Rappy’s RPG Reviews: d20 Modern Core Rulebook, Part 4

15 Aug

NOTICE: All art on this page is from Wizards of the Coast, and is thus copyright of its appropriate authors. It is shown here via the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Art Gallery as reference only.

A Mish-Mash of Miscellany

Lifestyle Items (23): Housing (small and large condos, small, medium, ad large houses, and mansion), tickets (movie, sporting event, and theater), meals (fast food, family restaurant, upscale restaurant, and fancy restaurant), airfare (domestic coach, domestic first class, international coach, international first class), car rental (economy car, mid-size car or truck, luxury and luxury vehicle), and lodging (budget motel, average hotel, and upscale hotel).

Services (5): Automotive repair, bail bonds, bribery, legal services, and medical services.

Verdict: Definitely a good selection of items a character may not necessarily need, but might want, for the lifestyle items. As for the services…yeah, judging by how much happens to adventurers? A necessity!

Mad Moondog

Vehicles are an integral part of the Action Movie Diet.


Civilian Aircraft (4): Bell Jet Ranger, Bell Model 212, Cessna 172 Skyhawk, and Learjet Model 45.

Civilian Cars (11): Acura 3.2 TL, Aston-Martin Vanquish, BMW M3, Chevrolet Cavalier, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Neon, Ford Crown Victoria, Jaguar XJ, Lamborghini Diablo, Mercedes E55 AMG, and Volkswagon Jetta.

Civilian Motorcycles (3): Ducati 998R, Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy, and Yamaha Y2250F.

Civilian Trucks (6): AM General Hummer, Chevrolet Suburban, Dodge Caravan, Ford Escape XLT, Ford F-150 XL, and Toyota Tacoma Xtracab.

Civilian Water Vehicles (3): Bayliner 1802 Capri, Fairline Targa 30, and Sea-Doo XP.

Misc. Civilian Vehicles (5): Armored truck, Honda TRX400FW ATV, limousine, moving truck, and NABI Model 40LFW city bus.

Military Vehicles (5): BMP-2, M1A2 Abrams, M2A2 Bradley, M113A1 Gavin, and UH-60 Blackhawk.

Verdict: Rather sadly, this is one of the most interesting parts of the equipment chapter, but is also the most disappointing. There just isn’t enough variety, and military and water vehicles are sadly underrepresented. Thankfully, both of them got more love in the third party Blood and Guts 2: General Edition.

Mortal Combat

While most of what is presented here is typical d20 combat rules, I obviously need to touch on what’s new: specifically, the vehicular combat rules. Vehicles have their own hit points, hardness, Defense, initiative and maneuver bonus/penalties, and speed as opposed to that of the driver or pilot. When only vehicles are involved, characters use a “chase scale”, in which every square equals 50 feet, rather than 10 feet, to simplify combat in the light of the fact that many vehicles…well…go fast. Vehicle combat also involves stunts, special maneuvers one can make such as hard turns and brakes, sideswiping, and good ol’ Dukes of Hazzard-style gap jumps. All in all, while some parts of the system are a little confusing for a new player, but are good; still, I wouldn’t use them too soon in a game unless your players are familiar with them.

Russell Whitfield, Strong Hero/Soldier.

That corridor gives a whole new meaning to Green Berets...

An Advance of Class

As I already stated, advanced classes are an advancement upon base classes; they are 10 levels each, and are more or less D&D-style prestige classes in a more uniform design. Each base class gets two advanced classes that are most easily accessed through them (in other words, by 3rd level, you will have the prerequisites to get into said advanced class via the listed base class, while other classes may have to either wait longer or use occupation-class combos to gain access). These advanced classes are:

Strong Hero-Based Advanced Classes: The Strong Hero gets easy access to the Martial Artist and Soldier advanced classes. Martial Artists focus on physical combat, gaining deadly strikes with their bare fists, while Soldiers focus on getting strong proficiency in a specific firearm and generally dealing nasty damage.

Fast Hero-Based Advanced Classes: Gunslinger and Infiltrator are the advanced classes that a Fast Hero can get fast access to. The Gunslinger, as its name implies, is a pistoleer with speed and skill; defense and offense are balanced together for a quick-moving, hard-hitting hero. The Infiltrator, on the other hand, is the classic cat burglar type. Playing an Infiltrator grants you evasive maneuvers, improvisation skills, and a keen eye for detail.

Tough Hero-Based Advanced Classes: Daredevils focus on abilities that can keep them standing during tough scrapes and startling situations, while Bodyguards throw their weight around to both harm opponents and help allies in the thick of battle.

Smart Hero-Based Advanced Classes: The Field Scientist and Techie provide the two facets of Smart Hero advanced classes for the core rulebook. While the Field Scientist focuses on spreading their Intelligence score into atypical bonuses (such as to attacks), the Techie has a mixture of jury-rigging and quick fixing, building, and mastercrafting.

Dedicated Hero-Based Advanced Classes: The Investigator is your detective archetype, while the Field Medic stacks up benefits to make themselves a medical marvel.

Charismatic Hero-Based Advanced Classes: The Negotiator coordinates and talks down opponents, while the Personality uses their fame as a weapon of its own by manipulating the hearts and wallets of others.

For the most part, the advanced classes presented in this part of the DMCR are good, but not extremely awe-inspiring. The worst of the bunch are the Field Scientist and Soldier as far as level of interest goes, but all have their up sides. Definitely all useful in some manner or another.


Next time: we check out the GM’s section and bestiary in the second-to-last installment of this unexpectedly long review set!

1 Comment

Posted by on August 15, 2010 in RPG Reviews


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One response to “Rappy’s RPG Reviews: d20 Modern Core Rulebook, Part 4

  1. Rutskarn

    August 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I agree about the water vehicles. When will a game finally acknowledge my need for a nuclear sub?


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