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Reality Warper
aka: Reality Warping

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"Martha, does our Hero Insurance cover Reality Warping?"
"If I say so," Martha replied.

"Today's seminar is about a subject near and dear to my heart: Reality Benders. Type Greens. Mary Sues. Bixbies, Shapers, Wizards, Gods, Devils, Outside Observers, call them what you will, these are the guys that change reality based on perception and willpower."
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Ever heard of the Superpower Lottery? Well, kid, you just won the grand prize. You know those pesky laws of physics? Or that annoying thing called causality? Einstein's theory of relativity? Quantum physics? You can laugh and say, "screw you" to them now.

Reality is officially out to lunch, and you've picked the restaurant and menu it gets to "choose". This means you can create things out of nothing, change already existing things, erase things from existence, and generally force reality to obey your will just by thinking about it. Yes, for all intents and purposes, a Reality Warper can literally do anything they want. Anything.

The key issue here is how far one can take this. A character with a mild form of this power may be able to fly by negating the effect of gravity on himself. A major case of this may be able to hiccup and accidentally tear the space-time continuum. High-end Reality Warpers tend to be related to the setting itself, such as being one of the sentient cosmic laws. For the really high-end ones, see The Omnipotent.

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Needless to say, running into characters with such powers can be incredibly chancy. Arguing with the more powerful ones may well be futile, especially since they can literally, in the words of Paul from The Dungeonmaster (or Adam Savage), reject your reality and substitute their own.

Because absolute power corrupts absolutely, characters with this high a level of power are quite likely to go or be bad. They might even deem themselves to be gods; what's worse, even the only moderately powerful ones are arguably right.

In both modern Speculative Fiction and older folklore, low-to-moderate versions of Reality Warper are standard-issue for magic, since magic by definition uses its own rules, and therefore defies reality. Therefore, various supernatural beings, especially magical or divine ones such as gods, elves, and genies, are almost always this. The common modern fantasy concept of a granting wishes invokes this premise; *poof* and stuff happens. Cartoon characters also often employ this ability as a gag. Eldritch Abominations are often capable of this, usually to horrible ends. Many authors however will make Eldritch beings "beyond" reality warpers and even worse than the warpers themselves. Expect accidentally summoning one of these beings to be an unintended side-effect of warping reality, the abomination will likely go on to be the new antagonist shorty after doing something to the warper.

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Protagonists aren't often this character type; what's the point of a story when you can just end it right then and there? If the protagonist is one of these, expect him or her to either have a reason for not using it or for all of the antagonists to have powers on a similar or greater scale. Also expect initial Power Incontinence resulting from the power not necessarily being limited to his conscious thoughts, and a character arc about the importance of self control.

Writing characters like this can be a challenge, given how easily this ability can turn into a Story-Breaker Power. Nothing can pose much of a physical threat except other reality warpers (although, depending on the extent of their abilities, they may still be vulnerable to threats they aren't aware they need to stop or don't know how to stop). If they are unique then the only solution is Forgot About His Powers or Deus Exit Machina. For the same reasons, reality warpers who are antagonistic towards the protagonists are prone to Just Toying with Them. For a funny way of defeating reality warpers, see Puff of Logic.

Not to be confused with Master of Illusion, as those are only pretending to change or create things (although a reality warper is usually capable of creating illusions, the tropes overlap in that case). Reality warpers often incorporate all varieties of shapeshifting, Winds of Destiny, Change, Backstory Invader, Space/Time Master, The Power of Creation, and perhaps more for heaps and heaps of Mind Screwing.

Compare Author Powers, Clap Your Hands If You Believe, and Your Mind Makes It Real. Rewriting Reality is a subtrope, often paired with a Tome of Fate or Reality-Writing Book. This trope has nothing to do with I Reject Your Reality, though some Warpers may indeed have that attitude.

When adding examples, please remember that this trope is extremely common (since even magic in general is technically this trope) so please add only egregious examples, and works that elaborate upon this trope In-Universe or have this trope as a Plot Device. After all, Reality Warping Is Not a Toy.


Examples:

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  • He once gave a pep talk so inspiring, both teams won. He is banned from visiting cemeteries because of that one time he raised the dead. He can speak French... in Russian. He is The Most Interesting Man in the World.

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  • The eponymous Elysium formula of The Elysium Project is a Super Serum that grants those exposed to it the power to manipulate reality in accordance with their desires.

    Folktales 
  • In the French-Canadian Folktale of the Duck-Dog, little John, the main character, was given this power at birth by a fairy godmother. The scene is absolutely hilarious as in most well-known versions the godmother is apologetic about giving him this power as she couldn't think of another one. It went something like this: "I can't think of anything specific right now... Here, just take the ability to have anything and everything you want just by saying it. Sorry for the lame blessing."

    Light Novels 
  • The "demon" of the Advina Avis (aka Ronnie Schiatto) from Baccano!. The full extent of his reality warping abilities hasn't been demonstrated, but so far has included materializing and dematerializing matter at will, bestowing forbidden knowledge, granting people immortality and other abilities (as well as slapping on whatever perks and restrictions he wishes), appearing anyplace at anytime, global mind-reading, and shifting in and out of human form at will. Generally, he doesn't go around doing these sorts of things very often, however, because nigh-omnipotence can become quite boring after several-hundred millennia.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Every single Esper. Their powers work by substituting their own reality into the real world using AIM (An Involuntary Movement) fields, which also acts as Applied Phlebotinum for many story arcs. The downside to this is that their "personal reality" must share a lot of characteristics with the "real reality", otherwise they will be isolated from reality completely, as with Kazakiri Hyouka in her initial appearances.
    • For that matter, any sufficiently powerful mythical beings are capable of this, with the Archangels being prime examples.
    • Aureolus Izzard. "Alchemist" my ass. Master of Illusion combined with Clap Your Hands If You Believe is his actual power. It does has its limits however, as pointed out by Stiyl. If he really could warp reality, why couldn't he just wish a vampire into existence?
    • Perfect Majins (Magic Gods) fall into this category, being able to recreate the world as they please with little effort (once they overcome the 50/50 success rate problem).
    • Aleister Crowley too, as he is a magician powerful enough to become a Majin, but he made some specific alterations to his body to prevent it. Well, if you can exist at more than one location at the same time and possesses a tool (called "Archetype Controller") which can manipulate TROPES of all things, and powerful enough to literally create the entire concept of "Science Side" and its espers, really, what's changed?
  • In Date A Live the Realizer makes "human imagination into reality" and powers the setting. The result is a bit like a Standard Super-Hero Setting, where most tech is modern day, with a few organizations having access to much more advanced stuff. The Realizer is used to implement a variety of superpowers, but is implied to have a number of limits. The talent to be able to use it is very rare(used as a justification for Child Soldiers), along with having fairly significant limits with regard to the range and complexity of powers that can be created; clothing changes, flight, super strength and defensive shields can all be created, but the AST needs to have pre-made weapons rather than creating them themselves. It's also mentioned as the way to quickly reconstruct damage caused by various battles and supernatural events.
  • Doraemon, with his gadgets, can warp reality to its full extent. Check out the "what if" phone booth. It's able to create a whole new world based on the wish.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya. Up to and including omnipotence.
    • For that matter, the Interfaces, such as Yuki and Ryouko qualifies. Their powers aren't as rule-breaking as Haruhi's, but they can still launch MySQL injections into reality. To take this to a greater degree, in Disappearance they can even hijack Haruhi's unlimited power! The difference between Haruhi and the Interfaces is that Haruhi can create "data" out of nothing, while the Interfaces can "only" alter existing data. That's why, in-universe, the Interfaces are treated as Reality Warpers while Haruhi herself is considered, well, basically a God, if not "the" God.
    • Related to the trope notes above, there is a good reason why Haruhi can get away with being a protagonist and a Reality Warper; She has no idea what she is or what power she holds. Most of her warping is done through childishly wishing something to be different.
  • Everyone in Sunday Without God has this power to some degree. Basically, if you wish for something hard enough (such as Resurrective Immortality, Improbable Aiming Skills, or resetting time to prevent a person's death), you might just get it, but you may not be happy with the results. The lack of true death is also strongly implied to be because people collectively wished for immortality, thus warping the reality of life and death.
  • Yusuke in World Customize Creator gains the ability to "customize" anything, as if it were being edited in a virtual environment. Initially he thinks it works like the game it appears to be from, able to customize weapons and equipment, he eventually discovers it can edit anything.

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  • Gemini and her stars from Sequinox have the power to clap the heroes into other dimensions, and uses this power to constantly keep them off-balance.

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  • Destroy the Godmodder: The Godmodder (and other godmodders), most prominently. The ways that Descendancy works make the Descendants this too for the duration of a Godmodding war. Then there's the Narrative and Conflict, which is strong enough to be a Sentient Cosmic Force and have its power be ingrained in reality's function; the Terminae, a ton of Random Near-Omnipotent Beings; the higher-ranking Unfantomable Ones; and many others.

Alternative Title(s): Reality Warping, Reality Warp

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