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.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mass Effect - Alternity Rulebook: Update 4 - Weapons

As I mentioned in my previous post, I noticed something very interesting about weapons in Mass Effect: there are no energy weapons. In most space operas, you get some semblance of a laser weapon of some sort, but not here. Even the Reapers' big weapons aren't technically energy. Their description shows they shoot streams of superheated molten metal at their targets. Literally a lava gun. Geth have a couple experimental weapons that are doing essentially the same thing, shooting energized or superheated pieces of metal. The distinction for energy weapons in the Alternity system is important. Armor provides different levels of protection against pure energy weapons, and ones that shoot 'stuff' at their targets.

This will make things easier for my Alternity game. All weapon damage types are handled as Low Impact, High Impact, and Energy. All standard projectile weapons can be categorized in the High Impact. Low Impact deals with pretty much anything that is not shot out with a mass effect field, like melee attacks and the like. I am able to leave Energy out of the mix, thus simplifying things a bit.

By the very nature of weapons, even the standard grunt infantry guns, in Mass Effect, armor is rendered nearly useless. Everything is armor piercing. When you have a gun, that shaves off a sliver of metal, uses a mass effect field to reduce its mass for a short time, and project it at hypersonic speeds, where a tiny sliver of metal is traveling with the kinetic force of a sledgehammer traveling at hypervelocity, there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it armor-wise. This is where kinetic barriers come into play, which I will get into next time.

The other question are the much debated Thermal Clips. I like the idea of thermal clips. The fact that ammo and energy really isn't an issue in this setting makes something like thermal clips a very novel concept. They are simply a heat storing clip that pulls it out of the gun and stores it inside. Of course a clip can only store so much heat before melting down, so replacement clips are needed. And since the clips are universal that makes things simpler for the players as well.

When a weapon description lists its clip usage, it will simply be a number that represents how many times the weapon can be fired under one clip. Large weapons will have fewer shots, where smaller weapons will have more.

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