What happens when you transplant your fantasy adventuring into the a modern setting? You get Modern Adventures of course! We sat down with Ray Machuga from Higher Grounds Gaming to talk about their new Pathfinder supplement entitled, quite appropriately, Modern Adventures to see what they are bringing to the table.
1) What sets Modern Adventures apart from other d20 systems set in the present?
A. The sheer amount of lore that has gone into developing the setting sets us leagues apart. Fluff and lore are some of my favorite things to develop in a game, as I feel that it really is the bread and butter of any given game. The Modern Adventures setting gives a place for magic, monsters and other races in the history of Earth. The classes and races have been properly worked out, as well. Each class and race is thoroughly designed and play-tested. Finally, the levels of technology have increased dramatically since d20 Modern was published. All in all, if you placed the games side-by-side, they would barely resemble each other.
2) Modern Adventures sets up a new spell system for Pathfinder and moves away from the spell-per-day that we all are familiar with. Can you tell us what we can look forward too?
A. Absolutely! Spell casting is something that I am very pleased with. Basically, if you break it down, once your Mage knows a spell, he or she can basically cast it at any time. There is a bit more emphasis placed on learning the spells, as well. As a balance, your character can choose exactly how strong or powerful their spell would be. If your character overpowers a spell, which basically means going over a power level based on your spell casting ability modifier, he or she stands a chance of suffering damage. Typically that damage is nonlethal, but there is a small chance (rolling a 1 on a d20) of it being real, lethal damage. To expand a bit on the magical lore, the world is animistic for the awakened spell casters and they are capable of summoning spirits and binding them to service to empower spells or even your endeavors whether they be stealthing through an occupied building, firing a gun or swinging an axe. All in all, I've tried to make magic a bit more gritty, powerful and dangerous. I wanted to make it feel like magic, again.
3) You’re also adding some new races and classes. What are they like?
A. This is another aspect of life in the modern world that I've had a lot of fun with. Fertility treatments and advancements in genetics being what they are, I've added a race that seems to be very popular with play testers - Half-Gnomes. They are crafty, gnome/human hybrids. There is also a Half-Bloods supplement being released that you can grab in the rewards section of the Kickstarter. Half-Bloods will explore more "half-breeds" such as what happens when an elf and a troll breed, or a dwarf and a halfling, etc. The combinations are endless. Within the core book itself, aside from the half-gnomes, I've added the Acaroi which are a small, insect-like race of humanoids that are fascinated by humanity in a very alien manner, even though civilized races tend to despise and abhor them. The ratkin are another great race I've added, which are small rat-like humanoids that are quick and curious by nature. There are a few more, but I'm keeping them a surprise for the backers of the Kickstarter.
4) What role does religion play in your setting? Has it become more secular like the real world, or does divine magic still exist?
A. Religion plays just as much of a role in the game's setting as it does in the real world - with one exception. The gods are known to be real. Divine magic exists, but not exactly in the same sense as you'd find in Pathfinder. The gods do not typically bestow any special powers, and are basically absentee. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, as this idea will be explored in an adventure path later on, but I will say that the gods are preoccupied with very important matters of their own.The gods do not typically bestow powers to individuals as they do with their Clerics in Pathfinder. Instead, clergy is a profession that opens up mystical knowledge and abilities through ritual and theological practice. Healing spells instead become something that all spell casters are capable of accessing. In the end, as far as religion, my aim has been to recreate what occurs in the real world.
5) What was your inspiration for tying together fantasy and the modern world in the way that you did?
A. It was a long time coming. I've played Dungeons and Dragons since Revised edition, and Pathfinder was a natural follow-up to that. I've also explored games like White Wolf's World of Darkness, Call Of Cthulhu and Shadowrun. Having become familiar with mirror-Earth style games, I wondered why there weren't any urban fantasy games that really stuck to the true fantasy side of things in the modern world. That was really when I started working on Modern Adventures. I wanted to play the game, and I did. Players i ran it for loved it. I started getting ideas for it in my every day [sic] life. Soon, I started working on it professionally until it became what it is today. It was really a natural progression.
Modern Adventures is on Kickstarter now.
Phil Pepin is a history-reading, science-loving, head-banging, river-running nerd, who would like nothing more than to cuddle with his pups and wife.
Picture Reference: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/highergrounds/modern-adventures-tabletop-rpg
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.