I really liked Margaret Weis Productions' Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, which debuted maybe two years ago. It does a lot of great stuff. But I have found it slow as HELL. In a scene involving 3 PC's and maybe 2-3 NPC's, it's not uncommon for a combat scene to last 2 hours. This may not be slow for folks accustomed to D&D 3.5 or 4e, but for my gang of mostly OSR-types, the conflicts start out fun and then after about an hour become just more of the same.
Part of this is the nature of MHR's mechanics. In order to do anything, you form a die pool - hopefully narrating how this stuff comes into play. If you're doing anything tricky with your dice, that requires a step of calculation and possible additional description. Then you do some more calculation once you roll: which dice came up with 1's showing, which dice to I want to use for my total, which die do I want to use for my effect. Again, you might want to do some tricky stuff with your dice once you've rolled them, which requires some extra thought.
And that's just half of resolution: once you take an action, the opponent gets to react, which entails all the same steps. (In fact, depending on what super power you're using, multiple characters might have to roll reactions.)
Some things I've thought about:
* Keep scenes small. Oh god, keep them small. This is kind of a drag given that super hero stuff is about wild and crazy set-pieces, but if it keeps play moving that's fine - we can do a big crazy set-piece every once in a while.
* Figure out what happens if you bump down the "stress tracks" to max out at d10 instead of d12, possibly for all characters, possibly for some characters only. Part of the slowness of Marvel Heroic is that it takes a long while to wear someone down. If you've got small-sized dice in your power set, you may need to hit an enemy 4-5 times to really knock them out if you're not sharp about spending your "plot points," which means making maybe 8-10 attacks. Reducing the number of hits needed, at least for "second-tier" characters, might improve matters. Maybe.
* Figure out what happens if you only need a single d12 "doom die" to end a scene, or if you can do it with 3d10 "Doom Dice" or something. Marvel Heroic has this rule where the GM can end a scene early by spending some of his special resources; the trouble is, these resources take a while to accumulate.
* Figure out how to resolve stalemated scenes. Sometimes I have the necessary 2d12 "doom dice" to resolve a scene early, but neither side has an obvious advantage. Ugh! So now we have to play out another round or two just to figure out who wins the tie-breaker.
Does anyone else thing that Marvel Heroic runs slow, and if so, what have you done to speed it up?