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Modern Players Handbook - Core
Publisher: Infinite Dreamers
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2013 02:21:43
A useful re-packaging of the d20Modern rules but with sufficient weaknesses that I can only give it 3 out of 5 stars.

d20Modern broke considerable ground back at the turn of the century, and follow-up supplements provide an all-encompassing modern work-up of what was basically seen as fantasy domain before that. Different sections of the book divided career progression (classes) into various genres. So, if you only planned to stick to mundane events, you didn't need to worry about arcane magic or psionics.

The core rulebook re-presents the d20Modern rules, in a non-sectioned fashion, so everything is there in one giant list of classes and progressions. Did I say everything? Well, that's the weak point. Only some of the classes available in the vast world of supplements are there, and there are some significant pieces of progressions missing. Moreover there is an unwelcome (to me) addition of future classes that should really be left to space/future rpg supplements. I would much rather have a vast array of progressions (talent trees, advance classes) from each of the basic Modern classes.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Players Handbook - Core
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POSTMODERN: Iconic Combat Feats
Publisher: Big Finger Games
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/30/2011 17:29:41
Every d20 gamer loves feats, right? Well, if you agree, then this is a great product and you will drool over the vast array of feat paths presented here.

What it does: Iconic Combat Feats (ICF) presents a plethora of feat paths to make a hero unstoppable in combat. The concept will be familiar: you start with a feat, then make it improved, then advanced, then greater, and ICF takes this to about three more levels in many cases.

The good: more feats than you could possibly use. You'll want to create more characters just to start a new feat path you hadn't considered. There is a useful index of feats, named "Contents," at the end of the product. One very significant element of design is that most more advanced feat levels are divorced from previous advanced feat levels. This is easiest to explain with an example. Instead of having to have, say, advanced whirlwind attack in order to qualify for perfect whirlwind attack, you just need the normal prereqs plus enough BAB. This design element is vital because even an epic build could not have enough feat levels to gain each feat in a tree while taking other necessary feats. Unfortunately it can't be implemented across the board because some feats such as Dodge have already been officially sanctioned with full prereq path of advanced-greater-supreme.

The bad: there are two let-downs I'm sorry to say. First, ICF lacks a philosophy: a foreword explaining the reasons for using it and the design (above) would have been good. Lacking that may make it hard for GMs to decide whether to include all or part into their campaign planning, and hard for players to get their head around. Second - and this may reflect the very cheap price - it lacks a panel laying out these feats (with links) against the greater schema of feat building generally.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
POSTMODERN: Iconic Combat Feats
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Intermediary Classes
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/30/2011 17:08:56
What it does: Intermediary Classes (IC) takes 7 advanced classes and provides 9 "set-up" classes for them. In spite of the name, these are not necessarily intermediary between a class and an advanced class. In fact, most intermediary classes described here will need to be taken at Level 1 with a full background reflecting that.

Specifics
Three of IC classes related to the Soldier. These all make good sense and two are well thought through. There is the Boot, for regular grunts, the Junior Officer, for regular commissioned ranks, and the Irregular for the very many soldiers of the world that are not from regular backgrounds. This latter class is perhaps not as well thought through and probably says more about America's current mindset than about an objectively-built Irregular class. However, still useful stuff.
The other six have one-to-one relationships with: Investigator; Field Medic; Negotiator; Bodyguard; Field Scientist; and Martial Artist.
In my opinion, some of these make odd choices and there are other advanced classes that could well have done with an intermediary build. For example, there are so many very accessible real-world means to build martial arts skills, is there really such a need for a "Blue Collar Badass" as an intermediary class to get there? Or again, there are so many real-world means to become a negotiator, why pick Trader as the intermediary class? Why not the much more specialized law enforcement/legal/psychology background to build a class around? As a final example, creating a Bouncer intermediary class (for Bodyguard) is a very odd pick because Stan & co. have already given us a Bouncer build in one of their supplements.

Pros
Much of what I've said is negative but don't get me wrong: I really like the idea and the classes that work are great ways to get to advanced classes. For GMs or players that know they need a Soldier, but don't know much about the background a soldier must have, any of the first three ICs are excellent. Again, if you know you want a Field Medic specialist, the ER Intern may be just the ticket. I think the author has generally achieved a good balance between strengths and weaknesses. In future, other advanced classes may benefit from the same set-ups.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Intermediary Classes
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Modern Kyuujinjouhoushi: The Gunfight Disciple
Publisher: Alternate Realities Publications
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2011 18:38:23
Gun Disciple incorporates "realistic" abilities for a character that may have Strong-Soldier, or possibly Fast-Gunslinger predominant in their build, or even Tough-Bodyguard, for the culture it depicts is very much one of protective action. The key to understanding it - and finding it of any use - is the Colt 1911M1A1. If you love the gun, you'll love this prestige class. If you don't have any expertise with the gun, you will have to argue with your GM as to what qualifies as a "clone" of it because the author does not offer a list. A broad-minded GM might agree that your Desert Eagle is acceptable, in which case yippee, because you are on your way to becoming a living weapon of death-dealing. What the author does make clear is that modern autoloaders made with composite materials are out, out, out. So if you built your character based on the Glock since it's masterwork, fuggeddaboudit.

This prestige class offers what to me is a unique perspective. The class is the product of a single expert's translation of his own skill set into d20 Modern. Inevitably a single perspective may be loved or hated, endorsed or rebutted. If purchasers accept that this comes from such a perspective they will be the better for it and proceed to actually fitting it to their character or campaign.

Another reviewer has mentioned the high skill/feat requirements. However this class is so lethal I thoroughly endorse the requirements (with the caveat covered below). They do mean that you need to prepare well in advance - the Gun Disciple is not something you can just switch to.

This is a unique prestige class that adds directly to the d20 Modern opus. It explains where the authority for the class design comes from; it explains the class in the usual way; and lays out the talent progression. I also liked the background the publishers add to make it more than just a greyscale PDF. The only reason I'm marking it down from five stars is the uniquely restrictive weapon requirement and the grey area around what might qualify as equivalent to a Colt M1911A1.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Kyuujinjouhoushi: The Gunfight Disciple
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Modern Kyuujinjouhoushi: The Kowloon Gun God
Publisher: Alternate Realities Publications
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2011 18:19:25
Kowloon Gun God incorporates "cinematic" abilities for the type of agile character that uses modern automatics such as Glocks, SIGs or H&Ks. Lots of rounds to use, lots of acrobatic abilities. The KGG offers a prestige path beyond Gunslinger, or quite possibly a complete alternative to the Gunslinger if planned well in advance.

This is a very nice prestige class that adds directly to the d20 Modern opus. It does exactly what it sets out to do: it explains where the inspiration for the class comes from, so that GMs can easily decide whether it fits the campaign culture; it explains the class in the usual way; and lays out a feast of talents. I also liked the background the publishers add to make it more than just a greyscale PDF. If I have one criticism, and it's a small one, I don't love the placing of Bonus Feats, which are tucked away toward the bottom of the class description after all of the Talents. I believe Feats should be placed directly after the Skills section.

I would love to run my character through KGG: in fact I would like to acquire two complete talent trees, they are so mouth-watering! I highly recommend this to players of agile, daring characters that are familiar with modern Autoloaders.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Kyuujinjouhoushi: The Kowloon Gun God
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