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Minimum Requirements for a Superpower

  • 1) Must not be readily or easily accessible/attainable by a normal human.
  • 2) Must not be an ability, function, or condition already present within a normal human populace.
  • 3) Must possess a functional effect: actively, passively, defensively, offensively, positively, or negatively.

Or, it can be a superpower if:

  • 4) It can only be achieved through supernatural or highly scientific/technological means.
  • 5) It is simply and only the physiology of another species.


Examples

Eyelessness:

  • X, Eyelessness is readily and easily accessible.
  • X, Eyelessness is a common enough, and an easily accessible enough condition.
  • ✓?, It can potentially have some functional effect defensively against some specific power.

Furthermore:

  • X, Eyelessness can be achieved through completely ordinary means.
  • Conclusion, while it could potentially be a defence against some superpowers, it itself is not a superpower.

Forgiveness:

  • X, Forgiveness is readily and easily accessible, as anybody, even animals, can achieve it.
  • N/A, Forgiveness is not a condition.
  • X, There is no discernible function of the power.
  • Conclusion, it doesn’t even meet a single minimum requirement to be a superpower, as it is common and has no actual function.

Limblessness:

  • ✓, Such a power could only be achieved through supernatural or technological means, as the user can maintain control of their hands, feet, and head with no connecting limbs or neck, and can further allow these things to float in the air, and move in ways otherwise not possible with limbs.

Furthermore:

  • ✓, Limblessness, in the scope of its nature and capability, is not readily or easily attainable.
  • ✓, Limblessness could be considered a condition, but its rarity could be debatable.
  • ✓, There is a discernible function, in that the user can still fully control their hands, feet, and head as they float around in the air, allowing them to move in ways, and reach places and distances ordinary people could not.
  • Conclusion, Limblessness meets the minimum requirements to be a superpower.


In Conclusion

Before a superpower is made, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it obviously a superpower; is it magical, scientific/technological, psionic, conceptual, etc?
  • Is it the physiology of another species, and only that?

If you answered “No” to both the above, then ask yourself:

  • Is it readily and easily accessible?
  • Is it common enough already?
  • Does it do anything?

If you answer one of these with a “No”, then think carefully about if it is truly a superpower, or maybe if more work is needed. Although if it doesn’t do anything, really consider if it’s a superpower.

If you answer two of these with a “No”, then it likely isn’t a superpower, or a great deal more work needs to be done.

If you answer all of these with a “No”, you’re unfortunately not making a superpower.


Further Requirements

To help further determine if a power can/should be made, further requirements are as follows; a superpower:

  • Must not be unnecessary fluff and/or overly-specific. E.g. Primordial Negative Dark Zombie-Demon-Dragon Lord Physiology, or English Ladybirds at 11:01:59AM Tuesday 29th November 2019 Manipulation
    • What is considered as fluff or over-specific will be down to user subjectivity and discretion. Keep this in mind as it might be the reason a power is deleted.
  • Must not be specific to a single world, story, character, or verse. E.g. Kryptonite Aversion, Autobot Physiology, or Pokémon Companionship
  • Must not be exactly the same as another power, functionally the same just with a different name. E.g. Water Manipulation and Liquid H2O Manipulation
  • Please follow this template on how to organize a superpower page.


Powers Without Users

If you have a cool, creative, or interesting idea for a power, but can’t think of or find any users, here’s a quick guide to follow:

  • Make sure it meets the minimum requirements.
  • Make sure it meets the further requirements.
  • Make sure the limitations are based on the mechanisms of the superpower, not on mechanisms of a world or flaws of a character. E.g. If it takes a lot of stamina to do, is that because of the mechanism of the superpower requires it (say like a Doubled-Edged Power), or because in the world you’re imagining, it’s a high-cost ability/spell? Or is it because a character you’re imagining drains themselves doing it? Be sure to separate the power from any preconceived magic/world systems or characters.
    • The same can be said of the capabilities and applications.
    • This is purely to avoid a superpower currently without users becoming a fanfiction superpower. If a superpower in this category is generally perceived as a fanfiction superpower among admins, mods, and users, it will most likely be deleted.
  • Make sure you add the category “Powers in need of users”, so others know that users are needed for the power, in case there are any in existence.

April 23, 2020 Amendment: As of today, we require that all powers have at least one (1) known user at the time of creation in order to prevent 'power spam' of abilities that don't belong on the space, are too similar to existing powers, or don't make sense.

When is a Character a User of a Power?

As summarized by several discussions on the Discord server, a user of a certain power has to meet a couple of requirements to be considered a user of that power. 

  • There must be consistency surrounding the power. If the power appears once, during a throwaway scene, and is never referenced again, it's likely a gag and not a superpower.
  • The power must be reasonably acknowledged by both other characters and/or the audience. If the power is not a gag, it must be something that other characters can differentiate from reality. Certain exceptions, like Cartoon Physics, may apply, where the power might be purely experienced by audiences.
  • Effects of the power must have a reasonable impact on the user and the affected. See the first point — without the effects being persistent (until reversed/dissipated by the power itself, another ability, or through a reasonable sequence of storytelling), the power may be a gag. If you're confused, message an administrator or a content moderator.
  • If the power is written in other documents (author/WoG statements, vetted wikis, supplementary works), then the above need not apply. 
  • A character has the broadest power applicable to them. The other powers are implied.
    • For example, Zuko (Avatar: The Last Airbender) would be listed as a user of Fire Manipulation, but not fire attacks because it's already implied that he has Fire Attacks. 
    • As a corollary to this, a Known User that has only a more specific form of a power only has that specific form. The Fire Rod (Legend of Zelda) would have Fire Attacks, but does not have Fire Manipulation.  

Not Meeting Requirements

If a superpower existing or newly made does not meet these requirements, and is not able to be worked into meeting them, it will be deleted at the discretion of those able to delete it. Furthermore, at the discretion of the one deleting the superpower page, it may be archived somewhere, but do not expect it to be so.

Ideas from deleted superpowers may be added to superpowers close to it, or that it was a copy of. Please do not feel cheated out of a superpower if this happens, it simply means you thought of something for an existing superpower others hadn’t yet, but the superpower you made was too similar, the same, or not meeting requirements to exist.


Final Word

Overall, just make sure you’re actually making a superpower, and not trying to overstate something that’s not a superpower. For example, the ability to dance badly is not a superpower, but the power to make others dance badly might be a superpower. If you’re not sure about something, always feel free to ask about it for help from an admin, mod, or other users.

Also, please try not to make superpowers within the context of specific verses and characters, but rather think of each superpower within a vacuum once you have a basic understanding of it. Do not think “what can this character do with this superpower” primarily, but rather “what can this superpower do?”

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