Stranger abilities might allow the user (and sometimes their allies) to bypass defenses, mislead opponents, or to avoid notice. Some effects may not be patently obvious and can potentially be used in civilian guise. They can work through a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
Obscuring or altering the senses of others, including blinding, gas clouds, and holograms.
Affecting the target's mind to distract or debilitate, using things like hallucinations and perception filters.
Allowing the user to disable, deny or repossess enemy equipment (and objects in general).
Granting invisibility, stealth or different forms of camouflage.
Imitating others in appearance, voice and mannerisms.
Stranger powers are result of a trigger event involving a threat to emotional and mental security or social or collective pressure, often with a focus on unwanted attention. This attention can be from individuals, groups, or even the world itself.
Stranger triggers often have a great deal of overlap with other categories: Masters and Changers in particular tend to find parallels with Strangers. On the other hand, the Brute-Stranger combination is a rare one: unwanted attention and personal bodily harm don’t necessarily accommodate each other, and when they do the trigger event generally doesn't lean toward a Brute rating.
"If I wanted to argue the point further, it'd look like I didn't trust Tattletale."
This section is based on material from unfinished Weaver Dice documents that may not be canon to the world of Parahumans.
The most common classifications paired with Strangers are Master and Changer. The Master-Stranger combination is often based around controlling or influencing others, using things like emotion control or body puppeteering, while Changer-Strangers are often those whose powers involve changing one’s physical appearance, mimicking others, or using an altered shape to slip in where an ordinary person couldn’t get.Breaker-Strangers are also not uncommon, although the resulting power are highly varied: It tends to involve the alternate state enabling a Stranger effect.
From the perspective of the entities, Strangers stand as a mark opposite to Tinkers. Where Tinkers are created to study powers in more depth, Stranger powers tend to be a vehicle or an angle for lesser powers or fully researched powers to be used in a more effective way and serve particular purposes, or to collect data on psychology.
Because the entities have no great use for these powers, the Stranger powers are often incidental, more the result of the individual using their powers a certain way than a plan of the entities.
↑Stranger (Powers related to stealth, infiltration and subterfuge.) - Attention of a group/individual threatens emotional/mental security (vs. physical, which would be more blaster). Almost inverse of Master, but not opposite - very possible and common for there to be overlap (often creating a more influential sort of master/stranger cross). - Weaver Dice: Rulebook (Old Version)
↑ 3.03.1Stranger - Powers specializing in infiltration, distraction, subtlety.
Strangers gain powers from unwanted attention or social/collective pressure. - WD Rulebook: Character Creation
↑Stranger-type capes were classified that way due to their capabilities in stealth and subterfuge. Valefor was more the latter. He wasn’t stealthy, exactly, but his ability to perpetrate subterfuge was devastating. - Excerpt from Imago 21.3
↑Blind Effect - Striker/blaster power applies blindness, while doing little to no damage. - Detail Generator - LIST, spreadsheet by Wildbow.
↑The core idea with the power is that a Shaker effect is delivered, but the result is Stranger-ish. Area effect coverage with individuals affected, distractions, or avenues for entry. Examples include perception altering gas clouds, forcefield constructs that help provide cover or mislead pursuers, and area-effect gravity tilts that allow alternate forms of approach/access. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Powers in a Tinker-Stranger combination will have a specialty that has some Stranger applications. Examples include cloaking, phasing, hologram technology or emotion altering technology. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Hallucinate - Generate frightening images that are destroyed by observation. Images lurk around corners and in low-light areas, dealing temporary damage/wounds to foes. - Detail Generator - LIST, spreadsheet by Wildbow.
↑ 16.016.1Changer-stranger powers often involve changing one’s physical appearance, mimicking others, or using altered shape to slip in where an ordinary person couldn’t get. The stranger and changer aspects thus blend together seamlessly (for much this reason, the changer category is sometimes referred to as shifter, an old designation for this specific eventuality). - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Nuisance - Gain increased stats and passive benefits (ie. regeneration, or enhanced movement types) when unobserved, can identify when opponents are otherwise occupied. Striking opponents delivers a status effect in addition to standard effects. - Detail Generator - LIST, spreadsheet by Wildbow.
↑Stranger triggers tend to go hand in hand with unwanted attention. This can be singular or from the world as a collective. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Stranger triggers tend to go hand in hand with unwanted attention. This can be singular or from the world as a collective. There is obviously a great deal of overlap between these powers and others, as a result. Masters and Changers in particular tend to find parallels with Strangers. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑The Brute-Stranger combination is rare, given that unwanted attention and personal bodily harm don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, and when they do they tend to take other forms than Brute. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Changer-strangers are, alongside master-strangers, perhaps the most common pairing. The powers are often complementary and the triggers themselves fold into one another nicely - strangers come about from an excess of attention, and changers come about from a crisis of identity, often from the rest of the world impugning on the individual’s sense of self, which rarely comes without some level of unwanted attention. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Powers in a Master-Stranger combination are often based around controlling or influencing others, though a niche may have self-duplication utilizing the duplications as distractions. Emotion control, body puppeteering, and the ability to inflict prosopagnosia on enemies and sow dissension in the ranks would fall in this category. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑Not uncommon, given that both types of trigger tend to touch on abstracts and unusual sorts of harm can include scenarios where the individual is facing unwanted attention. Such a trigger would either involve an audience or observer while the harm took place or the abstract harm is driven home by a concerted effort and fixation on the part of the other party. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑The breaker state in this case enables the Stranger effect. The options here are too varied to name, but tend to involve toggling the state, often with a cost, but is stronger than it would be without the breaker state. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑The entities don’t actually have a great use for this kind of cape, so it tends to be a vehicle or angle for lesser powers or fully researched powers to be used in a more effective way and serve particular purposes, or to collect data on psychology. It stands as a marked opposite to tinkering in this respect, where the powers are being investigated in more depth. In many cases, the Stranger element is incidental, more about the direction the individual goes than about the plan of the entities. - STRANGERS, document by Wildbow.
↑ 27.027.127.227.327.427.5Full ‘eyes on’ is SOP where possible. Other safeguards include indiscriminate fire and high priority targeting. Threat level 2+: Team is notified as to stranger classification. Areas may be secured and ‘taped’, to track movement through doors or windows. Passwords in effect. Threat level 5+: Constant communication between every team member and a relay in the operations room is implemented, complete with passwords and personal passwords. Threat level 9+: Nonlethal shoot-on-sight implemented for anyone who goes ‘dark’ for any period of time. - PRT Master Reference - Classifications - Stranger
↑“Focus,” Prefab said. “We know who these three are. We’ve got a
Mover-shaker six, a blaster-shaker four, and a master-stranger three.” - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑If the Prince was the master-stranger hybrid, and Bambina the mover-shaker, then that left the blaster power to Starlet. - Excerpt from Drone 23.2
↑If there's intent behind the action, you can't do it any more than if you were shoving him into an open fire. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑ 31.031.1◈ BLISTER; Louis Villarreal Classification: Master/Stranger Forms subtle bulges of warped space; bulges ‘pop’ on approach, revealing duplicates of Blister. - WD Helena, document by Wildbow.
↑Question by pendia: What would Circus's hammer space be classified as? Answer by Wildbow: Stranger - Conversation on reddit.
↑The ones I knew about were some minor pyrokinesis, the ability to
deposit items into thin air, to retrieve those items just as easily, and greatly enhanced coordination and balance to round off the package. - Excerpt from Tangle 6.7
↑For an instant, she was in four places at once. Then she settled on three.
It struck me that I’d never fared particularly well against stranger-class powers.
“If it helps,” I said, “I’m pissed. The Doctor called you the Custodian, which probably means you’re the one taking care of this place. If you’re not completely emotionless, it hurts, that they’re tearing it apart. If you care about the doctor, I’m betting you’re worried. Maybe you feel like I do. You want to retaliate, but something is getting in your way-” - Excerpt from Venom 29.4
↑I could sense more movements in the air, close… no. That was a result of Lung’s fire heating the air.
Further down the hall. If I use enough bugs, try to get a sense of dimensions…
A head, part of a torso. I could feel the contours of narrow shoulders, the waist. Female.
She disappeared, or she became less coherent, the movements in the air continuing, but ceasing to suggest a general human shape. Another appeared behind us, roughly as far away. No arms, no legs. Just a broken figure. - Excerpt from Venom 29.4
↑ 36.036.1“And this second group, The Pure, is the second offshoot of that Aryan group, I take it?”
“Small but powerful. Their leader, Purity, is a Blaster 8 and Mover 4.”
“Yeah, there’s a Breaker 9, a Shifter 8 with Stranger 3 and a Master 6 in that group? I buy that they’re powerful.” - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.1
↑Fog is (like many breakers) a sub-class shaker, in that his breaker power has a shaker (and stranger) side effect (the broad cloud of semisolid fog he generates). Much like Shadow Stalker. You can see 9.1 for brief mention of these breaker sub-classes, I think. - Queen 18.5, comment by Wildbow.
↑ 38.038.1I have a slightly different take on Breakers than I did as I wrote that part & the comment. The story itself is unchanged because you can effectively flip the two characters around, but I'd call Night a breaker and Fog a Changer (or call them both breakers, depending). I've also left it as is with the idea that the PRT are always going to be a bit wobbly with classifications (and especially numbers) given the lack of complete information they have. - Excerpt from a comment on Reddit by Wildbow.
↑Fog, Geoff Schmidt – Has the ability to partially or wholly become a living mist, with solidity varying depending on his wishes and the ability to erode living matter. - Cast (In Depth)
↑He nodded. “Well enough. There’s no risk in letting them near Saint. Imp is a stranger-five, Canary is a master eight, but I would be very, very surprised if she had taken control of anyone here for the purposes of misleading us or breaking Saint out.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.2
↑Her power renders her unnoticeable, to the point that people she attacks don’t remember she attacked them. - Cast (In Depth)
↑ 43.043.1Secondary powers of sound detection and sound manipulation, adjusting select things to be up to twice as loud or absolutely silent. It gave him a stranger classification, a thinker classification.His third power was a mover power. - Excerpt from Venom 29.6
↑ 44.044.1Miasma was a stranger, invisible and undetectable but for an odorless gas he gave off that wore away at other’s minds, causing headaches, ringing in the ears, watery eyes and eventual blindness, memory loss and coma. - Excerpt from Sting 26.5
↑Can transform into an inhuman creature with enhanced speed and strength and a nigh-invincible exterior, but only when unobserved by conventional sight. - Cast (In Depth)
↑“Othello’s a stranger,” Tattletale said. “I’d think he has an imaginary friend who can mess around with us, but I didn’t see any sign of anyone invisible walking around.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.1
↑“He has a mirror self,” she said. “Who walks in a world very similar to this one. This self has a limited ability to affect our world, and can’t be affected by us. Othello can push himself into that other world to bring his other self into ours, and vice versa. One leaves, the other enters. It looks very much like teleportation or invisibility. It isn’t.” - Excerpt from Imago 21.4
↑“Psychosoma,” I reported. “Stranger four, master seven. First squad, get guns trained on him, everyone else, scan the area. Master protocols. Confirm everything.” - Excerpt from Sting 26.5
↑Golem was panting as he rested on the ground. Psychosoma’s monsters emerged from the smoke, one using the same ledges he’d created to
descend, the other crawling on the outside of the building. Homeless, to look at them, twisted into monstrous shapes. False shapes. He could deal enough damage and break the effect, and they’d be human again, unhurt. - Excerpt from Interlude 26a
↑ “Clockblocker and Vista are your best assets. Clockblocker is a Striker 7 with touch-based time-stopping. Vista is a Shaker 9. Large scale spatial distortion.”
“Geez louise. The others?”
“Kid Win is a Tinker 4. Guns and antigravity devices, primarily. Shadow Stalker is more ambiguous. Breaker 3, sublabels are Stranger 2, Mover 1. Her particular nature as a ‘breaker’ makes her superlight, semi-gaseous, transparent and capable of passing through solid surfaces.” - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.1
↑Capable of shifting herself into a ‘shadow state’, she can pass through walls, is lightweight, and passes these benefits on to her equipment, including shots fired by her crossbow bolts. - Cast (In Depth)
↑ 52.052.1➥ SPLOOSH; Real name unknown Disposition: Villain (B) Classification: Shaker 6/Blaster 4/Brute 6/Mover 5/Stranger 2 Last known location: Anchorage Sploosh is a subordinate in the Anchorage faction of Tuurngait. Apparent crimes include assault and murder. Sploosh takes the form of a living being of condensation, drawing all available, airborne or liquid moisture to him and reshaping himself as he wills. Solidity (so to speak; he varies between mist and a gel-like liquid form) varies from moment to moment. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑ 53.053.1“Wanton,” Tecton said, stressing the pronounciation, “Is a breaker-stranger class cape. He can turn into a localized telekinetic storm. - Excerpt from Queen 18.5
↑The Wards, their powers, how to use them? I thought. If I went by the PRT classifications, Tecton was a tinker with shaker capabilities. Wanton was a breaker, someone who altered themselves or their relation to the world by some characteristic of his power, becoming a shaker effect, a telekinetic storm. Annex was the same, only he became a living spacial distortion effect, a living application of Vista’s power. Golem, no doubt a shaker. - Excerpt from Crushed 24.1