Showing posts with label icons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label icons. Show all posts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Zatannurday: ICONS

Digging through some characters and found some ICONS stats for Zatanna.  Time to share!

It's been a long time since I last talked about ICONS.  I would like to do more with it someday.

Zatanna
Zatanna Zatara

Abilities
Prowess: 3
Coordination: 5
Strength: 2
Intellect: 6
Awareness: 7
Willpower: 8

Powers
Wizardry (Magic) 8
- Blast
- Mind Controll
Telepathy 4
Teleport 5
Astral Projection 6

Specialties
Performance (Stage Magic) - Mastery
Sleight of Hand - Mastery
Occult - Mastery

Stamina: 10
Determination: 1

Aspects
Qualities
Connections
Epithet
- "World's Greatest Magician"
- "Mistress of Magic"

Challenges
Weakness - Must speak backwards to use her magic
Relationship issues.

Links

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DriveThruRPG reveiws

Some random DriveThruRPG reviews.
I wanted to get a lot more of these done this year, but reviews take a bit to do properly.  I am making recommendations that I hope others are reading are them, but I want to make sure they are informed recommendations. 

Diana: Warrior Princess
Diana: Warrior Princess is a game that is so out there it is hard to quantify it.
Lets start with the easy part first, the game system. The game is very cinematic and focuses largely on characters can do that is cool, amazing or fun. So no stats for cooking here, unless of course one of your characters is a notorious Iron Chef (which would totally work with this game).

Now the premise. Take our world, but go many thousand of years in the future. Now make a TV show of our times, but give it the same historical accuracy (and sense of over the top cinema and fun) as Xena: Warrior Princess. That is D: WP, except you are playing in that world and it is all real to you. So tons of characters make appearances that we know of today. England is a land ruled by Queens Victoria and Elizabeth with the undead Thatcher in control. Just tons of over the top things like that. Adding stuff is easy. There might be this new Robber-Baron from the USA that uses technology to suck the lives out of people into his magical book that keeps a representation of their face. This dreaded artifact of the ancient 21st century was known as "The Facebook"! Just like that. Hard to say what being Googled will mean!

Don't take this game too seriously and you will have a lot of fun.
If you are the type though that looks for internal consistency in your worlds and retcon is a dirty word, then maybe don't get this.

But everyone will have a really fun time.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
A hefty collection of archetypes for the ICONS game. Lots of familiar territory here with some standard comic book archetypes. What I came here for was the Magician, Occult hero and the Psychic.

In all cases an archetype is presented with some explanatory notes on how this character works in the comics and the game. Examples from comics are given and ways to use the character. Then we also get a full write up of a ready to use character, either as an NPC or PC for your own games. Usually 4 pages per archetype.

Very good book for the price and now I want to pick up the first two as well.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars (bought it for the Zatanna like character on the front).

Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook, Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition
Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook, ICONS
The Freshman Handbook is a great product in the Hope Prep product line. Meant to follow from the Hope Prep Orientation book, this book expands what you know and provides more information.

Like the Orientation Book, this book is multi-system. I had no issue moving from the ICONS version of one to the M&M version of the other.

This book contains everything a new student will need to know about their new school. There are class schedules with information on the teachers (and their powers, listed in back). While there is a wealth of information here it's utility will vary form GM to GM. While somw may like know where the students are at any given moment of any given day, there are others that will hand wave this.

One thing I found a distraction was the multi-colored text of the two students, Maza and Kid Courage. While interesting and provided a good insight to what was "really" going on, I found the font choice and color difficult to read sometimes.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Hope Prep #0 Orientation, Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition
Hope Prep #0 Orientation, ICONS
Ever since the X-Men went to class and the Teen Titans went to their tower, being a super powered teen has always been popular in comics. It was popular before that too, but let's stick with high school. Hope Prep is another in a long line of Schools for .... you get the idea.
This book was written for ICONS, but I am certain that the same applies for other versions (M&M).
The idea here is a day spent learning about your new school, Hope Prep. A new bad guy organization is introduced, which I really liked and will use. And it works as a good introduction to supers roleplaying and the game systems as well.

Each scene is detailed well, but not in a way that tells the GM what everyone needs to do, but instead a framework of what is going on and how to move from one scene to the next. Very nice.
There is a starter map of the school grounds and some materials to print and give to your players.

All in all, a very fun intro and certainly makes want to get some more from this line of products.

All in all I really like the Hope Prep products and plan to buy some more of these.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Dryden: Hero or Horror
Dryden: Hero or Horror seriously undersells itself.
At 10 cents it is likely to be ignored and that would be a shame. While I think today it could be released with some slightly better presentation of the art (the art is good, but quality of the scan seems bad) for a much greater price, there is plenty here for nearly any flavor of the 3.x d20 game.
Dryden are a race that can interbreed with other races, even monsters. For this reason they are listed as a character race, a monster and a monster template. It is also for this reason it carries a "for mature audiences" tag, but there is nothing here that I would not consider to be PG-13.
Differing information is given for fantasy, modern and future versions of the game and some plot hooks.
If you like the idea of a quasi-parasitic race then this is a good product. I like it since it designed to be used in multiple flavors of the same game and show the flexibility of the d20 system and this race.

And it is only 10 cents. Grab it before the publishers realize that giving something away that is this good is a bad idea. ;)
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Campaign Builders: Modern High
Campaign Builders are quick books to help you get started with a campaign mode. In this case a modern high school (and two popular variations, the Horror High and Ninja School).
I grabbed this for ideas to help with a anime/supers/magic flavored high school game I Was working on at the time and it was a great help. The coolest feature here (and since used in other games) is the "Allowance" mechanic. This might not be the first place it has been used like this, but what they do have here is very good.

It is a great product for the price. I might have liked to see more school types and paid a little more, but all in all I am very happy with it.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Friday, July 1, 2011

Willow & Tara: Icons

I have been missing my regularly scheduled Willow and Tara posts. I posted everything for Season 1: The Dragon and the Phoenix and Season 2: Season of the Witch.

Season 3 was going to be more "supers" or even "anime" like.  So I played around with Mutants and Masterminds and Big Eyes, Small Mouth quite a bit to get what I wanted, but I never quite got it there.  The idea behind Season 3: Generation HEX was Willow and Tara would play a less central role as educators of the next generation of witches growing up in a world where everyone knows all about magic.

Again I never quite got it working.  But the releases of Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Ed, as well as Bash, Icons and Villains and Vigilantes has got me thinking about it all again.

So here are the girls using Icons, plus some new Icons related supplements I picked up.

Icons

Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice.

Icons though is perfect for trying out a couple of episodes.  The biggest issues of "Generation HEX" is it lacked a bit of an identity.  "Dragon" was a "Buffy Game", "Season of the Witch" was a "Ghosts of Albion" Game.  So the best thing I think is to try out a couple of different "episodes" or "issues" in the various games that went to inspire the series.  Now I had stopped work on "Generation HEX" long before Icons came along, but there are still things I can do.

Since I am experimenting I am used the the official module The Mastermind Affair as my test.
You can read my review of the adventure on DriveThruRPG's site.

Since I am rebuilding this season I also grabbed a ton of books on playing in High School and supers:

Willow Rosenberg

Prowess: 2
Coordination: 3
Strength: 2
Intellect: 7
Awareness: 6
Willpower: 7

Height: 5'3"  Weight: 114 lbs.
First Appearance (Icons):  Season 3, Episode1: We Could  Be Heroes.

Powers
Wizardry (magic) 7 (Telekinesis, Blast)
Detection
Mind Control 4
Supersenses (magic, ghosts, astral [sight, hearing, touch]) 3
Telepathy 2 (4 /w Tara)

Specialties
Science, Occult, Electronics, Computers, Languages

Stamina: 9
Determination: 1

Aspects
Qualities
Connections, Motivation: "To learn more magic"

Challenges
Personal: Out Lesbian.
Relationship: Tara



Tara Maclay

Prowess: 2
Coordination: 2
Strength: 3
Intellect: 
Awareness: 7
Willpower: 6

Height: 5'5"  Weight: 128 lbs.
First Appearance (Icons):  Season 3, Episode1: We Could  Be Heroes.

Powers
Wizardry (magic) 6 (Telekinesis, Force Field)
Aura 3 (supernatural creatures affected only, fear aura)
Blast 2
Emotion Control 2
Healing 4
Supersenses (magic, ghosts, astral [sight, hearing, touch]) 3
Telepathy 2 (4 /w Willow)

Specialties
Art, Occult, Psychiatry, Languages 

Stamina: 8
Determination: 1

Aspects
Qualities
Connections, Motivation: "To protect the innocent"

Challenges
Personal: Out Lesbian. 
Relationship: Willow

These are built assuming this is the start of Season 3 and the girls have quite a bit of experience.  I like these builds, but I think I am going to need more practice in this game.  

Icons has some great advice/hints/tips on making an archenemy, I think I am going to have to take that advice and figure out someone for the girls to battle.  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Icons

I go in and out of moods for my games a lot.  Gamer ADHD as it has been called.

I have been going through my Icons collection of late with the idea to revive my long dead Supers game.
I have already stated Justice for Icons, but I have not used it for Willow and Tara just yet.  So here is my point of view on Icons.  Some of this I mentioned before, but I wanted to pull it all together in one place.

Icons

I enjoy Supers games. I don't get to play them as often as I would like, but I enjoy them all the same. I had been playing M&M 2ed and just picked up BASH! so I was hesitant to also get Icons. But Icons comes with a pretty good pedigree. First it is written by Steven Kenson, who gave us Mutants and Masterminds and also worked on Silver Age Sentinels. Steve obviously knows his supers. It has Gareth-Michael Skarka of Adamant Entertainment and one of the minds behind "Hong Kong Action Theater". Walt Ciechanowski has a ton of game systems under his belt too including M&M, True20 and Victoriana (1st ed). And Morgan Davie, whom I'll admit I am not as familiar with. But he is one of the guys that wrote Icons, so that makes him good in my book.

Comics are a visual medium. Full of art and color and eye catching action. Icons is the same. It is a really good looking book, especially one that has such a "retro" or even "indie" feel to it. It lives somewhere between the free flowing cartoon fun of Cartoon Action Hour and the slick, high production values of Mutants and Masterminds. All three of these games are fantastic and their style really tells us a lot about what they are about. Icons is a comic book game that is close to a Saturday Morning Super Heroes cartoon. The art, which some people have disliked, I think sets the perfect mood for this book. It is simple art, but it is good art and has a earnestness about that I like. That is also true for the rules.


Icons, as you may or may not have heard, is powered by FATE. Though the typical FATE/Fudge trappings of naming the power levels is gone in favor of numbers (sort of a step backwards from the FATE perspective, but fine for me). There is the option for named levels too, and I think it would fit the style of comic book action, but I myself prefer numbers. The scale is pretty simple, 1 to 10, with 3 an average. So very similar already to a lot of games I play.

The rules themselves are really simple. It is a modification of the dF system. Use 2d6 with one as positive and one as negative, roll and add, apply mods. Easy. You can be up and running in less time than it takes to say "Meanwhile back at the Hall of Justice..."

Hero creation is unique for a modern game, it is random. Not that you couldn't do it as a "point buy" system, but the randomness is what I think sets it away from BASH which can fill similar needs.

I feel I must at this point call out the Character Sheet. Long ago I was a reader of Marvel and I loved their "Whos Who" of the Marvel universe where they would have bar charts to rank their heroes on various attributes. It was almost very game-like and I loved them. Icons does something similar and it really gives their characters a different feel.

I would be lying if I didn't see bits of pieces of Silver Age Sentinels or Mutants and Masterminds peeking out every so often. That is fine with me. That familiarity is a good thing in my mind.

Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for. But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice.

Other Icons products:

Hope Prep #0: Orientation
Icons and M&M 3

Ever since the X-Men went to class and the Teen Titans went to their tower, being a super powered teen has always been popular in comics. It was popular before that too, but let's stick with high school. Hope Prep is another in a long line of Schools for .... you get the idea.
This book was written for ICONS, but I am certain that the same applies for other versions (M&M).
The idea here is a day spent learning about your new school, Hope Prep. A new bad guy organization is introduced, which I really liked and will use. And it works as a good introduction to supers roleplaying and the game systems as well.

Each scene is detailed well, but not in a way that tells the GM what everyone needs to do, but instead a framework of what is going on and how to move from one scene to the next. Very nice.
There is a starter map of the school grounds and some materials to print and give to your players.

All in all, a very fun intro and certainly makes want to get some more from this line of products.
5 of 5 Stars

Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook
Icons and M&M3

The Freshman Handbook is a great product in the Hope Prep product line. Meant to follow from the Hope Prep Orientation book, this book expands what you know and provides more information.

Like the Orientation Book, this book is multi-system. I had no issue moving from the ICONS version of one to the M&M version of the other.

This book contains everything a new student will need to know about their new school. There are class schedules with information on the teachers (and their powers, listed in back). While there is a wealth of information here it's utility will vary form GM to GM. While somw may like know where the students are at any given moment of any given day, there are others that will hand wave this.

One thing I found a distraction was the multi-colored text of the two students, Maza and Kid Courage. While interesting and provided a good insight to what was "really" going on, I found the font choice and color difficult to read sometimes.
4 of 5 Stars

EDITED TO ADD:
I just found this awesome Character sheet for Hope Prep for Icons from the author's own blog.
http://www.meliorvia.com/2011/06/open-house-sale-and-icons-character.html


ION Guard
Bash! and ICONS

If you need a reason to buy BASH or ICONS then this is it. At just about 60 pages this supplement presents the Intergalactic Ordinance Network Guard or ION Guard, an intergalatic police force defending the universe from all sorts of bad guys.
Yes we have seen this before, but the the presentation in this book is so enduring you ignore the obvious DNA of this product and just pull on your ION Fist, say your Oath and protect the Galaxy. NPCs are detailed as well as bad guys for you to fight. The layout of the book is awesome and I honestly can't say enough good about it.
Dislike: would have liked to see more bad guys.
5 out of 5 stars.

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
A hefty collection of archetypes for the ICONS game. Lots of familiar territory here with some standard comic book archetypes. What I came here for was the Magician, Occult hero and the Psychic.

In all cases an archetype is presented with some explanatory notes on how this character works in the comics and the game. Examples from comics are given and ways to use the character. Then we also get a full write up of a ready to use character, either as an NPC or PC for your own games. Usually 4 pages per archetype.

Very good book for the price and now I want to pick up the first two as well.
5 out of 5 stars.

This might well be the most awesome product I have ever paid under a buck for.
You don't get many pages here, but you get alot. A "ripped from the tabloids" personality that can be a snap to play. All the Icons stats you need, a background, awesome art and a little paper mini to use in your game.
All for less than you would pay for a Mt. Dew out of a vending machine.

I just don't want to see more like this, I want to see LiLo and all her awesome powers of...well something I am sure.

Worth it for humor alone.
5 of 5 Stars

Icons vs. Bash vs. Mutants and Masterminds
This is something I think I need address, but at the moment I don't feel qualified enough to do this. I think I am going to have to play some games and try them out to see which ones I like the best.

More on Icons tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Justice is Blind, Issue 4: Icons

Yesterday I talked about Icons.  Today I want to see how my paragon, Justice would fare.

I have detailed Justice in previous posts.  Her introduction and Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Ed stats, stats for the BASH! RPG and for Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Ed / DC Adventures.  This would be issue #4 of the Justice is Blind comic.  Each issue and each build had a "theme".  Issue 1 of course is her origin story and her current situation, Issue 2 is told in flashbacks with the current tale of her training with the Amazons and her early life.  Issue 3 was more flashbacks though now her training with Bruce.
Issue 4 will be more recent flashbacks, her work with DA Barbara Gordon and her getting into Law School.  I should suppose that here would be the best time to introduce some boy friend for her, but allude that ended really badly, possibly refrigerator badly.
Icons is really about action, so this would be the episode where she gets to conk some heads.

Since one of the things I like most about Icons is the presentation of their character sheets, here is Justice in an Icons style character sheet. Click for larger.



Over all the game reminds me a bit of Bash and M&M. Which should be no surprise.  The one thing we don't have yet is an arch villain for her.   I am going to have to think of something.  Something appropriate to her.  So the archvillain should be someone all about anarchy.  Maybe that is it.  Her nemisis is Anarchy (not Anarky).

Just a thought.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Icons


ICONS

I enjoy Supers games. I don't get to play them as often as I would like, but I enjoy them all the same.  I had been playing M&M 2ed and just picked up BASH! so I was hesitant to also get Icons.  But Icons comes with a pretty good pedigree.  First it is written by Steven Kenson, who gave us Mutants and Masterminds and also worked on Silver Age Sentinels.  Steve obviously knows his supers.  It has Gareth-Michael Skarka of Adamant Entertainment and one of the minds behind "Hong Kong Action Theater". Walt Ciechanowski has a ton of game systems under his belt too including M&M, True20 and Victoriana (1st ed). And Morgan Davie, whom I'll admit I am not as familiar with.  But he is one of the guys that wrote Icons, so that makes him good in my book.

Comics are a visual medium.  Full of art and color and eye catching action.  Icons is the same.  It is a really good looking book, especially one that has such a "retro" or even "indie" feel to it.  It lives somewhere between the free flowing cartoon fun of Cartoon Action Hour and the slick, high production values of Mutants and Masterminds.  All three of these games are fantastic and their style really tells us a lot about what they are about.  Icons is a comic book game that is close to a Saturday Morning Super Heroes cartoon.  The art, which some people have disliked, I think sets the perfect mood for this book.  It is simple art, but it is good art and has a earnestness about that I like.  That is also true for the rules.

Icons, as you may or may not have heard, is powered by FATE. Though the typical FATE/Fudge trappings of naming the power levels is gone in favor of numbers (sort of a step backwards from the FATE perspective, but fine for me). There is the option for named levels too, and I think it would fit the style of comic book action, but I myself prefer numbers. The scale is pretty simple, 1 to 10, with 3 an average.  So very similar already to a lot of games I play.

The rules themselves are really simple.  It is a modification of the dF system.  Use 2d6 with one as positive and one as negative, roll and add, apply mods.  Easy.  You can be up and running in less time than it takes to say "Meanwhile back at the Hall of Justice..."

Hero creation is unique for a modern game, it is random.  Not that you couldn't do it as a "point buy" system, but the randomness is what I think sets it away from BASH which can fill similar needs.

I feel I must at this point call out the Character Sheet.  Long ago I was a reader of Marvel and I  loved their "Whos Who" of the Marvel universe where they would have bar charts to rank their heroes on various attributes.  It was almost very game-like and I loved them.  Icons does something similar and it really gives their characters a different feel.

I would be lying if I didn't see bits of pieces of Silver Age Sentinels or Mutants and Masterminds peeking out every so often.  That is fine with me.  That familiarity is a good thing in my mind.

Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for.  But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice.

I also picked up The Mastermind Affair and it is a great little adventure that gives you the feel on how to run an Icons game.
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