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What would you change for d20 Modern 2.0


First Post
What I'd change about d20 Modern:

1. Take Spycraft 2.0's Origins.

2a. Remove the awful "Advanced Classes" that can do things that the Ability Score ones can't.
2b. Make abilities from the "Advanced Classes" into feats so that the generic classes can get them.
2c. Include something akin to the "Advanced Classes" for those who like specific classes, but as an alternate class system. There isn't a point to mix/matching Generic/Specific classes. It undermines what Generic Classes do.

3a. Drop Talants and include them as Feats with high pre-requisites modeled after the Generic Class they came from.
3b. Instead of choosing Talants at certain levels, you get a choice of specific feats (the ones that used to be talants, and any others that make sense for the Generic Class).

4. Skills from Spycraft 2.0. Refinement and makes more sense for a modern game.

5. The "unified system" (d20) becomes unified. All d20 rolls use the same core mechanic, not similar core mechanics. Every roll has a threat/crit. If you want to include error/crit-failures, thats fine, but not nessicary.

6. Take a look at the Feats from Spycraft 2.0. Broken into categories - there are TONS of them which are all usefull for all sorts of things, not just combat. And even the combat feats have many options.

7a. Make Action Dice more Plentiful. They're there to make the game more cinematic, so let people use them. Better than having people horde them becuase they won't come back. I suggest the GM just handing out bonus AD for good RolePlaying, Advancing the story, rewards, for fun, etc.
7b. GM should also get AD whenever he gives them to players and use them to fuel Special NPCs.

8. Use the Spycraft 2.0 NPC rules. Don't make it variable to the player level if you don't want to, but the system is suave, fast & customizable while taking up almost no space for NPC entries.

9. Do something different with the "subdual". It doesn't work. Take Spycraft 2.0 or D&D 3.5 or something.

10. Have an option for magic/psionics if players/GMs want it. The Generic Classes don't work with it unless you had a Magic Class and a Psionics Class. I've seen it dealt with in Feats which is pretty good, letting any class take it if they wish.

11. Campaign Qualities (Spycraft 2.0) are great ways to modify the game and organize the ways you're changing it. I'm all for anything that involves Players/GMs communicating changes/intentions.

12. I highly enjoy Spycraft 2.0's combat system. Mostly d20, but some tweaks. No AoO's is a good improvement. Another "must have" that I can't see any d20 system without is that each round is 2 half actions. Thats it. Magic can only be cast once per round. You can perform two actions, move twice, etc. Move Equivilent Action & Standard Action & Full Actions are needlessly defined, restricted and obscure. Half & Full actions is a lot more clear. Players tend to pick up on it very quickly - more quickly than the other way.

So my idea of an improved d20 Modern is pretty much Spycraft 2.0 with Generic Classes :)

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First Post
I think it kind of defeats the point to suggest that d20 Modern 2.0 should just become Spycraft.

Anyways, aside from some of the good suggestions already put forward, I'd like to add my two cents. What would I add to d20 Modern 2.0?

1) The Teamwork feat. It's in nearly every damn RPGObjects release, and for a good reason. The feat just makes SENSE and lays the groundwork or a lot of interesting feats, abilities, and other shenanigans.

2) Expand the allegiances section; give lots of examples, set some standards (such as the "Active Duty [military]" or "Reserve Duty [military]" used by Blood & Guts), and incorporate other elements that allow GMs and players to make allegiances more important, if they want.


First Post
Ranger REG said:
Medium weapon? Are you statting a cleaver or a machete?

Ranger, I don't have discussions with people who use disingenuous debate tactics, even through inference. So please stay civil and polite and above-board.

1) I'm statting a cleaver, as should be obvious, since I wrote "cleaver".

2) Raising it to medium due to its bulk was one of two options I suggested. Feel free to read the other one.

3) If you're thinking of a big enormous professional cook-kitchen cleaver, then it's at least as bulky as a tonfa, which is listed as medium in the book. And if you're thinking of a small home-kitchen chopping tool, then I don't see why that weapon should do more than 1d4 damage, given that the large slicing knife would only have the stats for a dagger.


First Post
An additional thing I'd change about d20 Modern:

I'd have Combat Experise changed to read that it grants a bonus to Defense and to Defensive-Nature Opposed Attack Rolls, while giving a penalty to Offensive-Nature Attack Rolls, instead of just "All Attack Rolls". I don't think it makes sense that fighting defensively makes it easier for an opponent to disarm or sunder a weapon you are wielding. It certainly doesn't make sense for an opponent to have an easier time grappling you.

(That's an ideal-world solution. At the very least, even if Combat Expertise didn't give a bonus to "Don't get disarmed" rolls, I wouldn't cause it to give a penalty.)

A nitpick, and one I'm addressing in my home game, but still an issue.

EDIT: Typos


Well a lot of this won't surprise anyone I'm guessing... but after a lot of though, here's my list:

1. Make firearms a ranged touch attack.

2. Leave ancient and medieval armor as-is (an equipment bonus to Defense).

3. Make modern armor Damage Resistance against ballistic and blunt damage only.

These three combine to make ancient armor better against Piercing and Slashing melee weapons and useless against modern weapons.

This also makes modern armor fair useless against bladed weapons, and about the same as ancient armor against blunt weapons (depending on which you think is more valuable, Defense or DR I guess).

4. Real world martial arts styles and weapon groups for modern and ancient weapons. Something along the lines of: Weapon Group (Blades), Weapon Group (Ranged), Weapon Group (Thrown), Weapon Group (Pistol), Weapon Group (Rifles), Weapon Group (Heavy Firearms).

5. Grant classes free weapon and armor proficiencies a la standard d20.

6. More military vehicles and a real vehicle combat system.

7. A non-FX campaign model.


Greg K

I'm short on time so I will come back and add more later. However, if I were WOTC, I would do the following:

1. Beg, cajole, plead with Green Ronin to incorporate their system from the Psychic's Handbook.

2. Beg, cajole, plead with Vigilance (Charles Rice) and RPGObjects to incorporate "Blood and Fist" for the default martial arts rules.

3. Incorporate both WP/VP and the Damage Save as optional rules.

4. Get Steve Kenson to write a skill and feat Magic System or beg, cajole, and plead with Green Ronin to use the True 20 magic system.

5. Yes, Incantations are also a must
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Greg K

C. Baize said:
And they should crawl on their hands and knees and kiss Charles Rice's feet and ply him with piles of money to write a Mana based magic system for D20 Modern. Possibly even a power points type system for psionics, as well. .

As evident from my previous post, I think they should crawl on their hands and and kiss something else of Charles's to get him to write their martial art rules. :p

Greg K

Ranger REG said:
I would prefer a whole different model for psionic powers, but then that'll piss off the PsiHB owners/fans..

Who cares about them? The Psychic's Handbook from Green Ronin is the way to go!

The Shaman

First Post
I've been following this thread pretty closely and with great interest.

I don't need a d20 Modern second edition - a second printing with errata worked in would be great, and I would consider buying it to have the most up-to-date core rulebook. But I'm not interested in a new edition.

I'm fine with hit points as is. I have no problem suspending my disbelief with respect to firearms and high-level characters - I like the fact that a 15th level hero may decide to charge through a hail of bullets, and I like the fact that, thanks to massive damage, that same hero can be taken out by a 6th level mook with a couple of grenades and an AK-47. The combat system is quite lethal in d20 Modern as written, if the GM observes one simple rule: keep the adventurers' attributes within reason. I have zero sympathy for a GM who complains that "guns aren't deadly enough," then in the next breath say s/he allowed 32-point buy for the players - if you allow superheroes in your game, then expect the consequences.

I'm fine with non-lethal damage as written. I have no problem with the fact that most characters had better swing a baseball bat or an axe handle unless they invest in the feats to do some serious unarmed damage.

I'm fine with armor as is. Of course armor doesn't help against autofire or explosives - it protects against an aimed shot striking center mass, not against a blizzard of steel. Armor as DR and other variants should remain exactly that: optional variants.

I like cover and concealment as is. This is part of the tactical decision making that Modern gamers face - why on earth dumb this down?

I have no opinion on magic or psionics. Both are so rare in my Modern games that I can't really hope to offer an informed opinion on ways to improve them, since I largely houserule them to fit the campaign as needed.

I like the Wealth system. It's elegant.

I'm love the basic classes, advanced classes, and prestige classes that comprise the Modern character system. Versatile but with increasingly specialized options for players that want them.

So many of the other things covered here are so small as to be beneath a new edition - I have about two pages of houserules, none of which I need to see added to the core rulebook to make me happy.

Moreover, for the big things, there are excellent third-party publishers who've already covered many of the proposed changes listed here: good armor as DR rules in Blood and Guts, expanded martial arts options in Martial Arts Mayhem, nifty chase rules in Hot Pursuit, military hardware out the wazoo from the Big Bang Ricochet series, and a double-handful of advanced and prestige classes in Modern Player's Companion.

(And with the exception of armor as DR, that's just the stuff I use in my games right now - it barely scratches the surface of what's available.)

No, no second edition for me, thanks. I'm quite content with what I have. :)


First Post
Roudi said:
I think it kind of defeats the point to suggest that d20 Modern 2.0 should just become Spycraft.

You're right. Thats why I only suggested the aspects that would make d20 Modern a better game.

Despite how flexible Spycraft 2.0 is, there are a few presets in there that make normal d20 Modern (and most other non-mission based) gaming akward.

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