When systems are released, there is a relative sense of balance across each of the presented character archetypes. As more and more material is released for the system, the player is able to create a more and more specialized character, allowing the player to create 'optimized' characters. This disrupts the "balance" of the system that was present during its conception (some exclusions may apply). As time goes by, there are fewer and fewer ways to build a character that can contribute to the group as much as an 'optimized' character can. This, of course, leads to creating more content that just ends up disrupting the original balance more, and thus the cycle continues, and the 'power' of the system creeps higher and higher.
Originally, Dungeons and Dragons was very gritty and realistic, as real as sword and sorcery can get, creating situations where a commoner with common materials would do heroic deeds, such as saving the princess, slaying the ogre, or defeating the crypt of the zombie lord. As the game progressed through its various editions, the stories told have become more grandiose and epic. It is not just about saving the damsel in distress, it is about saving the multiverse! (While how this came to be is not the point of this blog, it may be one we discuss down the road.) The current edition of Dungeons and Dragons (4th edition) is a continuation of this trend. The largest problem with this style is that as characters become overwhelming powerful, the bad guys have to become overwhelming powerful, and so the scales begin to tip. While this makes for wonderful stories, it takes its toll on the game system, causing it to appear very lopsided. The relative power of the high level characters compared to the low level characters make the assault on a castle of one hundred level 4 soldiers by one level 20 warrior a foregone conclusion, the warrior will win with maybe a scratch or two. This removes much of the realism that was present in the original concept of the genre.
When I began the construction of the game, I knew I would have to create a system that was versatile enough to be used for both 'realistic' games and for 'legendary' games, and then allow for modifications to be used for superheroic games (more on this after the fantasy system is released). Power Creep was another of the issues I was trying to keep in mind when I was designing this system, and I have been extremely happy with the way it has been mitigated. I hope you will all think so also, when I get this system posted up.