Mass Effect: Rebirth

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Mass Effect: Rebirth

Post by Coyotzin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:41 am

SPOILER WARNING: This setting is an extrapolation of the Mass Effect universe after the saga ends in Mass Effect 3. If you haven't played the games (and... why? :) ), there are many spoilers ahead.


Genre: Science Fiction (borderline transhumanist)
Scope: Star cluster. Characters may travel between nearby systems, but galactic travel is out of commission. First couple of chapters may be limited to Sol system, even.
Timeframe: Year 2236 Citadel Era (CE), Year 50 Synthesis Era (SE) (roughly 2236 A.D.).

Background
t's been 50 years after Commander Shepard ended the Reaper invasion and saved the galaxy. Shepard was lost when the Citadel exploded and took the Mass Relays with it, but the survivors of that last desperate battle discovered the galaxy had changed forever: organic and synthetic life were now one and the same (Synthesis option).

With the galactic fleet stranded in Sol and the Local Cluster, the different species were forced to cooperate to survive and rebuild. Contact has been reestablished with most species' homeworlds thanks to quantum communications (Thessia and Tuchanka being glaring exceptions), and at least one deep-space expedition was launched to return to Palaven in a Quarian liveship retrofitted with cryostasis pods and operated by geth. Deep-space geth probes have rebuilt a communication network in the local cluster and helped find viable worlds for colonization (in the way finding the surviving Normandy crew).

All in all... galactic civilization seems to be getting back on its feet and ready to find its own way now that the Reaper Cycle is broken. Except that not all is well. The united systems still face problems from renegade krogan splinter units, Reaper cults organized by remaining indoctrinated agents, and unruly rogues from the surviving Terminus pirate crews. However, the most pressing menace is Synthesis itself, for it has opened a way for people to rewrite and upgrade themselves, and not all were ready for this. Those who have gained the most power have lost themselves in the process and become Reaper-like monsters, much, much weaker in scale, but equally relentless in their own particular madness.

To fight these monsters, the United Galaxy Council (the new governing body after the extinction of the Citadel Council, and much more inclusive) has reformed the Special Tactics & Recon Corps, the Spectres, who receive the best training from the united species' tactics and the latest in the development of the Synthesis potential.
Last edited by Coyotzin on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Species

Post by Coyotzin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:42 am

Note on species templates: After Synthesis, members of all species became free to explore what made them tick. This has led to long-lived Salarians, levo-amino Turians, and healthy Quarians. The species templates below are thus only guidelines of what a baseline member of the species would look like. They are also written for 2E; adapt as appropriate to 3E while I update them.


Humans (0 points):
Humans' genetic variety is fertile ground for Synthesis. In addition, Earth has become the new capital of galactic civilization, thanks to the presence of fleets of every other species during the Reaper War stranded. As hosts, humans now enjoy an unforeseen position of power and influence. However, human population suffered the most as the first target for harvesting from the Reapers (who seem to have ignored Batarians other than as speedbumps). Human population of Earth is roughly 40% of what it was before the Reapers' arrival. Grand Admiral Steven Hackett sits in the Galaxy Council, the sole remaining human who fought in the Reaper War, alive to this day either through Synthesis or sheer stubbornness.
Complication: High Expectations - Commander Shepard, the savior of the galaxy and exemplar of the Citadel Age, was human, and the galaxy expects nothing less from the humans who remain.
Asari (6 points):
Asari took to their new home on Earth with ease, leveraging their ability to mate with any species to carve a niche in Earth for themselves. Asari are the third most populous species in the Local Cluster and the second on Earth, and a whole new generation of Maidens is entering the galactic stage, while the surviving Matrons guide them from monasteries built in hard-to-reach positions atop Earth's mountain ranges. Communication with Thessia, the Asari homeworld, has not been reestablished, and so the Asari stranded in Sol have decided to mirror their old form of government and consider themselves the scions of their civilization. Aria T'loak survived the Reaper War and sits on the United Galaxy Council, and rumor has it that she has rallied the surviving Justicars into a fearsome blackops unit.
Attractive, Benefit (attractive to all species and genders) - 2 points
Biotic Adept - 1 point
Embrace Eternity: Super-Senses 4 (choose Postcognition or Precognition; unreliable) - 2 points
Tactile Empathy: Mind Reading 3 (Touch) - 1 point
Complication: Reputation - Asari have the inaccurate reputation of being promiscuous and "easy" due to their ability to mate with any species and their exploits during the Maiden stage.
Drell (4 points):
The Drell are a woeful minority along their Hanar leaders. They inhabit a single settlement off the coast of Brazil. Synthesis and Earth's climate has rendered them immune to Kapral Syndrome, and their population is slowly rising. They share representation in the Galaxy Council with the Hanar.
Strength +2 - 2 points
Eidetic Memory - 1 point
Immunity 1 (environmental heat) - 1 point
Complication: Debt - The Drell owe their survival to the Hanar; most Drell serve them willingly in many capacities.
Krogan (22 points):
Stranded in Sol without their females, the Krogan have reverted back to their savagery despite Urdnot Wrex's efforts. Wrex survived the Reaper War and sits on the Galactic Council, but his position weakens year by year as Krogan roam the Local Cluster as mercenaries and pirates. They were granted a settlement on Mars. Rumor runs that Wrex is trying to harness Synthesis to switch the gender of Krogan warriors in Sol in order to make his species viable, as communication with Tuchanka has not been reestablished and the fate of the homeworld is unknown.
Endurance - 1 point
Protective Plates: Protection 2 (Innate, Impervious) - 5 points
Highly Resistant: Immunity 10 (half-effect; environmental cold, environmental heat, high pressure, poison, disease, fatigue effects) - 5 points
Predatory Vision: Super-Senses 3 (low-light vision, extended sight) - 3 points
Regeneration 5 (recover from Injured and Bruised 1/round) - 5 points
Blood Rage: Boost 3 (Physical Abilities; Self Only) - 3 points
Complication: Temper - Krogan temper is famous for its volatility.


Quarian (5 points):
As the second largest fleet in the Battle of Earth, a sizeable proportion of Quarians survived the War, but half of the flotilla left the system one decade after the battle, after the Geth reestablished communication with Rannoch through their Consensus and quantum communicators. Rannoch was spared in the Reaper War and is thriving, and ready to welcome the pilgrims home. Two liveships left for Palaven, carrying Turians in cryostasis. Seven liveships and several dozen support and military ships remained in Sol to rebuild and provide an anchor. Two liveships were refashioned as space-stations around Earth, two more are stationed around Jupiter in terraforming projects of some of its moons, and the rest left to colonize other systems in the local Cluster. Synthesis has treated the Quarians well; the younger generation can survive easily without envirosuits, but they retain them as housing for Geth "companions", creating a curious symbiotic relationship.

Craft (any) 4 ranks - 1 point
Omni-Tool Mastery - 1 point
Choose one feat: Salvage (Mecha & Manga), Mechanical Genius (Mecha & Manga) or Skill Mastery (any combination of Computers, any Craft, Disable Device, Pilot) - 1 point
Enviro-Suit: Equipment 2 (Immunity 9 [life-support], Protection 1) - 2 points
Complication: Weak Immune System (optional) - Quarians without their suits or whose suits are breached will fall ill, suffering at best a mild allergic reaction, at worst a violent and fatal illness. Amino-dextrous - Quarian phisiology is based on "left"-oriented molecular chirality. The common levo-amino food is allergenic or downright poisonous to a Quarian.


Salarian (5 points):
The current generation of Salarians did not live through the Reaper War and have a fresh outlook. Earth is the only home they know and, while there is stable communication with Sur'Kesh, the "Solarians" show no yearning to know the homeworld of their forebears other than the reward for surmounting the technical challenge of intergalactic travel.

Eidetic Memory - 1 point
Quick Mind: Immunity 6 (half-effect; sleep, fatigue effects) - 3 points
Quick Metabolism: Quickness 1 - 1 point
Complication: Short-lived - Salarian accelerated metabolism also means a short life-span, hardly exceeding 40 years. Hyperactive - A Salarian is always looking for something to do.


Turian (8 points):
Turians are the second largest population in Sol and third on Earth thanks to their large military detachment and the fact that their females and males fight in equal standing. Turian culture in Sol is less militaristic than those on Palaven despite being mostly descendants of military personnel, their focus on personal excellence rechanneled into engineering and other scientific pursuits that can aid them and the galaxy as a whole in their survival and prosperity. Palaven and its local colonies are struggling to keep afloat after their hard fight against invading Reapers, as relayed by reestablished quantum contact, and the Quarian expedition carrying some terraforming equipment is yet to arrive.

Skin Plates: Immunity 1 (environmental radiation) - 1 point
Predatory Vision: Super-Senses 3 (low-light vision, extended sight) - 3 points
Talons: Strike 2 (Mighty) - 3 points
Superior Military Training - 1 point
Complication: Amino-dextrous - Turian phisiology is based on "left"-oriented molecular chirality. The common levo-amino food is allergenic or downright poisonous to a Turian.


Other Species:
Geth: The sentient software race has thrived greatly after Synthesis. Freed from the Reapers' shackles and now possessing organic-like sentience, the Geth have insinuated themselves in almost every aspect of galactic civilization, becoming pilots, administrators, scouts, researchers, etc. They have explored the most with the possibilities of Synthesis and can now grow platform bodies for themselves as individuals or collectives. The Geth Councillor is called "Joker 1", and claims to be the child-process of the galactic heroes EDI and Jeff Moreau, downloaded from a remote colony world into its current platform. Geth can contact the Consensus, spanning both the Local Cluster and the Perseus Veil, and provide easy and fast communication with the Quarian homeworld. They built a station orbiting Saturn, serving as their "homeworld server" and central hub in the Local Cluster.

Rachni: The Rachni have quietly retreated from the galactic forum, their Queen fully aware of the fright they evoke in other species. They were granted the Asteroid and Kuiper Belts in Sol and they provide the galaxy with many useful minerals and gasses. A human serves as the Queen's avatar in the Council, while the Queen's exact location is unknown, and rumored to be in transit towards Thessia in order to reestablish contact with the Asari homeworld.

Hanar: The floating jellyfishes underwent a severe crisis of faith during the Reaper War. Most of them have become pilgrims around the Local Cluster, although they have a home settlement on Earth along with their Drell companions.

Volus: The enterprising Volus have successfully rebuilt galactic economy based on their new homes in Venus, which they have conditioned successfully to resemble their homeworld. Their status is magnitudes higher than it was during the Citadel Era, and now that their philosophical imperative to altruism during times of war has ended, they have returned to their opportunistic ways. While they cannot help remote systems directly, the Volus of Sol provide advise to their remote relatives and are the main force behind research in intergalactic travel technology.

Elcor: Aside from their embassy in Earth, every Elcor left Sol for other systems in the Local Cluster. They are colonizing a planet in Alpha Centauri with conditions similar to their homeworld, but yearn to return home and support the Asari in every effort to reconnect to their cluster.
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The Sol System and the Local Cluster

Post by Coyotzin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:43 am

**Placeholder for cosmography**

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The People

Post by Coyotzin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:43 am

United Galaxy Council

Asari Councillor: Aria T'loak. Ex-criminal mastermind but first to offer support and assistance to Shepard in the Reaper War. Escaped the Citadel just in time before the Reapers captured it, and stepped up the plate in organizing the disoriented and demoralized Asari.

Batarian Councillor: Gados Ko'arto. Powermonger who enjoys the trappings of power more than its exercise. The one doing the real work is his assistant, Gerid Tah'har.

Elcor Councillor: Oros Trom. Sole remaining Elcor in the Sol System, representing the entire Elcor community that migrated to Gliese 581, aka Hope System.

Geth Councillor: Joker_1. Self-proclaimed child-process of galactic heroes EDI and Jeff Moreau, downloaded into a Geth Diplomatic Platform (near-humanoid android body).

Hanar/Drell Councillor: Deyarind. Enigmatic and pragmatic. Speaks for both its peoples with equal care to protect them both. A bit selfish and speciesist in that regard.

Human Councillor: Bernadette Beaumont. A "social engineer" who developed the linked communities model that makes up for most of Earth settlements.

Krogan Councillor: Urdnot Wrex. Legendary warlord who survived the ground combat in the Battle of Earth. Misunderstood visionary.

Rachni Councillor: Merni Al'ar. An Asari who volunteered to serve as the Rachni Queen's avatar in the council. Traumatized survivor of the Reaper War who finds comfort in the Rachni hive-mind.

Salarian Councillor: Dreda Solus. As shewd a politician as her clan-sake Mordin was a brilliant scientist. Knows what makes everybody tick and is good at exploiting it.

Turian Councillor: Relaion Victus. An honest leader who is yet aware of the games of politics, and tries to use this knowledge to steer the Council into the right direction.

Volus Councillor: Ridus Fain. Scheming financier with an acute eye for profit and a contrasting ideal of building a better galaxy.

GSV Thermopilae Crew
  • Cptn. Rhiannon Vakarian (Tactics/CO): Turian female. One of the youngest UGN officers to gain her own commission. Has a brilliant mind for tactics and no interest in calibrating anything.
    Lt.Cmmdr. Kayleigh Winters (Pilot/XO): Human female. Hotshot pilot who bribed her way into a Normandy-class frigate assignment. Tuned her own Synthesis to interface directly with the ship. She actually becomes the Thermopilae when flying it.
    Gunnery Chief Weyrloc Dak (Artillery Officer): Krogan male. Young and wisecracking, hiding the trauma of losing half his clan in the Battle of Earth.
    Edan Sirti (Navigator): Salarian male. Borderline autistic, a genius for numbers and can calculate FTL jumps in his head. Looks up to Kayleigh as an older sister.
    Dani'Reggar vas Thermopilae (Chief Engineer/Quartermaster): Quarian female-Geth symbiote. One of the "endowares", a Quarian who altered her Synthesis to "wear her envirosuit on the inside". She hosts a Geth intelligence in her own body. Relentless flirt.
    Lt. Reinhardt Kant (Tech/EVA specialist): Human biotic male. Old-timer who refuses to use his Synthesis to cure his low-gravity osteoporosis. Uses biotics to hold himself together. Flies in space as if he owned it.
    Lt. Hassan bin Rajani (Tech/Comms/Sensors): Human male. Another wisecracker and best friends with Dak. Hyper-intuitive to the point of near-clairvoyance, usually plots targets for Dak when not manning his own station.
    Dr. Athelas Koriat (Medic): Drell male. No-nonsense mother-hen. Rumored to have extirpated his own sense of humor.
Chapter 1 Personalities
Dr. Jerzy Grabowski: Human male. Director of Beaulac Clinic.
Mark Whitley: Human male. Alliance News Network reporter.
Cayreni Dorlas: Salarian female. Alliance News Network editor.
Ri'dok: Batarian male. Crippled ex-merc plying a poor version of information brokerage in Luna's Underworld.
Last edited by Coyotzin on Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Mechanics

Post by Coyotzin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:44 am

Reputation
ImageImage

Awarding Reputation score.
Whenever a character earns a Hero Point, the nature of the award may be deemed a Paragon or Renegade choice. In addition to the Hero Point awarded, such actions will increase the corresponding Reputation score.

Another way to increase the Reputation score is to actually spend Hero Points and "bidding" them. Whenever a player spends a HP, (s)he may bid them as being intended for a Paragon or Renegade action. If the action succeeds, the corresponding Reputation score increases.

Using Reputation
Reputation is basically a global Luck pool. Any character who is about to spend a Hero or Luck point may opt to withdraw from the Reputation pool instead of using his or her own. The only condition is that the nature of the Reputation must match the action for which it is being spent.

Reputation points may not be used to cancel Fatigue. There's nothing particularly Paragon/Renegade in renewed energy.

Paragon Actions: Noble and selfless actions, acting towards the greater good and goes double if it is at the expense of personal gain. Acts of self-restraint that achieve long-term results.
Renegade Actions: Pragmatic and expedient actions that get things done regardless of who gets trampled; badassery without considering consequences.

Advantages

Biotic Adept
When you use Extra Effort together with a biotic power (as a power stunt, increasing its rank, gaining an extra action to use the power, etc.), you are not fatigued on your next round. Fatigue sets in normally after that.
You may also gain biotic powers.

Omni-Tool Mastery
When you have an omni-tool, add +2 to the final result of taking 10 or 20 with any Computers, Craft, and Disable Device checks.
You may also gain tech powers.

Superior Military Training
You can spend a move action to add one the following descriptors to the damage of a firearm you are using: fire, cold, electricity, sonic.
You may also learn Ammo powers

Spectre [Skill, Fortune, Ranked]
You are an elite agent of the Council. The first rank grants you an Extrajudicial Activities benefit, which translates basically to a license to kill. Each additional rank after the first can give you one of the following benefits:
* Once per chapter you can reroll a Diplomacy or Intimidate check and keep the better result. You can only devote 3 ranks to this benefit.
* Gain access to the Spectre-issue power feat.
* Spectre Training: Spend a hero point to grant you and your allies a recovery check or saving throw for one condition with a bonus equal to your Spectre ranks.

Tech Familiarity
From Mecha & Manga: available alien technology types are: Prothean, Reaper, and Geth. Trying to use any of these technologies carries a -4 penalty from lack of familiarity.

Equipment

GSV Thermopilae SR-11 - PL 10
A Normandy-class light frigate, requiring a small crew of 7-10 plus mission specialists. Equipped with an Ez-1 drive core (synthesized element zero), slower than traditional pure Ez cores, but far more stable and reliable than the aging drives.

Image
Strength 18, Defense 8, Toughness 14, Size Colossal

Features: Armory 1, Communication System 1, Computer 1, Crew Quarters 1, Fire Prevention System, Library 1, Navigation System 1, Personnel 1, Security System 1, Sensor Systems 1

Powers
Flight: Flight 15 (Speed: 64000 miles/hour, 120 miles/round)
. . Ez-1 Drive: Movement 2 (Alternate; Space Travel 2: other solar systems)
Kinetic Barrier: Enhanced Trait 16 (Traits: Defense +16 (+8); Fades)
Life Support System: Immunity 10 (Life Support)
Stealth System: Concealment 2 (Other Sense Type: Radio; Limited: Doesn't work in FTL)
Weapon Systems
. . GARDIAN Laser Array: Blast 10 (heat, DC 25; Increased Range: perception, Split 3: 4 targets; Limited: to targets in dogfight range)
. . Javelin Torpedoes: Burst Area Blast 8 (gravity, DC 23; Burst Area 3: 120 feet radius sphere, Extended Range 3; Custom: GARDIAN systems get a free counter check when fired in mid/liong range)
. . Mass Accelerator Cannon: Blast 12 (ballistic, DC 27)
. . Thanix Cannon: Blast 10 (Linked; ballistic, DC 25; Extended Range 7; Unreliable (roll)) + Weaken 10 (Linked; Affects: Kinetic Barriers, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 20; Affects Objects Only, Extended Range 7, Increased Range: ranged; Unreliable (roll))

Offense
Thanix Cannon: +0 Blast 10 (DC 25), Weaken 10 (DC Fort 20)
GARDIAN Laser Array: Blast 10 (DC 25)
Javelin Torpedoes: Burst Area Blast 8 (DC 23)
Mass Accelerator Cannon: Blast 12, +0 (DC 27)

Power Points
Abilities 6 + Powers 89 + Advantages 0 + Features 6 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 1 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 102

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