Wizards of the Coast announced the November 8 release of the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. This new rulebook customizes the popular 'open license' d20 RPG system (see 'd20 and the Open Game License Explained') for use in modern settings, which includes modern war games and espionage games as well as cyberpunk, horror, and vampire based games. The d20 Modern RPG Core Rulebook uses the d20 system of RPG rules, and contains everything needed to run an entire campaign, including four campaign models and adventure hooks to add to existing campaigns.
With its open licensed d20 system WotC has embraced the video game industry model -- its core rulebooks and sourcebooks function as the 'platform' or 'hardware,' while other publishers produce the software, the actual games and adventures. More than 30 game companies are already developing titles for the d20 Modern system, so there will be no shortage of new games with contemporary or near future settings. The release of the new d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and the attendant publications from other companies should give the d20 marketplace a good jolt. After an initial boom in d20 sales the market sagged as gamers tried to sniff out the best games among the plethora of d20 product that soon became available. Many of the games created for WotC's new d20 Modern RPG system will undoubtedly fail, but if just a few succeed, they will stimulate sales of WotC's core rulebook and vindicate WotC's 'video game' strategy.