Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dark vs. Spark as a genre...character creation

SYSTEM: ICONS

I've been thinking about the adventure I've written for the Dark vs Spark world (All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault by James Alan Gardner). I felt like the standard ICONS origins weren't quite right, because all of the heroes we see are Transformed (though birthright heroes are mentioned as a possibility).

So you could do point-buy, because you ignore the effects of the origins. That might be what I do.

Besides Transformed, I can imagine possible Trained, Artificial, and Birthright origins. Gimmick is essentially relegated to "a Spark created this artifact." Unearthly *might* be possible. I'd rather relegate those two to "if you have a character concept that uses one of these, talk to the GM, but for random character creation they aren't common enough to roll." (I could be talked out of that.)

This is what I came up with in three minutes of thinking...

Most origins grant you the knack "Spark," which gives you the effects of the Halo from the book, and lets you defend against the effects of the Dark. If you get Spark, it doesn't cost you a Determination point—it's part of the book (or the genre, if you will).

Roll for origin, but the choices are seriously limited. *Any* roll but doubles is Transformed. (As in the standard rules, and you get the knack "Spark.")

For doubles:
1,1 or 2,2 or 3,3Birthright. You get the knack Spark and the standard benefits.
4,4 or 5,5Trained. Even though you're not a Spark, you've decided to fight crime. Unlike the other origins, you don't get "Spark" but you get +4 Specialties instead of +2. As in the standard rules, you can still trade in a power for two more Specialties.
6,6Artificial (your essence has/can move into an object). You get "Spark" and the standard benefits.

Because the book makes a big deal of your one-line character description defining your powers, well, that sounds like a Quality to me. So define your character with a Quality and you can change one (1) power or add +2 to a power to fit the "Spark elevator pitch." (Maximum is still 10, of course.)

Does that seem too restrictive or is it enforcing the book?

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?