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Re: Problems with powers

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  • Steve Kenson
    ... Sorry to hear you had problems, Tom. You ve already gotten some excellent advice from the list! ICONS is definitely what some call a high-trust rules
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 6, 2012
      On Mar 6, 2012, at 8:27 AM, tom_pleasant@... wrote:
      We immediately ran into problems with the power rules.

      Sorry to hear you had problems, Tom. You've already gotten some excellent advice from the list!

      ICONS is definitely what some call a "high-trust" rules system: a lot of the situational stuff relies on the GM's interpretation and judgment. For what it's worth, here are some guidelines I think are helpful:

      Generally speaking, a power has one thing that it does. Each additional thing further reduces starting Determination by 1. So a Blast power does damage. If it also does something else (shooting it out behind the hero to fly, for example) that's a regular stunt and "costs" 1 starting Determination, etc., expanding the power's capabilities.

      So a power like Air Control might be Attacking, Shaping, and Moving. Those things: blasting/damging with air, creating strong winds (or dampening them), and flight, are standard parts of the power. Suffocating a target is a stunt; it costs Determination to use, whereas just blasting somebody does not. On the other hand, if suffocating was a regular aspect of the power and Moving was not, then moving would be a stunt and cost Determination to use and suffocating would not.

      So keep in mind the basic things a power does and generally when things go outside those parameters, ask for Determination for a power stunt.

      As to the specific powers…

      For Illusion, I tend to substitute a resistance test for instances where an attack test or the like would normally occur. So, for example, I can automatically "hit" with my illusionary gun, but the target should get a resistance test, especially if getting hit with a gunshot is an unusual occurrence for them. Remember that illusionary attacks do "normal" damage (that is, the damaged they're expected to do).

      For the Animal Control/Growth combo, it does sound like Alteration Ray as a stunt of Animal Control is appropriate. Some oddities like the beetle armor might be considered power stunts; if the character does it a lot, make it a standard stunt and reduce starting Determination by 1. Allow the player some flexibility, but ask for Determination for unusual power uses, especially ones that grant a significant advantage.

      I hope that's helpful. 

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