Amount of power options for a super power character


The idea I’ve started developing for my first game on here is an idea I’ve had for a while, and first used as a roleplay on another site. While transferring into this format is actually going quite well, I’ve come a bit stuck with one of the first choices the player would make while first setting up their character. The protagonist is going to have a superpower, and the problem I’m facing is how many options I should give the player to choose from. The original list I have from the roleplay is 16 different options, which quite obviously would be to many for this format as it would mean developing 16 different storylines from the get go.

So my question is how many options do you think would be a good amount to choose from and from the list below, which ones do you think would be the best ones to use?

After the suggestion from FairyGodfeather I’m going to go with the idea of power sets (with four aspects in each) for the main character, as this can allow the player a lot more freedom in creating their character. As the story progresses to become stronger the player would have to begin to focus on training one or two of the aspects within the power set.

My ideas for the power sets are:

  • Elemental: fire, earth, water and air

  • Physical: strength, speed, agility/reflexes and durability

  • Psychic/mental: telekinesis, telepathy, illusions, force fields

  • Transport: teleportation, climbing/wall crawling, flight, phasing/intangibility

  • Shapeshifting: people, animals, substances/objects, camouflage/invisibility

With your feedback I’ve sorted out the power sets for now, though anymore advice/opinions on them would still be greatly appreciated. Once I’ve outlined and written some more of my game I’ll put up a w.i.p thread, so that will probably be in a day or so. Thank you for all your help!

Also, I’ve just realised I’ve been an idiot with replying to some of the posts individually rather than just doing @name in one post. Sorry about that *is an idiot *

A Hero's Story (A New Interactive Superhero Novel) WiP

What sort of story do you want to tell?
What powers excite/interest you most?
Can you create power-sets instead? So rather than having sixteen options you have four. Physical, Elemental, Psychic, Transport.

Maybe the differences are just cosmetic. You get a choice of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, but most of the time that’s just “I throw fireballs/gust of wind/earth-shards/water-darts.”

I’d say focus on a small set. Actually if this is your first game I’d suggest start small. Don’t choose anything too dramatically different.

Also look at how the existing games do things. The three obvious examples I can think of are Choice of the Vampire which lets you have variety of powers.

Waywalkers University also handles a lot of different powers.

My favourite never going to be finished WIP Seven Winds gives you Seven Stats which also doubles up as powers. The Seven Winds (WIP)


I like teleportation, elemental , telepathy and super strength as powers.


The basic plot for the story is it is set in present day earth where humans have been developing developing super powers (known as gifts rather than super powers). Originally, the world marvelled and were somewhat excepting those with gifts, but after some violent events/accidents, turned on them. The story is set twenty years after the gifts first came about, and the world is mainly very discriminating and violent against those with gifts (some countries even having government divisions set up to hunt them down and bring them to special “camps”). It starts with the character at about 18/19 years old and just developing their gift. The beginning (or first game…I’m still deciding on how long to make it, whether to make it into a series etc…I realise I’m probably getting a bit in over my head as it is my first one) will be the protagonist trying to get to one of the few safe havens the City of the Rising Sun.

The story is probably going to take quite a dark turn, being quite realistic even with the super powers. Until it gets to the part in the “safe haven” anyway, then it will still be dark (probably more so actually, and quite twisted) but also quite fantastical with magical creatures and such.

There will be more powers in the game than the options given to the player. The idea of the power-sets rather than choosing from different specific powers could actually work a lot better… I was hoping to make it so the powers are more than just cosmetic, but in all honesty having it like that would make it a lot easier.

Thank you for the suggestions! I’ll have a look through those and keep thinking.

Anymore suggestions and ideas from people would be greatly appreciated!


I always vote for absorption since it makes the Mc special and we still have choice.


I vote for shapeshifting, since I don’t think I’ve seen that kind of power properly implemented in any game as of yet. It would be useful to be able to pretend that you are someone or something else in a world that isn’t kind on people like powers like the MC. Is would be especially useful for espionage and infiltration.


What sort of shapeshifting are we speaking about?

Are we speaking like Mystique, who can transform into any person?
Or like Mr Fantastic who can stretch his body into all sorts of weird positions.
Or shapeshifting into animal forms? Full transformations, or partial like a werewolf, or even just animal senses, claws, etc?
Or into different substances, like Husk can do? (I think she even did non-solids in the Age of Apocalypse).
Or like Iceman who can transform into ice. (Hey don’t knock it, he’s unkillable apparently).

I’d love to see that sort of power explored to its full extent. But then I’d also like to see a full exploration of elemental powers.


For shape shifting I was thinking both like Mystique and animals, but the player would have to focus on one of the two (different humans or different animals), or they could try and do both but their power would end up quite weak. It wouldn’t be like Mr Fantastic as I personally think it would come under a different category, and isn’t one that I’d be very interested in writing about.

Changing into different substances is a thought… shape shifting could have three different specialisations rather than just two, so: animals, people, and substances/objects maybe. For something like Iceman, I think that could be an ability developed in elemental powers if the player focuses on water.

Once I have decided which powers to use, I will be a large amount of brainstorming for each to fully explore their potentials, and think of how to use them more uniquely.



Depending on how you write it in, I really think being able to phase through objects could make for a interesting MC. Though there would most definitely need to be a time limit, sort of like Obito from Naruto. For a limited amount of time we’re untouchable. This could set up a lot of kick ass fight scenes.


I’ve made an edit to first post as I have decided to go with the power set idea. Does anyone have any suggestions for the powers in each set?

Also, because I’m curious, which power set do you personally prefer?


Energy set.
Controls fire and lightning can freeze by absorbing heat.
Can transform into and control fire and lightning.
Has super speed, can travel along storms, fire and electricity
Can locate people in areas with sufficient heat or electricity?

I put them together because lightning is hotter than fire, faster, can start fires and Is deadlier.


Dark set
Controls darkness.
Self duplication
Can shapeshift into darkness and shadows


You could add invisibility/camouflage to the shapeshifting set.

For the physical power set I’d say use durability. Self duplication sounds more like something that would fit an illusionist.

For the Psychic/mental power set I’d cut out the last two. The other four just sound more awesome and are more recognizable.


I think you are worried about the wrong end of it. It’s all very well to decide if you want to the player the option of having telekinesis or invulnerability. The hard part is designing a story where the player can have any number of diverse powers without breaking or bypassing large parts of your plot. Players are going to want to use their powers in clever and intelligent ways, and especially the more flexible powers like illusion, intangibility or shapeshifting will require an awful lot of writing unique to that power or else it will feel like a rip-off.


My advice. I’d allow the person to have two different sets of powers. The powers I’d pick are below. I know. I had this debate before. Selecting more choices and alternative paths can be a hassle for the person writing the story. I’m just giving my honest opinion. It would really boost the ablity to re-play the series after your done.

Certain stories like Monster that varies on the choices leading to different paths. You want to go back and replay the story to find out what you missed or a better outcome you could have had. I’m jumping ahead of myself. I’m not sure on what type of story you are creating.

Elemental: fire, earth, water and airPhysical: strength, speed, agility/reflexes, self duplication OR durability (unsure which to with for these last two)

Physical: strength, speed, agility/reflexes, self duplication OR durability (unsure which to with for these last two)strong text


I personally like all your sets, though I don’t think I’d ever choose elemental. Lots of people would, I’m sure, just not me


Thanks! And I understand. Elemental powers are always in games/books/films/whatever that involve powers, and when I’ve done roleplays with powers they tend to be the most popular ones. Because of this I think they’ve become quite overused and even a bit boring.

I just need to make sure that when I’m writing I create more unique and creative ways for the MC to use those powers, rather than the standard throw fireball or whatever. Though that is the same for all the power sets really.

But yeah, I know some people won’t like some of the powers or just simply have no interest in them so that’s why I wanted to make sure there was a large enough variety.


That’s fair enough really. Allowing for two power sets would increase the choices and re-play ability for the player. Though, I’m not sure I could set it up for the MC to have two power sets from the beginning, I think allowing them to pick up another power set, or individual power, further in the story would be possible. Considering I know there are some side characters who have powers from multiple power sets, and ones that aren’t even in those power sets, it would still make sense and not just look like the MC is getting extra powers because they are the MC.

Thank you for the comment and feedback!


Instead of learning a second set, you could make it so you can get a partner or ‘sidekick’ and decide their power set as well- making it so that Mc has power over one, but the other is semi beyond his/her control

Just a thought


I love elemental powers I love when people can come up with unique was to use them.