Ok, the Holy Grail of roleplaying. This is an attempt at a superhero rpg that actually works, and is not a shopping list of powers to choose from. I am attempting to create a superhero game that is fast and exciting as the turn of a page!
Ok, so the basics. To begin with their are no list of specific powers as such, but power suits. So a character may have Elemental Manipulation as a power suit, or The power cosmic. Within that, they may acquire individual stunts, such as rock blast, or cosmic flight. They may a lot of these as the game progresses, but they are all based in the characters power suits. Each Power suit has a value from 1 to 5, which is added to card draws using that suit (usual no dice rules)- the bigger the effect you want, the higher the draw total needs to be. If you have a power stunt, then add 1 more to the draw. Now since this is a superhero game, the range of abilities can be vast - It would not, say, be possible for a regular human to win at an armwrestling contest against a certain green-skinned giant. So I introduce the concept of Power Classes:
Class X: This is reserved for cosmic beings and gods
Class A: This reserved for the champions of earth
Class B: This is reserved for most city-based supers
Class C: This is reserved for low-powered masked men
Class D: This is reserved for regular human beings
When attempting anything opposed an opponent, both targets make a draw and add a relevant power suit and stunt. The more powerful character, in an uneven match, adds 5 to their total for each class difference. If you draw a Queen, that counts as a 15. if you draw a Jack it counts as -5. Class X, however, is in an entirely different level of ability - Class X powers will always succeed at tests made against weaker foes. The result is usually pretty messy.
The Scarlet Tarantula, supervillain, is attempting to strike a swat team member. Scarlet tarantula has the power suit of Giant Mutated Spider Form B3, with the stunt Arachnid Kick. The Host draws a card (a 7) and adds 4 for his power and stunt, and adds a further 10 for his superior power class, for a grand total of 21. The poor swat guy has some training (Swat training D4), but draws a Queen! Thats a grand total of 19! The Scarlet Tarantula manages to land a blow, just, but somehow, despite the odds, the Swat member isnt swatted across the city as he was expecting!
When deciding on a campaign, you should determine the default class for each power, C for a masked avenger pulp game, B for a standard street level supers game, A for a worlds finest type campaign, or X for a truly cosmic level game.