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Sunday, 3rd August, 2008, 11:05 PM #1
Gallant (Lvl 3)
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 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.
• 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.
• 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.)
• 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.)
• Spells, Psionics, etc. -- Adapted from the SRD or other Open versions, to show how easy the conversion is. Full conversion examples provided in detail.
• 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.
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Monday, 4th August, 2008, 03:39 AM #2
Guide (Lvl 11)
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?
Monday, 4th August, 2008, 05:43 PM #3
Sounds cool. Looking forwards to seeing the fruits of you labor.
Monday, 4th August, 2008, 06:53 PM #4
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Monday, 4th August, 2008, 08:38 PM #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.
Member of the Dragons Are Disposable (D.A.D.) group.
My Everstone/Ptolus AP thread: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=360526
"Gish" is pointless jargon.
Casual Gamer 75% | Storyteller 60% | Character Player 60% | Tactician 40% | Weekend Warrior 40% | Power Gamer 30% | Specialist 25%
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Monday, 4th August, 2008, 09:49 PM #6
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Last edited by GMSkarka; Monday, 4th August, 2008 at 10:02 PM.
Monday, 4th August, 2008, 10:03 PM #7
Novice (Lvl 1)
This excites me, Gareth. Very much looking forward to it.
Tuesday, 5th August, 2008, 12:42 PM #8
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Tuesday, 5th August, 2008, 05:31 PM #9
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Tuesday, 5th August, 2008, 06:08 PM #10
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
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?