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Nexus D20 Player's Guide
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Nexus D20 Player's Guide

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Game Concepts

Nexus is a Universal D20 based RPG. Nexus is a system and a universal setting. Through it you can run any world or genre you want. Several different genre settings are laid out. You can have characters cross over from any genre that your GM wants to allow. This system can be used for a single game or a multiverse game. You can use it to play this setting, your own setting, or even published settings that you like but don't like their system. It is all up to the GM and the players. Have fun with it.

Differences with standard D20

There are several important differences with standard D20 that may confuse players at first. This was born out of SRD20 but it has evolved into its own system.

Class Framework System - There are no actual classes in this system. There is a class framework and a lot of feats that allow you to create any kind of character you can think of for any setting you want. However there is still a framework that helps give the progression structure.

Character Levels reflect Power Level – Instead of having a 1st level Police and a 1st level Scholar you have a 1st level character. It may take 10 levels to reflect the training and skills for a police officer or a scholar. Most games will not start at 1st level. The GM will set the starting level and the available races and powers.

Everything is based on a Trade-off – Players start with a certain number of levels to create their characters. These are like points that they can spend to get skills, racial abilities, and magic powers. A certain race may cost 2 levels. A magical ability costs another level. Then you spend the rest on skills.

Everyone has flaws – This system has merits and flaws but you don’t gain merits by taking flaws. Everyone gets flaws as a part of their character creation and development. These can be phobias, disabilities, mental disorders, or limits on how they can use certain skills or powers. You don’t lose them as you grow, however you can change one each time you level. This represents that you have overcome some personal issue and that is at the core of any good story.

No XP – Progression of characters is set into steps. There are 4 steps per level. Any game session where something useful was accomplished the GM can declare it as a step. Once you have four steps then the next session you start at a new level and the steps reset. This means that the game will increase in level every fifth session. If you have several sessions that it takes to resolve an encounter the GM may reserve the step to the end of the encounter. It vastly simplifies bookkeeping for both the players and the GM. Hero points are used for rewarding clever gaming or good role play.

No separate Savings Throws – Savings throws are integrated into the skill list instead of being listed per class. This means that it is more of a choice of the player.

No separate Base Attack Bonus – Character have a few skills that cover what would normally be based on BAB. This means that you have a character that is great at one thing and poor at another. It also breaks up the glut of combat feats into each skill.

Feats are Skill Based – Instead of having a lot of combat feats and a few other feats this system has feats under each skill and a lot more of them without making it cumbersome.

There are no Skill Points to spend – Skills are defined as Basic, Trained, Focused, Expert, or Mastery which determines the bonus added to the skill. You add your attribute plus your aptitude level bonus. It means that you don't need to allocate points per level. This is one of the most time consuming part of character creation and eliminating it speeds up the game a lot.

Wound Level System – This game uses a wound level system to determine the effect of getting hit. This means that each attack has immediate effect and even a high level character can die from one shot. However your Toughness can increase, so you get an increasing resistance to damage (but not an immunity). This also greatly decreases the bookkeeping for all parties.

No Attacks of Opportunity – This vastly simplified the system. There is a system of control actions that replaced it.

No rolling for Attributes –Nexus uses a hybrid of the Attribute ratings and Attribute Modifiers from SRD D20. It is a base 10 system in that a 10 in an Attribute gives you +0. Every point above that gives you a +1 and every point below gives you a -1. So a 9 in the SRD D20 is a -1 and an 11 is a +1. This is double the modifier you have from SRD D20. The reason for this is that it provides for more from your raw abilities this way. Instead of rolling for attributes, you assign points for your character's attributes. You have a number of attribute points to add to your attributes depending on which campaign power level you are in. This is over and above any racial bonuses or templates you have. More powerful characters start with more attribute points.

Magic Powers instead of Spells - Nexus has a Magic System that is more like the Magic systems of novels and stories instead of a list of spells. Each type of Magic is a skill with the spells for that kind of Magic as feats. Characters have a few Magic Skills that cover a lot of effects and allow you to shape those effects as you like. This covers everything from Enchantment to Psionics. It is designed to be dynamic and creative in its use without leaving you so much rope that you hang yourself for lack of a concrete understanding of the system.

Speed of Play - This game is designed to be extremely fast for play without giving up quality or detail. That has been my goal the whole time. People have told me over and over that you have to sacrifice detail for simplicity. Then they explained how Hit Points were close enough to realistic for them! Most of the time you only need one roll per action! Combats go so fast that I have wondered if we forgot something.

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File Last Updated:
July 31, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on July 06, 2015.
Publisher Info
Donald Sauber
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