>Icons Character Generation: Another Mini-game


Well, I finally got around to cracking open my Icons PDF (Hooray for Adamant, again, for changing their pricing model; happy I can support it!) and thought I’d share a few things. In accordance with my guidelines for learning a new RPG, let’s talk about the first 2 steps.

  1. The Core Mechanic: Icons uses 2d6 for all its rolls, with one die being positive and one being negative to generate a number between +5 and -5, added to modifiers and compared to the target number. So, that’s: 2d6, Positive minus Negative, + Modifiers vs. Target.

    Fairly simple, and clearly enough derived (loosely) from Fate.

  2. Creating a Character: Icons uses a random character generation system as its default with a point-buy system offered as an afterthought. The random generation isn’t quite as dangerous as, say, Traveller, but it’s definitely fun. In fact, it’s so fun that I’m going to run through it here. 
Basically the process boils down to rolling 2d6 a lot and consulting a chart; for these rolls we just use the total normally, there’s no + or -. 
Phase 1: Origin

I roll the dice first to determine the origin of my character’s powers. I roll an 8, which, according to the related chart, gives me the following result: Gimmick: The character’s powers all come from devices of some kind. One of the character’s mental abilities (your choice) is increased by +2.” Interesting. Let’s see what happens next, shall we? I make a note of this and opt to make the decision after I roll for my abilities. 
Phase 2: Abilities

I roll 6 times on the “Level Determination table” to get a level for each of my abilities: 
Prowess 7
Coordination 4
Strength 4
Intellect 6
Awareness 2
Willpower 4
I decide that an intellect of 6 is probably good enough, but I’m not all that happy with the Awareness of 2: I raise it by 2 with my bonus to make my hero a little quicker on the uptake. Awareness 4. 

Phase 3: Powers

I roll a 7 here, which the chart tells me means that I get 3 superpowers, each of which will be randomly determined as well. I generate levels for them in advance: I get a 4, a 6, and a 5 to assign to each power in order. 
I roll to determine which kinds of powers I will have: I get one Sensory, one Alteration, and – thank goodness – an Offensive power. At this point I can only guess what I will be getting from each. 
First, I roll to generate my Level 4 Sensory power: I get lucky! A first roll of 4 puts me on the second half of the table, and a 5 afterward nets me Precognition. I can only BET that will be as useful as it sounds. I put down Precognition 4 on my character sheet. 
My Alteration roll gets me Chameleon 6 – letting me blend into my surroundings. I picture a costume that has camouflage screens built in using e-ink to display images of whatever’s behind my hero. It’s not perfect invisibility, but it’ll make him fairly stealthy, which is always a plus. Maybe he’s a former spy?
For my last roll, I luck out on Offenses – while I don’t get the ranged attack I was really hoping for, I wind up with Fast Attack 5 – letting him attack twice per turn. With my character’s high Prowess score, I start to picture the suit as spiking his nervous system to give him the speed for that extra punch; he may not hit as hard as some, but he’ll hit often. 

Phase 4: Specialties

I get to choose 3 Specialties, and I opt to go with Electronics, and Acrobatics Expert (which counts as two choices for the extra level).

Stage 5: Stamina and Background

I total his Strength and Willpower to get the stat called Stamina: 8.

I decide that he’s a former industrial spy who went Super Hero after learning that crime doesn’t pay (or after deciding that it had paid well enough already – either way, this is his idea of an early retirement). His precognition comes from his helmet in the form of a “Temporal Oscillation Monitor/HUD” – basically it monitors particles that move back and forth through time in order to learn about the state of matter as it exists in the future. All of which is comicbook babble for, “see future, do awesome things.” 😀 His suit, of course, provides him with the ability to blend into the background and raises the speed of his punches by electronic stimulation of the nervous system. 
I think I’ll call him Feedback. 😀

Stage 6: Determination: 

My 3 powers and 1 ability over 7 mean that I’ll be starting with a Determination of 2. (Determination is a way of bending the rules to make your character more heroic when the action calls for it).

I opt for the option of choosing Aspects while playing, because I don’t really want to take the time to figure them out just yet. “Former Criminal” would probably be an excellent one to start with, though, so I note it down on the sheet..

And there you have it: Icons character creation. I have no idea how he’d function in actual gameplay, but he sounds like fun! 

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