A downloadable game

From the co-creator of Lancer and creator of Kill Six Billion Demons, a new mythic fantasy role playing game takes the stage.

You take the role of an ICON, a larger than life hero, caught between the turning of two ages. Long ago, the cruel and prosperous Arken empire ruled the land until it fell to the Doom. Over time, the land healed, and the idyllic, pastoral Green Age came to pass. Now, however, that peace is threatened by the coming of the Churning Age. With dungeons literally erupting from the earth and monsters pouring out in great blights, Kin increasingly turn their hearts to plundering their depths for riches and power, and their hands to their sword hilts. Will you have the strength to resist this age, or will you claim its terrible power for yourself?

ICON is a fantasy role playing game heavily inspired by the vast, unknown spaces of classic mythic fantasy, anime, and video games. It has a robust narrative system for story driven play and a final fantasy inspired tactical combat system, with either or both systems usable for play.

This is a free play test of a future project. Feel free to download or distribute it as long as you don't modify the credits page in any way.

6/8/23: The 1.5 Update is here! A MASSIVE update that is essentially the full, CONTENT COMPLETE game (bar some minor changes) - new art, abilities, foes, massive rule tweaks, new legends to fight, new stories to tell - check it out!

I've also included a quick combat sheet sheet and a quick bond sheet printout for your convenience.

**There is no up to date character/camp sheet for this game at the moment**

Updated 19 hours ago
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(129 total ratings)
AuthorMassif Press
GenreRole Playing
TagsFantasy, final-fantasy, Forged in the Dark, Tactical


ICON 1.5.pdf 43 MB
Iconnarrativebonds.pdf 365 kB
Quickcombatsheet.pdf 460 kB

Development log


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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 58 · Next page · Last page
(2 edits) (+3)

Having read through the first book, i.e. the stuff on narrative play, I really like a lot of the ideas here (especially the Tempting Fate mechanic). But the way Bonds are currently implemented are kind of a dealbreaker for me, even though I like the idea of them.

As Radstarsaur said below, the Bonds themselves are really inconsistent in what they're meant to portray. Pathfinder and Seeker, are core character motivations - why they adventure. Wolf, and Brave, are more surface personality traits - how they adventure. A lot of classic JRPG heroes would be described equally well by both Pathfinder and Brave, because they're describing different aspects of a character. The rest are all over the place. Harlequin and Outsider are more broad character archetypes than actual personalities, Highborn and Elder are just very specific backgrounds, and then Mighty and Mender are so vague that I'm pretty sure they only exist so that there were mechanical classes for muscle and healer type characters.

Now, normally, I would just ignore the flavoring of stuff like this and just pick the mechanics that fit my character idea best. But that leads me into my biggest problem with Bonds, which are the Ideals. They're not only just as inconsistent, but they're also unchanging, and tied directly to progression! Even disregarding the inconsistencies, (why do some classes' third ideals involve failing or mistakes, but others are about succeeding?), the way Ideals are now coerce a player into picking very specific roleplaying choices. If I play a Mighty character, why would I ever play them as feeling overwhelmed and terrified in a bad situation when doing so screws myself out of gaining XP? If I play a Harlequin, how can I have an arc about them using dishonesty to protect themself and slowly becoming more honest when their Ideal says they will always address challenges with subterfuge and deceit? As it stands, the system makes the GM grade you on how well you play into the game's pre-written archetypes, with no room for nuance or changing characterization over time. It mechanically incentivizes one-note, static characters.

The change I really want would be some alternative roleplaying XP gain that isn't tied to Ideals at all, since I personally find ideals to be too prescriptive and overly simplistic for characterization. Not everybody will agree with me there, though, so barring that, there needs to be more flexibility in the Ideals themselves. Players should be explicitly allowed to write their own set of ideals for any Bond they pick and rewrite them as appropriate for their character's development. Something like a create-a-Bond system would also be great, though I understand that might undermine the Broker capstone.

Thanks for reading my text wall. Hope this is addressed in the future. Best of luck with development!!

I havent encountered that issue in one-shots I've ran, but I do agree that it'd be static for long term play. Honestly, they should probably just steal the Beliefs/Instincts(/Goal) systems from Burning Wheel/Torchbearer with some flavor twists to make it their own. I don't really see a downside to just letting players write their own Ideals, will try this out in the next one shot I run or when the system comes out, whichever comes sooner

(1 edit) (+3)

I really love almost everything I've read on this, it's a great system!

I'm always happy to see Clocked being utilized in a game, and the idea to give players different classes for both narrative play and combat is an absolutely inspired concept.

Only thing I'm confused about is the current set of bonds available. It feels like half of them are character motivations, while half of them are character traits. The Pathfinder is motivated by new experiences, and the Seeker is motivated by the pursuit of knowledge. Meanwhile, the Highborn is upper class and the Elder is old. It feels like half of them are open-ended while the other half require your character come from a specific upbringing or background. I'd love for the flavor of the Bonds to be made as culture-agnostic as the first two I mentioned.


I just read all the chapters on Narrative gameplay and WOW, this is so great. I've been scratching my head on how to make the mecanics of PTBA moves (but not fully PBTA) work with a Stress system, a narrative magic system that doesn't limit players, but still scaling, lignages, backgrounds and classes for characters and hitpointless enemies for months, and you just made the best version I couldn't even think off. I'm eager to test this system with my players, thank you so much.

I also love how the bast rules for narrative gameplay are still pretty generic, making it compatible with other setting.

Great job, and I really want to see how this'll turn out.

(1 edit) (+1)

Motivated brazilian gamemaster here.

I dig ya game, Mr. Tom! It's like dd4th, but... You know... Better! Dense with interesting lore to boot. A project with great potential overseas, I'd say.

I dig it so much, in fact, that I'm translating the material and making playbooks for my non-english speaking players. 

Let's see if we get this hype train going...


hello! There is a minor typo on page 24, "A lower chapters, a character needs some cover or distraction" when I think it means to say "At lower chapters." Thank you for the beautiful system ^^


Hi! Just recently found another typo in the HP description on page 69, there’s an extra you in there 👌🏼


Hey! We are reading the current 1.45 and found an errata on page 60, in Habitual Line Stepper where it mentions IIII, we are pretty sure it’s III.

Also could you repost the play sheets? Thank you for the massive work, the system, ambiance and everything looks amazing I hope for more and the finished product


been using this for a year now and keeping up with updates, my players and i absolutely love the system to hell and back!!
but just now one of my players pointed out something i somehow had missed this entire time:
could we get a couple more illustrations of the Lorito birdfolk?  as it stands, the only existing bird in the pdf is draped in a cloak and wearing a mask :0

(1 edit) (+2)

I think the rules for Bonus Damage are worded a bit ambiguous. I can't quite tell if you do an additional damage roll or just adjust the regular damage roll.

The idea is probably to adjust the regular damage roll, but in that case you're not so much dealing "bonus" damage as much as you get a higher chance of dealing max damage - except when the base damage is Fray only, in which case you do get to add an entire damage die.

It is also not spelled out how multiple instances of Bonus Damage stack. RAI seems to suggest you roll more dice, but don't get to keep more.

I'm running a game myself and I've changed up some of the words used for some concepts to cut out ambiguity. Instead of Bonus Damage I use "Enhanced Damage" because Bonus Damage just allows you to adjust the regular damage roll. With the word "Bonus Damage" you'd imagine it is the same as Critical Damage, but it isn't. At the moment I'm unsure of if it stacks, I'd have to check but I'd assume so. 

Sounds good. I'm also thinking of porting over the boon terminology to damage, since that's closer to how the "Bonus Damage" is actually resolved.


any solo play variant rules?


Is there a reddit and or discord?



Just look up "Lancer Discord" and you'll find it! Lancer is another Massif Press game so that's an active community for ICON


Do you already have a release data for the game? 


When it's finished™️

I am intrigued so far. do you have any resources for a character sheet to print off?

There are out-of-date character sheets. Check out Pilot NET, the Lancer discord, where people will be happy to send the sheets your way.


Love it! But would you kindly, if it does not trouble you, alter the instances of 'melancholy' used as an adjective for 'melancholic'? It's a pet peeve of mine x.x


Very cool, I just downloaded ICON 1.4 and will be trying it out with my friends. I'll let you know what I think of it!


Character sheet and camp sheet are not included in the current download. Should probably be updated.


Is there a link to download the character sheet? The PDF mentions it but i cant find it anywhere...


The most recent version of the game doesn't have a character sheet yet, but older versions did, so I assume that was just text put there for older versions and not removed.

iirc one of the two last options should have the character sheets for Camping, Narrative Play and Tactical Combat as well as the Attack Areas sheet to reference quickly how big AoE's are.


will there be a planned online tool like compcon with this?


It's not official, but I did a little tool for battle and unit management for ICON. I'd be delighted you try it out -> Icon Battle Helper


Gonna use this for a campaign after much debate, anywhere with good GMing tips for it?

New update adds even more of the content I already loved about ICON. Can't wait to try playing it with my friends.


Was there any plan for character sheets

there were some attached to the original playtest release, but they seem to be completely missing now

Hi, is anybody here know the discord server for playing this game? If so, can you guys show me the link? I want to try and play this game, but I don't know the right server for it.

The PilotNet Discord (for Massif's previous game Lancer) has a dedicated category for ICON. Though I do not see a lot of recruiting posts there, it is a start.

Thanks, I will go check it out. 


POG update


Really looking forward to the full release of this. I've been GMing a Lancer game for over a year now and my players are already excited about playing in a Icon game.


I've been playing Icon for like 2 months and... I have to say that its amazing, its very similar to Lancer, but with obviously less things, but its easier to learn and its narratively exciting to play with all the "HUGE THINGS" that you can do ajjaj
You can even "mod" the setting with your own imagination very easily, you're gonna LOVE ICON. <3

Loved reading through the playtest. Now just have to find a group to try it out with.

did you found a group? i just found this and id wanna try it


Are you sold on the name ICON? Considering there's an established game named ICONS that has been around for years, it may cause confusion.

(1 edit) (+11)

Same oppinion. ICON is a great name, but causes confusion with ICONS (the supers rpg). When someone talked in reddit about ICON I had troubles to understand he was talking about this game and it took me some time to find this page.

Also...i'm reading the rules of the playtest and having a blast. Waiting for the KS.


We're trying this out this weekend - we'll be sure to take playtesting notes!


If you release a deck for the Seer to play with I will physically find you and give you my money 


Even just as a playtest this feels like such a solid and cool system, I am floored by the amazing art and the open-ended setting. A perfect jumping off point for a unique spin on fantasy ttrpgs. Cannot wait for the Kickstarter if and when that happens!


this isn't the oni i want


where is the cat girls this isn't a cat girl its
just a cat that walks like a human

(2 edits) (+7)(-2)

monkey's paw, man

also chubby oni slaps, what're you smoking lmao


it can be however you wanna describe i


But it is the Oni we need.


Love it! Running this next Thursday


Looks intriguing. I hope, once the Kickstarter begins, there's an option to add a hardback copy of Lancer to the order (for those of us that missed out first time round, and to benefit from shipping both books together).



has it!


Yes, yes. The option to add it to an ICON Kickstarter  would still be neat because paying $55 for shipping to Europe is more fun when you do it only once for two cool books. :3


I've just seen this reply and wanted to reply to it before I realised I would reply to myself.


This looks super-cool.


I really enjoy the idea of narrative combat and tactical combat being separate things. Super dope. Just dope in general.


Dope as hell.


Please include paper miniatures in the Kickstarter when it happens with the exceptional art!


Where can I give you feedback? The Vigor entry on page 71 is incomplete! “Vigor X - Gain a shield that goes”


There's a feedback channel on Pilot.net, the unofficial Lancer discord. https://discord.gg/PpdAzyyM


Thanks! I’ll head over there^^


Shut up and take my money!


wait holy shit did someone finally have the big brain idea to simply do the storytelling that has more thought than slapping a skill list on the PHB and calling it a day AND the crunchy combat. you have saved so many lives from DnD Hell today

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