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I recently picked up ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: Assembled Edition, and I am at a loss for how to read the power tables:

enter image description here

I had thought it was roll in the first column, then roll in the second column next to the result of your first column, then choose the power. But the colors make me think that there is something completely different going on. There is no legend that explains the color coding.

So how am I supposed to read this table?

Also, I see this in every PDF reader I have tried (Apple Preview, Adobe Reader, etc), so it's not a rendering issue.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It actually just looks like someone tried to manually create “zebra stripe” tables in Excel or something (the fine white lines around cells are the “spreadsheet” giveaway) but messed up, or gave up partway through. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 4 '16 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, botched 'zebra striping' for readability is what it looks like. \$\endgroup\$ – LAK May 23 '16 at 15:08
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You're reading the table correctly.

I do not own the Assembled Edition; however, I do own the original ICONS book. Here is the original, equivalent table: I think it is much clearer on that aspect. (I hope this counts as fair use)

enter image description here

The tables are very similar and the instructions on top make it explicit that you were right in your interpretation.

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I see two ways of reading the chart. Mind you, i'm not familiar (yet) with Icons, but I do read a ton of charts! Though this is the third question i've run across today on SE, so i'm really wanting to pick this one up to see what's going on in there, we're dying for a game that's Super Hero but not Mutants and Masterminds or HERO System.

Zebras gone wrong

If we're going to assume the zebra striping got messed up, Each group of results should work like you wanted. Roll 1d6, then roll 1d6 again, which makes a ton of sense, at least until the last two tables. I was chopping the groups off at the entry with X-6 on it, just to keep things nice and tidy

Its intentional

So, the other read of this table I got was a bit more interesting. If we look at the control powers a bit, the listed ability names appear to come in related groups. For example, the 3-4 result includes Energy Control, Healing, Telekenisis, Transmutation. These are all powers that tend to show up together on superheroes normally (Phoenix from X-Men comes to mind for this group) in published media. The same goes for the resistances table for 3-4, Immunity, Life-Support, Reflection (Oh, hey, that's Colossus!), but why do the tables intersect with the coloring?

To give multiple powers on one result, of course! So, if we're rolling on the Control Powers table, and we get a 5 on the first roll, and a 6 on the second, we end up generating Transmutation and Servant, which sounds like we're able to turn metal into robots (which is AWESOME) with our villain or whoever we're making. The same goes for Defense powers. If I roll a 1 and a 1, I get a hero with Immortality and Absorption (which makes Dr. Manhattan's defensive suite, if i'm not mistaken).

Either way, its your game, choose whatever option or interpretation you think is better for your group but be aware that second option will make some much stronger advisaries.

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