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Re: [icons-rpg] Played today with wife and kids

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  • Tobias Loehr
    Wonderful recap. I love reading these. Makes me jealous that my kids aren t old enough to play the games yet :)   OGC   ... From: yorrick99
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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      Wonderful recap. I love reading these.
      Makes me jealous that my kids aren't old enough to play the games yet :)
       
      OGC
       


      --- On Wed, 6/16/10, yorrick99 <yorrick99@...> wrote:

      From: yorrick99 <yorrick99@...>
      Subject: [icons-rpg] Played today with wife and kids
      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 2:56 PM

       
      So I finally got a chance to play ICONS today with my two kids (11 and 7, out of school) and my wife (college professor with a part-time summer schedule). The kids have played SuperCrew with me before; my wife played a game or two of Marvel SAGA back when it was current. That's about it for experience.

      Everyone rolled their characters up separately when we got time. My daughter had an Unearthly Origin and ended up with a phenomenal (Prowess 8) alien warrior named Anonymous (Odd random roll result--Mental Blast Power with a weak will and no specialty to compensate).

      My son rolled Trained and then maxed the Powers roll. He ended up with Matter Mage, a physicist-turned-sorcerer by a magical accident involving running tests on some mysterious magical helm. (I think he was reading about the Atom and Dr. Fate in one of my old Justice League sourcebooks and wanted to mix their origins, so that's what we came up with.) He had Matter Duplication and a Blast he defined as mystical, plus a Master level of Occult, plus knowledge of Physics, Computers, Languages, and Intellect 7.

      My wife also rolled Trained and got a single power, Light Control, with the default abilities to Create (I let her use this as a Blinding attack with a -1 penalty) and Shape it. She created Morningstar, a reformed mercenary skilled at swordplay, leadership, and investigation.

      I had everyone write up two Qualities and a Challenge, and told them we'd make up one of each on the fly during the issue.

      Strangely enough, these characters would have fit pretty well into my DOA setting, but I hadn't worked out a suitable short adventure for it yet, so we went with the Dr. Sin adventure from the book.

      Given that I spent too much time trying to look up specific applications of the rules on two different electronic devices, I had a group of pretty inexperienced players, and I haven't run a game in a while, we still managed to have fun.

      We played for about 90 minutes and got through the first half of the adventure. The heroes solved the rubble on the tracks problem reasonably enough; Morningstar used Light Control to flash a holographic warning to the subway driver so he put on the brakes. Anonymous and Matter Mage managed to clear the rubble from the tracks (I probably made this a little easier than it should have been), then Matter Mage spent Determination (based on his prexisting Motivation to save innocents at any cost, taken from surviving a natural disaster during his childhood) to change into steel, laying down across the mangled tracks and letting the slowing subway train roll over him without derailing, our hero taking only slight damage in the process.

      Then they tackled The Recluse and The Troll. First Morningstar blinded Recluse so Anonymous could score a slashing hit with her sword. Matter Mage whiffed so badly on his magic blast shot at The Troll that I ruled the blinding flash had reflected off broken glass in the station and distracted him as well.

      Fortunately, The Troll rolled badly and Morningstar was then able to blind him next panel, so that he had a hard time hitting either Morningstar or Matter Mage, though they quickly found that neither could damage him.

      Recluse and Anonymous squared off, each missing with blasts and Anonymous evading Recluse's strikes before she scored a fortunate Stun result with her sword and Determined Effort (tagging an on-the-spot Quality about being a Dueling Master) that I ruled had snapped Recluse out of his emotion controlled state, mainly because I had lost track of how many pages had gone by at that point.

      Once The Troll could see, Morningstar and Matter Mage led him onto the train tracks, where Matter Mage spent a point of team Determination for Determined Effort to jury rig an Intellect (Physics) stunt that boosted the power of the third rail to charge him up via his Material Duplication (we made up a Quality: Stand Back, I'm Going to Try Science!). Aided as well by Morningstar Electronics Specialty and another point of Determination (Her Master of Unorthodox Tactics Quality), I ruled the final roll was enough to boost the damage to 10--which didn't really hurt the Troll much when he grabbed Matter Mage, but with the success margin of the roll was enough to trigger a Stun result.)

      Freed from Emotion control, Recluse escaped, dropping a clue or two as he fled in confusion. With Recluse gone, a stunned Troll decided enough was enough and burrowed away.

      I'm not sure if I ran the Stun results properly for NPCs; if you roll a Major Success, score Damage of 0 or more, and the value of the attack was equal to or greater than the target's Strength, that's a Stun, right? If so, then The Troll was stunned and Recluse was not, because his Str was too high for the damage Anonymous could cause. However, Recluse was nearly knocked out, so ruling him as Stunned seemed fair enough as he got away.

      Don't know if I ran the combined use Determination for a joint effect correctly either, but it felt right and it encouraged cooperation. There might have been too much going on; according to the rules it should have taken Matter Mage two panels to both rig the third rail and absorb its power using Material Duplication. That would have meant that Morningstar would have needed to distract The Troll for one extra panel and that was probably the panel where she would have been giving him Electronics advice.

      My wife asked if she could have used Light Control to create a holographic duplicate of herself, which would have been a reasonable Stunt, so for an extra point of Determination I think it would have all worked out fine anyway. Still working out the kinks.

      We stopped there as there were appointments and piano lessons and such to attend to.

      I kind of like the free-tagging aspects of FATE and missed them a bit in this scenario, where my players were pretty actively asking questions about the environment that would have been well suited to placing Aspects on it; on the other hand, this seems like a reasonable way to get the players used to the idea of the tags, and I found Stamina pretty easy to use.

      Only used one Compel, at the end, to have Anonymous be honest when answering the cops who arrived on the scene and asked about her license for her sword. That should be a quick trip to the police precinct at the start of the next scene, where I think they'll do fine and maybe even find a little extra info on Dr. Sin. Team Determination is down to 4; Matter Mage has none of his own left, while Morningstar has 4. Need to find a good Compel for Matter Mage, or he'll keep siphoning the Team Determination.

      Leaving one or two open Quality and Challenge slots seemed to work well, especially as we get to know the system. For a group of characters who don't have a particularly powerful (Prowess 8 and Intellect 7 being the high ability scores) or diverse set of traits (a Mental Blast that rarely hits, Light Control, a high Occult + Intellect combo that wasn't tapped, a Magic Blast power, the very useful Material Duplication, and a pair of normal swords), I thought my family did a nice job of dealing with two more powerful adversaries.

      Going to post this on rpgnet as well.


    • yorrick99
      Thanks! I wanted to do this earlier and other stuff just kept getting in the way. It helped to have my wife on board; the kids naturally look to her as the
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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        Thanks! I wanted to do this earlier and other stuff just kept getting in the way. It helped to have my wife on board; the kids naturally look to her as the leader, even when they argue with her, and she asks good questions. But her lack of experience means she can't just lead them around by the nose, either.

        My son is nearly 8 and just old enough for this sort of thing. He has Asperger's Syndrome and loves numbers and data; he wanted to play Mutants and Masterminds but there were really just too many mechanical options involved in play. He liked making characters and he loves the Freedom City sourcebook, but he got frustrated in play. ICONS is a lot simpler and it let him be very heroic.

        My daughter might like a few more explicit tactical options at times, but she enjoys the simplicity encapsulated by a short character sheet and in a very high Prowess score--she's just a badass. Also, neither of us are proficient in the system so there is more on the table.

        My wife won't play a character that I make for her and won't bother designing a point buy character once it gets very time consuming, so this design process was right up her alley, though she did ask if she could tweak some of the results to fit her concept better (moving numbers rather than raising them).

        --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Tobias Loehr <the_bard_of_crete@...> wrote:
        >
        > Wonderful recap. I love reading these.
        > Makes me jealous that my kids aren't old enough to play the games yet :)
        >
        >  
        > OGC
        >  
        >
        > --- On Wed, 6/16/10, yorrick99 <yorrick99@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > From: yorrick99 <yorrick99@...>
        > Subject: [icons-rpg] Played today with wife and kids
        > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 2:56 PM
        >
        >
        >  
        >
        >
        >
        > So I finally got a chance to play ICONS today with my two kids (11 and 7, out of school) and my wife (college professor with a part-time summer schedule). The kids have played SuperCrew with me before; my wife played a game or two of Marvel SAGA back when it was current. That's about it for experience.
        >
        > Everyone rolled their characters up separately when we got time. My daughter had an Unearthly Origin and ended up with a phenomenal (Prowess 8) alien warrior named Anonymous (Odd random roll result--Mental Blast Power with a weak will and no specialty to compensate).
        >
        > My son rolled Trained and then maxed the Powers roll. He ended up with Matter Mage, a physicist-turned-sorcerer by a magical accident involving running tests on some mysterious magical helm. (I think he was reading about the Atom and Dr. Fate in one of my old Justice League sourcebooks and wanted to mix their origins, so that's what we came up with.) He had Matter Duplication and a Blast he defined as mystical, plus a Master level of Occult, plus knowledge of Physics, Computers, Languages, and Intellect 7.
        >
        > My wife also rolled Trained and got a single power, Light Control, with the default abilities to Create (I let her use this as a Blinding attack with a -1 penalty) and Shape it. She created Morningstar, a reformed mercenary skilled at swordplay, leadership, and investigation.
        >
        > I had everyone write up two Qualities and a Challenge, and told them we'd make up one of each on the fly during the issue.
        >
        > Strangely enough, these characters would have fit pretty well into my DOA setting, but I hadn't worked out a suitable short adventure for it yet, so we went with the Dr. Sin adventure from the book.
        >
        > Given that I spent too much time trying to look up specific applications of the rules on two different electronic devices, I had a group of pretty inexperienced players, and I haven't run a game in a while, we still managed to have fun.
        >
        > We played for about 90 minutes and got through the first half of the adventure. The heroes solved the rubble on the tracks problem reasonably enough; Morningstar used Light Control to flash a holographic warning to the subway driver so he put on the brakes. Anonymous and Matter Mage managed to clear the rubble from the tracks (I probably made this a little easier than it should have been), then Matter Mage spent Determination (based on his prexisting Motivation to save innocents at any cost, taken from surviving a natural disaster during his childhood) to change into steel, laying down across the mangled tracks and letting the slowing subway train roll over him without derailing, our hero taking only slight damage in the process.
        >
        > Then they tackled The Recluse and The Troll. First Morningstar blinded Recluse so Anonymous could score a slashing hit with her sword. Matter Mage whiffed so badly on his magic blast shot at The Troll that I ruled the blinding flash had reflected off broken glass in the station and distracted him as well.
        >
        > Fortunately, The Troll rolled badly and Morningstar was then able to blind him next panel, so that he had a hard time hitting either Morningstar or Matter Mage, though they quickly found that neither could damage him.
        >
        > Recluse and Anonymous squared off, each missing with blasts and Anonymous evading Recluse's strikes before she scored a fortunate Stun result with her sword and Determined Effort (tagging an on-the-spot Quality about being a Dueling Master) that I ruled had snapped Recluse out of his emotion controlled state, mainly because I had lost track of how many pages had gone by at that point.
        >
        > Once The Troll could see, Morningstar and Matter Mage led him onto the train tracks, where Matter Mage spent a point of team Determination for Determined Effort to jury rig an Intellect (Physics) stunt that boosted the power of the third rail to charge him up via his Material Duplication (we made up a Quality: Stand Back, I'm Going to Try Science!). Aided as well by Morningstar Electronics Specialty and another point of Determination (Her Master of Unorthodox Tactics Quality), I ruled the final roll was enough to boost the damage to 10--which didn't really hurt the Troll much when he grabbed Matter Mage, but with the success margin of the roll was enough to trigger a Stun result.)
        >
        > Freed from Emotion control, Recluse escaped, dropping a clue or two as he fled in confusion. With Recluse gone, a stunned Troll decided enough was enough and burrowed away.
        >
        > I'm not sure if I ran the Stun results properly for NPCs; if you roll a Major Success, score Damage of 0 or more, and the value of the attack was equal to or greater than the target's Strength, that's a Stun, right? If so, then The Troll was stunned and Recluse was not, because his Str was too high for the damage Anonymous could cause. However, Recluse was nearly knocked out, so ruling him as Stunned seemed fair enough as he got away.
        >
        > Don't know if I ran the combined use Determination for a joint effect correctly either, but it felt right and it encouraged cooperation. There might have been too much going on; according to the rules it should have taken Matter Mage two panels to both rig the third rail and absorb its power using Material Duplication. That would have meant that Morningstar would have needed to distract The Troll for one extra panel and that was probably the panel where she would have been giving him Electronics advice.
        >
        > My wife asked if she could have used Light Control to create a holographic duplicate of herself, which would have been a reasonable Stunt, so for an extra point of Determination I think it would have all worked out fine anyway. Still working out the kinks.
        >
        > We stopped there as there were appointments and piano lessons and such to attend to.
        >
        > I kind of like the free-tagging aspects of FATE and missed them a bit in this scenario, where my players were pretty actively asking questions about the environment that would have been well suited to placing Aspects on it; on the other hand, this seems like a reasonable way to get the players used to the idea of the tags, and I found Stamina pretty easy to use.
        >
        > Only used one Compel, at the end, to have Anonymous be honest when answering the cops who arrived on the scene and asked about her license for her sword. That should be a quick trip to the police precinct at the start of the next scene, where I think they'll do fine and maybe even find a little extra info on Dr. Sin. Team Determination is down to 4; Matter Mage has none of his own left, while Morningstar has 4. Need to find a good Compel for Matter Mage, or he'll keep siphoning the Team Determination.
        >
        > Leaving one or two open Quality and Challenge slots seemed to work well, especially as we get to know the system. For a group of characters who don't have a particularly powerful (Prowess 8 and Intellect 7 being the high ability scores) or diverse set of traits (a Mental Blast that rarely hits, Light Control, a high Occult + Intellect combo that wasn't tapped, a Magic Blast power, the very useful Material Duplication, and a pair of normal swords), I thought my family did a nice job of dealing with two more powerful adversaries.
        >
        > Going to post this on rpgnet as well.
        >
      • Mike Olson
        ... Actually, it s another roll -- the attack s damage (I believe; either that or the attack s Level), vs. the target s Strength. That may be what you did, now
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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          On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 12:56 PM, yorrick99 <yorrick99@...> wrote:
          I'm not sure if I ran the Stun results properly for NPCs; if you roll a Major Success, score Damage of 0 or more, and the value of the attack was equal to or greater than the target's Strength, that's a Stun, right?

          Actually, it's another roll -- the attack's damage (I believe; either that or the attack's Level), vs. the target's Strength. That may be what you did, now that I've reread it a few times, but I get the impression you just had the one roll (for the attack) and didn't actually roll separately for stun.

          Sounds like a fun session! I probably would've nixed those Trained character concepts, since neither one seemed to really rely on actual training or devices for their powers (one sounds more like a Transformed origin, and the other just sounds like she has Light Control with no justification of any kind. But also, whatever. It's a family game; fun is even more important than usual.

          --Mike
        • eric troup
          As I understand the rules for slams/stuns, it s only if a PC gets slammed or stunned that there s a roll to resist the stun/slam. So since the GM doesn t roll
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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            As I understand the rules for slams/stuns, it's only if a PC gets slammed or stunned that there's a roll to resist the stun/slam.  So since the GM doesn't roll dice, I'd think you just use the villain's strength against the result that got him slammed/stunned in the first place to determine what happens.


            On 16 Jun 2010, at 17:54, Mike Olson wrote:

             

            On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 12:56 PM, yorrick99 <yorrick99@yahoo. com> wrote:
            I'm not sure if I ran the Stun results properly for NPCs; if you roll a Major Success, score Damage of 0 or more, and the value of the attack was equal to or greater than the target's Strength, that's a Stun, right?

            Actually, it's another roll -- the attack's damage (I believe; either that or the attack's Level), vs. the target's Strength. That may be what you did, now that I've reread it a few times, but I get the impression you just had the one roll (for the attack) and didn't actually roll separately for stun.

            Sounds like a fun session! I probably would've nixed those Trained character concepts, since neither one seemed to really rely on actual training or devices for their powers (one sounds more like a Transformed origin, and the other just sounds like she has Light Control with no justification of any kind. But also, whatever. It's a family game; fun is even more important than usual.

            --Mike


          • yorrick99
            That s what I thought. I did this once, but the other time I had one of the players roll for the bad guy. Seemed to work all right either way, but
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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              That's what I thought. I did this once, but the other time I had one of the players roll for the bad guy. Seemed to work all right either way, but clarification would be cool.

              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, eric troup <yakkoman@...> wrote:
              >
              > As I understand the rules for slams/stuns, it's only if a PC gets slammed or stunned that there's a roll to resist the stun/slam. So since the GM doesn't roll dice, I'd think you just use the villain's strength against the result that got him slammed/stunned in the first place to determine what happens.
              >
              >
              > On 16 Jun 2010, at 17:54, Mike Olson wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 12:56 PM, yorrick99 <yorrick99@...> wrote:
              > > I'm not sure if I ran the Stun results properly for NPCs; if you roll a Major Success, score Damage of 0 or more, and the value of the attack was equal to or greater than the target's Strength, that's a Stun, right?
              > >
              > > Actually, it's another roll -- the attack's damage (I believe; either that or the attack's Level), vs. the target's Strength. That may be what you did, now that I've reread it a few times, but I get the impression you just had the one roll (for the attack) and didn't actually roll separately for stun.
              > >
              > > Sounds like a fun session! I probably would've nixed those Trained character concepts, since neither one seemed to really rely on actual training or devices for their powers (one sounds more like a Transformed origin, and the other just sounds like she has Light Control with no justification of any kind. But also, whatever. It's a family game; fun is even more important than usual.
              > >
              > > --Mike
              > >
              > >
              >
            • yorrick99
              Well, the random roll process does generate some strange results!
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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                Well, the random roll process does generate some strange results!

                --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Mike Olson <devlin1@...> wrote:

                > Sounds like a fun session! I probably would've nixed those Trained character
                > concepts, since neither one seemed to really rely on actual *training* or
                > devices for their powers (one sounds more like a Transformed origin, and the
                > other just sounds like she has Light Control with no justification of any
                > kind. But also, whatever. It's a family game; fun is even more important
                > than usual.
                >
                > --Mike
                >
              • Mike Olson
                ... I m not talking about the results themselves -- I m talking about their * interpretation*, and what the RAW say the different origins actually mean. But
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 16, 2010
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                  On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM, yorrick99 <yorrick99@...> wrote:
                  Well, the random roll process does generate some strange results!

                  I'm not talking about the results themselves -- I'm talking about their interpretation, and what the RAW say the different origins actually mean.

                  But anyway.

                  Re: the slam/stun/kill thing, it goes both ways. It's just that the descriptions don't make that clear. This was a major source of annoyance for me until someone pointed out a more logical way to look at it.

                  When you get a Major or Massive Success against a target with a bashing attack, roll your thing (the attack's damage or level, whichever it is -- I can't remmeber). Treat your result as the difficulty number for the target to overcome with his Strength. Then just look at the table: a failure means he's knocked back, a Moderate Success means he's knocked down, and a Major/Massive Success means he just takes damage. (Of course, he takes damage in any event, assuming it gets through his Invulnerability or whatever.)

                  Steve may very well correct me on this, but there's no indication I can see that only PCs get slammed/stunned. Moreover, I think it'd be exceedingly dull if that were the case. Don't you want to knock a dude through a wall?

                  --Mike


                   

                  --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Mike Olson <devlin1@...> wrote:

                  > Sounds like a fun session! I probably would've nixed those Trained character
                  > concepts, since neither one seemed to really rely on actual *training* or
                  > devices for their powers (one sounds more like a Transformed origin, and the
                  > other just sounds like she has Light Control with no justification of any
                  > kind. But also, whatever. It's a family game; fun is even more important
                  > than usual.
                  >
                  > --Mike
                  >




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                • yorrick99
                  Ah, I see. True enough. Well, I think that process of shaping concept to random results is actually quite a bit trickier for new role players than for seasoned
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 17, 2010
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                    Ah, I see. True enough. Well, I think that process of shaping concept to random results is actually quite a bit trickier for new role players than for seasoned ones, for all that the game itself has simple mechanics. Most veteran roleplayers have made hundreds of characters and the process of brainstorming them is pretty familiar, so the random aspect is a fun throwback.

                    My kids have watched a lot of DC Animated cartoons, but not read many comics or played RPGs. My wife doesn't read comics or roleplay, so for her to participate at all and do a good job in the game was vastly more important to me than interpreting the results.

                    To be honest, I don't have anyone in my family who would be particularly interested in playing a Trained Origin character, including Batman, Punisher, or so forth. And it came up twice! So I probably should have just taken the option of skipping the Origin altogether, or using the random tables to help shape some ideas and then just building a character with the simplified point-buy. It's a learning process.

                    --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Mike Olson <devlin1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM, yorrick99 <yorrick99@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > Well, the random roll process does generate some strange results!
                    > >
                    >
                    > I'm not talking about the results themselves -- I'm talking about their *
                    > interpretation*, and what the RAW say the different origins actually mean.
                    >
                    > But anyway.
                    >
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