Although superhero games are about a great many things, one of my favorite things about them is all of the powers — after all, having super-powers is one of the prime reasons to be a superhero! Having worked on the Power Profile series for Green Ronin Publishing, I know just how much depth super-powers can have. So I wanted to refine, expand, and generally play with the super-power write-ups from ICONS. Before I knew it, I had a book, about the size of the rulebook!
Great Power presents dozens of powers, new and old, along with power stunts and limits, more details on how to use powers, and how to look at renaming (or "reskinning") them to make "new" powers with the same essential mechanics. The book also has an expanded chapter on Devices (items that provide powers) including weapons, armor, shields, cybernetics, robots, and vehicles. The material remains true to the fairly "light" style of the game—you'll find a page and a half of vehicle rules, not ten or twenty!
When I first began designing what would become ICONS it was, like a lot of projects, "just a fun idea" to tinker with, an homage to a fondly-recalled kind of superhero game experience (randomly rolling up characters) matched with some mechanics from the Fudge RPG (and its offspring, FATE) and a few other ingredients. Opportunity knocked when I heard Adamant Entertainment was looking to publish a superhero game that sounded very much like the one I was designing. A deal was struck, and ICONS became a reality, and launched a successful line, as well as a successful license, resulting in over a hundred products!
Priorities shifted within Adamant, as did my own, like they do over time. Having done more publishing on my own (and having already done plenty of design and development work) I decided to take what I had with ICONS and do something with it. Which brings us here, to this Kickstarter.
This Kickstarter looked to answer the question: Is there a market for more ICONS stuff? Thus far, the answer is a resounding YES and I'm looking forward to not only bringing you Great Power but a great many other ICONS products in the months and years to come.
Given the excellent response to the Kickstarter, I'm adding some more ambitious goals to the modest initial plans:
- $4500 – Double the Dan: Daniel Solis (of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple fame) has agreed to come on board to do layout and graphic design for the book. FUNDED!
- $5500 – Conversion Sheet and GM Screen: I'll produce a conversion reference sheet for updating ICONS characters to Great Power along with a minimum three-panel downloadable GM's screen, with art by Dan Houser, both included for backers of $10 or more. The reference sheet will be included free with the download of the Great Power PDF after the Kickstarter, while the GM Screen will be on-sale separately. FUNDED!
- $6000 – ICONS Character Folio 2.0: Dan to the third power! Daniel Gallant, creator of the ICONS Character Folio will update the software to include all of the powers and options in Great Power. Backers at the $10 level and higher get access to the beta-test phase in January and a copy of the final release in February. The updated Character Folio will be on-sale separately after the Kickstarter ends. FUNDED!
- $6500 – Hero Pack: We'll produce a new Hero Pack PDF, containing the characters of the SUPERHERO level backers as well as some of our new iconic heroes, complete with illustrations and character sheets. This will be included for backers of $10 or more and on-sale separately after the Kickstarter ends. FUNDED!
That's a collection of digital product that will likely sell for $30-$40 total on its own after the Kickstarter ends, available to every backer at the $10 level and higher!
Risks and challenges
The primary obstacle to Great Power getting out there is the one this Kickstarter is intended to overcome: namely capital. The book is written and largely laid out, but I'm no artist, and I want to have Dan Houser's distinctive look for ICONS continue. So I need to raise enough money to pay Dan and myself a reasonable amount for our time and effort. If I can do that, then the book will happen.
The other potential bump in the road is releasing the print edition through DriveThruRPG's print program. It's a tried and tested program, but I've never produced a print book through it before, so there's a bit of a learning curve. Still, I've worked with their printer (Lightning Source) before, so I think I'll be able to handle it without any problems. Should any arise—on this or any other front—I'll be sure to let backers know what's going on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No, although Great Power does tweak or update a few of the powers from the core rules, applying lessons learned from years of player feedback, it's not a new edition of ICONS, nor does it contain the complete rules for the game. It's just about powers.
You can email playtest feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're welcome to discuss the draft on your preferred forum (the ICONS Yahoo Group, RPGnet, etc.) but actual playtest feedback should be emailed in if you want to make sure I see and consider it.
No. Great Power is a separate project and does not contain any of the text or art produced for ICONS Team-Up.
Yes! If you want additional copies, increase your pledge amount by $30 for a U.S. backer, $35 for an international backer (anywhere outside the U.S.) per additional book you want to order. During the survey portion of the Kickstarter after funding is complete, you'll be asked if you ordered any additional books, just indicate the number and we'll check to make sure you paid the appropriate amount and include the extra books in your shipment! Note this is for additional printed copies of Great Power only, it does not include multiples of other rewards (which are all electronic anyway).
See the first (backers-only) update on the Kickstarter. The information you need is there.
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