From the launch of 5th I hoped a modern version of the rules would be released.
What ultramodern5 offers is so much more than just converted and reskined
D&D races, classes, and backgrounds.
The meat and potatoes of this product is the character build options, so I'll mostly be focused on that. I think anyone looking for a review will be wanting more details on those options.
There is a section for equipment, adventuring, and antagonists. There is also adventures included at the end of the product and even sample chapters.
Characters in Ultramodern5 are comprised of Race, Lifepath, Ladders, and Classes. This is why I find Ultramodern5 so special, it's sheer number of character options.
While everyone is assumed human there is still a system for benefits and shortcomings to add some diversity from character to character.
Lifepaths are a reworking of backgrounds, to include a way of life and social standings.
There are 11 backgrounds to choose from.
Ladders are how a character lives it's life. They are optional abilities characters can gain in the place of magic or other powers for non- fantasy settings. Any ladder can be mixed with any class. There are 7 total ladders. The ladders are born leader, juggernaut, runner, savant, survivor, veteran, and warrior.
Classes are about what you would expect, there are 10 classes. They are Face, Grounder, Gunslinger, Heavy, Infiltrator, Marshal, Martial artist, Medic, Sniper, and Techi.
Classes are then again defined further with 24 archetypes. Archetypes are not tied to specific class, if a character meets all the requirements they can take the archetype. The archetypes are anti-hero, authority, banner head, brawler, brother of blood, cleaner, country gunman, diplomat, driver, field machinist, field medic, grandmaster, gun dancer, infantry support specialist, machine of war, man at arms, militarist, pathfinder, pistolero, recon intelligence, ring fighter, sapper, selfless protector, skirmisher, and suave.
The sheer number of combinations is brilliant. For two players to end up with exactly the same character it has to be on purpose.
While I'm at it I would like to address a criticism I've seen for UM5. That some weapons, specifically guns don't do enough damage. I want to chime in here.
How UM5 handles guns is that training is what makes guns dangerous. Anyone can fire a sniper rifle, a trained sniper is always deadly with a good rifle. Not just do I appreciate this and find it to my taste I feel it's right for a class based system. Also it's right for a game based on D&D, anyone can use a dagger, but a rogue with a dagger is deadly. Class abilities build on core damage.