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Author Topic: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)  (Read 1205 times)

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Online Inerrant LustTopic starter

I've pitched this idea before... but interest kind of died down. :-(

Here's the down and dirty.

Post-Apocalyptic Setting. Most of these are usually right after whatever time period the piece was written. Fallout is notable for differing. But I thought to take it a step further. Not just an alternate timeline, but a different genre altogether. In short, a High Fantasy Setting like Forgotten Realms.

Since nuclear weapons can't really be used as a catalyst for this setting's origins, I needed to figure out something else. And then it came to me, something so inherent to the setting itself.

The Magic goes away. People have to learn how to live without it. To put it in perspective, imagine if tommorow the planes fell out of the sky. The internet was gone. All electricity was gone, No wireless. No refridgeration, no manufacturing, no nothing but what you can make yourself. It would be a disaster, perhaps as cataclysmic as a nuclear war.

Mechanically, remnants of the old world would be handled in D&D rules. The 'new world' will be handled through D20 Modern. Obviously you'll see more of the latter. So you could have a Strong Hero 4 walking alongside a Ranger 4, animal companion and all. Thematically, this represents the two different ages.

There are advantages to clinging to the past... and there are advantages of making way for the future. Consider the mechanics representative of the setting itself (D&D's base classes are more restricting... D20 Modern's base classes offer much more customization and freedom, both reflections of the people and the culture of the old and new worlds)

Most things would be handled on a case by case basis. For example, proficiencies. I can tell you right now that in lieu of commonly available firearms, D20 Modern's methods may not be used.

Just gauging interest, don't come up with any detailed character concepts quite yet. :P
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 04:29:07 PM by Inerrant Lust »

Offline Altair1983

Re: Gauging Interest: D20 Modern/Past... Ish?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 04:07:14 PM »
I would absolutely be interested in this idea.

Online Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 05:00:51 PM »
Oh? I was getting worried for a minute.  ;D

I've become somewhat fond of Dragon Age's idea to offer a small backstory for which to give players sort of a launching pad on ideas. Also does a great job of offering a bit of exposition on the setting. Since I'd like to reserve a little bit of mystery as to why things are the way they are... (Unlike in most post-apoc stories, the inhabitants of this world really don't know why things have gotten the way they are.... nor in some cases, the extent. There is no lesson to be learned from the past, only that people have to make the best of what they have.

Anyways; some ideas I had;

As the last of your village, you have prepared all your life for a great journey. You live in a land untainted by the blight, a place of little danger and secluded in the far reaches of the world. But in you, all of the hopes of your people lay. When you were born, your closest peer was already fourteen years your senior. A mysterious infertility has doomed your tribe, and unless you find a new home among others, you will be the last one, doomed to live a lonely life among the memories of your family and tribe.

So back to the lands of your ancestors you must go, to the dark places they sought to escape. You know not if it is safe or what to expect. Your ancestors fled there from a great evil, and you shall soon see if it remains where they left it.

Could be either an uneducated tribal sort of character, or a highly educated character that comes from a village that has retained alot of the knowledge of the past. Or any variant of.

Another idea popped into my head was a squire to one of the last paladins, who has now gone missing. Pretty vague, but plenty of room for interpretation. Whether you want to pursue your old master, or merely honor his memory through your actions...

Another idea for a character would be a sort of infernally engineer demi-human. Mechanically, I'm not sure what it would be; probably tiefling. In some parts of the world, opportunistic demons and devils had broken into the material plane and decided to plant a big ol' flag in the world and claim it as their own. To this end, they've created a new race of human hybrids. Either as slaves or spies, these demihumans serve their dark masters. Most importantly, however... is that when a demihuman and a human (Or elf, half-elf, ect.) conceive of a child, the child will always be of the demonic sort.

So the ultimate goal of the demons and devils is to eventually turn all of the goodly races into a race that resembles themselves much more closely. Something easier to control.

Since these demihumans are not always the product of 'consentual love'... many communities will tolerate (if distrustfully) the existence of a few of them within their borders. The fear of them being spies is ever present, and of course they are almost always forbidden to mate. So there's another concept. :P Either as an escaped slave or as one who has been living among the other races, distrusted and repressed.

Other idea... a wood elf who has fled his or her forest when it became too corrupted by some mysterious blight..

In short, I want to keep much of the exact details of the setting somewhat mysterious, because like I said- that's a good representation of what most people living in it know. :P But at the same time I realize that makes it a little hard to conceive of a good character concept that would fit in with the world..

Not to mention it makes it hard to decide whether the setting is interesting or not!  :P

Offline Altair1983

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 06:14:43 PM »
Actually i prefer settings like that i have bee in a playtesting group for the Dragon Age Pen and Paper Roleplaying game and  I have had alot of fun with it so that level of discovery and some freedom to shape events always makes things interesting.

Offline avorae

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 08:30:03 PM »
I am interested in the as it sounds like it could be fun.

Online Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 09:54:26 PM »
Huh... It appears that there already exists a 'D20 Apocalypse' book for D20 Modern.

Well, since I think it would be obvious to most people, here's some of the major themes that your character would have grown up knowing;

Infertility (Ever see Children of Man?)
Random lifespans (Some people die of old age way before they should.)
Dangerous World (Venture too far into the wilderness and you don't have to worry about the occasional goblin or orc, but random mobs of zombies or a pack of Otyughs. Most normal animals, even the fierce ones like bears, have been eaten by abberations.)
Little physical destruction, but extensive disrepair (Castles overgrown with moss, entire cities abandoned... but no smoking craters or radioactive wastes)
Extraplanar Invaders (Although rare, the occasional demon or devil will decide to start carving out territory for him/herself.)
Distinct lack of organized raiders/cannibals/ect. (People have learned to stick together. The good races have too many external threats to bother creating ones from within)

There are alot of little things, too... in short, nothing just works right. Overall, however... the theme you'll see in most NPCs is remarkable hardiness and resillience. Depends on whether you look at it as 'a world in decline until total annihilation' ....or if you look at it as a world that's hit rock bottom and can only go up. The threats facing the survivors are immense, but I hope to convey the overall theme of 'adapt and overcome'.  ;)

And as I fear, D20 Apocalypse seems tailored to fit a post-20th century setting. Oh well.  :P

Offline Shaitan

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 05:53:18 PM »
I am certainly interested

Offline Meliai

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2011, 07:56:18 PM »
Aaaaah, I like this concept quite a bit. It sounds like the game itself takes place at least a generation or two af ter the magic vanished, is that correct?

I'm thinking of using a variation of the first idea you mentioned, the pc leaving their tribe in search of a new home. When the magic failed many blamed those who had once wielded it, believing the mages were merely withholding their gift out of spite or some I'll-conceived bid to gain dominance over those who relied on their arcane skills. The Midnight Academy of Thaumaturgical Studies (or "that creepy wizard school" to many locals) had existed in peace with the other communities within the Gray Forest for countless generations until magical drought swept over the land. Already suspicious of the huge, dark castle and the strange mix of beings that mingled within its walls, it wasn't long befor a mob formed and marched on the now helpless students and teachers sequestered inside. The raging villages found surprisingly little resistance and countless innocents were slaughtered or strung up before they retreated, leaving the castle in shambles and the small consortium of surviving residents too terrified to leave the confines of the castle. Though looters pillaged most of the Academy's valuables the library and many of the more mundane supplies remained, and for generations the former mages and their descendants lived in isolation from the outside world.

Whoops this is getting long and I'm stuck on my phone at the moment so it's hard to see what I'm typing. I'll revise and expand as needed later. I'm thinking she'll be a ranger/rogue-ish type, with the wizards adapting the animals that used to be their familiars to be more mundane companions over the years.

Online Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: D20 Modern/Past-ish? (With D&D Elements.. & a little post-apoc to boot)
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2011, 08:56:48 PM »

I was quite pleasantly suprised to see some interest in this again.

But yes, it's been a few decades. And I love that idea. Makes me think of the villagers with pitchforks and torches in Frankenstein. :p Mechanically, there'd be no penalties for multiclassing. Otherwise, I'd guess character creation would be Point Buy 32 (Much higher than the usual 25 because people have had to grow up tougher and more skillful than they were in past generations) and level 5. High enough not be murdered by a family of badgers... low enough to be afraid of all the other beasties. ::)