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Simply put: what is the Modern System Reference Document?

I tried looking at the site, but it never provided the books for what the items were from at the links i explored. ex: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/msrd

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking for a definition of the Modern SRD or what books it sources from? Also from the tags you used it looks like you think d20 Modern is the same thing as D&D, when it isn't (though it is very similar to D&D3.5 rules) \$\endgroup\$ – diego Feb 23 '15 at 20:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Simon The links on the page you're referring to are the MSRD. If you were to print them out in order and bind tem together you'd have the book you seem to want. In fact the last link on the page contains everything all in one big zip file. \$\endgroup\$ – user4075 Feb 24 '15 at 9:13
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It's more precisely called the d20 Modern System Reference Document, and it's the System Reference Document ("SRD") for the roleplaying game d20 Modern.

If you're looking for the book the d20 Modern SRD is a reference to, this is it:

Cover of *d20 Modern Roleplaying Game*

If you're looking for background and a history lesson, read on…

From Wikipedia, an SRD is

a set of reference role playing game mechanics licensed under the Open Game License […] The SRD specifies the skeleton rules and mechanics

The original SRD described the fundamental mechanics in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition. The reason Wizards of the Coast (WotC) created the SRD was so that 3rd-party publishers could create adventures compatible with WotC's roleplaying game, with the intended side effect of turning the general RPG industry into one big support network for the game that WotC was selling. (Adventures are expensive to create and don't sell well, compared to rulebooks, but adventures are often considered a necessary part of supporting an RPG line. WotC wanted everyone else to do that low-paying work, with the bonus of advertising for their game instead of competitors' games, while WotC reaped the sale of the actual game.)

Adventure writers need to be able to call out rules and include monster stats and official spells in their adventures, so having a "reference document" to the "system" that had a license allowing them to legally cut-and-paste material was critical for WotC's plan to work. (This sort of didn't work out as planned, but that's another story.)

Later, WotC took their own fantasy SRD and built a new game on that foundation, designed for modern-day adventuring. Since they also didn't want to write adventures for it, they created a matching d20 Modern SRD so 3rd-party publishers could do it all over again for d20 Modern. (This also didn't quite turn out as expected.)

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