Thursday, April 27, 2017

Things I forget in ICONS

Hey, folks. Sorry I've been away; chemotherapy is really busting my butt these last couple of weeks. What I thought was that it was like antibiotics...I'd start, and I'd feel better and better, and eventually we'd be done. Unfortunately, chemotherapy is more like they're trying to kill you and they hope the cancer dies first. So until you're done, you keep getting worse. Still, past the midway point.

Anyway, there are a couple of rules in ICONS that I rarely act on, mostly because I skimmed them on my first read and didn't catch them until recently.
  • Automatic hitbacks So when anyone tries to hit your character with Prowess or Coordination and the result is a massive failure, you automatically succeed in hitting back, if that's plausible. (ICONS Assembled, pages 43, 138, 139) In the case of a Dodge (using Coordination), it's a bit more limited...throw back thrown projectiles...but it's there. Your high Prowess or Coordination hero can attack multiple heroes in this way without stunting Burst.
  • Villains spending Determination When a villain would spend a Determination point (from a power or usually from stunting; Steve Kenson is quite clear on the fact that only heroes have Determination, but some power descriptions include Determination), the affected player gets the Determination. That I remembered. But if the villain uses a maneuver or a tactic to get the Advantage, then the player doesn't get the Determination, because the villain has already paid the "cost" of the Advantage. Good to know.
  • Buying vehicles When I looked at Vehicles and the Vehicles power in the various Justice Wheels supplements from Fainting Goat, I realized that the Assembled version of a vehicle would be a reskinned Servant power. While Servant grants you a pool of points to buy Prowess, Strength, Coordination, and any powers, a Vehicles version would give you a pool of points to buy Handling, Speed, and Structure, a movement power (Flight, Aquatic, Burrowing, or Super-Speed), and any other powers. Stealing from the Justice Wheels power, the default number of passengers is 2, and you can spend a point for each extra five passengers. (No, you don't get points for saying 1 passenger only.)
  • Old Elemental Control vs. New Element Control As originally written, Element Control had five possible descriptors; you got two and the rest could be bought as Extras(we would call them now): Attacking, Defending, Moving, Creating, and Shaping. Creating is now assumed (that is, it's a Limit if you can't create your element or energy). Attacking, Defending, and Moving are usually obvious Effects (probably Blast, Force Field or Resistance, and Telekinesis, but certain behaviours might call for something different). But that darn Shaping has always been an issue for me. However... There are two options:
    • Just call out Shaping as an Extra. You're the GM, of course you can do it.
    • The book Great Power contains the extra "Force Constructs" for Force Control, and I see no reason why you couldn't apply the Extra "<Material> Constructs" to your power to signify creating earth walls or water walls or force walls or darkness walls or whatever. (The Extra is also how you might do the old Champions power "Force Wall".)