Leap into Action with the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook
  • Leap into Action with the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook


    Modern AGE is a tool box RPG with detailed rules for player characters but only a brief setting. There are enough adversaries and an adventure to get a GM started, but rules for customizing a setting are scarce. The rules are most comprehensive for a setting designed for the computer age.





    Published in 2018 by Green Ronin, Modern AGE has 192 full color pages. This read through review covers the PDF version.

    Modern AGE uses 3d6 roll over. PCs have hit points and armor absorbs damage. Three modes include gritty, pulpy, and cinematic to customize the rules based on the kind of game you want to play which is a great touch. All game stats include each of the three modes.

    The game is driven by stunts. When doubles come up on the 3d6 roll something special happens as determined by the character that rolled. An entire chapter is dedicated to stunts. The rules suggest picking a handful of signature stunts to speed play and a simplified chart is also an option.

    Classless, characters advance through twenty levels primarily through talents. Example talents include archery style, contacts, and hacking (computer). Talents improve through three levels. Rules for relationships allow PCs to network with a variety of contacts.

    In addition to combat, exploration, and social rules there are also chase rules with included stunts. Magic and psychic powers are options. One spell list deals completely with digital spells, while other lists cover classics like fire, healing, and illusion. Psychic power includes the standards like pyrokinesis and telekinesis.

    Over thirty adversaries are included. Many of these NPCs are modern or post-modern such as cyborgs, artificial intelligence, black hat hacker, and conspiracy theorist. Other NPCs could be used in other eras and genres with some modification.

    A sample modern adventure includes a cast of NPCs and includes action, exploration, and social encounters. Background on the implied setting are scare, but a variety of possible endings are included along with options to include either a ghost or an AI to add a supernatural or future touch to the adventure.

    The sample adventure provides concrete examples while the chapter on campaigns give only vague descriptions. For example, from the adventure: If Ramírez is a ghost, add the Channel stunt and the Bind Spirits ability…. Give him the Intelligence (Occultism) focus, too, and let him use that in place of Telepathy to bind spirits. This information along with a sidebar on customizing stock characters provide great GM advice but are in the sample adventure instead of in a chapter to help the GM world build.

    While ideas for building a campaign setting from 1600 AD onward are included, there are a paucity of rules for games set before the computer age. There are almost no campaign frameworks with actual rule modifications to fit some genres or ages. To cover older ages, a GM will need to modify some PC and NPC rules, create some needed equipment and vehicles, and provide a campaign framework including any needed rule modifications. If you want to run an age of sails campaign you’ll have to remove modern professions and come up with ships on your own. The vehicles are modern air and land only (and no boats at all for water chases).

    Modern AGE works if you plan to play in the computer age in a world similar to our own. You may need to fill in some details. You’ll have much more work to do to cover any age before the computer age and for some genres like a post-holocaust setting depending on how greatly the genre changes our default world.

    This article was contributed by Charles Dunwoody as part of ENWorld's User-Generated Content (UGC) program. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      would be cool to have someone convert to 5e
    1. Olgar Shiverstone's Avatar
      Olgar Shiverstone -
      Ah, yes ... Papers & Paychecks.
    1. vpuigdoller's Avatar
      vpuigdoller -
      Hmm, it sounds cool, I don't understand why they went classless but want to check it out.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by dwayne View Post
      would be cool to have someone convert to 5e
      Why would you convert a game system to another game system? That defeats the entire point of a game system.

      You could do a 5e version of a setting or an adventure. A 5e version of a system is just 5e.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by vpuigdoller View Post
      Hmm, it sounds cool, I don't understand why they went classless but want to check it out.
      Most RPGs are classless.
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by vpuigdoller View Post
      Hmm, it sounds cool, I don't understand why they went classless but want to check it out.
      As Morrus said, most rpgs are classless. Classes are convenient packages, but classless gives players more fine tuned control over their character.
    1. fjw70's Avatar
      fjw70 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Why would you convert a game system to another game system? That defeats the entire point of a game system.

      You could do a 5e version of a setting or an adventure. A 5e version of a system is just 5e.
      I could see using this to houserule a classless 5e using the talents and such from this game.
    1. Sands999's Avatar
      Sands999 -
      I want to use the gritty version of this rules system to run a game set in The Purge universe. I think this would be a great system to use for that and a fun one to do around Halloween!
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Why would you convert a game system to another game system? That defeats the entire point of a game system.

      You could do a 5e version of a setting or an adventure. A 5e version of a system is just 5e.
      let me clarify "Something like the old d20 modern but with classes and updated using the 5e system, not just converting the old d20 stuff with the base classes based off the abilities."
    1. ajevans's Avatar
      ajevans -
      Quote Originally Posted by dwayne View Post
      let me clarify "Something like the old d20 modern but with classes and updated using the 5e system, not just converting the old d20 stuff with the base classes based off the abilities."
      So not converting then, just an entirely different modern system?
    1. Kor's Avatar
      Kor -
      Quote Originally Posted by dwayne View Post
      let me clarify "Something like the old d20 modern but with classes and updated using the 5e system, not just converting the old d20 stuff with the base classes based off the abilities."
      I have slowly been tinkering on just such a system. I'm current working on another project though and it will be completed by the end of the year. I am targeting Jan 2019 to start my modern5e project - for now, all that exists is a homepage with no content -- and a crappy logo that my limited graphic design skills put together: www.modern5e.com (This will be the first project for one of my graphic designers )

      The current class design I have brings in a good balance of unique roles yet still allows a player a fair amount of customization.

      However, the Modern AGE rules look interesting -- I think for storytelling purposes it looks really good.
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kor View Post
      I have slowly been tinkering on just such a system. I'm currently working on another project though and it will be completed by the end of the year. I am targeting Jan 2019 to start my modern5e project - for now, all that exists is a homepage with no content -- and a crappy logo that my limited graphic design skills put together: www.modern5e.com (This will be the first project for one of my graphic designers )

      The current class design I have brings in a good balance of unique roles yet still allows a player a fair amount of customization.

      However, the Modern AGE rules look interesting -- I think for storytelling purposes it looks really good.
      I have already started this and even posted a thread here about my progress on doing a modern fantasy setting with classes altered or completely different from those in the basic and books. as it is I have assembled around 18 classes with a minimum of 3 or 4 pathes each some have up waords of 10 paths.
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