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Modern Assembly

Goal: Create a module of rules to 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.

There a no new Classes. Modern weapons are added to existing Simple, Military and Superior labels. New skills can be added with backgrounds.

This is not a monthly theme, but an ongoing project. We will continue to produce content until we can release a draft, request playtest feedback and then do a final print/PDF.

Our working documents can be found on Google Docs.


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.


Adding new modern equipment that does not have a mundane corollary from 4e. (Brian)


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

New Skills:

  • Mechanics (driving, flying, machine maintenance and repair)
  • Science (computer use, experimentation, analysis)

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. (Brian)
  • 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. (Brian)
  • 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.


Divided into Cash (personal equipment) and assets (stuff you can access but are more story oriented). Article finished and set to publish. (Brian)


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, DMG 42's Chase Scene

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