Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alternate ICONS Character Generation

It occurred to me about twelve seconds ago (I have poor impulse control) that there's a possibly interesting alternate way to create characters in ICONS.

We first define a couple of templates--for this example, I'll use the ones below, but we could use the templates in Mutants & Masterminds or any other game. This is how I could create a character as a GMC in a hurry. It makes a 45 point character. This is meant to be an even quicker and dirtier way to create a character. If you want real nuance, use the real ICONS method.

Ignore the origins list. Your character will have an origin, but it's narrative flavour; it doesn't give you anything mechanically.

Stats: 20 points. Usually, you have some idea of the kind of character you want.  If you don't even want to assign that, here:
AbilityBrickBlasterControllerGadgeteerMentalistOddballShifterWarrior
Prowess44332444
Coordination35433333
Strength43333444
Intellect33453333
Awareness33333333
Willpower33336333

Powers: You get a power out of each group: Offensive, Defensive, and Movement. You might want a sensory power, too, but you don't need to pick one. If you want, use one of the powers to bump up an ability, so a brick can have a higher strength or a mentalist a super-high willpower, or a genius a high Intellect. Now pick:
  • A power at rank 7. 
  • Two powers at rank 5.
  • Another power at rank 3.
If you want an Extra, you either use up one of your powers or take a limitation on the same power. They balance each other out.
Personalization: Spend 5 points on anything, provided you never exceed rank 10 on something.  Specialties come out of these 5 points.

Qualities: One is your secret or public ID, with a guarantee from the GM that it will generate as many problems as benefits. The other two are developed in play.

Sometimes the powers are almost self-evident, sometimes they're not.

So, for example:
  • A Brick probably picks Strength as one of his rank 5, and has a total strength of 9, a Resistance to Damage of 7, a Leaping of 5, and Super-Senses of 3.
  • A Blaster might pick Energy Blast 7, Force Field 5, Flight 5, and Danger Sense.
  • A Controller might pick Gravity Control 7, with Binding as the base power, Telekinesis 5, Extra: Burst 5, and Flight 3.
  • A Gadgeteer might pick Energy Blast 7, Force Field 5, Interface 5, and Gadgets 3.
  • A Mentalist might pick Telepathy, Teleportation, Regeneration, and Detection.
  • An Oddball might choose to be a winged interstellar policeman, with Immortality 7, Strike 5, Side Effect: Nullify 5, and Flight 3.
  • A Shifter might pick Transformation 7, Resistance 5, Regeneration 5, and Phase 3.
  • A Warrior might pick Speed 7 (his car or plane), Energy Blast (bow and arrows) 5, Fast Attack 5, and the 3 point power gets added to Coordination.
Anyway. That's the idea. It's less random than random creation, but you still get to pick some without going the whole point-buy route.