In my setting, there are these super-powered individuals that can draw upon an invisible energy source in order to enhance their physical abilities and use physics-defying abilities such as teleportation and shape-shifting. One such person is an electrokinetic, who can shoot electricity (via blasts from his hands, flinging explosive electric orbs like grenades or hurling lightning bolts like spears that when detonated, release tremendous kinetic energy), use electroadhesion to run up walls and infuse weapons with electricity to enhance their striking power.

But, for reasons unknown, this person is unable to construct weapons out of electricity, while others are able to form melee weapons such as swords, axes, and spears from water, fire or light (guns and grenades cannot be created due to being composed of countless components and chemicals). What would be a plausible explanation to justify this character's inability to create constructed weapons?

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    $\begingroup$ If you want to go in the direction of "more of less science based" answers, you should specify what "electricity" in this context means? Does he shot plasma?, electron rays?, or manipulates the electric field itself? Is charge locally conserved? Maxwell equations adhered to? Or physics totally defied? $\endgroup$ – b.Lorenz Jul 19 '18 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ If you are satisfied by superhero-grade science, then my answer would be: His electricity is inherently unstable, would not hold to its form for more than a split second. he can therefore shot projectiles, but never summon melee weapons. $\endgroup$ – b.Lorenz Jul 19 '18 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ Once you have an axe made of light it gets hard to use the regular rules to explain much. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 19 '18 at 11:24
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    $\begingroup$ To avoid being closed as primarily opinion-based, please explain how you will justify choosing the best answer. How will you judge between "He doesn't know how" and "negatively charged electrons repel, so getting electrons into cohesive close company to make an object is like herding cats"? As written, both these statements are equally valid answers. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 19 '18 at 22:54

Add control as part of electricity bending

To explain: Make is so every electrokinetic have at least some control over the electricity they shoot, making it possible to create complex weapons like you described. This ability should be vital for any electrokinetic. Yet, your "person" fails to have this control. They just blankly shoot electricity but may never go farther, as if they only had the power to "use" electricity but not control it.

You can imagine it to be like a body mechanism that regulate itself. As an example, a wasp has no control over its production of venom nor over the chemical composition, yet they can use it as they wish. You may imagine an usual electrokinetic as one of the wasp that has the control over the chemical composition of their venom, as opposed to your person who doesn't.


You can't explain it based on physics. So it must be your person. Why would a person be unable to do something you would expect she could do? For example: why might a person living the the US be unable to drive?

1: No opportunity to learn how. If you grow up in New York City, or on an Amish farm, you might not have the opportunity to learn to drive a car. Your person never acquired the advanced skills to shape her energies into weapons. It is not easy, there were no teachers, and she had no need for it where she was from so she didn't bother.

2: Used to be able to, but no more.. People learn the ability to drive but then stop. Maybe a person goes blind or has a stroke and so the pedal foot is numb. Maybe age slows the reflexes. Your character might have been injured or sick, and so lost this ability. Maybe she is addicted to drugs or alcohol and cannot muster the focus any more.

3: Mental block.. A person might stop driving because of fear - he is still perfectly capable but getting behind the wheel reminds him of a terrible accident he caused. He turns on the radio and listens but does not start the car.

4: Too dense to learn. I like this one. She can't do it because it is beyond her. There might be a fox and the grapes sort of thing too - she will say that it not that she can't do it (but she can't) it is just that it is so stupid! She loudly declares that making fancy swords and spears and marital aids out of fire is foofy. If you want to fight, then fight you foofs!


Some of these make sense. For example, a water sword might be reasonable. It defies all laws of physics (as does everything here), but it's actually matter. Especially if you can actually solidify it into ice. Light is weird, but if a character can hold together light, it makes sense that it could be in some way solidified and weaponized. Same goes for fire.

I would say that electricity can't be held for long periods of time. From what I see in your system, the electricity is mostly used in quick, powerful bursts- for example, electric blasts. So maybe the electricity can't be held together long? Like, a flame holds for a long time. Water stays together (I guess). Light can maybe be refracted? But electricity...I can't see it holding together to form anything useful.

Also, if you just want to do this because you don't want your character to use electric weapons, you can just point out (via one of your characters, obviously) that it wouldn't have any effect. A sword made out of fire can probably burn through enemies and/or things more effectively than, say, a metal sword heated to a high temperature. I'm not sure what a sword made out of water does, but that's your thing, not mine. A sword made out of light, I guess, is like a regular sword except...made out of light? And it doesn't break? And it's just generally better? That would be my guess if your light weapons solidify. What does a sword made out of electricity do? Based on what I can think of, it'll electrocute your opponent. No cutting powers, brute force powers (like a hammer, for example), or anything. There's really no point in having something that can do this if you can just shoot lightning from your every orifice. (All of them.)

I understand if you can infuse weapons with electricity to give them extra attributes (energy release or electrocution on impact?) but there's really no point in making a sword only out of electricity.


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