Rationale


For players who prefer to build their own characters using the point buy system, or just those who want to get into a "who would win?" type of argument, it may be helpful to have some benchmarks relating ICONS ability scores and power levels to established comic-book superheroes.

Method


In the ICONS rulebook, Steve Kenson seems to have actually included—but not called out explicitly—some conversion benchmarks in the "Optional Name" column of the scale (p. 5). The benchmark tables offered here coordinate those "Optional Names" with the descriptors in the old TSR Marvel Super Heroes RPG (of FASERIP) fame, ignoring endurance and mapping the other attributes pretty much straight across. Marvel characters’ benchmark ratings comes straight out of MSH supplements; DC characters’ benchmarks draw on writeups by Tystates. Of course, one can quibble with some of these numbers, and characters’ ability levels fluctuate sometimes in the comics. Still, these benchmarks may prove helpful for players who use the point buy system and understand “fights as well as Batman” better than “fights at level 8.”

Ability Score Benchmarks


Prowess
Level
Marvel
DC
1
May Parker

2
Mary Jane Watson

3
Havok
Lex Luthor, Penguin
4
Magneto, Mr. Fantastic

5
Cyclops, Nightcrawler
Killer Croc
6
Spider-Man
Catwoman
7
Daredevil, Wolverine
Ra's Al-Ghul
8
Captain America, Punisher
Batman
9
Galactus
Wonder Woman
10
Thor
Black Adam

Coordination
Level
Marvel
DC
1
Kree Supreme Intelligence

2
Juggernaut

3
Mr. Fantastic
Lex Luthor, Penguin
4
Thing

5
Punisher, Thor

6
Black Widow, Wolverine
Martian Manhunter
7
Captain America, Daredevil
Batman, Catwoman
8
Nightcrawler, Spider-Man

9
Silver Surfer
Superman, Wonder Woman
10
Quicksilver
Flash

Strength
Level
Marvel
DC
1
May Parker

2
Alicia Masters
Penguin
3
Mr. Fantastic, Nightcrawler
Lex Luthor
4
Punisher, Wolverine
Catwoman
5
Captain America
Batman
6
Beast
Aquaman
7
Iron Man, Spider-Man
Cyborg, Metamorpho
8
Ms. Marvel, Rogue

9
She-Hulk, Thing
Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman
10
Hulk, Thor
Superman

Intellect
Level
Marvel
DC
1
Hulk (brutish)
Solomon Grundy
2
Lizard
Killer Croc
3
Daredevil, Thor
Harley Quinn
4
Captain America
Metamorpho
5
Spider-Man
Aquaman, Two-Face
6
Curt Connors, Norman Osborn
Wonder Woman
7
Iron Man, Professor X
Batman, Riddler
8
Dr. Doom, Mr. Fantastic
Lex Luthor
9
Mephisto
Darkseid
10
The Watcher
Braniac

Awareness
Level
Marvel
DC
1


2
Juggernaut, Vanisher

3
Colossus
Killer Croc
4
Magneto
Lex Luthor
5
Mr. Fantastic, Punisher
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
6
Cyclops
Wonder Woman
7
Captain America, Dr. Doom
Martian Manhunter
8
Professor X, Spider-Man
Batman
9
Daredevil, Wolverine
Superman
10
The Watcher
Phantom Stranger

Willpower
Level
Marvel
DC
1


2
Norman Osborn, Rogue

3
Iron Man, Punisher

4
Captain America
Killer Croc
5
Nightcrawler
Lex Luthor
6
Cyclops, Mr. Fantastic
Martian Manhunter
7
Spider-Man, Wolverine
Ra's Al-Ghul
8
Dr. Doom, Thor
Superman, Wonder Woman
9
Professor X
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
10
Phoenix (Jean Grey)
Braniac, Phantom Stranger