Guide to Godmodding
And how to avoid it at all cost!
First off, there are two keys to avoiding godmodding when creating things: Weaknesses and Limitations. And there are two key things to apply these to: Characters and Abilities.Characters need weaknesses to balance out their strengths. If they have far more strengths than weaknesses, you're godmodding. And I don't mean a small spot on the back of the neck. Weaknesses! Characters need 'em!
The best way to do this is stamina. Characters are human, too. And they have stamina and energy used for activity. They also feel pain. A character can't just ignore a wound. It hurts! They also aren't immortal. They can and have to fall if their injuries become too severe. And if they fight for too long, they have to get tired. If they're in too much pain, they won't be able to focus. Characters have endurance, a tolerance for pain, stamina, energy, willpower, spirit and morale, and everything human we have. And don't just tell me "My character doesn't have all that! He's a god!" No. It doesn't work that way. Having a god for a character is godmodding to the biggest extreme. Unless, of course, he's the main villain. In which case the main goal of the story is to defeat him, so he needs to be strong.
And the character can't dodge every single bloody attack! They have to take a hit sometime! And don't just say "if the attack isn't good enough, I won't let it hit me".
Then there's the situation of the godmodder knowing exactly how to defeat the opponent due to having read the character's profile. No, it doesn't work that way. Unless the opponent's weakness is within your character's abilities to figure out, he or she has to beat them the old-fashioned way.
And the character can't have a huge variety of abilities to make them ready for any situation. They need to have areas they aren't good at. For example, and in the simplest form, they may be strong and hard to injure, but they may be very sluggish and slow. Or they may be very fast and agile, but don't hit very hard. Characters need to have a theme with their abilities. If their abilities are just all over the place, it's not only silly, it's godmodding. For example, the villain Crocodile from "One Piece" can turn into sand to avoid damage. But he can also dry up water (his weakness). These dryness powers are related to his element of sand. See? There's a theme.
In "One Piece", main character Luffy is immune to blunt damage, which is cushioned by his rubber body upon impact. He's also completely immune to electricity due to rubber being an insulator, not a conductor. But he's still susceptible to bladed weapons, fire, etc. etc.
Then there's another One Piece character, Crocodile. There are several characters in One Piece that can turn into an element to avoid damage. Smoker can turn into smoke to avoid damage, and Ace can turn into fire. However, these characters can only do this when they are aware the attack is coming. They need to turn into their element themselves, it doesn't happen automatically. If they are hit by a surprise attack out of nowhere, it can and will affect them. But the villain Crocodile, on the other hand, can turn into sand, and he's trained himself to turn into sand as a reflex to being hit. That means that even if he doesn't know the attack is coming, the moment the attack hits him he'll turn into sand as a reflex. But what Luffy finds out through deductive reasoning is that Crocodile's weakness is water. Luffy rushes into battle with Crocodile with a big barrel of water on his back, and jumps in to punch him. Crocodile just smirks and readies to turn into sand. But Luffy exclaims that he wet his fist, and the punch hits Crocodile and hits him hard. Water makes Crocodile's sand stick together. When he's wet, he can't transform into sand. What follows is a watery battle between water-powered Luffy and the "wet & dry" Crocodile. Crocodile uses his sand-related dryness powers to dry up the water and combat "water Luffy". When this proves an effective strategy for Crocodile, Luffy attacks him with his own wet blood (though in the censored version, he uses his sweat).
Defenses can't be impervious. A barrier should fall or break if too much damage is dealt to it. A shield might only block from the front, and not from above, below, the sides, or behind. Or the barrier might only block energy-based attacks, but not physical. Or the barrier might only block projectiles, but not melee attacks.
Then there's Franky from One Piece. He's a cyborg. He remodeled himself with machine parts. He is almost impervious to attacks from the front. However, he remodeled himself with his own hands, so he couldn't reach his back. So his back is completely defenseless.
Another good way is for the defense to have a limit. The defensive attack could defend from attacks, but only for so long, and only for attacks below a certain level of power. In "One Piece", Luffy fought a man named Blueno who used a defensive move that tightened his muscles to make them hard enough to resist damage. But Luffy's "Gomu Gomu no Jet Bazooka" was strong enough to break through it.
abilities, especially powerful ones, need weaknesses and limitations. You can't just have an ability that levels an entire area or instantly kills the enemy with a single, unavoidable attack.
A good way to limit abilities is to make it so they use up energy. Several series have special forms of energy that abilities use up when used. There's Chakra in "Naruto", Reiatsu/Reiryoku in "Bleach", Spirit in "666 Satan", Invento Hell in "Aflame Inferno", and even MP in most RPG video games. And of course, the more powerful the attack, the more of this energy it consumes. And no one has infinite energy. Strength to Accuracy Ratio But the best way to limit a powerful attack is to make it so that it has a weakness. For example, an attack may be unavoidable, but it may not be very strong. Or the attack may be a one-hit kill, but it could be easily avoidable or interruptible.
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