What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

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What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby toushin » Sun May 24, 2015 11:29 am

I finished reading Reflection lost on a dark road back in Titans and the Lost Boy Lathis mentioned how much he hates god mode sue Ranma as well as the fact that he always finds a way to win so he had Ranma lose more fights. While his battle with Ryoga was well written. The fights he lost in Dark Titans only seemed to happen because Ranma suddenly forgot years of training and experience or someone else does something stupid. He took it a step further as Ranma was forgetting techniques that Lathis himself established that he knew. And its not just Ranma, Ryu gets it to, as well as anyone Jinx or ryoga fought.

My question is what it more annoying making a character overly powerful or intentionally weakening them. My choice is the latter as not only is it incredibly obvious but it takes you out of the narrative due to how forced it feels.
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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Sun May 24, 2015 4:55 pm

Well, this sounds like a subject aimed at fan-fiction, not the series itself, so... Yeah.

I don't really care if a character becomes weaker or stronger, so long as it's believable enough and works well enough with the plot.
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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Mon May 25, 2015 10:14 am

It has been said about fanfiction, that if you give Frodo Jedi powers, you have to give Sauron the Death Star. Keep a balance.
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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby Dumbledork » Mon May 25, 2015 3:30 pm

Ellen Kuhfeld wrote:It has been said about fanfiction, that if you give Frodo Jedi powers, you have to give Sauron the Death Star. Keep a balance.


My opinion too. This annoys me especially in Harry Potter fics since most of those have a vastly overpowered Harry.
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby Spica75 » Tue May 26, 2015 6:33 am

Ellen Kuhfeld wrote:It has been said about fanfiction, that if you give Frodo Jedi powers, you have to give Sauron the Death Star. Keep a balance.


Except that isn´t a balance, or anywhere near it. And you just either end up with Frodo going "splat" or needing ultimate luck just to stay alive a few seconds extra(like Sauron continually choosing NOT to blow up the planet and be done with the annoyance).

Let the Nazguls and Sauron´s armies be more active near Frodo´s path and those jedi powers will be hard pressed to keep him as alive as in the original story. Sauron doesn´t even have to be given anything, just a small shift in focus of his minions and troops will do it more than enough.


#####

My opinion too. This annoys me especially in Harry Potter fics since most of those have a vastly overpowered Harry.


That´s because canon HP relies so utterly on dumb luck that it´s nearly impossible to do fanfics without making them look silly one way or another unless you add something MAJOR to the protagonists.

There´s a "no luck Potter"(that´s not the name no, i don´t recall what the name is, it was just called something like that) fic somewhere that basically goes year by year and sees how many times the main characters would die without insane amounts of luck. I think HP died at least 7 times in first book. Not that by default he would have lived until the first book either.

Have you seriously looked at just how much is needed for a "happy ending"(or at least not catastrophic) in HP? And how completely the primary cast in canon doesn´t have most of it. Information, magic power, political power, money, numbers, absence of outrageous stupidity, take your pick and try to figure out how to make up for it without "cheating"(ie author fiat).

It´s really not easy.

You can superpower the main cast and still realistically have them crushed underfoot several times in just the first half of the series(and MORE realistically than having them get through it as well as in the original story).

It´s one reason why time travel fics are so popular with HP fanfiction, it´s about the only way to make it work without setting up something overpowered.

I have a bundle of HP fics in writing, and i keep running into that wall all the time, either find something to power people up without becoming silly, or you get a curbstomp defeat.
I even have a fairly dark fic that has powerups AND time travel and will still probably go very badly.
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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby three headed dog » Sun May 31, 2015 9:31 pm

I find it far more annoying when the characters are obviously weakened. I tend to not mind when characters are over powered there are still many ways to deal with them without resorting to stuff like forgetting techniques, experience, suddenly being weaker for no reason etc. Want them to lose a fight have them over train the night before and exhaust themselves or injure themselves. Have the other character use tactics like temporarily blinding them. Have them be constrained by something like a hostage or rules of engagement. Have them use a technique that they still haven't fully mastered and have the opponent use it's weakness or have it blow up in their face because they think it can do something it can't or have something cause the technique to fail (like wrong emotional mindset to use it or terrain messes it up). It is not that difficult to think of plausible way to have them lose a battle without it being stupid, ooc, or unreasonable given the explanation.
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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby Crescent Pulsar S » Sun May 31, 2015 10:33 pm

three headed dog wrote:It is not that difficult to think of plausible way to have them lose a battle without it being stupid, ooc, or unreasonable given the explanation.

Even Takahashi Rumiko has difficulty in this area, and she's a highly-respected/acclaimed/successful mangaka.
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Re: What is worse over powering characters or weakening them

Postby toushin » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:29 am

Thrythlind wrote this

Whenever I see an author start comparing the power levels of the characters from the series, and implying that the _sole_ reason Ranma won against opponents such as Herb or Saffron was due to luck...and no other reason, I begin to worry. It tends to imply that the author intends to later have Ranma lose against an opponent that he'd formerly beaten or would be expected to defeat, and lose _big_.

Luck _was_, indeed, a large factor in Ranma's victories over the two, but it was by no means the only factor.

hmm, that's not how I read or implied it at all

I've read the summaries and looked over the pages of the battles between Herb and Ranma

I guess luck was a factor, but again, I didn't list luck.

Ranma outsmarted Herb, and against Saffron he used a magical artifact.

Herb basically did overpower Ranma when they met, skill and ability.

Herb's chi blasts can devastate a path 1m in radius and 12 meters long, unless you take into account the movies and variations of the Hiryu Shoten Ha that require specific circumstances, Ranma wasn't able to do that at the same age.

He was apparently faster than Ranma's amaguriken and had a technique that Ranma found unbeatable even when he knew how it worked (Ryu Sei Hoshin).
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