There has been so many RPs where special abilities or super powers become important. Atlantis, Titans, Astra, Dust to name a few...
Can we have a discussion on if this is a requirement to enjoy a RP? :) can realistic RPs become successful in the Roleplay Theatre? Note that this is mostly a discussion on [Other] RPs as pokémon are sort of inherently superpowered.
And also, list the magic/superpowers/abilities that are your favorites as well as the ones you really don't want to play as or even face in a RP!
Whilst special abilities are extremely fun to include in an RP they are by no means an integral part of them. In some settings, such as Railways or Outbreak, I think it adds more to the RP for characters to be ordinary people. I will say though, RPs where you can be superhuman do tend to be more successful.
As for powers my characters have had... truth be told I've not been very creative with them. I think one of my favourite powers is telekinesis just because it's extremely versatile but I had a lot of fun writing shapeshifting antics too amongst other things.
See, I was about to say that more modern, realistic roleplays could be a lot of fun but all of the roleplays I've participated in have had a fantasy edge. Perhaps a real-life setting, but something fantastical has always been involved, and usually that includes magic. Perhaps I prefer fantasy more after all? Or I probably haven't found anything realistic that I'd be interested in participating in.
I agree that telekinesis is the best ever. As for a power I try to avoid, it's anything that directly influences the minds of others; mind control, mind-wiping, etc. In roleplaying, having a sturdy control over other characters and their fates is a pretty big no-no. With these mind-altering powers, you'd have to really water them down and/or discuss whenever you planned to make use of them, so they're not a good power to rely on. I'd refer giving that ability to NPCs rather than any of my individual characters.
I wouldn't say it's a requirement for enjoying a roleplay. I think if you have an engaging plot/setting then any kind of roleplay has the potential to work. But special powers probably have such popularity because they appeal to the nature of roleplay, which is largely a form of escapism. In roleplay we likely want to do things we could never do in real life, and magic/powers is one of the extremes, I guess.
I love elemental powers - summoning fireballs or blasts of water. I'm less fond of mind-reading/mind-control because that's difficult to accommodate in a narrative. I'm also personally not fond of super strength, since I don't tend to play brute force type characters.
Courtly intrigue; may contain lightning bolts and necromancy.
I've actually been in two RPs that had zero superpowers, Railways (which is still going on) and Outbreak. For those who don't know, Outbreak was a zombie survival RP which actually was pretty popular and went on pretty long; it was a super fun RP for me. All characters were just regular people trying to survive, each with different backgrounds that made them useful - and the lack of special abilities didn't actually make it boring or anything (Klippy, the GM, made sure of that).
Now for the powers my non-Pokemon characters have had, off the top of my head... *cracks knuckles*
Shapeshifting into objects
Chameleon and Poison control (somehow)
Turning a rampaging demon
Shapeshifting into different states of water
Speaking to Marine life
Playing a violin-piano song of doom and despair with four arms
I don't know if it'll be as successful, but I know I'd certainly like to rp in a more realistic world at some point where there's more political stuff than superpowered fighting. Camelot was supposed to be like that, where every time you left your armor it changed from giant robots fighting in space to more political stuff and trying to solve disputes and stuff just as a normal military personnel. but that didn't really take off.
metal manipulation and telekinesis
Can an RP survive without powers? Yes. Do we as a group prefer having powers? Very yes. Although I will admit that most of the "unpowered" games we've had were based on survival or some supernatural event.
Maybe what we need is a game where a group of average humans deal with a series of mundane challenges. Maybe we're spies, dealing with enemy infiltrators. Maybe we have a "Red Dawn" scenario, where a small town is taken over by an enemy army, and we play as members of the resistance.
Or, if you want a more historical scenario, we could be settlers, exploring a new land. Maybe we're cowboys in the old west, or samurai (and ninja) in feudal Japan. Let's give it a try!
As for powers I like, here's my top five:
3. Energy blasts
4. Defensive shields
5. Tie between flight and light manipulation
As for powers I dislike, hypnosis and mind control. I greatly distrust any setting involving mind control, as it makes me far too paranoid (trust no one!). I also dislike illusions, but I'm more willing to put up with them.
I'm sure a realistic roleplay would still work as long as it garners interest from the roleplayer base. In fact I think something pseudo-fantasy might be a good bridge between the realistic and the fantastic, if only someone here could come up with such a roleplay idea of course. x3
So far my character powers have been hydrokinesis (specializing in pluviogenesis), alchemy, mercury manipulation and card manipulation.
I could get into a roleplay without special powers, although the concept has to be really strong. Special powers pique my interest quicker, because I like the mechanics that they come with, and playing around with the rules of such a world. An RP without superpowers would at least have to be really story driven for me to get interested, and the plot should be something that grabs me immediately.
As for the powers themselves, I love having a bit less conventional powers. I love a good telekinetic, but I'd probably choose something a bit weirder for my character. At this point one of my characters has been basically a ten bodied hive-mind, I'm playing someone now who doesn't let outer forces affect him, making him unmovable by other people, and I've played a vampire. My NPCs might be zanier than that, as I've had the following powers for those:
- Astral Battle Pig Creation
- Colourful bleeding
- Being made from wood
- Absorbing the minds of other people and fusing them with your own
- Sin disabling
- Astral Angel Construct Creation
- Telekinetic control over a set of guns
- Looking like but not being a goblin
On mind control, that's a power no GM should allow, unless it's in a very specific character case, but in general I'd avoid and disallow those powers at all cost. Even as a GM I'd make sure I wouldn't use them, just because they can take some enjoyment out of the RP by taking a good amount of control away from the players.
The characters I tend to create waver between good and evil often finding peace in discord or comfort in companionship. Their powers don't tend to have a certain resemblance to each other and tend to be more normal like in an rp. But they do tend to overcome great obstacles quite often.