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Re: [icons-rpg] What's the deal with NPC heroes?

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  • Charles Rice
    I know of the WWII books Vigilance Press has done, we ve done an American hero team, a German villain team and a British hero team so far, and they all seem to
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 2, 2010
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      I know of the WWII books Vigilance Press has done, we've done an American hero team, a German villain team and a British hero team so far, and they all seem to be selling about the same, with a slight edge in sales to the American hero team.

      So from my perspective, people don't seem to be shying away from interesting hero characters at least.

      On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 12:35 PM, Eli <emu2020@...> wrote:
       

      Let me chime in as one of those people who like heroes in a book. I can understand the reasoning for not having them, but I do prefer to have some. I feel that they are especially useful in themed settings or settings that are trying to establish a particular universe as they show players what sorts of heroes are out there besides themselves. Also, no comic book hero exists in a vacuum (unless he’s not in an expansive comic universe). They have friends, team-ups, rivals.

       

      As a few examples Spider-Man teamed up with EVERYBODY. Batman has his rivalry with Green Arrow. There are of course large team rosters like Justice League and Avengers types groups where the players do not necessarily constitute the entirety of the team.

       

      I do agree that more villains than heroes is a good thing, but there are good reasons for including heroes.

       

      -Eli

       

      From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gareth-Michael Skarka
      Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2010 7:57 AM
      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] What's the deal with NPC heroes?

       

       

       

      On Oct 2, 2010, at 5:58 AM, Soylent Green wrote:



       Icons seems to have not gone down this route though. The rule book only provides villain NPCs. And while I suppose there are a few official heroes like the Mighty Saguaro (who is totally awesome by the way) they mostly appeared on the web as promotional material.

       

      By design, and exactly for the reasons described.    Your heroes should be the focus.

       

      We give hero write-ups when they're neccessary to an adventure (the Golden Agents in SINS OF THE PAST, for example), but beyond that, dont' expect an extensive pantheon of NPC heroes in ICONS.


    • jaerdaph
      We re planning on picking PCs directly from the WWII American hero team supplement and using any remaining American heroes, heroes from other nations teams
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 2, 2010
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        We're planning on picking PCs directly from the WWII American hero team supplement and using any remaining American heroes, heroes from other nations' teams (especially if they have an American hero rival) and the villain teams as NPCs.

        jaerdaph

        --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Charles Rice <rpgchuck@...> wrote:
        >
        > I know of the WWII books Vigilance Press has done, we've done an American
        > hero team, a German villain team and a British hero team so far, and they
        > all seem to be selling about the same, with a slight edge in sales to the
        > American hero team.
        >
        > So from my perspective, people don't seem to be shying away from interesting
        > hero characters at least.
      • Craig McRoberts
        Ok, I know this is off topic, or at least tangential, but am I the only one who reads the subject of this thread with a Jerry Seinfeld voice? And with that,
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 2, 2010
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          Ok, I know this is off topic, or at least tangential, but am I the only one who reads the subject of this thread with a Jerry Seinfeld voice? And with that, I'm back to lurking and reading and absorbing.

          Craig
        • Charles Rice
          It was just you. Until I read this anyway. Curses! (just kidding)
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 2, 2010
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            It was just you.

            Until I read this anyway.

            Curses!

            (just kidding)

            On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 10:34 PM, Craig McRoberts <imprimis5@...> wrote:
             

            Ok, I know this is off topic, or at least tangential, but am I the only one who reads the subject of this thread with a Jerry Seinfeld voice? And with that, I'm back to lurking and reading and absorbing.

            Craig

          • Charles Rice
            That s neat! For the record, my players did the same thing. Hornet, Marauder and Minuteman are real PCs, while other members of the Vigilance Force were
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 2, 2010
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              That's neat!

              For the record, my players did the same thing. Hornet, Marauder and Minuteman are "real" PCs, while other members of the Vigilance Force were NPCs, though many have been played as guest characters by visiting players.

              On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 10:26 PM, jaerdaph <jjbardales@...> wrote:
               

              We're planning on picking PCs directly from the WWII American hero team supplement and using any remaining American heroes, heroes from other nations' teams (especially if they have an American hero rival) and the villain teams as NPCs.

              jaerdaph



              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Charles Rice <rpgchuck@...> wrote:
              >
              > I know of the WWII books Vigilance Press has done, we've done an American
              > hero team, a German villain team and a British hero team so far, and they
              > all seem to be selling about the same, with a slight edge in sales to the
              > American hero team.
              >
              > So from my perspective, people don't seem to be shying away from interesting
              > hero characters at least.


            • eric troup
              Actually, I m glad you brought up Sins of the Past, because I have a mechanics question about running it and similar encounters. Obviously, from reading the
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 3, 2010
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                Actually, I'm glad you brought up "Sins of the Past," because I have a mechanics question about running it and similar encounters.

                Obviously, from reading the Icons rules, we know how a hero uses Determination to fight a villain ... and from forum posts and writings here, we have some ideas of how to handle when a Villain wants to do something which would require spending Determination to affect our heroes.

                But what do you do when you've got other heroes (say, the GOlden Agents, as a f'rinstance) fighting alongside the PC?  They have their own Qualities and Challenges and such.  Do they use Determination like the PC?  Are they rolling dice along with the PC? (Presumably not.)

                I even thought about offloading the Golden Agents to the players during a fight sequence, so they would be controlled by the players and subject to rules players follow (just for the duration of an encounter).

                I just used the Golden Agents as an example here because I happen to be reading the adventure (and loving it, by the way!), but this could come up anytime one wants to do a "team-up" issue of some sort.

                Thanks.


                On 2 Oct 2010, at 07:57, Gareth-Michael Skarka wrote:

                 


                On Oct 2, 2010, at 5:58 AM, Soylent Green wrote:

                 Icons seems to have not gone down this route though. The rule book only provides villain NPCs. And while I suppose there are a few official heroes like the Mighty Saguaro (who is totally awesome by the way) they mostly appeared on the web as promotional material.

                By design, and exactly for the reasons described.    Your heroes should be the focus.

                We give hero write-ups when they're neccessary to an adventure (the Golden Agents in SINS OF THE PAST, for example), but beyond that, dont' expect an extensive pantheon of NPC heroes in ICONS.

                ---

                Gareth-Michael Skarka    

                Adamant Entertainment

                gms@...




              • jaerdaph
                LOL! Back in my 3e D&D days, I couldn t say Mystic Thurge without doing the Daffy Duck voice. :) jaerdaph
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 3, 2010
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                  LOL!

                  Back in my 3e D&D days, I couldn't say "Mystic Thurge" without doing the Daffy Duck voice. :)

                  jaerdaph

                  --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Craig McRoberts <imprimis5@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Ok, I know this is off topic, or at least tangential, but am I the only one who reads the subject of this thread with a Jerry Seinfeld voice? And with that, I'm back to lurking and reading and absorbing.
                  >
                  > Craig
                  > >
                  >
                • Curt "Cripplepotomus" Meyer
                  I actually like NPC heroes, though I like optional rules a lot more: like new powers, vehicles, etc. Your characters can interact with them. They can be
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 3, 2010
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                    I actually like NPC heroes, though I like optional rules a lot more: like new powers, vehicles, etc. Your characters can interact with them. They can  be contacts, foils, plot devices, etc, and if a character appears repeatedly in an rpg line's art for example, I'd like stats and background.
                  • Tommy Brownell
                    I would either A) turn them over to the players to use or B) handle them like the PCs, rolling dice and all...depending on whether or not the players want to
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 3, 2010
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                      I would either A) turn them over to the players to use or B) handle them
                      like the PCs, rolling dice and all...depending on whether or not the players
                      want to deal with them, basically. They only thing I would not do is
                      handwave their actions, because I hate when games just completely handwave
                      stuff away.

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: eric troup
                      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 9:12 AM
                      Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] What's the deal with NPC heroes?



                      Actually, I'm glad you brought up "Sins of the Past," because I have a
                      mechanics question about running it and similar encounters.


                      Obviously, from reading the Icons rules, we know how a hero uses
                      Determination to fight a villain ... and from forum posts and writings here,
                      we have some ideas of how to handle when a Villain wants to do something
                      which would require spending Determination to affect our heroes.


                      But what do you do when you've got other heroes (say, the GOlden Agents, as
                      a f'rinstance) fighting alongside the PC? They have their own Qualities and
                      Challenges and such. Do they use Determination like the PC? Are they
                      rolling dice along with the PC? (Presumably not.)


                      I even thought about offloading the Golden Agents to the players during a
                      fight sequence, so they would be controlled by the players and subject to
                      rules players follow (just for the duration of an encounter).


                      I just used the Golden Agents as an example here because I happen to be
                      reading the adventure (and loving it, by the way!), but this could come up
                      anytime one wants to do a "team-up" issue of some sort.


                      Thanks.




                      On 2 Oct 2010, at 07:57, Gareth-Michael Skarka wrote:





                      On Oct 2, 2010, at 5:58 AM, Soylent Green wrote:


                      Icons seems to have not gone down this route though. The rule book only
                      provides villain NPCs. And while I suppose there are a few official heroes
                      like the Mighty Saguaro (who is totally awesome by the way) they mostly
                      appeared on the web as promotional material.


                      By design, and exactly for the reasons described. Your heroes should be
                      the focus.


                      We give hero write-ups when they're neccessary to an adventure (the Golden
                      Agents in SINS OF THE PAST, for example), but beyond that, dont' expect an
                      extensive pantheon of NPC heroes in ICONS.


                      ---


                      Gareth-Michael Skarka
                      Adamant Entertainment
                      gms@...











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                    • eric troup
                      Agreed. Only time I ve ever been guilty of handwaving was in a Spirit of the Century game where we had an extremely limited amount of time left to finish the
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 3, 2010
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                        Agreed. Only time I've ever been guilty of handwaving was in a Spirit of the Century game where we had an extremely limited amount of time left to finish the adventure, no chance for a next session (It was a Christmas-themed story and we weren't due to meet back until after the holidays; what fun would that have been?), and it was a huuuuuuuge battle involving our PCs, our main villain, a bunch of his minions, a revolt of workers, a tribe of angry Yeti, and the saving or destruction of Santa's workshop. (Not as cheesy as it sounds, actually). Poor planning on my part left us with about 15 minutes to resolve this whole thing, and therefore, many of the ancillary characters got handwaved for the sake of time. Ended up having a blast though. Took a very narrativist approach to the whole thing, and in some ways, though I hate to admit it as I'm not a fan of hand-waving, I think it wound up being more successful than if we'd taken the time to roll every little piece of that pie on the table.

                        Yeah, I'm leaning toward letting the players control their actions during combat, with the understanding that they're basically making my job easier, and so if I need to put words in those characters' mouths, I can.


                        On 3 Oct 2010, at 12:36, Tommy Brownell wrote:

                        > I would either A) turn them over to the players to use or B) handle them
                        > like the PCs, rolling dice and all...depending on whether or not the players
                        > want to deal with them, basically. They only thing I would not do is
                        > handwave their actions, because I hate when games just completely handwave
                        > stuff away.
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: eric troup
                        > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 9:12 AM
                        > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] What's the deal with NPC heroes?
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Actually, I'm glad you brought up "Sins of the Past," because I have a
                        > mechanics question about running it and similar encounters.
                        >
                        >
                        > Obviously, from reading the Icons rules, we know how a hero uses
                        > Determination to fight a villain ... and from forum posts and writings here,
                        > we have some ideas of how to handle when a Villain wants to do something
                        > which would require spending Determination to affect our heroes.
                        >
                        >
                        > But what do you do when you've got other heroes (say, the GOlden Agents, as
                        > a f'rinstance) fighting alongside the PC? They have their own Qualities and
                        > Challenges and such. Do they use Determination like the PC? Are they
                        > rolling dice along with the PC? (Presumably not.)
                        >
                        >
                        > I even thought about offloading the Golden Agents to the players during a
                        > fight sequence, so they would be controlled by the players and subject to
                        > rules players follow (just for the duration of an encounter).
                        >
                        >
                        > I just used the Golden Agents as an example here because I happen to be
                        > reading the adventure (and loving it, by the way!), but this could come up
                        > anytime one wants to do a "team-up" issue of some sort.
                        >
                        >
                        > Thanks.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > On 2 Oct 2010, at 07:57, Gareth-Michael Skarka wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > On Oct 2, 2010, at 5:58 AM, Soylent Green wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Icons seems to have not gone down this route though. The rule book only
                        > provides villain NPCs. And while I suppose there are a few official heroes
                        > like the Mighty Saguaro (who is totally awesome by the way) they mostly
                        > appeared on the web as promotional material.
                        >
                        >
                        > By design, and exactly for the reasons described. Your heroes should be
                        > the focus.
                        >
                        >
                        > We give hero write-ups when they're neccessary to an adventure (the Golden
                        > Agents in SINS OF THE PAST, for example), but beyond that, dont' expect an
                        > extensive pantheon of NPC heroes in ICONS.
                        >
                        >
                        > ---
                        >
                        >
                        > Gareth-Michael Skarka
                        > Adamant Entertainment
                        > gms@...
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > No virus found in this incoming message.
                        > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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                      • Jakub
                        ... Not really. I think that in all games, but especially in supers games your friends/foils/contacts need to be personalized - that s why ICONS and the
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 4, 2010
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                          --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "Curt \"Cripplepotomus\" Meyer" <curtmeyer@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I actually like NPC heroes, though I like optional rules a lot more: like
                          > new powers, vehicles, etc. Your characters can interact with them. They can
                          > be contacts, foils, plot devices, etc, and if a character appears repeatedly
                          > in an rpg line's art for example, I'd like stats and background.
                          >

                          Not really. I think that in all games, but especially in supers games your friends/foils/contacts need to be personalized - that's why ICONS and the characters-as-aspects rule, and that's why i'm waiting for the nemesis creation rules in Villainomicon.
                          If I don't have any influence on creation of the character of my rival or greatest enemy, it doesn't really feel like a supers game.
                        • Jakub
                          ... Savage Worlds has this as an explicit system rule - the PCs control ALL their allies, even the ones that are against them (like in Evernight, the rats are
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 4, 2010
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                            --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, eric troup <yakkoman@...> wrote:

                            >
                            > Yeah, I'm leaning toward letting the players control their actions during combat, with the understanding that they're basically making my job easier, and so if I need to put words in those characters' mouths, I can.

                            Savage Worlds has this as an explicit system rule - the PCs control ALL their allies, even the ones that are against them (like in Evernight, the rats are attacking the slaves, but the slavers join the combat to protect the servants), and I want to adopt this approach in ICONS, especially that the great finale of my campaign should ideally be a great epic battle in space between all the heroes and villains, rebel aliens and evil invading alien sect.
                          • eric troup
                            That s kinda where I got the idea to let the players control the GA during combat, actually. I may have my pet peeves regarding Savage Worlds, but there s a
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 4, 2010
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                              That's kinda where I got the idea to let the players control the GA during combat, actually.  I may have my pet peeves regarding Savage Worlds, but there's a whole lot to like about it.


                              On 4 Oct 2010, at 02:43, Jakub wrote:

                               

                              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, eric troup <yakkoman@...> wrote:

                              >
                              > Yeah, I'm leaning toward letting the players control their actions during combat, with the understanding that they're basically making my job easier, and so if I need to put words in those characters' mouths, I can.

                              Savage Worlds has this as an explicit system rule - the PCs control ALL their allies, even the ones that are against them (like in Evernight, the rats are attacking the slaves, but the slavers join the combat to protect the servants), and I want to adopt this approach in ICONS, especially that the great finale of my campaign should ideally be a great epic battle in space between all the heroes and villains, rebel aliens and evil invading alien sect.


                            • Soylent Green
                              Pretty much in agreement. Handing them over the the player is quite cute and with a simple system it s easy to do.
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 4, 2010
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                                Pretty much in agreement. Handing them over the the player is quite cute and with a simple system it's easy to do.

                                > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                > From: tommyb@...
                                > Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 14:36:54 -0500
                                > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] What's the deal with NPC heroes?
                                >
                                > I would either A) turn them over to the players to use or B) handle them
                                > like the PCs, rolling dice and all...depending on whether or not the players
                                > want to deal with them, basically. They only thing I would not do is
                                > handwave their actions, because I hate when games just completely handwave
                                > stuff away.
                                >
                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                > From: eric troup
                                > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                > Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 9:12 AM
                                > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] What's the deal with NPC heroes?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Actually, I'm glad you brought up "Sins of the Past," because I have a
                                > mechanics question about running it and similar encounters.
                                >
                                >
                                > Obviously, from reading the Icons rules, we know how a hero uses
                                > Determination to fight a villain ... and from forum posts and writings here,
                                > we have some ideas of how to handle when a Villain wants to do something
                                > which would require spending Determination to affect our heroes.
                                >
                                >
                                > But what do you do when you've got other heroes (say, the GOlden Agents, as
                                > a f'rinstance) fighting alongside the PC? They have their own Qualities and
                                > Challenges and such. Do they use Determination like the PC? Are they
                                > rolling dice along with the PC? (Presumably not.)
                                >
                                >
                                > I even thought about offloading the Golden Agents to the players during a
                                > fight sequence, so they would be controlled by the players and subject to
                                > rules players follow (just for the duration of an encounter).
                                >
                                >
                                > I just used the Golden Agents as an example here because I happen to be
                                > reading the adventure (and loving it, by the way!), but this could come up
                                > anytime one wants to do a "team-up" issue of some sort.
                                >
                                >
                                > Thanks.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > On 2 Oct 2010, at 07:57, Gareth-Michael Skarka wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > On Oct 2, 2010, at 5:58 AM, Soylent Green wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Icons seems to have not gone down this route though. The rule book only
                                > provides villain NPCs. And while I suppose there are a few official heroes
                                > like the Mighty Saguaro (who is totally awesome by the way) they mostly
                                > appeared on the web as promotional material.
                                >
                                >
                                > By design, and exactly for the reasons described. Your heroes should be
                                > the focus.
                                >
                                >
                                > We give hero write-ups when they're neccessary to an adventure (the Golden
                                > Agents in SINS OF THE PAST, for example), but beyond that, dont' expect an
                                > extensive pantheon of NPC heroes in ICONS.
                                >
                                >
                                > ---
                                >
                                >
                                > Gareth-Michael Skarka
                                > Adamant Entertainment
                                > gms@...
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > No virus found in this incoming message.
                                > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                                > Version: 9.0.856 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3173 - Release Date: 10/02/10
                                > 13:05:00
                                >
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                              • dirkgentry2000
                                I d love to hear how that game goes, jaerdaph -- let me know if you post an actual play report or something?
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 4, 2010
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                                  I'd love to hear how that game goes, jaerdaph -- let me know if you post an actual play report or something?

                                  --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "jaerdaph" <jjbardales@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > We're planning on picking PCs directly from the WWII American hero team supplement and using any remaining American heroes, heroes from other nations' teams (especially if they have an American hero rival) and the villain teams as NPCs.
                                  >
                                  > jaerdaph
                                  >
                                  > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Charles Rice <rpgchuck@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > I know of the WWII books Vigilance Press has done, we've done an American
                                  > > hero team, a German villain team and a British hero team so far, and they
                                  > > all seem to be selling about the same, with a slight edge in sales to the
                                  > > American hero team.
                                  > >
                                  > > So from my perspective, people don't seem to be shying away from interesting
                                  > > hero characters at least.
                                  >
                                • curtmeyer@gmail.com
                                  That s a good point, but I still like the flavor of heroes. But, yes, PCs should be the focus of the game.
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 4, 2010
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                                    That's a good point, but I still like the "flavor" of heroes. But, yes, PCs should be the focus of the game.
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