Just a few preliminary thoughts before I really get going on this idea:
- Characters should be built to about PL 6. Possibly as high as 8. The reason being that I want them to feel “superior” what with the powered armor and whatnot, but I want them armed with basically standard firearms out of the core book. Most of which (not counting the rocket launcher and whatnot) are about Damage Rank 5. So that said, most characters are likely going to be SLIGHTLY shifted toward accuracy on their Accuracy/Damage tradeoffs. At least with ranged attacks.
- Everyone involved is new to the system, so I want to make the character generation portion of the game as simple and streamlined as possible. This most likely means either pre-generated characters (IE, Archetypes) or putting together a set of genre related templates. Either way, I need to cover the following bases: Adept, Sentinel, Engineer, Infiltrator, Soldier, Vanguard.
- Powers come from three basic sources: Training (combat related powers, anything that lets a person use guns in an atypical way, things like variable descriptor for bullets), Biotics (telekinesis, “mass effect fields”, gravity manipulation and similar, and occasionally things like mind control) Tech (advanced hacking, combat drones, holographic manipulation, cloaking, etc). There may be some overlap between areas, IE, I’m not opposed to the idea of finding a way to use biotics to do stealth just because it doesn’t appear in the source material.
- The Archetypes/Templates: Adapt is pure Biotic, Sentinel is Biotic/Tech, Vanguard is Biotic/Combat, Engineer is pure Tech, Infiltrator is Tech/Combat, and Soldier is pure Combat, where in this case Combat means “guns,” as opposed to the combat portions of the game.
- Cover is the most important thing in Mass Effect, and I’m going to work to make it important in this game session, too. Partly this will be about encounter design, and partly it will be about giving the bad guys lots of automatic weapons. Bottom line, by the time I’m done I need to REALLY know the rules for cover and automatic weapons and make the players PAY when they don’t bother with cover. 😛
- I’m still deciding what to do about alien races. Hm. Each one should get a write-up here, though, and some thoughts about how I’d handle each.