Modern #

The modern setting is easy because it’s just the real world, right? Well, yes and no. It’s easy for players to understand the context of a modern setting. They know the default assumptions—cities, cars, cell phones, the internet, and so on. It’s also easier for some players to get into character, because their character could be someone they might very well pass on the street. It can be easier to wrap your mind around a history professor than a thousand-year-old elf wizard. These things make it easier on the GM as well.

But for the same reason, it’s not easy. The setting is the real world we all know, so it’s easy to get facts wrong or let them bog you down. What happens when you pull the fire alarm on the thirty-fifth floor of a major hotel in a large city? How fast do the authorities arrive? In truth, the facts aren’t as important as the story you’re creating, but some verisimilitude is nice.

Molding Characters For A Modern Game #

If you’re trying to portray a psychic with a few basic powers, you might not want to use the Adept character type. Instead, choose a different type (perhaps a Speaker) and encourage foci such as Commands Mental Powers or Focuses Mind Over Matter. Some of the Adept’s powers might be too over the top for the genre.

Similarly, the technology flavor is probably too high-tech for a modern game. For someone with technical skills, use the skills and knowledge flavor instead.

Sometimes, the types might be more physical than is always desirable for a modern game, but that’s because the least physical type, the Adept, is often inappropriate for other reasons. The Calm descriptor is very good for such characters, not only granting them a great deal of skill and knowledge, but also reducing their physical capabilities.

Last, don’t forget foci such as Doesn’t Do Much or Would Rather Be Reading for “normal” characters who have useful skills but not much in the way of flashy abilities.

Suggested Types for a Modern Game #

Role Type
Police officer Explorer with combat flavor
Detective Explorer with stealth flavor
Soldier Warrior
Criminal Explorer with stealth flavor
Teacher Speaker
Professional (accountant, writer, etc.) Speaker with skills and knowledge flavor
Technical profession Explorer with skills and knowledge flavor
Dilettante Speaker with skills and knowledge flavor
Doctor/Nurse Explorer with skills and knowledge flavor
Politician Speaker
Lawyer Speaker
Scholar Explorer with skills and knowledge flavor
Spy Speaker with stealth flavor
Occultist Adept
Mystic/Psychic Adept

Basic Creatures And NPCs For A Modern Game #

  • Businessperson: level 2, business tasks as level 3
  • Cat: level 1, Speed defense as level 3
  • Clerk: level 2
  • Dog: level 2, perception as level 3
  • Dog, guard: level 3, attacks and perception as level 4
  • Horse: level 3; moves a long distance each round
  • Rat: level 1
  • Worker: level 2; health 8

Additional Modern Equipment #

In a modern setting, the following items (and anything else appropriate to the real world) are usually available.

Inexpensive Items #

Weapons Notes
Ammo (box of 50 rounds)
Knife (simple) Light weapon (won’t last long)
Other Items Notes
Duct tape roll Useful and ubiquitous
Padlock with keys
Trail rations (1 day)

Moderately Priced Items #

Weapons Notes
Hand grenade Explosive weapon, inflicts 4 points of damage in immediate radius
Hunting knife Light weapon
Machete Medium weapon
Nightstick Light weapon
Armor Notes
Leather jacket Light armor
Shield Asset to Speed defense
Other Items Notes
Bag of heavy tools
Bag of light tools
Binoculars Asset for perception tasks at range
Bolt cutters
Cell phone
Climbing gear
Electric lantern
First aid kit Asset for healing tasks
Rope Nylon, 50 feet
Sleeping bag

Expensive Items #

Weapons Notes
Light handgun Light weapon, short range
Medium handgun Medium weapon, long range
Bow Medium weapon, long range
Rifle Medium weapon, long range
Shotgun Heavy weapon, immediate range
Armor Notes
Kevlar vest Medium armor
Other Items Notes
Camera designed to be concealed Transmits at long range
Microphone designed to be concealed Transmits at long range
Cold weather camping gear
Nightvision goggles
Scuba gear

Very Expensive Items #

Weapons Notes
Heavy handgun Heavy weapon, long range
Assault rifle Heavy weapon, rapid-fire weapon, long range
Heavy rifle Heavy weapon, 300-foot (90 m) range
Submachine gun Medium weapon, rapid-fire weapon, short range
Armor Notes
Lightweight body armor Medium armor, encumbers as light armor
Military body armor Heavy armor
Other Items Notes
Disguise kit Asset for disguise tasks
Used car Level 3
Small boat Level 3

Exorbitant Items #

Other Items Notes
Large boat Level 5
Luxury car Level 5
Sports car Level 6

Optional Rule: Handling PCs As Children #

The regular character creation process makes fully competent, adult characters. To account for playing children, the GM could adopt this optional rule. First, the players make their characters normally, and then they apply the following adjustments to their PCs, as appropriate to their age category. You might also consider applying a tier cap of 3 to childhood adventure games with kids of up to thirteen years old, and a tier cap of 4 for childhood adventure games featuring PCs who are aged fourteen to seventeen.

Age 9 To 13 #

Slight: –4 to your Might Pool.

Vulnerable: Adults look out for you. You are trained in all pleasant social interactions with adults.

Inability: Might-based tasks are hindered.

Inability: Tasks involving knowledge are hindered.

Age 14 To 17 #

Youthful: –2 to your Might Pool.

Inability: Tasks involving knowledge are hindered.