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On the Topic of Powerscaling

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On the Topic of Powerscaling

Postby Friendlysociopath » Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:29 pm

Perhaps a concept as old as character debating itself- powerscaling is a concept that involves taking the Power of one character and Scaling it to another. I thought it might be a good idea to put up a topic so we can go over what constitutes good or bad powerscaling.

First- the definition- I find that Outskirts BattleDome has a good summary:
Powerscaling refers to a method of inductive reasoning used to determine the strength of various fictional characters/entities. This method can assign levels of power to a character who has demonstrated few, or even no actual Feats. Powerscaling is based on heirarchical logic, narrative statements, and word - of - mouth. As such, it may, be wrong and unreliable.
Powerscaling usually falls into the realm of speculation. While it can sometimes give you a general idea of the power of a character, it is not always reliable as concrete evidence in a debate.

Put another way, powerscaling is simply using a transitive relation.
Bob is taller than Joe. Tim is shorter than Joe. Joe is 5'8. Bob must be at least 5'8. Joe must be below 5'8.
^We're speculating on how tall Bob and Tim are because all we know for sure is Joe's height. That doesn't mean either of those guesses are wrong, it just means they're much less certain than actually knowing their heights.

The true key to acceptable powerscaling (in my opinion) is the why or how of the scaling as it is still a valid way of determining how powerful some characters are. In other words- how much is speculation vs established fact.
This is not to deal with the validity of the feats themselves- as that is another discussion entirely.
(Adding GIFs is a work in progress- they take time to make)

For example:
If one character has feats of a certain strength and another character is evenly trading blows with them or overpowers them- the new character must require similar or greater strength to withstand and deal those blows. This is valid powerscaling because it relies on actual canonical evidence- said characters did battle and were indeed fighting at the same level or one overpowered the other.
Image Image

Key Note- This method of powerscaling relies on being able to prove that the character with feats was performing the same as when that feat occurred. For most characters this is more or less summed up in two parts- whether they were amped for the feat/fight and whether they were trying at the same level of effort or higher.

Another example:
If one character has feats of speed that are of a certain level and an official source like say a Databook or interview with the creator insists that another character is faster than the one with feats- the featless character has been given more evidence for them being faster vs being slower. This is valid powerscaling because it relies on evidence that, while not present in the main media, is still canon and insists it is so.
Key Note- The wording of these sources is very important; in several cases, a quote can be interpreted differently or can be vague- in these cases the scaling may be less valid.
Extra Key Note- In-verse statements from characters that insist of inferiority or superiority for a stat also qualify in this example- such as stating that an opponent is too fast for them to deal with.

^Those are two ways of using valid powerscaling. There are, however, ones that are much more speculation-based and therefor harder to claim as valid.

An example:
One character shows a certain level of power- and belongs to an organization with assigned classes/tiers/titles/whatever. Therefor the claim is that everyone else on that tier should scale to the first character's showings. This is much more speculation-based that the previous two as it's reliant on almost no hard information about the characters they're scaling. As such, it should only be attested when either the series consistently states or shows it to be true.

One more example:
Sometimes characters have virtually no link at all but are still compared because they share some small connection- possibly not even mentioned in the universe itself. This is almost entirely speculation-based and may have no evidence whatsoever to support it beyond someone saying so.

^Those are two ways of using less-valid powerscaling. As such, they're harder to claim as "true" because they're based more on speculation.

These are my thoughts on the topic- if anyone wants to weigh in then feel free.
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Re: On the Topic of Powerscaling

Postby guardianangel1911 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:16 am

Personally I can agree with these lines of separation on power scaling
"Fuck subtle."

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Re: On the Topic of Powerscaling

Postby Kitten Lord » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:21 pm

Its just a clear case of whether you have the information and facts to scale the power from in the first place. If a character can output X force with little to no effort and then clearly applies effort in fighting someone without any reason or evidence to suggest they were holding back or the force was little then the power scale is potentially logical.

The examples given further down your post, which are considered less solid would be at the mercy of interpretation and who your debating with. best course of action is to suggest it and see what people think, and then debate several possibilities. E.g., X characters "may" be of the same tier of power, so debate that possibility or debate the possibility they are not.
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