True 20 - Modern

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True 20 - Modern

Postby JongWK » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:52 am

Something that bothers me with some modern games, is a lack of depth when it comes to issues like vehicles and computer hacking.

Do you think it should be handled with a couple of basic skill checks, or is there room for arcana-like feats?
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Postby FickleGM » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:19 am

It would depend on the depth that you want to add to your game, but I could see room for this sort of thing.

Skill would be very useful for identifying the lay person, while feats would be good at showing the elite. I am a computer programmer, but for the most part I am only proficient at writing programs that create reports, interact with databases, create transactions, etc. I am not able to hack into a system or create a virus or emulate intelligence. Now, assigning difficulties and dealing strictly with skills is workable, but if you want the additional level then a feat system would be useful. Taking it a step further, special feats that are almost "power-like" could make for truly gifted individuals.

A character with the skill, would be able to work at hacking into a system utilizing knowledge of computers and programming (and probably tripping alarms). A character with a hacking feat, would know the inner workings of security systems and how to bypass them. A character with a "power-like" feat may be able to "see" into the inner-workings of a specific security system, virtually eliminating the possibility of detection or failure.

You could equate it somewhat to Disable Device, a Rogue with Disable Device and a Rogue with Disable Device and spell casting ability (detect magic, dispel magic, knock, etc.). Each step gives the character more ability with the task.

This would work with other modern aspects as well, such as driving (I can drive, but I'm no stunt driver :wink: ).

For a highly detailed modern campaign, this may be worth pursuing...
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Brainstorm

Postby JongWK » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:18 am

Ok, I didn't have the time before for it, but here's a possibility.

Skills:

Computers - A character can do most user operations with it. Someone with a lot of ranks could have a superb Google-fu, for example. ;)

When you take this skill, you must choose one OpSys (i.e: Windows, Linux, OS/X, etc). You can use the Computers skill with that OS and only with that OS, unless you take the Cross-platform feat (see below). Alternatively, a character might use his skill with a huge penalty, and might not use any feat.

At the GM's discretion, some "basic" hacking might be allowed (password retrieval, etc). Anything slightly advanced is covered by feats.

Feats:

Cross-platform: Choose one OS. You can use both your Computers skill and feats with it, at no penalty.

Programmer: You can create programs, from the very basic to the very advanced. Programming takes time, though, but multiple programmers can work together (consider it an Aid Another action). The GM sets a DC, and depending on the difference by which you succeed, needed time is reduced. Multiple tests might be needed.

Codemaster: You take half the time to create a program. Some tinkering might be needed when dealing with multiple-programmer projects. Suggested prerequisite: Programmer feat.

Hacker: Your all-purpose hacking feat. It lets a character use his Computer skill for, uh, non-legal purposes if needed. Suggested prerequisite: Programmer feat.

Virus Writer: You can create malicious code. This includes any virus, trojan, spyware, etc. Minor stuff are annoying at best. High end programs make international news headlines. Suggested prerequisite: Programmer feat.

Virtuoso: Choose a specific use for your Computer skill (Google-fu, writing a virus, building an OS, creating an utility, etc). You gain a +4 bonus for any skill check.

Netiquette: You can "blend in" with the online masses. In other words, use your social skills without penalties. I'm assuming there'd be a penalty for them, but even if not, there might still be room for this feat. This feats could also cover flame wars. ;)

Net Guru: When you speak, they listen. It could be a Reputation bonus, Leadership-like followers, or something else. Suggested prerequisite: Netiquette feat.


Some other points to consider...

If we take the sci-fi route, we can have some feats straight out of Ghost in the Shell. A Brainhack feat could allow someone to digitally possess someone, access memories or even rewrite them.

I'm not so sure about Conviction. Maybe an "I'm feeling lucky" feat that allows you to spend a point to treat the roll as a twenty, but not a natural one?

Some existing feats could be used (I'm thinking of Master Plan). Suggestions?

Think I'm on the right track?
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Postby JongWK » Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:54 pm

* Bump? *
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Postby FickleGM » Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:25 pm

I do like the direction, unfortunately most of my experience happens to be in the realm of fantasy so I don't have any suggestions.

So, I'll keep an eye on this and see if more yoinkables appear, but unless something hits me I probably will not be able to add much.

Later...
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Postby critter80 » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:42 am

To be fair, this lack of detail exists within all of the skills. As a musician, I can assure you that the perform skills are not very realistic, and I'm fairly certain that after all the education that I've been through that the Knowledge skills are not quite on the mark either. Still, the game must balance both realism with playability, and I doubt that any modern true 20 that stayed true to the simplicity of the original would create anything more than the simple skills and then maybe some feats that could be used to focus skills further.
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Postby JongWK » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:25 am

I disagree. If True20 went for absolute simplification, there would be no combat-oriented feats for example. A modern or near-future setting that dedicates part of itself to cyberspace will need this kind of feats, if only to spice up things.
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