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Story Character Help

Sir_Magic

King of Transformers
Ive been thinking of a character. He would be a human that has special abilities. He would have the ability to change the molecules round him into different substance. I.e. he could change water into gold, or the air into lead. His hero name would be Proton.
I need a setback. Some flaw in the hero’s abilities. Something like to use his ability, it draws on his electrical system in his body or something along those lines.
 

Neon Jelly

Bust :(
Something as powerful as atomic conversion might be reliant on the specific scaling to determine a setback. Some limitations could be only being able to transform gasses or liquids, but those would still be rather pointless without on-use difficulties. Maybe the conversion could be, literally, flawed. So maybe not all of the matter is changed or fully changed, resulting in 'pockets' of the original material or a partially converted material. For instance, lead may end up with pockets of mercury or gold, or gold may contain platinum and tungsten. And that's just when it's somewhat imperfect. Maybe the overall purity of conversion is directly related to time and concentration. That would mean that large transformations (H2O -> Pb) would a) Take a long time, and b) take a lot of the original material to totally convert an equivalent volume.

Hopefully this helps.
 

Sir_Magic

King of Transformers
That seems likely.
It could also be the farther away the item is, the more energy it requires and the harder he has to concentrate. Say like helium to gold, he would have to concentrate hard and be exhausted after.
 

Neon Jelly

Bust :(
That seems likely.
It could also be the farther away the item is, the more energy it requires and the harder he has to concentrate. Say like helium to gold, he would have to concentrate hard and be exhausted after.
Exactly, always start with the basic "What's being done?", and work from there. For anything energy-based, distance is important due to the vector of the ability. Is it some special kind of wave, is it pure magic, etc. Adding in things later like it being connected to the body's electricity... it's like the Superman problem. Superman is just... always as powerful as he needs to be for his near limitless-seeming powers to accomplish his goal, bar his one, completely separate weakness of kryptonite.
 

Sir_Magic

King of Transformers
The closeee the thing, the easier it is to change. Say you want to change you clothes into armor, it wouldn’t take much energy and would be pretty easy.
 

Neon Jelly

Bust :(
Well I mean, easier to change relative to the material and all that. Cloth to metal, etc. would have to be difficult to ensure balance. Maybe he has to actually keep his armour's material on his person (In a bag or whatnot) so that he can just alter it into the needed shape. Another idea that could prevent OPness is that the more complex a material is, the harder it is to convert. Like, way harder, because it's like converting multiple materials at the same time. That would stop him from converting say... organic material easily due to its high complexity.
 

Sir_Magic

King of Transformers
Yeah.
He could also have to have touched the mineral at some point in his life to convert something into it.
 

Neon Jelly

Bust :(
Yeah, or maybe he needs to have contacted it fairly recently (Say a month or two ago to even just a week), with the amount having needed to be a certain size. Like, even about marble size just so that the trace amounts of everything from lead to gold to uranium found naturally in the human body don't result in constant access.
 

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