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My 5-star review of ICONS Assembled …

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  • Icosahedrophilia
    … is now up at DriveThruRPG. http://bit.ly/1pFeR2A for those interested. Top three differences between ICONS Assembled and classic ICONS: 1. The core
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 1, 2014
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      … is now up at DriveThruRPG. http://bit.ly/1pFeR2A for those interested.

      Top three differences between ICONS Assembled and classic ICONS:

      1. The core mechanic is now Effort (Acting Ability + 1d6) - Difficulty (Opposing Ability + d6) = Outcome instead of the old Acting Ability + 1d6 - 1d6 calculation. This means that GMs roll dice in the Assembled Edition. This change makes it much easier to handle the powers that used to be written from the hero’s perspective, but now are written from the acting character’s perspective, whether hero or villain.

      2. Qualities and challenges have been melded into just one list, called qualities. The Assembled Edition explains how to use qualities a lot better than the classic ICONS rulebook, and avoids the jargon of “tagging” and “compelling” in favor of “activating” qualities to gain advantage or cause trouble. Much improved, especially for players not already familiar with FATE or similar systems.

      3. There are no more “counts as two powers” powers. They’ve all been revised or folded into other powers so that all powers “count” the same for such things as calculating starting Determination.

      The book is fantastic and I enthusiastically recommend it for all ICONS players, old and new. Of course this is an audience that doesn’t really need a sales pitch. :-)

      Chris




      Chris Heard
      Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
      http://drchris.me/d20
      ><> ב״ה



    • Soylent Green
      Nah, biggest change is the Warbride illustration! Okay, maybe not, but it what struck me the most, probably because of the small but important role she played
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 1, 2014
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        Nah, biggest change is the Warbride illustration! 

        Okay, maybe not, but it what struck me the most, probably because of the small but important role she played in my campaign. 

        Overall I get it. Bathing suit style costumes are silly, dated and politically suspect and the redesign has a whole Kirby-esque style, always a good way to go,  but the the expression of glee on the face of the original Warbride illustration and  "bring it on, chum" pose are what made that character. Simple as it is, I think the original is among Dan's best, most expressive character illustrations.  



        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2014 00:43:58 -0700
        Subject: [icons-rpg] My 5-star review of ICONS Assembled …

         
        … is now up at DriveThruRPG. http://bit.ly/1pFeR2A for those interested.

        Top three differences between ICONS Assembled and classic ICONS:

        1. The core mechanic is now Effort (Acting Ability + 1d6) - Difficulty (Opposing Ability + d6) = Outcome instead of the old Acting Ability + 1d6 - 1d6 calculation. This means that GMs roll dice in the Assembled Edition. This change makes it much easier to handle the powers that used to be written from the hero’s perspective, but now are written from the acting character’s perspective, whether hero or villain.

        2. Qualities and challenges have been melded into just one list, called qualities. The Assembled Edition explains how to use qualities a lot better than the classic ICONS rulebook, and avoids the jargon of “tagging” and “compelling” in favor of “activating” qualities to gain advantage or cause trouble. Much improved, especially for players not already familiar with FATE or similar systems.

        3. There are no more “counts as two powers” powers. They’ve all been revised or folded into other powers so that all powers “count” the same for such things as calculating starting Determination.

        The book is fantastic and I enthusiastically recommend it for all ICONS players, old and new. Of course this is an audience that doesn’t really need a sales pitch. :-)

        Chris




        Chris Heard
        Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
        http://drchris.me/d20
        ><> ב״ה




      • spookyvoodoo64
        Biggest change for me was bundling the Qualities and Challenges aspects into simply Qualities and limiting it to just three, rather than up to 10. I totally
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 2, 2014
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          Biggest change for me was bundling the Qualities and Challenges aspects into simply "Qualities" and limiting it to just three, rather than up to 10. I totally get the logic behind it though and am glad they streamlined it. 

          Only complaint I really have is that Steve dropped my favorite superpower - Animal Control. Where'd it go? But OTOH he added Animal Mimicry, so while you can no longer okay Aquaman you can now play Vixen. 
        • Gus Gosselin
          Wouldn t animal control just be mind control with the animals only limit?
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 2, 2014
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            Wouldn't animal control just be mind control with the animals only limit?

            On Jul 2, 2014, at 9:58 AM, "spookyvoodoo64@... [icons-rpg]" <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

             

            Biggest change for me was bundling the Qualities and Challenges aspects into simply "Qualities" and limiting it to just three, rather than up to 10. I totally get the logic behind it though and am glad they streamlined it. 


            Only complaint I really have is that Steve dropped my favorite superpower - Animal Control. Where'd it go? But OTOH he added Animal Mimicry, so while you can no longer okay Aquaman you can now play Vixen. 

          • spookyvoodoo64
            I suppose, but mind control is thematically different from Animal control IMO, they have a totally different feel to them and the mind control description
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 2, 2014
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              I suppose, but mind control is thematically different from Animal control IMO, they have a totally different feel to them and the mind control description doesn't really mesh with how animal control tends to work in the comics. Not without adding limits and extras. It also implies that having Mind Control without the Animal Control limit allows you to control both people and animals. 


            • Soylent Green
              The new limit to the number of Qualities is something I think I m going to quietly ignore. My currecnt character s got 9, none of which I would like to drop
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 2, 2014
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                The new limit to the number of Qualities is something I think I'm going to quietly ignore. My currecnt character's got 9, none of which I would like to drop and I still don't manage to wrangle enough Compels.



                To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2014 06:58:50 -0700
                Subject: [icons-rpg] RE: [icons -rpg] My 5 -star revi ew of ICON S Assemble d …

                 
                Biggest change for me was bundling the Qualities and Challenges aspects into simply "Qualities" and limiting it to just three, rather than up to 10. I totally get the logic behind it though and am glad they streamlined it. 

                Only complaint I really have is that Steve dropped my favorite superpower - Animal Control. Where'd it go? But OTOH he added Animal Mimicry, so while you can no longer okay Aquaman you can now play Vixen. 

              • dirkgentry2000
                not sure if anyone has mentioned it - but the modern style layout and well thought out organization of the Assembled Edition is great. The book looks sharp and
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 2, 2014
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                  not sure if anyone has mentioned it - but the modern style layout and well thought out organization of the Assembled Edition is great. The book looks sharp and finding what you need is very intuitive now.
                • wee_ree_cat
                  There was a poll on Steve s blog about the preferred creation method for ICONS, and I think point-buy had the most votes (it had mine). Is there any
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 3, 2014
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                    There was a poll on Steve's blog about the preferred creation method for ICONS, and I think point-buy had the most votes (it had mine). 

                    Is there any acknowledgment of this in the new edition ? As in, an overhauled and balanced point-buy creation system ? First edition was great (well, we're all here, aren't we ?) but it really felt like the point-buy option was an afterthough.
                  • wee_ree_cat
                    woops, can t edit my message. I just wanted to add hello there, thanks for the review at the top. Sorry for the apparent rudeness.
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 3, 2014
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                      woops, can't edit my message. I just wanted to add "hello there, thanks for the review" at the top. Sorry for the apparent rudeness.
                    • Soylent Green
                      The point based system is unchanged. It s more like a reminder of when you should probably stop buying powers than a balancing mechanic. To:
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jul 3, 2014
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                        The point based system is unchanged. It's more like a reminder of when you should probably stop buying powers than a balancing mechanic. 


                        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                        From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 15:15:08 -0700
                        Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: My 5-star review of ICONS Assembled …

                         
                        There was a poll on Steve's blog about the preferred creation method for ICONS, and I think point-buy had the most votes (it had mine). 

                        Is there any acknowledgment of this in the new edition ? As in, an overhauled and balanced point-buy creation system ? First edition was great (well, we're all here, aren't we ?) but it really felt like the point-buy option was an afterthough.

                      • Gareth-Michael Skarka
                        ... It absolutely WAS an afterthought. See SteveÆs most recent blog post, here: http://stevekenson.com/2014/07/03/icons-heroes-by-the-numbers/ The game was
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jul 3, 2014
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                          On Jul 3, 2014, at 6:00 PM, Soylent Green gsoylent@... [icons-rpg] <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                           but it really felt like the point-buy option was an afterthough.


                          It absolutely WAS an afterthought.

                          See Steve’s most recent blog post, here:   http://stevekenson.com/2014/07/03/icons-heroes-by-the-numbers/


                          The game was always intended to be centered on random character creation.

                          -Gareth
                        • Cameron Mount
                          I ll note again as I have before, I like to roll for character determination, but then use points to level out characters to point level that makes sense, with
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jul 3, 2014
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                            I'll note again as I have before, I like to roll for character determination, but then use points to level out characters to point level that makes sense, with point levels kind of controlling the scale (street, city, national, international, galactic, or cosmic).

                            This keeps people from playing Jimmy Olson while someone else has Superman. While that hasn't literally happened, the power level disparities in more than one game I played in certainly felt like that.  One person rolls really well and has 60+ point character while another player tops out at about 40. That's not fun, but if you have a point cap, say 50, one player drops a power and a few ability points while the other takes a power and some specialities.

                            I will also note that dice and other random number generators tend to hate me as a rule, so I'd be that guy with the one underpowered street level vigilante character while everyone is JLA level.

                            Just my experience.

                            On Thursday, July 3, 2014, Gareth-Michael Skarka gms@... [icons-rpg] <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                             


                            On Jul 3, 2014, at 6:00 PM, Soylent Green gsoylent@... [icons-rpg] <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                             but it really felt like the point-buy option was an afterthough.


                            It absolutely WAS an afterthought.

                            See Steve’s most recent blog post, here:   http://stevekenson.com/2014/07/03/icons-heroes-by-the-numbers/


                            The game was always intended to be centered on random character creation.

                            -Gareth

                          • Fabrício César Franco
                            I feel likewise, Cameron. The dice seem to hate me. Thus, I favor the point-based character creation. Fabrício I feel likewise, Cameron. The dice seem to hate
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jul 3, 2014
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                              I feel likewise, Cameron. The dice seem to hate me. Thus, I favor the point-based character creation.

                              Fabrício

                            • Soylent Green
                              My method for character generation is to sit in front of the Character Folio and just keep clicking New until I see something I feel excited about. So it s not
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jul 4, 2014
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                                My method for character generation is to sit in front of the Character Folio and just keep clicking New until I see something I feel excited about. So it's not random in the old school sense of "Live and die by the dice"  but it stimulates my imagination and gets me to try powers and combinations I may not have chosen otherwise. And no, I don't keep rolling till I get all 10s.

                                I don't think varying power levels are that much an issue. During a game there is a lot of spotlight to be had that doesn't involve how hard you can punch. And if you look at the comics where teams like the Avengers have always enjoyed disparity of power level, when they face the Masters of Evil you'll see Thor take on someone like Absorbing Man or The Executioner while Black Widow engaged Baron Zemo. 

                                And sure, the player with the weaker character has to work harder to keep up with the heavy hitters but in the context of a roleplaying game "working harder" is fun, it translate into more creativity and engagement.

                                I think the risk with random more about niche protection rather than absolute power levels. Two guys with Plant or Weather Control or if you have someone with Time Control that is a better speedster than the speedster, that's just a downer. 


                                To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 19:50:23 -0400
                                Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] My 5-star review of ICONS Assembled …

                                 
                                I'll note again as I have before, I like to roll for character determination, but then use points to level out characters to point level that makes sense, with point levels kind of controlling the scale (street, city, national, international, galactic, or cosmic).

                                This keeps people from playing Jimmy Olson while someone else has Superman. While that hasn't literally happened, the power level disparities in more than one game I played in certainly felt like that.  One person rolls really well and has 60+ point character while another player tops out at about 40. That's not fun, but if you have a point cap, say 50, one player drops a power and a few ability points while the other takes a power and some specialities.

                                I will also note that dice and other random number generators tend to hate me as a rule, so I'd be that guy with the one underpowered street level vigilante character while everyone is JLA level.

                                Just my experience.

                                On Thursday, July 3, 2014, Gareth-Michael Skarka gms@... [icons-rpg] <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                 


                                On Jul 3, 2014, at 6:00 PM, Soylent Green gsoylent@... [icons-rpg] <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                                 but it really felt like the point-buy option was an afterthough.


                                It absolutely WAS an afterthought.

                                See Steve’s most recent blog post, here:   http://stevekenson.com/2014/07/03/icons-heroes-by-the-numbers/


                                The game was always intended to be centered on random character creation.

                                -Gareth


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