ICONS/BASH – Sean’s Picks, 101818

Superheroes are hot, and kids are easily enticed to gaming with the promise of that kind of experience. The two systems I think are well-suited to younger players are Steve Kenson‘s ICONS and Chris Rutkowski‘s BASH!

Steve specifically set out to create a low-complexity, easy-access supers game as a counterpoint to his highly-successful and genre-defining Mutants & Masterminds, and he excelled with ICONS

Chris literally wanted to create a game to teach extended multiplication and other math skills through RPGs, which is exactly what BASH! does. Hell, I recalled some of my own fundamentals while playing and running it!

Icons Assemble!

It’s time to be a hero!

Icons is a tabletop game of superhero adventure, creating exciting stories of the imagination with your friends, based around the heroes you create. The Assembled Edition of the game features:

  • Quick Hero Creation! A few die rolls are all it takes to create your hero, giving you the spark for your imagination to bring it all together. Describe character abilities on a numerical scale, or use adjectives like “Great” and “Amazing,” as best suits your style and situation.
  • Flexible System! Just a few basic game mechanics resolve in-game actions, but they expand to cover a wide range of options, making Icons easy to learn, but broad enough to keep things interesting.
  • Heroic Determination! Bring the qualities of your heroes into play to gain advantages or perform amazing stunts, or to create trouble, from personal drama to weaknesses, in order to make your hero even more determined to save the day!
  • Universe Creation! Collaborate to create your own comic book universe and play out the stories of the different heroes in it.

Icons is your all-in-one package for superhero roleplaying adventure: quick, easy, descriptive, and fun!

Steve Kenson, designer of the best-selling Mutants & Masterminds delivers a superpowered role-playing game inspired by the fast-playing old-school games and the new generation of narrative role-play! Within its pages are complete rules for character creation, abilities and powers, random adventure generation, a rogue’s gallery of villains, and all the superheroic action you can handle!


BASH! – This book has everything you need to create characters and run super-heroic adventures within minutes. The rules are light and easy all you need are two ordinary dice, a piece of paper, and this book. Character generation is so simple, you could fit all the info you need on a 3×5 card, but we included a sheet anyway.

Do not assume that by simple, we mean incomplete, either. BASH! UE has over 50 versatile super powers, numerous skills, and even rules for collateral damage. The action is fast and furious, paced over a series of panels, pages, and issues, just like a comic book.

BASH! has undergone some changes over the years, with updates in Megapolis and BAM! and we have incorporated many of these into a single rules set. In addition to an expanded, revised version of the game, you will also find:

Updated to coincide with the new Second Printing.  New Powers, Advantages, and more

Less record-keeping, more Awesome. Energy is no longer the “default” rule for handling powers– so you have less to keep track of during play. Hero dice, Hero points, and team-work maneuvers are now a part of the core system, so you can really bring it to the bad-guys!

Easier to read layout, better explained rules, including many examples.

Character Archetypes: Writeups of various iconic superhero & villain archetypes such as the Brick, Martial Artist, and Blaster. These templates can be easily tweaked to quickly have a custom character!

Hordes of Minions! Fleets of Vehicles! Random Encounters!

Eras & Subgenres: One of the things BASH! Fantasy & Sci-Fi editions did was extensive work on the subgenres of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, such as Steam-Punk or Space Pulp. BASH! Ultimate Edition will do the same thing for Superheroes, enabling you to run a game with the theme & tone of the Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Iron Ages. There are also sections on Super Teens, Science Fiction, Fantasy, as well as Cosmic Superheroes.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

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