Author Topic: d20 Modern  (Read 5635 times)

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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d20 Modern
« on: February 04, 2003, 06:05:57 PM »
Wanted to clarify a couple things about my review:

I wrote that before I even knew Kid Killowatt was going to be doing one. The repeat isn't my fault :)

I noticed that we gave it similar scores but for vastly different reasons.

KK thinks the char. gen. system is smooth, flexible and modular. I think it's pretty weak and generic and doesn't allow true customization until you've gained several levels.

KK also doesn't like the emphasis on monsters. I liked the monster list (better than any other modern rp system's first book). You can excise the monsters with NO effort too. Just don't ever add them. Naturally they don't list lots of human characters. They do have a good set of pregen NPCs, but they don't need to emphasize them, because you can just make characters. Why do more for that?

I'm not sure what KK was expecting for magic items, I find them somewhat silly, but if you think about it, Leather jackets and billie clubs are what's going to be enchanted. It'd be out of place for everyone to be carrying a magic sword around. I also wasn't under the impression that FX abilities were to distract you from the fact that they were magic and psionics. Seemed pretty obvious

So I thought it was a cute system. But definitely not suitable for a lot of different game types. Hence the 4 clocks. Just my opinion.

Fellfrosch

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2003, 06:53:36 PM »
We don't look at article repeats as anybody's "fault," because they're not mistakes, their features. Look on the positive side.

As for Kilowatt's review, I think he has a good point in that the game is essentially urban D&D. That's not a limitation, as you point out, but anyone who wants to run a campaign with no magic or monsters is going to have to do a lot more work; the system allows for it but doesn't seem to support it directly with campaign info and such.

Like you say, you gave it similar scores despite liking and disliking different things about it. That's why it's so good to have a second opinion. :)
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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2003, 08:07:31 PM »
Differing opinions are good. They help me get a more accurate perspective on things.
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The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2003, 08:08:28 PM »
heh, I didn't mean to imply anything negative. The thing about reviews is it's inherantly opinionated. Perhaps a "he said, she said" thing would be good for all of our reviews....

However, I disagree that with no magic it would take a lot of work. You just don't ever grant FX abilities or put in monsters. You have them face other human characters. You can do anything with that.

I repeat that the inherant limitation is the lack of realism in the system. Hit points just don't make for realistic combat. If that's not an issue, you can do any modern genre, from gang wars to Buffy to Jackie Chan. So yeah, more work, but no more so than any other modern system.

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2003, 11:21:46 PM »
I liked d20 Modern, but I think they could have trimmed the fat and made it a slimmer book for twenty bucks or so.  I'm getting a wee bit tired of every new book coming out with a $40 price tag.  Some are worth it; most are not.

I greatly enjoyed the new feats, as well as the new system for "jobs" transposed upon "classes."  I'd like to see them do that in other d20 games.  Hated the magic items.  Loved the art.  

That's my two cents.
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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2003, 01:33:34 AM »
Play the Cuthlu D20 system then if you don't like the magic.  It's a lot more modern and less fantasy.  You can easly remove magic from it.
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2003, 11:15:28 AM »
Spriggan is right.  "Cuthlu" is a good alternative to the D20 system being discussed.
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The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2003, 01:09:28 PM »
I disagree with CoC being a solid alternative. You have much fewer options in character gen. I do think Modern is weak in the char gen arena, but it does give more versatility than CoC. And again, Magic is an option. Just don't use it. Then you're  left with a cinematic feel for modern scenarios.

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2003, 05:48:40 PM »
CoC and Modern have very different atmospheres.  It isn't the magic itself I don't like about Modern, but (1) the silly magic items and (2) the fact that the magic system is basically the same as for D&D.

Plus, Cthulhu is really meant to be played in the 1920's-1930's time period, so they don't get all the cool toys.
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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2003, 09:20:26 PM »
I guess I kind of expected the magic system to be the same. I mean, no D20 product has substantially altered it. But I can see why you wouldn't like it if you're not playing D&D.

The best CoC product I've ever seen actually, (on a similar yet unrelated note) is GURPS Cthulupunk, which I think I reviewed for TWG a while back. It's crosses Cyberpunk with CoC, with surprisingly interesting results. The reason I'm reminded of it is that it has a discussion of hte impact of a post-early 20th century CoC game. We've explored Antarctica, there are no Mountains of Madness there. etc. etc. What can you do to make the feel just as effective? Check it out if you can find it. It's out of print, I believe.

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2003, 03:05:56 PM »
Quote
Plus, Cthulhu is really meant to be played in the 1920's-1930's time period, so they don't get all the cool toys.

er no. D20 is designed for the 90's. its got satellite positioning, a full list of firearms and US firearms legislation (i know more about abnother countries gun laws than i do about all of my own countires laws. not good) and most of the descriptions and feats/skills are designed for teh 90's. Computer skills anyone?
They also have lots of 20's stuff - they have a list somewhere that tells you which skils are un-usable in the 20's i think, and all the equipment has dual pricing. so its really up to you.

Quote
I disagree with CoC being a solid alternative. You have much fewer options in character gen.


I dont really understand this comment. In CoC you have two options - aggressive and defensive i think - and you go from there. Thats all you need, really. your skills are chosen according to your profession (doctors get first aid etc, police get social and information type skills) and you can always add new professions (computer programmer having a special feat : "virgin"  :P).
This appeals to me, since it allows me to choose what i want, according to my image of my char. i dont want to be straitjacketed into a narrow band. its one of the problems i always had with baldurs gate 2 (AD&D rules). since 3E and all its offshoot games work on d20, which is a very flexible system, although not as flexible as i would like (WoD games have it about right i think.)

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2003, 03:14:07 PM »
I think you siad it yourself. YOu only have two options. Two sets of progression. That's it. d20 Modern has some LAME class titles, but there are 6 different sets of progressions and options for class abilities -- some of them are hard to explain, but none of them are "supernatural." You can bounce from one class to another. PLUS you get skills and feats and professions. CoC doesn't offer that. (of course, the solution is just to make a d20 character and then give it sanity points a la CoC if that's what you want to play.

As for computer programmers getting the "virgin" feat, that's why I studied literature.

Wait. Something about that didn't come out right....

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2003, 03:11:17 PM »
What does everyone think about the Wealth system. As a player, I love it -- less micro managing. But as a GM, I think its going to be a headache to award cash and such. And what about the time honored party fund?
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Brian

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2003, 10:46:00 PM »
I only wish I could play all of these modern alternatives and find out for myself if they're any good. But, having no money and no one to play with at the moment, I guess I'm out of luck. I'll just keep working on my own contemporary d20 adaptation in the meantime.

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Re: d20 Modern
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2003, 12:59:26 AM »
Okay, so I bought D20 Modern, and I'm sort of liking it. I've been reading a lot Palladium lately, because Spriggan has a lot of it lying around.

Some things I noticed after reading Palladium is that WotC products have:
clean layouts
proofreading
flexabilty (for good or for ill)
cerebralness (again for good or for ill)

I like Palladium because they tend to include a lot of random generation tables, which is nice when I'm trying to create a character quickly and I don't want to think of every aspect. (Course some of them are jacked-up, for example in Heroes Unlimited fifty percent of all hero should be over-weight)

D20 Modern, doesn't allow the simple creation method. You've got to know what you want, or something close to it, going into the whole character creation. This is nice because it forces me at least to come up with some interesting ideas to keep myself from repeating the same idea over and over again (which seems to happen to me a lot when I roll on random tables).
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