INTRODUCTION What is this book?
is an expansion pack for the d20 system. Itcontains just enough information to run a superhero game on topof existing d20 rules, and it assumes you have access to thoserules and that you already understand them.
Who made this book?
Deeds Not Words
was created by Scott Lynch but his growingcareer as a novelist drew him away from it. He left the game tothe discussion forum that had by then grown up around it. Twomembers of that group, Jayson Stevens and Orion Ussner Kidder,took the lead in creating a second edition, which Jayson called"Phoenix." Obviously, that name stuck. Unfortunately, Jaysonwas also drawn away from the game, which left Orion with the project. Dan Anderson later stepped in and the project continued.So instead of
Deeds Not Words, 2
, a stand-alone game, Idecided to take what we had and make an expansion pack for the
d20 Modern Role-Playing Game
This is a Beta product!
This version of
is still undergoing play-testing. Whatthat means is that if you play this game and you find somethingthat doesn't work, something that isn't properly balanced, or aloophole of any kind, we'd really like to hear about it. Play thehell out of the game and then email usand explain what you
found and how you'd recommend we fix it. We will compile thechanges and release a micro-update, as the need arises.We'd also love to hear your suggestions for new things to addto the system, like new powers, new classes, or new rules thatwill help further and more accurately replicate a superhero-styleexperience in a role-playing game. We'll read your suggestionsand put our collective brains to the task of making it all work.You can help us in this task by joining us at our discussion group.
All are welcome.
How does this book work?
This book is an expansion pack. That means it runs on top of standard d20 rules, which are freely available as SystemReference Documents (SRDs). This books offers three thingsover-and-above regular d20 rules. First, it has thirteen newclasses that are tailor-made for pulp and superhero adventures.Second, is has a
expanded selection of feats, so that youcan play a superhero without powers, if you so desire. Third, ishas over fifty pages of superpowers.
How is this book different than d20?
To account for the great variety that the superhero genrerequires,
uses a point-based system to buy powers andfeats. These are called
(or CPs). Also, thisgame has, in addition to skills, feats, and powers, a whole other way to add flavour to your characters, called
Advantages and Complications
. All of these are in Chapter 1: Character Creation.To use your powers, you often have to expend a little bit of energy, which takes the form of
(PPs). Powers alsohave
, in-game explanations for how they manifest, andthey include things like mutant physiology or fantastictechnology. PPs and Origins are explained in Chapter 5: Powers.Character classes in
are built on the
model, which means that they proceed from 1
level. They are also divorced, as much as possible, from powers and instead represent superhero and pulp-fantasyarchetypes, like the wealthy playboy, the street-level scrapper, or the loyal sidekick. That's why there is no magic-user or psionicclass (outside of the optional rules in Chapter 8: GMing). Instead,you can buy magic and psionics as powers.In order to replicate the feel of comics in which manycharacters routinely ignore bullets and other small, conventionalweapons, the most expedient game mechanic is to give themenough DR that they can ignore those kinds of attacks. Anexceedingly high Defence is still vulnerable to a lucky bullet. DR 20 isn't. Therefore, DR as a power is a lot cheaper than it is (or ought to be!) in other d20 games. See the power
in Chapter 5 for more details.Any attack using a weapon that has an Origin, including your body, is "Super" in
, which is an inherent quality, like"magic." Any ability score of 25or higher is also consideredsuper. Whereas in standard d20, DR is vulnerable only to energyand magic, in
it's vulnerable to Super attacks. Super abilities are described in detail in Chapter 6: Combat.Finally, there are several
Styles of Play
for this game, whichreflect different eras and styles in comics. Though the Stylescontain few hard-and-fast rules, they are meant as a guide tostorytelling and game-play in this system. They're in Chapter 8:GMing.
You spell things weird.
Yes. Yes, I do. This document was produced in Canada, so itfollows Canadian spelling standards, with words like "defence"and "armour." We promise that you'll get used to it. We also provide, as much as possible, metric conversions for imperialmeasurements. Although d20 is based on imperial measurementsin combat (5-foot squares and such), we want to provide as manyoptions as we can for you to set your games in one of the manycountries that has embraced the metric system.