I ran ICONS (1st edition) for Edmund, Karen and Jesse and had a fun time. They decided to play Spectre, Risk and Cheshire Cat (nemesis: Turbo-Cat) — a corporate-sponsored black ops industrial (counter-)espionage team working for Standard Industries. They stayed unknown and unappreciated, unlike Standard Industries’ public super team, the Standard-Bearers.
Two of the best moments were when Cheshire Cat, in her secret identity as mild-mannered teacher Mr. Myerson, met with his student Angel on the train and had to both save the train from a super-villain and protect his cover; and when Risk intimidated The Troll by sheer force of gumption, even though she was outclassed in terms of power.
I enjoyed the game but next time I run ICONS, I will hit the Fate-like elements harder.
Fans of role-playing games are likely aware that the Kickstarter funding campaign for a new edition of Green Ronin Publishing’s Blue Rose RPG is in full swing. If you didn’t know, then go read io9’s interview with line developer and original co-writer Steve Kenson. Hey, while you’re there, I’ll borrow a pull-quote from Steve to describe the genre that Blue Rose emulates, romantic fantasy:
“Romantic” refers to a style and a point of view that’s generally positive, hopeful, and cooperative: good people can make a difference, true love can and does win in the end, we can make the world better, people of good conscience can work together (and even disagree) but still coexist peacefully, and, ultimately, there is good in the world and it’s something worth fighting for. That romance often includes interpersonal relationships, from boon comrades to passionate love, and such things are both the reasons why characters take action and the rewards they receive for their efforts.
Blue Rose will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year! It’s crazy how quickly time passes. One thing has been nagging at me every time I see someone say that the game was “ahead of its time” in 2005 for its inclusiveness of gender, orientation and even body type diversity.
Ahead of its time? Please. Let’s give credit where credit is due:
The Blue Rose RPG is exactly the kind of game that helped move the gamer and geek mindset forward.
The kind that show that games matter, that they are not just a few hours’ entertainment. They are that, yes, but also so much more. Because the times, you see, they may be a-changin’ but they have to be dragged a-kickin’ and a-screamin’ into it. Otherwise nothing ever advances.
So thank you, Green Ronin. May the Blue Rose bloom pure and bright for a long time.