House rules: what are your favorite hacks, mods, and shortcuts?
It's pure impulse for any gamer to try to make even their favorite system better. While fun is a subjective item in and of itself--and game designers do try to make things fun for as many people as possible--what's fun at your table might not be the same as mine.
Case in point: ICONS. I love the speed of the game and the fact that ICONS lets players be creative with their power usages through Stunts and the use of FATE-based elements, I really don't care for the idea that the GM never rolls dice. Why? Well, if the players know that Doctor Weird's psychic blast is always at a rating of 7, it takes the challenge out of fighting Doctor Weird. So, for any 'named' villain or adversary, I throw the dice just like any PC. It provides a much greater threat for the PCs, as that same psychic blast can now achieve the Moderate/Major/Massive successes that the PCs themselves can. While I don't typically do this for "mook"-level NPCs, anything that ramps up the tension and conflict is fair game in my book!
|The dice of a pirate who came up Snake Eyes!|
Honestly, though? My favorite graft has always been the infamous Call of Cthulhu Sanity system. Easy to port over and use in numerous settings, including Sanity as a score opens up whole new realms of tension at the table, as players now have to balance their tendencies to run in, guns-a-blazing, against the very real possibility that their character may be overwhelmed mentally...
The key thing, though? Don't be afraid to play with a system's mechanics. If something doesn't work after you've tried it, there's nothing stating that you have to stick with a broken house-rule. Do what works best for your table and you'll be rewarded!