Mass Effect: From the Ashes
THE REAPER WAR
The Reaper War, while short, devastated much of the galaxy. Humanity faced the full fury of the Reapers and over two thirds of its fleet was decimated along with half of its population. The Turians did not fare much better, although their fleet losses weren’t as extensive, yet Palaven burned. Only the Krogan’s intervention saved the most powerful military in the galaxy from total destruction.
Thesia’s beauty and graceful architecture was brought low as the Reapers destroyed whole cities and the Asari defenses were overwhelmed by hordes of Cannibals and Husks.
The Reaper Invasion began in the middle of the Batarian Hegemony and their homeworld of Khar’shan was completely destroyed. The Batarians were almost completely massacred or indoctrinated with only a few million of their once proud species left alive today.
Despite starting a war with them just before the Reapers invaded and driving them into the Reaper’s arms the Quarians and Geth are now at peace and are rebuilding their home planet of Rannoch. Both the Migrant Fleet and the Geth forces suffered devastating losses in the final battle over Earth.
The Geth only just managed to survive the wave of destruction from the Crucible that eradicated the Reapers and targeted all synthetic lifeforms. It is a mystery how they managed it. Some say it was because of incredible foresight on their part.
Several Geth had been part of the construction of the Crucible, the weapon that destroyed the Reapers through the mass effect relays. Realizing that the incredible weapon could be their doom the Geth prepared a subroutine that would shut their critical systems down when the Crucible was activated and theoretically shield them from the Reaper’s fate. Some experts say that that simply would not work. Yet the Geth are not extinct.
A majority of the Geth were killed when the Crucible was fired. But perhaps some of them had simply evolved beyond the “Old Machines” by achieving true individuality and therefore weren’t as susceptible to the destruction caused by the Crucible. It is a mystery that will occupy philosophers and scientists for decades to come. Ironically those geth who uploaded themselves into Quarian suits to help boost their immune systems, and allow the Creators to eventually live without them were sheltered from the blast even further. All who uploaded themselves into Quarian suits were among the survivors.
REGIONS OF THE GALAXY
Character creation in Mass Effect is a combination of the standard found on page 45 of Bulldogs! with elements of the Dresden Files Roleplaying Game and Fate Core with some of the ideas presented in Jadepunk as well. While I like the various power levels presented in Bulldogs! characters in that game start with 10 Aspects which seems a bit excessive to me. I prefer the formula of a High Concept, a Trouble and 3 additional Aspects found in Fate Core. Click on the title link below for further elaboration.
SPECIAL ABILITIES, POWERS & TALENTS
Each Tech Talent, Biotic Power or Combat Mastery Ability requires the character to have an Aspect to gain access to them. Then spend a Refresh to gain access to whichever abilities you may want. Each one can be improved by spending Advances on Improvements. Each Refresh spent will buy two Advance Points that can be spent on any combination of Improvements.
Characters start out with a base level of Resources to purchase guns and armor based on the Power Level of the campaign (see Character Creation ) This can be increased by spending Advancements on WELL EQUIPPED which adds 1 Resource Point of equipment per Advancement spent.