Hello, and welcome to the MODULR RPG Website and Gingko Tree.
Here you can browse through the latest versions of the MODULR RPG’s basic rules, errata, and information about current or upcoming releases.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to email PiRSkwared@gmail.com
Also, if you like the app, please visit Gingko and learn how you too can get a nifty tree like this.
Under this card lies all the basic rules for MODULR, in their most up-to-date form. For further rules, please check out our DriveThruRPG page for giveaways, sales, and to buy further sourcebooks!
Here you will find all errata published for all MODULR sourcebooks, as well as a log of other important changes.
Significant Errata changes will have their own attached, edited printable PDF pages, so you can pry your staples out and exchange the old page with the new one!
If you bought a sourcebook off of DriveThruRPG, the most up-to-date PDF version of your books should be available there.
Then MODULR might not be for you!
I’m making a series of YouTube videos to help people just like you navigate RPGs in general, and MODULR in specific.
Look for them below:
Have you played any of: Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, GURPS (god forbid), D&D Next, or Traveller?
If you have, then imagine they all had a beautiful, elegant, easy-to pickup, wonderful to GM, RPGchild, with plenty of room to expand and get to “level 20”
Now realize that I made it, and imagine it as slightly less beautiful and elegant than that.
…And you have MODULR!
You may have noticed on DriveThruRPG that I do not offer hard copies of my rules.
Truth is, it’s hard to set up a good deal with a publishing company! So I offer two PDF types: one to read on mobile, and the other to print.
To use the “printable” PDFs, you can simply print them, hold them landscape in front of you, and staple through the middle of all the pages, and you will have a half-letter-size booklet for your MODULR rules, with opposite pages for notes, doodles, scribbles, or just barren whitespace for wallowing in your despair of not having paid the extra for a duplex printer.
Or, if you are clever enough to be able to print on both sides of each page, there are “duplex” PDFs just for you, too!
If this gets off the ground I’ll think about
The rules center around each stat being a polyhedral die value, between d4 to d12, not unlinke Savage Worlds. The difference is that these dice are rolled together, in pools.
But don’t worry, there’s no fancy addition, because dice are canceled by opposing dice (if equal to or greater than the original roll), and only the remaining dice (if any) determine effects.
In this way, one can very realistically represent how skills impact the outcome of an action. A wide variety of skills will give many avenues to success, but only true masters dominate the field.
MODULR as a system is broken down into a series of short books, not unlike the original TRAVELLER system, to allow a very quick start for new players (with minimal investment), and then options for players and GMs to bring in more variety and complexity with more rules, while using the same central mechanic.
Sounds just like anything you’d want out of an RPG, and thus too good to be true. While I admit I won’t completely satisfy every player and GM, I hope to satisfy those who have yet to be satisfied anywhere else.
All GameWorld entities are defined by their stats. Stats have three components: die level, XP, and abilities. Object’s properties are generally set by the GM, or by rules modules
Templates provide a quick way to describe the common elements of a group of entities
To create a character, a series of random rolls are used to determine starting stats, XP, Luck Dice, and Funds.
When the GM goes to create a Non-Player Character, they may use these rules, or simply choose whatever stats, funds, and abilities they feel fit most realistically into the situation
In MODULR, as in many RPGs, the outcomes of acts performed by any character are determined by rolling dice. In contrast to most systems, where you might roll dice and add their totals, plus or minus a bonus or penalty provided by your character sheet, MODULR involves rolling small handfuls of dice, and having dice “cancel” each other out.
Force, impact, chemical reactivity, magic, poison, disease, flammability, and a host of other factors can cause a character to take damage. Taking damage creates an obstacle, and taking too much damage causes a character to die.
Average humans die after having taken 20 damage. Thus, a single point of damage roughly represents enough harmful effect to reduce the human operating capacity by 5%.
At 4 damage, humans take on an d4 obstacle die that applies to all their rolls. at 6 damage, this die increases a step, and so on at 8, 10, and up to a d12 at 12 damage.
The system works like this: any properties that your character might possess (Strength, Smarts, Skill with a gun, Knowledge of Magicks, Habits, Old friends (and enemies), character flaws, etc) is represented by a single die from d4 to d12.
This is called the “die level” of that stat (e.g. 1 = d4, 2 = d6, etc). For each die level you have, you probably have an ability: a nifty trick you know, a benefit you get in certain situations, or making a rules apply differently to your character than most.
One your character wants to attempt something, the GM sets out a pool of polyhedral dice, representing the factors against you (the skill of your enemy, poor footing, etc). You then propose to the GM stats you possess that apply to the situation. For those she accepts, assemble a pool of dice, each die corresponding to that stat’s die.
Then you roll off. If the GM has a die that rolled equal to or higher than one of your dice, the dice “cancel” each other out. This process repeats until the GM can no longer cancel any of your dice. If you have any dice remaining, you succeed! If you do not, you fail…
I’ve been wanting to make an RPG system since I was six.
No, really! My Dad has a clear memory of it. He was dungeon master for my best friend (both then and now), and I, using his old copy of Basic D&D
After the first few sessions, I remember tugging at his pantleg asking “Dad, can I make my own system?”
And so he gathered from the basement all his old D&D stuff, from campaign notes to sourcebooks to other systems (The original TRAVELLER, a printout of CHAINMAIL, and a signed copy of GURPS 3rd Ed among them!)
That occupied about a single day, such was the attention span of my 6-year-old brain. But the urge would arise again during high school when I was GMing a group of my own.
And so constant ideas and D&D house rules culminated into this system, MODULR, and I hold it very dear.
The battle of his/her/them/whatever pronouns rages on in the blogosphere, twitterverse, and just about every other social media platform. So brace yourselves, here’s my stance:
Biologically, each and every human is, as far as genetics is concerned, a female, for the first 3 months of pregnancy. This is why men have nipples, and women larger amounts of DNA stored in their cells. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all women!
Furthermore, the female community in gaming desperately needs to be recognized, and female fans, players, and developers continue to be cast aside in the male-dominant industry.
As such, I hereby declare all pronouns on this site, and in my rules, will be in the form of she/her/hers.
(Because women rock)
But dice by themselves are boring, so for each die level you have invested XP into a stat, you may select an ability. This could change when your dice are applicable, provide an advantage in certain situations in combat, or allow you to bend the rules a little, such as allowing you to use certain dice where you wouldn’t normally, or ignore certain rolls altogether.
What this looks like depends on the ability, but it could look like be adding in your initiative dice when parrying, or being able to fire off a few shots while still hacking the mainframe, or keeping your focus on a spell in a perilous situation.
I kid you not, one of my earliest childhood memories was trying to make an RPG system.
My dad ran my best friend and I through a Basic D&D module, and then through one of his own homebrew campaigns, and I was hooked.
But I didn’t understand the classes or the clunky rules, or the endless piles of tables, so I tried to invent my own.
But, I was 6 years old, and I’m no Mozart, so nothing came of it.
I later played Pathfinder, Apocalypse and Dungeon World, Shadowrun, D&D 1st, 2nd, 3.5th, 4th, and Next, GURPS, Savage Worlds, Ars Magica, Cthulu, and Traveller, and I’ve looked at countless others. And I had yet to be satisfied with a system where I could confidently GM knowing noone was going to rules lawyer me into a corner and that the dice were flexible enough to allow for a variety of outcomes.
I tried making my own modified systems (and I repeatedly thank all the members of my high school gaming group for indulging me), and they didn’t quite work.
Then I played RuneQuest, and Mongoose’s Legend, and I thought I was almost satisfied, until I remembered they were fantasy only.
So now I’m finally taking a crack at a new approach to RPGs that I haven’t seen before, that allow me to GM confidently. Even if noone even buys the game, I’ll still be happy simply to have a system that works for me and my table.
Unfortunately, there remains in the gaming community an unhealthy dose of sexism. This is not to accuse anyone, but in my philosophy everyone should feel perfectly comfortable in the factors about themselves over which they have no control at the table.
So, you may have noticed, all MODULR rules treat grammatical persons as feminine, except in specific examples. Why? Well, even we biological males were technically female for three months in the womb, which is why we have nipples.
Look I’m just trying to make sure no one gets triggered here, because ultimately games are about having fun.
There are two types of entities:
The GM owns the GameWorld. She weaves the story, describes the setting, and controls the actions of all entities within, except for what is controlled by the players.
In play, the GM’s ultimate goal is to provide a fun experience for the players, while still having fun herself. This is accomplished by setting up challenges, roleplaying dialogues, and distributing appropriate rewards to the players.
Each player is responsible for one character over which they have direct control, and perhaps a few others over which they would have indirect control (for example, an animal companion, robot sidekick, etc).
Though they can talk amongst themselves outside the GameWorld, they also dictate what their characters say in-game. Their ultimate goal, aside from having fun, is to play their characters both realistically, and entertainingly, as well as interact with the GM’s setting and situations.
Anything which exists in the GameWorld (GW) is called, for rules purposes, an entity. All entities have stats which define their properties.
In MODULR, a stat’s effectiveness is represented by a number of polyhedral dice, which are rolled whenever that stat is used.
Any stat that a character would possess is almost always a single die, from a range of d4, d6, d8, d10, or d12. For example, a character with a d12 Intellect could do complex math whilst simultaneously giving a lecture in a non-native language. d4 intellect, however, would manifest itself as a very.. basic… vocabulary. d6 is considered average.
Any stat a character is capable of acquiring starts at a die level 0, meaning that they can invest XP to improve it, but at present they have yet to gain benefit from it.
XP is a measure of how much training a character has invested into improving a stat. For a human, that might be weight lifting, reading, memorization, or education.
Die level in any stat can be gr
0 - 3 XP: No benefit.
4 - 9 XP: d4 stat, 1st ability gained
10 - 17 XP: d6 stat, 2nd ability gained
18 - 27 XP: d8 stat, 3rd ability gained
28 - 39 XP: d10 stat, 4th ability gained
40+ XP: d12 stat cap, 5th ability gained
XP is noted in square brackets. For example, “Agility d6 ”
Die level is separate from XP, and as such, if you have a d4 ability with no XP invested, investing 4 XP does not increase your die level to d6, rather simply allows you to gain your 1st ability tied to that stat.
Along with XP providing better die levels, investing XP also allows you to choose abilities. Abilities allow you to change how dice are used, add bonuses to certain dice, or change how certain rules work.
Each ability will have a title, a list of stats that it can be potentially tied to, and a description of its impact on the rules. Abilities are found in the relevant rules modules (you have to buy them).
By default, humans have an average of d6 in the following stats: Agility, Health, Intellect, Strength, and Will,
For generating more
Stat Group: Attributes
1st Roll: d12, d10, d8, d6, d4
2nd Roll: d10, d8, d6, d4
3rd Roll: d8, d6, d4
4th Roll: d6, d4
5th Roll: d4
It is perfectly acceptable to play MODULR without printed character sheets; a single college ruled Letter or A4 sheet of paper will do just fine.
All parties involved are declared either actioner or opposition
Each character gathers all dice applicable to the situation, with the
This is mirrored on other creatures as a “damage index.” This is a string of numbers of which the last one is always the maximum amount of damage a character or object can take, and the preceding numbers, starting with the first, represents the damage at which a damage obstacle is applied.
For example, the human index is
This is the default damage matrix. An ancient, venerable, extremely tough dragon might have a x5 damage index, meaning all of the values of the default human index are multiplied by 5:
Finally, many creatures and objects have custom damage indexes.
A ceramic plate has an index of 1, because it can only sustain 1 damage.
An orc might be able to push harder than a human, possessing an index of 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 20
Or, some creatures might have an index of 4, 6, 8, 15,
…meaning they die at 15 damage, but never take a greater obstacle than a d8
With all these dice being rolled, it is very difficult to determine the probabilities of any outcome, even if all the dice are known.
Because of this, the GM can freely spout “the orc has a d8 skill with her sword!” without concern that the players have learned to much about the orc’s capabilities. This can be extended to the point where the players are even rolling for the orc, and the GM can spend their time describing the combat, telling the story, and managing the actions of the NPCs.
The dice can roll low or high, so just because you have a d12 and your opponent has a d4, doesn’t mean you know you will win.
Any entity incapable of taking its own actions is an object. This could be a door, for example, which might have some durability stats representing how hard it is to break down, or a lock stat which defines how tough it is to hack.
Another example is a weapon, which has its own damage stat if wielded by an appropriate creature.
Characters are entities capable of taking actions. Since this is the case, each one must either be under control of one of the players, the GM, or another character.
For example, a robot turret is controlled by Hex the hacker, who is controlled by one of the players.
Stats can also be upgraded to a d20, but this is only allowed in cases where technology differs very greatly (eg a gun generally has a damage of d20), or where the entity has achieved some sort of god-like status (Hercules has Strength d20). However, XP can still be invested into a d20 stat for the sake of claiming abilities.
There is also the die level “-“, or N/A, meaning that the character can never invest XP into it, and any roll made with that stat adds no dice. Thus, if that stat has to be rolled by itself, it automatically fails.
Finally, stats can be infinite. This is a special case where basically the power in the stat cannot be resisted by any factor. For example, power armour has infinite defense against stone age weaponry. The Death Star’s planet-destroy ray is another example of an infinite damage stat.
XP also applies for entities which cannot technically learn or train. Even though a security camera might not be able to train itself to recognize intruders, its Vision stat could be improved by a technician upgrading its camera. In this case, as rules are concerned, money invested into the upgrade is transmuted into the camera’s XP.
Similar situations might occur in upgrading a car’s components, or an A.I.’s software.
Initally, characters begin with an amount of XP via character creation, but there are also ways of gaining XP throughout play.
There are two types of control in MODULR
Characters under indirect control present their controller with a list of actions to choose from, with the appropriate rolls required to execute them. Once an action is chosen rolled for, and executed, the GM or a player might narrate the action, fitting the results into the GameWorld. For example, an automated turret under indirect control by the GM would be limited to the actions of identify target, fire weapon, scan for movement, etc.
Characters under direct control, however, work in the reverse. First their controller narrates their intent, and either an action from a rules module is fitted to the intent, or the GM and players negotiate a realistic set of rolls to determine the outcome. Direct control also involves more roleplaying and personfication, so traits of the character. A daredevil character, for example, should take greater risks than a frightened one.
Generating unique rolls for unique actions, however, can lead to a tabletop argument. GMs remember: When in doubt, roll and shout. If you’ve had enough debate, just call it and let the dice tell the story.
Agents are characters that lack any faculties for reasoning. Agents can only be indirectly controlled, and thus are limited to certain actions, as well as being limited in when their actions can be taken.
For example, a robot guard is really only capable of patrolling, checking identification, and firing upon trespassers. Even if a player’s character hacks the guard, they are still only capable of the same routines, and cannot be asked to perform other tasks unless reprogrammed.