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Workspace for ideas for 4e Modern

Basic Premise: Update 4e for a Modern, or slightly future setting by adding material to the existing 4e game, without taking anything away. We're also looking to keep options simple where ever possible.


Modern Backgrounds should focus on things that do not exist in an easily translatable form in D&D currently. Scholar and thief already have background options, but Engineer and Stunt Man do not.


Modern Skills can be added to existing classes by selecting a Modern Background.

Base Skills (New Skills in Bold):

  • Acrobatics
  • Arcana
  • Athletics
  • Bluff
  • Dungeoneering
  • Heal
  • History
  • Insight
  • Intimidate
  • Mechanics (driving, flying, machine maintenance and repair)
  • Nature
  • Perception
  • Religion
  • Science (computer use, experimentation, analysis)
  • Stealth
  • Thievery

Reference: 4th Power on Skills


Instead of adding Modern Classes, Themes will be used to update existing class abilities. For example, many of a soliders key traits are covered in the Fighter or Ranger classes. A scholar might have a base class of Artificer, Rogue or Wizard.

Ideas for Themes:

  • Detective: Someone who specializes in figuring out a situation. Modern Examples include Batman, Dick Tracy and Indiana Jones.
  • Driver: This kind of character gets special bonuses and utility powers when behind the wheel. Examples include Speed Racer, Dominic Toretto , and Starbuck.
  • Faceman: This character interacts with people with their charm. They might be a convincing statesman, drop dead sexy, or a master of disguise. Examples include James Bond, Templeton “Face” Peck (The A-Team), and Elizabeth Lochley.
  • Fated (Charmed Hero has covered this but can be reprinted): This character had adventure thrust upon them but somehow manages to survive and even thrive. Examples include Xander, Kagome, Katniss or Stephanie Plum.
  • Jack of All Trades: This character is a key fifth man. He's managed to get good at a little bit of everything. Examples include Michael Weston, Ash (Evil Dead) and Riddick.
  • Mechanic: Not just an automotive mechanic, but someone skilled in fixing or building modern equipment. Examples include Lucious Fox, Forge or Kaylee from Firefly.
  • Scholar (May have this already): These peoples are focussed on knowledge. They may experts on the paranormal or as ordinary as physics professors. Examples include Rupert Giles, Henry Jones Sr., and Temperance “Bones” Brennan.
  • Wingman: These character thrive in a team environment. They may do well by themselves but they excel when supporting others. Examples include Robin, Dr Watson, and Chewbacca.


Something needs to be done about abstract wealth. Gold is an excellent measurement for magical equipment, but less useful for more mundane things. I don't want people to have to choose between a car and an amulet of protection. Inherent Bonuses may be advised.


Modern Weapons need to be added. We want to group weapons together when possible, and use what's available when it translate's easily. For example a crowbar is an improvised weapon, and a baseball bat is a club. However, most pistols can be covered under one pistol, which needs to be created.

  • Melee: Chainsaw, Brass Knuckles
  • Pistol: Revolver, Light Pistol
  • Rifle: Light Rifle, Heavy Rifle, Assault Rifle
  • Automated Weapons: Sentry Gun, for example
  • Support Weapons: LAW, Grenade Launcher

Reference: DMG 42's Equipment List


There was an article in Dungeon 188 that covered vehicles in Gamma World, that can be downloaded here.

Reference: DMG 42's Vehicles

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