Super weaknesses like Kryptonite aren’t just for the superhero. They can be used in places other than combat to encourage roleplaying and add new life to your superhero game. When a character has a super weakness, the first thing that a gamemaster needs to realize is that for a superbeing, this is a condition that is no different from heart arrythmia or diabetes. While the cure for the so-called disease may be impossible or nigh-unattainable, a trip to the doctor may net the hero more information about himself than he previously thought possible.
1) The Doctor NPC. This can be a useful tool for the GM if the hero regularly sees a doctor. If the hero has super powers and a secret identity, he might wish to avoid regular medical checkups. If he has a separate doctor for his super identity, his doctor may know more about him than he does. This can lead to the doctor becoming a supervillain, the doctor’s records being stolen by the characters enemies, etc. But the longer the hero avoids the doctor, the more this might concern his fellow supers.
2) The PC Doctor: This can be useful too, especially if the characters DON’T know each other’s identities. Properly roleplayed, this could generate a lot of laughs around a table.
3) The Injured Hero: When the characters take one of these super-weakness characters to a physician, one should be sure to inform the physician of the super weakness of the character. A long time ago, in a distant game that I never played, my friend’s character was brutally crippled by a lethal supervillain attack. Unable to determine the cause of his affliction, they went to a nearby superteam for help. The hero was vulnerable to anti-matter, and the NPC doctor, designed before the character was ever built….?
Anti-Mistress. That’s right. Needless to say, the character died on the operating table. And no one knew why.
Doctors are a part of the superhero gameworld. When a hero is injured, sometimes it is necessary to bring him to a doctor who’s never seen his like before. “Well, let me open him up with this industrial laser!” This may ilicit struggles with the doctor over what the best way to deal with the super-affliction, be it weakness or an engineered super-disease.
When a character develops a new illness, somehow related to his powers, that trip to the doctor can be more than just a reason for points on a character sheet or some sort of weakness. It can also be the gateway to a fascinating world of roleplaying…