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Capes are the colloquial term for parahumans, individuals with superhuman powers granted through a symbiotic link with an extradimensional entity. The nature of these powers as well as how they're applied to humans tend to follow trends based on both human physiology, psychology, and the drives of the entities themselves.

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Passengers and Parahumans

    The Passengers 

Passengers/Shards/Entities/Agents

The extradimensional entities that grant powers, each of which is a fragment of either the Eden or Zion entities. Needless to say, they're pretty big spoilers.


  • Alien Geometries: Take the form of crystalline structures that fold and unfold like tesseracts.
  • Blood Knight: Passengers learn and develop through conflict and try to push their hosts into confrontation.
  • Brain Uploading: They take in the memories of their hosts, which in the case of Ashley in Ward, gave her direct memories from her original template, fellow clones, and even the memories of parahumans who happened to know the host.
  • Broken Masquerade: After Scion's death at the end of Worm, trigger events no longer wipe the memories conveyed during the process, and as a result the passengers have become openly acknowledged by capes.
  • Cast from Lifespan: They're constantly accumulating power as they grow, but it's possible for their human link to draw from them faster than they can replenish and kill them. Taylor finds this out during the battle with Scion when she overuses Doormaker's power.
  • Freudian Excuse: Due to the way powers are gained in this setting, practically every villain has this to a degree if they had a natural trigger. Case 53 villains also count due to their disfigurements and memory loss.
  • I Have Many Names: Most commonly known as passengers by parahumans, with Scion referring to them as shards since according to Wildbow they take the form of crystals that fold and unfold like tesseracts. Other names include "fairies" (Glaistig Uaine) and agents.
  • Nerf: The majority of shards granted to hosts are altered to that their powers cannot be used on the Entities.
  • Obliviously Evil: Hardly evil themselves, as they act on impulse and instinct rather than anything else, but they enable evil people by giving them powers. They simply try and respond to a perceived need by giving people the powers necessary to fix a situation, such as Master powers when socially isolated or Brute powers when in physical danger.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Passengers have their own goals and drives based on their purpose, and at least some have influence over the powers they grant and the minds of their linked humans. As a result, there's a lot of unease in-universe about how much any given cape is influenced by their passenger.
  • Perception Filter: Can render themselves imperceptible to humans, on top of hiding out in out of the way places in barren versions of whatever planet they've chosen.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Quite literally. When Scion was alive, the shards could network all their information together using him as a hub, communicating with each other to find the precise way to adjust themselves so as not to kill their hosts. With Scion dead, all shards are cut off from each other (save cluster-triggers, who have a mini-network with each other), and can no longer communicate with each other, and broken triggers are the result when a shard cannot find enough information to properly match itself to its host.
  • Stronger with Age: They grow in power over time, eventually splitting in two when they're big enough.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: It can be a major gamble when getting powers. Sometimes you'll win the lottery like Eidolon or Glaistig Uaine and get gamebreaking powers. On the other hand, there's at least 70 different ways a trigger event can go wrong, from Case 53's where you get horrendously deformed to Case 70's where you and your identical twin get fused into a single being.
  • The Symbiote: They fuse with their hosts in order to give them powers.
  • Walking Spoiler: Played with. Their existence isn't even hinted at until a while into the story, and even then it's only as a theory for where powers come from. They become more commonly mentioned later on, and by the time of Ward they're common knowledge among capes.

    Capes in General 
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: The Corona Pollentia, a lump of grey matter about an inch and a half across, embedded between the frontal and partial lobes with connective webbing throughout the entire brain. It's the biological center for the connection with a parahuman's passenger and control of their power, and if damaged or destroyed can render them powerless.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Some of the nicest capes are that way because their powers are too deadly to use to their full extent, like Sundancer.
  • Body Horror: Case 53s, capes whose powers come with severe mutations as a result of a bad reaction to a Cauldron vial, or directly consuming parts of an Entity, as seen with people from Contessa's home universe. These can vary from turning all of your flesh to metal (Weld) or reducing you to a tentacled face (Sveta).
  • Combo Platter Powers: It's not unusual for someone to have anywhere between two and four powers, or even just one power with multiple parts or applications. A more notable example of this is "cluster triggers," when multiple people trigger at about the same time while fairly close to one another. All the capes involved get their own power reduced by a bit, but also get a version of everyone else's power on top of that.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Some powers have major drawbacks, or otherwise need specific scenarios to be used to their full power, but are devastatingly potent when they can be brought fully to bear.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • Second trigger effects work this way. Powers gain additional facets or developments, but there's always some loss or drawback.
    • Certain powers require something specific on behalf of their host, such as eye contact or verbal commands to establish a Master effect. If the host becomes incapable of meeting those criteria, such as the aforementioned example becoming blind or deaf, the powers alter to continue to allow their host to use them. This is justified in-universe by the passengers, as their goal of gathering information through the use of powers would fail if their host couldn't use the powers they had.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Some powers are... less than understanding of things like the laws of physics, biology, or human decency.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Generally averted for similar reasons to why parahumans tend to avoid guns. Putting on a costume, even if it's just a mask, is like putting on a uniform as a parahuman and shows you're playing by the rules, marking you as a valid target to other parahumans. Not wearing one shows you aren't playing by the scaled-up cops-and-robbers rules and says you're playing for keeps. Case in point: throughout Worm, a story that involves superpowered neo-nazis, a government-controlled social cult, and Endbringer worshippers, the only characters who seek out cape fights while not wearing costumes are the Slaughterhouse 9 and Cauldron operatives, considered among the most dangerous groups in the setting.
  • Only Flesh Is Safe: Known in-universe as the Manton Effect. Most powers affect only organic or inorganic materials, hypothesized to be a safeguard preventing powers from harming their wielders that happens to extend to all organic material due to a lack of specificity. That said, some powers can effect any material regardless of its organic or inorganic nature, so this isn't universal.
  • Personality Powers: A person's personality can have a lot of influence on how their powers manifest.
  • Power at a Price: Some powers come with drawbacks, such as alterations to thought processes, loss of certain social or mental skills, or physical mutations.
  • Psychic Powers: Zigzagged. "Thought" isn't treated as some force of its own, and the ability to intercept and interpret the neural behavior of a brain is beyond any power seen, making true psychic powers out of reach of everyone but the Simurgh. That said, several Thinker and Master powers are close enough that the difference is largely academic.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Sufficiently advanced mechanical intelligences are capable of triggering and gaining powers.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Most capes are immune to their own powers, with the Manton Effect hypothesized as an overzealous extension of this safeguard to other organic matter.
  • The Sleepless: Some parahumans are known as Noctis capes, meaning they have no need to sleep and may actually be unable to. This feature is usually completely unrelated to the main power, making it difficult to anticipate if someone gets this power.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Generally averted. Bringing firearms to a cape fight indicates a willingness to do greater harm and incites the risk of suffering greater harm, generally showing that someone isn't willing to play by the rules. Using guns tends to get one blacklisted from alliances with other parahumans and makes them targets of heroes and villains alike unless they knock it off. The exceptions are "game shooters," parahumans who use the gun to channel their power, use Tinker guns, have a power to help them not kill what they're shooting, or otherwise use or involve guns as a facet of their power. That said there are always situations that blur the line, like shooting a Brute to bring down their forcefield but not to injure them, or using a gun to kill someone you would have killed anyways, but even those are frowned upon. Part of it is probably due to Passenger meddling, as making parahumans shy away from guns makes them rely on their powers more and yields more useful data.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: A few powers have effects on the user's emotions that make their general sanity or morality go down as they use their power to a greater extent, such as Burnscar becoming more sociopathic the more she uses her fire powers.
  • Timed Power-Up: Some powers have a battery or time limit that restricts their use, forcing such parahumans to plan around this when using their powers.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Every single natural trigger. Powers are received during a "trigger event", an occasion so stressful or traumatic that a passenger reaches out to give the effected individual powers in an attempt to give them the tools needed to deal with it. Of course, this isn't entirely true. Consuming materials tainted by or derived from one of the two entities can give powers as well, though this carries a higher risk of unwanted secondary mutations. Different circumstances leading to a trigger lead to diiferent powers.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: Most powers tend to get funky at best if they don't just straight up stop working upon a parahuman reaching the boundary of the Earth's atmosphere as a result of a combination of the Manton effect (So a teleporter cannot teleport themselves into space and then die from vacuum), and the shards not wanting to encourage travel from their host's home planet. Broken triggers lack this restriction, however.


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Power Classifications

    Movers 
Capes with a power that grants enhanced mobility.
  • Flight: Without question the most common Mover power.
  • Fragile Speedster: A Mover without Brute powers can move fast and may hit hard if they have some Blaster or Striker effect, but they're just as squishy as a normal human.
  • Not Quite Flight: Some Mover powers are effectively flight, but aren't quite.
  • Super Speed: Not a commonly seen Mover power, but it exists. When it does show up it's usually coupled with some other power, typically a Breaker one, to prevent it from damaging its user.
  • Teleportation: One of the more common Mover powers, though usually there's some other power tied in with it.
  • Wall Crawl: One of the milder Mover powers.

    Shakers 
Capes with powers that effect an area.
  • Area of Effect: The basic nature of Shaker powers, though what they do to that area varies wildly.
  • Casting a Shadow: True cases of shadow manipulation are a Shaker power.
  • Elemental Powers: Most tend to shake out as some variety of Shaker power, though some have a Blaster sub-classification thanks to their combat potential.
  • Emotion Bomb: Powers that alter emotions in an area, such as fear-inducing screams or an awe aura, are a Shaker power.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When someone has a Shaker rating of 9+, PRT protocols start with evacuation of the area in case of conflict.
  • Gravity Master: Though it's never seen at levels powerful enough to create mini-blackholes, some Shaker powers can increase, reduce, or redirect gravity.
  • Having a Blast: Just creating explosions is a Shaker power, albeit one that's usually coupled with a Blaster rating.
  • Master of Illusion: When the illusions in question are externally created, it's a Shaker power.
  • Mind over Matter: Telekinesis and its more specialized variants is considered a Shaker effect.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyrokinesis is technically a Shaker power, but tends to be coupled with a Blaster classification since, you know, it's fire.
  • Power of Creation: Being able to create matter is a Shaker power. Of course, they technically don't create it so much as draw the mass from another dimension and shape it to their desires, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Reality Warper: All Breaker powers to some extent, but true manipulation of that scale is rated higher than the ten on the scale and tend to come with drawbacks.

    Brutes 
Capes with powers that enhance their own durability.
  • Adaptive Ability: Only seen in Crawler, but considered to be one of the best Brute powers out there.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Rare, but some Brute capes no longer need to breathe.
  • Energy Absorption: A Brute power, usually coupled with some sort of Striker or Blaster power to release the absorbed energy.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Responding to a 9+ Brute involves intercity missile barrages and only escalates from there.
  • Healing Factor: Probably one of the more basic Brute powers.
  • Ignored Enemy: When a Brute is of a higher level than a group is capable of hurting or at least hampering, the standard procedure is to ignore them as much as possible. This can works better than you'd expect, especially if the Brute doesn't have other powers to help them get into the fight or make them hard to ignore, as they can't really do anything if their enemies won't bog themselves down in a fight. It's less practical when the objective of a battle is something beyond "beat these guys," and a lot of capes do have others powers that make ignoring them not really an option.
  • Immortality: Averted. No matter how high someone's Brute rating is, they can be killed. Just ask Behemoth.
  • Mighty Glacier: Brutes are the most durable parahumans, but unless they have some Mover power they're vulnerable to being slowed, delayed, or just outrun.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The most common form of Brute powers is just being outright immune to whatever hits you.

    Breakers 
Capes whose power is limited to themselves and their immediate surroundings. The most common form is capes who can transform into an alternate form in which they have powers, but are otherwise normal humans.
  • Achilles' Heel: More common than in other classifications. Wether it be a weakness to something specific, a timer or condition on their transformation, an altered mental state, or reverting back to a human form after taking enough damage, most Breakers have some sort of flaw to their Super Mode that will force them to turn back to a regular human sooner or later. Since they usually lack powers when untransformed, the general strategy against a Breaker is to figure out that weakness and then exploiting it to temporarily depower them.
  • Reality Warper: Limited in scope, but Breaker powers tend to screw with physics more than most.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Immunity to one's own powers is considered a Breaker trait, making it technically one of the most common powers, though in those case the designation is usually not applied.
  • Super Mode: The most obvious form of Breaker powers. Most Breakers actually only have powers while in their alternate form, making the task of reverting them back to human by one way or another the top priority when fighting one.

    Masters 
Capes with powers to control others, whether those others are people, animals, or created minions.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Masters who directly control animals or people can sometimes see through their minions' senses.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Masters powers are some of the most frightening of the categories and it's been noted Masters tend to be villains more often than not.
  • The Beastmaster: Some Masters control or otherwise manipulate animals, while some can create monsters of their own.
  • Demonic Possession: A rarely seen Master power, though it does exist.
  • Emotion Control: Surprisingly enough, most emotion controls are actually not classified as Masters. The point of Masters is that they make minions, and most emotion controllers simply lack the strength and/or versatility to actually make people do what they want, being either able to control one emotion strongly, or many emotions weakly. Most are instead classified as Blasters or Shakers.
  • Master of Illusion: When the illusions in question are a result of sensory manipulation, it's a Master power.
  • Mook Maker: Powers that create controllable minions are considered Masters, though the exact nature of those minions can wildly vary.
  • More Than Mind Control: Because "thought" isn't some standard force in the Worm-verse, "mind control" usually isn't. When it's not outright puppeteering someone's body, it's typically manipulating them through emotions into wanting to obey.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe, Strangers and Masters are the two biggest causes for paranoia.
  • Pest Controller: There's at least three precedents for masters that control vermin or other small animals.

    Tinkers 
Capes with incredible technological knowledge, though only in a specific field, or with peculiar quirks to their creations or creative process.
  • Artificial Limbs: A potential Tinker specialty.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A common limitation of tinker tech is that the more ambitious a project is, the more unwieldy, unstable, or resource intensive it becomes.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Nearly every Tinker wears some sort of suit or armor laden down with all the gear and tech they need in the field.
  • Conditional Powers: One type of tinker has an extreme level of versatility in what they can build, their specialty instead being a particular range of materials or design philosophy. For instance, a tinker might be able to create any device they can imagine, but it has to be made out of glass, or run on steam power, or all its components have to meet at right angles...
  • Crazy-Prepared: To a degree. A Tinker can prepare for almost anything, though the nature of their preparations depends on their specialization. The drawback is that they can only be prepared for as much as they can carry equipment for.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Played with. All Tinkers have a specialization in what they can make. What that specialization is can grant them a wide field of options, but they're still limited to that field, so a Tinker specializing in laser guns may not be able to make a forcefield.
  • Cyborg: If you see one, they're either a Tinker themselves or pretty good friends with one.
  • Equivalent Exchange: another common tinker limit is that a project's reliability or effectiveness is proportional to the resources or effort invested into it. These tinkers often focus their efforts on either endlessly improving a small number of swiss-army gadgets, or create large numbers of disposable projects that work just well enough to be usable.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Basically what all Tinkers are.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: So-called free Tinkers can built whatever they want due to a broadness in specialization, though the price they pay can vary wildly. Armsmaster, for example, can make just about anything due to his miniaturization specialization allowing him to pack a lot into a small space. Leet, on the other hand, can make anything at all... so long as it's not too close to anything he's made before.
  • Jetpack: Played with. Due to the versatility flight grants, a lot of Tinkers with the necessary resources create these. However, usually these are either too big and bulky to warrant use outside of a mech suit or too weak to grant more than a slight lift.
  • Magic-Powered Pseudoscience: The most succinct description of these abilities, as the only limitations for a Tinker's creations are their specialty and their imagination.
  • Mini-Mecha: When a Tinker adds enough to their powered armor it strays into this, though it doesn't happen often.
  • Powered Armor: At least four Tinkers have created these to help them carry and make use of all the specialized gear they need.
  • Power Copying: Of a sort. Tinkers are limited by their specializations, but they can study the work of other Tinkers to create items based on both the observed tech and their own expertise. So a sonics Tinker studying the work of an optics Tinker wouldn't be able to make x-ray cameras, but they could make advanced sights for their own sonic weapons, or adapt the scanning algorithms to improve their sonar. This overlaps into Awesomeness by Analysis for some tinkers with specialties that let them analyze and reverse-engineer any cape's powers, either letting them artificially copy the power or a rough approximation thereof
  • Power Incontinence: Chaos Tinkers don't have much control over the end product they make due to particularly controlling behavior from their passenger.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Zig-Zagged in that the general principals of tinker tech can sometimes be understood and reverse-engineered, leading to many small advances in the setting's technology, their most advanced devices are often so far beyond the edge of human scientific knowledge that even other tinkers can have trouble figuring out why they work, let alone how. Additionally, tinker devices have a tendency to break in strange, often dangerous, ways at the slightest provocation and often cannot be repaired by anyone but another tinker.
  • Robot Buddy: Robotics is a potential Tinker specialization.
  • Super Power Lottery: Some Tinkers win this big time, with specializations broad enough that they can make just about anything so long as it abides by a minor limit or two.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Played with. On one hand, it's addressed that creating the stuff they do tends to require a lot of resources. On the other, this doesn't stop any Tinker we've seen so far from pulling all sorts of gadgets out as needed. Justified, though: when your power revolves around resource management, strategy and crafting, you're likely to think up scenarios where you'll need a fall-back plan or two — and, then make and carry the tools to at least try McGyvering that plan up at a pinch, should you not already be a Swiss army knife on legs.

    Blasters 
Capes with a ranged power, usually offensive.
  • Abnormal Ammo: There are dozens of different categories, from poison streams to antimatter.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: The most common blaster techniques are probably Eye Beams, Super Spit, and Hand Blasts.
  • Emotion Bomb: Some Blaster powers deliver an emotional payload alongside their physical damage.
  • Glass Cannon: Blaster powers are usually the best for dealing high damage at a distance, but unless they have a Brute of Shaker power to help protect them they go down as easily as a normal human.
  • Long-Range Fighter: A ranged power is what designates someone as a Blaster.
  • Shock and Awe: When it's in the form of lightning bolts, a Blaster power.

    Thinkers 
Capes with powers related to information gathering and processing.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Masters who can see through the senses of their pets, whether created or controlled, have a secondary Thinker rating.
  • Aura Vision: What the aura is can vary wildly, but it's a Thinker power nonetheless.
  • Blessed with Suck: More than most powers, Thinker abilities tend to come with unavoidable alterations to how one intakes and reacts to information, which can have a severe impact on their ability to function normally.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The strongest Thinkers can be nearly impossible to touch thanks to how well they know everything happening around them.
  • The Empath: Emotion detection is a Thinker power.
  • Genius Bruiser: Combat Thinkers are Thinkers whose powers lend themselves to physical combat, usually in a way that makes them incredibly obnoxious to deal with.
  • Innate Night Vision: A mild Thinker power.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Thinker powers cancel each other out at best, and give outright false information at worst. While some people have figured out how to circumvent this, Thinker powers are generally useless against one another.
  • Sherlock Scan: Most Thinker powers let the user gain much more information with a quick glance than a normal person could.
  • Super Senses: A form of Thinker power, though pretty low on the rating scale no matter how super they are.
  • Telepathy: A lot of Thinker powers resemble this to some degree, and true telepathy is itself a Thinker power, but there's only one true telepath in the Wormverse.
  • Too Clever by Half: The Achilles' Heel of Thinker powers. Their capes can be assured their ideas are perfectly correct despite being way off the mark.

    Strikers 
Capes with a touch-ranged power.
  • Biomanipulation: Technically there's only one true case of this, but it's touch range.
  • Close-Range Combatant: By the nature of Striker powers, they have to touch a target to effect it. As such, those whose powers focus on debilitating an enemy rely on this fighting style.
  • Healing Hands: Powers that relate to healing are almost exclusively touch-ranged, though they tend to involve some dimensional fuckery rather than outright healing.
  • Super Empowering: Several Striker powers do this to objects, charging them with effects or properties that they can then use.

    Changers 
Capes with some form of shapeshifting power.

    Trumps 
Capes whose powers influence or are in some way related to other powers.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Probably the worst Trump power to fight is one who can copy, steal, or otherwise shuffle through several powers at once.
  • Antimagic: The most dangerous Trumps are those who shut down powers at the source rather than countering their effects.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Trumps whose powers focus exclusively on negating or redirecting the powers of others are pretty much helpless when facing anyone without powers.
  • Power Copying: A versatile, if fairly mild, Trump power.
  • Power Nullifier: One of the more recognizable forms of Trump powers is a way to negate the powers of others.
  • No-Sell: A more defensive Trump power is immunity to the effect of others' powers. Of note there is that immunity doesn't mean those powers stop working, just that they don't work on you. Not so great at stopping a hostile cape, but at least you'll be walking away fine.
  • Power Parasite: Luckily only one cape is known to have this power, as it's pretty much the trump card of Trump powers.
  • Super Empowering: One common form of Trump powers is being able to grant powers to others.

    Strangers 
Capes whose powers revolve around stealth and infiltration.
  • Intangible Man: One of the few Stranger powers that focuses on mobility rather than manipulating or avoiding perception.
  • Invisibility: One of the more mundane Stranger powers is invisibility.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe, Strangers and Masters are the two biggest causes for paranoia. As Stranger ratings go higher so does the urgency of the responses, going from passwords and marked entrances to constant communication to shoot-on-sight for anyone who goes dark.
  • Perception Filter: Several types of Stranger powers screw with perception. Sometimes you can't perceive them, sometime you can perceive them but can't perceive of them as a threat, sometime you can perceive them and perceive them as a threat but can't make yourself to act against them...
  • Stealth Expert: What most Strangers shape up to be, though the effectiveness varies from power to power depending on what they're trying to sneak by.
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