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Community => License to Improvise => Topic started by: Mister Andersen on May 04, 2012, 01:57:06 PM

Title: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 04, 2012, 01:57:06 PM
I'll kick off with biotics, which are kinda one of the two signature aspects of the MEverse.

The basic idea -- a power is gained through a gatekeeper character option then evolved via feats -- is sound and works elegantly enough within the Spycraft 2.0 ruleset. However, part of that involves Origins rigidly dolling out benefits over the course of a 20 level career that a lot of players may well never see, an idea that Mastercraft has thankfully by and large ditched in favour of frontloading, so the new mechanics we come up with will have to bear that in mind.

Having just been through chargen however, I'm not a fan of access to biotics being restricted to a tiny number of specialties + a single "fuck yeah humanity!" feat. While it understanably simplifies things, I find it needlessly restrictive.

To my eye, biotics should be handled much as magic use is, with a skill check; some powers treat it as a straight attack check, others work based on the value rolled like a jump check. Given how we're told using biotics works, there's a very distinct attraction to using the constitution-baed Resolve here; starting from that point, individual powers are then handled as discrete Proficiencies, which can then be affected by tricks, with the usual forte required before you can access the associated feat chain.

This has the knock on effect of making the Soldier a really good choice for Adept characters, especially if you decide to introduce tricks with a vitality cost (which is how I'd be tempted to deal with introducing biotic explosions)

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 04, 2012, 02:41:20 PM
Is that actually a good thing?  In the video games, soldiers quite clearly have only tech powers, and adepts are pretty much as far from soldier as you can get.  Also, if you envision biotics working the way FC spells do, shouldn't biotic characters get spell points to spend?  Or possibly paths?

In fact, I feel like paths offer a better representation of ME powers than spells do.  First step gives you a power, subsequent steps give you tweaks to it, and more/bigger/better uses of it.  That is if we're not just keeping the powers pretty much as they are, which is also a good option (certainly easier).  I tend to agree that the manner of getting these powers shouldn't be specialties.  I think back to basics style classes is the better answer.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: foproy on May 04, 2012, 02:49:33 PM
tech powers should have other options, but biotics require some kinda latent abilities so i can see them being a part of an origin.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 04, 2012, 03:16:58 PM
There's nothing saying you can't have been born with biotic potential and simply never chosen to develop it until "now". According to the Codex, for example, Asari although natural biotics rather than victims of accidential exposure are not always users of biotics (otherwise thered be no need to specify being an active biotic for military service).

Is that actually a good thing?  In the video games, soldiers quite clearly have only tech powers, and adepts are pretty much as far from soldier as you can get. 

The MC.soldier is simply someone who's mechanically good at fighting; the weapons she chooses to use are largely irrelevant. The ME.soldier only fights a certain way (with "tech" abilities). Unless it's specifically called out, when I use the term soldier I am referring to the class from the book not the comouter game.

Speaking of the game, the fact that Adepts trade off the number of weapons they can use for biotic powers in the first two games is a good argument for the powers=proficiencies approach

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Also, if you envision biotics working the way FC spells do, shouldn't biotic characters get spell points to spend?  Or possibly paths?

Why? Power points by and large tie you to a single class, and in any event just don't come anywhere near replicating the in-game experience of biotics. Neither do paths: they're a long-game approach that don;t give you the freedom to dump character options into building up a primary power/ability as quickly as possible (frex in multiplayer, I build up the infiltrator's cloak or the asari's stasis as fast as possible, ignoring most of the other abilities until that first one is approaching maxed)

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In fact, I feel like paths offer a better representation of ME powers than spells do.  First step gives you a power, subsequent steps give you tweaks to it, and more/bigger/better uses of it.  That is if we're not just keeping the powers pretty much as they are, which is also a good option (certainly easier).

That's virtually the way powers work now except being horribly slower to progress
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: foproy on May 04, 2012, 03:27:10 PM
actually i think tech powers= proficiencies, since they seem to be learnable, and biotics= paths with some kind of class associated with it.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 04, 2012, 03:40:15 PM
You've got to at least maintain something close to parity, which is one advantage of the tied-to-specialty approach. Paths fail that basic requirement.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 05, 2012, 10:47:09 PM
You've got to at least maintain something close to parity, which is one advantage of the tied-to-specialty approach. Paths fail that basic requirement.

Unless tech powers are also paths.
And paths are only slow if you make them slow. There's no reason you couldn't gain multiple steps every level.

Also, spell points only tie you to a class if you tie spell points to a class.  If you give biotic chars spell point progression outside of their class,  then it's no longer a problem.  And since spycraft doesn't have spell points,  and FC only has them via the sorcery CQ, the only option for this route is extra-class spell points,  or 4 ME classes with spell point progression.

And powers do not equal proficiencies.  If that's the case then only soldier will be viable for any of the ME classes.

Btw, do you imagine this being based on fantasy craft or spycraft?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 06, 2012, 01:17:43 AM
*points to the title of the thread*

Optimistically I think we're not going to see 3.0 until the middle of next year at the earliest and since the only other mastercraft example we have is FC, I'll let you connect the dots.

Unless tech powers are also paths.

That is taking a bad idea and making it worse.

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And paths are only slow if you make them slow. There's no reason you couldn't gain multiple steps every level.

Plese explain.

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Also, spell points only tie you to a class if you tie spell points to a class.  If you give biotic chars spell point progression outside of their class,  then it's no longer a problem.  And since spycraft doesn't have spell points,  and FC only has them via the sorcery CQ, the only option for this route is extra-class spell points,  or 4 ME classes with spell point progression.

Or none. Spell points in no way replicate the feel of either the single or multiplayer experience. Even a lowlevel character can spam a power until the cows come home; once spell points are used up you're dry.

Quote
And powers do not equal proficiencies.  If that's the case then only soldier will be viable for any of the ME classes.

Someone who specialises in using powers -- biotic OR tech -- to their hard hitting extremes? Damn straight the soldier should be the class of choice. Powers are just weapons like guns or knives.

Someone whose approach to their powers is as an ancilliary tool? Soo many other potential choices
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 06, 2012, 04:49:41 AM
Mass Craft 2nd ed is already 2/3 done, and is fully mastercraft. Major overhaul to power acquisition.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 06, 2012, 02:02:59 PM
I'd love to see where you're at with 2nd edition.  I'm also happy to provide whatever help you might want.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 06, 2012, 07:12:34 PM
Mass Craft 2nd ed is already 2/3 done, and is fully mastercraft. Major overhaul to power acquisition.
I am quite intrigued. 
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 06, 2012, 08:12:53 PM
Mass Craft 2nd ed is already 2/3 done, and is fully mastercraft. Major overhaul to power acquisition.
I am quite intrigued. 
This
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 10, 2012, 08:34:16 PM
Spoiler: Thoughts on races • show

Asari.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   Attributes: No modifiers
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [–2.0] Burden of Ages: Your metabolism is efficient, not fast. Any effect that cures or restores your vitality has only one half the normal effect (rounded up).
·   [7.0] Diverse: Choose a Talent. You gain all features of that talent. Possessing a Talent does not change your species to "human".
·   [1.0] Enlightened Resolve: Your maximum Resolve rank increases to your Career Level + 5. Only the highest bonus from any single enlightened ability may apply to each skill.
·   [1.0] Natural Elegance: Your appearance modifier increases by +1.


Batarian.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   [2.0] Attributes: +2 to lower of Strength or Constitution
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [1.0] Crunch!: Your Strength-based damage rolls inflict an additional +1 damage.
·   [0.5] Favoured Specialties: If your specialty is Barbarian, Beggar, Corsair, Criminal, Gladiator, Merchant, Rogue, or Sentinel, you gain [1 point benefit].
·   [2.0] Celebrated: Your Legend increases by 2.
·   [2.0] Keen Sight: Your vision range increments are equal to your Wisdom score × 50 ft. You also ignore range penalties from the 2nd and 4th range increments while you are aiming.
·   [–1.0] Reviled: The starting Disposition of non-Batarians decreases by 10.
·   [0.5] Sceptical: The DC of all Bluff checks targeting you increases by 3.


Drell.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   [2.0] Attributes: +1 Dexterity
·   Base Speed: 12 m.
·   [–0.5] Cold-Blooded: You require only one-quarter of the amount of food that a warm-blooded character your size does to survive. However, you suffer 1 additional point of damage per die from cold and are sickened for a number of rounds equal to one-half the cold damage taken. If you are suffering continuous cold damage – such as from the environment – you are sickened until escaping the source of the damage.
·   [1.5] Heat Resistance: You gain Heat Resistance 10.
·   [3.0] Perfect Memory: You gain the Perfect Memory feat (see Adventure Companion pg 129).
·   [2.0] Sharp Hearing: Your hearing range increments are equal to your Wisdom score × 3 m. Further, you may always act during the surprise round unless you were deafened beforehand.


Elcor.
   [–1.0] Type: Large Beast (2×2, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal 1.5 times your Constitution score.
·   [2.5] Attributes: +4 to the lower of Strength or Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –4 Dexterity
·   [–0.5] Base Speed: 6 m.
·   [2.0] Bloodhound: Your base scent range is equal to your Wisdom score × 3 m. and, you gain a +6 bonus with Tracking checks.
·   [1.0] Improved stability: You are considered 1 Size category larger for the purpose of carrying capacity, trample attacks, and resisting Bull Rush and Trip attempts so long as you're standing firmly on the ground and not climbing, flying, or riding.
·   [–1.5] Inept: Your Acrobatics and Sneak checks are always considered to be untrained. Further, your error range with these skills, as well as Impress or Intimidate checks targeting non-Elcor, increases by 2 and the cost to activate any such error is reduced by 1 die.
·   [0.5] Inscrutable: The DC of all Sense Motive checks targeting you increases by 3.
·   [–1.0] Lumbering: You suffer a –2 to all Reflex saves, and become flanked any time two opponents are adjacent to you.
·   [2.0] Slow and Steady: The cost to activate any errors rolled by you or your team-mates during downtime is increased by 2 action dice.
·   [1.0] Sure-footed: Your encumbrance loads are increased by 50% and when you run, your move multiplier is increased by 1 (typically to ×5).
·   [2.0] Thick Hide (3): You are considered to be wearing partial armour that provides Damage Reduction 3. This damage reduction does not stack with other armour (only the best protection applies while wearing additional armour).


Geth.
   [8.0] Type: Medium Construct (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   [0.0] Attributes: +2 Intelligence, –4 Charisma
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [–0.5] Achilles Heel (Electricity): When you suffer Electrical damage, the amount is doubled before its effects are applied, and the cost to activate a critical hit is reduced by 1 die.
·   [1.5] Darkvision: You gain the darkvision II quality.
·   [–0.5] Alien: Your error range increases by 2 when making Impress & Sense Motive checks targeting characters of other species, and the cost to activate an error is reduced by 1 die.
·   [0.5] Inscrutable: The DC of all Sense Motive checks targeting you increases by 3.
·   [–1.5] Interface Error: Each time you roll an error, an opposing character may cause you to become slowed for a number of rounds equal to twice the number of action dice spent in addition to the standard result.
·   [1.0] Networked AI: You share thoughts and reactions with other Geth within a number of kilometres equal to 1.5 times your career level with a signal strength equal to your starting action dice. Provided all other Geth who can see and hear you do not already suffer the condition, you may spend an action die to remove the blinded, deafened, flanked or flat-footed conditions.
·   [–1.5] Deeply Reviled: The starting Disposition of non-Geth decreases by 20.


Hanar.
   [–2.0] Type: Small Beast (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal to 2/3 × your Constitution score.
·   [1.0] Attributes: +2 Wisdom, –2 Dexterity
·   [0.0] Base Speed: 3 m. (ground), 6 m. (swim)
·   [–0.5] Achilles Heel (Heat): When you suffer Heat damage, the amount is doubled before its effects are applied, and the cost to activate a critical hit is reduced by 1 die.
·   [1.5] Aquatic II: You can’t drown, and suffers no penalties when underwater
·   [2.5] Built-in Melee Weapons: You are considered to be armed with a whip and a garrotte at all times, both possessing the poisonous quality, in addition to a number of doses of agonising poison per scene equal to your starting action dice. You do not need to hold these weapons in your hands to ready them, but they may not be thrown or disarmed. If broken, you immediately suffer the broken limb critical injury. You may purchase upgrades for these weapons for triple the normal price, but you must upgrade both at the same time and in the same manner.
·   [0.5] Cat Fall: You take 1 less die of damage from falling.
·   [2.0] Floater: You gain a piece of mass effect generating technology that grants a flight speed of 6 m., though you may rise no higher than 6 m. above the ground. Additionally, this item renders you immune to Trip attempts. An opponent may choose to remove this movement mode instead of the standard result if they gain the Handle Item benefit during a grapple. If this device is disabled or removed, sprawled and slowed become ongoing conditions, and you are also considered frail (http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=6304.msg111996#msg111996).
·   [–0.5] Limited Proficiencies: You begin with play with 2 fewer weapon proficiencies (minimum 0).
·   [1.0] Low-light Vision: You gain the darkvision I quality.
·   [2.5] Many limbed: You may simultaneously hold and arm up to six 1-handed, four 1-handed and one 2-handed, or two 1-handed and two 2-handed weapons or objects. Also, each round that you hold no more than this, you may Handle an Item as a free action. You also gain a +1 bonus with skill checks made as part of a Grapple action per two of your hands that are free (maximum +3).
·   [–1.0] Restricted Actions: Climb, Jump and Intimidate checks made by you are considered untrained


Krogan.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.  
·   [4.0] Attributes: +4 Constitution, +2 Strength, –2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [0.5] Angry: The feats of the Rage feat chain are also counted towards the number of Species feats you possess.
·   [1.0] Iron Gut: You gain an insight bonus equal to your Constitution modifier with saves against disease and poisons (minimum +1).
·   [0.5] Lean Season: You require only one-quarter the normal amount of food for a character your size to survive.
·   [1.0] Natural Attack: You gain the Slam I natural attack. If you gain a natural attack from multiple sources, the attack’s grade becomes equal to the highest single grade +1 per additional benefit granting the same attack, to a maximum of V (e.g. Bite IV, Bite III and Bite I become Bite V).
·   [–1.0] Restricted Checks: You may not make Influence, Outmaneuver or Tumble checks.
·   [–1.0] Reviled: The starting Disposition of non-Krogan decreases by 10.
·   [2.0] Thick Hide (3): You are considered to be wearing partial armour that provides Damage Reduction 3. This damage reduction does not stack with other armour (only the best protection applies while wearing additional armour).


Quarian.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   [1.0] Attributes: +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [–0.5] Achilles Heel (Contagion): When you make Fortitude saves against contagion and poison, the DC is doubled, and the cost to activate a critical hit with an attack of this kind is reduced by 1 die.
·   [5.0] Environment Suit: You are considered to be wearing sealed armour at all times that for the purpose of upgrades is considered to cost [Blah] credits. This suit grants the aquatic I (24 hrs), darkvision II, DR 2, and immunity (bleeding, contagion, vacuum) qualities, and you suffer no harm from hot and cold environments. The DC of all Sense Motive checks targeting you increases by 3, but your error range increases by 2 when making Impress & Sense Motive checks targeting characters of other species, Swim checks are considered untrained, and the cost to activate an error with those checks is reduced by 1 die. Further, when engaged in a grapple, an opponent who chooses the Handle Item action may spend and roll an action die to remove your immunity quality and inflict an amount of stress damage equal to the result. If your suit is destroyed or removed, you must make a DC 20 Fortitude save: with success, you suffer 1d6 subdual damage every four hours, otherwise the damage is incurred hourly.
·   [1.0] Enlightened Crafting: Your maximum Crafting rank increases to your Career Level + 5. Only the highest bonus from any single enlightened ability may apply to each skill.
·   [0.5] Favoured Specialties: If your specialty is Artisan, Beggar, Engineer, Fighter, Infiltrator, Merchant, Miner, or Physician, you gain an additional Origin skill.
·   [1.0] Pull Together: You automatically succeed on cooperative checks where you are the helper if you have at least 4 ranks in the skill being used and the leader is a team-mate or shares your Allegiance.
·   [–1.0] Reviled: The starting Disposition of non-[Blah] decreases by 10.


Salarian.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   [0.0] Attributes: +2 Dexterity, –2 Constitution, –2 Charisma
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [2.0] Always Ready: You may always act during surprise rounds.
·   [0.5] Aquatic I: You can hold your breath for a number of minutes equal to 15 × your Constitution score.
·   [1.0] Enlightened Tactics: Your maximum Tactics rank increases to your Career Level + 5. Only the highest bonus from any single enlightened ability may apply to each skill.
·   [1.0] Free Hint: Once per session, you may request a free hint from the GM. If he refuses, you gain 1 bonus action die.
·   [2.0] If I Recall…: You gain a +5 bonus on all knowledge checks if you have 4 or more ranks in the skill being used.
·   [0.5] Light Sleeper: Sleeping is not a Terminal Situation for you.


Turian.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   Attributes: No modifiers
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [0.5] Basic Training: You gain the Military Interest.
·   [2.0] Celebrated: Your Legend increases by 2.
·   [0.5] Favoured Specialties: If your specialty is [Citizen, Fighter, Fulminarius, House Agent, Sentinel, ..., ..., or Warden], you gain the Relentless Attack trick.
·   [–0.5] Forthright: The cost for non-Turians to activate critical successes when opposing your Haggle and Bluff checks is reduced by 1 die.
·   [1.0] Natural Attack: You gain the Claw I natural attack. If you gain a natural attack from multiple sources, the attack’s grade becomes equal to the highest single grade +1 per additional benefit granting the same attack, to a maximum of V (e.g. Bite IV, Bite III and Bite I become Bite V).
·   [1.0] Pull Together: You automatically succeed on cooperative checks where you are the helper if you have at least 4 ranks in the skill being used and the leader is a team-mate or shares your Allegiance
·   [1.0] Radiation Resistance: You gain an amount of Radiation Resistance equal to twice your starting action dice.
·   [1.5] Undaunted: Any morale penalties to your attributes, attack checks, skill checks, or saves are reduced by 2.


Volus.
   Type: Small Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score × 2/3 (rounded up).
·   [2.5] Attributes: +2 Intelligence
·   [–0.5] Base Speed: 6 m.
·   [0.5] Bargain Hunter: You gain a +3 bonus to Bargain checks.
·   [4.0] Environment Suit: You are considered to be wearing sealed armour at all times that for the purpose of upgrades is considered to cost [Blah] credits. This suit grants the aquatic I (24 hrs), darkvision II, DR 2, and immunity (bleeding, contagion, vacuum) qualities, and you suffer no harm from hot and cold environments. The DC of all Sense Motive checks targeting you increases by 3, but your error range increases by 2 when making Impress & Sense Motive checks targeting characters of other species, Swim checks are considered untrained, and the cost to activate an error with those checks is reduced by 1 die. Further, when engaged in a grapple, an opponent who chooses the Handle Item action may spend and roll an action die to remove your immunity quality and inflict an amount of stress damage equal to the result. If your suit is destroyed or removed, you immediately suffer 1d6 vacuum damage per round.
·   [–0.5] Limited Proficiencies: You begin with play with 2 fewer weapon proficiencies (minimum 0).
·   [–1.0] Lumbering: You suffer a –2 to all Reflex saves, and become flanked any time two opponents are adjacent to you.
·   [2.0] Slow and Steady: The cost to activate any errors rolled by you or your team-mates during downtime is increased by 2 action dice.


No vorcha, as I don't think they should be a playable species; I'm almost of that opinion on volus too, as their physiology means that realistically losing suit integrity should outright kill them.

While I used Glim's versions as a starting point, there are a number of differences that came from both the use of the MC toolset, and my own interpretation of the various codex entries (and in the case of the Hanaar, Zaaed's war story).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 04:43:41 AM
Cerberus
You have been extensively augmented by the pro-human terrorist organization called Cerberus.
[1] • Attributes: +1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 04:51:34 AM
Come to think of it, given the new DLC i'd consider a playable Prothean species...
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 11, 2012, 04:53:06 AM
@ Mr A:  Metres?  I support this (and the metric system in general, of course), but unless you plan on reprinting large quantities of the entire system in the pdf fully converted metres it's probably best to stick with the existing framework of the game.  Also Hanar need to have a far higher swim speed then 6m if everyone else has a 9m ground speed - hear Thane talk about them and that will be quite obvious (he outright states they are both quicker and more agile then the Drell when they are in the water).

EDIT: Also, Drell should be faster then Humans/Asari/Batarian/Krogan/etc., because they actually are faster.  40ft vs 30ft should be enough of a difference.  Play as one in MP and you'll see they are quite significantly faster (and far more agile - another thing they need).

@ Glim: Indoctrination is a very interesting origin ability, quite unique and extremely flavourful (which I support).  Also: There's new DLC?  Or was it a leak that I just missed?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Antilles on May 11, 2012, 05:00:41 AM
Re: Indoctrination, something like the Shadowlands Taint rules from L5R?

Sletchman: He's talking about the Day 0 DLC, From Ashes.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 11, 2012, 05:07:19 AM
I completely disagree regarding having rules for reaper indoctrination.  It's supposed to be undetectable, and there is no way to be surer that the player knows his character is being indoctrinated than to create and use rules for it.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 11, 2012, 05:24:35 AM
Sletchman: He's talking about the Day 0 DLC, From Ashes.

Oh.  I thought there might have been a multiplayer update where you can play as them.  I, personally, am against playable Protheans but there is precisely zero chance of me running a Mass Effect game (or even playing in one) so my opinion doesn't really matter.  Just because that jerk ass is the only one left, no other pods (including on Ilos) survived intact with power.  Shouldn't be impossible to stat them though - they seem to just be a multi-gendered Asari with psychometry.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 11, 2012, 05:52:19 AM
No vorcha, as I don't think they should be a playable species; I'm almost of that opinion on volus too, as their physiology means that realistically losing suit integrity should outright kill them.
I can't think of why one would want to play a vorcha, but goblins made the FC cut, and I can't think of why one would want to play them either.

Volus suits seem to be very difficult to damage, and losing suit pressure isn't instantly fatal.  A human in space has about 90 seconds.  A volus would obviously have rather less, and would be that much better drilled in emergency suit patching.  (Said patching would be pretty easy with an omni-tool.)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 06:14:49 AM
I completely disagree regarding having rules for reaper indoctrination.  It's supposed to be undetectable, and there is no way to be surer that the player knows his character is being indoctrinated than to create and use rules for it.

OTOH, if my GM suddenly said "Oh, by the way, you're indoctrinated. It's been going on for a while, but I didn't tell you anything or give you a mechanical chance to resist" I know that i'd be pretty pissed.

I mean, what's the point in the threat of indoctrination if there's no way of measuring it?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 11, 2012, 06:32:40 AM
I mean, what's the point in the threat of indoctrination if there's no way of measuring it?
Sounds almost like a sub plot?  Mucking about with reaper tech does bad stuff to your head, but subtle bad stuff.  Start down that path and suddenly your character becomes an NPC...
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 06:42:33 AM
I can't think of why one would want to play a vorcha, but goblins made the FC cut, and I can't think of why one would want to play them either.

I've played a Goblin Burglar, and it was fun. I'd also considered playing a Vorcha in the PbP.

But maybe that's just me.  ::)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 11, 2012, 06:57:14 AM
Well, if you're playing with a GM who would do that, I doubt having rules for it would help matters much.  Indoctrination is very similar to insanity, from a narrative point of view, and nothing ruins insanity in a game faster than using rules to define and regulate it.  It shouldn't be a game mechanic, but rather a narrative tool.  If you want to have rules for the GM's benefit, that the player shouldn't interact with, I suppose that's not so bad.  But I don't know why any GM would want to restrict themselves with rules the players aren't aware of.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 11, 2012, 07:14:47 AM
I was considering this for the new generation of cerberus troops that have been augmented using reaper tech, but I don't like the 'partial indoctrination' that is folded into it. Also, I think we need solid rules for Reaper indoctrination.
Some sort of sliding scale where it's easy to start on it accidentally, but once you're on it, it's a slippery downward slope that is almost impossible to resist.

Indoctrination basically makes you an NPC, so I'd be altogether against making it a PC playable origin. There's already a mechanic in the corrupting magic subset of the magic use CQ that you could use, but if you're going to have PC indoctrination that's probably best handled as subplot and careful roleplay

No vorcha, as I don't think they should be a playable species; I'm almost of that opinion on volus too, as their physiology means that realistically losing suit integrity should outright kill them.
I can't think of why one would want to play a vorcha, but goblins made the FC cut, and I can't think of why one would want to play them either.

Goblins have a long and storied history with numerous takes on what it means to be a goblin. The problem with Vorcha is that their 'hat' is to be psychopathic and violent towards each other to the point that they have no reason or liklihood to want to hang around with other PCs who aren't the krogan beating the crap out of them to force obedience in between getting them to kill stuff.

@ Mr A:  Metres?  I support this (and the metric system in general, of course), but unless you plan on reprinting large quantities of the entire system in the pdf fully converted metres it's probably best to stick with the existing framework of the game. 

5 ft = 1.5 m. Easy peesy.

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Also Hanar need to have a far higher swim speed then 6m if everyone else has a 9m ground speed - hear Thane talk about them and that will be quite obvious (he outright states they are both quicker and more agile then the Drell when they are in the water).

A successful Swim check allows a character may move across or through water at up to 1/4 their base speed; for a standard character, that is 2.25 m/7.5 ft per half action. A swim speed of 6 m/20 ft is plenty fast.

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EDIT: Also, Drell should be faster then Humans/Asari/Batarian/Krogan/etc., because they actually are faster.  40ft vs 30ft should be enough of a difference.  Play as one in MP and you'll see they are quite significantly faster (and far more agile - another thing they need).

Edited.

Come to think of it, given the new DLC i'd consider a playable Prothean species...

Really? Javik is supposed to be a special snowflake, not the precursor of a pseudo-Drow incursion
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 11, 2012, 07:34:44 AM
No vorcha, as I don't think they should be a playable species; I'm almost of that opinion on volus too, as their physiology means that realistically losing suit integrity should outright kill them.
I can't think of why one would want to play a vorcha, but goblins made the FC cut, and I can't think of why one would want to play them either.
Goblins have a long and storied history with numerous takes on what it means to be a goblin. The problem with Vorcha is that their 'hat' is to be psychopathic and violent towards each other to the point that they have no reason or liklihood to want to hang around with other PCs who aren't the krogan beating the crap out of them to force obedience in between getting them to kill stuff.
I've played a Goblin Burglar, and it was fun. I'd also considered playing a Vorcha in the PbP.

But maybe that's just me.  ::)
Goblins and vorcha are totally YMMV.  (I think of vorcha as being goblins in space.)  Nor are the vorcha a species with only one hat.

I can think up some reasons why you would have some vorcha traveling with folks who aren't krogan.  Not getting treated like crap certainly could make that list.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 11, 2012, 07:45:25 AM
Cerberus.
   Requirement: Allegiance (Cerberus)
·   Attributes: +2 Charisma, –2 Wisdom
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   Basic Training: You gain the "Humanity Fuck Yeah!" Interest.
·   Higher Calling: Characters with opposed Allegiances suffer a –1 penalty to all skill checks targeting or opposed by you.
·   Close Ranks: You gain a +2 morale bonus to your Defence and all saving throws if there are at least 2 other characters who share your Allegiance adjacent to you.
·   Reviled: The starting Disposition of those who don't share your HFY! Interest decreases by 10.
·   Tenacious Spirit: You gain 1 additional vitality point each level.
·   Undaunted: Any morale penalties to your attributes, attack checks, skill checks, or saves are reduced by 2.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 11, 2012, 08:30:47 AM
·   Close Ranks: You gain a +2 morale bonus to your Defence and all saving throws if there are at least 2 other characters who share your Allegiance adjacent to you.
I think radios should expand adjacent to CQB range.  (Expanding it like that would make dropping the bonus to +1 reasonable.)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 11, 2012, 09:09:16 AM
I'd probably make it the usual "see or hear you" range, and yeah, +1 seems fairer than effectively giving you 2 Battle Plans worth of benefit for less than a feat just because of friends
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 09:52:48 AM
nothing ruins insanity in a game faster than using rules to define and regulate it

Really? 6 editions of Call of Cthulhu disgree with you, quite vigorously!

Javik is supposed to be a special snowflake, not the precursor of a pseudo-Drow incursion

See, i'm all for giving players as many options as possible. Just add the caveat 'be aware that this species may not be appropriate for most games'.

You gain the "Humanity Fuck Yeah!" Interest.

I LOL'd
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Bill Whitmore on May 11, 2012, 10:23:34 AM
nothing ruins insanity in a game faster than using rules to define and regulate it

Really? 6 editions of Call of Cthulhu disgree with you, quite vigorously!

And yet, of the half dozen or so times I have played it, the only good CoC game I have played pretty much ignored the insanity rules.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 12:46:48 PM
And yet, of the half dozen or so times I have played it, the only good CoC game I have played pretty much ignored the insanity rules.

They worked pretty well for me for about 20 years or so.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Bill Whitmore on May 11, 2012, 02:04:34 PM
And yet, of the half dozen or so times I have played it, the only good CoC game I have played pretty much ignored the insanity rules.

They worked pretty well for me for about 20 years or so.

I know some people like it but I definitely don't and I can tell you precisely what I don't like about it.

As a player in a game I have exactly 1 character I control and I hate losing control of that character for any reason.  If I can't even dictate the actions of my 1 character, I may as well leave the table and watch a movie or something.  If I am not going to be able to control anything that goes on in the story I may as well do it through a more visually stimulating medium.*

Now, it is inevitable that it will happen from time to time.  I'll occasionally get knocked unconscious in a fight, fail a saving throw against a charm effect, get grappled by someone I couldn't possibly beat in a grapple, etc.  I get that.  But all of those are pretty temporary, lasting a few rounds or maybe an evening at worst.

But CoC has a core system that pervades the entirety of play that basically limits what actions I can take.  What's worse is it seems to punish players for taking the most interesting actions.  If you hear something scratching in a closet, your best bet is to walk away and forget you ever heard anything...unless you like going insane for some reason.  The system doesn't say "Wow, you did something interesting.  Here, have an Action Die."  Instead it says "Huh, that was dumb.  Looks like your f***** now."

The unfortunate thing is, I really do like the setting.  I loved Dark Corners of the Earth and I thought their depiction of insanity was well done.  It was interesting without being debilitating.

To be fair, I have only played CoC at conventions and convention games are notorious for their lethality.  Most of those games, I wasn't a investigator, since I couldn't really investigate anything, but rather I was a Supernatural Psychic Punching Bag(TM).  The one game where the sanity rules was ignored was the one game we really got a chance to explore and investigate what was happening, the one time the game had a payoff other than, "Well, looks like you are all bat-shit insane now", the one time the story was creepifying not because the game system said it was creepifying, but because we had a chance to actually find out what was actually out there to be creepified about.


* Note: I had a similar problem with OWoD Dominate.  I would not play a character with less than 10 Willpower in that game.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Krensky on May 11, 2012, 02:30:17 PM
Considering it's nature, Eclipse's Phase's concepts for the Exsurgence virus fit Indoctrination very well.

Basically you could treat it like a disease with Will in play instead of Fort. As the PC subcomes to the effects, you let him know. If he plays the subtle shift to agent or adjunct well he gets action dice and subplots. If he's not playing it up, then accelerate the process and make the PC a NPC.

Obviously, not only is indoctrination of PCs not something for all groups, it's also not something for every player. Some won't like the entire thought, some will find it a cool RP opportunity, etc. Even in the same group.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 11, 2012, 03:03:12 PM
The problem isn't that you could lose control of your character.  That's no worse than dying, it happens, it sucks, and the game goes on.  The problem is that it's supposed to be something the character isn't aware of.  And if the character is somehow aware, they shouldn't be able to have any sort of perspective of it.  But with a mechanic thrown in, the player is not just aware, but also well informed.  The player knows that he has X sanity points left, or has X% chance to make the next will save.  And now, possessing this very important and very detailed knowledge, the player is supposed to forget all that and play the character who does not know.  At best, this ruins whatever immersion or association the player had with the character.  At worst, it results in rampant meta-gaming.

I don't play CoC, precisely because sanity systems suck all the fun out of things.  If after making a mysterious will save my GM were to tell me that my character was now at the first stage of indoctrination, I would just hand him the character sheet and start rolling up a new character.  On the other hand, if my GM just decides that my character is being indoctrinated, and so hands me a note that says "something about the prothean artifact bothers you, and you feel it would be dangerous to activate", then now I'm interested.  And if after a few adventures of this, my GM hands me a note that says "you've been indoctrinated, that's what all the notes were about", that would be super cool and I would happily play out the scene before starting to roll up a new character.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Antilles on May 11, 2012, 03:16:55 PM
How's about we just agree to disagree due to reasons of diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, and take advantage of the fact that Mastercraft's a toolbox system? Making it a subsystem with few hard links to the rest of the mechanics should, I hope, be satisfactory for both sides?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Bill Whitmore on May 11, 2012, 04:37:31 PM
Full disclosure here, I have never played Mass Effect so all I know about "indoctrination" is what I have gleaned from the context of this discussion.  Everything I posted above was purely about my opinion of CoC's insanity system.

As for likening losing control of character to dying, sure, I can see that, so long as creating a new character is an option.  As stated above, my CoC experience is from conventions where that is rarely an option.  Also, a system that seems designed to perpetually remove free-will, even with a new character, isn't something I am really interested in playing, any more than I would be interested in a game that was designed to kill you every other session.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 11, 2012, 04:42:33 PM
Indoctrination is a sort of hard core brainwashing that happens just by being in close proximity to the Reapers.  CoC insanity is an apt analogy, and it's what I had in mind when I brought up insanity  systems in the first place.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 11, 2012, 04:59:21 PM
Also note that person-remaining-useful Indocrination requires long term exposure to Reaper artifacts.

And I don't particularly like the idea of or want my character to die; character death/NPC conversion/otherwise being removed from the game should only be the result of extreme circumstances or breathtaking stupidity. Indoctrination should not be a mechanical part of the game mod, and is probably best handled as an individual subplot
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 11, 2012, 11:29:58 PM
The problem is that it's supposed to be something the character isn't aware of.

And there's the first idea toward sorting this out. The character isn't aware. That doesn't mean that the player isn't aware.

I also agree that indoctrination = death, or the equivalent of, therefore it needs a simple, robust and complete system to handle. It's an integral part of the plot of all 3 games, and a vital part of the Reapers' strategy.

Short of imprisonment and forced brainwashing - under which circumstances they could just put a gun to your head and shoot you anyway - there should always be a chance to walk away from indoctrination.

Spoiler: show

Take for example the Illusive Man. He walked into what he was doing with his eyes wide open. He used more and more Reapertech, even gradually adding it to his own body. He didn't turn into a ravening loon (YMMV!), he just altered his goals to use instead of destroy the Reapers. At no point was he directly under their control, and I can see him still being 'playable'.


It makes me think of the process of Taint from Ravenloft. Is anyone familiar with this?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 12, 2012, 02:28:00 AM
Why are we even arguing about this?  Just make it an on/off campaign quality and you're done.

Ex:
Indoctrination (Perminent):  In the ME universe, characters are slowly corrupted by exposure to Reapers and their Artifacts.  You must choose one of the following options before the game begins.

Heroic Resistance:  Your players are big damn heroes with wills of iron, and as such are not likely to fall prey to Indoctrination.  Unless the player chooses to take a Subplot, they are immune to becoming Indoctrinated.

Fragile Minds:  The players are no different to anyone else, and fall prey to mental breakdown as much as anyone else.  Expanded stress, insanity and indroctrination rules are all in play.

Done.  Word it differently and expand on it, by all means.  But that kinda lets everyone have their prefered flavour of cake.

EDIT:  Mr A:  Hanar should have higher swim speed.  The ocean is their natural environment, so being a little better then a human just doesn't cut it.  Your solution is akin to giving a Dolphin a 20ft swim speed because "Hey, that's better then an average human gets".
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 12, 2012, 02:52:25 AM
Look at the hanar's physical form: they not hydrodynamic speedsters, lacking any sort of tail fin to provide extreme motive force. They're not even structured like squid, having a more bulbous jelly-fish-like body. A swim speed of 20 -- which is a lot more than a little bit better than standard human -- is plenty fast for how they're built.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 12, 2012, 04:47:19 AM
Look at the hanar's physical form: they not hydrodynamic speedsters, lacking any sort of tail fin to provide extreme motive force. They're not even structured like squid, having a more bulbous jelly-fish-like body. A swim speed of 20 -- which is a lot more than a little bit better than standard human -- is plenty fast for how they're built.

In the face of your clearly extensive xenobiology knowledge, I have no choice but to retract my argument.  Sure the games very clearly state otherwise, but you have now made it quite obvious that Bioware were simple in error (perhaps because they didn't have the forethrought to hire someone with knowledge of how aliens actually function - someone like yourself, perhaps).

Please, consider me in complete agreement with you.  You have my apologies for having doubted you.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 12, 2012, 09:47:22 AM
Is it worth mentioning that one of Call of Cthulu's central points is that learning more about "the true nature of the cosmos" is a mind breaking event.  Sanity loss is supposed to show the effects of the abyss staring back.

I like that split between our strong minded heroes and fragile minds.

As far as indoctrination "killing" PCs, it is really a metagaming interaction between the player and the GM, and having several options or suggestions for folks to run it is a good idea.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 12, 2012, 11:27:31 AM
Indoctrination (Perminent):  In the ME universe, characters are slowly corrupted by exposure to Reapers and their Artifacts.  You must choose one of the following options before the game begins.

Heroic Resistance:  Your players are big damn heroes with wills of iron, and as such are not likely to fall prey to Indoctrination.  Unless the player chooses to take a Subplot, they are immune to becoming Indoctrinated.

Fragile Minds:  The players are no different to anyone else, and fall prey to mental breakdown as much as anyone else.  Expanded stress, insanity and indroctrination rules are all in play.

Fucking A. Job done.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Antilles on May 12, 2012, 12:40:10 PM
Just a point of clarification here: With Heroic Resistance, PC's are just immune to the turning-NPC part, right? They're still vulnerable to the mind-fuckery of early-stage Indoctrination?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 12, 2012, 04:01:25 PM
Burden of Ages is a poor fit for a race that commonly spends its youth as special forces and party girls.  I think it works well in a species feat if you want to represent the matrons and matriarchs but not so much for the poledancing asari. 

Vorcha, Volus, Elcor and Hannar probably belong in an optional species category.  I am of two minds concerning the Elcor's type.  Beast fits what we see in game, but they are supposed to have reached space before the asari contacted them. Looking at the models though they seem to have hands that would be usable when they sit down.  There may not be enough of a payoff to worry about it though.

Protheans definitely being optional but useful if you're doing alternate takes on the mass effect universe.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 12, 2012, 07:29:14 PM
Just a point of clarification here: With Heroic Resistance, PC's are just immune to the turning-NPC part, right? They're still vulnerable to the mind-fuckery of early-stage Indoctrination?

I'd go with straight up immunity, but I would still keep certain scenes very descriptive and moody - have them see things out of the corner of their eyes, have knowledge checks make little sense and generally work the scene to have them realise that they need to get out of there now.  No actual penalties/subplots/insanity checks though - probably just a little bit of regular stress damage for certain events.

You could even expand it to a more tiered approach, with say 4 options on a spectrum of Big Damn Heroes to Call of Cthulu.  The end duplicates Corrupting Magic (4 steps and boom - NPC) and the 2nd / 3rd have more rules for stress and insanity from dealing with things man wan't mean to deal with (but no NPC turners).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 12, 2012, 11:38:56 PM
Burden of Ages is a poor fit for a race that commonly spends its youth as special forces and party girls.  I think it works well in a species feat if you want to represent the matrons and matriarchs but not so much for the poledancing asari. 

If you read the Codex, you'll note that it points out that Asari are poorly suited to the stand-and-fight tactics of most other races, prefering hit-and-fade techniques. The fact that it requires longer/more game mechanical effort to regen vitality fits that particularly well. Also, BoA specifically refers to effects, it doesn't affect standard vitality recovery rates as far as I can see. Even if it does, there's nothing about that which particularly impacts partying and pole dancing, which IS affected by their Resolve cap increase (an increase that also plays to my Resolve=biotics use skill mechanic).

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Vorcha, Volus, Elcor and Hannar probably belong in an optional species category.  I am of two minds concerning the Elcor's type.  Beast fits what we see in game, but they are supposed to have reached space before the asari contacted them. Looking at the models though they seem to have hands that would be usable when they sit down.  There may not be enough of a payoff to worry about it though.

There are a lot of conception problems with the elcor as a non-uplifted species, but that aside, I don't see the elcor making non-downtime tool using checks, which strikes me as a reasonable invocation of the beast quality. And yes, they're definitely the least viable PC races in terms of general utility, just remember that there's at least one hanar merc out there that almost managed to take down Zaaed (hence why it has abuilt in garrotte)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: glimmerrat on May 12, 2012, 11:53:15 PM
Hanar are great. Just take Blasto, the fictional first Hanar Spectre. A lover in every port, and gun in every tentacle.

"This one doesn't have time for your solid waste excretions."

"This one has forgotten whether its heatsink is over capacity. It wonders whether the criminal scum considers itself fortunate?"

"Enkindle THIS."
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Krensky on May 13, 2012, 12:50:47 AM
On the gripping tenticle (with appologies to Niven and Pournell), they Hanar do use the Drell as ground pounders.

As far as Elcor uplifting goes, it already has precedent that it has happened. Not in their  case, admittedly, but still.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 03:05:59 AM
Again using the beast quality here works, mostly, to address the strong grip/weak lifting capacity problem. I suppose there is space for a  quality to counterpoint increased stability.

[–1.0] Frail: You are considered 1 size category smaller for the purpose of carrying capacity, trample attacks, resisting Bull Rush attempts, and making any checks after the initial check of a grapple.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 13, 2012, 05:47:58 AM
@Anderson: I've used that at -0.5pt (though with a different name).  Penalties are simply rated at lower cost in the system (often half or less in terms of absolute magnitude), so if the beneficial version is 1pt, the penalty version should be -0.5.

Ex: [-0.5] = -2 Appearance.  [1.0] = +1 Appearance.
[-0.5] = -2 Proficiencies.  [1.0] = +1 Proficiency.
Reviled (always on) vs Charming (1/Session and smaller modifier)


@glimmerrat: I'd be interested in seeing what your power aquisition idea is.  Might work out for another project (not at all ME related) that I'm working on at the moment.  If you're happy to share, but you don't want to post it feel free to PM or email me.  If not, no problem.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 13, 2012, 06:03:47 AM
If you read the Codex, you'll note that it points out that Asari are poorly suited to the stand-and-fight tactics of most other races, prefering hit-and-fade techniques. The fact that it requires longer/more game mechanical effort to regen vitality fits that particularly well. Also, BoA specifically refers to effects, it doesn't affect standard vitality recovery rates as far as I can see. Even if it does, there's nothing about that which particularly impacts partying and pole dancing, which IS affected by their Resolve cap increase (an increase that also plays to my Resolve=biotics use skill mechanic).

It also gives the reason they don't stand and fight- They don't have the numbers.  "Asari are the finest warriors in the galaxy.  Fortunately, there are not very many of them."   I just don't think the mechanics fit and the world-weary aspect is pretty much anti-asari.


There are a lot of conception problems with the elcor as a non-uplifted species, but that aside, I don't see the elcor making non-downtime tool using checks, which strikes me as a reasonable invocation of the beast quality. And yes, they're definitely the least viable PC races in terms of general utility, just remember that there's at least one hanar merc out there that almost managed to take down Zaaed (hence why it has abuilt in garrotte)


Like I said, I don't think there's much of a mechanical payoff but elcor are built a whole lot like gorillas.  I could see them sitting down (carefully) and using their hands with as much dexterity as any other species.

Sletchman:  At one time I think it was semi-officially stated that the ratio is 1/4, but of course with only half point resolutions it comes out the same in this case.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 07:10:31 AM
It also gives the reason they don't stand and fight- They don't have the numbers.  "Asari are the finest warriors in the galaxy.  Fortunately, there are not very many of them."   I just don't think the mechanics fit and the world-weary aspect is pretty much anti-asari.

Which is contradicted elsewhere in canon by their being the most populous organic species in the galaxy, so the only way for that quote to fit is if you apply it to their armed forces as I suspect was the intention and not the species as a whole. Any world weariness being conveyed is I think placed there by the memory of the wording of the elven instance of the ability.

Quote
Like I said, I don't think there's much of a mechanical payoff but elcor are built a whole lot like gorillas.  I could see them sitting down (carefully) and using their hands with as much dexterity as any other species.

It's always struck me as odd that their backlegs are so comparatively underdeveloped compared to their arms. And while they obviously have the capacity for tool use if they managed to escape such a heavy gravity well under their own steam, I don't get the sense it was with the same manual dexterity as the other races.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 13, 2012, 08:30:19 AM
Sletchman:  At one time I think it was semi-officially stated that the ratio is 1/4, but of course with only half point resolutions it comes out the same in this case.

Yeah, I recalled having read that but couldn't find the quote, so I just went with some examples to demonstrate my point.  I called this particular ability "Slight Build" (because I have an alternate use for "Frail").
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 13, 2012, 11:37:23 AM
It also gives the reason they don't stand and fight- They don't have the numbers.  "Asari are the finest warriors in the galaxy.  Fortunately, there are not very many of them."   I just don't think the mechanics fit and the world-weary aspect is pretty much anti-asari.

Which is contradicted elsewhere in canon by their being the most populous organic species in the galaxy, so the only way for that quote to fit is if you apply it to their armed forces as I suspect was the intention and not the species as a whole.

Yeah, it's in the military tactics section.  I brought it up as explanation why you couldn't use their military tactics to justify the mechanics of BoA.

Any world weariness being conveyed is I think placed there by the memory of the wording of the elven instance of the ability.

The ability is called "Burden of Ages."  You could rename it Slow Recovery or something but it still doesn't really fit asari.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 13, 2012, 01:51:02 PM
More than just the theme of BoA not fitting, the mechanics don't fit either.  Asari are never presented as being slow or difficult to heal.

Also, I have to wonder how this came up.  I can't find any mention of burden of ages in this thread, except for this argument.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Bill Whitmore on May 13, 2012, 03:36:57 PM
Sletchman:  At one time I think it was semi-officially stated that the ratio is 1/4, but of course with only half point resolutions it comes out the same in this case.

Even the examples given support the 4 to 1 between bonus and penalties.

Ex: [-0.5] = -2 Appearance.  [1.0] = +1 Appearance.
[-0.5] = -2 Proficiencies.  [1.0] = +1 Proficiency.

The penalty is twice the magnitude of the bonus while still being half the value.  So a -4 Appearance offsets +1 Appearance and -4 Proficiencies offsets +1 Proficiency in terms of design points.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 03:51:46 PM
Yeah, it's in the military tactics section.  I brought it up as explanation why you couldn't use their military tactics to justify the mechanics of BoA.

And that works how exactly? Their tactics are precisely the sort that folks whose vitality takes longer to artificially refresh would employ. Again, BoA doesn't affect natural recovery rates (http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=2919.msg47439#msg47439) for vitality, and doesn't affect wounds at all.

The ability is called "Burden of Ages."  You could rename it Slow Recovery or something but it still doesn't really fit asari.

Asari are patient and take the long view. It fits them plenty fine.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 13, 2012, 04:03:38 PM
Medi-gel seems to work just fine on Liara...
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 13, 2012, 04:17:52 PM
And Samara, and Morinth.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 04:30:00 PM
@Anderson: I've used that at -0.5pt (though with a different name).  Penalties are simply rated at lower cost in the system (often half or less in terms of absolute magnitude), so if the beneficial version is 1pt, the penalty version should be -0.5.

Ex: [-0.5] = -2 Appearance.  [1.0] = +1 Appearance.
[-0.5] = -2 Proficiencies.  [1.0] = +1 Proficiency.
Reviled (always on) vs Charming (1/Session and smaller modifier)

Bullrush: Being considered 1 size smaller grants the bigger opponent a bonus of +2 against you
Grapple: Being considered 1 size smaller grants the bigger opponent a bonus of +2 against you
Trample: You can now be trampled by an opponent 1 size category smaller (though in effect most folks with trample have also paid the extra point for improved stability to sllow them to squish medium folks anyways, so this is kinda a gimme)
Carrying capacity: you're looking at a minimum loss of 10 to 30 lb depending on category, which has a knock on effect to the gear you can use as well as special ability considerations.

I'd say that comes in at -1, though you could easily throw in trip vulnerability and remove 'resisting' from bullrush as well if you wanted to be on the safe side.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 04:42:52 PM
Quote from: MilitiaJim, tfwfh
Medi-gel seems to work just fine on Liara... And Samara, and Morinth.

All that means is Medigel has a high enough numerical benefit that the 50% penalty leaves enough left over to do the trick.  ;)

Though I'd point out the Liara at least routinely needs medical attention given she's really a glass canon, while Samara and even Morinth are sufficiently high level that they are just that much harder to hurt in the first place.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 13, 2012, 05:11:18 PM
Um, is there some reason the Hanar shouldn't just be small?  It does exactly what you're talking about doing.  Easier to grapple, bullrush, and trample, reduced carrying capacity.  According to the mass effect wiki, each tentacle is strong enough to lift "a few hundred grams".  If you assume that means at least 500, then 2 tentacles can lift most small weapons.  If the assumption is that they will be using 2 tentacles to hold 1-handed weapons, that would also avoid having to deal with any many-armed shenanigans, since for most purposes they would effectively only have 2 tentacles.  And if you also assume that the indicated strength is referring to muscle strength (or however they move around), rather than skeletal strength (again, or whatever), you don't even have to worry about carrying capacity.  They'll just hold heavy objects under them, with their tentacles fully extended.  You would probably still want to include a strength penalty, possibly a large penalty.  But I think it gets the job done without having to invent new origin qualities.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 13, 2012, 05:17:37 PM
Quote from: MilitiaJim, tfwfh
Medi-gel seems to work just fine on Liara... And Samara, and Morinth.

All that means is Medigel has a high enough numerical benefit that the 50% penalty leaves enough left over to do the trick.  ;)

Though I'd point out the Liara at least routinely needs medical attention given she's really a glass canon, while Samara and even Morinth are sufficiently high level that they are just that much harder to hurt in the first place.

How often Liara needs healing relative to other team members is indicative of her vp/wp total, not the rate at which it recovers.  Also, everyone is always the same level.  If Samara and Morinth are more durable, that's because they are more combat oriented classes, not because they're higher level.  If you assume that medi-gel is only 50% effective on asari, then what you're suggesting is that everyone else is using 2x as much as they need, because it only comes in one size of dose.  I find that to be absurd, especially given the attention all three games give to having to work to gather enough resources to complete the various final missions.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 05:54:40 PM
Um, is there some reason the Hanar shouldn't just be small? 

They already ARE small; you should go back reread my post (http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=6304.msg111909#msg111909). Though for targeting purposes I could see a case for them to be considered Large

Quote
without having to invent new origin qualities.

Where is the fun on that?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 06:22:46 PM
How often Liara needs healing relative to other team members is indicative of her vp/wp total, not the rate at which it recovers.  Also, everyone is always the same level.  If Samara and Morinth are more durable, that's because they are more combat oriented classes, not because they're higher level. 

Yeah, that's conceptually rubbish. Samara is a matriarch and a justicar. That pretty much puts her on the same threat level as the Hulk when he was breaking Harlem. She is at an absolute minimum level 10 when you meet her (Explorer 4/Justicar 5/Matriarch 1), and more realistically probably already topped out at level 20 given she's done nothing but kill folks and hunt Morinth for 400 years. Leveling her along with Shep is purely part of the single player experience so the NPC doesn't outshine the player, when more accurately it's like Shep's player rocking up to a LARP and recruiting Samara's long-time and thus higher level player to help out on her quest.

Quote
If you assume that medi-gel is only 50% effective on asari, then what you're suggesting is that everyone else is using 2x as much as they need, because it only comes in one size of dose.  I find that to be absurd, especially given the attention all three games give to having to work to gather enough resources to complete the various final missions.

Dosage efficacy =/= dosage quantity. After all, a single dose of medigel/application of the Unity ability completely restores the recipient to full health regardless of their level, condition, species, etc. In other words, that single dose is doing the same numerical good at 1st level as it is at 20th. Since the soldier is our high water mark, that means a single dose restores, at a minimum, 240 pts of vitality (12 pts/level), probably even more when you consider the average soldier would likely have at least a +1 Con mod.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Krensky on May 13, 2012, 07:20:10 PM
Except that all the assari, single or multiplayer recover shields and health at the same rate as everyone else.

There's no indication that even matriarcs recover vitality or suffer from ennui compared to any other rate. Their tactics are indicative a a culture whose military is entirely composed of irregular special forces.

If they're weaker anywhere, it's stress considering the only severe case of ptsd show is an asari, Liara's breakdown regarding Jask, the crazy Eclipse founder, Samara's daughters, etc.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 13, 2012, 08:17:06 PM
I'm really hard pressed to think of any representation of an elf, especially the angelic arsekicking combat monsters from LotR, who display the BoA drawback FC elves are saddled with, yet we all seem quite happy to live with them having it.

If people want faster vitality recovering asari, they can take a species feat or, say, th core ability to the Asari Commando ExC to that effect. Mass Effect as presented on screen isn't going to translate exactly to P&P (and especiall not d20) -- frex the unending cover-ignoring instakill of the grab melee attack from the game that a 1st level noob can pull off is never going to be anything except the benefit of a feat chain in mastercraft -- and Asari are far too conceptually suited for Diverse in a way few other species ever have been to give it up in order to remove the one single mechanical drawback on the books that treats them as the space elves they are.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 13, 2012, 09:05:18 PM
More than just the theme of BoA not fitting, the mechanics don't fit either.  Asari are never presented as being slow or difficult to heal.

Also, I have to wonder how this came up.  I can't find any mention of burden of ages in this thread, except for this argument.

On page one there is a spoiler entitled "Thoughts on Races."  In it, Mister A posted his version of the mass effect races.  His asari uses burden of ages and has a talent. 

Sletchman:  At one time I think it was semi-officially stated that the ratio is 1/4, but of course with only half point resolutions it comes out the same in this case.

Even the examples given support the 4 to 1 between bonus and penalties.

I wasn't disagreeing with him, I was bringing up a semiofficial post that clarified the ratio.

Sletchman:  At one time I think it was semi-officially stated that the ratio is 1/4, but of course with only half point resolutions it comes out the same in this case.

Yeah, I recalled having read that but couldn't find the quote, so I just went with some examples to demonstrate my point.  I called this particular ability "Slight Build" (because I have an alternate use for "Frail").

It would be good if someone decided to write up a short section on creating custom talent/specialty options and included that.  I may do it myself sometime, after I finish hacking an origin style system onto Star Frontiers.  I'll probably end up trying to overhaul the entire system though.

And that works how exactly? Their tactics are precisely the sort that folks whose vitality takes longer to artificially refresh would employ. Again, BoA doesn't affect natural recovery rates (http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=2919.msg47439#msg47439) for vitality, and doesn't affect wounds at all.

The codex specifically says they use their tactics because they have a small army of those who decide to spend their lives in the military, not because they have low endurance, fragility, susceptibility to wounds or anything else close to the mechanical effect of BoA.  The codex even states that one on one they are the equal or superior of anyone else. 

Asari are patient and take the long view. It fits them plenty fine.

Being patient doesn't mean that it takes longer for medicine to get you back on your feet.  Taking the long view doesn't cause your morale to be lifted less by a rousing speech.  Liara comes off as a glass cannon because she's a science nerd on a ship full of soldiers.  Mordin is much the same in ME2.

Burden of Ages fits elves because they are a long lived race in decline.  Usually there's an empire in the past and often they are the original mages, both now lost to shorter lived races that barely qualify as civilized.  They are a fading people whose time has passed and they know it.  Burden of Ages does a good job of representing that psychic burden.

Asari, on the other hand, are at the top of their game.  They, at least pre-reaper, dominate the galaxy.  They have the best technology, the biggest economy, freedom, few responsibilities, and the respect of the other races.  The galaxy is their playground and they know it.   Burden of Ages doesn't fit them at all.

I've said my piece on it now, and I'll go with one of the alternate takes on Asari.  I did think your general trend of keeping ability modifications to a minimum is a good idea for mass effect races.

Also, I want to play an asari poledancing assassin.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 13, 2012, 09:15:54 PM
Asari.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   Attributes: No modifiers
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [-0.5]Achilles Heel (Stress): You do not cope well with hardship.  Stress damage you take is doubled, etc.
·   [–2.0] Burden of Ages: Your metabolism is efficient, not fast. Any effect that cures or restores your vitality has only one half the normal effect (rounded up).
·   [7.0] Diverse: Choose a Talent. You gain all features of that talent. Possessing a Talent does not change your species to "human".
·   [1.0] Enlightened Resolve: Your maximum Resolve rank increases to your Career Level + 5. Only the highest bonus from any single enlightened ability may apply to each skill.
·   [-0.5]Limited Proficiences: Your natural talent with Biotics makes conventional weapons redundant.  You begin play with 2 fewer proficiences, etc.
·   [1.0] Natural Elegance: Your appearance modifier increases by +1.

Now they get to be diverse, and not fly in the face of 3 games and several novels and comics worth of established behavior.  I don't know why you're so sold on Biotics-as-spells-but-without-spell-points.  Regardless, you'll just have to add whatever makes them good at biotics to their Talents.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 14, 2012, 01:04:53 AM
[
And that works how exactly? Their tactics are precisely the sort that folks whose vitality takes longer to artificially refresh would employ. Again, BoA doesn't affect natural recovery rates (http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=2919.msg47439#msg47439) for vitality, and doesn't affect wounds at all.

The codex specifically says they use their tactics because they have a small army of those who decide to spend their lives in the military, not because they have low endurance, fragility, susceptibility to wounds or anything else close to the mechanical effect of BoA.  The codex even states that one on one they are the equal or superior of anyone else. 

It also says that they spend the equivalent to any other character's entire career dedicating themselves to the study of killing things, so of course they're better, they're higher level. The idea that some 6th level human is on the same level an asari huntress who is a few hundred years old with several decade of killing under her belt is ridiculous.

You're also interpreting BoA wrong: it has nothing to do with any of those qualities. At all. An asari soldier is just as butch as a human soldier

Asari.
   Type: Medium Folk (1×1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score.
·   Attributes: No modifiers
·   Base Speed: 9 m.
·   [-0.5]Achilles Heel (Stress): You do not cope well with hardship.  Stress damage you take is doubled, etc.
·   [–2.0] Burden of Ages: Your metabolism is efficient, not fast. Any effect that cures or restores your vitality has only one half the normal effect (rounded up).
·   [7.0] Diverse: Choose a Talent. You gain all features of that talent. Possessing a Talent does not change your species to "human".
·   [1.0] Enlightened Resolve: Your maximum Resolve rank increases to your Career Level + 5. Only the highest bonus from any single enlightened ability may apply to each skill.
·   [-0.5]Limited Proficiences: Your natural talent with Biotics makes conventional weapons redundant.  You begin play with 2 fewer proficiences, etc.
·   [1.0] Natural Elegance: Your appearance modifier increases by +1.

Now they get to be diverse, and not fly in the face of 3 games and several novels and comics worth of established behavior.  I don't know why you're so sold on Biotics-as-spells-but-without-spell-points.  Regardless, you'll just have to add whatever makes them good at biotics to their Talents.

Sorry, I don't buy either of those at all: they are to me even more preposterous and out of place than you seem to feel BoA is. It also completely fails to address their biotic supremecy in any meaningful fashion
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 14, 2012, 08:53:37 AM
It also says that they spend the equivalent to any other character's entire career dedicating themselves to the study of killing things, so of course they're better, they're higher level. The idea that some 6th level human is on the same level an asari huntress who is a few hundred years old with several decade of killing under her belt is ridiculous.
By that logic, elves are also not on the same level as other FC races.  Probably Dwarves, Drakes, Unborn, and Rootwalkers too.  Maybe we should just give Asari 10 class levels to represent their centuries of experience, that none of the other races could possibly ever match.  But they still have Burden of Ages, so it's fine.

Quote from: Mister Anderson
Asari.
...
Now they get to be diverse, and not fly in the face of 3 games and several novels and comics worth of established behavior.  I don't know why you're so sold on Biotics-as-spells-but-without-spell-points.  Regardless, you'll just have to add whatever makes them good at biotics to their Talents.

Sorry, I don't buy either of those at all: they are to me even more preposterous and out of place than you seem to feel BoA is. It also completely fails to address their biotic supremecy in any meaningful fashion
Fine.  The Asari are the only sidekicks who ever had any trouble dealing with things, and none of them was a soldier style character with unlimited proficiencies, but it certainly makes more sense for them to heal slower, because everyone just uses a hundred times more medi-gel than they need to.  They'll just take the long view, so that explains that.

Or you know, the video games aren't d20 system, much less Mastercraft with it's vitality/wounds system.  So we have to adapt what we saw on screen to this system.  No one was difficult to heal, so BoA is not appropriate for any species.  Asari are gifted biotics.  Even Liara, the scientist type character, had biotic instead of tech powers.  What that means to us depends on how we handle biotics.  You are assuming that it will be similar to spells, with resolve as the key skill.  That assumption is groundless.  When we were still discussing it, no one agreed.  Then Glimm chimed in that he was mostly done with his version 2 and that was the end of that.  Now you're back to assuming that biotics will work like spells using resolve again.  And, even if that is the way it works out, the Asari talents can make them good at Resolve.  Or Asari species feats.  Or, they could not have diverse.  Because really, if Asari get diverse, then so should Turians, and Quarians, and Salarians, and probably Krogans too.  Every species that Shepherd spent time around seemed to have members that were diverse and deep characters, rather than the typical racial caricatures that sci-fi and fantasy races usually are.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 14, 2012, 12:34:40 PM
Guys, chill.  We can disagree without the raised voices I already hear.    :-[

I'm not keen on BoA for the asari, but I'm not totally opposed.  I think there are better species adjustments that can offset the +7 Talent.

What about building human as a species, and giving everyone a talent?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 14, 2012, 04:30:00 PM
Guys, chill.  We can disagree without the raised voices I already hear.    :-[

I'm not keen on BoA for the asari, but I'm not totally opposed.  I think there are better species adjustments that can offset the +7 Talent.

What about building human as a species, and giving everyone a talent?

You'd have to build all the species like specialties, avoiding setting speeds and abilities.   So you're essentially giving everyone 2 specialties, which is the Seer's 10th level ability.  I suspect that might have a few power issues :)  But maybe not.  

Personally, I'm not a fan of giving asari a talent but if they end up with one there are alternative takes I can use.

Speaking of specialties, here are a couple asari inspired ones.


Consort
What keeps them coming back is your insight.
[1] Bonus Feat: Mark
[1] Attribute Training: The lower of your Wisdom or Intelligence rises by one.
[2] Beguiling: When you taunt, you may instead fixate the target(s) on you for 1d6 rounds
[2] Celebrated: Your Legend rises by 2.
[1] Encouragement: With a 1 minute conversation, you grant one teammate a +1 morale bonus with saving throws.

Dancer
You're still spending your misspent youth.
[1] Bonus Feat: Fan Service
[1] Agile Defense: Your Defense rises by 1.
[1] Attribute Training: The lower of your Strength or Dexterity rises by one.
[1] Linguist: You gain two additional languages.
[2] Paired Skills: Whenever you gain a rank in Acrobatics, you gain a rank in Impress up to your normal limit.
[1] The Carousing Service is always available when you have at least Common Lodging.

Huntress
No one sees you coming, no one alive to see you leave.
Requirement: Asari, any biotic power
[1] Bonus Feat: Ghost Basics
[2] Decisive: You gain +5 on Inititive checks
[1] Headshot: You inflict +2 damage on standard characters when using firearms
[1] Hustle: You take exactly one point of damage per die of subual when making Athletics/Push Limit checks
[2] Sisters in Arms: You gain +2 +1 on Defense and Saves when adjacent to at least 2 characters of your species are within CQB.

Edit: MilitiaJim's suggestion
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 14, 2012, 04:37:49 PM
Me likee.  Could Huntress also work for krogan scouts?  (I'm not sure if opening that "skill bonuses for doing something for decades" can of worms is a good idea.)

And I still think the "+2 adjacent" should be amended to "+1 in CQB range."
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 14, 2012, 06:30:10 PM
Me likee.  Could Huntress also work for krogan scouts?  (I'm not sure if opening that "skill bonuses for doing something for decades" can of worms is a good idea.)

And I still think the "+2 adjacent" should be amended to "+1 in CQB range."

Thanks and made the CQB change.  Are krogan scouts called out anywhere?  The only group I think of the the ones with Grunt in ME3.  If you want to use the huntress as a krogan scout, I see no reason not to if you think it fits.

Hmmm

Battlemaster
Shotgun? Biotics? Armor?  Your most valuable equipment is a quad of steel.
Requirements: Krogan, any biotic power
[1] Bonus Feat: Charging Basics
[1] Boomstick:  Your attacks with a shotgun do +2 damage to standard characters
[1] Crunch!: Your Strength based melee attacks do +1 damage
[2] Fast: Your ground speed rises by 10ft/3m
[1] Heroism: During dramatic scenes you gain a +1 bonus to all attack and skill checks.
[1] Shove: You gain the shove trick.

Scout
"Wait for Backup" doesn't translate well into Krogan.
[1] Bonus Feat: Ambush Basics
[2] Fireteam: You gain +1 on attack rolls when at least 2 characters of your species are within CQB.
[2] Harsh Beating: The DC of Fortitude saves due to subdual damage you inflict increases by 4.
[1] Heroism: During dramatic scenes you gain a +1 bonus to all attack and skill checks.
[1] No Whining: You take exactly 1 point per die when suffering subdual damge from any Athletics/Push LImit check.

I originally had Steady shot in there but I thought it might be too much with Fireteam and Heroism.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 14, 2012, 07:10:39 PM
How come the Battlemaster only gets the +2 against standard characters with a shotgun, and not with all firearms?  Shouldn't the Battlemaster be at least as flexible as the Huntress?  Yes, the stereotypical krogan uses a shotgun, but Wrex and Grunt are both handy with an AR.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 14, 2012, 07:51:21 PM
Yeah, it should be the whole category.   Or, you could drop crunch and just give them the 2 point ability which makes all attacks against standard characters do +2 damage. 

Which way sounds better?

Any ideas for Turian/Salarian evocative specialties?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 14, 2012, 08:26:26 PM
It also says that they spend the equivalent to any other character's entire career dedicating themselves to the study of killing things, so of course they're better, they're higher level. The idea that some 6th level human is on the same level an asari huntress who is a few hundred years old with several decade of killing under her belt is ridiculous.
By that logic, elves are also not on the same level as other FC races.  Probably Dwarves, Drakes, Unborn, and Rootwalkers too.  Maybe we should just give Asari 10 class levels to represent their centuries of experience, that none of the other races could possibly ever match.  But they still have Burden of Ages, so it's fine.

My point is that in order to operate on a level d20 playing field instead, say, going all Buffy the RPG on the problem, there are trade offs to be made. Slowing some methods of vitality regeneration is frankly the least onerous of them.


Quote
Or you know, the video games aren't d20 system, much less Mastercraft with it's vitality/wounds system. 

Duh!

Quote
So we have to adapt what we saw on screen to this system.  No one was difficult to heal, so BoA is not appropriate for any species. 

As already pointed out, a single dose of medigel restores a massively high amount of vitality

Quote
Asari are gifted biotics.

Biotically gifted, an important difference. Not all asari have biotic abilities but all those who do are good at it. Which is the elegance of Resolve as the key skill for biotic use.

Quote
Even Liara, the scientist type character, had biotic instead of tech powers.  What that means to us depends on how we handle biotics.  You are assuming that it will be similar to spells, with resolve as the key skill.  That assumption is groundless. 

No, you're the one who keeps bringing up spells. I'm positing it as more of a Jump-style check (you will always achieve a result) keyed to biotic proficiencies access to which is unlocked by a character option of some sort.

Quote
When we were still discussing it, no one agreed.  Then Glimm chimed in that he was mostly done with his version 2 and that was the end of that.  Now you're back to assuming that biotics will work like spells using resolve again.


Because until something else comes up -- and there's no particular guarantee that Glim's vision will get the nod -- it's as good a mechanic as any to be going on with. And if nothing else, it allows for non-biotic asari party girls (because Resolve is the party skill)

Quote
And, even if that is the way it works out, the Asari talents can make them good at Resolve. 

I assume you mean Specialties.

Quote
Or Asari species feats. 

Oh, so species feats can make them good at resolve but quicker to get their stuff together than average citizens?

Quote
Or, they could not have diverse.  Because really, if Asari get diverse, then so should Turians, and Quarians, and Salarians, and probably Krogans too.  Every species that Shepherd spent time around seemed to have members that were diverse and deep characters, rather than the typical racial caricatures that sci-fi and fantasy races usually are.

Turians are a rigid heirarchy, salarians entirely too selective in their breeding, Quarians facing the dangers of inbreeding, and krogans on the wrong end of a low birthrate dystopian warrior culture that has a habit of getting the people who want to reform it killed.

No other species has a cultural bug up its arse about using genetic randomisation based on every other species in the galaxy for their young, or the capacity to follow up on that desire.

(Though that does bring up the problem I have with humans needing diversity to be their hat just so they won't suck. Personally I think humans should just get a bunch of bonus AD as their racial benefit to represent our plucky spirit, non-humans grab their species, and everyone chooses a talent and specialty. But since that's not happening, access to talents is a worthwhile design tool)

How come the Battlemaster only gets the +2 against standard characters with a shotgun, and not with all firearms?  Shouldn't the Battlemaster be at least as flexible as the Huntress?  Yes, the stereotypical krogan uses a shotgun, but Wrex and Grunt are both handy with an AR.

Quoth the codex: "As the Codex details, the Battle Masters were officers of the krogan military. Tough, disciplined, well-armed, and biotically gifted, a single Battle Master is said to be an equal match to ten soldiers of any other species. Battle Masters regard killing as a science and focus on developing economy of motion which allow them to maximise the advantage gained from their incredible strength in battle; a single blow from a Battle Master is usually enough to kill or severely incapacitate any non-krogan. "

Battlemaster isn't a Specialty, it's the Krogan Masterclass.

Similarly, huntress reads more like an ExC than a specialty.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 14, 2012, 09:47:51 PM
Just some thoughts:

• Aliens are affected differently by Medi-Gel: There is a fetchquest in ME3 to get a formula that will make it work better on them (Hanar and Drell, specifically).
• The videogame abstracts that concept by just making it a cure all.  That is not a statment on efficacy or them "using too much".  It's so gamers don't have to monitor another thing.
• If you make Medi-Gel heal "massively high amounts of vitality", BoA is no longer a penalty, and as such shouldn't return any points.
• Point 1 doesn't mean I agree with BoA for Asari (or anyone else), I just felt it should be mentioned.  In fact I am entirely against Asari with BoA.
• Battlemaster as a Krogan Masterclass is an excellent idea, given their power and rarity (and other factors).  I support it over a Specialty.

Finally, everyone needs to calm down a notch and recognise that they are wasting their time arguing about the Asari.  Building races whose cornerstone is "good at a subsystem" when you haven't built that subsystem is pointless.  Going on to argue about it is fucking stupid.  Period.  You are all better then that.  Finalise Biotics (or wait for Glim's dramatic reveal - which I still want him to send me for a non-ME project :(), and then you will know how to build a race whose schtick is "good at biotics", anything else is a waste of time (and getting worked up over it is just silly).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 14, 2012, 10:54:27 PM
(and getting worked up over it is just silly).
WHAAARRGRRBLLE!!!!1!!one!!!

Battlemaster does fit well as a Master Class.

Huntress as an Expert Class works as well.  A mix of Grunt and Raptor?  Or is Grunt too focused on heavier weapons?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 15, 2012, 12:11:40 AM
I also wouldn't give Asari the Diverse benefit at all.  There's no real reason for it.

If your argument is that they breed with all other races to produce their daughters then stop for a moment and think about it.  They breed with all other races, yet only produce factory standard Asari who have no physical difference from other Asari.  A Krogan fathered Asari isn't bigger or stronger then Salarian-father Asari and the only difference is some use of slang and their style of speech - things that are based on how they are raised, not their genetics.  Nurture, not Nature.  So that argument just doesn't hold water.

If you have another reason why they and no one else should get a Talent, I'm all ears - but in the setting, they are really no more Diverse then Salarians, Krogan, Turians, or anyone else.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 15, 2012, 04:26:59 AM
A Krogan fathered Asari isn't bigger or stronger then Salarian-father Asari and the only difference is some use of slang and their style of speech - things that are based on how they are raised, not their genetics.
I blame that on the game engine.  All the humans are the same size, not the normal 18" in height difference I see every day before I get to the office.  The few asari who know they are half krogan don't seem to have aggression issuues, but they can be a bit more aggressive.

Perhaps a ME specific version of FC's Sorcerer Specialty would fit?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 15, 2012, 05:25:19 AM
Sure, it's partly the engine.  But the comics, the codex, the novels and even speech by characters in game make no mention of Asari having any physiological changes based on parenthood - no 4 eyes for Batarians, no water alergy for Drell, and no bone plates for Krogan (or any other combos you care to think of).  In fact, across media, they are the most homogeneous of the races.  Even the Salarians (chosen because they marry and breed based on genetic history and family lines) have notable examples of extreme genetic diversity - Tazzik stands almost as tall as a Krogan, and is heavily muscled.  I can't find a similar example for the Asari - it's an endless parade of 5'8 and 36-24-36 across all mention of them.

I believe that if they get talents, then everyone should (which in itself isn't actually a bad idea) - human species could have:

Human
• Type: Medium Folk.
• Base Speed: 30ft
• Precocious Little Scamp:  You gain 2 additional starting Action Dice.
• Presumptious Little Upstart:  You suffer a -10 reaction modifier when dealing with non-humans.

Convert any talents with 40ft speed to give +10ft and just gives other races minimal stat mods so they don't spiral out of control.  Easy.  That's just random, a more balanced package might be more desirable.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 15, 2012, 07:44:52 AM
Just some thoughts:

• Aliens are affected differently by Medi-Gel: There is a fetchquest in ME3 to get a formula that will make it work better on them (Hanar and Drell, specifically).
• The videogame abstracts that concept by just making it a cure all.  That is not a statment on efficacy or them "using too much".  It's so gamers don't have to monitor another thing.
• If you make Medi-Gel heal "massively high amounts of vitality", BoA is no longer a penalty, and as such shouldn't return any points.
• Point 1 doesn't mean I agree with BoA for Asari (or anyone else), I just felt it should be mentioned.  In fact I am entirely against Asari with BoA.
• Battlemaster as a Krogan Masterclass is an excellent idea, given their power and rarity (and other factors).  I support it over a Specialty.

I have two problems with making things a master class.  First is the idea that you're removing the idea from the first nine levels of play.  A big draw of the Mass Effect universe (for me at least) is being on a team of galactic scale bruisers who solve outsized problems.   Shepard is the best of the best right at the start.  Wrex is a battlemaster when we first meet him.  Garrus is Dirty Harry with a beak.  Liara and Tali have prominent backgrounds and are quite capable of punching above their weight.  Kaiden and Ashley are the only truly obscure ones and that's forced on them by their role as killable romance options.  Even Kaiden is an unstable biotic heavy.

Joe the Plumber versus Reapers could be fun (and effective too, what with all the liquefied colonist the Reapers pump around) but I think playing the first Drell Spectre is going to be more common wish for a starting PC.  If it were me, I'd leave master classes out.

Secondly, there just isn't a lot of meat to huntresses, battlemasters, and the other NPC classes.  Having said all of this, I don't post things in an attempt to claim design space.  If someone else wants to write them up as master classes, more power to them.

On the specialties themselves, if you drop the biotic power requirement, the battlemaster specialty represents Grunt fairly well (maybe change the name to Powerhouse or Bruiser?).  The huntresses in game are also referred to as Commandos.  Pick one for the master class and use the other for the specialty.

Or ignore the specialties entirely.  It's all good.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 15, 2012, 08:25:57 AM
I think Huntress is a more flavorful Specialty name.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 15, 2012, 10:08:13 AM
I had been under the impression this was Glimmerat's rodeo, with the rest of us just thinking out loud in case any of it was useful to him.  Maybe that's not the case, and if so, Sletch is right and working out the subsystems needs to happen before we have any idea how species, feats, skills, specialties, or classes will interact with them.  I still think my ME powers as paths idea carries water, and I'll hammer it out and write something up for it, hopefully later today.

@Mister Anderson.  Don't do that, it's rude.  If you don't agree with my point, then respond to my point; don't pick out individual sentences and criticize them out of context.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 15, 2012, 10:21:54 AM
@Blankbeard: Honestly, I'm good either way.  I'm of the opinion that Shepard et al are all very high level from the start.  As you said - he's already the best humanity has to offer (which doesn't make me think of a level 1 Soldier).

That said though, I am always the first to say (particularly to my group) that character level =/= character status, so I'm kinda breaking my own creed by saying that Battlemaster should be a masterclass.  Honestly, I just loved the Legendary Race classes from Classic Fantasy, and the idea of a "Legendary Krogan" makes me all kinds of happy.  That Battlemaster you posted was great (so was the Scout, but I think that name is probably taken), so I'm just as happy to let it be as I am anything else.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 15, 2012, 10:31:50 AM
I'm pretty sure Shepard starts ME1 about level 7, and goes up from there, probably ending up around level 40, Soldier 20/Grunt 10/Spectre 5/Other 5.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Krensky on May 15, 2012, 11:26:46 AM
None of the current master classes have it, but if I remember right I think the legendary X classes could be entered earlier then level 10.

That may have just been the world on fire faction ones though, which the specter really parallels.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 15, 2012, 11:53:01 AM
Is there any reason not to make Spectre and/or Battlemaster a 15 level Expert Class?  Well, plenty, but would it be system breaking to do so?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 15, 2012, 12:35:42 PM
I had been under the impression this was Glimmerat's rodeo, with the rest of us just thinking out loud in case any of it was useful to him.  Maybe that's not the case, and if so, Sletch is right and working out the subsystems needs to happen before we have any idea how species, feats, skills, specialties, or classes will interact with them.  I still think my ME powers as paths idea carries water, and I'll hammer it out and write something up for it, hopefully later today.

@Mister Anderson.  Don't do that, it's rude.  If you don't agree with my point, then respond to my point; don't pick out individual sentences and criticize them out of context.

It's Glimmerat's show in so far as he's done a lot of hard work on the material and making a slick PDF that looks professional.  I think Aegis was involved in this way back too, but I may just be remembering his own PDF projects that had similarly production values. 

That said, there's nothing stopping you from doing your own conversion.  Post it, I'd love to see what you come up with.  Something path-like could work pretty well if you change how the "steps" are acquired.

One thing I'd encourage you to think about in regards to such a system is dropping the Mastercraft Soldier from your mass effect.  Having a combat power tree along with the tech and biotic trees makes it easy to design all six ME classes.  Many of the combat powers map fairly well onto feats with the right special abilities to back them up.

Anyway, start a thread if you want to.  Putting it in its own thread should keep discussion focused and hopefully productive.

Is there any reason not to make Spectre and/or Battlemaster a 15 level Expert Class?  Well, plenty, but would it be system breaking to do so?

To answer this, we need the smiley of the guy running in circles with his head on fire.  I think it's just a matter of there isn't a ready made 15 level skeleton.  It would make the system less neat to be sure, but I don't see any harm in it.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 15, 2012, 05:36:55 PM
[I have two problems with making things a master class.  First is the idea that you're removing the idea from the first nine levels of play.  A big draw of the Mass Effect universe (for me at least) is being on a team of galactic scale bruisers who solve outsized problems.   Shepard is the best of the best right at the start.  Wrex is a battlemaster when we first meet him.  Garrus is Dirty Harry with a beak.  Liara and Tali have prominent backgrounds and are quite capable of punching above their weight.  Kaiden and Ashley are the only truly obscure ones and that's forced on them by their role as killable romance options.  Even Kaiden is an unstable biotic heavy.

Again, this is a fundamental flaw of assuming everyone is the same level. Theyaren't. There's no way possible that Wrex, a krogan battle master, is anything but a high level character when you meet him (the same goes for Samara), while both Tali and Liara are undoubtedly lower level than Shep. Like all single player games, ME is governed by the need for the PC to outshine everyone else. You can't carry that assumption through to a cooperative roleplaying experience.

Quote
Joe the Plumber versus Reapers could be fun (and effective too, what with all the liquefied colonist the Reapers pump around) but I think playing the first Drell Spectre is going to be more common wish for a starting PC.  If it were me, I'd leave master classes out.

Spectre already is a master class. Becoming a Spectre in game doesn't mean you necessarily need to take levels in the class, which is really just a way of mechanically celebrating the exemplar in a way similar to not having to take the CIA talent in order to play a CIA agent.

However, given that spectres and krogans ARE meant to be elite individuals proven and forged by battle and hardship, it makes far more sense for them to be higher level any way.

Quote
On the specialties themselves, if you drop the biotic power requirement, the battlemaster specialty represents Grunt fairly well (maybe change the name to Powerhouse or Bruiser?).  The huntresses in game are also referred to as Commandos.  Pick one for the master class and use the other for the specialty.

This.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 15, 2012, 05:52:14 PM
I had been under the impression this was Glimmerat's rodeo, with the rest of us just thinking out loud in case any of it was useful to him.  Maybe that's not the case, and if so, Sletch is right and working out the subsystems needs to happen before we have any idea how species, feats, skills, specialties, or classes will interact with them.

Glim did the 2.0 version, which is a good starting point, and he clearly has his ideas for a new version, but he's keeping quite on them and this is a new beast.

There's also plenty of room of a MAG-based Mass Craft conversion (which seems like it could handle biotics and krogan nigh-invulnerability reasonably well)

Quote
I still think my ME powers as paths idea carries water, and I'll hammer it out and write something up for it, hopefully later today.

Yes, show us your idea  :) Because how you described it doesn't actually sound like the way paths work to date, and sounds more like a new subsystem.


Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 15, 2012, 09:50:14 PM
I don't want to post this in another thread because I don't want to fork people's efforts.  I certainly don't want to create my own separate mass effect supplement.  If people think this has legs, we can continue to explore it.  If not, then we can move on to something else.  I've finished the Tech and Combat powers, or at least the initial draft of them.  I'm not sure how I feel about some of the combat powers, but then I also don't enjoy playing ME Soldiers, so maybe they're all right.  I haven't gotten into the Biotic powers, but I think there's plenty here to illustrate the point.  I'll work on those, but I'm posting it now in the interests of getting this up so people can see it.

So, this plugs into the system via a campaign quality.  Something like this.
Mass Effect (Permanent)
Characters gain one of the following alignments.  They take a step along one of their alignment's paths every level.

Spoiler: Powers as Paths • show

= Alignments:

== Adept
   Paths: Pull, Singularity, Shockwave, Throw, Warp
   Skills:
   Favored Weapon:

== Engineer
   Paths: AI Hacking, Combat Drone, Overload, Sentry Turret, Thermal Blast
   Skills:
   Favored Weapon:

== Infiltrator
   Paths: Cryo Ammo, Disruptor Ammo, AI hacking, Thermal Blast, Tactical Cloak
   Skills:
   Favored Weapon:

== Sentinel
   Paths: Overload, Tech Armor, Thermal Blast, Throw, Warp
   Skills:
   Favored Weapon:

== Soldier
   Paths: Adrenaline Rush, Concussive Shot, Cryo Ammo, Disruptor Ammo, Incendiary Ammo
   Skills:
   Favored Weapon:

== Vanguard
   Paths: Biotic Charge, Cryo Ammo, Incendiary Ammo, Pull, Shockwave
   Skills:
   Favored Weapon:


= Tech Paths:

== AI Hacking
  Step 1: Sabotage.  Synthetic character within medium range becomes Enraged for 1 round.  Will Negates.  The target does not fall unconscious at the end of the duration.  Or a turret or other automated defense is disabled for the same duration.
  Step 2: Sabotage lasts for 2 rounds.
  Step 3: Sabotage grants a synthetic character 10 points of shields for the duration.  When targeting automated defenses, it also deals {{HIGH}} damage.
  Step 4: Sabotage lasts for 3 rounds.
  Step 5: Sabotage affects all synthetic characters or automated defenses in a 10 foot radius.

== Combat Drone
  Step 1: Combat Drone.  Creates a combat drone within close (CQB) range.  Each round it Taunts and Feints the nearest enemy using your {{SKILL}} modifier.  It can also take a 5 foot step.  It has 10 shields and is destroyed when its shields are reduced to 0.  Its defense is equal to 10 + 2x your Combat Drone Step.  It lasts for 1 round + 1 round per Combat Drone step, or until it is destroyed.  You may only have 1 combat drone at a time, and may dismiss it at any time.
  Step 2: When the Combat Drone successfully taunts or feints, it also deals {{LOW}} damage to the target's shields.
  Step 3: The Combat Drone may take a 10 foot step, and it has 15 Shields.
  Step 4: The Combat Drone may target the two nearest enemies with a Taunt and Feint action each round.  The combat drone rolls one taunt and one feint attack for both targets, and the targets each make their own rolls to resist.
  Step 5: When you create a Combat Drone, you can choose to make it an Attack Drone, or an Explosive Drone.  Attack Drones and Explosive Drones are identical to Combat Drones, except as indicated.  When an Attack Drone successfully taunts or feints, it also deals {{LOW}} lethal damage, instead of shield damage.  When an Explosive Drone is destroyed, it explodes, dealing {{HIGH}} explosive damage, with a 10 foot blast increment.  An Explosive Drone does not explode if it is dismissed.

== Overload
  Step 1: Overload. Does {{HIGH}} damage to Shields and Synthetics within close range.
  Step 2: Overload also stuns Synthetics for 1 round.  Fortitude Negates.
  Step 3: Overload also breaks eezo powered weapons for 1 round.  Fortitude Negates.
  Step 4: Proximity Mine.  Creates a proximity mine within close range, which detonates when an enemy approaches within 5 feet.  Has the same effect as Overload, but using explosive damage, increment 5 feet.
  Step 5: Overload becomes a blast, with an increment of 5 feet.  Proximity Mine increment becomes 10 feet.

== Sentry Turret
  Step 1: Sentry Turret.  Creates a sentry turret within close range of you.  Each round, it attacks the nearest enemy to it within medium range using your ranged attack bonus.  This attack does {{LOW}} damage.  It has 10 shields and is destroyed when its shields are reduced to 0.  Its defense is equal to 10 + your Sentry Turret step.  You may only have 1 sentry turret at a time.  It can be dismissed at any time, and lasts until it is dismissed or destroyed, or until the end of the scene.
  Step 2: The sentry turret gains 10 additional shield points (20 total).
  Step 3: The sentry turret gains a shock attack.  Each round, the sentry turret can Feint the nearest enemy to it within close range, using your {{SKILL}} bonus.
  Step 4: The sentry turret gains 10 additional shield points (30 total).
  Step 5: When you create a sentry turret, you can choose to upgrade its weapon with either a flamethrower, or a rocket launcher.  The Flamethrower Turret and Rocket Launcher Turret are identical to the Sentry Turret, except as indicated.  Instead of making its normal attack, the Flamethrower Turret may project a line of flames up to 20 feet, dealing {{HIGH}} fire damage, Reflex half.  The Rocket Launcher Turret may, instead of its normal attack, fire a small explosive up to medium range, which deals {{HIGH}} explosive damage with a blast increment of 5 feet, Reflex half.

== Tactical Cloak
  Step 1: You may become Invisible for 1 round.  Attacking or using other powers ends the invisibility.  You may not use this power again until 1 round has passed.
  Step 2: While you are Invisible, you gain +1d6 sneak attack damage.
  Step 3: Your speed increases by 10 feet.
  Step 4: While you are Invisible, you gain and additional +1d6 sneak attack damage (2d6 total).
  Step 5: Tactical Cloak allows you to become Invisible for 2 rounds, and while you are invisible your threat range with attacks increases by 2.

== Tech Armor
  Step 1: You gain 5 points of Shields, which stacks with any other shields or barriers you might have.  When your shields are reduced to 0, they explode in a burst of energy, tripping each enemy adjacent to you, using your {{SKILL}} bonus.
  Step 2: When your shields are reduced to 0, they also deal {{LOW}} damage to each adjacent enemy.
  Step 3: You gain 5 additional points of shields (10 total).
  Step 4: When your shields are reduced to 0, it does not trip adjacent enemies, and instead bull rushes them, using your {{SKILL}} bonus.
  Step 5: Whenever you activate your shields you may choose to upgrade them with either Assault Armor or Power Armor.  Assault and Power Armor are identical to Tech Armor, except as indicated.  With Assault Armor, when your shields are reduced to 0, the burst of energy also deals {{HIGH}} damage to each adjacent enemy.  With Power Armor, when your shields are reduced to 0, each enemy within 10 feet of you is bullrushed using your {{SKILL}} bonus, with a +5 bonus to the check.

== Thermal Blast
  Step 1: Incinerate.  Does {{MEDIUM}} fire damage, reflex for half.
  Step 2: Cryo Blast.  Freezes the target for 1 round, making them Paralyzed.  Fortitude negates.
 Step 3: After the first round, Incinerate continues to burn, dealing {{MEDIUM}} fire damage each turn until the target succedes at a Reflex save.
  Step 3: The DC of the Reflex save to avoid catching fire increases by 5.
  Step 4: Cryo Blast also causes the target to have Achilles Heel (Lethal) while frozen.
  Step 5: Incinerate becomes a blast, with an increment of 5 feet.  Cryo Blast affects a 10 foot diameter area.


= Combat Paths

== Adrenaline Rush
  Step 1: Adrenaline Rush.  For 1 round, the threat range of your attacks increases by your adrenaline step, and you also gain a bonus to damage equal to your Adrenaline Rush step.  You may not use this power again until 1 round has passed.
  Step 2: When you use your adrenaline rush, you may take an immediate handle item action.
  Step 3: When you use adrenaline rush, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to defense for 1 round.
  Step 4: When you use adrenaline rush, you gain an additional +2 bonus with melee damage for 1 round.
  Step 5: When you use adrenaline rush, you gain +2 DR for 1 round.

== Concussive Shot
  Step 1: Concussive Shot.  Once per round, when you make an attack with an eezo powered weapon, you can convert the damage to explosive damage without suffering a penalty to the attack or damage.  This attack has a blast increment of 5 feet.
  Step 2: When you hit with concussive shot, you may attempt to trip the target.  If you do, you  make a ranged attack check, opposed by the target's Acrobatics check.  You do not become Sprawled if you fail this check.
  Step 3: When you perform a trip with concussive shot, you gain your Concussive Shot step as a bonus.
  Step 4: When you use concussive shot, instead of making a trip attempt, you can instead make a bull rush attempt.  To do so, you make a ranged attack check, opposed by the target's Athletics check.  If you fail this check, you are not pushed back nor do you become sprawled.
  Step 5: When you use concussive shot, the blast increment becomes 10 feet, and you can attempt to trip each enemy within the first blast increment.

== Cryo Ammo
  Step 1: Cryo Ammo.  When you use Cryo Ammo on an eezo powered weapon, you can convert the damage from that weapon to cold damage without suffering a penalty to the attack or damage.  This effect lasts until it is dismissed, or you use a different Ammo power on the weapon.
  Step 2: When you score a critical hit using cryo ammo, the target is Slowed for 1 round.
  Step 3: When you score a critical hit using cryo ammo, the target becomes paralyzed for 1 round.
  Step 4: When you use cryo ammo, you may also affect the currently equipped weapon of each of your allies within close range.
  Step 5: When you score a critical hit using cryo ammo, the target is paralyzed for 1 round, and then slowed for 1 round.

== Disruptor Ammo
  Step 1: Disruptor Ammo.  When you use Disruptor Ammo on an eezo powered weapon, you deal extra damage to Shields and Synthetics equal to your Disruptor Ammo step.  This effect lasts until it is dismissed, or you use a different Ammo power on the weapon.
  Step 2: When you score a critical hit using disruptor ammo against a Synthetic, it is Stunned for 1 round.
  Step 3: When you score a critical hit using disruptor ammo, the target's eezo powered weapons become broken for 1 round.
  Step 4: When you use disruptor ammo, you may also affect the currently equipped weapon of each of your allies within close range.
  Step 5: When using disruptor ammo, your attacks against Synthetics gain Keen 10

== Incendiary Ammo
  Step 1: Incendiary Ammo.  When you use Incendiary Ammo on an eezo powered weapon, you can convert the damage from that weapon to fire damage without suffering a penalty to the attack or damage.  This effect lasts until it is dismissed, or you use a different Ammo power on the weapon.
 Step 2: When you score a critical hit using incendiary ammo, the target catches fire and continues to take the weapon's damage each round until passing a Reflex save.
  Step 2: When you score a critical hit using incendiary ammo, the DC of the Reflex save to avoid catching fire increases by 5.
  Step 3: When you are using incendiary ammo, your attacks gain AP 2.
  Step 4: When you use incendiary ammo, you may also affect the currently equipped weapon of each of your allies within close range.
  Step 5: When you score a critical hit using incendiary ammo, the hits scatter and explode on impact, with a blast increment of 5 feet.

Revision 1: Sorted things alphabetically, and adjusted the handling of fire damage to be less confusing/over-powered.


Regarding my notes such as {{HIGH}} damage, or {{SKILL}}, those are just placeholders until the conversion is more complete.  I intend for high damage to be comparable to middle tier weapons.  Medium damage would be slightly less than or comparable to low tier weapons, and low damage would be meaningfully less than that.  I chose those values because I don't want to encumber the powers with timers or restrict them with uses per scene or anything like that.  However, I also want players to have reason to do something other than spam their powers continuously in combat, so weapons should almost universally do more damage, and at further ranges than the powers do.  And as far as the {{SKILL}} note goes, I'm not sure which FC skill would be most appropriate in those cases.  For Biotic powers, when a skill check is called for, it could very well be Resolve.  But with Tech powers, I think it should be something else, but I'm not sure what.  Maybe Craft.

I also haven't gotten to the special powers Shep can learn from the companions.  I'd like to include them, but I'm not sure how.  The obvious options to me seem to be to make them available through feats, or as expert or master classes.  I like how accessible feats are, but given that each alignment already has 25 steps worth of paths and only 20 levels to take them in, an expert or master class would be the better way to give extra steps.

And of course, all of this could benefit from some adjustments for balance and style and so on.

EDIT: Oh, and in case it's not clear: in general, these paths give a new ability on the first step, and enhance the ability with subsequent steps.  I used ME2 as the primary guide, but took inspiration from ME1 and 3 for a number of the powers.

Made some changes as suggested by Sletchman below.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 15, 2012, 10:53:07 PM
Neat idea.

Just off the top of my head (from a casual reading):
I'd be cautious about the Thermal Blast 3 ability - fire is already going to cause a DoT effect due to it's type (one that escalates at that), so compounding it with another firebased DoT effect could be either confusing (Does this count as "on fire"?  Can it cause a target to be set on fire as normal fire damage?  Does it stack with being on fire?)  or potentially overpowered (so much fire damage - to both the original and the ally).  My suggested alteration is to have an effect that boosts the DC of the saving throw to catch on fire (from the original Incinerate attack).  Maybe +5, or perhaps +2*Step (+10 top out might be too high though, and if you just add step it's +3 to +5, may as well just call it +5 and leave it there).  Somewhat similar concern for Incendary Ammo 2.

For Tech Armour (and Barrier / Fortification / Geth Sheild Boost / Defense Matrix) I'd take more inspiration from the ME3 iterations - straight up damage reduction that increases as you invest more in it.  You can "purge" it at will for a seperate boost (based on the power in question).  It's just easier to balance and track (in my opinion) and players don't have to worry about as much in game.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 16, 2012, 12:15:08 AM
That's a good job, though it presupposes an all-or-nothing approach: either everyone has them or no one does. I don't see how it balances with unpowered individuals.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 16, 2012, 04:38:13 AM
That's a good job, though it presupposes an all-or-nothing approach: either everyone has them or no one does. I don't see how it balances with unpowered individuals.
Yes, every PC has one of these paths.  What is the issue?  (Besides docking most NPCs a few points of XP to cover for the extra powers every PC has.)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 16, 2012, 04:51:16 AM
*points to Iriquoi and Zane in the Omega game*

Currently it's possible to play non Biotic or Tech powered characters balanced against powered characters. This, not so much as far as I can make out.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 16, 2012, 06:18:50 AM
Nor do you get to select your powers, but that seems to me to be something we can iron out.

That Iriquoi and Zane lack tech or biotic powers seems to be balancing by their players in the system that was there.  As it is, there are tradeoffs, and you chose not to take any tech or biotic powers for Iriquoi.  Is that because they didn't fit her concept, or because there was some crunch item with higher priority?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 16, 2012, 07:41:16 AM
Oh, I would have liked Iriquoi to be a biotic -- based on a very nice pictue I came across -- but none of the specialties offering that really appealed to me so that meant no powers (and for some reason, the "pick up a biotic power" feat was irritatingly limited to humans, even though it's mentioned in the codex that other species were hax0ring themselves post-natal biotics long before humanity showed up).

Which is sorta why I then decided to hammer Networking until it gave me my permanent armed escort which is kinda like a power (ironically taking a much more narrowly focused specialty in order to pul it off).

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 16, 2012, 08:17:44 AM
With that in mind, I can see how this iteration of paths would be dissatisfying.

How many design points is a step along a path worth?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 16, 2012, 09:11:00 AM
With that in mind, I can see how this iteration of paths would be dissatisfying.

How many design points is a step along a path worth?

Equal to a feat, so about 3.  In theory.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 16, 2012, 09:23:55 AM
So an additional path could just give a free Feat at each step?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 16, 2012, 09:40:29 AM
In theory?  Sure.  In practice though, that prospect makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable (as a GM, but extroadinarily happy as a player).

I think, to start, some of those steps in tfwfh's sample powers are a little below feat power level, but that's not a hard fix.  My bigger concern is someone can Supremacy 4 feat chains by level 6.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 16, 2012, 11:36:27 AM
^ Yeah.  If you want an alternative for characters who aren't going to have powers, then my first suggestion would be to consider the combat alignments.  Of course that won't be for everybody, so something else could be made, but I really wouldn't suggest anything like an "all feats all the time" alignment.  That would be entirely too many feats.  Maybe a feat at level 1,5,10,15,20, instead of taking one of the alignments?
It's also possible that characters could get access to the paths some way other than just being given an alignment and steps by a campaign quality.  The only thing that comes to mind there is feats, and I don't really like the idea of having to divert feats away from the rest of your concept just so you can feel like you're playing mass effect, rather than fantasy craft in space.  I suppose they could be taken as proficiencies or interests, but neither of those feels like enough of a cost for a path + 5 steps, and both feel like to much of a cost for just 1 step.

Re: Sletch's other comments.  Quite right about the fire damage powers.  I had been thinking fire worked more like cold while I was writing those.  I'll correct that shortly.  For tech armor, I'm less sure.  Blowing up your shields on command works fine in the video games when you just have to keep your head down for 4 seconds to be a max shields again.  In a tabletop game though, I'm not sure how well that would work.  There's also the fact that Tech Armor is supposed to be unique among the powers that give a shield bonus in that it lasts forever.  Although, for simplicity's sake, maintaining that distinction may not be feasible.  I'll give it some thought.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 16, 2012, 02:27:54 PM
Again, this is a fundamental flaw of assuming everyone is the same level. Theyaren't.

I had a very long post but it really boils down to this.  I don't find your argument compelling.  However, if you want to change the name of the specialty for your use it doesn't offend me.  If you post a Battlemaster class that I like, I'll almost certainly use it under a different name.

With that in mind, I can see how this iteration of paths would be dissatisfying.

How many design points is a step along a path worth?

Equal to a feat, so about 3.  In theory.

Even that only holds true for species feats.   I guess the other feats are close but probably vary.

In theory?  Sure.  In practice though, that prospect makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable (as a GM, but extroadinarily happy as a player).

I think, to start, some of those steps in tfwfh's sample powers are a little below feat power level, but that's not a hard fix.  My bigger concern is someone can Supremacy 4 feat chains by level 6.

How does that work? :o

Oh, do you mean using their regular feats and such? 

tfwth:  This is really good.  Have you considered using some feats for different steps?  For example:

Tech Armor
Step 1:  When you activate your tech armor, you are considered to be wearing full armor of DR {{{WHATEVER + your path step}}} as long as the power remains active.  Activation is a half action and cannot be done if your tech armor has been active in the last 3 rounds.
Step 2: You gain the Armor Basics feat
Step 3: You may end your tech armor power early to make an attack against everyone in {{{RANGE maybe 10 or 20'}}}} dealing {{{DAMAGE}}}.  You make a single attack roll and each target resists individually.  Your allies are immune to this attack.
Step 4: You gain the Armor Mastery feat
Step 5: You gain the Armor Supremacy feat.

Adrenaline Rush
Step 1: You gain a stance:
     Adrenal Fury(stance): While in this stance, you may take an additional half action each round.  This stance ends after a number of rounds equal to your path step {{{Optional: or if you miss an attack}}} and can not be activated again for a number of rounds equal to 6 minus your path step.
Step 2: While in your Adrenal Fury stance, you gain +1 threat range, DR 2, and your melee attacks do additional damage equal to your path step.
Step 3: You gain the Angry Hornet feat.
Step 4: When in your Adrenal Fury stance you take only half the normal penalty for multiple actions.
Step 5: You gain the Blackened Sky feat.

Stripping the priest down to make a single base class for all six mass effect classes is probably the way to go.  It does mean that a ME soldier would have a lower BAB than a MC soldier.  That can be fixed although.

What made each power tree its own interest?  You might still have your Engineer alignment but other specialties might simply grant access to the Tech and Combat trees.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 16, 2012, 03:12:00 PM
tfwth:  This is really good.  Have you considered using some feats for different steps?  For example:

Tech Armor
Step 1:  When you activate your tech armor, you are considered to be wearing full armor of DR {{{WHATEVER + your path step}}} as long as the power remains active.  Activation is a half action and cannot be done if your tech armor has been active in the last 3 rounds.
Step 2: You gain the Armor Basics feat
Step 3: You may end your tech armor power early to make an attack against everyone in {{{RANGE maybe 10 or 20'}}}} dealing {{{DAMAGE}}}.  You make a single attack roll and each target resists individually.  Your allies are immune to this attack.
Step 4: You gain the Armor Mastery feat
Step 5: You gain the Armor Supremacy feat.

Adrenaline Rush
Step 1: You gain a stance:
     Adrenal Fury(stance): While in this stance, you may take an additional half action each round.  This stance ends after a number of rounds equal to your path step {{{Optional: or if you miss an attack}}} and can not be activated again for a number of rounds equal to 6 minus your path step.
Step 2: While in your Adrenal Fury stance, you gain +1 threat range, DR 2, and your melee attacks do additional damage equal to your path step.
Step 3: You gain the Angry Hornet feat.
Step 4: When in your Adrenal Fury stance you take only half the normal penalty for multiple actions.
Step 5: You gain the Blackened Sky feat.
I had not considered that, but it is worth doing so.  At first glance I have a few concerns with doing that.  1 is that it makes the steps considerably more powerful than they are, and I had been intentionally trying to limit their power.  2 is that the powers in Mass Effect are very narrowly focused.  When you first gain one, it gives you a new ability to use, and investing further in it improves that ability, but has virtually no effect on any other part of the game.  I was trying to duplicate that behavior.  Lastly, as they are the paths are all fairly consistent with each other.  But if some grant feats and other don't or grant different numbers of feats, it loses some of that consistency.

Still that's all just my initial reaction, those may not be problems, and even if they are, they are probably not insurmountable.

Stripping the priest down to make a single base class for all six mass effect classes is probably the way to go.  It does mean that a ME soldier would have a lower BAB than a MC soldier.  That can be fixed although.
Also not a bad idea.  My first reaction there is that even with feats, Priest only gets something like 12 steps, and in the video games, over the course of the game you get the chance to fully invest in 5 or 6 abilities.  If people are comfortable with only being able to fully invest in 2 abilities, then I suppose there's no problem there.  In that case, each step of the powers would need to be more powerful than they are.  Or, as an alternative, these paths could have less than 5 steps.  If each only has 3, then the Priest derived class could fully invest in 4 powers.

What made each power tree its own interest?  You might still have your Engineer alignment but other specialties might simply grant access to the Tech and Combat trees.
I'm not sure what you mean here.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 16, 2012, 09:15:43 PM
For tech armor, I'm less sure.  Blowing up your shields on command works fine in the video games when you just have to keep your head down for 4 seconds to be a max shields again.  In a tabletop game though, I'm not sure how well that would work.  There's also the fact that Tech Armor is supposed to be unique among the powers that give a shield bonus in that it lasts forever.  Although, for simplicity's sake, maintaining that distinction may not be feasible.  I'll give it some thought.

In ME3 all the shield powers last forever (I think I got them all in my original post) - you turn them on and then you gain a DR % (and slowed power use) until you purge them.  It's a bit of a departure from ME2, but it's far easier to balance for the tabletop.  Plus I just think it's easier and faster to track as "I currently have DR5" then it is to track two different vitality (or pseudo-vitality) types and when the autopurge occurs.

I don't mind either way, honestly.  Just looking for the easiest way to do things at the table.

I also think Blankbeard is possibly onto something with the priest-like class option (but that's only because that's what I did at home).  Just remember - just because the priest only gets 1 step at 3/5/7... doesn't mean you have to use that framework.  It would only be an issue if you were balancing it against the priest itself (and I can't imagine ME having the Miracles quality).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 16, 2012, 09:50:49 PM
I also think Blankbeard is possibly onto something with the priest-like class option (but that's only because that's what I did at home).  Just remember - just because the priest only gets 1 step at 3/5/7... doesn't mean you have to use that framework.  It would only be an issue if you were balancing it against the priest itself (and I can't imagine ME having the Miracles quality).

If ME powers are to be gained through a Priest-like class, then I would want to use Priest as a sort of template; not to balance against priest, but rather to balance against all of the other classes.  And I do think it's a good idea, except for my concern that it doesn't offer much space to develop multiple powers.  Or am I the only person who is concerned by that?  As a thought, I kind of like the idea of these mass effect paths only having 3 steps.  It would make them trivial to convert into a series of basics/master/supremacy feats, for people who only want to dip 1 or 2 powers, rather than make them the focus of their whole character.

Also, if these things are to be handled as classes, do you think building expert classes around the special companion powers is a good plan?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 16, 2012, 10:23:27 PM
I'll try explain what I did to see if it's helpful (and hopefully make what I was trying to say clearer):

Sample Tree:
Tier 1) Throw -> Heavy Throw // Double Throw
Tier 2) Shockwave -> Wide Shockwave // Reaching Shockwave
Tier 3) Slam -> Heavy Slam // Incapacitating Slam

Each tree is kinda like the ingame where you have to have points in one power to get another.  So to unlock Shockwave you have to have Throw.  The stuff after the arrow is a power evolution - you select the power again when you level up to evolve it into one of those two new ways to use it (Heavy Throw works on larger targets and inflicts more damage, Double Throw lets you target two targets).  I want to name each tree something evocative based on it's function (but I'm shit at that) - so you might have a tree with Slowfall, Barrier, and Charge that is the "Self Applied Force Tree".  (Now you see what I mean about being shit about coming up with names?)

At level 1, 3, 5 etc of my generic "Biotic" class you gain 2 power selections - so you can start at level one with Throw and Shockwave, or have Double Throw.  So far there's 6 tree's (so a total of 36 "powers", thus far) - each player will have access to around 24 of them (with certain origin options giving more).  I'm looking at ending with more then that though (so characters won't all have 2/3rds available powers and become kinda samey).  You could also feat/origin gate certain powers (ie. This is only available to Synthetics. // This is only available via the [PLACEHOLDER] feat.)

With your framework, you could just say that at those levels you gain [X] Steps, spread as the player wishes (the way that leveling up in game gives you more then one skill point).  Shouldn't be a problem with a 3 stage power either, just find a good number for the power unlocks at given levels.  By the same token part of the Asari package (within your framework) could be "Gain 1 step on the path of your choice" making them all at least a little biotic.

This might not be helpful though.  Hopefully someone gets some use out of it.

EDIT:
Also, if these things are to be handled as classes, do you think building expert classes around the special companion powers is a good plan?

Personally, no.  I'd allow free access.  Most of them aren't that special (ME3 MP allow access to many of them for standard MP characters).  At most I'd feat gate them, but probably not even that.

I'd build expert classes around a core specialised concept (whatever that may be): Ex:  a theoretical Shock Trooper class might require Charge at a certain rank and then build new abilities off Charge, Barrier and Shotgun usage (focusing on mobility and carnage).  Just off the top of the head.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 17, 2012, 03:49:37 AM
That is a more accurate translation of how mass effect powers are gained, but it's also an aspect of the games that I never liked, and I personally feel it could stand to be ignored.

On a separate note, I've been thinking about your opinion regarding shields and barriers, that having them function as extra vp is more complicated than it needs to be.  I'm not sure I agree that it's overly complicated, after all losing all of your shields is functionally quite similar to becoming bloodied in 4e DnD, and people seem to find that easy enough to understand.  Still, I do agree that it might not be the best way to handle them.  So I was thinking, about what it is shields actually do in Mass Effect, and I came to the conclusion that their job is basically to absorb attacks before they can do any real damage.  Which is exactly what vitality does.  So rather than stacking on top of vitality, what if shields and barriers overlap with it?  The idea is that shields will have some rating X, and until you lose X vitality the cost to activate critical hits against you increases by 1 action die.

So for example, low level Tali has 15 vp and 20 shields.  Until she takes 20 damage, it costs +1 AD to activate a crit against her.  That's more vp than she has, so it lasts for as long as she has any vitality.  After that, crits become fairly pointless anyway because she's already taking wound damage.  Then later on, medium level Tali has 50 vp, and still 20 shields.  As long as she has lost less than 20 vitality, it costs an extra AD to activate a crit against her.  Once she's taken 20 or more damage, her shield has run out, and things proceed as normal.

I suggest this because beyond a certain point, having more vitality doesn't do very much good.  You're much more likely to be critted to death than you are to lose 200 vitality, so what's the point of adding more vitality on top of that?  This way, shields have a substantial benefit by preventing most crits at the beginning of a fight.  I also suggest this because just piling on the damage reduction can easily get out of hand.  If ME armor operates on the same scale as FC armor, then a high level soldier can have 12 DR without trying very hard.  Stacking on to that with shields and powers can easily make that character all but immune to damage.  And if you then bump up the armor piercing of the weapons to compensate, what was the point of adding on the DR in the first place?

Anyway, I bring all this up because without knowing how shields and barriers should work, I don't know how powers that affect them should work.  Not just tech armor and its ilk, but also things like overload and disruptor ammo.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 17, 2012, 04:00:25 AM
You could very easily ignore the trees and just have them as stand alone powers, shouldn't unbalance anything.  I kept it because I liked that part of the leveling mechanic in game - the idea that you can use the forces generated for more elaborate tricks appeals to me.  I can see why people wouldn't like it though.  I also wanted to show that I did them as branching powers (again, because that was something I liked in the game, and it would mean that two Adept PCs can be quite different because of their chosen branches).

Shields are a puzzler.  My gut says keep it simple and just go with VP = Shields.  Overload effects organics in ME3 (damage, plus benefits against them if evolved that way) and that means you can call it Electrical Damage and be good to go.  I can see benefit in other methods though (and your idea is an interesting one).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 17, 2012, 06:12:30 AM
Shields are ablative DR, surely?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 17, 2012, 06:40:26 AM
If I edit things out, I'm not trying to take you out of context, I'm trying to direct my comments and keep things readable.  I am verbose :)

I had not considered that, but it is worth doing so.  At first glance I have a few concerns with doing that.  1 is that it makes the steps considerably more powerful than they are, and I had been intentionally trying to limit their power. 

I'm not insisting on a power level, but the feat level step was easy because it's a common unit of power in Mastercraft, it's comparable to existing paths, and it let me use feats as steps.  The Charge power can almost be built of a combination of the Charging Basics tree and the Cleave tree.  Of course, that would leave out the wall-smashing goodness you could incorporate from Jack.

2 is that the powers in Mass Effect are very narrowly focused.  When you first gain one, it gives you a new ability to use, and investing further in it improves that ability, but has virtually no effect on any other part of the game.  I was trying to duplicate that behavior. 

I'm not sure I follow.  The tech armor I posted has activate and explode buttons, just like the ME3 power.  The rush is all stance, though I guess you'd have to activate the multiattack feats.  I'm not sure that having a bit more buttons for the player to push is a bad thing though.  Tabletop combat is going to be slower and making sure players have an active option each round.  If this isn't what you mean, sorry.

Lastly, as they are the paths are all fairly consistent with each other.  But if some grant feats and other don't or grant different numbers of feats, it loses some of that consistency.

Still that's all just my initial reaction, those may not be problems, and even if they are, they are probably not insurmountable.

I think we lose some consistency but we gain easier balancing (I can firmly say 3 of the steps of tech armor are no more powerful than feats :) ).  But please, take everything I post as opinion.  I'm no expert at this stuff.

Stripping the priest down to make a single base class for all six mass effect classes is probably the way to go.  It does mean that a ME soldier would have a lower BAB than a MC soldier.  That can be fixed although.
Also not a bad idea.  My first reaction there is that even with feats, Priest only gets something like 12 steps, and in the video games, over the course of the game you get the chance to fully invest in 5 or 6 abilities.  If people are comfortable with only being able to fully invest in 2 abilities, then I suppose there's no problem there.  In that case, each step of the powers would need to be more powerful than they are.  Or, as an alternative, these paths could have less than 5 steps.  If each only has 3, then the Priest derived class could fully invest in 4 powers.

In ME2, Sheppard can max 5 powers and squadmates can nearly max 3.  In ME3, Sheppard can max 8(!!!) powers, squadmates 4 with a bit left over.   In ME3 multiplayer, each character can max exactly 4 powers.  I think 4 is a reasonable number to shoot for.

I think a combination of limiting each power to 4 steps and trading some priest abilities for more path steps is going to do it.  The 2/11/19 and 6/9/12/15/18 are both possibilities.  Given the thinness of the ME classes, you can almost remove all the priest abilities.  Anything not removed of course will need to be changed.

I also don't think there's any reason to limit the "gain a step in a power" feat to being a one time only deal.  If our steps are close to feats in power, that's self balancing too.  The extra power feat (gain a new power and take the first step) might need to be once only.  Maybe not if we're allowing any character to gain powers, rather than trying to simulate Sheppard's bonus power.

It may be nice to move some things, like ME2's selectable 4th level evolution, out to tricks.  Reave and Channel are essentially Warp tricks, while Lift, Throw, Slam, and Pull should all be tricks on the same power.  I'd argue that Combat Drone and Sentry Turret could share a power too and all of the ammo powers might be stances or tricks.

I'll work on hacking up the priest.  (There's a line that will be repeated should I ever be arrested.)  I think we have enough tools to accommodate those who want a power or two and those who go power crazy.

What made each power tree its own interest?  You might still have your Engineer alignment but other specialties might simply grant access to the Tech and Combat trees.
I'm not sure what you mean here.
[/quote]

You made an alignment for each ME class.  Also make one for each tree.  This would allow those with non ME classes to have powers too.  They purchase the alignment, then use the extra power and gain a step feats.  That has the nice side effect of restricting non-ME classes to one tree.

Regarding shields, I think base shields = vitality is the best solution.  I think defensive powers should be split among Defense, DR, and Damage Resistance.  If barrier needs a non time based timer, it might negate a certain number of hits before it stops working.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 17, 2012, 09:12:24 AM
Shields are ablative DR, surely?

I'm quite surprised that this is your position.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 17, 2012, 10:34:38 AM
Shields are ablative DR, surely?
I'm quite surprised that this is your position.
They soak up ALL the damage until they are gone, and can recharge in the middle of a firefight.

The way shields are described in the equipment section seems to support this:
Many of these armors have a new statistic called ‘Shields’. Shields are energized kinetic barriers that provide additional points of damage reduction, which are lost as soon as they reduce the damage that you suffer from an attack. These additional points of damage reduction return at a rate of 1 per round in any round in which you are not struck by an attack. Shields granted by different sources stack.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 17, 2012, 11:46:26 AM
What the heck?  Like half my comment just didn't show up.  I wrote that I thought, from his previous comments, that he was generally in favour of having less things to track during gameplay (ablative DR would provide an additional variable that the players would have to track throughout the fight).  I have no idea what happened or where it went.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 17, 2012, 12:07:03 PM
You have to be careful.  Sometimes things get lost in those intertubes.

Yes, having less to track is nice, but shields are a rather central mechanic of the game's combat engine, and a nice touch.  Worth the minor difficulty, if you ask me.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 17, 2012, 02:05:15 PM
What if you did shields = vitality and increased refresh and medicine checks to something like say 25% of vitality.  Add in an end of combat refresh and maybe use Morgenstern's idea of having a kind of "res point" or at least use the control of the battlefield to determine whether there is some kind of setback.

You get something similar to the action of the in game shields and a reason to take cover.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 17, 2012, 02:18:33 PM
That would make Overload and Disruptor ammo badly overpowered or fairly worthless.

What about powers like Barrier and Tech Armor that layer defenses on along with shields?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 17, 2012, 05:46:08 PM
Shields take a round to recharge for PCs. Sounds like a simple change to the Refresh action: Drop an AD to get back 2 Wounds OR reset your Vitality to half max OR recharge shields to full.

This allows you to implement Ops Survival Packs (use with a refesh action to restore 4 wounds or full vitality) and Shield Cells (expend in lieu of an AD to fuel a Refresh action that recharges shields to full) as expendable gear items, and minimizes record keeping while removing the need to constantly wear down shields (as shields don't recharge unless you Refresh).

Cells that reset their charges at the end of a scene instead of needing to be replaced with newly purchased ones then become desireable Prizes.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 17, 2012, 07:37:13 PM
Having shields or vitality behave that way would make the whole vitality system pointless.  Combat would just become a contest to determine who could roll a pair of 20s first (or one 20 plus good damage) because no one would ever run out of vitality, so only critical hits would matter.

Maybe instead we should look at shields from the perspective of how Overload (and similar) interacts with them, vs how it interacts with health.  And other powers for that matter.

In ME 2, Overload does extremely high damage to shields, no damage to health, and high damage to everything else.  In 3, it does high damage to shields (and barriers and synthetics), and low-ish damage to health.
Disruptor ammo substantially increases damage to shields, and slightly increases damage against everything else.
Warp ammo is basically the same, but against barriers instead of shields.
With the fire based powers (incinerate, incendiary ammo), they do high damage to everything, more to armor and health, less to synthetics.  Shields make it much less likely (maybe impossible) for targets to catch on fire.
With cold based powers, they simply don't have any effect on shielded enemies.

Most Biotic powers also have no effect on shielded targets (pull, lift, throw, singularity).
Warp does high damage to barriers and armor, medium damage to everything else.  Warp also explodes when it encounters other biotic powers, but I'm not sure that's relevant just yet.
Charge doesn't seem to care about shields or barriers.

The biggest benefit of shields seems to be that they protect against most status effects.  So maybe shields should give a bonus to saving throws, then.  They also provide some protection against certain damage, but do hardly anything against overload and disruptor ammo.  So perhaps shields should also provide a little DR, or maybe resistances, but not against the overload damage type.  Someone suggested electrical damage for overload and disruptor, and that would seem to be a good fit.

Assuming shields work that way, the question then becomes "what determines how long a shield lasts?"  I have some ideas there, but I'm not really sold on any of them.  Disabling shields could become a critical hit benefit, or it could get a place on the table of ouch.  Or, perhaps shields just last some number of uses (the first X saves, or until it prevents Y damage).  In that last case, it might then be more appropriate for shields to have electrical resistance, so that they prevent more damage from overload, and thus wear out faster.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 17, 2012, 08:05:03 PM
In ME2, Sheppard can max 5 powers and squadmates can nearly max 3.  In ME3, Sheppard can max 8(!!!) powers, squadmates 4 with a bit left over.   In ME3 multiplayer, each character can max exactly 4 powers.  I think 4 is a reasonable number to shoot for.

I think a combination of limiting each power to 4 steps and trading some priest abilities for more path steps is going to do it.  The 2/11/19 and 6/9/12/15/18 are both possibilities.  Given the thinness of the ME classes, you can almost remove all the priest abilities.  Anything not removed of course will need to be changed.
...
I'll work on hacking up the priest.  (There's a line that will be repeated should I ever be arrested.)  I think we have enough tools to accommodate those who want a power or two and those who go power crazy.
That sounds good to me.  I'm happy to offer whatever help or advice I can, otherwise I'll just wait to see what you come up with.

It may be nice to move some things, like ME2's selectable 4th level evolution, out to tricks.  Reave and Channel are essentially Warp tricks, while Lift, Throw, Slam, and Pull should all be tricks on the same power.  I'd argue that Combat Drone and Sentry Turret could share a power too and all of the ammo powers might be stances or tricks.
...
You made an alignment for each ME class.  Also make one for each tree.  This would allow those with non ME classes to have powers too.  They purchase the alignment, then use the extra power and gain a step feats.  That has the nice side effect of restricting non-ME classes to one tree.
I consider it to be very important that a newcomer to the game who is familiar with Mass Effect would be able to look at the final product and be able to easily see the Mass Effect classes, and recognize the general pattern of them from the video games.  So, while I agree that the ammo powers could all be optional enhancements to a central ammo power, or that the telekinetic powers could all be enhancements to a central telekinesis power, I think doing that is the wrong decision because it distorts things from the way they are presentation in the video games.

As to the alignments, Solder is already the all Combat alignment, Engineer is the all Tech alignment, and Adept is all Biotic.  Each of those alignments has only powers from one tree and (except for some that unique to a class or squadmate) has all of the powers from that tree.  So, making a new Combat Master alignment would either be identical to Soldier, or it would be Soldier++ and make Soldier irrelevant.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 17, 2012, 08:43:18 PM
Shep has been accidentally shot point blank by a mass accelerator (which is basically what all the conventional weapons currently in use are) and only saved from serious injury because her shields ate the damage. That's pretty much the definition of damage reduction in action.

Having shields or vitality behave that way would make the whole vitality system pointless.  Combat would just become a contest to determine who could roll a pair of 20s first (or one 20 plus good damage) because no one would ever run out of vitality, so only critical hits would matter

That's pretty much FC combat now if you have access to healing magic I really can't see what your problem is.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 17, 2012, 09:28:55 PM
A high level soldier can reasonably have 300 vitality.  Cure Wounds IV is the best healing spell in the game and it restores 40 vitality, or about 13% of the soldier's total.  Even at medium levels when that spell is first available, that soldier would have over 160 vitality, and so Cure IV would represent about 25% of that total.  A keeper in the same party as that soldier would likely have 120 vitality at max level and 66 when Cure IV is first available.  So, at the other end of the scale, healing magic represents between 65% and 25% of a character's vitality.  That makes the suggestion for a refresh action to restore 50% vitality as much as 2x more effective than healing magic.  That difference seems substantial to me.  Even if the end result is the same, it will considerably reduce the level at which it becomes an issue.

And I did suggest that perhaps shields should provide some DR, just not ablative DR, which I find to be unusual and cumbersome.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 17, 2012, 09:44:30 PM
Shep has been accidentally shot point blank by a mass accelerator (which is basically what all the conventional weapons currently in use are) and only saved from serious injury because her shields ate the damage. That's pretty much the definition of damage reduction in action.

Vitality...

Quote from: Page 28
Vitality: This is a measure of your character’s ability to avoid injury (see page 206).

Doesn't say anything about precisely how you avoid injury.  You may also note that a value that reduces each time you are damaged until it's gone (at which point you lose actual Health) does sound somewhat familiar.

Just sayin'.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on May 18, 2012, 06:11:10 AM
Vitality...

Quote from: Page 28
Vitality: This is a measure of your character’s ability to avoid injury (see page 206).

Doesn't say anything about precisely how you avoid injury.  You may also note that a value that reduces each time you are damaged until it's gone (at which point you lose actual Health) does sound somewhat familiar.
Which means Shepard has about twice as many Wounds as Vitality....

Shields come and go during a several times during a scene, in a way that Vitality does not.  Calling the shields vitality also bumps into trouble with classifying biotic barriers and makes powers that don't work on shielded targets all but worthless.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Arakor on May 18, 2012, 06:34:40 AM
Shields come and go during a several times during a scene, in a way that Vitality does not.  Calling the shields vitality also bumps into trouble with classifying biotic barriers and makes powers that don't work on shielded targets all but worthless.

So why not say that shields provide temporary vitality?

One of my favourite games is Corporation which has Hard Ion Shields (portable shields vs firearms basically) and Telepathic Shields. Both operate in the same way by providing X hit points which must be depleted first before damage is applied to the character.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 18, 2012, 03:12:34 PM
That's been suggested, and it may be what we go with.

As I see it, these are the ideas thus far.  In each case, the idea applies equally to barriers as well:

1. Shields work like extra health that sits on top of your vitality.  Your "health bar" looks essentially like this: (+ is wounds, = is vitality, ~ is shields)
+++==========~~~
As long as you have shields, you are immune to the special effects of most powers.  Shields don't benefit from DR.

2. Shields overlap with your vitality, and shields provide part of the explanation for how vitality works.  Your "health bar" looks like this: (+ wounds, = vitality, = shields)
+++==========
Until you lose the shielded part of your vitality pool, you are immune to the special effects of most powers.  Shields do benefit from DR, and possibly provide a small amount of additional DR.  In addition, they might provide some other benefits, like making crits more expensive or giving resistances.

3. Shields work more like a condition than health.  Your "health bar" looks like this: (+ is wp, = is vp)
+++========== (shield)
The shield condition either gives a bonus to saving throws, or makes you immune to the special effects of most powers.  The condition also provides some small amount of extra DR and/or resistances.  When the condition is lost isn't certain, but it could be after some number of uses, after a crit, after it fails a damage save, or possibly something else.  I personally think this is the best candidate for duplicating mass effect shields that can be repeatedly lost and regained during a fight.

4. Vitality is shields.  Your "health bar" looks like this: (+ is wp, = is shields)
+++==========
I don't think this has been described in detail, but I think it's likely to cause problems.  Most of the powers become nearly impossible to use because nearly everyone spends all but the last round or two of a fight being immune to them.  I also don't know how this would interact with barriers.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 18, 2012, 03:34:20 PM
I'll work on hacking up the priest.  (There's a line that will be repeated should I ever be arrested.)  I think we have enough tools to accommodate those who want a power or two and those who go power crazy.
That sounds good to me.  I'm happy to offer whatever help or advice I can, otherwise I'll just wait to see what you come up with.

Here's one way, certainly not the only.  It would be possible to swap Mastery into the 6th slot and Powered into the 2/11/19 slot if you were using the fast feats campaign quality.  Mastery would need a few more abilities but that would push the double power acquisition to 19th level. 

Spoiler: Squadmate generic ME Base Class • show

Core Ability: Boot Camp
You gain the core ability corresponding to the power tree your alignment gives you.  If you have two trees, choose one of the two core abilities.
    Combat: When making attacks with Favored Weapons, your base attack bonus is considered equal to your level.
    Biotics: When you spend an action die to boost a biotics power check, you may roll 2 dice, keeping both.
    Tech: When you spend an action die to boost a tech power check, you may roll 2 dice, keeping both.

Powered: You take a step in one of your powers.  At level 3 and every 2 levels thereafter, as well as level 6 and 3 levels thereafter, you take another step.

Mastery: At levels 2, 11, and 19, you may choose one of the following abilities.  Each ability may be taken multiple times.
    Fitness: Your lowest ability rises by one.  You ignore the first -2 of any penalty due to rugged or hazardous environments, such as zero-gee.
    Tech Mastery: You receive a +2 with attack and skill rolls with powes from the Tech tree.
    Biotics Mastery: You receive a +2 with attack and skill rolls with powes from the Biotics tree.
   Combat Mastery: You receive a +2 with attack and skill rolls with powes from the Combat tree.
   ***needs a couple more.***

Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter you receive a bonus feat from the Basic Combat or XXX trees.

Loyalty: At 10th level you gain one rank of Heroic Renown.  Once per scene, you may turn a saving throw made by yourself or a hero who can see and hear you into a team check made at the highest bonus on the team.
At level 20, you gain another rank of Heroic Renown and you may use your loyalty ability when defending in an opposed skill roll.

Apotheosis: At 14th level, pick one power you know.  If that power does damage, you may roll twice and keep the better roll.  Otherwise, the power's duration increases by X rounds.

1: Boot Camp, Powered
2: Mastery
3: Powered
4: Bonus Feat
5: Powered
6: Powered
7: Powered
8: Bonus Feat
9: Powered (x2)
10: Loyalty I
11: Powered, Mastery
12: Bonus Feat, Powered
13: Powered
14: Apotheosis
15: Powered
16: Bonus Feat
17: Powered
18: Powered
19: Powered, Mastery
20: Bonus Feat, Loyalty II


I consider it to be very important that a newcomer to the game who is familiar with Mass Effect would be able to look at the final product and be able to easily see the Mass Effect classes, and recognize the general pattern of them from the video games.  So, while I agree that the ammo powers could all be optional enhancements to a central ammo power, or that the telekinetic powers could all be enhancements to a central telekinesis power, I think doing that is the wrong decision because it distorts things from the way they are presentation in the video games.

I think it's important to assure that the system is readily accessible to those who know mass effect and not mastercraft but I also think there are some videogame issues we don't need to copy.  Ammo powers (and grenade powers in ME3) started out as ammo and grenades in ME1.  When the decision was made to scrap the inventory system, they became powers.  Personally, I'd like to see ammo and grenades go back to the ME1 state of being items.  Unlike ME2, we have a functioning inventory system and I don't think using it will scare off those who are familiar with the whole series. 

As far as the powers go, power unlocking is already established so saying you need to learn lift before you learn slam isn't a big deal. MC combat is already going to be different (and the way the evolutions affect that combat will be very different). 

As to the alignments, Solder is already the all Combat alignment, Engineer is the all Tech alignment, and Adept is all Biotic.  Each of those alignments has only powers from one tree and (except for some that unique to a class or squadmate) has all of the powers from that tree.  So, making a new Combat Master alignment would either be identical to Soldier, or it would be Soldier++ and make Soldier irrelevant.

As you say, they lack the squadmate and exclusive powers.  But the Combat/Tech/Biotic alignments aren't intended for representing the ME classes.  They are for people who take Mastercraft classes and want to splash in a few powers.  I'd put them in there own section on integrating Mastercraft classes into a Mass Effect game.

On a side note though, take an asari with a specialty with catfall and an acrobatics boost with the biotics alignment.  Go Martial Artist/Monk for classes.  That's Samara in a nutshell.


Quote
Which means Shepard has about twice as many Wounds as Vitality....

I don't see how that follows.  My last playthrough was as an engineer.  Since I had rocket sentries and drones along with incinerate and squadmates with another incinerate, overload, singularity, and warp, I could stand outside of cover and direct the battle.  It'd take quite a few hits for my shields to go down.  Once they did though, I had very little time to get down before the enemy chewed through my health.  That's a pretty fair representation of VP/wounds, I think.

 
Quote
Shields come and go during a several times during a scene, in a way that Vitality does not.  Calling the shields vitality also bumps into trouble with classifying biotic barriers and makes powers that don't work on shielded targets all but worthless.

I think powers that completely fail to work is a videogameism that wasn't present in the original Mass Effect.  Enhancing damage should work fine.  Here is an example of a Barrier power (not trying to balance, idea only):

Barrier: While your barrier is active, you may not be affected by non-damaging biotics powers and absorbs harmlessly attacks of other sort.  Your barrier falls after absorbing 3 attacks.  Warp powers are particularly effective against barriers, counting as 2 attacks.

I think that the suits everyone wears should not be considered armor mechanically, saving that for the various powers and such.  If need be, there can be a note indicating that barriers must be struck down before other defenses and that while an armor power is active you are considered an armored target.  Otherwise you're shielded, or perhaps you're shielded while you have 50% or more vitality.  Resolve bonus damage accordingly.  The layered NPC defenses can be either eliminated or kept for NPC's.

Shields come and go during a several times during a scene, in a way that Vitality does not.  Calling the shields vitality also bumps into trouble with classifying biotic barriers and makes powers that don't work on shielded targets all but worthless.

So why not say that shields provide temporary vitality?


Vitality inflates with level.  A 10 point shield is pretty good at first, but at 15th it's not worth using disruptor ammo on.  If the shields level with you, you never get through them and you end up playing "who crits first" and the shields are again useless.

My objection is that I don't want to keep track of wounds, vitality, shields, armor, and barrier, all with their own refresh cycles.


Hmm.  How about this:

Defenses in Mass Effect: Your character may possess several defensive powers as well as the shielding unit incorporated in every species combat uniforms and many forms of civilian clothes.  Each power has a quality associated with it:

Reinforced: Barriers provide this quality.  You take no damage from attacks while the barrier is up.  Barriers are vulnerable to warp powers and warp ammo as noted in each power's description.  Reinforced overrides armored and shielded.

Armored: Armor powers (not just DR) provide this quality.  You receive DR and or Damage Resistance as noted in the power.  On a critical hit, an attacker may spend up to 4 action dice to end all armor powers for that many rounds.  Incinerate and fire based damage does bonus damage to armored targets.

Shielded: You have this quality while you have more than 50% of your vitality.  Overload and disruptor ammo does bonus damage to you.  On a critical hit, an attacker may spend up to 4 action dice.  Your vitality drops to 50%, losing the shielded quality and you may not refresh for 1 round per action die after the first spent. Shielded overrides armored.

Exposed: You have this quality all the time.  You take damage according to your type.  Critical hits do wound damage.  This quality is overridden by the other three qualities.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 18, 2012, 04:34:38 PM
Here's one way, certainly not the only.  It would be possible to swap Mastery into the 6th slot and Powered into the 2/11/19 slot if you were using the fast feats campaign quality.  Mastery would need a few more abilities but that would push the double power acquisition to 19th level. 

Spoiler: Squadmate generic ME Base Class • show

Core Ability: Boot Camp
You gain the core ability corresponding to the power tree your alignment gives you.  If you have two trees, choose one of the two core abilities.
    Combat: When making attacks with Favored Weapons, your base attack bonus is considered equal to your level.
    Biotics: When you spend an action die to boost a biotics power check, you may roll 2 dice, keeping both.
    Tech: When you spend an action die to boost a tech power check, you may roll 2 dice, keeping both.

Powered: You take a step in one of your powers.  At level 3 and every 2 levels thereafter, as well as level 6 and 3 levels thereafter, you take another step.

Mastery: At levels 2, 11, and 19, you may choose one of the following abilities.  Each ability may be taken multiple times.
    Fitness: Your lowest ability rises by one.  You ignore the first -2 of any penalty due to rugged or hazardous environments, such as zero-gee.
    Tech Mastery: You receive a +2 with attack and skill rolls with powes from the Tech tree.
    Biotics Mastery: You receive a +2 with attack and skill rolls with powes from the Biotics tree.
   Combat Mastery: You receive a +2 with attack and skill rolls with powes from the Combat tree.
   ***needs a couple more.***

Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter you receive a bonus feat from the Basic Combat or XXX trees.

Loyalty: At 10th level you gain one rank of Heroic Renown.  Once per scene, you may turn a saving throw made by yourself or a hero who can see and hear you into a team check made at the highest bonus on the team.
At level 20, you gain another rank of Heroic Renown and you may use your loyalty ability when defending in an opposed skill roll.

Apotheosis: At 14th level, pick one power you know.  If that power does damage, you may roll twice and keep the better roll.  Otherwise, the power's duration increases by X rounds.

1: Boot Camp, Powered
2: Mastery
3: Powered
4: Bonus Feat
5: Powered
6: Powered
7: Powered
8: Bonus Feat
9: Powered (x2)
10: Loyalty I
11: Powered, Mastery
12: Bonus Feat, Powered
13: Powered
14: Apotheosis
15: Powered
16: Bonus Feat
17: Powered
18: Powered
19: Powered, Mastery
20: Bonus Feat, Loyalty II

Nice.  I think my only suggestion is that for most classes, the level 6/9/12/15/18 ability is one you get to choose from a list.  If I was playing this class, I would still want to have that.  Taking an extra step along a path could be one of those options.  That would be especially true if there are feats that let you take steps along ME paths.

I consider it to be very important that a newcomer to the game who is familiar with Mass Effect would be able to look at the final product and be able to easily see the Mass Effect classes, and recognize the general pattern of them from the video games.  So, while I agree that the ammo powers could all be optional enhancements to a central ammo power, or that the telekinetic powers could all be enhancements to a central telekinesis power, I think doing that is the wrong decision because it distorts things from the way they are presentation in the video games.

I think it's important to assure that the system is readily accessible to those who know mass effect and not mastercraft but I also think there are some videogame issues we don't need to copy.  Ammo powers (and grenade powers in ME3) started out as ammo and grenades in ME1.  When the decision was made to scrap the inventory system, they became powers.  Personally, I'd like to see ammo and grenades go back to the ME1 state of being items.  Unlike ME2, we have a functioning inventory system and I don't think using it will scare off those who are familiar with the whole series.

As far as the powers go, power unlocking is already established so saying you need to learn lift before you learn slam isn't a big deal. MC combat is already going to be different (and the way the evolutions affect that combat will be very different). 
My understanding is that mass effect weapons work by using a mass effect field to shave little slivers off a big lump of steel (or titanium, or tungsten, I forget which metal), and then accelerate it up to absurd speeds.  So, mass effect weapons don't really have ammo in that sense.  Also, without the ammo powers, the combat tree looks kind of sparse compared to the other 2.  Requiring some power be taken before others are available is fine.  It always annoyed me, but as a Vanguard I just want Charge and Shockwave, screw all the other powers.  It's also a bit of a departure from the way paths and alignments work, but then so is 4-step paths, so I guess it's not a big deal.  If I was just doing this for me, I'd leave out the power prerequisites, but I'm not so whatever other people want is fine by me.

I think powers that completely fail to work is a videogameism that wasn't present in the original Mass Effect.  Enhancing damage should work fine.  Here is an example of a Barrier power (not trying to balance, idea only):

Barrier: While your barrier is active, you may not be affected by non-damaging biotics powers and absorbs harmlessly attacks of other sort.  Your barrier falls after absorbing 3 attacks.  Warp powers are particularly effective against barriers, counting as 2 attacks.

My objection is that I don't want to keep track of wounds, vitality, shields, armor, and barrier, all with their own refresh cycles.
Hmm.  How about this:

Defenses in Mass Effect: Your character may possess several defensive powers as well as the shielding unit incorporated in every species combat uniforms and many forms of civilian clothes.  Each power has a quality associated with it:

Reinforced: Barriers provide this quality.  You take no damage from attacks while the barrier is up.  Barriers are vulnerable to warp powers and warp ammo as noted in each power's description.  Reinforced overrides armored and shielded.

Armored: Armor powers (not just DR) provide this quality.  You receive DR and or Damage Resistance as noted in the power.  On a critical hit, an attacker may spend up to 4 action dice to end all armor powers for that many rounds.  Incinerate and fire based damage does bonus damage to armored targets.

Shielded: You have this quality while you have more than 50% of your vitality.  Overload and disruptor ammo does bonus damage to you.  On a critical hit, an attacker may spend up to 4 action dice.  Your vitality drops to 50%, losing the shielded quality and you may not refresh for 1 round per action die after the first spent. Shielded overrides armored.

Exposed: You have this quality all the time.  You take damage according to your type.  Critical hits do wound damage.  This quality is overridden by the other three qualities.
I also like the idea of treating shields, barriers, and possibly even mass effect armor as conditions that you can gain and lose.  I'm least sure about armor, because I think it would be better for it to just provide DR and not worry about the other stuff.  Like you said, MC combat is already going to be different, and I think that's one area where we shouldn't fight that.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 19, 2012, 11:39:19 AM
Nice.  I think my only suggestion is that for most classes, the level 6/9/12/15/18 ability is one you get to choose from a list.  If I was playing this class, I would still want to have that.  Taking an extra step along a path could be one of those options.  That would be especially true if there are feats that let you take steps along ME paths.

Changing the 6/9/etc back to an appropriate list should be good if the feat based step acquisition is repeatable.  I'm also starting to think there will be less pressure to take all of the steps of a path than the videogame too.  Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of ideas for good abilities to put in it.  Thoughts?

My understanding is that mass effect weapons work by using a mass effect field to shave little slivers off a big lump of steel (or titanium, or tungsten, I forget which metal), and then accelerate it up to absurd speeds.  So, mass effect weapons don't really have ammo in that sense.

Here (http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Ammo_Upgrades) is the mass effect one system.  They didn't go into detail how the upgrades work but presumably they are modules that prep the rounds before being shot.

Also, without the ammo powers, the combat tree looks kind of sparse compared to the other 2.  Requiring some power be taken before others are available is fine.  It always annoyed me, but as a Vanguard I just want Charge and Shockwave, screw all the other powers.  It's also a bit of a departure from the way paths and alignments work, but then so is 4-step paths, so I guess it's not a big deal.  If I was just doing this for me, I'd leave out the power prerequisites, but I'm not so whatever other people want is fine by me.

To be clear, I'm not saying you should have to have step 3 in some power before you buy another.  I think there are some powers that are close enough to be variants and thus we can represent them with a single power and some tricks to change them as needed.  Lift is the poster child for this.  Each of (Pull, Throw, Slam) take lift and add an increasingly violent follow up to it.  Let me list the powers as I see them.  After the power, I will list any powers I think should be tricks targeting that power.

Combat powers
Adrenaline Rush
Concussion Shot
Carnage
Fortification
Marksman

Biotic Powers
Barrier
Charge
Pull (Throw, Slam)
Shockwave (Nova)
Singularity
Stasis (I'd really like to make this a barrier trick)
Warp (Reave, Dark Channel)

Tech Powers
Combat Drone (Decoy, Sentry Turret)
Cryo Blast
Incinerate
Overload
Sabotage (Energy Drain)
Tactical Cloak
Tech Armor

That's five in the combat tree and seven in the others, or five six and seven if stasis goes under barrier.  ME1's Assassination power could help even out the trees.  I think the combat tree can be strong enough with six powers but ME1 has several other candidates if we need one.  

I also like the idea of treating shields, barriers, and possibly even mass effect armor as conditions that you can gain and lose.  I'm least sure about armor, because I think it would be better for it to just provide DR and not worry about the other stuff.  Like you said, MC combat is already going to be different, and I think that's one area where we shouldn't fight that.

The only reason I can think of is to distinguish armor powers (tech armor, fortification) from other abilities that grant DR.

Edit: Added Reave and Dark Channel to the list of Biotics abilities.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Krensky on May 19, 2012, 03:12:04 PM
You also forgot Defensive Matrix, Blade Armor and Ballistic Blades.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: foproy on May 19, 2012, 03:28:20 PM
in the books shields are powered by batteries. i would imagine the same to hold true for the games and the time in cover represents the chance to replace the battery. couldnt you based on this treat shields similar to guns and have the batteries be similar to how ammo is handled?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 20, 2012, 07:04:21 AM
in the books shields are powered by batteries. i would imagine the same to hold true for the games and the time in cover represents the chance to replace the battery. couldnt you based on this treat shields similar to guns and have the batteries be similar to how ammo is handled?

You can, but we're still left with the question of how to represent the damage mitigating aspect.   You could certainly make shield batteries an item and require a handle item action to restore shields.

Defensive Matrix is the Aquaman of Mass Effect powers.  It could be a tech armor purge trick or you could make it the tech equivalent of Barrier.  I don't play the multiplayer (horrible internet here) so I hadn't seen those two Blade powers in action.  I wonder if they make more sense as independent powers or if one should be a trick of the other.  In any case, using them as independent powers means that all three trees can have seven powers currently, assuming you don't set things up differently than I did.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 20, 2012, 10:08:51 AM
Tech Armour should be in the Biotic tree (it is a biotic effect), but it can become either a Warp Trick (which it actually is*) or a Barrier Trick (for those who don't read the codex).  Defense Matrix becomes the core Tech DR effect.  Blade Armour is easy as a Fortification trick (it's notably not biotic, unlike Tech Armour).

Ballistic Blades is a unique combat power.  It's basically like having a claymore you can activate as a power, that also inflicts bleed and can be upgraded to a kind of clusterbomb launching claymore (yes, is as cool as it sounds) - there's just nothing else like it.

I'm not sure what you mean by Defence Matrix is the Aquaman of Mass Effect powers.  Ignoring sillyness like a singleplayer Sentinel with 80% DR because they layered their powers, it's often straight up better then Tech Armour.  The returned shields are almost always more valuable then the small damage that Tech Armour deals upon purging (though it is better in MP because they buffed it substantially, but having shields recharged is still usually better).


* A (slightly more complex) idea for this particular one is make it a Defence Matrix trick requiring Warp.  That represents that it's a Warp effect held in place with some Tech use.  It also means to aquire it you've built in that the PC has to have both Tech and Biotic powers, rather then a heavy handed "must have Sentinel levels / Origin" restriction.  The actual mechanics could change change Defence Matrix to a Biotic Effect (and so benefit from any feats / gear / class abilities that boost biotic effects) and change the purge option to an AoE blast.  It would represent the fluff far better (which is always my personal goal when adapting any existing property).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on May 20, 2012, 01:55:16 PM
Tech Armour should be in the Biotic tree (it is a biotic effect) etc.

Are we're talking about the same Tech Armor (http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Tech_Armor)?

@Blankbeard, For choose from a list abilities, I don't know what else should go in that list.  I just think that there should be one, because otherwise that class feels more like a master class with 20 levels than it does a base class.  I had been thinking to either call it Shephard (a little tongue in cheek), or Spectre.  Maybe we could borrow from the captain and/or courtier to emulate Shep's team leader and powerful allies dynamic.

I find that I don't mind your breakdown of powers, but I still kind of worry it will appear foreign to ME fans at first glance.  I also worry that if only some of the powers/paths have tricks you can apply, it breaks up the symmetry of things.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on May 20, 2012, 02:39:11 PM
Tech Armour should be in the Biotic tree (it is a biotic effect) etc.

Are we're talking about the same Tech Armor (http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Tech_Armor)?

We sure are.  Highlighted the important bits.
Quote from: Codex
"Tech Armor" is the common term for a complex series of field generators that disrupt incoming force using a stationary warp effect. The theory is that bullets that would normally shatter on impact instead break apart when they strike the field. The field then bleeds away the shrapnel's kinetic energy. The standard design for tech armor traps the warp field between two low-yield kinetic barriers to protect the user from the field itself. When the outer barrier fails, the warp effect is discharged, potentially harming anyone nearby. For this reason, many soldiers modify the armor with a haptic-style light effect to warn allies not to get too close. On missions where stealth is paramount, this effect is disabled. Cynical soldiers joke that the design is called "tech armor" because if it were simply called "warp armor," no one would use it.

That's why Sentinels (Biotic / Tech) get access, but not Engineers (no bioitics).


EDIT: Source. (http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex/Weapons,_Armor_and_Equipment#Tech_Armor_and_Fortification)  There's a lot of cool stuff there, could be a useful source for anyone who didn't read the codex while playing.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Blankbeard on May 20, 2012, 04:42:56 PM
re: Tech Armor.  It seems to be treated as a tech ability in game.  Maybe warp fields are generated by equipment (warp ammo) but some biotics can make them without equipment. 

@Blankbeard, For choose from a list abilities, I don't know what else should go in that list.  I just think that there should be one, because otherwise that class feels more like a master class with 20 levels than it does a base class.  I had been thinking to either call it Shephard (a little tongue in cheek), or Spectre.  Maybe we could borrow from the captain and/or courtier to emulate Shep's team leader and powerful allies dynamic.
How about Squadmate as a name?  Or something similar.  As for abilities, let's start with a few generic ones that will fit well.

Sneak Attack: Your attacks inflict 1d6 of sneak attack damage.

Expertise: Choose one of (Class Skills). You may always take 10 with this skill and it takes the standard time.  Taking 20 takes 10 times the normal time.

Teflon Reputation: When you or your teammates lose Reputation, the loss is decreased by 2 (min 0).

Power Stunt: You gain two tricks that apply to your powers.

Omnitool expertise: Pick one skill you have ranks in that requires a kit.  As long as you have an omnitool, you are considered to have a workshop for that skill.

Most Deadly: When using a favored weapon, you may activate criticals for one less action die.

Blah: When you are a helper in a cooperative check led by a teammate, you automatically succeed.

Maybe some others, I'm pretty much out of ideas.

I find that I don't mind your breakdown of powers, but I still kind of worry it will appear foreign to ME fans at first glance.  I also worry that if only some of the powers/paths have tricks you can apply, it breaks up the symmetry of things.

I'd envision other tricks that don't simulate powers but other things in the game or just abilities that seem useful.  For ex:

Freefall (Pull trick) Requirements: Asari and Pull power, or Pull Rank 4.
You may activate this power as a free action even if it isn't your turn.  While this power is active, you fall at 60'/20m per round and take no falling damage.  This power lasts 1 minute.

Area Barrier (Barrier Trick) Requirements: Barrier Rank 3.
You create a 10'/3m sphere centered on you that inflicts 1d6 biotic damage on enemies.  Anyone inside the sphere takes no effect from attacks.  At the end of your action, if your barrier has stopped any attacks, you must make a will save DC 15+1 per round the sphere has existed.  You may not use your personal barrier or take movement actions except for a 5 foot step while the sphere exists.

Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on August 10, 2012, 05:49:58 AM
N7 (Talent)
The Interplanetary Combatives Academy, sometimes called "N-School" or "the villa," recruits officers from every branch of Earth's militaries to partake in grueling courses at Vila Militar in Rio de Janeiro.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on September 09, 2012, 12:08:28 AM
I've been working on these off and on since the last time we were talking about it.  I wanted them to be more complete before I presented them, but I'm stumped so maybe you guys can help fill in the blanks.

So, this first doc is an overview of the way I envision ME Shields, Barriers, and Armor (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R78k802Cc0oLnjZJ7L5li-fOZJR20bwdzY4cNG4uHAM/edit) to work.  I've implemented them as conditions.  I know it's not exactly the same as the video games.  But, it is simple and shouldn't result in characters having insurmountable piles of vitality points.  My reasoning for this is already on display a page or two back, so I won't rehash it here.


The second is where I'm stumped.  It's the mechanics for the powers (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o__xmvwkQ2fLns47dD8-fDR7sJP0IZ4a8J5BNT2nuD0/edit).  The list of powers comes straight from one that Blankbeard suggested.  There may be room to fiddle with it.  The biggest problems I'm having are:
1. Carnage for Combat Powers.  It's basically the same as Concussive Shot, and I think Concussive Shot is the better one to include.
2. Some of the Tech Powers.  I already did them once, they won't have changed much and I'm just not that interested in duplicating that effort.
3. Biotic Powers that affect movement.  I just don't know how to represent these mechanically.

And a quick note for something that might not be immediately obvious.  A lot of Biotic Powers in the video games make their targets more susceptible to Biotic damage.  Of course there's not a Biotic damage type, and rather than invent one, I just used Force.  I'm not thrilled about that, but I think it's the best of the existing types.

So what are you guys' thoughts?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 14, 2012, 04:26:55 PM
Interesting thinkings, and thanks for them.  Now I'll complain.

Biotic Barriers and Shields function the same way in the game, as far as I could see.  Overload takes big chunks out of them.  Warp puts a big dent in a Barrier, but doesn't effect Shields.  Rapid fire weapons burn through both faster than larger slugs.  (The M-98 Widow/Black Widow is noted for being able to punch through shields with enough force left to do damage, which sounds like a weapon feature, which the geth Javelin may also possess.)

I like the way shields are not assured to be burned down.  Hmm.  Could Tough be a better way to mimic Shields and Barriers for Standard NPCs?

Armored enemies in ME3 are simply immune to several powers, and take some extra damage from others.  (IIRC they are immune to Concussive Shot, but get chewed on by by Warp.)

I need to think more on this.  Keep up the good work.   :)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on September 14, 2012, 07:52:14 PM
In the video games, armor, barriers, and shields basically add hit points.  Those extra hit points had particular vulnerabilities, and there were some wonky edge cases where that vulnerability would bleed over (the two I'm aware of both involve running out of armor while taking fire damage), but once the shied/barrier/armor had been defeated no vulnerabilities remained.  Really though, the strongest effect that any of them had was to make your targets either immune or strongly resistant to nearly all of your powers.  And I think that's the most important aspect of them to get right.

Also, according to the ME wiki, each of the protections had mostly discreet weaknesses.  Overload was a bit of a special case in that it was noticeably more effective against barriers than health, but it was most effective against shields.

As to Tough, I'd say partially yes.  Tough is a good way to model protected enemies being more resilient than unprotected ones, but I think it's a rather poor way to model the immunity to powers that a Shield/Barrier/Armor bestows.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 14, 2012, 10:53:03 PM
As to Tough, I'd say partially yes.  Tough is a good way to model protected enemies being more resilient than unprotected ones, but I think it's a rather poor way to model the immunity to powers that a Shield/Barrier/Armor bestows.
That is also a GM note of So-&-So NPC had Tough(Shield); ten damage or two hits and that is gone without a save, then down to the damage save.

I'm still thinking about how it should work for PCs.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on September 15, 2012, 12:46:05 AM
Personally, I'd go with the ME3 route where Armour is DR.  It's so much simpler, uses an existing mechanic (that Brute there - just give him DR10 or whatever) and lets players armour matter (Krogan have "armour" in their status screen, but it has no effect in game - obviously for balance reasons, but that balance is built into MC).

Ablative HP for the other two is pretty fitting, simply give them a modifier that they count as having Archilles Heel (Electricity) for said ablative HP.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 15, 2012, 10:36:01 AM
Ablative HP for the other two is pretty fitting, simply give them a modifier that they count as having Archilles Heel (Electricity) for said ablative HP.
I'm good with that.  Do we care enough to try and simulate the fluff of rapid firing weapons being better at chewing through shields?  I'm leaning towards no.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on September 15, 2012, 01:24:57 PM
I'm also leaning towards no - Bioware themselves ditched the idea in ME3 after all.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on September 15, 2012, 01:41:48 PM
It's still there, at least in the fluff, in the multiplayer.

The problem with using standard DR for armour is that standard DR isn't abalative. You might have to be looking at a rule that says "For every attack that exceeds the DR of armour, the DR drops by 1"
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on September 15, 2012, 02:11:02 PM
Yeah, it's still in the fluff - it's just not supported by the mechanics in either MP or SP.  To be honest, I'm fine with that - shields being dealt with by raw DPS makes more sense anyway, and armour needs to be punched through by a powerful weapon.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on September 15, 2012, 03:50:14 PM
The other problem with using DR for ME armor is that it doesn't make you immune to anything.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 15, 2012, 04:56:43 PM
The other problem with using DR for ME armor is that it doesn't make you immune to anything.
The only thing I particularly recall Armored enemies being immune to is Concussive Shot, which is just a missile that has a whole bunch of Takedown and does more damage if you improve it.  Shields and Barriers block more and different things.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on September 15, 2012, 05:31:23 PM
I'm pretty sure they all block everything except damage.  Armored enemies are immune to singularity, lift, throw, and pull for instance.  Shockwave and Charge continue to do damage, but don't send them flying.  Likewise with Concussive shot and Carnage.  And AI Hacking/Sabotage, Cryo Blast, Dominate, Slam.

In fact, to quote the wiki on the matter:
Quote from: Mass Effect Wiki
Stasis is unique among powers in that it will work despite any defensive layers that an enemy has, with the drawback of not directly dealing damage.

The only thing Armor isn't immune to that other ME defenses are is fire, and that's because Armor is specifically weak to it, just like shields are specifically weak to Overload which has zero effect on Armor.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 15, 2012, 07:16:46 PM
Thank you for filling in that gap in my recollection.  :)

Maybe "Armored" should be an NPC quality granting immunity or some crazy bonus to resist most effects?
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on September 15, 2012, 08:12:07 PM
I set up all three ME protections as conditions that grant immunity to ME powers, a bit of protection from crits and damage, and a weakness to a specific damage type.  Since they are things that can be gained and lost throughout a combat (Shields and Barriers at least, I don't think Armor regenerates in the video games), a condition seems more appropriate than an NPC quality.  Eventually you would probably want to back that up with NPC qualities that grant the conditions, but that can wait.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 15, 2012, 09:10:08 PM
Armor can be repaired, but it doesn't regenerate, no.

My principle objection goes against the 10+.5*Damage save to keep a Shield or Barrier up.  That's just math and extra rolling in the middle of combat.  Maybe for Shields and Barriers the save DC could be Damage that adds up until the Shield/Barrier drops?  Better gear can get a bonus to the roll or fail more than one save before just dropping.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: tfwfh on September 15, 2012, 09:54:28 PM
I agree and I'd love to hear any suggestions about how to replace it with a method that has less math and/or rolling (especially when its not your turn).
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Mister Andersen on September 16, 2012, 07:13:21 AM
A couple of relevant links:

http://www.mediafire.com/?s16u30k62c7io48 (http://www.mediafire.com/?s16u30k62c7io48)

http://masseffectd20.freeforums.org/ (http://masseffectd20.freeforums.org/)
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: Sletchman on September 16, 2012, 12:17:33 PM
In ME3, the only armoured enemies are also big.  Brute, Banshee and Atlas.  They have DR85 odd, which makes most weapons outright useless (think DR20 in MC terms).  You could go as easy as "you add your DR to this opposed check" for things like throw / pull etc (so that players in Riot Gear type stuff are pretty resistant to all forms of attack, but are slow and have minimal Defence) or simply handwave it as "It's not armour that stops the powers, it's bulk - you just can't singularity a Brute".

I'd go with the latter, because trying to replicate that level of videogame mechanics at the tabletop adding unnecessary difficulty and changing the core tabletop mechanics too much to be worth the benefit.  Like I said in the Shadowrun thread, capturing the flavour is more important here (especially when the reason for Armour stopping powers is to attempt to built a Rock-Paper-Scissors balance point in their game, so Adepts don't rule the roost*).


*Yes they failed, due to Warp-Throw being able to tear anything apart faster then any other option in the game, but the idea was balance.
Title: Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
Post by: MilitiaJim on September 16, 2012, 04:25:22 PM
The size/Armor thing is something I hadn't thought of until you mentioned it, and now I'm just "durr, why didn't I see that."

Adding DR to resisting some powers is a neat solution for some armors and NPCs.

Shields seem to me ablative armor that can soak more damage based on the quality of the shield, but it gets chewed through really quickly and just sorta goes "poof" when hit with electricity.