[Let’s Study: Modern AGE] Part 1: Introduction

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Green Ronin’s new Modern AGE RPG is coming out at a great time for me. I’ve always had a soft spot for modern day action-adventure RPGs that don’t necessarily revolve around Heist stories.

I’ve had fun with D20 Modern and SpyCraft rulesets before, but since then, there’s been a bit of a lull in paramilitary / modern rules. Until now, of course. So I’m throwing myself at checking out this new release and see if I can’t use it for a new campaign sometime.

For those new to my blog, the Let’s Study series is a multi-part review of a game and it’s mechanics. Along the way we’ll make a character, give the combat system a quick shakedown and maybe even a sample campaign pitch if I’m struck with inspiration.

The book opens with a quick introduction to RPGs and how to get started. This is a pretty much by-the-numbers section, but definitely paints the Modern AGE core book as an introductory product for people who might not have had experience with RPGs before.

The Modes

The book then goes into describing three Modes that make up the options for running a Modern AGE game. These Modes change the rules in a way to address certain popular ways that Modern Adventures are portrayed. These Modes are:

  • Gritty – The most “realistic” of options, this is the Mode where a single bullet can put a character out of a fight, and there’s no such thing as a minor fight.
  • Pulpy – Pulp games are a little more forgiving than the Gritty mode. The heroes start tough, and get tougher as they gain levels. This doesn’t mean they can just kick down the door guns blazing though, as combat will still likely leave the characters hurting.
  • Cinematic – This Mode is the most forgiving for the players, as they get tougher, acquire influence, and pull off the most heroic stunts in the game.

This alone is a great start for me, as it means that there’s more than one kind of modern-day game that the rules can support. From Call of Cthulhu style investigative games with fragile investigators (using the Gritty Mode) to something a bit closer to Spycraft’s Techno-thriller Espionage with the Cinematic Mode.

Next up, we’ll be taking a peek at character creation and see how flexible the Modern AGE ruleset is!

If you want to grab a copy of Modern AGE, they’re selling the pdf over at the Green Ronin Online Store for only $18.95

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