View Full Version : Ravenloft in d20 Modern [SPOILERS]

2007-12-04, 03:08 PM
I'm thinking of running a group of friends through Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/953937200) (the 3.5 version of Ravenloft). However, one of the players abhors fantasy, and won't play traditional D&D. The player does like d20 Modern (I've run a zombie survival game for the group), and I'm thinking of combining the two, by running Ravenloft as a d20 Modern game.

Now, the book explicitly has a few paragraphs describing running Ravenloft in d20 Modern, so hopefully the adventure isn't incompatible. I know that there's a dramatic change in balance by changing systems.

I'm open to suggestions about things I'll need to take into consideration before running d20 Modern players through Ravenloft. Here's some additional info:

* The players will likely draft "action hero" versions of themselves. For example, one will likely be a Fast Hero going into Gunslinger. They'll be 32-point buy and 6th level.
* DR/magic will be tough. I don't have qualms about providing weapons that work as "magic" weapons under the rules, but in-game are merely weapons designed to work against the supernatural. However, these will be rare, and they likely won't start the game with them. I'll likely use the alternative ammo listed in the guide as well.
* There's a sword and a holy symbol that are important items in the adventure. The sword might be a bit archaic (I don't expect an Archaic Weaponmaster in the group), and the holy symbol won't be very effective with no clerics. I'm not sure what to do with these items.
* The actual rules regarding terror and such aren't in the 3.5 Ravenloft, and I won't use the optional Taint rules supplied. I hope to elicit the proper horror from the players by having them be normal people in very macabre and deadly circumstances.
* For an opening plot hook, I hope to have them wander into an obscure Eastern European village while on the hunt for a missing friend... namely, me. :)

Any thoughts?

2007-12-04, 03:18 PM
You could always just reduce DR x/Magic to DR x/Silver or DR x/Unobtainium. Or give everyone very small supplies of +1 bullets. Or +1 bullets in the wrong calliber so they have to waste time swapping out their guns.

d20 modern characters are balanced for low equipment and can get broken if you give them a load of magic stuff. d20 modern characters are't balanced for D&D style encounters so go easy on them until you get a feel for their strength. Maybe try a test fight by yourself, though I can't do those myself since I find playing both sides tactically impossible.

That important sword can be used in coup de grace attacks if it's that important.

2007-12-04, 03:37 PM
* There's a sword and a holy symbol that are important items in the adventure. The sword might be a bit archaic (I don't expect an Archaic Weaponmaster in the group), and the holy symbol won't be very effective with no clerics. I'm not sure what to do with these items.

How important, and in what context?

You could pull a Romeo & Juliet, and make the sword a modern weapon. Or even a semi-modern weapon. You can't beat a sleek revolver for graceful imagery with weapons.
Whatever magic the sword has, either transfer over to the weapon, or give it some reasonably similar power, or a comparably powerful power. Since you're doing ravenloft, modern or not, I'm assuming there'll be vampires? Maybe there's a chance any bullet the revolver fires will be treated like it's made of silver or something.

As for the holy symbol, maybe find some way to make it useful even without a D&D cleric? If one of your characters is even remotely pious (and fighting vampires in ravenloft is a darned good time to find religion), give it to them and have it do something useful for them.

Whatever's so important about them, just update them to modern themes? :smallsmile:

2007-12-04, 03:44 PM
Or you could turn the sword into a dagger, which is simple not archaic.

Or turn it into a bullet. I had a single one use bullet of specialness in my d20 modern campaign.

It was a red herring.

2007-12-04, 04:39 PM
Just a quick warning: I'd suggest leveling up the PC's a little higher in D20 Modern for the Expedition. Those zombies take forever to kill, and nearly every fight can potentially take out one or more PC's. Also, I'd suggest changing over EVERY monster/foe with class levels for their Modern equivalents. It'll take time, but it should be worth it to avoid major spellcasting headaches as you see just how much a level 10 wizard dominates a non-casting party...

I'd say, there's not much with DR/magic (though there are a few with DR/magic+silver), so I'd just drop the /magic part and have any weapon that bypasses the remaining resistance do full damage. I seriously think that your party will need that help.

Regarding the legacy items: I'd keep the Sunsword as is (generally for flavor reasons), but I'd allow anyone bonded to the Holy Symbol to use it to hold vampires (and other undead) at bay using standard actions (as you normally can do for vampires).

Oh, and make sure that your players bring extra ammo. You can never have enough.

2007-12-06, 12:52 AM
I am hoping to run the same adventure, after I run it as a D20 fantasy first. The background/ adventure hook is that the PCs are MPs that are part of the NATO intervention in either Bosnia or Kosovo, and are assigned to follow up on reports that a war criminal has been destroying evidence of war crimes, and have orders to secure the evidence and catch the criminal. One of the PCs is a local clergyman who has been a liason and translator for the NATO forces. Thus the PCs have a built-in reason to arrive with assault rifles, plenty of ammo and other equipment, and a priest who can turn undead, bless the party, do faith healing, etc.

Upon the PCs arrival at the mountain village of Barovia, they discover that the destruction of evidence is the digging up of a mass grave to make zombies. The Vistani and non-human races found in the module I will convert to local minority ethnic groups, perhaps even fictional ones, and play up the fear and distrust between them caused by a bloody civil war and the fact that only the Vistani are protected from Strahd. The local populace will be quick to tell the PCs about creatures that cannot be killed by normal weapons, and with a little effort the PCs can find out about how to find some silver, and that weapons blessed by priests can effect the creatures. If the PCs attempt to apply silver to various weapons and ammo, it will work, but will have likely have appropriate penalties depending on their skills and methods. The holy symbol and Sunsword I will use as is.