Best modern d20-esque RPG?





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  1. #1
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    ø Ignore TerraDave

    Best modern d20-esque RPG?

    What are the best RPGs that are:

    1) set in the modern day

    2) use d20 or similar mechanics

    3) have extensions like chase rules and psionics and other paranormal stuff.

    I am of course familiar with d20 modern. Curious about what has come since.
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    ø Ignore herrozerro
    Ultramodern4 (for 4e) or Amethyst (for 4e or PF)

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    ø Ignore Hobo
    Other than fan projects, I'm not actually very familiar with post d20 Modern d20-like systems.

    There's Spycraft which got a lot of attention for a while. I think it was a bit more crunchy than d20 Modern. There's Grim Tales, which is more of a modular toolkit for Modern, future, post apoc, or all kinds of other genres.

    I think there was a fan project to convert Star Wars SAGA into a d20 Modern-like game, which might have been pretty cool, but I don't remember seeing it ever get completed.

    :shrug: I'm with you there, and I'd be curious to see something else. But by and large, I'm still just sticking with d20 Modern, and I haven't yet found anything that's obviously so much better that it would convince me to switch over.

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    ø Ignore Evenglare
    My vote goes to Radiance RPG . It's completely free so check it out! It's not "modern" in the sense of real life today kind of stuff, but it has steamgear and electrotech , even stuff on airships and space exploration. It can be used in pretty much any genre or setting .

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    ø Ignore innerdude
    In my brief, limited experience with D20 Modern, I found it to be almost exactly the opposite of what I would want out of a "modern" RPG. It tries, but doesn't quite succeed from breaking away from the D&D-isms percolating in it. I typically like my modern games to be a little more gritty than my fantasy, and D20 Modern doesn't really hit that spot.

    If I absolutely HAD to do a modern setting using a d20 rule set, I'd either go with a slightly modified True20, or a moderately modified Star Wars Saga with a grittier wound track.

    (But of course, I'd take Savage Worlds six days a week and twice on Sunday before trying to shoehorn a modern game into d20 rules.)
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    ø Ignore Dragonblade
    Spycraft 2.0. Its a standalone OGL game superior to its predecessor Spycraft 1.0 (1.0 is technically a d20 game requiring the orginal WotC PHB to play), but Spycraft 1.0 has a lot of good stuff in the Shadowforce Archer setting for a modern day urban fantasy game with magic and psionics rules, classes, and feats that are easily convertable to the 2.0 edition and have a distinct modern feel that sets them apart from WotC's 3e era psionics and magic rules.

    Also, I recommend True20 and its superhero focused cousin, Mutants and Masterminds. True20 is a universal system that can do fantasy, modern, or whatever. It doesn't use HP, but its easy enough to add them back. I'm a big fan of True20, myself.

    Another d20 die based system (though predating WotC's "d20" system, there are similarities) is all the Palladium Books stuff. Ninjas and Superspies can be a fun gonzo modern setting, though it comes with the usual caveats about Palladium's wonky rules. Still its easy to house rule into working order. I played a lot of Palladium in my high school days and still have many fond memories of those games.
    Last edited by Dragonblade; Tuesday, 9th October, 2012 at 09:11 PM.

  • #7
    I would also recommend Spycraft as well. Seemed to handle that category better than most.
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    ø Ignore TerraDave
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I am familiar with many of them...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo View Post
    Other than fan projects, I'm not actually very familiar with post d20 Modern d20-like systems.

    There's Spycraft which got a lot of attention for a while. I think it was a bit more crunchy than d20 Modern. There's Grim Tales, which is more of a modular toolkit for Modern, future, post apoc, or all kinds of other genres.

    I think there was a fan project to convert Star Wars SAGA into a d20 Modern-like game, which might have been pretty cool, but I don't remember seeing it ever get completed.

    :shrug: I'm with you there, and I'd be curious to see something else. But by and large, I'm still just sticking with d20 Modern, and I haven't yet found anything that's obviously so much better that it would convince me to switch over.
    Apparently I have XPed you recently...and you think there would be more out there (maybe there is, hence the thread!). I do appreciate the Grim Tales reminder, good stuff.
    A semi-brief History of D&D and some other RPGs: Part 1: 1967-1979 Part 2: 1980-1989
    All the official stuff for 4e
    Bonus:

    4E has rituals, use them, they're magic;
    Want to see the greatest thing you will ever see? then click;
    You can use “Earth” as a D&D setting;
    Origins of The Rouse; (look for it)
    The Rouse responds; (look for it)
    One can appreciate both old and new D&D.

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    ø Ignore innerdude
    It's interesting, though, that there's a relative dearth of options when it comes to running "modern" campaigns. Fantasy and Sci-Fi, I can rattle off probably a dozen systems for each without batting an eye. I'm hard pressed to come up with six relatively viable options for "modern" campaign settings.

    FATE / Spirit of the Century
    D20 Modern
    True20
    GURPS
    Savage Worlds
    Star Wars Saga (kinda, sorta)

    CORETEX+ might be a decent option as well.

    From what Pirate Cat says, Night's Black Agents, minus the supernatural stuff, might be really interesting too.

    I guess you could also download the d6 system reference documents from DriveThruRPG, I bet they'd have something.

    .....or go looking for old Top Secret or Top Secret S.I. stuff.......
    Last edited by innerdude; Tuesday, 9th October, 2012 at 10:05 PM.
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    ø Ignore (Psi)SeveredHead
    Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
    What are the best RPGs that are:

    1) set in the modern day
    Too many to list.

    2) use d20 or similar mechanics
    D20 Modern, Spycraft or mods of Alternity or Star Wars Saga Edition (seriously, I went through a short campaign, and wanted to use that as a base for Modern ... although I still prefer Modern's classes).

    3) have extensions like chase rules and psionics and other paranormal stuff.
    Dark Matter had some pretty cool FX rules. Spycraft has amazing chase rules.

    But I think the best rules system for modern gaming is FATE. D20 is too complicated for dealing with modern technology. FATE is so rules-light it handles sci-fi better than Alternity. It handles contests like hacking in a very abstract manner and can easily combine with reputation wars and stuff like that.
    Last edited by (Psi)SeveredHead; Wednesday, 10th October, 2012 at 12:27 AM.
    If your D20 Modern PCs don't fear guns, use a bigger battlefield! Smaller battlefields are melee friendly. Cool battlefields in the Forest and Woodlands section of http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/dungeonsunlimited/
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