Iconic Heroes: Approaching Characters

Character creation in Icons is simple, but limiting it to emulate the type of “super-empowerment” demonstrated in Heroes will add some complications to the process. Using the point build method will certainly make things easier for players, but with that route missing out on the mystery of what power they will have, and considering my added price tag of having overt interference in their characters’ lives should it be chosen, I think the random generation method will still be attractive for some of the players.

To sort out how to alter the generation method to reflect the new premise for which I wish to employ it, I started by asking myself some clear questions. The questions, and my answers are laid out below:

What do I want for characters in this game?

  • Ordinary people who have discovered within themselves an extraordinary situation
  • These ordinary people, and their extraordinary abilities are capable of growth
  • The people, by virtue of this empowerment alone, will be faced both internally and externally by the question: Will you act?
  • The powers, with attention and practice, will be able to develop into suites of abilities
  • No duplicate powers among single-powered characters

What do I need to do to have the generation process produce the rudiments of such characters?

  • Alter the Origins table to modify the first 4 entries, and drop the rest
  • Leave level determination as is, but drop the number of powers determination section
  • Retain all listed powers rather than reinvent a reinvented reinvention of a reinvented wheel reinvention, but replace aspects of wizardry to represent Sylar’s and Peter’s takes on being able to do pretty much anything.

What would I like to get from my players before rounding out the setting with potential stories?

  • A discussion about how they themselves would react to being empowered and what that might entail for them on an average day in Seoul.
  • An assessment of how their character is intended to differ from their own personality and predilections (subject to revisions by the evolutionary effect of actual play, of course)
  • Generation of all the characters at once, as a group

What else do I need?

  • A few ‘everyman’ types to encounter, empowered and not
  • A ban on effective, international, multi-generational, secret societies
  • A focus on day-to-day living, and how the mundane can suddenly become… not that way

Once these elements are in play, a campaign under this premise would be ready to truly enter a realistic planning phase.

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