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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, including the Project Introduction.


For the Blog: It would be a good to write up a list of WotC backgrounds that would work in a Modern Setting.

For First Draft: We really just need a handful of Modern Backgrounds, highlighting our two new skills.


Mundane Equipment is Done: Google Doc

Reference: See Weapons below


For the Blog: One might write an article on how the existing skills can be applied to Modern Situations.

For the First Draft: We should have both new skills detailed.

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.

For the Blog: Someone might take a look at existing WotC themes and write up a list of those appropriate for Modern use.

For the First Draft: We should have 4 to 6 playable themes.

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. In Progress: Google Doc
  • 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.


Wealth is Done: Google Doc


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.

For the Blog: It would be good to make a list of convertible examples, like the example above of a club's mechanics being used for a baseball bat.

For the First Draft: We need a sampling of some common Modern Weapons. In Progress: Google Doc

Reference: DMG 42's Equipment List


For the First Draft: While it would be nice to have vehicle rules in the First Draft, but since some people can access the below, this is a low priority.

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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