Has this been done? Modern version of AD&D characters

It occurs to me that you could map the classic quartet of Warrior, Mage, Thief and Cleric to a modern/ real-life setting pretty well:

Warrior: SOCOM operative, weapons and demolitions expert, hand to hand fighting master. Knowledge of sabotage and assassination.

Mage: Multiple PhD’s in physics, chemistry and engineering. MacGyver-esque ability to improvise with available tools and materials.

Thief: Hacker, cracker, cat burglar, master of disguise, escape artist, slight of hand/ stage magician, contortionist, confidence man.

Cleric: Doctor/medic, biologist, language expert, sociologist, psychologist.

You probably could map the different members of an ODA to each role.

And in that vein, apologies if it’s been posted before: Game of Thrones Characters, and their MOS and bio if they were in the US Army. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.544645012384089&type=3

I think the pop-culture go-to for mage isn’t so much all the other stuff, but just the Computer Stuff: a high-IQ character who can find the info, or hack into a system that controls various electronic devices, or otherwise just get the job done by using some remotely-operated tech. Doesn’t do physics or chemistry; just keyboarding.

Well there’s the Impossible Mission Force. From wiki, editing in bold:

Rollin Hand (Martin Landau), a performer billed as "The Man Of A Million Faces," a brilliant infiltrator and a master of disguise. In the world of confidence-game terminology, he was considered a "roper."  **Thief**

Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain), a high-class infiltrator and con artist with the looks of a fashion model—hence a consummate manipulator of foreign dictators, corrupt governments, their henchmen, and the like. Like Hand, she was considered a "roper." **Thief**

Barnard 'Barney' Collier (Greg Morris), an engineering genius who owned his own electronics company—one that obviously had lucrative government contracts, as it often worked with the State and Defense Departments. In the world of confidence-game terminology, he was considered a "'big-store' builder." **Mage**

William “Willy” Armitage (Peter Lupus), a champion weightlifter called "The World's Strongest Man" and also a highly-intelligent technician in his own right, who often worked with Collier. Like Collier, he was considered a "'big-store' builder." **Warrior/Muscle**

So we’re missing a physician/cleric.

The IMF later had Sam Elliott join up as Doug Robert, the doctor who patched up his teammates in between pumping the bad guys full of high-powered drugs.

Pretty much. There’s a real-world job that involves manipulating complex patterns of energy through the use of mysterious symbolic constructs that are not understood by laymen. It’s called “programming”.

Most multiplayer games that use modern-world settings map at least three of the classic fantasy RPG classes. The “Holy Trinity” [Warning: It’s a trope!] is the tank, dps (damage per second), and healer combo. That could be a fighter, mage, and priest, but it could also be a literal tank, a gunner, and a mechanic. The “thief” role tends to get mapped onto one or all of the others, as it involves a lot of utility skills.

That last bit is where the mappings break down in the real world; people are not that easily pigeonholed. Limitations imposed for game balance don’t apply. If someone has the drive, you may find a “mage” (a software engineer, scientist, or scholar, say) who’s also good at martial arts and picking locks. Or a big, strong wrestler who can math the hell out of you. Or a doctor who’s an expert marksman.

There’s an old two part adventure in White Dwarf magazine where the first part starts in sword & sorcery land and the second part time-travels them to the 1920s.

Except that the mage’s main job in an adventuring party is to cast Fireballs and Lightning Bolts. Hardly comparable to a hacker; if anything, he’s the guy with the bazooka.

The quintessential “modern” (high-level) mage, I think, is Tony Stark. The most versatile of the Avengers, with the broadest range of powers, and packing the biggest punch, but also kind of squishy if you get past his defenses.

In video games, especially futuristic or science-fiction ones, it’s rather common for non-fantasy versions of D&D classes to be represented. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a science-fiction equivalent of The Lord of the Rings, though.

Drone strike?

Split the difference, and call it Shadowrun.

Seems to me that’s essentially what A-Team was. One ranger, one barbarian, one rogue and one bard.

Neither the real world nor gaming fit in CS. Moving to the Game Room.

[Not moderating]

It seems to me that you usually only get three of the four. As Balance points out, when you transition to other games, you usually lose the Thief role, as either being irrelevant, or mapped onto the others. I think this is because challenges largely have to be specifically designed for a thief or lack thereof, so if you don’t know what the players are going to choose, you can’t assume.

On the other hand, when mapping to the real world, you can find thieves aplenty, but the cleric usually disappears. Clerics have two roles in D&D: Healing, and dealing with supernatural stuff like undead. The real world has healers, of course, but they’re not on the literal front line like they are in games, fixing up the other heroes in real time as they’re taking damage. And Turn Undead doesn’t do anything without undead to turn.

The TV show Leverage comes about as close to this as anything I’ve seen. The characters are, in the opening credits, explicitly referred to by their “classes”: Grifter, Hacker, Hitter, Thief, and Mastermind. IMHO, it’s the best screen adaptation of a typical RPG adventuring party ever. (I’ve heard the show’s creator actually statted out the characters as RPG characters while creating and planning the show).

They don’t quite map onto the AD&D Big Four, but they come close. The Hitter is the Warrior. The Thief is the Thief. The Grifter, Hacker, and Mastermind all get bits of the Cleric and the Wizard. The show isn’t violent enough to need a physical healer, but the Grifter does a lot of psychological healing (Cleric). The Mastermind provides a lot of “buffs” to the other characters through planning and advice (Abjuration, Transmutation). The Grifter and Mastermind both do a lot of social manipulation (Enchantment/Charm), and some information gathering (Divination). The Hacker does most of the information gathering and provides communication (Divination), creates all sorts of gadgets to overcome obstacles (Conjuration, Invocation/Evocation, Transmutation), and create props and manipulates digital records and even physical recordings (Illusion, Transmutation).

The Buck Rogers TSR game was basically D&D ported to Sci fi. My memory of the classes was there was a hand weapons type fighter, a range weapons type fighter, a Pilot, Tinkerers (engineers). And maybe a hacker class?

Those aren’t classic fantasy RPG classes - the “Holy Trinity” is an invention of MMOs that spilled into CPRPGs and only a bit into pen and paper RPGs. It wasn’t a part of original AD&D or D&D, it was invented two or three decades after RPGs were well-established as a type of game. The first MMOs didn’t have it, for example Ultima online was generally about single individuals exploring the world. The MMOs that did use aggro mechanics did it in a more complicated way; for example Everquest had tank, off tank, puller, crowd control, melee damage, ranged damage as major roles. It’s really World of Warcraft that did the tank/healer/dps thing in a form where it could be called a trinity.

AD&D didn’t have any aggro mechanics at all, it grew out of tactical wargames and the only blocking of opponents was by tactical positioning and use of terrain. There was no ‘taunt’ ability or way to force an opponent to pay attention to use by hitting them. Effective hit points and damage were not scaled like in Holy Trinity games, there wasn’t one class with dozens of times the effective health of other party members and most characters could take a few hits. Healing wasn’t designed to be continuous the way it is in Holy Trinity games, it was something done sporadically. The classes didn’t fit the holy trinity either - ordinary fighters were both tanks and damage dealers without any deep specialization to one or the others, clerics were nearly as resilient as fighters without using spells, and could be damage dealers, tanks, or healers depending on spell choice, mages could be called damage dealers but at low levels were more of an occasional source of high damage than a constant DPS. The thief didn’t fit any of tank/dps/healer because they dealt and soaked less damage than fighters (aside from a possible first-round sneak attack), and their main contribution to a party was the ability to scout ahead and deal with traps, locks, and other dungeon obstacles.

For what it’s worth, this brings to mind the SPYCRAFT rpg: a Soldier who focuses on vehicular stuff and a Wheelman who focuses on combat stuff reach largely the same place (and it’s a Fighter-y, or Ranger-y, place); and the Fixer was a modern version of the AD&D Thief, a skilled cat burglar with sneak attacks — with another class getting roguish stuff with bluffing and disguises; and the Snoop was the brainy computer guy, filling the Wizard role to the extent that a cinematic hacker does.

And the last core class — and the best ‘medic’, near as I could tell — was the one who could hand out bonuses to allies: a team player in the field, and the best at calling in favors if the team needed government intervention, and the one who got a capstone class ability that could do ‘narrative control’ stuff and ‘lucky break’ stuff.

Which is, if you squint just right, an okay impression of the Cleric.

The classic classes I was referring to were the fighter (a tough, heavily armored frontliner), a cleric (healer and buffer), and magic-user (ranged and area damage, crowd control). These, or variations on each, were the core of most adventuring parties, with additional classes providing backup or utility. It’s easy to see how this could be distilled into the MMO trinity in the face of AI-driven entities.

The fact that you have to leave off thief, the classic class that was the only one with the abilities to deal with common dungeon obstacles, and ignore major characteristics of the other two, like the fact that the cleric was also a heavily armored frontliner and crowd controller (turn undead was a specific class feature!), the mage was also a powerful buffer, and both had extensive non-combat spells, highlights how much ‘the Holy Trinity’ just isn’t a core part of RPGs. The idea that the core of most adventuring parties didn’t include the one class who could pick locks, find and remove traps, and scout ahead is grossly at odds with my experience.

The tank-healer-dps trinity just isn’t a core part of old RPGs.

Maybe you can squint that into cleric, but it’s a lot closer to bard.