The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
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The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
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The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
Publisher: Game Room Creations
by gerald h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2015 00:04:58

It does a decent job for the most part of providing rules for playing a modern era pathfinder campaign. While the talent system creates almost as much flexibility as point buy systems, and is a lot of fun, there are some serious problems with the Modern Hero class. This is a problem since Modern Hero Class is the bulk of the book, and is supposed to be a viable class even with the traditionals running around.

Day Job & Perform: Incorporates the day job rolls from Pathfinder Society, but requires them to be profession only. PFS ends at twelfth level, whereas this is supposed to go up to twentieth so the table really should have been extended. Moves all the creative stuff ot Perform, which seems odd. Doesn't provide any reference for using Perform or Craft in the age of the internet. Is the internet just a prosperous city? If you take perform writing, how would you sell your stuff? Presumably the day job check could cover this, but using Perform skills isn't allowed for that by RAW.

Modern Hero (Human Only): Only humans can take it as a favorite class, because the other races hold onto the old ways. So if you stop being human, you lose the ability to have a favored class at all. Similarly a half-elf/half-orc/tiefling/aasimar who is raised purely by humans is holding onto the old ways of people they've never even met? Then there's the question of variant or mutated humans counting as human enough. Not a rule that makes a lot of sense, even if it is just a favored class bonus.

Modern Hero(Broken paths): Put bluntly three of the six paths listed serve no purpose. Strong and Tough hero are identical, except that tough hero gets a bigger hp die. Smart, Dedicated, and Charming all get the same saves, attacks etc. But smart gets 2 more skill points per level. So Strong, Dedicated, and Charming have no reason to exist mechanically. Only difference between Fast and Smart is which save is their one good one. There isn't a limitation on archetypes or talents by path (sort of with mystic. see below) so they won't be getting used. I think cribbing the CoC d20 assortment might have worked out better, and will probably try it in the future.

Modern Hero (Multiclassing is mandatory): Each Modern Hero gets 6 class skills, and can improve the number by two each time they waste a talent. This means not only does a Smart hero have more skill points than skills, they have fewer class skills than a fighter. Kind defeats the greater versatility due to modern living they talk about. So expect most skill oriented heroes (Fast or Smart) to dip into Aristocrat, Bard, Wizard or one of the other classes with a massive skill list.

Almost every melee modern is going to dip into Fighter, and vice versa. Why? Because only one archetype gets all martial weapons, and none of them get armor. Much faster to boost Fort Save, get a massive increase in weapons armor and shield along with an extra feat. Fighters will dip because Extra Talent is a feat and they can boost BAB, AC or Melee damage by +1 if they take it. Yeah most combat classes will do, but the effect here is extra nice.

I personally don't have much of a problem with multiclassing, but pathfinder seems to push the philosophy that a well designed class shouldn't require it to be playable.

Modern Hero (The Mystic): Oh God, the mystic. Suggests that the character's spellcasting attribute should be the same as the chosen path, but never actually tells you that you have to pick one of the back three for your path. Also the only archetype that limits paths, and I think that actually contradicts other rules.Can cast Arcane, Divine, or both. Might have a spell failure chance with arcane, it's never mentioned. Spontaneous caster that maxes out at four slots per level vice six. The only full progression caster whose cantrips aren't at will usage. Gains special powers by taking Oracle curses, which is actually kind of cool. Requires two training at a minimum to accomplish any spellcasting, since you initially get the progression and universal spells only, so plan accordingly. Other than the cantrips, so far so good.

Two fastest ways to add to your spell list are to take a curse then use advanced training for either the Oracle or Witch spell list, or pick an arcane school as a regular training. Arcane school lets you pick both arcane and divine spells of that school. You'll have to figure out how that interacts with spell completion and spell trigger items. You can do all three if you want.

You can add a domain for a training/feat, including the domain abilities, which seems overpowered. You'd think the domain ability would require another investment. Says you get bonus spells, but not whether that's bonus spells known or the cleric domain slot. You can take this multiple times, but there's no mention of how they interact.

Further, picking up a mystery is available as an advanced training. Despite listing how saves for the revelations work in the training description, it looks like you have to take an additional advanced training (and curse number 3!) to pick up a single revelation. The other advanced training is to take a curse and gain a hex which is even dumber. Really seems overpriced when the cost of a mystery is compared to a domain.

There's a few more things for the mystic, and the idea isn't a bad one. However, the actual rules are a badly written mess and most GMs are going to rewrite it prior to use.

Overall: If you're doing a modern, low magic campaign without the core classes the modern hero class is actually really neat. However, if you're using it as intended expect a lot of multi classing or a high probability of players sticking with the core/base classes beyond a dip. Retrofitting the archetypes to core classes has a section at the back of the book, and isn't a bad idea.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
Publisher: Game Room Creations
by Patrick G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2014 21:02:10

They did a good job of fusing the D20 Modern rules with Pathfinder. The book is well laid out with clear chapter separations similar to the Pathfinder main book. They did not just shoehorn the modern rules into Pathfinder rules. They use Pathfinder as the core system and d20 modern is very nicely laid over it as a shell. The end product is something that feels similar to d20 modern but has all the developmental advantages of the Pathfinder system!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
Publisher: Game Room Creations
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2011 22:03:48

The Modern Path is basically the Pathfinder version of d20 Modern. It is 100% crunch and lists every mechanic you need to create modern heroes. It is a very lackluster publication that simply gives you the tools you need without flooding the pages with unnecessary fluff or narratives. It is, in essence, the ultimate handbook for modern adventures using the Pathfinder core mechanics, but only those core mechanics that are necessary. All fantasy influence is stripped away and replaced by a completely humanistic setting using modern professions, equipment, and vehicles. Possibly the best feature of this entire book is how straight-forward it is. There’s no need to try reading between the lines or interpreting the mechanics into your own vision of modern times because it’s all done for you. And its execution is fantastic!


Overall The Modern Path is a good, solid entry into the modern d20 world. It updates d20 Modern to Pathfinder and adds a lot of new content to coincide with items available in current time. It’s all crunch without the fluff and filled with value!


Publication Quality: 6 out of 10 The Modern Path layout and presentation are overly simple. White space is not fully utilized, there is a total lack of illustrations, the overall appearance is a bit clunky, and there is an extremely excessive use of the color blue. However, it is easy to read with solid writing and a perfect blend of mechanics. The mechanics make the book truly shine but the visual appeal is quite low. Do not allow this to deter you from purchasing or using it as the mechanics are solid and worth the effort of perusing the content.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10 The Modern Path is all mechanics. Other than the introduction, every single page is filled from top to bottom with mechanics allowing you to play a modern action setting using Pathfinder’s core mechanics. It is brilliant and wonderfully executed. Yes it takes much of its content from d20 Modern, but at some point you need to convert those mechanics. To enhance that conversion, there are lots of new mechanics to support not only the setting being created but also the aspects of the modern world. In addition, it strips away the fantasy-themed mechanics by removing character class and introducing professions. Essentially, everyone is a modern hero (the new base class) and you simply specialize in a certain function. One thing this does is allows for greater flexibility during character creation because every character has the ability to choose from every profession.

Desire to Play: 8 out of 10 Pathfinder is obviously wildly popular for fantasy players. It’s mechanics are designed around that epic-style of fantasy play and don’t always translate properly to modern action. The Modern Path does a good job of taking the core Pathfinder mechanics and making them useful for modern action. Other systems may do this better, but why learn another system? If you’re already a Pathfinder or D&D 3.5 player and are looking to start a modern campaign, The Modern Path is perfect. You retain the knowledge of all the mechanics and all you really need to do is understand the changes that are similar to differences in settings along with the new options for character creation.

Overall: 8 out of 10 The Modern Path is a great sourcebook for playing modern action using the Pathfinder core mechanics. It is fairly concise and contains a huge amount of options. It really sticks to the concepts of modern times considering technology and possible training for those in the espionage field. For those who are already familiar with Pathfinder, it’s a great addition should you decide to leave fantasy for a modern action campaign. It is a crunch-heavy book and the pages are filled with great mechanics.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
Publisher: Game Room Creations
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/29/2011 10:51:53

The Introduction starts with a discussion of what comprises a 'modern' game, and why the authors thought it worth re-tooling the Pathfinder ruleset to make one. One of the main reasons for the popularity of contemporary games is the sheer familiarity of the setting. While it's fun running round the universe in starships or matching wits (or fireballs) with a dragon, that's not the world we live in. If you run a game in a contemporary setting, you do not need to keep explaining everyday matters that characters would be familiar with, but which their players are not! Having found that the Pathfinder ruleset worked well in its original fantasy setting, the authors decided that 'modernising' it was a better option that starting out from scratch.

So, on to the meat of the matter. Noting that players will need the core Pathfinder rulebook to make use of this book, the first chapter deals with characters. Here there is an interesting departure from the usual fare: no classes. Every character is a 'Modern Hero' with the differences between each one being expressed in terms of their talents, skills and feats, along with background and more descriptive rather than rules-based features. Whilst most will be human, the possibility is floated that there just might be other races around, they just keep under the radar, at least if your setting will be the modern world as we know it. The further you drift from that, the more fantasy elements you can introduce. All Modern Heroes use the same advancement table, gaining additional Talents and Training as they rise in level. What is available is based on the archetype (if any) you have chosen and the directions in which you wish him to develop.

Archetypes represent the character's chosen profession and have to be chosen at 1st level or not at all. The choice will modify the character's progression, and the availability of skills and training. Characters also get Action Points, which they can use to enhance skill use. A common enough rule, but here you choose to associate one ability with your APs, and the calculation of how many are available depends on that ability and your level. For those who do not like book keeping, there is an abstracted Wealth system based on level and professional skills.

Next, Talents are explored. These are extremely similar to Feats, giving assorted minor mechanical benefits based on the Talent chosen and with additional ones available as the character rises in level. They are available to all characters, and some have prerequisites... indeed, it's not clear what differentiates Talents and Feats at all, except that some require the expenditure of APs to activate them. I think they are supposed to replace the class features used in Pathfinder, thus keeping the balance should a fantasy character for some reason wander into your modern world.

Talents are followed by Difficulties. These are optional minor disadvantages that a character may take in return for getting extra Talents. Whilst the disadvantages have a game mechanical cost, the real use is in adding flavour to role-playing - the character may be absent-minded, perhaps, or even have a Dark Secret which could have plot implications as well.

Next comes a version of the Traits system, here used to give the character some background flavour, as well as a list of class skills, wealth and reputation bonuses and a bonus Feat. They are described as the sort of job that the character might have, or at least have had before becoming an adventurer... anything from an astronaut trainee to a blue-collar worker, a doctor, an athlete or a criminal. To reflect the modern world, celebs are there too!

Also altering the base Adventure Hero class are Archetypes. A set of advancement tables - slow, medium and fast - are given, these are used depending on Archetype for determining BAB and saves, the neat bit is that the Archetype discriminates between them - fast track BAB and slow Will save, and the like. The Archetype also can give a different hit die, number of skills per level and specific 'Training' - this last is a number of feat-like options from which you can choose as you advance. Each relates to the particular Archetype, so the Daredevil gets some wild driving options, while the Engineer gets ones that aid in building, repairing and jury-rigging equipment. The Martial Artist has access to a variety of forms, enabling you to customise your fighting style, as well as the interesting Expert in Your Field one in which the character is a renowned exponent of his particular art with reputation to match.

Next up are the skills, with a concentration on those skills unique to modern settings. The standard 'fantasy' ones are, by and large, also available, and the variations caused by the modern world are covered in detail. One neat new skill is Examine, for all those budding CSIs. Knowledge: Technology seems to concentrate on computer hacking, whilst Craft: Explosives is for those who want to blow stuff up! Feats are given the same treatment, existing ones modified and new ones added, including some specific to firearms combat such as the Double Tap.

Character created, we move on to equipment. Armour available ranges from bike leathers and football pads to an array of stab/bullet resistant vests. No bomb suit... Weapons, naturally, concentrates on firearms. Rather confusingly, the charts are alphabetical rather than by type, so you get shotguns, rifles and handguns all jumbled up - fine if you are enough of a gunbunny to pick your weapon by manufacturer, but if you just want a hunting rifle you have to read through the lot to find one! The main non-firearms covered are compound bows, tasers, pepper spray and the like: if you want a blade beyond the few mentioned, go mediaeval (or at least, fantasy) to get it. Grenades and explosives are covered too, as well as quite a lot of descriptions of different firearms - go get a gun magazine, the game mechanics differences are negligible. For more stealthy killers, there's a selection of poisons.

The discussion then moves on to matters such as availability, legality and how easy it is to conceal items, and a neat idea for 'items on hand' to let characters roll to see if they just happen to have a given common item when they need it (although the explanation of how to use it could do with clarification). There are also copious tables of modern equipment, a bit superfluous as most people know roughly what, say, a laptop computer costs and how big it is. (And does anyone much use photographic film these days? Even the professional photographer who lives next door has gone totally digital.) This section is followed by the vehicles one, where at least they are sorted by type rather than manufacturer name this time. Lifestyle costs and services round this section out.

That's it, apart from some previews of forthcoming product, mostly about a supplement dealing with matters arcane should you be contemplating making magic a reality in your setting. What is completely absent is anything about what you might actually have your characters do. In some ways, it's not difficult: look at the range of contemporary stories told in books, films and TV shows. You could recreate any of them with this ruleset, whether your tastes run to Jason Bourne or NCIS, ruthless lawyers, crime families or police work... but maybe a couple of sample outline campaigns would help get the creative juices flowing. It's a good start, though, if you need a modern ruleset and are happy with (or at least already know) the Pathfinder system its based upon. Think I'll be off to plot some adventures, I have some ideas it would work well with...

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0 [PFRPG]
Publisher: Game Room Creations
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/13/2011 22:41:09

Heroes of the Modern World is a mixed bag. On one hand, it's basically d20 modern for Pathfinder, on the other it has some rather grating issues.

For one, there are times when the typesetting fails (as evidenced in the armor section where the entry for heavy armor, heading and all, jumps into where the body paragraph for a piece of medium armor is, ignoring the correct column it should be in), and numerous typos plague the work, which always grates with me for much the same reasons that posters not hung up straight do (namely I'm somewhat obsessive). Also, it's basically d20 modern, so take all my d20 gripes and add in the fact that it's not terribly original (though if you do want to play in a modern real-world setting, it's not that easy to be original), and it's been done before. Also, having DC's of 25 on things players will probably be doing fairly early on is a bad idea; it's the same reason some modern systems only go to level 10 compared to the d20 system's standard 20, or even eschew levels for a point buy system. It's almost impossible to succeed some rolls until level 5 or so, and then a lot of stuff becomes very easy.

However, when the typing's done right, and the layout's good, I like the writing. The typesetting doesn't glare like some products, and it's pretty solid. The talent trait feat everything meshes together well, though sometimes there's an obvious break in balance in some of the things. The archetype system instead of classes just seems like an attempt to write everything in one table rather than just writing out a progression table for each class type. Admittedly, it's not different, but it just means another cross-reference every time I look at the "archetype", rather than just referring to a table for each.

Above average in some ways, below average in others, a dab of polish could make Heroes of the Modern World a must-get product, but as is it's interesting, but only for those who really show an interest and don't want to take the time to write down stats and rules for modern things themselves.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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