So I've talked a bit about this before, but it came up again with my players last night as we talked about our first Supers20 characters:
I am not doing anything to balance supers against normals in Supers20.
Ok, maybe nothing is a strong word. Supers will be spending all the same resources as normals, for different things.
There are no power points added into the mix in Supers20.
Your powers are, well, powered, by the Power Level feat.
The powers themselves? Feats.
You also will find ranks in the Power Control skill (posted earlier) handy, and power stunts are now perks.
To illustrate this with a comics example, Superman is spending all his feats, a good chunk of his skill points, and all his perks on his powers.
Batman is a very high level Modern20 character, already a pretty frightening and cinematic type, who might have a few "invisible" powers, such as Superhuman Dexterity, as well as some tech-based abilities, but basically, he's a modern20 character.
And the game gives him no special merit badge-style bennie for eschewing the flashy shit like Time Control or Flight or Energy Blast.
When my players got that "he's gone over the deep end again" look they give each other, my first question made them think I was REALLY nuts:
Does it matter?
Batman couldn't take Superman in the comics (he couldn't, FUCK YOU Frank Miller, your little kryptonite-powered battlesuit was the dumbest fucking story ever).
And he couldn't take him in Modern20.
People LOVE Batman in the comics.
Why do they need "power parity" in Modern20? Will not being able to have a 50% chance to beat up a fellow player matter?
In my mind, it shouldn't.
The skills guy (like Batman), should be just as valuable to a group in different ways. We're playing the Justice League, not a solo book.
And again, I'm not sure it's a problem anyway.
If you were to make a 300 point skill-based character in Hero, he would not be able to take out a 300 point min-maxed power blaster.
Of course, I also removed some of the artificial limitations Blood and Vigilance imposed on normals. They had artificial caps on ability scores supers didn't.
In short, Supers20 handles the question of origin and balance the same way Hero does. Your origin is pure backstory, totally in the hands of the GM and player. Your powers are your business. Anything goes within the rules.
By contrast, Blood and Vigilance took a more Marvel Superheroes approach, with origin affecting your character like race in D&D.
So for right now, I'm tentatively ok with leaving things as they are.
Powers might be flashy, but they're a choice, a niche.
Skills are also a niche.