Adding Magic to Spectrum Shock... Working Out Some Kinks

I mentioned recently that I was inspired by Kevin Sembieda to ignore system balance and focus on GM balance. Since letting my players know that the floodgates have been opened and all of the 3E/3.5 D&D material we have is free to use in Spectrum Shock, I have been brainstorming ways that I can mix and match elements from the two games to create interesting opponents for the PCs. Immediately, I found some interesting questions I needed to answer...

  • Can Rapid Shot be used with guns? It must have been deemed too strong to be included in the D20 Modern books even though Precise Shot, Shot on the Run, and other similar feats are present. Conclusion: Of course it can! It makes no sense for an archer to fire more arrows in a round than even a novice with a pistol (accuracy will make all the difference, though). Besides, we're throwing system balance out the window!
  • Are the Mage, Acolyte, and Techno Mage now obsolete? With D&D rules, you can be a wizard or cleric starting at first level. Conclusion: No, but they do need a little push to make them attractive choices. We'll go with this house rule: If a character takes one of these classes and already has the appropriate type of spellcasting ability, each level of these classes grants "+1 level of existing class."
  • What about action points? D&D classes don't come with those. Conclusion: You get action points if you're taking a class from a D20 Modern book. Otherwise, you don't. Compared to D20 Modern classes, D&D classes come with a ton of class features and better saving throws. Action points can balance this out a bit. (Okay, maybe I'm not completely disregarding balance.)

If nothing else, adding everything from D&D to my D20 Modern campaign has at least given me more interesting tools with which to get creative in NPC building. My players haven't taken the bait yet, but I have a feeling that they will whenever we have a PC death. They might experiment even sooner, as my brother just gained the Leadership feat (which isn't technically D20 Modern, but see our house rules) and will be creating his cohort sometime before our next session.
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