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Person Of Mass Destruction / Tabletop Games

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People of Mass Destruction in tabletop games.

  • Shrouds in Anathema can start riots that span miles, magically spread plagues and pollute water sources, turn food into dust and ash, cause massive accidents, make people age decades in seconds, and make others lose the will to live. They are also required to meet a daily kill quota.
  • High level characters in Dungeons & Dragons tend to be this, with some variance for edition and class. Mages tend to do it better, both for power-progression reasons and because non-spellcasters tend to have to do their army-killing a few mooks at a time instead of just wiping out every mook in one with a single spell. This is touched upon in the fluff in various ways, with Forgotten Realms (for example) both mentioning cases of mass invasions being single-handedly thwarted by powerful spellcasters and having a rough variant of Mutually Assured Destruction as a reason the various high-level non-player characters don't get actively involved more often for their respective factions, with the NPCs themselves being the 'nukes'.
    • Invoked with the Evocation school of magic; this is the closest equivalent in traditional D&D magic to "the offensive magic school", and with a few exceptions, Evocation spells universally revolve around pasting wide areas (or at least multiple targets) with different kinds of elemental damage, from iconic spells like fireballs and lightning bolts to more obscure ones, like rains of acid or cones of cold. An Evoker - a wizard specialized in Evocation - is the tabletop game equivalent of a Black Mage, and whilst some fans look down on them as actually one of the less game-breakingly powerful ways to play a wizard, they do their one trick of "make everybody dead" very well.
  • The whole point of Exalted is that you play as one of these. Exalted are very, VERY powerful - but no more mentally stable than the average person. In fact, due to the Great Curse, they're quite prone to become unhinged and abuse their power. It's a game mechanic. When an experienced Exalt starts to look even a little bit angry, run.
    • Don't. You'll only die tired.
    • This is also the case for a lot of major NPCs, such as the Deathlords, each of whom is, in their current state, entirely capable of taking on everything in the Underworld except the other Deathlords without backup.
    • While all Exalts are good at this, Infernals have access to an entire charm tree built around a Fantastic Nuke effect. The most terrifying Infernal Shintai Charm, Demon Emperor, basically turns a large area around you into ground zero for anyone you don't specifically declare exempt, unless they grovel at your feet. Infernal Charms are quite literally as awesome as hell.
    • Abyssals are also skilled in this area, but that's less about killing everyone who annoys you and more about blighting large chunks of Creation straight into the Underworld.
  • The Planeswalkers of Magic: The Gathering are mages of near-godlike power who can easily become this, depending on their style of magic. Chandra Nalaar, for example, is a pyromancer who caused so much damage as a child that her whole village was blamed for it. For players who want in on the fun, the game offers board-clearing spells in a number of flavors, especially red, black, and white. Lore-wise they were once Physical Gods able to make and unmake entire worlds. They had to be nerfed just so they could be represented in card form. To put that in perspective, demons, dragons, gods, and the avatars of entire planes themselves have all been represented as cards. Nicol Bolas is one of the most powerful Planeswalkers of them all, since absorbing a conflux of mana from a shattered plane restored him to near Pre-mending Planeswalker level.
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  • The flexible, comic-book-based rules system of Mutants & Masterminds and its parabolic power progression make it easy to create a starting character with the ability to take on an army or wipe out a city. Omega, the Big Bad of the Freedom City setting, is a threat on a cosmic level and could personally blow through a mountain in seconds. Duplication and a reasonable smattering of other powers can provide you with a starting character that is an army and can wipe out a city by personally dismantling it piece by piece. And that's nothing. It is possible to make a PL 4 (most starting characters are PL 10) character with an 8-point (out of 150 for the average starting character) power which completely destroys a planet.
  • Nobilis is another one where PCs tend to be phenomenally powerful but not particularly stable; most Nobles were pretty screwed-up people even before they were given their godlike powers and found themselves serving an inhuman morality code. Oh, and the Earth is ruled by someone who, among other things, has forbidden Nobles to love on punishment of being forced to kill their own loved ones if caught.
    • Then there are the Strategists, each of whom has a power that permits them to destroy pretty much anything they like. One canonical use of the World-Breaker's Hand created the Dead Zone of Libya, a place where nothing grows, nothing lasts, nothing matters, and while you can break a man by leaving him there for a day or two, nobody takes advantage of this because the trait that makes places memorable is a trait the Dead Zone no longer has.
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  • Considering Rifts has rules for playing as a minor god, this should not come as a surprise. However the bar for Person of Mass Destruction is low; anyone in MDC body armor and packing an energy weapon is as durable as many modern armored fighting vehicles. Annihilating a rural village is well within the means of low-level player characters, unless said village pulls Superweapon Surprise with a supernatural protector or someone hiding a suit of power armor in their shed. Given that in Rifts creatures wandering the SAFER parts of the world are generally somewhat challenging for a party of low-level player characters, intelligent players will consider what it means for there to be an apparently undefended, unmolested village in the middle of nowhere in particular...
  • In the game Scion you play as the mortal offspring of a god. You start out essentially as a minor superhero, but given enough time you can build yourself up to full god status and can do essentially anything within your purview (for instance, if you're a god of death you can kill essentially anyone up to and including the population of whole nations at will; or if you're a god of strength you can pick up the Willis Tower... and the Empire State the same either hand...and use them as battle clubs...)
  • In Scythe, the final part of the campaign, should the player fail to find Tesla is Tesla himself, who is rocking a wheel-like device that allows him to fairly effortlessly demolish mechs with ease. Overall, he can be dangerous, and his 18 HP makes him extremely durable. It's not impossible for him to stroll up, send your workers packing, you send in two mechs to take him down, and they both fail based on two combat cards and a die roll. Even in story, the narrative emphasizes how dangerous of a situation this is and that Tesla must be stopped at all means, as he will level the countryside with his machine in a maddening effort to make right what he has done wrong. Whatever he has built, story-wise, outclasses the behemoth machines used by all factions.
  • There is a d20 RPG adaptation of Slayers. In this game there are rules for learning the tac-nuke level Dragon Slave and the world-ending Giga Slave, though advice is given to the GM not to hand the latter to the players unless there's a good reason to. If the players are imitating the show they'll distribute the former like candy.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • All psykers (psychic humans) have the potential to be this, not so much because of their abilities themselves but because they are incredibly vulnerable to Demonic Possession (which is bad), and are correspondingly treated with paranoid caution (at best) by the unbelievably repressive Imperium.
    • The most powerful psykers (class Alpha Plus) can (depending on the type of power they have), mind-control entire cities, incinerate armies or snap a battle titan (the series' Humongous Mecha) in half with a mere thought. To make matters worse, the minds of current humans aren't built to handle Beta-and-above levels of psionic power, causing most psykers of such power levels to usually be batshit insane, not to mention very short-lived, as their presence attracts daemons like flies to honey, usually resulting in them exploding apart in a gory fashion while reality tears asunder and daemonic legions march forth to slaughter all life on the world. One of the very few and most notable exceptions is the God-Emperor of Mankind, who is beyond superhuman in both body and mind.
    • Ork Weirdboyz use a form of magic tied to "Orkiness", that latent gestalt energy generated by every Ork, and used by them every day on an instinctual basis to tell the laws of physics to sit down and shut up. Weirdboyz tap into it more directly than other Orks though, channeling it into power blasts or giant feet falling from the sky. The more Orks around the psyker, the more powerful his magic is. There is a catch, however: if there are too many boyz around, or they get too excited, the poor Weirdboy can't handle the sheer amount of power, which can cause his magic to fizzle... or himself to go nuclear. Yuks ensue.
    • The Primarchs were created to be the ultimate weapon, and they definitely succeeded at that, for good and for ill. Even without their Legions backing them up, a Primarch is a threat no mortal and only a handful of Space Marines can stand against for long. Magnus, as a psyker and a Primarch, is one of the most overtly destructive.
    • There's also Legienstrasse, the first and last graduate of the Maeorus Assassin Temple. She was heavily modified with xenos DNA so she could absorb biomass through her skin and rapidly mutate any natural weapon she needs in battle (in other words, a female Alex Mercer), and she went rogue. A massive manhunt was launched against her, and in the process she took on Captain Lysander of the Imperial Fists, an Assault Marine Squad, 1st Company Veterans, the Grandmaster of the Culexus Temple and the Grandmaster of the Vindicare Temple. Everybody except Lysander was killed. A second manhunt was called, which succeeded after a grueling fight by Lysander repeatedly smashing her body with a Thunder Hammer until none is left but fine dust.
  • The Wild Talents game system actually details in its power generation tutorial how to build a power with unlimited range that halts nuclear fusion. Not terribly useful on its own, unless you spend the extra points to change the duration to permanent. For someone of a heroic bent, a power like this could be useful against a crazed dictator who has just launched his entire nuclear arsenal against the world. For someone a little more unhinged? Turn off the sun. FOREVER. Or, until the Game Master reveals your opposite number exists who has the power to restart nuclear fusion.
  • World of Darkness:
    • While not as extreme as some of the others on this page, the mages in Mage: The Awakening essentially become one of these when they reach mastery of virtually any Arcanum. The archmasters are more direct examples, to the point where they essentially have a non-aggression pact to prevent themselves from destroying the world, and instead conduct their affairs through a series of proxies, a la the Cold War.
    • In Dark Ages: Mage (a historical setting for Mage: The Ascension)... to be honest, the time needed for this is exactly the amount of time one needs for standard character creation, if we count being able to be an orbital bomber enough for this. note  So you can destroy towns with fire from the air needing only some simple item like a coin as a focus object (so not even clothes necessary) with a character out of creation. Oh, and the best part of this... that's all in medieval times. (Yes, orbital bombardment in a medieval setting.)
      Most Old World of Darkness games can make madly powerful characters compared to sane things in their setting - usually ones that are one-trick wonders - but in Mage it won't even be a one-trick wonder. Sure you're human, but then again you can be a human foreseeing the future, living several thousand years, avoiding all situations where being a 'fragile human' could be a problem, just by knowing about them in advance and manipulating things like change, destiny, minds, natural forces and so on, to just achieve what you wished.
    • Also, in the New World of Darkness, supplemental material from Hunter: The Vigil makes it clear that Task Force: VALKYRIE considers any werewolves to be a national security nightmare, because they're indistinguishable from humans until they walk into a secure facility and turn into nine-foot-tall killing machines.
    • The Arisen of Mummy: The Curse all start out at the very height of their power, which includes, among other things, the ability to cause a magnitude 6.0 earthquake to devastate a 10-mile region or call down a meteor storm on everything within a mile. Fortunately(?), they get weaker the longer they're up and about.


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