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Power Dampening/Canceling

I'm working on a vigilante (his name will be Lockdown) that has the ability to cancel any special powers from a person he makes eye contact with, pretty much like Eraser Head from My Hero Academia.

The thing is, I'm not satisfied with only stating that he can cancel powers, so I'm trying to figure how this could "cientifictly" work. Since all powers at My Hero Academia are derived from Quirks, it's easier to explain.

Since Champions Lore has a lot of derivative powers, I'm trying to justify how Lockdown would cancel powers. Right now I'm inclined to state he can only cancel non-magic powers.

The best explanation I have so far is: upon eye contact, Lockdown sends spontaneous telepathic suggestions to the person's brain, forcing it to block the power's manifestation. The telepathic suggestions are continous, so if he blinks or lose sight of the person, the block ends.

Any suggestions and feedback are welcome. :)
@bulgarex if you know any similar CO hero or villain that can do this, please let me know!


  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,135 Arc User
    Cool, something to occupy me during self-isolation. ;)

    FWIW that sounds like a perfectly acceptable comic-book-science rationale by itself; but there is lore precedent to support it. While I can't call to mind any official heroes or villains with that type of power, there is technology which essentially does what you describe -- the "power negators" employed at Stronghold and other super-prisons. They project energy fields which prevent the use of any superpower within the area they cover.

    According to the Stronghold source book p. 55, the power negator works on two levels. "First, it affects superhumans neurologically, preventing them from "accessing" or "triggering" their powers even though they know they have them. Second, it somehow alters the fabric of reality such that even if a superhuman could access/trigger his powers, they would not function."

    However, the negators are less reliable against magic. "Magic by its very nature defies and warps reality. That means no device, no matter how well designed, can always fully cope with the possibilities of the arcane. Stronghold frequently consults with mystic superheroes... and has them place wards and guards on the prison to keep magically-powered supervillains under control, but even so about half of the escapes and escape attempts that have occurred during the life of the prison have involved magical power in one way or another." (SH p. 57)

    What I would suggest is that Lockdown could have been a Stronghold security guard during an escape attempt, which cost the life of one or more of his friends at the prison. But during the escape there was an accident with one of the power negators, which somehow imbued Lockdown with the ability to generate one or both of its effects. No longer willing to just stand guard over such dangerous villains, Lockdown decided to use his new power to take the fight to them.
  • theravenforcetheravenforce Posts: 6,811 Arc User
    edited March 2020
    With Bulg's suggestion re your character, it might make more sense to say that he consciously warps reality around a human target to prevent them from neurologically or physically using their powers. If he removes his focus from the target (either forcibly or willingly) the targets superpowers return instantly.

    My issue with the Stronghold power negators is that it specifies superhumans and has a neurological effect.

    Does this assume that otherworldly beings would have to have a similar neurological structure to humans for that technology to work?

    I think I recall reading somewhere that it essentially reduces those in its range to "normal human". Would the system need to know what is "non powered" for an extra-dimensional being, or would it be easier to resort to magic?

    I've always played it off that otherworldly beings might just feel stifled or partially suffocated by these effects but still able to use their abilities to some extent and would require additional measures to deal with them fully.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,135 Arc User
    edited March 2020
    Those are excellent questions. :) Assuming one wanted to rationalize the negator's effect over "extra-terrestrials/dimensionals," IMO there are a couple of ways of looking at it. One is that the negators affect neurological function, i.e. transmission of impulses from brain to body, regardless of what the physiology of a given species is. (Hey, it's comic-book science.) ;) Two, the negators affect the manifestation of super powers as well as the neurological control of them, and if one ruled out the latter the former would still be in effect. Nonhuman beings from out of this world would by definition be "abnormal" for a human, and hence fall outside the range of what the negators allow; particularly if they have notably superhuman powers which transcend real-world physics. In many cases alien beings who are significantly superhuman are exceptionally "super" for their own kind as well.

    However, the Stronghold books make the point that some superhuman abilities are natural qualities which don't require consciously accessing them, such as having claws or horns, and hence aren't affected by the negators. Prisoners with such features require additional physical restraints to render them harmless. Also, some prisoners have greater than normal resistance to the negators, either inherently, because they build up a "tolerance" to them over time, or their powers are just too strong for the negators to fully suppress. And we've already noted the exception for magic, which is often the rationale for superhuman abilities among extra-dimensionals. So there's plenty of justification to say that certain beings may not be susceptible to power negation, or are at least less affected by it.

    In the final analysis the power negators are a plot device to allow a place like Stronghold to exist as a feature of a supers setting. As such they work because they need to work, however one chooses to explain them; and they don't work under whatever circumstances would promote an interesting adventure opportunity. ;)
  • brfabeirasbrfabeiras Posts: 182 Arc User
    Thanks @bulgarex and @theravenforce , loved the "Stronghold accident" origin, I will certainly base Lockdown's story in it!

    I think it's nice to have restrictions about the negation, makes crossing paths with characters less susceptible to it way more fun and challenging RP-wise. :)
  • speanozspeanoz Posts: 230 Arc User
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Cool, something to occupy me during self-isolation. ;)

    Well heck! You shoulda' just asked! I still got loads of arbitrary questions on my mind! :p

  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,135 Arc User
    Bring it. :smirk:
  • brfabeirasbrfabeiras Posts: 182 Arc User
    Curiously, Lockdown is in the restricted name list. Can't remember any comicbook character with that name, but that forced me to go with Blockdown.

    A bit less cooler, but still representing the character powers. :)
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,135 Arc User
    The only specific character I could find with that name is the chief antagonist from the Transformers movie, Age of Extinction: https://tfwiki.net/wiki/Lockdown_(ROTF)

    "Blockdown" isn't an accepted English word AFAICT, but whatever works for you. :)
  • brfabeirasbrfabeiras Posts: 182 Arc User
    Eh, just found out "Blockdown" is a slang, and a not very relatable one lol

    I'll try to think about some other suitable names :p
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,135 Arc User
    Hmm... to maintain the theme of restraint, "Manacle" might work. Or for an implication of crippling someone, "Hamstring."

    I'll give it some more thought.
  • brfabeirasbrfabeiras Posts: 182 Arc User
    Cool! I'll put some more suggestions here too :)
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