The Genre used for the campaign determines several factors, such as the likelihood of Killing Combat (and whether heroes suffer a penalty for entering into Killing Combat), the cost of increasing the relevant statistics on either side of a die roll, and how much it costs to do some emergency healing before a regular Recovery Check ought to occur. The default campaign setting in the book is in the “Action” genre; the cheapest and most light-hearted genre is “Humor”, and the toughest and most expensive genre goes past “Gritty” to “Real”.
When we started our current campaign, we were using the Action genre, but quickly (before meeting Ben) adjusted it to the Mock-Gritty level. Only the GMs kept forgetting that things ought to cost more Hero Points than they do. Eventually we decided to create our own Genre settings, to go with the change to a gritty-cartoon setting like Dark Champions: the Animated Series with just a little more superpowers than their usual limit.
Shadows of the Bat: the Animated Series:
Killing Combat: Sorta. We’re using the optional “Damage is damage” rule. Archnemeses will go out of their way to kill; even so, most death tends to happen “off-screen” as a part of the adventure hook or the epilogue, or else the PCs have decent chances to prevent it (such as the Knights Vigilant calming the Idiot King down enough that he shows up to the final fight with nonlethal weapons instead of a bomb). Heroes still need to be careful to not use too much force on a squishable target, and guns and knives automatically count as attempted murder, but Knockback is only lethal if it goes directly into a very solid surface like a cinderblock wall (or a car!) at a high rate of force.
Dice Action: Raising an AV, EV, OV, or RV on a single die roll costs 1 Hero Point per AP of increase. Each factor can be raised up to twice its original level.
Expenditure: The maximum amount that a Power or Ability may be raised through Hero Point expenditure during a Dice Action is equal to twice its original value. Sorry, Captain Hammer, but you’ll never have enough HP to let you kick the Moon out of orbit. 1
Last Ditch Defense: Every RAP of damage that is immediately bought off by its target costs 2 Hero Points.
Desperation: The cost for making an early Recovery Check, without medical/superpower intervention or a Last Ditch Defense, is 20 points for a Current Condition, or 30 points for one injured Power or Attribute.
Pushing: We don’t have a limit on how far an Automatic Power can theoretically be pushed, if the Player has the Resulting APs to go wild and the Hero Points to afford it.
Recovery: If a Character has had one of his Current Conditions reduced below zero, the Character has to take a minimum of 1 in-game day (15 APs of time) before making a Resting Recovery Check. This time can be modified by certain Powers, of course.
Other genre Rules:
(D) Killing is occasionally allowed; player characters who enter Killing Combat under any circumstance, even to save other lives, automatically forfeit three-quarters of the Hero Point Award at the end of the adventure, and the GM is entirely likely to add other complications.
(E) No “Bashing Combat” — Damage is damage, and whether it’s lethal or subduing depends on how a Power is applied.
(F) Impossible Feats — A pro wrestler cannot throw a cheeseburger a quarter of a mile, no matter how well he might roll; asking to do so is just another way of asking the GM to say “no”. 1 Relatedly, certain unlikely die rolls are one-time-only attempts, such as “I’m going to make X-Ray Spectacles out of a View-Master and a few bits I picked out of the Recycle Bin at work and smuggled home!” It’s also possible for any non-combat die roll requiring a roll over 21 to be declared an “impossible feat” of the no-roll-at-all variety without bothering to pick up the dice, such as a player with standard human attributes trying to punch through a thick steel wall.
(G) Power Tricks are now permitted in this campaign! (On a trial basis, anyway.)