• Justin Handlin

UltraModern 5 Redux

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Watch 3/22/20 7pm Est

Crit Academy covers UltraModern5 Redux or U5, a supplement designed to offer classes, backgrounds, feats, skills, rules, equipment, and opponents for settings outside of traditional ones involving dragons and dungeons, though still employing D&D 5th Edition rules. This book is an expansion of the core 5E rules and thus does not reprint material from core books required for play.

Crit Nation, thanks for joining us today here at the “Crit Academy” studios where everything is made up and your rolls don’t matter. Yup, that’s right; your rolls are like an alien race without any advanced tech.

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Modular dungeon tiles are an easy way to create your own beautiful digital maps. The Arcania lets you make dark, shadowy dungeon maps, rich with the fumes of arcane secrets.

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Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/loresmyth a free set of digital terrain and much more.

Main Topic: UltraModern 5 Redux

There are new classes presented in Ultramodern5, and although similar in build to those in official 5th Edition licensed products, readers will notice a few notable exceptions.

Firstly, all U5 classes have martial archetype options, and unlike their fantasy counterparts, offer these options at the same levels. Archetypes are no longer bound to specific classes, meaning you can feasibly match any class to any archetype.

There are also classes that are not combat-based—their power is not in how much damage they inflict, but how they can alter the course of a story.

Expanded Firearms Rules

Firearms have been greatly expanded from traditional 5E mechanics. Additional rules have been added to better define lasers and railguns as well as plasma and nuclear weapons.

Critical Area Effects

If an opponent rolls a natural 1 against a character imposed area effect involving explosives or firearms, the target suffers additional damage equal to the weapon's damage dice (the same as rolling a critical hit). This does not apply to area effects against player characters.


The type of story that Ultramodern5 seeks to emulate calls for characters defined less by their role and more by their background and talents. Therefore, a character’s capabilities are derived from two sources: a ladder that determines their general traits, outlook and disposition, and a class that defines their vocational abilities.

At 1st level, you can select a ladder. You gain the ladder's 1st-level feature and can choose to gain its additional features instead of selecting an ability score increase or a feat at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th levels. In essence, ladders are a collection of similarly themed feats with an additional benefit when selected at 1st level.


Spellcraft in Ultramodern5 shifts away from standard “Vancian” magic and presents a system focused on natural sources of energy, psionics, and possessing inanimate objects or vehicles.

Tech Level

This rating system is a guide to determining the sorts of equipment and machines found in your setting. Though you are not limited by these guidelines. Range 0-5. 0 being similar to the mid-18th century, while 5 states “Any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic…”


These are not fully fleshed out worlds, but rather present a framework of ideas for GMs to employ as a springboard into their own games. These worlds in totality form the global setting of Terminals.


Terminals is an omniversal setting in which the survivors of the destruction of Earth by an infestation called ‘the Antigen’ in multitudinous coterminous realities are brought together on another Earth that has yet to suffer the same fate. As a ‘kitchen sink’ type setting dealing with alternate universes, it is possible to conduct campaigns of practically any type within the Terminals framework.


Justin - Altered Mutations

Despite what comic books claim, radiation is not known to create functional mutations that would benefit an affected creature, and even if it could, the subsequent DNA damage would kill that same creature in a matter of days. But there are certain chemicals, viruses, or procedures that could potentially result in a functional mutation. These once human creatures are now aberrant almost monster-like.

Ian - Animyst Your genetic makeup has been modified in such a way as to induce rapid hyper-evolution. This was not a natural (or paranatural) mutation but deliberate genetic manipulation through either nanotech, drugs, or a virus. You gained intelligence; you developed language; your body altered to stand upright and hold tools. Where once you were a wild animal, now you are a person. You can be one of a kind, sired by a family of like creatures or a member of a race that has grown to establish a civilization.

Life and Events (backgrounds)

Your life, until this moment, cannot be summarized with a single sentence. To encourage unique character development, backgrounds in Ultramodern5 are presented thinly, offering little content outside of one’s primary origin, which is then used as a springboard into a customizable lifepath.


Justin - Face

You are all talk. Thankfully, your strengths depend on that. Some call you empathic, while others claim you just possess good instincts. You may have cut your teeth as a psychologist

or a confidence artist. You can spot a liar by their puckering lips and lazy eyes. You sense the heat of attraction and the searing loathing of those obsessed with violence. Your words have been known to disarm, sooth, or enrage. When shooting is not the solution, you’re the only that can save the situation. You’re the smooth talker, the negotiator, and the haggler. When a gun is pointed at your head or when dangling off a cliff, your first response is, “can’t we discuss this?”

Ian - Gunslinger

On the battlefield, you specialize in infiltrating behind enemy lines before sowing confusion in the ranks, dancing about the field dealing out, and disrupting opponent formations. Unlike other classes like grounder and heavy, you are mobile and agile. It would be unlikely that you would wield a pistol with a full functioning rifle on your back. You walk light, often near the front lines or scouting far ahead of a unit. You are not required to carry a shovel or plant explosives. Your purpose is singular, if not slightly selfish.


Justin - Cleaner

You move in quickly and quietly, eliminating defenses that lay in your path. You dispatch the enemy efficiently and vanish into the shadows, leaving onlookers wondering who ordered the hit and why. You are a silent, cold, calculating assassin. Your skills involve intimate kills, forcing you to be close to your enemy.

You rise from nowhere and eliminate opponents before others can notice or respond. Pistols, even when they’re quiet, still make a noise you would prefer to avoid.

Ian - Mecha Pilot

It comes naturally to some, but it may take practice for others. It’s the whisper. You’ll never be truly in control until you stop operating and start becoming. When you enter that machine, you become that machine. It’s a living, breathing organism. You have to listen to it because it’s talking, telling you how to move, where to be. Stop fighting the machine and become it. All you got to do is start listening. Eventually, you won’t look with your eyes or listen with your ears. You won’t feel your hands grasping controls or your legs pushing levers. You will become the machine

Mecha? Yes Please!

This fantastic supplement includes all the special rules for creating, maintaining and integrating these powerful pieces of equipment. A cool thing they did is require them to take up multiple attunement slots, to offset their power. Very clever.

Ultramax. New and Altered Rules.

The most interesting of which is the change to the Advantage/Disadvantage system. Normal rules prevent them from being compounded if multiple features or conditions grant it, you only have roll 2 and take the highest and lowest. With this Ultramax rule, they are in fact compound, and there is no limit.

Give Away: Jeff Stevens: Encounters on the Savage Seas II!

Revolutionize your game with this collection 16 mini-adventures and includes NPCs, locations, new creatures, and magic items to add to your nautical adventures.

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Unearthed Tips and Tricks: New and reusable D&D content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.

Character Concept:

Regular Joe - UltraModern5

You don’t consider yourself special—you don’t excel in any one thing. And yet, you are still a unique and interesting snowflake. The combination of skills and strengths, despite nothing marking you as the best in the world, still distinguishes you. You don’t consider yourself average, but you are aware you’ve never been recognized for much in your life. You are the one society depends on to be reliable. You lack any debilitating psychological traits, but you are also not gifted to outclass those around you. This does not assume you will never achieve anything—only that no-one, including you, has any expectation that you will.

Monster Variant:

Stormlight Trooper

Origin: Knight


Multiattack now applies to ranged weapon attack instead of melee.

Swap Dex and Strength Mods

Change Greatsword to Reinforced Gauntlet and damage type to bludgeoning.

Heavy Crossbow is now Light Blaster(laser gun), the damage type becomes radiant.

Its plate armor is now a military grade biomechanical suite. (Think Batman)

Parry becomes Self-Shield.

Explosive Tank. When the trooper dies, or if it rolls a 1 when checking whether its Lightbringer action recharges, the tank on its back explodes in a 10-foot radius sphere. Each creature in that area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Lightbringer (Recharge 4-6). The tropper’s lightbringer spouts a stream of searing light in a line that is 100 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each creature in the line must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


A Charitable Donation

A powerful and respectable business merchant has hired the group for a task. The characters don't know this person is the face of a terrorist group who specializes with bioweapons and warmongering. He deceives the characters into believing that a charity event going on to raise money for an accidental chemical plant explosion is actually a fraud case. They need to retrieve the money and deal with the criminal mastermind leading the scheme. The business man warns that the mastermind is cunning, and if caught, will do everything he can to trick the characters into letting him go.

Magic Item:

The Swarmer

Shotgun, very rare (requires attunement)

Shotgun 2d8 Piercing Ammunition (range 30/90), reload (2 shots), two-handed

This gun has 2 charges. When you take the attack action with this weapon, you may use a bonus action and spend 1 charge to fire a magical insectoid shell that breaks open releasing a swarm of insects(Centipede Variant). On a critical hit the target, it must succeed a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 hour.

This weapon regains expended charges at dawn.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Let other settings themes drip into your campaign.

As stated previously, “Any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic…”. You can use that to allow little snippets of future tech like guns, robots or alien tech, biomechanical suits, laser guns, spacecraft etc into your settings. Even if it's a one-off item. Something they can’t use again. In the anime Familiar of Zero there is a legendary staff of destruction. An unknown warrior in green used its power to slay a powerful dragon that was attacking the city. They called upon its power in a time of great need. But, the bazooka already had been used...

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick! You can avoid dickitude by…

Martial Training: Vengeful Defender!

The sword and board fighter is a powerful ally. Often focusing on protecting allies with her sword and shield. But, because of this, her damage often lags behind her DW and Greatweapon counterparts...or does she?

With a multiclass in rogue and picking up the Riposte maneuver, you become a vengeful defender. Enemies who attack and miss will pay dearly for their mistake.

This DEX build with a rapier and shield is a deadly combination. Let's assume a +3 dex mod. 1d8+3 for the weapon attack, 1d6 for sneak attack(assuming you're near an ally or have advantage) and 1d8 for the superiority die that gets added to your attack. That's a range of 6-22 damage on a turn that isn’t your own. This also means your normal attack damage increases as well due to sneak attack.

You could choose to continue following the fighter path, or continue down the rogue path, making your revenge strikes that much more deadly. Both paths come with their pros and cons, but either way...your enemy will regret facing you down.

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Keep your blades sharp and spells prepared heroes!

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