M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mass Effect - Alternity Rulebook: Update 3 - Powers

There is one major thing I want to drive home with the format of my rulebook. This is not a PnP version of the video game.
It's a great game, but I want players and GMs to get the sense that they are playing a pnp game in the Mass Effect setting, and not a pnp sim of the video game. There are 2 ways I plan on accomplishing this:
   1) All artwork: In no part of my rulebook will you find screenshots or views of the in-game models. In showing that it would break from the feel I'm trying to set up for it. I have no shortage of material available. The Mass Effect art books provide a wealth of concept and original artwork. I may even use a few clips from the comic books (without chat bubbles of course).
   2) No Powers: Not in the sense that we know them from the video game. Having your character be able to use powers exactly like those found in the game would again break the feel of it. The biggest example I can give are the tech powers. If a player wants to summon a combat drone, he will have to actually have a few combat drones in his inventory. Then declare to the GM the preprogrammed protocols it will be utilizing. Hacking isn't going to be instant. I want players to feel more involved in it than a click of a button. Hacking checks and actions going toward fighting against an opponents defenses set-up in his tech armor will need to be made. Tech Armor, the character will need to have purchased tech armor devices for his suit. If you want to use a power that you liked from Mass Effect, you need to find me the appropriate gear and skills.

Main thing is I want the characters to have full control of the stuff they can do and what they have. That is one of the reasons why I like Alternity. It's a class-less system that avoids templates and 'class abilities' not available to others. You could be a combat specialist who can mix and match.

Next I will be talking about Biotics.


  1. That's a great idea about the artwork the piece in particular for this post is pretty cool.

    1. As soon as i saw the book "The Art of the Mass Effect Universe" i bought it on the spot. A beautiful book with a ton of usable artwork inside. You can find the scans of the books on the *ahem* seedier parts of the internet with plenty usable work.

      The pic i have there is fanart i think. Google images retrieves a lot of stuff. I will try hard to avoid artwork in the book thats not of the main mass effect characters, so ones like above are a gem.