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 How do you use Icon Rolls?

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Felorn Gloryaxe
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PostSubject: How do you use Icon Rolls?   Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:41 am

How exactly do you use Icon rolls? It's not that I don't understand the mechanics, but how do you actually implement these into your game in a way that works well?

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PostSubject: Re: How do you use Icon Rolls?   Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:53 pm

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
How exactly do you use Icon rolls? It's not that I don't understand the mechanics, but how do you actually implement these into your game in a way that works well?
At the start of each campaign, I ask players to roll their relationship dice with all the Icons they're associated with to determine which Icon would serve as "plot hook" for the PCs, tying the results with their backgrounds and unique things.

In the book, it's said that at the start of each session, ask the players to roll their relationship dice with at least one Icon they're associated with, and note the results. Then at certain points in the adventure, the players can change a scene using the result of their roll. Personally I use a variant wherein once per session I allow a player to invoke an Icon to call for the aid of the Icon of their choice (or whichever seems most appropriate), then on a failure I determine the Icon that interfered with his invocation using the "Random Icon Influence" mechanic (players who thus want to change the scene can do so [but with risks], while allowing the more reserved/less creative to play it safe somewhat).

I also ask players to roll their relationship dice with all the Icons they're associated with per scene. This is to help generate random scenes, based on the Icons that actually matter to the characters. If no one gets a result, that's when I again bring out the Random Icon Influence mechanic.

Whenever someone fumbles an attack, I ask them to roll their relationship dice with an Icon of their choice as a sort of "fumble confirmation" seen in some houserules; if they roll a 5 or a 6, they actually benefit from the fumble, but if none of the relationship dice result in a 5 or a 6 (or worse, not only do they luck out on the 5s/6s but at least one of their dice is a 1) then something really bad happens based on the interfering Icon (again using the Random Icon Influence mechanic). I use this because doing nothing (not even miss damage) on a natural 1 is naturally frustrating.

That's basically how I use Icon Relationship Dice Smile
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Felorn Gloryaxe
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PostSubject: Re: How do you use Icon Rolls?   Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:44 am

Seems pretty straightforward. Thanks! I kinda like the idea of coming up with plot hooks on the fly like that.

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PostSubject: Re: How do you use Icon Rolls?   Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:38 am

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Seems pretty straightforward. Thanks! I kinda like the idea of coming up with plot hooks on the fly like that.
Sure you could think up an elaborate scheme tying up all the characters together with this long-term campaign in mind (that's how I first ran my 13th Age campaign), but the idea that either something happens in the world that's related to your Icon of choice tumbles straight towards you, or someone from an Icon related to you would directly summon for you... or in the case of my second campaign, I had no idea how to tie all the PCs at first and simply let the dice help me establish the basic hook that turned into the central dilemma of the entire campaign (a statue that served as the prison of the Green), it's refreshing Smile

I read somewhere that Savage World has a story generating mechanic that accomplishes the same thing (uses cards instead of dice), but the idea that this ties player choice -- both during character creation and whenever they decide which Icon to roll for -- to world and session decisions and still leaves lots of room for GM creativity, that makes the relationship dice one of my core GMing tools.
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