Save vs. Pelvic Sorcery

(Because … well, it kind of justifies itself…)

Sorcerous Origin: Pelvic

Your innate magic comes from the motion of the ocean and the swaying of your hips, the forceful thrust, and the slow roll – in short, pelvic sorcery. Perhaps you were born with this potential, apparent even before you fully tapped its power, or you might come from a long line with this ability, one ensured to continue on and on (and on…).

Roguish Charm

When you choose this origin at 1st level you gain a potent roguish charm. By standing next to a creature and interacting for at least 30 seconds, you can attempt to charm that creature as if casting the charm person spell, without expending spell slots or spell points.

Come and Get Your Love

At 1st level, you add expeditious retreat and jump to your list of known spells. You can cast them without components, but they affect only you.

Dance-Off

Starting at 6th level, you can cast Otto’s irresistible dance on a creature you can see that can see and interact with you, without expending spell points to do so. Once you have done this, you must complete a short rest before you can do so again.

Hooked on a Feeling

At 14th level, you can charm any creature by interacting with it. The creature makes a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC and is charmed for one hour if it fails.

Awesome Mix

At 18th level, if you are exposed to and make a saving throw against an effect at the same time as any of your allies, both you and your allies have advantage on the saving throw and resistance to any damage caused by the effect.

Icons: Heroes by the Numbers

I’ll be honest: I’m not a fan of the point-based hero creation option in Icons (p. 68 of the Assembled Edition). “Rolled-up” heroes is one of the reasons I wrote the game, and the point-buy option runs counter to that, plus I already designed a much more comprehensive point-buy system for superheroes (this lil’ RPG called Mutants & Masterminds). Still, it’s something playtesters all but demanded, both when the game was originally written, and when I put together the Assembled Edition so, it’s in there as an option.

Naturally, the most oft-asked question about the newly released Assembled Edition? About point-based hero creation … naturally. That being:

How many points do extras cost?

The Point-Based Hero Creation sidebar in Assembled Edition says: “Apply power extra and limits to powers normally.”

Since an extra substitutes for a rolled power, with the point-based approach, an extra instead increases the power’s cost per level by 1. In essence, the extra costs points equal to the power’s level.

Example: Creating Miss Tikal (Icons, p. 215) with the point-buy option, her Incredible Magic (level 7) costs 7 points. She has three instances of the Mastery extra (three powers she can call upon without a test or preparation). Each of those extras also costs 7 points, so her Magic costs a total of (7 + 7 + 7 + 7) or 28 points. With 24 points in abilities and two Expert specialties (2 points each), Miss Tikal is a 56-point character.

In place of the third benefit listed on p. 84 of Assembled Edition, a limit can reduce a power’s cost per level by 1 (to a minimum of 1 point per level). In essence, a limit can allow an extra to be added to the power “for free”. The increase to rolled level benefit doesn’t apply, since powers have no rolled levels in the point-based option.

ICONS: Innate Damage Resistance

This is an expansion/modification of the Innate Invulnerability damage variant on the ICONS Wiki. In essence, all characters get Damage Resistance equal to half their Strength level (rounded down) but that resistance applies only to bashing and blasting damage, slashing and shooting damage is unaffected. This reflects the greater resistance sheer Strength grants when it comes to taking a beating, without necessarily making the character more physically impervious to harm. Regular Damage Resistance, granted by powers, protects against all types of attacks, unless the power has a specific Limit, and the higher of the two levels applies.

Example: The Mighty Saguaro has Strength 9 but no Damage Resistance power. He still gets Damage Resistance 4 (9 divided by 2 = 4.5, rounded down to 4) against bashing and blasting damage, but slashing and shooting attacks do their full damage against him. His only benefit from Strength there is his higher Stamina total. On the other hand, All-Star has Strength 10 and Damage Resistance 8, so he gets no extra benefit; his powers grant him more Damage Resistance than half his Strength level. If, for some reason, his Damage Resistance was nullified, but not his Strength, All-Star would still have Damage Resistance 5 (half of 10) against bashing and blasting damage.

ICONS: Pay-to-Play Determination

In the ICONS rules, starting Determination value is figured from a base of 6, minus 1 per power the character has, with abilities above level 6 counting as powers. So a hero with three powers and an ability of 8 (for example), has a starting Determination of 2. This is intended to benefit those heroes who have fewer powers and superhuman abilities, giving them the options inherent in more starting Determination.

In this variant, rather than paying “up-front” for the value of powers and high-level abilities, all characters start each story with the same amount of Determination—the base 6 points—which they can spend as desired, but players have to spend a point of Determination the first time they use a particular power or ability with a level higher than 6 in each story. This Determination has no benefit other than “activating” that ability and making it accessible. Thus the characters “pay” for the capabilities they use, but are not “charged” for the ones that they do not. This may encourage players to be more conservative about their heroes’ powers, which can suit a “secret powers” series, for example.

In a Super-Teen series, the characters are all high schoolers who keep their amazing powers secret for various reasons. The GM institutes the “pay-to-play” rule for Determination, meaning all of the heroes have the same starting Determination, but they have to pay 1 point for the first use of each power or super-level ability in each adventure. So when Gwen uses her Super-Speed or Tommy teleports for the first time, that costs a point of Determination. Gwen’s Coordination 5 and Acrobatics Expert, however, doesn’t cost Determination because it’s not a power and her ability level is not above 6. If the young heroes choose not to exercise their powers, they have more Determination on-hand for other things.

Taking All (Fudge) Factors Into Account

This addition to the Fudge Action Resolution section offers some ideas on taking a variety of different factors for success into account when determining the outcome of any given action. It also provides a common framework and vocabulary for describing Fudge actions in simple and straightforward terms.

3.31 Action Factors

A number of things factor into determining the outcome of any given action. By applying all of the appropriate factors for a given action you can quickly determine the outcome of the character’s attempt. Plus, by taking all the factors into account, you can quickly and easily determine outcomes, often without needed to roll dice at all!

The factors involved in any given action are: the character’s capability of performing that action, the conditions under which the action is performed, the amount of time and effort put into the action, and, lastly, a measure of luck. Continue reading

ICONS: Knacks

iconsknacksKnacks are a new type of trait for ICONS, neither ability, specialty, nor power. A knack can have one of the following effects, chosen when the knack is created and acquired:

  • Substitutes one ability level for another in relation to a specific kind of test or usage. Examples include swapping Strength for Willpower for intimidating (“My might is intimidating!”) or Intellect for Coordination for Dodging (“Totally saw that one coming.”).
  • Provides a +2 bonus for a specific type of test in the form: “Because I [something unique about the character] I get a bonus when I [particular situation or test].” For example, “Because I once belonged to the criminal underworld, I get a bonus when I interact with criminals on their own terms.”
  • Provides the effects of a power at a level equal to a “linked” ability. Note that this does not count as the “Ability-Linked” limit for powers that feature it (see the Great Power sourcebook for details).
  • Provides a declared benefit the player can bring into play based on a specific Specialty, reflecting the character’s knowledge, experience, or resources. For example, “As a Business Expert, I know a lot of people in this field. One of them should be able to help us out.” This follows the same guidelines as a retcon (ICONS, p. 80).

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ICONS: Milestones

Like comic book superhereos, ICONS characters may change and grow over time. If you plan a long-running series, consider the following options for hero improvement.

Adjust the costs as you see fit, increasing them to make improvement slower and more difficult, or lowering them (or providing more for the same cost) to encourage improvement. You can also control the frequency of particular milestones as suits the heroes and the series.

Continue reading