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- from 30 Minutes Over Tokyo, The Simpsons, Season 10

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Characters and Power

This is inspired from a discussion on character power at the Den of Shadows message board. Some of it may be cross-posted there.

I tend to like characters with a lot of power, but not too much power. The only problem is that it's a very thin line, and you can easily switch from having a lot of power to grotesque amounts of power. It's when the character gets to the grotesque amounts of power that drives me insane.

A problem I'm sort of having is that I've made Kitsu quite powerful. Because of her supernatural powers, her personality, her background, and the events in book one, she pretty much controls some of the most powerful men in the galaxy, and thus the galaxy. Even though she has this much power, she doesn't exactly take advantage of it. Even so I have to come up with more powerful villains to challenge her, and find believable changes to her personality. I just hope that when I finish her story (I want it to be a series), I'll have balanced her power with her responsibilities (or limitations to her power).

Actually, come to think of it, most of my main characters are quite powerful, I just try giving each one some sort of limitation so they don't seem too powerful.

First I should say, that in the Realm of Shadows, there are three things that contribute to a character's overall power level.
1. The age they first Awaken. The younger they are when they first Awaken into their powers, the more powerful they are.
2. The character's ancestry. If their parents were powerful supernaturals, then there's a good chance they are too. Though supernaturals don't have come come from two supernatural parents (there are full supernaturals, half-supernaturals, cursed supernaturals, and reborn supernaturals), and in fact the reborn ones (who come from two completely human parents) are something to look out for (but it's a good things they're pretty rare).
3. The individual's desire to use their powers. If a character doesn't want to use their powers, they won't, and they won't be powerful. But if someone has a strong desire to use, well, that can make up for all the other factors.

So now back to my powerful characters. Mostly, I'm just mentioning my main characters and not my villains since I'm still not entirely sure who some of them are and/or I don't want to give away any potential spoilers.

From my Hunter series.
1. Rose is a powerful witch-esper. She first Awoken to her powers when she was six years old and accidentally burned her house down. As a result, she bound her own powers and up until she gets to college and starts being hunted as a supernatural, she believes she is fully human, and that all things supernatural are *impossible*, so essentially, she has no powers.
2. Striker is a natural hunter. He first Awakens when he's fifteen and a werewolf is sent to kill him. Only the werewolf kills his family and he kills the werewolf. His power comes from his strong conviction, his desire to get revenge on his family and to make sure no one else has to go through what he went through. Striker is one of my few characters to get a re-Awakening, in which he actually loses his Conviction, and thus all of his powers.

From my Esper series.
1. Pai is a powerful witch-esper. Unlike her sister (Rose), she doesn't Awaken until she's in high school. Due to her destiny with an Ancient Korean sword, she has a lot of people coming after her. While she isn't necessarily strong enough to deal with them right away, she's too stubborn to back down from a fight (even when she knows she should). In addition to having a strong supernatural background, she also has a very strong desire to use her powers (though not for any reason as noble as Striker's).
2. Aiden is the last of the bird shapeshifters. Just being able to survive all the hunters makes him pretty powerful, but his determination comes from questing for the legendary phoenix who is said will be able to bring back the bird shapeshifters.

From the Forsaken trilogy.
1. Ayako. She meets the Forsaken, the most powerful vampire in existence.

Other characters from the Fox Chronicles.
1. Kaitou is a hunter. Unlike Striker, he specializes in Foxes. Due to his upbringing, Kaitou was force to semi-Awaken at a young age. He didn't fully Awaken until he was 15, when he killed his first Fox.
2. Sascha is a powerful telepath (esper). While he can't necessarily control his powers (like he can't turn them off), he's found a way to "deal" with them (which is blasting loud music in his ears 24/7 in hopes of not always knowing exactly what the people around him are thinking).

3. Natsuke's past self. (While he's not exactly in the Fox Chronicles, this is the best place to put him.) He is the only human supernatural (a witch/mage) to have such a desire to use magic and gain power that the gods themselves conspired against him.

Other characters.
1. Anubis. He is a jackal shapeshifter who's ability to (magically) heal people surpasses any other Jackal's ability except for the Anubis who lived in Ancient Egypt. The only problem is, he has no desire to use it.
2. My zombie (who's currently nameless). He somehow manages to rise above the other zombies and look beyond scavenging for his next meal. Then he learns that he has a ghost out there, who somehow managed to look beyond his immediate situation. If only the two could find each other.

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