is one word or two.)

    – Sailor Moon can shoot purifying beams and throw her tiara to destroy monsters. (13 words)

    – Static can shoot electricity. (4 words! Yay!)

    As for my own character…

    – Norma can shoot particle beams and withstand physical damage. (9 words)

  22. Zaft2314on 27 Oct 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Are there different types of flight? Here is an example. Superman flying power is controlled by his ability to manipulate gravitons, Wonder Woman i guess uses magic, and Martian Manhunter has telekinesis flying power. Are they basically the same or do they have there strengths and weaknesses?

  23. CCOlsonon 27 Oct 2011 at 7:25 pm

    The most basic flight could be called autokinesis, or the ability to spontaneously generate kinetic energy within oneself. You can actually set a specific amount of force that the person can generate per seconds (say, 1,000 newtons per second (per second?) ) and then calculate how fast the person could accellerate, how much they could lift.

    Gravity is more complex, because gravity is attraction between masses. If you can reverse that, you get repulsion between masses. So, you can fly toward the heaviest thing around, or away from it. There might be other ways to use it to move in a complex fashion, but the only one I’m aware of is the Alcubierre drive.

    If your hero can do that, its pure awesomeness.

    Another flight type is the Meisner effect, based on powerful magnetic field manipulation. Can’t get you off planet, but works fine as long as you’re inside Earth’s magnetic field.

    Of course, most of this is weaksauce scifi science that would make real scientists yell at me.

  24. Zaft2314on 27 Oct 2011 at 7:40 pm

    What if the flight was propelled by a type of heat energy and could the user be able to take that type of flight and fly as fast as a jet?

  25. CCOlsonon 27 Oct 2011 at 8:19 pm

    You’re talking pure thrust. It’s pretty common in comics. If you want to take a realistic spin on it, then consider that a jet relies on a nozzle system in order to direct expanding gas (fire) in a useable manner. So, to fly, your character needs either precise control or ridiculous power. If you opt for ridiculous power, then your character will scorch the ground every time they take off and be extremely dangerous to be around while flying.

    Also, consider that jets are aerodynamic while people are not. When flying at low speeds this isn’t much of a problem. However, a person flying at high speeds will experience turbulence and serious physical stresses. A person attempting to break Mach 1… probably shouldn’t. All supersonic craft are extremely aerodynamic.

  26. Zaft2314on 27 Oct 2011 at 8:28 pm

    This is really helpful to me because I’m having trouble getting my heroes power skills set. I have one last question. Say that the person has a type of invulnerable like for example, dragon skin or another durable surface, would he then be able to hit mach speeds?

  27. CCOlsonon 27 Oct 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I don’t know the exact science. I just know that as an object approaches the speed of sound it builds up an increasing pressure wave in front of it that makes it harder and harder to go faster. When the object breaks that barrier there is a moment of extreme turbulences. I think additional speed gain becomes easier after that, but I’m not sure.

    As a guess, think internal toughness as well as external toughness and LOTS of power. Your hero has to accomplish by brute force what modern aircraft require precision aerodynamic shaping in order to do safely.

    Dizziness/disorientation from shaking might be a problem.

    If your hero can do this feat, he has firepower to burn.

  28. Zaft2314on 27 Oct 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks for the help. I’ll be back if i need more 🙂

  29. Carl Shinyamaon 07 Mar 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post. I’d like some feedback on my characterr, Megapower:

    Megapower has the ability to draw real people as superheroes and it cones true.

  30. shyvioletson 07 Mar 2012 at 4:28 pm

    What are his limitations? Can you elaborate on what exactly he does?

  31. B. McKenzieon 07 Mar 2012 at 9:21 pm

    The name “Megapower” sounds unintuitive to me. (In-story, is there any need for such a name? How often are characters speaking about his powers and, in those situations, would it be possible to use something more generic like “your drawing” or “your drawing power”?)

    [UPDATE: Oh, ack, I misread that badly. “Megapower” is the name of the superhero, not the power.]

  32. Carl Shinyamaon 07 Mar 2012 at 11:39 pm

    @shyviolets: His limitations: It only works once on that person.

    @ B. McKenzie: You’re right, it does sound counter-intuitive, especially if you don’t know the premise.

    To answer your question: Yes, the need for the name is there, because he draws himself as a superhero; he draws himself as a superhero whose powers come from his interactive suit, which lives inside his skin and transforms him into Megapower when he wants to. The suit grants him superstrength, superspeed, invulnerability, and flight. (The exact mechanism for which his suit grants him his abilities is a little complicated, and I don’t plan to go into full details with it, at least, not right away).

    Here is a look at his costume, where as you can see, his physique justifies the name Megapower:

    http://mrgoodtimes247.deviantart.com/#/d4rg05m

    Despite taking up the superhero business, I do have many plans for his ability to draw people as a superhero: For example, in one issue, I plan on him having to draw a dangerous antagonist of his with a new ability to help him fight a threat greater than themselves.

  33. B. McKenzieon 08 Mar 2012 at 12:08 am

    Sorry, I misread that badly. I thought that Megapower was the name of the superpower rather than the superhero. Hmm. This isn’t a huge deal and won’t mean the difference between whether the story gets published or not, but I would recommend a name that develops the character or his goals in an interesting way.

    “…his physique justifies the name Megapower.” Granted, I’m not very familiar with the character, but his physique is probably not one of the five most interesting things about him. (If it is, I would recommend more character development).

  34. Carl Shinyamaon 08 Mar 2012 at 12:40 am

    Correct, it is not even one of the five most interesting things about him.

    He chooses the name Megapower for a simple reason: To let evildoers know they are messing with someone with great ability/power, which also thematically matches what he can do, not dissimilar from a name like Superman or Invincible.

    I plan to have a humorous way of showing how he comes up with the name.

    I do agree about character development. My ultimate goal is to give readers a character that gives them a reason to buy the book every month.

  35. Carl Shinyamaon 08 Mar 2012 at 1:20 am

    I’m debating that because of Megapower’s name, it might make more sense to say it this way:

    “Megapower has superstrength, superspeed, flight, and invulnerability.”

    Problem is, he’d be the 1490380347850th hero who can do all that, which would likely inspire a yawn, at best. My dilemma is that this sounds more unique (and in my opinion, more likely to catch the editor’s and/or publisher’s attention. [Especially Image, since I plan to submit this book to them]):

    “Megapower has the ability to draw real people as superheroes and it comes true.”

  36. B. McKenzieon 08 Mar 2012 at 6:37 am

    If the story is exciting and the characters are interesting, I don’t think it matters if the superpowers are generic. For example, Image’s Invincible and (to some extent) Dynamo 5 have pretty basic superpowers. Over at Dark Horse, Hellboy and most of the characters in the Umbrella Academy have pretty basic powers.

  37. Carl Shinyamaon 08 Mar 2012 at 9:03 am

    Thanks! Although, I do believe I will have to mention his ability to draw people as superheroes in the submission, because it plays a prominent role in some stories, and in some of Megapower’s goals.

  38. YoungAuthoron 08 Mar 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Tyler has super speed and eye beams.(7)
    Kane has enhanced human characteristics. (5)

    OH and Spiderman also has super strength. (Anyone else excited for the new movie?)

  39. Carl Shinyamaon 22 Mar 2012 at 9:15 pm

    For a different book of mine, which has been on my mind all day:

    The Aloha Girl has super-strength*, hyper-agility, and superhuman durability**.

    —————————————————–

    * Superstrength: She’s far from a Supergirl-level strength; She can lift around 10 tons, which is more around Spider-woman’s range.

    ** She can handle falling from two or three stories, but point-blank gunfire from high-powered firearms could be enough to kill her.

    (Later on, she flies, but that’s way down the line)

    http://mrgoodtimes247.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4pskk1

  40. ChickenNoodleson 15 Jun 2012 at 4:02 pm

    My character:
    Thunder he can generate and control weather and fly. He is also an accomplished martial artist/kick boxer.

    I know I’m kind off late to the party, but how’s that for a short explaination. 🙂
    -ChickenNoodles

  41. Anion 16 Jun 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Anita: Can temporarily absorb the attributes of animals (agility, enhanced vision, etc.) through physical touch. The longer the touch, the longer she keeps the abilities. [24 words]

    Kira: Can manipulate any sounds she produces. [5 words]

    Joseph: Can sense a person’s intentions and is clairvoyant. [8 words]

    Katherine: Can sense a person’s intentions and sees various ways people connect in the world. [14 words] (It’s a bit more complex than that.)

    Rebecca: Can see the future by travelling to it in her astral form. [12 words]

    Gabriel: Can manipulate and communicate with technology. [6 words] (Bad description, I know.)

    Valerie: Telekinetic who can move up to five tons and stop up to twenty. [13 words]

  42. Carl Shinyamaon 17 Jun 2012 at 4:25 pm

    @ Ani: Concerning Gabriel: Technology is a broad term. An everyday hammer is a form of technology, so I ask: What kind of technology?

    If it’s the ability to manipulate and communicate with electronics, I’m guessing the word you want is cyberpathy.

    Gabriel: He is a cyberpath.

  43. B. Macon 17 Jun 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ani: “[This hero] can manipulate and communicate with technology. ”

    Carl: “Technology is a broad term. An everyday hammer is a form of technology, so I ask: What kind of technology?”

    This sort of power usually applies to electronics*. Not that hammers aren’t cool, too, but they’re not one of the first things to come to my mind when I hear “technology.”

    *Some other more exotic variations: the ability to communicate with nanites or telepathy (or other mental abilities) that works only on genetically modified organisms (or chemically altered organisms or whatever fits the story).

  44. aharrison 17 Jun 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Nemesis can alter a person’s perception of reality and hear thoughts. [11 words]

  45. B. McKenzieon 17 Jun 2012 at 9:08 pm

    “Nemesis can alter a person’s perception of reality and hear thoughts.” This strikes me as potentially very interesting, but probably more so for an antagonist than a protagonist (because it’d probably be more interesting if used against a point-of-view character).

  46. YoungAuthoron 18 Jun 2012 at 6:59 am

    Black Dragon can breathe fire, has super-strength, and can fly. (11)

  47. Yuuki12on 18 Jun 2012 at 1:54 pm

    My hero is name is Kai. His superpower is as follows.

    “By uttering the phrase ‘Khargosa”, he transforms into an anthropomorphic rabbit. In this form, he gains the physical traits of a rabbit and the power to harness Celestial Pulse, a mystical essence that is similar to chi”.

    So how’s that? Hopefully, that’s good enough. In many ways, this hero is inspired by Iron fist, though obviously not human; rather a rabbit.

  48. DragonDevilon 19 Jun 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Hi,
    I visit this site often and it has been very helpful to me.It has seriously damn amazing stuff to read.I am from India and i am working on a superhero story based on Indian mythology(not sure how many of u r familiar with it).
    So….(dont mind my english)
    The heroes name is Karma(Is that already taken?).
    His primary abilities are:Super-strength,super-speed,Athletic,accelerated healing.
    Other abilities:Precognitive abilities(If there is an extreme threat to his life,he can have visions in his dream),Energy blasts(magic),divine weapons which can only be used by him like:*sudarshan chakra
    *Vajra(the lightning sword)
    *A trident….(he gets various other random abilities and celestial weapons,which he is gifted by the GODS)

    *I am still not sure of the origin..I was thinking of a character whose father is a god.(mom is human)…and he was born with his powers(but thats too cliche ryt?).
    *Can anyone please help me with the origin story….I think it wud be better to make the origin of his powers an accident,or maybe drinking the somras*(The drink of the gods,you know like ambrosia…supposed to give gods their powers and immortality))

    *please comment on the character…and help me with the origin story..

    Thanx…

  49. DragonDevilon 19 Jun 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Oh , i forgot to write this,he can turn into a dragon-like monster during extreme danger…not in his control.

    He mostly does not know his abilities…he sometimes gets random abilities..

  50. B. McKenzieon 20 Jun 2012 at 5:06 pm

    “By uttering the phrase ‘Khargosa”, he transforms into an anthropomorphic rabbit. In this form, he gains the physical traits of a rabbit and the power to harness Celestial Pulse, a mystical essence that is similar to chi.” I could see this possibly working for Japanese audiences, but if I were evaluating at this manuscript for an American publisher, I’d wonder about the extent of the appeal (unless perhaps you’re going after younger readers).

  51. Yuuki12on 20 Jun 2012 at 7:12 pm

    @B. Mckenzie

    First off thank you very much for responding to my comment. In regards to your comment, I see your point. The appeal of a rabbit hero no less is complicated as it may garner lack of appeal.

    Originally, I wanted to give him an anthropomorphic of a lion or tiger. But I decided against it, for these forms in my humble view are cliched and such are overused in not just superhero fiction, but most others as well. That said, the decision to use a rabbit was simple: symbolism and irony.

    Rabbits in western mythology are often depicted as trickesters. However, during my research Native American mythology was somewhat different. Their depiction, Nanabozho, is shown to have the trickerster archetype, but he’s also a virtuous hero that strives to aid humanity.

    This got me thinking, as it’s rather interesting to see that a rabbit could be depicted heroic being, despite such a negative. It can be considered baffling with how culturally they are considered to be peaceful creatures Upon doing more research, I discovered many other cultures depicted rabbits, like the chinese who saw them as messengers of the moon good.

    Also, upon finding heroes like Usagi Yojimo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the believability of having a rabbit superhero, while perplexing was more acceptable to me. Alas, I’m beating around the bush and perhaps sounding defensive and for that I apologize.

    The main point was that I wanted to give my protagonist an ability that was unique, but not too far fetched. Now of course, powers will NOT make a good character, as personality, definable traits and other aspects will be required. That I hope to work on.

    But if that’s not sufficient, the other ability I had for him was as follows: “Derek’s powers revolve around sound. He can create, modify and mimic sound wave for a variety of offensive, defensive and other purposes”.

    This was the back up power. Hopefully, if the rabbit-based stuff is still peculiar, maybe this could work?

  52. Dragondevilon 21 Jun 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Hey, B.Mac please comment on my character,If u get the time in Japan.
    Schools gonna start soon and I will be banned from using the PC.
    Thank u

  53. B. McKenzieon 23 Jun 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Hello, Dragondevil. One thing that comes to mind is that the character has a long list of superpowers. It might make the explanation more complicated. For example, the above summary spent something like 50 words describing his superpowers and was pretty vague even at that length (e.g. “he gets various other random abilities and celestial weapons”). Compare to something like “Storm controls the weather and can fly.” I think it would really help if the superpowers were simplified and/or merged so that you had more space to cover the most critical aspects of the character (notably personality and distinguishing traits).

    Some possibilities for simplification:
    –Athleticism can be eliminated because it’s covered by superstrength and speed.

    –It might help to reduce the number of weapons to 1. Maybe 2. It sounds like each of these weapons will take explanation.

    When you do the origin story, I would recommend working in a distinguishing trait for the character. For example, maybe a major choice plays a key role. Daredevil only gets doused by dangerous chemicals because he threw himself in the way of a truck while saving somebody. Wonder Woman wins the Amazonian trials even though her mother told her not to participate. Spider-Man loses his uncle because he was too human/petty to intervene on behalf of an (unscrupulous) stranger.

    PS: Marvel has a character named Karma. Probably not a huge problem–just get your story ready to submit to publishers, submit it, and be aware that your eventual publisher may ask you to change the name. This issue would not scare publishers from an otherwise publishable manuscript because names are relatively easy to change.

  54. Dragondevilon 01 Jul 2012 at 12:48 am

    Thank you very much for replying….

    I felt that super-strength,speed and athleticism are generic powers and dont need much explanation,

    I really liked your suggestion about reducing the no. of weapons…thanx

    The hero gets his powers by Drinking somaras(the drink of the gods),can u give any suggestions on how to make it an accident(or more interesting or dramatic)

    and do u think making the hero the son of the villain(demon) or a God is too cliche?

    Thank u verry much!

  55. B. McKenzieon 01 Jul 2012 at 5:25 am

    “The hero gets his powers by drinking somaras (the drink of the gods). Can you give any suggestions on how to make it an accident (or more interesting or dramatic).” Maybe the character does it on a dare? Or maybe there aren’t signs (or maybe there are signs and he either can’t understand that language or maybe he just ignores the signs)*. When a god(dess) learns that this mortal has presumptuously taken this drink of the gods, maybe he/she decides to curse the hero with some surely fatal task (along the lines of “well, if you’re a ‘god,’ then you can handle the divine task of [dispatching some unholy demon or something else meant to get him killed].” The hero’s actions (ideally a notable decision and/or something that helps develop a distinguishing trait of the main character) might convince a more sympathetic god(dess) to intervene on his behalf (preferably for a combination of altruistic and selfish reasons) and/or draw him into a preexisting conflict between the two gods.

    “Do you think making the hero the son of the villain (demon) or a god is too cliche?” I think it would be really helpful to give him a decisive role in his origin, something he DOES. For example, Steve Rogers makes it into the Captain America program because he wouldn’t take no for an answer from the Army, and from there he was only chosen as Captain America because he distinguished himself from other candidates in a series of trials. If the main issue is just that your hero is born superpowered, I would really recommend giving him SOMETHING notable he does (or some goal he tries to fulfill) that most other characters wouldn’t do in the same situation to help distinguish him from other superheroes. For example, in my own comic (The Taxman Must Die), a mutant alligator doesn’t have any control over the chemical spill which gave him his powers, but I think his jingoistic/scholarly/wacky personality and conflicts with his partner (a much more mundane accountant) help separate him from what most other protagonists would do in a similar situation.

    *He might dismiss these signs as just superstitious nonsense meant to scare tourists and/or schoolchildren.

  56. Dragondevilon 01 Jul 2012 at 8:30 am

    Thank you very much! 😀

    “When a god(dess) learns that this mortal has presumptuously taken this drink of the gods, maybe he/she decides to curse the hero with some surely fatal task (along the lines of “well, if you’re a ‘god,’ then you can handle the divine task of [dispatching some unholy demon or something else meant to get him killed].”

    You are a genius!

    What do u think of this:
    The hero is the son of a God,but does not have faith in gods.when he later finds out he is very angry at his father…so much so that he is not ready to take his help when his mother is kidnapped by the villain.but only when he loses all hope,he chooses to drink the somaras(only drinking it can activate his powers)!

    wat do u think?

    thannk u very much!

  57. B. McKenzieon 01 Jul 2012 at 1:33 pm

    “The hero is the son of a God, but does not have faith in gods. When he later finds out, he is very angry at his father…so much so that he is not ready to take his help when his mother is kidnapped by the villain. When he loses all hope, he chooses to drink the somaras (only drinking it can activate his powers).” That sounds workable, although I’d recommend making the decision to drink the somaras more distinct to the character. If it’s merely a matter of “drink this god-serum for free superpowers,” I think 99%+ of superhero protagonists would drink it to save their mothers–if so, the decision probably wouldn’t be very memorable. One possibility would be adding memorably negative consequences to the decision that will help develop key character traits of the character. For example, if one of the defining traits of the character is reckless bravery, he might stand out from other superheroes if he were willing to steal the gods’ somaras to save his mother. Alternately, perhaps drinking the somaras has terrible consequences of its own (e.g. perhaps the ritual involves demonic-ness as well as godliness).



    “You are a genius!” Thanks, but it’s just practice.

  58. Birdyon 31 Jul 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Flycatcher’s a bird. (3)

    Haha. Okay, a little more detail would be ‘Flycatcher can fly, has talons, and agility’. (7)

    Nat has super strength and endurance. (6)

    White Lightning can redirect lightning and is an occasional speedster. (10)

    Miles has bone manipulation and healing. (6)

    The others are still being worked on. 🙂

    I think I’ve got a pretty good variety.

  59. Dr. Vo Spaderon 19 Oct 2012 at 9:19 am

    …My character can push and pull on metal materials. Physics and other rules are heavily involved. For example, if he tosses a coin up and pushes with his power, it flies upward. But if he drops the coin on the pavement and pushes, HE flies upward.
    …In fact, in my draft I write – “Vo took a coin from the slot built into his belt and dropped it to the floor. Then he PUSHED, and because it could not go down, he went up.”
    …My question, though, is how could I incorporate the complexity of his power into a simple explaination? Is that possible?

  60. B. McKenzieon 19 Oct 2012 at 11:16 am

    It might be easier to just have him wear partially metallic garments and have him fly by exerting his telekinetic powers on them. Alternately, if you were dead set on having him propel himself by pushing on hard metal objects elsewhere, you might be able to explain it in terms of equal and opposite reactions and/or recoil. (I don’t think it would hold up with physicists*, but most superhero stories wouldn’t. I don’t think it’s a problem).

    *The analogy that comes to mind is shooting a gun. The recoil to the shooter is generated by the chemical energy of the propellant (i.e. firing the bullet), NOT the force of the bullet hitting anything. In contrast, the telekinetic’s recoil appears to be generated by the force of impact.

  61. Nayanon 19 Oct 2012 at 8:25 pm

    @Dr. Vo Spader

    Just one thought-
    if your flies by applying force on a coin, how does he maintain the flight? As he goes up, distance between him and the coin will increase.

  62. Dr. Vo Spaderon 19 Oct 2012 at 9:43 pm

    @Nayan,
    …Yes, of course! This is one of the limitations. However, as he progresses his maximum distance is increased.

  63. Dr. Vo Spaderon 19 Oct 2012 at 9:50 pm

    P.S. – When my character gets too far away from his starting point, he has to find another object. Really, his is more jumping/lurching than flying.

  64. Infernoxon 20 Oct 2012 at 7:41 am

    I was going to give my character the ability to mimic the abilities of dinosaurs, but then I heard of reptil. Can I still use that power without getting accused of plagrism?

  65. Infernoxon 20 Oct 2012 at 11:00 am

    Please can somebody answer, I need advice on this!

  66. B. McKenzieon 20 Oct 2012 at 11:18 am

    Depending on your target audience, I would guess that 98%+ of your prospective readers have not heard of Reptil (a very minor Marvel character) and the idea of taking on powers from various animals is generic enough that I think you’d probably be okay from a creative perspective*. I think superpowers can usually be duplicated without raising plagiarism concerns unless the superpowers are so specific that they bring to mind a particular character (especially a major character). For example, the ability to sling webs definitely brings to mind Spider-Man (a billion-dollar franchise character), whereas the ability to take on attributes of various animals does not bring a particular character to mind. That said, the element of morphing limbs from a class of animals is specific enough that I would recommend having your character mimic the dinosaurs in some other way than morphing their limbs (e.g. see Vixen). Also, it might help to broaden his category of animals to reptiles rather than just dinosaurs.

    I’d also recommend making sure that the character has something seriously different going on in characterization. If I could brazenly self-promote, I think my own Agent Orange is sufficiently different from Leatherhead (a Ninja Turtles character) even though they’re both mutant alligators with very similar combat capabilities/superpowers. I think their personalities, voices, attributes, flaws, goals, obstacles, backgrounds, etc. are different enough that they will feel different even though their powers and origin stories overlap. I think that a significantly-different character will also find different ways to use his powers. For example, in AO’s first scene, he uses his abilities in a social context (terrifying an accountant, theorizing on the unique properties of the American alligator, and devouring the accountant’s resume because he thinks the accountant is useless). I think the scene feels unique to AO rather than LH because I don’t think LH has the personality to do this scene (although he’s physically capable of doing it).

    *If there were issues from a legal perspective, your eventual publisher would let you know. I’m not a lawyer, but I suspect that any issues here would be relatively easy to fix if it came to that, so prospective publishers would not be scared away.



    “Please can somebody answer, I need advice on this!” Umm… next time, I’d recommend waiting a day before posting any reminders. Four hours is not enough time for most SN readers to respond, particularly if the four hours are a weekend morning in the U.S. and Canada. (70-80% of our readers are from North America, and most North Americans don’t do much online from, say, 0700-1100 on a weekend).

  67. Infernoxon 20 Oct 2012 at 11:58 am

    Yeah, sorry B. Mac. It’s just that I cannot move forward in the book until I have a handle on his powers, so I got impateient. Also, if not morphing the limbs, what would you suggest?

  68. Infernoxon 20 Oct 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Just so you know, My character’s personality, origin, situation and plot are very different from Reptil’s. His origin involves finding a magical stone, whereas my character was infected with alien nanites.

  69. B. McKenzieon 20 Oct 2012 at 1:24 pm

    “Also, if not morphing the limbs, what would you suggest?” Here are some possibilities that come to mind for a reptile-themed character.
    –The character takes on attributes or traits of the animal in question but appears fully human (e.g. like Vixen or some shaman/druid characters).
    –The character has various attributes/traits associated with the animal(s) in question, but appears fully human (e.g. Wolverine or Spider-Man).
    –The character is a shapeshifter (i.e. can change between various dinosaurs or reptiles and human).
    –A werewolf and/or Reptile approach (i.e. your character has an alternate reptilian form. Transformations might be involuntary like a werewolf, voluntary like Jake Long, or both like the Hulk).
    –The Thing/Beast approach (i.e. your character occupies an alternate reptilian form full-time).
    –The TMNT approach (i.e. your character always has been a reptile).

    All of these are generic enough that I think they could be executed without raising rip-off concerns.

  70. Frenzyon 20 Oct 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Alrighty then. I think mine are clear enough, but a second opinion couldn’t hurt. PS. Sorry if this is a lot of characters.

    Melissa is a telekinetic (very self explanatory). (4)

    Taylor can teleport and has partial night vision. (8)

    Khloe can disintegrate people she touches. (6)

    Anthony can read minds. (4)

    (Okay, this might be quite a bit more than 20 words) Erin can walk through walls, travel as a shadow, and has night vision. In her shadow form she can “suck” people into the ground who are above her . . . She can also create black humanoid beings from the shadows as her minions. (Definitely the most complicated of all of them). (41)

    Damon can replicate small objects. (5)

    Jon can induce sleep, control dreams, and step out of his body when asleep. He doesn’t need sleep. (18)

    Robbie transforms into birds. (4)

    Jessie heals. (2)

    Wyatt negates other peoples abilities. (5)

    Tracy manipulates fire. (3)

    Quill manipulates electricity. (3)

    Petra is emotionless and negates other peoples abilities (Yes, like Wyatt). Though, unlike Wyatt, he negates all abilities within a short radius. (19)

    Harris can see different versions of the future. However, he can’t see that far into the future. (17)

    Kerri can change genders and make anyone she wants . . . “really in the mood for it”. (15)

    Leech can take the ability of another if he ingests some of their blood. He can only have one ability at a time. (23)

  71. B. McKenzieon 20 Oct 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Yeah, you can probably guess my two main concerns here. As you noted, 16 characters is quite a lot… I’d recommend seeing if you could halve the cast size to something like 5-6 protagonists and 2-3 antagonists. That would probably give you more room to develop each character beyond one- or two-dimensional cliches. Secondly (and I apologize if this is too blunt), but I think the transgendered fetish angle with Kerri is terrifying from a sales/readership perspective. If getting professionally published is your goal, I would recommend reevaluating whether that angle is necessary to the project.

  72. Frenzyon 21 Oct 2012 at 1:19 am

    While I completely understand your concerns about Kerri, I feel like I should make these two points: that in terms of whether it’s “terrifying from a sales/readership perspective”, pretty much every main character apart from three are villains and they’re the protagonists (though I do have two main protagonists), also with one villain antagonist. From the beginning the POVs aren’t exactly high with morals and are already fairly dark. My second point is that eight of those sixteen fall somewhere on the LGBT spectrum, and . . . well, I definitely don’t hide that, nor do I make it a plot point. And concerning the actual character of Kerri, it is actually quite relevant, both for the character development of other characters and for a subplot.
    By the way, I’m not trying to completely dismiss your opinion, I’m just saying that from a marketing perspective, I’m not exaltly trying hard to keep it close to what sells.
    Lastly, about the number of characters, I don’t know why I included Robbie, since he dies in the prologue of book one, so we can make that fifteen characters. Two of them are introduced in book two, so that’s thirteen for book one (Not much of a difference, I know). Two are introduced in book two and one dies st the end of book one, so that’s fourteen for book two (More, but by now the others should be developed). And in book three, three died in book two, so we’ll have eleven.
    Again, this really sounds as if I’m just dismissing your opinion, but other than Robbie who is just extremely unimportant, I’m just really reluctant to cut the cast down more. Overall, out of the sixteen, I could probably completely remove four of them. But with great reluctance.

  73. B. McKenzieon 21 Oct 2012 at 8:29 am

    “I’m just saying that from a marketing perspective, I’m not exactly trying hard to keep it close to what sells.” Okay. I’d recommend working especially hard on picking the right prospective publishers, because I think a lot of publishers would be scared off by the issues above. Good luck with your project, but I think it’s not a very good fit for a mostly PG/PG-13 educational website

  74. Anonymouson 16 Dec 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Stalker has a presentile tail, superhuman strengh, speed, and agility, claws and fire manipulation.(14)

  75. Anonymouson 16 Dec 2012 at 2:20 pm

    This isn’t relevent to his powers, but he is bi. It’s part of a subplot of book two.

  76. YellowJujuon 16 Dec 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Anonymous, is fire manipulation necessary? The other powers go together and are powerful enough as it is. Fire manipulation doesn’t really fit. It’s like Superman, he’s a flying brick, with LASERS.

  77. B. McKenzieon 16 Dec 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I’d instantly pass on a story involving a romance for anyone with a tail. Additionally, I agree with YJ that the fire manipulation is a bit random for a character that probably has enough powers to contribute already. Speed might also be an issue–if he can run as fast or faster than a car, it’d probably be quite hard to come up with ways to challenge him on top of the powers he already has. (Also, randomness concerns on the speed).

  78. Anonymouson 17 Dec 2012 at 1:21 pm

    OH, wow. I just realized I forgot to explain the nature of his powers. He wears a magical amulet that allows him to become a demon. It is only in this form that he has a tail, so there will be no romantc moments when he is in demon form. I will cut the speed out, though.

  79. YellowJujuon 17 Dec 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I guess being a demon makes fire manipulation less “flying brick-ish”.

  80. Anonymouson 17 Dec 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Yeah. Let me try again:
    Stalker is a demon with a presentile tail, claws, and superhuman strength and agility. (14)

  81. YellowJujuon 17 Dec 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Ding ding ding! lol

  82. B. McKenzieon 17 Dec 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I like it! Very efficient. You might also be able to save space by not mentioning the prehensile tail to publishers unless it’s plot-relevant–for example, “Stalker is a demon with claws, superhuman strength and agility” (10).

  83. Yuuki12on 18 Dec 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Well, here’s my character’s superpower in a short one to two sentence summary.

    “Derek Masters can project sonic scream from his voice and has super hearing. He can also utilize sound waves to move at super speed close to the speed of sound”.

    How was that? Hopefully that was descriptive enough.

  84. Anonymouson 30 Jan 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Hm. This might be hard, because my Mc has quite a lot of powers, but let’s see. Gauntlet has gloves that can fire heat, cold, elecrticity, and stasis fields. 12 words. Baring in mind that each blast need to be recharged after a certain numer of uses, do you think he is over powered?

  85. B. McKenzieon 30 Jan 2013 at 9:22 pm

    “Gauntlet has gloves that can fire heat, cold, electricity, and stasis fields.” Hmm. In the interests of simplicity/brevity, it may help to cut 1-2 of the elements. I feel like the ability to control ice is sort of redundant with the stasis fields, but the stasis fields strike me as more interesting.

    “Derek Masters can project sonic scream from his voice and has super hearing. He can also utilize sound waves to move at super speed close to the speed of sound.” That strikes me as descriptive, though I think you could shorten it to “Derek can control sound and move extremely quickly.”

  86. Jacob Strainon 02 Feb 2013 at 6:04 am

    X-Ray (Name is going to be changed) manipulates radiation. 3 words! Yay!

  87. Ann Onymouson 12 Feb 2013 at 9:40 am

    Fauna can control, morph into, and speak to animals. (9)

    Blight can cause disease. (4!)

    Wildcat can morph into any kind of cat. (8)

    Elemental has elemental powers. (4 again!)

  88. NJHeroFanon 12 Feb 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Chris Reed has regeneration, a danger sense, and Olympic-level athleticism.

  89. J. M. Maxwellon 04 Apr 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Well, may as well. This site’s been a big help thus far. 😉 So, here are some supers I had in mind…

    Bastet is fast, durable, and has catlike claws and senses. (10) [Being a catgirl helps with that, too…]

    Shank has amazing reflexes, and throws knives with deadly accuracy. (10) [In-story, he pondered the codename “Ninja”, but felt it was too dorky]

    Grave can make zombies by infecting corpses or normal people with his blood. (13) [Self-explanatory, though he’s inspired somewhat by Deathstroke/Slade]

    Aeshma is super-strong, durable, and has corrosive blood. (9) [Named after a Zoroastrian demon of wrath]

    Skinner is immune to psychic powers. (6) [Originally inspired by The Shredder, and a villian for the below heroine]

    Impulse can stun or heal living beings. (7) [Her power source is psychic]

  90. Davidon 28 Jun 2013 at 12:14 am

    Jaeden has telekinesis and telepathy. (5)

  91. Davidon 28 Jun 2013 at 12:18 am

    Sorry
    Razz and Dazz (twins) have elemental powers. (7)
    Emily has the power to mimic animals. (7)

  92. young grasshopperon 19 Jun 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Trojan has agility, extremely quick reflexes, and can connect his nervous system to others’ upon physical contact. (17)

  93. Vixis Shiar'Deluson 20 Jun 2016 at 10:43 am

    Alfred (H) manipulates the direction and shape energies take, but cannot change the type of energy or safely absorb it.

    Wilbur (H) can safely absorb and eject energy from any part of his body, and can change the type of energy while it is still inside his body. He cannot manipulate its shape very well.

    Jaizon (V) has no tangible form and can “possess” several individuals at one time. With this, he can consciously or subconsciously have them collect information or perform actions for him without any trace of his having been there being left behind.

    Jacob (H) can manipulate the minds of the living into feeling various degrees of pain.

    Juniper (V) can control the memories of individuals within a certain distance of her.

  94. Greyon 18 Oct 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Dusk teleports, phases, and adapts to injury.

    Void turns into an alien apex predator.

    Wisp uses orbs of energy with various effects based on the color of light.

    Kelvin controls thermal energy.

    Fracture uses shatterpoints.

    Verity is a psychic shapeshifter.

  95. Alex Lyonon 27 Apr 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Hmm. I’ll try my story’s characters in this ‘ten words or less’ game.

    Gestalt can see chance, control air, and has an inventory. (10)
    Cherub is like an angel, and can feel emotions. (9)
    Rosebud is a carnivorous plant that likes pacifying people. (9)
    Inkblot is a raging monster that steals life to survive. (10)
    Glyphwork can manipulate the stuff that makes up reality. (9)
    Contrast can create lightning, and shoot force from his hands. (10)

    Hey I passed!

  96. Cat-vacuumer Supremeon 28 Apr 2017 at 12:36 pm

    What do you mean by ‘has an inventory’? And ‘like an angel’? You could be clearer there.

  97. B. McKenzieon 28 Apr 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Some unsolicited ideas, AL:

    –“can feel emotions” sounds like it will probably make dialogue less interesting and I don’t see it contributing much much outside of dialogue. I think replacing this with a skill would generally give the writer more options for interesting scenes.

    –CVS, the first interpretation of “like an angel” that came to mind for me was “flying warrior” a la Archangel/Hawkgirl/etc.

    –“Glyphwork can manipulate the stuff that makes up reality” — would suggest seeing #5 here. In this case, it sounds like you’re already stocked on out-of-the-box characters that will be easier to follow than the reality manipulator.

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