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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
by John P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/14/2017 16:14:36

I've been on the lookout for a new supers RPG for a couple years now and have often seen this title. After much consideration I went for the plunge and purchased it along with the other helpful titles of Origins, Great Power, and A-Z. I've run a couple sessions with my gaming group and here's what I found I think is worthing mentioning.

1) The gaming system is simple and fast. I've read that ICONS has its roots in FATE (which I've never played). Its resolution of attacks is simple, can be done in a single roll (using some options) and each round can go very quickly. If you like to focus on the story more than the numbers, you might like the way ICONS plays out. Because the system is fairly easy to understand, even a new player can join in readily. 2) Character Creation is very fast an intuitive. I found I could already "see" my character as I'm creating him/her and within about 10-15 minutes I was ready to go. Once you understand the range of 1-10, the GM can create villains and challengers withing moments. Some people enjoy the number crunching within a game vs the story within it. You might be a bit disappointed here, but this fits right within my expectations and hopes. 3) Qualities and Determination. Many games try to provide rules and options for running everything. ICONS likes to use Qualities and Determination points to accomplish many complex tasks. When I first started working with these, I struggled for a bit. But once I started realizing that Determination is basically Bennies in Savage Worlds and Qualities are ways to come up with quantifiable story elements to bonus or negative your results, it was pretty fun. Its also a great way to give those Determination points to a character that you always seem to "pick on" as the GM.

I have been very impressed by this game. I'm a veteran of Champions, Classic Marvel, M&M, Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion, Heroes Unlimited, and have found ICONS to be a great way to play a supers game. Too many times supers end up being so big for some systems that it overwhelms the rules or creates awkward mechanics. ICONS take it all in very well. We are able to have a meaningful adventure and get so much done in a short amount of time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
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ICONS: Origins
by robert h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2017 11:31:07

Its a great book for clarifications of the existing rules and to offer suggestions on how to play the game. There isn't anything "New" per say, but rather pulling together alot of bits from the other books so now they make alot more sense. Also the Archtypes are exteamly useful as either bases for characters or stock characters for pick up games. Got a new player, not sure if they are going to remain in your group or for reasons didn't have time to make a character? Just ask them what superhero they like and give them that archtype. Well worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Origins
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ICONS: Origins
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2017 10:48:19

A great book if you are running ICONS. While nothing in here is essential, the 13 archetypes and variations will save me hours of character building.

A great add on for ICONS.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Origins
by YANN E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2017 12:29:23

Well, Icons is not my main superhero game, this honor goes to another game of the same game designer, Steve Kenson.

But Steve Kenson is a genius and he likes to tinker with different game engines for his superheros games and it gave me the need to read Icons, then Icons Assembled Edition and now Origins.

Origins is I think an interesting book for those who want to have more options for creating characters for Icons, from the archetypes who are more or less the same of M&M revamped quite intelligently for Icons :), from the point based creation which is a bit refined from the core book to the modeling character creation to the knacks. Everything in this book will be useful one way or the other for any Icons GM but also players :).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Origins
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2017 18:49:01

This is a great book, and an excellent resource for Icons. The PDF is reasonably priced, but $30 for the Premium Hardcover seems a bit steep, now that I have the book in hand. It's a nice little book, for sure, but it does seem a bit...slim for Thirty Smackeroos. That said, the content is great, the art keeps getting better, and it's a fun, useful, interesting read. The Archetypes are super handy, and the Background generator is fun to take for a spin.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Origins
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2017 05:03:53

Exselsior! Astounding! Amazing!

I love ICONS. It's by far my favorite still-in-print superhero game. It reminds me so much of the classic DC Heroes and Marvel Superhero RPG (T$R d100, not Saga) that I grew up playing. Origins adds another dimension to the game without getting too technical. And as always, the art in this book is phenomenal. Keep up the good work, Dan Hauser.

The Archetypes are perhaps long overdue. It's something I treasured in Mutants & Masterminds (Thanks Steve Kenson...) As a GM. I enjoy having them handy as villains or even rivals that can be thrown together on the fly.The math is even explained for each one, which some games don't do. They're balanced and very well thought out.

A lot of veteran ICONS fans were probably already generating characters in the system described in By the Numbers, but it was nice to see it officially outlined in a book. There were a few things some of us may have been guessing at.

I really enjoyed the Character Modeling section. I've attempted to approximate iconic characters from DC and Marvel before, often with staggering point totals and stats completely unbalanced with regular ICONS characters. Most random or 45 point ICONS pc's are like Peter Parker, any of the Teen Titans, or most of the New Mutants in their earliest fledgling days, which is good for an rpg setting. Lots of room to grow. However, if a full, experienced version of any of the named characters shows up in a regular ICONS game? The pc's may as well put in for vacation. Unless of course, the whole group is built and approved this way!

Thanks again for the benchmarks!

The background generator rocks, especially for players who don't have an extensive background in comics or gaming. It's also a nice idea generator for veteran gamers and GM tool.

It was great having the Specialties and knacks expanded upon. If you don't have ICONS A-Z, this was a great introduction to knacks.

The roles section was proprobably a little old hat for veteran supers gamers and life long comic fans, but again very well written an super useful for demonstrating the concepts to beginners. Good refresher course for the rest of us. I think every game needs new blood, and any way to bring more players in and make them feel at home is awesome.

Last, but worthy of mention and much praise, is the expanded list of supporting characters. I can't thank the authors enough for this time-saving treasure. Anything that makes ICONS, which is already a joy to GM, go any faster or easier, is very welcome.

A+ All around. I can't wait to see what comes next.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Sins of the Past Revisited
by Sophie L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/30/2017 15:13:20

The original Sins of the Past adventure, published back in 2010, is one of the best scenarios ever written for the superhero game ICONS. Since its release, however, the system has undergone a revision and expansion published as the Assembled Edition in 2014.

Sins of the Past, Revisited is a 52-page adventure written by Theron Bretz, illustrated by Dan Houser—the same team that created the original edition—and published by Ad Infinitum Adventures for ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.

It does not only update the mechanical bits to reflect the most recent version of the game; it offers new material, game-master advice, and notes on the playtest games. There is more art and new maps, everything a GM needs to run exciting scenes of superheroic action.

To top it off, if you prefer to run ICONS using the original rules, this comes with the 2010 version of the adventure for free. This means you can enjoy the new materials without major system adjustments.

The adventure connects modern-day superheroes (and villains) with those of the Golden Age. I think the adventure might have the most impact if its chapters were introduced one at a time over the course of a long-running campaign, when some of the GM characters have become familiar figures of the game setting. This could create fantastic buy-in for the players, inviting their characters to shoulder a legacy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Sins of the Past Revisited
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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
by Dale P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2017 00:08:39

So far so good, have run a few short games with it. The random generation characters didn't have enough scaling for me. Had to do a bit of house rule work. I like that it lets you be pretty free in combat though not as rules heavy. I use the optional rolling of having the players make most of the rolls.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
by Yann E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2017 04:44:31

I had previously read the 1st editon of Icons, the french translation since we were lucky in France to have one.

This "1.5" Assembled Edition is a very refined version of the first Icons, the mechanics has changed a little because the GM is now also throwing dice for the opposition but this is still the same mechanic overall.

What you can do with qualities have been delimited and unified and you have now possibilities to create your character with points but, the random method is still the best if you want to keep the Icons flavour :).

There is now rules for experience, world building, villains building and Icons can now more easily be played in campaign, but I think that there are more adapted games for that ;).

Overall, I never regretted to buy this and this is a much more Iconic Icons than the first :).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Gangbusters!
by John F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2017 15:37:21

I purchased this adventure to use as a basis for the kickoff session of a Champions campaign using the HERO system. The scenes progressed very nicely to the final climax. The players were (pleasantly) surprised by the various complications thrown in to the otherwise straightforward path to the bad guy.

I particularly liked the emphasis on Roleplay Opportunities outlined in the Investigation scenes. The author did a great job with realistic NPC motivations and presenting situations without simple, binary solutions. For example, the players can easily go along with one NPC or the other, or take the time to find a compromise... but there isn't always time for compromise!

My only negative comment is that the premade characters are far too silly. I'm sure most people will think they are great :) It just isn't my style.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Gangbusters!
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ICONS Assembler
by John D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2017 14:05:23

Not really a review - more a bit of observation. I've been playing with this for about a week now, and I've begun to form a base opinion. For creating a single character I still prefer a paper character sheet and pencil; but, when creating a bunch of characters (such as the batch I'm building for convention game) Icons Assembler makes things a lot easier - and faster. It also has the added benefit of producing an attractive - and readable - printed sheet (something that my handwriting does not do).

While playing with app I have found a few bugs - nothing major, just nuisance type stuff - but the developer has been pretty responsive when I've reached out to him.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Assembler
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ICONS: The Skeletron Key
by John F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2016 13:25:34

I'm running this as a one-on-one HERO system adventure in a corporate espionage setting and it has been a lot of fun. The PDF is 14 pages long with four chapters and about eight 'scenes' of action. The adventure reads easily and focuses on painting the basics of each scene; the overview and goal, a few important details, and lots of motivations. I found it simple to edit sections/locations/npcs to fit within my campaign.

The theme of the adventure adds a slight twist to a very stereotypical story. Kenson's story was exactly what my heroes expected and was a lot of fun to watch unfold! I highly recommend this module if you want to run a few traditional superhero sessions. Of couse, you can always add some weirdness of your own :)

I look forward to playing through some of his other works!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: The Skeletron Key
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ICONS: Adversaries
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2016 18:19:46

Alright, so I should say up front that I have not been able to use anything from this book for a game yet, as it only came out earlier this week, but I've got some ideas cooking now that are going to find their way in.

Anyone who already has the Villainomicon is probably wondering what the difference is between these two books. For starters, it's updated and in line with the new rules, so yay for not doing conversions! Secondly, this book has 84 premade characters versus about 52 from the Villainomicon. That being said, not all the characters were included in this book; about a dozen villains were not carried over with this release and a couple were rebranded for this update. Some of the information from the beginning of the Villainomicon isn't included because it's been worked into other titles such as ICONS A to Z which you likely already own if you're looking into this book.

Why the name change, you wonder? Unlike the Villainomicon, not all of the characters presented here are bad guys; some of them are merely rivals, and some aren't evil but have a backstory which puts them on the wrong side of the law through circumstance rather than intention. All of these are great setups for role playing.

What's new and awesome in this book? Well, I'm glad to pretend you asked. The intro section on the villain alliances and information in the character descriptions provides you with a well established criminal underground, partnerships, and rivalries in the event you didn't want to do all the legwork to write it yourself. Use it all, use parts, ignore everything and make your own, whatever!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Adversaries
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ICONS: Casino of Corruption
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2016 14:00:26

I ran this as a conversion to Mutants and Masterminds with 5 players over the course of 3, 4 hour sessions. We really got a good amount of time in this one.

The basic plot worked really well though perhaps an introductory mook battle with someone other than the 4 villains featured throughout might have added greater diversity to the encounters. This is what I did and it seemed to help. The villians are interesting and quite thematic which worked very well and had interesting powers that could challenge the players on several levels.

I also enjoyed the investigation aspect of the module. Its clear and well laid out. Has a couple of good RP scenes which give the PCs a chance to establish their personalities outside of combat.

The finale plays out interestingly enough though requires some work by the GM. We are told that the BBEG can be tricked up yet offers little examples on how. Not too terribly difficult to work out on your own but some good examples would have been nice.

Overall a great product and clear plot if your looking for a simple superhero RPG story to utilize in your game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Casino of Corruption
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ICONS: The RetConQuest
by Marchgo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2016 22:25:51

I ran this adventure on the weekend with four players. We`ve been running ICONS for a while and I thought it would be a good break from the campaign we were running.

Reading through I remembered the old movie "1984" and "Brazil". So without telling my players anything I told them they just got off work and as usual it was raining. Footsteps echoeing against brick houses etc. They really enjoyed the mystery and all the NPCs doing what they normally wouldnt.

All in all it was simple scenario and it was up to GM to fluff it up. I like these simple suppliment over more detailed ones, there more room for individual groups to fit their form.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: The RetConQuest
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