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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Thread Resurrection

 

Okay. I actually received the game as a gift and spent two ~16 hour enduro runs playing around in the Mass Effect universe. Honestly, the mechanics of the game are very secondary to the universe/setting itself. There is a frustrating lack of information on some of the species, but overall, the Codex stores a whole bunch of useful information.

 

If I were to convert this to a table top game, I would actually use something a bit easier to use (for me) like Fuzion or Shadowrun as a base rules set. The Biotics are very much like Shadowrun spells in feel so that is probably where I would start at.

 

If I were to convert it to HERO, I would ditch any effort in trying to convert over the specific mechanics. There is just not enough similarity between the two systems to make it worth converting on that level. In this case, I would create a baseline for each weapon type and slap on a few modifiers for the specific brands. Same with armor. The best part is that the brands are all listed right in the game. Pretty sure a web page/wiki exists somewhere with that info too.

 

I need to sleep before I go to work today. If I have any more thoughts, I will get post later.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Awesome! I hope you ahve enjoyed it as much as I have. And yes I have the same issue. I actually dropped the campaign idea that is why this thread stalled. I have never really GMed a Sci-Fi adventure and all those holes you mention in race and other details really caused me grief since I am not very good on the fly in such a new genre for me. So I decided to let it slide for the time being until there is more info out there.

 

I got most of my info form http://masseffect.wikia.com it is loaded with info. Watch out for spoilers though.

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  • 2 months later...

Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

One of my gm's is actually wanting to start a ME campaign, but is intent on using the Star Wars Saga Edition rules and converting them over. Personally, I'm pretty against this, so I've been pushing for using Star Hero.

 

In the interest of convincing him of this, any new updates on rules/stats/campaigns?

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

I stopped this whole idea for a while. Mainly because there is just enough info available to get you hyped and in trouble, but not enough to really run a campaign with out a ton of luck. Unless you want to make up most of the universe or restrict your group to a very small area of space or even to a single planet.

 

Examples:

* Aside from what they look like, there is really not enough information on the races, their architecture and ships to accurately describe to your players with out making up a hell of a lot of info, that may lead to inconsistencies since the thing I appreciate most about the races of ME is there is more difference between them than there is between the wildest human cultures. (I could wing it, but id rather wait until the creators are done with the basics before I go breaking it). sorry I'm a consistency freak when it comes to what I do.

 

Another is the deadliness factor. Weapons are so automated and powerful, that battles are won primarily on tech level. Strategy is important but tech is more. I can balance this out for my own version of ME but for now it is just another issue that makes it more work than its worth for now.

 

Well I don't want to derail you but if your GM comes up with some cool stuff I would greatly appreciate he throw a bone in this direction.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Nice to see the thread active again though. Cue the brainstorm.

 

Perhaps number 2 will throw some light on the subject of background.

 

In the mean time if tech is still a problem then there are ways to get around that. When converting things I'm definitely a fan of the 'spirit over mechanics' approach.

 

You could enforce the class system and thus limit the sorts of guns that people can use. And make sure that each gun type has flaws and advantages. E.g. pistols can be used in close combat while the much more powerful heavy weapons take a phase to re-charge.

 

Biotics have to be powerful enough to counter any technology.

 

Certain skills can counter a tech advantage. Persuade to prevent the fight ever happening. Stealth to get the drop on the person with the big gun.

 

And then there are various sniping and autofire skills which can maximise the potential of a particular gun. Even a low powered pistol is quite scary when you have enough penalty skill levels to be assure a succesful head shot each time.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

You might want to think about taking the 'flavor' of the game and using that, rather then trying to convert part and parcel every little game mechanic in the video game to it's equal in the game.

 

It'll be easier to make the world interesting, without driving yourself crazy trying to figure out "If I make armour with shield generators, how can I simulate the effect of them slowly regenerating over a period of x minutes."

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Ah i figured that out already, my main issue is with the universe itself. There are still too many unrevealed facts that would be important in a good game. I could make them up, but I am new to SCIFI campaigns so I don't have a lot of stuff i can pull out of my pocket yet. I guess to start my first SciFi campaign I need something that backs me up a bit more so I feel comfortable.

 

I don't really worry too much about mechanics in the end as long as the game is fun. And i hate loading screens. And that is what would happen often if i tried running this now.

 

Once i have palyed the trilogy I will probably go 4 it.

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  • 7 months later...

Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Hi all

last tuesday i finished my Mass Effect game, the first one, with my brand new xbox 360.

Yesterday i bought ME2 and started the new

 

so, just because i greatly enjoy this settings, i got some friends who also like the setting and, of course, i'm an hero addicted, i'm trying to create something

 

i could/whant use Mass Effect Wikia and Mass Effect d6 i found, and then some friends help to start creating something

of course, main problem is the games (comic books, books, etc) are constantly changing the setting, so you need to go very carefull

 

my idea is not to create a one-on-one translation from game to hero system; i'd like to create a logic and cool campaing in the same settings with a system similar. For instances, i'd not create a "cooldown" for power but use the standard END cost for it; on the other hand, i'm planning to use "+X Body, only to resist damage" (or something similar) for the "shields"

 

my two cents are:

 

1) Build the class package deals' date=' including the appropriate MP slots. Bear in mind that in this setting, each caster type can only use one power at a time, period. The MP itself has Lock Out, IIRC. Most of the powers are also instant-duration, so it isn't a big deal to change slots and activate, but there it is.[/quote']so you're saying using MP for biotics powers?

2) Do NOT build each weapon. Ugh. That whole I - IX thing drove me crackers. Build a core group of weapons' date=' or nick my HERO: CE designs. Just remove the "Charges" limitation and build in a modified "Activation Roll: Burnout" limitation, depending on how much 'heat' the weapon generates.[/quote']In ME2 they used the "clip" system

they explained "weapon are overheating, so we used some special clip to coll it down. you can use the weapon for unlimited time BUT you need to have enough thermic clips" xD

i'd stay for standard clip (plus ammo mod like a sort of "aid power, only vs organic/syntetic/shields/etc")

3) Build your racial packages
i again point to Mass Effect d6 who got a cool cut&paste from codex (for race) and also d6 system stats i can use for base template :)

4) Set your thresholds; I live in a 2d6 world; to me' date=' a 2d6 KillingAttack is brutalicious. My good friend Tony runs an Alien Legion campaign; all of the Killing Attack weapons in that setting have Penetrating. Period. This raises the tension in a way that traditional HERO design does not, and I thought it was so brilliant that I'll be adopting it for my own campaigns.[/quote']hhhmmm ok

i was wondering about using standard hero (dark champions) for PC stats

i mean: a 75+75 basis, then no more then 8 rDef (up to 3 for light armor, up to 6 for medium armor, up to 8 for heavy armor). And again, no more than +10 BODY for shields...

so the uber powerful guy could get 20 BODY, +10 BODY from shield, and 8 rPD/rED.

 

this way, a shotgun round (at close range) or a sniper had to cause... 3d6 killing damage?

an average shot is 10-11, it could be very difficult to oneshot a soldier-shepard but against a normal Liara (i suppose BODY 10, 3rPD/rED and +5 BODY from shield) could even oneshot her (in a lucky shot... not counting called shots)

mmmhhhh

 

i need to trick it down...

 

5) Then' date=' finally, go the Mass Effect wikia and build the powers to your comfort/setting level.[/quote']Oh yeah :)
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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Nice find on that D6 resource. It is a great guide for players to read who might not have played the original game. Also it covers all the ground rules pretty well. Heroifiing it is much easier from this starting point.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Now that mass effect 2 is out(And I think it is another great game even if substantially different) what would people change. For one things biotics use a global cooldown. For example Warp has a cooldown of 6 seconds, and until those 6 seconds are up I can't use other biotics. For singularity at its base level it has a duration of 20 seconds and a cooldown of 4.5 seconds, so while you are locked out of using your other powers it is not for the full duration. I am not sure how to represent that in any of the hero editions I have used. Further more most biotics dont work on armored or shielded targets. I'd probably drop the armored part since wearing a flack jacket shouldn't stop you from being having your mass changed. Telekinesis is probably the easiest way to handle most biotics, but it is not necessarily fitting. And the time limit advantage seems like it would fit for lift/pull(me1/me2), singularity, stasis and the like. Stasis would be hard to replicate perfectly given the total immunity aspect of it. The closest would likely be EDM usable against others, but that is uber cheesy, I'd just go with a barrier with a high def and some body, limited in use so it only can be used to englobe targets or something.

 

Races Krogan might be the toughest to replicate as a playable race, unless you have really high point totals. They are durable as heck, really strong, regenerate, can survive in many hostile environments. They probably have around a 50 point entry fee on the low end.

 

Weapons I'd look at modern weapons and up the damage a smidge. In ME2 they actually do use clips, the excuse being the clips aren't bullets but a way to quickly regulate overheating. And that without the clips the wear would damage the gun so you can't just wait for it to cool down. The clips don't cooldown themselves they are an active cooling system.

 

Modern weapons are damn point heavy so this would make these guns even more point heavy.(Viper should be knocking over military bases for better gear) But with force fields being standard issue with modern armors, the increased damage might still end up being a nerf. If Ablative still existed I'd build the force fields with that, but I guess barrier decent defense, high body is the way to go.

 

I guess I'd have 3 available multipowers.

 

Biotic, Tech, and weapons masters/soldier.

Biotic obviously for biotics

Tech handles hacking, mind control vs mechs, shield disruption, and a couple attacks.

weapons mastery/soldier would be mostly naked advantages for guns, with maybe a couple other boosts like self only aids(stim packs for an adrenaline boost), and maybe a couple of things I can't think of.

 

I was thinking of having just 1 multipower that covered it which would make hybrids more useful(it is a class based game), but it would be absurdly cheap for people to pick up things outside there specialty which makes a focused character seem weak.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

I guess I'd have 3 available multipowers.

 

Biotic, Tech, and weapons masters/soldier.

Biotic obviously for biotics

So you thinking about 3 multipower and all powers inside the multipower?

why don't just use talent-like single powers?

 

i'm not thinking about a direct translation of the videogame into the rules, so i don't really care about the cooldown system; i like the idea

biotics get some nice powers like telepathy, telekinesys, barrier (a FF), and like

techs get some nice powers like mind control (synthetics class of mind), Overcharge (AoE energy blast) and of course some cool decryptations talents

weapons get some nice talents like Immunity (damage reduction), and uber cool shooting add (csl, aid weapon damage, whatever you like)

 

for the shield thing, i'd like more like an additional BODY reserve that are hit first, and does'nt get armor protection; also, a regeneration (only to regenerate shields' BODY) and also a nice soldier talent (aid shield regeneration or something similar)

"body reserve" will get the idea of shield who can absorb one or two shot

 

for weapons and armor i'd use something similar to ME1, 'cause ME2 does'nt give nice rpg stats (and also combat are way less rpg and more shooter)

for Armor-Weapon balancing is a difficult thing; first, you need to keep weapon damage low or they oneshot on unarmored/light armoured people

second, you need to keep armor "light" or weapons will become useless

 

i'd like with this idea:

light armor are 1-3 DEF (rPD or rED or both, as you like)

medium armor are 3-5 DEF

heavy armor are 5-7 DEF

 

shields are 2-5 BODY; 6 BODY for very good armour (like the Predator L, M, P sets)

mods and talents will increase shields up to a +4 BODY

so max is 10 BODY

 

shotgun (short range) and sniper damage are 9DC; assault are 6-8 DC; pistols are 4-5 DC. If you like, SMG are something between 5 and 6 DC

 

vs Ashley the tank

(BODY 20; heavy armor rPD 7; maxed out shields +10 BODY)

- average shotgun shot: first one take down shield. 4 more to seriously injury her (8 BODY, -2 penalities to all skills) and a total of 8 shot to kill her.

- average assault shot: need 2 to take down shield, and next ones slightly injury them. (1)

- average pistol shot: take down slowly the shields, does'nt injury Ash

 

- critical (max damage) shotgun hit: fist one take down shield (and little injury), second seriously injury her and third one to say bye bye to Ash

- critical assault shot: first one take down shield, and a total of 5 critical shot to kill her

- critical pistol shot: always stopped by armour

 

vs Liara the light one

(BODY 10; light armor rPD3; powerful but standard shield +6 BODY)

- average shotgun shot: first one take down shield and injury her, second one to say bye bye

- average assault shot: first one goodbye to shield; second one injury her; third one kill her

- average pistol shot: 2 to remove the shields, 5 more to injury her and a total of 12 to kill her

 

(1) main problem is assault rifle does'nt do too much damage; increasing damage will make it too powerful against not-heavily-armoured guy. Adding Penetration coul be a cool solution. Also, autofire will greatly increase higher-damage roll statistics...

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

So you thinking about 3 multipower and all powers inside the multipower?

why don't just use talent-like single powers?

 

i'm not thinking about a direct translation of the videogame into the rules, so i don't really care about the cooldown system; i like the idea

biotics get some nice powers like telepathy, telekinesys, barrier (a FF), and like

techs get some nice powers like mind control (synthetics class of mind), Overcharge (AoE energy blast) and of course some cool decryptations talents

weapons get some nice talents like Immunity (damage reduction), and uber cool shooting add (csl, aid weapon damage, whatever you like)

 

for the shield thing, i'd like more like an additional BODY reserve that are hit first, and does'nt get armor protection; also, a regeneration (only to regenerate shields' BODY) and also a nice soldier talent (aid shield regeneration or something similar)

"body reserve" will get the idea of shield who can absorb one or two shot

 

 

I'd use a multipower since the powers by themselves are too expensive for a heroic level game and multipowers are easier to balance than other systems like Tual Morns magic system for example.

 

As for shields being extra body, that is effectively what the barrier power does except it also stops stun damage until it is dropped. People don't get stunned out in ME until after there shields drop. The barrier could be something like 5/5 def 10 body non-anchored, mobile, one way transparent all damage, restricted shape(personal FF), no range, only 1 barrier at a time, Trigger creates a new barrier when the existing one drops, extra time 1 turn. It would be around 75 AP, but in a heroic game its just gear and costs X credits. I'd have armor familiarity skills to get the differing level of armors like light, medium, and heavy.

 

Some people could buy down the extra time advantage and it would be described as tech expertise or something. It could be like a naked advantage in a multipower or in this case a naked disadvantage removal.

 

Weapons I really don't know what I'd do, but I'm lazy so I'd likely use modern stats but bump the weapons but by a DC or 2. I'd just accept the fact that unarmored targets get wasted really quick by people firing mass accelerator guns.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

I'd use a multipower since the powers by themselves are too expensive for a heroic level game and multipowers are easier to balance than other systems like Tual Morns magic system for example.
Yeah it's true but

multipower get more power to almost zero cost

let me do an example

i state a multipower called Telekinesys. and invest 20 points reserve on it.

Ok fine, need to spend 20 point for it

 

now i buy Throw like an ultra slot; this could be an EB with low damage and high knockback etc etc and after calculation got 12 real cost (speculation, maybe less). this cost 1 point so with 21 point i get the multipower and first power

 

now, i whanna buy Lift too. this could be a flying usable on other usable as attack or a telekynesis "only to lift target" or like; it cost maybe 15 real point.

buying as an ultra cost me just 1 point

 

then, increasing multipower reserve i also increase all my slots

 

buying powers one by one i get

1) every power has lower cost than all powers together; this mean for few powers, buy powers one by one is less expensive (or not so much expensive). I'd like to get few powers for everyone (even in ME1, noone has more than 4 "power"...)

2) i can buy different power at different power level

3) if too much expensive, i can state something like TA Magic, ie power cost is halved or divided by three

 

As for shields being extra body' date=' that is effectively what the barrier power does except it also stops stun damage until it is dropped. People don't get stunned out in ME until after there shields drop. The barrier could be something like 5/5 def 10 body non-anchored, mobile, one way transparent all damage, restricted shape(personal FF), no range, only 1 barrier at a time, Trigger creates a new barrier when the existing one drops, extra time 1 turn. It would be around 75 AP, but in a heroic game its just gear and costs X credits.[/quote']mmmhhh

i'd figure out how can i build this one with FREd/5ER

Weapons I really don't know what I'd do' date=' but I'm lazy so I'd likely use modern stats but bump the weapons but by a DC or 2. I'd just accept the fact that unarmored targets get wasted really quick by people firing mass accelerator guns.[/quote']yeah i like the concept "if you get hit, that are really painful!"

but i'd like to give a little chance of survivability.

if player dies by the first shot, they don't have fun...

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Yeah it's true but

multipower get more power to almost zero cost

let me do an example

i state a multipower called Telekinesys. and invest 20 points reserve on it.

Ok fine, need to spend 20 point for it

 

now i buy Throw like an ultra slot; this could be an EB with low damage and high knockback etc etc and after calculation got 12 real cost (speculation, maybe less). this cost 1 point so with 21 point i get the multipower and first power

 

now, i whanna buy Lift too. this could be a flying usable on other usable as attack or a telekynesis "only to lift target" or like; it cost maybe 15 real point.

buying as an ultra cost me just 1 point

 

then, increasing multipower reserve i also increase all my slots

 

buying powers one by one i get

1) every power has lower cost than all powers together; this mean for few powers, buy powers one by one is less expensive (or not so much expensive). I'd like to get few powers for everyone (even in ME1, noone has more than 4 "power"...)

2) i can buy different power at different power level

3) if too much expensive, i can state something like TA Magic, ie power cost is halved or divided by three

 

.

 

I like the multpower for modern and sci-fi setting becausein my heroic games gear is point cost free. In a fantasy game magic is heavily limited and standard gear is like 30APs in attacks. In modern/sci-fi with biotics and espers, it is not nearly as limited making it expensive and the standard weapon can frequently be 80+ APs. Also due to the low limits a biotic multipower would have a high entry cost so even with the ultras(and you could say no ultras in order to double the cost) it still is an expensive proposition. Also ultras will cost 2-5 points I'd guess in my games that will take a couple sessions to earn which seems fine to me. Meanwhile non multipower dude is getting another +1 to hit with his favorite 80AP gun, which probably is better.

 

Oh and as for weapon damage, I just assume non-armored=dead, but PCs are basically always at least somewhat armored except in plot situations where I want them to feel vulnerable.

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Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

I like the multpower for modern and sci-fi setting becausein my heroic games gear is point cost free. In a fantasy game magic is heavily limited and standard gear is like 30APs in attacks. In modern/sci-fi with biotics and espers' date=' it is not nearly as limited making it expensive and the standard weapon can frequently be 80+ APs. Also due to the low limits a biotic multipower would have a high entry cost so even with the ultras(and you could say no ultras in order to double the cost) it still is an expensive proposition. Also ultras will cost 2-5 points I'd guess in my games that will take a couple sessions to earn which seems fine to me. Meanwhile non multipower dude is getting another +1 to hit with his favorite 80AP gun, which probably is better.[/quote']mmmhhh dunno...

i'm planning on keeping weapon damage low, and also try balancing armor-damage

 

i'd like the shield you did, but now i need to figure out how to make'em with FREd/5ER. most important for Biotic Barrier power...

 

for power cost, dunno. i'd start creating powers (i mean: biotic, technologic, martial powers) then figuring out how much they will cost

 

and then maybe make some adjustment

like:

- powers will cost 1/3 or 1/2 if you get 2 types (biotic+technology; biotic+martial; tech+martial)

- multipowers or EC (wich one will cost more or are more realistic/setting adeherent)

- other

 

 

Oh and as for weapon damage, I just assume non-armored=dead, but PCs are basically always at least somewhat armored except in plot situations where I want them to feel vulnerable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

mmmhhh now i found i need to create equipment first, then build some "balancing rules" about weapon-armor-shields

and then building biotic/tech/military powers following the balancing rules (ie: biotic barrier give you a shield like the strongest kinetic shield; tech's sabotage inflict damage equal to assault rifle, etc.)

 

atm i'm getting some difficulties building Shotgun area of effect attack (cone explosion? reduced by range? line aoe? nonselective aoe? etc)

and of course kinetic shield (+BODY only to resiste damage? FF with a fixed body count and a regeneration?)

 

any idea? :]

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  • 4 weeks later...

Re: Mass Effect Campaign Setting

 

Just thought that you might like to know that there are now 3 Mass Effect novels written by the lead writer for the game, and a 4 issue comic book mini-series is out up to issue 3. The mini-series is to be bundled into a graphic novel that is scheduled to come out in June.

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