The Worst Superpower

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Asthanius
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The Worst Superpower

Postby Asthanius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:09 pm UTC

Everybody knows that when you're asked what the best superpower is, you're supposed to say "the ability to do anything", and then try to avoid getting punched by your friends for giving such a cop-out answer. But what I want to know is what people think the worst superpower is. Given that with lateral thinking just about any power can at least become competent, it seems likely that there's some power that, while not necessarily useless, is the worst.
So now that you have the basic idea, I want to know what is, in your mind, The Worst Superpower.

Edit: I should add that even if you can't think of a superpower, you can talk about why a certain power would not be useless, or add reason why it would (e.g. inherent restrictions built in to the power).
Last edited by Asthanius on Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:22 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Does anybody have any idea of what the hell energy is? It's the thing that, when applied to something, gives itself to the thing so that the thing can expend it, applying it to other things in multiple forms of it. What the hell is it?

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby CLD » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:10 pm UTC

The ability to tell when a thread belongs in Forum Games, and not in General.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Frimble » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:20 pm UTC

The ones from this show are pretty bad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgQyuI7CzLM

But I'm sure I can think of a worse one. How about the ability to summon a kitten once per year?
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Asthanius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:20 pm UTC

CLD wrote:The ability to tell when a thread belongs in Forum Games, and not in General.

This counts as a forum game? Unless you were actually answering my question, in which case, I have nothing more to say and should stop typing.
Does anybody have any idea of what the hell energy is? It's the thing that, when applied to something, gives itself to the thing so that the thing can expend it, applying it to other things in multiple forms of it. What the hell is it?

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby CLD » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:22 pm UTC

Asthanius wrote:
CLD wrote:The ability to tell when a thread belongs in Forum Games, and not in General.

This counts as a forum game? Unless you were actually answering my question, in which case, I have nothing more to say and should stop typing.

Usually the more inane the discussion, the more likely it gets moved to Forum Games. But I also legitimately made an attempt to answer your question. Doublespeak for the win.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:08 am UTC

A quick search reveals several similar threads on these fora, including Unimpressive superpowers.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:59 am UTC

I assumed this thread was to be about not super-useless super powers, but more like "blessed with suck" kind of super powers. Something that on the surface seems a totally cool super power but actually has huge drawbacks.

First thing that came to mind was a form of super strength resembling "unstoppability" ala the Juggernaut (bitch). Imagine if to you the entire world felt like it was so malleable it was made of whipped cream, and it felt like your body was proportionally light, so you didn't immediately sink into the the Earth; the whipped-Earth can support your weight as though you were a mere feather, but you can easily reach a hand down into the concrete you're standing on and scoop up and shape and mold a chunk of it like nothing. Awesome, you can reshape and mold any facet of the world you can get your hands on, effortlessly. Gently wave a hand through your enemies heads and scatter their brain-matter like... strawberry whipped creme, I guess? And you can never hold anyone you love ever again, or touch or do anything without being extremely cautious. You have to maintain absolute control and precision at all times and handle every interaction with everything in the world with utmost gentleness and care or else you will simply splatter it all.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby addams » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:42 am UTC

The Hag Fish Superpower.
That would suck.

Sure. It is a Superpower; Not everyone can do it.
All the drawbacks of limited contact with other Normal humans.
Plus; The Psycholoical burden of Knowing not one Wants to touch you;
Except on a bet.

Hag Fish Man! Hag Fish Man!
He can slime you up, like Nobody can.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:46 am UTC

addams wrote:Hag Fish Man! Hag Fish Man!
He can slime you up, like Nobody can.
If the internet has taught me anything, it has taught me this.

Somewhere, someone will pay extra for that. Doesn't matter what the that is, someone is not only really, really, creepily in to it, but they'll give you large sums of money if you can provide it.

This, of course, does veer straight in to Prostitution-land and as such, not all "Thats" are legal in all jurisdictions, but before we even bring sex into it, for completely nonsexual reasons.... someone will pay you good money for that. Whatever that may be.

The trick is matching up your that with the person who wants it and has the money to buy it.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby addams » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:54 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
addams wrote:Hag Fish Man! Hag Fish Man!
He can slime you up, like Nobody can.
If the internet has taught me anything, it has taught me this.

Somewhere, someone will pay extra for that. Doesn't matter what the that is, someone is not only really, really, creepily in to it, but they'll give you large sums of money if you can provide it.

This, of course, does veer straight in to Prostitution-land and as such, not all "Thats" are legal in all jurisdictions, but before we even bring sex into it, for completely nonsexual reasons.... someone will pay you good money for that. Whatever that may be.

The trick is matching up your that with the person who wants it and has the money to buy it.

Poor Hag Fish Man.

Or; An interesting career in Interactive Performace Art.

You are right. Matching Hag Fish man with people that appreciate him would be tricky. That man be a small, fringe group.

I would try to be nice to Hag Fish man. But; Have you seen the slime?
If he is nice enough people may overcome their revulsion.

Still; Hag Fish Man's friends get an extra gold star.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:09 am UTC

Frimble wrote:But I'm sure I can think of a worse one. How about the ability to summon a kitten once per year?

Actually that would be a pretty nice superpower. Especially if they are hypoallergenic.

The worst belongs to...Jane Grey, was that her name? Touch somebody and they die, right? Only useful if you have arch enemies.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:42 am UTC

addams wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:
addams wrote:Hag Fish Man! Hag Fish Man!
He can slime you up, like Nobody can.
If the internet has taught me anything, it has taught me this.

Somewhere, someone will pay extra for that. Doesn't matter what the that is, someone is not only really, really, creepily in to it, but they'll give you large sums of money if you can provide it.

This, of course, does veer straight in to Prostitution-land and as such, not all "Thats" are legal in all jurisdictions, but before we even bring sex into it, for completely nonsexual reasons.... someone will pay you good money for that. Whatever that may be.

The trick is matching up your that with the person who wants it and has the money to buy it.

Poor Hag Fish Man.

Or; An interesting career in Interactive Performace Art.

You are right. Matching Hag Fish man with people that appreciate him would be tricky. That man be a small, fringe group.

I would try to be nice to Hag Fish man. But; Have you seen the slime?
If he is nice enough people may overcome their revulsion.

Still; Hag Fish Man's friends get an extra gold star.

....

There's a sexual fetish for people covered in slimy, wet, viscous substances. Hag fish man could be a star.

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
Frimble wrote:But I'm sure I can think of a worse one. How about the ability to summon a kitten once per year?

Actually that would be a pretty nice superpower. Especially if they are hypoallergenic.

The worst belongs to...Jane Grey, was that her name? Touch somebody and they die, right? Only useful if you have arch enemies.
I think you're mixing Jean Grey (telekinetic, telepathic) with Rogue (touch o' death)

It only completely sucks in a world where latex does not exist. Sure, you can't touch touch people, but close enough. Also she really doesn't care as she leaves her face exposed all the time.

And she can turn it off now. And exists in a world where there exists technological devices to temporarily suppress powers. She's a "Woe is me, I'm too awesome" Mary Sue at this point.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:16 am UTC

On the subject of Rogue, I thought up another "blessed with suck" type superpower a while back. Basically the opposite of hers, twerked a little: anything she touches "heals" or "unages" or "undecays", limited not only to living things, and conducting via touch (so if she touches one part of a rusted old heap of a car, not only that part but the whole car gets repaired)... at the cost of her own life-energy.

So as she walks the barren and poisoned ground of some industrial accident or something, in her perpetually-new shoes of course, green grass and beautiful flowers spring up in her footsteps... and she grows more and more weary with every step. To keep herself from just draining all her life-force out into healing the whole world (or as much of it as she has energy for), she has to "insulate" herself in a bubble of things which are already in good condition (thanks to proximity to her if nothing else), and has to be very careful about where she goes outside that nice bubble or what she lets into it, because anyone, anything, or anywhere newly exposed to her will get much better... at the cost of her own health.

And of course all the sick and dying people in the world want to pay her a visit, as well as everyone with an important broken gizmo, widget, or MacGuffin...
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby teelo » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:16 am UTC

Forum moderation.

*shudder*

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby TimelordSimone » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:29 am UTC

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall someone whose mutant power was spontaneously catching fire (like the Human Torch) but without the required secondary power of immunity to fire.
That's pretty terrible.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:58 am UTC

Being supernaturally unlucky. And not like the cop-out unlucky powers some characters have where everything around you is unlucky, thus making bullets miss etc. But the kind where you are so unlucky that just waking up in the morning is a hazard. Murphy's law-style. You probably wouldn't survive for long though. Unless death would be considered "luck" as it would allow you to escape from the curse of your existence.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby yurell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:26 pm UTC

I stick by 'immortality' being the worst curse, especially if you're kept sane throughout it.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby pkcommando » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:34 pm UTC

Frimble wrote:The ones from this show are pretty bad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgQyuI7CzLM

But I'm sure I can think of a worse one. How about the ability to summon a kitten once per year?

Once a year you could visit a retirement home and cheer up all the elderly people.

The only bad part is that it's only once a year. Otherwise, being able to summon a kitten would be great - they are soft and cuddly. Maybe if there was also the condition that at least half the time, the kitten will be evil and scratch/bite people.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:40 pm UTC

My actual super power seems to be whenever I touch a surface I can't see, like the underside of a bannister/rail, or lean against someones desk, LO! I have found gum. Obfuscated gumogenesis.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby pkcommando » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:43 pm UTC

yurell wrote:I stick by 'immortality' being the worst curse, especially if you're kept sane throughout it.

I think it would be worse if there isn't a Perpetual Youth/Beauty/Health/Regen Power combo mixed in there as well. Think of Mordred from the end of the Justice League episode 'Kid Stuff'.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:26 pm UTC

pkcommando wrote:
yurell wrote:I stick by 'immortality' being the worst curse, especially if you're kept sane throughout it.

I think it would be worse if there isn't a Perpetual Youth/Beauty/Health/Regen Power combo mixed in there as well. Think of Mordred from the end of the Justice League episode 'Kid Stuff'.

You wouldn't necessarily turn evil. (Doctor Who Series 3 spoiler alert)
Spoiler:
Consider Captain Jack Harkness/The Face of Boe. Blessed/cursed by Rose to live forever, he is effectively immortal, but still ages very slowly. After billions of years of living, he ages from a handsome man who causes every female (and some males) to swoon at his approach, past being old, and eventually into a gigantic face in a vat.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby pkcommando » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:06 pm UTC

scarecrovv wrote:
pkcommando wrote:
yurell wrote:I stick by 'immortality' being the worst curse, especially if you're kept sane throughout it.

I think it would be worse if there isn't a Perpetual Youth/Beauty/Health/Regen Power combo mixed in there as well. Think of Mordred from the end of the Justice League episode 'Kid Stuff'.

You wouldn't necessarily turn evil. (Doctor Who Series 3 spoiler alert)
Spoiler:
Consider Captain Jack Harkness/The Face of Boe. Blessed/cursed by Rose to live forever, he is effectively immortal, but still ages very slowly. After billions of years of living, he ages from a handsome man who causes every female (and some males) to swoon at his approach, past being old, and eventually into a gigantic face in a vat.

I was thinking more of his fate after he'd broken the spell keeping him perpetually young. He was still immortal, but all of those centuries caught up with him.
Seen here:
Spoiler:
Image

You'd never die, but your body would continue to age and deteriorate normally*. Losing your mental faculties would be a blessing in that case. However, if you started off knowing that fate awaited you, it would be a hell of a thing.


*- and what's 'normal' once you're looking at human life expectancy in the rearview mirror?

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

Immortality doesn't necessarily mean invulnerability.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:07 pm UTC

Even immortality with invulnerability could eventually become a curse.

What if mankind never sets sail for the stars? Then we're all (including you, Mr. Invulnerable) stuck on this planet until the sun burns it to a crisp in however many billions of years, and then eventually collapses and dims itself, leaving you living forever alone with nobody and nothing on a dark barren rock until the Big Rip or until protons decay and then -- wait, you're invulnerable, those things don't affect you -- then you're just floating in COMPLETELY PITCH BLACK EMPTY SPACE FOR ALL ETERNITY.

Even if mankind does eventually set sail for the stars, and you get billions of years to explore the cosmos etc etc... eventually those things will still happen and something like that will still be your fate. You may be immortal, but the universe isn't, and what's the point of living if there's no more universe to live in?
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:14 pm UTC

What if your intellect becomes ascendant and you are able to fabricate an entire world to live in within your own mind?
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:My actual super power seems to be whenever I touch a surface I can't see, like the underside of a bannister/rail, or lean against someones desk, LO! I have found gum. Obfuscated gumogenesis.

Once, in St. Petersburg, Russia, I was on a train that was about to start moving. The doors had closed and it was like a second from moving, and I didn't have anything to hold on to. So I found some sort of electrical box behind me that was really large, and put my hand on top of it...and learned: never put your hands where you cannot see. Just don't.

20 years of grease got on my hand.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:40 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:What if your intellect becomes ascendant and you are able to fabricate an entire world to live in within your own mind?

What if all the world's inside of your head, just creations of your own? Your devils and your gods, all the living and the dead -- and you're really all alone?

(That line and thoughts along these lines lead me to come up with a pretty awesome fictional religion once, wherein the entire multiverse exists because God is a singular infinite intelligence eternally alone with absolutely nothing to do but think and nothing to think about but completely made-up imaginary things, so he makes up stories and fictional worlds, and imagines them from the viewpoint of every character in them, and because he has eternity to do this he eventually imagines in complete detail every possibly variant of every character in every story in every world -- and each of our conscious experiences is just him imagining the story of our particular world through our point of view. We're all just God telling himself stories to wile away eternity. And the higher-level thought process coming up with these stories is carried out as an internal dialogue, and each "author-character" in that dialogue -- the dialogues being entirely about how each story should go -- is the equivalent of a polytheistic god, a god of some abstract concept like war or love or whatever, who is responsible for all iterations of that abstract concept in the world, being one of the "authors" -- one facet of the author's internal dialogue -- that created it).
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby ShortChelsea » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:44 pm UTC

Aside from all of the various torturous ones, I think that being able to sense spiders would be a dumb superpower. I can't see that being strongly useful. It's a "meh" superpower.

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:47 pm UTC

ShortChelsea wrote:Aside from all of the various torturous ones, I think that being able to sense spiders would be a dumb superpower. I can't see that being strongly useful. It's a "meh" superpower.

"My spider sense is tingling! ... There's a spider hiding in that bush!" - "That's great, Spidey, thanks for letting us know."
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Menacing Spike » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:48 pm UTC

Bacteria telepathy?

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Fire Brns » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:13 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:What if your intellect becomes ascendant and you are able to fabricate an entire world to live in within your own mind?

What if all the world's inside of your head, just creations of your own? Your devils and your gods, all the living and the dead -- and you're really all alone?

(That line and thoughts along these lines lead me to come up with a pretty awesome fictional religion once, wherein the entire multiverse exists because God is a singular infinite intelligence eternally alone with absolutely nothing to do but think and nothing to think about but completely made-up imaginary things, so he makes up stories and fictional worlds, and imagines them from the viewpoint of every character in them, and because he has eternity to do this he eventually imagines in complete detail every possibly variant of every character in every story in every world -- and each of our conscious experiences is just him imagining the story of our particular world through our point of view. We're all just God telling himself stories to wile away eternity. And the higher-level thought process coming up with these stories is carried out as an internal dialogue, and each "author-character" in that dialogue -- the dialogues being entirely about how each story should go -- is the equivalent of a polytheistic god, a god of some abstract concept like war or love or whatever, who is responsible for all iterations of that abstract concept in the world, being one of the "authors" -- one facet of the author's internal dialogue -- that created it).

But what if it is and this being is imaging characters who are entertaining the thought that existence is the imagination of an all powerful being? :shock: Uh oh...
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Frimble » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:58 pm UTC

ShortChelsea wrote:Aside from all of the various torturous ones, I think that being able to sense spiders would be a dumb superpower. I can't see that being strongly useful. It's a "meh" superpower.

How about the ability to sense something big or very rare? Like pink elephants?
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby UniqueScreenname » Wed May 01, 2013 2:12 am UTC

This reminds me of Cassandra, who could see the future, but was cursed with having no one ever believe her. Rather horrible.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby XTCamus » Wed May 01, 2013 2:28 am UTC

The power to shrink.... one particular body part.... and being Irish to begin with.....

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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby 3fj » Wed May 01, 2013 8:52 am UTC

UniqueScreenname wrote:This reminds me of Cassandra, who could see the future, but was cursed with having no one ever believe her. Rather horrible.

No one believed anything she said or no one believed her when she made "predictions" of the future? Cause that seems like it has an easy workaround.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby UniqueScreenname » Wed May 01, 2013 12:04 pm UTC

Well, as with any one-dimensional fictional character, you don't hear about her unless she's prophesying.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby eran_rathan » Wed May 01, 2013 1:03 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:What if your intellect becomes ascendant and you are able to fabricate an entire world to live in within your own mind?

What if all the world's inside of your head, just creations of your own? Your devils and your gods, all the living and the dead -- and you're really all alone?

(That line and thoughts along these lines lead me to come up with a pretty awesome fictional religion once, wherein the entire multiverse exists because God is a singular infinite intelligence eternally alone with absolutely nothing to do but think and nothing to think about but completely made-up imaginary things, so he makes up stories and fictional worlds, and imagines them from the viewpoint of every character in them, and because he has eternity to do this he eventually imagines in complete detail every possibly variant of every character in every story in every world -- and each of our conscious experiences is just him imagining the story of our particular world through our point of view. We're all just God telling himself stories to wile away eternity. And the higher-level thought process coming up with these stories is carried out as an internal dialogue, and each "author-character" in that dialogue -- the dialogues being entirely about how each story should go -- is the equivalent of a polytheistic god, a god of some abstract concept like war or love or whatever, who is responsible for all iterations of that abstract concept in the world, being one of the "authors" -- one facet of the author's internal dialogue -- that created it).


That is more or less the entire over-arching plot of the "World as Myth" series from Heinlien (basically, all of the Lazarus Long stories).
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Asthanius » Wed May 01, 2013 2:10 pm UTC

3fj wrote:
UniqueScreenname wrote:This reminds me of Cassandra, who could see the future, but was cursed with having no one ever believe her. Rather horrible.

No one believed anything she said or no one believed her when she made "predictions" of the future? Cause that seems like it has an easy workaround.

I don't think it did have a workaround. If I recall, she was cursed in such a way that if she revealed anything that was going to happen in the future, everybody was basically magically forced to reject it. I assume this would expand to writing something down on paper, leaving the paper somewhere, and waiting for somebody to find it.
If a supervillian had this power, that would be amazing. They could tell the police that a crime would be committed at a certain place at a certain time, and no matter how many times this happens, it would be unexpected. "The bank on 4th and Main is going to be robbed tomorrow at 4:30 PM. You will have to increase the security measures."
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby Fire Brns » Wed May 01, 2013 3:36 pm UTC

Asthanius wrote:
3fj wrote:
UniqueScreenname wrote:This reminds me of Cassandra, who could see the future, but was cursed with having no one ever believe her. Rather horrible.

No one believed anything she said or no one believed her when she made "predictions" of the future? Cause that seems like it has an easy workaround.

I don't think it did have a workaround. If I recall, she was cursed in such a way that if she revealed anything that was going to happen in the future, everybody was basically magically forced to reject it. I assume this would expand to writing something down on paper, leaving the paper somewhere, and waiting for somebody to find it.
If a supervillian had this power, that would be amazing. They could tell the police that a crime would be committed at a certain place at a certain time, and no matter how many times this happens, it would be unexpected. "The bank on 4th and Main is going to be robbed tomorrow at 4:30 PM. You will have to increase the security measures."

Ah, yes. But he would have to do it by himself because his henchmen wouldn't believe his plans either.
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Re: The Worst Superpower

Postby pkcommando » Wed May 01, 2013 6:35 pm UTC

Asthanius wrote:
3fj wrote:
UniqueScreenname wrote:This reminds me of Cassandra, who could see the future, but was cursed with having no one ever believe her. Rather horrible.

No one believed anything she said or no one believed her when she made "predictions" of the future? Cause that seems like it has an easy workaround.

I don't think it did have a workaround. If I recall, she was cursed in such a way that if she revealed anything that was going to happen in the future, everybody was basically magically forced to reject it. I assume this would expand to writing something down on paper, leaving the paper somewhere, and waiting for somebody to find it.
If a supervillian had this power, that would be amazing. They could tell the police that a crime would be committed at a certain place at a certain time, and no matter how many times this happens, it would be unexpected. "The bank on 4th and Main is going to be robbed tomorrow at 4:30 PM. You will have to increase the security measures."

Until he tries it in Gotham and Batman still shows up - just in case. 8-)


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