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Required Secondary Powers / Webcomics

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  • Sigrid of Prequel is a mage who develops a specialty for charm-increasing alchemical potions, the effect of which on anyone within a radius of her, is essentially "Sigrid is amazing and can do no wrong." It eventually turns out Sigrid herself is not exempt from this effect... and constant exposure to it has resulted in her developing extreme narcissism and egomania.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
    • The superpower of flight is bestowed by an organic jetpack that grows from overly-developed abdominal muscles. It's spelled out that fueling the organic jetpack requires a methane-rich diet, and that the power of flight does not grant immunity from the thin air of higher altitudes—those with the organic jetpack are invariably driven insane by the oxygen deprivation.
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    • A fight with an opponent with a laser eye (a cyborg Frans Rayner) ended very quickly once the beam was fired and missed, leaving Frans too weak to fight. Why? The good Doctor noted that the eye had no outside power source, and was never used earlier in the fight, meaning it burns up a lot of calories.
    • In "The End: Part 2", the Doctor remembers he'd shown Super Strength in an early story (basically as a cheap joke). So he uses that to kick down a big metal door that was blocking his path. He doesn't have the invulnerability needed to go along with such strength, though, or at least not quite enough.
      McNinja: Ow, my leg!
  • Magellan - The level of secondary superpowers varies. One of the staff members has to wear an exoskeleton because she has super-strength but not super-durability. One of the early superheros, The Streaker suffers Clothing Damage when using his super-speed and resolves the problem by not wearing clothing. On the other hand, most of those with super-powers do sport Required Secondary Powers. Or maybe those who don't have them eliminate themselves.
    • Since most characters we see are superheroes, or superheroes in training, perhaps those without the required secondary powers just didn't get past the strict selection process.
    • There is also a kind of magic water that allows blades to cut superhuman skin and hair, without superheroes wouldn't be able to shave.
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  • Another Gaming Comic crosses over into tabletop tropes with this: Pyromaniac Nuclear Dan, whose catchphrase is "I cast Fireball centered on myself!", had his roleplaying character briefly lack full immunity to his fire. Not wise enough to just stop casting centered on himself, said character took a few hitpoints of damage from every blast, inciting Dan to rage.
  • Dinosaur Comics discusses this, when T-Rex designs a game much like Super Mario Bros., except that the player character can't shoot fireballs from his hands without burning them.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Roy dons a belt of gender changing and becomes a bald girl, because if a "magic item doesn't specifically say it grows hair, it probably doesn't."
    • In a later strip, the heroes (sort-of-accidentally) defeat a hydra by decapitating it until it grows so many heads that it can't supply all of them with blood, causing it to pass out. Roy specifically noted that this Hydra, unlike others in the setting, lacked the secondary power which limits the number of heads (thus preventing this exact scenario)
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    • The Dashing Swordsman class are immune to all damage involving glass, so they can perform dramatic Super Window Jumps without hurting themselves. Elan demonstrates this also means he can punch through a window without injuring his hand.
    • Exploited by Lien: she has a Ring of Water Breathing, which comes in handy in arctic climates for its secondary effect of protection from cold environments. And then, later, for the actual water breathing.
    • It's mentioned a few times that dwarves have two livers, explaining why Durkon and others are perfectly fine while their teammates get hammered drinking a similar amount of beer.
  • The world of Mindmistress largely lacks these, although engineered powers (Mindmistress shows a distinct fondness for empowering individuals) frequently have them added in explicitly as technological measures.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Elliot's scantily dressed superheroine form "Cheerleadra" apparently has cold resistance (contains spoilers).
      Ellen: Yeah, speaking of snow, how are you not freezing?
      Cheerleadra: [shrugs]
    • Grace, a shapeshifter, is also an example. It turns out that drastically changing body size, shape, and structure is dangerous and painful, and Grace's body was therefore genetically engineered to release natural painkillers upon transformation. Vlad, who lacks the secondary power, was crippled whenever he tried even cosmetic transformations, and eventually gave up completely.
    • Similarly, Grace's species can do very complex math in their heads, to allow them to properly calculate proportions when shapeshifting.
  • Grrl Power:
    • Achilles, a hero who is completely "proper, aggravating invincibility"-he can not be suffocated, drowned, poisoned, burned, frozen or injured by any force known. He is about 50% stronger than an average human, since he doesn't have to worry about breaking bones or tearing muscles. He has blocked a sword thrust with his eye. His hairstyle will never change. However, he does not have any anchoring effect, so enough force will knock him away from the battle, and it will just take time for him to get back. His teammates have used him to test their own powers or as a bowling ball.
    • It is later confirmed that some of Maxima's invulnerability comes from a sort of force field projected around her during combat. This explains how when she stood in an explosion and received no Clothing Damage while a good chunk of Achilles' outfit was burned away. A later attack does get through her main shield enough to tear away some of her clothes, but she was still mostly unharmed.
    • Halo's shield is apparently air tight as she became quite light headed after spending an extended amount of time with her shield up. That being said, it is capable of protecting against lasers while still letting visible light through. As Dabbler says, her shield is "hardly entry-level."
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes: The comic frequently shows the results of not having these. Besides one-off character Bulk, main character Lazer Pony has implants in his optical nerve that let him shoot lasers out of his eyes. They burned his eyes out on the first shot.
  • Welcome to Chastity takes place in a town where all the women have insanely huge breasts (breasts as big as a woman's head are considered average). This is one of many things that perplexes the main character and one of the other being how these women don't all have back pains. It's not explained exactly why, but it is mentioned frequently that the breasts, while weighing as much as they look they do, feel light to their owners.
  • Kong Tower frequently examines this trope. The first comic shows a Flying Brick try to catch a falling bus, only for it to land anyway with a him-shaped hole in it. Several comics feature a speedster who, though he has the durability and reflexes needed for his power, lacks the traction, and ends up slipping on the floor or being launched into the air trying to go over a hill.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Invoked when Parley is trained to become Court Protector. The enhanced abilities come with a hefty side of Geometric Magic wards so that her Super Strength and long-distance jumps don't damage her own body.


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