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Gain power without being chosen one feeling

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#1 SamNainocard   Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:35 AM

Greetings everyone, first time here.

I currently try to write a plot story about how someone gaining a superpower without being chosen one/fated feeling.

Possibiliy a power that is never being used before (be the first that harness this power).

But how do you approach to this way?
Is accidental count as being chosen by god, fate or whatever?
Say, I have a character that discovery source of power by having an accident while traveling across the bridge, and they fallen and found the power.

Suicide/brave escape(or whatever it called)?
Say, I have a character that at edge of the cliff, chased by bandit or monster, so they commit a suicide or bravely jump off the cliff, thus end up finding source of power.

Also, I would like to ask a reason about, why they want power or just maybe they don't know what that is and accidentally bind/take the power.
Say, they are gravely wounded, so they want to see something beautiful before they die, so they walk into source of power?

Thank you in advance.

Edited by SamNainocard, 28 May 2014 - 12:24 AM.

English is not my main language, expect lot of grammar error. I'm more of lurker type, sorry if didn't post much. (:

#2 deftware   Prime Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:26 AM

Maybe have this power present as a tragedy that has befallen the character, something of a hindrance at first?

#3 ShiftyCake   Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

It's very hard to separate those two, but it's generally done through making the abnormal normal. Generally, the only way to make a character feel like they are just one of many is to, well, make them one of many.


This can be done through normalising any method of gaining powers such as:

- everyone is born with a power, each one different from the next

- rigid training over many years can master an art that gives you a unique power (ninjutsu and the sort use a variation of this method)


etc. etc. I would say the first one suits you best, from what you're describing you want him to have a unique power.

You also added in especially a power that has never been used before however, by marketing to that criteria specifically, your person cannot avoid feeling like a chosen one.


What I can suggest to you is to take a skewed approach to this. Instead of focusing on whether the world thinks you're a chosen one, focus on whether the character thinks he/she is. It's quite easy to manipulate a character's past or personality to create someone who would feel that the power was given to him by accident, or even that it is a hindrance as radio suggested. You can even go so far as to have your character being originally chosen, but choosing to forsake that path to make his own.


In essence, what you would be making is an anti-hero. It all depends on what kind of world you wish to create, do you want emphasis on the world or the character? If it's more world-oriented looking through the eyes of the character, I'd suggest the normalisation of a method. However, if you want to focus on the character and their adventures, then I'd suggest making them an anti-hero and focusing on their personal development.

If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.


I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

#4 StaticPoof   Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:09 PM

Making your hero not be the chosen one, while being the first person to find/use this power is gonna be tough.  When I think of a chosen one I picture someone who got their power from some external force because they're "special".  I'd try to focus on taking the "special" out of the equation.  Maybe your character is the only person who figured out the steps to gain said power, maybe everyone knows about the power but choose not to get it because it comes with irreversible consequences or cost, or maybe your hero happens to discover something previously that puts him under a curse that they don't notice until they're 2 seconds from death.


In short, try to avoid using the "I have powers because I'm me" cliche.

#5 jefferytitan   Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:08 PM

A lot of good points. A few of my favourite approaches to this are:

  • Anti-hero, e.g. the hulk, someone possessed by a demon, etc. The hero feels victimised by their power, and may have legitimate weaknesses related to it.
  • A variety of people have a variety of powers, and some are considered less useful than others, e.g. Rising Stars comics. The hero has a useless power that becomes useful given a situation, or figures out a way to use it. One that I considered before was that the hero can't be killed, but isn't invulnerable. e.g. their power will only save them from fatal situations, not regularly painful or embarrassing situations. Therefore they may never know they have the power until a situation arises, and would have to engineer situations to be guaranteed fatal to use their power.
  • They are chosen, but they are the last chosen. e.g. they are only being "chosen" because all the better qualified people already failed or are busy elsewhere.

#6 TheChubu   Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:17 PM

You could let the character just be exceptional in other ways.


I like the ideas above. The character doesn't needs to be the only one with those powers/abilities, there could be others, some even better than him/her! But maybe the character is just very dedicated, persistent, no matter if he/she isn't as talented as other people in the world.


That way you can present the protagonist not as someone put on a pedestal by destiny or divine will, but someone who got to that pedestal by himself/herself, rising up to the challenge presented in the narrative. Not because he/she was the best, the only one who could do what had to be done, but because the character felt it was the right thing to do given the situation.


I see that angle as much more easy to relate with than "The Chosen One".



My journals: dustArtemis ECS framework and Making a Terrain Generator

#7 jefferytitan   Members   


Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:33 PM

Another possibility is "the right tool for the job". For example, imagine a world of fire elementals. Most of them are very powerful and always "on". The weakest of them would be able to turn their flame off completely, allowing them to travel in environments with water or explosive gasses, or interact with normal humans. But in those areas where normal fire elementals are unable to travel, even their limited powers over fire would be considered quite amazing by the humans.

#8 SamNainocard   Members   


Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:20 AM

Isn't born with unique power some kind of sub-chosen one? because it's feel like gifted, maybe possessed too? (chosen by one that possess then?)

think someone born under certain circumstance, prophecy, born-hybrid or in even TES Skyrim, correct me if I'm wrong though.


Training to maximum, may allow them to create unique spell, and probably can only be use by themselves seems possible.

But I don't know if something like, someone that is not a user of that said power (or just a novice) but instead unlock it potential thus goes beyond anyone. Perhaps have a knowledge, figured out or just plain accident about how to unlock it will work? (but without feeling Chosen One/Destiny, of course)



Also, editing the OP, I think I'm talking gibberish somehow.

I appreciated everyone thought, please keep them coming biggrin.png.

English is not my main language, expect lot of grammar error. I'm more of lurker type, sorry if didn't post much. (:

#9 Wai   Members   


Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:37 AM

When I feel that a character got the ability primarily because the story-writer decided to write about that character, I get the "chosen one" feeling.

These are some factors that would make me feel that way:


a) The ability is unrelated to the inclination, the problems, or wishes the character has before getting the special ability (When this happens, the main character seems like a simulation dummy to entertain a 'what-if' question.)


b) The ability is something that would save another world that the character knew nothing or wouldn't have cared otherwise. (When this happens, it seems like an excuse to include the character in that other world.)


c) The ability is related to a mission that the character would not have cared otherwise. (When this happens, similar to b, it seems like a contrived way to include the character in the mission.)



One formula commonly used to let an outsider be a rising superstar is that the outsider had always been practicing the "foundation skills" of the super ability without realizing it himself. Then, either someone spots his talent, or that he discovers his talent and enters the "competition".




1) A chef at a martial arts school who was not allowed to learn how to fight, but started unconsciously using the moves in his cooking and had a good foundation. (When an opportunity comes, allowing him to develop his foundations, he becomes super powerful.)


2) A pizza delivery boy who is always in a rush, always almost get run over by cars and end up just a bit late, without realizing that he has extraordinary reaction time, because he is just trying to be on time for once. (In a different context, holding different tools instead of the handle bars of his delivery bicycle, he becomes a superhero.)


3) A person with a super-computer caliber mind who tries to hide it because whenever people are scared away whenever she solves problems with it. (When she becomes anonymous and realize that he can have a double-life, she start using her ability and become a superheroine.)



#10 yusef28   Members   


Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:57 AM

ok, have you ever watched the lexx? See the thing about the protagonist in that show "Stanly H. Tweedle" is that he gains control of the most powerful ship in the universe that can blow up planets ect. However, the character himself is no heroic. He is a sniveling spineless selfish creep, but along with his band of misfits(a love slave, an undead assassin, and a talking robot head) they fly throughout the galaxy partly running away from the evil Mantrid, and partly looking for good sex and fun times. So this character Stanley does not feel like the chosen one in any sense because he seems to be undeserving of the power he wields. Not to mention he actually stole it from the space station he worked at to escape I can't remember what. So if you want a character that doesn't feel like the chosen one, this would be a way to do it. My experience of the show when I was a kid watching it was that there was a lot of adventure and also it was laced with the fears Stanly had because the show was pretty messed up, and I could identify with his fears especially at that age but even now.

#11 sunandshadow   Members   


Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:06 PM

I think the important consideration is whether the game allows the player to choose from more than one power which is supplementary to un-powered physical combat, or whether the game is built around a single power that the player does not choose and must get right at the beginning because it is the only method of combat and/or puzzle solving.


In the first case, the best option is to require the player to earn the power(s) within the game.  Give the player hints within the game about what powers exist and which direction to go to unlock them, then let the player choose which one to investigate and solve the mystery to figure out what is necessary to earn the power (or the first level of it anyway).  If the game is intended to be played through only once, like an MMO, they can gain the power right away.  This restricts the possibilities of personal backstory, but you can substitute lore backstory for the faction, mentor, or boss enemy that the power comes from, as well as a bit of current story about the player struggling to learn how to use their new power.  If the game is intended to be replayed multiple times, like a single player survival game, the power + backstory can be available for the player to choose at the character creation phase of the next life.


In the second case, it's generally ideal for the character to not know at first that they have a superpower (if they already have it).  The player isn't going to know in advance how the superpower works, so since the player has to learn, it feels the most natural if the character has to learn also.  In this game structure the power will be strongly tied to the game's theme, and the means of acquiring the power should be also.  For example, if the game is about suspicious companies/organizations, then the power is probably intentionally caused by members of that company/organization, thought it might also be inherited but individuals who have inherited the power are monopolized by that company/organization.  If the game is about nature or magic rising up against technology or civilization, then the power is probably gained by people who are in a place where nature is powerful, like the woods or the ocean.  The power might also be gained by carrying out a specific act to protect or nurture a piece of nature, thus earning the positive opinion of Gaia or whatever the spirit of nature or magic is called in your setting.  If the theme of the game is about an ordinary person trying to compete against special people, then the character would probably be crafting the tools of their power, like Batman or Ironman.  If the theme of the game is about history and lost traditions, the power would be taught by a mentor, probably one of the last survivors of the past world where the tradition was still powerful.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.

#12 adrix89   Members   


Posted 28 June 2014 - 05:00 AM

My favorite take on this troupe is to just take it.

So the player just steals the power from the villain or the designated chosen hero and fucks off with it, and villains and sages and whatever are left to follow the player around and convince them to their side.


Or maybe ask about who chose them? maybe that chose you is the villain so that you can do his bidding.

Or maybe the chosen on is the villain.

Or maybe the prophecy is a lie to fool the big bad into getting himself in a bad situation. Why shouldn't prophets lie in times of great peril?

#13 LrdWes   Members   


Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:15 PM

Represent it more of a curse due to the tragedy, than a 'super power', almost Carrie-like.

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