I love this newest addition to my library. I had been reluctant to commit to the Icons system after reading the book. It seemed nebulous on too many details. Once I wrapped my head around it, though. It proved to be a system very ideally suited to me. It is in essence a simplified rendition of Marvel Superheroes tier system with the Aspect mechanic of the Fate system. Oh, and using an easier to acquire d6-d6 mechanic which was always my favorite equivalent to the FUDGE dice.
I still had problems with the system. The powers were too limited. Heck, they werent even listed alphabetically which really stunk. I didnt yet fully trust the range and movement systems. This book is like a patch filling in all the holes in the system. It makes Icons purr like a kitten. A lot of ideas I had been totting around from other systems, like a list of inter-related power listings from Alpha Chronicles, have been made redundant by this one book. Imagine how wonderful it is to just not have to concider and peruse three or more other books to get the feel you want from your setting or magic.
In one book is everything you need to really customize your character. If you are a FASERIP fan, this is like the 'Ultimate Powers' book. It adds a few twists to the system, twists which I at first resisted, like not having some powers be twice as expensive as others. Once you get the feel of the system, though, you start to understand. Instead of just rolling stupid powers on some list... you are developing and interweaving your abilities... almost effortlessly. The book showing you how even just with its listings which suggest possibilities and, as stated before, alphabeticaly listed for ease of use with symbols to help organize the seven different power catagories. It even has a Servent power... and listings under Summon. This is always wonderful for smoothe mechanics for making up characters on the spot.
If you are even the vaguest bit interested in the Icons system and if you have some knowledge of the basic system, this book is a wonderful read which really opens up the possibilities of this system. Of course, being a sourcebook, it doesnt cover all the basic rules like panel and page meaning and such. It assumes one has those rules in place. This book mostly just streamlines the power and stunt systems. It is much simpler than most crunchy type games, like the Hero system or even D&D. It still gives you a lot of variance, though, and a lot of options. To me, this system is an ideal hybrid of the story driven Aspects (called Qualities) with the very simple and direct 10 level mechanics. I could give no higher endorsement to a game.
I hope they keep making these kind of products, but could they vary the art a bit. Maybe in the next issues they make a remake of the Icons basic book without its power and stunt system... and just try a different tone or two from the Silver Age illustrations. They are exciting and evocative, but kind of childish sometimes. Id like it if they made a 'gritty' edition of thier next book or urban fantasy toned edition. Maybe even the same book with different tones so the rulebook can be matched with the tone of the game. Hopefullly at a reduced price, because its a reprint, of course.
I look forward to a future with even more Icons material.
[5 of 5 Stars!]