ICONS Revised Specialty List

One issue I’ve had with my own use of Specialties in ICONS has been the use of Specialties as a way to shore up weaknesses. Rather than doing that, this list is intended to reflect areas of interest or influence. Specifically the mental traits (Intellect, Awareness, and Willpower) will all see a bonus depending on how they get used.

  • Intellect+Athletics = Know the rules of Football
  • Awareness+Athletics = Notice when someone cheats at Football
  • Willpower+Athletics=Make friends with the Redskin’s fan at the bar

On the other hand, the combat style specialties provide a specific bonus to a type of combat. They may have other uses but their combat utility is primary. They’re marked with an asterisk(*) and only one should be taken. They really define how the character moves and works in combat.

I’ve been contemplating how to make specialities more important. I was thinking of just giving a flat +2 with them, but instead I think I’ll bump up the numbers to encourage their use.

2d6 Roll Number of Specialties
2-4 2
5-7 4
8-10 5
11-12 7


This is the generic list. I want to add in some Origin based specialties to give life to the setting. Alien and Dreams are the two that come to mind for that.

Academics General Liberal Arts knowledge plus interacting with Universities
*Acrobatics Combat style involving speed and mobility
*Aerial Combat Combat style involving flight
Athletics Sports, Exercise, and Athletes
Business Money, Stocks, and Accounting
Espionage Spys, Stealth, and Secrets
High Society Knowledge about manners, art and interacting with the well to do
Legal Laws, Police proceedures, etc.
*Martial Arts Combat style involving unarmed strikes
Media News, reporting, and looking good in interviews.
Medicine First aid, drugs, and hospitals.
Military Tactics, Officers, and chain of command.
Occult Knowledge of magic, noticing the weird, and talking to wizards.
Politics Knowledge of issues, politicians, and navigating red tape.
*Power ā˜… Combat style leveraging a single power to its fullest
Science Understanding inventions, gadgets, and phenomena
Technology Using computers, creating tools, and talking to nerds.
*Underwater Combat Combat style that emphasizes swimming
Underworld Black market, thieves, and the mob.
*Weapons ā˜… Combat style focused on mastering a single weapon
*Wrestling Combat style utilizing strength to immobilize an opponent