A question on RPG.net for the poster’s birthday got me thinking about high-powered games and how to make them feel different from more down-to-earth ones. The answer I came up with:
Being able to ignore damage can really have this effect for me. I played the brick in a Marvel SAGA game and could routinely shrug off non-superpowered attacks and a lot of super-attacks as well - taking no damage while everyone else dodged never got old. I’ve played other superhero games where I’ve had highly capable characters in other fields, but in a game of frequent brawling this really did feel different.
Automatic successes are another way, especially in games with critical failure. Rolling a ton of dice can be fun, but no longer needing to roll can be too.
Both of these remove some uncertainty from the game, and knowing the PC can do something can be a real boost to confidence.
Maybe this comes from all the times I’ve had the dice mess up a character’s defining abilities at just the wrong moment...