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Re: [icons-rpg] Learning from Marvel Heroic

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  • Bill Olander
    1. Initiative - Does ICONS even have an initiative system? Perhaps I ve missed it but my usual method is pick the player to my left and go around in a circle.
    Message 1 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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      1. Initiative - Does ICONS even have an initiative system? Perhaps I've missed it but my usual method is pick the player to my left and go around in a circle. I've contemplated stealing both the MHR and Savage Worlds initiative systems just to spice things up a little.

      2. Damage Types - I understand that Stamina is a combination of Strength(toughness) and Willpower. I did really like the multiple damage types in MHR but as a nod to ICONS Fate origins I'd probably switch to FATE damage tracks if I was going to split them up. More interesting to me were MHR's complications such as the ability to web someone into oblivion with say "Stuck in Webs d8" as a condition.

      You could probably do something similar with Aspects or FATE Consequences. Potentially as an alternative to what happens when you go to Zero stamina instead of losing strength.

      3. Aspects - On the subject of Aspects, there were a couple of cool points to MHR's Distinctions. First, there was only three of them so they were easier to remember. Second, you were pretty much expected to have them come up most of the time. And third, you had the option to take them as either a benefit or a penalty. As a GM, the Determination point economy can slow to a halt just because I forget to hand them out. I liked the way this placed the power to grab Plot points into the hands of the players.

      4. Milestones and XP - Quite honestly, I didn't particularly care for Milestones as they were implemented. I felt they were awkward to make interesting. What I did really like about them was how they worked as Adventure related unlockables. Advancement in supers games is an awkward proposition with characters tending to return to status quo. Having some mechanic where the characters can earn a temporary advantage (Like when Spider-man temporarily gained the power cosmic or during Blackest Night when earths heros each got a color ring). By giving it out that way it feels less like hand waving and more that it is something the players accomplished.

      5. Power Sets - I don't really know what to say in terms of implementation but I like these. I like how they were formalized in 3rd Edition M&M. I like how they were set up in MHR. I like being able to yank them off of an NPC and be able to move them around. I liked how they looked like little glowing balls of energy in the TV show Charmed. What?

      Ok, those are my thoughts.
      -Bill


      On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:
       

      So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS?



    • Curt
      The folks to lean something should be Marvel. If they want a successful RPG, they should give the contract to Green Ronin and have Steve write it with the same
      Message 2 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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        The folks to lean something should be Marvel. If they want a successful RPG, they should give the contract to Green Ronin and have Steve write it with the same format as DC Adventures. From the launch, everyone knew there would be 4 books.

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Apr 26, 2013, at 8:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:

         

        So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS?


      • John McMullen
        I think Marvel should learn something, but it s more along the line of RPGs will not be as successful as the toy line.  Marvel has a history of innovative
        Message 3 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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          I think Marvel should learn something, but it's more along the line of "RPGs will not be as successful as the toy line."  Marvel has a history of innovative RPG designs and unrealistic profit expectations.

          My understanding with the DC license is that it was essentially done as a thank you, a part of the 75th anniversary celebration. (Steve can correct me here.) I suspect that DC wasn't looking at much more than a small profit (though if it did more, great!) so a limited number of books made sense.

          To a large extent, I thought the Marvel plan made sense too: they had a good property, they had a structure that seemed ideal for the casual player (that's one of the things that events do, and providing both essentials and premium editions meant customers didn't necessarily have to worry if the basic handbook was absent), and they could reskin the characters based on how they were at the time of the event. The additional books were great (I have both Civil War and the Young Avengers/Runaway ones).

          Now, the rules system they eventually came up with was perhaps too fiddly for the beginning or casual player, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. (In many ways, M&M is also too fiddly for the beginning or casual player, but again, it seems to me like it's aimed at a slightly different audience.)

          ICONS (I happen to think) is great for a beginner or casual audience, but it's not associated with the kind of IP that would cause casual players to pick it up. Like a drug, you have to be given that first hit...

          (Actually, I'm listening to Duhrig's Habit right now, and I wonder if the social aspect of RPGs doesn't get overlooked in the rush to emulate the massive success of video games--but that's a digression for another time.)
           
          John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
          jhmcmullen@...


          From: Curt <curtmeyer@...>
          To: "icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com" <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:00 PM
          Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Learning from Marvel Heroic



          The folks to lean something should be Marvel. If they want a successful RPG, they should give the contract to Green Ronin and have Steve write it with the same format as DC Adventures. From the launch, everyone knew there would be 4 books.

          Sent from my iPhone

          On Apr 26, 2013, at 8:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:

           
          So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS?





        • Cameron Mount
          That s actually fairly astute. Depending on your thoughts on indie design YMMV, but I find that there are some exciting developments along the lines of the
          Message 4 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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            That's actually fairly astute. Depending on your thoughts on indie design YMMV, but I find that there are some exciting developments along the lines of the social interaction from designers like Vincent Baker, Daniel Solis, and Joshua Newman, among many others.

            On Apr 26, 2013 1:15 PM, "John McMullen" <jhmcmullen@...> wrote:
             

            I think Marvel should learn something, but it's more along the line of "RPGs will not be as successful as the toy line."  Marvel has a history of innovative RPG designs and unrealistic profit expectations.

            My understanding with the DC license is that it was essentially done as a thank you, a part of the 75th anniversary celebration. (Steve can correct me here.) I suspect that DC wasn't looking at much more than a small profit (though if it did more, great!) so a limited number of books made sense.

            To a large extent, I thought the Marvel plan made sense too: they had a good property, they had a structure that seemed ideal for the casual player (that's one of the things that events do, and providing both essentials and premium editions meant customers didn't necessarily have to worry if the basic handbook was absent), and they could reskin the characters based on how they were at the time of the event. The additional books were great (I have both Civil War and the Young Avengers/Runaway ones).

            Now, the rules system they eventually came up with was perhaps too fiddly for the beginning or casual player, but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. (In many ways, M&M is also too fiddly for the beginning or casual player, but again, it seems to me like it's aimed at a slightly different audience.)

            ICONS (I happen to think) is great for a beginner or casual audience, but it's not associated with the kind of IP that would cause casual players to pick it up. Like a drug, you have to be given that first hit...

            (Actually, I'm listening to Duhrig's Habit right now, and I wonder if the social aspect of RPGs doesn't get overlooked in the rush to emulate the massive success of video games--but that's a digression for another time.)
             
            John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
            jhmcmullen@...


            From: Curt <curtmeyer@...>
            To: "icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com" <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:00 PM
            Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Learning from Marvel Heroic



            The folks to lean something should be Marvel. If they want a successful RPG, they should give the contract to Green Ronin and have Steve write it with the same format as DC Adventures. From the launch, everyone knew there would be 4 books.

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Apr 26, 2013, at 8:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:

             
            So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS?





          • L M
            I really liked the Affiliations - one simple mechanic defined a hero s tendencies/reputation/general mindset as Solo, Buddy, or Team. I m not sure how to
            Message 5 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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              I really liked the Affiliations - one simple mechanic defined a hero's tendencies/reputation/general mindset as Solo, Buddy, or Team. I'm not sure how to include something like that in ICONS but it is a neat little gadget. Without adding some new mechanic to the rules,  maybe list them as options and take the most - favored one of the three as a Quality, the least favorite as a Challenge? 


              Also the whole Assets and Complications concept might be worth a look. I'm not sure how it would work mechanically either, maybe we just need some rules guidance on how to inflict a condition on an opponent or ally that benefits the heroes. Maybe it grants Determination or maybe it forces/allows a reroll of some kind. 

              --
              Blacksteel
            • Tim K.
              Now that I have more time. Lesson 1: An RPG is a niche interest product. A licensed RPG is not a license to print money. RPG s are a niche market, and even
              Message 6 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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                Now that I have more time.


                Lesson 1: An RPG is a niche interest product.

                A licensed RPG is not a license to print money. RPG's are a niche
                market, and even games aimed at comic book fans/license fans will often
                miss the mark with a licensed property. There are too many things that
                can impact a person picking up and trying an RPG. Most licensed RPG's
                sell to people who are gamers and fans of the property.



                Lesson 2: A Good Writer is Hard to find.
                Make the came coherently explained. I don't know about most people but
                for its actual simplicity, I found MHR utterly rubbish at explaining
                what to do both mechanically, and genre wise to get comic book pacing.

                A good writer is helpful. I generally like Cam Banks, but frankly, MWP
                games, and his games in particular have been horrible at explaining
                things as clear procedures. Smallville was difficult to grok for me, and
                I taught myself D&D/Aftermath/etc. Not from playing but from reading
                the books. Marvel's book was worse.


                Lesson 3: Core Rules AND Supplements.

                Event books aren't a bad idea, so much as one that I don't think worked
                out. A good try and all. But lets be honest. A good setting book, helps
                sell a good rulebook. If you combine the too in a licensed property and
                ALSO sell the rules seperatly you've created a competing product for
                your own sales, that you spent time, production money, etc on. In PDF
                where the costs are lower? Sure. In print? Don't. Just don't.

                I still own M&M1E, primarily for the Nocturnals sourcebook but also the
                Freedom City sourcebook (I also love M&M1E.) I own many adventures for
                Icons, because ICONS is a great product and has wonderful adventures.
                (Some I've paid full price for, not the Adamant one dollar product
                experiment.)

                I don't own M&M2E because it was too complex for what I wanted, and
                Freedom City for 2E was a less solid product than 1E (Too many thinly
                veiled expy's--as opposed to 1E's better written better hidden expy's)

                Make sure your products drive sales of other products if you want to
                produce more than a core book, but do so by quality product, not
                hampering your books (see Brave New World RPG)


                Lesson 4: Get a lawyer

                Get a good lawyer, don't sign licenses with megacorporations without the
                absolute best lawyer you can get making sure that the deal will let you
                make the product and keep supporting it for long enough to make it
                worthwhile, and doesn't stop you from selling product internationally.


                Lesson 5: Internet interest is not necessarily that big a deal.

                Internet interest doesn't equate to real world sales of things, at least
                not yet. MHR had a solid online following, and I know people who own it
                locally, but run it? Play it? That is what builds fandom--people offline
                running the game without being a huge internet fan. I know a good
                hundred odd role-players personally between my home town, and other
                places I've lived. Most of those spend no time at all, talking about
                RPG's on the internet. That is a tiny sample, but its from two different
                countries.

                Sometimes, you just have to get a product into the hands of the
                NON-internet people.

                I would have gone so far as to make it a slim comic book sized ruleset I
                could sell next to comic books. Not GN's, but actual comics. Simply to
                get the game in the hands. I'd have also used d6's because nearly
                everyone can loot a boardgame for a couple of d6es.



                It is a shame really. I don't know if I like the game, I've never played
                it, and don't feel comfortable running it because of its writing. I've
                run Fate, Icons, Dungeon World, and a bout two hundred other games over
                the years, and "don't feel comfortable running" is a really strange
                thing for me to have to say about a game. The only other game that I
                know of that I am interested in that gives me similar problems is Danger
                Patrol (beta), sure there are games whose subject matter I don't like,
                but that is different from "rules which don't seem clear enough for me
                to feel comfortable using them."
              • jasonsunday
                I asked you this same question a few months ago. I don t remember where I asked but my question was phrased more like: How can I make Icons more Marvel
                Message 7 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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                  I asked you this same question a few months ago. I don't remember where I asked but my question was phrased more like: "How can I make Icons more Marvel like?". However, "Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS", seems to phrase what I meant better.
                • jasonsunday
                  Bill made some very good points. I like the Initiative, Damage Types, Complications, and Distinction use in Marvel. I don t remember seeing it in Icons but I
                  Message 8 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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                    Bill made some very good points. I like the Initiative, Damage Types, Complications, and Distinction use in Marvel. I don't remember seeing it in Icons but I think the ability to push your powers (aka Power Attack from MnM) is very helpful too.

                    --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Bill Olander <plusonesword@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > 1. Initiative - Does ICONS even have an initiative system? Perhaps I've
                    > missed it but my usual method is pick the player to my left and go around
                    > in a circle. I've contemplated stealing both the MHR and Savage Worlds
                    > initiative systems just to spice things up a little.
                    >
                    > 2. Damage Types - I understand that Stamina is a combination of
                    > Strength(toughness) and Willpower. I did really like the multiple damage
                    > types in MHR but as a nod to ICONS Fate origins I'd probably switch to FATE
                    > damage tracks if I was going to split them up. More interesting to me were
                    > MHR's complications such as the ability to web someone into oblivion with
                    > say "Stuck in Webs d8" as a condition.
                    >
                    > You could probably do something similar with Aspects or FATE Consequences.
                    > Potentially as an alternative to what happens when you go to Zero stamina
                    > instead of losing strength.
                    >
                    > 3. Aspects - On the subject of Aspects, there were a couple of cool points
                    > to MHR's Distinctions. First, there was only three of them so they were
                    > easier to remember. Second, you were pretty much expected to have them come
                    > up most of the time. And third, you had the option to take them as either a
                    > benefit or a penalty. As a GM, the Determination point economy can slow to
                    > a halt just because I forget to hand them out. I liked the way this placed
                    > the power to grab Plot points into the hands of the players.
                    >
                    > 4. Milestones and XP - Quite honestly, I didn't particularly care for
                    > Milestones as they were implemented. I felt they were awkward to make
                    > interesting. What I did really like about them was how they worked as
                    > Adventure related unlockables. Advancement in supers games is an awkward
                    > proposition with characters tending to return to status quo. Having some
                    > mechanic where the characters can earn a temporary advantage (Like when
                    > Spider-man temporarily gained the power cosmic or during Blackest Night
                    > when earths heros each got a color ring). By giving it out that way it
                    > feels less like hand waving and more that it is something the players
                    > accomplished.
                    >
                    > 5. Power Sets - I don't really know what to say in terms of implementation
                    > but I like these. I like how they were formalized in 3rd Edition M&M. I
                    > like how they were set up in MHR. I like being able to yank them off of an
                    > NPC and be able to move them around. I liked how they looked like little
                    > glowing balls of energy in the TV show Charmed. What?
                    >
                    > Ok, those are my thoughts.
                    > -Bill
                    >
                    >
                    > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > **
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP
                    > > announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration
                    > > of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would
                    > > adapt well to ICONS?
                    > > _____
                    > > Steve Kenson
                    > > stevekenson@...
                    > > www.stevekenson.com
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Curt
                    The only thing core ICONS lacks is a comprehensive vehicle design system, which Fainting Goat gave us, and another version of which is supposedly in Team Up.
                    Message 9 of 30 , Apr 26, 2013
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                      The only thing core ICONS lacks is a comprehensive vehicle design system, which Fainting Goat gave us, and another version of which is supposedly in Team Up.

                      Sent from my iPhone

                      On Apr 26, 2013, at 10:31 PM, "jasonsunday" <jasonsunday@...> wrote:

                       

                      I asked you this same question a few months ago. I don't remember where I asked but my question was phrased more like: "How can I make Icons more Marvel like?". However, "Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS", seems to phrase what I meant better.

                    • A M George
                      I thought that Marvel got around one of the issues I keep coming back to with Icons in Icons invulnerability is a survival multiplier (someone with Stamina 12
                      Message 10 of 30 , Apr 27, 2013
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                        I thought that Marvel got around one of the issues I keep coming back to with Icons
                        in Icons invulnerability is a survival multiplier (someone with Stamina 12 can survive 2 level 6 attacks, someone with Stamina 12 and invulnerability 7 can survive an infinite number of level 6 attacks)
                        Marvel allowed for alternate ways of getting putting the opponent down (complicated out, brain froze, turning them into a whimpering pile of raw emotion) - that always made MHP way more comic like for me because you could have Captain America taking down Iron Man, which doesn't feel like its viable under Icons.

                        That said...The number of dice and the dice movement slowed things down no end and the rules explanation was a little opaque to say the least.
                      • Tim K.
                        ... Those things exist in Icons, their just applied effects of in game choices--essentially a form of aspect you put on the other person. I think if you wanted
                        Message 11 of 30 , Apr 27, 2013
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                          On 4/27/2013 7:24 AM, A M George wrote:
                          > I thought that Marvel got around one of the issues I keep coming back to with Icons
                          > in Icons invulnerability is a survival multiplier (someone with Stamina 12 can survive 2 level 6 attacks, someone with Stamina 12 and invulnerability 7 can survive an infinite number of level 6 attacks)
                          > Marvel allowed for alternate ways of getting putting the opponent down (complicated out, brain froze, turning them into a whimpering pile of raw emotion) - that always made MHP way more comic like for me because you could have Captain America taking down Iron Man, which doesn't feel like its viable under Icons.
                          >


                          Those things exist in Icons, their just applied effects of in game
                          choices--essentially a form of aspect you put on the other person. I
                          think if you wanted to power it up such aspects would require
                          determination to overcome.
                        • stevekenson
                          ... With Pyramid Tests, ICONS actually allows for the same thing. See the write-up and example on the wiki:
                          Message 12 of 30 , Apr 28, 2013
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                            On Apr 28, 2013, at 7:52 AM, "A M George" amg5034031 wrote:
                            > Marvel allowed for alternate ways of getting putting the opponent down

                            With Pyramid Tests, ICONS actually allows for the same thing. See the write-up and example on the wiki:

                            http://icons-truth-justice-and-gaming.wikispaces.com/Success+Pyramid

                            You could just as easily substitute mental abilities and appropriate specialties for an emotional or psychological conflict.

                            In fact, I'm a big fan of allowing (or even requiring) heroes to win through means other than punching foes into submission. See my blog entry on "Superheroes and Lateral Wins"

                            http://stevekenson.com/2011/03/29/97/

                            _____
                            Steve Kenson
                            stevekenson@...
                            www.stevekenson.com
                          • Soylent Green
                            I m not sure how much can be learned. I feel ICONS and MHR are very different games. I kind of imagine MHR as the game created by an avant-garde Swedish
                            Message 13 of 30 , Apr 29, 2013
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                              I'm not sure how much can be learned. I feel ICONS and MHR are very different games. 

                              I kind of imagine MHR as the game created by an avant-garde Swedish architects collective, all Bauhaus purity of design aimed to a very specific kind of experience in play. To appreciate MHR properly you have to adopt a whole new gaming vocabulary and an  new way of thinking. And yes, I have watch far too much How I Met Your Mother.

                              Icons trades on its approachability and cheerfulness. I think of it as a family run Italian restaurant  unassuming in appearance but the food is to die for. Sure Icons does have some fancy, modern bits and for some maybe even the 'player only rolls' and strange dice mechanic might be too a step too far, but overall it is a very traditional, accessible game that anyone can just pick up and run. And even in doing do so get some of the rules wrong it won't really matter, the system isn't so perfectly, delicately balanced that it can't take a few knocks.

                              Please no one take this analogy too seriously :-)

                              Core Fate, when it comes out, might sever as a more natural source of inspiration for ICONS but even I'd be cautions about making ICONS to cerebral and unfriendly.



                              To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                              From: stevekenson@...
                              Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:32:24 -0400
                              Subject: [icons-rpg] Learning from Marvel Heroic

                               
                              So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would adapt well to ICONS?

                              _____
                              Steve Kenson
                              stevekenson@...
                              www.stevekenson.com






                            • jasonsunday
                              I also like the fact that the Villains can grandstand to cause more trouble for the heroes via Doom Pool.
                              Message 14 of 30 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                I also like the fact that the Villains can grandstand to cause more trouble for the heroes via Doom Pool.

                                --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "jasonsunday" <jasonsunday@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Bill made some very good points. I like the Initiative, Damage Types, Complications, and Distinction use in Marvel. I don't remember seeing it in Icons but I think the ability to push your powers (aka Power Attack from MnM) is very helpful too.
                                >
                                > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Bill Olander <plusonesword@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > 1. Initiative - Does ICONS even have an initiative system? Perhaps I've
                                > > missed it but my usual method is pick the player to my left and go around
                                > > in a circle. I've contemplated stealing both the MHR and Savage Worlds
                                > > initiative systems just to spice things up a little.
                                > >
                                > > 2. Damage Types - I understand that Stamina is a combination of
                                > > Strength(toughness) and Willpower. I did really like the multiple damage
                                > > types in MHR but as a nod to ICONS Fate origins I'd probably switch to FATE
                                > > damage tracks if I was going to split them up. More interesting to me were
                                > > MHR's complications such as the ability to web someone into oblivion with
                                > > say "Stuck in Webs d8" as a condition.
                                > >
                                > > You could probably do something similar with Aspects or FATE Consequences.
                                > > Potentially as an alternative to what happens when you go to Zero stamina
                                > > instead of losing strength.
                                > >
                                > > 3. Aspects - On the subject of Aspects, there were a couple of cool points
                                > > to MHR's Distinctions. First, there was only three of them so they were
                                > > easier to remember. Second, you were pretty much expected to have them come
                                > > up most of the time. And third, you had the option to take them as either a
                                > > benefit or a penalty. As a GM, the Determination point economy can slow to
                                > > a halt just because I forget to hand them out. I liked the way this placed
                                > > the power to grab Plot points into the hands of the players.
                                > >
                                > > 4. Milestones and XP - Quite honestly, I didn't particularly care for
                                > > Milestones as they were implemented. I felt they were awkward to make
                                > > interesting. What I did really like about them was how they worked as
                                > > Adventure related unlockables. Advancement in supers games is an awkward
                                > > proposition with characters tending to return to status quo. Having some
                                > > mechanic where the characters can earn a temporary advantage (Like when
                                > > Spider-man temporarily gained the power cosmic or during Blackest Night
                                > > when earths heros each got a color ring). By giving it out that way it
                                > > feels less like hand waving and more that it is something the players
                                > > accomplished.
                                > >
                                > > 5. Power Sets - I don't really know what to say in terms of implementation
                                > > but I like these. I like how they were formalized in 3rd Edition M&M. I
                                > > like how they were set up in MHR. I like being able to yank them off of an
                                > > NPC and be able to move them around. I liked how they looked like little
                                > > glowing balls of energy in the TV show Charmed. What?
                                > >
                                > > Ok, those are my thoughts.
                                > > -Bill
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > > **
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP
                                > > > announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration
                                > > > of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would
                                > > > adapt well to ICONS?
                                > > > _____
                                > > > Steve Kenson
                                > > > stevekenson@
                                > > > www.stevekenson.com
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • paul_jenkinson
                                I think the main thing for me to Learn from Marvel Heroic is that if you re going to use quirky mechanics, at least make them easy to understand. I
                                Message 15 of 30 , Apr 30, 2013
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                                  I think the main thing for me to 'Learn from Marvel Heroic' is that if you're going to use quirky mechanics, at least make them easy to understand. I absolutely respect Cam Banks (author of Marvel Heroic) for his work on the game, and after sales support where he seemed to have Wolverines 'secondary mutation' (that of being able to be in several comic books at the same time and place - in Cams case forums) but even now, when I think i want to pick the game up and really, fully digest it, I trip and stumble over terms and what to do and when.

                                  I get the basics - roll a pile of dice, pick two, add them together and pick another for effect. Spend plot points.

                                  The Doom pool leaves me baffled, and the two and fro of plot points with stepping and doubling and complications, assets and all the other jargon would be easier to understand if the game were better written.

                                  Call me old school, set in my ways, whatever, but I picked up M&M ok, Hero System and various other supers games (Icons included) without batting an eyelid. This thing (Marvel Heroic) has me scratching my head.

                                  The PDFs are also way too art heavy. The border blocks on each page suck ink when home printing. If I were making a copy of the game to take to a game table I'd have to cut and paste the text into a separate file. On the flipside this made the Core (Basic) book amazing value for money. I think I paid about £8 for it, delivered, so it falls neatly into the 'this is a mistake, right?' with the price. No wonder they never made any money on it.

                                  At the end of the day its another brave, failed, attempt to do a different kind of game with the Marvel license. Saga, Diceless and now this. The market won't accept quirky when it can simply look to another of a multitude of supers games that are easy to play and learn. Consumers have never had it so good. Game designers and publishers, not so. The pond is shrinking (we're all getting older, kids generally want the speed and ease of sticking a disc in a console thus people leaving the hobby and not being replaced as fast as yester-year) and there are more fish wanting a bite of the bait (dollars). Recent Kickstarters show there IS still money to be made, but you have to aim it at the right people. That is, established, adult gamers with accessible cash. If you want to get the kids you need to make the game accessible (shop shelves) and back it up with marketing. TV, Comics, Magazines etc, but who has money for that these days?

                                  Having a license is absolutely no guarantee of success. You only have to look at the past failed Marvel games (and yes, I count Marvel Heroic now in that number) for proof. Star Wars has had its clunkers too, since the heady days of WEG D6. Middle Earth has been passed from pillar to post (is the current game 'the One Ring' or some such? Still in print?) and the other licenses are niche (less popular) within a niche (science fiction or fantasy, or supers etc) within a niche (RPGs) so even less likely to make the big bucks the IP owner wants. Take Lone Wolf - recently pulled from Mongoose. It hardly set the world alight as a D20 game before then. Cubicle 7 have it now (I believe) but it'll be a while before we see anything from them.

                                  One could argue that D&D is an IP alongside Star Wars and Marvel/DC, having had films, books, cartoons, toys etc out at one stage. There's certainly no guarantee that a new D&D game will sell in huge numbers these days. If Marvel wanted D&D numbers, and had gotten them, I think they'd still have been disappointed.

                                  So, after that text wall (sorry) I would hope that the next (?) Marvel game is more traditional, easy to learn and play, and supported by traditional module type adventures instead of Event books. Let's face it, most comic book fans are at least in some part burned out by the yearly events that Marvel and DC throw at us, all of which are ret-conned or forgotten about by 6 months later... MWP maybe slipped up there too. And the printing thing.

                                  It's been a bit of a mess really.

                                  --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "jasonsunday" <jasonsunday@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I also like the fact that the Villains can grandstand to cause more trouble for the heroes via Doom Pool.
                                  >
                                  > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "jasonsunday" <jasonsunday@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Bill made some very good points. I like the Initiative, Damage Types, Complications, and Distinction use in Marvel. I don't remember seeing it in Icons but I think the ability to push your powers (aka Power Attack from MnM) is very helpful too.
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Bill Olander <plusonesword@> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > 1. Initiative - Does ICONS even have an initiative system? Perhaps I've
                                  > > > missed it but my usual method is pick the player to my left and go around
                                  > > > in a circle. I've contemplated stealing both the MHR and Savage Worlds
                                  > > > initiative systems just to spice things up a little.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > 2. Damage Types - I understand that Stamina is a combination of
                                  > > > Strength(toughness) and Willpower. I did really like the multiple damage
                                  > > > types in MHR but as a nod to ICONS Fate origins I'd probably switch to FATE
                                  > > > damage tracks if I was going to split them up. More interesting to me were
                                  > > > MHR's complications such as the ability to web someone into oblivion with
                                  > > > say "Stuck in Webs d8" as a condition.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > You could probably do something similar with Aspects or FATE Consequences.
                                  > > > Potentially as an alternative to what happens when you go to Zero stamina
                                  > > > instead of losing strength.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > 3. Aspects - On the subject of Aspects, there were a couple of cool points
                                  > > > to MHR's Distinctions. First, there was only three of them so they were
                                  > > > easier to remember. Second, you were pretty much expected to have them come
                                  > > > up most of the time. And third, you had the option to take them as either a
                                  > > > benefit or a penalty. As a GM, the Determination point economy can slow to
                                  > > > a halt just because I forget to hand them out. I liked the way this placed
                                  > > > the power to grab Plot points into the hands of the players.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > 4. Milestones and XP - Quite honestly, I didn't particularly care for
                                  > > > Milestones as they were implemented. I felt they were awkward to make
                                  > > > interesting. What I did really like about them was how they worked as
                                  > > > Adventure related unlockables. Advancement in supers games is an awkward
                                  > > > proposition with characters tending to return to status quo. Having some
                                  > > > mechanic where the characters can earn a temporary advantage (Like when
                                  > > > Spider-man temporarily gained the power cosmic or during Blackest Night
                                  > > > when earths heros each got a color ring). By giving it out that way it
                                  > > > feels less like hand waving and more that it is something the players
                                  > > > accomplished.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > 5. Power Sets - I don't really know what to say in terms of implementation
                                  > > > but I like these. I like how they were formalized in 3rd Edition M&M. I
                                  > > > like how they were set up in MHR. I like being able to yank them off of an
                                  > > > NPC and be able to move them around. I liked how they looked like little
                                  > > > glowing balls of energy in the TV show Charmed. What?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Ok, those are my thoughts.
                                  > > > -Bill
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > > **
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP
                                  > > > > announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration
                                  > > > > of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would
                                  > > > > adapt well to ICONS?
                                  > > > > _____
                                  > > > > Steve Kenson
                                  > > > > stevekenson@
                                  > > > > www.stevekenson.com
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • Seamus
                                  What s funny to me, really, is not the differences between MHR and ICONS, but the ways in which they re extremely similar. The dice mechanics, to be sure, are
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Apr 30, 2013
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                                    What's funny to me, really, is not the differences between MHR and ICONS, but the ways in which they're extremely similar. The dice mechanics, to be sure, are very different, but the way things are constructed are practical mirror images. A brief rundown:

                                    1) Aspects. In ICONS, your heroes have brief descriptive notes, called Aspects (and Complications) that serve as roleplaying cornerstones. Marvel has Distinctions that are the same thing, even in the way that they can grant Ann advantage or disadvantage.

                                    2) Determination/FATE Points/Plot Points. Miss an important roll? Want to do something really cool? There's an app for that. These concepts work in similar ways and let the heroes be heroes, not just hapless victims of probability.

                                    3) Loose Structure. As long as you can make it make ANY kind of sense, anything goes. What I have heard said about both games is decide what you want to do and then look at you're character sheet to find the right rule.

                                    I think the biggest mis-step that was made with Marvel was that no one had a food idea by which to compare the numbers. What do you compare the MHR saddles to? The saddles of any previous Marvel RPG? That's been hit our miss since FASERIP. Other supers games? Again, not the whole picture. Other Marvel properties? Absolutely no way to make that make sense.

                                    The one thing I think I really liked was the Event structure. You didn't need to really play out the event to get you're money's worth. There were so many new rules, characters, and outlines for good scenes that the Events themes were almost incidental. So even though the Events were well-written, and worth playing through, the parts in addition to the plot structure were just as valuable. This might be something to consider for future ICONS products. A long-spanning structure that can be played out as a campaign or in pieces.

                                    --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "paul_jenkinson" <arthurpness@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I think the main thing for me to 'Learn from Marvel Heroic' is that if you're going to use quirky mechanics, at least make them easy to understand. I absolutely respect Cam Banks (author of Marvel Heroic) for his work on the game, and after sales support where he seemed to have Wolverines 'secondary mutation' (that of being able to be in several comic books at the same time and place - in Cams case forums) but even now, when I think i want to pick the game up and really, fully digest it, I trip and stumble over terms and what to do and when.
                                    >
                                    > I get the basics - roll a pile of dice, pick two, add them together and pick another for effect. Spend plot points.
                                    >
                                    > The Doom pool leaves me baffled, and the two and fro of plot points with stepping and doubling and complications, assets and all the other jargon would be easier to understand if the game were better written.
                                    >
                                    > Call me old school, set in my ways, whatever, but I picked up M&M ok, Hero System and various other supers games (Icons included) without batting an eyelid. This thing (Marvel Heroic) has me scratching my head.
                                    >
                                    > The PDFs are also way too art heavy. The border blocks on each page suck ink when home printing. If I were making a copy of the game to take to a game table I'd have to cut and paste the text into a separate file. On the flipside this made the Core (Basic) book amazing value for money. I think I paid about £8 for it, delivered, so it falls neatly into the 'this is a mistake, right?' with the price. No wonder they never made any money on it.
                                    >
                                    > At the end of the day its another brave, failed, attempt to do a different kind of game with the Marvel license. Saga, Diceless and now this. The market won't accept quirky when it can simply look to another of a multitude of supers games that are easy to play and learn. Consumers have never had it so good. Game designers and publishers, not so. The pond is shrinking (we're all getting older, kids generally want the speed and ease of sticking a disc in a console thus people leaving the hobby and not being replaced as fast as yester-year) and there are more fish wanting a bite of the bait (dollars). Recent Kickstarters show there IS still money to be made, but you have to aim it at the right people. That is, established, adult gamers with accessible cash. If you want to get the kids you need to make the game accessible (shop shelves) and back it up with marketing. TV, Comics, Magazines etc, but who has money for that these days?
                                    >
                                    > Having a license is absolutely no guarantee of success. You only have to look at the past failed Marvel games (and yes, I count Marvel Heroic now in that number) for proof. Star Wars has had its clunkers too, since the heady days of WEG D6. Middle Earth has been passed from pillar to post (is the current game 'the One Ring' or some such? Still in print?) and the other licenses are niche (less popular) within a niche (science fiction or fantasy, or supers etc) within a niche (RPGs) so even less likely to make the big bucks the IP owner wants. Take Lone Wolf - recently pulled from Mongoose. It hardly set the world alight as a D20 game before then. Cubicle 7 have it now (I believe) but it'll be a while before we see anything from them.
                                    >
                                    > One could argue that D&D is an IP alongside Star Wars and Marvel/DC, having had films, books, cartoons, toys etc out at one stage. There's certainly no guarantee that a new D&D game will sell in huge numbers these days. If Marvel wanted D&D numbers, and had gotten them, I think they'd still have been disappointed.
                                    >
                                    > So, after that text wall (sorry) I would hope that the next (?) Marvel game is more traditional, easy to learn and play, and supported by traditional module type adventures instead of Event books. Let's face it, most comic book fans are at least in some part burned out by the yearly events that Marvel and DC throw at us, all of which are ret-conned or forgotten about by 6 months later... MWP maybe slipped up there too. And the printing thing.
                                    >
                                    > It's been a bit of a mess really.
                                    >
                                    > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "jasonsunday" <jasonsunday@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > I also like the fact that the Villains can grandstand to cause more trouble for the heroes via Doom Pool.
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "jasonsunday" <jasonsunday@> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Bill made some very good points. I like the Initiative, Damage Types, Complications, and Distinction use in Marvel. I don't remember seeing it in Icons but I think the ability to push your powers (aka Power Attack from MnM) is very helpful too.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Bill Olander <plusonesword@> wrote:
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > 1. Initiative - Does ICONS even have an initiative system? Perhaps I've
                                    > > > > missed it but my usual method is pick the player to my left and go around
                                    > > > > in a circle. I've contemplated stealing both the MHR and Savage Worlds
                                    > > > > initiative systems just to spice things up a little.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > 2. Damage Types - I understand that Stamina is a combination of
                                    > > > > Strength(toughness) and Willpower. I did really like the multiple damage
                                    > > > > types in MHR but as a nod to ICONS Fate origins I'd probably switch to FATE
                                    > > > > damage tracks if I was going to split them up. More interesting to me were
                                    > > > > MHR's complications such as the ability to web someone into oblivion with
                                    > > > > say "Stuck in Webs d8" as a condition.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > You could probably do something similar with Aspects or FATE Consequences.
                                    > > > > Potentially as an alternative to what happens when you go to Zero stamina
                                    > > > > instead of losing strength.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > 3. Aspects - On the subject of Aspects, there were a couple of cool points
                                    > > > > to MHR's Distinctions. First, there was only three of them so they were
                                    > > > > easier to remember. Second, you were pretty much expected to have them come
                                    > > > > up most of the time. And third, you had the option to take them as either a
                                    > > > > benefit or a penalty. As a GM, the Determination point economy can slow to
                                    > > > > a halt just because I forget to hand them out. I liked the way this placed
                                    > > > > the power to grab Plot points into the hands of the players.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > 4. Milestones and XP - Quite honestly, I didn't particularly care for
                                    > > > > Milestones as they were implemented. I felt they were awkward to make
                                    > > > > interesting. What I did really like about them was how they worked as
                                    > > > > Adventure related unlockables. Advancement in supers games is an awkward
                                    > > > > proposition with characters tending to return to status quo. Having some
                                    > > > > mechanic where the characters can earn a temporary advantage (Like when
                                    > > > > Spider-man temporarily gained the power cosmic or during Blackest Night
                                    > > > > when earths heros each got a color ring). By giving it out that way it
                                    > > > > feels less like hand waving and more that it is something the players
                                    > > > > accomplished.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > 5. Power Sets - I don't really know what to say in terms of implementation
                                    > > > > but I like these. I like how they were formalized in 3rd Edition M&M. I
                                    > > > > like how they were set up in MHR. I like being able to yank them off of an
                                    > > > > NPC and be able to move them around. I liked how they looked like little
                                    > > > > glowing balls of energy in the TV show Charmed. What?
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > Ok, those are my thoughts.
                                    > > > > -Bill
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM, stevekenson <stevekenson@> wrote:
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > > **
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > > So, given the attention on Marvel Heroic in the wake of the MWP
                                    > > > > > announcement: What things can ICONS learn, as a system, from the iteration
                                    > > > > > of Cortex in Marvel Heroic? Are there innovations in Marvel you think would
                                    > > > > > adapt well to ICONS?
                                    > > > > > _____
                                    > > > > > Steve Kenson
                                    > > > > > stevekenson@
                                    > > > > > www.stevekenson.com
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >
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