|I am a menace!|
One of the biggest criticisms that any author can face over their characters is the notion that their OC(s) are “overpowered” in some ways. When that term is used, it’s generally pointing out that the character in question has far too many strengths, and little to no vulnerabilities. Characters that are described in such a way are typically on the level of gods, or even byond that, having powers that are unrivaled, a vast array of abilities which cover every conceivable weakness, and are virtually indesctructible.
It’s rather clear why people dislike such traits, as such characters are typically boring in the grand scheme of things. There’s no excitement to be had with any fight scenes if one character in the party can simply wipe out a whole army with a single spell or weapon. The conflict is over before it begins, any other characters present are pretty much unnecessary. There’s also not much room for development of that character, as weaknesses do play a key role with character growth. Learning to overcome and cope with imperfections, is a big part of helping any character develop more.
But more than that, whenever someone pairs up their own character(s) with someone else’s overpowered characters, there can be hard feelings, depending on the interactions shared by them. If one author’s characters end up completely demolished by another author’s more powerful characters, they may feel like their creations are being cast away without any regard of the time and effort they put into them.
Let’s face it, if you spend weeks, months, even years building up a reasonably balanced character, only to one day encounter someone else who straight up murders them because they had “Immortal Powers from random god that has no backstory whatsoever” … that’s going to leave you feeling like you were cheated, like your character, and all of that development you put into him/her, means nothing… and that’s not a good feeling at all.
So does that make all overpowered characters the bane of any story or role player’s existence? Well, no. Not necessarily.
It is very possible to have powerful characters, and use them in ways which cause no such issues. There are indeed methods to balance out your character without straight up “nerfing” them to the ground, be it their personality, or plot points. For example, a character’s personality can be their saving grace, because if that character has strong convictions and morals, and has no desire to use every ounce of power at their disposal, or only use it in moderation, then you’re already making him/her far more tolerable. As far as plot points go, there are plenty of different possibilities you can use to achieve a degree of balance for a character that seems appropriate - magical items, spells, curses, discovering other powerful characters, gaining a very specific weak point, becoming weak to a certain element, etc…
Another, even bigger, point I have to make is that it’s important for authors to recognize the skills and strengths of every character that interacts with their own. In other words, sure, your character may be far more powerful, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the fact that the other people have invested time and effort into their own characters. It’s important to be respectful of that, and to acknowledge it in some manner. Being humble goes a long way, as everyone wants their characters to have some kind of recognition, purpose and respect by the end of a story or roleplay, not just be stuck in the shadow of another character.
Now, another thing I’ll talk about is the fact that some people just straight up want their characters to be dominated. It’s no secret that there are plenty of kinky role players out there who absolutely love such scenarios, who love having their characters be defeated and used in various ways, and in that regard, overpowered characters are generally fine, if not preferred, depending on what kind of scenario the authors want. But the two points I made above, particularly the second one, should still apply to some degree, as again, you don’t want to come off as a total jerk with your own characters.
Because even if your RP partner wants their character dominated, controlled, devoured, and what not, it’s still important to recognize their characters for who, and what they are, regardless of the difference in power.