By the time you read this Ronin Round Table, the "Assembled Edition" of Icons should be available for pre-order on the Green Ronin online store [Editor’s Note: It is!], after a long process of design, playtesting, art direction, layout, and production. I’m sure one of the very next questions, before the book even hits the printing press and gets into the eager hands of Icons players is: "So, what’s next…?"
Honestly, there isn’t an extensive road-map. I have plenty of ideas, but Ad Infinitum Adventures (the publishers of Icons) is just … well, me, along with stalwart freelancers like artist Dan Houser. Green Ronin Publishing is handling the printing and distribution of the Assembled Edition, but any further projects are just Ad Infinitum, unless we come to another agreement. Considering that running Ad Infinitum is just one of my three or four jobs (depending on how you slice it any given week), there isn’t exactly going to be a massive release schedule.
That said, there are some plans, and Icons benefits from a robust and free open license, which allows some great third-party publishers to step up and offer some products to fill the gaps.
On the Ad Infinitum side, the immediate priority now that the Assembled Edition is done is getting back to wrapping up Dan Houser’s "Rise of the Phalanx" series with The Metaskulk Invasion. Primary text is written, and art (also by Dan) is finished, and it just needs to be developed and laid out. After that, chances are good you’ll see a compilation of all of the Phalanx adventures into a complete "mega-adventure" for Icons as well.
On my to-do list is a minor update of the Great Power sourcebook, mainly making sure references in that book now refer to the Assembled Edition and that the two books are as compatible as possible, since they now form the "core" of Icons as a game system: with the main rules in Assembled and expanded power information in Great Power. The update will likely be available for free to anyone who has the PDF via DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.
I’d also like to see an update of the Icons Character Folio software, bringing it fully in-line with Great Power and the Assembled Edition, but that is entirely dependent on programmer Daniel Gallant, so we’ll have to see what his schedule permits. If there’s news on that front, I’ll be sure to share it.
On the third-party side, Fainting Goat Games is already hard at work on a sourcebook with the working title of The Supervillain’s Handbook for Icons. You may be familiar with their Star City setting or Improbable Tales series of Icons adventures. Artist Dan Houser has more Hero Pack content in the works as well.
The big follow-up question is: What do you want to see next for Icons…? Updates of "classic" villains and adventures? Adventure compilations? Source material? Optional rules? Small, regular product releases or larger, less frequent, books? Electronic, print-on-demand, or both? If you have an Icons "wish list," drop me a line at stevekenson [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know about it!
[Editor’s Note #2: If you pre-order Icons: The Assembled Edition in our Green Ronin Online Store, just forward your email receipt to Steve (you read that previous paragraph, right?) and he will send you a coupon code with which you can get the PDF version for just $5!]
Steve Kenson has been an RPG author and designer since 1995 and has worked on numerous book and games, including Mutants & Masterminds, Freedom City, and Blue Rose for Green Ronin Publishing. He has written nine RPG tie-in novels and also runs his own imprint, Ad Infinitum Adventures, which publishes material for Icons Superpowered Roleplaying. Steve maintains a website and blog at www.stevekenson.com.