ICONS (*New and Improved!)

ICONS is a game I’ve had a lot of fun with, a game inspired by the old Marvel Supers RPG (the FASERIP system) and using Fate-derived rules. So I’ve been pretty bummed that it’s more or less languished in publishing limbo after the release of the core book and Villainomicon. There was a Kickstarter I somehow missed for Great Power, now available at Drive-Thru in .pdf and PoD format. And then there was Team-Up which by now has been relegated to vaporware status. (Don’t bother trying to order the physical copy; it has a long and dramatic history behind it.) There’s been a lot of great digital support for the game, but not a lot of print products.

Recently, the rights to ICONS have reverted back to Steve Kenson, and he’s teaming up with Green Ronin—the guys who publish his own big project, the Mutants & Masterminds roleplaying game—for a revised and expanded ICONS Assembled Edition, releasing this summer.

I’m pretty stoked. Green Ronin has established a solid foundation, in terms of the logistics of printing, warehousing, shipping, etc. And it’s not just a re-release; it’s slated to have a load of new material and take Great Power design into consideration (without devaluing Great Power). Plus, the line artist Dan Houser’s art style has undergone a ton of growth and development over the past few years; I liked the Bruce Timm style then, I love the updated style now.

On top of that, the original ICONS Core Rules and Villainomicon digital editions are going pay-what-you-want. If you like superhero RPGs, like your digital copies legal, and liked the fast and furious Marvel Supers system of yore, take a look. Plenty of people already are, since the Drive-ThruRPG servers are currently crashed, so it may be a while before you can get your own copies.

It’s a great promotion to get people familiar with the system: two of the three main rulebooks have the starting price of “Free.” If you like it, kick the writers a few bucks to show you care; if you love it, keep an eye out for the upcoming Assembled Edition.

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