Modern Mayhem 20

Everything was orchestrated by a maestro, you and your friends are manacled and sitting on the transport bus looking forward to 30 year of hard labour that to some creative police work (not that you were angels to begin with). When an unexpected accident frees you, will you clear your name or will you become the type of person the courts believe you to be. This is the central question of Modern Mayhem20, the first full-adventure path for the Modern20 system. This 47 page PDF product was written by Charles Rice and published by RpgObjects.

I was caught off guard a little by this adventure path because of preconceived notions I have about adventures, experience and levelling with other OGL games. There are basically 5 or 6 main objectives in this adventure path and for completing each major objective your characters will become more powerful. The format is also a bit different that what I expected, each adventure has an objective with complications and opponents but its written more as a framework for the GM to breathe life into then a scripted story. I think out of the six adventures only three occur in a required order and not all of the six are necessary to develop the story with your players. I think this gives the book a very sandbox-like appeal similar to some objective or non-linear videogames; the encounters allow the players to define their character, establish their humanity and establish themselves within the criminal world. For all the freedom this represents, the author has provided lots of ideas and plenty of opponent stats to cover most situations.

About ¾ the book is dedicated to adventure options and the last ¼ provides additional mechanics for the "core" Modern20 system by RpgObjects. There are new rules for influence contact, information contacts and contacts who would prefer not to be contacts. There are additional occupations, feats, npc and equipment appropriate for a criminal campaign. To make this product a quick pick up and go type adventure, pregens are also included. The two most interesting additions to the Modern20 ruleset are the Humanity Meter and Heat (Pursuit) Meter. The Humanity meter is a devise used to track the behaviour of the group, based on the player character's actions. Unlike alignment it doesn't restrict player action but instead shapes the format of the ending (uplighting, mercenary, depressing) almost like a karmic adjustment. I think this mechanic (which is OGC) is exportable to many other games and genres. The Heat meter is an abstract chase/pursuit mechanism to track how close the player characters are to getting caught by the police.

Overall, Modern Mayhem20 provides well-developed and supported adventure for gamers looking for a Rocknrolla or GTA type experience. It is further supported by a sample modern map pack from the fine guys at 12 to Midnight and Fabled Environments providing the "All Saint's Church", "Argent National Bank", "The Marguerite Apartment Homes" and "Joe's Diner".

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