The Little Black Drug Book is hands down the best d20 Modern product from Devil's Workshop/LPJ Design to date. It's well written, well designed, and meaty. While it is written "with Haven: City of Violence d20 Modern in mind", this setting flavor material is certainly not pervasive enough that it can't be used in any gritty, urban d20 Modern campaign.
The book starts off with an eclectic collection of new feats for campaigns that include elements of the drug subculture, although almost all of them will work in almost any type of campaign: Connoisseur, Cultural Flexibility, Fast Healer, Faith, Fearless, Home Field, Knows Everybody, Respected Veteran, Sex Appeal, Slow Metabolism, Sound Sleeper, and Unpleasant Fate.
Next up is a collection of weapons, ammunition and equipment:
- Grenades and Explosives: 40 mm Gel Ball Shell, Chemical-Filled Grenade
- Nonlethal Weaponry: Dart Pistol, Dart Rifle, Gel Ball Gun, Squirt Gun, Super Squirt Gun, and Taser.
- Ammunition: chemical filled ammunition, darts, gel balls
- Medical Equipment: Artery Dispenser, Spray Skin
The real meat of this product, however, is a very extensive, well thought out set of rules for everything related to drugs (which includes over the counter, prescription, experimental and illicit) and their use. It discusses drug form (pills, injected, powdered etc.), standard types of drugs (antibiotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens etc.), benefits and side effects of drugs (both with extensive d20 Modern rules), drug strength ratings (and how they are related to drug cost/Wealth DC), onset times and drug durations, addiction and dependency, overcoming addiction, mixing drugs, overdosing on drugs, drugs and the law, and finally designing and creating drugs (as an application of the Craft [pharmaceutical] skill). I really can't stress how good the rules crunch in this section is.
Well done, Mr. Porter and Mr. Stout, well done!
<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The extensive, well-designed, comprehensive system for introducing any type of drug, real world or imagined, into a d20 Modern game. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: There is only one problem with this otherwise excellent supplement - no examples. There really should be some real world examples created from these rules - cocaine, heroin, ecstasy etc. - and the imaged, the "experimental super-soldier serums and zombie-creating nerve gas" mentioned in the ad copy. This isn't a fatal flaw, though, as you can obviously create/customize your own versions from this product with a little Internet research into effects and side-effects of common drugs, <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[5 of 5 Stars!]