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Review – Improbable Tales, Volume 1

6 July, 2014

If your Icons game is light-hearted, mostly four-color adventurism then Improbable Tales, Volume 1  Compilation should provide an excellent set of short adventures for your campaign.  These adventures are fun and have a great spirit of comic adventure, only a few taking dark turns, if such fits you campaign style (and if you are playing Icons, it probably does) give this collection a look.

Improbable Tales, Volume 1  Compilation, from Fainting Goat Games contains eleven adventures for Icons, each designed to be done in a session or two.  Each short adventure includes several scenes, full statistics (and art of) the major characters and printout paper standees for the adventures.  The first few also have their own mock advertisements in the style of the Hostess ads in superhero comics from the 70s which I found charming.

Primarily, the tone of these adventures is light, fighting giant ants, super-intelligent gorillas or Nazi zombies, and follows a basic comic book progression of scenes ending with the requisite final confrontation with the major supervillain.  Most are designed to be dropped into an existing campaign, with an NPC (or two) provided to act as an aid to do such though one adventure (Tokyo Kaiju Chaos) works better -as it is a pastiche of Japanese sentai shows- to have character built specifically for it.  There are considerable call outs to pop culture scattered through the adventure, everything from 1950s atomic horror to the Lovecraftian mythos, 1980s cartoons and classic superheroic characters and more all have their cameos.  There are the occasion sidebar suggesting possible changes and problems, and solutions, that came up in the adventures while playtesting.

The Improbable Tales adventures are excellent to fill in the space between campaign arcs or when you just need something quick for a night’s superheroic action.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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