Powers (DC Universe Supplement)

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DC Universe
Campaign Setting

Game Masters: For Information on using Powers in your campaign, click here.

The DC Universe features characters with superhuman, supernatural, or paranormal abilities, often referred to as "superpowers" (also spelled "super powers" or super-powers"). Below is a list of many of those that have been known to be used. Some of these categories overlap.


Inhuman nature[edit]

The character is some type of non-human or partially human being, such as an alien, werewolf, vampire or demon, for whom superhuman capabilities are normal.

Object-based powers[edit]

Powers derived from objects (also known as artifacts), such as armor, jewelry, weapons, and wands.


These powers are a direct result of some form of either induced evolution or natural selection in humans beings, usually manisfested during adolescent puberty when other mental and bodily adaptations take place.


Examples of methods by which a character generates an effect.

Energy sourcing[edit]

Ability to draw power from large or small but abundant sources of energy, such as turning kinetic energy into physical blasts or converting solar energy into other forms. Sometimes based on proximity to source, sometimes stored for future use.


Many characters in martial arts gain superhuman capabilities by learning to harness ki or some other form of vital energy. This type of method generally provides extraordinary strength, speed, durability and reflexes. Also often used for superhuman awareness, energy blasts, elemental powers and sometimes resistance to fatalities.

Magical powers[edit]

Ability to use magical forces to varying degrees. Often used to simulate other powers, such as mind control and elemental attacks.

  • Supernatural

Not all "magical" superpowers are actually supernatural, but are based on alternate or futuristic "science" which is unexplainable. Mxyzptlk's abilities, for instance, rely on a set of physics different from our dimension's.


Ability to manipulate technology. Manifested as a special form of electrical/telekinetic manipulation, a special form of morphing which allows physical interaction with machines, or even a special form of ESP that allows for mental interface with computer data.


Ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind, often in ways not visible to the naked eye.


Superpower manipulation[edit]

This section refers to the ability to manipulate superpowers themselves, not "power" such as electrical power or gravitational power.

Power bestowal[edit]

Ability to bestow powers or jump-start latent powers.

Power mimicry or absorption[edit]

Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills.

Power negation[edit]

Ability to cancel the superpowers of others.

Power sensing[edit]

Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers.

Personal physical powers[edit]

Powers which affect a physical person's body.

Accelerated healing[edit]

Ability to heal rapidly from any injury; the rate of recovery varies from character to character. Can sometimes result in the slowing of aging.

Acid generation[edit]

Ability to generate acid, can be manifested through touch or as a spray.

Animal mimicry[edit]

Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals.

Biological manipulation[edit]

Ability to control all aspects of a living creature's biological make-up. This includes, but is not limited to, genetic alterations, physical distortion/augmentations, healing, disease, and biological functions.

Body part substitution[edit]

Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another.

Bone manipulation[edit]

Ability to manipulate the bones in one's own body. This includes, but is not limited to, the generation of new bone mass, projecting bones out from the skin or rearranging one's own bones.


Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself.

Temporal duplication[edit]

Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.


Ability to determine location of items in the environment by use of reflected sound waves, whether generated by the character or ambient sound. Also known as sonar or radar sense.


Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye.


Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical damage.

Kinetic absorption[edit]

Ability to absorb forms of kinetic energy into oneself and convert it into physical strength.

Matter ingestion[edit]

Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user.


Ability to temporarily merge two beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being.

Pheromone manipulation[edit]

Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects.

Poison generation[edit]

Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects.

Prehensile/animated hair[edit]

Ability to animate and lengthen one's hair.

Reactive adaptation/evolution[edit]

Ability to develop a resistance or immunity to whatever they were injured by or exposed to. This effect can be permanent or temporary.

Self-detonation or explosion[edit]

Ability to explode one's body mass and reform.

Sonic scream[edit]

Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human.

Superhuman breath[edit]

Ability to inhale/exhale with superhumanly powerful lungs. This can range from exhaling on par with a giant fan's wind current to inhalation on par with the power of a gravitational vortex.

Superhuman durability[edit]

Ability to have a higher resistance to one or more forms of damage before being injured.

Superhuman reflexes[edit]

Ability to react faster than a normal human.

Superhuman senses[edit]

Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal human.

Superhuman strength[edit]

Ability to have a level of physical strength much higher than that possible by any human.

Superhuman vision[edit]

Ability to see better than normally possible.

Night vision[edit]

Ability to see clearly in darkness.

X-ray vision[edit]

Ability to see through solid objects.

Telescopic or microscopic vision[edit]

Ability to magnify vision to various levels.


Ability to cling to objects or surfaces by a variety of means. Often related to animal mimicry.


Ability to respirate through water in lieu of a gaseous medium. Not to be confused with an ability to go without breathing or to be able to breathe an alternate air supply.

Mental faculty and knowledge-based abilities[edit]

Innate capability[edit]

Ability to naturally have skills and/or knowledge typically earned through learning.


Ability to understand any form of language, a natural polyglot. This can be accomplished in various ways.


Ability to know anything and everything.

Superhuman intelligence[edit]

Ability to have intelligence far above that of a genius level.


The abilities of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and communication.

Astral projection[edit]

Ability to separate and control one's astral body.

Cross-dimensional awareness[edit]

Ability to detect actions and events in other dimensions. This is occasionally used in comics as an awareness of the fourth wall between the characters and the artist or audience.


Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others.


Ability to see and communicate with the dead (ghost]s).


Ability to perceive the future. It may be expressed in vague dreams while asleep, other times it can be clear and can occur at will. It may also be used as a form of "Danger sense" to show the user that they are being threatened and from what direction it is coming from.


Ability to relate details about the past or future condition of an object, person or location, usually by being in close contact with it.


Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others.

Domination and mind control[edit]

The ability to alter the perceptions of others, and general ability to control the actions of others with the mind.

Astral trapping[edit]

Ability to cause an astral projection to stay on the astral plane, usually in one specific place.

Memory manipulation[edit]

Ability to erase or enhance the memories of another.


Ability to take control of another person's body via astral projection or mind transfer.

Psionic blast[edit]

Ability to overload another's mind causing pain, memory loss, loss of consciousness, vegetative state or death after having created a psionic link into that person's mind.

Psychic weapons[edit]

Ability to create a weapon of psychic energy that can harm mentally and not physically.

Manipulate fundamental forces or reality[edit]

These powers may be manifested by various methods, including: by some method of molecular control; by access to, or partially or fully shifting to another dimension; by manipulating the geometric dimensions of time or space; or by some other unnamed method.


Ability to bring inanimate objects to life or to free a person from petrification.

Darkness or shadow manipulation[edit]

Ability to create or manipulate darkness, often by mentally accessing a dimension of dark energy, the Shadowlands, and manipulating it.

Density control[edit]

Ability to increase or decrease the natural density of an object and/or one's self.


Ability to disintegrate matter through touch or through beams.

Elemental transmutation[edit]

The ability to alter chemical elements, changing them from one substance to another by rearranging the atomic structure. May be limited to self-transmutation.

Gravity manipulation[edit]

Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions.


Ability to live forever. This may be complete immortality encompassing invulnerability, partial invulnerability to all but specific events (i.e. decapitation or exposure to a specific chemical such as kryptonite), the ability to die but become resurrected, or simply an inability to age normally.

Intangibility or phasing[edit]

Ability to phase through solid matter without harm.

Light manipulation[edit]

Ability to control, generate or absorb photons (particles of light).

Magnetism manipulation[edit]

Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields.

Mass manipulation[edit]

Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object or person.

Molecular manipulation[edit]

Ability to mentally manipulate the molecules of objects and/or one's self on a molecular level.

Probability manipulation[edit]

Ability to alter probability, causing unlikely things to happen or likely things to not happen.

Radiation manipulation[edit]

Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation.

Reality warping[edit]

Ability to change or manipulate reality itself.

Sound manipulation[edit]

Ability to manipulate sound waves.

Time manipulation[edit]

Ability to affect the flow of time by slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping it.

Classical elements[edit]

Ability to control or manipulate the classical elements.

Air and wind manipulation[edit]

Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind.

Cold and ice manipulation[edit]

Ability to reduce the kinetic energy of atoms and thus reduce temperature, can be used to control, generate, or absorb ice.

Earth manipulation[edit]

Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or minerals.

Plant manipulation[edit]

Ability to control, manipulate or animate all forms of plant life.

Electric manipulation[edit]

Ability to control, generate or absorb electrical fields.

Fire and heat manipulation[edit]

Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire.

Water and moisture manipulation[edit]

Ability to control, generate or absorb water.

Weather manipulation[edit]

Ability to control or mentally affect the weather. This includes the ability to generate various natural phenomena (rain, tornadoes, lightning, ocean currents, etc.) or control the intensity of the weather.

Energy manipulation[edit]

These powers deal with energy generation, conversion and manipulation. In addition to generic energy, versions of these powers exist that deal with such things as light, sound, electricity, nuclear energy, and the Darkforce dimension.

Concussion beams[edit]

Ability to generate or transform various forms of energy into a "solid" or concussive beam of energy.

Energy blasts[edit]

Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body.

Energy constructs[edit]

Ability to create complex shapes (such as giant boxing gloves or cages) or even functional machinery (such as fire extinguishers or laser rifles) out of solid energy.

Energy conversion[edit]

Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy.

Force field generation[edit]

Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy.

Transportation or travel[edit]

Dimensional transportation[edit]

Ability to create wormholes, portation "discs" or other spatial portals for transport between two non-adjacent locations

Electrical transportation[edit]

Ability to travel through electrical conduits (such as power lines, or telephone lines). Can enter through devices such as televisions, electrical poles or computers.


Ability to be present anywhere and everywhere always.


Ability to summon objects or beings for assistance.

Superhuman speed[edit]

Ability to move at speeds much faster than a normal human.


Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between.

Time travel[edit]

Ability to travel back and forth through time.


The following powers could be manifested in any number of ways.


Ability to lift off the ground, to ride air currents or to fly self-propelled through the air. Different forms of flight include:

Energy propulsion methods[edit]

Cosmic energy control
Energy aura projection
Gravitational manipulation
Magnetic levitation
Molecular manipulation
Sonic repulsion field
Telekinetic power
Thermo-chemical energy

Physical propulsion methods[edit]

  • Insectoid form
  • Wind current control
  • Wings


Ability to alter or deceive the perceptions of another. Can be sensory, a light or sound-based effect, or an alteration of mental perceptions.


Ability to change appearance or body structure.

Types of shapeshifting include:

  • Animal morphing: Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form.
  • Elasticity: Ability to stretch, deform, expand or contract one's body into any form they can imagine.
  • Inorganic: Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties.
  • Liquification: Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid.
  • Size shifting: Ability to increase or decrease one's size.
  • Sublimation: Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form.
  • Transformation: Ability to transform into substance touched.

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