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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition $15.00
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
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
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
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
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
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 Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Bryan D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2016 05:47:04

Steve Kenson deliver a simple but deep superhero roleplaying game system, that can be pluged into just about any classic RPG superhero or other wise.

Icons is wonderful chacter centered and for campaing perposes, encorages the use of multipule charaters. The univers creation rules develope both the charaters and the world around them simaltainoutly.

Icons is an important tool I am keeping in my GMs tool box.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Wayne D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/15/2015 10:11:55

The flexibility of ICONS is beautiful in its simplicity. The random character creation can be an exercise in creativity without even needing to run a campaign!

My only critique is that the application of Extras was not entirely clearly laid out as well as some of the Extras and Limits themselves.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/13/2015 06:59:30

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • ICONS has a crazy amount of quality, third party support, particularly from Fainting Goat Games and Vigilance Press, so even if Ad Infinitum's already impressive slate of adventures doesn't tide you over, there is more out there.

  • As I said in my original review: ICONS character creation is just FUN. Maybe the only game that had character creation as fun is, not surprisingly, the FASERIP Marvel game.

  • I was annoyed that this came so close to Great Power (which I backed on Kickstarter), and it wasn't 100% compatible.

  • Dan Houser provided every piece of art in the book, continuing to define the distinctive visual appearance of ICONS.

  • The Universe rules, which incorporate the Villain Creation Rules, are just one of the coolest things I have ever seen in a game, period.

-I'm not usually a big fan of ".5" style updates, but this thing went almost point by point down my complaints list and addressed them. Hard for me to argue with that.

At the end of the day, though, I need to run this game again. I ran it once, did not care for it, but that was the old rulebook, it was my first time running the game, and I was running it for my then-very young son. My overall gut impression of the game is more positive right now, but I do want to see for myself if it's a game I could love, and the good faith effort in addressing the previous criticisms of the game (including my own) compels me to give it that shot.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/02/tommys-take-on-icons-assembled-edition.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Jason C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2014 23:14:28

I'm still reading this fun and odd game. It's got a lot of inspirational material in it - I'm stoked and can't wait to run a game. I won't be using any of their setting until I get DOOM, but the game drips fun. So what if the die mechanic is really easy? I like it that way. There's no arcane charts littered all over to overly define anything. I really think the level of abstraction here hits my sweet spot.

Character creation is fun even if it makes some weird characters. That's the fun part! The randomness is cool in my book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Sylvain B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2014 07:52:54

This is a textbook example on how to write a new RPG edition; improving the game on every front while maintaining a high level of compatibility with the previous product line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2014 11:03:52

Steve Kenson and Dan Houser knock it out of the park once again with Icons: The Assembled Edition! The book is very well written. The art is fantastic. The truly awesome Icons system is even better with more options drawn from with out being too heavy. I love how all my Icons books are still useful with very little work. This new edition truly brings Icons to my gaming table like never before! Thank you guys! Great job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Anthony P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2014 10:03:02

A few years ago when I first picked up ICONS, I did it because I didn't have access to my copies of Mutants and Masterminds. My friends and I wanted to run something supers related but none of us had our normal materials so I popped onto the internet and did a quick search for something that would let us get to playing quick.

I'd always liked the old school Marvel RPG as well as FUDGE/FATE and ICONS looked simple enough. I figured "Hey, why not".

We rolled up our characters, had a hilarious time trying to sort them out and come up with great names and origin stories. Our game was a little on the wild side, we played Super Powered Lawyers who used their abilities to handle all the different harassment, threats, bribes, and other problems that a single Mega Corp (also run by a powered being) used against our clients (Think Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law, but a whole lot less humor).

The game only lasted one session but that was all I needed to come to appreicate ICONS for what it was.

Assembled Edition did the same thing that the original did for me, I scrolled on through each page of the PDF and was brought back to that moment when I realized what a gem the ICONS Supers RPG is.

This version of the game includes a lot of changes, but they feel more like minor tweaks and additions than full on revisions some from other source books and adventures and others just bits that were adjusted in the new book. While I see what's different, I am definitely able to say at the end of the day "This is ICONS" without any reservation. The new Assembled Edition is different and familiar at the same time; of all the different games I play, it's those types of games which usually remain on my shelf (physical and digital) for the long haul.

One of the changes that I noticed right away was the dice mechanic, the D6-D6 method was replaced by a slightly more intuitive (Attribute+D6)-(Difficulty+D6) method of resolution. It still works the same for the most part but it feels just a little better in my opinion. Other changes include the villain character creation system, pyramid system (an extended test method) and powers being brought in line with the material from their Great Power source book.

The art of the book is great. I've always loved the art styles of Dan Houser (no not that one, the illustrator), his stuff immediately evokes instant memories of the various DC Animated shows I love so much, he blends that comic book with cartoon feel that I think works best for the ICONS products. The cover was the most obvious new piece and it manages to hit that spot in me that suddenly wants to start rolling up new characters right away.

ICONS Assembled Edition clocks in at 232 pages and is absolutely worth the low price of $15.00 for the PDF or $34.95 for the print edition; either version of the book deserves your attention.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/01/2014 11:23:22

Whether you’re a longtime ICONS fan or a new player/GM looking for a relatively rules-light yet richly textured superhero RPG, you’ll welcome ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.

If you’re not familiar with ICONS but are considering a purchase, this book will give you everything you need to get started … except for some six-sided dice, an adventure and friends to play it with. Chapter 1, “The Basics,” starts off by describing ICONS scale, a system of ranking abilities, powers, difficulties, and so on using a scale of 1 to 10 with corresponding adjectives (think of the classic Marvel Super Heroes RPG). Almost everything in ICONS is measured using this scale. Chapter 1 also defines the six ability scores used for ICONS characters, and explains Determination, a kind of in-game currency that players can spend to gain advantages and GMs can award to cause trouble. Fighting, of course, involves the additional consideration of damage and healing, which are addressed here in chapter 1. Chapter 1 ends with a wonderful example of play that illustrates all the basic concepts.

Chapter 2, “Hero Creation,” obviously covers character creation, but also team creation. The default method of character creation in ICONS is random generation using a series of tables, but a point-buy option is also presented. Character creation is illustrated using the origin of Saguaro, the iconic (heh) cactus-man on the front cover.

Chapters 3 and 4 describe the standard powers and specialties presented in the game. ICONS takes the approach of boiling powers down to their basic essences or most common expressions, then allowing customizations through limits and extras. Specialties are learned skills, and only have a three-step scale (specialist, expert, and master).

Chapter 5 goes into more detail about how characters’ actions are mechanically resolved in ICONS. This straightforward chapter ends with another great example of play.

The book’s longest chapter is chapter 6, on “Game Mastering.” This chapter is chock full of great advice, ideas, and inspiration for ICONS GMs. It’s useful not only for new GMs but for experienced game masters as well, since it provides helpful overviews of comic book tropes, quick villian creation, and so on.

A selection of NPCs, both allies and adversaries, rounds out the book. Some readers have noticed that the superheroes presented here do not have starting Determination values listed, but that’s because they’re intended as NPCs, not as pregenerated player characters.

For those of you who already play ICONS and wonder if you should get the new edition, I’d say “yes.” There are a few significant rules changes that should make gameplay even easier than it was before. To highlight the three most important changes:

  1. In the Assembled Edition, GMs now roll dice. The formula for task resolution has changed from relevant ability/power + 1d6 - 1d6 vs. target difficulty or opposing ability/power to 1d6 + relevant ability/power vs. 1d6 + target difficulty or opposing ability/power. The resulting probabilities remain the same as in classic ICONS, but the revised mechanic makes it easier to resolve villains’ actions without mentally inverting the scale.

  2. In classic ICONS, characters had aspects, divided into qualities (generally advantageous) and challenges (generally disadvantageous). In the Assembled Edition, the advantageous/disadvantageous distinction is dissolved, and new characters have three qualities that could potentially serve in a variety of circumstances to yield advantage or trouble. This particular change is, in my view, the best rules change in the Assembled Edition. Additionally, the whole system is explained much better in the Assembled Edition than in the classic ICONS rulebook. The Assembled Edition even gives GMs and players a “formula” to use to show how qualities are used: “Because of (quality), I/you get (advantage/trouble).” Through the use of models like “Because I am The World’s Greatest Detective, I get improved effort on the Intellect test to figure out what happened here” or “As a Believer in All Things Good, I am taken aback by this horror and lose my panel this page” and the examples of play at the ends of chapters 1 (“The Basics”) and 5 (“Taking Action”), the use of qualities becomes much clearer to readers of the Assembled Edition.

  3. Classic ICONS included some powers that “counted as two powers.” Those powers have been eliminted, revised, or folded into other powers in the Assembled Edition, so that there is no such bookkeeping. All powers “count as one power” for purposes of reckoning starting Determination and point-buy character builds.

Since the Assembled Edition differs only in these two major and a few other minor ways from classic ICONS, it’s very easy to use older adventures and supplements with the Assembled Edition. For the Villainomicon, I would suggest just ignoring the rules material up front in favor of what’s in the Assembled Edition, but most of the villains should work fine with just slight adjustments to terminology and maybe reconfiguring their qualities. A good bit of material from ICONS Team-Up appears in revised form in the Assembled Edition, but that book still retains value in its chapters on exotic environments, sidekicks, and—if you want to use them—vehicles and bases. In general, Great Power also retains its value, especially in “translating” various power concepts into mechanical terms. You can also still use the random power tables in Great Power for the sake of variety, and then build the character according to the power terminology in the Assembled Edition.

Production values for this book are very high. The Assembled Edition uses the same page templates as Great Power, so the pages have plenty of light colors and white space, making them very readable and aesthetically pleasing. The book is also full of wonderful new artwork by ICONic artist Dan Houser.

In short, I enthusiastically recommend ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition. My only “complaint” is that the PDF as initially released did not include bookmarks (but I hope this will be fixed soon).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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