View Full Version : Meshing D20 Modern with D&D 3.5

2008-11-12, 12:18 AM
Do these mesh for monster manuals especially? I'm thinking up a homebrewed Men In Black style campaign and bizarre creatures from MMIV, MMIII, and MMII would be an awesome though not necessary addition.

Are CRs the same? If not, what adjustments must be made?

2008-11-12, 12:38 AM
You have to very carefully consider every monster you choose to include, as special abilities really F Modern up. Without access to enchanted weapons or spells, any creature with DR/Magic ranges from difficult to impossible to fight.

While characters in Modern do have access to fire and acid damage types, their options are nowhere near as good as a 3.5 party's for dealing with the same threat. A party of level 10 characters without spells or specific preparation for that threat could easily be wiped out by a single, regular troll.

There's also the problem of enemies that can add negative levels and curses. An encounter with a mummy that can slowly but surely kill a character that fails a save against mummy rot takes on a whole new challenge. Without access to healing or restorative magics, encounters are almost too dangerous even in the event the party wins to be seriously considered.

Assuming your characters have access to a lot of the spells, items, and services regular 3.5 adventurers do, however, you wouldn't need to worry too much about special qualities and CR adjustments though.

2008-11-12, 12:44 AM
You're going to have to be careful about what monsters you pick, for two reasons:

-Characters in d20 Modern have less access to magic than their D&D counterparts. Even if you're using the spellcasting advanced classes, characters acquire spells more slowly, have fewer of them, and have a lower caster level. Any monster that does ability damage should be very carefully examined; anything with ability drain or that deals negative levels should probably have those edited out, or else be very rare and dangerous (and even then there should be a way to get a Restoration spell eventually). The characters

-The characters as a whole are less powerful, especially in combat. In addition to the lack of magic (generally the most powerful of the classes), Modern characters are usually less capable in combat than D&D characters. They almost certainly have fewer magic items. The classes are less powerful (compare the soldier and archaic weaponmaster to the fighter, and of course the spellcasting classes are weaker); there are fewer feats; the massive damage rules make an encounter with even an ogre a potentially deadly fight for many characters. Moreover, many Modern characters won't be gunslingers or brawlers, and anyone not optimized for combat will have a very hard time against even CR-appropriate challenges.

It's certainly possible, but don't just take the monsters wholesale; make sure you look at their capabilities compared to your characters' capabilities.

2008-11-12, 12:59 AM
The CRs for creatures seem to be the same between D&D monsters and their 3.5 equivalents from comparing a few at a glance. However, Modern heroes tend to be weaker in nearly all respects to D&D characters combat-wise. In addition to having lower attack bonuses and hitpoints, they have less magic and access to magical equipment, if magic or psionics is even being used in the first place. Note that this is just going with the normal Modern character- if they have access to alien superweapons like in the MIB movie than the power balance may change somewhat, depending on just what sort of firepower is being used.

Also in regards to CR, the later Monster Manuals may be more likely to have more powerful monsters with lower CRs than the core books. So take Challenge Ratings with a grain of salt (which you should really be doing anyway). Monsters with particularly dangerous special attacks aren't out of the question, although I wouldn't spring them on the PCs without providing them information about the dangers first. Or if you do, you can make up the difference with sufficiently advanced technology. If there's an alien device back at headquarters that can cure energy drain or the like, then you have more room to experiment.

2008-11-12, 01:26 PM
D20 Modern is really, mechanically late 3.0, rather than 3.5, so adjustments might be needed. DR, skills, etc.

Urbana Arcana gives equivalent of Epic spellcasting rules for D20 modern, only without as many problems as Epic handbook.