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D&D 4E d20 Modern 4E - I want it!

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
No, but we do need a setting for the game rules. After all, that's how D&D was promoted and rose to the success it now has been ... well, up to 3rd Edition.

Later on we can add new settings for people who want something different.

Personally, I'd start with Dark*Matter.

Dark*Matter is a good choice. I found the d20 Modern book quite interesting and it went along the lines of what I had envisioned for a d20 Modern campaign. I prefer it over Urban Arcana.

You're also probably right that we need a setting in the first place. A game without a defined setting will always have it more difficult. You want the game to be supported, and support in a vacuum is harder. You can give rule options for various campaigns, times and settings, but this will only attract those that still need one. If you give players an interesting setting, they will want books on campaign details, new adventures and so on... And the existence of those will attract new players, too.
 

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hong

WotC's bitch
Minis might actually be a problem with modern. You can handwave D&D characters in dungeons and winding streets always being in close quarters combat, but a sniper rifle can ding you from 1 km away.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Minis might actually be a problem with modern. You can handwave D&D characters in dungeons and winding streets always being in close quarters combat, but a sniper rifle can ding you from 1 km away.

Indeed. That's the greatest weakness of using 4E concepts for d20 Modern. I suggest that _maybe_ d20 Modern shouldn't rely that much on the game board, how much fun this is.

Unless you want to model the 1km Sniper entirely different from a "monster" - maybe as a hazard? "If a character begins his turns in the field, or enters it, he will take one attack"... Might work, might not... it's pretty specific.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
OTOH, it's not really a new problem. 3E d20M solves it by drastically curtailing the ranges of all guns, which IIRC generated a bit of a ruckus at the time.
 

I'd also just like to add that minions aka mooks are very suitable for a cinematic-style game. I really think adapting the 4E rules, minus minis, could lead to such a great fun "action movie"-type game that WotC could market in a way none of these other companies could.

Greg K - I'm completely unable to process the fact that you're aware of other d20 games, yet you think d20 Modern is relatively good at, well, anything. I really don't think it is. It's terrible at cinematic-style games, it's godawful at simulationism (whilst running nearly as slowly as GURPS for god's sake), it doesn't even work particularly well for supernatural/modern crossover-type games. Every single genre I can think of either has a specific or generic d20 game that works significantly better for it than d20 Modern.

At least stealing the 4E schtick and using it to create game where the players where in various exciting, unlikely action-movie type scenarios (with a very "action movie"-ish implied setting)

Count Popeula - Ugh, that'd be a good reason to avoid d20 Modern. Urbana Arcana was a toothless, edge-less setting with zero depth and pretty much nothing beyond the very basic "D&D monsters in the modern day!" setting. I mean, jeez, I had to pay for a whole book to get a one-line concept of a setting?

I hope they go for something more "action movie" and less "sub-Buffy".
 

DarkKestral

First Post
OTOH, it's not really a new problem. 3E d20M solves it by drastically curtailing the ranges of all guns, which IIRC generated a bit of a ruckus at the time.

I dunno how far they actually "curtailed" them, if you look at the reality. Those ranges are actually range increments, so it's more about "effectiveness" and shot difficulty rather than pure maximum killing range, as many rifles have a killing range which is greater than the range with which it is possible to make what should be a center of body shot after controllable factors are accounted for ensure a kill due to simple spread. (In other words, the gun has a range after which the possible spread is larger than the actual target itself, so any shot taken, no matter how well-targeted, is unreliable and has a luck factor associated with hitting the target which cannot be controlled for.) The full range in d20 Modern, as I recall is 10x the range increment, so a rifle with a 100 m RI has a maximum in-game effective range of 1 km, but a range of 100 m with which it can be fired without penalty. That seems to jibe well with current reality; the bulk of long-range shots fired from rifles are well within 1 km, and the general maximum outside of special cases is supposedly around 900 m. Specialist target shooting rifles can get significantly better ranges, but they are typically not meant to be used in combat and are heavily modified so that it is better to approximate them via the gadget system and should be treated like the one-offs they are.

So in other words, the "without penalty" is probably the operative term here; if we keep the max ranges the same, it is mostly where the penalties are that matters. There are two main factors which should influence range penalties: the ability of melee characters to close on a target and the effective size of the arena. Smaller battles where melee is desired should are more likely if the rules tend towards smaller range increments with harsher range penalties, and larger battles where ranged is king are more likely if the reverse is true, assuming damage per round from each is approximately equal. This is ultimately a question of game style. I'd personally favor a more ranged-friendly style, as compared to say D&D, but that's just personal preference.

Either way, I agree with M_R: it's best handled as a hazard or a trap. If the players can't fire back, then there's no point to a sniper being statted as a "character", as there's nothing the PCs can do about it except keep out of the line of fire. So I don't mind short ranges, as long as it's made immediately clear that there's a difference between maximum effective range in combat and maximum effective range under optimal circumstances, and how to translate between them. (In essence, detailing the Range Increment system and how it works, and what factors mitigate those penalties, which Modern already does to a degree, though it's obviously not something a lot of people immediately "get.")

However, if the players can effectively do something about it, though it would make the "battlemat" unreasonably large, then it should be treated somewhat differently, but still, at heart it should be treated primarily as being a case of a certain area being under a hazard or trap condition which can be removed with an sufficiently damaging successful attack or series of attacks from a weapon. Certainly, that is a non-traditional method of disarming the trap, but it is one appropriate to the situation.
 

Nadaka

First Post
There are no rifles with a 100 m range increment. Its typically 80ft to 100ft, 150 with a scope, 200 with a scope and far shot.
 

Hawke

First Post
If I were to begin my own conversion I'd start with a Ranged Defender and see what I can come up with a gun based at-will, encounter, daily, and utility powers. I figure you start with all characters martial power sourced and then do others (superhero stuff, psionic stuff, elemental stuff) as feat-multiclasses, maybe with free power choices. Power keywords will be more specific to weapon keywords (Automatic Ranged, Grenade, rocket?).

As with 4E's general theme, I'd drop the actual ranges of weapons down considerably to ensure there's stylistic fun involved but keep some sort of aim action (costs minor, move, attack, provokes attacks of opportunity, grants combat advantage, but does not take advantage of combat advantage) that would let you take far range shots with no penalty... just to allow some nicer long range and more realistic fun without allowing someone to do so easily within the fray of near combat.

I think the best thing to do to figure out the details would be to just write the whole thing up.
 


HeapThaumaturgist

First Post
Let's see if this attachment works.

At any rate, I've been toying with a 4E-inspired Modern conversion system for some time now. My group has been playing it on and off for several months. It started with some elements of SWSE and has grown from there.

There's quite a bit different from 4E, but probably of most interest is the last page, which has the character's powers.

Note that I have quite a few gear-based powers, specifically that some gear can grant access to a power. I modeled grenades in this way. Possession of the grenade gives access to the at-will power "Frag Grenade", which does a certain something as well as consuming one grenade item. No grenade item, no access to power.

The actual number of powers and the class associated is off, since this is a conversion of a conversion of a conversion and we were more interested in seeing how the powers played than making sure the power selection was correct.

The campaign is Star*Drive, the Externals War (old Alternity setting), and the character is a fire team heavy weapons specialist (Defender/Controller).

All of which is to say, I think a Modern game could and can be informed by 4E. I think we've found, as a group, that much of the design philosophy of 4E is just plain FUN. People like the powers, folks like the simplified play. Coming off a 2 year 3.5e campaign, we're a touch burnt out on the fantasy flavor, so this is something different that utilizes similar mechanics.



--fje
 

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Ranger REG

Explorer
I'd also just like to add that minions aka mooks are very suitable for a cinematic-style game. I really think adapting the 4E rules, minus minis,...
Am I reading this right? Is the new rulesystem that are in 4e and Star Wars Saga minis-dependent or is that just an exaggerations from fans?

I don't mind playing RPG old-school, but I also like the fact that IF and WHEN I use minis in my games, there are seamless plug-in game mechanics. Many other games don't support the use of minis in their RPG sesssion and that can cause a lot of ambiguities in gameplay.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Am I reading this right? Is the new rulesystem that are in 4e and Star Wars Saga minis-dependent or is that just an exaggerations from fans?

I don't mind playing RPG old-school, but I also like the fact that IF and WHEN I use minis in my games, there are seamless plug-in game mechanics. Many other games don't support the use of minis in their RPG sesssion and that can cause a lot of ambiguities in gameplay.

4E classes have a lot of movement related powers that work best if you have a reliable way to describe positions - e.g. a board. The framework of the power and class system doesn't rely that much on the board, but the individual powers do.
I don't think Star Wars Saga is that much relying on position, though.

Example: Wizards have an At-Will power that let them target several foes and possibly slide (forced movement) several squares. Fighters have an At-Will power that (if using a shield) lets them push a foe. Warlords have an At-Will power that allows an ally to shift (similar to 5ft step) an adjacent ally. Paladins have an At-Will power that grants them attack bonus if there are multiple enemies adjacent.

My thoughts on d20 modern say that all this movement related stuff relies a lot on melee based combat, and relates less well to ranged combat. Though I might be wrong - taking cover is very important when using firearms. But I think the distances involved in "realistic" firearm scenarios make it hard to use a battle grid.
 


Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Maybe they should be looking at SWSE then, instead of 4E.

I find the power structure itself to interesting to pass on. ;) Even if they might need less focus on slide/shift/pull/push.

SAGA talents seem a little dull compared to 4E powers. But still far better then many d20 modern talents.
 

Am I reading this right? Is the new rulesystem that are in 4e and Star Wars Saga minis-dependent or is that just an exaggerations from fans?

I don't mind playing RPG old-school, but I also like the fact that IF and WHEN I use minis in my games, there are seamless plug-in game mechanics. Many other games don't support the use of minis in their RPG sesssion and that can cause a lot of ambiguities in gameplay.

It's no exaggeration. For 4E to play out remotely correctly, you need a battlemap, and markers to move around upon it. I've never played an RPG that was remotely as dependent on this, and I've played a whole lot of RPGs over the years.

HOWEVER, the reason for this is not in any of the basic rules of the game. For the rules of the game, if you just convert 1sq. into 5ft, you're fine. The reason for this is the POWERS themselves. WotC chose to make a very large number of the powers have movement-based effects, i.e. you either move an enemy, or get to move your character a short distance, something that's new to D&D.

So there's no reason a d20 Modern 4E would inherit that. You simply don't create dozens of movement-related powers, and create powers with other effects instead. It's not like there aren't plenty to use.
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
It's no exaggeration. For 4E to play out remotely correctly, you need a battlemap, and markers to move around upon it. I've never played an RPG that was remotely as dependent on this, and I've played a whole lot of RPGs over the years.

HOWEVER, the reason for this is not in any of the basic rules of the game. For the rules of the game, if you just convert 1sq. into 5ft, you're fine. The reason for this is the POWERS themselves. WotC chose to make a very large number of the powers have movement-based effects, i.e. you either move an enemy, or get to move your character a short distance, something that's new to D&D.

So there's no reason a d20 Modern 4E would inherit that. You simply don't create dozens of movement-related powers, and create powers with other effects instead. It's not like there aren't plenty to use.
Unfortunately, to emulate many "Jackie Chan" style cinematic elements, movement-related powers may be necessary.
 

DarkKestral

First Post
Unfortunately, to emulate many "Jackie Chan" style cinematic elements, movement-related powers may be necessary.

I'd say that for the most part, you could probably go better with powers to redirect damage and stall damage instead of movement; his films from Drunken Master onward tend to favor him staying in one place and redirecting combat around himself.

However, I wouldn't think that features which allow for use of skills in some unusual ways (like say Athletics) would be out of place either.
 

Frostmarrow

First Post
I have a suggestion on Wealth:

Let's say you have wealth and you can spend 10% of the wealth per session (or game month). You can spend more of the wealth but then it's gone.

So my character's got W: 1000 and I need to gear up and travel to South America fast. I've got 100 to spend on equipment and travel fare. Let's say the whole trip will cost 200. Then I'm left with W: 900. Luckily I stumble upon a golden idol. The golden idol is worth W:0 until I get a chance to liquidate it. I hand it over to a museum and receive a reward of 500. Now my wealth is 1400.

This is simple and semi-realistic. Easy when it comes to handling cash but abstract when it comes to savings, investments, wages, funds, and other means.
 

Frostmarrow

First Post
You pay for your stuff every session you use it. Let's say I've got a Ferrari in my garage. It won't do me much good on an expedition to Antarctica so owning it won't affect my cash. In another session I use the Ferrari as a power called Fast Wheels and that will cost me in cash 50.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Unfortunately, to emulate many "Jackie Chan" style cinematic elements, movement-related powers may be necessary.

If you want lots of movement, the board should pose no problem, does it?

Though, having played Torg last week, I think you can go "moving" without a board, but you have to keep the movement mechanics abstract. Torg has the "Maneuver" skill which is also an attack skill. You use the skill and cause penalties to the enemy. The skill doesn't tell you how or where you move, just that you do. If you fill in the rest with your imagination, things can be fine.

I am still contemplating on an abstract movement/positioning system that requires no boards but still involves using terrain features.
 

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