When I wrote the Primary Arc of the Resonance Saga, building effective powers came down to limiting the size and scope of their implementation. Short Change could only control coins and only while they maintained their specific shape. Other characters could only make exert the full force of their powers while making physical contact, as was the case in most of the psychic types or OP (Over Powered) characters.
Clearly stating what the powers can and cannot do helped me formulate a plot that could be realistically resolved through the use of the hero’s powers. In essence, I followed Sanderson’s First Law to the letter.
However, in the case of Alter Ego Academy, I’ve added another component into the mix. Yes, the powers have clear limitations. They only work in certain given situations and there are limits to how powerful a person can become. However, that latter part was made less so in many of the cases. A Super’s limit is less determined by hard and fast physical constraints and more on the cost of using the powers.
Cost, the new element I’ve added into the mix, was something vaguely present in the Resonance Saga. In this new superhero book I’m writing, the definition of cost is stated below …
A permanent or temporary loss of a mental or physiological aspect of the user, relative to the degree to which the power was used.
The cost goes into effect no matter what. It will happen, regardless of how much a super may fight it. What a hero can do is choose how he or she will deal with it. There’s an entire class at the academy that deals with this subject.
Creating the system of costs was very enjoyable and I think it makes writing this book an awesome adventure. I’ll be sure to deliver more info as needed.