Template:Lowercase Template:Infobox RPG d20 Modern is a roleplaying game designed by Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, and Charles Ryan. It was published by Wizards of the Coast in November 2002, and uses the d20 System. The game provides a toolbox for staging campaigns in a range of modern settings.
Due to their mutually shared core systems, a person who knows how to play Dungeons & Dragons or any other d20 System is likely to know the basic aspects of how to play a d20 Modern game as well. While there are rules specific to the d20 Modern roleplaying game, the similarities between this game and other d20 system games outweigh the differences.
Template:Main d20 Modern is based on the d20 System, with the following additions and alterations:
d20 Modern presents a starting character with the choice of six classes: Strong Hero, Fast Hero, Tough Hero, Smart Hero, Dedicated Hero, and Charismatic Hero. These basic classes correspond to the six ability scores used in the d20 System. The basic classes are broad, flexible, and generic, rather than the much more narrowly focused character classes from the Dungeons and Dragons rules.
A d20 Modern character can later, after meeting certain requirements, take levels in advanced classes. The advanced classes are much more specifically focused; examples include Soldier, Field Medic, and Techie.
There are prestige classes as well; these have stricter requirements, which are most likely arrived at through at least one advanced class, and are even more tightly focused in their roles, but these are not found in the core rules.
Action Points Edit
Each character earns a set number of points each experience level, known as 'Action Points'. These points can be spent in game to increase the effect of a single die roll, or to make use of certain abilities earned by the hero character through their experience level advancement.
Skills and Feats Edit
Upon gaining experience levels, characters earn points which are used to purchase ranks in various skills. These skills quantify in game logic terms the character's competence in some non-combat action, such as swimming, negotiating, stunt driving, or using computers.
Feats are special abilities a character gains. Feats are less readily described because of the sheer variety of abilities they can grant the character. Unlike skills, feats do not have "skill points", but are rather a single thing you take that grants a bonus of some sort. A feat could allow a character to perform a special combat maneuver, enhance the use of one or more skills, or some other more exotic effect.
A character can purchase or otherwise obtain any of dozens of items listed in the book, as well as any item that the game master sees fit to allow, using a mechanic which is based on the price of the item. d20 Modern uses a very abstract system for tracking wealth, intended to model modern finances more simply than tracking available funds, credit cards, loan debt, exchange rates, investments, and the myriad other sources of monetary value in a modern society.
Campaign Settings Edit
d20 Modern presents three sample campaign settings. These settings, unlike the rest of the book, feature the supernatural.
Shadow Chasers Edit
In this setting, evil monsters, usually from one or more parallel dimensions, roam free around the world. However, most people do not see these creatures for what they really are, seeing instead a vague approximation which is still plausible in that person's beliefs about reality. (See consensus reality.) For example, an ogre would appear to the average person as a very burly man. The player characters are somehow capable of seeing through this veil, and typically take on responsibility for defending humanity from the monsters. It originally appeared as a d20 mini-game in Polyhedron Magazine issue #150.
Agents of Psi Edit
In this campaign setting, magic (at least in the traditional sense) does not exist, but psychic capabilities called psionics do. Player characters typically work for a government agency investigating and/or using this quasi-supernatural force, but this is only a suggestion and is not strictly required by the rules. A novella taking place in this setting was published on the WotC website.
Urban Arcana Edit
Template:Main In this setting, dragons rule the boardrooms and bugbears rule the streets. It is a world where monsters and magic exist, yet the human psyche just cannot fathom them and covers up all supernatural events. Some, however, break that barrier and become aware of the world around them, and help Mages, Acolytes, and other magical characters fight with monsters from another realm. This campaign setting combines aspects of the previous two settings (Shadow Chasers & Agents of Psi) and uses the conceit that all three settings coexist in the same reality (at least in Urban Arcana).
Other settings Edit
Dark•Matter: Shades of Grey Edit
Dark•Matter: Shades of Grey is a d20 Modern mini-game of conspiratorial suspense presented in Polyhedron Magazine issue #167 (also known as Dungeon Magazine issue #108) and then as a stand-alone d20 Modern book, Dark•Matter, in September of 2006. It is a remake of the Dark•Matter campaign setting for Alternity. It utilizes concepts from the core d20 Modern RPG rules and the Urban Arcana and d20 Menace Manual sourcebooks, which are also recommended for use to get the most from the setting.
Mecha Crusade Edit
Pulp Heroes Edit
Pulp Heroes started as a d20 mini-RPG found in Polyhedron Magazine issue #149 (also known as Dungeon Magazine issue #90). Polyhedron #161 (also known as Dungeon #102) contained a d20 Modern "update" of the Pulp Heroes mini-game.
The setting allows one to play games that take place during the famous Pulp Era of literature, filled with ancient dinosaurs, power-hungry gangsters, vengeful vigilantes, amazing superheroes, evil Nazis, bizarre inventions, mystical psionics, hard-boiled detectives, trained martial artists, curious explorers, eldritch aliens, and various other fantastic people, places, and things.
The worlds of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, and famous individuals like Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Doc Savage, Tarzan, and Indiana Jones serve as perfect examples of this era.
Many elements of Pulp Heroes were adapted into the later d20 Past sourcebook.
Thunderball Rally Edit
Thunderball Rally was the second mini-game in a brief series of previews for d20 Modern that appeared in the early issues of the third and last edition of Polyhedron Magazine, which was on the flipside of Dungeon Magazine.
Thunderball Rally, released as a preview for the d20 MODERN RPG in Polyhedron #152, is a d20 System mini-game about racing across the United States of America in 1976. The game creates an imaginary cross-country car race, and uses d20 System modern vehicle rules. The vehicle rules that were described in the game were also recommended for use with the previous d20 Modern mini-game preview Shadow Chasers (Polyhedron #150).
In Thunderball Rally, the player characters portray one of the crews in the largest, most lucrative, most illegal crosscountry road race in America. Examples of the genre include The Gumball Rally, Cannonball (film) (and its later follow up/remake Cannonball Run), The Blues Brothers, Death Race 2000, and Smokey and the Bandit, and iconic characters include the General Lee and Boss Hogg. Rules for Orangutan player characters subsequently appeared in Polyhedron #153 as a homage to the 1978 film Every Which Way But Loose.
See also Edit
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Gamma World
- d20 Menace Manual
- d20 Future
- d20 Past
- Official D20 Modern Site
- Modern System Reference Documents
- Art Gallery
- D&D Wiki's MSRD
- Unofficial, Web Viewable SRD