By way of crow: the ICONS Contest

Many of you saw the post from the other day about ICONS, and some of you might have stuck around to see that Gareth and I cleared the air. I said I would post up a public apology here, and I was thinking about what to say.

Then a friend and I were talking about this, and a good point was brought up: I say that ICONS deserved “better marketing” than that in my post…but doesn’t that mean it’s also mean it deserves better than some fuck on the Internet mouthing off? I thought about that overnight, and came to this idea as a way to show this mea culpa as well as put my money where my fat mouth is:

Welcome to the “Taunt Ryan Macklin with how awesome ICONS is” Unofficial ICONS Contest!

I did keep saying that I wish the best for Steve Kenson and ICONS, so here’s the deal. I said that I might not have an interest in ICONS when the PDF is actually available for purchase. But if I keep hearing about how awesome ICONS is, you bet your ass I’ll be grabbing it June 1st. So I’m going to do this contest. You comment on this blog post about the fun ICONS characters you’re making or playing, and one of you will win me buying you the next few ICONS supplements.

No joke. This isn’t something I’m doing with Adamant. It’s just me doing my own thing, because I can and I should.


  • You may submit one (1) comment to this post per day. Posting more often will decrease your chances. (I want to be flooded, but past experience shows that people who gunshot post just to post don’t post awesome ideas.) Otherwise, each post you enter gives you more chances to win.
  • If you’re worried about whether my time zone will count two posts as being on the same day, keeping them18 hours apart is good enough for me.
  • Said post must contain the random bits generated and the character idea that gave you.
  • If you’re an asshole in your post, you’re disqualified and I’ll delete it. (I hate having to write this, but it is the Internet.)
  • The contest ends June 1st, when I can order the PDF of ICONS. At that item, I’ll close comments on this post and post a follow-up.
  • Important: The point of this contest is to continuously taunt me with how awesome ICONS is. If this post gets no comments in a 36 hour period, then the contest is closed with no winner.
  • The Winner will be chosen at random from those entries that are valid per above.
  • The Winner will receive me buying for them PDFs of future ICONS supplements (when available for purchase), to no more than $50 or until August 2011, whichever comes first. (Should there be no supplements for whatever reason, uh, we’ll figure something else out.)
  • Should the Winner not already have a copy of ICONS, but submitted because he has a friend who got it and looked at his laptop and no one would never, ever pirate games because I mean come on, I’ll buy that PDF as well (counted against said limit above).
  • I reserve the right to change these rules at any time. Probably to make them more awesome.

BRING THE HEAT! Taunt me (nicely, don’t be a dick) about the awesome that is ICONS!

– Ryan


12 Responses to By way of crow: the ICONS Contest

  1. Aaron says:

    Day One of ICONS: I create a hero whose power was to shoot oregano out of his nose, and whose weakness was pasta sauce. Where else do you get that kind of experience?

    (Yeah… obviously I don’t actually have ICONS. But I wanted to enter anyway).

  2. Scott says:

    Planning on putting something here but won’t have time til the weekend. Still reading the PDF (which never seems as understandable as printed version). It’ll take a bit more for me to create a character. Thanks.

  3. Not sure if you know, but 3rd-party ICONS products will go on sale as of August (I’ve a couple planned myself). Not that this affects your contest but for reason I felt this detail needed to be mentioned.

    My random superpower is to state uncalled-for factoids that may or may not relate tangentially to the topic at hand!

  4. Steve says:

    I don’t know that I’m eligible to play, but I just wanted to share something I found awesome about ICONS:

    During one of my playtest games, when the heroes were faced with a really tough bad guy and their initial attacks weren’t cutting it, one player picked up the dice and asked if he could roll for his hero (who is pretty smart) to figure out some sort of weakness or tactic they could use.

    I basically said, “Hand over a point of Determination [ICONS’ “Fate/Hero/coolness” points] and you can tell me what the villain’s weakness is.”

    The player totally got it and spun out this technobabble story of how to beat the villain. With some more die rolls and Determination spending, the heroes pulled it off! Way better than, “This sucks. We’ll never beat this guy…”

  5. Josh Rensch says:

    Here is a character I just rolled up. A little weak, but will try to do better next time.

    Dr. Weirdo

    Origins : Gimmick (+2 Mental)

    Prowess: 4
    Coordination: 5
    Strength: 4
    Intellect: 6
    Awareness: 4 (6 with bonus)
    Willpower: 6
    Determination: 1
    Stamina: 10

    Powers (5)
    Defensive-> Invulnerability lvl 2
    Offensive-> Blinding lvl 5
    Mental-> Illusion lvl 6
    Control -> Time Control lvl 4

    Specialties (2)
    Mental Resistance

    A rare book dealer until the day he came accross the book, “Tessarcs and Other Strangeness”. He made the mistake of reading the opening section and a suddenly he was watching his proposal to his wife again. It turned out this book was full of real spells. Halfway thru the book, he found that the book started to form images in his head.

  6. Eddy says:

    I got so many ideas for characters that I had to start fleshing out a wiki just to keep track of them all:


  7. Pookie says:

    As soon as I have ICONS, the first villain I create will be called “Counting Crow.” His first victim will be Ryan Macklin, who will be found gorged on humble pie for not saying sorry soon enough… His next victim…?

  8. Brian says:

    Read it on the flight – best case for it would be to play. I will light the Macklin Signal (soon), run it for you and the “Demo Squad”, and then we shall close out this contest.

    After all, ICONS – like SotC – seems best experienced.

  9. I got to play Icons at Strategicon this weekend. Here is the character I rolled (from memory).


    Origins :Transformed (+2 power or ability)

    Prowess: 6 (8 with bonus)
    Coordination: 2
    Strength: 3
    Intellect: 4
    Awareness: 4
    Willpower: 5
    Determination: 1
    Stamina: 8

    Powers (4)
    Movement-> Teleportation lvl 4
    Offensive-> Strike lvl 5
    Mental-> Mind Shield lvl 5
    Alternation -> Chameleon lvl 4

    Specialties (3)

    Quality: Government Agent
    Challenge: Protecting assigned target Femme Fatal (another PC)

    Jeb Sparks was special forces who was shot and killed. The government was able to bring him back using experimental drugs. He was then trained as an assassin with Femme Fatal, an alien. When she went rogue he was sent to exterminate her. He has reported her dead and helps cover her tracks from the government while they both work for Team US.

    After playing Icons I found it is not the be all, end all of super hero games. I still think there is plenty of room for other games. For me it is a silly and fun pickup game like In Specters, Low Life or Paranoia. You also get some really random silly results. We had a player he got gimmick with two powers: Life Support and Super senses. He made “Lost Astronaut” who basically a guy always in an astronaut suit.

  10. Aaron says:

    I shall make one last appeal –

    It is superheroes! How many superhero RPGs are there?

    Okay, besides M&M. That doesn’t use FATE, and FATE is awesome.

  11. Ryan Macklin says:

    Closing this post. The results will be announced soon! (Today or tomorrow)

    – Ryan