Mixing modules

Genres and rules modules (e.g. magic, psionics, super powers, etc.) should be discussed here if the topic is focusing on a single genre or module. If discussing cross-genre rules conventions -- "How do enhancements work with different genre-specific tropes?" -- that's best put in the more specific rules forum.

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Mixing modules

Postby fodigg » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:03 pm

I think it'd be cool if we could mix modules to create cross-genre settings.

For example, if we have a Cosmic Horror module and a Sci-Fi (hard) module, then we should be able to mix that to create a setting akin to Eclipse Phase. Or mix a Cyberpunk module with a High Fantasy module for a Shadowrun-like setting.

Otherwise I'm worried I won't be able to run my historical, steampunk, horror campaign, Dante's Inferno Engine.

Thoughts? I would think the term "module" implies that they are indeed "modular" and you can attach multiple modules to a campaign.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby JaredGaume » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:07 pm

Yes, modularity is one of the design goals.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:50 pm

We'd better be able to do this right out of the gate...

if I can't do my ultimate Multi-Dimensional, Western, Steampunk, Fantasy, Supers, Sci-Fi, Horror game, which I could do with BESM 3e, then we didn't do e20 right. :D

Wow, I think I just described Rifts... Okay, if we can't do Rifts, we didn't do it right. ;)
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Imagist » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:48 pm

When I was using SWSE to sort of homebrew a bastardized version of a Modern Saga System, I took the idea of basically stripping Saga down to the barebones and getting rid of anything that said Force or Jedi. After I began working with the barebones I began thinking how should magic, psionics, and even martial arts work? I took the Force idea and simply modified it for magic, psionics, and martial arts.

As stated by the author, he is looking to stay away from spending feats to get access to spells and other things like that, but the idea I had used basically was this:

If your character wants to be a spellcaster, than you have to take the Magical Heritage feat (giving you access to Spellcraft on your class skell list). Once you had that you could use Spellcraft (a modified version of Use the Force) to use cantrips (mage hand, augury, prestidigitation, ect). Once trained in Spellcraft you could take the feat Magical Training to gain access to spells (basically arcaned Force powers) to put in your FX suite (modified Force suite that could be used to house any FX poewr).

If your character wants to use psionics, than you have to take the Wild Talent feat (giving you access to Psicraft on your class skill list). Once you had that you could use Psicraft (a modified version of Use the Force) to use minor psionic abilities (far hand, clairsentience, missive, ect). Once trained in Psicraft you could take the feat Psionic Training to gain access to psionic powers (basically mentally focused Force powers) to put in your FX suite.

If your character wants to use martial arts, than you have to take the Contemplative feat (giving you access to Meditation on your class skill list). Once you had that you could use Meditation (a modifier version of Use the Force) to use lesser martial techniques (meditation, zen mastery, pressure points, ect). Once trained in Meditation you could take the feat Technique Training to gain access to martial manuevers (basically martial art styled Force powers) to put in your FX suite.

What this did was it allowed a character to customize himself and gain access to a host of new powers and abilities all themed either with magic, psionics, or martial arts in mind without making him or her any more powerful or less powerful than a standard character. I think modules should sort of work the same way. A superhero isn't more powerful than a heroic modern character, they are just a different kind of powerful. Maybe modern characters focus on doing great things within the limits of their natural abilities (i.e. more rerolls on skill checks--taking the better of the two) while superheroic characters focus on raising the upper limits of their natural abilities (i.e. more bonuses to skill checks).

I think when creating new modules we should balance them with certain mechanics in mind right off the bat. Enhancements should be universally balanced, with bonuses tierd with level about a +1 for every 4 levels (so you have a +5 at 20th), and powers/talents/feats/abilities availabe using different modules should be balanced with one another.

Just my thoughts.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:21 pm

Imagist wrote:When I was using SWSE to sort of homebrew a bastardized version of a Modern Saga System, I took the idea of basically stripping Saga down to the barebones and getting rid of anything that said Force or Jedi. After I began working with the barebones I began thinking how should magic, psionics, and even martial arts work? I took the Force idea and simply modified it for magic, psionics, and martial arts.

As stated by the author, he is looking to stay away from spending feats to get access to spells and other things like that, but the idea I had used basically was this:

If your character wants to be a spellcaster, than you have to take the Magical Heritage feat (giving you access to Spellcraft on your class skell list). Once you had that you could use Spellcraft (a modified version of Use the Force) to use cantrips (mage hand, augury, prestidigitation, ect). Once trained in Spellcraft you could take the feat Magical Training to gain access to spells (basically arcaned Force powers) to put in your FX suite (modified Force suite that could be used to house any FX poewr).

If your character wants to use psionics, than you have to take the Wild Talent feat (giving you access to Psicraft on your class skill list). Once you had that you could use Psicraft (a modified version of Use the Force) to use minor psionic abilities (far hand, clairsentience, missive, ect). Once trained in Psicraft you could take the feat Psionic Training to gain access to psionic powers (basically mentally focused Force powers) to put in your FX suite.

If your character wants to use martial arts, than you have to take the Contemplative feat (giving you access to Meditation on your class skill list). Once you had that you could use Meditation (a modifier version of Use the Force) to use lesser martial techniques (meditation, zen mastery, pressure points, ect). Once trained in Meditation you could take the feat Technique Training to gain access to martial manuevers (basically martial art styled Force powers) to put in your FX suite.

What this did was it allowed a character to customize himself and gain access to a host of new powers and abilities all themed either with magic, psionics, or martial arts in mind without making him or her any more powerful or less powerful than a standard character. I think modules should sort of work the same way. A superhero isn't more powerful than a heroic modern character, they are just a different kind of powerful. Maybe modern characters focus on doing great things within the limits of their natural abilities (i.e. more rerolls on skill checks--taking the better of the two) while superheroic characters focus on raising the upper limits of their natural abilities (i.e. more bonuses to skill checks).

I think when creating new modules we should balance them with certain mechanics in mind right off the bat. Enhancements should be universally balanced, with bonuses tierd with level about a +1 for every 4 levels (so you have a +5 at 20th), and powers/talents/feats/abilities availabe using different modules should be balanced with one another.

Just my thoughts.


That's really cool :) 8-)
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Imagist » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:43 pm

I know that given the scope of this system it is a little short-sighted to think you can link an entire module to the core system with a single feat like in the above example, but I was looking more for simplicity than intergrated mechanics at that point. Why should I intergrate spellcasting and psionics if none of my player's select those options for their characters? But if they do, I wanted the system to be able to accomidate them without making the rest of the players that didn't select those options feel like they missed out on something really good.

In e20, I would like to see the core "modern setting" developed first as a stand alone, with each module acting as a backdrop to that world, rather than a seperate realm/zone/world/dimension. Even if later on there is a Past Module developed for the e20 system, it is more than likely going to be a past based on our perceptions of what the past was from our modern viewpoint rather than an actual version of what the past was really like. I am just not sure what the unifying mechanic should be for bringing a module together with the rest of the e20 core setting.

Just my thoughts.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby JaredGaume » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:33 pm

Well, if the core mechanics are the same across genres (HP, defenses, (most) skills, etc...) then plugging modules together should be pretty simple. It is a matter of what more they add. In the case of past or future settings, they may add something new or take away something that doesn't exist (like computers). Otherwise the gross mechanics stay the same.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Imagist » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:40 pm

I know we have been talking a lot about different generas of play, but what about using reality as a module? If modern is the base of the core system, we automatically get the modules past and future. What if combat, hit points, death, and other ness was based on the modern core system to begin with (id say as d20 modern/SWSE) and we had a realistic module (a lot of rules for dealing with broken bones, one hit kills, stuff like that) and another module for heroics (more along the lines of 3e D&D with 50 point massive damage threshold, immunity to poisons and diseases, recover overnight full hit points and reserves). I know Gary said you can scale reserves to fit the level of grittiness of the game, but I am thinking realism and fantasy are two seperate beasts just waiting to be harnessed as modules.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby JaredGaume » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:29 pm

Well, reality as a module I think would be handled by say Modern vs. Fantasy. The core mechanics are the same. However, in a fantasy setting I can burn you with my mind. In a realistic setting, no matter how much I want to and pop a vein in my forehead trying, you are not going to spontaneously combust just because I'm thinking it. Hit points and other core mechanics don't have to change to accomplish that. It is more of an ability or wish fullfillment thing.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Imagist » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:40 pm

JaredGaume wrote:Well, reality as a module I think would be handled by say Modern vs. Fantasy. The core mechanics are the same. However, in a fantasy setting I can burn you with my mind. In a realistic setting, no matter how much I want to and pop a vein in my forehead trying, you are not going to spontaneously combust just because I'm thinking it. Hit points and other core mechanics don't have to change to accomplish that. It is more of an ability or wish fullfillment thing.


I just meant it in terms of "reality" filling the "grim and gritty" feel of some campaigns. So if e20 Reality was detailed realistic addons and e20 Fantasy was more smoothed mechanics meant for awesome heroics, e20 Core would be a balance between the two, which I think is that we are developing anyway. Gary even said you could increase or decrease reserves to serve this idea as well.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby JaredGaume » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:43 pm

Absolutely.
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Re: Mixing modules

Postby Imagist » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:55 pm

Okay, so on the primary module axis we have e20 Core (modern) in the middle. On opposite sides we have e20 Past and e20 Future (representing everything to be found in PL 0-4 and PL 6+). On another axis we have e20 Reality and e20 Fantasy (one providing grim and gritty rules and the other providing heroic gameplay). Even within the same campaign we could see Past and Future meeting up (spacetravelers stumble upon a technologically primative planet) and even Reality and Fantasy (by stepping through the gateway of sleep, you find yourself in the realm of Dream where all things are possible).
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