, a Game Mechanics sourcebook for magic in modern d20 System settings.This book began as a brainstorming session about whatsort of magic items a modern culture might create, if magicwere as common as it is in most fantasy roleplaying games. Wedreamed up such fanciful items as the
FA$TCA$H Bank Card
, and the next thing we knew, we had come upwith a huge list of not just magic items for the modern age, butspells as well.That conversation naturally led to another question: Howwould the world’s military forces be affected by the readyavailability of magic and magic items? We dreamed up infantrysquads backed up by machine guns and magic wands, andwe envisioned field medics charging through enemy
sto cast healing spells. And what sort of equipment would anarcanely-armed soldier carry?The question then turned back the other direction. With anestimated 400,000 Wiccans in the United States alone, howdoes a roleplaying game present a magic system to playerswho already
a magic system? Certainly, any Wiccanwould tell you that real magic doesn’t work the way it does inroleplaying games. So, for groups who want more subtle magicin their campaigns, we applied what we know about Wiccanmagic rituals into a kind of “low magic” magic system—usingelements similar to the incantations system found in the
UrbanArcana Campaign Setting
.Extending that system to other modern practitioners ofmagic rituals—ceremonial spellcasters—we came up witha new prestige class to go along with the new system, theRitualist: a spellcaster who uses elaborate ceremonies andmagical symbols to cast incantations, rather than flashy, attack action spells. The effect can be much the same, in the end, butthe Ritualist arrives at it in a much less fantastic way. And theRitualist isn’t limited to effects specifically on a spell list.It’s exactly this kind of free-form, “train of thought”brainstorming of ideas—which, hopefully, you’re experiencingeven now yourself—that led to the book you’re reading now.
What’s In This Book?
is all about flavor. The new spells, magic items,and lesser incantation system in here are meant to be usedto customize modern d20 System campaigns to the tastes ofthe GM and the players. To do so, the book provides for threecampaign options: low magic, high magic, and restricted magic.
How to Use This Book
As with any roleplaying sourcebook, the contents of
are optional; the GM and the players should decide for themselves whether to allow this material in their campaigns.And, also as with other RPG sourcebooks, you need not useevery element found within—just those that work for you andyour campaign.
For the Gamemaster
The most obvious uses of
lie in the new spellsand magic items, which should fit easily into any moderncampaign that allows magic. Throughout Chapters 1 and 4,you’ll find all those brainstormed items and spells, availablefor use by players and GMs alike.The military-based items in Chapter 3 are a slightlydifferent case: They are meant for different applications,rather like the difference between a hunting rifle and anassault rifle. If the GM is not running a military-orientedmodern campaign, these items should not be readilyavailable to the general public and should, in fact, be treatedas restricted objects. (See Chapter Four: Equipment, in the
d20 Modern Roleplaying Game
.)Finally, the material on Ritualists and ceremonial magicrepresents a fundamental shift in the way magic is presentedin modern d20 System campaigns. Because the existing magicsystem represents a kind of “instant gratification” version ofspellcasting, the system of lesser incantations provided here inChapter 2 might seem a bit weak by comparison.Therefore, if you’re going to use the system we presenthere, it’s important to decide whether to use it as the onlymagic system available in a campaign, as a low-power alternative to the existing magic system, or as a kind of“common” magic practiced by those who have not yetmastered the more standard type found in the
d20 ModernRoleplaying Game
. Making this distinction about magic ina modern d20 System campaign can lead to some major restructuring of the campaign, so it might be a good ideato consider this decision early on in the campaign-designprocess.