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ICONS: sans Stamina

Futurella

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
So as a fan of the ICONs success Pyramid, I have been considering just dropping stamina altogether. Essentially, instead of tracking stamina, every character would have a "success pyramid" - really a single, unified, all purpose stress track. This appeals to me and i think it goes well with the style of superhero play at my table - the heroes would focus more on clever solutions to problems and innovative tactics, and less about bashing away. After all, supers stories are the most fun when the heros are trying to cleverly solve "unsolvable" problems and beat "unbeatable" opponents, and a stress track/Pyramid is more flexible for that then mere stamina points.

I'm curious if anyone else has tried this, or would like to try it, or has any thoughts on it at all. I assume there's some new Success Pyramid rules in the forthcoming ICONs TEAM-UP, but i have not seen anyone else go without stamina altogether.

Before I actually try this, I'd love to know what the local ICONscenti think of the idea.
 

MikeLaff

Registered User
Validated User
sounds like an interesting idea. From your brief description, it's reminding me a bit of the stress tracks in Marvel.
If you'd like to play-test this sometime, I could get a group together on Skype to give it a go
 

Futurella

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
IIRC a similar option is going to presented in Team-up.
So I have yet another reason to pine for ICONs Team Up!

sounds like an interesting idea. From your brief description, it's reminding me a bit of the stress tracks in Marvel.
If you'd like to play-test this sometime, I could get a group together on Skype to give it a go
That's a good point, and (as you know) I have been playing a lot of MHR lately, so I suppose this is just my usual syncretic impulse to put everything I like in one place and jam it together. But it might work out.

I think the trick is deciding which successes count for the Pyramid and which do not. For instance, I have assumed that a successful maneuver that applies a tag does not count toward the pyramid, since it is actually doing something else. My rule of thumb has been that a success should accomplish one thing. So a success could count towards the pyramid (a la adding stress) or it could be apply a tag or it could do damage - but just one thing per success. Cutting out stamina would simplify that a bit.

How many powers do you have to change to adjust to this? Invulnerable is unaffected, since a physical attack has to get past Invulnerability to count as as stress. But Regeneration - which is a pretty common power - would need to be reimagined some.

And sure, I would totally be up for playtesting this - or the more official version coming in Team-up!
 

jaerdaph

Registered User
Validated User
Steve Kenson recently posted some success pyramid material from the upcoming TEAM-UP book at the ICONS Truth, Justice and Gaming Wiki:
http://icons-truth-justice-and-gaming.wikispaces.com/Success+Pyramid

I know a few people have mentioned wanting to adopt the success pyramid as a sort of stress track to replace the hit pointy stamina, but I think I need to see an example of how it might work first before I decided to try it.

Also, wouldn't it need some sort of mechanism to go "backwards" on the pyramid? Perhaps success "blocks" already obtained could be scratched off on a failure, the number of blocks removed depending on the amount the roll failed by: 1-2 short would be a moderate failure, 3-4 short a major failure and 5 or more short a massive failure. If you have no blocks when you fail, you incur a debt of blocks that must be regained with the appropriate successes in addition to the successes required in the original pyramid. That sort of thing. So you can build an "inverse" pyramid with failures. I don't know, just some random thoughts.
 

Futurella

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
I've been thinking that you would "recover" blocks by actively reclaiming them. If you lost a block of stress when Skeletron punched you, then you could try to reclaim that block with an equivalent success of healing or regeneration. If you lost blocks to Dirge through sheer terror, you would try to reclaim them with successes at willpower. And so on. And perhaps you could also recover stress for your allies by healing them, encouraging them, untying them, and so on.
 

CKirby

Registered User
Validated User
I'll try to say something more productive about this tomorrow, but I've been thinking almost since I got ICONS about something like this, so i think it's a great idea.

--K
 

Soylent Green

Polar Blues
Validated User
I'm probably being dense here, but I don't really get what is being proposed. Are you saying that character/NPC can be taken out by a single Massive Success/Failure or two Majors? Isn't that sort of thing kind covered by the Slam & Stun rules?

Or are you saying you'd like to see a concept of social or emotional damage incorporated into Icons, sort of like Fate's Health and Composure Stress Tracks, possibly combined into one Stress Track as in Bulldogs! ?
 

Futurella

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
I'm probably being dense here, but I don't really get what is being proposed. Are you saying that character/NPC can be taken out by a single Massive Success/Failure or two Majors? Isn't that sort of thing kind covered by the Slam & Stun rules?

Or are you saying you'd like to see a concept of social or emotional damage incorporated into Icons, sort of like Fate's Health and Composure Stress Tracks, possibly combined into one Stress Track as in Bulldogs! ?
Both of those things, kind of. The trick is, as I use the ICONs success pyramid more, stamina points start to seem like, well, a distraction. I start to find myself in an odd situation where only the Player characters have stamina, since the bad guys are more and more defeated via success pyramids. It becomes kind of confusing, and so I am seeking some clarity and perhaps some streamlining.
 
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