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HEROIC

STUNTS
by Lizard

Introduction Using Heroic Stunts


The world of D20 gaming is replete with hun- Stunts are, in many ways, similar to Feats.
dreds, perhaps thousands, of amazingly cool- The difference is that they are not something the
sounding feats which most gamers would love to character can do at will, or a limited number of
have their character pull off at just the right times per day. Rather, a character must expend
moment...but when push comes to shove and feat- an Action Point and specify which stunt he is
picking time comes, the exotic and interesting performing.
feats are most often passed over in favor of the Some stunts may only be attempted following
tried-and-true. Why? Because as cool as it might a specific action for example, Pin requires a
be to kick a gun out of someones hand and grab successful hit with a piercing weapon.
it, something like Power Attack, Cleave, or one of In general, a stunt may be attempted only
the many +2 to 2 skills feats will come into play when the character could normally act, or imme-
far more often. The cold calculus of campaign diately following the specified action. A mod-
practicality trumps coolness. icum of logic must also be applied if a charac-
No more! ter would not reasonably be able to perform a
This document introduces a new concept to particular stunt due to being bound or otherwise
D20 Heroic Stunts! By the expenditure of an restrained, or due to having a non-humanoid
Action Point, your character can attempt the kind body shape, or some other reason, the GM is free
of cool moves often seen in action movies or TV to disallow it.
shows, without having had to select a feat to allow Since Ordinaries do not have action points,
him to do it. By default, any Heroic Stunt can be they may not use stunts.
tried if the character meets the prerequisites,
though there are options to restrict this if desired.
Modern: Heroic Stunts is copyright 2005 Lizard. All text in this book is designated as open game content. You may not dis-
tribute this PDF without permission of the author. d20 Modern is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro,
Inc., and is used with permission. Wizards of the Coast is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro,
Inc., and is used with permission.

Requires the use of the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Modern D20 heroic stunts

described. The Game Master may wish to give a


Limiting Stunts small (no more than +2) bonus to a relevant roll
or check if a stunt is described in a particularly
Heroic Stunts are supposed to be sudden, dra-
matic moves that show of a heros prowess and evocative or original way; likewise, he may
skill in a spectacularly cool way. They should not penalize a character who offers nothing beyond
become routine or repetitive, even if the charac- the bare essential of description.
ter has Action Points to spare. The following two
rules are suggested for limiting Heroic Stunts: Stunt Descriptions
Stunts are very similar to feats. Each stunt is
Stunts may be attempted only once every described as follows:
1d4 rounds per character. After a stunt is
performed, roll 1d4 to find the number of
rounds until the next one can be per- Stunt Name
formed. (Thus, a lucky character might
Brief description
pull off several in a row, while an
Prerequisites: Any requirements which the
unlucky one might not get in more than
character must meet before attempting the stunt.
one a fight.)
Examples are Dexterity 16, base attack bonus
The same stunt cannot be used twice in
+5, Intimidate 6 ranks, and so on.
the same fight by anyone. Once one per-
Description: Describes the stunt and presents
son has performed Flanking Duck, for
all necessary rules for resolving it.
example, neither his allies nor his ene-
mies can imitate it at least not until the Notes: Any additional notes, rules, or options
next fight. which might apply.

A Game Master may also wish to limit how The Stunts!


many stunts any character can attempt, in order
to preserve some niche protection and not let Acrobatic Rebound
every PC do everything. To some extent, prereq- You can bounce back from a fall in a spectac-
uisites do this Foot Flip, for example, requires ular manner
Improved Disarm, which most PCs will not Prerequisites: Dexterity 17, Tumble 8 ranks
have. Still, if a more structured set of limits is Description: When falling, you may grab
desired, the Game Master may allow a character any protrusion a flagpole, a ledge, or a clothes-
to attempt any stunt, but, once he has performed line, for example, spin around it, and use your
it, this becomes one of his signature stunts. He momentum to carry you upwards! You may trav-
may perform that one at any time, pursuant to the el up against as far down as you fell before grab-
limits above, but may not add another signature bing and spinning. If there is a safe spot at the
stunt for 2 levels. (Thus, he gains one signature top of your upward arc, or anywhere en route,
stunt every other level.) If he wishes to perform you may land on it by making a DC 20 Tumble
a non-signature stunt, it will cost two Action check.
Points to do.
Adrenaline Surge
Describing Stunts
You can demonstrate tremendous non-combat
Players and Game Masters should not dully strength.
note which stunt they are performing and then Prerequisites: None
tepidly manuever some figures on a map. These
Description: In times of crisis, humans are
stunts are designed to evoke classic action-
known to be able to tap into inner reserves of
movie tropes from Errol Flynn to Jackie Chan,
strength. Whether or not this is related to high
and the exact action taken should be fully

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levels of gamma-ray activity remains indetermi- takes 5 to 10 seconds). Such stunts include slic-
nate. In any event, when the chips are down, this ing a candle in half with a katana, spinning an
stun allows you to become far stronger for a very assault rifle rapidly and then blowing away a
brief time. You gain a +10 bonus to strength for small object seemingly without aiming, shooting
purposes of lifting something, holding some- a hole in a playing card as it drifts to the ground,
thing, escaping from something or breaking or whirling a massive greatsword as if it were a
something, but not for purposes of combat or rapier. You should describe the stunt as flamboy-
damage this bonus in no way adds to attack, antly as possible. No matter the exact nature of
grapple, or damage rolls. The bonus lasts for your actions, the message conveyed is clear
1+your normal (not including the bonus from You are one baaaad [censored] who theyd better
this stunt, but including all other relevant bonus- not mess with. All who witness this and fail a
es) Strength modifier rounds, long enough to Will save of DC 15+your Charisma bonus may
snap ropes, toss a minivan off a pregnant woman make only a move or an attack action on their
pinned beneath it, or hold back an angry troll next turn, and you gain a +4 circumstance bonus
long enough for the hapless orphans in its path to on your next Intimidate check against all who
skedaddle. After this ability is used, you will saw this maneuver, whether or not they made
become fatigued for 1d6 rounds. their Will save.
Special: Constructs, oozes, undead and other
such beings may not perform this stunt. Only Barrel Shot
corporeal, mortal, beings may do so. You can damage an enemys gun with an
amazing shot.
Arrow Stab Prerequisites: Dexterity 16, Point Blank
Youve all seen the movie. Shot, Dead Aim, Far Shot, base attack bonus +15
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus with bow, base Description: This type of trick shooting must
attack bonus +5 be seen to be believed. Anyone witnessing it will
Description: This stunt can only be per- either be very impressed or will consider it an
formed by someone who has a bow ready for uncanny fluke. You can take a full attack action
combat use (and a supply of arrows). He may to fire a bullet into the barrel of an enemys gun,
make a melee attack using the arrow in hand, at damaging it greatly all future attacks made
his full attack bonus, against any enemy he with that weapon suffer a -4 equipment modifier
threatens. This does not provoke an attack of until the gun can be repaired.
opportunity, although firing the bow will (if the
enemy survives the initial stab). An arrow wield- Blinding Strike
ed as a melee weapon does its normal damage You may temporarily blind a foe.
plus any Strength bonus to damage. This stunt Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +10
offers no chance of breaking the arrow, realism Description: By dint of a quick pair of fin-
be damned. gers to the eyes, a fistful of sand or the sudden
wrapping of a towel around your foes head, you
Badass Brandish may blind him for 1d4 rounds unless he makes a
You show off your weapon skill in a way Reflex save with a DC of 15+your dexterity
which terrifies your foes. bonus. The exact manuever should be described
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus and Weapon in detail, and the Game Master may give bonus-
Specialization in chosen weapon, base attack es for a particularly imaginative and plausible
bonus +8 blinding action.
Description: You may perform some amaz-
ing stunt with a specific weapon, either during Chassis Ride
combat (in which case it requires a standard You can cling to the bottom of a moving vehi-
action) or outside of combat (in which case it cle!

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Prerequisites: Strength 15, Dexterity 15, If you are between one enemy and another, you
Tumble 4 Ranks may cause an attacking enemy to strike his ally
Description: When you are about to struck if he misses you. You step suddenly to the side
by a car, truck, train, or other vehicle which has and expose your foe to the shot. This stun may be
some clearance beneath it, you may spend an performed only if the attack has missed you and
Action Point to duck under the car instead and if the new target is directly in the line of fire. The
grab on to the chassis. This grants you full cover attacker uses the same attack roll as he used
against all attacks save those coming from street against you, so this ability is only helpful if the
level. You can move along the chassis at 5 potential target has a lower defense value than
round, though you must make a DC 15 Strength you do.
check to do so. This can enable you to, for exam-
ple, crawl under a fast moving truck, and then Fear Is For Lesser Men
clamber around to the back door (where you You can summon hidden reserves of courage.
would then most likely break in). Prerequisites: Iron Will
Description: While other men give in to their
You can remain clinging for a number of fears and flee from danger, you can regain your
rounds equal to your strength bonus. resolve after only a brief moment of quaking in
your boots. One round after you have become
Cliffhanger frightened, panicked, shaken or afraid, you may
You can partially negate a failed jump or bal- use this stunt to negate the effect entirely, return-
ance check. ing to the fray with full vigor!
Prerequisites: Balance 6 ranks, Jump 6
ranks, Tumble 6 ranks
First Strike
Description: If you fail any jump, balance, or You seize the moment in combat to surprise
tumble check which would result in you taking your enemies with a sudden attack!
falling damage (for example, failing to leap a Prerequisites: Dexterity 15
chasm or walk along a narrow girder on a con- Description: Use this heroic stunt at the
struction site), you may use this heroic stunt to beginning of a combat round. For the duration of
grab something a ledge, an outcropping of that round, you are first in the initiative order.
rock, the edge of a beam, a root and hang on. This can be vital if, for example, you need to cast
From this point, youre on your own. Pulling a spell ahead of an enemy mage or strike at a
yourself back up is a Strength check (DC 15), weakened, but still deadly, foe before he can hit
though someone else can help you. Each round a victim.
you hang there, you must make a Strength check
(DC 10) to hang on, though the GM may modify If two or more people wish to use this stunt in
this based on the circumstances a higher DC if the same round, the character with the highest
youre being buffeted by strong winds, for exam- Dexterity wins; if there is a tie, determine the
ple, or a lower DC if youve got an especially winner randomly. All others move at their nor-
stable place to hang onto. mal initiative and do not spend an action point.

Disastrous Miss Flanking Duck


You can cause an enemy to strike an ally with You can cause opponents to hit each other
a ranged weapon. instead of you.
Prerequisites: Dexterity 17, Combat Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Dodge,
Reflexes, Dodge, Tumble 8 ranks or Jump 8 Tumble 6 ranks or Jump 6 ranks
ranks Description: Whenever you are flanked, you
Description: There are few things as satisfy- may forego your normal action to duck in such a
ing as having your enemies do your job for you. way as to force your opponents to strike each

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other instead of you. After an opponent has This ability may be used only in one-on-one
scored a successful attack on you, but before melee combat, where you threaten only one foe
damage is dealt, you may use this stun to duck and he only threatens you. It may not be used
down or sideways or leap suddenly straight up, against foes more than one size category larger
so that your opponents blade or fist or club than yourself.
strikes the person directly opposite him. Damage
is rolled normally, but sneak attack damage is Gruesome Slaughter
ignored. You dispatch foes in a horrific manner,
The stunt can only be attempted if your cur- demoralizing your enemies.
rent (adjusted for armor) Dexterity bonus is +1 Prerequisites: Intimidate 5 ranks, base attack
or greater. bonus +5
Description: If you use this stunt on the same
Foot Flip round in which you kill a foe with a melee
You can flick a weapon from the floor into weapon, you have killed him in an exceptionally
your hand. gory and grisly fashion, splattering internal
Prerequisites: Dexterity 15, Quick Draw organs, blood, and shards of bone across the
Description: If theres a weapon near you on room. Such a painful demise has the effect of
the floor, it will soon be in your hand! As a move shocking witnesses all who see it and who are
action, you can target any dropped weapon with- on the same side as the mutilated foe must make
in your reach. By dexterous foot action, the a Will save at a DC equal to 10+your ranks in
weapon will be flipped up into your waiting grip, Intimidate. Those who fail the save suffer a -2
ready to fire or swing at a foe. circumstance modifier to attack rolls and
defense. Anyone who makes the save by 5 or
Force Back more is enraged by your casual cruelty and gains
You attack so ferociously that your foe must a +1 circumstance bonus to attack and defense.
retreat.
Prerequisites: Strength 15, Dexterity 15,
Im Not Left Handed
Mobility, Weapon Focus with weapon being You can vary your fighting style to confound
used your foes.
Description: When you attack an opponent, Prerequisites: Improved Feint, Weapon
your rapid blows and sudden lunges leave him Focus with current weapon, base attack bonus +5
little choice but to back away or be slaughtered. Description: Part of being a skilled warrior is
When this stunt is used, its effects last for 1+Dex knowing how to read your opponent to antici-
bonus rounds, beginning in the round it is acti- pate his feints, thrusts, and parries. Knowledge
vated. During that time, your opponent must of the fighting styles of the world is essential if
choose, each round, whether to accept a -4 cir- you recognize someone as using the techniques
cumstance penalty to Defense or to take a 5 step of a particular school of fencing or kendo, you
away from you, if possible. If it is not possible to can adjust your own moves to compensate. This
move back, the foe may attempt to move to the stunt allows you to perform a sudden, stunning,
side. If the foe is forced to the brink of a shift of style, catching your opponent totally
precipice, the edge of a field of molten lava, or unawares. It may only be performed after three
the perimeter of an electric fence, they must or more rounds of combat with the same oppo-
make a Reflex save (DC 15+your dexterity mod- nent, and requires a successful feint check. If the
ifier) to choose the -4 to Defense; otherwise, check is successful and this stunt is performed,
over the brink they go! (This might be a good your opponent is immediately put off guard. He
time for them to use the Cliffhanger stunt.) must fight defensively for the next 1d4+1
rounds, and you gain a +2 on any checks to dis-
arm or trip him for the same period.

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Special: An opponent who meets the qualifica- Description: Beloved of both action heroes
tions and has an action point to spend may perform and hockey-masked slashers, this Heroic Stunt
this stunt himself, in response this is an exception allows you to suddenly surge back to life after
to the normal rules regarding use of the same stunt being reduced to negative hit points (but not more
in the same fight. If this response is successful, the than -10!). You arise with 1 hit point. This is done
effects of both are cancelled, and combat proceeds on your normal initiative, and is a free action fur-
normally. thermore, so is standing up again. You may then
act normally. If your foes had determined you
Improvised Cover were dead or dying, they are considered flat-foot-
You can garb some handy object to deflect bul- ed with regard to you only that is, they lose their
lets, arrows, knives and so on. Dexterity bonus to Defense when you attack them,
Prerequisites: Dexterity 15, Spot 5 Ranks, but not anyone else, and so on.
base attack bonus +1 If combat ends and you are still alive, you drop
Description: When in a fight where there are down to -9 hit points and stabilize.
many loose objects around (for example, in a
restaurant, factory floor, convention dealers room Pin
or seedy pub), you may use this stunt to grab some You can impale someones arm to the wall with
item (a plate, a serving tray, a fire extinguisher) a swift stroke!
and deflect an incoming ranged attack. This must Prerequisites: Strength 15, Weapon Finesse,
be done after the attack roll but before the damage base attack bonus +1
roll. The grabbed item is invariably damaged or Description: This stunt can only be used fol-
destroyed by the attack, or knocked out of your lowing a successful attack with a piercing weapon.
hand, but you are spared all damage. You may The weapon must do at least 1 point of damage to
block any number of attacks in a round, but each the target, and the weapon must be no smaller than
use costs you an action point. Tiny relative to the target. (That is, if a halfling
Using this stunt requires limits you to only tak- using a halfling-size dagger may not attempt to pin
ing a single action on your next turn. a storm giant!) . Further, the target must be within
This stunt may not be used more than two 5 feet of some surface with a hardness of less than
round in succession unless the character moves at 4 +the attacking characters Strength modifier (so
least 10. (There are only so many convenient a character with a Strength of 17 can attempt to pin
objects in arms reach!) someone to a material of Hardness 7 or less).
This stunt may not be taken as a Feat. If this stunt is used, the weapon has impaled a
limb or extremity, such as a hand, arm, or tentacle.
Just Scratched Me This is extremely painful and immediately does
A seemingly painful hit is reduced in severity. 1d2 points of Dexterity damage. The attacker may
Prerequisites: Toughness choose to let go (leaving the weapon stuck in the
Description: You are tough enough that an limb) or retain their grip on the weapon. If the lat-
otherwise deadly blow turns out to be somewhat ter, they may not attack again with the hand hold-
less lethal than it first appeared. After a critical hit ing the weapon and suffer a -2 circumstance mod-
is scored, the character may use this stunt to turn ifier to Defense against all attacks except those
the critical back into a normal hit. This must be made by the pinned target.
done before the damage is rolled. A target who is pinned loses use of the pinned
limb and cannot move more than slightly. He may
Mostly Dead not cast spells with a somatic component and is
You can take an action when you have been left considered to be grappled by the attacker. He may
for dead by your foes. attempt to grapple with the person pinning them in
Prerequisites: Constitution 15, Toughness order to shove them away, or he may simply tear
free from the pinning weapon. The latter requires

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two checks a Will save (DC 15) to muster the Retaliatory Disarm
courage needed, and a Strength check (DC 10+1
You can snatch a weapon from a foe and turn it
per point of damage inflicted by the attack). If both
on him instantly.
are successful, the character has torn free, suffer-
Prerequisites: Dexterity 15, Improved
ing 1d4 points of temporary Dexterity damage and
Disarm, base attack bonus +5
1d6 points of slashing damage.
Benefit: Not only can you dexterously smash a
If the attacking character release his grip on the
weapon from an opponents grasp, you can pluck
weapon, the pinned character can use a free limb
it from the air and turn it back on him! If you dis-
(if he has one) to remove the weapon. This
arm a foe and grab his weapon (using the normal
requires a Strength check at a DC of 10+the hard-
disarm rules), you may immediately attack him
ness of the material into which the weapon has
with it at your normal attack bonus. You must drop
been plunged. If the check is successful, the char-
whatever weapon (if any) that you are currently
acter takes 1d2 points of additional slashing dam-
holding in order to do this, of course.
age.

Rear Strike Unwilling Shield


You may grab a nearby foe and use him as a
You can suddenly strike at an opponent behind
shield!
you.
Prerequisites: Strength 15, Improved Grapple
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13, Dodge, base
attack bonus +6 Benefit: When you are targeted with a ranged
attack, you may immediately make a grapple
Benefit: When you are flanked, you may spec-
attempt against any for (or, in theory, ally) within
ify one of the people flanking you to be behind
5 feet. If this succeeds, you grab the foe and spin
you. When making a full attack action, you may
him in front of you, so that he takes the damage.
then use one of your attacks to suddenly flip your
The unwilling shield is denied any Dexterity or
shotgun over your shoulder or whirl your katana
dodge bonuses to Defense, but retains other
behind you or otherwise attack your target without
bonuses. Damage, including criticals but exclud-
turning around. This attack is so surprising that
ing sneak attack damage, is dealt normally.
the opponent loses any dodge or dexterity bonuses
to Defense. This maneuver is especially fun when used
against automatic weapon fire. It is often good to
This ability can also be used against someone
have some quip prepared for when you toss away
sneaking up on you. If you make a Listen check,
the lifeless body of your former foe.
catch his reflection in a mirror via a Spot check, or
otherwise are aware of him without him being Worthy Foe
aware of you, you may use this stunt and gain an
You ignore lesser opponents in your path.
additional +2 circumstance bonus to hit.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility
Ranged Disarm Benefit: In any fight, you may designate one
You can shoot a gun from someones hand. opponent to be a worthy foe, and approach him
Prerequisites: Precise Shot, Weapon Focus to do battle without regard to the feeble minions
with firearm, base attack bonus +5 with which he surrounds himself. His CR must be
at least equal to your level and must also be the
Benefit: As an attack action, you can disarm a
highest, or tied for highest, of all opponents in the
target within 30 by shooting the weapon they are
current fight. Once this foe is so designated, you
holding. The target must make a Fortitude save
may move towards him at full speed without suf-
(DC 15+1/point of damage done) in order to keep
fering attacks of opportunity from those in your
a hold on the weapon. No damage is done directly
path. You may not attack or take any other actions
to the target. This is a very impressive bit of fancy
until the opponent is within your threatened
gunplay and adds a +2 circumstance bonus to
squares.
Intimidate checks for the next round.

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