UnVerse Character Creation Rules
There are currently two options for creating characters in the UnVerse Campaigns.
Let the Universe Decide
This is the default option of the campaign, and predicated on the default option of ICONS. I allow three characters to be “rolled up,” based on the core rules. Most folks use the ICONS Character Folio program, which works very well for this. The player then chooses one of the three, with some “tweaking” done through consultation with me. Each character gets +1 Specialty point as well.
Master of My Fate
This is an admittedly more crunchy and detailed approach to character building and experience points/advancement in ICONS. It won’t be to everyone’s liking. However, those who like the general game flow and style of ICONS, yet seek a more balanced approach to actual character building (along with some additional options), may find this an enjoyable upgrade.
The core economy of the system is Character Points. Players begin with a specified number of Character Points (CPs) with which to create their characters, and they will earn additional CPs to advance their characters over time. The number of CPs that a player starts with is based on the level of the campaign the GM wishes to run:
Low-Powered (Street Level): 200
Mid-Powered (Classic Comics): 250
High-Powered (Premiere Teams): 300
Cosmic Powered: 400+
Note – This may seem like an unnecessarily high number of points, but the reasoning is this – going for a general “build points x5” conversion (based on the suggested build points of 45 in the core book – allows for more granularity. This, in turn, allows for some modifications based on limitations on powers – such as those bought as devices – that brings a bit more balance and creates some options for gear, headquarters, and the like.
The following table shows the cost in CPs for both attaining abilities, powers, and the like for characters, as well as costs for later investment as characters advance. Note that CPs aren’t really tracked after the fact, unless the GM wants you to for purposes of overall campaign measurement. They are a “currency” to be spent and refreshed as the game progresses.
After the table are some notes that clarify certain things and explain some necessary exceptions.
- Bonus Powers are bought for 5 CPs and are rated at one level less than the main power they are “attached” to. They can then be raised with CPs normally (though never above the Level of the main Power). They are subject to the same condition that happens to the main power; if it is negated, for example, all related Bonus Powers go away, too.
- Stunted Powers (those that have been stunted or practiced 10x in game play) cost 3 CPs and otherwise fall under the same rules as Bonus Powers.
- Ability Increase is now a “buy levels” Power; it is useful primarily to represent device-based Ability enhancements, such as battlesuit-granted additional Strength.
- Absorption – If the “greater” version is bought, it is double cost.
- Device Powers cost one point less (two for Power Groups) per Level. This means, however, that they can (and should) be taken away or damaged in game play sometimes (which can be worth a Determination Point for the player).
- Level Maximums are 8 for all Abilities and Powers at character creation (exceptions can be made at the High-Powered or Cosmic Levels). Those with Elemental Control, Time Control, and/or Wizardry are held to this level even after character creation.
- Specialty Groups allow players to pick three related Specialties that can be bought and increased as a group for a cost break. Some suggested groups are:
Ace (Driving, Piloting, and Mechanics)
Commander (Leadership, Mental Resistance, and Military)
Daredevil (Acrobatics, Athletics, Martial Artist or a Weapons Specialty)
Detective (Criminology, Investigation, and one of: Business, Computers, Law, or Psychology)
Engineer (Electronics, Mechanics, Science Chemistry or Metallurgy)
Face (Mental Resistance, Performance: Acting, and Psychology)
Rogue (Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and one of: Computes, Electronics, or Performance: Acting)Techie (Computers, Electronics, and one of: Business, Criminology, or a Science)