Origins Reactions #4: Champions
The downside is it doesn't look like an easy game for a novice to play, without an experienced GM holding his hand. I got a copy of the rules, and tried generating a character. The idea I had was for a psychic detective, in the form of a mysterious 400-year-old Puritan, with a sword that was a physical manifestation of his will and which allowed both physical and psychic attacks. Turns out that's pretty easy to do in Champions, although the implementation is complicated. The problem I had was in balancing the character: figuring out how many points to spend on his character stats, and how much to spend on martial arts abilities, so that he had decent offensive abilities and really good defensive abilities, wasn't obvious.
The main power I wanted for the character was psychometry, which I defined as "Can gather information from physical objects by touching them. Takes the form of visions, emotional information, or in some cases the thoughts of a person who held the object. The stronger the connection of the information sought to the object held, the more precise and useful the results." I started with the base power of Clairsentience, which allows the use of one sense at a distance and has a base cost of 20. I added Retrocognition (sensing past information), which costs another 20. To gather psychic as well as visual information cost another 10, to allow an extra sense group with the power. The power also had some limitations which reduce its cost: Blackout (-½, can't use other senses while using psychometry), Retrocognition Only (-1), Requires Perception Roll (-½). So the final cost is (20+20+10)/(1+½+1+½) = 50/3 = 17 points.
Next, I added a second power, Detect Psychometric Target. ("Used to find a person or object with some strong relationship to another object. Can only be used after a successful use of psychometry to identify the target. Only one target at a time.") Detect has a base cost of 5 for a "common object or phenomena". Making it a Sense means that I don't have to use a partial action to use the power, and increases the cost by 2. Adding the Tracking ability is another 5 points. Linking a lesser power to a greater power is a -½ modifier, so the cost of this power is 8 (12/1.5). Together the two powers cost 25. (In a low-powered campaign, you might have 150 points to build a character, and in a high-powered campaign you'd have three or four hundred. For 25 points, you could buy 30mph flight, for instance, so it's a non-trivial amount. But, depending on the campaign, psychometry could easily be an extremely useful and flexible ability.)
Basically, it seems that if you can describe a power, there's a way to build it. Champions apparently is notorious for allowing players to twist the rules, to add limitations to powers that drive down their cost without in practice being very limiting, but it seems like a good system if you just want to build an interesting character and don't care about making him as tough as you can get away with. (This probably works best if your GM and fellow players have the same philosophy.)
I found myself developing the character's background further, by the way. I decided that Simon Cartwright had been a larger-than-life Puritan adventurer, wandering the land, seeking justice. After his death, his sword was passed down as an heirloom, and his descendants continued as crimefighters, aided by Simon's spirit within the blade. The most recent wielder of the blade was captured by cultists while trying to stop a human sacrifice, and the sword was destroyed. He used his innate psychic powers to recreate the sword out of pure willpower, which had the unexpected effect of transforming him physically into a duplicate of his ancestor, and greatly increasing his strength and power. Now he can change between the two forms at will, by dispelling or re-creating the sword, but is spending more and more of his time as Simon, whose personality and memories are gradually becoming more dominant. This started as just a concept to test out the character generation rules with, but I think I'd enjoy playing him in a campaign, and seeing how the character developed.