Pathfinder RPG Odyssey System - "Pathfindering" d20 Modern




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    Odyssey System - "Pathfindering" d20 Modern



    Taking a hard look at the market right now, Adamant decided that waiting to see what WOTC is going to do with d20 Modern wasn't in our best interests. So, we started developing the Odyssey System, which we'd use as the core rules for our forthcoming 2nd Edition of the Thrilling Tales pulp RPG.

    Having seen the response to Paizo's efforts with Pathfinder, we've decided to take the opportunity to use Odyssey to "Pathfinderize" d20 Modern. Essentially, we're looking at this as Modern 3.0 (we had considered 2.0, but honestly, we're taking things further than that).

    The goal: A d20-based rules system, backwards compatible with d20 Modern, whose rules are true to our goal of making a "stripped down hot rod of a game system" -- a game where the average PC write-up will fit on an index card, where play is fast and furious, but still true the roots of d20 Modern.

    Originally, we had planned to launch with 2nd Edition Thrilling Tales. We've changed our approach. Our new goal is to release the Odyssey System itself in a fully-layed-out, fully playable "Alpha Edition" PDF, available for free download in September. There will be a forum for discussion, and discussion is also welcome here.

    The core rules will never be for sale -- they will always be freely available, via the OGL. We will encourage fans and publishers to develop genre-specific additions to that core. Our first commercial version of the Odyssey System will be the Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition pulp rulebook, coming this Christmas.

    For those of you who missed the earlier discussion thread about the system, here's a brief summary of the current developments of the rules:


    ABILITIES
    • Abilities are rated in bonuses only (+1, +2, etc.), rather than numeric scale.
    • Options for expanding Abilities (for example, in Thrilling Tales, Wisdom will be split into Will and Perception).
    • All Saving Throws are simple ability checks, plus half the character level. (Reflex = DEX, Willpower = WIS, etc.) It is possible to have a "Save" based on any ability.

    CLASSES:
    • No Character Classes: Everybody is a single "class" -- Occupations give you your basic Areas of Knowledge (AOKs), and all of the old class abilities are found in Edges (q.v.) which allow players to mix-and-match to their heart's content.

    SKILLS
    • Eliminated entirely -- Everything handled via Ability checks, plus half-level bonus for normal use, full-level bonus for occupational AOKs, and/or bonuses from Edges. (For example: a hero could use DEX to drive, but would only get a regular DEX check + 1/2 their level. A hero with a "Formula One Driver" occupation would get a DEX check + their full level, and a hero with a "Born Behind The Wheel" Edge would get additional bonuses.)

    EDGES
    • Both Feats and class Talents have been eliminated (kinda-sorta) -- replaced with Edges, which combine their functions. Edges are nifties -- stuff you can do. An Odyssey PC gets 2 edges for every odd level, and 1 Edge for every even level (matching class talent + feat progression from d20 Modern). Some Edges have pre-reqs, some don't. Players create custom characters through their choice of Edges.

    COMBAT & ACTION
    • No Hit Points -- Toughness Save (CON) (similar to M&M from Green Ronin), but with results tracked on a Condition Chart.
    • Initiative -- Ability check, using average of DEX & WIS
    • Attack: DEX or STR + character level + Edge bonuses
    • Defense: STR (blocking in melee) or DEX (avoidance in melee or ranged) + character level + Edge bonuses.
    • Chase Rules based on HOT PURSUIT (check it out for a preview)
    • Stunt Point system from MARS. (In short, a roll of 20 gives you a Stunt Point, which is set aside, to be spent later for automatic successes, to gain the use of an Edge you don't have, to bring about a fortunate circumstance, to negate a hit against you, to instantly kill a minor NPC, etc.)

    SFX SYSTEMS
    • Spells, Psionics, etc. -- Adapted from the SRD or other Open versions, to show how easy the conversion is. Full conversion examples provided in detail.

    NPCS
    • Using FOE FACTORY style NPC Creation (derived from Spycraft 2.0)


    Again, the free PDF of the Alpha Edition will be available in September.

    Feel free to discuss or ask questions here, or at the Adamant Entertainment forums.
    Gareth-Michael Skarka
    Adamant Entertainment .

 

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    ø Ignore Eric Anondson
    I hope there could be a conversion document that includes Grim Tales to Odyssey . . . I'd love to try Slave Lords of Cydonia in this.

    Are you going to show how Green Ronin's True Sorcery could be used as one of the SFX subsystems?

  • #3
    Sounds cool. Looking forwards to seeing the fruits of you labor.

    Razuur

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Anondson View Post
    I hope there could be a conversion document that includes Grim Tales to Odyssey . . . I'd love to try Slave Lords of Cydonia in this.

    Are you going to show how Green Ronin's True Sorcery could be used as one of the SFX subsystems?
    We're going to leave full, pure conversions to fans (and publishers), but there will be content throughout Odyssey that shows the ease of compatibility with any d20 derived rules set -- including examples from several.
    Gareth-Michael Skarka
    Adamant Entertainment .

  • #5
    I note that you mention the psionics/spells from "other sources" and that there will be "full conversion details" included.

    Is that full detail conversion for d20 Modern, or the OGL d20 system in general?

    I realize that Odyssey is looking to work from the d20 Modern base, but quite a few people (such as myself) either are going to be interested in this as a chopped down alternative to the fantasy rules, or they've got more material from the fantasy side of things, compared to the d20 Modern rules.

    While I doubt you'll be doing "requests", one thing that might be kept in the back of the mind is that there's at least some systems/sub-systems out there that are skill-based. For example, Green Ronin's Psychic's Handbook and Misfit Studios Unusual Core Classes: Spellweaver.

    I'm perfectly happy with tossing out the skill rules entirely or running them as consolidated like the 1st alpha of Pathfinder (and Star Wars Saga). But with all the other changes in the system, so ideas/suggestions for handling something like skill-based sub-systems and their DCs would be nice.

    That is, assuming that the fantasy implementation of the d20 rules is supported as well, as opposed to focusing exclusively on d20 Modern.

    Is there going to be a bestiary of sorts included? What range of critters if there is? Are the critters going to use the same rules as characters, a simpler version, or a more complicated version?

    Are you going to have anything along the lines of some sort of "threat system" or a reworked/modified CR system?

    Is there going to be any kind of setting included with the book or is it strictly a toolkit?

    And while I'm randomly wishing for stuff...

    Any chance of "iconics" being included as examples?

    So for example in the back of the book, you might have a thumbnail description of some sort of iconic character type (A mighty thewed Barbarian that's as lithe as a panther, or vigilante that's a playboy by day and masked crusader for justice at night) and then an approach on how such a character _might_ look using Odyssey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    Is that full detail conversion for d20 Modern, or the OGL d20 system in general?
    We mean conversion FROM any d20 source (Modern, fantasy, or other, as long as it's based on the d20 system) TO the Odyssey System. We will make our design decisions as transparent as possible ("show our work", so to speak), so you can see how we stripped down to the Odyssey core. We'll provide examples, so you can do it as well, thereby adapting anything published for *any* d20-based system for use with Odyssey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    I realize that Odyssey is looking to work from the d20 Modern base, but quite a few people (such as myself) either are going to be interested in this as a chopped down alternative to the fantasy rules, or they've got more material from the fantasy side of things, compared to the d20 Modern rules.
    We're using the Modern base as our starting point, but our goal is a stripped-down, faster-running, easily-adaptable core set that can be used for anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    ideas/suggestions for handling something like skill-based sub-systems and their DCs would be nice.
    Those are included, yes. (Including notes on how to import full skill systems from other games, if you're inclined.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    Is there going to be a bestiary of sorts included? What range of critters if there is? Are the critters going to use the same rules as characters, a simpler version, or a more complicated version?
    There will be example critters given, but no "bestiary" as such will be included in the free Alpha. We will instead concentrate on showing how you can take any creature stat block from any d20 source and translate it into the Odyssey system, as well as showing how to design a creature from the ground up. The system will use a similar system to characters (which itself is pretty simple).

    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    Are you going to have anything along the lines of some sort of "threat system" or a reworked/modified CR system?
    Not sure what you're asking here. The rules are 100% adaptable to core d20, so the same CRs will apply. The underlying math is essentially the same. (There is also the Spycraft2/FoeFactory-based NPC system, which produces threats directly based on the level of the PCs -- which can be applied to beasts as well)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    Is there going to be any kind of setting included with the book or is it strictly a toolkit?
    No, the free Alpha is just the rules framework. We'll leave settings for specific releases. (For example, Adamant's first commercial release using the Odyssey System will be THRILLING TALES 2nd Edition, which will include setting material.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scurvy_Platypus View Post
    Any chance of "iconics" being included as examples?

    So for example in the back of the book, you might have a thumbnail description of some sort of iconic character type (A mighty thewed Barbarian that's as lithe as a panther, or vigilante that's a playboy by day and masked crusader for justice at night) and then an approach on how such a character _might_ look using Odyssey.
    Yes, there will be archetypal examples given, throughout the rules.
    Last edited by GMSkarka; Monday, 4th August, 2008 at 10:02 PM.
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    This excites me, Gareth. Very much looking forward to it.

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    Also looking forward to seeing this, will you guys utilize an "open playtest" like Paizo did?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angellis_ater View Post
    Also looking forward to seeing this, will you guys utilize an "open playtest" like Paizo did?
    Yes -- essentially, the free Alpha edition is an open playtest document: I expect the game will continually evolve, until genre-and-setting-specific variations are released in published forms by Adamant and other publishers.
    Gareth-Michael Skarka
    Adamant Entertainment .

  • #10
    What sort of saves do you foresee being tied to abilities like Strength and Intelligence, or are you going to follow the 4e model for allowing different attributes to affect a single save? If you aren't going this route, I'd be curious to hear what steps is the Odyssey system taking to balance the value of all the different saves, or how do you determine what save is appropriate for an ability to target?

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