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Old 02-18-2009, 12:40 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Mass Effect Sourcebook

Someone recommended that I move this topic to the GURPS

Hello All,

I specifically joined these forums today to elicit aid in putting together a Mass Effect Sourcebook/Adventure. For those that don't know

"Mass Effect is set in the year 2183 AD. Thirty-five years prior, humanity discovered a cache of technology built by a technologically advanced but long-extinct race called the Protheans. Studying and adapting this technology, humankind has managed to break free of the solar system and has established numerous colonies and encountered various extraterrestrial species within the Milky Way galaxy. Utilizing alien artifacts known as "Mass Relays", the various space-faring species are able to travel instantly across vast stretches of the galaxy.

Within the game, humanity has formed the "Human Systems Alliance", one of many independent bodies that make up the collective of "Citadel space". Citadel space, as a whole, is ruled by a body of government known as the "Council", which is made up of members of the three prominent alien races: the asari, salarians, and turians.
Mass Effect Alien Races

Mass Effect Resources

Mind you all, I've followed GURPS since 1989, and I've always loved the system. I've just never played the system in game. None of the people I've gamed with have ever wanted to learn the system.

I think a Mass Effect sourcebook would make quite a few people change their mind about learning the GURPS system.

Oh, hi all.

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Old 02-18-2009, 01:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

To start with, i think I need to figure out the appropriate tech level for their universe and run with everthing from there.

I think Ultra Tech and the Traveller Interstellar Wars sourcebooks are all I need initially to get ideas on character and tech generation.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

Ultra-tech definitely. Also some Biotech is evident, if memory serves me correctly. They definitely have Psi in the game too, so Powers might be an additional requirement, though you might be able to do it with just the basic set.

Seems to me the TL might be TL9 or slightly above it for the human race. Weapons are still projectile-based. I played the game over a year ago, so I'm not sure what the specifics of power generation, transportation or medical would be TL-wise. I just remember I loved to hop out of the APC on a ridge and plug stuff from miles away with the sniper rifle (extra xp, yay!).
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

It's TL 10, and you'll want to use some of the special, super-science options for gauss weapons.

Is that Pyramid article where David Pulver discusses "even more lethal UT weapons" generally available? If not, is it kosher to post that material publicly?

EDIT: Might be even higher, at least in a few places. Afterall, they have personal shields and the gauss weapons border on grav weapons, as it's a mass-effect field that's accelerating little bits to near C, but they don't have some of the crazier stuff you see at those TLs. It's space opera, so a little bit of Safetech might be in order.

Last edited by Mailanka; 02-18-2009 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

It broke my head when I was talking with a ship's engineer on board the super stealthy ship, and I kept asking him how the ship managed to be so ground breaking-ly stealthy (like more stealthy than any of the other alien races ships.) His final answer? "Heat sinks." Apparently none of the other alien races ever thought about giving a ship heat sinks to make it harder to detect. *Headtable*

That aside, it was a cool world. I REALLY liked the descriptions for all the planets you could explore. I thought it was cool that they actually bothered to describe places you couldn't land on.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

FWIW, someone has already done a D20-based conversion of the Mass Effect universe. I don't know how complete it is, or how good, but I think I saw lots of congratulatory noise about it. This was on the WotC Star Wars Saga forums I think (

I'm converting some D20 stuff myself right now, though, and I have to say sometimes it's easier to just look and see what someone else did and what effects they put into game terms and then just put into GURPS terms yourself. D20 and GURPS are very different games...and their adherents often have different gameplay styles in mind.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

I'd make the TL around 11 for some things, actually - TL is probably 9 or 10-ish for energy weapons, but they also have high nanotechnology if I remember right. It's got a number of superscience bits and pieces.

Also: The Normandy was so stealthy because it was the only ship with a reactionless drive. Other ships could be stealthy with their heatsinks, but the Normandy could be stealthy and move at the same time.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

Well, they created a D20 Pdf that runs 36 pages. IMHO it's a bit light, but it's a good starting point.

Now I've got to See what they've done, convert to what I think would be comparable in GURPS, and then modify/add as I go.

Thanks for suggesting the WWC Forums.

Mass Effect D20 PDF
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

Ah, I never looked at it. I had assumed from some of the comments I saw that it was some sort of master-work. :)

I actually played Mass Effect all of the way through (a rarity for me) and thought it was a pretty interesting potential setting. The developers really did a good job of making you feel like the universe was much larger than just the content they bothered to build into the game.

Statting out everything would be quite a job. I could barely keep track of all of the equipment and upgrades as I was playing....and I never even played one of those techno-psi types (biotics?) so I think I was in the shallow end of the pool. :)

As an aside, there should be bins of Halo miniatures laying about somewhere cheap. I think those'd work quite well for ME. I like minis ;)

Good luck with this.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mass Effect Sourcebook

Cool ideas never played the game but it looks like it would be a fun place for a GURPS game.
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