So that project I mentioned I’d be working on last week never came to fruition — but that’s okay. This is about what I did instead.

I played Borderlands 2 for the first time since I got it as a gift this past holiday season. Taken with an off-hand comment from one among our weekly gaming number, I decided to come back to a project I worked on about a year ago, nicknamed “Run and Gun.” The aim was to develop 4e firearm rules.

And I basically did exactly that. I set the bar way lower this time. I dropped my original goal of eight-some classes to four: one class for each combat role.

The Four Firearm Classes:
Marshal (leader)
Soldier (defender)
Grenadier (controller)
Marksman (striker)

All four classes are designed around Ranged Basic Attacks, and are intended for tactical firearm combat in a modern or futuristic setting. It’s “4e easy,” built less to simulate reality and more to promote cooperative tactical play.

Notably, the Grenadier has “Hand Grenade” as a class feature. This is intended as an effective parallel to powers like “Turn Undead.” I’m still kind of exploring the implications of having “Class Feature Attack Powers.” It’s weird.


Then I created a short list of eight “races” based on some transhumanist stuff I worked on after a friend introduced me to Eclipse Phase. The core conceit is essentially “there are no aliens, but there sure are some weird people.

Lots of tech — like robots and cyborgs and mutants — but no “aliens.”

I created a “race tree” to show connections between the humans and robots and cyborgs (oh my!), and determined ability score modifiers. I intend to base the races predominantly on their ability modifiers to save myself some work that would otherwise drag the process out. Here’s the complete list:

Ability Scores (choose two of three):
Human Con, Dex, Int
Robot Str, Int, Wis
Cyborg Str, Int, Cha
Clone Dex, Wis, Cha
Mutant Str, Con, Cha
Android Con, Int, WIs
Ghoul Con, Dex, Cha
Spartan Str, Dex, Wis

“Robots” include AIs given a corporeal shell to walk around in — “Cyborgs” are humans who died and were returned to AI-assisted life. “Clones” are artificial twins, made in a test tube and implanted in a human for live birth.

“Mutants” are born from humans but are biologically distinct — more like X-Men than the ‘dipped’ Super Mutants from Fallout. “Androids” are basically robots designed to be as human-like as possible, and incorporate biological systems.

“Ghouls” are born human, and have become effectively static, immortal beings through crazy random happenstance, a la Fallout. “Spartans” are born from humans but were modified in utero to be biologically superior, a la Halo.

So we have a recipe for pretty much everyone to hate anyone.