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R.O.d20 Setting Notes

Beyond the rules for the Paper Master Advanced Class, the only thing you should need to run a d20 Modern-based game set in the R.O.D universe is the core rulebook. The d20 Future rules will come in handy for “special technologies” possessed by organizations like the British Library; likewise if you wish to bring in some mysticism to the world, Urban Arcana (although the Arcana and Psi rules provided in the core rules should be sufficient for that case).

For your quick reference:
The d20 Modern SRD at Wizards of the Coast (includes Future and Arcana rules)
The Hypertext d20 Modern (core rules only)

The R.O.Diverse is a fast-paced, high-powered, cinematic world. I would recommend keeping this in mind if running an “R.O.d20 game.” There are times a GM will need to be flexible for the sake of the dramatic–and times a GM will need to know when to put his foot down if a player is trying to get away with too much (though this is really true of Game Mastering in general anyway). I do not recommend using the Paper Master Advanced Class outside of running something appropriately R.O.D-themed or similar; in a stricter or in a much looser game, the class could either be too powerful or too weak. It’s difficult to balance a class that is extremely powerful–but only if they are in possession of a particular substance (and even as common as paper is, it’s too easy to run out or have it destroyed).

Some things to keep in mind:

Most R.O.D stories seem to take place in the “near future” (R.O.D the TV was made in 2002 and takes place in 2006-7). Purchase DCs and some technology available may be adjusted accordingly. Nothing should still be beyond “Progress Level 5,” though of course, organizations like the British Library may possess technology of much higher Progress Levels. Such technology should be rare and not frequently accessible by the PCs; it may often serve as a “McGuffin” around which an R.O.D plot revolves.

All of the core Advanced Classes should be appropriate for the game, with a lot of Field Scientists, Investigators and Negotiators showing up in groups like the British Library. I would probably use "enhanced human" templates combined with psionic Advanced Classes for various superpowered characters--or simply create an appropriate monster or template as need be. Of course your game is your game, but in my opinion most of the other FX classes (Shadow Slayers, Mages, etc.) don't quite fit, nor do most Arcana or Future classes. Still, R.O.D's backstory is vague enough that with some references to everything from space travel to ancient magics, that some of these may fit in as you see fit.

Disclaimers: d20 Modern and the d20 System belong to Wizards of the Coast. R.O.D and all related concepts and characters are created by Hideyuki Kurata and belong to Aniplex/Studio Orphee and Shueisha. Legally, I cannot claim this as Open Game Content because I do not have the legal rights to Read or Die. This is a fan creation; it is meant to be read and distributed for free; no harm is intended to the license holders of R.O.D-related materials, nor to Wizards of the Coast. If anyone with the right to do so wishes me to remove this, I will comply, but I hope they will understand the harmless intentions of this work and my wishes to simply celebrate the world of R.O.D; of course, if a real, licensed "R.O.d20" game was to be made I'd certainly have no desire to stand in the way. I'll help! I'm an editor!

If anyone would like to post this or quote this elsewhere, I request that you please let me know and credit me (Death Quaker) for creating the mechanics for the class written up here. Thank you.

Death Quaker's Realm All original creative materials © 2005 R. Pickard. Read or Die, R.O.D. the TV and all related concepts were created by Hideyuki Kurata and are ©2003 Aniplex/Studio Orphee.
Contact: mistress@deathquaker.org