--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, eric troup <yakkoman@...> wrote:
> Hi. I've got an idea for a villain for my group to face, but I'm having trouble translating my idea into Icons terms. I can think of several ways to go, so I thought I'd see how some of you might handle it.
I'd go and ask the fairly standard RPG question: "What does it do?", and then stat it.
> The villain is a robot bug (No problems there), with some pretty direct-from-the-box powers ... and then one that's been giving me trouble. He has a bunch of little bug-bots which can act in swarms or individually, although individually they're not hard to dispatch. I thought of using Animate and Duplicate, but they're not duplicates of him; they're much smaller, and can fly ... and I'm not sure I like Animate either, because I see them more as minions than as things he controls. Controlling implies concentration to keep the control up, and this is more like "You! Go over there and do thus-and-so."
If they are supposed to attack the heroes, i'd stat it as a Blast power. Powers with this kind of trapping could be: Transformation Ray or Transmutation (only inanimate to inanimate, they rebuild the object in a new form), Animation or Telekinesis (think bugs crawling in armor, or ants lifting picnic baskets in cartoon), Force Field (bug shield!), Regeneration (they crawl all over him, repairing the boss), Burrowing, Flight or Wall crawling (obvious), Affliction, Binding, Blast, Blinding, or Strike (swarm of man-eating bugs), ESP (swarm consciousness) or Interface (robot bugs). (Whew!)
Finally, you can just take Wizardry (gadgets) to simulate all these effects. Individual bugs (like scouts and such) can provide ESP or Supersenses.
> Should I just write these little guys up as a separate character and not look at it as a power, even though they come from him? (I'm not concerned about the how of their manufacture; this is a comic book, after all. I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.)
Animal control then. It's not technically animal, but hey who cares.
> And even if I do just write them up separately, how do I do the swarm thing using game mechanics?
I don't think that swarms need special rules. I'd go with Prowess 6, Coordination 3, Strength 5 (for robot bugs, 2 for something like a locust swarm), and without mental traits, which'd give them Stamina 10. Killing the swarm does not mean killing every single monster, they'd disperse when reduced to Sta 0.
> It's my first attempt at creating a villain, and maybe I should've started with something more inside-the-box as far as Icons goes, but I like this idea. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Icons is fairly rules-light. While other more complex games might create elaborate rules to simulate some effects, in Icons you can reduce them to special effects and some aspects. Qualities like "Queen of the Swarm", or Challenge "Weakness: Bugs break down when submerged in water". Hero that has a Blast power that shoots one, small precise missile, would simply get a Determination point in such situation.
Hope that helped