This Paradise City is a major revision of what I was doing before (started as Shadowrun which will be close to the current version, then went with Star Wars which we’ll be going away from now). Paradise City is a major metropolis in Florida (those familiar with Florida could change it to a specific city, I’m not familiar enough with local landmarks and such to try that).
Paradise City of 2040 is roughly as advanced in technology as Cyberpunk 2020 (updated to modern day when real technology surpasses the setting) with AD&D species and magic which is a bit more accessible due tot he way the modern world works, treated more like doctors in our environment including the education, license, and insurance requirements.
Potions and lesser magic items are common as are spell caster boutiques. Churches and Corporations sport chain style operations so 1st level spells can be performed by top end high school graduates and any magic certificate holder making them as available as gourmet coffee ($10), 2nd level spells can be done by most certificate holders with just 1 or 2 years of college making them about as common as good restaurant meals ($60), 3rd level spells require someone with an higher associates or maybe a bachelor degree but are still easy enough to find at specialty shops ($150), and 4th level spells generally require someone with a masters degree making them a little harder to obtain but falling into the can be done at a more exclusive shop ($280). Higher level spells generally require going to a private practice office or scheduling an appointment with one of the major magic corporations or churches and may require an appointment months out much like getting major surgery.
Area effect attacks, mind control, charm, memory alteration, knock, invisibility, most necromancy, and any spell with detrimental side effects are illegal, though finding black market magic is as easy as finding drugs and stolen goods. Generally anyone with an Intelligence or Wisdom of 14 or higher can get a scholarship to college or seminary and those with any potential (scores of 9+) have a decent chance of coming out of high school with rudimentary magic skills.
The world is otherwise much like Cyberpunk and Shadowrun with the extra twist that extraplanar travel is possible. Magic defenses should be assumed anyplace larger than a home business. Charisma should be noted to really be charisma and not looks as Sculpt Features is $60, so people are only ugly if they choose to be, most don’t even bother to diet and exercise anymore since magic can easily make them look fit (though unless they also get Strength and Grace spells they will be weak and clumsy).
Full Cyborg Conversion is even more common in this setting with many ex soldiers having the conversion done (an Alpha borg has 30 hit points, about the same as a 6 HD monster, a 5th NPC fighter, but only a 2nd or 3rd level player character fighter making this a slightly less desirable choice for most players). Alphas have AC 4 armor with an inherent 18 Dexterity for an effective AC 0 and come with 18/75 Strength making them formidable in combat.
Magic flight hasn’t had much impact on mass transit since the top speed is 18 mph/30 kph making it about as fast as riding a bicycle (though levitating cars are popular running around $200,000 extra). Creating permanent magic items requires using permanency, which is against the law but special exceptions are made for some corporations and government contractors, just like any other laws.
Magic power sources are popular, large scale power plants usually use gust of wind turbines while smaller applications normally use stacked photovoltaic cells with continual light cast on the middle of every 3 panels. Small portable units are $350 for 300 Watts are the size of a large book (18 × 8 × 3 inches thick), and weigh 5 pounds. Often they are mounted as the base of a backpack frame for hikers and campers. Home owners and survivalists often just buy one at a time and stack them. Micro-solar chargers with continual light can be built into smaller electronics, cybernetics, and such as well usually only adding about $100 to the cost.
The world is similar to our own, but the cities are bigger with darker and seedier slums stalked by monsters and evil spirits, orc and goblin street gangs are a common sight and magic can be found anywhere drugs could be found.
In essence the setting is a combination of AD&D and Cyberpunk/Shadowrun, there is no excuse for the presence of magic and monsters, they’ve simply always been a part of the world. Technology makes it easier to keep up with supernatural beings, but isn’t always enough (a vampire is no more vulnerable to a 44 magnum than a dagger).
Campaigns can run like Shadowrun/Cyberpunk (primarily in the cities maneuvering through social circles and doing primarily breaking and entry work) or AD&D (wilderness survival and looting remote bases) or a combination of both. While characters could try to remain above board modern law makes being an adventurer and not a criminal pretty difficult.
Guns will do low damage but have a high rate of fire (handguns must be tiny or small but get the RoF from darts – 3/round or more if specialize, while rifles get the RoF from daggers 2/round with more if specialized; military rifles and SMGs also get special burst fire options).
A specific size/style must be used for specialization (Tiny Holdout, Large Sniper) but guns are very similar otherwise so tight groups include handguns, SMGs, and Rifles for 2 slots each, and all guns can be covered under a broad group guns for 3 slots.
Size determines damage and style determines range:
Tiny: 1d4 (1d2 area as shotgun) – most handguns ($200 base/$0.20 per round)
Small: 1d6 (1d3 area as shotgun) – large handgun/SMG ($300 base/$0.30 per round)
Medium: 1d8 (1d4 area as shotgun) – carbine/rifle ($400 base/$0.40 per round)
Large: 1d10 (1d6 area as shotgun) – big rifle/light cannon ($500 base/$0.50 per round)
guns can benefit from specialization, but not strength (a very strong character will still do more damage in melee combat but likely gets more attacks with a gun). Exceptional guns can get a bonus of 1 to hit (x5 base cost of gun) while specialty ammo can get a bonus of 1 to damage (x5 ammo cost – extra damage can be from power in the case of magnums or from flame in the case of incendiary rounds). Ammunition can be silver for x10 the base cost. Hit and damage bonuses from quality are not stacked with magic bonuses or each other (incendiary magnum would still be +1).
Weight for tiny handguns is 1 lb, small handguns 2 lb, small SMG/carbine 4lb, medium SMG/Carbine 5 lb, small rifle 5 lb, medium rifle 6 lb, large rifle 8 lb, Medium sniper rifle 8 lb, large sniper rifle/cannon 10 lb. All weights are empty.
Tiny ammunition is 1 lb/100 rounds, small ammunition is 1 lb/50 rounds, medium ammunition is 1 lb/20 rounds, and large ammunition is 1 lb/10 rounds. Magazines have a weight and cost equal to half of a standard load (a 10 shot clip for a medium rifle would be 0.25 pounds and cost $2.00 empty – weight would go up to 0.75 pounds loaded).
Range is 2/4/6 for holdouts (tiny only), 4/8/12 for handguns (tiny or small), 6/12/18 for big handguns and SMGs (small), 8/16/24 for rifles (small, medium, or large), and 10/20/30 for sniper rifles and cannons (medium or large). Shotguns hit a cone 30 ft long and 10 ft wide when using shot (one attack roll compared to all targets in area).
Explosives will also be size based but it is the size of the explosive, not the weapon.
Finite: 2d4 (1 lb, 5 ft radius) – typical launcher grenade ($40 base)
Tiny: 2d6 (2 lb, 10 ft radius) – typical hand grenade ($60 base)
Small: 3d6 (4 lb, 15 ft radius) – Light LAW rocket ($90 base)
Medium: 4d6 (8 lb, 20 ft radius) – RPG round ($120 base)
Large: 5d6 (16 lb, 25 ft radius) – TOW rocket ($150 base)
A weapon firing 1 explosive at a time needs to be 1 size larger, a magazine fed launcher needs to be 2 sizes larger. Explosives do ½ damage on a successful save vs BW but most weapon immunity doesn’t apply. Cost of a launcher is 10x explosive for single shot or 20x explosive for magazine fed, weight is double the explosive for single shot and triple for magazine fed. Magazines are calculated like gun magazines (1/2 the weight and cost of the explosives the magazine will hold). Range for launchers is generally 5/10/15 but DM may make longer range versions available.
Variant Explosives: For double cost explosives can be made to do fire damage (no change in stats but may start fires and some creatures are vulnerable/immune). For 5 times the cost the explosive can be changed to poison gas (area/damage is the same but but save vs poison each round for full/half damage for 2 rounds outdoors or 3 rounds indoors). For 1/2 cost the explosive can be smoke, defoliant, or fire retardant (all have same radius, fire retardant acts as poison to fire elementals only, defoliant acts as poison to plant creatures only, and smoke lowers vision to 2 feet in area for 1d4 rounds outdoors and 1d4 turns indoors).
Machine guns (x2 gun cost and may be illegal in many areas):
3 shot burst is +1 hit
5 shot burst is +1 hit/damage
10 shot burst is +2 hit/damage
Spray attack is 1 ft wide per 2 bullets used (goes out to short range) all in area take 1 bullet of damage (can save for ½ if acting normal, automatically take ½ and save for none if taking cover but give up any attacks that round). Multiple characters can work together to increase a spray area (if more than 1 person is working together to provide cover fire they can get the effect even without full auto weapons as long as 4 or more shots are used).
Reading/Writing is free for all characters, you can read and write any language you can speak. Class divisions/penalties for proficiencies are ignored (modern education at its finest). New proficiencies listed below.
Explosives (INT 0, 1 slot) – covers setting/mixing. The disarming requires the thief skill Find/Remove Traps but the proficiency gives a 5% bonus to the removing portion if an explosive.
Mechanic (INT 0, 1 slot) – covers fixing anything mechanical but not electronics (other than the most basic in a mechanical device).
Electronics (WIS 0, 1 slot) – covers fixing electronic devices; must also have healing to work on cybernetics. Bypassing electronic locks and alarms is done with thief skills, but this proficiency gives a 5% bonus to open lock or the remove portion of find/remove traps as long as the devise is electronic.
Drive (DEX 0, 1 slot) – operating ground vehicles such as cars and trucks
Cycle Riding (Dex, 1 slot) – operating motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, and other operator balanced vehicles (unicycles and hoverboards).
Pilot (DEX 0, 2 slots) – operating any sort of aircraft from prop planes and fighter jets to dirigibles and helicopters.
Programming (INT 0, 1 slot) – anyone can use a computer, this is making new programs. Doesn’t allow hacking but would give a 5% bonus to thief skills used against computers.
Healing covers modern medicine (need electronics also to work on cybernetics), boating and seamanship remain the same but apply to modern ships as well, all crafting skills include the modern versions (weaponsmith includes guns). Herbalism can be left the same or renamed Pharmacy but includes modern pharmaceuticals. Proficiencies don’t cover bypassing locks and alarms, that remains under the thief skills.
Infiltrators/Safe Crackers/Hackers are thieves and a few skills are upgraded for that:
Open Locks applies to electronic locks as well as cracking passcodes (hacking)
Find/Remove traps includes alarms as well as modern traps and ICE (anti-hacking programs and tracing systems to locate hackers)
Read Languages covers deciphering codes and encrypted files
Backstab can be used for sniper attacks, but requires a full round and that the target isn’t otherwise engaged in combat (target must be unaware of attack, but not necessarily facing away), backstab can also be applied to helpless opponents (classic execution style) even when combat is going on.