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Strengths vs. Weaknesses

Paws the Gryphon

Three Toy Store-eys Tall
Curious how people view the idea of balance between character traits that can be considered powers, versus weaknesses that could be considered vulnerabilities.

An example would be, of course, Superman; having 'super-this-and-that' powers, balanced by vulnerability to Kryptonite and red sun radiation.

The basic question is, does your character(s) have positive as well as negative traits for balance, and do you believe that 'infallable' characters that only have positive traits and no negatives can be considered interesting characters?

Paws considers her positive traits being immunity to poison, sickness, disease, vacuum, and many environmental factors. She does not age and basically does not suffer from the ailments of 'living' creatures per se. But on the other hand, she's -intensely- flammable and as a result, has an equally intense pyrophobia - certainly a vulnerability considering how easy fire is to produce. She's also intensely shy... mostly because that's a feeling I'm familiar with RL. ;)

One of the things that turned me off of roleplay long ago was a plethora of people's characters that were "staunchly immaculate self-envisioned gods/cosmic beings" that had a bizarre habit of deciding that they want to just live life like the squishy people around them with an ego floating in a giant self-filled bathtub of liquid arrogance and snark. The type that make you grit your teeth to the point of producing sparks. They're not fun to be around, they come across as children that respond to any little perceived slight with the "you can't shoot me, I got SHIELDS and I'll asplode your planet with my nose!" defense.
 

ben909

vaporeon with Axolotl gill array as neck fin
For my character at least(split between a storu verson for a story that does not yet exist and for pvp land), he has strengths and powers, but as a character was designed with a weak area being an area that he does not really have strength in, not a defined “weakness”, that being said i never intended to put him at “god-mode” levels, so its a little different
Although he is a pokemon character who is a water type, so grass types have an edge, and as a joke his fire starting stat is low, and he shares my rl discomfort with laters

Personaly, i don’t like the invincible to all but 1 object types of characters, because in a way it means your win or loss in a scene is dependent only on if you opponent has that item in their inventory or not


not sure if i answered the right question though
 

Kinare

RAWR
For my sona and her story, her only weaknesses are ones she eventually overcomes. Those weaknesses are not of personality, but of her power limits. I made her to be a perfect representative of myself, so if she's just as flawed as me it doesn't really work, ha. I've mentioned this to a few people and get mixed reactions. I think a lot of people think you need a really fucked up character to be able to build a story. Not really so. Superman the obvious example, but plenty of others too that have no weakness of personality.

My sona's societal laws (spoken or unspoken) within her tribe is sort of a utopia to me - how I wish everyone treated everyone, but that only extends to within her tribe and not outside of it. Her world is very hostile, so they have good reason not to trust outsiders. They will kill on sight certain creature types because if they don't then they will be killed. There are world views I plan to explore, mainly prejudice. This is a big feel for me, and I have a few ideas of how I want to bring that up and challenge that whole "don't judge a book by it's cover" thing. There's plenty of sads and feels to be had along the way without all the flaws, if only I could get my brain to focus on writing. >.<'
 

Nexus Cabler

Strong independent black dragon
In Canon, Nexus's strengths are his enhanced physical abilities and powers he uses, along with his intelligence with advanced technology. He is a professional with computers and software. He is also brave, and has the ability to analyze a combat situation and all its outcomes before engaging in a decision on how to proceed. He is compassionate and kind, but only with those who are kind to him. Nexus is not one to turn the other cheek with aggressors, and he considers it a survival benefit rather than a flaw. He is also good with kids, because he sees them as harmless, and they exercise his protective instincts and desire to care for others.

His weaknesses are his mental and emotional situations. He has trouble interpreting what people mean and their feelings behind their words. He also has a short attention span, and in order to perform a specific task for a long period of time, it has to be entertaining. He he has a fear of the unknown, and prefers a logical answer to any question that comes across his mind, or else it will bother him frequently. He also has existential and identity problems, and he is never sure who he really is, and his opinion on the subject changes almost daily.
 

A-stick-figure

I am a villan
Strength vs. smarts is bogus. I know lots of people who are strong but smart. Size vs. speed is a little more believeable.
 

Alys_0_0

Tea thief <3 She/Her <3 POTATO QUEEN
I always try to balance between strength and weakness. My most recent fursona, for example, has some string ice magic. But, she's got the type of weakness Shoto Todoroki has with his quirk {If you've not seen My Hero Academia, Shoto Todoroki has fire and ice but he can't use either of them for too long or he'll either burn himself or freeze himself} so she naturally has a long, thick coat. She's powerful with her magic but sensitive to the heat. She stays in cold water as much as she can in summer because of that. Plus, I always love giving my characters insecurities and past emotional issues to overcome. It just adds to the feels, you know? It's a lot easier to form a connection to someone, even a fantasy character if they have relatable emotions.
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
Oh for sure! Mambi's got lots of flaws...overconfidence, and is a bit of a show-off with barely any true social skills. It balances his joyfulness and insane sense of twisted fun as it puts him in positions where he's just reacting to things naturally to him while others watch in surprise and confusion.
 

Bluefiremark II

Magic Blue Phoenix
I think most characters will always have negatives. For example: a character can be very strong astrally, but physically weak or maybe ethereally weak. Even god characters. What are they the god of? God of fire? Then you're probably rping them wrong if you're teleporting around shooting ice beams and stuff.. but sometimes a character without weakness can be interesting

Take my character Vixye for example. She is incredibly powerful. So powerful she could just kill everyone instantly, but why would you want to? She basically sits on the sidelines and watches, making occasional appearances to mess with people or what not. She never does anything to drastic, which makes her feel like a good 'balanced' character even though she could delete you or anything else from existence instantly, because she doesn't abuse anything.

Rps with vixye tend to be her chattin, maybe blowing bubbles or teleporting around, but she never abuses her power to do something to you unless its for a joke, like shrinking a giant dragon to a tiny lizard.

Tldr: some characters without weaknesses can be interesting and intriguing if done right and not abused. Some weaknessless characters don't have to be all powerful either, and can still lose fights simply by not being strong enough. Weakness =/= lossing. You can always overcome your weakness to win, and without weakness, you can still be overpowered.. so long as they grow and develop, and the world doesn't change around them for them, they can be a good character- because what i just described is a mary sue. A mary sue isn't someone without weakness, it is someone whose world and plot works to fit *them*. If they need something the plot will conveniently work out for them.
 

Sam Akuchin Wamm

Banned
Banned
my character is a little complicated.

there's a lot of specifics where certain aspects both good and bad only come into effect in certain circumstances.

i'm not going to go into the details but there's a few main focuses i will explain.

for a start i'm a nematoid that's very long and thin that tangled like a pipe cleaner figure into the rough stick figure shape of a goat and the body hair forms the bulk of my shape with a sort of shell of matt that gives my character their bulk.

essentially i'm like 90% hair clump in the shape of a goat which kinda acts like a protective barrier against blunt force.

also since my worm body is very narrow inside the hair lump body it means they're a rather small target for bullets and stabbing attacks.

of course being made of so much hair means i'm very vulnerable to fire and ignition sources like sparks and electrical attacks.

as well as some rather weird powers to do with life and death and different realities and stuff that's too complicated and specific to go into i have a few abilities from my nematoid species.

first of all i don't so much breathe as absorb oxygen through my skin so suffocation is nor normally a problem especially as the fur acts like a filter for smoke particles.

however there's a caveat to that in that my body (the worm inside the fluff goat form) has to keep its skin wet to breath.

either by drinking water or by bathing in it i can keep my skin moist and the fluff will carry the moisture internally in my shape for a long time, but should i get too hot for a long time i can dry out and start to pass out from the lack of oxygen.

as a side note he can drink salt water or rather he must drink salt water from being an oceanic worm. similarly the water he bathes in must be salty. not a problem in the ocean but kind of an annoyance inland.

nematoids also have very advanced RNA control in nature which enables them to manipulate diseases. it gives them immunity to many diseases and the ability to pass immunity to specific diseases onto others as nematoids themselves use to preserve their host once they've infected someone. FYI this is actually being used in coronavirus research right now by the way.

a couple of random weird traits include having no sense of pain per say but a sense of bodily damage i.e. my species is aware of being harmed but doesn't instinctively react to it in a negative way, which may or may not be a good thing considering the circumstances.

and 1 last important thing regarding the species i that it has the most successful regeneration rate of all creatures on earth so obvious i have a healing factor, however, the process is extremely slow so it's more like growing a limb can take an entire day. however the ability to prevent bloodloss by contraction of the blood vessels is a big plus.

my oc does have a few disadvantages more specific to himself however. for a start like me he's a dwarf with a somewhat child-like appearance. that can cause quite a few problems alone.

next, he's not much of a combatant other than having a way with words. even worse his poor distance vision makes him a terrible shot at long range. itself the subject of many a joke within canon.

also being so small and made of mostly hair he's rather lightweight and prone to getting yeeted either by other people or external forces like strong winds.

however he does have one really handy ability in his arsenal to help him in fights. his fluff generates an electrical charge via static and he's learned how to manipulate it through his internal worm body. essentially he can taser people by touch if he wants. it's nothing more than a temporary stun move but quite handy in a pinch.
 

Jaredthefox92

Well-Known Member
My characters are actually varied and balanced, but a lot of people simply don't realize this. (A lot of people lack the mental fortitude to actually try to figure out a weakness to them.) I have two lores, one meant to be over the top and mythological, (therefore a bit more unfair with deities and whatnot), then my main lore which is Dimensional Wars, which is the one I'll talk about because Flawed Deities is literally meant to be over the top and flatout broken. So about the main lore, which is DW.


Characters vary a lot, while some have the same power (changing size), others are more versatile. In Dimensional Wars, you tend to face these really powerful character types:
1.Giants, but like sci-fi ones that grow due to psuedo-science. (Most people used to bitch about these, but more advanced roleplayers realize the glaring faults.)

2.Psychics (another main type of foe you don't want to meet in an alleyway, psychics are akin to slightly more stable Warhammer psykers, or Terran Ghosts in Starcraft.) Psychics seem unfair, until you figure out their specific weaknesses, or just nullify their powers.

3.Badass soldiers: The basic ones, the designated super-soldier guy who's basically deadpool, Rambo, Batman, anyone really OP for "normal powers ho!"

Other characters exist in DW that are powerful, but you're mostly going to see these three up top in battle. However, there is a "theme" of weaknesses for these individuals I tend to follow like a pattern.
1.Giants are slow, big targets, and while they're immune to concussive bullets in my story, they're not immune to energy weaponry, or shooting at the face.
2.Psychics can be nullified with the proper type of equipment or technology, plus psychics get mental strain which can overload their minds causing them to pass out.
3.Soldiers are just soldiers, they die like any comicbook movie hero on a bad day.
 

MaelstromEyre

Slippery When Wet
Maelstrom can change form from a land-walker to a mer-fur, but she can only do one complete change cycle within a twenty four hour period. She can't just keep going back and forth.

She has excellent vision in low light conditions and in salt water, BUT she is sensitive to bright lights or sunlight.

She has an excellent sense of direction, based on the earth's magnetic poles, BUT it can be thrown off by strong electrical charges, natural or magical, leaving her temporarily disoriented.

She is an excellent swimmer, unafraid of the open sea or deep dives, but she is TERRIFIED of heights.
 

Sappho

Wolftaur taxi service
Strength, agility, speed

Average intelligence and easily sidetracked
 

Guifrog

Blue Frog
My character has reasonably strong and flexible legs, which allow for the boing-boing. His skin toxins provide varying effects at whoever touches him, ranging from tingling sensations to hallucinogenic experiences. His tongue is long and elastic, and I envision his actions with it in a similar fashion to that of old goofy cartoons, making use of impossible physics for comedic effect

But he's still just a normal anthro frog. If he's attacked with lava, swords, machine guns, super-mega-energy-balls-of-300000000°C or what have you, he dies immediately, and helplessly. You might want to consider putting up with his annoying ghost form before committing such a barbarity, though
 

Borophagus Monoclinous

The official prehistoric floofy woof of FAF
B'rof's weaknesses are food and cute butts. Otherwise, just a floofy woof. Why would anyone attack him? His floof protects him from mosquitoes, but he also sheds everywhere. And then there are the farts.
 

Rayd

bullshit detective
my character, although a universal level mage, has the same weakness of many other universal level mages (dr strange comes to mind) in the fact that although very powerful in magical abilities, they are otherwise normal human beings in feats of physical strength, durability and speed. therefore, characters with extreme speed can blitz him, stealthy characters can catch him off guard, durable opponents may be able to tank his offense long enough to get a good blow on his fragile body, etc.

there's also the fact that his home is a giant floating library that resides in the outskirts of space, and it's not like he can breathe without oxygen, so that applies some external factors into any form of combat (in space, at least.)

reputation is also a big factor, there are literal entire galaxies that either hate his guts, are terrified of him or are reluctant to trust him after decades of him attacking and looting their civilizations, and in his story he tries his best to regain this trust from all these different galaxies' civilizations after a change of heart long after the things he's done to said galaxies in an attempt to unify them against an intergalactic tyrannical empire that he cannot fight alone, which in itself becomes a storyline of growth for him.

and, while being a very powerful mage, my character lacks the virtuous qualities to truly unlock his potential, both in his learning and in battle. he sometimes fails to be patient, and can lose his cool if someone makes a dent in his pride, or if anybody proves to be more than a pushover in a fight. he is cocky, which gets in the way of his focus and efficiency. he's also stubborn, and he also doesn't often think outside the box for somebody who's very smart. he lacks beneficial philosophies, and lacks something to fight for and protect, with nothing to drive him other than his own desire to get stronger. he lacks many important life lessons related to psychological wellbeing, mental efficiency, inner peace, philosophy, spirituality, compassion, and much more. therefore he is by no means "wise" despite being intelligent. he has not yet experienced the appeal of helping people, or having those that care about him, or are thankful for something he does. remedying these qualities are also a part of his growth in his story.

personality is his final major weakness, as he is confident to a fault, yet sometimes remorseful for his opponent from trauma and regret associated with his past, not knowing "true right" from "true wrong", even if he knows the person he is fighting is blatantly evil, sometimes giving them a leg up, either through hesitation or second chances. his inexperience in expressing goodwill and trustworthiness, along with his stubborn nature, makes it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to convince the civilizations he's wronged that he's truly changed. his entire personality as a whole is one of his biggest weaknesses, and is the biggest part of his growth over the course of his story.


he makes up for these weaknesses by, like i said, being a universal level mage, with decades upon decades of experience, learning various magical crafts from hundreds of planets from dozens of universes, having stolen countless powerful artifacts, catalysts, scrolls and spellbooks from various civilizations that he keeps in his library, forming his own life of constant learning and training in an effort to become the most powerful archmage that has ever lived out of a sheer desire for power (though this desire has changed after his face turn), having striven to be the closest thing to a god while he was evil. although he has trouble mastering certain fields due to his overconfidence, there are a vast number more he knows like the back of his hand, including ways to make up for his physical weaknesses, such as strength/speed augmenting spells, and various shields and forcefields, these however are not without their own weaknesses.
 

TheCynicalViet

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, my main character doesn't have anything special. He can manipulate electricity and it mostly takes the form of discharging lightning. However those lightning strikes are not weak and pretty much one shot grunts with no effort and can even heavily injure extremely strong opponents. However he can't just spam volleys of lightning strikes (yet) so he still has to rely on physically fighting.

There is one important effect from his electrical manipulation that makes him a talented fighter and that is the passive effect of enhancing the electrical signals all over his body which increases everything from his endurance, to his strength, to his reflexes, and, most importantly, his quick-thinking skills. But even with that, he's actually not as overpowered as he sounds and every serious fight he gets into is a test of strength, skill, and determination.

He can't dodge bullets. His skin is still vulnerable to being cut, slash, and stabbed. He can still miss attacks and leave himself open. He can still make mistakes. Basically, he has outstandingly powerful offensive potential but no special defenses to speak of.
 
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