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  • In Carmilla the Series, humans have been shown repeatedly to be absolutely no match for vampires in a standup fight. Enter Sherman Hollis, Laura's dad, who has formulated a pepper spray that works on vampires. In his first appearance he drives off the vampirized Danny Lawrence, who physically overpowers Carmilla Karnstein as much as Carmilla overpowered her when she was human.
  • Hero House has several examples, which is unsurprising, as it features the entire Batfamily, and several of their rogues.
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  • In the Nat One Productions story-line, The Last Stage, each of the main characters is really nothing more than a Red Shirt. Despite this, they successfully tackle a surprising number of lethally dangerous paranormal enemies. That's not to say there aren't casualties...
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, several heroes and villains have no special or magical powers and yet they've shown their skills many times against stronger opponents.
  • Several staff members of the SCP Foundation are (with the marked exception of Dr. Kain and Dr. Bright) humans without paranormal abilities, but they can take down or capture dangerous abnormal objects, and in some cases kill Reality Warpers. Special mention goes to D-14134, which managed to destroy a Keter-class SCP. Even more special mention to Researcher Talloran who destroyed an Apollyon class SCP after being tortured by it for millions of years.
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  • Tech Infantry is a world with vampires, mages, werewolves, and 8-foot insectoid alien killing machines, and yet Erich von Shrakenberg, Icarus Hicks, James Welthammer, and the entire personnel of Earth Fleet and the Light Infantry manage to hold their own.
  • Red Panda Adventures:
    • Outside of the Red Panda's use of hypnosis, neither he nor his sidekick the Flying Squirrel have any significant superpowers to speak of. Their success as crimefighters and superheroes comes from constant training, cunning minds, and gadgets that allow for feats ranging from Wall Crawling to resisting and countering magical attack. They can reliably handle anything that isn't a flat out Kaiju.
    • The Red Panda also has a network of agents, men and women who act as his eyes and ears and have fought alongside him both figuratively and literally. In the book "The Android Assassins", several of them are the first line of defense against Captain Clockwork's robot army and, during World War II, many of those same agents formed a unit that gained a reputation for doing impossible things behind enemy lines and, for much of that time, any superhero help they got was either incidental or the acts of an amnesiac Red Panda.
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  • The forum RP Insane Cafe 3: The Curse of the Haunted Hotel has a a group of characters known as the "Pelvanida Group". They are a group of scientists and soldiers who kill a group of very powerful mages with nothing more than a shitload of guns and explosives.
  • Most PPC Agents are ordinary humans who get the job done just through whatever training they received, experience, and sometimes luck. "Normal" is rather a relative term in the PPC, though, given that they can recruit from every continuum that's ever been written (except the quarantined ones); nonhuman characters include elves, dragons, furries, dinosaurs, aliens of various types, and a superintelligent shade of the colour blue.
  • Whateley Universe
    • Sensei Tetsuo Ito, martial arts instructor at Whateley Academy. A little old man, he starts every term's aikido classes by picking the most dangerous mutant in the room and demonstrating that he can kick said mutant's ass.
    • Chief Delarose certainly qualifies, too. Not only is he the head of security at a superhero school (a job which carries its own innumerable worries), but Deathlist, a Hero Killer of the highest sort, knows him at a glance.
    • Erik Mahren was, prior to his explosion caused by late-term manifestation, referred to as 'The World's Most Evil Baseline', and managed for years to pull off some simply insane tricks with little more than training... such as putting a very powerful power mimic in the infirmary with two dislocations, and managing to be one of the very few surviving members of the Dragonslayers. They, themselves, were a Marine Corps squad of low-level Exemplars and baselines who took down ragers, monsters and other paranormals which had stymied entire superhero teams for years.
    • There is in-canon speculation (and occasional backhanded confirmation) amongst many that Doctor Diabolik may in fact not be a mutant, imbued, or even dynamorph holder, but just a very, very intelligent man. Even then, he has become a household name and the top of the B-list of villains.
  • In Darwin's Soldiers The nonpowered heroes (villains) usually put up a decent fight against the augmented villains (heroes). They sometimes win. Trinity deserves a special mention. A normal human, she simultaneously fights someone with robotic arms, someone with pyrokinetic powers, and someone with not one but two Psychic Powers: telekinesis, and electrokinesis. Oh yeah, she beats them all at the same time.
  • Any analytical player with the Villager role in Comic Fury Werewolf arguably counts. If they catch the Werewolves, they almost certainly do. If they consistently catch the Werewolves, they definitely do. As such, Ranger used to be one, but later lost his touch.
  • Marvels RPG has rules for making your character one of these.
  • The Metaverse distinguishes itself from other superhero universes (outside of being live action) by featuring unpowered heroes as the majority as opposed to the looked down upon minority. That isn't to say that sci-fi in anyway takes a back seat; giant monsters and alternate dimensions are anything but scarce.
  • In Equestria Chronicles, earth ponies hold their own against magical unicorns and flying pegasi.
  • Death Battle occasionally has this dynamic:
    • "Batman vs. Spiderman". In this case, the Badass Normal loses. Batman has quite famously beaten superhuman opponents before, but this was with extensive research and tailoring his load-out to specially counter it. Under standard Death Battle conditions, fighters go in with no prior knowledge and iconic, standard equipment. Against an opponent who is even stronger, tougher and faster than a peak-condition human, who can also nullify his stealth and is just as clever as he is, Batman simply can't make up the difference in raw power.
    • "Guts vs. Nightmare". In this case, the Badass Normal wins. The given reason? It wouldn't at all be hyperbole to say that in his stories, Guts slaughters demonic entities far more terrifying and powerful than Nightmare on an almost daily basis, triumphing out of sheer dumb luck, ferocity and/or unstoppable willpower. A duel against Nightmare really would be just your average manga chapter for him.
    • "Solid Snake" vs. Sam Fisher". In this case, the Badass Normal loses. Sam has his Navy SEAL and Green Beret training, and he has superior technology and weapons. However, Snake is not only also trained by US SF, but is also cloned from the greatest soldier to have ever lived and has performance-enhancing nanomachines coursing through his veins. Combined with Snake's more... unorthodox tactics, and he manages to cinch it.
    • "Hercule Satan vs. Dan Hibiki". In this case, the Badass Normal wins. Hercule is Overshadowed by Awesome by the DBZ cast but can hold his own very well against other humans, while Dan is a joke even among normal humans. Hercule's feats are also far more impressive than Dan's, whose Ki Attacks are inept. With this huge difference in competence, it was only a matter of time before Mr Satan finished off Dan (albeit accidentally)
    • "Yang Xiao Long vs. Tifa Lockhart". In this case, the Badass Normal loses. It is true that Tifa is more experienced, and she also possesses a flowing and versatile martial art style that counters Yang's comparatively straightforward berserker punching. However, Yang's Semblance lets her greatly surpass Tifa's strength, and her Aura allows her to stand up to the worst Tifa can throw at her. With Tifa in turn being effectually a Glass Cannon, Yang's victory was only a matter of time and taking enough whacks.
  • On Not Always Right, there are a few of these. One of the better ones was a middle aged lady in a pet shop who foiled a robbery/assault on the clerk so quickly that they had to play the security footage in slow-motion to figure out how she did it. And she didn't say a word after, just bought her cat food and walked out.
  • Detective Michaels in A World Less Visible goes into battle alongside werewolves, witches, demons, and an archangel, and manages to hold his own.
  • Diath in Dice, Camera, Action! holds his own against vampires and giants despite being the only non-magic party member.
  • Washington in Red vs. Blue, especially compared to the other Freelancers. He has no A.I. or any armor enhancement but is able to fight on equal grounds with the others.
  • Dreamscape: Compared to his friends, Dylan is very lacking in special powers, but as Keela points out in "An Unofficial Tournament", he makes up for it with his wit and determination.
    • Betty has no inherit special powers, especially when you look at her Wicked Witch sister, Melinda. However, Betty can still fight among the best of 'em.
  • RWBY:
    • At the start of the series, Jaune Arc has no special weapon, no previous combat training, no nifty Semblance; just a sword and a shield and sheer determination. Until he upgraded his weapons in Volume 4 and unlocked his Semblance in Volume 5.
    • Roman Torchwick, is one for the villains, being a stylish criminal mastermind. By comparison to most other characters in the show. Roman never discovered his Semblance but is nonetheless deadly enough to both keep up with Blake and Sun and outright beat Ruby in a one-on-one fight using only his wits, skill, and a bit of Dust.
    • In Volume 5, Vernal is able to thoroughly curbstomp Weiss in a fight just through sheer skill and being a Combat Pragmatist, without even using her Maiden powers. Which is a good thing because Vernal never had the powers to begin with.
    • In Volume 6, it is revealed that Mercury had his Semblance stolen from him by his father and he had to train especially hard to fight without it. This is the same guy who held his own against Pyrrha and Yang while holding back.
  • SCP Foundation: Most competent Foundation personnel. For example, one of the archaeological digs for SCP-140 went horribly, horribly wrong, and the doctor in charge of the site sacrificed his life to stop whatever the Hell was down there.
    • SCP-1983 is a house where the interior is an alternate dimension full of malevolent shadow entities. The Foundation sent a team of heavily armed and highly trained agents and they were massacred. The Foundation then sent in a Boxed Crook numbered D-14134 for a suicidal recon mission. Long story short, D-14134, in the manner of some badass Anti-Hero protagonist of a survival horror video game, actually managed to fight his way down into the creatures' nest and destroy them at the source, neutralising the SCP at the cost of his life.
    • SCP-3999 details how a thirty-something low-level researcher named James Talloran was placed in a Cosmic Horror Story by an insane Apollyon-class Reality Warper and subjected to three million years of Mind Screw torture straight from your worst nightmare. Not only did Talloran keep in sanity intact, but he eventually found a way to get reality back under control, gave the entity a humiliating speech and then destroyed it and himself to get reality back to normal again.
  • The superhero story Worm has quite a few non-powered characters who attain this status, ranging from the mercenaries hired by supervillain Coil to the Parahuman Response Teams run by the U.S. government. The most prominent such character is probably Brockton Bay PRT Director Emily Piggot.
    • On the villain side, there's Saint, Dragon's nemesis.
    • The DT troop with the foam launcher in the final confrontation with Jack Slash.
    • Therapist Jessica Yamada, who not only manages to talk a borderline-genocidal Glaistig Uaine down from, well, genocide but also gets her to agree to become a hero.


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