What Do I Know About Previews? Everyday Heroes (5e OGL)
Back during the d20 days of the early 2000s, WotC’s d20 offerings weren’t strictly published in D&D flavor. In addition to Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, as well as d20 versions of Call of Cthulhu and the Wheel of Time, WotC also published d20 Modern.
If you never had a chance to look at d20 Modern, the classes were based on the six ability scores, the strong hero, the fast hero, the tough hero, the smart hero, the dedicated hero, and the charismatic hero. Because there were settings that ranged from modern urban fantasy to science fiction, to tailor the experience of the game, prestige classes allowed for specializations like spellcasters or ace pilots.
The different toolkits for the setting provided an interesting range of plug-ins for the system. My personal favorites were the d20 Future and the d20 Past supplements, seeing the “modern” setting pushed in both directions to model different stories. It didn’t hurt that a few of my favorite settings, like Star*Drive and Dark Matter, which originally came out for the Alternity system, eventually found a home in d20 Modern.
I loved 3rd edition when I was running it, and even though I eventually grounded out a little on the complexity of the system, the widgets were fun to read about. In a sea of d20 supplements made by 3rd parties, especially those systems that were written to emulate modern and near modern settings, I think d20 Modern was a model of what could be done with the system in other genres.
I would go into some details about an action movie buddy-cop storyline that involved driving a speed boat from the water, into the downtown streets, and dropping a bulldozer on a crime boss in a quarry, but I should probably hold off for now.
That Was Then
Dave Scott from Evil Genius Productions contacted me, asking me if I wanted to mention their new upcoming game Everyday Heroes on the blog. He said that it would be based on d20 Modern, and that they wanted to announce it on the 20th anniversary of the release of that game.
While I was interested, that interest increased quite a bit the more I read about the upcoming project. You can read the press release here:
Since it’s hard for me to get back in the mindset of how skills scale and the range of results, I was pretty interested to hear that this is a reimagining of d20 Modern that will be using the 5e OGL as well. Additionally, since I’m not the fan of prestige classes that I once was, I thought it was a pretty solid design choice to use the 5e game tech of subclasses to help specialize characters. I’m really interested to see how the subclasses can be used to tell different character stories.
You Had My Attention . . .
I have mentioned in the past that Marvel Superheroes by TSR was the first game where I realized that a game could have a voice that wasn’t dry and authoritative. Eventually, I would realize that Jeff Grubb was that voice, and I started to notice that some of the RPG products that I enjoyed the most were those with Jeff Grubb’s name on the cover (or in the credits).
While there were a plethora of designers and authors that I enjoyed, I don’t think its overstating things to say that one of the reasons I became so invested in the Forgotten Realms was due to Jeff Grubb’s mark on the setting, and the way he framed the setting for presentation.
Anyway, in case you haven’t picked up on it yet, Jeff Grubb is on the design team for this game. That has me excited.
Waiting for the Future
I know a lot of people have wanted an update to d20 Modern for a long time. I also know that I enjoy seeing how designers adapt the 5e OGL to different implementations. While it isn’t the only game system to use, and I enjoy a wide variety of systems, it’s still a very flexible ruleset that can do a lot (potentially more than its 3rd edition forbear).
I’m also excited to see more games produced by marginalized communities. Evil Genius Productions is a black owned business, and its important to have more viewpoints and more voices in the RPG industry. Jeff Grubb was the first one to teach me the importance of fresh voices, and the best voices we can see going into the future are those voices that have been present but haven’t been heard. I’ll be keeping an eye on this project, and I hope you will as well.