Icon Relationships

Your character’s relationship with icons is an important way to draw him or her into your game world. An icon may have its own champions and heroes (including you) to advance its cause in the game world.

Relationship Points

At 1st level, each character gets 3 relationship points. Each point represents one d6 to be used when trying to leverage your connection to the icon. (See Using Icon Relationships.)

The number of points you invest in a relationship with an icon doesn’t necessarily correlate with the closeness of the connection or the strength of the relationship. It does correlate with the utility of the relationship. It’s not necessarily about how well the icon knows you or how strong the icon feels about you. Instead, the points reflect the chance that your relationship will be helpful to you.

The Icons Relationships Master Chart summarizes the likely roleplaying and story-oriented consequences of positive, conflicted, and negative relationships with heroic, ambiguous, and villainous icons.

Icon Relationships Master Chart

Icon

Positive Relationship

Conflicted Relationship

Negative Relationship

Heroic Icon

Spend 1, 2, or 3 points.

 

As far as this icon is concerned, you’re one of the good guys, a white-hat hero. Authorities often help you, and civilians often trust you. On the down side, you may be called on to serve representatives of the icon even when you have other plans. You might also be a target of villainous icons or this heroic icon’s rivals.

Spend 1, 2, or 3 points.

 

You're probably one of the good guys, but for some reason you're suspect to the icon. Maybe you're a convict who has served his time, or an imperial soldier who was too good and got drummed out of his legion. You have insider knowledge and allies who are in good with the icon, but you also have enemies associated with the icon.

Spend 1 point.

 

In the icon’s eyes, you're a dissident, opponent, rival, or foe. You may have contacts or inside knowledge that you can use to your advantage, but some form of trouble waits for you wherever this heroic icon has influence.

Ambiguous Icon

Spend 1, 2, or 3 points.

 

Thanks to your relationship with the icon, you are a hero to some, a villain to others, and possibly even a monster to a few. The enemies of your friends may turn out to be your friends, and vice versa. Advantages and complications will come from all sides.

Spend 1, 2, or 3 points.

 

Your relationship with the icon is complex, an uneven relationship with an icon who's a hero to some and a villain to others. One way or another, you can find help or hostility anywhere. You don’t just live in interesting times—you create them.

Spend 1 or 2 points.

 

Your enmity with this icon makes you some enemies, but it also makes you some useful friends. You may be a dissenter, unwanted family member, or even a traitor in some way.

Villainous Icon

Spend 1 point.

 

You are able to gain secrets or secretive allies, but your connection to this icon brings trouble from people associated with the heroic icons who oppose the villain. Be prepared to justify why you're not imprisoned, interrogated, or otherwise harassed by the heroic icons and their representatives whenever they encounter you. Or for that matter, by the other PCs.

 

Spend 1 or 2 points.

 

You mostly work against the icon, but you're also connected to the icon in a way you can't deny. Your connection sometimes gives you special knowledge or contacts, but it also makes you suspect in the eyes of many right-minded would-be heroes.

Spend 1 or 2 points.

 

You mostly work against the icon, but you're also connected to the icon in a way you can't deny. Your connection sometimes gives you special knowledge or contacts, but it also makes you suspect in the eyes of many right-minded would-be heroes.

This chart assumes that you’re playing a heroic character. A villainous character will need to swap the maximums between heroic and villainous icons.

Rolling Icon Relationship Dice

To check your icon relationship (your relationship with a particular icon), roll a d6 for each point you have in the relationship. This means that you will usually roll 1, 2, or 3 dice. (At epic level, it may be 4.)

If any die is a 6, you get some meaningful advantage from the relationship without having complications. If two or three dice come up 6, that’s even better.

If any die is a 5, your connection to the icon is going to work out as well as a 6 would, but with some unexpected complication. If it’s a good icon, you might be drawn into some obligation. If it’s a villainous icon, you might attract unwanted attention.

Rolling 5s when you also rolled 6s should make life both interesting and advantageous!

Icons’ Organizations

Icons are usually not directly part of the campaign. They rarely make an appearance personally, except perhaps at epic level. Most of the time, interacting with an icon means that you’re actually interacting with his or her lower-level functionaries, acolytes, disciples, bureaucrats, lieutenants, barons, priests, etc. In fact, any level of relationship with an icon can be enough to get you noticed by other people who are connected to that icon.

Using Icon Relationships

The most straightforward way to use your relationship points is on positive or conflicted connections that generally provide you with outright assistance and useful information.

Negative relationships usually provide inside knowledge, special skills, opportunistic allies, and possibly some sort of supernatural advantage against a villain.

Often you might find that enemies of your rival see you as an opportunity to strike against that mutual enemy. You might get help, wealth and resources, and even magic items from quite unexpected sources, some of which may not be entirely to your liking.

In addition to aid from others, icon relationships provide characters with special knowledge.

A negative relationship with a thoroughly villainous icon is more in keeping with the heroic lifestyle, but you should expect that the assistance you get from a negative relationship may end up being more directly confrontational than more conventional conflicted and positive relationships.

Changing Relationships

When your character achieves champion level (5th), you gain an extra relationship point. Use it to increase an existing relationship by one die or gain a 1-point relationship with a new icon to match your character’s story thus far. You can save the extra relationship die and decide to apply it later.

At 5th level, or any time thereafter, you can switch an existing relationship point from one icon to another, including to a new icon. You owe the GM and other players an entertaining explanation of what this big change represents for your character personally, of course.

When you reach epic level (8th), you gain another relationship point, which you can use to increase an existing icon relationship by one die, including up to 1 point over maximum. As at 5th level, if switching a relationship point from one icon to another makes sense for your 8th level character, go for it.