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08/11/2004


d20 Future Excerpt
By Christopher Perkins, Rodney Thompson, and JD Wiker

Always wanted to adventure among the stars? Then the d20 Future book is for you! Aliens, spaceships, unexplored planets, cybernetics, mutants laser weapons -- they're all here, just waiting for your intrepid heroes. You can even create heroes from alien species to add new dimensions to your spacefaring adventures.

The d20 Future book gives you everything you need to create and play d20 Modern games set in the near or far future. Our sneak peek offers just a sampling:

From Chapter Twelve: Mutations

A mutation, as it's defined in this chapter, represents a fundamental change in the genetic structure of a creature.

Mutation Points

Mutation Points (MP) provide a simple method of selecting mutations while preserving game balance. All creatures (including heroes) begin play with 0 MP. A creature gains MP by selecting one or more drawbacks -- physical deformities and disabilities that make the creature less effective in play. A creature can then "spend" the MP on one or more beneficial mutations. The total MP spent on beneficial mutations cannot exceed the total MP the creature gains from drawbacks. A creature may still have unspent MP after choosing beneficial mutations, however. These unspent MP can be spent on new mutations at a later time.

For example, a player wants his character to have the Enlarged Form mutation, which costs 6 MP. To compensate, the character must take at least 6 MP worth of drawbacks. The player selects the Ability Decay drawback (3 MP), the Light Sensitivity drawback (1 MP), and the Mindslave drawback (2 MP). The character effectively gains one major mutation at the cost of three drawbacks and is left with 0 MP.

Mutation Descriptions

This chapter introduces four types of mutations: cosmetic mutations, minor mutations, major mutations, and drawbacks.

Cosmetic Mutations: The simplest and least mechanically complicated mutation is a cosmetic one. A cosmetic mutation has no game effect other than to change a creature's appearance in some fashion. A cosmetic mutation costs 0 MP.

Minor Mutations: A minor mutation not only changes a creature's appearance in some fashion but also grants it a beneficial (if minor) special ability or useful feature, such as darkvision or gills. A minor mutation costs 1-3 MP and can usually be offset by a single drawback.

Major Mutations: A major mutation fundamentally changes the genetics and physiology of a particular creature. Moreover, it grants the creature a beneficial special ability or feature it couldn't otherwise possess, such as telekinesis or the ability to fly. A major mutation costs 4 or more MP and must be offset by one or more drawbacks.

Drawbacks: A creature with minor or major mutations also has drawbacks to offset them. Drawbacks are special disabilities or vulnerabilities that negatively affect a creature. Each drawback has an MP value, and a creature can spend these MP on minor and major mutations to offset the negative effects of the drawback.

Adrenaline Jolt [Minor]

You can flood your bloodstream with extreme amounts of adrenaline to temporarily boost your Strength or Dexterity.

MP Cost: 3.

Benefit: Once per day, as a free action, you can temporarily increase either your Strength or your Dexterity by 1d4+1 points. The increase lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier.

Combat Fear [Drawback]

Due to a chemical imbalance in your brain, you are gripped by an inexplicable fear whenever you face a dangerous or frightening situation.

MP Value: 4.

Drawback: After initiative is rolled but before you take your first action in combat, make a DC 15 Will saving throw. If you fail the Will save, you are shaken for the rest of the encounter, taking a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. If the save succeeds, you overcome your moment of fear and negate the ill effects.

Extra Digits [Cosmetic]

You gain an extra digit on each hand and foot. The extra fingers or toes, although fully functional, do not confer any special benefit, nor do they hinder you in any way.

MP Cost: 0.

Benefit: None.

Wall Crawler [Minor]

You can walk walls and cling to ceilings like a spider. You have tiny barbs on your hands and feet to facilitate climbing, and your fingers and toes secrete a transparent adhesive that lets you cling to smooth surfaces.

MP Cost: 2.

Benefits: As long as your hands and feet are uncovered, you can climb perfectly smooth, flat, vertical surfaces. In addition, you gain a +4 mutation bonus on all Climb checks. Wearing gloves or footwear reduces the bonus to +2, and wearing both gloves and footwear negates the bonus entirely.

You also gain a +4 mutation bonus on Balance checks when moving across a slippery surface. Wearing any kind of footwear negates this bonus.

X-Ray Vision [Major]

You can see into and through solid matter.

MP Cost: 6.

Benefit: X-ray vision allows you to see through 1 foot of brick or stone, 1 inch of metal or composite alloy, and up to 3 feet of wood, plaster, or dirt. A thicker substance or a thin sheet of lead blocks your vision. X-ray vision has a maximum range of 20 feet and allows you to see as if you were looking at something in normal light, even if there is no illumination.

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