Everyday Heroes, The Rebirth Of d20 Modern: An Interview

d20 Modern is coming back under a new title with a new system. The first teaser information caused a nice bit of interest leading to this interview with Dave Scott of Evil Genius Productions. In this, he shares some more details for the upcoming Kickstarter and book.

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EGG EMBRY (EGG): This is an exciting concept to bring back to tabletop and I’m eager to talk with you about it. What are you bringing to crowdfunding?
DAVE SCOTT (DAVE)
: We’re refreshing d20 Modern by updating it to the 5e system. We brought a few of the original team back to help us with this refresh.

EGG: What will the name of this project be?
DAVE
: The project is called “Everyday Heroes™.” We picked that name because we wanted to distinguish it from the super hero genre. This game is about the John McClanes (Die Hard), the John Rambos (First Blood), even the Snake Plisskens (Escape from New York). It’s about the heroes that look like you and me, but are capable of extraordinary things.

EGG: Are you planning a core rulebook? What about a monster manual or a campaign setting?
DAVE
: The initial release will include a core rulebook. We’re also planning a few expansions. One will be focused on weapons, another on master villains. We also want to do an expansion focused on our military – the real everyday heroes.

EGG: This project brings the modern world to 5e. What inspired that?
DAVE
: I have always loved modern RPGs – Top Secret, Champions, James Bond, and Spycraft. These were the games I played when I was a kid. Some people wanted to play in a fantasy setting, but I always wanted to recreate my favorite action movies.

D Todd Scott.JPG
Jeff Grubb.jpg

Dave Scott (left) and Jeff Grub (right)​

EGG: Who is working on this project?
DAVE
: We’ve assembled an amazing team of designers, some well-known and some new to the industry. On the “well-known” side, we have Jeff Grubb. He was not only one of the original designers of the game, but also known for some of the most iconic games in the field. On the other side, we have Chris Ramsley. I fell in love with their work on Dungeon Master’s Guild where I discovered them. All Chris’ was rated 5 stars.

EGG: What makes this the right time to bring this classic to a new edition?
DAVE
: Given that this is the 20th anniversary of d20 Modern, we felt like this was the right time to do this project. As I started to do my homework, I was blown away by how many people are still running the d20 Modern system – holding it together with gum and tape.

Character Profile_The Brute.png


EGG: I’m glad you’re bring them a new version to play. There have been other modern 5e projects such as Ultramodern5 REDUX or the cyberpunk GeneFunk 2090. Not to denigrate those projects, but what separates your version from those?
DAVE
: I would classify both of those games as being a future or science fiction setting. Everyday Heroes is rooted in today’s world. When we first launched the game, we promised each other that the most advanced technology in the game will be a smart phone. This game pays homage to all of the great action films of the 80s, 90s, 00’s, and today.

EGG: That’s a fair call out. You’re still in early days on this project, yes? What sort of stretch goals are you considering for this campaign?
DAVE
: We’re planning to go above and beyond the typical stretch goals such as new classes or special edition covers. We’ll have those, but we have some exciting stretch goals in mind. I can’t announce anything yet, but stay tuned.
Commando 2.jpg

EGG: Beyond d20 Modern, what else are you working on?
DAVE
: We see d20 Modern as a platform to launch several campaign settings. As far as we’re concerned, we consider the modern era as everything from the 1900’s to the near future. There is a lot of storytelling within that window.

EGG: Thanks for talking to me about this project. Where can fans learn more about your work?
DAVE
: Please visit our website or check out our Kickstarter page.

Everyday Heroes: The Roleplaying Game from Evil Genius Productions
Everyday Heroes is a tabletop roleplaying game for the modern world using officially licensed content from your favorite action films.”

Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, Noble Knight Games’ Affiliate Program, and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG, Noble Knight Games, and Amazon.
 

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Egg Embry

Egg Embry

GreyLord

Legend
I liked D20 Modern, but really only played it with D20 Future or Urban Arcana. Will there be some sort of options to make games similar to these?
 

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Some obvious cherry-picking, but these are page 1 image results, and they all (except Carl Weathers) look pretty orange to me.

Really? Other than the first one, which is terrible image, they don't look anything like the picture; they look like white people who use tanning booths.

Got anything for the inhuman-proportioned bone structure, being eight feet tall, or the non-Human scale arms that make Arnold look slender?

To say nothing of 'people like you and me'. If the cover art was for '80s action heroes' it would still be awful art, but at least the topic matter might be closer, although the androgynous characters wouldn't fit. But its the combination of the claim and the art is the issue.

But they have time to change it. Obviously they didn't make much of an investment in art.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I remember the creators of d20 Modern, about 20 years ago when it came out, answering that question.

One of the authors of d20 MOdern said that every time he tried to run modern games, his players would always try to "game the system" around modern-day credit. They'd have characters that would open up every credit card possible and max them all out buying ammunition and guns, or insist on trying to invest in the stock market, or they'd sell their houses to buy adventuring gear and just say they'd all crash at the house of one guy in the party, or otherwise fixate on how to manipulate modern personal finance to their best end. They created the wealth bonus system in d20 Modern to address the players who would do those things.

I never saw that behavior in my modern-day games I'd run before then, but I don't doubt there is a subset of players who would act like that. It's the people who would try to powergame a modern-day game through finance, much like some players would try to powergame through elaborate character "builds" or other fancy rules lawyering.
I have. Eventually tossed the player.

I don't mind abstracted wealth systems; they serve a purpose for reducing paperwork. And preventing players from going hog wild on the defrauding of the in-game credit card companies.
 

I have. Eventually tossed the player.

I don't mind abstracted wealth systems; they serve a purpose for reducing paperwork. And preventing players from going hog wild on the defrauding of the in-game credit card companies.
I prefer keeping track of money, but I've been lucky in that nobody has abused the credit system, either.
 

kronovan

Explorer
The things I disliked about d20 Modern were the classes, skills and Hit Points. None of my players found the classes (Fast, Tough, Smart, Dedicated, etc.) particularly inspiring. My players and I also felt that class-restricted skills were out of place for a generic TTRPG. While they can work in some settings like pseudo-medieval D&D, they didn't seem appropriate for modern or Sci-Fi themed genres. Not to mention that the skill list was lengthy and while long lists work well is some TTRPGS, they were just rehashes of D&D 3e skills and the inclusion of some was annoying. Hit Points were the biggest problem though -just way too easy for PCs (many of which had no armor protection) to shrug off damage from modern firearms.

I discovered True20 4 years after I bought d20M and the same players that didn't like d20M classes were fine with its broader, more open 3 core Roles/classes. It also didn't have class-restricted skills and instead had some class/role-favored feats, which as a core mechanic to differentiate PCs, was much more effective. T20 also avoided the easy shrugging off of damage with a wound system and got away from the confusion of d20M's lethal vs non-lethal, by having parallel wound tracks for both damage types. It wasn't long before my players and I left d20M behind in favor of T20.

I'm still open to new takes on d20 play mechanics for adventuring in modern era settings, but any such new TTRPG would have to address the shortcomings I experienced with d20M. I did eventually buy the the Ultramodern 5e PDF, but I didn't get past the convoluted PC creation process before deleting it from my hard drive. I'm probably going to be out for subscribing to this kick starter, but I'm curious if it avoids what I experienced as weak points in d20M?
 

Really? Other than the first one, which is terrible image, they don't look anything like the picture; they look like white people who use tanning booths.

Got anything for the inhuman-proportioned bone structure, being eight feet tall, or the non-Human scale arms that make Arnold look slender?

To say nothing of 'people like you and me'. If the cover art was for '80s action heroes' it would still be awful art, but at least the topic matter might be closer, although the androgynous characters wouldn't fit. But its the combination of the claim and the art is the issue.

But they have time to change it. Obviously they didn't make much of an investment in art.
Yeah.. Google "tanning booths" and "orange". It's kind of a thing. Besides which, cartoons' faithfulness to human skin tones isn't exactly a leading characteristic of that media.

As far as the proportions, he's only got about half a head on baseball bat kid, and not much more on most of the rest of the characters portrayed. So, well north of 6ft, but probably a fair bit off of 7ft too. 6'6-6'8 would be where I peg the dude. That's a big dude, but not outrageous.

The arms are pretty obnoxious, but the character class represented is one that uses their muscles to solve problems. Making the muscle character muscly is a bit of a forgivable sin in my book (though I'd rather they'd used more of a conventional strongman/powerlifter physique as the example rather than the bodybuilder physique).

As for the rest, I'm just going by what they said in the interview which is..
This game is about the John McClanes (Die Hard), the John Rambos (First Blood), even the Snake Plisskens (Escape from New York). It’s about the heroes that look like you and me, but are capable of extraordinary things.
They said explicitly that they're trying for an action hero aesthetic. Mr. Brute is one of several versions of that aesthetic, and there's quite a variety presented, so I don't really see his personal representation as that big of an issue.

And that's ultimate my whole point. No, it's not great art, but it's also not some kind of betrayal of their stated design ethos the way people are making it out to be. (And it's not even that egregious for what it is).
 

They said explicitly that they're trying for an action hero aesthetic. Mr. Brute is one of several versions of that aesthetic, and there's quite a variety presented, so I don't really see his personal representation as that big of an issue.

And that's ultimate my whole point. No, it's not great art, but it's also not some kind of betrayal of their stated design ethos the way people are making it out to be. (And it's not even that egregious for what it is).
If that was their core statement, then it would be just really bad art. But the game is supposed to be 'everyday heroes'.

The cover art says one thing, the core blurb another: a clear sign that the interior is going to be third-rate.
 

If that was their core statement, then it would be just really bad art. But the game is supposed to be 'everyday heroes'.

The cover art says one thing, the core blurb another: a clear sign that the interior is going to be third-rate.
I legitimately don't know what the "core blurb" is that you are referring to.
Everyday Heroes is a tabletop roleplaying game for the modern world using officially licensed content from your favorite action films.”
Can't be this I assume?
 



Seriously? All this inference is based on the title?? Two words, one of which is "heroes".

I have no opinion on whether this thing will be good or not, but that is just plain silly.
If you see a book who title is 'vegan recipes' and the cover illustration is of a steak, you would suspect that the author is not going to deliver a quality product.

Its common sense. If the authors cannot get the cover and the title in sync, how much attention to detail and creative thinking went into the contents?
 

If you see a book who title is 'vegan recipes' and the cover illustration is of a steak, you would suspect that the author is not going to deliver a quality product.

Its common sense. If the authors cannot get the cover and the title in sync, how much attention to detail and creative thinking went into the contents?
You're literally trying to judge the book by its cover...and doing so to the exclusion of any other information provided in the marketing materials by the authors/publisher.

I maintain that this is silly.

How many dungeons, dragons, players or handbooks are featured on the 5e PHB? On my version..zero..of any of the above..and yet somehow people seem to really like it..

Curious.

There should be some kind of saying about making judgements on superficial, scant information. Books and their covers could serve as the metaphor.. will have to think on it.
 

You're literally trying to judge the book by its cover...and doing so to the exclusion of any other information provided in the marketing materials by the authors/publisher.
I am pointing out the fact that the title and cover are are clearly at odds with one another.

As to the other information, it includes a reference to: It’s about the heroes that look like you and me

With cover art of orange-skinned mutants, among others.

Those are the facts. You can wriggle all you want, but that doesn't change the truth.
 

sigfried

Explorer
The title 'everyday heroes'.
Hey Jd. :)

I'm one of the two lead designers on Everyday Heroes. I thought I'd share about the name. You are right that the name and the theme of the game are just a bit at odds with one another. The heroes are not meant to be mundane people, but somewhat larger-than-life characters from films and action stories. We just love the name "Everyday Heroes" because it sounds cool, and emphasizes that they are not people with superpowers, magical abilities, and so forth. You certainly can build a very average sort of hero if you like, but most folks are probably going to want to play someone exceptional in some way.

Another way the name can ring true is that game doesn't assume heroes are some kind of professional adventurers or part of a hero team or the like. They have jobs, some exciting, some mundane, and lives. But we presume that the stories people will tell involve some level of action, adventure, and drama and we wanted the game to support a kind of hard realism or a broad action archetype.

But when it comes to art, you have to make choices and you want to pick a theme. We went for a semi-comic book style, partly because that's what d20 modern did. Our art budget is not quite equal to Wizards of the Coast. It's the company's first product after all. But, we think the art is fun and full of character and love the work our artists have done for us. If it's not to your tastes, we understand and that's OK. Like what you like.

Evil Genius Games is a new company, so our budget is not enormous, but give us a little time and a little love and see what happens! Considering this company is brand new and the core team is mostly new names, I think we're doing amazing things. Hopefully, it won't be long before we can live up to your standards.
 

Hey Jd. :)

I'm one of the two lead designers on Everyday Heroes. I thought I'd share about the name. You are right that the name and the theme of the game are just a bit at odds with one another. The heroes are not meant to be mundane people, but somewhat larger-than-life characters from films and action stories. We just love the name "Everyday Heroes" because it sounds cool, and emphasizes that they are not people with superpowers, magical abilities, and so forth. You certainly can build a very average sort of hero if you like, but most folks are probably going to want to play someone exceptional in some way.

Another way the name can ring true is that game doesn't assume heroes are some kind of professional adventurers or part of a hero team or the like. They have jobs, some exciting, some mundane, and lives. But we presume that the stories people will tell involve some level of action, adventure, and drama and we wanted the game to support a kind of hard realism or a broad action archetype.

But when it comes to art, you have to make choices and you want to pick a theme. We went for a semi-comic book style, partly because that's what d20 modern did. Our art budget is not quite equal to Wizards of the Coast. It's the company's first product after all. But, we think the art is fun and full of character and love the work our artists have done for us. If it's not to your tastes, we understand and that's OK. Like what you like.

Evil Genius Games is a new company, so our budget is not enormous, but give us a little time and a little love and see what happens! Considering this company is brand new and the core team is mostly new names, I think we're doing amazing things. Hopefully, it won't be long before we can live up to your standards.
Sorry; if you can't resolve something so simple as your sales blurb and your actual core theme, your products just aren't cutting it. Especially since it is just a splatbook for other's work.

Good luck in future efforts.
 




Which is different from what how many other authors/companies are doing, such as Edge converting Midnight to 5E?
Other than their poor quality of presentation, none. But since I didn't compare this product to an other company, that is not a relevant point.
 

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