Farewell OGL

Resistance Earth RPG cover. A lone figure faces a desolate landscape, their rifle on their back.

There’s been some . . . issues with Wizards of the Coast recent handling of the Open Game Licence, the licence that SEP published almost all of its first products–many of them under the d20 sub-licence. I still have a bunch of OGL products out there, some of them very recent, using newer rules’ sets.

But the recent attempt to pull the rug from under creators by WotC, probably to please their corporate masters at Hasbro, has soured me on the OGL entirely. I invested a lot of time into these products, and a bunch of them are not anywhere near paying that off, but I’d rather just be done with them and snip that cord. Get free of it.


Direct Intent

I am almost finished with Direct Action—the newest version of the kind of game I have worked on and played since Covert Forces in 2005—and hope to have it available early in May 2022. As much as I enjoy writing about elite military units, I am not blind to the real-world problems and issues with these units.

Cover of Direct Action

As military units and tools of national policy for rich nations, elite military units and the operators that staff them have been used in unjust ways, undermining the rule of law and the right to self-determination for many people. They have not and generally are not particularly well-integrated. Their reputation draws to them individuals keen to showcase their physical capabilities and those whose patriotism may lean more to jingoism. Though their initial imagining was as a precise kinetic tool comprised of philosopher-warriors, many have become blunt hammers comprised of shooters. Further, their representation in modern media generally reinforces negative stereotypes of the ethnic and cultural makeup of terrorists and criminals. No matter the truth about the current profile of those who threaten democracy and rule of law, it is always easier to point to the brown and black ‘other.’

To top this all off, during the period that I was working on this, questions regarding adherence to the laws of armed combat surfaced for elite units in Australia, Canada, and the United States. It delayed completion multiple times as I set the game aside.

There are definite problems with these units.

But it is also true that many are drawn to these units because they believe in the rule of law, the right to self-determination, and the requirement for the strong to protect and nurture the weak. Historically, Western society has always lionized bands of elite warriors, no matter the actual truth behind them.

Developing a role-playing game for elite military operators carries many of the same risks as developing games based on the Vikings or Roman legionaries—like Kiss My Axe and Centurion: Legionaries of Rome. Those historical groups did not, in actual history, display the heroism their legends might suggest, and were brutal, violent groups that oppressed those they could safely dominate. However, I would argue that it is possible to play games based on heroism using the tropes of those historical legends, which is why I designed those games.

Understanding that special operations forces can be problematic—as can any military force—this game is intended to allow participants to play heroic characters that have reached the pinnacle of their chosen profession and use their abilities and resources in an attempt to improve the world. That they fail or that they are disillusioned can be included in their stories. The shortcomings of the units need not be ignored, but there is an attraction to ambitious, competent, and driven figures, and that is a good description of most of special warfare operators.

On a personal note, I enjoy playing video games like Ghost Recon and Call of Duty. I have every issue of the comic the Activity. I watched the Unit during its broadcast and have watched both the Six and SEAL Team. I have seen both Acts of Valour and 13 Hours more than once. I am also a middle-aged white guy who has never served but whose career has brought him into contact with various special operations and special operations capable forces. I’ve written a lot of RPG content focused on elite military units. I also believe that black lives matter, that trans rights are human rights, that racism is hard-coded into the structures of most institutions, and that indigenous peoples’ rights and claims must be respected. I am a socialist who believes in strong national security policies and a robust, effective military under complete civilian control.

I want to believe that one can portray heroic characters who have undergone the most rigorous training available in the modern military and now seek to pursue just causes and fight the good fight. That is why I wrote Direct Action and why I think there are those out there interested in playing it.

Resistance: EARTH

Resistance: EARTH is now available at itch and Drive Thru RPG.

Ten years ago, the world ended. Today you’ve been chosen to bring it back.

A resistance to the alien overlords who govern the Earth is forming. Small, ill-equipped, and de-centralized, it had been in hiding, staying out of the regime’s gaze. It needs capable leaders, people who have the skills and audacity to take the fight to the regime.

That’s why they’ve tipped their hand, revealing themselves to the regime.

That’s why they busted you out of prison.

On the run, out of options, and marked for death, your characters are part of the resistance seeking to topple the proxies of the aliens who now rule the planet. You have nothing but your wits and out-dated weaponry. You face a technologically advanced force that vastly outnumbers you.

The only way you will survive is if you adapt, resist, and finally overcome.

Welcome to Resistance: EARTH.

Resistance: EARTH is an adaptation of Modern and Fifth Edition, blending the robust customization and granular options of OGL and Fifth Edition with the character-centric, narrative-focused style of story games.

Not The Time for THAT Kind of Direct Action

This being released concurrently with a post at my Patreon.

TL,DR: I support the protest of police violence against the Black community and demand police reform. Due to current circumstances, I am unwilling to release a game of military action, and will re-purpose it as a SF-action game of resistance against alien overlords in a near future Earth. 

If you disagree that systemic racism is an issue in the US, Canada, and pretty much around the globe, and that we—as the privileged—need to support the Black community, please don’t support me. You don’t want to give me your money as it will be going to support the Black community and police reform.

Okay, the details:

I hope everyone is well and safe. These are truly trying times, and while Canadian streets are not seeing the same kind of protest as many US streets are, we are not insensate to what is happening. Change must occur in Canada as much as the US—I honestly don’t know a country in which racial equality is not a problem.

And if you disagree with that, you would probably be happier not following me and not supporting my work, because I feel very strongly about this. I have been supporting food banks the last couple of months, but I will be supporting causes that have come to the fore in this crisis, causes that are supported by the Black community and especially Black creators and members of the tabletop RPG community.

Having said all that, the militarization revealed in the police force, the use of National Guard troops, and the threat of using US service personnel to police US streets has made me feel very queasy about working on and publishing a game about the military right now. Much like WARMONGER changed because of the COVID-19 virus, I feel Direct Action must change due to current circumstances.

The game will remain the same, I’ve been running two concurrent alpha playtests and the rules are getting close to a viable form. There are much less changes than initially planned, mostly because d20 and 5E were pretty solid platforms to begin with.

So, instead of Direct Action, I’ll be releasing Resistance: EARTH. Themes resonant with the current crisis is appreciated but unplanned. I had playtesters who were not at all interested in playtesting modern SOF, so Resistance: EARTH became a setting we could playtest the rules in.

Resistance: EARTH is kind of a post-apocalyptic action-adventure RPG. You play part of a resistance against alien overlords 10 years after an invasion. A primer is available at my Patreon which provides some insight into what I am proposing.

Thank you as always for your support. Please feel free to cancel that support. You won’t be missed.

Direct Action: Covert Forces and Special Operators

Undertaking the most difficult missions in the most dangerous locales, special operations forces are the tip of the spear. Secretive, highly-trained, and hauling the best kit, these shadow warriors represent a tactical response to strategic threats.

Direct Action is a game based on d20 and Fifth Edition, and draws on previous SEP products like Covert Forces: Redux, Blood and Guts 2: In Her Majesty’s Service, and Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section. Characters are special operators from national covert forces in adventures that can either jump from the headlines or explode out of fiction. Hunt down terrorists, shut down drug syndicates, protect diplomats in ungoverned spaces—the missions are as varied as the operators’ talents and training.

Kit up and head out for some high-speed, low-drag action.

Direct Action is will be the June 2020 release on my Patreon.

#RPGaDAY2015 Day 24 Favourite House Rule

Can I just say Sword Noir? No?

Back when I was playing d20, my favourite house rule wasn’t one of my own, it was Kenneth S. Hood’s Grim ‘N’ Gritty Combat Rules. Originally, these were available for free, but they got so popular, Mr. Hood (or someone representing him) put them up for purchase. That makes total sense to me.

I wrote a review of the free version back in my free e-zine days. You can find that here.

#RPGaDAY2015 is the brainchild of game designer Dave Chapman. Basically, each day in August there is a question about RPGs.

RPGaDAY2015 Day 14

#RPGaDAY2015 is the brainchild of game designer Dave Chapman. Basically, each day in August there is a question about RPGs. This is day 14.

Favourite RPG Accessory? You mean besides dice?

I guess this means supplement? Seems to be, as there is not “supplement” on the list. Looking at my bookshelf, I don’t have a lot of supplements. I’m tempted to say my Acer Iconia tablet, as this is a peripheral I use a lot for my gaming, but that doesn’t seem fair.

I’d have to go with the Ultramodern Firearms, the d20 version written by Charles Ryan and published by Green Ronin. Back in the day, I ran d20 Modern campaigns and Ultramodern Firearms provided lots of great support for cool weapons carried by the spec ops PCs and their unsavoury opposition.

Wow, that was reaching back.

You can get a copy of Ultramodern Firearms pretty cheap at Paizo.

Spec Ops in Various Systems

In a series of posts over at Sword’s Edge, I talk about using light systems for modern military, special operations-type characters. I wrote them because I’m thinking about writing a Spec Ops style adventure using our Sword’s Edge System. I’ve always kind of thought I needed crunchy, robust systems to model military adventures. The posts helped me to rationalize my options, make me consider what different rules sets can deliver.

As part of that, here are some examples of a “shooter” style character—a sniper or other weapons specialist—in different rules sets. I think each system provides different advantages, but I think I’m happy with what SES can do.

You can read the articles here (part 1), here (part 2), and here (part 3).

And have a look at d20 Modern, Modern20, True20, and SES.

The characters are using gear that would not stand out in a post-Soviet, Central Asian Republic—just like the one found in the Albenistan series.

D20 Modern
Tough Hero 2/Combat Hero 2/Sniper 2: CR 6; HD 2d10 plus 2d10 plus 2d8; hp 34; DR 3; MAS 11; Init +3; Spd 30ft.; Def 19, touch 18, flatfooted 16; BAB +5; Grap +6; Atk +6 melee (1d4+1, combat knife), or +8 ranged (2d10 SVDS), or +8 ranged (2d6, P226); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL Det 7, the mission; SV Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3; AP 32; Rep +2

Str 12, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 10
Skills: Balance 4 (+7/+5), Climb 5 (+6/+4), Concentration 5 (+5), Escape Artist (+3/+1), Hide 8 (+13/+11), Jump (+1/-1), Listen 5 (+10), Move Silently 8 (+13/+11), Speak Language (Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu), Spot 8 (+13), Survival 4 (+7), Tumble (+3/+1).
Feats: Alertness, Armour Proficiency (light), Dead Aim, Far Shot, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Stealthy.
Talents (Tough Hero): Remain Conscious
Class Features (Sniper): Improved Dead Aim (+3), Improved Far Shot, Massive Shot
Occ: Military (Hide, Move Silently; Personal Firearms Proficiency)

Possessions: Izhmash SVDS sniper rifle; 6 SVDS magazines; Leupold electro-optical scope for SVDS; removable silencer for SVDS; Norinco P226 autoloader pistol; 4 P226 magazines; removable silencer for P226; combat knife; binoculars, electro-optical; chem-lights (5); compass; flashlight; map, area; load-bearing vest; multi-purpose tool; night vision goggles; PLGR (precision, lightweight GPS receiver); rope (synthetic, 75 ft); satcom; tactical radio, undercover vest (DR 3, Def 1).

Powerhouse 6: HD 6d10; HP 45; DR 4; Init +3; Spd 30 ft. (25 ft. in armour); Defence 17, flatfooted 14; BAB +6; Atk +7 melee (1d4+2, combat knife) or (1d4+1, unarmed), or +11/+10 ranged (2d10+5+2, SVDS) or +9/+8 ranged (2d6+2, P226); SQ Melee Master; AL D7, the mission; SV Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +5, Rec +5; Rep +3; AP: 9

Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 10
Background: Military (Athletics, Unarmed, Weapons)
Occupation: Hunter (Called Shot, Double Tap)
Hobby: Speak Language
Skills: Acrobatics (+3/+0), Athletics 4 (+5/+2), Firearms 9 (+12), Outdoorsman 9 (+16), Perception 9 (+12), Speak Language (Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu) 4, Stealth 9 (+16/+13), Unarmed 4 (+5), Weapons 4 (+5)
Feats: Attack Focus (Sniper Weapons System), Attack Specialization, Cross Training (Perception), Far Shot, Greater Attack Focus, Greater Precise Shot, Precise Shot, Talented (Outdoorsman, Stealth), Trackless
Access/Contacts/Followers: Favours 3
Wealth: 12

Possessions: Izhmash SVDS sniper rifle; 6 SVDS magazines; Leupold electro-optical scope for SVDS; removable silencer for SVDS; Norinco P226 autoloader pistol; 4 P226 magazines; removable silencer for P226; combat knife; concealable armour; binoculars, electro-optical; chem-lights (5); compass; flashlight; map, area; load-bearing vest; multi-purpose tool; night vision goggles; PLGR (precision, lightweight GPS receiver); rope (synthetic, 75 ft); satcom; tactical radio.

Warrior 6
Core Ability: Determination
Speed: 30 ft. Reputation +1
Str +1, Dex +3, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +0
Skills: Acrobatics +3/+0, Climb +1/-2, Concentration (9) +11, Escape Artist +3/+0, Jump +1/-2, Languages (4) (Arabic, English, French, Pashto, Tajik) +4, Notice (9) +11, Sleight of Hand +3/+0, Stealth (9) +12/+9, Survival (5) +7, Swim +1/-2
Feats: Armour Training, Attack Focus (rifle), Attack Specialization (rifle), Far Shot, Firearms Training, Greater Attack Focus (rifle), Improved Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Sneak Attack
Combat: +9 (+6 base, +3 Dex), Defence Dodge/Parry +9/+7 (+6 base, +3 Dex/+1 Str), Initiative +3
Savings Throws Toughness +4 (+3 armour, +1 Con), Fortitude +6 (+5 base, +1 Con), Reflex +5 (+2 base, +3 Dex), Will +4 (+2 base, +2 Wis)
Background: SpecOps (bonus: Armour Training /favoured: Attack Specialization (firearms), Sneak Attack)

Possessions: Izhmash SVDS sniper rifle; 6 SVDS magazines; Leupold electro-optical scope for SVDS; removable silencer for SVDS; Norinco P226 autoloader pistol; 4 P226 magazines; removable silencer for P226; combat knife; undercover vest; binoculars, electro-optical; chem-lights (5); compass; flashlight; map, area; load-bearing vest; multi-purpose tool; night vision goggles; PLGR (precision, lightweight GPS receiver); rope (synthetic, 75 ft); satcom; tactical radio.

Concept: Sniper, Great
Background: Hunter, Good
Faculty: Linguist, Good
Flaw: Code of Honour, Basic

Trait                           Quality
Physique: Good      Pathfinder Company, Good; Close Quarters Battle, Good
Cunning:  Good       Outdoorsman, Good

Possessions: Izhmash SVDS sniper rifle; 6 SVDS magazines; Leupold electro-optical scope for SVDS; removable silencer for SVDS; Norinco P226 autoloader pistol; 4 P226 magazines; removable silencer for P226; combat knife; concealable armour; binoculars, electro-optical; chem-lights (5); compass; flashlight; map, area; load-bearing vest; multi-purpose tool; night vision goggles; PLGR (precision, lightweight GPS receiver); rope (synthetic, 75 ft); satcom; tactical radio.

Mundus Novit: Alexander Scott, Drift Operative

You’ve been introduced to the Vault, one of the organizations that you might find in Mundus Novit, and one that has a pretty important role in Dark Horizons. Now let’s meet one of the characters, statted up using the Mundus Novit Modern System supplement.

Alexander Scott, Drift Operative
Alexander Scott began his career as part of the Canadian Forces. He completed basic training just after the Somalia Affair and the disbanding of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. The prestige of the Forces was at an all-time low. This did not deter Scott, who volunteered for any training and any mission. He got noticed. His career became the stuff of legends.

By 2000, Scott had become a part of Security Reconnaissance Group, an off-the-books black ops unit operating in a deniable fashion. Joint Task Force Two was the high profile, high speed, door kickers, while the SRG worked in the shadows, and did everything nice and quiet. By 2002, Scott was working in Pakistan, running operations against the Taliban and Al-Quaeda. He built up a number of contacts in the region, and became the go-to guy for troubleshooting.

That’s when Drift came calling. By 2006, Scott had been involved in seven different rescue/evacuation/kinetic exfiltration events, all successful. Two members of Operation Drift came to debrief him in Islamabad on the understanding that they wanted to learn from his missions. At the end of the five day debrief, Scott was offered a position with Drift. At first he declined, but when an eighth rescue went south due to lack of resources and poor inter-agency cooperation, Scott asked if the offer was still open.

It was.

Scott ran multiple operations in South and Central Asia. Most were successful, though certainly not all. It was during an exfiltration of a British asset from Uzbekistan that Scott ran into Rudi the Russian. Rudi was already famous as a fixer in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Rudi proved a man of his word, if a little too mercenary for Scott to completely trust him.

In 2009, Scott officially left Drift. There is no record of the reason nor is there any indication of his whereabouts.

That is, until Lt. Rebecca Kim of the Advanced Tactics Action Company (C Company, 1st Battalion, NATO Response Command, Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps, NATO) tracked him to Monrovia in Liberia.

Smart Hero 4/ Fast Hero 3/ Soldier 2/ Infiltrator 3/ Drift Training 3: CR 15; 41-year old Male; HD 4d6+4 plus 3d8+3 plus 2d10+2 plus 3d8+3 plus 3d8+3; hp 101; MAS 13; Init +6; Spd 30ft.; Def 28, touch 25, flatfooted 26; BAB +8/+3; Grap +8/+3; Atk +8/+3 melee (1d4, combat knife), or +11/+6 ranged (2d6+2, MP7), or +10/+5 ranged (2d6, LDA pistol); FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL Drift, NATO, Canadian Forces; SV Fort +8, Ref +12, Will +8; AP 7; Rep +4; Str 11, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 15.

Skills: (modifiers in parentheses include armour penalty) Balance +6 (+4), Bluff +12, Computer Use +10, Craft (chemical) +4, Craft (electronic) +5, Craft (mechanical) +5, Craft (pharmaceutical) +5, Craft (structural) +4, Decipher Script +7, Demolitions +9, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +12, Disable Device +11, Escape Artist +8 (+6), Forgery +8, Gather Information +8, Hide +14 (+12), Intimidate +8, Investigate +5, Knowledge (behavioural sciences) +7, Knowledge (civics) +7, Knowledge (current events) +7, Knowledge (earth and life sciences) +4, Knowledge (history) +6, Knowledge (popular culture) +6, Knowledge (streetwise) +10, Knowledge (tactics) +9, Knowledge (technology) +4, Listen +14, Move Silently +14 (+12), Navigate +14, Read/Write Language (Arabic, Dari, English, French, German), Research +5, Search +7, Sense Motive +10, Speak Language (Arabic, Dari, English, French, German, Pashtu), Spot +14, Survival +6.

Feats: Advanced Firearms Proficiency, Alertness, Armour Proficiency (light), Burst Fire, Deceptive, Double Tap, Improved Initiative, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Reload, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Stealthy, Trustworthy

Talents (Smart Hero): Exploit Weakness, Linguist
Talents (Fast Hero): Evasion, Uncanny Dodge 1
Class Features (Soldier): Weapon Focus (MP7 personal defence weapon), Weapon Specialization (MP7 personal defence weapon)
Class Features (Infiltrator): Sweep, Improvised Implements
Talents (Drift Training): Do You Know Who I Am?, Combat Awareness
Occ: Adventurer (Bluff, Disable Device)
Possessions: H&K MP7 personal defence weapon (laser sight, removable suppressor); 6, 20-round MP7 magazines; Para-Ordnance LDA autoloader pistol in concealed carry holster; 2 LDA magazines; combat knife; binoculars, electro-optical; chem-lights (5); compass; day pack (appears as rucksack, contains MP7 and other equipment); flashlight; PLGR (precision, lightweight GPS receiver); maps, local; multi-purpose tool; night vision goggles (if working at night); tactical radio; undercover vest armour.

Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (PLGR) (from Covert Forces Redux)
This is the military variant of the GPS receiver listed in the Modern System Document (variant of the world’s most popular role-playing game). The PLGR uses satellites to verify position to within 20 feet. It has a variety of data outputs, including longitude and latitude, and military coordinates. The PLGR has an in-built anti-countermeasures system and can link to the computers in other vehicles to allow targeting or exfiltration.

radio, tactical (from Covert Forces Redux)
This is a man-portable radio used for short-range communication between members of the same unit. In most situations, every member of a unit will have a tactical radio, which keeps all members connected. The effective range is up to 2 miles. Examples of tactical radios include the UK/PRC-349 and the SABER series of radios.

Heckler & Koch MP7 personal defence weapon (from Covert Forces Redux)
Manufacturer: Heckler & Koch GmbH, Germany
Calibre: 4.6 × 30mm
Barrel Length: 7.1”
Overall Length: 13.5” (stock extended, 21”)
Weight (loaded): 4.2 lbs. (with 20-round magazine)
Safety: Integrated into fire selector.
Sights: Detachable red dot sight included; back up – low profile iron sights
Magazine capacity: 20- or 40-round box magazine

This is a 4.6 x30mm personal defence weapon from Germany. It has a retractable butt stock and can fire in semi-automatic and full automatic fire modes. The MP7 is part of a new breed of sub-compact automatic weapons termed personal defence weapons. The MP7’s cartridge is a high-velocity round designed for use against armoured opponents. While the 4.6mm round performs against armour better than the 9mm used in most submachine guns, it lacks the punch and stopping power of that round. The MP-7 has a top-mounted Picatinny rail system, allowing attachments such as tactical lights or laser aiming modules. It is also designed to accept a suppressor.

With the stock retracted, this weapon grants a +1 circumstance bonus to Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal the weapon. If the 40-round box magazine is used, it incurs a -1 circumstance penalty to Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal the weapon. If the 40-round box magazine is used, and the stock is retracted, the weapon incurs no bonuses or penalties for Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal the weapon.

This weapon has +1 bonus to attack against opponents wearing armour or having natural armour.

Para-Ordnance LDA autoloader pistol
Manufacturer: Para-Ordnance, Canada
Calibre: .45 ACP
Barrel Length: 5”
Overall Length: 8.5”
Weight (loaded): 2.5 lbs.
Safety: Ambidextrous manual safety
Sights: Front, blade; rear, notch, adjustable for windage
Magazine capacity: 14-round box magazine

This .45 ACP autoloader pistol was designed around the M1911 model but with a higher capacity magazine and a double-action trigger pull. The Para-Ordnance began as a Canadian company providing conversion kits for standard M1911A1 pistols to allow for the higher capacity magazines. It branched out into firearms manufacture, and introduced the LDA (light double action) as the first double action M1911 model autoloader pistol.




Damage Type

Range Increment

Rate of Fire




Purchase DC






30 ft.

S, A

20 box


4 lb.







30 ft.


14 box


3 lb.




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Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Modern System Reference Document Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker.

Blood and Guts Copyright 2003, RPGObjects; Author Charles Rice

Blood and Guts: In Her Majesty’s Service Copyright 2004, RPGObjects; Author Fraser Ronald

Blood and Guts 2: Military Training Manual: 2005, RPGObjects; Author Charles Rice

Blood and Guts 2: Special Operations Command: 2005, RPGObjects; Author Charles Rice

Raid on Ashkashem Copyright 2004 Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

The Qalashar Device Copyright 2004 Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

The Khorforjan Gambit Copyright 2005 Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Covert Forces Copyright 2005 Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Canada’s CSRS Copyright 2005 Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Counter-Terrorism Assaulter Prestige Class Copyright 2005, Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Spec Ops Recce Prestige Class Copyright 2005, Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Teams: SWAT is (c) 2006 Dark Quest, LLC and Sword’s Edge Publishing.

Blood and Guts 2: In Her Majesty’s Service v2 2006, Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Covert Forces Redux Copyright 2007 Sword’s Edge Publishing; Author Fraser Ronald

Mundus Novit – The Changed World Copyright 2009 Fraser Ronald; Author Fraser Ronald

Open Gaming Content

Designation of Product Identity: The following terms are designated as product identity as outline in section 1(a) of the Open Gaming License: Covert Forces, Covert Forces Redux, Operation Drift, ATAC, Advanced Tactics Action Company, Security Reconnaissance Group.

Designation of Open Gaming Content: The stat block and equipment information for Alexander Scott is open gaming content except for terms defined as product identity above.

Mundus Novit: In the System

With the sourcebook for Mundus Novit soon to be available, I thought I’d mention some thoughts about systems and how they apply to Mundus Novit.

Originally, Mundus Novit was designed as a d20 Modern supplement. The sourcebook and the system supplement were designed together, to be complementary. This was before official support seemed to drop, leaving RPG Objects as pretty much the de facto d20 Modern caretaker. Then Modern20 came along, and even that disappeared.

It is my assumption–ready to be proven false–that there are still players of d20 Modern. I really hope so. The plan now is to have the Mundus Novit setting released systemless, then have system supplements as required or requested. Being as Mundus Novit was designed as a d20 Modern setting, the d20 Modern supplement will definitely be released. I’m working on a True20 supplement, so that is almost a certainty.

What about other systems and other supplements?

I might be able to do a Savage Worlds supplement, if I thought it were worth my time. I am less conversant with Savage Worlds than with True20, so there would be a greater effort (and likely a result with lower quality mechanics). This is one thing stopping me. Luckily, in my local group I have people interested in playing Savage Worlds, so this is something I could certainly work on.

The system I am using for my Mundus Novit campaign is Mutants & Masterminds 2E. Now, in my opinion, M&M is good for some uses of Mundus Novit, but not all. Mundus Novit was always seen as a toolkit, as a foundation on which to build all kinds of things. Dark Horizons provides one example, a conspiracy and thriller setting with subtle but important SFX. I think the Modern supplement for Mundus Novit is the best choice. Possibly the True 20 supplement would work, but not having finished that, I can’t say that for certain.

My use of Mundus Novit is in the vein of Warren Ellis and John Casaday’s Planetary. That is a super-hero story within a conspiracy and secret history background. I don’t think my Osiris campaign could intersect with my Dark Horizons story very well. These are two different worlds, but both were envisioned using Mundus Novit.

For Osiris, M&M 2E could be used with little or no additions. I’m not absolutely certain that nothing needs to be added. Possibly some feats might be adapted from the True20 supplement to better replicate stuff like a DRIFT operative, but I don’t know if this is absolutely necessary.

If you see an M&M Superlink product, you’ll know I had to include additions to make M&M fit better into Mundus Novit. Right now, though, superhero action in Mundus Novit, I think can move forward with M&M.

I’m excited about some of the opportunities Mundus Novit represents. I’m happy that two different genres can exist in the same setting equally well (at least for me), and I have envisioned a few others, including a kind of monster hunters campaign (seeking out the Others from beyond the Hedge), and, of course, a spec ops campaign (opposing a drug empire in the Golden Triangle, led by a powerful shaman and selling a drug distilled using the brain tissue of parapsychs).

Just wait until you see what you can do with Mundus Novit.