From sweltering tropical jungles to freezing glaciers, from snow-capped mountains and salt deserts to paradisiacal beaches, South America is a land of diversity, both in nature as well as in population. Heroes empowered by the ancient Orixá of Candomble struggle against agents of SHADOW and criminal syndicates alike. Agencies like Brazil’s Secretary of Special Affairs (SAE) and Argentina’s National Superhuman Research Council (CONIS) contend with Extra-Dimensional Alien Intelligences (EDAI) while the small nation of Costazul opens its borders (and often its citizens) to all manner of technological interests, both legal and illegal.
Steve Kenson, Chris McGlothlin, and Dan Houser recently joined Mike Lafferty on the BAMF! Podcast to chat about diversity in comics, ICONS Assembled Edition, the Cosmic Handbook, and the upcoming Freedom City Campaign Setting (updated for 3e). Listen all about it!
Geographically close, culturally diverse, the nations of Central America have served as a bridge between the great continents of North and South America, and that status has cost their people in decades of internecine conflicts, foreign intervention, and injustice. On Earth-Prime, they feel the influence of Aztec sorcerers, ancient Mayan artifacts, super-powered mercenaries, and the sinister tendrils of SHADOW.
In other Atlas of Earth-Prime news, we have updated the PDF for Atlas of Earth-Prime: Mexico. If you purchased that product through our Green Ronin Online Store, you can log in and click the appropriate link at the bottom of your Account page to download the updated download package now.
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!]
This week’s preview of the forthcoming Icons: The Assembled Edition looks at the good guys, with the nine ready-made "iconic" sample heroes found in the game. You can still sign up to the email list to be notified as soon as the book becomes available for pre-order. Discussion of the Assembled Edition is ongoing over on RPG.net.
In the meanwhile…
Continuing last week’s preview of the new Assembled Edition of Icons, we have another example of play, this one a bit more complex. You can still sign up to be notified as soon as the new book becomes available for pre-order.
In the meanwhile, look over the system in action alongside Dan Houser’s art as All-American Girl and the Hangman are…
Production on Icons: The Assembled Edition has been humming along, thanks to the tireless talents of Dan Houser and Daniel Solis, and primary art and layout are complete, so you should see release of the electronic version and pre-orders for the print edition before the month is out. You can still sign up to be notified as soon as the book becomes available for pre-order.
In the meanwhile, there are some previews of the Assembled Edition to check out. Let’s get started with one of the examples of play: Miss Tikal and the Mighty Saguaro in…
The cover to Gadget Guides features the superheroes of both Freedom City and Emerald City teaming up against a giant Probot from the Terminus! Now you can download a PDF and Hero Lab portfolio for this menace from another world! And best of all, it’s free!
With various Dragon Age products in various stages of production but without a lot of news to give folks right now, I’m going to take today’s Ronin Round Table to talk a bit about something else I do a lot: making superheroes and supervillains. Particularly, I want to talk about making superheroes and supervillains from countries that aren’t the US (and to a lesser extent Canada, the UK, and other major Western English-speaking nations).
Maybe your heroes need an island holiday? Too bad, since they’ll find plenty to do as the Atlas of Earth-Prime takes us to the Caribbean! It is the center for a secret spiritual war between the Loa, the powerful spirits of Voodoo, and stronghold of Siren’s arch-foe Baron Samedi. Go up against the Jamaican posse run by the Snowman or help local heroes Coral and Hurican fight criminals and natural disasters. Explore the mysteries deep in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, and visit the fantastic Utopia Isle and its inhabitants. Much more than just a "day at the beach"!