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Thinking out loud: What to do with ICONS

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  • John McMullen
    So I promised to assemble stuff about what to do with ICONS and then I got busy with a deadline at work. And I m still busy with that same deadline, but I
    Message 1 of 7 , May 24, 2012
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      So I promised to assemble stuff about what to do with ICONS and then I got busy with a deadline at work. And I'm still busy with that same deadline, but I jotted some introductory ideas, and I'd appreciate comments. This might be entirely too abstract: people might want something much more concrete, but if that's the case, you'll tell me.
       
      I would love to get rid of the lines there; they seem to come when I pasted from Word. And this is not the entire article; I was noodling.
       
      What do you do with ICONS?
      A lot of people say, "But what is it for? What kinds of adventures do you run? What do players do?" Because ICONS looks like a one-shot game, the kind of thing you play when the GM and some players don't show up for the regular game. But that isn't the case.
      ICONS is a roleplaying game, designed for games that take place in a world where superheroes exist. But that means it can handle any roleplaying concept where:
      ·         Most (if not all) player characters are set beyond normal humans
      ·         Some characters have tremendous power
      ·         Characters have good things about them and bad things
      ·         Characters band together
      ·         They handle the problems with action
      Nothing there says specifically what the characters do, and there's nothing there that talks specifically about superheroes. If you want to play a post-apocalyptic world where  the characters are the heroes of their tribes and monsters threaten, or a group of demigods banding together on a quest (perhaps to see which one gets the right to rule the domain), or a group of supercriminals that go on missions for the government, well, sure. Go ahead. ICONS can handle it. But by default, it's best at mainstream superheroes.  And mainstream superheroes are set apart from normal humanity.
      The random character generation assumes that at least some of the characters will have something that is beyond normal. Either the characters are better than human at something, or they have abilities that normal humans don't have: they have the magic gem, the mystic servant, the enchanted sword, the unbreakable shield, the powerful armor, the abilities beyond those of mortal man. At the very least, they are willing to put their lives on the line for the purposes of the adventure. They are willing to act when no one else is. Batman is not nearly as powerful as Superman, but both act. Spider-Man acts, even though he does so out of guilt and responsibility.
      And, because this is a group activity, there are mechanisms for a team. You can leave them out, just like you can have a solo D&D game. But the mechanisms are there to be used.
      So why do they act? This is where Aspects can come in.
      The reason why a character acts is so overwhelming that it's a good candidate for an aspect. And it tells the GM in no uncertain terms what kind of wrongs you want your character to right. Someone with "Protects  Women and Children" might get into very different  adventures than someone with "Obeys Superior Officer, No Matter What".
      Your Basic Superhero Adventure
      There are differences and some comics or stories do things that are utterly the opposite. But basically, superheroes restore the status quo. Supervillains perturb the way things are, superheroes restore. Superheroes normally react to the acts of supervillains or the corrupt government or the conspiracy.
      In the first part of the adventure, superheroes react to the problem: the supervillains lead them around. When the superheroes know enough, the second part occurs and they take the battle to the villains.  It can be as simple as "The supervillains rob a bank; the heroes show up and stop it," or it can be as complex as "CrazedInkblot discovers that someone killed a superhero, and they have to find the mask killer."
      That's the structure of the random adventure generator: It presents a set of words that represent a way in which the supervillain is going to upset the world of the campaign. It might be a plan to poison the water supply, or a meteor that is going to hit the earth, or a bank robbery, or a sophisticated plan to take over the government, but the opponent perturbs the world. The superheroes react for a span of time, and then act: they take the fight to the opponent, and (presumably) win.
      Now, none of this says that the team gets along. None of this says that there can't be areas where the superheroes are trying to influence the world, that they're trying to make their lives better. (In fact, one of the running elements for Spider-Man is that he can't impose order on his life. He can lock up bad guys, but he can't save Gwen Stacy.)  Superheroes can have conflicting politics, food preferences, ideals, or sexualities.
      Campaigns in ICONS
      Experience in ICONS is through getting and spending Starting Determination Points. It's an optional rule; you don't need experience for a single adventure: instead, you need to resolve whatever the problem is. But experience gives a mechanism for players to change and develop their characters from adventure to adventure. (See Page xx for getting Starting Determination, and Page xx for spending them.)
      Characters can grow and change from one adventure to another.
       
      John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
      jhmcmullen@...
    • Fabrício César Franco
      Would it be so embarrassing for me to say that it s very, very nice? I love it. Although many people must have thought this before or even deems it obvious,
      Message 2 of 7 , May 24, 2012
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        Would it be so embarrassing for me to say that it's very, very nice? I love it. Although many people must have thought this before or even deems it obvious, for me it's a well-crafted and welcoming food for thought. Please, keep it coming. I'm eager to read all the article. 

        Thanks, John.

        Fabrício Franco

        2012/5/24 John McMullen <jhmcmullen@...>
         

        So I promised to assemble stuff about what to do with ICONS and then I got busy with a deadline at work. And I'm still busy with that same deadline, but I jotted some introductory ideas, and I'd appreciate comments. This might be entirely too abstract: people might want something much more concrete, but if that's the case, you'll tell me.
         
        I would love to get rid of the lines there; they seem to come when I pasted from Word. And this is not the entire article; I was noodling.
         
        What do you do with ICONS?
        A lot of people say, "But what is it for? What kinds of adventures do you run? What do players do?" Because ICONS looks like a one-shot game, the kind of thing you play when the GM and some players don't show up for the regular game. But that isn't the case.
        ICONS is a roleplaying game, designed for games that take place in a world where superheroes exist. But that means it can handle any roleplaying concept where:
        ·         Most (if not all) player characters are set beyond normal humans
        ·         Some characters have tremendous power
        ·         Characters have good things about them and bad things
        ·         Characters band together
        ·         They handle the problems with action
        Nothing there says specifically what the characters do, and there's nothing there that talks specifically about superheroes. If you want to play a post-apocalyptic world where  the characters are the heroes of their tribes and monsters threaten, or a group of demigods banding together on a quest (perhaps to see which one gets the right to rule the domain), or a group of supercriminals that go on missions for the government, well, sure. Go ahead. ICONS can handle it. But by default, it's best at mainstream superheroes.  And mainstream superheroes are set apart from normal humanity.
        The random character generation assumes that at least some of the characters will have something that is beyond normal. Either the characters are better than human at something, or they have abilities that normal humans don't have: they have the magic gem, the mystic servant, the enchanted sword, the unbreakable shield, the powerful armor, the abilities beyond those of mortal man. At the very least, they are willing to put their lives on the line for the purposes of the adventure. They are willing to act when no one else is. Batman is not nearly as powerful as Superman, but both act. Spider-Man acts, even though he does so out of guilt and responsibility.
        And, because this is a group activity, there are mechanisms for a team. You can leave them out, just like you can have a solo D&D game. But the mechanisms are there to be used.
        So why do they act? This is where Aspects can come in.
        The reason why a character acts is so overwhelming that it's a good candidate for an aspect. And it tells the GM in no uncertain terms what kind of wrongs you want your character to right. Someone with "Protects  Women and Children" might get into very different  adventures than someone with "Obeys Superior Officer, No Matter What".
        Your Basic Superhero Adventure
        There are differences and some comics or stories do things that are utterly the opposite. But basically, superheroes restore the status quo. Supervillains perturb the way things are, superheroes restore. Superheroes normally react to the acts of supervillains or the corrupt government or the conspiracy.
        In the first part of the adventure, superheroes react to the problem: the supervillains lead them around. When the superheroes know enough, the second part occurs and they take the battle to the villains.  It can be as simple as "The supervillains rob a bank; the heroes show up and stop it," or it can be as complex as "CrazedInkblot discovers that someone killed a superhero, and they have to find the mask killer."
        That's the structure of the random adventure generator: It presents a set of words that represent a way in which the supervillain is going to upset the world of the campaign. It might be a plan to poison the water supply, or a meteor that is going to hit the earth, or a bank robbery, or a sophisticated plan to take over the government, but the opponent perturbs the world. The superheroes react for a span of time, and then act: they take the fight to the opponent, and (presumably) win.
        Now, none of this says that the team gets along. None of this says that there can't be areas where the superheroes are trying to influence the world, that they're trying to make their lives better. (In fact, one of the running elements for Spider-Man is that he can't impose order on his life. He can lock up bad guys, but he can't save Gwen Stacy.)  Superheroes can have conflicting politics, food preferences, ideals, or sexualities.
        Campaigns in ICONS
        Experience in ICONS is through getting and spending Starting Determination Points. It's an optional rule; you don't need experience for a single adventure: instead, you need to resolve whatever the problem is. But experience gives a mechanism for players to change and develop their characters from adventure to adventure. (See Page xx for getting Starting Determination, and Page xx for spending them.)
        Characters can grow and change from one adventure to another.
         
        John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
        jhmcmullen@...

        Recent Activity:
        .
         
      • Seamus
        When it comes to discussing Beer-&-Pretzels /Campaign style play, I think Icons works well in an episodic vein. Each session can be self-contained and they
        Message 3 of 7 , May 24, 2012
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          When it comes to discussing "Beer-&-Pretzels"/Campaign style play, I think Icons works well in an episodic vein. Each session can be self-contained and they don't necessarily need to run consistently. I'd say it definitely works as something to do on those off weeks where your main campaign needs (or wants) a break. It's sort of a blend between beer & pretzels and campiagn play.

          --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Fabrício César Franco <fabfranco@...> wrote:
          >
          > Would it be so embarrassing for me to say that it's very, very nice? I love
          > it. Although many people must have thought this before or even deems it
          > obvious, for me it's a well-crafted and welcoming food for thought. Please,
          > keep it coming. I'm eager to read all the article.
          >
          > Thanks, John.
          >
          > Fabrício Franco
          >
          > 2012/5/24 John McMullen <jhmcmullen@...>
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > >
          > > So I promised to assemble stuff about what to do with ICONS and then I got
          > > busy with a deadline at work. And I'm still busy with that same deadline,
          > > but I jotted some introductory ideas, and I'd appreciate comments. This
          > > might be entirely too abstract: people might want something much more
          > > concrete, but if that's the case, you'll tell me.
          > >
          > > I would love to get rid of the lines there; they seem to come when I
          > > pasted from Word. And this is not the entire article; I was noodling.
          > >
          > > What do you do with ICONS?
          > > A lot of people say, "But what is it for? What kinds of adventures do you
          > > run? What do players do?" Because ICONS looks like a one-shot game, the
          > > kind of thing you play when the GM and some players don't show up for the
          > > regular game. But that isn't the case.
          > > ICONS is a roleplaying game, designed for games that take place in a
          > > world where superheroes exist. But that means it can handle any roleplaying
          > > concept where:
          > > · Most (if not all) player characters are set beyond normal humans
          > > · Some characters have tremendous power
          > > · Characters have good things about them and bad things
          > > · Characters band together
          > > · They handle the problems with action
          > > Nothing there says specifically what the characters do, and there's
          > > nothing there that talks *specifically* about superheroes. If you want to
          > > play a post-apocalyptic world where the characters are the heroes of
          > > their tribes and monsters threaten, or a group of demigods banding together
          > > on a quest (perhaps to see which one gets the right to rule the domain), or
          > > a group of supercriminals that go on missions for the government, well,
          > > sure. Go ahead. *ICONS* can handle it. But by default, it's best at
          > > mainstream superheroes. And mainstream superheroes are set apart from
          > > normal humanity.
          > > The random character generation assumes that at least some of the
          > > characters will have something that is beyond normal. Either the characters
          > > are better than human at something, or they have abilities that normal
          > > humans don't have: they have the magic gem, the mystic servant, the
          > > enchanted sword, the unbreakable shield, the powerful armor, the abilities
          > > beyond those of mortal man. At the very least, they are willing to put
          > > their lives on the line for the purposes of the adventure. They are willing
          > > to act when no one else is. Batman is not nearly as powerful as Superman,
          > > but both *act*. Spider-Man acts, even though he does so out of guilt and
          > > responsibility.
          > > And, because this is a group activity, there are mechanisms for a team.
          > > You can leave them out, just like you can have a solo D&D game. But the
          > > mechanisms are there to be used.
          > > So *why* do they act? This is where Aspects can come in.
          > > The reason why a character acts is so overwhelming that it's a good
          > > candidate for an aspect. And it tells the GM in no uncertain terms what
          > > kind of wrongs you want your character to right. Someone with "Protects
          > > Women and Children" might get into very different adventures than someone
          > > with "Obeys Superior Officer, No Matter What".
          > > *Your Basic Superhero Adventure*
          > > There are differences and some comics or stories do things that are
          > > utterly the opposite. But basically, superheroes *restore the status quo*.
          > > Supervillains perturb the way things are, superheroes restore. Superheroes
          > > normally *react* to the acts of supervillains or the corrupt government
          > > or the conspiracy.
          > > In the first part of the adventure, superheroes *react* to the problem:
          > > the supervillains lead them around. When the superheroes know enough, the
          > > second part occurs and they take the battle to the villains. It can be as
          > > simple as "The supervillains rob a bank; the heroes show up and stop it,"
          > > or it can be as complex as "CrazedInkblot discovers that someone killed a
          > > superhero, and they have to find the mask killer."
          > > That's the structure of the random adventure generator: It presents a set
          > > of words that represent a way in which the supervillain is going to upset
          > > the world of the campaign. It might be a plan to poison the water supply,
          > > or a meteor that is going to hit the earth, or a bank robbery, or a
          > > sophisticated plan to take over the government, but the opponent perturbs
          > > the world. The superheroes react for a span of time, and then act: they
          > > take the fight to the opponent, and (presumably) win.
          > > Now, none of this says that the team gets along. None of this says that
          > > there can't be areas where the superheroes are trying to influence the
          > > world, that they're trying to make their lives better. (In fact, one of the
          > > running elements for Spider-Man is that he *can't* impose order on his
          > > life. He can lock up bad guys, but he can't save Gwen Stacy.) Superheroes
          > > can have conflicting politics, food preferences, ideals, or sexualities.
          > > *Campaigns in ICONS*
          > > Experience in ICONS is through getting and spending Starting Determination
          > > Points. It's an optional rule; you don't need experience for a single
          > > adventure: instead, you need to resolve whatever the problem is. But
          > > experience gives a mechanism for players to change and develop their
          > > characters from adventure to adventure. (See Page xx for getting Starting
          > > Determination, and Page xx for spending them.)
          > > Characters can grow and change from one adventure to another.
          > >
          > > John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
          > > jhmcmullen@...
          > >
          > >
          > > Reply to sender<jhmcmullen@...?subject=Re%3A%20Thinking%20out%20loud%3A%20What%20to%20do%20with%20ICONS>| Reply
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        • John McMullen
          Well, thank you.   The hope is to present an essay and some ideas for people who are wondering what to do with ICONS, but I think I have to assume that they
          Message 4 of 7 , May 24, 2012
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            Well, thank you.
             
            The hope is to present an essay and some ideas for people who are wondering what to do with ICONS, but I think I have to assume that they know what comic books are about; I just want to interpret them through the GM's lens.
             
            Hmmm. That would be an interesting thing: Get James Dawsey to do a Vigilance Press podcast where Gareth and Steve talk about how the Avengers movie would be implemented in ICONS. (He's already done it for M&M and MHR.) I don't know if it would support a whole hour, but it would be nice to discuss how the Team Aspects and Team Determination work (and when they work), and where the implementation would be different than in M&M.
             
            John
             
            John
             
            John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
            jhmcmullen@...


            From: Fabrício César Franco <fabfranco@...>
            To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:15 PM
            Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Thinking out loud: What to do with ICONS



            Would it be so embarrassing for me to say that it's very, very nice? I love it. Although many people must have thought this before or even deems it obvious, for me it's a well-crafted and welcoming food for thought. Please, keep it coming. I'm eager to read all the article. 

            Thanks, John.

            Fabrício Franco

            2012/5/24 John McMullen <jhmcmullen@...>
             
            So I promised to assemble stuff about what to do with ICONS and then I got busy with a deadline at work. And I'm still busy with that same deadline, but I jotted some introductory ideas, and I'd appreciate comments. This might be entirely too abstract: people might want something much more concrete, but if that's the case, you'll tell me.
             
            I would love to get rid of the lines there; they seem to come when I pasted from Word. And this is not the entire article; I was noodling.
             
            What do you do with ICONS?
            A lot of people say, "But what is it for? What kinds of adventures do you run? What do players do?" Because ICONS looks like a one-shot game, the kind of thing you play when the GM and some players don't show up for the regular game. But that isn't the case.
            ICONS is a roleplaying game, designed for games that take place in a world where superheroes exist. But that means it can handle any roleplaying concept where:
            ·         Most (if not all) player characters are set beyond normal humans
            ·         Some characters have tremendous power
            ·         Characters have good things about them and bad things
            ·         Characters band together
            ·         They handle the problems with action
            Nothing there says specifically what the characters do, and there's nothing there that talks specifically about superheroes. If you want to play a post-apocalyptic world where  the characters are the heroes of their tribes and monsters threaten, or a group of demigods banding together on a quest (perhaps to see which one gets the right to rule the domain), or a group of supercriminals that go on missions for the government, well, sure. Go ahead. ICONS can handle it. But by default, it's best at mainstream superheroes.  And mainstream superheroes are set apart from normal humanity.
            The random character generation assumes that at least some of the characters will have something that is beyond normal. Either the characters are better than human at something, or they have abilities that normal humans don't have: they have the magic gem, the mystic servant, the enchanted sword, the unbreakable shield, the powerful armor, the abilities beyond those of mortal man. At the very least, they are willing to put their lives on the line for the purposes of the adventure. They are willing to act when no one else is. Batman is not nearly as powerful as Superman, but both act. Spider-Man acts, even though he does so out of guilt and responsibility.
            And, because this is a group activity, there are mechanisms for a team. You can leave them out, just like you can have a solo D&D game. But the mechanisms are there to be used.
            So why do they act? This is where Aspects can come in.
            The reason why a character acts is so overwhelming that it's a good candidate for an aspect. And it tells the GM in no uncertain terms what kind of wrongs you want your character to right. Someone with "Protects  Women and Children" might get into very different  adventures than someone with "Obeys Superior Officer, No Matter What".
            Your Basic Superhero Adventure
            There are differences and some comics or stories do things that are utterly the opposite. But basically, superheroes restore the status quo. Supervillains perturb the way things are, superheroes restore. Superheroes normally react to the acts of supervillains or the corrupt government or the conspiracy.
            In the first part of the adventure, superheroes react to the problem: the supervillains lead them around. When the superheroes know enough, the second part occurs and they take the battle to the villains.  It can be as simple as "The supervillains rob a bank; the heroes show up and stop it," or it can be as complex as "CrazedInkblot discovers that someone killed a superhero, and they have to find the mask killer."
            That's the structure of the random adventure generator: It presents a set of words that represent a way in which the supervillain is going to upset the world of the campaign. It might be a plan to poison the water supply, or a meteor that is going to hit the earth, or a bank robbery, or a sophisticated plan to take over the government, but the opponent perturbs the world. The superheroes react for a span of time, and then act: they take the fight to the opponent, and (presumably) win.
            Now, none of this says that the team gets along. None of this says that there can't be areas where the superheroes are trying to influence the world, that they're trying to make their lives better. (In fact, one of the running elements for Spider-Man is that he can't impose order on his life. He can lock up bad guys, but he can't save Gwen Stacy.)  Superheroes can have conflicting politics, food preferences, ideals, or sexualities.
            Campaigns in ICONS
            Experience in ICONS is through getting and spending Starting Determination Points. It's an optional rule; you don't need experience for a single adventure: instead, you need to resolve whatever the problem is. But experience gives a mechanism for players to change and develop their characters from adventure to adventure. (See Page xx for getting Starting Determination, and Page xx for spending them.)
            Characters can grow and change from one adventure to another.
             
            John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
            jhmcmullen@...
            Recent Activity:
            .
             




          • ciryon
            Hello Do you know if John Doe Edition, the french translation company for Icons will translate other things than the core book ? Ciryon
            Message 5 of 7 , May 24, 2012
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              Hello

              Do you know if John Doe Edition, the french translation company for
              Icons will translate other things than the core book ?

              Ciryon
            • Gareth-Michael Skarka
              Ciryon-- ... They have expressed interest in doing the other books, but have not contracted to do so as yet. Their license also allows them to produce their
              Message 6 of 7 , May 24, 2012
              • 0 Attachment
                Ciryon--

                > Do you know if John Doe Edition, the french translation company for
                > Icons will translate other things than the core book ?

                They have expressed interest in doing the other books, but have not contracted to do so as yet.

                Their license also allows them to produce their own ICONS products (subject to the same approvals as the English-language licensees), but they have not yet approached us with any information regarding their plans.

                -Gareth
              • jaerdaph
                I really like how you structured this, John. It s a nice breakdown and analysis of how ICONS as a roleplaying game works, and how ICONS specifically hits the
                Message 7 of 7 , May 24, 2012
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                  I really like how you structured this, John. It's a nice breakdown and analysis of how ICONS as a roleplaying game works, and how ICONS specifically hits the touchstones of what makes something a roleplaying game, and set it up nicely before even mentioning the word 'superhero'. I like how you emphasize the importance of Aspects in building characters as well as playing them in the game. I might hammer in the point you make in the beginning a little more (the thesis if you will - ICONS is more than a one-shot game) by putting a little more emphasis on how ICONS can handle both the one-shot game and the extended campaign in the last section, perhaps with more examples.

                  This is a great start and I look forward to reading the final article. :)

                  jaerdaph

                  --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, John McMullen <jhmcmullen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > So I promised to assemble stuff about what to do with ICONS and then I got busy with a deadline at work. And I'm still busy with that same deadline, but I jotted some introductory ideas, and I'd appreciate comments. This might be entirely too abstract: people might want something much more concrete, but if that's the case, you'll tell me.
                  >  
                  > I would love to get rid of the lines there; they seem to come when I pasted from Word. And this is not the entire article; I was noodling.
                  >  What do you do with ICONS?
                  > A lot of people say, "But what is it for? What kinds of adventures do you run? What do players do?" Because ICONS looks like a one-shot game, the kind of thing you play when the GM and some players don't show up for the regular game. But that isn't the case.
                  > ICONS is a roleplaying game, designed for games that take place in a world where superheroes exist. But that means it can handle any roleplaying concept where:
                  > ·         Most (if not all) player characters are set beyond normal humans
                  > ·         Some characters have tremendous power
                  > ·         Characters have good things about them and bad things
                  > ·         Characters band together
                  > ·         They handle the problems with action
                  > Nothing there says specifically what the characters do, and there's nothing there that talks specifically about superheroes. If you want to play a post-apocalyptic world where  the characters are the heroes of their tribes and monsters threaten, or a group of demigods banding together on a quest (perhaps to see which one gets the right to rule the domain), or a group of supercriminals that go on missions for the government, well, sure. Go ahead. ICONS can handle it. But by default, it's best at mainstream superheroes.  And mainstream superheroes are set apart from normal humanity.
                  > The random character generation assumes that at least some of the characters will have something that is beyond normal. Either the characters are better than human at something, or they have abilities that normal humans don't have: they have the magic gem, the mystic servant, the enchanted sword, the unbreakable shield, the powerful armor, the abilities beyond those of mortal man. At the very least, they are willing to put their lives on the line for the purposes of the adventure. They are willing to act when no one else is. Batman is not nearly as powerful as Superman, but both act. Spider-Man acts, even though he does so out of guilt and responsibility.
                  > And, because this is a group activity, there are mechanisms for a team. You can leave them out, just like you can have a solo D&D game. But the mechanisms are there to be used.
                  > So why do they act? This is where Aspects can come in.
                  > The reason why a character acts is so overwhelming that it's a good candidate for an aspect. And it tells the GM in no uncertain terms what kind of wrongs you want your character to right. Someone with "Protects  Women and Children" might get into very different  adventures than someone with "Obeys Superior Officer, No Matter What".
                  > Your Basic Superhero Adventure
                  > There are differences and some comics or stories do things that are utterly the opposite. But basically, superheroes restore the status quo. Supervillains perturb the way things are, superheroes restore. Superheroes normally react to the acts of supervillains or the corrupt government or the conspiracy.
                  > In the first part of the adventure, superheroes react to the problem: the supervillains lead them around. When the superheroes know enough, the second part occurs and they take the battle to the villains.  It can be as simple as "The supervillains rob a bank; the heroes show up and stop it," or it can be as complex as "CrazedInkblot discovers that someone killed a superhero, and they have to find the mask killer."
                  > That's the structure of the random adventure generator: It presents a set of words that represent a way in which the supervillain is going to upset the world of the campaign. It might be a plan to poison the water supply, or a meteor that is going to hit the earth, or a bank robbery, or a sophisticated plan to take over the government, but the opponent perturbs the world. The superheroes react for a span of time, and then act: they take the fight to the opponent, and (presumably) win.
                  > Now, none of this says that the team gets along. None of this says that there can't be areas where the superheroes are trying to influence the world, that they're trying to make their lives better. (In fact, one of the running elements for Spider-Man is that he can't impose order on his life. He can lock up bad guys, but he can't save Gwen Stacy.)  Superheroes can have conflicting politics, food preferences, ideals, or sexualities.
                  > Campaigns in ICONS
                  > Experience in ICONS is through getting and spending Starting Determination Points. It's an optional rule; you don't need experience for a single adventure: instead, you need to resolve whatever the problem is. But experience gives a mechanism for players to change and develop their characters from adventure to adventure. (See Page xx for getting Starting Determination, and Page xx for spending them.)
                  > Characters can grow and change from one adventure to another.
                  >
                  > John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
                  > jhmcmullen@...
                  >
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