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SalmonMax

[Mass Effect: Legacy] Recruiting Thread

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THREAD TOPICS

Post concepts and ideas for characters. Discussion and background questions and answers. Setting questions and answers. Players may wish to use this space to collaborate and contribute to one another's stories. This is encouraged. :)

Final player roster and character list will be posted here when decision is made.

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I'd like to throw my hat into this. Would an asari medic (Sentinel class), work as a basic concept? At what year does the game start in the setting?

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Broadly, yes. :)

Check out the other Mass Effect: Legacy threads for more info.

The year is 2206, about 20 years after the events of Mass Effect 3.

You should know this entire game is essentially one ginormous spoiler for one possible ending of ME3, so be warned. :)

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She would be a combat-medic along with asari commandos on the battle on earth, living as a nurse or a doctor after the war to help rebuild earth with some ties to military. In combat she would most likely use cryo or stasis effects along with a heavy pistol and a stun-rod. Would that work?

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I think I would like to play a human infiltrator type. No, or limited, biotics, funny bug-eyed helmet, big ole sniper rifle--all that jazz. As for the background, I'm thinking the character was a child living in NY during the Reaper attack on Earth, maybe mom was military, and he was orphaned as a result of the invasion. Perhaps he has an older sibling, also with the Alliance, whom he seeks to emulate. In any case, he would be driven, focused, and ambitious.

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I propose a Quarian ex-captain. He lost his ship and was severely injured during the final battle defending the Crucible, though he did obtain some degree of 'war hero' status. He found himself Earth-bound and dedicated himself to assisting with the reconstruction of the planet's infrastructure. His work on Earth, particularly pertaining to recruitment or acquisition of hard to find personnel and material, along with his reputation from the war led to his being brought on in the very early stages of the Excalibur project...

In the field he has significant Infiltrator/Engineer type skills but his primary focus at this point in his career is leadership, especially requisitions, personnel and logistics.

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Personal pitch is as before, a turian tech/biotic hybrid, born on Earth.

Since he grew up in a lot of hospitals due to being on Team Dextro, and since he was a very, very smart turian, and a biotically gifted one, Articus naturally took to technology and medicine. His biotics are focused on fine manipulation - a handy feat if you are interacting with physiology you can't risk contamination from - and he carries a custom-built omni-tool that contains a database on treating all sapient life, and a dedicated minifacturer to manufacture field treatments and to maintain his TAO layer of armor (he has set the holographic chest display to the turian symbol for medicine.) Unusual for a turian - who are practically born with rifles in their hands - he prefers a pistol sidearm.

Articus is the ship's chief doctor, and is one of Primarch Victus' best and brightest. He volunteered for this mission because Articus has never seen his homeworld of Palavan, and he wishes to change that. What awaits him there, of course, remains to be seen...

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Going to play a standard issue Human Soldier. Nothing special except for being *drumroll* Male?!

Yeah, playing a male PC this time - lets see how it turn out.

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Just dropping in to officially (re-)state my interest. I'm still leaning towards a human, probably a biotic, probably vanguard(ish). Given the timeframe, and the fact that this isn't a video game, I'm not really thinking in terms of 'vanguard' versus 'adept', or whatever other class, so I suppose I should just say that I'm thinking of playing 'a human, with good combat skills and some biotic powers'. I'm currently thinking of him/her as having been old enough to fight in the battle for Earth, and who would now be a somewhat grizzled old veteran. I have noticed that there at least two other PCs who're that old or older, so Max if you'd prefer I would be fine with playing a younger PC instead.

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Yes, age is relative, especially where asari are involved. :)

Older characters are fine. There's a mix of ages on the Excalibur. Especially for the important positions I'd like the PC's to have, some age makes sense. That doesn't mean everyone has to be old, but basically you should have either good experience, or exceptional talent. This is a very important ship, on a very important mission, so there's no room for slugabouts and hangers-on!

Pip pip!

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Hmm, right now we have 2 who are thinking of playing doctor types, one of them is me, should I change my concept or is two possible?

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I could see 'room' for a chief doctor and another doctor, especially if one's a specialist. On the whole though, I'd like each PC to be the 'senior officer' of their department, so I'm unlikely to pick two concepts who do basically the same thing.

Doesn't mean two people can't submit a doctor concept though. It just means I'd likely only select one of them.

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Going to play a standard issue Human Soldier. Nothing special except for being *drumroll* Male?!

Yeah, playing a male PC this time - lets see how it turn out.

I'm going to precise my role here - Going for Commando/Officer/Heavy Assault route. Just fyi. Details are PM'd to Smax, though.

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Okay folks, I've got some great concepts, and I'm about ready to move to the actual character builds. I know there's still some info that needs to go into the character generation threads, especially vis a vis the biotics and tech powers. That'll be up soon, though I will also be working with you individually to develop those abilities. I've found as I progressed that my bias has moved towards opening things up as far as power definitions go. The various templates and so on are really just conveniences.

Don't necessarily feel limited to what's in the games, either. If you have ideas for unique powers, I'll consider them. I can't promise I'll give the thumbs up...not every idea will suit my particular take on the setting. Some abilities that are 'canon' in fact don't pass my muster (Reave, I'm looking at you).

upshot is, start thinking about your mechanical builds if you haven't already. PM me with ideas and questions.

If you've been thinking about submitting a concept but haven't yet, this is the last week I'll be accepting them. As of Monday morning, that bus has left the stop.

Thanks for all the interest!

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I've been trying to put together my character, but I'm caught up on something with the Omnitool - what is the actual range of the normal communication/remote control? The "officer" add-on says that you get Extended Range....but does the base part function as one level of the Communication power? Is it a Commlink? Or a Cellphone? I've been trying to build it and I just can't figure anything out that comes out to 6 pp and makes any sort of sense. :(

Am I reading it correctly that to add on something like the Officer thing to the Omnitool, it goes from 1 pp to 7 pp total cost for the Omnitool? Or is that a cost of 6 ep? When I use Hero Lab to build the Omnitool under Equipment, when I add a power to it, it says the cost is pp in the power screen, but counts it as ep under the Equipment tab....

*is very confused now*

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My apologies for leaving this unclear. A standard, unmodified omnitool costs 1pp. It is essentially spending a single point on 5 pieces of integrated equipment:

Standard Omnitool, 1pp

- Computer (1ep)

- Communicator/remote control (1ep)

- Recording device (1ep)

- GPS (on worlds with satellites or networks) (1ep)

- Counts as mini-toolkit (1ep)

The 'communicator' function is actually both commlink (as the equipment item) and a cellphone...who's functions overlap to the point where I decided they shouldn't really be separate. The remote control function only works on devices specifically designed for omnitool remote operation, and works at a range of about ten meters, maximum. It's a household convenience more than anything. :)

Adding the Officer package to the omnitool merely adds 1pp to the cost of the tool (making it a total of 2pp), because it's essentially adding Subtle to the equipment. This is most significant with the communication and the GPS, but it might be useful under certain circumstances with the other functions as well. If you use Communication in a power other than the Omnitool, talk to me and we'll either replace that function with something else in the 'tool,' or just break down the tool's ep cost so you don't pay for the same ability twice.

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Just a suggestion. The Onmitool is basically just a really advanced Smartphone with some handy Apps and a built-in mini nano-fabricator. Why not build it as such?

Basic-Omnitool 1pt

-Computer 1 ep

-Smartphone 2 ep

-Commlink 1 ep

-Multi-tool 1 ep

The smartphone could not only make "phone calls" but could reasonably act as a GPS, recording device and the short ranged remote. The Commlink allows for radio based communications of roughly 1 mile without some sort of signal booster (as per the core book)

Heck my phone right now has GPS, and audio/visual recording capabilities, and it's not a top of the line model.

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Uh...uh...NO! It's not like that at all! It's...

Some other way! That's...exactly the same as that! :)

Okay, some fairly extensive updating/clarifying on omnitool functions and templates coming up as soon as I can! Which may be this evening. :)

...but wasn't.

As I look over the sheets I've gotten so far, there are some patterns that bring up topics of discussion. Not necessarily problems, exactly, but questions I want to ask the lot of you, and perhaps some things to clarify for myself as well as things I need to clarify.

Moar soon.

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Okay! I've been talking to folks, answering some questions and thinking about a few more. We're still early enough in this process that I think it's not too late to present a few options, and clarifications.

The first of which is one that is overdue, which is the selection of characters. In the end, I got seven people presenting concepts and characters to me. That's a little over what I'd like, at least to start with. I'm new at this, so I do not want to kick things off with a huge cast. Easier to add people later than to have to make the choice between cutting someone who's in, and invested, or simply sucking up the hurt and trying to make the game keep going when I'm having trouble.

Here's the cast so far:

Mike's turian doctor.

Malachite's asari biotic assassin.

Necronaut's quarian cybernetician.

AtomicWeasel's human spec ops sniper.

Joani's human soldier.

Asarasa's human vanguard.

Dawn, we still need to finish your concept proposal, but it's unique enough and likeable enough I know I want to include it.

Please don't take it personally if you're not on that list, but wanted to play. I had to make choices, and I made the ones that I felt would work best for the game, for each other, and for my own ideas for each. If I open it up later for more characters, you'll be more than welcome to try again. There were no 'bad' attempts to make characters that I saw.

Onto other issues at hand!

Firstly, the issue of chain of command. I've heard arguments for and against an NPC or PC captain. My personal bias is tilting towards NPC captain, for a few reasons. First, the captain really shouldn't be leading missions on the ground. That's not really their role. Of course, the captain has the option of redefining their role if they want to, but still. Second, it gives me, the GM, an in-game tool I can use to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and move things forward if I need to, without relying on weird 'emergency transmissions' or suddenly-manifesting plot machina. Third, it sets us up nicely for the 'travel-briefing-mission-debriefing' episodic style of play I want to have in the beginning, again, to keep things manageable at first. I expect I'll be opening things up once I've taken those first training-wheel-assisted steps. :)

It does reduce player agency, which is a big point against it. I can create the captain persona to reduce that, but it can't be completely erased.

What do you guys think? What will work best? Bear in mind that the choice doesn't have to be final. A ship can change captains. Officers can be promoted or reassigned. Or demoted. Or killed. Or turned into a fish. Big galaxy out there, anything can happen.

--

The other big question raised is the question of points and PL. This is pretty central to the mechanics, but I had to see a few submitted sheets and talk to some folks before I really had a clear image of what it all meant.

From what I've seen, PL7 with the standard 15pp per PL can work. I think with a few qualfiers and tweaks it can even work well. That makes me happy, because it implies my first guess was reasonably close to the mark. :) However, it's possible we can hit closer. The idea of reducing the PL, but increasing the point value of each PL has been suggested, and I think it has some strong arguments. I'd like you guys' reaction to the idea before I make my decision though. Here's the nutshell:

PL reduced to 6, or even 5. The number of points per PL increased from 15 to 20. This results in either 120 or 100pp for the characters.

My arguments for: Even with the PL5/100 plan, you'll have more 'apparent' points, because your PL-capped abilities like hit bonus, defenses, and so on can only be increased to a lower ceiling, making more points available for things like powers and equipment and so on. This gives you more flexibility in how you spend your points, rather than mandating large expenditures to meet PL caps before spending the remainder on 'fun stuff.' The increased pp per PL ratio also means more experience is needed before a PL increase, which is good for me, because it slows PL-advancement a little, without depriving the players of rewards.

My arguments against: It's a fairly big change to a fundamental mechanic, which deviates the game from the playtested balance of the original product. Not necessarily BAD, but it's a certain risk, and it could increase the chance of needing mid-course adjustments. It could also emphasize spending in areas like attributes, where PL caps aren't really an issue, leading to characters who are uniformly high in stats in ways that bend believability to or beyond the breaking point. :)

What do you guys think?

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I like the NPC captain, at least until the game is firmly established and players fully invested, for all the reasons you listed.

I also advocate for PL 5/100 PP to start, as I think it well represents well-trained characters with good versatility while keeping the game under the 'superhero' level for a while we build up our in-game legacy. I might even suggest 25 PP per PL, which would mean 125 starting PP and also again slows down the PL creep. This would also give players the PP to play with for biotic powers, well rounded skills (and enough for investing in special training Expertises and whatnot). I don't know M&M well enough to know if that's simply too many PP per PL, I admit though. Just my two cents on the matter.

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I think having our uber-administrator as an NPC would be for the best. I'm not an excellent judge of M&M mechanics, but I have seen good success with tweaking the PL/PP ratio and I think PL5 with some extra PP/level would fit well.

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I agree that an NPC captain would work best.

The PL7 w/15 PP per level idea is, I feel, better-suited for the game than PL5 or 6 with more points, but I don't really have a dog in this fight. I'm more interested in the role-playing than the dice-rolling. If people want PL5, I don't care enough to make a stink about it.

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