IconsAd Infinitum Adventures. This revived June 2016 Icons Bundle has the core rulebook and early supplements (plus a couple of recent additions); if you're new to the game, start here. This revival's all-new sidekick offer, Icons Universe, adds recent sourcebooks and adventures.
Icons, by Steve Kenson (designer of Green Ronin Publishing's Mutants & Masterminds), adapts the spirit of fast-playing classics like Marvel Super Heroes and Villains and Vigilantes to a modern narrative design loosely based on Stefan O'Sullivan's Fudge. Compared to some superhero RPGs, Icons is short and simple. You won't find exhaustive details or situational rules, and there's no built-in setting beyond "the world of comic book superheroes." The game targets the atmosphere of Silver Age comics and modern animated adventures like Batman Beyond. Mix and match heroes and villains from Icons books, other games, your favorite comics, and your own imagination. The Icons system provides a balancing mechanism so any group of heroes can work on even footing.
This revival of our June 2016 offer remains a comprehensive collection with the full-color Icons Assembled rulebook, major supplements, five Hero Packs of pregenerated characters, and many adventures. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.
Ten percent of each purchase of these two Icons offers (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Icons designer Steve Kenson, the Transgender Law Center.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$129. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all eight titles in this offer's Player Collection (retail value $67) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the comprehensive 232-page full-color Icons Assembled Edtion core rulebook, the superpowers sourcebook Great Power, five Hero Packs with hundreds of ready-to-play characters, and the Game Master's Screen.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Game Master Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $62:
- Icons A to Z: Twenty-six essays by Steve Kenson on all things superheroic.
- Adversaries, a rogues' gallery.
- Six four-color adventures in the Silver Age style: The Sidereal Schemes of Dr. Zodiac, The Skeletron Key, The RetConQuest, Urban Jungle, Devil's Night, and Murder of Crowes (that last one is maybe not quite so four-color).
- Rise of the Phalanx: This five-part adventure compilation replaces the first four adventures presented in this offer's original 2016 run -- and all previous purchasers of the original run also receive the newly added title on their Wizard's Cabinet download page and in their DriveThruRPG Library."
Technically there's no Icons "universe" in the usual comic-book sense -- but this all-new Icons Universe offer of recent sourcebooks and adventures lets you build your own four-color campaign setting with enough attractions to draw the interest of the greedy Corsair Queen or conceivably even Professor Hominid. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.
Ten percent of each purchase of these two Icons offers (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by designer Steve Kenson, the Transgender Law Center.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$84. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Icons Origins (retail price $8), Hero Pack Annual 1 (retail $12), and three four-color Icons adventures (retail $6 apiece): Gladiator Pits of Gorn, The Terror of Tiki Pterodactyl, and Dawn of the Daikaiju.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $46, including Icons Presents (retail $10), Menagerie (retail $8), Rogues (retail $10), and three more adventures (retail $6 apiece): Polar Vortex, Menace of the Man o' Lantern, and Sins of the Past Revisited.
In 2016 I said:
This looks like it might be a lot of fun, and it's supporting a charity that looks like it needs all of the help it can get right now. I think it's well worth buying, but since I get freebies I may be biased, so YMMV. I'll be supporting The Trevor Project with a donation anyway.
Since then I've had more time to delve into the game, and still think it's a lot of fun - it's fairly easy to pick up and character generation doesn't involve the huge time-sucking emphasis on optimaxing points and powers, because it's more random than most superhero games. This is one of those things that's largely a matter of taste; with Icons it's possible for a newcomer to have a character somewhat more powerful than the rest by sheer dumb luck, with Champions or GURPS Supers experienced players tend to start off with the best characters because they know how to squeeze every last tiny advantage out of the points system. Both have their pluses and minuses, but if you aren't about to set up a huge complex campaign the fast approach has a lot to offer.
Recommended, with the usual caveat that I get this stuff free if I want it, if you don't your mileage may vary.
For another view of Icons see this short review:
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