I was making a sorta-superhero-genre book with a character that can control minds. Problem is, it gives a lot of loopholes when used in combat and stuff.

The problem is, I don't want to put an absolute limit (3 people, for example). Keep in mind that creativity is the key here. I will be upvoting creative restrictions.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. If you don't tell us more details about how this superhero work and how the loopholes arise, how do you expect us to answer? Please take the tour and visit the help center to understand our standards and what we expect from good questions. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 4:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding! We'll need more information about the specific kinds of loopholes you're talking about so that we can try to resolve them. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 4:54
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    $\begingroup$ Hi Tzu Li. You're really asking us to come up with a story idea for you. Your question is very open-ended and asking us to engage you in a discussion. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a question like that, it just doesn't fit into the StackExchange model. Instead, you could ask a question where you lay out the parameters for mind control in your world and ask for our help in solving the problem of using it in combat situations. What happens? Why doesn't it work? What specifically would be a good fix for you? $\endgroup$
    – Cyn
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 5:07
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with @L.Dutch. More clarification is needed about the nature of loopholes and even why they're a problem. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ This is in the VTR queue, but I'm not even sure what you're asking and can not vote to reopen. Are you asking for a list of loopholes, or for ways to close the loopholes? Are you asking for help developing the superpower, or simply plot ideas (off-topic) for using the superpower? Our help center explains that questions must be specific and answerable, must include context, must include restrictions/requirements, and should include research. Please edit your question to address all those expectations. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 14:14

2 Answers 2

  • Mind control takes considerable time to "prepare" each victim.
    It requires close distance and listening to the voice of the controller. "You want to feel calm. Breath in, breath out. You are getting sleepy. The calm is coming. ..."
  • Mind control gets harder if the action goes against the will or training of the victim.
    Only one security guard can be "persuaded" to shoot a buddy, a handful can be "persuaded" to ignore a workman entering the bank after hours, but dozens can be made to ignore a nondescript businessman entering the director's office during the day. "These are not the droids you are looking for."
  • Mind control takes bodies, not memories.
    The controller has to "dictate" anything the victim says, for instance, without being able to read the mind in the process.

Now, what restrictions can be applied can depend on whether this character is a protagonist or antagonist.

If he is a protagonist:

  1. Have one of the main villains have an incredibly strong will which leads to it being immune to your mind control, and can project such a shield to his fellow antagonists too. This antagonist can even be one who plays mind games themselves with the antagonist and leads them to doubt their powers of mind-control and their usage & effectivity. Such an antagonist can also use some past trauma or PTSD the protagonist has had in the past and can bring such flaws forward in order to create a sinister character.
  2. Make it so that when the protagonist is controlling the mind of someone, his will and memories become embroiled with his victim's. This can be used to lead the protagonist to have feelings of self-doubt. How? Well, let's say the protagonist had controlled the mind of a villain. He now sees the world through the eyes of the villain, and shares the same feelings and motivation of destruction and hate as him. The longer the mind control lasts, the more the villain's will is imposed on the protagonist.

If he is an antagonist:

  1. Make it so that anyone with strong enough willpower can overcome it. This can be used as a great test of strength for your protagonist's will, and will be quite useful in a climax, as it can show that the protagonist really believes in his cause, and is willing to overcome mental torture to achieve it.

Hope this helps!


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