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[FATE] Strands of Mass Effect


Licenced in Electrickery
Sorry to go off topic but it would be nice to see a Mass Effect one too.
Indeed. I love me some Mass Effect.
Amen to that. Although the Diaspora one is pretty cool already it would be nice to have options.
I would LOVE to see a Mass Effect one as well!
Well, I've been tinkering with Strands, so I thought I'd put some stuff together in its own thread.

Feel free to add to it yourselves.


Strands of MASS EFFECT

Campaign Premise: Conversion of the Mass Effect RPG video game to Strands of Fate.
Campaign's Power Level: Mythic Hero
Campaign's Tech Level: 6

  • Starting at Mythic Hero seems a good starting point, and matches the level of the Shadowrun and Eberron conversions.
  • Clearly, the weaponry on show in Mass Effect is at TL 6, its just a matter of policing the limitations to get the feel of the tech in the right place.

Non Human Races (Part 1)

Racial Aspect: "Asari"
Speciality Aspect: "Natural Biotic (P)" (Biotics)
Advantages: Persistent Speciality
AP Cost: 3

Racial Aspect: "Krogan"
Speciality Aspect: "Survival of the Fittest (P)" (Strength)
Advantages: Persistent Speciality
AP Cost: 3

Racial Aspect: "Salarian"
Speciality Aspect: "Knowledge is Power" (Knowledge)
Advantages: Genius at Work
AP Cost: 2

Racial Aspect: "Quarian"
Speciality Aspect: "Born Spacer" (Knowledge)
Advantages: I've Got Just The Thing
AP Cost: 2

Power Sources / Affinity Abilities

Biotic Talent
Power Source: Element Zero Contamination
Affinity: Biotics
Stress Track: Physical
Weaknesses (-0): None
Powers: Only powers that can be activated with a roll can be purchased. (??)

Tech Powers
Power Source: Omni-Tool
Affinity: Tech Talent
Stress Track: Mental
Weaknesses (-1): Must carry and use Omni-Tool to activate powers.
Powers: (Not sure)

  • Biotics seems pretty easy to port over, but how do I compare and contrast the Arcane (Wizard) and Arcane (Sorcerer) power sources, for example, to know which Power set to give to Biotics. Being better at the Affinity Ability giving bigger/better results seems that I might have it right though.
  • Also, I'm not sure how to model the purely tech-focused nature of the Tech Powers. I used the "Artifice" power source from the Eberron campaign document as the starting point, but Tech Powers don't replicate a Craft based power. Probably needs to be modeled with a Control (Tech) Power.


Registered User
Validated User
Really good stuff here.

As always with Strands, there are a few different ways to do everything.

Re: Biotics
I see two ways. The first is Control (Mass Effect Fields). That's going to give you everything you need in a simple package. But Control can get a little complicated and may not be the best choice for folks new to the system.

So, you could also model Biotics with separate Powers all tied to the "Element Zero" Power Source and the "Biotics" Affinity Ability.

Off the top of my head:

Warp = Ranged Power Attack, Resist: Endurance, Armor is ignored.
Singularity = Ranged Power Attack + Linked Advantage + Binding (w/ Floating in Air Power Aspect), Explosive, Persistent, Resist: Endurance, Armor is ignored.
Throw = Ranged Power Attack, Forceful (Push)*, Excessive Force*, Resist: Agility
Stasis = Binding, Strenuous*, Lockdown*, Resist: Endurance
Lift = Binding (w/ Floating in Air Power Aspect), Strenuous*, Resist: Agility
Barrier = Armor, Strenuous*, Insulating, Heavy Compatibility

Re: Tech
I wouldn't use Control here. I'd definitely use separate Powers, and give the Tech guy a Weakness (+1 AP) that states that all of his Tech Powers require an Omni-Tool. Also, I wouldn't use the Mental Stress track, as that indicates that Tech Powers actually makes you mentally unstable and potentially insane. Instead, I'd require that all Tech Powers require FP expenditures to activate. It never struck me that tech powers really stressed the user in any way, but they certainly need limits.

Off the top of my head:

Overload = Ranged Power Attack, Effortless, Limitation (-2): Synthetics only, Resist: Endurance, Armor is ignored.
Incinerate= Ranged Power Attack, Effortless, Persistent, Resist: Agility
Cryo Blast = Ranged Power Attack, Effortless, Resist: Endurance
AI Hacking = Influence Thoughts, Limitation (-2): Synthetics Only
Combat Drone = Summon Creature, Effortless*
Tactical Cloak = Invisibility (Cloaked), Effortless
Tech Armor = Armor + Linked Advantage + Conditional Trigger + Pulse Power Attack (w/ Effortless)

* These are new Modifiers being introduced in Strands of Power. Here are the current playtest versions:

+1/+2 (Forceful): When you successfully hit an opponent with this Power, regardless of how much stress you deal, you may choose to send your opponent flying into an adjacent zone. When you purchase this Modifier, you must decide whether you “Push” the target into a zone directly away from you, “Pull” the target into a zone closer to you, or “Shift” the target laterally, to one side or the other. To do this, you must succeed on an opposed Affinity roll against your opponent’s Strength or Endurance (chosen by your opponent). If you generate Spin on this roll your opponent is thrown an additional zone away from you.
If you purchase this Modifier for +2 AP, you may move the target in any direction you choose when the associated Power is activated.

+1 (Excessive Force): You must have already purchased the Forceful Modifier. You gain a +2 bonus on your roll to thrown an opponent you hit with this Power, and you can throw them one additional zone.

+1 (Lock Down): Your target cannot move in any significant way. They cannot make melee or ranged attacks while bound, nor can they activate Powers that require gestures or motion.

[Summon Creature] +0 (Effortless): You do not need an Affinity Ability. Instead of rolling to activate this Power, you need to spend a Fate Point. You must then roll your Reasoning against a difficulty equal to the summoned creature’s highest Ability +3. If you fail, the creature is not summoned and your Fate Point is wasted.

[Armor] +0 (Strenuous): It requires some effort on your part to call forth your armor. Select a Power Source and Affinity Ability to associate with this Power. Instead of spending a Fate Point to activate this Power, as a free action, you roll your Affinity against an activation difficulty of 4. Once activated it lasts for the duration of the scene.

[Binding] +0 (Strenuous): It requires some effort on your part to bind your opponent. Instead of spending a Fate Point to activate this Power, you roll your Affinity against an activation difficulty of 4.
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Registered User
Validated User
Don't the Asari have some low level of telepathy? You might want to make that part of their racial package.


Licenced in Electrickery
Don't the Asari have some low level of telepathy? You might want to make that part of their racial package.
All Asari are natural Biotics, not Telepathics, its just that some choose not to develop those skills. That's why I gave them the "Natural Biotic" (P) permanent aspect. They can tag it for free if it is relevant to the character concept. I considered giving them a discounted buy-in to the Biotics Power, but thought that this would be better, seeing as it is more generically useful. They could use it to recognise other Biotics, advise other characters on some biotic tactics (that they've heard about), and so on, if they aren't going to invest in Biotics straight away. It also means that down the track, if they decide to spend XP on acquiring Biotics, they immediately have a leg up in being useful.

The alternative to this would have been to give them an "Asari Grace" aspect, similar to the Elves in the Shadowrun conversion document.

-EDIT- Although, it could be argued that Telepathy (and Clairaudience, Clairvoyance) could be manifestations of a Biotic ability. The only race that has Telepathy (instead of the standard Biotics) are the Rachni. Again, which could be a unique manifestation of their underlying Biotics.


Licenced in Electrickery
Here, have some more...

Non Human Races (Part 2)

Racial Aspect: "Batarian"
Speciality Aspect: "Racial Supremist" (Willpower)
Advantages: Promise of Pain
AP Cost: 2

Racial Aspect: "Drell"
Speciality Aspect: "Eidetic Memory" (Knowledge)
Advantages: Constant Vigilance
AP Cost: 2

Racial Aspect: "Elcor"
Speciality Aspect: "High Gravity Breeds 'em Tough" (Endurance)
Advantages: Toughness
AP Cost: 2

Racial Aspect: "Hanar"
Speciality Aspect: "Scrupulously Polite" (Persuasion)
Advantages: Artist (one speciality); Well Known.
AP Cost: 2

Racial Aspect: "Turian"
Speciality Aspect: "Disciplined and Well Trained" (Perception)
Advantages: Weapon Expertise
AP Cost: 2

Racial Aspect: "Volus"
Speciality Aspect: "Lets Make a Deal" (Persuasion)
Advantages: Money is No Object
AP Cost: 2
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Retired User
Anyone still reading and interested in continue to work on this?

I've been playing a lot of Mass Effect 2 lately, and the more I do I think Control is the way to go for Biotics. I say this because if you pay attention to a lot of the cutscenes, it seems like Biotics can do just about anything with the power. I know the player is limited, but it seems like it's limited for video game reasons.

For Tech powers, I agree you should buy them like Mechalus says.

I think with the upcoming Strands of Power, this conversion is going to be even easier.

I really like those races so far! Though I think I would swap the Krogan one for "I am KROGAN!!!" :)
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