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Apex (5E version)
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Apex (5E version)

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NOTE:  This product requires Ultramodern5 and core 5th Edition rulebooks. (www.drivethrurpg.com/product/190188/Ultramodern5-5th-Edition)

History once spoke of individuals able to accomplish miracles, eventually eradicated or bred out by a population too frightened of what they didn't understand.  As science filled in the void left by absent gods, these gifted individual decreased until they became all but extinct.  But they never completely vanished.  Each generation, such a rare being appeared with abilities subtle to extreme.  However, despite their desire to reveal themselves, forces continually prevent them from doing so. 

To many of those who know them, they're of an inferior class.  To others, including themselves, they are considered an improvement on the design of man, an upper echelon. 

The apex.

Apex is a module for DEM's Ultramodern5a plug-in rather than a full setting: a set of rules and ideas to allow any number of homebrew settings to work within it.  There is a basic background involving people who gain unnatural powers, but don't let that limit you if you wish to use it as a jumping off point.

Apex includes the following: 

--Tier-based talent acquisition. Over 180 upgradable super-powered talents, totalling over 950 different variations. 

--New sacrifice rules to trade penalties for new talents.

--Eleven new backgrounds and apex-themed life events. 

--Eleven new ladders to focus your superpowers.

--New adversary templates and monsters.

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 05, 2019 11:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey again! with dash plus, how long does the speed boost last? as long as you keep moving or as long as you keep dashing? (enemies seem to have it remain in play so long as they move)
Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 04, 2019 12:00 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, I'm trying to make a superman type character. Would like him to do melee punching attacks and realised that there really isn't a good way to do this. There are a lot of powers that grant a second attack, but they're mostly ranged ones or they're very overt claws/blades.

Things like freight train and kinetic assault would allow for bonus damage, but without access to multiple attacks or improved unarmed damage dice it still kind of sucks.

Just some powers that grant extra basic melee attacks/improve basic melee damage dice would be nice! Or how would you suggest such a talent tree might look? Presumably it would be phenom as its "normal"
Customer avatar
Chris D September 04, 2019 6:19 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Superman is one of the most difficult ideas to convey mechanically...I mean people like him are basically gods. I once made a comment that Neo was a level 20th character surrounded by 5th level friends. This explains why Superman unbalances the Justice League so much. I admit when I designed the game, I tried to keep it with the mid-low powered superheroes, as the "gods" were always tricky. I could see a GM allowing Superman (capital S) would simply break the rules to pick and choose any desire abilities and at any desired level. Characters like Doctor Manhattan break the universe (they even do so within their own settings), so in a ways, to design them would be to work outside the system. I know that sounds like a dodge, and I would love to offer real mechanical solutions for the truly powerful supermen, but I think your best course would be to work around the technical side of the rules to create the end result, and then justifty the mechanics after the fact.
To that end, yes, I would...See more
Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 04, 2019 7:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Honestly I was mostly interested in being able to make a chrysalis that did melee without having to have claws or bone spikes.

There is just a lack or ways to make the most standard superhero fighting option: punching.

Something that increases unarmed damage slightly ad Grant's extra attacks at higher tiers basically. Feels like it would have been logical to include in freight train or sportsman like strength or just an additional phenom option like unarmed prowess or something?
Customer avatar
Chris D September 04, 2019 8:02 am UTC
PUBLISHER
That's actually a good point...I mean one way is to use a martial artist from UM5 and add in APEX talents every chance you get. OR you can homebrew claws to inflict bludgeoning damage.


Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 04, 2019 8:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
What about something like:

MIGHTY FISTS
Tier 1
You punch hard, for you are mighty
1st Level (Tier 1): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d4 damage, or if they already inflict 1d4 damage, +1 damage.
1st Level (Tier 2): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d6 damage, or if they already inflict 1d6 damage, +2 damage. Your unarmed strikes also have the finesse and light properties.
3rd Level (Tier 3): You can make a single attack as a bonus action.
5th Level (Tier 4): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d8 damage, or if they already inflict 1d8 damage, +3 damage.
7th Level (Tier 5): As an action you can make two attacks using your fists.
10th level (Tier 7): Your fists gains the AP property.
15th Level (Tier 6): As an action you can make three attacks using your fists.

Alternatively, enhance Freight train:

Tier 1
The more you fight, the better you become.
1st Level (Tier 1): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d4 damage, or if they already...See more
Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 04, 2019 11:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
How do either of these sound? reasonable or need tweaking?
Customer avatar
Chris D September 04, 2019 4:46 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Those are good. I generally like use increasing dice (1d4 > 1d6 > 1d8 > 1d12...), but yours works as well. I would also consider starting the damage at 1d6. I may also include adding a critical hit effect like a push. Everything else looks solid. I prefer the alteration to Freight train.
Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 04, 2019 6:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks :) Would be cool to see what an official talent to support the punching superhero archetype would look like!

So for the freight train version you'd change the starting damage to 1d6 rather than 1d4? similar to knuckle spikes?

Freight Train (Phenom Talent)
Tier 1
The more you fight, the better you become.
1st Level (Tier 1): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d6 damage, or if they already inflict 1d6 damage, +2 damage.
1st Level (Tier 2): You gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls. Each time you hit, this bonus increases by 1 to a maximum of 3. This reverts back to +1 if you miss or don’t hit a target until the end of your next turn.
1st Level (Tier 3): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d8 damage, or if they already inflict 1d8 damage, +3 damage. Your unarmed strikes also have the finesse and light properties.
2nd Level (Tier 4): The max damage bonus for cumulative hits is +5.
3rd Level (Tier 5): If you reach a +5 damage bonus from cumulative hits, your...See more
Customer avatar
Chris D September 04, 2019 6:54 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Freight Train (Phenom Talent)
Tier 1
The more you fight, the better you become.
1st Level (Tier 1): Your unarmed strikes inflict 1d6 damage. If already at 1d6, your damage die increases by one step (1d4 > 1d6 > 1d8 > 1d10 > 1d12 > 2d6 > 2d8 > 2d10).
1st Level (Tier 2): You gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls. Each time you hit, this bonus increases by 1 to a maximum of 3. This reverts back to +1 if you miss or don’t hit a target until the end of your next turn.
1st Level (Tier 3): Your unarmed damage die increases by one step (1d4 > 1d6 > 1d8 > 1d10 > 1d12 > 2d6 > 2d8 > 2d10). Your unarmed strikes also have the finesse and light properties.
2nd Level (Tier 4): The max damage bonus for cumulative hits is +5.
3rd Level (Tier 5): If you reach a +5 damage bonus from cumulative hits, your next hit is a critical hit. The bonus then reverts back to 0.
7th Level (Tier 6): As an action you can make two attacks using your fists.
10th...See more
Customer avatar
Alisdair S September 04, 2019 9:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
awesome, thanks :) I hope you add it to the book in an update at some point too :D

one thing, the Tier 5 ability should revert back to +1 I assume, or the Tier 2 ability should start at 0 rather than +1?
Customer avatar
Paul L December 29, 2018 9:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
One Question does the Anti-Apex field require a Apex save? If so is it per round? Do constant abilities also end such as a Juggernaut losing 700 pounds along with all stat bonuses?
Customer avatar
Chris D January 04, 2019 9:08 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Nope, no save. It's like an anti-magic field. And yes, it suppresses Freak abilities as well, just like in X-Men 3. :)
Customer avatar
Aaron S June 26, 2018 2:02 am UTC
regarding genetic benefits and apex talents: so in ultramodern5 you can sacrifice your +1's for additional benefits, and you can sacrifice your base genetic benefit for an additional talent. So can I sacrifice my +1's for more talents?
Customer avatar
Chris D January 04, 2019 9:04 am UTC
PUBLISHER
You can, but the maximum talents you can gain is one.
Customer avatar
Cody T May 19, 2017 11:23 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The talent Human reactor mentions radiation damage, what is that? cause nuclear weapons deal force damage so i would have thought that radiation dealt force damage but force damage is mentioned separately in the talent.
Customer avatar
Chris D January 04, 2019 9:06 am UTC
PUBLISHER
No Radiation is based on if you suffer damage that is ACTUAL radiation, ie radiation poison. Tier 1 talents are somewhat light compared to TL2. Nuclear weapons deal force damage for mechanical purposes.
Customer avatar
Cody T May 17, 2017 2:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
is there a hard limit to the capacity of the widget bag or is it just however much you have the strength to carry also the talent has level 21 as part of the ability
Customer avatar
Chris D May 17, 2017 6:11 am UTC
PUBLISHER
There is really no limit to the widget bag outside of the logical maximum weight.
Customer avatar
Cody M May 10, 2017 1:02 am UTC
PURCHASER
Huge fan of the book and have looked over all of the amazing talents you have put time into. My only remark is on the Juggernaut and Behemoth talents. They both appear to have similar aspects and it seems you really liked the concept of being a heavy force. I also like this idea and also noticed how great Behemoth is for a possible "giant-man" talent if it just had a little tweak. Other than that amazing book! It was exactly what I was looking for
Customer avatar
Chris D May 10, 2017 4:46 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks, buddy! Share the word and post a review if you wish!
Customer avatar
Cody M May 11, 2017 5:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Absolutely! I guess what I was asking is will there be like an expansion?! It seems like you covered a supah broad array of talents, but there are all sorts of weird comic things. Weather control, elemental manipulation (akin to shape water or Maximilian's earthen grasp), and maybe some extra limb heroes, etc.
Customer avatar
chris W April 10, 2017 1:26 am UTC
Quick question about the mover talent. My group cant figure out whether or not it can be used on living creatures. It says objects but then states that targets that actively resists it automaticaly fails. But for the life of us we cant figure out how an object actively resists something.....
Customer avatar
Chris D April 11, 2017 1:02 am UTC
PUBLISHER
You can lift organic as long as it doesn't resist. So if you want to live a friend and have the capacity of doing so, have at it. But it cannot be used offensively to move an enemy.
I hope that helps.
Customer avatar
chris W April 11, 2017 4:17 am UTC
Thank you so much, yes, that is exactly what I thought it was. It is wonderful when publishers are willing to help. Thank you again.
Customer avatar
Chris D April 11, 2017 4:39 am UTC
PUBLISHER
It's important to know that unlike other editions of D&D (which I love), 5E allows for flexibility, and Apex really encourages that. GMs should not punish creative uses of rules. That's why I suggest not immediately blocking insane power combinations that may arise by players using the rules creatively. Thanks for the comment and tell others.
Customer avatar
Chris D January 31, 2017 7:57 am UTC
PUBLISHER
For those who want a more extensive preview.
https://youtu.be/Bi_wQcZji4E
Customer avatar
Brian R December 16, 2016 7:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Wow, this looks really cool. Definetly want to check this out., hopefully i can get it with some christmas cash.
Customer avatar
November 17, 2016 7:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
I have read through the book a couple of times, and the only thing I have a question about is the idea of pushing. You do a great job of explaining the punishment for failing the check, but there isn't much context given as to when to use this. What benefits do they get? Is it power specific?
Customer avatar
Chris D November 17, 2016 7:26 am UTC
PUBLISHER
It is very power-specific. Many entries will state what you can gain from pushing. Look under the "Push" entry under the specific talents.
Customer avatar
November 17, 2016 7:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
Alright. I remember reading through those before but not drawing the connection. This may simply be a home brew rule thing, but could you, theoretically, use the push system to increase the number of uses of certain abilities. For most tier 1 abilities, you only have one use before a long rest is necessary. Could they, say, push to use it a second time, with all of the risks inherent?
Customer avatar
Chris D November 17, 2016 7:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Some of them already have that, but if you want to homebrew additional uses, be my guest.
Customer avatar
Timothy M November 06, 2016 2:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks neat. Are there plans for a physical book?
Customer avatar
Chris D November 06, 2016 5:12 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yup, and as with Ultramodern5, anyone that purchased the PDF before the print's release will be able to acquire the print at cost.
Customer avatar
Timothy M November 07, 2016 1:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Sweet.
Customer avatar
Stacie W December 10, 2016 11:12 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Way cool.
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