The flashing red light on the security console snapped me out of a bored daze. Immediately my heart started thumping as I fumbled for the radio transceiver. "Uh…Charlie, come in…over." Wincing at my thorough lack of professionalism and the fact that I practically squeaked the words, I waited for my more experienced partner to respond. When Charlie did answer, it was with his casual drawl, "Go ahead Stevie, what’s got your panties all twisted this time?" Ignoring the verbal jab, I quickly mashed the radio’s send button, "Charlie, there’s a silent alarm going off at the rear entrance to warehouse five!" Charlie responded with a grunted curse, and I could hear his duty belt start to jangle as he broke into a run. "Start recording everything Stevie", he huffed out, "And get your butt over there to back me up… Christ! That’s the munitions warehouse…" Great, I thought to myself as I hurried to set the security controls and rush to join my partner. Someone is stealing the high tech weapons…this should not be happening in the first week of my new job!
Welcome to the Modern Heroes RPG!
Why the Modern Genre?
What is the thing that sets the modern genre of roleplaying games apart from all others? Is it the technology? Perhaps it is the culture? Wait…it’s the guns, right? Well, maybe it is all of those aspects, but perhaps that certain something is more intangible. Perhaps it is the personal knowledge and frame of reference that each of us, as players, bring to the game.
Even those of us who snoozed through some of our classes can bring to mind general knowledge of the geography, politics, pop culture, and even the military, that are all a part of our modern time. Everyone knows that a Ferrari is faster and way cooler than a Kia, and we all know who the latest pop singer in rehab is. Most people can point out New York City on a map, and most know the difference between an AK-47 and an M-16. The point being…players don’t have to learn about new cultures, or the geography of new lands. They don’t have to memorize new cultural tendencies or political structures. In the modern setting, these things are already a part of our lives.
Now, with all that general knowledge in place, reinterpret the latest political struggle, or military conflict. Imagine the ruthless underside of organized crime, or the cut-throat environment of corporate espionage. Let your imagination run wild with some gritty urban vigilantism or an overly dramatic gumshoe detective story. Are you starting to see the potential? The background is already provided…insert blank.
What’s so great about this system?
We did not want to reinvent the wheel; we just wanted to make it roll smoother on the modern highway (maybe with some low-pro bling 22’s). The rules system in the Modern Hero RPG is, what we feel, an evolutionary step forward for a system that has already proven to be excellent in another genre. Thanks to the wonderful OGL, we admit that most of the work was already done. What we have focused on is making a system that is versatile, as is fitting for the modern times.
Because of globalization, characters in a modern setting should not be “pigeon-holed” into classes or areas of knowledge. We offer only one base class – the Modern Hero, a framework upon which to build. It is then up to the player to build his own unique character, and to have the freedom to shape that character as it advances through the levels of experience. So, versatility and freedom of choice… Let’s make that our hallmark.