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.

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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.

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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.
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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

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
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.
You're being a jerk. Cut it out.
 

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I would like to ask about the balance power with and without weapons. For example let's use an antagonist, the "night slasher" from Silvester Stallone's "Cobra" (1986). In a survival horror he is a true nightmare (PCs only can hide and run away), but in the final fight the main character, a true "one-man-army" with enough weapons and ammo can defeat him and all the cult of the new dawn. In the movie "Alien: the eighth passenger" one xenomorph was enough to kill almost all staff of Nostromo spaceship, but in the sequel dozens, maybe hundreds, could be killed from other room thanks the "sentinel turrets". In Resident Evil 4 if you find and save the rocket-propelled-grenade for one of the bosses, Salazar, this may be killed with only one shot. We know zombies are very dangerous, but if you are a sniper from the top of a roof or a relatively safe zone, you could kill dozens until spend all the ammo, or driving a truck you could run over half dozen with one hit. Or in Aliens, Tte Ripley using a "Power Loader", an exosuit, she could face in melee against the own Queen-Xenomorph.

Shouldn't be the "challenge rating"/XP's reward value to be different according the weapons and special help used by both sides? Maybe my PC is a ninja for stealth operations "Assasin's Creed", "Splinter Cell" or "Metal Gear" but she is not ready for enemys as the mystic storm king (Fortnite: Save the World), B.R.U.T.E (Fortnite: Battle Royal), necromorphs(Dead Space) or omnics(Overwatch 2). One of the bosses of the videogames Borderlands was a little man within a mecha/exosuit. An enemy within a mecha shouldn't be like riding a construct monster mount to calculate the CR/XPs value?
 

sigfried

Explorer
I would like to ask about the balance power with and without weapons.
That's something we talked a lot about early in design. 5e tends to be balanced for a limited set of weapons and modern weaponry is generally much more powerful than low-level fantasy armaments, and we didn't want to have any kind of weapons restrictions based on level as it felt too artificial.

We did a few things to address this, most of them are based on advice and tools for the GM to use.
1. We encourage the GM to decide on the setting and tone for the campaign and encourage players to stick with that. So if you are doing an adventure that is not based on gunplay or military-grade weapons, we want everyone in a session to be on the same page for that.
2. We outline the laws governing military hardware in the US and in other countries which limits access to some of the most powerful weapons, less so in the US than most countries admittedly.
3. We advise the players and GM that Everyday Heroes leans a bit more into offense than defense in terms of raw stats. We made cover more powerful in some ways to make gunfights more balanced in pacing and to be more realistic. An EH hero has a bit more damage but is a bit easier to hit than a typical 5e character. Combats tend to be a bit shorter in EH as a result.
4. Our NPCs for low level tend not to be armed with powerful weaponry, and we advise that GMs stick with that most of the time. If folks want to jump into a game with grenades and automatic weapons, we advise starting past level 1. (with the exception of a gritty/realistic military setting)
5. We made sure heroes that specialize in non-gun combat, especially unarmed, can be nearly or as effective as those who use firearms. Those not specialized in combat will mostly use guns because they are better by default, but the melee specialists will usually have special abilities that even them out.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
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.

Just was perusing this thread, and wanted to say that I appreciate you for jumping in and adding some creator context! Very polite, professional, and authentic. I'll say that it's especially nice, as you're under no obligation to respond to criticism of your products on a forum like this.

I'll add, to anyone who isn't a fan of the product for whatever reason... that's fine, everyone's got their own taste. But the right thing to do is think in your head, "Naw not for me," and walk away. There's no reason to badmouth a creator or their work in the way I saw in this thread. It's cruel, and forgets how people who write these books are people too and want to be treated with the respect everyone deserves.

Anyway, I wish you good luck on your Kickstarter! I'm really impressed with the number of licenses you've landed for the adventure seasons, and a short Escape from Skull Island campaign sounds like a complete blast!
 

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