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Icons

Icons' universe and world-building is lots of fun and as pure source material its really good. It's the reason I've kept it around so long. As game design though it is attempting to bridge the gap between Mutants and Masterminds and things like TSR's Marvel Superheroes and Golden Heroes. It is a very crunchy design with lots of bits, numbers and special sub-rules for powers. It isn't that complex compared to most games but it is definitely trying to simulate its way to a superhero experience rather than working from an experience back to a set of mechanics.

I have a soft spot for MSH and if I am going to go back to that style of gaming I would probably mine my own nostalgia via the retroclone FASERIP system.

Icons also claims to have taken on some narrativist ideas but that seems to mostly have been lifting FATE's Aspects system, which also highlights the fact that FATE Revised might actually be the better overall system. Apart from that I think the Cortex Marvel Heroic Roleplaying actually did more to use design in support of the game with things like some scene economy mechanics to help with the appropriate pacing of the game.

It does have some fun random charts for generation plot seeds and characters if you enjoy them.

Ultimately I'm happy to have a PDF for the villain and hero sketches if I want inspiration but the game isn't going to be one I'm going to be playing in its printed form.

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