Pub One Shot - Christmas Special 2022

PolarBlues

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Hello fellow Pubbers!

I'd like to pitch you a light-hearted, Christmas-themed one-shot. The premise is superhero heist. You will be playing supervillains(*) planning a daring robbery of an ancient Egyptian artifact on display at a Las Vegas casino. What could go wrong?

System: ICONS
Suggested Dates: Either Sunday December 4th or Sunday December 11th, whichever date attracts sufficient player to make a go of it.
Time: 18:00 GMT (13:00 EST, 19:00 CET )
Tech: Pub's Discord Channel #game

A set of pregenerated characters will be provided as soon as pregenerate them.

Please sign up below if you are intested and available. Tagging One Shot regulars Stan Stan and Fenris-77 Fenris-77 in case this catches their fancy.

* With regards to playing supervillains, given the context, we clearly aren't talking about the kind out to conquer the world or kill Batman's sidekicks. The kind of supervillians suitable for this adventure are regular crooks with a shtick, no more evil than your average roleplaying party.
 
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Fenris-77

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Light-hearted supervillain shenanigans? Count me in.
 

PolarBlues

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Thanks guys, that's great. I've also recruited a guest player for the real world (which regulars to these One Shots will have already met) so I think we have a viable game. Still happy for, say, up to two more players to join if they wish to.

As no one expressed preference for dates, I'd suggest we pencil in Sunday December 4th, 18:00 GMT.
 

PolarBlues

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I think so . Gotta look up icons.

ICONS is a simple and fast playing. It is mix between TSR Marvel Super Heroes and Fate. There is a free online character generator here:https://charlesmoore99.github.io/NoFrillsIconsCharacterGenerator/Editor.html .

You can play around with that, roll up a a few characters and see if you come up with something that catches your fancy and post it here. A world of warning, the character generator is for 2nd edition ICONS ("Assembled Edition"). I'll be using the 1st edtion, which is leaner and borrows more from MSH. But the two editions are pretty compatible.

I will regardless provide some pregens.
 

PolarBlues

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The Pregens
The pregerenated characters don't have names or background info, just some raw stats.They were generated randomly. I've given each a one-word descriptor for convenience, but it is not meant to define the character, which you can reimagine in whatever way you see fit.

To customise your character, choose two Specialties from the list below. They do pretty much what they sound like

Acrobatics, Art (choose one), Athletics, Business, Computers, Criminology, Drive, Electronics, Investigation, Languages, Law, Leadership, Medicine, Mechanics, Military, Occult, Performance (choose one), Pilot, Psychiatry, Science (choose one), Sleight of Hand, Stealth

Qualities & Challenges we can work out during play.

Happy to take questions.

Prowess 6
Coordination 5
Strength 4
Intellect 4
Awareness 7
Willpower 2

Stamina 6
Determination 3

Powers
Leaping 4
Life Drain 6

Prowess 4
Coordination 7
Strength 2
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 6
Determination 2

Powers
Shrinking 5 - 6 inches, +2 defence
Flight 4 - Only when shrunk
Blast 6

Prowess 5
Coordination 5
Strength 5
Intellect 5
Awareness 7
Willpower 5

Stamina 10
Determination 2

Powers
Immunity (Mental Attacks)
Plant Control 5 (with Plant Growth)

Prowess 5
Coordination 3
Strength 6
Intellect 6
Awareness 5
Willpower 4

Stamina 10
Determination 3

Powers
Affliction 7 - Toxic Touch
Power Nullification 6
Interface 4

Prowess 6
Coordination 5
Strength 5
Intellect 5
Awareness 6
Willpower 4

Stamina 9
Determination 4

Powers
Absorption 3 (All Energy)
with Ability Boost – Strength (Energy attacks boost Strength)
Growth 7 - 10 meters (Strength increase to 7, defence -2)

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 4
Intellect 6
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 8
Determination 3

Powers
Possession 4 (Power vs Willpower. leave your body to take control of another. Willpower vs Power test where this puts host at risk)
Animation 5 (bring an object to "life" )
Mind Shield 5

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 3
Intellect 7
Awareness 2
Willpower 4

Stamina 7
Determination 3

Powers
Elemental Control 7 (Sound)
Creating
Attacking (Sound Blast)
Moving (Fly)
 

Fenris-77

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What does Interface do? (from the Nullifier)
 

PolarBlues

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Interface allows you to talk to machines. Technically talk with computers, but these days pretty much anything has computer chips so enjoy the totally non-judgemental conversations with your fridge late at night.
 

Fenris-77

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Interface allows you to talk to machines. Technically talk with computers, but these days pretty much anything has computer chips so enjoy the totally non-judgemental conversations with your fridge late at night.
Sounds like. I'll play the Nullifier. I reserve the right to come up with a worse name.
 

WillPhillips

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I can do the 4th, but not the 11th, so I would be in for this. Have never had a chance to play Icons, but have been interested in its rules-light approach to supers.

Open to players rolling their own (theme and tone appropriate) character?
 

PolarBlues

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I can do the 4th, but not the 11th, so I would be in for this. Have never had a chance to play Icons, but have been interested in its rules-light approach to supers.

Open to players rolling their own (theme and tone appropriate) character?

Sure. The provided pregens are for the original edition, without expansions. If you only have access to the newer ICONS Assembled edition, that's ought to work too provided you don't go nut with the various power Extras and Limits.

Glad you have you on board.
 

WillPhillips

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Have had the PDF for a good long while, but lunchtime today is the first time I've read through it in earnest.

I'm totally still down for this, but was not expecting such an OSR random roll character creation approach to a genre as focused around unique, one-off characters as supers.

I'll still roll up a random character per the rules, unless you're okay with the point buy approach (pg 68 box in the Assembled version).
 

PolarBlues

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If you prefer to use Point Buy, that's fine. I'd aim for 40 points rather than the suggested 45. 40 points seems to be the average for the randomly generated pregens, and bear in mind 40 points allocated randomly are always likely to be suboptimal.

For me the strength of the ICONS random generation system is it is only semi-random. At various stages you get you switch, choose and swap things around so that the rolls are really just a prompt for creativity rather than a straigh jacket. Then again when I create characters I just bang away at on the random generator app until I say "Oh, that looks fun!", so what do I know?
 

WillPhillips

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If you prefer to use Point Buy, that's fine. I'd aim for 40 points rather than the suggested 45. 40 points seems to be the average for the randomly generated pregens, and bear in mind 40 points allocated randomly are always likely to be suboptimal.

For me the strength of the ICONS random generation system is it is only semi-random. At various stages you get you switch, choose and swap things around so that the rolls are really just a prompt for creativity rather than a straigh jacket. Then again when I create characters I just bang away at on the random generator app until I say "Oh, that looks fun!", so what do I know?
40pts - got it!
 

PolarBlues

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Yes, though the implementation is simpler than in Assembled. I didn't provide any Qualities/Challenges for the pregens because I feel that treads too far on the player's toes. If you come up with any, that's fine. I'm also OK if you come up with Qualities/Challenges during play or end up without the full complement of them.
 

Fenris-77

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That's so cool!
Thanks! We are going for lighthearted, so I think the alien entity, who is present mostly as a voice in Dr Thalliums head but who is also partially in control of some of his powers, is pretty much the Dude. He doesn't, like, want to hurt anyone man, that's not cool. The extent to which I'll manage to roleplay hearing voices and arguing with myself remains to be seen.
 

PolarBlues

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Thanks! We are going for lighthearted, so I think the alien entity, who is present mostly as a voice in Dr Thalliums head but who is also partially in control of some of his powers, is pretty much the Dude. He doesn't, like, want to hurt anyone man, that's not cool. The extent to which I'll manage to roleplay hearing voices and arguing with myself remains to be seen.
Seems like you already have a few Qualities and Challenges just in that description.
 

Fenris-77

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Seems like you already have a few Qualities and Challenges just in that description.
The SRD I found doesn't actually cover individual qualities and challenges so I only the vaguest notion how they are supposed to work.
 

WillPhillips

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Thanks! We are going for lighthearted, so I think the alien entity, who is present mostly as a voice in Dr Thalliums head but who is also partially in control of some of his powers, is pretty much the Dude. He doesn't, like, want to hurt anyone man, that's not cool. The extent to which I'll manage to roleplay hearing voices and arguing with myself remains to be seen.

Cool. I was wondering about tone.

Cartoon and old school villainy vibes should work, then?

Because I have an almost-cheesy concept in mind that could be made more modern and dark if needed.
 

PolarBlues

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Right. That's the bit the overlaps with Fate and its Aspects. So a Quality can be something like a catchphrase "It's Clobberin' Time" or epithet "The Dark Knight". As with Fate these are traditionally expressed with pithy phrases and like you are supposed to invoke a Quality to use your Determination Points.

I don't tend to police this strictly. I personally find Aspect are more interesting at character generation than during play and spamming a catchphrase anytime you want to use a DP can be less fun than it sounds.
 

Fenris-77

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Cool. I was wondering about tone.

Cartoon and old school villainy vibes should work, then?

Because I have an almost-cheesy concept in mind that could be made more modern and dark if needed.
Personally, I was heading for something in the area of Venture Bros, so kinda lighthearted but not exactly. I have no idea if that's what PolarBlues PolarBlues was aiming for. :grin:
 

PolarBlues

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Cool. I was wondering about tone.

Cartoon and old school villainy vibes should work, then?

Because I have an almost-cheesy concept in mind that could be made more modern and dark if needed.

Yes, definitely lighthearted. I'm not saying this will be parody supers, but it's Christmas scenario after all. As stated in earlier, you will be hired muscle/specialists by another supervillain to conduct a daring heist on Christmas Eve.
 

PolarBlues

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Personally, I was heading for something in the area of Venture Bros, so kinda lighthearted but not exactly. I have no idea if that's what PolarBlues PolarBlues was aiming for. :grin:

I haven't ever seen Venture Bros. What I do know is that the final tone of a game isn't something anyone person, let alone the GM decides. It kind of finds itself during play. But it won't be Watchmen or the KIlling Joke.
 

WillPhillips

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Eeeexcellent.

I'm curious if the rules can support a concept of twins-as-a-single-PC. You know like one player running the Wonder Twins with a single health pool, etc.
 

Fenris-77

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I haven't ever seen Venture Bros. What I do know is that the final tone of a game isn't something anyone person, let alone the GM decides. It kind of finds itself during play. But it won't be Watchmen or the KIlling Joke.
I think VB is more or less inside the wheelhouse you're looking for. The villains are over-the-top meglomaniacal and to some extent ineffective. Lot's of comedy. Their supervillainy hardly ever works out, although that doesn't discount the possibly of collateral body count. I'd call it lighthearted for adults if that makes any sense.
 

PolarBlues

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Eeeexcellent.

I'm curious if the rules can support a concept of twins-as-a-single-PC. You know like one player running the Wonder Twins with a single health pool, etc.

That's tricky. I don't think there is anything out of the box that matches your concept. The closest I can think are the powers Duplication and Alter Ego, but either are quite a match and would need quite a bit of work to adapt, perhaps more that warranted by a one-shot?
 

PolarBlues

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PolarBlues PolarBlues - would characterize the alien entity as a weakness in terms of challenges?

Qualities can be double edged (both positive and negative depending on the situation). Personally anything that helps define the character is a potential Quality. I wouldn't worry too much about how it might be used in game.
 
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