Standard Savage Rifts isn't all that conducive to that sort of game, with starting characters coming out with pretty well-established superpowers, courtesy of gear, skills or actual powers. And I'm not all that fond of the "Wasteland Survivors" option in the GM Handbook, which just takes away IFs.
Here's what I'm thinking could work:
- No 'Born a Hero': When choosing starting Edges and Powers, PCs are limited to Novice, including any "Choose a XXXX" options gained from IFs and HJ rolls. MARS can still get to Seasoned with their advances; Also, there's an asterisk/special option (*), below;
- Up to two starting skills can go as high as d10, everything else capped at d8 (*);
- No Signature Items (*);
- No Patron Items (*);
- No gear or pets (**);
- Acquire a starting Edge or Power of +1 higher rank than normal (ie. Seasoned instead of Novice). Multiple tokens can be spent to increase the allowed rank;
- Raise the threshold on skills, with each token allowing an additional starting skill to go up to d10;
- Choose the result of an F&G or HJ roll.
- For MARS packages like the Merc Soldier, Operator and PCO who normally would get one or more weapons, armor or vehicles of choice (which generally is a significant boon): They get +1 HJ roll. In addition, the GM can afford them ocassional "upgrades" with relevant gear types when scavenging: When other PCs find basic laser rifles, the Merc Soldier might find one with an underbarrel grenade launcher or a plasma rifle, etc.
- PA Ace/RV Ace: Give them Start with +1 HJ roll and an appropriate Edge, like Soldier or Combat Ace, plus assurance that they'll eventually find a PA or RV -- but it may not be ideal type or in great condition to start.
- PCs that would start with a mount or other pet can be handled similarly: +1 HJ roll to start and will find one when appropriate.
I'd also let everyone know up front that non-human social and medical penalties will be in full effect and applied frequently.