Another good question that I heard discussed at Norwescon was raised by a GM whose game had developed such that one PC was significantly more powerful than the rest. I’ve heard this kind of thing discussed before by many gamers, often in a tone of disappointment or even frustration. The tone usually depends on which PC they happen to be playing.Some gamers call it the “MDC Problem.” This refers to Paladium’s Rifts universe where various classes or races are either made out of SDC (Standard Damage Capacity) points or MDC (Mega-Damage Capacity) points. The former being the substance of mortals and the later being the substance of gods. 1MDC = 100SDC, where that conversion works going from MDC to SDC, but not in the other direction. Basically, no matter how good a shot you are, your pistol will not hurt Zeus. The problem being that there is no game balance in place to give SDC classes/races anything to compensate for being on the same playing field as MDC classes/races. So one SDC bomb goes of killing all the SDC characters and the MDC characters don’t even notice. Another name for this phenomenon is “The Super Friends Problem.” This refers to the cartoon team of super heroes known as The Super Friends where you have Superman (flying, bullet proof, laser eyes, super strong, etc) teamed up with Aquaman, who is basically useless unless the bad guys decide to make their getaway on a boat. In any case the effect of this dynamic on a game is the same. Anything you throw at your group that would actually challenge Superman, will be completely beyond the power level of th rest of the party. More importantly, most of your Players are now sacrificing at least one night a week so they can hang out with you and feel pointless. I see two chief options for dealing with this and (big surprise) the process of determining which one to use should start with discussion of the situation with your Players. Unilateral GM decisions are almost always nothing more than a GM power trip and never improve any situation. So first step, either as a group or individually, talk to your Players about it. If Superman is amenable to making a change, it is possible to reduce his power artificially (known as “nerfing”) or artificially increasing the power (known as “buffing”) of the other PCs to even out the power differences. However, do not get your heart set on this option because in 90% of the cases I’ve observed or heard about the Player component of the Superman PC falls into one of two difficult to deal with categories. If you’re lucky they’re a power gamer (rules lawyer, min-maxer, twink, munchkin, choose your slang term) who will not wish to part with the power they feel they have “earned” or have their power reduced in relative value when the other PCs are given power they didn’t “earn”. I call this the “lucky” option because you can always start a new game and simply watch that player from now on to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Option two is that they are your significant other (this was the case for the Norwescon GM who raised the question) which means that *you* are the one who caused the situation. In this case, even if you artificially modify the power levels, it will only be a matter of time before you over reward them again. Unless, of course, you change your entire GMing style with regards to that Player which could be taken as an insult (relationships and whatnot). So in my opinion, nerfing or buffing isn’t the best choice. It is obviously artificial, abrupt, and usually results in one person now feeling relatively useless instead of everyone else feeling relatively useless. Some of the immersion of the game will be lost and you’ll probably still end up with at least one unhappy player. I think a better option would be to modify your game flow. What does that mean? Well, design your story to require several things to be done at once in several different locations. Send Superman to fend off meteor after meteor from hitting the planet while the rest of the team takes care of sneaking into the secret base and destroying the evil mastermind’s meteor attracting ray. Think about each of your PCs and what they’re good at and make sure that some part of every plot requires each PC to be useful in different situations and don’t be afraid to separate the party into more than one group. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have some enemies who like to lean on Superman’s weaknesses from time to time. I mean, of the team, he’s going to be the one with the big target on his back. That’s kind of the price of having power like that. Figure out different ways for enemies to exploit his weaknesses. Place him in peril on occasion (robots made out of kryptonite assaulting Metropolis or whatever). Don’t over use this or your power gamer/SO will start feeling picked on, but help them develop a healthy sense of gratitude for having the rest of their team around. Just want to mention again that if you have a current issue with your game, or if you had a past game that fell apart because of an issue, please hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org I promise I will do my best to help you and your game out!