Modern20 is RPG Objects’ rebuild of the d20 Modern system with a few changes thrown in to make it smoother and to “pick up the pace” a bit from the original rules published in the D&D 3.0 era.
If you arefamiliar with the d20 Modern RPG, then Modern 20 is already pretty recognizable – it is distinctly the result of a fan of the d20 modern game rewriting the modern SRD to fill in some gaps and work through some house rules. Better than just anyone, mind you, RPG Objects (and Charles Rice, the author) are known for their support of the d20 Modern game through a large number of “Blood and …” releases since the game was first released.
To be honest, the only thing I don’t like about this remake of d20 Modern is the header font choice.
For Military July, I’m rolling up a guy fresh out of the military, now back in the USA and suddenly thrust into adventure. I’m seeing Michael Johnson as a young man with one tour of duty under his belt. I’ll use the “modern” character creation system, which involves rolling 4D6-L six times and then placing the results. I’m figuring that Private Johnson will have a fairly high Constitution, followed by Dex, Cha, Str, Int and finally Wisdom. My rolls end up having no average stats, instead providing a range of 16,15,15,12,12 and 8.
The next step in character creation is to select a Background. In Johnson’s case this is going to be Military. This gives him 4 ranks in 3 skills chosen from a short list. In this case we take Athletics, Firearms, Perception, and Weapons. He also has a starting Wealth of 4.
Next up is his current occupation. Since it’s Military July, I’m sticking to military occupations. He can’t be a sniper or special ops guy yet, and we’re not going for an officer, so I go with Soldier. As a soldier he gets three skills as “professional skills” (Athletics, Firearms & Outdoorsman) – he gets a salary wealth bonus equal to half his ranks in the highest of these three skills. He also gains a +2 bonus with each of them. Further, he gets a bonus when using specific feats (if he picks them up) as well as a wealth bonus for each of those feats he picks up.
Then it’s time to pick a character class. In d20 Modern this would have been “Strong Hero”, “Smart Hero” or so on. In Modern20 the names have changed, but the themes remain the same. I’m thinking of playing up his high Constitution, going for the “Tank” class. This gives him a d12 hit die (and thus 12 hit points at level 1, +3 for his Con bonus). He starts with 20 skill points, 4 feats and the Tank special ability of Resilience.
One of the awesome changes in Modern20 is the Reputation rules. You spend resource points equal to your Reputation on things like security clearances, press passes, contacts, followers and so on. It’s an awesome addition to the rules set. As such, I’m immediately spending one of Private Johnson’s two professional perks to get “Professional Reputation” giving him a +4 Reputation Bonus. Two points get spent on Rank, giving him 3 extra points that can only be spent on things inside the US military. These three points are spent on “Access” giving him access to military-licensed hardware, secret information, and so on. The other two points he spends on a level 1 follower – someone from his unit who owes him his life and will do just about anything Johnson asks of him. His other perk will be spent on one of his professional skills – a perk spent on firearms gives him the “Burst Fire” special ability.
Then it’s time to pick skills based on his profession. And finally for skills he gets a hobby, one skill at 4 ranks.
Now we get to pick out four feats. With the burst fire perk already under his belt, he has access to a Tank-only feat of Suppression Fire. Dead Aim and Far Shot will make him more dangerous with his gun, especially in a sniping-type environment. And we close up with Die Hard, making him harder to kill.
Private Michael Johnson
Strength: 12 (+1)
Dexterity: 15 (+2)
Constitution: 16 (+3)
Intelligence: 12 (+1)
Wisdom: 8 (-1)
Charisma: 15 (+2)
Action Points: 6
Hit Points: 15
Base Attack Bonus: +0
Fort Save: +5
Ref Save: +3
Will Save: -1
Recovery Save: +2
Defense Bonus: +0
Reputation Bonus: +4
Rank (U.S. Military) 
Secret Access (U.S. Military) 
Follower (Level 1 – fellow soldier) 
Feats, Perks & Special Abilities
Resilience: Once per encounter make a Recovery Save (DC 15) to heal non-lethal damage equal to Tank level. Spend an action point to convert 1 damage to non-lethal per Tank level.
Professional Reputation: +4 Reputation
Firearms Perk – Burst Fire: Make 3 or 5 attacks per round with an automatic weapon
Suppression Fire: Attack 3 squares – if the enemies remain standing, attack them as normal unless they drop prone.
Dead Aim: Full round action to attack grants +2 to hit, makes attacker flat-footed.
Die Hard: Automatically stabilize when reduced to negative hit points.
Far Shot: Ranged weapons have 1.5x range.
Acrobatics +6 (4 ranks, +2 Dex)
Athletics +7 (4 ranks, +2 profession, +1 Str)
Crime +3 (2 ranks, +1 Int)
Firearms +7 (4 ranks, +2 profession, +2 Dex)
Leadership +4 (2 ranks, +2 Charisma)
Outdoorsman +5 (4 ranks, +2 profession, -1 Wis)
Medicine +1 (2 ranks, -1 Wis)
Perception +3 (4 ranks, -1 Wis)
Speak Language – Spanish, Italian (2 ranks)
Stealth +6 (4 ranks, +2 Dex)
Streetwise +1 (2 ranks, -1 Wis)
Vehicles +6 (4 ranks, +2 Dex)
Weapons +5 (4 ranks, +1 Str)