marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

supers and scale

One crucial aspect of world-building for superheroes is whether they are more or less on par with each other.

How far they are from normal humans also matters.  If a human, with good abilities and industrious training, could take down the super, that would matter. But do your superheroes all converge about a level, or do you have ones like a god versus ones with a trivial and useful only with cunning power?

It makes a lot of difference -- along with their number, of course. For instance, the real powerhouses could be opposed only by other real powerhouses. If they are only the ones who really hit the jackpot, they are going to have a lot more clout than if there are dozens of powerhouses.

I'm working on a story where all the supers, with an exception of two, are pretty much on the same power level. Well, more or less. Some, for instance, are limited because their powers are only regional. They work in the desert, or seashore, or mountains. . . and compensate by being more powerful than anyone else there. When one of those lives in those regions (they usually do), and doesn't want to travel -- well, some less regional ones get in a snit.

The two powerful ones are, of course, the villains. And indeed, hypothesized to be the source of all the others. (Along with such theories as the conspiracy one that supers are an attack by aliens from another dimension who want to make mankind dependent on supers, and then pull their powers, and the nutcases who think they are the returned Greek or some other pantheon gods.)
Tags: genre: superheroes, world-building: social structure
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