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[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2015 09:20:34
This book feels unfinished. Especially when compared to Dr. Tondros Field Guides to Superheroes. Concepts end in the middle of pages. Not every archetype has a picture. The archetype examples do not have any names, just stats hanging at the end of each article. For example one under 'Cosmic Menace' looks like a shark composed of stars and nebula gases like a more animalistic Galactus which doesnt look like a giant guy wearing a pointy helment. I guess you could call it... 'the Cosmic Menace' or 'the Galactic Shark' or 'Jax, the Eater of Stars'.

I think his Kickstarter program reached the levels to trigger making the 'Youverse' and the double lengthed expert edition and so they just left this book on its final edits. "We'll cover the rest of this stuff in the delux edition," they no doubt told themselves. The problem is you can feel this rushed incompleteness. If this product peaks your interest, you should probably wait for the double the pages at double the price deluxe edition.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
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Publisher Reply:
Andrew sorry you were disappointed hit me up at mikelaff at gmail dot com and I\'ll refund your full purchase price.
ICONS: Gamemaster Screen
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2015 21:55:57
I had downloaded the newest version which is supposed to be compatible with the assembled edition. Just recently I found a typo about the dice rolled. I went back to see if there is a correction, and there isn't. Its kind of major. The test resolution roll is made with (power + d6) - (difficulty + d6) = effort. On the GM screen, though, it says (power + d6) - (difficulty + 6) = effort. That skews the whole result an every roll made by five points and not in the player's direction. That's half the chart.

I kind of heavily modify my GM chart, so its not noticable to me. I can use a highlight with the correction. It could be distracting or completely game crashing to a newbie.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Gamemaster Screen
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Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2015 15:08:22
I have to agree with most of what Winston C. has posted before me, but I would have to add more.

This series of 'A World of Adventure for Fate Core' books are all just frame works. They arent meant to be used as the whole shabang. I remember a lot of people were upset with the superhero one they released not long ago along this same basis. These are supposed to be teasers to get your own story going. They are 'This is a neat thing we did with Fate Core, if you like it, use it' stuff.

I would agree that such a story centered on a prison would not appeal to me unless a zombie apocalypse or something even more grindhouse was knocking on the gates outside. I also see why they mentioned avoiding certain tropes, because these are the tired old goings on which make it in every prison type movie and color your perceptions. So this product kind of says... 'while that stuff is going on, the real story is here... after all of that.' We are talking about Fate Core, which is inheriently cinematic so we have the flexibility for such.

This isnt as cool as The Secret of Cats (definite 5), but it isnt hard to imagine an interesting way to use this kind of scenario. The easiest way to show how this could all be very useful is to picture an episode of 'The Walking Dead' and that prison they encountered. This could act as the map and prisoner social structure before everything fell apart. I know, this is supposed to be the fifties, but in the deep south a lot of stuff can look like it came from the fifties.

Do not pass any of this series. They are all solid books and this one is no exception. It all adds up together with other Fate based material. Imagine using this scene within the Dresdenverse.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Silent Legions
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2015 18:30:20
I cannot believe no one has written a review on this book yet.

First off some background. Sine Nomine Publishing has released some very high quality works. They generally favor an old school D&D mechanic to thier books, which makes them easy to understand. No complicated and totally new lists of rules or anything like that. If you remember the basics of first edition D&D then you know the basics of this companies releases. Instead of giving you a system and just a setting, which almost any starting level rpg game book does, the Sine Nomine Publishing way is to lighten up on the established setting and simply pave the way before you with lists of everything you could need to sustain a long term 'sandbox' campaign. This is how Stars Without Numbers and other core books have been laid out.

Now what are the advantages of such a strategy. Instead of a complicated, detailed, or unique system taking up half the text which you have to puzzle through you can, with the right background, just pick this up and play. This means this system easily translates to M&M or even something more abstract, like ICONS, pretty easily. Then instead of having to read tons of material to glean whatever gems you might use for your own story, you can use the bulk of the material to roll up or chose practically on the fly from a viritual tool kit of Lovecroftian tropes. Isn't that brilliant?

This book has the general premesis, the very simple rules with some specific mechanics like Madness, Deleria, and Sorcery, everything you need to build your own Lovecroft-style Mythos, general setting Tags, Cult assets, a nice little Bestiary. How many times has someone in game described a tongued puff-ball headed monstrocity or made that buzzing sound and someone in the group shouts matter-of-factly "Mi-Go". With this book you never have to worry about that happening. Your games can still carry the gravity of dark cosmic themes but make them your own with plenty of support to help you get started and keep the momentum of the story running. You could not find a better resource for this kind of genre game than this one.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Legions
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Modernity (Fate Edition)
Publisher: Glacier Peak Games
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2014 22:00:22
I bought this product for the original $19.99 price tag. It was kind of steep, but it seemed to have a lot of what I wanted and seemed to have a very slick, professional presentation. Which were all good reasons to purchase this product. Now this is a solid product. It has a definite Wizards of the Coast quality. It expands the Fate Core rules a bit. It is loaded with a wonderfully almost World of Darkness-esque quality. This is a very interesting mix.

Now for the negative, which will explain why I ranked this only a 3 of 5. If you own Fate Core, if this product interests you you probably have it, this book is a very large republishing of the Fate Core rules. Now for $20, this means half of the price I paid was for rules I already have with a few terms refurbished. Now for $10, others posting behind me can just assume they got that half for free and the price they paid covered exclusively the new material. So the very next post may be at least a dot higher, but for me... every time I see this product I think of that.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Modernity (Fate Edition)
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Seeker the Role Playing Game
Publisher: Vajra Enterprises
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2014 22:52:53
I will be writing a more detailed opinion than this one. I just bought this an hour or so ago and I cannot put it down. This company has really thought out its material. I found the book Hoodoo Blues, and though I was impressed I wanted a few more 'classes' to make it more human. These Seekers fit the bill perfectly.

First off, the illustrations were sparce and not the best, as another reviewer said just before me. The cover art is included as a seperate download. Which is fine for me. I was impressed with that one. That is really the only thing I have bad to say about this book. If you are looking for content, though, this is a wonderfully deep read.

Every part of the book has a quick summary. So if you are looking for something you dont have to just read everything to fill in one detail in the middle of a game. The system is flexible and universal. The premesis is fun and interesting. This is for a RPG with a deeper meaning... like a Kung Fu or Touched by an Angel kind of story. I will try and write a more detailed and organized break down of my reactions soon.

Both this product and Hoodoo Blues (think old World of Darkness in the deep south) only cost about five dollars. This is a very reasonable investment for the background and thorough mechanics which are laid out to enhance the gaming experience and roleplaying. There is a free version of thier Tibet game on RPGNow which is very interesting as well. This company makes something special... products which make you think and feel so genuine.

Ill add more details soon.

Peace.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Seeker the Role Playing Game
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FCBD Super-Special 2014 (ICONS)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2014 21:06:20
I cannot believe this book hasnt been reviewed yet. Well, if Im going to be the first, let me tell you know. Just pick up this awesome free book. No? Want a reason to do so. Not sure you want to junk up your computer with free junk. Well, let me give you more reassurance.

This book is very well done. The art and layout are superb. The story if fun and light. It takes six superhero characters from different worlds for a nearly 30 page crossover issue. An interdimensional tyrant (who reminds me of Apopcalypse) snatches them up for his own Mortal Kombat style arena games. Just imagine that simple story done well by one of the Big Guys... DC or Marvel. Epic, if you ask me.

Now Im going to break it down even further. This story is well delivered and well written, a collaboration of several very talented writers who are highlighted in articles at the end. This product is free... a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. It is available in three systems, I am assuming the three worlds from which these characters are taken. These systems include the ICONS system (my personal favorite), M&M 3rd edition (a nice system), and Supers (which I know nothing about). This means that if you want to, you can aquire multiple systems and use it as cliffnotes on converting one system into another. Game mechanics are highlighted in red making them easy to compare with each other. Seven characters are detailed at the end. Two of them I had stats for, but the others I assume are converts from M&M and Supers. So that means I got four really good character stat layouts.

I feel like I will be insulting my dear reader's intelligence to continue. This book is a gem and it is for free. There are comparable products on this site which charge you a dollar for one character's stat layout... one character, two pictures, a bit of character history, thats about it. All of that for one dollar. Comparrable modules under the ICONS system usually seem to average about five dollars each. They do not even guilt trip you with that "Pay What Your Heart Tells You To" options. They dont ask for any money, just maybe read the articles at the end to learn more about the writers and try to enjoy the free superhero action responsibly. Why even think about it anymore? Pick up this wonderful freebie and start a crossover of your own in your gaming group.

Happy belated Free Comic Book Day.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FCBD Super-Special 2014 (ICONS)
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FCBD Super-Special 2014 (MnM3e)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2014 21:06:12
I cannot believe this book hasnt been reviewed yet. Well, if Im going to be the first, let me tell you know. Just pick up this awesome free book. No? Want a reason to do so. Not sure you want to junk up your computer with free junk. Well, let me give you more reassurance.

This book is very well done. The art and layout are superb. The story if fun and light. It takes six superhero characters from different worlds for a nearly 30 page crossover issue. An interdimensional tyrant (who reminds me of Apopcalypse) snatches them up for his own Mortal Kombat style arena games. Just imagine that simple story done well by one of the Big Guys... DC or Marvel. Epic, if you ask me.

Now Im going to break it down even further. This story is well delivered and well written, a collaboration of several very talented writers who are highlighted in articles at the end. This product is free... a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. It is available in three systems, I am assuming the three worlds from which these characters are taken. These systems include the ICONS system (my personal favorite), M&M 3rd edition (a nice system), and Supers (which I know nothing about). This means that if you want to, you can aquire multiple systems and use it as cliffnotes on converting one system into another. Game mechanics are highlighted in red making them easy to compare with each other. Seven characters are detailed at the end. Two of them I had stats for, but the others I assume are converts from M&M and Supers. So that means I got four really good character stat layouts.

I feel like I will be insulting my dear reader's intelligence to continue. This book is a gem and it is for free. There are comparable products on this site which charge you a dollar for one character's stat layout... one character, two pictures, a bit of character history, thats about it. All of that for one dollar. Comparrable modules under the ICONS system usually seem to average about five dollars each. They do not even guilt trip you with that "Pay What Your Heart Tells You To" options. They dont ask for any money, just maybe read the articles at the end to learn more about the writers and try to enjoy the free superhero action responsibly. Why even think about it anymore? Pick up this wonderful freebie and start a crossover of your own in your gaming group.

Happy belated Free Comic Book Day.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FCBD Super-Special 2014 (MnM3e)
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Iron Bay Megatropolis
Publisher: Louis E Danhoff - AHC
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2014 14:09:09
I have been dying for some new ICONS material. So I had to snatch up this newest addition. I rated this as a 3/5, but to me this is a good rating. It means you are getting what you paid for... though it didnt really blow up my skirt or anything.

Im going to start with what I like about this product. The setting is interesting. If you want an original superhero setting which doesnt feel like the West Coast or some kind of Metropolis/Gothum City/New York mixture then this product will work well for you. It gives a detailed lay out of the city including story hooks, set pieces, institutions, a very nice map, etc. It has a lot of homage characters like a Lois Lane-type, a Black Widow-type, a couple of Captain America-types, even a Nick Fury-type without an eyepatch. The last one even comes with a tricked out 'spy hunter' style car. They pack a lot into these 80 pages or so.

Now Ill talk about what I didnt like about this product. The art work was kind of graining or scribbly. This isnt bad, I got the general idea of what the character looked like and such, but a little more artistic 'shabang' and a bit of editing would go a long way towards another point on the scale.

Another complaint of mine is that the setting felt so 'classical'. Most ICONS products have a slick Silver Age style. My own personal style is more Bronze or functional. Like in the various comic book movies, the costumes are usually more functional and darker colored. Usually with a matching trench coat. Some of the villians felt like they would fit into my campaign. Iron Bay uses costume styles of the Golden Age. Costumes are colorful and garish with split color schemes. This is a minor gripe, at most.

I would have to say the ICONS mechanics felt... splattered together. This book was first released in MM3rd... so much can be lost in translation, I guess. ICONS is about elegance. Why have fifty points on a character sheet to track down when maybe less then a dozen would work? Minimalism is the key word with determination and stunts used for wiggle room. ICONS is dynamic... more about the rp process then using an extensive list of lists to keep track of everything. Im not sure the writer understands this and just used a table or two to convert retooled D&D into a FATE/FASERIP hybrid. For example, every Specialty doesnt need to be Expert level. The Abilities are designed as skill conglomerations. For example... one doesnt need a Listen skill to listen... they just roll Awareness. So if half the characters has over a dozen Expert level Specialties, then the Abilities arent doing what they are supposed to. Also odd notes were included on some characters which could have easily been reflected as Qualities or Challenges.

Take heart. This is the first converted supplement for this product line. It is my hope they work out a bit more on general delivery and illustrations as well as nailing down the ICONS system a bit more. I have faith and will buy more of thier ICONS products. Even if they dont improve, they give enough to cover what they promise. So either way I feel AHC is a safe bet.

My last note is more for RPGNow. This product is not listed under Rule System ICONS. I scan this site weekly for the newest ICONS releases. I would hate for someone else out there who is jonesing for new ICONS products who didnt happen to click on this product might miss it. Some customers who are looking for exactly this product arent able find it unless you can straighten this out. That would be a loss for everyone involved.

Thanks for reading this rather long review. I hope AHC comes out with more ICONS products which are well tagged and make them money. ICONS is a wonderfully simple and functional system. I hope they release more material for it. I promise to voraciously buy anything they put out. Peace.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Bay Megatropolis
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Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 4 (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 15:37:54
I gave a negative review of this series. I have come to regret this choice the more I reviewed this product. I now feel I should update my conclusions and try to be a more informative reviewer for my readers and not vent my financial venom into the RPGNow community.

I will list my negative conclusions, all of which one might have immediately upon purchasing the product and after an initial review. My reactions were this. Too expensive. I write it out into two paticular paragraphs which I will now repost.


"I have to say I was highly disappointed by this product. I have been really craving new Icons products, and this does fit that bill... but is highly expensive for what you end up getting. Each of these products are about 50 to 70 pages and they charge top dollar for everything you get. Each installment covers about ten archetypes... tells some general things about it... comic world examples... aspects... and 1 character example. For this they charge 8 to 10 dollars each. That means for the complete set of 40 archetypes and characters covered over lets say 240 pages you are going to play $34."

"Now compared to some text heavy systems like D&D and Hero, this really isnt a lot. If you compare this to the Icons Villianomicon, my golden standard on this line which is sold for just $10 dollars and covers 51 characters, you see why this is so painful in comparison. Not to mention that all of the Field Guides (and Villianomicon as well, unfortunately) do not use any of the new and wonderfully utilitarian rules used introduced in Great Powers."


Now this may have felt right when I wrote it then... unbudgeted money is hard to come by sometimes. ICONS is a wonderful rules light RPG and many of its products seem to have a lower price tag. This means that... for me... everything in the ICONS series that I have an interest in, I own. Try saying that with one of the big boy systems. Can't do it. All those huge volumes of books with dense blocks of game statistics to chew through right in the middle of combat or an intense roleplaying scene. Not ICONS... which fits the storyteller's hands like silk gloves... minimalistic and smoothe and airey even.This is why this product kind of dinged me kind of hard.

Now I have read of the books, and the more I do the more I have come to enjoy this product. At the time, I just wanted ICONS stuff. Give me scenarios, characters, vehicles, base aspects. I wanted all of that... like a sugar addict in a brightly lit mall candy store. This book is a little light on this aspect, and yet so much more.

As it lists in its description, the author, a bonafide doctor of the subject of superheroes, lists different archetypes all comic book characters fall into. He offers a traditional explanation and suggests where to draw inspiration for aspects and even important tips on the archetype mentioned. Each one has a prim example rolled up so you see what an Animal Hero would look like up against a Woman Warrior. Also the author sneaks in his own world around the book. He offers a glossary of terms and some new powers, etc. So I would consider this work more of a guide to an outlined superhero rpg setting. The academics are fun considering how candy coated ICONS can get sometimes. Someone new to this system could purchase these books and then attach an interesting scenaro or two... and have a very functinal world outlined with very broad strokes painting a very unique, yet faithful setting. This aspect of these books took me a bit to discover.

So changing my conclusions before. This book has a lot to offer and is unique in the ICONS series. I highly recommend it and continue to find reading it pleasurable and useful. The cost was kind of steep for me but with all things considered I am glad I aquired it and believe you will too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 4 (ICONS)
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Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 15:37:16
I gave a negative review of this series. I have come to regret this choice the more I reviewed this product. I now feel I should update my conclusions and try to be a more informative reviewer for my readers and not vent my financial venom into the RPGNow community.

I will list my negative conclusions, all of which one might have immediately upon purchasing the product and after an initial review. My reactions were this. Too expensive. I write it out into two paticular paragraphs which I will now repost.


"I have to say I was highly disappointed by this product. I have been really craving new Icons products, and this does fit that bill... but is highly expensive for what you end up getting. Each of these products are about 50 to 70 pages and they charge top dollar for everything you get. Each installment covers about ten archetypes... tells some general things about it... comic world examples... aspects... and 1 character example. For this they charge 8 to 10 dollars each. That means for the complete set of 40 archetypes and characters covered over lets say 240 pages you are going to play $34."

"Now compared to some text heavy systems like D&D and Hero, this really isnt a lot. If you compare this to the Icons Villianomicon, my golden standard on this line which is sold for just $10 dollars and covers 51 characters, you see why this is so painful in comparison. Not to mention that all of the Field Guides (and Villianomicon as well, unfortunately) do not use any of the new and wonderfully utilitarian rules used introduced in Great Powers."


Now this may have felt right when I wrote it then... unbudgeted money is hard to come by sometimes. ICONS is a wonderful rules light RPG and many of its products seem to have a lower price tag. This means that... for me... everything in the ICONS series that I have an interest in, I own. Try saying that with one of the big boy systems. Can't do it. All those huge volumes of books with dense blocks of game statistics to chew through right in the middle of combat or an intense roleplaying scene. Not ICONS... which fits the storyteller's hands like silk gloves... minimalistic and smoothe and airey even.This is why this product kind of dinged me kind of hard.

Now I have read of the books, and the more I do the more I have come to enjoy this product. At the time, I just wanted ICONS stuff. Give me scenarios, characters, vehicles, base aspects. I wanted all of that... like a sugar addict in a brightly lit mall candy store. This book is a little light on this aspect, and yet so much more.

As it lists in its description, the author, a bonafide doctor of the subject of superheroes, lists different archetypes all comic book characters fall into. He offers a traditional explanation and suggests where to draw inspiration for aspects and even important tips on the archetype mentioned. Each one has a prim example rolled up so you see what an Animal Hero would look like up against a Woman Warrior. Also the author sneaks in his own world around the book. He offers a glossary of terms and some new powers, etc. So I would consider this work more of a guide to an outlined superhero rpg setting. The academics are fun considering how candy coated ICONS can get sometimes. Someone new to this system could purchase these books and then attach an interesting scenaro or two... and have a very functinal world outlined with very broad strokes painting a very unique, yet faithful setting. This aspect of these books took me a bit to discover.

So changing my conclusions before. This book has a lot to offer and is unique in the ICONS series. I highly recommend it and continue to find reading it pleasurable and useful. The cost was kind of steep for me but with all things considered I am glad I aquired it and believe you will too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
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Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 2 (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 15:36:42
I gave a negative review of this series. I have come to regret this choice the more I reviewed this product. I now feel I should update my conclusions and try to be a more informative reviewer for my readers and not vent my financial venom into the RPGNow community.

I will list my negative conclusions, all of which one might have immediately upon purchasing the product and after an initial review. My reactions were this. Too expensive. I write it out into two paticular paragraphs which I will now repost.


"I have to say I was highly disappointed by this product. I have been really craving new Icons products, and this does fit that bill... but is highly expensive for what you end up getting. Each of these products are about 50 to 70 pages and they charge top dollar for everything you get. Each installment covers about ten archetypes... tells some general things about it... comic world examples... aspects... and 1 character example. For this they charge 8 to 10 dollars each. That means for the complete set of 40 archetypes and characters covered over lets say 240 pages you are going to play $34."

"Now compared to some text heavy systems like D&D and Hero, this really isnt a lot. If you compare this to the Icons Villianomicon, my golden standard on this line which is sold for just $10 dollars and covers 51 characters, you see why this is so painful in comparison. Not to mention that all of the Field Guides (and Villianomicon as well, unfortunately) do not use any of the new and wonderfully utilitarian rules used introduced in Great Powers."


Now this may have felt right when I wrote it then... unbudgeted money is hard to come by sometimes. ICONS is a wonderful rules light RPG and many of its products seem to have a lower price tag. This means that... for me... everything in the ICONS series that I have an interest in, I own. Try saying that with one of the big boy systems. Can't do it. All those huge volumes of books with dense blocks of game statistics to chew through right in the middle of combat or an intense roleplaying scene. Not ICONS... which fits the storyteller's hands like silk gloves... minimalistic and smoothe and airey even.This is why this product kind of dinged me kind of hard.

Now I have read of the books, and the more I do the more I have come to enjoy this product. At the time, I just wanted ICONS stuff. Give me scenarios, characters, vehicles, base aspects. I wanted all of that... like a sugar addict in a brightly lit mall candy store. This book is a little light on this aspect, and yet so much more.

As it lists in its description, the author, a bonafide doctor of the subject of superheroes, lists different archetypes all comic book characters fall into. He offers a traditional explanation and suggests where to draw inspiration for aspects and even important tips on the archetype mentioned. Each one has a prim example rolled up so you see what an Animal Hero would look like up against a Woman Warrior. Also the author sneaks in his own world around the book. He offers a glossary of terms and some new powers, etc. So I would consider this work more of a guide to an outlined superhero rpg setting. The academics are fun considering how candy coated ICONS can get sometimes. Someone new to this system could purchase these books and then attach an interesting scenaro or two... and have a very functinal world outlined with very broad strokes painting a very unique, yet faithful setting. This aspect of these books took me a bit to discover.

So changing my conclusions before. This book has a lot to offer and is unique in the ICONS series. I highly recommend it and continue to find reading it pleasurable and useful. The cost was kind of steep for me but with all things considered I am glad I aquired it and believe you will too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 2 (ICONS)
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Zenith Comics Presents: Supervillains (ICONS)
Publisher: HAZARD Studio
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2013 12:49:54
This was a very solid product for the ICONS Superhero RPG. I know, I've been collecting them like mad recently, but this was a rare find which I felt I had to comment on. I could not have been more pleased with the product, especially for the price. The e-file consists of a description and history, a good illustration or two, as well as the needed ICONS statistic block for ten very interesting and varried characters. (Oh, eleven. I forgot they included a certain DC Bug ripoff.) They even include standees and proportional character squares as well as square markers for shadows and ice especially for two of their characters. These characters were easily the equal of most of the ICONS own published characters with the one exception that the illustrations were not quite as slick, though they were still very Silver Age in their vibrant color scheme. The illustrations provided were very fine for the product, though. This wasn't a bad detraction for me just a notable difference between the lines.

Spoilers ahead. I'm going to hint upon a few of the characters I thought were interesting. They have an adorably huge gargoyle... you can see a Frankenstien episode welling up in his eyes. They have a creepy charater similar to Cloak from Cloak and Dagger. They include the best stats I have yet seen for an ICONS werewolf. Oh and my favorite. They have this hulking badguy with mechanics where he gets a 'high' and physically heals by inflicting damage on people. Just imagine for a moment how fun such a badguy would be to play. What kind of fun things would a superpowered, tweaked off bully have to say while hes tossing around heroes with a Strength of 9? "Fore." I hate his illustration, ugly tights, so I'd have to give him a different description but keep the bloody skull symbol on his chest... probably painted on by his own hand Joker style. See now why you have to have this product for the mere price of a dollar.

I looked over the Hazard Studio line, it seems they are supporting several superheroe rpg systems, including their own called SUPERS! as well as V&V and BASH! I hope they release more ICONS material. I would buy anything else they published along these same lines and price range. Keep up the wonderful work, Zenith Comics and Hazard Studio.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Zenith Comics Presents: Supervillains (ICONS)
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Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 3 [ICONS]
Publisher: Victory RPG
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2013 10:53:38
I am really liking this first volume of the series, the Enemies of the State. Im going to write this reaction backwards, though, telling you its 'not so good' points to wade to my conclusion. Unfortunately there are a lot of good and bad points to this product which should be concidered, but I found it well worth its purchase price.

As you can see from the cover, the art isnt spectacular. The normal artwork for ICONS is this 'Jonny Phantom/Almost Power Puff Girls' theme of simple ovals stacked and drabed with candy colored tights and with a few capes or skulls or whatever thrown on. This is very far from that mark. These are what look like fashion posed sketches of someone with some talent. Like that stoner in the back of class who just doodled all day long in the back of the class, you know the guy. Some of the pictures were kind of dispoportional... like wrists so thin, they would have to beak just opening a door. Its mildly disturbing... as if you had walked into a world populated by impressionist screamers or something. They do thier job and show you how this one villian wears his clothing and might look posed in the middle of executing some diabolical plan. My other main complaint, and to me it isnt a biggie, is the layout. It might have been the look they were going for... the 'seventies/eighties comic book' letterhead over each entry. If so, bravo on the nostalgia, but the whole production felt kind of amaturish as far as the presentation and artwork. Now this is mostly based on comparison with the normal ICONS products, which always feels silver age slick to me. This feels like a golden age product by fawcet comics or some other defunct company from that time. Finally, this product was first made as a M&M sourcebook, terminologies still get batted around, unfound by the substitute program they used or whatever. You have to figure out on your own what a 'WILL save' is... which I use as a Willpower ability check with a 0 set difficulty. This can be distracting.

Now I saved the best for last. What do I like about it. First off, it is inexpensive. This is the first selling point I want to make, for a nice price you get some good material. There is very little commitment... read one and if you like it, get the others. Try the water, get out if its too cold in here for you. Secondly, I like that it doesnt have the normal 'slick silver age' theme. This feels like golden age or thug level material. I am so tired of silver age, I have my own world set up with a more golden age theme... a 'what if the comics code never happened' alternative to modern comic books set up completely on magic rather than 'wacky radiation'. If you like to walk off the silver age path, I think this gives you an interesting set of archetypes to build from. Also I found the thought and themes involved were interesting and different from most products of this type. I like the real world grounding with the states, rather than having everyone come from Metropolis or Gothum City or something. I even liked how most of the characters were dressed in what amounts to real world clothing and didnt all sport 'domino masks' of some sort.

So my conclusion is this. I was torn what rating to leave this target before finally settling on a three. I liked the writing and what it is doing. I might not have liked how I felt while looking at the pics and letterhead and such, but that is really only secondary to what I really wanted. Though I liked the price of these products, I hope in the future Victory RPG will put in a few more characters per book. There are fifty states to be covered and Id hate to count the costs later and find the whole set costed me over a dollar a state. I dont even care if they ever fix or whatever the pictures and layout... just throw in a 'just 5 cents' square in the corner or something to make it look like an old comic book cover to me would just be choice and distinquish it nicely from normal ICONS books. It would make me happier if they could weed out more of the 'M&M'isms, but I understand my main system, ICONS, is only a second run audience for them. Its just a small gipe, and usually with a bit of thought I can figure out what to do around it.

I look forward to more Victory RPG products in this line. This is only the first volume. Maybe the others will hone in a bit more and I could give them a four. I see a lot of potential and value here.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 3 [ICONS]
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Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 2 [ICONS]
Publisher: Victory RPG
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2013 10:53:19
I am really liking this first volume of the series, the Enemies of the State. Im going to write this reaction backwards, though, telling you its 'not so good' points to wade to my conclusion. Unfortunately there are a lot of good and bad points to this product which should be concidered, but I found it well worth its purchase price.

As you can see from the cover, the art isnt spectacular. The normal artwork for ICONS is this 'Jonny Phantom/Almost Power Puff Girls' theme of simple ovals stacked and drabed with candy colored tights and with a few capes or skulls or whatever thrown on. This is very far from that mark. These are what look like fashion posed sketches of someone with some talent. Like that stoner in the back of class who just doodled all day long in the back of the class, you know the guy. Some of the pictures were kind of dispoportional... like wrists so thin, they would have to beak just opening a door. Its mildly disturbing... as if you had walked into a world populated by impressionist screamers or something. They do thier job and show you how this one villian wears his clothing and might look posed in the middle of executing some diabolical plan. My other main complaint, and to me it isnt a biggie, is the layout. It might have been the look they were going for... the 'seventies/eighties comic book' letterhead over each entry. If so, bravo on the nostalgia, but the whole production felt kind of amaturish as far as the presentation and artwork. Now this is mostly based on comparison with the normal ICONS products, which always feels silver age slick to me. This feels like a golden age product by fawcet comics or some other defunct company from that time. Finally, this product was first made as a M&M sourcebook, terminologies still get batted around, unfound by the substitute program they used or whatever. You have to figure out on your own what a 'WILL save' is... which I use as a Willpower ability check with a 0 set difficulty. This can be distracting.

Now I saved the best for last. What do I like about it. First off, it is inexpensive. This is the first selling point I want to make, for a nice price you get some good material. There is very little commitment... read one and if you like it, get the others. Try the water, get out if its too cold in here for you. Secondly, I like that it doesnt have the normal 'slick silver age' theme. This feels like golden age or thug level material. I am so tired of silver age, I have my own world set up with a more golden age theme... a 'what if the comics code never happened' alternative to modern comic books set up completely on magic rather than 'wacky radiation'. If you like to walk off the silver age path, I think this gives you an interesting set of archetypes to build from. Also I found the thought and themes involved were interesting and different from most products of this type. I like the real world grounding with the states, rather than having everyone come from Metropolis or Gothum City or something. I even liked how most of the characters were dressed in what amounts to real world clothing and didnt all sport 'domino masks' of some sort.

So my conclusion is this. I was torn what rating to leave this target before finally settling on a three. I liked the writing and what it is doing. I might not have liked how I felt while looking at the pics and letterhead and such, but that is really only secondary to what I really wanted. Though I liked the price of these products, I hope in the future Victory RPG will put in a few more characters per book. There are fifty states to be covered and Id hate to count the costs later and find the whole set costed me over a dollar a state. I dont even care if they ever fix or whatever the pictures and layout... just throw in a 'just 5 cents' square in the corner or something to make it look like an old comic book cover to me would just be choice and distinquish it nicely from normal ICONS books. It would make me happier if they could weed out more of the 'M&M'isms, but I understand my main system, ICONS, is only a second run audience for them. Its just a small gipe, and usually with a bit of thought I can figure out what to do around it.

I look forward to more Victory RPG products in this line. This is only the first volume. Maybe the others will hone in a bit more and I could give them a four. I see a lot of potential and value here.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 2 [ICONS]
Click to show product description

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Publisher Reply:
I read your review word for word and I agree with you. My father and I were working the best we could to get the product out there. But production has slowed to a near halt since now VRPG is run by just me now. Once I can figure what my dad wanted me to produce I'll try to get products up again. EoS is the one series of product we both enjoyed to make and I'll try as best I can. Some future products may be a little "Amateur" but over time they'll get better. I enjoy having reviews made about the products and I'll try to work off them. Maybe I'll throw in that 15 cents sign on a few of the old timey looking ones. So I thank you for the review. VRPG was a Father/Son business and now it's just the son. But like I said I'll try to get back working on products and will work to the best of my ability on both my imagination for EoS and with the customer's reviews for them. Stephen Vaughan Victory RPG
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