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Why not?

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  • Fabricio
    Hello all, I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth:
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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      Hello all,

      I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?

      Fabrício Franco
    • James
      I would say it has as much to do with the genre as much as anything else. Supers can be a tough sell in RPGs, and one as over-the-top as ICONS can get really
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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        I would say it has as much to do with the genre as much as anything else. Supers can be a tough sell in RPGs, and one as over-the-top as ICONS can get really pushes the limits.

        That being said, if people handled it the way people often digest comics (periodically, with reasonable chunks handled at a somewhat regular basis), you;d see a shift in the opinion.

        One may love X-Men, for example, but if they read it every week, with all the high drama that happens, they would feel mentally and emotionally drained after the experience.

        I disagree with this, but I see that as being a possible reason.

        --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "Fabricio" <fabfranco@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello all,
        >
        > I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?
        >
        > Fabrício Franco
        >
      • Tommy Brownell
        Marvel SAGA is at LEAST as over the top as ICONS is, and I ve ran it for several years now...frankly, if a supers game can t go over the top fairly regularly,
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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          Marvel SAGA is at LEAST as over the top as ICONS is, and I've ran it for several years now...frankly, if a supers game can't go over the top fairly regularly, I think it is fundamentally flawed...=P
           
          But then, as you said, I'm preaching to the choir.
           
          I think it's more the whole "crunchy is for long-term" and "rules-lite is for one-shots", which I have heard, and think is kinda silly, myself.
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: James
          Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2011 8:41 PM
          Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Why not?

           

          I would say it has as much to do with the genre as much as anything else. Supers can be a tough sell in RPGs, and one as over-the-top as ICONS can get really pushes the limits.

          That being said, if people handled it the way people often digest comics (periodically, with reasonable chunks handled at a somewhat regular basis), you;d see a shift in the opinion.

          One may love X-Men, for example, but if they read it every week, with all the high drama that happens, they would feel mentally and emotionally drained after the experience.

          I disagree with this, but I see that as being a possible reason.

          --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups...com, "Fabricio" <fabfranco@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello all,
          >
          > I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?
          >
          > Fabrício Franco
          >


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        • Fabrício César Franco
          What I have read is that M&M is the system for a long campaign, not Icons. And that was the origins of my wondering... Fabrício Franco 2011/7/31 James
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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            What I have read is that M&M is the system for a long campaign, not Icons. And that was the origins of my wondering...

            Fabrício Franco

            2011/7/31 James <sotp_seamus@...>
             

            I would say it has as much to do with the genre as much as anything else. Supers can be a tough sell in RPGs, and one as over-the-top as ICONS can get really pushes the limits.

            That being said, if people handled it the way people often digest comics (periodically, with reasonable chunks handled at a somewhat regular basis), you;d see a shift in the opinion.

            One may love X-Men, for example, but if they read it every week, with all the high drama that happens, they would feel mentally and emotionally drained after the experience.

            I disagree with this, but I see that as being a possible reason.

            --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "Fabricio" <fabfranco@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello all,
            >
            > I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?
            >
            > Fabrício Franco
            >

            Recent Activity:
            .



          • Fabrício César Franco
            Mr. Brownell, As a gamer who s played Marvel Saga for several years, could you tell me what you think is the similarities and shortcomings of both systems
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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              Mr. Brownell,

              As a gamer who's played Marvel Saga for several years, could you tell me what you think is the similarities and shortcomings of both systems (Marvel Saga and Icons), as I'm used to the former? It would help me to 'preach to the unconverted' here, i.e., my group of players.

              Thanks in advance,

              Fabrício Franco

              2011/7/31 Tommy Brownell <tommyb@...>
               

              Marvel SAGA is at LEAST as over the top as ICONS is, and I've ran it for several years now...frankly, if a supers game can't go over the top fairly regularly, I think it is fundamentally flawed...=P
               
              But then, as you said, I'm preaching to the choir.
               
              I think it's more the whole "crunchy is for long-term" and "rules-lite is for one-shots", which I have heard, and think is kinda silly, myself.
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: James
              Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2011 8:41 PM
              Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Why not?

               

              I would say it has as much to do with the genre as much as anything else. Supers can be a tough sell in RPGs, and one as over-the-top as ICONS can get really pushes the limits.

              That being said, if people handled it the way people often digest comics (periodically, with reasonable chunks handled at a somewhat regular basis), you;d see a shift in the opinion.

              One may love X-Men, for example, but if they read it every week, with all the high drama that happens, they would feel mentally and emotionally drained after the experience.

              I disagree with this, but I see that as being a possible reason.

              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups...com, "Fabricio" <fabfranco@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hello all,
              >
              > I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?
              >
              > Fabrício Franco
              >


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              .


            • selphil@yahoo.com
              ... Unfortunately, I won t be using M&M for my long term campaign. It s too crunchy for my group of players. And when I mean too crunchy for them, I mean
              Message 6 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                >
                > What I have read is that M&M is the system for a long campaign, not Icons.

                Unfortunately, I won't be using M&M for my long term campaign. It's too crunchy for my group of players. And when I mean too crunchy for them, I mean it's too crunchy for me. Let me explain --

                My group and I are older gamers, have jobs, families, etc. We meet every other week. They don't want to do any reading, learning of the rules, etc. past showing up and rolling the dice when I tell them to. They just like to have beer and have a good time. Great -- except that I have to do all the heaving lifting, like making characters, figuring out the rules, etc.

                I started out with BASH and didn't really take to it, thought it was a little clunky. Then switched to M&M and it didn't work because of the crunch. Now I'm switching to Icons -- hoping that it's a fairly easy system to grasp for them. The downside is it's way too light for me. So that's where I am.

                Now -- getting back to your original question. Is Icons suitable for long term campaigns? I think it depends on the GM. How fresh can you make the game? I put a lot of work into my sessions so the players jsut aren't beating the hell out of the "villain of the week". Half of our sessions is combat, the other half is subplots/investigation/etc. It takes a lot of effort, but I think it can last. It depends on how much work you want to put into the game -- any game -- as to whether or not it will endure.
              • Gareth-Michael Skarka
                Well, for what it s worth -- the rules that will be appearing in ICONS TEAM-UP are specifically designed for running long-term campaigns. Gareth-Michael Skarka
                Message 7 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                  Well, for what it's worth -- the rules that will be appearing in ICONS TEAM-UP are specifically designed for running long-term campaigns.


                  Gareth-Michael Skarka    

                  Adamant Entertainment

                  gms@...


                • Fabrício César Franco
                  ... That s exactly the situation of my group. And, as the GM, I m like you, having to do the heavy lifting . That s why Icons seems to be the ideal book, as I
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                    My group and I are older gamers, have jobs, families, etc. We meet every other week. They don't want to do any reading, learning of the rules, etc. past showing up and rolling the dice when I tell them to. They just like to have beer and have a good time. Great -- except that I have to do all the heaving lifting, like making characters, figuring out the rules, etc.
                     
                    That's exactly the situation of my group. And, as the GM, I'm like you, having to do the 'heavy lifting'. That's why Icons seems to be the ideal book, as I don't have to go through all the intrincacies of number crunching (which is, pardon the fans, mind boggling sometimes). 
                  • Fabrício César Franco
                    Mr. Skarka, Great news! When is the book out? Fabrício Franco 2011/7/31 Gareth-Michael Skarka ... Mr. Skarka, Great news! When
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                      Mr. Skarka,

                      Great news! When is the book out?

                      Fabrício Franco

                      2011/7/31 Gareth-Michael Skarka <gms@...>
                       

                      Well, for what it's worth -- the rules that will be appearing in ICONS TEAM-UP are specifically designed for running long-term campaigns.



                      Gareth-Michael Skarka    

                      Adamant Entertainment

                      gms@...




                    • Tim K.
                      ... No real clue, seems like it do just fine to me. I suspect some gamers want more detailed rules for something they plan to play a long time. As if having
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                        On 7/31/2011 8:22 PM, Fabricio wrote:
                        > Hello all,
                        >
                        > I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?
                        >
                        > Fabrício Franco
                        >
                        >

                        No real clue, seems like it do just fine to me. I suspect some gamers
                        want more detailed rules for something they plan to play a long time. As
                        if having more rules gives them more things to do.
                      • Gareth-Michael Skarka
                        Fabricio: November. The pre-order is currently up on our website: http://www.adamantentertainment.com/store/ -Gareth ... Fabricio: November. The pre-order
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                          Fabricio:

                          November.   The pre-order is currently up on our website:  http://www.adamantentertainment.com/store/

                          -Gareth


                          On Jul 31, 2011, at 9:29 PM, Fabrício César Franco wrote:



                          Mr. Skarka,

                          Great news! When is the book out?

                          Fabrício Franco

                          2011/7/31 Gareth-Michael Skarka <gms@...>
                           

                          Well, for what it's worth -- the rules that will be appearing in ICONS TEAM-UP are specifically designed for running long-term campaigns.



                          Gareth-Michael Skarka    

                          Adamant Entertainment

                          gms@...



                          RECENT ACTIVITY: 





                        • selphil@yahoo.com
                          That s why Icons seems to be the ideal ... Unfortunately, the trade-off is dealing with making your own house rules and hand-waving. :(
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                            That's why Icons seems to be the ideal
                            > book, as I don't have to go through all the intrincacies of number crunching
                            > (which is, pardon the fans, mind boggling sometimes).
                            >

                            Unfortunately, the trade-off is dealing with making your own house rules and hand-waving. :(
                          • jaerdaph
                            ... I ve heard that said about Icons once or twice too but I strongly disagree from my own personal experience. :) Rules-light is not the same as
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Fabr�cio C�sar Franco <fabfranco@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > What I have read is that M&M is the system for a long campaign, not Icons.
                              > And that was the origins of my wondering...

                              I've heard that said about Icons once or twice too but I strongly disagree from my own personal experience. :)

                              Rules-light is not the same as one-shots/pickups/occasionals only. I prefer rules-light games now because they fit my lifestyle better than something crunchy that requires more time and effort to prep and run.

                              jaerdaph
                            • Fabricio
                              ... That s my opinion about the matter too. I thought I was a lazily dull GM for thinking this way... Good to know I m not. Fabrício Franco
                              Message 14 of 21 , Jul 31, 2011
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                                > Rules-light is not the same as one-shots/pickups/occasionals only. I prefer rules-light games now because they fit my lifestyle better than something crunchy that requires more time and effort to prep and run.

                                That's my opinion about the matter too. I thought I was 'a lazily dull GM' for thinking this way... Good to know I'm not.

                                Fabrício Franco
                              • Soylent Green
                                I don t think Icons is limited to one-shots but I can certainly see that s well suited for it. With its fast & loose style of play, quick, random character
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                  I don't think Icons is limited to one-shots but I can certainly see that's well suited for it.

                                   

                                  With its fast & loose style of play, quick, random character generation and merely implied setting, Icons is optimised for casual and pick-up games. And this is also reflected by game's support which consists mostly of drop in and play one-shot adventures.

                                   

                                  I'd say this view is also re-enforced by the game look and feel. The artwork is decidedly cartoony and the text does not shy away from cornball supervillains with puns in their names. I think this helps sell the image of the game being  easy and accessible but in gamer culture less than serious also tends to equate to beer and pretzel (which is funny because even the most serious and gritty games out there turn out to be profoundly silly under close scrutiny).

                                   

                                  Bearing in mind I have absolutely no inside understanding of the industry, but I kind of suspect that from a commercial point of view this reputation is actually a good thing for Icons. It gives Icons a clear, unique selling point in an already crowded market. It gives the Champions or M&M a reason to buy Icons. And if of course I imagine the big prize is the convention circuit - once a game  becomes a Con classic it lives on forever.

                                   

                                  But for your own game, there is no reason not to run an ongoing Icons campaign. I ran a very successful Icons campaign last year and prepping a new one now.  In between I've run and played in a whole bunch of shorter Icons games. It's all good!



                                  To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: fabfranco@...
                                  Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 01:22:31 +0000
                                  Subject: [icons-rpg] Why not?

                                   
                                  Hello all,

                                  I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?

                                  Fabrício Franco


                                • Soylent Green
                                  I think there is a split in the rules-light crowd between people who ideally would enjoy the depth that comes with more detailed rules but for practical reason
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                    I think there is a split in the rules-light crowd between people who ideally would enjoy the depth that comes with more detailed rules but for practical reason lean towards simpler systems and those for the added levels of detail does not add anything to the game but can be a distraction from what really matters to them.

                                    Which is interesting because it shows people coming to the same system from very different angles.  

                                    To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                    From: fabfranco@...
                                    Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 23:29:00 -0300
                                    Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: Why not?

                                     

                                    My group and I are older gamers, have jobs, families, etc. We meet every other week. They don't want to do any reading, learning of the rules, etc. past showing up and rolling the dice when I tell them to. They just like to have beer and have a good time. Great -- except that I have to do all the heaving lifting, like making characters, figuring out the rules, etc.
                                     
                                    That's exactly the situation of my group. And, as the GM, I'm like you, having to do the 'heavy lifting'. That's why Icons seems to be the ideal book, as I don't have to go through all the intrincacies of number crunching (which is, pardon the fans, mind boggling sometimes). 

                                  • Douglas Parks
                                    I would hazard a guess that the issue comes down to character advancement. Players like to see their characters advance, get better at stuff, and gain ...
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                      I would hazard a guess that the issue comes down to character advancement. Players like to see their characters advance, get better at stuff, and gain ... something; loot, skills, powers, etc. This is why class/level-based systems are so successful -- you have numbers on your character sheet that show you how well you're advancing (experience, character level, skill level, etc.)

                                      While some games (basically, Traveller) are successful without this component, it's a pretty standard expectation in tabletop RPGs as well as video and board games.

                                      Icons has methodology for this, but it's optional, and as are most of the rules, less crunchy than those in other games.

                                      In step with this is the 'tinkering' aspect. In more detailed games, players can tinker with their characters -- min-maxing points, exploring advancement options such as feats, advantages, detailed weapons and power construction, and the like -- which keeps interest in the game and investment in the character in between gaming sessions.

                                      Icons doesn't require this level of interaction or maintenance, and therefore may look to players as a 'pick-up' game. "If I don't have to do much, then I don't have to invest much," they may think.

                                      In the end, however, it all depends on you and your group. The ratio between narrativist and simulationist play style, the detail of the universe, and the growth of the characters as personalities (rather than gun platforms), and so on, will all influence the staying power of your Icons series.
                                       
                                      --
                                      Douglas Parks
                                      Freelance Human Being

                                      From: Fabricio <fabfranco@...>
                                      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2011 9:22 PM
                                      Subject: [icons-rpg] Why not?

                                       
                                      Hello all,

                                      I have read several reviews on Icons, and most of them (if not, ALL of them) praising the game. However, one statement almost always comes forth: "Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice." Why so? Why can't Icons be a multi-arc long game? What doesn't it have to be so, in your opinion?

                                      Fabrício Franco



                                    • Icosahedrophilia
                                      ... Hey, that is great news! As things now stand, pre-TEAM-UP, I think (this is mostly a guess!) one of the reasons players and GMs *might* shy away from
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                        On Jul 31, 2011, at 7:26 PM, Gareth-Michael Skarka wrote:
                                         

                                        Well, for what it's worth -- the rules that will be appearing in ICONS TEAM-UP are specifically designed for running long-term campaigns.

                                        Hey, that is great news!

                                        As things now stand, pre-TEAM-UP, I think (this is mostly a guess!) one of the reasons players and GMs *might* shy away from long-term ICONS games is that players might expect more out of character advancement. This is probably a holdover from fantasy games. Gamers and GMs familiar with D&D and other such games might expect characters to "get better" (dramatically so) over time, and ICONS defies this expectation (with good reason).

                                        Chris

                                        Chris Heard
                                        Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast

                                      • Jakub
                                        Icons simply doesn t have experience point rules - which is fine for many games (mostly old school), but of course comic book characters never change, which is
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                          Icons simply doesn't have experience point rules - which is fine for many games (mostly old school), but of course comic book characters never change, which is right on the spot.
                                        • Tommy Brownell
                                          Slight disagreement. Comic book characters DO change, and in noticeable ways, but - with a few exceptions - it is almost never a steady increase like in most
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                            Slight disagreement.
                                             
                                            Comic book characters DO change, and in noticeable ways, but - with a few exceptions - it is almost never a steady increase like in most "Hero to Zero" RPGs...usually coming in big, plot relevant bursts.
                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: Jakub
                                            Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 2:52 PM
                                            Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Why not?

                                             


                                            Icons simply doesn't have experience point rules - which is fine for many games (mostly old school), but of course comic book characters never change, which is right on the spot.


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                                          • Fabrício César Franco
                                            Thank you, everyone, for your opinions and viewpoints. This group, from all the ones I ve taken part in, is one of the kindest and supportive. Glad to be here.
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Aug 1, 2011
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                                              Thank you, everyone, for your opinions and viewpoints. This group, from all the ones I've taken part in, is one of the kindest and supportive. Glad to be here.

                                              I just hope that you continue to put up with me in the consecutive questions about the game which come up to me.

                                              Fabrício Franco
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