B004 Introduction to Metahuman Studies (Part 3)

“First, I’m sure that you all know the old Cruse-System for classifying metahuman abilities, named so for Franklin Cruse, who organized and directed the convention that created the system back in nineteen-forty-seven, and which has been in use to this day. Whoever knows it also knows how incredibly confusing it can get, using mythological terms for some powers and a jumble of English terminology for some others. Does anyone here want to guess why it got so confusing?”

No one raised their hand. It didn’t surprise her – few knew this particular little factoid.

I’ve wondered about that, myself, but I could never make any sense of the whole thing, said Melody.

“Fun fact: It’s my father’s fault. The Dark’s. He thought it would be funny to make it as confusing as possible,” she said. People looked at her with disbelieving eyes.

Seriously? He thought it would be ‘funny’? And how did he pull it off?!

I asked him. He seriously answered that ‘It amused me’. And he did it mostly by sneaking into the convention led by Cruse and influencing the gathered specialists. He does stuff like that whenever he’s bored.

Good God, and you grew up with that? Explains so much.

Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?!

Melody didn’t respond.

She focused her thoughts back onto the lecture. “So, after sixty-five years, the Werdenfeld-Manning research team has developed a new classification system. The first and most important change is that it no longer bothers to differenciate between source powers and derived powers. What does that mean? Well, let’s take Lady Light as an example.”

Lady Light’s power classification appeared on the whiteboard.

Adonis 10

Generator 7 → Wild Card 10 (Hard-Light Armament)

“This is my mother’s classification under the Cruse-system. Observe how there is a distinction between her source power – Generator, her ability to create her hard light constructs – and the resulting Wild Card classification, a derived power. Her new classification is as follows.”

New words appeared next to the old ones.

Physique 12

Damage/Protection 7

Meta 12

“Notice first how it now lists the effects of her powers, instead of trying to denote a source power. Notice also how the Adonis-trait has been renamed – we will get to that shortly.”

“Now, you may ask yourselves what the big difference is. Simply put, this new system puts more emphasis on summing up what a metahuman can do, not why. It also necessiates more attention to the individual descriptions of the metahuman’s abilities. The main reason for this change is that it is basically impossible to properly determine source powers, or sum up the powers into a few words. So now, we won’t even try any more,” she continued. “Furthermore, all non-English terms have been replaced so as to make the classifications more easily understandable. This is now the comprehensive list of power effects.”













At least it’s all in English this time, she said to Melody.

Yeah, I never understood how they came up with some of the names they did.

Dad brought a Thesaurus into the convention and randomly dropped suggestions into the minds of the attendees.

The more I learn about your father, the less I respect him…

Tell me about it.

“Alright, we are going to work through this list from top to bottom, working through the effects. I stress, this will just be a short introduction – we are going to revisit it later on. Please make notes, you will need to remember this for every following session.”

The whiteboard was wiped clean again, then the word Contriving appeared.

“Contriving is, perhaps, the strangest power out there – at its most basic level, it allows the metahuman to create placebos through which various effects can be expressed. At higher levels, Contriving allows a metahuman to create pretty much any tool for any task, making it arguably the most dangerous classification aside from transcendent variable powers. At levels one through three, Contriving allows a metahuman to create fantastic equipment and effects within a narrow field. An example would be Spellgun, who can only create various guns and ammunition, and nothing else – all his gear apart from his arms and ammunition is actually mundane technology, only styled to fit his theme. From four to six, we see the capabilities of contrivances branch out – Doc Feral, for example, can bestow a variety of temporary powers with his Power Juice, both to himself and to others. Levels seven through nine, Apex Tier contrivers, are what everyone thinks of when they speak of Mad Scientists – while they may have a focus, they can apply their ability to nearly any field, giving them, perhaps, the greatest versatility of all metahumans appart from God Tier contrivers. An example of this would be Doctor Despair, while the Archmage is an example of a God Tier contriver at level ten. Speaking of God Tier, there is only one known contriver to ever be assigned a rating of twelve – that would be, of course, Memento. While he still specializes in creating numerous robots, he can give them pretty much any power he can think of, as well as create an incredibly variety of support equipment that goes far beyond robotics. Unfortunately, contrivers are the most endangered metahumans when it comes to mental maladies – you can take any of the chances I’ve named earlier and double them for contrivers, up to 99%, which, of course, means that any contriver from level eight and above is pretty much guaranteed to be deranged in some way. And no, we will not get into Heretic in this course. Yes, he is the most powerful contriver ever. No, he will be discussed in a course specifically dealing with contrivers.”

“Now, the Control classification specifies any metahuman effect that allows for controlling other entities, be they humans, animals or constructs, but does not entail the ability to create them. Exemplars can, at best, control insects, simple animals or influence human emotions. A well-known example would be Buggy, a much-loved superhero operating in China, who can control large quantities of bugs, but only within a limited range; or Racer, who can control any car with his insignia on it remotely. Paragons are capable of controlling human emotions to a greater degree, implant suggestions, control a single human under certain conditions or control large quantities of animals. Bestiality is one such controller, a woman capable of controlling entire herds of animals at a time. Finally, in the Apex Tier, we get the much feared true mind controllers, people who can either completely control one person or take control over more than one to a limited degree. An example would be the late supervillainess Darling, who could use pheromones to control anyone who could smell her for significant amounts of time or Mindstar, who can only completely take over the mind of one person at a time, but can manipulate entire crowds to a lesser degree. Finally, we get to the God Tier of controllers – of which there are only two confirmed cases. The -fortunately – late Mindfuck of the Savage Six, the single most powerful telepath on record, and Polis Megalos, the premier superhero of Greece, who is capable of controlling an entire city.”

She paused for while, giving the students time to write everything down.

“Something simpler, now. The Damage classication describes any inherent ability to cause physical damage. The most common example are energy blasts of one kind or another. The damage classification is rarely applied to powers that have an indirect way of causing damage as part of their abilities – for example, if someone can spawn a superstrong minion, they are only given a Spawning rating, not a damage rating – otherwise nearly every metahuman out there would have a damage rating, so it’s only used for specialized damaging effects. With Exemplars, the damaging ability is restricted to damage that can be duplicated by mundane weaponry, like the ability to accelerate small, bullet-like objects to terminal speeds. Paragons go up to the output of vehicle sized weaponry, like gatling guns or tank guns. Apex Tiers describe powers that reach and eventually surpass the potential of artillery or bombardement. In the God Tier, we get the truly terrifying powers, capable of tearing down a good chunk of a large city with a single use. Desolation-in-Light almost always uses at least this level of destructive capability during her attacks. Theoretically, a transcendent damage effect would equal the destructive effect of a nuclear bomb, but thankfully, there has yet to be a metahuman with such power. Except for Desolation-in-Light, though she only used such abilities a few times until now.”

“We are going to skip the Gadgeteer effect for now. Let’s tackle that at the end of the session.”

Oh, you’re so mean.

Don’t complain.

“Manipulation effects entail all effects that, somehow, affect the physical world and do not fall into another category, making it the most expansive power classification. It can range from simple telekinesis to the stranger powers of time manipulation or probability manipulation (which was formerly a Wild Card power) and it can be either ranged, touch ranged or personal. In the Exemplar Tier, we get almost exclusively low-level elemental manipulation, like pyrokinesis that allows the creation and/or control of limited amounts of fire, geokinesis of less than five hundred kilogram, simple photokinesis and so on. The Paragon Tier includes the first universal telekinetics, limited manipulation of time and gravity, and so on. Most electrokinetics also fall into the Paragon Tier, mainly due to their versatility. In the Apex Tier, we get the specialized kinetics who can move more than ten tons of material, universal telekinetics with up to ten tons of strength and this is also the minimal rating for true probability manipulators. Finally, in the God Tier, we find the manipulators who can move entire buildings, using skyscrapers as thrown weapons for an example. An old, thankfully dead example would be Earthmaster, a geokinetic villain who was capable of causing earthquakes that reached up to an eight on the Richter Scale.”

She let that sink in for a while – no one in this room was old enough to remember that asshole – he’d been one of her mother’s first recurring enemies, nearly ninety years ago.

How did Earthmaster go down, actually? I don’t think your mother killed him?

Nope, the Justicar killed him. With a sniper rifle, while he was sitting on the toilet.

“Morphing describes all effects that change the user’s physical form. At the Exemplar Tier, you can find effects like turning limbs into weapons, the skin into diamond or a single, natural form, like being able to turn into a single animal or into a single other person. The Paragon Tier includes the abilities to change into various forms within a single class – different animals, different humans and so on – shapeshifting your limbs into various forms of the same material – turning your hands into various metallic forms, for example – and the like. Apex Tier morphers are capable of freely adjusting their form, though they are generally held back by a single limit – for example, the new UJH member Bakeneko can freely shift her own form, her only limits being that she cannot adjust her mass and is restricted to organic forms. At the God Tier, we find nearly unlimited shapeshifters who are usually only limited by having to remain within a certain mass range. The best known example would be the leader of the Savage Six, Hemming, who can take on any organic or inorganic form and is only limited by his own imagination and his own mass – he has to remain within one tenth or about fifty times his own mass.”

“Movement denotes all effects that enhance a persons capabilities to, well, move around. Super-Speed, flight and teleportation are the most well-known examples. At levels one through three, you find people with exceptional, though not necessarily inhuman speed, the ability to stick to walls, walk on water or fly while still limited by natural laws. From level four through six, you get real Super-Speed, usually up to seventy miles per hour, short-range personal teleportation, the ability to move slowly through solid matter and true independent flight, often ignoring at least wind resistance. Levels seven through nine include flight that ignores most aeronautical laws and long-range teleportation and/or the ability to take other people along on your jumps. At the God Tier, we get people like the late Switchstep, who could teleport himself and up to six tons of mass from the surface of the Earth to the Moon and flight that completely ignores natural laws, including the laws of inertia.”

“Perception effects are all those power effects that enhance a persons ability to perceive the world, as well as all abilities that manipulate other person’s senses. This is perhaps the second-most variable classification, as it includes all enhanced senses, all supernatural senses, psychometry, precognition, as well as illusions, invisibility and other sensory concealment effects. I’m not going to go through the individual power levels here, as this category is far too complex to be quickly broken down into labels. We’ll get into that during the session where we will get into the specifics of the Perception classification.”

“Physique combines the former Adonis and Chimaera classifications. Some of you might know that there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not the Adonis- and Chimaera-traits should even be classified as powers and not as results of a one-time adjustment of the body, as they cannot be influenced by any effect that influences other powers, like nullification effects – even Dr. Null was never able to nullify the enhanced physique of Lady Light or other metahumans, nor reverse the mutations of the Chimaera trait. Well, now this question is no longer important, as the question doesn’t even figure into classifications anymore – we only classify effects from now on. Either way, Physique effects are all effects that improve and/or permanently change the body, including improvements to the brain, allowing for increased intelligence. They range from simply improving – or twisting – the appearance and performance within the normal human range at the Exemplar Tier to the completely inhuman capabilities of God Tier physique effects like Lady Lights ability to shrug off anything short of armor-piercing rounds and punch through concrete. Physique powers are also the only ones that can be assigned a rating of zero, which means that it merely affects the outward appearance and maybe the overall health of a person.”

“Protection effects are all those effects that protect their wearer in some fashion, from extremely tough skin in excess of the Physique rating to force-fields, the ability to turn insubstantial (which nearly always entails a Movement rating as well) and so on. Exemplar Protection grants the ability to simply resist mundane damage better, up to being nearly bulletproof at level three. From level four through six, we get truly bulletproof metahumans, low levels of insubstantiality and so on. Apex Tier brings us the first ‘invulnerable’ metahumans, like Amazon, who can take anti-tank rounds and keep swinging. In the God Tier, we get those rare few individuals who are almost completely untouchable by anything short of equally rated metahuman damage effects, such as the late Protector, who once survived a nuclear explosion and was only killed – in fact, only ever harmed when he ran up against DiL. Protection effects also include the common Regeneration capability of many metahumans.”

“Now, Spawning is one of the rarest and most versatile effects – the ability to create agents, ranging from simple remote-controlled automatons to fully independent, perhaps even sentient entities. It often also entails an unrated Control and/or Perception effect, allowing the metahuman to completely control their creations or share their senses, respectively. In the Exemplar Tier, we get effects that allow for the creation of small, non-sentient and non-powered entities out of thin air or up to medium-sized automatons out of existing material. An example would be the ability to create ‘insect’ swarms out of nothing or animate a single physical object. Levels four through six entail the ability to either animate several medium-sized constructs, a single larger construct, create medium-sized entities out of thin air or spawn semi-sentient entities of up to animal intelligence. At levels seven through nine we get the effects which allow the creation of several larger constructs out of existing material, large entities out of nothing, single, powered entities, and entities with near-human levels of intelligence. Among God Spawners, we get people like The Dark, who can create several independent, fully sentient and meta-powered entities, in his case ‘Darkwraiths’ or a single, extremely powerful entity. There is also a known level thirteen spawner, Weisswald, who could create self-sustaining, self-replicating entities, nowadays known as ‘Spiteborn’.”

“Finally, the Meta descriptor describes all powers that deal with powers. That means, all means of enhancing, suppressing, bestowing, mimicking, stealing or shifting powers fall under this classification. The breakdown of the individual tiers would take too long at this point. Let’s just say that this is the one rating which every tactician out there absolutely loathes to have on the opposing side.”

She stopped, taking a deep breath and letting her pupils jot down their notes. Leaning back against her podium, she got ready for the final part of this topic.

“Now, I earlier said that I’d explain the Gadgeteer rating at the end. There’s a reason for that, because Gadgeteer’s get a special rating scheme. Because Gadgeteering has the distinction of being the only supernatural effect to operate after natural principles – in fact, it ONLY works within the range of natural laws – it is one of the most interesting effects out there. Many people hope that the appearance of a sufficiently high-rated Gadgeteer might lead humanity into a new Golden Age, perhaps even push us towards a technological singularity. Regardless of that, the Gadgeteer effect gets a double rating, going from one-slash-one to thirteen-slash-thirteen. This is because it is important to both describe how fast a Gadgeteer can work and how far ahead of current scientific theory they are. Let’s take, for example, Polymnia. She was formerly rated as a Gadgeteer three for being able to produce extremely advanced acoustic equipment, though she usually only created advancements of existing technologies instead of new ones – her sonic cage invention being an exception. Now, her new rating would be five-slash-three, because while she seems to be limited to current scientific theory, she works a lot faster than any mundane scientist. At higher levels, we get the vigilante Brennus, who’s estimated to be a seven-slash-five, Atrocity from the Savage Six, a six-slash-five and, of course, Sovereign, a seven-slash-seven, with a current debate among several circles within the Department of Metahuman Affairs to re-rate him as a seven-slash-eight, perhaps even an eight-slash-eight. The highest rated Gadgeteer we know of would be the late Su Ling, who is estimated to have been a Gadgeteer twelve-slash-twelve.”

I wish I could get Brennus into my workshop. The inventions we could come up with…

Please don’t drool. Bad enough the boy next to you is drooling already from looking at me.

“Alright, that’s it for the power classifications. And it also looks like I managed to already talk us through most of today’s session. Now, we are also going to have sessions on the more outlandish forms of manifestations, including the much talked about, yet never quite proven process of inheriting powers, as well as metahuman families. Get ready to take a lot of notes, because I’m going to give you an overview of required and suggested reading, as well as some names among metahuman researchers to keep an eye out for…”

* * *

“Man, this was an interesting lecture. Except for that last part, of course…,” commented Aimi.

“Oh, I don’t know. I didn’t even know about some of those books she recommended. Now I finally have something new to read again!” replied Basil.

Timothy and Aimi rolled their eyes, but didn’t say anything. They left for their next class.

* * *

Later, when they had gotten through their last class for the day, the three friends left to walk home. They were on their way past the statue of Diantha Whitaker when Brennus suddenly had an idea.

He had been thinking quite a while on how to imitate Sovereign’s force-field technology, and while he still was not sure he could create real force-fields, it should be-

“Ack!” Basil shouted, holding his head with one hand as a sharp pain lanced through his head.

“Basil? Did something happen?” asked Tim.

He shook his head. “No, I just remembered – today is my first chance to see Prisca since the incident. I had almost forgotten! Now I need to get home, drop off my school things and get over to the hospital!”

“Well, then you’d better hurry, shouldn’t you?” asked Tim with a grin.

All thoughts of new inventions forgotten for the moment, Basil hurried on, running out of the gates of the school.

* * *

Somewhere, at the same time…

She affixed the last photograph to her pinwall. It showed this new Gadgeteer, Brennus, as he was in the middle of evading an energy attack by a spiteborn while simultaneously jury-rigging the bomb that would end the fight in the acre.

It joined an extensive collection of photographs, newspaper clippings and notes, all concerning various Gadgeteers and suspected Gadgeteers around his age that appearead over the last four years. Pins and threads were forming an intricate net, all centered around a central drawing of a preteen boy with long, shaggy black hair and a mechanical left eye.

“Have I finally found you, Macian?” she asked, softly touching the picture of Brennus with two fingers. “I hope it’s you. I don’t think I can take another disappointment.”

She shook her head. This wasn’t the time for self-pity. Pulling on her heavy mask, she turned around and vanished out of the room with a soft popping sound.

65 thoughts on “B004 Introduction to Metahuman Studies (Part 3)

  1. [“Morphing is describes all effects the change the user’s physical form]

    Drop the “is”

    [Gadgeteer might lead humanity into a new Golden Age, perhaps even push as towards a technological singularity. ]

    “as” = “us”

  2. I wish I could get Brennus into my workshop. The inventions we could come up with…
    Please don’t drool. Bad enough the boy next to you is drooling already from looking at me.

    Basil stop drooling. 😛

  3. So i m guessing his pain reaction was a remnant of The Dark blocking this one invention (in that case probably forcefields) although i thought that now that the wraith has been eradicated he d slowly remember it.
    Regarding that if i haven t misunderstood earlier does the destruction of a wraith mean The Dark can t use that power any more or he now can bestow it on one of his creations again?
    Also i see you changed the header it looks nice but from what you wrote i guess the update schedule stays the same?

      • no further details on the dark’s powers except this – the wraith in basil’s mind split into two, one of which remained to block the memory. only one of it was destroyed, the piece that is blocking whatever invention the Dark thought was too dangerous is still in place

  4. What kind of powers can the darklings have? The dark has been seen to have a power that creates information by giving him data on others (which I hope is limited as it makes him boring by having him know everything instead of having to figure things out), teleport through shadows, create blades of darkness, create a darkling that invades minds and can input suggestions/blocks. A common criticism of superman is he is boring because he is so powerful that there is no drama. So I guess a better question is what are the limits of the Dark and his Darklings? Are there any other common weakness to other powers?

    • I can only give away his major weakness without spoiling something, namely the fact that Lady Light’s hard-light constructs are to his creations like sunlight to (not sparkly) vampires. Meaning, just a brushing contact destroys them, completely even before you factor in the powers they grant her. her power cancels his out completely, so he has to fight her with wits instead of head on.

      there are other limitations, but I won’t share those.

      also, the protagonist mustn’t be too powerful. The antagonist of the story, especially if it is the main antagonist, or a candidate for such, can and sometimes must be overpowered^^

      but no, he has several functional limitations to his power

      • before anyone says anything, yes, I know that classical vampires, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, were not destroyed by sunlight (only weakened, and even that didn’t always happen). But I grew up with Buffy, Blade and Vampire: The Masquerade, so sue me.

      • There are so many freaking vampires in fiction nowadays I get freaking everything about them confused. Besides all the old vampires had so many weird rules/weaknesses that they weren’t scary even if they could go into the sun. Don’t invite them in, they can’t cross running water, dracula got killed with a knife through the heart, cut of the head-which kills everything, toss seeds on the ground and they have to count it, crosses, silver, garlic, and the really weird obscure vampire like creatures I remember reading in an old cracked article. The Dark must be made fun of constantly for being so stereotypical on the internet.
        Could you say anything about numbers? Like can he only have a set number of darklings active at a time or does he have to spend alot of time making them?

      • I can give this away: there is no limit to the Darklings that he knows off, but the more he makes, the less powerful, smart and long-lived he has to make them or he can’t keep them under control. since he isn’t a complete nutjob, he’s never risked testing just how many he could make.

      • basically, during his fight with DiL back in “End of an Age”, the masses of darklings he created were little more than glorified shots, much like the clones Spree from Worm makes – stupid, short-lived, not really strong, meant for one purpose only (also HAH! finally something I thought of first!)

      • Getting hurt by sunlight is one of the most common traits of vampires in popular consciousness. That and the fangs. Pretty safe to go with it as it’s still closer to the most classical of vampires than the idea that sunlight might turn the creature of the night into a walking disco ball.

        If you want to see a more recent film that treats them decently, you might try the remake of Fright Night. It’s not all that bad and it’s refreshing to see the vampires as creatures that actually want to prey on people, not as things that want to hump the crap out of them.

        Dating back to portrayals of Dracula in film, there’s tended to be some themes of seduction, but at least they were all intended to be darker. It was a way to attract their prey or it was part of this repetitive, destructive cycle of an ageless monster deciding it wanted something and anyone else’s views on the matter be damned, including the women herself. Dracula didn’t settle down with a human girl. He drained them, turned them, and forced them to serve as his unholy bride for an eternity. And if he thought he was going to lose her to a werewolf, he’d be all over that shit. Forget sniping and dates.

        So yeah, it was nice to see a vampire treated as a monster again. Also, the remake features David Tenant as Peter Vincent.

        And if you just don’t like those vampires, there’s an arc somewhere in Fafnir the Dragon that features someone using Fafnir to try and hunt down the Twilight vampires. It also features some obscure vampires, including an Australian one with red skin and leach-like mouths for hands and feet and a Chinese one that’s a head attached to a set of intestines.

      • the head with intestines is actually a japanese vampire. the chinese version is a corpse that has grown so stiff it can only move by hopping and which drains chi instead of blood

    • didn’t think about that when I wrote this. Buggy is more an amalgam of several characters from various works with a seriously nerfed version of Taylor’s powers

  5. “Bestiality is one such controller, a wom(a)n capable of controlling entire herds of animals at a time.”

    “At the God Tier, we get people like the late Switchstep, who could teleport himself and up to six tons of mass from the surface of the Earth to the Moon and flight that completely (includes) natural laws, including the laws of inertia.” I think you meant ignores natural laws.

    Also, seriously, a female powered individual named herself Bestiality?

  6. I like The Dark’s style. Sounds like my kind of guy to visit a convention with. Not sure if he would prefer my more makeshift creations.

    Also, very practical way to off Earthmaster: snipe him while he’s soiling the throne. Did Justicar get paid well for it, or was it a dirty deed done dirt cheap?

    Always have trouble figuring up my rating in these kinds of things. After all, underneath the power armor and the strange, cobbled-together equipment, is someone who has utilized the ability to physically merge with technology if touching it. Can’t quite get it sorted in Worm’s system either. You’d be amazed at how well you can recreate or adapt technology when you’ve been able to nab the specs off its CPU directly to your brain or when your nerves can attach to the circuitry.

    Combine with a little bit of unconventional brilliance in applying explosives to fish to make a stink grenade, and you have an unstoppable force on your hands! Mwahahaha!

      • Sounds fun, but I’m not actually big on dying.

        Can’t entirely fault them for wanting the name brand plutonium, though. I’m a fan of Little Debbie’s Yellow Snack Cake Uranium, which is produced in Niger.

        But I’d rather use my money for other things. Like this promotion if they ever do shows where I am:

    • I’d say you’re a Gadgeteer 2, maybe three with a speciality for unconventional explosives (I remember your chicken grenades) and a Morphing/Manipulation hybrid, probably a 4, since you can change your body and the machines enough to interface, but only at touch range. probably Perception 1 or 2, depening on how detailed your awareness of the machine parts and your understanding of machine code is.

      Gadgeteer 2 (Unconventional Explosives)

      Manipulation/Morphing 4 (Merging with Machines)

      Perception 2/3 (Awareness and Understanding of Machines/Electronics)

  7. Lady Light is listed as having ‘Generation 7’ under the new system, corresponding to the Generator 7 under the old system, yet Generator/Generation isn’t listed or defined by GG/Irene. Closest is probably Manipulation, as I understand they don’t have the independence required by Spawning. Alternatively, it doesn’t belong there at all and it’s just supposed to be the Variable rank?

  8. Also, Bakeneko is given as an example of an Apex Tier morpher, but according to b003 part 3 she’s rank 6 Proteus, which is just below Apex.

  9. Hm. What are the averages for mental illnesses in gadgeteers, as they have a double rating? Average of the two numbers? The higher of the two? No-one knows because gadgeteers are just that rare?

    And would Brennus’s hyper-calculation abilities be classed as a separate power under any of these, or just wrapped into the Gadgeteer rating?

  10. Hmm, Su Ling’s rating just went up by quite a bit (it was 8/10 last I saw this page)… She must have been quite something, possibly rivaling Macian. Since she hasn’t made any AI that Basil knows of and (to my knowledge) hasn’t perfected cloning the way I highly suspect Macian has, Macian seems to be rating a 13/13. Of course that’s just from the almost nothing that I know of her inventions. She very well may have succeeded in AI and cloning but kept it secret. Now I really want more information on her!

    • Firstly, she died very shortly after her manifestation (don’t remember exactly where I found that, but it’s somewhere on this site). Secondly, I know. The sudden change in power level makes me confused. Also, Tieshauun, with Lady Light’s new rating, you giver her a variable 12 instead of meta 12.
      So, was Su a high apex, low god tier, or high god tier Gadgeteer? Word of god would be nice.

  11. “Speaking of God Tier, there is only one known contriver to ever be assigned a rating of twelve – that would be, of course, Memento … And no, we will not get into Heretic in this course. Yes, he is the most powerful contriver ever”

    doesn’t this contradict itself if heretic is the most powerful why doesn’t he have the highest rating?

  12. I am really curious about what’s going on with Basil and Sudden Girlfriend. From the chapter where she’s kidnapped, there doesn’t seem to be anything more to her directly, if she had some sort of hidden power, she’d have used it at that point. But there’s obviously something going on with Basil regarding her.

  13. 8 on the Richter scale…
    The Richter scale can only go up to 7 something and while still referenced in media has long since been replaced by the Moment Magnitude Scale (MMS).

      • If you checked wikipedia quickly, beware.
        The table given is implied to be in MMS if you read the page carefully.
        It also describes 8 and higher on the Richter scale as meaningless due to saturation, then the table gives meaningful higher values.
        The page is rather confusing.
        I just assumed Gloom Glimmer’s power would maker use the correct name to prevent disruption by smartasses…

        Yeah, I’m guilty as charged.

    • *Incorrectly referenced in media
      The reason for this is that MMShas been tailored to match the Richter scale, to ease adaption.
      So when someone on TV talks about an earthquake of 6.2 on the Richter scale, they mean 6.2 MMS, which is probably pretty close to 6.2 on the Richter scale.

  14. I have mixed thoughts on the Werdenfeld-Manning classification system. Overall, it’s a matter of who you intend to use the system.

    The scientists researching powers would probably find the new system useless. However, the classes that do teach whatever system they use would probably be taught in the third year of college at the earliest. I would expect most scientists to lapse into the Cruse system, since it does provide more information, and they may not have a system that the Dark didn’t play with.

    Law enforcement (and most heroes) are far more concerned about what a person can do, though, and probably find the new system much easier. The lecture in this chapter sounds like it would fit in for a first year college course, so it seems pretty fitting for a class in a prestigious private school.

    Finding source powers is important, though, since that’s what gave Brennus his theory about alternate uses of Tartsche’s power.

    Also, what if there was a martial-artist contriver? He power has him thinking he’s using legitimate ‘secret techniques’. Things could go… very badly if he has a conversation with a couple black-belts. But under the new system, that threat would never be known, since he’d probably get classed as Damage X, Movement Y, Protection Z.

    • I’m not all that happy with the classification system myself, and I’ve been wrecking my brain trying to come up with a better one. I’d even be willing to do a major retcon if only to insert one I’m actually happy with.

      As to scientists, they don’t use such a classification system at all. Powers are too diverse to be studied under the constraints of such a system – in professional circles, they simply describe the power as precisely as is possible to them.

      there are also some other systems that haven’t shown up yet. for example, in australia, they use “Brute, Brain, Blaster, Mover, Joker” instead

      • Ah. I see. Even if you did come up with a perfect classification system, I don’t think a retcon would help. If you figure that *you* are having a hard time coming up with a good system, when you have godly knowledge, no one in-universe can be expected to come up with a better system.

        Not to mention, if several countries all use different systems, then you have to come up with more than one perfect system.

        To be fair, look at chemistry. There are multiple, different naming conventions, of both chemicals and reaction types. Some of them are from an outdated system from decades back, and they still hang on to this day. So having people occasionally lapse into the wrong terminology is entirely believable.

        Actually… Do the Worm and Whateley stories exist as fiction in your universe? If they have any popularity, I could see some people accidentally using those classifications. Of course, then there’d be potential mix-ups between the exemplar tier and the the exemplar power.

        And on that note, I can never remember which tier is which, aside from god-tier. Paragon, exemplar, and apex all mean practically the same thing to me.

      • Exemplar 1-3
        Paragon 4-6
        Apex 7-9
        God 10-12
        Transcendent 13

        As for worm and such, you’ll get an answer to that in Monkey Business

  15. That was a hell of a lot of information, but I’m glad to have a good idea of what all the different classifications mean. Gloom Glimmer teaching the class is interesting. It’s funny that Basil and Melody are sitting right next to each other and don’t even know it. The story does seem to hit its stride more this arch.

  16. “all his gear appart from his arms and ammunition is actually mundane technology,”


    “the ability to move slowly through solid matter and true independant flight,”


    “Physique combines the former Adonis and Chimeara classifications. Some of you might know that there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not the Adonis- and Chimeara-traits should even be classified as powers and not as results of a one-time adjustment of the body”

    Chimeara—->Chimaera in both instances

    “Because Gadgeteering has the distinction of being the only supernatural effect to operate after natural principals ”


  17. Wow the dark has a sense of humor, first he interferes and makes the power type system confusing as shit, then when they make a new less confusing system he goes in there and somehow managed to turn it EVEN MORE CONFUSING!

    Seriously, at least the old system had some sense to it, where the fuck do telepaths and wild cards fit into this new system? (I guess that’s gonna be explained next, but come on! who approved this shit?)

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