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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheLastAirbender http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TLA_Aang_power_tats_1408.jpg]]]]

One of the many components of a PowerMakeover, the Power Tattoo is a distinguishing mark that shows a character has a certain set of powers. It may only appear when the time is right, or it may be visible at all times, but it frequently tends to [[PowerGlows glow]]. Expect it to be placed somewhere on the body that reflects its usage. The more benign version of MarkOfTheBeast.

Compare MarkedChange, where the marks generally cover more of the body, but only when someone has powered up. See also VolcanicVeins and TronLines, which similarly glow. A person ''covered'' in these is a HumanNotepad.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Sekirei crests, located on the upper back, in ''Manga/{{Sekirei}}''
* The mark of the Battling God from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist''
** Most alchemists who are dependent upon circles have them tattooed on their hands/arms for convenience.
** Scar's just happens to be a little more multi-purpose. In the first anime, his brother eventually upgraded to HumanNotepad.
** And those Homunculi, too.
* All the HOMRA clan members from ''Anime/{{K}}'' bear a stylized, flame-shaped tattoo somewhere on their bodies. Its location is different for each person and it appears to be burnt onto their skin (or inside an eye for Anna) if they were [[InitiationCeremony able to pass Mikoto's test to join the clan]]. Notably, in this case the tattoos only signify that the clansman has officially joined and shares the same power as their King. As a result, they seldom glow except [[spoiler:when their King's power is going out of control]], during which they appear to cause the clansman some physical pain while glowing. Additionally, [[spoiler:after Mikoto's death, all the tattoos eventually glow while leaving their bodies and float up into the sky at the same time.]]
* The [=HiME=] marks in ''Anime/MaiHime''.
* Lena Sayers in ''Anime/{{Mai-Otome}}'' has one as well.
* All chosen warriors in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi''
* Hiei from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon''. The Sailor Senshi have planetary marks appear on their foreheads when the plot deems it important.
** The members of the Moon Matriarchy (Queen Serenity, Princess/Neo-Queen Serenity, and Small Lady) have permanent crescent moon markings on their foreheads. When using the power of the Silver Crystal, the markings glow.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh''
** In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', the Eye of Anubis fulfills this trope. Sometimes mistaken for The Eye of Wdjat, which is the symbol on Yugi's Puzzle, it can appear on the foreheads of bearers of the items when they use shadow magic. Glowing gold. It has also turned up on [[strike:the Steves]] those under the power of Marik through the Millennium Rod.
** The Orichalcos symbol also count. It does turn up, glowing, on people under its influence like the Eye of Anubis.
** The Signers, and their antithesis, in ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''
* The Geass mark from ''Anime/CodeGeass''. Geass users have it on their eyes, whereas those who can grant Geass powers have them elsewhere, typically the forehead.
* The ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'' girls have marks on their bodies, indicating that they have been infused with Red Data Animals' DNA.
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', the Bronze Saint, Dragon Shiryu has the likeness of a Chinese ''long'' tattooed on his back. It's barely visible most of the time, but reappears as his [[BattleAura Cosmo]] ignites. Unfortunately for him, it also reveals his weakness: the raised claw of the dragon matches the location of his heart, [[ChekhovsGun pointing out a fatal flaw]] in his attack style (he lowers his defense when punching.) Also, when he's close to death, the tattoo vanishes almost completely.
** The SpinOffspring anime ''Anime/SaintSeiyaOmega'' has Shiryu's son Ryuhou, with a tattoo exactly like that, minus the weakness. In his case, it didn't appear until the Pallas arc, but when it did, the fandom went wild.
* Inverted in ''Manga/{{Kekkaishi}}'': Gen and other part-Ayakashis employed by the Urukai usually have a tattoo that ''limits'' their abilities through pain.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' and its Spiral Power: the users have generally spiral-shaped pupils. And Lordgenome has ''spiral body hair''.
* ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam''. Symbols of the Shuffle Alliance.
* +Anima markings in ''Manga/PlusAnima'', though they're actually scars.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** Orochimaru's Curse Marks, although they turn into {{Marked Change}}s when activated.
** Kurama's seal may also count.
** Tsunade, [[spoiler:Sakura]] and possibly Mito's Yin seal.
* In ''Manga/KingOfThorn'', Marco Owen is a TattooedCrook to begin with, but one in particular marks his upgrade from BadassNormal to EmpoweredBadassNormal: [[spoiler:when Alice alters his body so that he'll stand a chance against Zeus, he gains a large tattoo on his chest resembling the anarchy symbol]].
* ''Manga/DGrayMan''
** Kanda has that huge tattoo over his chest. Or at least the left side of it. It's related to his HealingFactor.
** [[spoiler: Alma Karma too. Apparently, all of the Second Exorcists did. Or would have, anyway.]]
* ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'' has the Huckebein, all of whom possess a tattoo on their body to identify their Eclipse infection. Cypha, for example, has one on the left side of her neck. As Tohma shows, these turn into MarkedChange [[SuperPoweredEvilSide when the Eclipse goes out of control]].
* Negi from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' gets these when he initially activates his [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Magia Erebea]]
* Brain from ''Manga/FairyTail'' has these and act as a PowerLimiter of sort.
* After being [[BoltOfDivineRetribution electrocuted]] by god, Olgrius is covered in markings in ''Manga/WildWind''. These pass on to his descendents which mark them as masters of manbeasts. [[Manga/WildRose Mikhail's]] are natural but [[Manga/WildFangs Syon's]] are actually [[BioAugmentation genetically engineered]].
* In ''Manga/{{Tokko}}'' people with [[PowersViaPossession phantoms]] inside them develop tribal-looking tattoos when they first awaken their powers.
* Ai from ''LightNovel/DragonCrisis'' has red markings on her right shoulder caused by the [[TransformationTrinket Lost Precious]] inside her body.
* In ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'', when Tenchi activates his [[PowerGivesYouWings Light Hawk Wings]], three glowing blue triangular stripes appear on his forehead. The goddess Tsunami also has two blue circles on her forehead that glow when she's using her powers. [[spoiler:Before reincarnating herself in human form, Tsunami's older sister Washu had three green circles, and regains them whenever she accesses her old powers. Washu's daughter Ryoko will gain the same markings at some time in the future when she reaches full power.]] Tenchi and Ayeka also get black stripes on their cheeks when their strength-enhancing Juraian battle armor is active.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The various manifestations of the Sigil in ''Creator/CrossGen Comics''.
* Creator/DCComics
** ''Franchise/GreenLantern'' villain the Tattooed Man (both of them) takes it a step further. His power is making his tattoos spring off his body and come to life.
** Same goes for Tattoo, his DistaffCounterPart from the short-lived ''ComicBook/{{Aztek}}'' series.
** This becomes vital in the ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'' mini-series when a specific design placed on the face thwarts alien brainwashing efforts.
** Aqualad, of Comicbook/YoungJustice, has tattoos down his arms and legs that glow when he uses his hydrokinesis or his electro-shock powers
* Kinetix, in ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'', when she got her powers restored by the White Witch. In this case, the tattoo was the least unusual part of her resulting appearance, which included white skin, pointed ears, and a tail.
** In the wonderful but unappreciated DC comic ''Son of Vulcan'', the main character Mikey gets the previous Vulcan's power when the dying hero touches his face, transferring Vulcan's power through a sort of tattoo. The tat is supposed to go on the new Son of Vulcan's chest, to facilitate [[ClarkKenting secret identifying]], but because the transfer is rushed, Mickey ends up with a brightly glowing hand-shaped mark right on his face.
** [[ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} Aqualad II]] possesses Atlantean tattoos that glow when he uses his hydrokinesis.
* Creator/MarvelComics
** The Starbrand from ''TheNewUniverse'' -- basically a [[AmplifierArtifact Cosmic Cube]] in tattoo form.
** WarrenEllis's AlternateContinuity, ''newuniversal'', takes it a step further and has four "power glyphs": the Starbrand glyph as above, the Justice glyph (which lets the bearer DetectEvil and generate {{Laser Blade}}s), the Nightmask glyph (which gives the bearer powerful [[{{Telepathy}} telepathic abilities]]) and the Cipher glyph (which gives the bearer the ability to [[GadgeteerGenius create advanced technology]]) equating to the four heroes of the original New Universe (Star Brand, Justice, Nightmask, and Spitfire).
** The new character Ink in the ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' comics has a different power for each tattoo he has. [[spoiler:At first he thought he was a {{mutant|s}} who would get powers based on his tattoos, but it turns out his tattoo artist is a mutant who could give people powers by giving them tattoos.]]
** Comicbook/DoctorStrange has an ankh which will appear on his forehead if he is close to Death, or whenever he most needs an affirmation of life.
* Smaxx from ''TopTen''. A tattoo unwittingly left on his chest by a dying princess is the focus of much power-usage.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* In the BuffyTheVampireSlayer fanfic ''[[http://parrot.moments-lost.org/earchive/viewstory.php?sid=3370 I Am What I Am]]'', Cordelia's BFS Subtlely can be carried around as a tattoo on her eye.
* In FanFic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum, Marcus Renee's superhuman body and magical abilities come from arcane runes tattooed all over his body with ink that's been mixed with ground-up enchanted crystals.
* In the ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'' ContinuationFic ''FanFic/BeyondTomorrow'', Ren possesses a [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons dragon]] tattoo on his back that enables him to [[VoluntaryShapeshifting morph]] into a dragon. [[spoiler: His younger sister Tomoyo]] has a [[ThePhoenix phoenix]] tattoo on her back that gives her similar powers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the film ''Film/{{Constantine}}'', the title character has two symmetrical tattoos on his forearms. When he puts them together they form an alchemy design: A fire triangle with three radiating arrows below representing the “Perfect Red King,” the Sulfur of the Philosophers.
* Ink, a minor X-Men member in the comics, appears in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' in Vietnam with Toad and Havok, as well as the BadFuture in a concentration camp. He possesses his phoenix, telepathy bolts and biohazard tattoos at least, the latter of which he uses to incapacitate some guards.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'' book series, a magician race called the Patryns uses tattoos for protection, amongst other things.
* ''Literature/ThievesWorld'' stories. The Adepts of the Blue Star had a blue star tattooed on their foreheads as the symbol (and price) of their powers. It glowed when the wearer felt strong emotions.
* ''Literature/TheBlackTattoo''. And it was pretty darn creepy.
* ''TheMalazanBookOfTheFallen'' features handless ex-priest Heboric, who is covered from head to toe in script and ritual symbols. The tattoos' power is hinted at when he is first introduced, and eventually [[spoiler:they grow off his body to replace his severed hands.]]
* Junichiro Tanizaki's ''The Tattooer'', a short story wherein a sadistic artist drugs a young geisha and tattoos a black widow spider on her back, thus releasing the [[TheVamp cruel seductress]] hidden within her.
* Eugenie Markham of Richelle Mead's ''Dark Swan'' series has multiple tattoos, most of which invoke the powers of the assorted deities she uses to enhance her magical abilities.
* The fledgling [[PhantasySpelling vampyres]] get a crescent moon on their forehead in ''TheHouseOfNight''. When it fills in completely, they have finished the 'change'. The main character Zoey Redbird's tattoo has already filled in of course, along with her getting various others when she gets her numerous [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands special abilities]].
* Jennifer Lynn Barnes' novel ''Tattoo'' is about this. A woman from TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday gives a girl named Bailey and her friends some stick-on tattoos that last for a week. Each of them gets a different power for the time they have their tattoos, though they don't know this when they get them.
* Mr. Dark, the BigBad of ''Literature/SomethingWickedThisWayComes'', controls the other carnies this way.
* Gorlist, Drow warrior from novels of Elaine Cunningham, has a dragon tattoo. Its glow indicated the presence of a dragon somewhere around, as well as [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience its kind]] (which is needed to prepare for the encounter).
* The Charter Mages in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series. Among other unspecified things, the forehead marks allow "uncorrupted" Charter Mages to identify each other with a touch.
* Literature/CassandraPalmer from Karen Chance book series has a pentacle tattoo on her back that's a ward.
* The Shadowhunters from the ''Literature/MortalInstruments'' trilogy have the ability to carve (usually temporary, occasionally permanent) tattoos on themselves, giving them a variety of abilities, such as SuperStrength, SuperSpeed, etc. However, not all of these are good. [[spoiler: The BigBad's endgame plan is to have the entire Clave enslaved and under his control by having all Shadowhunters accept a permanent Obedience Rune.]]
* The Imperium from ''Literature/TheGrimnoirChronicles'' brand kanji onto their operatives that enhance physical attributes as well as superpowers. The good guys know some that ''weaken'' captives and apply them in ash.
* ''Literature/TheFallen'''s protagonist Aaron has this whenever he activates his angelic powers.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/TheWardedMan'' and ''The Desert Spear'' by Peter V. Brett covered himself in magical wards, each of which had a different power.
* Shade from ''Literature/DarkLife'' is a variation. [[spoiler:His tattoos are a manifestation of his Dark Gift, which is to alter the color of his skin.]]
* The half-vampire members of the Fellowship of St. Giles in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' have tattoos that indicate how much they are utilizing their vampiric powers, and thus how close they are to losing control.
* Members of magically-inclined families in ''Literature/CollegiaMagica'' are required to bear a tattoo of their family crest on the back of the left hand, whether they themselves are magically talented or not.
* Cabaline wizards in ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'' are tattooed from elbow to knuckle as a display of their power and status.
* A variant appears in ''Literature/BuryingTheShadow'' involving dyeing the teeth as a visible sign of someone's powers. Soulscapers dye their teeth pink. Scryers dye their teeth indigo.
* The ''IronDruidChronicles'': Atticus, and other druids who care to exist are connected to the Earth via tattoos, giving them their awesome druidic powers.
* In the Literature/SpiritAnimals series, the titular BondCreatures can each enter something called the "passive mode", in which they become a tattoo somewhere on their partner's body. While convenient for transport, the spirit animal is incapable of aiding their companion in this state.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Gabrielle's [[http://images.ados.fr/television/photo/5535277553/dernier-episode/xena-gabrielle-883126441.jpg back tattoo]] in the ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' finale, which only glows once, but protects her from a fireball that would've seriously injured or killed her.
* The tattoos of the Checkmate Four in ''Series/KamenRiderKiva''.
* In ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'', Darien's quicksilver Indicator tattoo on his wrist. Doubles as MarkOfTheBeast, as when it's red it means he's in the throes of quicksilver madness.
* Played straight in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' with [[SuperPoweredEvilSide Nikki/Jessica.]]
** Lydia could make predictions and read thoughts and feelings using her tattoos.
* This was the point of ''Series/TattooedTeenageAlienFightersFromBeverlyHills'', an early 90's [[FollowTheLeader knock off of]] ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''.
* The tattoos that Lindsay gets in ''Series/{{Angel}}'' to hide himself from the senior partners.
* In the first season of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', when nearly every citizen in town got powers from GreenRocks, a gang has tattoos with meteor rock ink that allow them to pass through solid matter.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': After being possessed by demons a few times, Sam and Dean get protective tattoos to stop it from happening again.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'': A tattoo artist can manipulate people through supernatural tattoos; he even managed to stab Curtis with a dagger tattoo.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' features a few options for functional body art.
** Psionic users can create literal magic (well, psionic) tattoos.
** In ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' the tradition of [[TheMagocracy Thayan Red Wizards]] teaches [[StatusBuff personal enhancements]] (like spell resistance, casting level and ability scores improvement) via tattoo, usually on their faces or shaved heads.
** The spell "Create Enchanted Tattoo" (AD&D) / "Create Magic Tattoo" (D&D3) makes a temporary empowered tattoo, and can be made permanent like other spells. It requires at least ''some'' degree of tattoo skill.
** The Al-Qadim spell Tattoo of Power allows the caster to make a single-use tattoo with another spell -- just like writing a magical scroll, but implanted in the skin and discharged by touch and command word instead of reading; also requires the caster to learn tattooing as such.
** 3e ForgottenRealms {{sourcebook}} ''Lords of Darkness'' has Tattoo Magic as item creation feat (mostly, for Red Wizards) -- this variety holds an arbitrary low-level spell affecting the bearer, is touch-activated and counts as a magical item worn on the inscribed body part.
** Dragonmarks in ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' look like tattoos and grant their bearers spell-like abilities, but they actually appear spontaneously on people of certain bloodlines.
** Not to mention the new Spellscarred option in Forgotten Realms 4e, those affected by the spellplague (but not completely monster-ized) usually have the spellscar somewhere on the body. It tends to glow with blue fire when activated.
** The "Monk Tattoo" is basically a magic item that can't be lost, and [[AmplifierArtifact increases a monk's abilities]].
** There's also the Tattooed Monk prestige class, whose main aims is to get covered in Tattoos of Power.
** 3rd Edition supplement ''Relics & Rituals''. Tattoo magic allows useful tattoos to be implanted into the user's skin and activated as needed. They include Chardun's Might (+4 to Strength and Dexterity), Coreans' Forge (''Stoneskin'' spell on user) and Dragon (gain a dragon's breath weapon attack).
* D20Modern setting Urban Arcna also features magic tattoos, that act like scrolls and are activated by touching + command word. Also, one of the organization, the Prancing Pony, a chain of medieval themed fast food, include minor wet transfer power tattoo boosting some skills for around 2-3 minutes in their [[BlandNameProduct Magic Meal]].
* Caste marks appear on the foreheads of all Celestial ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' if they spend peripheral Essence.
* Sample character Kane Taoka in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'' has birthright tattoos, put on his body by the Titan Mikaboshi. One of them is a dragon he can summon at will, and two more are wings.
* [[{{Portmanteau}} Electoos]] from ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' -- it's a little unclear exactly what they do. Sometimes they are simple rank identifiers, whilst other authors use them as remote access keys, or even cybernetic circuitry.
* In ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen'', a tattoo that you can change at will is something humans have been known to make a DealWithTheDevil to obtain.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', any of the various types of Tattooed Men (first introduced in Rifts: Atlantis).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used literally in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' where Tattoos are one of the main pieces of equipment and confer numerous benefits on their wearer, as well as some playing a part in the plot. In addition, one of the Nameless One's non-equipment tattoos is [[MarkOfTheBeast the Symbol of Torment]], [[spoiler:a physical manifestation of pain that he always bears, even if he forgets it's there. Do things right in the game, and his torment ends -- and the tattoo falls off.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Primal}}''
** Jen has a circular design on her back that glows when she adopts various demonic forms. We're told it's important, and [[AbortedArc nothing else.]]
** [[spoiler: Lewis]] has a similar mark on his arm, although it may be just an ordinary tattoo.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''
** The mark of the Triforce in some games, which generally appear on the back of the dominant hand.
** Not to mention the [[SuperMode Fierce Deity form's]] facial tattoos from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''.
* The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' "GoldBox" game ''Curse of the Azure Bonds''. The eponymous tattoos are a geas.
* Most of the palms in ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' are this.
* Heraldry in the ''Franchise/StarOcean'' series, the equivalent of magic, uses symbols drawn on the body.
* ''VideoGame/LegendOfLegaia''
** The Mystics in ''Legaia II: Duel Saga'' all have tattoo-like birthmarks on their body. One of them, of course, has it somewhere that doesn't get shown.
** The Hero Lang and Big Bad Avalon have their tattoos in visible sight (Lang's a bit too open about his). ShrinkingViolet and MagicalGirl Maya shyly refuses to reveal the location of her tattoo. Another character almost too eagerly explains the location of her tattoo. And nobody cares where [[TheObiWan Kazan's]] is. Too bad for him. And the other three mystics are minor villains, so it's not even brought up with them.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei''
** ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' has the Atma Marks as this. Bonus points because you can get one ANYWHERE on the body and the transformation pose has the character reaching out to touch it or show it off (hint: Jinana has hers on one of her butt cheeks).
** Likewise, in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', the main character gets [[PowerGlows glowy]] sorta-power-tattoos all over his body, "sorta" in that they're a natural part of his demon body.
* Shanoa of ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' has a nice set of three Power Tattoos, one on each upper arm and a large one on her back, which use Glyphs to cast her spells.
* When Jin Kazama of ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' becomes [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Devil Jin]], he grows several Power Tattoos on his chest and especially forehead.
* The Rood Inverse tattoo of ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'' is quite literally a ''Power'' Tattoo, as it unlocks the power of Lea Monde and grants its user complete control over the city and its spirits. It makes [[AntiVillain Sydney]] effectively immortal. [[spoiler: When Guildenstern acquires it, he uses it to much more destructive purposes.]] Needless to say, the thing is practically SealedEvilInACan. Which is why they need [[{{Badass}} Ashley]]...
* [[TheHeartless The Noise]] in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' all have tattoos which make up part of their bodies. In a particular example, the Psychedelifox, Ambiefox, and Progfox, who can steadily gain extra tattoo-tails during battle, which in turn allow them to do more vicious attacks.
* Although never seen due to graphics limitations, enemy mages in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate 2'' have these. They operate as an improved Contingency spell [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard granting the ability to simultaneously cast multiple spells of any level]].
* The Tsoo from ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' gain their powers from these.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', l'Cie have a tattoo-like mark, though it's referred to as a brand, which varies in design based on the fal'Cie that chose them. It glows when they use magic or summon Eidolons, and changes over time to serve as a sort of countdown. If the l'Cie doesn't complete their [[MissionFromGod Focus]] before it finishes changing, they become a Cie'th, basically a crystalline zombie-like monster that wanders the world is pain and regret.
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'', the Prince becomes infected by the [[TheCorruption Sands of Time]], and occasionally transforms into a unique being known as the Dark Prince, which functions as a SuperpoweredEvilSide. His whole body is covered by glowing tattoos while in this state. He also has normal tattoos when he isn't transformed.
* Almalexia in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''.
* These act as powerups of a sort in ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying''.
* ''PhantasyStarUniverse'': Beasts can turn into a large humanoid monster if they get a special kind of tattoo, known as a Blast Badge.
* ''VideoGame/FableIII'' has tattoos that start to glow as you gain more magic power and morality. And then there are glowing markings that appear on your clothes if you use flourish attacks, their amount are increased as you gain more magic power. If your morality is good, your tattoos glow blue, just like the tattoos of Maze in the first Fable.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Rift}}'', the Defiant faction's resident [[FiveRaces stouts]] canonically tattoo themselves heavily, both to [[StoryboardBody commemorate their accomplishments]] and to [[HumanNotepad help channel their elemental heritage]]. Unfortunately, while this can be seen on {{NPC}}s, it's [[GameplayAndStorySegregation not really an option for players]].
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' Himi of Yamatai has FacialMarkings on her forehead that greatly resemble the Third Eye Stone. Conveniently, the Third Eye is what she needs to [[FaintingSeer wake from her visions]] and extract useful knowledge from them. Mysteriously, villain Blados has similar markings on his forehead. Their purpose is unknown, but [[EpilepticTrees speculated]].
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'': Ammon Jerro in the original campaign. Safiya in ''[[ExpansionPack Mask of the Betrayer]]''. In both cases, derived from the [[TheMagocracy Red Wizards of Thay]].
* ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'': The [[LeeroyJenkins Male Fighter's]] subclass, [[KiAttacks Nen Master]], makes use of tattoos to harness the power of nen without having to devote time. [[http://dungeonfighter.nexon.net/GameGuide/Characters.aspx?page=malefighter According to the websight]], these tattoos [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique decrease someone's life span by several years.]]
* The never-released game ''VideoGame/TattooAssassins'' revolved around fighters with magic tattoos. It isn't nearly as good as it sounds.
* Corvo from ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' gets one from [[HumanoidAbomination The Outsider]], a circular design resembling a compass (complete with tiny, spidery "N" for North) on the back of his left hand.
* The eponymous Mark in ''VideoGame/MarkOfTheNinja'' grants its wearer increased agility and perception. However, it also causes mild-to-severe hallucinations, eventually driving the person wearing it insane. Thus, it's only used in dire circumstances, and the one who takes the mark is required to commit {{Seppuku}} afterwards.
* Jason Brody of ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' gets a tattoo on his left arm that continues to grow as he gets new skills or finds new hidden collectibles around the world. It's ambiguous as to whether this is genuine magic or all just in his mind, since he never gets the ability to do anything that's quite beyond human limits, but it does seem to signify how much of a badass he's become due to how much it's grown.
* Lilith and Maya of the ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' series both have clearly visible power tattoo-like markings. Maya's entire left arm, for instance. Lilith has more subdued markings all over the left side of her body as well.
* In EveOnline, tattoos are a large part of the Minmatar backstory, and in the current setting there are special, nanite-powered tattoos, for example "War Tattoos" activated by adrenaline, or simply by their owners will. A more straightforward example of a Power Tattoo in the EVE-verse are the "Voluval" tattoos that form by themselves after a ritual and a mystical concoction is consumed, these Voluval marks can, among other things, help their recipient become a head of state or cast people out of their whole society - altough this is largely because of beliefs and expectations attributed to certain types of tattoos, rather than the powers of tattoos themselves.
* [[PlayerCharacter Hawke]] from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is seen with one in the ''Destiny'' trailer, in which he seems to use it to channel BloodMagic. It's absent in the game itself, even as a Blood Mage, until you equip the [[IconicOutfit Mantle of the Champion]], but even then it's purely aesthetic.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' magi generally all have a Magic Crest of one sort or the other. It's a mixed blessing: it tends to make you better at whatever branch of magic that Crest is based on and some have additional powers such as providing mana for usage or [[spoiler:keeping Tohsaka alive after getting stabbed because she wasn't out of mana yet.]] However, they bind you and drastically limit your options. Tohsaka is somewhat jealous that Shirou doesn't have one and doesn't think he should ever get one. There's [[AllThereInTheManual another type of crest the Magic Association gives]] but this one sucks even worse because all it does is mark you as too valuable to let you possibly run away.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Zoe's cursed necklace tattoo in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' fits the bill, though turning into a camel whenever someone says the magic word "shupid" is a power that very rarely benefits her. The tattoo itself is pretty inconvenient because her mother would blow a fuse if she ever saw it.
* In ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', Dan's clan mark finally manifests during his fourth battle with Dark Pegasus, indicating that he has exceeded some sort of power threshold.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'' this is actually subverted. Kili the shaman has such powerful spiritual sight that she'd lose her mind if it weren't for the tattoos that [[PowerLimiter suppress]] her spirit vision.
* Two ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' teachers [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=521 got a magical tattoo]] giving remote access to the [[{{Magitek}} device]] that that protects from Renard's BodySurf and binds him. And have lots of [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=1009 other]]... [[MundaneUtility highly useful functions]], while they're at it.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''
** Susan [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2005-10-05 has a mark]] shaped like Venus symbol on her back. [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-05-26 She needs it]] to call magical weapons, but the specific shape was [[StrawFeminist her own]] choice.
** Dex, a background character, seemingly spontaneously develops SummonMagic in one story arc. Other characters realize the power was actually bestowed on him by an Immortal when they see that he has a marking like Susan's, in the shape of a fairy on his chest.
** Later we find out that [[spoiler:Justin]] has a tattoo that makes him stronger, and [[spoiler:Rhoda]] has one that lets her make things bigger. Both characters are unaware of the tattoos or the powers.
* Graham in ''Webcomic/WizardSchool'' receives a magical tattoo on his face while in a drunken stupor -- making him look like [[http://www.meetmyminion.com/?p=1228 "Rainbow F***ing Brite."]]
* In ''Webcomic/WhenSheWasBad'', members of the mysterious cloaked order, including Max and Marisol, have mystic tattoos that allow them to track each others' locations.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://s297.photobucket.com/albums/mm233/Vkthsu/?action=view¤t=tattoofamiliar.jpg How about]] a tattoo {{familiar}}?
* Talies from ''Fanfic/TheMotleyTwo'' (as well as other [[GeometricMagic Writer-Mages]]) has a rune inscribed on his palm that, apart from marking him as part of the order, gives him a sensitivity to the flow of magic.
* ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}'' has the tribal brands which will glow upon activation of a non passive power.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** The Air Nomads are tattooed with sky bison arrow marks along their chi paths when they master Airbending. Since Aang is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the last Airbender]] [[LastOfHisKind alive]], his tattoos are also a dead giveaway that he's the Avatar. They [[PowerGlows glow]] along with his [[GlowingEyesOfDoom eyes]] when he's in the [[UnstoppableRage Avatar State]]. This carried over to ''Film/TheLastAirbender''.
** Also "Combustion Man" fires powerful beams from his third-eye tattoo.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' has Aqualad, whose arms are tattooed. They [[PowerGlows glow]] when he is using his [[MakingASplash hydrokinesis]].
** All Atlantian magic using warriors have these. Those who completed the full training course like Tempest, Aquagirl, or Lagoon Boy (Aqualad dropped out to serve under Aquaman) can even hide the tattoos when they aren't using their powers.
* In the wolrd of ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'', Sacriers (like Kriss Krass) get their powers from their tattoos. This is a LighterAndSofter change from the time of ''VideoGame/{{Dofus}}'', where Sacriers instead used BloodyMurder.
* In the AnimatedAdaptation of ''BattleTech'' Clan [[BrainComputerInterface Enhanced Imaging]] implants look like green facial tattoos that glow when activated. Though pics of Clanners from the gamebooks seem to suggest that EI subcutaneous implants aren't supposed to be visible.
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