Welcome, traveler, to the Modos RPG homepage. Before reading on, please notice three important menu choices to the left:
Front Page: takes you back to this page, no matter where you find yourself in the following dungeons.
Adventure Log: a continuously growing collection of questions and commentary involving Modos RPG development and current events.
Wiki: contains links to the game’s downloads, and online resources including the Rules Catalog.
About the game:
Modos RPG is a free, modular, open source roleplaying game, written by Michael Terlisner with help from the online RPG community at large. The game is designed to flourish in your imagination, not on your tabletop. It does this by having a short set of flexible, easy-to-learn rules and focusing on roleplaying before (or without) dice. The game’s modular nature allows you to easily tailor the rule set to your needs, or even use the rules as a foundation for your own roleplaying game!
This is a game for heroes: the player-characters. Every hero has a concept – a short description including his history, profession, goals, and flaws. As the heroes become more powerful, they gain levels. With each level, they gain a skill point, perk, hero point, and an attribute point.
Skills are abilities that a character improves with training or experience.
Perks allow characters to bend the rules, or obtain special features.
Hero points are customizable bonuses that turn a mundane effort into a heroic one.
Attributes are inherent aspects of a hero – how he manifests in the world. These are Physical, Mental, and Metaphysical.
Each attribute has a score ranging from 0 (useless) to 20 (super-human) or higher. Each attribute is also a measure of the character’s ability to take damage, which incapacitates him if his damage exceeds his attribute score.
Once the characters are fully created, players explore a world created and narrated by the Guide of Modos (GM, or game master). The characters can try to do anything they want, but if the outcome is uncertain, they must use a contest to resolve their efforts. A contest is a d20 roll, opposed by the GM’s d20, plus bonuses for either side. Bonuses come from attributes, skill points, and difficulty. Whoever gets the higher result gets the favorable outcome.
If one roll isn’t enough to decide a conflict, the GM can begin an extended conflict, and use timing and progress rules to add further detail. The extended conflict module uses an active initiative system that allows players to remain engaged in conflict, even when it’s not their turn. It also incorporates a limit on how much acting a character can do during a round of conflict, which makes his choices more meaningful.
A time-saving device in the game is called Take Half. With this rule, a player can guarantee that he doesn’t get a bad roll, because he can always take half of the highest number on the die instead of rolling.
Another time-saving and abstraction tool is called Combat Posture. With this, a battle map isn’t necessary because no matter where characters go in battle, they’re either classified as offensive or defensive in posture. This makes the game very easy to play in a chat room or on a coffee table and allows the GM to tell the story of a battle instead of focusing on a map, miniatures, and squares.
If players and game masters exhaust these rules and want more or would prefer different rules (like using miniatures and grids), they are free to adopt or write their own modules, which can be added by following some simple rules and then simply hitting cut and paste in the rules catalog. If your group isn’t the DIY type, the pdf rulebook contains a sample rules module and sample adventure as well!