I've been thinking a lot about having a plotline with a character who was born with the power of extreme regeneration. Although he does age like a normal person, he's able to basically regrow limbs/organs in literal minutes and is not being able to feel pain. A headshot would put him out of commission for only a moment. I think that he wouldn't also have to worry about infections if he has an overpowered immune system.
The setting of the story is fairly mundane (modern world, no superheroes or anything like that) I browsed the internet to look for ideas, but most of the things I've got were more suited for an action paced story and many people said that the power was kinda boring (which I heavily disagree with). So I thought that adding small details will make this power more grounded and immersive.
My question for you all is: what might be some interesting consequences or implications for living with super regeneration? Mundane details are always welcome!
I've come up with these things so far:
- Lad could earn lots of money with selling organs. Kidneys will regrow pretty quickly, why not sell them?
- He is probably never being able to get drunk or get high (due to how fast his regeneration is.). Painkillers will also not work.
- cosmetic surgeries will not last. (If he ever gets piercings, the wounds will close the second he takes them off) He could have some insecurities about his face and will never be able to fix it haha.
- dangerous jobs like being a hitman/soldier/Amazon warehouse worker etc will probably be more viable. No workplace injuries. (But the discovery of his ability would probably lead to him being used as a guinea pig by the government or the maffia)
- Schrapnel from bullet wounds will be stuck in him or have to be carved out. Nice try getting through a metal detector in an airport.
- cannibalism might be a good option when you are stranded with other people in an island (or are so broke you cannot afford meat)
- no bruises (no physical evidence of abuse or domestic violence. Abusive parents can beat him bloody without leaving a single trace), hickeys, callused hands (must be a pain to play certain instruments) or scars.
- no muscle growth at all (muscles get larger when they are damaged, regeneration will just revert you back to your previous form). Physical condition stays the same.
- with cooking he can just pick up a hot plate without any issues (if he has a high pain tolerance). I bet he can also eat way too hot soup without having a scalded tongue for too long. I am not sure if that trait will make him a bad cook. Accidents like car crashes will not faze him that much.
- he doesn't need to pay for health insurance, saves money because of that.
- loud music will not lead to hearing damage.
- no water poisoning from lead pipes or mold infections from poor housing. He can live in the most crooked unliveable house with no care in the world.
- Broken legs will not heal correctly and can end up crooked if not set right.
- shaving will not be a total entire nightmare. Little wounds would heal immediately.
- wouldn't his body be perfect for making antidotes? Inject any snake poison in him and his blood would be filled with antibodies.
Things I myself struggle to answer
- I don't know what kind of fear one would have, because you would be literally invincible. Things like snakes or great heights wouldn't feel that daunting. Perhaps something more based on fear of social rejection?
- hypothermia, how would that work with someone with super regeneration. Would a person be able to freeze to death? If that guy would turn into a popsicle, would unfreezing him turn him back to normal?
- if you splice the guy in two, will you be able to have two copies of him? (I thought that it would be convenient that only the biggest part will be able to regenerate, otherwise every single decapitated hand would grow into another guy)
- would cancer be a thing for a person with such superpowers? Cancer cells are part of your body and are basically an overactive infinitely replicating cell.
That plotline is something I haven't thought of before, hmmm.. it would definitely be interesting to have a path where one constantly has to hide from the government.
But the aging thing, that would be indeed nightmare fuel. I haven't put much thought in how he would be able to die of old age. In legal documents in the Netherlands you cannot put "death by old age" anymore. It has to be a more clearcut clinical reason. Shriveling up would also be very scary.
Hmm. All the implications are interesting, and this is a power I do like to see explored, but I'm at a loss for how you could handle it in a storygame. How on earth would you have any death endings? I guess the game could be 100% cave of time, but that's a lot of work for you.
By having no death endings. °-°
I'm still tinkering with the outline and mulling over it a lot, because I'm having a real struggle coming up with different endings to routes that all have equal emotional weight and carry the same theme. (The mc has so little self worth that he's a complete doormat in the beginning. Selflessness vs selfishness, self sacrifice.)
There was one where it would mainly focus on the underground mobster stuff, one focused on his backstory and one that's basically a love story. I just feel that the love story would have the strongest imagery and it is the main reason how I came up with the idea, but when outlining that part I just couldn't come up with many alternative paths. It's the same with the backstory path, but then with even less options.
The underground mobster part felt very generic and the love interest in that part doesn't have many clashing ideologies with the mc, but I could easily come up with many alternative paths and outcomes.
Normally outlining is the part that I did the quickest, but with this it had been a real slog. Some strong endings I thought of also didn't connect well (I had no clear road how one would end up like this).
100% cave of time stories, heh, yeah, wouldn't want to repeat that. Perhaps something with more delayed choices with limited branching would be better, but it would lessen the fun for a reread.