I'm on my third campaign using Dresden Files, and I'm noticing a pattern. There's an incredibly wide range of powers and abilities that a character can have, and an even larger number of ways to fluff those powers. (FATE, the core system of Dresden Files, is very encouraging of refluffing powers.) However, there are a small group of powers, collectively called "building block" powers, that my players repeatedly go for in character creation.
The building blocks are Strength, Speed, Recovery, and Toughness. Each can be rated Inhuman, Supernatural, or Mythic. Each augments and improves the basic skills/stats (What DF calls Skills are mixed in with most other game's stats) of the game. I can have Might 5 without any powers, and still out-might something with Inhuman Strength. However, they do provide a solid boost, and stack with the normal skills.
Two players in particular do everything they can to get the biggest building blocks allowed, but almost every player I've had takes a good hard look at them, and most try to grab a few Inhuman abilities if they have the room. Except for one character who was expressly built to be completely human, every character seems to use up the "spare change" of refresh on these powers. What I want to know is why.
They aren't powergaming, trying to min/max themselves. Besides the fact that I know these players and I know they don't game like that, the simple fact is these are not the most powerful abilities available and they know this. (Spellcasting, as it so often is, is the superior choice in terms of damage potential and flexibility, though not so much as to overshadow everything else.) They also aren't using these powers to create a particular themed character- Several of them go through multiple iterations of thematic design solely to find a character that I will allow to take these powers. These powers aren't the most interesting (Psychometry, flight, water breathing, cryomancy, and ghost speaker off the top of my head sound more interesting than "I hit things more") they aren't the most mechanically complex (Spellcasting again) and they aren't the most mechanically simple either (that would be Pure Mortal, no powers at all.) They also aren't particularly favored by characters in the fiction- with one or two exceptions, none of the main cast of the books has these, but some characters have them so it's not like they're looking for something deliberately different either.
I tend to outright veto anything Mythic, and try to suggest alternative options when they suggest Supernatural. I pretty much never suggest these when throwing out ideas during character generation (mainly because these are never evocative of a particularly cool idea) but even new players, flipping through the powers list, seem drawn to them. Pretty much everyone but me thinks these are the cats pajamas. In the current game, I finally relented (after many repeated requests from one player, and two sessions devoted mainly to getting access to this) and let a player take Mythic Strength.
My question- What is it in these powers that my players are attracted to, and how do I do I design adventures for a character with Mythic Strength and all but one character sporting a Supernatural level ability? These questions might need to be separated, in which case I'll be happy to split them, but I strongly get the sense that the answer to one will contain the answer to the other. If they took the ability to cross over into the NeverNever (the spirit world) then that would tell me they wanted NeverNever shenanigans, if they took Spider Walk then that would tell me they wanted scenes with opportunities for unconventional acrobatics, but for the life of my I can't think of anything to do with Mythic Strength other than "I hit things more."