Building Iron Man: a Marvel to ICONS conversion

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30 Responses

  1. I’m interested to see how the big boys scale up in Icons – such as Galactus and Fin Fang Foom – but I’d also like to see Captain America and Thor to see how ‘the big three’ of The Avengers compare to each other.

    Great work, by the way, I’m still reading through the rules, but your articles are helping to convince me that this is a game I want to run with my group.
    .-= Acrobatic Flea´s last blog ..Supernatural: Point Of No Return =-.

    • greywulf says:

      For Galactus-class characters I’d extend the ICONS levels beyond 10 so that Shift X = 11, Shift Y = 12, etc, all they way up to Beyond at Level 17.

      I would set the proviso that only Cosmic Level Entities can break the “wall” of 10th level. For other heroes and NPCs, that’s their limit. Gods have no such limitations, of course :)

      With that in mind, Galactus works out something like this, converted over from Marvel RPG.

      Prowess 9, Coordination 9, Strength 14, Intellect 14, Awareness 14, Willpower 14
      Stamina 28, Determination 0

      Invulnerability 11, Growth 14, Cosmic Energy Control 15, Telepathy 10

      Qualities: Epithet (Eater of Worlds), Honourable
      Challenges: Cosmic Level Entity, Constant Hunger

      Surprisingly simple, all told. I added Growth because it’s strangely absent from the Marvel RPG write-up. When Galactus sizes up he gains +1 Strength and his Invulnerability increases to the value of his Growth if it’s higher than his “natural” 11.

      At full size (Growth 14) he would be 1,920 feet tall and at -6 to Defense assuming the Growth table continues to scale. Not that much could damage him, of course.

      Captain America next!

    • greywulf says:

      …. and here’s Captain America!

      Captain America, Steve Rogers
      Prowess 8, Coordination 7, Strength 5, Intellect 4, Awareness 7, Willpower 4
      Stamina 9, Determination 3

      Specialities: Leadership Mastery, Military, Weapons Expert (Adamantium/Vibranium Shield, bashing damage 6)

      Qualities: Connections (US Army, SHIELD), Epithet (Super-Soldier of World War II), Motivation (Patriotism)
      Challenges: Enemies (Red Skull, Skrulls, bad comic writers)

      Cap comes in tantalizingly close to the 45 point allocation for starting points-based heroes. Drop his Awareness to 5 and his Shield damage down to 5 to match his Strength and he hits it. This also gives him another point of starting Determination too, bumping it up to 4. Which is nice.

      There’s no body armour in this build because he has none in the Marvel RPG write-up – and frankly, he don’t need it.


  2. Elton says:

    The myths we dream up are wonderful, don’t you think? :)
    .-= Elton´s last blog ..Succubus =-.

  3. DarkTouch says:

    I’m currently working my way through the characters I had Dan Houser draw for me. Once those are all done, I may end up hitting and going to town.
    .-= DarkTouch´s last blog ..Kali for ICONS =-.

    • greywulf says:

      I’m finding ICONS is a great shoe-in for the Marvel style of superhero gaming. I reckon Steve Kenson is secretly planning to single-handedly control both DC and Marvel superhero RPG markets. Ha! I see through his evil plans!

  4. Dan Houser says:


    This is an idea I’ve used in my home Marvel Campaign, because I wanted to bust out my Children of the Atom box set, and do an awesome 198-based adventure. :)

    Your method is precisely the same as mine, I’m happy to see that we both share the vision to use our old stuff. :)

    Oh! And I actually was commissioned for an ICONS character in my Hero Pack series of pdfs — Galacticron: a shmup of Galactus and Unicron.

    Again, awesome job. :)

    Dan Houser
    Line Artist, ICONS
    Adamant Entertainment
    .-= Dan Houser ´s last blog ..Free MARS One-Sheet Adventure! =-.

  5. Doc Rotwang! says:

    …you’re totally selling me on this game, Greywulf.

  6. Another thing I noticed about the system…

    “Iron Man comes in at a whopping 74 points – well above the suggested 45 points for a starting non-random character”

    If you randomly roll up your character you get a guy waaay more powerful than you could build with 45 points. Not better – Crazy Super Stupid Better! I rolled five random characters up and the weakest required 55 points to ‘build’.

    I let my players build their characters with 60 points to generate Justice League Animated Series level characters. Who the heck has 45 points? Robin? Maybe. Surely not Batman, who without vehicles and a cave who still be over 55 I would think.

    BTW Dan, really nice pick.
    .-= Adam Dickstein´s last blog ..Secret Origins – Part II =-.

    • greywulf says:

      The justice League are a pretty powerful group, to be fair :D

      I’d say 45 points is a good point for an inexperienced superhero, especially one in a newly formed team. It feels about the same as Power Level 8 in Mutants & Masterminds terms. If you’re running a solo Street-level supers game or a starting team, it’s ideal. Otherwise, bump it up a touch to reflect their prior experience.

      When it comes to random generation, the rule is don’t mix it with non-random. Do one or the other. If the heroes are randomly generated you’re going to get a mixture of heroes with powers ranging from barely superheroic at all up to Superman-class heavyweights. Pretty much like The Avengers from Marvel, then :D

      That’s why Determination points act as a balancing factor – those “less capable” heroes will be able to push themselves that much further to prove their value to the team. In other words – it’s Jimmy Olsen who will save Superman’s ass, every time.

      I reckon I could stat up a pretty awesome Batman for 45 points. Batman would have the Trained human origin – no Powers but 6 specialities. If he has no stat above 6 (and I see no reason why he would) he’d start with 6 Determination points and ultimate flexibility in-game. Could he kick Superman’s ass? Quite possibly. I’ll stat them up and run a sample combat sometime.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Allen Shock says:

    Y’know…by taking the old MSH to Champions conversion system from Adventurers Club and applying a little reverse logic, one could convert Champions characters to ICONS :)

  8. Dan Houser says:

    Here’s a Superman Analogue. :)

    And a Batman Analogue. :)

    Designed by Steve Kenson, himself. :)

    .-= Dan Houser´s last blog ..Free MARS One-Sheet Adventure! =-.

    • greywulf says:

      I’m liking both of these! So far, I’m pretty impressed by what the little system can throw around. We’ve going to thoroughly put it through its paces next week. Watch this space!

  9. Just picked up the rules the other day. I’m enjoying it so far and hope to get my group into a few sessions. I’ve been thinking about translating the Marvel characters over to Icons but you’re doing such a Merry Marvel job!

  10. Greywulf, I have the Icons corebook and new Great Power supplement and I don’t have the Point Buy rules. What page and was it in some sort of Errata somewhere?

  11. David Semmes says:

    Just getting into the game and I like what I see so far! Out of curiosity, how are the physical Abilities paid for (Prowess, Coordination and Strength)? Did you buy the Abilities at the armored level, then adjust them down to get Stark’s out-of-armor level?

  1. June 5, 2010

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