ICONS for oil spill relief

More news related to ICONS, the new RPG for which I have a minor co-author credit: all sales from the forthcoming EPUB and MOBI-format editions are going to relief efforts around the Gulf oil spill. So if you like those formats, consider making that purchase (when it becomes available).

Adamant Entertainment and Steve Kenson will be devoting 100% of the proceeds of the 2010 sales of a special EPUB and MOBI-format release of ICONS: Superpowered Roleplaying to relief efforts surrounding the Gulf oil spill.

On April 20th, 2010, an explosion on the BP operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed eleven crew members, sparking the greatest environmental disaster in United States history. Current estimates put the amount of oil being discharged from the broken well at above 1,050,000 US gallons per day, with no end in sight, devastating wildlife and fishing communities along the Gulf coast, potentially moving into the Florida Keys and up the Eastern seaboard of the United States by later this summer.

“My grandfather was a clammer, and worked on the water nearly his entire life,” says Gareth-Michael Skarka, Director of Adamant Entertainment, “and my brother has worked as a fishing captain — I wanted to do something for those whose livelihood depends on the sea, as well as contributing to ongoing conservancy and clean-up efforts. It seemed to me that a game encouraging players to become a hero represented the perfect outlet for this.”

“New Orleans is a place very dear to me,” adds Steve Kenson, designer of ICONS, “and I’ve wanted to be able to do something for this tragedy.”

ICONS is the newest superheroic roleplaying game designed by Steve Kenson, published by Adamant Entertainment– now available in PDF and shipping to game stores world-wide in the next two weeks. The game is currently also being readied for release in the EPUB format for sale on Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Sony via Smashwords.com and for the Kindle-ready MOBI format for release via Amazon., and should be available this month across those sales sites, and for download via DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

From June through December 2010, all proceeds from the sales of the EPUB and MOBI versions of the game will be donated to the Gulf oil spill funds of Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, and The Greater New Orleans Fund, who are providing critical services to Gulf fishermen and communities directly impacted by the disaster.

Oceana, an international ocean conservation group, works to restore and protect the world’s oceans. For more information, please visit http://www.Oceana.org.

For more information on the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Gulf Oil Spill Fund, please visit their website.

The “Be A Hero” editions of ICONS will be released in June. Watch for further announcements of their availability on Adamant Entertainment’s website, or via Twitter at AdamantEnt.

ICONS pdf available

The electronic version of ICONS is now available! Currently half-price! US$15, down from US$30.

The print version is shipping mid-month if you want to order it through your friendly neighbourhood game store or direct from the publishers.

Very pleased to see it hit!

The character generation process is almost a game in itself. In our playtest group (Dale, Jenni, James P and Norman) we ended up with some inspiring and weird characters. James rolled up a character with almost the same powers as Jenni’s character Salamandress, just a bit more useless. James turned this sows ear into a super-strong purse by deciding his character was in fact a huge fan of Salamandress and had built a metal suit that copied her powers, poorly. Thus was born Robo-Zard! Poor, terrifying Robo-Zard. (Other characters also extremely cool. huzzah!)


People who pre-ordered ICONS: Superpowered Roleplaying received their electronic copy yesterday. (Hard copy coming soon.) That’s my name on the cover, because some sections of the book are by me, but they’re pretty small-fry. The major action is by ace supers RPG designer Steve Kenson, who pulled the system together and did a bang-up job of it.

ICONS is a quick’n’easy role-playing game for four-colour superhero action. It’s geared for broad strokes stuff – Nazi Gorillas in Antarctica, Mt Rushmore coming to life as a four-headed goliath, that sort of thing. I have a lot of affection for it, and not just because my name’s on the cover.

The real selling point, and it surprises me to say it, is that you randomly generate your superhero – there are a bunch of charts to roll on that tell you what super powers you end up with, and then it’s up to you to make sense of all of them. This works really well with the big, bold style of ICONS, where you are free to come up with characters somewhat wackier than the usual – there’s a reason the exemplar hero is Saguaro the Man-Cactus. A big part of the fun people will have is sitting down in a group and coming up with some heroes together.

(This is also funny because random generation was always a problem in previous games to use this approach, like Villains & Vigilantes and Golden Heroes. Those games didn’t encourage this wild-and-woolly aesthetic, which I think is the difference. Credit also to Dan Houser, the illustrator, for showing exactly how a Man-Cactus is a cool character, and by that example how your weirdo hero will also make sense in play.)

Anyway, ICONS does a great job at supporting one of the best kinds of role-playing game fun: sitting around with your friends being wildly creative and making each other crack up. It’s good stuff, and I’m delighted to have my name on it.

ICONS at the Cubicle 7 store

Also, announced in the bundle, some PDF-only adventures, including one by me and one by occasional-commenter-here Theron: