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Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


ICON playtest doc, p. 6-7 posted:

Long ago, the cruel and prosperous Arken Imperium crushed the nations of Arden Eld. With its military might and its command of magitech and ancient etheric sorcery, it slew the Titans who held up the four pillars of the world and cast them down, proclaiming itself an eternal empire. It spread itself from sea to sea, altered the land itself with great projects, raise mighty cities of iron and stone, and bent the elden magics to its will, setting its sights on the seat of the makers themselves. The Arkenlords became swollen with power that drove them far beyond the concerns of petty men, and made them blind to their own rapidly approaching doom. When it finally came, it was as rapid as it was inevitable. A great inexorable destruction wracked the empire, shattering it, and scouring the land. In its wake, monsters crawled from great pits to feast on its remnants, and in time retreated to the deep earth, leaving only smoldering ruins.

A thousand years have passed. The land settled, and healed, and a gentler, greener age slowly dawned over the land. The shattered, labyrinthine ruins of the old empire now lie entombed in the verdant earth, their depths occasionally disgorging monsters, mysteries, and ghosts of the old world, but over and around them the world has recovered. Forests have grown over ancient galleries, floral meadows have sprung up covering old battlegrounds, and sparkling streams now flow through the collapsed and teetering stones of old aqueducts and overpasses. Over the ruins and in their shadows, life has flourished, as it always will. Now towns and villages dot the landscape, nestled in glades and valleys and surrounded by farms and fields plowed over the skeletons of ancient war machines. Cities are few and far between, and connected over the long stretches of idyllic wilderness by crumbling roads dotted with the caravans of traveling peddlers and traders. The era is peaceful and pastoral. The land is fertile and good, and the land is broad and beautiful. Trade is flourishing between towns and war is, for the most part, a distant memory of a darker time.

The people of Arden Eld, such as they are, live in an era of contentment and prosperity. Yet at the edges of their lives, the shadow of the past looms. The paths through the wilderness between towns are treacherous, sometimes dangerous. The ruins of the Arkenlords are everywhere, jutting out of the land and riddling the earth itself. For the most part, the ruins are quiet, a mournful reminder of a forgotten and terrible past. Occasionally, however, the ruins will disgorge creatures of the old world - monsters born of the Doom or the strange energies harnessed by the empire. Left unchecked, these Blights can endanger the roads, fields, and forests of the world above - sometimes becoming threatening enough to imperil whole
towns. Quite often an entire ruin will surface, pushed up and out of the earth by some unknown seismic force or elden magic. These surfacing ruins are often more active than their long-dead counterparts and will rarely burst from the earth very close to villages or in the middle of cities, causing great destruction.

Deep within the ruins themselves lurk the Relict remains of the old empire, the undead fragments of its servitors and sorcerers - and deeper within, greater prizes. When the Doom befell the Arken, it shattered the land so quickly that entire chambers were sunk deep into the earth, or buried in underground caverns or passages mostly intact. Within these preserved ruins is also buried the Arkentech of the old empire - magical and technological creations and devices of terrifying import. The ruins themselves are so seeped in the elden sorcery of the old lords that they exude Dust - the essence of condensed raw magic highly sought after by the wrights and technological artisans of the world above. Brave or daring adventure seekers or treasure hunters often venture into these ruins in search of wealth or power, and are frequently rewarded, despite the terrible danger that these expeditions pose.

Now, the world stands at the edge of a new age - the Churning Age. More and more adventurers plumb the ruins of the old world in search of its treasures. Factions of the trade guilds and city councils now turn their eyes to the terrible potential of arkentech, and seek it greedily. Great Aetheric airships, built with the power scraped from the ruins, now soar into the sky in search of crumbling spires or ancient catacombs to plunder. In response, the ruins themselves have become more active - disgorging more monsters, becoming more unstable, and more often rising up from the earth itself in terrifying seismic displays. The Churn threatens to throw the Green Age into tumult. A treasure fueled sickness has made its way into the hearts of Kin. There are even those who whisper, more and more openly, about the legacy of the Arkenlords, of the need for strength, wealth, power, and war banners to be hoisted once again. Cities eye each other with suspicion. Travelers grip their cloaks tightly and tighten their sword belts, and for the first time, banditry has sprung up over the stones and passes of the old imperial highways.

At the very edge of this age is you.

You belong in this world, and you are tied to its fate. You are cursed to wield great power, but how you choose to wield it is up to you. Many in your position use it to plumb the depths of the old world in search of treasure and fame. Others use it to drive back the Blights and protect the villages of the Green from the specters of the past, or keep the roads and ways safe for the young and old alike. Some work as mercenaries for the city guilds and take to the sky in great airships, while others wander the land helping the lost or forgotten. Some use their power to kill to cut away threats to the world, others to defend those they hold dear. Will you defend the Green Age? Will you help usher in the Churning Age? Or will you cast all aside to turn the great wheel of history and allow its stagnant blood to flow again? Whoever you are, it is your decisions that make you who you are, and cement your place in the Tale of Ages.

You are an Icon.


Welcome to ICON!

ICON is an RPG by Tom Parkinson-Morgan, of such wonderful projects as Lancer and Kill Six Billion Demons. Based in a mythic fiction setting, the game revolves around larger-than-life characters performing heroic feats, though in this case "heroic" doesn't have to mean "altruistically motivated". It is currently in playtest, at least until Lancer's additional Kickstarter content is finished.

The playtest doc is available for free on MassifPress's itch.io, if you'd like to get a look at what I'm working off. I'm planning on mostly sticking to narrative play until things will warrant switching to tactical combat, which will give me more of a chance to learn the game. I also intend to use the first few posts for character creation, then after that the dice rollers come out.

Let's have some fun!

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Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


THE CAST

  • Kestrel (You): A Lorito Yeokin from Merebrook. Bond of the Seeker. Harvester Mendicant. (Narrative character sheet)
  • Pasha: A Lopen from the Leggio clan that most frequently visits your home village of Merebrook. You have been life-long friends. Bond of the Bright. Enochian Wright.

GLOSSARY
  • Merebrook: Your home village, on the southern bank of the Mere River. Not big enough to be considered a city, but not a backwater by any means.
  • Arkenruin: An ancient structure, from the days of the Arken Imperium, often long buried. Sometimes erupt to the surface through unknown forces. Often filled with strange tech and dangerous monsters.

THE STORY SO FAR....
  • An arkenruin surfaced in the middle of your village. You are trying to navigate the chaos with Pasha to his caravan, so you can get something to help.
  • You used your intellect and skill for studying to determine many of the monsters coming from the arkenruin are blind, and successfully snuck to Pasha's caravan.
  • You were offered a weapon, and a scythe stood out to you more than others. You grabbed it and felt your connection to plants, fertility, life and death in general, deepen.

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 00:10 on Aug 16, 2021

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


"Hey, wake up. C'mon, we gotta move!"

You slowly open your eyes, squinting through the headache, trying to remember what happened. It was an afternoon like any other in Merebrook, until the earth rumbled and suddenly split open. You remember sailing through the air, a flash of pain, then nothing. It's evening now, silent aside from the crackling of small fires throughout the village. Occasionally, the silence is broken by bestial snarls. Toward the central plaza, an unfamiliar structure juts into the sky at an unnatural angle. Is that an arkenruin?! The thought of Merebrook sitting on top of a disaster for hundreds of years is too much for your aching brain for now, so you shove it to the back for later.

A familiar fuzzy face comes into focus, his long ears down his back in an expression of sincere concern. Your long-time friend, Pasha, a Lopen. His Leggio merchant clan has passed through Merebrook for generations, more frequently than other caravans, such that the village is basically home to them as well. You grew up playing with him and his many siblings on their stops. The last few times through, he's been allowed to take the lead on decisions for his clan, to prepare for when he eventually takes over.

"Are you okay? We have to get to my caravan, then maybe we can do something to help." Pasha holds out his hand to pull you up. You stand with his assistance, then look down at your hands and arms to check for injuries.

What do you see?
  • A: Smooth, hairless hands, five digits on each. A couple scrapes, but nothing serious. Your star-marks are flickering faintly.
  • B: Large, heavy hands, rough from the forge but dextrous enough to write a thousand books over the course of your very long life.
  • C: Hands covered in short fur, much like Pasha's. A quick flex assures you that your claws are undamaged.
  • D: Hands covered in thicker fur than Pasha's, bigger and rougher. Your short claws are sturdy, and will be ready for digging at a moment's notice.
  • E: Thankfully, your hands are still moist, despite how long you were unconscious. The webbing between your fingers is undamaged.
  • F: Your talons are unharmed, but more importantly, the longer feathers starting from your wrists up are intact.
  • G: Chitinous, slender, and slightly scuffed, but all twelve digits on all four hands are present and accounted for.

(This choice has literally no bearing on statistics, as all Kin are people. Their cultures, and more heavily their Bonds and Jobs, define their numbers.)

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 09:34 on Aug 1, 2021

Fivemarks
Feb 21, 2015


B, because Troggs are rad.

Sathzur
Nov 18, 2009


G become the bugman

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Fly, you fools.

jng2058
Jul 17, 2010

We have the tools, we have the talent!



Thri-kreen or birdfolk? Thri-kreen or birdfolk? HMmm.

Birdfolk! F

CitizenKeen
Nov 13, 2003

easygoing pedant


F

Frances Nurples
May 10, 2008



F

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


(It seems F is pretty popular, so unless something changes in the next, oh, 2 hours, we'll go with that option when I'm home from work! The next choice will be for our Bond, and the one after that will be for our Job.)

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Jul 30, 2021

Lux Animus
Apr 17, 2016

Posts from the end of the world
:dbuddy::greenangel::dbuddy:



Dinosaur Gum

A for funsies

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


You shake the dust out of the feathers on your head and smooth them back into place, and nod an affirmation to your friend.

"I'm glad you're alright," Pasha says as he brushes some debris you missed off your shoulder. "Not everyone made out as well."  He turns his focus toward the plaza, and the new structure looming above it. "I've never seen an arkenruin surface inside a village. Even a day's travel away is dangerous."

You follow his shift in gaze to the west, away from the plaza to the north and the river to the northeast, toward the colorful banners fluttering above and beyond the houses. You recognize these banners from the top of the caravan your friend has traveled in for as long as you've known him. He beckons for you to follow and trudged off in that direction, eyes open and ears now up and alert.

As Pasha rounds the corner of the last house between you and the caravan, he stops and scrambles back behind the corner, then creeps back around slowly, hiding behind a barrel. You peek around the corner and see three beasts pacing between you and the enormous, two story wagon, gnashing teeth and snarling. The team of oxen that would have pulled it are on the ground, dead and half-eaten.

"Damnit," Pasha cursed, almost breaking a whisper. ►"How are we getting past those things?"◄

  • A: If you climb to the rooftops, you can see a way around to the other side of the caravan, away from the monsters.
  • B: Take a moment to study the beasts, and look for a weakness you can take advantage of.
  • C: Pick up another barrel and throw it at the beasts, you can probably scare them off if you hit one.
  • D: Tell Pasha to wait here, and approach the beasts yourself, yelling and making yourself appear bigger than you are.
  • E: You can see an old rickety stand across the way. If you can hit it with a rock and make it collapse, it might grab the beasts' attention.
  • F: Approach the beasts with Pasha, shouting at them. Two working together might be too much for them to handle.
  • G: Tell Pasha you're going to take the beasts head-on, and ask him to follow your lead.

(Whichever one has the second-most votes will help determine what our Bond Gambit will be, when we get to that point. Birdman/Birdlady will be fun! Also, I haven't decided on a name for our character, so if you have any ideas feel free to add a vote for that as well.)

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 09:44 on Aug 1, 2021

jng2058
Jul 17, 2010

We have the tools, we have the talent!



B

Kestrel

CitizenKeen
Nov 13, 2003

easygoing pedant


Big Bird says this thread is brought to you by the letter C.

Sathzur
Nov 18, 2009


A

Corvo

Lux Animus
Apr 17, 2016

Posts from the end of the world
:dbuddy::greenangel::dbuddy:



Dinosaur Gum

Bird

Croak

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


(Another question while I'm thinking about it. Are we a silent a protagonist like Link or Crono, or do we have dialogue as well?)

Serpentis
May 31, 2011

Well, if I really HAVE to shoot you in the bollocks to shut you up, then I guess I'll need to, post-haste, for everyone else's sake.


Hmm.

B - what do our keen bird senses see?

Also, Kestrel (Kes for short?) is a fine name.

(I'd say have some dialogue - I find silent protags a bit boring.)

AnAnonymousIdiot
Sep 14, 2013



A For being the eyes of our party... And, yeah, Kestrel, is cool.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

B for out-thinking opponents. I dig Kestrel.

Frances Nurples
May 10, 2008



B is for bird.

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


(Looks like B is the clear choice, followed by A. I'll write the next post tomorrow. I'm thinking Argus for our starting Power, unless anyone has another idea. Once we have our Job picked, I'll put together a character sheet.

Argus - You get a knack for sensing danger,
hidden traps, or ambushes, and can use this
knack on any action when surprised.)

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


You know you're at your best when you take your time to learn. After taking a few minutes to observe the beasts between you and the caravan, you notice that their eyes are poorly developed, if not basically vestigial, and they primarily navigate by sound and smell. Fortunately, even though the fresh ox carcasses have driven them into a frenzy, the stench of blood also seems to be overwhelming their olfactory senses. They're dangerous, but effectively blind.

You put your finger to your beak to signal silence, and motion for Pasha to follow. You gently slink around the barrel and creep around the edge of the clearing, sticking to the shadows and behind obstructions, until you make it around to the opposite side, with the caravan now between you and the monsters. You were able to avoid them this time, but you might have to deal with them soon.

Pasha slowly opens the back door to the caravan and climbs in, and you follow. Nobody else is here. The rest of Pasha's family must have been caught outside earlier, and were not able to get back. "Where do you think they are?" Your whisper hangs in the silence of the darkened caravan. Your friend, trembling slightly, lights a candle and hands it to you, motioning toward a curtain on the wall in the corner. "Pick something you like," he hisses, clambering into his loft. The rattles and clanging of someone frantically tossing miscellaneous objects and trinkets aside soon follow. "We're going back out, Kestrel. I have to find them."

You pull back the curtain, and the light from your candle glints off a surprising array of arms. A few of the items stand out much more, as if they are somehow calling out to you.

What catches your eye?
  • A: A large, round shield, almost designed as an oversized discus instead of an implement solely for protection. You think you could get good at throwing it.
  • B: A massive sword, more like a slab of steel with a handle attached. You get the feeling that despite the size, you could wield it effectively.
  • C: A mismatched single-handed axe and cleaver, both with notched blades from hitting bone many times. You can almost hear their cries for blood.
  • D: A gauntlet with bladed fingers, and a matched single edge dagger. Wisps of shadow seem to be emanating from both pieces.
  • E: A heavy revolver, slightly tarnished but the ornate filigree is still clear. There is a vambrace with matching filigree, and a yellow jewel like an eye in the center.
  • F: A somewhat fancy steel cane, but the deck of cards next to it is much more intriguing. They radiate with possibility.
  • G: A polearm, something like a spear haft with a shortsword blade at the end. The charms hanging near the blade give you a sense of calm.
  • H: A greatscythe, not too dissimilar from the tool you've used in the fields. This one feels like it's much more closely associated with sowing as well as reaping.
  • I: An old worn book, the burning knowledge contained within calling out. It must have changed hands many times, based on the crossed-out names on the front.
  • J: A light, thin, single-handed sword, potential energy almost tangibly shining from the tip. The feathers on your forearms start to stand out when you look at it.

(Sorry for the delay, guys! Had to give the new Jobs a once-over and add them to the list. We're almost to the fun part!)

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 00:08 on Aug 16, 2021

CitizenKeen
Nov 13, 2003

easygoing pedant


Hell yeah, goth barbie!

Lux Animus
Apr 17, 2016

Posts from the end of the world
:dbuddy::greenangel::dbuddy:



Dinosaur Gum

BBBBBBBBBBBbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

jng2058
Jul 17, 2010

We have the tools, we have the talent!



J

Serpentis
May 31, 2011

Well, if I really HAVE to shoot you in the bollocks to shut you up, then I guess I'll need to, post-haste, for everyone else's sake.


Ah, a lot of these are tempting. But I have to throw in a vote for G.

Sathzur
Nov 18, 2009


Hell to you who stand in our way

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

F for shenanigans.

Frances Nurples
May 10, 2008



B is for bird.

HMS Beagle
Feb 13, 2009





I'll throw some more support behind H

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


(3 for H, 2 for B, and 1 each for F, G, and J. I'll start working on our next post tomorrow after work, I have some other stuff to do tonight. Anything we're missing before we get into it?)

Serpentis
May 31, 2011

Well, if I really HAVE to shoot you in the bollocks to shut you up, then I guess I'll need to, post-haste, for everyone else's sake.


(So if we are going Scythe, is that our only weapon going forward? Or do you get to have a secondary set?)
E: Does help if you finish writing the post before hitting Submit, doesn't it.

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


Serpentis posted:

(So if we are going Scythe, is that our only weapon going forward? Or do you get to have a secondary set?)
E: Does help if you finish writing the post before hitting Submit, doesn't it.

(The Scythe is really the symbolic weapon of the Harvester job for the Mendicant class, which hands out Blessings for curing and clearing status effects, and has plant based magic for healing and damage. Kinda like a Nature Cleric I guess. If we get up to Chapter 2, which starts at Level 5, we can either pick a whole new Job or get a Master Talent for one of our Harvester abilities.

If everyone wants to take a look at the Jobs and maybe change their votes, I can wait for that. All of them except C and H are in the playtest doc in the link on the first post, and the .pdfs for C and H can be found there as well.

EDIT: I made a couple sample images for each job, they're linked in the choices.)

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 03:26 on Aug 6, 2021

Doc Dee
Feb 15, 2012

THANKS FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY, T


(Sorry everyone! I've been kinda dealing with some stuff lately.)

You've spent your entire life working in the fields of Merebrook, you know what causes the grain crop to succeed or fail like the back of your claw. Naturally, you reach for the greatscythe, being the most familiar of the myriad of implements on the wall. The moment your talons touch the haft, feel a rush of energy pass through you. You catch a potted flower sitting on a nearby shelf out of the corner of your eye. A young mereblossom, grafted onto an old root, likely a scion of the original plant gifted by your family to Pasha's. You shift your focus to it, and feel a much deeper connection to the plant than you've ever felt before. You concentrate your will, and the blossom matures and wilts before your eyes. A change in your concentration, and the flower returns to life, back to its original state.

"I'm a bit rusty with my Enochian, but now's a good a time as any to pick it back up, eh?" Pasha says as he hops down from his bunk, holding a book similar to the one you noticed on the wall. A quick glance back at the wall and nothing stands out as unique, merely a collection of standard weaponry. "Wait," he whispers, ears pricked up. Silence. He motions for you to follow him out of the caravan.

You notice the creatures are no longer snarling and pacing. They've consumed the remainder of the oxen, and are now sleeping near the caravan, letting out the occasional burp or fart between snores. Pasha looks to you for an idea on how to proceed.

What do you want to do?
  • A: Sneak past the beasts and head for the central plaza? (Controlled)
  • B: Channel your newfound connection to the Aether? (Risky)
  • C: Traverse up the caravan and around the rooftops? (Desparate)
  • D: Smash the nearest beast in the head with your new weapon, likely waking them all up? (Combat)
  • E: Something else?

(I'll have an actual character sheet up this weekend.)

Doc Dee fucked around with this message at 02:19 on Aug 13, 2021

Lux Animus
Apr 17, 2016

Posts from the end of the world
:dbuddy::greenangel::dbuddy:



Dinosaur Gum

B

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

B

Frances Nurples
May 10, 2008



B is for bird.

jng2058
Jul 17, 2010

We have the tools, we have the talent!



A

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Serpentis
May 31, 2011

Well, if I really HAVE to shoot you in the bollocks to shut you up, then I guess I'll need to, post-haste, for everyone else's sake.


A!

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