Fate Effect

0 - Introduction

1 - Skills

1.1 - Skill List

1.2 - Skill Changes

1.3 - Social Skills

2 - Classes

2.1 - Class Extras

2.2 - Class Extra Combinations

3 - Damage and Stress Tracks

4 - Equipment

4.1 - Equipment Slot Allocations

4.2 - Weapons and Armour

4.3 - Vehicles

4.3.1 - Ship Size

4.3.2 - Ship Armaments

4.3.3 - Ship Defences

4.3.4 - Ship/Crew Skills

4.3.5 - Aspects

5 - Stunts

5.1 - Race Stunts

5.1.1 - Human

5.1.2 - Asari

5.1.3 - Krogan

5.1.4 - Salarian

5.1.5 - Turian

5.1.6 - Quarian

5.1.7 - Drell

5.1.8 - Batarian

5.1.9 - Geth

5.1.10 - Vorcha

5.1.11 - Volus

5.1.12 - Elcor

5.1.13 - Hanar

5.2 - Power Stunts

5.2.1 - General Stunts

5.2.2 - Adept Stunts

5.2.3 - Engineer Stunts

5.2.4 - Soldier Stunts

5.2.5 - Vanguard Stunts

5.2.6 - Sentinel Stunts

5.2.7 - Infiltrator Stunts


0 - Introduction

This is a hack for playing in the Mass Effect universe using rules based on FATE Core.  The intention is to capture the feel and atmosphere of the games and associated media in as fun and fast-paced a way as possible.

The hack has a slightly modified skill list to reflect the tech level of the sci-fi setting and the tendency for the game to allow for social conflict to force resolution in some conflicts.

Powers and racial abilities are modelled as stunts, with racial stunts having an appropriate Aspect as Permission for them.  Characters begin with one Power stunt and one Race stunt, and can buy additional stunts with refresh as normal.

Characters should have at least one Aspect that involves their race, although which one this is can vary.  Limitations on a race, whether social or physical, are generally represented by compels on that character’s race Aspect.

The game’s Extra include a second, small Shields/Barrier physical-stress track; rules for Equipment covering weapons, armour and vehicles and Class Extras that modify how skills function for the Class and provide additional stress.  These give differentiation for the classes and allow for weapons and power choices in combat to help match the game’s balance between Classes.


1 - Skills

1.1 - Skill List

Academics

Athletics

Contacts

Deceit

Engineering

Gear

Provoke

Investigate

Notice

Physique

Pilot

Presence

Security

Shoot

Stealth

Will

1.2 - Skill Changes

This skill list shows which skills are kept from the default skill list, which are discarded or folded up into other skills and which are renamed.

- Empathy is rolled up into Notice.  It is assumed that observant characters can pick up on emotional details as easily as any other observations.

- Fighting is rolled up into Physique.  it is assumed that a physically powerful character has sufficient training to fight effectively with or without weapons to hand.

- Burglary is renamed Security to reflect the high tech nature of the setting.

- Crafts is renamed Engineering to make it the general skill for dealing with technology in the setting.  Other scientific specialties would be Stunts off of this or Academics.

- Drive is renamed to Pilot and is assumed to extend to any common craft or vehicle.  Particular expertise with mounts or starships would be Stunts.

- Lore is renamed to Academics to reflect the educated and rationalist nature of the setting.

- Rapport is renamed to Presence and is able to make Attack but not Defend Actions.  It is used to inflict stress through positive appeals rather than negatively, with Provoke.

- Resources is renamed to Gear to reflect that most characters are assumed to have roughly equivalent resources, absent Stunts, but different access to technologies and advances.

- Athletics can be used to make Defend Actions against Shoot Attack Actions as long as there is cover to take some shelter behind.

- Pilot covers all normal vehicles; ground, air or space but does not extend to animals without an appropriate stunt.

1.3 - Social Skills

The following skill pairs are a side note as to which social avenues best match the Paragon/Renegade option shown by the game's dialogue options.

Making Attack Actions to cause mental stress should be valid in many situations, with the character being Taken Out being convinced by the arguments or brow-beaten by the threats.  This is instead of the assuming that convincing NPCs will be an Overcome action with the appropriate skill.  Some minor social interactions might still be Overcome Actions but significant interactions to convince or manipulate NPCs are generally treated as Conflicts.

Paragon: Presence + Notice

Renegade: Provoke + Deceit

All: Will


2 - Classes

2.1 - Class Extras

Each character gets two picks worth of these extras, which determines what Class they are and what Power Stunts they can access.  Picking the extra once gives the first benefit listed, and picking it twice gives the second benefit as well.

Biotic:

- Permission: Aspect, Will 3+

- use Will for physical Attack and Defend Actions (Telekinesis)

- additional barrier stress box

Tech:

- Permission: Aspect, Engineering 3+

- use Engineering for physical Attack and Defend Actions (Omni-Weaponry)

- additional shield stress box

Combat:

- Permission: Aspect, Physique or Shoot 3+

- additional physical stress box

- determine Equipment slots for Guns using Shoot and for Armour using Physique, in addition to standard slots from Gear

2.2 - Class Extra Combinations

Adept - Biotic 1 & 2

Engineer - Tech 1 & 2

Soldier - Combat 1 & 2

Vanguard - Biotic 1 / Combat 1

Sentinel - Biotic 1 / Tech 1

Infiltrator - Tech 1 / Combat 1


3 - Damage and Stress Tracks

Characters in the Mass Effect universe are extremely durable when prepared for trouble, and can reliably recover from even the most severe of injuries due to advaned medical tech.

- Characters start with an additional 2-box shield (or barrier if Biotic) stress track that can absorb physical stress

- Biotic and Tech Classes can get a third stress box

- Nano-gel heals all physical stress at the end of a combat, and ensures that physical consequences are recovered from with sufficient healing time treatment

- As long as medical treatment is available no roll is necessary to recover from physical consequences, only sufficient recovery time


4 - Equipment

Arms and armour are important to a character's combat effectiveness in Mass Effect and allow for considerable customisation.

4.1 - Equipment Slot Allocations

- Characters start with 2 Equipment slots

- Gear of Average or Fair gives a third slot

- Gear of Good or Great gives third and fourth slots

- Soldier characters can get additional slots due to their affinity for heavy weapons and armour, and optimisation of their implants to support using them

4.2 - Weapons and Armour

- No slot guns can hit targets in another zone, but have no damage bonus

- No slot melee weapons allow the character to defend against other armed melee attacks with Physique

- No slot armour provides protection against harsh environments and atmospheres

- 1 slot on a weapon can add damage:+2 or a combat-related Aspect like "Incendiary Ammo" or "Precision Sniper Scope"

- 1 slot on armour can add armour:+1 or a defensive/utility Aspect like "Hardened Systems" or "Enhanced Movement Armatures"

- Stat boosts work according to short pyramid scheme; you must have one stat boost and one Aspect on a weapon before you can select a second stat boost or Aspect

- Characters with Tech or Biotic Extras can get Omni-Tools or Biotic Amps to provide weapon bonuses for their Engineering or Will Attack Actions

4.3 - Vehicles

Ships and vehicles start out with level 1 in each category with no Equipment slots invested in them, defaulting to a small, unarmed civilian vessel with basic capabilities.  FTL capability has a Permission of size:2 and an appropriate Aspect.

Crew on larger ships are accounted for by purchasing Skills for the ship and are otherwise assumed to be Nameless NPCs unless otherwise specified, for example by an Aspect.

4.3.1 - Ship Size

1) 1-stress, mild and moderate Consequences - Fighter, Interceptor, Skycar

2) 2-stress, mild, moderate and severe Consequences - Shuttle, Truck

3) 3-stress, mild, moderate and severe Consequences - Frigate, Yacht, Transport

4) 4-stress, mild, moderate and severe Consequences - Cruiser, Hauler, Liner

5) 5-stress, mild, moderate, severe and extreme Consequences - Dreadnought

4.3.2 - Ship Armaments

1) unarmed, cannot make Attack Actions

2) damage:+1 Light mass accelerators, can attack enemies 1 zone away

3) damage:+2 Medium mass accelerators, can attack enemies 3 zones away

4) damage:+3 Heavy mass accelerators, can attack any enemies in the conflict

5) damage:+4 Strategic mass accelerators, can attack any enemies, installations or bodies in the conflict

- Torpedoes inflict an additional damage:+1 for their size, up a maximum of total damage:+3, but can be taken out by a Shoot Defend Action from the ship targeted by them.

4.3.3 - Ship Defences

1) 1-stress shields, armour:+0, civilian vessel

2) 1-stress shields, armour:+1, basic reinforcement

3) 2-stress shields, armour:+1, enhanced shields

4) 2-stress shields, armour:+2, armoured hull

5) 3-stress shields, armour:+2, advanced shields

4.3.4 - Ship/Crew Skills

Ships and their crew start with one skill at the level of slots invested, plus one other skill at each level below that down to +1.  So, 2 slots would allow for Pilot +2, Notice +1.  Certain stunts may allow a character to exceed the limits of their vessel when they take direct control of a particular system.

- Pilot, for manoeuvrability

- Shoot, for weapons systems

- Notice, for sensors

- Physique, for durability under fire or in hostile environments

- Engineering, for research capabilities or self-repair

- Stealth, for any cloaking or concealment capabilities

- Athletics, for ship speed

4.3.5 - Aspects

- One Aspect base plus one per additional slot invested.

- Aspects might be things like “Turian ship of the line”, “Smuggler Rust-bucket” or “Cyclonic Barrier Technology”


5 - Stunts

5.1 - Race Stunts

5.1.1 - Human

- Newcomers: +2 to Create an Advantage or Overcome the first time you encounter a new species, technology or phenomenon.

- Unifying Force: Any time you take part in combining skills to provide a teamwork bonus, you grant an additional +1.  Multiple helpers with this stunt do not stack.

5.1.2 - Asari

- Universal Allure: +2 when you use your sensuality or seduction to try and manipulate someone.

- Embrace Eternity: you can use Will to perform Create an Advantage or Overcome actions when you meld with another sentient being and share knowledge.

5.1.3 - Krogan

- Blood Rage: gain weapon:X for Physique attacks, where X is your current highest-marked Physical Stress box, but you cannot concede a conflict once you invoke this bonus.

- Redundant Physiology: Spend a Fate point to reduce the time to recover from a Consequence by one level.  You cannot do this again until you are recovered from that Consequence.

5.1.4 - Salarian

- Overclocked Brain: gain an additional shift towards reducing the time taken to complete any task where your quick-thinking and feverish intellect can help you out.

- Photographic Memory: +2 to Create an Advantage Actions with Academics when you recall a pertinent fact you have encountered previously.

5.1.5 - Turian

- Stoic and Serious: armoured carapace and mental discipline grant armour:+1 against physical and mental stress.

- Unbreakable Will: +2 to Will Defend Actions against any mental-stress attack that requires them to give into fear or surrender to an enemy.

5.1.6 - Quarian

- Technically Brilliant: +2 on Overcome or Create an Advantage Actions making non-standard uses of technology, whether improvising or inventing.

- Immune Isolation: +2 to Physique Defend Actions against contaminants, pathogens or hostile environments from their ever-present environmental suit.

5.1.7 - Drell

- Living Memory: +2 on Action the first time in a session you encounter a familiar enemy, obstacle or problem.

- Dual Nature: once per session, spend a Fate Point to replace an existing Mild or Moderate Physical Consequence with a Mental one, or vice versa, while still reducing stress.

5.1.8 - Batarian

- Paranoid Preparation: +2 on the first roll in any conflict, regardless of who started it.

- Visual Acuity: +2 on Notice Overcome or Defend Actions where their enhanced visual capabilities would be useful.

5.1.9 - Geth

- Synthetic Platform: +2 on Overcome Actions to resist difficulties based on tiredness, hunger, boredom or biological threats.

- Transferrable Consciousness: when changing Aspects during a Minor Milestone, you can change Platform and pick an Aspect to reflect your new form.

5.1.10 - Vorcha

- Environmental Adaption: +2 on Physique Overcome Actions in a specific environment they are adapted to.

- Combat Evolved: natural damage:+1 on Physique Attack Actions and the equivalent of armour:+1 from accelerated healing.

5.1.11 - Volus

- Fiscal Savvy: +2 on Gear Overcome Actions drive a hard bargain or pull off financial trickery.

- Tough Negotiator: +2 on Presence or Provoke Attack Actions when convincing someone to make an exchange or a trade.

5.1.12 - Elcor

- Heavy Duty: +2 to Physique Overcome or Create an Advantage Actions where they have sufficient time to apply their size and mass to their advantage.

- Durable Hide: armour:+2 versus physical Attack stress.

5.1.13 - Hanar

- Impenetrable Propriety: can use Presence to make Defend Actions in social conflicts.

- Versatile Movement: +2 on Athletics Create an Advantage or Overcome actions when they use their unusual locomotion or unusual form to their benefit.

5.2 - Power Stunts

Characters can pick any stunt they meet the permissions for.  For convenience, stunts that only require a single type of class Extra are listed under the double-Extra choice class, e.g. Combat Extra only powers are listed under Soldier stunts.

5.2.1 - General Stunts

Fitness

- Permission: Any

- Gain damage:+1 for Physique Attack Actions and armour:+1 against all attacks.

- Spend a Fate Point during a conflict to remove a mild physical Consequence.

5.2.2 - Adept Stunts

Cluster Grenade

- Permission: Biotic Extra 2

- Make a ranged Will Attack Action against up to Will targets in any adjacent zones.

- Useable Will times in a scene.

Pull

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1

- +2 to ranged Will Create an Advantage Actions against targets that involve lifting and moving them towards the character.

- Can be used to make a ranged Will vs Physique (or Will for Biotics) Contest to pull an item off of a target.

Shockwave

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1

- Make a ranged Will Attack Action against a target, forcing them to make an Physique Overcome Action (or Will for Biotics) or be unable to move for the turn.

- Spend a Fate Point and targets all enemies in a single zone with the attack simultaneously.

Singularity

- Permission: Biotic Extra 2

- Create a Will difficulty obstacle for all enemies in a zone to Overcome with Physique (or Will for Biotics) before they can move freely or make Attack Actions.

- Maximum of Will targets can be affected at one time.

Throw

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1

- Make a Will ranged Attack Action against a target, moving them 1 zone away if successful, or 3 zones if succeeding with style.

- Can be used with suitable large objects in the area to add a damage:+1 or +3 effect instead of moving the target of the attack.

5.2.3 - Engineer Stunts

Combat Drone

- Permission: Tech Extra 2

- Take an action to create a Combat Drone with 2-stress, defends with Engineering, that provides a +1 Teamwork bonus on all Attack and Defend actions while it remains active.

- Spend a Fate Point to have it make an additional Attack Action using Engineering.

Cryo Blast

- Permission: Tech Extra 1

- Make an Engineering ranged Attack Action against a target, reducing movement by 1 zone and armour by 1 per created Boost/Consequence on a successful attack.

- Spend a Fate Point to freeze an unshielded opponent on a successful attack, causing them to miss a turn of action.

Overload

- Permission: Tech Extra 1

- Make an Engineering ranged Attack Action against a target, with damage:+2 against shielded or synthetic targets.

- Spend a Fate Point on a successful attack against an unshielded target to place an 'Overheated' Boost on a target's weapon and Compel it to shut the weapon down.

Incinerate

- Permission: Tech Extra 1

- Make an Engineering ranged Attack Action against a target, with damage:+2 against unshielded targets.

- Any successful attacks with the power gain a free appropriate Boost: 'On Fire', 'Scorched', etc.

Sabotage

- Permission: Tech Extra 1

- Gain a +2 on Create an Advantage Actions with Engineering targeted directly against hostile synthetics or weapons.

- Spend a Fate Point to Compel a synthetic with an Aspect on it created this way to attack a target of your choice.

Sentry Turrent

- Permission: Tech Extra 2

- Take an action to deploy a Good Nameless NPC, immobile turret with Shoot(+3), Notice(+2), Provoke, Security(+1), 2-stress, 2-shields "Supporting Fire", "Tactical Positioning"

- It acts last in a turn and will target the nearest known target.

5.2.4 - Soldier Stunts

Adrenaline Rush

- Permission: Combat Extra 2

- Cross zones (including reaching cover under fire) as a free action.

- Spend a Fate Point to take an additional Action in a turn, not taking the same Action twice.  Allows for Creating an Advantage and Attacking on the same turn.

Concussive Shot

- Permission: Combat Extra 2

- Make a ranged Shoot Attack Action against a target, reducing their Turn Order to zero next turn if successful.

- Spend a Fate Point on a successful attack to move a target back by 1 zone and add damage:+2.

Cryo Ammo

- Permission: Combat Extra 1

- Make a ranged Attack Action against a target with Shoot using any existing weapon.

- If the target has any Boosts or Consequences on them from the attack their movement is reduced by 1 zone and armour is reduced by 1 for every remaining invocation or Consequence.

Distruptor Ammo

- Permission: Combat Extra 1

- Make a ranged Attack Action against a target with Shoot using any existing weapon.

- Inflict damage:+2 against any targets with Shields or Barriers.

Incendiary Ammo

- Permission: Combat Extra 1

- Make a ranged Attack Action against a target with Shoot using any existing weapon.

- Reduce target's effective Armour by 1.  Attacks can inflict mental stress rather than physical, from panic, if desired.

Frag Grenade

- Permission: Combat Extra 2

- Make a ranged Shoot Attack Action against any single group of enemies within the same zone.

- Useable Shoot times in a scene.

5.2.5 - Vanguard Stunts

Biotic Charge

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1, Combat Extra 1

- Make a ranged Will Attack Action against any enemy within line of sight, moving to their location on completing the attack.

- Spend a Fate Point on completing a Charge to remove all current Barrier stress.

Nova

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1, Combat Extra 1

- Make a melee Will Attack Action against all adjacent enemies, filling the character's remaining Barrier stress track and inflicting damage:+stress filled.

- Spend a Fate Point to have the attack affect all enemies in the same zone as the character.

5.2.6 - Sentinel Stunts

Lift Grenade

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1, Tech Extra 1

- Make a ranged Will Attack Action against up to Will enemies within the same zone, knocking any affected enemies into adjacent zones.

- Useable Will times in a scene.

Tech Armour

- Permission: Biotic Extra 1, Tech Extra 1

- Spend an action to activate and add an additional box to the character's Barrier stress track.

- When your shields go down make an Engineering Attack action against any adjacent enemies.

5.2.7 - Infiltrator Stunts

Sticky Grenade

- Permission: Combat Extra 1, Tech Extra 1

- Make a ranged Shoot Attack Action against up to Shoot enemies within the same zone.  If used on zone free of enemies, this will wait and trigger when enemies first enter that zone.

- Useable Shoot times in a scene.

Tactical Cloak

- Permission: Combat Extra 1, Tech Extra 1

- Create an Engineering difficulty obstacle that must be Overcome with Notice by anyone wishing to locate or target you in a scene.

- Making an Attack Action drops this effect but gains damage:+2 on the first attack made with it.