The d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
|Designer(s)||Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan|
|Publisher(s)||Wizards of the Coast|
|System(s)||d20 system, modified|
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.
- 1 System
- 2 Campaign Settings
- 3 Rulebooks
- 4 See also
- 5 External links
d20 Modern is based on the d20 System, with the following additions and alterations:
Characters and Classes
In d20 Modern the character is referred to as hero. All heroes start with a first level basic class. Each of these classes corresponds to one of the six ability scores in the d20 System. All basic classes has their own set of skills, feats, talents, saves, hit dice, and so on. Any ability with the highest score, the hero will become a specific hero. The six basic classes, by abilities, are:
Strength is for the Strong Hero. These heroes are brawny, and they greatly favor melee combat.
Dexterity is for the Fast Hero. They’re nimble and quick, and able evade must incoming attacks.
Constitution is for the Tough Hero. Difficult to take down and can resist most sicknesses.
Intelligence is for the Smart Hero. The typical know-it-all hero has most the skills and points.
Wisdom is for the Dedicated Hero. Strong intuitive and always vigilant.
Charisma is for the Charismatic Hero. A hero who has a ways with words.
In addition to basic classes, there’s also advanced classes. These classes are similar to basic classes but with requirements to fulfill. They’re 14 advanced classes to qualify: Acolyte, Bodyguard, Daredevil, Field Medic, Field Scientist, Gunslinger, Infiltrator, Investigator, Mage, Martial Artist, Negotiator, Personality, Soldier, and Techie. Advanced classes can be easily achieved depending on the hero’s basic class. For instance, a Tough Hero can be an excellent candidate for Bodyguard or Daredevil. In later levels, the player may choose to multiclass their hero. A Strong and Dedicated hero or Smart and Field Scientist hero are examples. Of course, before multiclassing, the hero must fulfill the requirements first. Whenever the hero levels up, the player must decide what class to increase. It isn't clear nor mentioned to know how many classes the hero may have, but commonly heroes have two classes.
Some Gamemasters (GMs), however, may only have certain advanced classes in his or her campaign. Thus, certain advanced classes won’t be available. It’s best to speak with your Gamemaster before playing. The most frown upon classes are Acolyte and Mage. Gamemasters tend to shun these classes because they involve spellcasting, or Urban Arcana. Whichever the reason, but the common reason is it breaks the modern feel.
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
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 "upgrade" 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 have 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.
d20 Modern presents three sample campaign settings. These settings, unlike the rest of the book, feature the supernatural.
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
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.
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 concept that all three settings coexist in the same reality (at least in Urban Arcana).
Dark•Matter: Shades of Grey
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 2006. It is a remake of the Dark•Matter campaign setting for Alternity. It uses 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.
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 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.
|d20 Modern Roleplaying Game||Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb and Rich Redman||ISBN 0-7869-2836-0||1 November 2002|
|Urban Arcana||Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Eric Cagle and Dave Noonan||ISBN 0-7869-2659-7||1 May 2003|
|d20 Menace Manual||JD Wiker, Eric Cagle and Matthew Sernett||ISBN 0-7869-2899-9||1 September 2003|
|d20 Weapons Locker||Keith J. Potter||ISBN 0-7869-3132-9||1 February 2004|
|d20 Future||Christopher Perkins, Rodney M. Thompson and JD Wiker||ISBN 0-7869-3423-9||1 August 2004|
|d20 Past||James Wyatt||ISBN 0-7869-3656-8||1 March 2005|
|d20 Apocalypse||Eric Cagle, Darrin Drader, Charles Ryan, Owen K.C. Stephens||ISBN 0-7869-3273-2||1 June 2005|
|d20 Cyberscape||Owen K.C. Stephens||ISBN 0-7869-3695-9||1 September 2005|
|d20 Future Tech||Rodney Thompson and JD Wiker||ISBN 0-7869-3949-4||1 February 2006|
|d20 Critical Locations||Eric Cagle, Owen K.C. Stephens and Christopher West||ISBN 0-7869-3914-1||1 May 2006|
|d20 Dark•Matter||Wolfgang Baur and Monte Cook||ISBN 0-7869-4349-1||1 September 2006|
- Official D20 Modern Site[dead link]
- Modern System Reference Documents
- Art Gallery
- D&D Wiki's MSRD
- d20 Resources - HTML reference documentation for d20 Open Content.
- Fan Created d20 Modern Content
- d20modernpf.com A System Reference Document (SRD) site with the complete rules for "The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World" a version of d20 Modern compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.