OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


What’s the downside to your character’s superpower?

Cyanide and happiness comic

I saw this Cyanide & Happiness cartoon and thought it was a great lesson for us roleplayers (and all writers everywhere actually). Characters without limitations are just boring (see our article about God-man and all our articles about god-modding).

Even the strongest and most interesting characters have their limitations. Indiana Jones has a crippling fear of snakes, Kryptonite makes Superman weak, The Hound from Game of Thrones is scared of Fire etc. These limitations make the character more realistic, and can lead to more interesting plot developments.

game959-imageI was quite glad to see this week that there’s a new game on OngoingWorlds called “Heroic” (click here to see the game’s homepage & description) which has the tagline “Even heroes have flaws”. The game (according to the description) focusses on people with superpowers, but these characters aren’t heroes or role-models, they’re flawed people.

Plus, character limitations can make for really funny circumstances. Tell us about your character’s limitations/fears etc below, and how it’s affected your stories.


  • Tear of Blood

    Well in Gen 2 my character Prism/Brook/Brooklyn at times fears her own powers and refuses to use them. SOMETIMES that is. Can’t over due the flaws.

  • Mrxanadu

    Well, in Triumvirate of Doom, the three titular villains are unstoppable (and have conquered the Earth, which is the main point of the game) but have gotten old and at this point are so inept at everything else in life. The Grand Marshal has family problems and is grossly out of touch, the King is horribly overweight and his ego is so inflated he can’t concentrate on anyone but himself, and the Warrior-lord isn’t in touch with how our dimension works and has such a short temper that he murdered almost all of his own minions to the point where only children inhabit his part of the Empire.

    So it’s not really their ‘powers’ that are flawed, it’s what the powers have turned them into that gives them their hilarious flaws.

  • Angfaulith

    One superpower I find particularly nasty is the OOC power, when it works
    its evil magic it can surly be described as godmodding. I haven’t been a part
    of the OW community for long but I have seen it wagging its tail in the high
    grass more than once. Luckily it’s all solvable with a friendly mail.

    But the question remains why some would feel the need to have their characters act on information they couldn’t possibly know. Sometimes I get the impression that they seek immediate involvement in a plotline, for it rarely happens when people have been writing consistently in a game for some time. Kind of like a cry for attention, but without real regard, or perhaps more accurately the realization, for how it affects other member’s characters.

    It’s still important to handle such occurrences with respect and care, the people who acts
    in such ways rarely realize what they do in their drive for involvement, a
    drive that is well needed to make games healthy and strong.

    • Absolutely! This is something that every game owner has to deal with at some point in time because there’s always new people coming into roleplaying as a hobby. And it’s up to them to solve the situation like you’ve said with a friendly email. We’ve written loads of articles about it to help, like these:


      But not all new players will see these, although hopefully another player will show them to the godmodding player and all will be right with the world!