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The Root of all Loot
Before we get into the actual contents of the equipment section, we’ll have to cover what is stated in the front of it: the Wealth system. Basically, rather than replicating cash-in-hand, “gold”, or what have you, the Wealth system reflects a modern society where one has a bank account and a credit card. You make a roll against an item’s “Purchase DC”, add your Wealth bonus, and then see how much your credit score survives or suffers…simple as that. Now, I know that some people have had a problem with this system, but don’t worry, there are alternatives out there if you really want them, and Wizards of the Coast did provide Purchase-DC-to-D&D-gold and Purchase-DC-to-dollars conversions in some of their other in-house titles. This starting section also provides rules on restriction (classed as None, Licensed, Restricted, Military, or Illegal) of equipment, purchasing licenses, the shadowy hand of the black market and how dealing with them affects your purchases, selling used items, and the old standbys of the d20 system: mastercrafting and concealing items. All in all, good summary, good fun, time to take inventory of weapons for this part. Sorry I’m going off my notes again and this will be more than 4 parts in all likelyhood, but the equipment section is long and I’m needing to split them up because I’ve been stressed lately and my writing isn’t back to 100%.
Ranged Arsenal Inventory
By general type of weaponry, the d20 Modern Core Rulebook provides us with:
Handguns (16): Beretta 92F, Beretta 93R, Colt Double Eagle, Colt M1911, Colt Python, Derringer, Desert Eagle, Glock 17, Glock 20, MAC Ingram M10, Pathfinder revolver, Ruger Service-Six, Smith and Wesson M29, SITES M9, Skorpion, TEC-9, and Walther PPK.
Longarms (16): AK-47, Barrett Light Fifty, Beretta M3P, Browning BPS, HK G3, K MP5, HK MP5K, HK PSG1, M16A2, M4 Carbine, Mossberg shotgun, Remington 700, generic sawed-off shotgun, Steyr AUG, Uzi, and Winchester 94.
Heavy Weapons Guy (4): M-60, M2HB, M72A3 LAW, and M79 grenade launcher.
The “Other” Category (8): Compound bow, crossbow, flamethrower, javelin, pepper spray, shuriken, taser, and whip.
Verdict: While the firearms selection is rather nice, the heavy weapons are deathly underrepresented, and I’m pretty sure it’s a cardinal sin to not have the RPG-7 amongst them. The “others” are similarly short, but at least diverse and colorful. All in all, the ranged weapons category gets a good mark.
Explosive and Splash Cache
Grenades and Explosives (9): 40mm fragmentation grenade (specifically grenade launcher-fitted), C4/Semtex, det cord, dynamite, fragmentation grenade (the thrown variety this time), smoke grenade, tear gas grenade, thermite grenade, and white phosphorus grenade.
Splash Weapons (2): Mild acid and Molotov cocktail.
Verdict: While a few more goodies definitely wouldn’t have hurt, this section isn’t bad by any means. It’s at least decent and grants us some popular explosives and the famous Molotov cocktail.
Melee Madness Locker
Simple Melee Weapons (10): Brass knuckles, cleaver, club, knife, metal baton, pistol whip and rifle butt (technically extensions of firearms, but also technically melee weaponry), sap, stun gun, and tonfa.
Archaic Melee Weapons (8: Bayonet, hatchet, longsword, machete, rapier, spear, straight razor, and sword cane.
Exotic Melee Weapons (7): Chain, chainsaw, kama, katana, kukri, nunchaku, and three-section staff.
Verdict: First off…how in the hell is a chainsaw exotic? I mean, really? Oh well, I guess it’s only fair when you think about it, as it is the primary method of making a weapon require a special feat to use in combat and not accidentally gouge your own arm open while swinging it around like a maniac. This section is decent, but not good or great; thankfully, Urban Arcana picked up the slack on melee weapons.
All in all, the weapons section of the equipment chapter is a good list for a starter course on modern weaponry, although it’s certainly not perfect. Next time, we’ll be looking at armor and general equipment.