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Alternity: Mass Effect Biotics

Dave ST

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I'm not sure if anyone here plays Alternity, but I've hashed up some rules for the Kinetic Fields path of a biotic. I'm not quite sure they're balanced, but thankfully they're easy to 'tone down'.

Have a look and lemme know what you think. I'll have the other paths up soon, this one was just the fist I finished.

Kinetic Fields


One of the first (and arguably the most useful) ability a biotic learns is the control of mass effect fields. Barrier surrounds the user with a high-gravity mass effect field that essentially strengthens the biotic by providing ‘biotic shields’. Like standard kinetic barriers (shields) the barrier power does not protect against physical damage like melee attacks, debris or environmental hazards.

Although usually invisible to the naked eye until acted upon by a rapidly moving object, this power, once activated does not require any further upkeep on the part of the user. Most biotic amps, like the emitters in kinetic barriers, power the barrier for as long as it is active. Once collapsed however, the user must re-activate it with their personal reserve of biotic energy points.

The Barrier power grants the user 20 points worth of shields. This functions just as the ablative shield described on page 191 of the Alternity Players Guide. Lost points are automatically recharged over time at the rate of 10 points per hour. The hero may speed up this recharge rate by spending 1 biotic energy point to restore 5 points to their barrier. These points are refreshed over the course of a full minute.

> Barrier Increase: At Rank 3, the biotic barrier’s capacity increases to 30 points.

>Combat Recharge: At Rank 6, the experienced biotic as learned to greatly hasten his barrier’s recharge time in the thick of a battle. Now, by spending 2 biotic energy points during combat, the barrier recharges at the beginning of the heroes first action in the following round.

> Barrier Increase: At Rank 9, the biotic barrier’s capacity increases to 40 points.

Supercharge: At Rank 12, the barrier may be ‘supercharged’ for short periods by over powering the heroes biotic amp. The amp siphons biotic energy points in order gain the extra power it needs to fuel this ability, every round this benefit is active the user must pay 1 biotic energy point.

While active the barrier becomes visible as the biotic energy overloads the heroes body. The purplish haze that surrounds the biotic automatically degrades all damage by one step. Mortal damage becomes wound damage, wound damage is stun damage, and stun damage is ignored completely. While active it takes a hell of a lot more firepower to drop a biotic’s barrier.

This reduction does not extend to a shot that collapses the barrier. The barrier may reduce the damage from the attack from an attack, but it doesn’t affect the power of the attack (the barrier is not ‘good’ or ‘amazing’ toughness). If the hero is hit with a Mortal attack and the barrier collapses after absorbing only half the attack, the damage that gets through is still mortal and soaked with armor per standard rules. In the event of a fraction, round in favor of the biotic.


Charge is a biotic power that had become the signature ability of biotics calling themselves ‘Vanguards’. The Vanguard uses biotics to augment speed and strength, and charges across the battlefield towards a target. This culminates in a powerful collision that sends enemies flying backward, inflicting massive damage. The collision negates the mass of an enemy, allowing for even the largest of enemies to be sent flying backwards.

This power also compensates for impeding obstacles, by allowing the Vanguard to 'phase' through solid objects en route to their target. As the Vanguard further masters this ability, Charge will allow him collide with enemies at terminal velocities

To resolve a charge the character makes a skill check. The attack is resisted as a ranged attack with a range of 10/20/40. If the skill check is successful the Vanguard immediately dashes through all obstacles and slams into his target with bone shattering force. The damage is HI/O d4w/d4+2w/d6+2w.

It takes a great deal of energy to fuel a biotic charge. After a charge the biotic’s amplifier must recharge, making this power only available for use every 2d4+4 combat phases. The Vanguard must physically move to his target’s location.

> You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide: At Rank 3, the Vanguard has learned to better assess his surroundings and make better tactical choices when activating this power. This translates into a –1 step bonus when making Charges at medium or long range.

> Heavy Charge: At Rank 6, damage becomes d6+2w/2d4+2w/d6+2m. At Rank 10, damage becomes d8+2w/d12+2w/d8+2m.

> Biotic Marathon: At Rank 9, the biotic has mastered how to more efficiently utilize his biotic reserves when making a Charge attack. The recharge time is reduced to d6+2 combat phases.

> Area Charge: At Rank 12, every time the biotic slams into his target he generates a powerful blast effect that can knock nearby enemies off their feet. With every impact every individual (friends or foe) within 3 meters is blasted by a biotic energy blast that inflicts d8+6s. The original target of the attack is not affected by this blast; they already felt the worst of it.

Force Field

Extended Duration

A more specialized form of the Barrier power, Force Field hardens the molecules around the user, via a mass effect field, to allow their biotic Barrier to protect them, somewhat, from damage that it might not otherwise be able to resist, or to provide low-grade protection after their barrier has collapsed and is recharging. This translates into increased physical protection (low impact and high impact). The force field is close enough to the users’ body that it does not affect any of their actions.

The quality of the field depends on the skill check: Ordinary LI +2/HI +1, Good LI +3/HI +2 or Amazing LI +4/HI+3. If the character wants to perform action while this power is active, those actions suffer a +1 step penalty while they concrete on keeping the field active.

> Cool Under Preassure: At Rank 3, the force field can be maintained without concentration. This eliminates the +1 step penalty to other actions taken while the field is in effect.

> Parry: At Rank 6, the character can attempt to kinetically parry physical attacks directed at her by strengthening the field in key areas prior to an impact. The parry attempt uses up the characters next available action, but if the Kinetic Fields-force field skill check is successful, the attack automatically fails. The parry attempt can be made outside of the character’s normal phases and costs 1 biotic energy point each time an attack is parried (regardless of whether the attempt succeeded or not). Further, if the biotic scores an Amazing success while attempting a parry, the attempt costs the character no biotic energy points.

>Energy Deflection: At Rank 9, the force field can deflect direct energy attacks (area energy attacks, such as an explosion of fire, are not affected). Apply the following results: Ordinary LI +2/HI +1/En +1, Good LI +3/HI +2/En +2 or Amazing LI +4/HI+3/En +3.

> Defend Others: At Rank 12, the character becomes able to project their force field around nearby objects and people. The target(s) must be within a number of meters equal to half the user’s ranks in Kinetic Fields-force field. The amount of protection is identical to the same given to the biotic.

Kinetic Weapon

Extended Duration

When employing this skill, a biotic generates a field of mass effect energy that emanates from his or her hands (or feet). The energy manifests one of two ways, to be chosen by the player at the time the character makes a successful skill check: non-lethal concussive force or lethal bone shattering kinetic trauma.

The principal difference in the two forms is in the sort of damage they do. A character that wishes just to knock out an opponent would be best served generating non-lethal concussive force; those who mean to inflict more serious harm on an opponent will likely create lethal kinetic trauma.

A character using their body as a kinetic weapon resolves skill checks with their Unarmed Attack-brawl, Unarmed Attack-power martial arts, or Acrobatics-defensive martial arts. The result of the kinetic weapon skill check may add a bonus to the appropriate Unarmed Attack skill check as follows: Ordinary, no bonus; Good, -1 step bonus; Amazing, –2 step bonus. This lasts until the character chooses not to maintain the kinetic weapon power. A biotic who wishes to switch from one attack form to the other must “drop” the first form (along with any bonuses gained from the skill check) and make a new kinetic weapon skill check to allow their amp to focus greater, or less energy into the mass effect fields being generated.

The base damage for the two forms kinetic weapon are as follows:

Non-Lethal d8s/d8+2s/d12+2s LI/O

Lethal d6w/d6+2w/d6m LI/O

This damage is modified by Strength (as applicable) and by the result of a rank benefit (see below).

> Increased Damage: At Rank 3, the damage of the kinetic fields increases by +1. At Rank 6, it increases again (to a total of +2). At Rank 9, it increases by another +1 (for a total of +3). At Rank 12, all attacks made with the kinetic fields are considered to deliver Good damage.

**In Mass Effect 2, Jack generates orbs of energy around her fists and punches the snot out of three YMIR heavy mechs… and anyone else in her way.**


When used, the biotic slams his fist or foot into the ground and summons up a series of powerful biotic explosions along the ground that ignores most obstacles. The maximum range for such an attack is 15/30/60 and the damage is considered low impact. When the character first acquires this skill he or she can inflict d4+2s/d6+2s/d4w

The shockwave continues along in a straight line, erupting concussive biotic explosions along the ground as it moves until it reaches it’s maximum range. Although it can be ‘aimed’ on a target out to the maximum range, the power always originates one meter away from the biotic and travels forward. Any opponent who happens to be in the area of effect is subject to damage from this attack.

>Increased Damage: At Rank 5, damage becomes d6+2s/d4w/d4+2w. At Rank 9, the damage caused is by the skill goes up to d4+2w/d6+2wd/8+2w

>Knockout: At Rank 3, the shockwave has a better chance of knocking an opponent unconscious. When the biotic achieves an Amazing success on their skill check, thus forcing an opponent to make a Stamina-endurance to remain conscious the opponent’s check receives a penalty according to the biotics’ rank in this skill.

The penalty is +1 at rank 3, +2 at rank 6, +3 at rank 9 and +4 at Rank 12.

>Heavy Shockwave: At Rank 6, the shockwave strengthens to become a biotic freight train. Each concussive blast across the battlefield is treated as Good damage.

>Improved Shockwave: At Rank 12, the biotics’ shockwave now has a wide impact radius that takes out everything in a broad strip in front of the user. Every blast now possesses an impact radius of 3 meters. It should be noted that use of this rank benefit could cause considerable collateral damage.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, aside from the atrocious spelling errors above (which have been fixed in the Doc) I've managed to complete the Mass Effect Biotics for the Alternity universe.

It's a 10 page document, so if anyone wants it, lemme know. We can't attach files to posts (as far as I know) so you'll have to get it from me.

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  • 5 years later...
  • 4 months later...

These are cool Dave, although I really need to re-familiarize myself with Alternity to fully understand the powers.  Just a note though, the documents linked above are actually what looks like home-brew biotech for an Aeon/Trinity game... I'd love to see the actual documents you meant to share :)

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I looked at the pdf and doc above, those aren't mine.  I never wrote those and I've no clue who did.  A good read though, nonetheless.

I do have the original document still, it's on a drive for all my RPG stuff.  I'd be happy to share it with you, the Alternity Mass Effect game Vivi and I played was some of the most fun we've had with the Alternity system.

I'll post it up, give me a day or so to find it.

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NIce!  These look pretty good Dave.  Do you have any other Mass Effect documents for Alternity..  I`d love to see how you handled the unique tech and the tech powers.  but really  anything you might have would be cool :)

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I did up a fire arms document, got as far as pistols... :)  It's not bad, but it's not excellent either.

Tech powers were something I didn't get around to because there was an ongoing debate as to whether tech powers were equipment based or skill based.  With Biotics it's something like magic, your character has to learn it and generate that power from within, but with Tech Powers... it's just fancy use of an omni-tool.

I could work one up, but it'd be awhile.  Probably not until after I get out of basic training.

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