Friday, July 27, 2012

Coming Soon: Stark City Setting Kickstarter

This week, Mike Lafferty of Fainting Goat Games announced an upcoming Kickstarter project that will be of interest to ICONS fans:

Here's the Basics:
Stark City will be a setting for the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game that puts the PCs in the center of the action and evokes the fun, free-wheeling spirit of the ICONS system.

As a very special bonus: Steve Kenson, ICONS creator, is writing an accompanying city/setting building toolkit for ICONS -called ICONIC Cities. Partly inspired by the city building rules in the Dresden Files RPG, the ICONIC Cities rules will tie setting creation into character generation and will help the players devise aspects that are tightly incorporated into their setting.

What is Stark City?
The big concept behind Stark City is a Supers RPG setting where the PCs are center stage.
Inspired by sources as diverse as Busiek’s Astro City, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s vision of the animated DC Universe, the more recent Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Top Cow series Common Ground, Brubaker’s Incognito and the Giffen and DeMatteis run on Justice League, Stark City pays homage to its Neo-Silver Age influences and provides recognizable touchstones for the audience, but is careful to prioritize enabling fun around the game table ahead of meta-plot building.

To this end, Stark City will be modular in design. GMs will be able to pick and choose the supplements that suit their campaign without being obligated to an over-arching continuity. The initial supplement, Welcome to Stark City, will serve to set the tone, establish the city’s back-story and outline the major locations, NPCs and factions.

What Exactly Will the Supplements Look Like?
The first supplement Welcome to Stark City will be approximately 30 pages in length. It will contain Kenson's ICONIC Cities rules, the history of Stark City and a brief guide to the city's neighborhoods and residents. The art will be by Dan Houser (ICONS Line Artist) and Adrian Smith or Mesozoic Press.
After the initial supplement is released, there will be biweekly releases highlighting different neighborhoods in the city and providing more background and adventure hooks. Each neighborhood supplement will be approximately 15 to 20 pages in length. They will also contain art by Houser and Smith.
Backers can elect to receive a POD compilation of all of the Stark City neighborhood supplements upon the project's completion.

Who is Involved?
The Stark City project is being created by a talented slate of writers and artists:
Steve Kenson (M&M, ICONS, etc) is writing the ICONIC Cities and providing oversight and consultation to the project. Steve Perrin (of Runequest fame) is writing the city backstory. Also involved are the following authors who will other supplements detailing specific neighborhoods: Troy Hickman (writer of the Eisner-nominated Common Grounds), John Post (author of No Laughing Matter and Whiteout!), Jason Tondro (author of the Field Guide to Superheros series), Walt Robillard (head of Hazard Studio), Joe Bardales (author of the Golden Age Thrilling Action series) and Mike Lafferty (author of Improbable Tales and Wargames).

Art is being provided by ICONS Line artist Dan Houser and Adrian Smith.

Also - David Woodrum of Fishwife Games has developed a soundtrack for Stark City that will be available at some reward levels

When Does it Come Out?
We are targeting January 2013 as the release date for the first supplement, Welcome to Stark City.

Where Can I Learn More?
The latest announcements and art previews can be found at the official Welcome to Start City Blog. And please feel free to ask us questions at the new blog, on the RPGNet thread, the ICONS Yahoo Discussion Group, or where ever else you find us!
The brainchild of ICONS line artist Dan Houser, Stark City has been in development for the last few months, and I am honored to be taking part in the production of this epic campaign setting with such a talented and illustrious group of designers and artists. For my part, I have been designing the Catacombs, a subterranean neighborhood of Stark City that is quite literally the criminal underground. Rather than go the usual Morlocks and mutants in the sewers route, the Catacombs takes its inspiration more from All Points Junction as seen in Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Incognito: Bad Influences. I think GMs and players alike will enjoy this refreshing take on the underground in a city setting for supers roleplaying.

We'll be announcing the Kickstarter launch for Stark City very soon, so stay tuned...

And thanks for reading!

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