this is my first time here.

At the moment I'm writing on a little Novel and now I am at the point: My character has a hidden power ( in a World where everyone has a Unique Power, he has two).

Now I'm thinking: "Doesn't that make him too strong?" I mean, his normal Power is pretty exhausting and everything, but would a second power too much?

  • 1
    Too strong for what? If book's climax is winning a competition among his peers, then perhaps he is. But if he needs to defeat some omnipowerful evil king, your character can still be out of his league.
    – Alexander
    Sep 27 '17 at 16:47

It's not the number of powers that makes him overpowered. It's how they work.

I just recently read this article on rational magic systems on Mythcreants which explains why your magic system needs rules and boundaries. For example, it explains that your magic needs boundaries so you can craft strong, believable conflicts in your story. It also means that your characters have to come up with smart ideas how to use magic to their advantage because it isn't just a deus ex machina solution to everything.

Another article on the same site gives great advice on how to limit any kind of magic or superpower, though not all of it is applicable to your world. Examples would be to restrict a power to only be usable during a specific time (say full moon) or with specific resources (there needs to be water nearby) or to give your power a negative drawback.

In your specific case, I'm thinking that it would be great fun if your characters first power was relatively "weak". This automatically makes him an underdog, which is a great trait for a hero. Then, also restrict his secret, second power so it is really powerful under certain circumstances but absolutely useless in any other situation.

Remember, that just having two powers instead of one gives him and advantage over other people, because they are always going to expect he only has one. As long as he shows his first, weak power, he can use the second one in secret all he wants because nobody is going to suspect anything. This is a really strong power in itself, so take advantage of that and in turn make sure that his second ability is as weak as you can get away with.

Sorry for bad english, I'm not a native speaker.

  • That is the perfect answer, it helped a lot. And thanks for the Links btw
    – Pawana
    Sep 27 '17 at 11:16

Depends on what the powers are, and what the weaknesses are.

Can your character fly but nobody else can? Or can he always parallel-park perfectly on the first shot? Does he have super strength or the ability to get a ball into a net? Does he need to eat so much after using his power that he's constantly stuffing food in his mouth? Does it make him collapse after 10 minutes of doing his thing?

"Too strong" means you've written your story without considering all the angles. Just because you have super speed doesn't make you bulletproof. A "power" could be something small, like always knowing exactly when to pick tomatoes so they're perfectly ripe.

Consider what your story needs and fine-tune your character's abilities so he's not too strong.

  • His normal or first power is that he can make a space where he can controll every magic casted. This power consumes almost every spark of his magical power so he is considred weak from every one else and is lacking their capabilities. His second power is the power of darkness itself. Because his first power consumes almost every bit of energy, he needs a more direct type of energy to use his second power AND it is exhausting him pretty fast. I Wanted to know, if the general idea of having someone with 2 unique abilitys in a world where every one else has only one, is too powerful
    – Pawana
    Sep 27 '17 at 9:43
  • 2
    It's a question of balance. Superman without Krytonite is too strong. If your character's powers are too strong compared to others, there is no conflict. Sep 27 '17 at 9:46
  • Each power has a weakness: it draws a whackload of energy. Excellent. So now you have a character who is very powerful but in limited doses. He has to think about using his power strategically, withholding it until the precise moment when it will do the most good. So he can't use it for small stuff. That's conflict and drama. You're fine. Sep 27 '17 at 12:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.