From my thread. Note: Since I have a Character Build thread, I kind of TRY to keep it to the standard stuff as much as possible, so unless something sounds ultra-egregious, I leave it be. Personally, I've considered running "Unimportant Skills" as 3 points per rank, and "Important Skills" (Accuracy-based stuff, Interaction Skills) as the standard 2/rank, but I wouldn't do that in my thread.
I have a few tiny alterations to the standard 3e Set-Up. I dislike totally rewriting or rewiring a well-made game to suit whatever purposes I have in mind, so nothing is very major.
-Investigation uses Awareness, not Intellect. The reason? Well, ASIDE from the fact that I used it that way for like seven years before someone pointed it out, and me refusing to edit EVERY BUILD EVER, I always figured it to mean "Deduction/Look For Clues/Reasoning" as opposed to a weird mish-mash of "CSI"-type skills combined with "how to get information out of people" (which should absolutely be Insight/Persuasion/Deception-related). It's weird that Reed Richards would have this insane natural bonus to something called "Investigation". It might have been simpler for me to type it out as "Expertise (Investigation)", but what the hell.
I must have read the Skill description at SOME point (though I often jump straight into building and leave the Skills as the "least-important" bit, so I'm not sure why I never caught the full description, or even looked at the Base-Stat for it (I KNOW I looked over all of the Base Stats for the Skills at SOME point, but obviously it didn't sink in).
-Expertise is a bit too expensive for some things. More pointless "job" oriented Skills like Cooking & Carpentry will be half-price (it will be noted in the bio), unless it's a world in which those are your only major attributes (generally non-Comic Book worlds).
-Expertise (Medicine) is merged with Treatment for similar "why'd they split THAT up?" reasons. If they're gonna double the cost of Skills, they should have checked whether or not it was worth it.
-Performance things like Acting & Music will use Presence as a modifier rather than Intellect. I think that's pretty normal.
-Things like Professional Sports will use either Dexterity or Agility as a modifier rather than Intellect. Golf & Baseball uses Dexterity, while Hockey, Football & Soccer are more Agility.
-I allow Flaws on Skills- I mean, you can buy Skills as an Enhanced Skills POWER, and put a Flaw on THAT, so why not? It fits for some things. I could technically just put this under "Powers", but it's less typing (and easier to read on the sheet) if you just put it under "Skills".
-Sometimes I'll give someone an uneven number of points for Skills, in order to make a half-point Power still come out to an even number on the final total. But only then. Very, VERY rarely does this come up.
-I charge a bit less for Languages- 1 point for a "few", 2 points for "a bunch", and 3 points for basically whatever you need. It's WAY too much to charge a guy just for speaking Japanese, AND it's nigh-impossible to accurately tell just HOW many languages any character knows- the writers just kind of assume they do or don't based off of the situation. And really- knowing every language automatically is a 6-point power. It's goofy to charge that much for the Language Advantage, even if it DOES double every time you buy a notch of it.
-Looking at the 3e Advantages list, they've left out a good handful from 2e's main Feats list, and ALL of what came with the 2e additional books- like the mass of Feats in Mecha & Manga
and Wizards & Warlocks
. Most of these I never really used, so that's okay, but I did enjoy some. So I "houseruled" in the more reasonable, enjoyable Feats from there to 3e-- Last Stand (spend an HP to ignore all Damage Conditions for one round) & Withstand Damage (Trade-Off Defense for Toughness- I would allow this for either Parry or Dodge). I've started stating what each one does in the build, because every 15 pages or so, somebody asks me
. Withstand Damage is so potentially unbalancing that I would instigate limits on it- maybe give up your Move Action, or have it only used as a Defend Action or something. Maybe only once or twice per fight or so.
-I used to use some of the other Feats from those books, but I've since dropped them. Some can be rather weird and/or unbalancing, and if I used them, I'd simply make them Benefits or something like it.
-All "Flat +1 Extras" are called "Feats" because it's stupid to change it to something more confusing. It reads more easily when you can see the small "Feats" listed ahead of the "Extras" to figure out the points cost.
-The Removable Flaw is a bit iffy: characters get a HUGE discount for something that's unlikely to happen often (how many times does Iron Man REALLY get left without his Armour in the comics? The players would rightly complain if they were constantly de-powered like this, as well). Therefore, I would argue that anyone using a Device should get that discount as always, but have to deal with the occasional Side-Effect of taking damage or other attacks- perhaps roll on a unique Table every time they fail a save by more than 5- roll randomly and maybe Iron Man's Boot Jets are disabled, or his Toughness is permanently lowered (a plate got knocked out of whack), or his Sensors go awry- maybe he even suffers a loss to his Accuracy or Defenses! Stuff like that keeps it interesting (as opposed to "Useless Human Tony"), while also being worth the Flaw.
-If I was GMing a game, I'd probably change the cost of some things (Communication would be cheaper- a RADIO is like 1 point; Concealment would be a LOT more expensive, especially Visually), but I'll leave them the same for the builds.
-"Split" isn't really the most useful Power Feat out there, as it thins out the damage you can do considerably, especially for melee weapons. I think to boost it up a bit, buying the "Split" Feat to paired weapons or something should require the enemy to Disarm or Smash your weapon TWICE in order for you to lose the full ability.
-Summon normally requires a +2 Extra to summon double the number of minions (+2 is 2 minions, +4 is 4, +6 is 8, +8 is 16, etc.). I use it the same way, but you can also use odd numbers if you want to summon a less-divisible number (+3 is 3 minions, +5 is 6, +7 is 12, +9 is 24, etc.).
"New Villain Stink": I would generally always assume that the first time you meet a villain, he's a lot more powerful. Their attacks are unknown, and their tactics a mystery, and so it's harder to fight them. This is REALLY accurate to the comics, where guys like Typeface can beat Spider-Man in their first meeting, yet slowly turn into recurring jokes over time. Similar things can be given to "New" characters looking to make a name for themselves, but I'd give this a more "the GM boosts their power" thing. Notice how badly The Shocker kicked Spider-Man's ass the first time they fought? Spidey couldn't lay a finger on him and got the hell beaten out of him. He even had to trick him to win (by webbing his thumbs away from his 'shock gloves')! Nowadays? The Shocker's a PL 9 guy at-best, and couldn't beat Spidey with four guys helping him.
Similarly, a guy in his debut will be trying REALLY hard, whereas other guys will just start half-assing it over time as they win less and less. In the end, their talents will LITERALLY drop since they put less effort into it.
Unfamiliar opponents might gain the same kind of boost (like how in Acts of Vengeance
, the villains thought it might give them an advantage. Never mind that the VILLAINS were fighting unfamiliar opponents, TOO...
Predictable Attacks: Something I added for my Fighting Game builds, but something I'd extend to actual superheroes, too- essentially, your accuracy lowers the more you use the same attack over and over again. This both makes sense (if Johnny Storm only throws out a standard Blast, eventually you're gonna know what's coming and move out of the way), and keeps players from defaulting to their maximum-powered attack, or just repeated Power Attacks. In this instance, I would consider the various Accuracy Modifiers (All-Out, Accurate, Defensive, Power Attack, etc.) to be different attacks for the purposes of this rule (I mean, martial artists ONLY HAVE unarmed attacks for the most part).
Re-Roll Failed Toughness Saves: In various games I've seen, this tends to be the use of a Hero Point about 75% of the time. I would reduce players to doing this once per fight, maximum. GMs, too.