This one came to me when I was playing with my kids. My two mobile sons are 4 and 2 years old. We were chasing a ball around and chasing each other. I would go as a pace that would allow them to get to the ball or me, and sometimes I would stay just out of their reach. They had a blast until dad got heat exhaustion and needed to sit down. During my heat induced coma I came upon a thought. I am a super hero to my kids. I am naturally stronger and faster than them and I hold back so that they can keep up. At any moment I could leave them in the dust, but I hold back. Kinda like how a super has to keep it slow whenever they are around normals. The thing that makes supers super is that they are better than the majority. They can do things that the regular populace can’t. Now comes the twist.
What if the world consisted of people that were very fragile? Their bones are more fragile than ours. They can’t recover from wounds like we can (they bleed out easily for example). They can’t develop muscle mass in nearly the same amount as we can. Basically people still grow as big as an adult but they are as fragile as a child. Because of this people generally don’t run. The risk of broken bones is too great. People are more careful since their bodies can’t heal normally. Hospitals can still save people but most don’t walk away from any sort of major wound. The world is probably built to be softer, safer, and lighter for the populace in general. The world would have grown to deal with people that are generally softer.
Then a super is born. This person could naturally heal from scratches and cuts. Their bones are hard to break and if they do break they can heal. These supers can pick up 100, 200, and in some cases 300 pounds. Since weaponry didn’t need to evolve to such a violent point rubber bullets would work on the general populace but only bruise the supers. These supers can even run. Something that most can’t or won’t.
Suddenly what we take as normal becomes superhuman. Next time you want to try a supers game, set the power level to that of a normal human, but lower everyone else to that of a child. Maybe the PCs travel from an alternate dimension, or maybe Earth exploded and they were sent as babies to this alien world. Maybe the supers were simply born to non super parents and had to learn to act like everyone else.
This will give your players an interesting perspective on their characters. They are stronger than most anyone, but the PCs are just as strong as the players themselves. Maybe one PC is a foot ball player from our world, so he can hit harder than most. If you want to take it a step further, maybe the minds of the people are not like ours. They have advanced science but in ways that would are convoluted. Now a smart PC is a super genius compared to the world. Just be careful to not make the world full of idiots. Unless you want to go for a comedic game.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you steal this and use it.