Author Topic: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling  (Read 13350 times)

Mister Andersen

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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)

« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 08:12:26 PM by Mister Andersen »

tfwfh

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #1 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.
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foproy

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #2 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.
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Mister Andersen

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #3 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
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 03:23:16 PM by Mister Andersen »

foproy

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #4 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.
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Mister Andersen

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 05:02:06 PM by Mister Andersen »

tfwfh

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #6 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?
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Mister Andersen

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #7 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.

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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

glimmerrat

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #8 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.
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tfwfh

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #9 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.
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MilitiaJim

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #10 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. 
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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 3.0: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #11 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

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #12 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.
·   [–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).
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 03:25:56 AM by Mister Andersen »

glimmerrat

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #13 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.
[0] • Base Speed: 30 ft.
[2] • Fearless: You are immune to negative morale effects.
[1] • Fast Healing: You heal damage at twice the standard rate.
[-2] • Cerberus Indoctrination: Characters with a higher Cerberus Renown than you may compel you to obey their commands. Simple commands must be completed to the best of your ability, but any command that places you in personal jeopardy grants a Will save (DC 10 + commanding character’s Charisma modifier) to resist.
[1] • Low Light Vision: You ignore the effects of dim and faint light.
[2] • No Pain: You ignore the first fatigued or shaken condition that  you gain in each scene.
[2] • Stand Together: You gain +2 morale bonus to Defense and all saves when at least 2 adjacent characters share your species.

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.

Spoiler: show

Especially after seeing how far Kai Leng and the Illusive Man had gone without even realising it.


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.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 04:48:55 AM by glimmerrat »
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glimmerrat

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Re: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 04:51:34 AM »
Come to think of it, given the new DLC i'd consider a playable Prothean species...
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