Author Topic: 4E and d20 modern  (Read 4157 times)

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brokenoakleys

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4E and d20 modern
« on: June 19, 2008, 05:41:36 PM »
Now that I've had a chance to read the 4E PHB and DMG, and DM a couple of 4e adventures, here is how I think d20 modern would be impacted by 4e, trying to be as objective and factual as possible (underlined phrases are are caveats).  Not trying to lean one way or the other, just putting out a 'few' observations:

1) Characters could take more punishment: current starting HP is around 6-15 hp depending on class and con.

In 4e, starting HP are anywhere from 18 to 38. (The 18 is for a Wizard with an 8 Con, the 38 for a fighter with an 18 con).

2) Skills would be combined and streamlined: : In modern, sleight of hand and disable device are two separate skills.

In 4E, they are combined, along with pick pocketing and detecting traps, into one skill called 'thievery.'

3) Characters healing ability would be better: In modern, ability to restore HP is limited to one treat injury per day, surgery, and recovering a few hp a night with rest. Massive damage can drop someone to -1.

In 4E, you get 6-10 healing surges a day, which allow you to recover 25% of your HP at a time. You can do it once per encounter (combat) as well. And, if I'm reading the rule correctly, a night's rest (extended 6 hours) gets you back to full HP. There are no massive damage rules.

4) Multiclassing would be limited: In modern, switch character classes as many times as the GM will grudingly let you do it, picking up unique class talents along the way.

In 4E, you remain, one class, but you can pick up abilities and powers from other classes via race or feats, albeit at a lower level than your main class.  You are also limited to dabbling in one other class.

5) No more multiple attacks w/o a special ability: Modern allows multiple attacks based on your BAB, weapon, and fighting with two weapons.

4E doesn't allow for two weapon attacks or double weapons unless you have a specific power that allows you do to so. Instead, attacking with two weapons lets you do +1 damage with your main weapon. So far I haven't found any rules that allow for multiple attacks based on BAB.

6) Action points are slightly different: In modern, action points either let you activate a talent or add to a (usually bad) die roll. You get around five per level.

In 4E, Action points are sometimes also used to activate powers, and are also used to allow a player to take an extra action (such as two standard actions) during his or her turn. You get one point per day and may get more if you get in a lot of fights.

7) Actions are different: In modern, you typcially get standard, move and free actions during your turn. You can also ready actions.

In 4E, you get Standard, Move, MINOR and free actions. You can also ready actions. MINOR actions are for drawing a sword, maintaining an ongoing spell, drinking a potion, etc.

8) Powers:: 4E has special class and race-based powers that allow characters to take special actions in combat. The powers are essentially divided into:

'At will', which can be used once per round. Example: Wizard casting a magic missle or a fighter trading damage for a more accurate to hit roll;

'Encounter', that can be used once per combat. Example: a cleric turning undead or a fighter taking swings at two adjacent opponents with one standard action;

'Daily', that can be used once per day. Example: a fighter being able to do triple damage if he hits, a wizard casting a sleep spell.

These powers remind me a lot of the special attacks video game figures use when you press the right combination of keys (down twice while pressing the A button and Kung Fu Master exectutes a spinning pinky punch.

9) Saving throws are different: In modern, you have will, reflex and fortitute saving throws to avoid certain adverse effects. If a bomb goes off, you make a reflex save to avoid damage.

In 4E, you have defenses that must be overcome with an attack roll by the spell caster. Thus the bomb would make an attack roll vs. the target's reflex defense score

The only time you roll saving throws is to avoid a continuing (ongoing) effect, and then you don't add modifiers, it's a 55/45 chance in favor of the player.

10) You can become bloodied: In modern, you can act just as easily at max hit points as you can at 1 HP.

In 4E, when either you or your opponent gets to 50% HP, you become BLOODIED. Your opponent may have powers that work better when you are bloodied, making you more vulnerable. You may have powers that work better, making you more powerful. Also, certain conditions in the adventure may not be triggered until someone is bloodied.

11) Non-lethal is different: In modern, you can grapple, trip and throw non-lethal punches to knock someone out.

In 4E, there is no such thing as non-lethal damage. If you want to knock an opponent unconcious, simply declare that as they drop to zero HP.

Instead of grapple, there is grab, which simply allows you to hold an opponenent in the square they are in. The PHB doesn't have any rules for pinning that I saw.

12) I could go on and on and on: dying is different. Weapon proficiency is different. Character advancement is different. Instead of detailing them all, I'll end with a few observations:

4E HP rules would make characters more powerful and harder to kill.

4E healing rules would make it easier for characters to continue on their mission rather than return to base and rest. Those same rules would take the lethality of of gun combat.

4E class rules severely limit the ability to customize characters and create unique multi-classing options.

4E class encounter, daily and at will powers lends themselves to a superhero an action movie type game where characters can get shot many times but still pull off that Jet-Li Like 'Dancing Democratic Donkey Sytle' kung fu kick.

backstabbist

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 05:50:13 PM »
Quote
1) Characters could take more punishment: current starting HP is around 6-15 hp depending on class and con.

In 4e, starting HP are anywhere from 18 to 38. (The 18 is for a Wizard with an 8 Con, the 38 for a fighter with an 18 con).
So with the bell curve of a 2d12 50BMG,
the majority of the weakest folks can take a 50 to the belly,
and we find the BMG requires a crit to take down ~3/4 of 1st level guys?


Quote
5) No more multiple attacks w/o a special ability: Modern allows multiple attacks based on your BAB, weapon, and fighting with two weapons.

4E doesn't allow for two weapon attacks or double weapons unless you have a specific power that allows you do to so. Instead, attacking with two weapons lets you do +1 damage with your main weapon. So far I haven't found any rules that allow for multiple attacks based on BAB.

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nadaka

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 08:08:24 PM »
skill consolidation = good good.
no skill points = bad.
embrace of incantations (rituals) for utility magic = good.
well defined action types = good.
easy/fast monster/bad guy creation = good.
What else can I say that is good for modern...
not much of anything...

brokenoakleys

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 10:26:39 PM »
backstabbist:

Yeah, I don't like what they did with two weapons either.  I was always a two weapons kind of guy or a two handed weapon fiend.  Shields are for CENSORED.  :D

As for hit points:  they've upped damage of some weapons slightly, but with healing surges it's still damn hard to die, even from a .50 cal.  :o.

Bottom line for me:  at will, encounter and daily powers would fit in nicely with modern, especially to simulate special martial arts moves, gymnastic tricks and even superhero powers.

But something would have to be done to put some lethality back into lethal force.  4e skills and multiclassing would also have to be seriously revamped, especially the latter, since d20 modern practically forces you to multiclass.

heffroncm

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 11:04:04 PM »
Submitted for eratta: The high of 4e starting HP is 46.  A Warforged Fighter can have a 20 CON, and have a minor action racial which at 1st level will heal 6hp per encounter.

j0lt

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2008, 02:55:34 AM »
The only thing I really like so far in 4e are the Skill Challenges in the DMG.  Those are a great way to make skill checks more than a single roll and win/lose.
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narukagami

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 11:13:19 PM »
I'll say it before and I'll say it again:

4e is nice for fantasy roleplaying, and a lot of fun. But its rules need to stay 500ft away from d20 Modern at all times.

Only exception: Skill Challenges.
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j0lt

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 11:22:17 AM »
I think some of the changes in Saga would suit d20 Modern better than 4e.
But backstabbist has a point, in that d20 Modern characters should not be able to just wade through combat.  When you get shot, it's a MAJOR thing!
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backstabbist

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 04:10:12 PM »
Could you imaging the screams of horror if we put the Con MAS/MDS into D&D? :smirk
When not specified, the gun is always a m1911
Convetional spelling is for the Uncreative
5.7fn : Can a slug that only weighs 31gr still be called a slug?
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If that procedure is beyond your ability,
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brokenoakleys

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 04:46:07 PM »
Yeah, it would be funny to put massive damage into 4E. But trying to do that would be like  :wall

That's because the whole game is designed with instant gratification in mind.  In the Carter era, as backstabbist likes to call it, there were definate tradeoffs to playing certain characters.

Taker magic users, for instance.  No armour, 1d4 HP, only allowed one weapon proficiency at first, big penalty to use other weapons, limited number of spells (meaning you had to choose wisely each day), etc.  When skills were introduced in later editions, they were limited to arcana type skills (unless they cross-classed).

There was even talk in a few editions of Dragon of not allowing Mages to be able to throw AND stab with a dagger, only do one or the other, because otherwise they'd turn into missile troops!

Now:  Even mages with bad cons start out with 18 HP,  get once a round at-will magic missile, You can theoretically wear all sorts of armour if you are proficient, you get bonuses in all skills every other level.  If you're non-proficient in a weapon, you simply don't get a proficiency BONUS but no attack PENALTY.  The only time you have to worry about spell selection is your daily spells: at will spells are recharged every round, and enounter spells at the end of every fight.

Maybe it's for the best, maybe it isn't, maybe I'm just a 20th level demi-codger (back in my day, we didn't have minis, AND WE LIKED IT!!!), but it seems to take some of the roleplaying out of it when you remove character limitations.  Thieves REALLY had to be sneaky in the old days because they couldn't fight very well.  Now they have special attacks.  Mages had to be real clever because just getting next to an Orc meant instant death. 

Okay, I'll get off my +5 soapbox of whining now.

 

backstabbist

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2008, 05:12:54 PM »
Ahhh, the good ole days (for gaming that is), the price of gas was thru the roof, you know, like it is now.


But that did have a good idea he just mentioned:
Different Non-Prof penalties for different classes.
It seems kinda intuitive that a fighter has a better time with a never seen weapon than a mage/accountant
When not specified, the gun is always a m1911
Convetional spelling is for the Uncreative
5.7fn : Can a slug that only weighs 31gr still be called a slug?
.
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If that procedure is beyond your ability,
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Johannixx

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 03:21:32 AM »
I liked the variable non-proficiency penalties from 2e.  I also liked the weapon speed modifiers (though I disagreed with some of the speeds assigned to specific weapons) and the optional armor bonuses/penalties vs. specific attack types (piercing, slashing, bludgeoning).  I've thought about importing these into a 3.5 game, but I can't find a way to do it properly and still maintain game balance.

Tema69

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 07:04:50 AM »
Game balance is hard to achieve if you're looking at semi-realism, especially with armour. A guy in full-plate with an arming sword is better in combat than a guy in a chainmail or leather armour with a dagger. And a guy with a gun is better than both. In our game, we've said To Hell with It, and the only thing that balances stuff is the price. Using the same examples as above, a full-plate and an arming sword would cost incredibly much more than a chainmail and a dagger.
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backstabbist

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2008, 09:00:32 AM »
Axes are good
Axes vs Fullplate are bad
<flip>
Beaked Axes vs fullplate are good

Teme,
have you seen the old table that gave each weapon a + or - vs each armor type
When not specified, the gun is always a m1911
Convetional spelling is for the Uncreative
5.7fn : Can a slug that only weighs 31gr still be called a slug?
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Quote from:  Leadership Diplomacy Check
If that procedure is beyond your ability,
just say so & I will go get a 12 year old little girl to do it for you.

Tema69

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2008, 12:32:19 PM »
I did play 2:E D&D a long time ago, but I was a kid, and didn't speak english as well as I do now, so I didn't understand the rules too well. So I've probably seen it, but not known what it was.
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Orion

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2008, 02:23:46 PM »
Wasn't the weapons v. armour table from the old Fighter's Handbook? That's the only place I remember it.

backstabbist

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2008, 07:38:22 PM »
Keep going back
it was Core book
When not specified, the gun is always a m1911
Convetional spelling is for the Uncreative
5.7fn : Can a slug that only weighs 31gr still be called a slug?
.
Quote from:  Leadership Diplomacy Check
If that procedure is beyond your ability,
just say so & I will go get a 12 year old little girl to do it for you.

Orion

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2008, 02:43:33 PM »
The original PHB or the altered PHB (the one in black and red) that they printed later? Because I've read PHB 2e many times, and unless it was an optional rule, I don't think it was there. Is this something we can check anywhere?

nadaka

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2008, 07:17:08 PM »
That was before 2nd edition.

brokenoakleys

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Re: 4E and d20 modern
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2008, 05:06:39 PM »
The variable non-proficiency penalties and class based to-hit DC's were in the original Advanced DnD core books.  Not only did fighters have a lesser penalty for using a non-proficient weapon, they also had a better chance of hitting someone in platemail.  That version also had penalties and bonuses for weapons vs. different types of armour, though using the latter tended to slow play down.