Author Topic: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)  (Read 2615 times)

Gemm: Rock & Roll Star; Born to Rock

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Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« on: June 26, 2003, 12:59:37 AM »
Ok, your review Fell is a bit correct, in that how the book itself projects how to use the setting. But in the d20 Modern core book there's the premise of this "Shadow" setting that I used in my campaign(since I had that book obviously before Urban Arcana).

Your first reason "Their excuse for why monsters and magic are in the modern world." In my game its the opposite in that the Shadow is being meticulated into the modern world.

Two "Their excuse for why nobody knows that magic and monsters have infiltrated our world." They're dealing with local adventures because they understand our world and the other folks don't.

Last "Their excuse for why nobody knows that magic and monsters have infiltrated our world." The players haven't found out yet, but the monsters are actually masked by the people who bring them into the modern world.

Soon I think I'll have the PCs cross into the 'D&D' world and after a few session there the worlds will finally collide and become one. Where magic, technology and different races are one. So  :P to you Fellfrosch! But I agree with the score.
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2003, 03:13:37 AM »
As of late, most WotC products seem to be sort of weak in the setting department. In part I can understand this, from a marketing stand point you appeal to a larger demographic by keeping things flexible, adaptable and up to the players. The flip side is that sometimes players are just to lazy, unimaginative, or just too confused by it all to fill in the gaps.
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Gemm: Rock & Roll Star; Born to Rock

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2003, 03:19:37 AM »
Ahhh, I see. Well for Modern-type games I'm not as lazy as I would be with creating a D&D-type game. But that's just me, what can be said, or done.
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2003, 03:22:22 AM »
I think everyone has their prefered RPG genres. And that's okay.
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The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2003, 11:29:52 AM »
So do you think that d20 modern is an attempt to compete head to head with Rifts?

Fellfrosch

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2003, 11:59:02 AM »
Well gee, Gemm, I'm sorry that my description of the setting doesn't match the one you made up using a different book. I'll be more careful next time :)

My point was not that Urban Arcana was bad--I actually find it the most compelling RPG book I've read in a while--but that the setting itself, as presented, is fiendishly poor. The fact that they had a different setting altogether in the Urban Arcana section of the core book only cements my point, at least in my mind. If the one in the core book is better (and that does sound a lot better as you describe it), then hooray. As I mentioned in my review, it should be very easy to change the setting and use their rules and classes and spells and such.

I don't think that d20 Modern is in direct genre competition with Rifts quite yet, but I definitely think that the game is designed to get WotC a bigger piece of the non-fantasy pie. If you want a big label sci-fi game right now, and you don't want to play Star Wars, Rifts is you're only real choice, and I'm sure that bothers WotC. That's one of the reasons I'm surprised they went with Urban Arcana as their first campaign setting, rather than something a little more techy.

I should point out that the Rifts comparisons I made are probably more subtle than I made them out to be--Urban Arcana is not a world at war, it is not sci-fi, and it lacks the "everything and the kitchen sink" kind of genre defiance that forms the foundation for Rifts. The only similarity is the one I stated: random dimensional portals pop open and deposit fantasy creatures in our world. My point in mentioning it was that it's a very thin, very old idea, and that other games do it better.

One thing I really like is the way Gemm is crossing back and forth between worlds. The Urban Arcana book won't let you do that, but I think it's a great idea--especially if the two worlds are parallel universes or something, and your actions in one can affect the other. Hm...I need to think about this more deeply.

Anyway, sorry about the enormous post. I'm verbose.
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2003, 04:44:25 PM »
Well Fell, verboaste yourself all you want. And thank you, I presume.

I think, if I remember correctly, the reason that Urban Arcana was released as their first big product for the Modern setting is because other companies who were going to publish their own books with spells, and magic, and that sort of stuff had to wait until Urban Arcana was out. Does that make sense?
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Fellfrosch

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2003, 05:17:29 PM »
It does make sense. I really don't think that Urban Arcana is a direction the game needed to take, because I'd rather see some high tech cybernetics and superspy stuff. I'm glad they did it anyway because Urban Arcana is very cool; I just wish they'd taken the time to develop a workable, coherent setting.
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2003, 11:29:50 PM »
I don't see d20 modern as a move toward SF. I think all along they were thinking something more like Shadowrun than Rifts, though it sounds like UA makes a change slightly from that. My feeling is that d20M was always more about modern magic. "Urban Arcana" is even an allusion to the AD&D1E's expansion "Unearthed Arcana" which kinda hints that they are thinking about magic.

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2003, 12:23:26 AM »
Well, I think Rifts is kinda stupid, so I think if WotC was trying to emulate Rifts that would be a dumb idea.

From what I've read on the WotC board and what I've read Urban Arcana when I flipped through it in the game store, is that they wanted to run D&D in a modern setting. And like I said earlier, WotC laterly has not interested in fleshing out settings to the same extend as other RPG manufacturers.

Course, I think that if WotC where to make a Rifts setting they would do a better job than Palladium. I read through the Rifts core book last month and was surprised at 1980s it felt and read. I also noticed how much of it was left out for supplements. And it's funny that most of it is written in first person.
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Fellfrosch

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2003, 12:59:54 PM »
Well, let me reiterate that I don't think WotC is trying to do Rifts--I just think that, if they are smart, they will try to move into the underpopulated sci-fi RPG market.

As for Rifts, the fact that it relies heavily on supplements is simultaneously its biggest strength and biggest weakness. There is, quite simply, no other RPG with this amount of world information, and only one other (D&D) with the same level of consistent support. Whether 42 likes the setting or not or not, it's hands down the most richly detailed RPG setting available. The problem is pretty big, though--if you want to take full advantage of that rich setting you need a minimum of 20 books, and maximum of over 40. That's a high barrier to entry, and an expensive habit to maintain.
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Entsuropi

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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2003, 07:27:38 PM »
Quote
and only one other (D&D) with the same level of consistent support


*points at the WOD line*
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2003, 06:09:20 PM »
*shrugs, silently disagrees, and moves on*
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2003, 08:20:38 AM »
Realizing that there are fewer Sci-fi games out there these days but did you just say Wizards needs to move into the Sci-fi market?

They already did a few years ago, and no I don't mean that Dragonstar crap. They have the most lucrative Sci-fi Game around. Star Wars....
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Re: Urban Arcana(and d20 Modern)
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2003, 08:46:05 AM »
He means -apart- from Star Wars. I like both star wars and star trek, but it would be nice to have another choice for Sci Fi. The only other games i can think of off the top of my head that are pure sci fi, not mages in space or what not, are Hero and its transhuman space book plus that sci fi game that was reviewed a month back.
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