RE: [icons-rpg] Re: Thinking about Qualities and Challenges and Aspects
- I'm in total agreement with your take on Aspects as springboards rather than straight jackets for the imagination. For me their primary role is sort of like the character portrait you sometime draw on a character sheet. The fact that the mechanics behind the Aspect provides a reward to encourage people to stick to their character is a nice bonus, but the real benefit is to help get that character in the first place.As such if some Aspects never get used mechanically, as long as they mean something to the player and document something important about the character, that's perfectly okay.
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 11:47:44 -0400
Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Thinking about Qualities and Challenges and AspectsFWIW, the separation of aspects into Qualities and Challenges in ICONS is multilayered:First, it was because my experience with FATE games showed me ten multifaceted aspects (ala Spirit of the Century) was too many: lots of those aspects never really came into play, and players often strained to come up with a full ten, leaving a few blank. Splitting them into Qualities and Challenges, and allowing up to five of each, provided some flexibility in terms of having fewer than the full amount.Challenges came into being because superheroes often deal with purely... well, challenging aspects. I suppose you could just give Superman a "Kryptonian" aspect and say his vulnerabilities to kryptonite and red sun energy are part of that, but the idea was that challenges could be solely for the GM to compel and for the heroes to earn Determination.One thing that could be better explained (and is in TEAM-UP) is that Qualities work both ways: they can be tagged AND compelled, so you can create an aspect that has good and bad sides to it in ICONS.As for some things like catchphrases or epithets being "mostly mechanical" I'll have to disagree. They provide a reason for players to use those things in a roleplaying context and reward them for doing so in a way consistent with the genre and source material. I can't speak to the intention of aspects in FATE, but not all of them in ICONS have to be "About Your Character Journey" (or some equally "deep" thing) they just have to be about your character.I'll tell you a secret: I've been known to do away with aspects altogether in my ICONS games, allowing players to spend Determination as they wish and awarding it when they run into challenges in play, so long as both things are related to their characters in some fashion. Aspects are meant to be springboards for the imagination – if they're turning into straightjackets instead, feel free to dispose of them and go with something even more freeform.