We did not want to reinvent the wheel; we just wanted to make it roll smoother on the modern highway (maybe with some low-pro bling 22’s). The rules system in the Modern Path – Heroes of the Modern World RPG is, what we feel, an evolutionary step forward for a system that has already proven to be excellent in another genre. Thanks to the wonderful OGL, we admit that most of the work was already done. What we have focused on is making a system that is versatile, as is fitting for the modern times.
Because of globalization, characters in a modern setting should not be “pigeon-holed” into classes or areas of knowledge. We offer only one base class – the Modern Hero, a framework upon which to build. It is then up to the player to build his own unique character, and to have the freedom to shape that character as it advances through the levels of experience. So, versatility and freedom of choice... Let’s make that our hallmark.
Now go on, grab those core rules, get your dice ready & boot up that laptop...quit wasting time reading intros!
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After running a campaign in D20 Modern hat mixed modern settings with fantasy elements I was looking to run a followup with Pathfinder's refined rule set. I came across this book and its followup regarding modern magic.
Character creation and advancement for the most part is wide open, allowing any combination of paths, archetypes, traits, difficulties, training, talents, feats, and skills. My only complaint is that the paths, which determine hit dice, skill points, and base attack and saves, are not varied enough, with half the paths being weaker versions of the other half.
The wealth system from D20 Modern is replaced with more concrete dollar values, with players earning money by performing profession skill checks at the end of each adventure. There is also a system for purchasing equipment on credit.
The skills section has a new set of modern crafting, knowledge, and profession skills, as well as rules on computer hacking.
The equipment section has everything you need to outfit a modern hero, including armor, guns, explosives, vehicles, general equipment, and poisons as well as rules on their usage.
The book also includes information on a couple of campaign models, including monster hunting and modern magic, as well as information on how to incorporate Pathfinder classes as archetypes.
Unfortunately, the book does have its fair share of typos and vague and incomplete rules, though an experienced GM should have little problem fixing and amending what's broken. At the same time, I recommend that less experienced GM's and players may wish to use the more complete D20 Modern system, at least until they have a firmer grasp of the D20 mechanics.
Overall, this is an excellent supplement for players who want to have adventures in modern settings. It lacks the polish of an official Pathfinder book, and is in some instances broken, but a GM who isn't afraid to make some modifications should be able to make do and fully enjoy running a campaign. Until Paizo makes an official Modern rule set, this is as good as it gets.
I really haven't wanted to write a review on this product, but I feel compelled to. Why? I get tired of seeing many people on the boards tout this as the alternative for modern rules for Pathfinder. They are not, as far as I can see. They have decent enough ideas, but organization leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.
I have a problem with the concept and execution. Archetypes in Pathfinder modify classes to better tweak them to something a player may be looking for. Archetypes in this product turn the single base class into another class. I see no reason to have a supposed single class, complete with bases attack, skills, and saves; simply to change ALL of those when you add an archetype. It makes for a confusing product. I can see if you made a 20 level base class out of the old d20 Modern base classes, then made the old advanced classes into archetypes. Or even if they had created a bunch of base classes for modern use. They may as well have doen the latter, because you pretty mush need to refigure the class charts in order to see what you have when you add the archetype to the class.
Another issue I have is with the weapons. They took all of the Open Content weapons and nerfed the crap out of them. That wouldn't be an issue, but they nerfed them compared to the firearms that are already in Pathfinder. That is pretty unforgivable in my eyes.
The short of it is, I feel I would have to house rule too much of this to find a use for it at my game table. I sorry for writing a bad review, as I don't like to, but I felt I needed to give my honest opinion on this product.
I am revising my review in light of a new update to this file. THe system has what amounts to a major overhaul. There is still one class, but it mechanically it is more like six. One for each of the old d20Modern Base classes. The acrchetypes can be applied to any of these Paths. The weapon damages are more in line with d20Modern, as well. Actually, they are sort of a combination of d20M & Super Genius Games Anachronistic Adventurers line.
Overall this overhaul makes the product much more usable. I feel that this could see a spot at my table, if I decided to run a purely Modern Campaign. Overall, I would rate this at 3.5 Stars, which I will round up to 4, for the limitations of this site.
For a video review paste this into your address bar! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERe10Kk_zqs
This is a good update to D20 modern. It's far less restrictive when it comes to class features, witch is a good and bad thing at the same time. While it makes your character completely customizable That can lead to two things, ineffective characters and super powered ones. Being only $5 makes it well worth the investment. It's a good idea but I wish it was more developed.
I have a dream. One day, d20 Modern will find its way to compatibility with Pathfinder. And from there, we will see NPCs, modern magic, adventure paths, and all will be glorious. Until then - there's The Modern Path.
I'm not here to dismiss The Modern Path. I love the attempt. I like the idea of Archetypes, Training, and Talents. Shoot, I even like the abandonment of d20 Modern's Wealth check. GRC has an impressive vision and I like it. That said, there are three matters that I'm not keen with.
First, with Pathfinder armor having armor class, and d20 Modern having armor class, why can't The Modern Path do the same? DR just doesn't work for cross-compatibility in my book.
Second, GRC took pains to show us how cp/sp/gp/pp equate to the U.S. Dollar. But as a d20 Modern tool, too, GRC fails to show us the translation between MSRD's Wealth Check and the U.S. Dollar. (Seeing how much equipment is out there in d20 Modern that is based on the wealth system, it would seem logical to give us a translator for this, too.)
Third, with a new system like this - we need backdrop and adversaries. No NPCs in The Modern Path. No adventures. In time, perhaps. And I shouldn't fault GRC for not including these, but it seems logical to expect the inclusion of the adversaries at least to begin the game.
All in all, 3 stars. Not a bad vision. I am grateful for GRC's efforts. I was only hoping for a little more sense of compatibility and active engagement.
The Introduction starts with a discussion of what comprises a 'modern' game, and why the authors thought it worth re-tooling the Pathfinder ruleset to make one. One of the main reasons for the popularity of contemporary games is the sheer familiarity of the setting. While it's fun running round the universe in starships or matching wits (or fireballs) with a dragon, that's not the world we live in. If you run a game in a contemporary setting, you do not need to keep explaining everyday matters that characters would be familiar with, but which their players are not! Having found that the Pathfinder ruleset worked well in its original fantasy setting, the authors decided that 'modernising' it was a better option that starting out from scratch.
So, on to the meat of the matter. Noting that players will need the core Pathfinder rulebook to make use of this book, the first chapter deals with characters. Here there is an interesting departure from the usual fare: no classes. Every character is a 'Modern Hero' with the differences between each one being expressed in terms of their talents, skills and feats, along with background and more descriptive rather than rules-based features. Whilst most will be human, the possibility is floated that there just might be other races around, they just keep under the radar, at least if your setting will be the modern world as we know it. The further you drift from that, the more fantasy elements you can introduce. All Modern Heroes use the same advancement table, gaining additional Talents and Training as they rise in level. What is available is based on the archetype (if any) you have chosen and the directions in which you wish him to develop.
Archetypes represent the character's chosen profession and have to be chosen at 1st level or not at all. The choice will modify the character's progression, and the availability of skills and training. Characters also get Action Points, which they can use to enhance skill use. A common enough rule, but here you choose to associate one ability with your APs, and the calculation of how many are available depends on that ability and your level. For those who do not like book keeping, there is an abstracted Wealth system based on level and professional skills.
Next, Talents are explored. These are extremely similar to Feats, giving assorted minor mechanical benefits based on the Talent chosen and with additional ones available as the character rises in level. They are available to all characters, and some have prerequisites... indeed, it's not clear what differentiates Talents and Feats at all, except that some require the expenditure of APs to activate them. I think they are supposed to replace the class features used in Pathfinder, thus keeping the balance should a fantasy character for some reason wander into your modern world.
Talents are followed by Difficulties. These are optional minor disadvantages that a character may take in return for getting extra Talents. Whilst the disadvantages have a game mechanical cost, the real use is in adding flavour to role-playing - the character may be absent-minded, perhaps, or even have a Dark Secret which could have plot implications as well.
Next comes a version of the Traits system, here used to give the character some background flavour, as well as a list of class skills, wealth and reputation bonuses and a bonus Feat. They are described as the sort of job that the character might have, or at least have had before becoming an adventurer... anything from an astronaut trainee to a blue-collar worker, a doctor, an athlete or a criminal. To reflect the modern world, celebs are there too!
Also altering the base Adventure Hero class are Archetypes. A set of advancement tables - slow, medium and fast - are given, these are used depending on Archetype for determining BAB and saves, the neat bit is that the Archetype discriminates between them - fast track BAB and slow Will save, and the like. The Archetype also can give a different hit die, number of skills per level and specific 'Training' - this last is a number of feat-like options from which you can choose as you advance. Each relates to the particular Archetype, so the Daredevil gets some wild driving options, while the Engineer gets ones that aid in building, repairing and jury-rigging equipment. The Martial Artist has access to a variety of forms, enabling you to customise your fighting style, as well as the interesting Expert in Your Field one in which the character is a renowned exponent of his particular art with reputation to match.
Next up are the skills, with a concentration on those skills unique to modern settings. The standard 'fantasy' ones are, by and large, also available, and the variations caused by the modern world are covered in detail. One neat new skill is Examine, for all those budding CSIs. Knowledge: Technology seems to concentrate on computer hacking, whilst Craft: Explosives is for those who want to blow stuff up! Feats are given the same treatment, existing ones modified and new ones added, including some specific to firearms combat such as the Double Tap.
Character created, we move on to equipment. Armour available ranges from bike leathers and football pads to an array of stab/bullet resistant vests. No bomb suit... Weapons, naturally, concentrates on firearms. Rather confusingly, the charts are alphabetical rather than by type, so you get shotguns, rifles and handguns all jumbled up - fine if you are enough of a gunbunny to pick your weapon by manufacturer, but if you just want a hunting rifle you have to read through the lot to find one! The main non-firearms covered are compound bows, tasers, pepper spray and the like: if you want a blade beyond the few mentioned, go mediaeval (or at least, fantasy) to get it. Grenades and explosives are covered too, as well as quite a lot of descriptions of different firearms - go get a gun magazine, the game mechanics differences are negligible. For more stealthy killers, there's a selection of poisons.
The discussion then moves on to matters such as availability, legality and how easy it is to conceal items, and a neat idea for 'items on hand' to let characters roll to see if they just happen to have a given common item when they need it (although the explanation of how to use it could do with clarification). There are also copious tables of modern equipment, a bit superfluous as most people know roughly what, say, a laptop computer costs and how big it is. (And does anyone much use photographic film these days? Even the professional photographer who lives next door has gone totally digital.) This section is followed by the vehicles one, where at least they are sorted by type rather than manufacturer name this time. Lifestyle costs and services round this section out.
That's it, apart from some previews of forthcoming product, mostly about a supplement dealing with matters arcane should you be contemplating making magic a reality in your setting. What is completely absent is anything about what you might actually have your characters do. In some ways, it's not difficult: look at the range of contemporary stories told in books, films and TV shows. You could recreate any of them with this ruleset, whether your tastes run to Jason Bourne or NCIS, ruthless lawyers, crime families or police work... but maybe a couple of sample outline campaigns would help get the creative juices flowing. It's a good start, though, if you need a modern ruleset and are happy with (or at least already know) the Pathfinder system its based upon. Think I'll be off to plot some adventures, I have some ideas it would work well with...
We are going to upgrade the pdf to the new Hero Lab logo, so I think it is also a good time to do any rule upgrades, bugs and/or fixes also. Please let me know if you find anything and/or would like to see any rule changes.
This will be a free upgrade to the pdf and Hero Lab dataset.
Is there any way I would be able to preview this before I purchase it? Not that $3.99 is a lot of money but I would like to see if I like the changes you made. I've looked over the beta and I've been waiting to see where you are going to take this.
I have been working on the new magic book and got to the feats and I am kind of stuck. For the most part everything has been covered. Is there anything you would like to see in the Modern Path: Magic?
Honestly (and I don't know if this is what your asking or not) But what I would like to see most in a modern magic supplement is a good bit of advice on using the core spells in a modern setting. This is one area I don't think has ever been given the proper treatment. Just a good chunk of advice on how to make the core spells fit without being overpowering and how they could mesh with modern tech...
That's cool, I really don't see a need in re-hashing the same spells, feats, etc. I think they can work fine in the modern setting with a few minor adjustments. I think you are right, I need to find a way to use what is already there.
@Saurstalk Your review seems to have a couple of things that I would like to address as a fellow d20Modern player.
1 - The use of DR in place of armor is a choice they decided to use, and if you read Ultimate Combat you could easily translate any armor to use DR.
2 - If you are trying to bring things in from d20 Modern then why don't you just use the Wealth to USD tables in d20 Modern. It shows you what the USD equivalent is for almost all conceivable Wealth Scores, and it is located in the Core d20 Modern book.
3 - Now this is something, but with the time required to make just 1 NPC using this system it is easy to understand why they didn't make a whole chapter with them. Now I personally, as well as a few others, have had the thought to produce an NPC book for the Modern Path.
So here are a few simple answers to your questions you addressed in your review.
Also I would just like to apologize to the GRC Team, I keep meaning to give the book a thorough read through and a review but I just can't ever seem to find the time to just sit down and read. If the book was in print it would make it so much easier, would it be possible to have this available as a print on demand through something like Lulu.
Edit: Just found out that you can get a print version from DriveThru RPG. So that answers me that question.
Edit #2: Is there a current Character Sheet that is downloadable somewhere? Cause it doesn't look like there is one located in the PDF or on your Website anymore.
Thank you for the QA, yep it is POD at RPGNow and we are waiting for the color print to get approved. I did have it on Lulu, but the print proof game back a little off, (the book spine print was too big), so I had to re-send and wait for the print proof again.
NPC's and settings, well once we finish up the magic book, I will post some. Keep in mind we are a very small company, (really just 4 gamers doing this in our free time). We do have a dataset for Hero Labs, so that will help a lot in making PC and NPC.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
I noticed recently that the new skills in The Modern Path are meant to sit alongside the existing skills in the Pathfinder RPG.
Now, for Modern Heroes class skills aren't a big deal, just pick six (modified by your traits, etc.) and those are your class skills. But what about traditional Pathfinder classes used in a Modern Path game?
So, I'd like to humbly ask Game Room Creations if they could put together some sort of list (a web enhancement, perhaps) charting which of the new skills are class skills for the twenty-seven Pathfinder classes (e.g. the five NPC classes, the eleven base classes in the Core Rulebook, the six in the APG, the magus, the gunslinger, and the anti-paladin, ninja, and samurai).
If you ever do a military or law enforcement supplement, email me at email@example.com and I will answer every question you have. If you do a future supplement, the same applies. I am also available for idea mining.