The campaign is going to run on d20 Modern rules, meaning that you will choose a class from the d20 core books. Olli has pretty much sold me on this, and I’m hoping it’ll work well with the setting. That said, there are a few changes that I’m going to make, some inspired by my previous campaigns, some inspired by 4th edition.
Talent Trees: I’m introducing 5 new talent trees for your perusal. They work just like the talent trees you find in d20 Modern, except any character can choose to start up any of the talent trees, regardless of class. I’ve tried to make them as balanced as I can with regards to the existing talent trees, but I may be tweaking them in the future.
Character Points: Your characters will gain 1 Character Point per level. These points allow you to, at any point during the game, learn from the specific events your character is experiencing. What this means is that you tell me at some point during the session that you’re spending your character point. I’ll then assign you a bonus, more or less equivalent in power to a feat, that relates specifically to the event you’ve ‘spent’ your character point on. The idea here is to make your characters more a product of the adventures they’ve been through than a generic character progression chart. This is a very experimental rule inspired by Heroes of Might and Magic II, so we’ll have to see how it works out. Suggestions are welcome.
Non-lethal Damage Olli wrote some very excellent house rules for unarmed combat and non-lethal damage. I’m going to take a page out of his book and use the same rules in my campaign, so I’ve reprinted them here:
A d20 Modern hero takes nonlethal damage from non-lethal attacks. If the amount of nonlethal damage inflicted on a character ever equals his current hit points total, he is staggered. If the amount of nonlethal damage exceeds his current hit points total, he falls unconscious until the damage is healed. However, if a single attack deals more nonlethal damage than his current Massive Damage Threshold, he must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be knocked out for 1d4 +1 rounds (or until healed). Nonlethal damage naturally heals at the rate of 1 point per hour. Magical healing or healing from Treat Injury also heals an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
Bloodied 4th Edition has a pretty interesting mechanic whereby any individual who has lost half his total hit points is considered ‘bloodied’. This doesn’t do anything directly in game terms, but many combat powers and abilities in 4E only work if the target is bloodied(finishing blow and all that), or if the subject is bloodied(blood frenzy and all that). I’m considering inserting this mechanic, and adding a -2 penalty to attacks and saves to bloodied individuals, since a character on 1 hit point shouldn’t really be fighting with the same effectiveness as a character on full hit points. This is entirely up for discussion though. Do you think it would be cluttering combat too much, or making characters on low hit points even more afraid of combat situations?