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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:57 am 
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Sith Lord
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Xphile wrote:
Most races need surgical implants to use biotics (all but Asari so far), and can upgrade their implants with special "biotic amp" equipment. I think it would be rather hard to completely remove a biotics abilities, though you may be able to dampen them slightly. I'd have to go look to see if they mentioned what they did to keep Jack in her cell.

In the movie, their human biotic adept (not Jack or anyone else we know) was stripped of gear, as were the others. An ally managed to get them one power cell, and rather than power up his own weapon, Vega gave the cell to the adept so he could use his biotic powers again (it couldn't have been a more clear Paragon/Renegade decision point if they'd actually flashed the two symbols on opposite sides of the screen). They made it very clear that once his equipment was powered down, he was entirely unable to use biotic powers. Again, no idea how accurate that is to the games, but that's what they showed in the film.

From a physics standpoint it make sense; even if eezo allows them to project mass effect fields to do work, the laws of thermodynamics still apply. You can't create energy from nowhere. If you throw a box across the room with a biotic power, you have to pull enough energy from somewhere to accelerate the box in that manner. You can convert electricity into kinetic energy or something, but you have to start with something. That suggests they need an external power source to do anything significant*, which is kind of the definition of amplification.

A field is only a method of transmitting energy from one object to another; it doesn't create energy. You can push a magnet around without touching it by pushing a second magnet towards it, north to north, but the energy comes from your hand pushing the magnet. You press forward against the magnetic repulsion and the other magnet moves in response. Similarly, a mass effect field has to come up with enough energy to lift a person against gravity, or tear molecules apart, or counter the kinetic energy of a bullet. If that energy isn't coming from a piece of gear the guy's wearing, where does it come from?

* It's possible you could use the tiny amounts of bio-electricity in nerve cells or the mechanical force of muscles to activate a field, but the output would be no greater than what you could do with a tiny electrical charge or by directly applying your muscles to the target, so I wouldn't call that "slight" dampening -- it would be utterly crippling, reducing a powerful biotic adept to levitating tiny objects or applying a few pounds of pressure to an object.

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:58 pm 
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Jedi Knight
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I'll have to check the Codex tonight to see if they give a better explanation of this.

Biotics use their implants or natural abilities to draw upon Dark Energy. Unlike the force in Star Wars which binds the universe together, Dark Energy is what current scientists (The real life kind, not the kind from the game) believe permeates most/all of space and has lead to the acceleration to how quickly the universe expands.

Eezo, or element zero, is an element that reacts to dark energy when an electrical charge runs through it. Some botics seem to be created by being exposed to eezo, which can do nothing, allow them to have small eezo deposits inside of their bodies or give them tumors.

Darth Pseudonym wrote:
In the movie, their human biotic adept (not Jack or anyone else we know) was stripped of gear, as were the others. An ally managed to get them one power cell, and rather than power up his own weapon, Vega gave the cell to the adept so he could use his biotic powers again (it couldn't have been a more clear Paragon/Renegade decision point if they'd actually flashed the two symbols on opposite sides of the screen). They made it very clear that once his equipment was powered down, he was entirely unable to use biotic powers. Again, no idea how accurate that is to the games, but that's what they showed in the film.

It is likely a difference between the game and the movie, but it is possible that his implant needed some sort of power source as he didn't have fine enough control to use his own nervous system to create a "spark" to connect him with dark energy.

Darth Pseudonym wrote:
From a physics standpoint it make sense; even if eezo allows them to project mass effect fields to do work, the laws of thermodynamics still apply. You can't create energy from nowhere. If you throw a box across the room with a biotic power, you have to pull enough energy from somewhere to accelerate the box in that manner. You can convert electricity into kinetic energy or something, but you have to start with something. That suggests they need an external power source to do anything significant*, which is kind of the definition of amplification.

You are utterly correct, and the Mass Effect Universe tries to explain this with the use of Dark Energy. If it is everywhere and is strong enough to push the universe apart, then moving a guy into a wall should be no problem, as long as you can harness it.

The creation of the mass effect fields mostly allows the user to manipulate mass inside of the field, so that a big heavy object that you want to move "weighs" less and would

----
Ha! Apparently they put all of the audio files for the codex online, which attempts to explain a few things. I need to find myself a book about dark matter theories and see how much they just pulled out of their behinds.

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex/Technology

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:25 am 
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OK, well, that was a lot of technobabble (most of which I already know); I feel inclined to Morbo a great big DARK ENERGY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY, but I'll accept that it's just technobabble to explain techo-magic users in the setting.

So I'm really asking a very straightforward question: Is there any statement or evidence one way or the other in the actual ME games that clarifies whether or not biotics need external power sources?

On the one hand, Jack doesn't seem to have any gear on her when she busts out of prison (other than a pair of suspenders!) but that doesn't necessarily mean much*; she might've just gotten a power unit off the first guard she dropped. And Jack is hardly your average biotic, in the first place.

On the other hand, at least in some of the ME games, you do clearly equip biotic amps -- obviously powered devices -- as gear to improve your group's power, and all the biotics start out with an amp in their inventory (much like the techies' omnitools), which suggests they need at least a basic amp to be worthwhile.

So if the games never mention needing external power for biotics, all that means is they never mention it; it makes no claim one way or the other. They also don't talk explicitly about the need to power omnitools, so the fact that they don't mention it may just mean it isn't all that important to bring up.


*Actually, it seems to me that Jack's imprisonment suggests there IS a way to depower a biotic adept, since it'd be really hard to keep her in a cell otherwise... been some time since I played ME2, do they ever describe (in the game or in secondary materials) what measures were necessary to keep Jack from just blowing the cell door off with a biotic shockwave?

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:27 am 
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After justifiably killing a bunch of guards, it seems they locked Jack away in cryostasis.

I only only in the first game can you customize amps / omni tools. The later games use a different system all around.

From what I've read, nothing explicitly says if you need external power or not, but it is mentioned that Asari are natural biotics from birth, which would lead me to believe that they at least don't require external power. If they don't, I personally would need a reason why others would.

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Hey all, new to these forums, but have been on the FFG ones. Just thought I'd pipe in concerning a couple of things:

First - Biotics and whether you need a device or not, and asari. For a comparison, I'm going to use the Alliance implant types as a guideline and comparison. Asari have the innate ability with mass effect fields. The thing is, and Liara says this, that some asari don't develop these talents. An asari like this would be similar to a human with an L1 implant. They can maybe move a couple of items like a glass, or coin but can't do much else.

As to needing an amp, I would say it depends on the power of the biotic - Jack was an incredibly strong biotic, but even she has an amp - I'm pretty sure that is what is on her right ear.

Crunch wise, use the human implant scale as a measure of power and L1 implant/asari has a biotic rating of 1. l2/l3r implant, more impressive asari or etc rating of 2, and so on. Treat the Amp as a device to increase this rating, increasing it by 1, or more if that's what you want. The other option, is you can treat amps as something that could be swapped out, and this is what gives you access to certain powers - though, human implants have different types granting different powers.

This leads into my second weigh in - Shields/barriers and armour. I plan on keeping barriers and shields as setback dice, and armour as soak. My reasoning ties into characters such as Jack, Miranda, Samara, etc who are wearing very little armour - they are also powerful biotics. When I've played the games, my shields get constantly taken down, I duck behind cover, let them recharge this happens multiple times in a minute - roughly how long the rounds are in the game. The idea of using dice, represents shields being overloaded and taken down as well as coming back up relatively quickly. Also, by keeping armour as soak increase, it makes the ignite/thermal ammo powers/abilities ignore it.
As to the barrier power and hard suit shields, I'm going to say that hard suits have 1 setback die of shields (this can be improved, some armours may have more) and the shield automatically works. Barriers are different - they have to be activated, but are generally more powerful (and can be extended if you upgrade a power a certain way). A biotic with barrier, will generally forgo heavy armour and focus on their innate biotic defenses. Not always, and in the case of a character like Shepard wearing a hard suit and having bioitcs (possibly) the shield gets turned off and the biotics takes over as they would interfere - the down side is you have to activate a barrier, where the shields are automatic. This IS a deviation of how the game is played, but makes sense in a pen and paper game. For me it is a trade off - shields are automatic, barriers have to be actively used, but can be significantly higher AND more versatile.

Third point in my wall of text - Amps, and omni-tools. I'd really keep these items vague, much like they are in mass effect 2 and 3. Everyone has one, and could very well keep players from lugging around lots of gear. You can manufacture everything you need. If you really want, you could even use your omni-tool (and amps) to be a representation of which powers your character has access to.. Having an Omni-Tool, you can get different programs for it, such as incinerate, omni-blade, cryo-blasts, etc. Not a fully fleshed out idea, but it's there. I probably wouldn't go that route, instead making omni-tools a default character option that is required for certain powers to be used. Much like you can't shoot a gun if you don't have ammo.

My final point is this: Don't become too beholden as to what the video games give you in terms of class/powers/etc. While it works in one medium, it may not work in another. Pen and paper games have much more open access to the world we play in. If we limit the options in a pen and paper game to exactly what is in the video game, I feel I might as well play the video game.
What I plan on doing myself is making the classes an option. As in if you take a class, you have a very limited selection of powers, but as an advantage they cost less. This works with military types getting very similar training. But, if you forgo taking a class and are more of a merc, you have access to any power you want, but it will cost more.

All in all, I look forward to throwing out some ideas to you all here.

Cheers,

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:49 am 
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Mmmm the longer this convo about Biotics goes on the more I think are we trying to define it too much ?

Would it be a problem to leave it less defined rules wise ?

GM can e.g. just use Despair to temp disable biotic powers which be explained either through exhaustion or low power. The same as he could just say okay for this situation your biotic powers are dampened and running at -1 Power Rating due to *insert fluff*.

The current force system has no associated equipment that supports/boosts it , and the more I think about the more I can't see a good reason for adding it when the GM can abstractly implement it if needed/wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:04 pm 
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is this post dead

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Did this hack ever get finished?

With the trailer of ME Andromeda coming out, I'm kind of excited again, also since the new game is elsewhere, in a new galaxy, not (as far as we know) tied to the whole Reaper thing, this is a great setting for exploration and stuff. Perhaps more useful than the original trilogy, as we know how that one ends.

Anyway, if anyone got anything more or less finished, I'd love to have a look at it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Paragon's Edge [Mass Effect Hack]
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:38 am 
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I love the suggestion of using soak for kinetic (and biotic) barriers and defense for armor. That said, since the barriers are an innate quality of the armor, it still basically works like Edge. However, rather than enumerate a bunch of kinds of armor, I'd let the player pick a shield soak (none = 0, light = 1, heavy = 2) and defense (none/light/soft armor = 0, combat hardsuit = 1) and add up the price of each, then multiply by the model line, which grants its properties.

You see, I liked the way ME1 handled this, with certain manufacturers specializing in particular types of armor. So, for example, Kassa Fabrication's Colossus line provides +1 defense over what you bought, but costs an arm and a leg. All the armors from Devlon include hazard shielding. Sirta's Phoenix has an integrated medical suite, and Elanus Risk Control doesn't make hardsuits but their powerful shields provide +1 soak.

What do you intend to do about the "out of ammo" Despair result? Damage the weapon? Overheat for a round or two?

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