The first change is flattening out the dice curve. In any interaction between characters the acting character has a Difficulty of receiving characters action stat (Dex/Int/Infl) +3. The test is a d6 added to the acting characters action stat, if they meet or exceed the Difficulty they have connected. This means between equally matched characters they will connect 66% of the time. It’s a little high, but there’s a reason for that.
If they rolled higher than their difficulty the Excess can be added to their Effect stat (Str/Will/Aura). Subtract from that the targets Resistance stat (Body/Mind/Spirit) and that tells you the Outcome. It is entirely possible that the outcome will be 0 or less. Most of the time Negative numbers don’t matter. If you end up with a positive Outcome you did something. If it’s a binary exchange, Yes/No question then any positive Outcome means the acting character succeeded. If it’s not, the target’s Resistance Pool (which starts equal to their Resistance Stat but can go up or down) drops by the Outcome, and if it drops to 0 or less the target can’t fight any more – they’ve been knocked out, been completely outmatched in the game of riddles or have totally conceded the argument. The Resistance stat stays constant when actually, ya’know, resisting.
This is why the chance to connect is higher than the normal 50% in a matched competition – because in an entirely matched competition it requires a superior roll to have any effect. If both opponents in a fistfight have 4 Dexterity, 4 Strength and 4 Body then an attack that connects with exactly what it needs will still do no damage (4 Strength – 4 Body = 0 Outcome). I’m entirely comfortable with that as a story element, especially with the super-hero ideas of carrier attacks, but in want to weight things towards an outcome because I want to privilege action over defense.
Second, characters do have Hero Points, and can spend 1 to temporarily boost any stat, power or skill by 3 points. Their Hero Point pool is based on how powerful they are in other ways – the more powerful your hero is, the fewer you have. It is also possible to have negative hero points, which the GM can spend to mess with your hero in various ways. This is why Superman always has additional complications in an Earth 1 Justice League adventure – he’s got a lot of negative hero points for the villains to burn. Those negative hero points can be bonuses to the opponents scores, but they’re more often plot devices to slow, distract or briefly incapacitate the hero.
The third area for changes are the scores and their meanings. Change the weight curve so it starts at 12.5 and not 50 lbs. Now normal humans have a Strength of 3 (lift up to 100 lbs without an extra effort roll) or 4 (200 lbs without a roll) and a maximum of 6 (800 without a roll). With viable scores from 2 to 6 we have a 5 point range for ‘human’ adventurers, the minimum I like to see. This is what I had for the Legion pastiche, because that setting wasn’t full of Batman costumed adventurer solo heroes. Here I need to push things a little further for attributes that are Strength or Body. Let’s see….
# Level Description
1 Child Uncoordinated, lift 25 lbs, very easily hurt.
Limited language and reasoning, easily confused.
Looses cool, quickly upset or overwhelmed.
2 Teenager Gangly, lift 50 lbs, easily hurt.
Not a lot of intellectual experience, can lose track of arguments.
Wears emotions on sleeve, easily manipulated
3 Typical Adult basic coordination, lift 100 lbs, basic defenses
High school education, work through problems to basic solutions
Can carry on persuasive discussions and resist temptations.
4 Good Adult Athletic, can use superior coordination and musculature to good effect, 200 lb lift.
Advanced education in arts/sciences, can apply broader knowledge to problems.
Charismatic, good listener, natural salesman or entertainer
5 Excellent Highly trained, 400 lb lift,
Post graduate education in arts and sciences plus broad reading and studying.
Highly charismatic, natural born star or politician
6 Remarkable In top physical training, Olympian. 800 lb lift.
Multiple post graduate degrees
Now we get into ‘Hell, this person is superhuman, or may as well be if we had a way to measure it’. To get to here you are sixteen times better than a normal person in what are pretty broad categories. In the areas we can measure (that is to say Physical ones) a 7 is at the very least borderline superhuman and for our purposes only exists for extreme levels of physical training. The definition of a 7 is ‘are you better than the Batman but still human?’, and you should only be so in one stat. I could broaden things past 7 for the mental stats being still high end human up to 9, but I don’t want to. I’d rather than a clear distinction and then let people buy up skills. Of course Lex Luthor is superhumanly smart. Kobra is superhumanly charismatic.
7 Borderline Super absolute top reflexes, lift up to 1600 lbs, almost impossible to hurt with a punch
multiple doctoral degrees across differing fields
Magnetic personality backed with training in diplomacy, elocution and psychology
8/9 Low Super Physically superhuman, lift 1.5-3 tons, bulletproof skin
Natural genius in multiple fields
endlessly charismatic, backed with supernatural power
10 Superhuman Aquaman level Physicality
11 Superhuman Wonder Woman level Spirituality
12 Superhuman Wonder Woman level Physicality
13 Superhuman Green Lantern level willpower, Zatanna level aura and spirit
17 Superhuman Superman level durability
18 Superhuman Superman level strength
Fourth up, skills. Skills are the key way to get past these limits. Skill ratings are as follows:
4 Casual interest
5 Serious hobby, just starting profession
6 Basic professional
7 Established professional
8 Noted professional
9 Renowned professional
10 Famed professional, top 500 in world
11 Top 100 in the world - if you’re selling yourself as an expert X you’re probably here.
12 Top 10 in the world
13 Best in world – If your whole shtick is being the best in the world, well, here’s your spot.
14 Best in world history
16 Best in galaxy
18 Best in galactic history