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OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?


Cassandra
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She Hulk has a point.

 

Why change back into a weaker form?

 

In games terms it doesn't make much sense.

 

After all, if Billy Batson remained as Captain Marvel all the time he wouldn't get tied up all the time.

 

Okay, so you save some points, and in the She Hulk's case you're big and green, but unlike her cousin after a while people would get used to it, especially with the personable Beast running around.

 

So I ask, does your Bruce Banner ever stop being the Hulk?

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Originally(and in Dark Knight Returns) Billy and the Captain were two different beings(which brings up the question of just where do they go?). I'm not sure when DC change the Captain into the grown up Billy.

 

EDIT Whoops wrong Elseworld story.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

In most cases OHID things are either a Gear, tony can't walk around in the full armor all day it a bit much even for him, or there is a noticable downside. I is/was in a game with a PC codenamed Troll who lost some of his speach and manual dexterity when in troll form. It was great for wrecking things but not so usefull in everyday life, hence he shrunk back down into his normal 6 foot+ nordic self.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Billy Batson has a life of his own. He has friends, family (of a sort), school, in some versions a budding journalistic career. Sure, he could simply have it be publicly known that Cap and Billy are the same person, but having the public be aware that a fully-grown superman is really a minor child would create all sorts of complications for both identities.

 

If a character has a good reason to maintain a secret identity and a civilian life, and his mundane and superhuman forms are significantly different in appearance, it's reasonable to take OIHID (or "Only In Alternate Identity" as 6E calls it).

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

The entire Dan Slott run of She-Hulk was devoted to some degree to examining why Jennifer Walters shouldn't spend all of her time hulked out. There were many psychological reasons -- she had been using her hulked out form to avoid real world responsibility, etc. -- and ones solid "game mechanic" reason, in that the strength of her hulk form was exponentially based on her human form, thus establishing that exercisisng her human body massively upgraded her hulk strength.

 

Billy Batson is a different case, and has been written inconsistently between authors over the years. With the classical interpretation, its obvious that Billy Batson gets to be a kid and Captain Marvel doesn't.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

1. Billy has a life outside being Captain Marvel.

 

2. He wasn't given his powers for his own benefit or amusement. Being Captain Marvel is a "higher calling", not just something he can do. Remaining in Captain Marvel form would be an abuse of his powers. See Teth-Adam for further details.

 

Another example: Firestorm. Typically, Firestorm is composed of two different people, each with their own identities that they don't want to sacrifice. (Ignore the mechanical issues).

 

She-Hulk has a point in her case - there's no real reason for her to change back (except for the "need to exercise as Jennifer Walters" retcon) - but other characters have such reasons.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

She Hulk has a point.

 

Why change back into a weaker form?

 

Sex without killing your partners? Women of Kleenex and all that...

 

(yes, I know Jen has managed to have a robust sex life with several normal dudes while hulked out, not everyone is so fortunate!)

 

Most of my OIAID characters have a one or more reasons to change back to their weaker forms.

 

Many of those reasons are strictly social, but a few of them have to change for safety or automatically change when they sleep or are KOed or can only remain in one from for a certain period of time to begin with.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Sex without killing your partners? Women of Kleenex and all that...

 

(yes, I know Jen has managed to have a robust sex life with several normal dudes while hulked out, not everyone is so fortunate!)

 

Most of my OIAID characters have a one or more reasons to change back to their weaker forms.

 

Many of those reasons are strictly social, but a few of them have to change for safety or automatically change when they sleep or are KOed or can only remain in one from for a certain period of time to begin with.

 

The sex only becomes an issue if the writer wants it to.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

I like the explanation used for Image Comic's direct knock-off of Shazam! - Mighty Man

Mighty Man is actually an ancient entity created by a mysterious wizard named Fon~Ti to fight evil. The entity is passed from host to host at the point of death. The host, regardless of their sex, is able to transform into a tall, handsome blonde man with god-like powers, including flight and incredible strength. This is accomplished by tapping their wrists together. However the Mighty Man entity cannot sustain itself, and in order to survive the host must return to human form to sleep and to eat.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

On the mechanical front' date=' if you can assume your powered-up state indefinitely, you probably don't qualify for OHID in the first place. Where's the limitation?[/quote']

 

The limitation is that for whatever reason, you chose not to do so.

 

If you remain in it indefinitely, the limitation is a +0, unless it is being treated as a free Multiform, in which case it should be bought as Multiform.

 

So, to qualify as OIHID, you need to explain why you don't remain powered-up indefinitely, and when you power down. This explanation should become relevant in the game.

 

It's special effect and roleplaying driven, rather than mechanically driven, which is as it should be given the effectively infinite number of situations being modelled by the mechanism.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

From both a Mechanical and Story POV: If you don't have a reason to change back/depower you don't get points for it (Mechanically) and we don't go into the 'normal' life (Story).

 

If you have OIAD/OIHID then you're giving a reason, both mechanically and creating a story, that there are two entities.

 

As assault has pointed out - it's mostly special effect and roleplaying driven. Without those two motivators there's no mechanical reason either.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

An example I can't explain: Johnny Quick.

 

He has to consciously change back to his normal ID. No explanation for why he would want to do so has ever been provided.

 

But he always does. That means that his OIHID is legit. (And, because speedsters are good "bang for the buck" characters, he would be an admirably playable character).

 

The real reason why it was never explained was that he was a Golden Age character, and fan over-analysis wasn't a factor. Some silly rationalisation could of course be invented, but would be a waste of space and time.

 

He changes back because he does.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Didn't some versions of Johnny Quick have to take a drug, or was that just the evil Crime Syndicate version? Also, didn't he have to say a mathematical formula to turn his powers on? Do we know for a fact that they never turned themselves off (EDIT: When he rests or sleeps for example)?

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

I had a speedster who was OIHID. The explanation was he had to "power up" to use his abilities. He looked the same, acted the same, talked the same. He also had a public ID. Everyone knew who he was. The OIHID was that he had to consciously activate his powers. If nothing is going on, his powers probably aren't on. So if he's distracted and not thinking about being a superhero at all, they probably aren't on. Watching a football game? Eating dinner with your girlfriend? At the movies? Powers not on. As soon as something happened, he'd have to spend a phase summoning up the speed force (or whatever I had called it) and then he's got his mojo going. Why change back at all? Because normal life at superspeed is boring.

 

Each OIHID character should have their own explanation as to why they change back. It's only a limitation if they choose to do it. Dr Destroyer has armor that gives him his powers, but it's not a focus because you can't take it away from him. It's too good. Dumbo has a feather that lets him fly, even though the ability doesn't come from it. It is a focus because he thinks he needs it and can't fly without it. OIHID characters only get the points if for some reason they choose to change back and forth.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

The CU's Crowns of Krim villain group are specified as all being able to change from their human to their demonic forms at will, with no time or effort required. Even though they maintain civilian identities they don't take OIAID on any of their Powers or Characteristics.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Why change back at all? Because normal life at superspeed is boring.

 

Not a bad excuse.

 

I'd be quite comfortable with superspeed making interaction with normals difficult. Just talking to them would be painful, although not impossible. There would always the risk of talking at the wrong speed, or doing something faster than they can follow. The Flashes seem to get around this, but stepping your speed down would be a viable alternative.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Larry Niven aside, has that ever been an issue for anyone?

 

People should just ignore Niven.

 

Well, I don't think I've literally seen the "Women of Kleenex" idea used in conventional comics stories, though I have seen it alluded to here and there.

 

There are plenty of supers that have intimacy issues due to the nature of their powers, so if one of those had an off switch like OIHID I'm sure they would use it. The Thing comes to mind as a pretty obvious example.

 

I've certainly seen these type of issue come up in the course of various games. For example, one of our blasters has OIHID because she essentially turns into a living star. She needs to power down to do anything normal lest she irradiate/melt/ignite everything she touches. Sure, she can get around this somewhat with her gravity manipulation TK, but something like hugging her daughter or sleeping with her (non powered) scientist husband would not be possible.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Not a bad excuse.

 

I'd be quite comfortable with superspeed making interaction with normals difficult. Just talking to them would be painful, although not impossible. There would always the risk of talking at the wrong speed, or doing something faster than they can follow. The Flashes seem to get around this, but stepping your speed down would be a viable alternative.

Speedster issues always make me think of this:

 

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

Not a bad excuse.

 

I'd be quite comfortable with superspeed making interaction with normals difficult. Just talking to them would be painful, although not impossible. There would always the risk of talking at the wrong speed, or doing something faster than they can follow. The Flashes seem to get around this, but stepping your speed down would be a viable alternative.

 

It's hard to be lazy at superspeed. Microwaving a burrito takes two minutes. At superspeed it feels like a lot longer. Imagine if your girlfriend makes you watch The Notebook or something. Now imagine that it lasts 100 times as long. Normal everyday activities it would just be easier to do them at normal speed. Sure, you can read a book to relax, or watch a movie on fast forward, or things that like. You could even take a superspeed nap. But eventually you just want to veg out and relax. It's like when I get home from work and the first thing I do is take off my pants.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

I think OHID means you want to change back sometimes. Strictly as a game mechanic, you only take OHID if you want to give yourself a vulnerability that the GM can exploit. So if you "change" but you run around in your hero ID basically all the time, you don't take OHID.

 

OHID is only for players who want to spend part of the time as a eight year old with a sign taped to their back that reads "kidnap me."

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

It's hard to be lazy at superspeed. Microwaving a burrito takes two minutes. At superspeed it feels like a lot longer. Imagine if your girlfriend makes you watch The Notebook or something. Now imagine that it lasts 100 times as long. Normal everyday activities it would just be easier to do them at normal speed. Sure' date=' you can read a book to relax, or watch a movie on fast forward, or things that like. You could even take a superspeed nap. But eventually you just want to veg out and relax. It's like when I get home from work and the first thing I do is take off my pants.[/quote']

Read the first issue of Common Grounds if you can find it. The story Beyond the Speed of Life about Speeding Bullet.

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Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back?

 

It's hard to be lazy at superspeed. Microwaving a burrito takes two minutes. At superspeed it feels like a lot longer. Imagine if your girlfriend makes you watch The Notebook or something. Now imagine that it lasts 100 times as long. Normal everyday activities it would just be easier to do them at normal speed. Sure' date=' you can read a book to relax, or watch a movie on fast forward, or things that like. You could even take a superspeed nap. But eventually you just want to veg out and relax. It's like when I get home from work and the first thing I do is take off my pants.[/quote']

 

Yes, this. Also, I've written a speedster who explains to her friends that, yes, she can get to (for instance) Chicago in mere moments. From THEIR perspective. From HER perspective, it's as much fun as running there would be for THEM. It's tedious. Cleaning the house at superspeed is just as much of a chore as it is at normal speed (albeit it does mean she can enjoy more free time afterward). This is also why she can be caught by surprise despite her speedy reflexes. Living your whole life at superspeed is incredibly boring; she "flips the switch" when she goes into speedster mode. (And another reason for OIHD.)

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