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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 66 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: "Why d20 Modern Kicks Ass" and other stories  (Read 5009 times)
Jeph
Member

Posts: 338

Jeff Schecter


« on: September 11, 2004, 07:22:34 PM »

So today I went over to Peter's to play D&D. Peter is my old time gaming buddy--since 6th grade 4 years ago we've puzzled through and played rpgs together. In the last year or two, now that we go to different schools, we've gotten into groups that don't include each other. However, we meet every weekend to game, play poker, and see a movie. Peter likes things that are kewl and plays Smart Guy types.

Curran I also met in 6th grade. He was a friend of Peter's from elementary school. I didn't really know him until 8th grade, when he switched from Centennial Campus to Ligon Magnet, where Peter and I went. He used to be a real jerk. He'd have fun during a game, and then, a few days later, claim it sucked. We never made much of it, and he outgrew it. Once again, we now go to separate schools. Curran makes a habit of playing direct, kick-ass types and taking Wade's money during poker.

Wade knew Curran before I did, as they went to the same middle school for that phase's first two years. In fact, Curran tought Wade how to play D&D. Of course, I didn't know Wade until I met his step-brother at a camp at Duke two summers ago. Now we go the same highschool, and alos play in another D&D game together. Wade isn't what you'd call a "good gamer"--he doesn't have the rules down pat, he tends to zone out when the focus isn't on his character, that kind of thing. He's started being more attentive and active though since he's been playing with Peter, Curran, and I. I'd like to think that we're a good influence. Heh. Anyway, he's awkward when his character gets into social situation, and tends to play guys who shoot things With A Twist.

...

Anyway, we were all supposed to get to Peter's at 1:30, but were all late. At about 2 Curran had his cleric's spells prepped and I had my wizard's same. Peter ran about 2-3 hours of his D&D campaign. It went well, but was really just the coluse of last week's episode.

Then we played some poker, with $5 buy ins. Curran and Wade ended down a buck, Peter and I up one. My total pokere track record is down 75 cents. We cut early to walk over to Mission Valley Theater and see Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Pretty cool. Lots of gratuitous action. And PSYCHIC POWERSE!!!!1! kinda. Anyway, as we were walking back, Curran made comments to the effect of That Would Make A Kick Ass d20 Modern Game.

Bah, I say. It's totally Feng Shui.

Bah, say Peter and Curran. Totally d20 Modern.

"What's d20 Modern?" asks Wade.

"D&D's system, but, like Modern," says Peter.

"Yo Jeff, you should totally run a game," says Curran.

So it is decided. We settle on technothriller/apoc/survival/horror, very little if any supernatural shit. We get back, and take about an hour making characters and explaning the system to Wade, even though we gloss over Wealth, Reputation, and Action Points. We decide to set it in Austin, TX, this time 2004.

I do a lot of cut-scenes. The first is Curran's character Gustavo Rodriguez, a SWAT team member, and his team being called in to take down some armed hostiles in an abandoned 11-floor office building. Just as they're rolling out, we cut back 12 hours to a Mr. Carmichle of the Nationa Security Agency contacting Wade's character, a "freelance judge, jury, and exocutioner" by the name of Jack Barret. Mr. Carmichle wants Jack to assasinate a suspected terrorist; it would be too much time and paperwork for the NSA to do this legit. The third scene is Mr. Carmichle again, this time calling on Peter's character, Dr. Peter Jack O'Mally. Mr. Carmichle, knowing Dr. PJ has an aerospace background and is known for his brilliance, wants to hire him away from his highschool teaching position to work on an anti-missile missile.

Shit happens. They converge on the office building. A few SWAT men are wounded, I experience d20 Modern's autofire rules, which are sweet. Although we may have been misreading them; if so we're keeping our misinterpretation. Some cool combats including lots of autofire and grappling and cinematic running around that I didn't think d20 was capable off, but, apparently, is. The session ends with Jack and Gustavo failing to shoot a guy before he launches something out the window, and Dr. PJ not being able to jury rig the prototype anti-missile on the NSA chopper that was sent to him into working order in time. The thing that the terrorists launched just kind of shoots up into the air and explodes in a little puff of somke.

And then they learn that it was an airborne virus...

...

Idunno. Maybe it has nothing to do with d20 Modern. But hey, today pretty much rocked, and I spent most of it gaming, so I thought I'd share.

Maybe there's something in there for ya'll to see.
--Jeff
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Jeffrey S. Schecter: Pagoda / Other
jeffwik
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2004, 12:19:26 PM »

What I'm wondering is, have these guys played much outside the realm of D&D fantasy?  Was the fun a fun of novelty, or a different fun?
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Jeph
Member

Posts: 338

Jeff Schecter


« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2004, 02:34:37 PM »

We've played D&D as a campaign, and miniseries or one-shots of d20 Modern, d20 Star Wars, Feng Shui, Star Wars Feng Shui, Feng Shui Space, Pagoda, Exemplar, and abortive freeform. I think it was a fun kind of fun. I had changed my GMing style a bit for it--I had all of two hours to prep, with most of it spent away from the book or helping the others create characters. Most of the NPC stats were made up on-the-fly, and, like I said, I used lots and LOTS of cuts. Like, I'd stay on one character for 2-8 minutes and then cut away to another. Also, the characters started out complete separate, but quickly became intertwined. Definitely a better beginning than we're used to.

A side note: Peter didn't have as much fun as the rest of us, as Dr. PJ's scenes were mostly conversation with Mr. Carmichle. After the game, he said something like "That'll teach me to play characters who just rush in and shoot everything." Next session will definitely have a greater focus on non-combat/scientific stuff. Also, he made a little snafoo with his character, taking Skill Emphasis as a feat when it shoult be a Dedicated Hero Tlaent.

Side note to a side note: While we were walking back from the movie, as part of the "Jeff should run d20 Modern discussion," Peter made coments to the effect of "Dammit, just run a normal game. Enough of this homebrew nonsense." Then, when we got back, I caught him flipping through the binder in which I keep all the systems that I've created and printed out. He asked me why I hadn't run most of those for them.

Go fig, neh?
--Jeff
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Jeffrey S. Schecter: Pagoda / Other
hix
Member

Posts: 531

Steve Hickey


« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2004, 03:40:51 PM »

Out of interest, what would you have done if they had been able to destroy the container with the airborne virus? How would you have brought things round to that end-of-the-world feel you all wanted?
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Cheers,
Steve

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
Jeph
Member

Posts: 338

Jeff Schecter


« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2004, 04:10:42 PM »

That wouldn't happen--we had discussed things before hand. The plan was to create characters and lead up to the apocalypse in this session with a sort of technothriller bent, with future sessions being more in a survival/horror style. Explicit element of the social contract and all that; we've gotten good at pinpointing that stuff lately.

Now that I think of it, our social contract would still allow them disable the weapon. It might have happened, too--the guy at the trigger almost got shot, and probably would have if more than just 2 people had fired at him (there were 8 others in the room). The players still know, however, that it would have somehow beeen used. Most likely over an intragovernmental struggle between the NSA and Austin Police Dpt., or the NSA trying to put the virus to their own ends and accidentally (or "accidentally") unleashing it upon the populace, or some other group attempting to get ahold if it... I was running pretty off the cuff. Who knows? Stuff is unpredictable.

--Jeff
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Jeffrey S. Schecter: Pagoda / Other
Mark Causey
Member

Posts: 99


« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2004, 10:53:47 AM »

Man, I really am going to miss out on your Feng Shui game this Gameday, Jeph. I was looking all last Gameday for a Forge-ite that I could talk to, but no one that I could find was there.

By the way, this is AdamantineAngel on the ENWorld Boards.

AtR
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--Mark Causey
Runic Empyrean
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