With the great deal of affection I have for this game, I've decided that, if maintaining the Miraheze site is a procedure that requires DIY elements, I might as well be the one to get things going.
Thus, I am initiating a Discussion page in the hopes that we can start a wheel turning that will become an active procedure of interaction with each other and - possibly - the individuals who submit, and have submitted, storylines and modules for publication in the first place, and also Steve Kenson and Dan Houser, the gentlemen who inspired the game itself and the site we now involve ourselves in sustaining.
In addition to general ongoing dialogues, my hope is that we can begin differentiating forums for specific discussion purposes, including - big hope - the submission of fan-created adventures and/or characters that may end up populating each others' games, and - who knows? - possibly end up seeing publication in a hard-copy work at some point in future developments.
Right now, my first suggestion for differentiated forums would include a "General Discussion" tab, as well as a "Stark City" one where reactions, suggestions, and who-woulda-thunk-it stories can be traded back and forth. Other forums, of course, will inevitably arise out of continued discussion. Other forums possibly arranged around consideration of the other various supplemental works could be a point of division as well.
One thing I would suggest is that, in line with many other gaming sites' policy, we dispense with real-world political discussion; too much opportunity for offense arising over something that has absolute zero to do with ICONS, along with attracting inappropriately aligned personalities and driving away some good ones. Other than that, I'm very much hoping to see as many of the old site's gang reappearing here as possible, and continuing on our goal of seeing this excellent game given over to the public's hands and seeing what commentary we can make, fun stories we can tell, and adventures we can have.
Hi Black Talon! I don't know if using the wiki as a forum is that efficient, but if anyone wants to do it, go right ahead. Seems there are actual forums for ICONS out there (someone put up links if you have them) and this wiki certainly functions well as a repository of useful games material and other results of such forums, but again: whatever works!
As far as leaving out real-world politics, I don't think that was a problem before, so I hope there will be no need to make a rule now.
- 1 Thank you for resurrecting ICONS page
- 2 Icons's Key Strengths
- 3 ICONS Fan Fiction?
- 4 ICONS Fan Fiction, con't
- 5 ICONS Fan Fiction Forum
- 6 "Testify, brother!"
- 7 Fan Fiction or Story Hour?
- 8 re: Fan Fiction or Story Hour?
- 9 Fan Fiction or Story Hour? And On...
- 10 Fan Fiction entry
- 11 Please Include Dates
- 12 Re: Time Stamps
- 13 Rogues: New ICONS publication
- 14 Just keepin' stuff going
Thank you for resurrecting ICONS page
I'm working on some Marvel and DC conversions that I hope to upload soon. Hopefully we can get some more activity here to keep this resource viable.
Thanks so much for saving it.
Thanks for contributing!
Icons's Key Strengths
First, thank you Black Talon and so many others for keeping this great resource for fans alive. I was 50-50 on Icons when I first bought it some time in 2012 or so, but really embraced and loved the game after Icons: The Assembled Edition came out. The original Icons wikispaces was a great resource for character ideas and conversions for my favorite characters.
Which brings me to the discussion point, which is Icons' key strengths over other games that I previously played, some of which for over 20 years (Champions, DC Heroes, Villains & Vigilantes, Supers, Prowlers & Paragons, Silver Age Sentinels, Heroes Unlimited, Guardians, Invulnerable, etc.).
Strength #1 - Statistics. I really like how the statistics in Icons cover the main things in a character while not overloading the player or GM. Champions (5th Edition and earlier) and DC Heroes were heavily reliant on the DEX characteristic which combined manual coordination and agility together. By contrast, Icons breaks it up into Prowess and Coordination which conceptually makes more sense to me, since there are plenty of regular or superhero characters that have great natural hand-eye coordination for weapons and attacks, but not necessarily be that agile in terms of avoiding harm through dodging or acrobatic maneuvers.
Strength #2 - Rules simplicity. Well, that's a given, isn't it? As a comparison, Hero System 6th Edition now has 600+ pages of rules. Yes, there's Hero Basic that is less than 200, but the core system is over 600 pages. I've been playing Hero System/Champions since the late 1980s and 600+ pages of rules does not seem like the best approach to retain current fans or attract new ones to the game system.
I've ran Icons at multiple game conventions and have had great success in bringing in brand new players who have never role-played before pick up and understand the rules in a few minutes and absolutely love the game system. It was extremely difficult to perform a similar feat with Champions, and even then, the various rules and textbook-like approach was a major turnoff.
Strength #3 - Product Style and Substance. I really admire Dan Houser's art style that is reminiscent of Bruce Timm which sets the tone for the Icons game. It also helps that he's illustrated most, if not all, of the Icons products to establish a high level of quality continuity that is often lacking across the different superhero games I've played. The printing of the hard and soft cover books have been first rate.
Your thoughts? - Fdw3773
ICONS' Key Strengths, cont.
Fdw3773, Good to see you making the transition over from the M&M boards. Do agree with pretty much everything you've indicated above, but one additional point I'd like to throw in for thought: Stamina calculation. While ICONS owes as much, obviously, to the old Marvel Superheroes game as anything else, one thing I throw the fist of approval up for is not having Fighting/Agility/Strength/Endurance (i.e., the pure physical angle) as the whole of establishing damage capacity; rather, having Strength and an intellectual attribute - Willpower - in combination opens up the diversity possibilities a bit. Sure, easy enough to have your Solomon Grundy-type who's a major mobile physical blockade - he ain't heavy on Willpower, but this can be compensated for with a couple of levels of Invulnerability/Absorption/What-have-you. This also levels the teeter-totter somewhat for heroes who aren't comparatively Strength-heavy (say 3-4 for your Mr. Fantastic to Daredevil types), but can manage to pull themselves along after taking hits that would disable ordinary humans, just because they refuse to quit and keep pushing things.
Have got more to state later, and hoping that we can open up other topics of discussion as well, but again, great to see people active on this resurrected site, and looking forward to more insights and batting the conversation ball back and forth.
ICONS Fan Fiction?
My first interest has been storytelling, which is probably why I started role-playing games as early as elementary school with Villains & Vigilantes (my older brother had to coach me up on the math involved). Creating heroes, villains, and the story lines featuring them was a great hobby that I continue today.
With that in mind, is there an interest to have a fan fiction section on this Wiki? There would have to be some basic guidelines (e.g. PG-rated) and the stories would have to be consistent with the characters featured in ICONS (e.g. Miss Tikal would not go on a psychotic killing spree). I read some of the various hero and villain background files and based on how some of the adventures played out during my game sessions, they generated some fan fiction ideas to add more character depth and for just general entertainment.
Your thoughts? - Fdw3773
ICONS Fan Fiction, con't
Fdw3773, once again have to pass on admiration and congratulations for your thoughts with this; fan-fiction material for ICONS could be a wonderful attraction force for the frustrated "I wanna tell a superhero story" crowd, and I can stick my hand up as one of said crowd in this respect. ICONS has got a ready-to-go setting in Stark City, in which stories could extend from the city's origins up to present day. One thing I would advise, were we to begin online publication of such work, is that we perhaps take a cue from - and I know this isn't the first time I've used this example - City of Heroes. Subscribers to the game could get their own short-story fan-fiction work submitted for consideration and published, and some of those stories fell under the Just Plain Damned Good category, but one point is that they, as a matter of course, eschewed using core established characters, and instead utilized individuals that the writers had either adopted from their own in-game creations or made up whole-cloth for the story. Therefore, I'd advocate that such stories leave All-Star, All-American Girl, Saguaro, Hangman, Miss Tikal and the like as background figures perhaps mentioned, but left out of the actual narrative progression. Another, more practical consideration is word-count; I'd figure that putting matters at the 1,000-1,500 word limit, at least to start, might be a beginning point for a discussion on this. Of course, individual authors could end up doing work as a serial submission, and again, I wouldn't see a problem in this as long as individual word-count per chapter was kept within guidelines.
Otherwise, again, I have to extend the flag of admiration for this suggestion. One final point: To quote Gary Gygax, "Books are books; games are games." The best City of Heroes stories that I recall left the actual game mechanics in the background and concentrated on using settings and character situations to create drama - such points often created conditions in stories that could rarely or never have occurred in the game. Now, I know we're dealing with a pen-and-paper RPG as opposed to an algorithm-based MMPOG, and this creates a world of difference with regard to how stories work and the possibilities offered, but I still advocate pushing for story value over replicating game functionality. I realize this is all a pretty obvious advisement, but just to make a point clear. In any case, I've got a couple of stories on tap - and which I've been itching to tell outside of my own head for a very long time - so we should perhaps see about getting a separate forum going for such work.
Thank you again, Fdw3773.
ICONS Fan Fiction Forum
Glad to hear that there are other fans who like this ideas, Black Talon. Your guidelines are excellent and having the core universe characters in the background instead of the foreground make sense for fan fiction stories.
I'm open to your idea of having a page featuring fan fiction. It could perhaps dovetail with the Settings section as a way to add more depth through context. - Fdw3773
To quote The Simpsons guest character, "Brother Faith" (voiced by Academy Award winner Don Cheadle), I must "Testify, brother!" in comparing ICONS that I've been playing since 2012-2013 and Champions which I've been playing since 1988-1989. The obvious is that ICONS is rules light and intended for quick learning and playing while Champion is extremely detailed with lots of rules and customization options. Even with "rules light" versions such as Hero System Sidekick and Hero Basic, a person must read through a lot of different rule sets replicate the details and abilities seen in superhero comics and movies.
Combat and action in ICONS is typically fast-paced, while Champions tends to be more drawn out. Even when I simplified many of the rules, running combat in Champions always seemed slow when compared to when I ran ICONS.
Here's the unique, if not quirky, part about Champions: those who play it really do like the excessive number crunching in designing a character in customizing powers, abilities, weaknesses, skills, talents, perks, etc. because they like the options available. Some of the players I interacted with seemed to enjoy character design better than actually playing the character in an adventure. Plus, there's a significant nostalgia factor involved since Champions has been around the 1980s and still exists today (although in a much more scaled back form in terms of game book publishing). In general, the majority of the people I've met who play Champions have been playing it on and off for decades and can recall which edition they first started.
However, introducing Champions to brand-new players who have never played before is hard. Really hard. Even with using established characters like Superman and Wonder Woman that they were familiar with, brand new players got confused with the data overload on the character sheet. In retrospect, I really wished that I had brought my ICONS campaign with me instead that night at my local game store's open game night.
By contrast, I've explained and reviewed how ICONS works in less than five minutes to brand-new players who have never played an RPG before. Some were even special needs students and they quickly understood the statistics, powers, and rules. They had a blast and their guardians even thanked me afterwards for running a game like ICONS. Even my wife, who was very gun-shy about RPGs in general, found it extremely easy to learn and readily tells brand new players, "If I can learn ICONS, anyone can!" I often think to myself, "There is no way I could've pulled this off with Champions in the same amount of time...no way..."
Surprisingly though, I still run into people now and then who remember me from running Champions at the local game conventions and readily ask me if I'm going to run it again at the next one. With all the rules, number-crunching, and number of D6 dice used, they really like Champions and I'll admit, I have nostalgic soft spot since it's a game system I've used throughout high school, college, and so on.
So, for Free RPG Day that's coming up in a couple of weeks (Saturday, June 15th), I'll be running an ICONS session and a Champions session to welcome both new and old players alike. - FDW3773
Fan Fiction or Story Hour?
Doc Lemming aka Kipling aka John McMullen
Do we want to make it a requirement that any ICONS stories in a Fan Fiction section take place in some isotope of the ICONS implied universe? Or is it just a place for fiction, albeit one that has rules about presenting the ICONic characters?
re: Fan Fiction or Story Hour?
My recommendation is that it needs to have some type of connection with the ICONS universe. It could feature ICONS characters to give a little more depth or backstory about them, or simply take place in that universe (e.g. Stark City) and the ICONS characters are mentioned in the periphery as Black Talon suggested.
Fan Fiction or Story Hour? And On...
Since it appears that we've once again got The Ticking Clock counting down the hours before the site vanishes into that proverbial Google-induced black hole (yeah, they've got a picture of it now - you seent it?...is it big enough to swallow the Earth? Maybe...but this site would be a definite casualty, and we don't want that), it's time to get some discussion moving back and forth on this here forum.
Continuing on with what Fdw3773 stated, I'd have to issue pretty serious blanket agreement. I think Stark City is a flat-out excellent story-telling spot, at least as a start-up point; perhaps other locations can be introduced in particular stories, and points of focus expanded from there. A good example, in my opinion, is in the Invincible comic series - that Midnight City setting shows up on a very occasional basis, but I can see how a really compelling individual story, or series, could be built up in such a place: it has a background and origin vastly different from other settings, a story-telling "ecology" that is a pretty solid 90-degree turn from your standard Metropolis/(Marvel)New York City/Gotham City et al superhero locale. However, getting back to the main point, I do think that using Stark City as a sort of jump-off point would be well advised, to create a link with ICONS as a game proper.
Another issue - and I'm quite serious about this - is that the questions about powers, power levels, and various game points stay in the background as much as possible. Game mechanics are interesting only when you're actually playing the game. To introduce such in a literary setting is to drag the reader into something that he or she has absolutely no possibility of influencing or participating in...and thus compels no interest. Having a general indication of "Dude X has got super-strength and flight - he's a bit stronger than Dude Y, but that's as detailed as we're going to get on this. Why? Because going in to a serious game mechanics discussion in a story-telling situation is boring." And would remain such unless, possibly, the game-mechanics issue itself was made a point of conflict...in which case the game-mechanics are a proxy through which the story-telling moves forward anyway.
I am very, very much interested in telling an ICONS story, using original characters and employing the Stark City setting - I'm currently involved in another project at current, but will hopefully be able to initiate such in the not too distant future. In the meantime, wonderful to see people contributing to this place, hoping to keep things moving forward and upward, that we'll see more ICONS material released over the coming calendar year; and that, maybe, one day, we can get Mr. Kenson and/or Mr. Houser, or any of the other game/module-creation crew, to put in an appearance here and contribute a bit to a discussion.
Be in contact soon. In the meantime, crush evil wherever it appears...and help that old lady across the street.
Fan Fiction entry
I created my first fan fiction entry in the Settings section. It seemed appropriate as a way to add depth to the overall ICONS setting. Hope that you like it! - Fdw3773, June 13, 2019
Please Include Dates
Hi guys, I'm glad everyone's remembering to sign their additions here on discussion pages, but I think it would help in making sense of this page and conversations if you add the date after your name. I'm going to look into ways that may already exist for this to happen automatically, but till then let's try doing that ourselves.
Blue Lightning 06/14/2019 12:27AM
AHA! Looks like there is a "Signature button" you can use on the discussion pages that will put in the timestamp also! It's at the top right after the Bold and Italic buttons and before the link button. --Blue Lightning (talk) 09:22, 14 June 2019 (EDT)
Re: Time Stamps
Time stamps?!? We don't need no stinking time stamps! You're talking like this is an actual forum or something, where people discuss stuff, and points of debate might get brought in -
Okay, yeah, I get the idea. Now to see if we can futz with the signature thing and use it to put funny and/or derisive material on that lets everybody know that, whether we get tagged as geeks and nerds or not, we understand where our influence begins and ends.
Rogues: New ICONS publication
Just as a quick update: Steve Kenson's site has announced a new ICONS resource that is available for order, specifically the Rogues supplement, providing more bad guys and/or supporting characters and cast for a game setting. Hoping to be able to get this in hardcover in the very near future, and looking forward to seeing more ICONS work becoming available over the balance of the year.--Black Talon (talk) 23:18, 23 June 2019 (EDT)
Just keepin' stuff going
Been a while since there's been activity of note here, so just popping in to ensure that the site remains ongoing.
With regard to personal circumstances, there's recently been an uptick in terms of resources, so I'm hoping very much to be able to start catching up on the ICONS modules/sourcebooks in the near future. Otherwise, hoping matters are going well for everyone, and also hoping that, at some point, we can get Messers Kenson and/or Houser, etc., to show up in Toronto for a convention or such. Looking forward to more game releases over the remainder of the year, and anticipating 2020's works.
If you click on Recent Changes in the left column, you see anything that's happened here lately, and it seems Fdw3773 and Doc Lemming have continued adding content.