Monday, December 13, 2010

Stick Around! - AD&D Action Movie Hack

I was thinking about getting into Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes; Ninjas & Superspies; Phoenix Command; d20 Modern; Spycraft; Feng Shui, or some other game or hack to do Badass 80s Action Movie Gaming! But, it might be easier to do it with D&D?

Ability Scores: 4d6, best three dice, six times, arrange to suit. Or even the most obscenely generous ability score generation system...these guys are Action Heroes! % Strength is in effect. Use the most generous ability score modifiers out of AD&D, B/XD&D & even 3E!

Character Classes: All PCs are Action Heroes. Some NPCs are Action Heroes, most are 0-level humans, as well as Fighters, Thieves, Assassins, Ninjas/Martial Artists (monks), Doctors (clerics). But all PCs are Action Heroes.

Action Heroes function as Fighters. They can use the Gun Them Down! houserule. They can use Unearthed Arcana weapon specialization...even (especially!) on guns. They also have the same abilities of a Thief of the same level...including Read languages. They also have the unarmed attack and armor class of a monk of the same level, as well as the movement rate of a monk of the same level. All PCs star at some not-low level at the beginning of the campaign...these guys are Action Heroes!

Use Jeff Rients houserule that a natural 20 on an  attack by a PC is an auto-kill.

Maybe even use 3rd edition tactical combat rules to emulate a precise bullet ballet...these guys are Action Heroes!

"Left For Dead" PCs can be resurrected by a high enough level Doctor, as per Clerical magic, but with a window of opportunity of hours instead of days.

Find some d20 Modern, Spycraft, or Palladium book for guns and gear.

Let the assault on the aerie of the Columbian Drug Lords who have taken the President captive commence.


  1. I wrote up "Explosions & Escapes" which is a re-write of an old UncleBear game that was totally an 80s action movie RPG. You can find it at
    What you have is the way to go if you're using D&D to make an 80s action movie, though I might not have medics/clerics. Those dudes never needed a doctor... then again, they could always pick up a hot nurse...

  2. I agree, it is just as easy to use the existing D&D rules sets. That's pretty interesting use of existing classes and a nice choice of mix of rules.

    I've done military classes for both Swords and Wizardry and Mutant Future.

    Here's the S&W versions, I put them up after reading this today.

    Here's the Mutant Future version:

  3. I'll definitely check this stuff out...thanks a lot guys!

    @ Domino: Hot nurse girlfriend figures are what made me include the Doctor/Cleric!

  4. If you find a decent system for vehicular mayhem, let me know. I'm dying to run a mad max mini campaign...

  5. @ Crom: I'd guess that Car Wars or Atomic Highway may fit the bill?