Savage Worlds: Mass Effect

I have previously converted both Mass Effect and The Elder Scrolls to Savage Worlds: Deluxe Edition. This represents an attempt to update the Mass Effect conversion to Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition.  As I've noted before, I rely heavily on the Mass Effect Wiki. I also have a tendency to not do much straight monster conversion, so there may be some gaps in here that you'd really rather I fill. Feel free to yell at me if there's something you really want to see, but also be prepared for me to shrug and move on.

Advantages: Humans receive one additional Benny each session (similar to, and stacking with, the Luck Edge), and a free Novice Edge for which they meet the requirements.
Disadvantages: Humans are not well-liked in the Galaxy, and have a -2 to Persuasion with most non-humans; while they may be individually personable, their rapid rise to prominence has left many uneasy with them. Additionally, Batarians frankly hate humans, blaming them for many of their race's woes. Humans, for their part, stereotype Batarians as thugs, pirates, and slavers. Humans suffer an additional -2 to Persuasion with Batarians, and both species are prone to shoot first, ask questions later.

Advantages: Salarians are known for their non-linear thinking, beginning with a d6 in Smarts. They also need little sleep; most will take 3-4 hours a night, but they can function on as little as 1 hour for extended periods.
Disadvantages: Salarians have a slight build; even if tall, they are painfully thin by human standards. As such, they are Frail, with a -1 to their Toughness.

Advantages: Turians begin the game with a d4 in both Fighting and Shooting to represent their military training. Turians also receive a +4 to resist radiation, and reduce damage from radiation by 4 points.
Disadvantages: As dextro-amino species, turians cannot eat the flora and fauna of many worlds; they are limited to Turian and Quarian food, for the most part. On Turian vessels, this poses little problem, but lack of rations in the field can put them at a greater risk of starvation.

Advantages: Asari have Mind Reading as a non-biotic power and skill; the Mind Reading skill is based on Spirit, and does not rely on Power Points, but does inflict a level of Fatigue with each use. While asari are natural biotics, and many do possess biotic abilities, not all asari develop the skill; as such, asari who wish to be trained biotics must purchase the Arcane Background, or the Asari Biotic Edge.

Advantages: Krogan are obscenely resistant to environmental hazards, and recover quickly from injuries. They have a skill, Krogan Resilience, which keys off of Vigor, and 15 power points with which to use the powers of Environmental Protection and Healing. Both powers affect only the Krogan; Environmental Protection cannot protect against drowning or vacuum. Power points from Krogan Resilience can only power those two abilities, and return at a rate of 5 per hour of rest.
Krogan also begin at Size +1 (adding +1 to Toughness, and making their Strength maximum d12+1), and have an initial d6 in Vigor (and a maximum of d12+1). Additionally, they have the Berserk edge, and do not take a Wound when they suffer a second Shaken result in combat.
Disadvantages: Krogan are big creatures, and oddly shaped, and find many devices used by other races difficult to manage; they must have explicitly Krogan armors, and some weapons will require adjustment to fit in krogan hands, or they will suffer a -2 penalty to their use. Additionally, Krogan are somewhat alienated from the galaxy at large, and suffer a -2 penalty to Persuasion with non-Krogan, and a -2 to Smarts rolls (which compounds with their Berserk Edge). The existence of the genophage, and their continued subjugation to it, is a sore point for all krogan, functioning as a Major Shamed hindrance.

Advantages: Quarians begin with d6 in Repair, and d6 in Electronics; both have a maximum of d12+1. Additionally, all quarians begin with environmental suits, which are the equivalent of +2 Armor, and have the built-in tech powers of Environmental Protection and Protection (shields), with a 15 point power supply. These suits, and their powers, mitigate their vulnerability to environmental contaminants; quarian armor is built to accommodate their environmental suits. If a quarian loses their environmental suit and survives, they can often acquire one if they can reach the Migrant Fleet.
Disadvantages: Quarians are remarkably dependent upon their environmental suits. Without the suits, or if the suits are breached (see Armor Breaches, below), they have severe allergic reactions to many environmental contaminants, and so have a -4 to resist both disease and poison, and suffer 4 additional points of damage if an attack is based on such. During an armor breach, all attacks which Wound or Shake the character require them to make Vigor checks (at -4) against both Mild Poison and Debilitating disease. Disliked by much of galactic society, viewed as thieves and hated for creating the geth, they likewise receive a -2 to Persuasion with non-quarians. Additionally, as one of the few dextro-amino species, they are unable to consume much of the common food of the galaxy, and thus are limited to Quarian or Turian rations.

Advantages: Drell have a +4 to resist heat and flame, and 4 additional points of armor against attacks based on such.. They also have an Eidictic Memory, allowing them to recall any information they have been exposed to; this results in a +1 to attempts to Smarts tests recall information, including many applications of knowledge skills.
Disadvantages: However, their memory can be triggered involuntarily whenever they roll a 1 (on either die) while making a Knowledge or Smarts test, requiring a Spirit roll lest they fall into a fugue state and 4 point penalty to all trait rolls while in the grip of memory. With success, there is only a 2 point penalty. With a raise, there is no penalty. A Bennie may be spent to remove the penalty, as well. Checks against the fugue state may be made every round during combat, or every minute when out of combat, and the fugue will last until either two successes are made, or a success and a raise. Drell likewise have a minor Flaw, Vow, representing their Compact with the Hanar. They are not obligated to serve, though the Vow is still present.

Advantages: Hanar are fully aquatic, and thus cannot drown, move at full speed while swimming. They likewise possess four additional limbs, allowing them to take multiple actions. They also secrete poisons from their limbs, allowing them to paralyze in hand to hand combat. They move by means of levitation packs powered by mass effect fields, giving them the equivalent of Flight.
Disadvantages: As jellyfish, they lack physical strength, so all Strength checks are made a -2. Their Vigor and Agility likewise have a -1 penalty. These penalties apply to Attribute rolls only, not to skills. Their stilted speech and strong religious beliefs also marks them as Outsiders, and so they have a -2 to Persuasion with non-hanar (or drell).

Elcor: Elcor move very slowly, having a base pace of 3 and only a d4-1 running die. Likewise, they are unusually Cautious, possessing that hindrance, compared to most other species. Their speech patterns cause them to be regarded as Outsiders, and so receive a -2 penalty to Persuasion when dealing with other species. They are Big creatures, unable to use a lot of the common technology of the galaxy without suffering a -2 to their trait rolls, and suffer a -2 on all Agility checks, though not on the related skills. Their size can also cause them to suffer targeting problems when aimed at relatively small creatures (like humans, asari, and most other species).
However, they have great strength, beginning with a d8 and able to increase it to d12+4 through normal advancement. They are also quite large, gaining +2 to Size, with the commensurate increase to Toughness, and +2 to Armor. They also have a base d8 in Vigor.

Advantages: Batarians have a rough reputation, and begin with a d4 in Intimidation. While best known for their eyes (which grant low-light vision), their senses are very fine in other respects, resulting in a +2 to all Notice checks.
Disadvantages: That same rough reputation impacts their interactions with the rest of the galaxy, however. Batarians have a -2 to Persuasion with most of the galaxy, and their mutual enmity with humans increases that to a -4 when humans are involved.

Advantages: Vol society is based on negotiation; while they might learn self-defense, they are far more likely to negotiate conflict than initiate violence. As such, all Volus begin with the ability to take 1 free reroll of any Persuasion check. Those able to leave Vol space are extremely well off; they have the equivalent of the Rich edge, and begin with an expensive environmental suit that doubles as armor. The suit provides +8 armor, indefinite life support, +4 vs. environmental hazards, and at least basic shields (with 10 power points for the shields) and omni-tools (with Healing both for the armor and the volus inside, as well as Speak Language, and 10 power points for those power). There is no minimum strength for this armor.
Disadvantages: Compared to most of the galaxy, Volus are Small, with a -1 Size penalty, and a Reduced Pace of 4, with a 1d4 running die.
Additionally, Volus are absolutely dependent upon their environmental suits. A quarian without their environmental suit will get very, very sick. A volus without their environmental suit will explosively decompress. Each round without their environmental suit (or in a breached environmental suit) is equal to a Lethal Poison, as well as a round of Drowning. They must make Vigor rolls every round; failure inflicts a Wound, leaves them Stunned, and they will die in 2d6 + Vigor rounds regardless of how lucky they are. They must repair their suit or reach a Vol-formed space to avoid death.

Edges and Hindrances

New Edges:

Asari Biotic
Requirements: Asari
Biotic powers are relatively ubiquitous in Asari space; Asari find them easy to practice and easy to find training for these skills. However, not all Asari pursue biotic skill quite as fiercely as indicated in the Arcane Background. An Asari Biotic may learn the Biotics skill, and has 1 Novice Power and 5 point points with which to use it. They may take edges that require the Biotic Arcane Background. Unlike those with the Arcane Background, they usually do not have amps installed (though they may choose to do so). In addition, however, the Asari Biotic has spent her time on other things, and has two additional skill points to spend.
If an Asari with this background subsequently pursues an Arcane Background in Biotics, the powers and power points above are added to those gained from the Arcane Background.

*All Thumbs (Minor): In addition to Repair skills, this applies to Tech powers and skills as well. Given the prevalence of Tech powers and skills in Mass Effect, this is a Major Hindrance.

*Bad Eyes, Blind, Hard of Hearing, Mute, One Arm, One Eye, Slow: While these Hindrances are available, they are also relatively easy to overcome with cybernetics. If a major flaw is repaired with cybernetics, they are replaced with the Anemic and Ugly minor Hindrances (as the extensive cybernetics require both immuno-suppressors and cause massive scarring... to say nothing of the galactic insecurity about artificial beings). Minor Hindrances, either the flaws themselves or from cybernetic replacements, can then be bought off with Advances. So, a Blind individual can purchase cybernetic eyes without spending an advance, and thus have Anemic and Ugly. If they also used an advance, Anemic or Ugly could be mitigated immediately.

*Doubting Thomas (Minor): This is not appropriate for Savage Worlds: Mass Effect and is not available.

*Mute (Minor): Being unable to speak still makes some things very difficult, but the ubiquity of aids to overcome this Hindrance downgrades it to a Minor. As with other physical flaws, this Hindrance may usually be overcome with cybernetics.

*Outsider (Minor): Outsider is a very common flaw among the races of the Mass Effect universe, but is not a very common flaw for individuals. If someone possesses this flaw as both a racial feature and a personal feature (due to belonging to some obscure human or Elcor subculture, for example), then the effective penalty to Persuasion is -4; not only are you weird to the other races of the galaxy like all your people, but you're outside of what the expect from that race. Within your own race, the penalty drops to only -2. The Major version of the flaw is very uncommon, applying only to such unusual characters as Geth or Collectors.

*Athletics: Athletics also includes maneuvering in low-g and zero-g environments; a relatively uncommon occurrence in the galaxy, but one that most militaries and some civilian crews train for.

*Boating: While not unavailable, this skill is extremely uncommon; even most nominally ocean-going craft will incorporate enough mass effect technology to use Piloting, instead.

Sidebar: Electronics, Hacking, and Tech
Tech, from the Arcane Background, has a lot of overlap with Electronics and Hacking. In most situations, a prepared Tech may use their Tech skill whenever Electronics or Hacking might be called for; someone without the Tech background (and skill) will have to rely on Electronics or Hacking, and have to increase those skills separately. Situations where Tech does not apply are largely limited to instances of non-standard technology; either dealing with systems that predate contact with Citadel technologies, or unknown systems that are completely separately developed from Citadel technology, such as the technology of the Andromeda galaxy.

*Healing: Medi-gel can do a lot of healing, and most omni-tools have the Healing power built in, allowing users to substitute Tech, Electronics, or Common Knowledge, if those exceed Healing. In the absence of medi-gel, Healing can be used normally to treat wounds or perform forensics.

*Language: As with Healing, many omni-tools have the Speak Language power built-in, and so Tech, Electronics, and Common Knowledge will provide a "Good Enough" translation of most galactic languages based on sound or vision. Omni-tools are not capable of processing tactile, olfactory, or telepathic languages, however, and many scholars or expatriates will go through the process of learning a language "the old-fashioned way" (by which they mean VI tutors while sleeping).

*Occult: Similar to Boating, this skill does not see much use, and more often covers fringe theories associated with more respectable fields; a historian studies Academics, but claims about "Reapers" or "surviving Rachni" are usually relegated to Occult.

*Repair: Similar to Healing and Language, many make use of omni-gel and the Healing powers of an omni-tool for field repairs. Repair can be used instead of Electronics or Tech in such situations; Tech-Healing powers require enough specialized knowledge to apply that Common Knowledge cannot be used except in very simple cases.

*Research: The existence of the Extranet and research VIs can add significantly to basic research tasks; +2 for just Extranet access, and up to +6 for a specialized VI. The difficulty for many in Citadel space is concealing such searches; simple success may return information, but one or more raises may be necessary to conceal who did the search.

Background Edges:
*Arcane Resistance, Improved Arcane Resistance: These Edges are not appropriate for Savage Worlds: Mass Effect; can't fight physics, mate.

*Attractive, Very Attractive: These Edges usually have less effect outside of one's own species. Asari are the exception, as they are attractive to most of the galaxy's races (albiet for very different reasons).

Power Edges:
*Artificer: Not available.

*Channeling, Concentration: The edges do require an Arcane Background, but are available to both Tech and Biotics. They cannot be taken simply by having the Tech skill.

*Gadgeteer: Replace the "Weird Science" requirement with the Arcane Background: Tech.

*Holy/Unholy Warrior: Renamed "Biotic Warrior". Available only to Biotics, with a minimum skill of d6, this represents uncommon training in using reflexive biotic shielding to reduce damage. Common among asari Justicars, other species have developed similar powers.

*Mentalist: Not available.

*Power Points: Only available to those using Biotics, these represent inherent power points, not those available from amps.

*Rapid Recharge, Improved Rapid Recharge: These edges are only available to the Biotic background or Asari Biotic, and only apply to the natural power points, not to artificial power point pools from bio-amps or other batteries.

*Soul Drain: This edge is only available to Biotics.

*Wizard: Amazingly enough, this Edge is also known as "Wizard" for both biotics and tech. Requiring a true virtuso, a Wizard can change a power's trapping for one additional power point. Note that those skilled in both Biotics and Tech must learn the edge separately for both to be able to use its advantages with both.

Professional Edges:
*Assassin: The Fighting requirement for this Edge may be replaced with Shooting.

Weird Edges:
*Champion: Champion is not appropriate for Savage Mass Effect.

Tech and Biotic Powers

Tech v. Biotics
While there's an obvious in-universe reason for the difference between the two, Tech and Biotics share many of the same powers. What's the differences?
1) Tech is the ability to make use of power points in objects to create effects other than intended. It condenses a great deal of knowledge about Citadel technology into a single skill, but is limited to that technology base; not a large restriction in the Milky Way, but somewhat more limited in Andromeda. Non-techs can often make use of purpose-built tech devices with Electronics or even Common Knowledge (things like omni-tools); some tech-powered devices can even use Shooting, Fighting, or other skills. A Tech, however, can subvert the design of these devices, using their power supplies to generate any effect they know, and transfer power points from one device to another (a relatively simple process if they control both devices).
2) Biotics have a bit of extra power. Though most biotics prefer to keep their slow replacing, natural points for emergencies, they can all make use of bio-amps for a pool of freely usable power points. While 500 credits isn't cheap, it's affordable to a lot of people and biotics find those 10 points to be enough for most uses. If someone has both Arcane Backgrounds, they can use Power Points from other objects to recharge their Bio-Amps, and vice versa; recharging a bio-amp from another device requires an action and a successful Tech check.

Arcane Background: Tech.
Arcane Skill: Tech (Smarts)
Starting Power Points: None. Dependent upon device.
Starting Powers: 2, plus devices.
A Tech character has learned to make use of the varied capabilities of omni-tools. In addition to learning the basics of Tech skills and the omni-tool, most pick up a specialty... a couple power that they can coax out of almost any omni-tool, using its on-board power points.
As mentioned above, those with the Tech background do not have their own Power Points. They must, instead, rely on the power points in the devices they use. Some devices will have power points dedicated to certain devices, such as armor with dedicated shields (the Barrier power). Devices with dedicated powers can be used by anyone with the appropriate skill, and many can be activated with the Electronics skill. Those with the Arcane Background, however, can use those points to also fuel their own powers, subverting the design for their own purposes. Tech powers also do not reduce the Tech skill when sustained.
Available powers for the Tech Arcane Background are: Barrier, Blast, Blind, Bolt, Burst, Confusion, Damage Field, Deflection, Dispel, Drain Power Points, Environmental Protection, Fly, Havoc, Healing, Illusion, Invisibility, Mind Reading, Mind Wipe, Protection, Puppet, Relief, Smite, Sound/Silence, Speak Language, Stun, Summon Ally (drones). Many offensive powers will have suitable trappings; acid, cold, eletricity, heat, light and sound are all possible. A power with different effects is a different power; one can learn Fire Bolt and Acid Bolt as separate powers, but use Power Modifiers on the fly.

Arcane background: Biotic
Arcane Skill: Biotics (Spirit)
Starting Power Points: 10
Starting Powers: 3
Biotics are born with small nodules of element zero within their bodies, allowing them to generate mass effect fields with an effort of will. For most species (all save the asari), this would usually result in only minor effects, as the electrical fields generated by the neural system are insufficient and not coordinated enough to generate more powerful fields. To this end, biotics are fitted with implants. These cybernetic devices amplify and direct the mass effect fields more precisely, allowing far greater effects. Most human biotics are fitted with L3 or later models; the old L2s have greater potential, but tended to have negative side effects. Most aliens have a system similar to the L3 in place.
Biotics can supplement their power with “bio-amps”, external devices which attach to a port on the brainstem. These devices provide additional power points to a biotic, and recharge far faster than natural reserves. One’s natural reserves (10 Power Points) recharge at a rate of 1 per hour; most amps will recharge at 1 point per minute. While any combination of natural and amped power points may be used, they continue to recharge at their separate rate. Amps cost approximately 50 credits per power point capacity, though local market conditions may make them more or less expensive, and those above 10 Power Points are frequently far more expensive military models.
Available powers to a biotic background are: Barrier, Blast, Bolt, Burst, Damage Field, Deflection, Entangle, Fly, Havoc, Protection, Puppet, Sloth/Speed, Smite, Stun, Telekinesis, Wall Walker.

Mass Effect Power Modifiers
Mass Effect Power Modifiers are most common with Biotic powers; many Biotic powers are only secondarily about causing damage, being far more useful in their ability to control your opponents.

*Grappling (+2). Some Biotic powers will have a Grappling effect, holding opponents in space, or even above the ground. If the power is successful, make an opposed Biotics check against the opponents Strength or Agility. If successful, the opponent is Entangled; with a raise, they are Bound. If the biotic wishes, they may continue a grapple so long as the power is maintained; in the case of Instant powers, this may be continued at a cost of 1 PP per target per round. A continued grapple does not result in more damage, only in continued control. Targets may resist grappling as normal, using either Strength or Agility v. the Biotics skill. All grappling via biotics is from a size 0 grappler; larger creatures find it much easier to break a grapple than smaller creatures.

*Push (+1). Biotic powers can also wrap a short-lived Mass Effect field around their target, moving them away from the point of impact. In this case, refer to page 104 for the rules for Push; the biotic uses their Biotics skill instead of Strength. Powers with this modifier require 1 additional power point, though those with an area of effect only need spend 1 point no matter how many are effected. All pushing via biotics is from a size 0 creature; larger creatures find it much easier to resist a push than smaller creatures.

Powers List
The full list of powers is listed below, with three different notations. T powers are based on the Tech skill; those with a B are available to biotics. Those listed as TO (Tech Only) are available only to Tech users, but furthermore only apply against tech-based targets; you may use Blind to shut down someone's optics, but cannot shut down someone's actual eyes. Cybernetic systems may be targeted by TO powers, though require a raise to be effective.

Barrier (TB): Barrier is the basis of both tech-based shields and biotic barriers. Both are capable of erecting the field as a layer of personal protection, or as a stationary emplacement to provide cover.

Blast (TB): A Biotic Blast creates a mass effect that either repels everyone from the center of the template (using a Push effect from the Mass Effect Power Modifiers), or pulls them towards that same center (using a Grappling effect). Tech-based blasts use mass effect fields and charged, combustible, corrosive, or endothermic particles.

Blind (TO): Blind is useful for shutting down or fogging optic sensors, be they security cameras, HUDs in an armor's helmet, or the optics on Geth and various mechs. This is not invisibility; it is obvious to anyone who sees through the system that it is compromised. When used against cybernetics, the difficulty is +2.

Bolt (TB): Biotic Bolt most frequently involves a Push effect, but might also use a spray of debris accelerated to great speed, leading to an Armor Piercing effect. Tech-based Bolts involve using an omni-tools to create and propel a projectile. Different elemental trappings and special effects are possible, but each elemental trapping is a separate power.

Burst (TB): Burst functions much like Blast, including available trappings and the necessity of separate powers.

Confusion (TO): Confusion is a commonly used power when one expects to be encountering geth or VI-controlled weapons. More precise application can aid in hacking.

Damage Field (TB): Biotic damage fields most frequently have the Push trapping. This power has a range of Self only. Tech-based damage fields are rare, and difficult to control; the power will damage the subject on a Mishap.

Deflection (TB): Biotic Deflection fields are a less aggressive version of the Damage field, pushing away harmful materials but not actively harming others. Some versions may have the actual Push trapping. Tech Deflection fields are not common on human-scale devices; the shifting mass effect fields can cause nausea; but are quite common on ships and large facilities, providing additional defense against missiles and mass drivers.

Dispel (TO): Dispel can function against any tech power or item; this can include weapons without other tech-powers. It should be noted, however, that ABarrier power provides heavy cover against this power, reducing the Tech skill check by 4. If used against non-power based devices (like weapons or mechs), the items will restart in 3 rounds. Mechs, geth, VIs and similar devices may resist this power with their Vigor, Spirit, or Tech; simple devices (like firearms) require an unopposed roll at -2 to affect.

Drain Power Points (TO): While it is relatively simple for a Tech to move power points from one device from another when they have control of both devices, this power moves a bit beyond that, actively stealing power from devices controlled by others. If the device is under someone's control, they may roll an opposed Tech check to stop the theft; if it is not under someone's control, however, all that is required is success. Without a raise, the power points are simply lost; with a raise, the power points may be added to a device the Tech controls.

Entangle (B): Entangle uses a mass effect field float its target a few inches to a few feet off the floor. With the Push modifier, targets spread out (and the biotic receives a +2 to their push roll). With the Grapple modifier, the target must make two rolls to break free, though this can greatly increase the cost (especially for an area effect power). Failing to pay the ongoing cost of the grapple will end the power for that target, however.

Fly (TB): Fly is a very rare power for biotics, as the fine control of mass effect fields needed is relatively rare. Hanar using this power (through their personal flight packs) move at their swimming pace of 6.

Havoc (TB): Havoc is a common, non-damaging power among advanced biotics, allowing them to break up formations and chase people out of cover. Using the Push effect will add to the distance the power throws its targets; using the Grapple effect frequently results in targets floating in air, or held to the ground by powerful mass effect fields. Tech Havoc is simply a rolling mass effect field, which collapses after a certain distance, having thrown objects around.

Healing (T): This power may be learned in two variations; one for living creatures, the other for machines (including robots and cybernetic systems). These two variations are separate powers, and may not substitute for each other. On living creatures, using the power requires a source of medigel; for machines, it requires omni-gel; either a source of ready omni-gel, or something that can broken down into it (which includes most modern devices and non-structural construction). The version for machines does have one advantage; it does not need to obey the "Golden Hour".
Most devices do not include the ability to make use of either the Greater Healing or Crippling Injuries modifiers; the VI required to run those are simply beyond an omni-tool. Larger systems, such as those built into a clinic or ship's infirmary can make use of them.

Illusion (T): The illusion power is simply a hologram. Most devices programmed for illusion are relatively limited in what they can create; a single image or short scene, or an illusionary double of the one wearing the device, mimicking their movements.

Invisibility (T): A power common to special forces troops (such as infiltrators and some groups of Asari commandos), this power is also not unheard of among the geth.

Mind Reading (TO): Mind Reading only works against Tech-based targets, and is, essentially, a hacking shortcut; while anyone can use Tech or Hacking to attempt to hack a computer, that is an extended test similar to a Dramatic Task (p. 84). The Mind Reading power circumvents this need, allowing access to be rapidly gained, sometimes without the notice of the subject.
Asari also have this power as a racial ability. This power has a range of Touch, requires 3 full rounds, and use Fatigues the asari.

Mind Wipe (TO): Another Tech short-cut, Mind Wipe erases sections of memory without leaving traces. This is possible without the Mind Wipe power, of course, but is more complicated and leaves traces of activity; the Mind Wipe power takes, at most, a minute of work, and leaves no trace of the work, save for the work itself.

Protection (TB): Protection is a relatively uncommon power, but not unheard of. While shields (barriers) are relatively well-known, armor-replacing Protection is less so. The more advanced Toughness variant is relatively common for shock troops like the Vanguard; it stacks with armor, and sufficient Protection-granted toughness can make someone seem nigh-invulnerable.

Puppet (B, TO): For biotics, this incredibly difficult power manipulates the target through a combination of limb telekinetics and microburst mass effect fields confusing and sapping an individual's control of their own body.
When used by a Tech user, this power is a brute-force hack of a tech-based brain, shunting control to the Tech until internal systems override the control. It can be used against the heavily cybernetic, but requires a raise and the Spirit roll to resist is at +2.

Relief  (T): Relief requires the presence of medi-gel, but does not actually reduce the amount of medi-gel possessed. Some versions will include the Hurry modifier.

Sloth/Speed (B): Biotics can use mass effect fields to slow their opponents or greatly speed themselves or their allies.

Smite (TB): Smite can be used to apply Elemental effects to various weapons, such as an Electrical Smite power that includes Glow or Armor Piercing effects, or Biotic-enhanced bullets with Push or Grapple effects. Grapple effects from empowered ammo last only one round.

Sound/Silence (T): While generating sound is relatively easy, suppressing it in an area is more difficult, and more valuable. Silence has an available modifier, Shell, which increases the cost by 1 point; rather than stop all sound, it prevents sounds from inside the Large Burst Template from leaving, and sounds from outside from entering. Like Silence, it has a duration of 5.

Speak Language (T): Most omni-tools are able to translate the common languages of the galaxy into the user's preferred language; this requires no roll, power points, or skill check. More exotic languages, however, can sometimes be translated by those with dedicated linguistics computers.

Stun (TB): Tech-based Stun weapons are particularly common among police forces; many will use power modifiers such as Hinder or Fatigue, further enhancing their effectiveness. Armor, and the Barrier and Protection powers provide cover from these weapons, depending on their protection.

Summon Ally (T): Some engineers are able to create drones that can fight for them. These drones typically appear as balls of lights, and are able to attack targets. However, they are unable to move beyond a range of Smarts, are extremely vulnerable to melee attacks, and engineers find it difficult to summon more than one at a time; even with an increase in rank, each additional drone summoned after the first imposes a -2 penalty (so a Veteran engineer attempting to summon 3 Novice drones will find his Tech ability penalized by 4). Trappings, however, can be applied to both the Drone and its innate powers. With a raise, Drones receive the Resilient trait. Many Drones will use the Flight power modifier.

Novice Drone:
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d4, Vigor d4
Skills: Athletics d4, Shooting d4, Notice d4
Pace: 4, Parry 2, Toughness: 6 (2)
Gear: None
Special Abilities:
*Armored Construct (+2 Armor)
*Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from called shots; constructs do not suffer from poison or disease.
*Fearless: drones are immune to Fear and Intimidation.
*Blaster: Equivalent to the Stun Power. Uses Shooting Skill, fires 1 bolt per round. Requires no power points.

Seasoned Drone:
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Shooting d6, Notice d4
Pace: 6 Parry: 2, Toughness: 7 (2)
Gear: None
Special Abilities:
*Armored Construct (+2 Armor)
*Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from called shots; constructs do not suffer from poison or disease.
*Fearless: Drones are immune to Fear and Intimidation.
*Blaster: Equivalent to the Novice Bolt Power. Uses Shooting Skill, fires up to 2 bolts per round. Requires no power points.

Veteran Drone:
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Shooting d8, Notice d4
Pace: 6 Parry: 2, Toughness: 10 (4)
Gear: None
Special Abilities:
*Armored Construct (+4 Armor)
*Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from called shots; constructs do not suffer from poison or disease.
*Fearless: Drones are immune to Fear and Intimidation.
*Blaster: Equivalent to the Novice Bolt Power. Uses Shooting Skill, fires up to 2 bolts per round. Requires no power points.
*Burst: Instead of using its Blaster, a veteran drone may use its Shooting skill to use the equivalent of the Burst power. Requires no power points.

Heroic Drone:
Attributes: Agility d12+2, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d10
Skills: Shooting d10, Notice d8, Tech d6
Pace: 6 Parry: 2, Toughness: 11 (4)
Gear: None
Special Abilities:
*Dispel Resistant: Heroic drones resist the Dispel power with a +4 to their Vigor roll.
*Armored Construct (+4 Armor)
*Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from called shots; constructs do not suffer from poison or disease.
*Fearless: Drones are immune to Fear and Intimidation.
*Blaster: Equivalent to the Novice Bolt Power. Uses Shooting Skill, fires up to 3 bolts per round. Requires no power points.
*Burst: Instead of using its Blaster, a heroic drone may use its Shooting skill to use the equivalent of the Burst power. Requires no power points.
*Barrier: The Heroic drone may use the Barrier power per its Tech skill. It has 5 power points with which to use this power, though more may be donated by the drone's creator. Any barriers erected by the drone dissipate either at the end of the barrier's duration, or the drone's, whichever comes first.

Telekinesis (B): A common biotic power, this power can use the Grapple trapping to make it more difficult to escape, but it is seldom included.

Wall Walker (B): Biotics may create localized fluctuations in gravity to allow them to move along vertical or inverted surfaces. In weightless conditions, they may use this power to orient along any surface they choose; in those situations, they may always move at full pace and run.


Most Savage Worlds Mass Effect gear is similar to modern and futuristic gear in the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, pages 67-80. Many things function differently, but have similar statistics.

Omni-tools are, at the very low end, the world’s best smart phone. With extranet access when near a node, the extent of what can be considered “common knowledge” is pretty vast. Civilian models include the ability to function as a flashlight, scanning system, dispense medi-gel (when provided a source), basic programming, hacking, video and audio recording and communication, and, of course, video games, movies, and music. Civilian omni-tools lack any significant minifacturing capabilities. A civilian omni-tool has 5 power points for its powers, which recharge at 1 per minute. They cost 100 credits.

Military and top-end commercial omni-tools are more robust, especially in the minifacturing capabilities, allowing the breaking of items into “omni-gel”, and creating items from the same. With finer control and fewer safeguards, these omni-tools allow the use of various “tech powers”, making use of mass effect fields, onboard VI, and available materials (including an on-board supply of omni-gel). Military omni-tools cost a minimum of 200 credits, will have 10 power points, and usually have a recharge of 1 point per minute. Additional power point capacity will cost about 20 credits each, with a maximum of 30 points, total. Upgrading recharge rates to 3 points every 2 minutes costs an additional 100 credits. Omni-tools may be optimized to provide a bonus to using specific powers at a cost of 100 per +1 to the skill granted; no bonus can exceed +2, and an omni-tool may have no more than 2 such bonuses.

Anyone with the Tech skill may use their omni-tool for basic tasks, including the Healing power (if they have a supply of medi-gel; military models can use Healing on non-organics by dispensing omni-gel) and the Speak Language power. Those with the Tech Arcane Background may use an omni-tool for any of their powers.

Most guns have switched to the new-style, disposable heat-sink or thermal clip. Old style weapons, with the integral heat sinks, are still common, especially on secondary markets and army surplus.
Old-style weapons have tremendous longevity, but also means they will shut down if over-fired, going into emergency cooling. Each shot fired adds 1 to a weapon’s heat load; at the end of each round, subtract 1 from the current heat load. Should a weapon reach its full heat load (indicated by the number of shots), it will shut down for three full rounds as it sheds heat; after those three rounds, it will have reset to 0 heat. Shutdown is very common with sniper rifles. Weapons with integral heat sinks weigh the standard amount.

Newer-style weapons, with disposable heat sinks (also called thermal clips), are becoming more available, especially in the military markets. These weapons shed their heat sinks upon reaching maximum capacity, allowing them to be reloaded (a non-roll action) and fired much more quickly. They are, however, limited by the number of heat sinks carried; without a heat sink, the weapon will not fire. Over-riding this will cause extensive damage to the weapon. This is partially a security feature; controlling the availability of heat-sinks reduces the value of military weapons to the black market. It also reduces weight; weapons with disposable heat sinks weigh 1 pound less than normal. Omni-tool minifacturing is not capable of creating heat sinks out of omni-gel.

Switching a weapon from integral to disposable heat sinks, or vice versa, is possible with a Repair roll, but reduces the number of shots by half (or not, on a Raise). It requires a weapon of the correct class with the desired kind of heat sink to be disassembled, or imposes a -2 on the roll (in addition to any penalties for lack of proper tools).

Disposable heat sinks for thermal clips cost 25 credits per heat sink. They're completely interchangeable, and if switched between weapons, will have a pro-rated amount of shots remaining, depending on the weapon originally used. Disposable heat sinks (thermal clips) weigh only 1/10th of a pound; they're about the size of a cigarette lighter.

For simplicity's sake, most weapons in Savage Worlds: Mass Effect are equivalent to modern firearms; semi-automatic pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, and rifles.

Standard civilian sidearms are equal to a Glock 9mm. These are popular weapons, able to overcome some armor and with a good rate of sustained fire; with old-style heat sinks, they can fire twice per round for 17 rounds before over-heating. They have relatively low damage, however. There are few civilian-accessible longarms, though settlers and outlying colonies may the equivalent of M1 or Winchester '76s, or the rare double-barrel or pump action shotguns. Civilian firearms almost always have the old-style integral heat sinks.

Military and security sidearms tend to resemble the Colt 1911 and Desert Eagle, and are about 50/50 on integral or disposable heat sinks. While the military might prefer for everyone to be on the thermal clip system, a lot of people are attached to old handguns, and their relatively low use in the field makes it less of a priority.

Machine pistols are a new class of weapon available to military markets, resembling the various types of submachine guns on page 54 of Savage Worlds. These all use the new-style heat sinks; old-style heat sinks for these were not manufactured, and so will require significant design work (A Knowledge (Tech or Weaponsmithing) roll).

Military-grade shotguns tend to resemble Streetsweepers, and though by design favor the integral heat sink, tend to be loaded with the disposable heat sinks to reduce their value if stolen.

Military Rifles tend to be automatic rifles, with those resembling the M-16 or Steyr AUG being the most popular with many Systems Alliance militaries due to their three round burst ability, but some manufacturers prefer the higher-damaging designs that resemble AK-47s.

Older Sniper Weapons are similar to the Sharps Big 50, with the attendant heating problems. Newer Sniper weapons will use the Barrett .50 stats, but rarely have integral heat-sinks. Older sniper weapons are starting to find their way onto the civilian market, though at twice the cost (800 credits).

Melee Weapons
It is rare to carry a purpose-built melee weapon; the advice to never bring a knife to a gunfight is well taken when most fights are gunfights. Military-grade omnitools can use their on-board minifacturing to create omni-blades. On a success, the omni-blade is equal to a dagger. On a raise, it's equal to a Molecular knife. Creating an omni-blade requires a Tech check and an action. Those with the Smite power can empower them as part of creation; this requires a separate Tech check, but without the multi-action penalty.
There are rarer (and expensive) melee weapons. Many will have Smite powers built in, though those cost 10 times the cost of a comparable medieval, modern, or futuristic weapons. The only exceptions are the Bangstick and the laser sword; there're no real equivalents in Mass Effect.

Heavy Weapons and Explosives
There are many and expensive heavy weapons in the Mass Effect universe. Beam weapons are uncommon at a personal scale, though the Laser Machinegun is available to military purchasers. Likewise available are equivalents to Bazookas, Mines, and Flamethrowers. All are unavailable in civilian markets; on the black market, they command impressive prices.
Grenades are slightly more available, though not cheap. Standard grenades (equivalent to the Mk67) cost 25 credits each when available; they might cost much more, depending on the market. Some grenades are available with the equivalent of the Smite power and associated power modifiers; these are at least 100 credits each, and are even rarer.

There are four categories of armor in the Mass Effect universe; civilian, light, medium and heavy. Most light, medium, and heavy armors also have built-in shield generators. Civilian armor can mount a shield generator, but it's rarer and more expensive. Armor also is tailored to race; humans, batarians, drell, and asari share armor with minimal modification. Salarian armor is designed for their very small frames, but can be worn by some humans, drell, and asari. Turians, Krogans, and Elcor all have unique armor to fit their physiologies. Quarian armor is designed to incorporate their environmental suits, but the armor bonus from their environmental suit is superseded by any worn armor. Hanar are unable to wear armor.

Civilian armor is not freely available, but is relatively common and easy to acquire legally or semi-legally. In most cases, civilian armor is a simple bodysuit of advanced polymers. It functions much like a kevlar clothing (+2 armor, with a cost of 250 credits), but covers the entire body (including a head sock, if you wish to wear it). They also provide a +2 against environmental hazards (heat and cold), though not against heat and cold-based attacks, nor any protection against vacuum. A fully sealed version, with nominal life support for three hours in vacuum, is available for 500 credits (and is equivalent to quarian environmental suits, including a +4 against environmental hazards and attacks).
Light suits are essentially the same as civilian suits, with the addition of some plating on the chest and limbs. Light Armor has a +4 armor bonus and weighs about 10 pounds. They require a d6 strength to wear effectively.
Medium suits use heavier plating than light suits, but compensate with an exoskeleton to help with the weight. Medium Suits have a +6 armor bonus and weigh about 20 pounds when worn (efficient weight distribution and light exoskeletons); when not, they weigh about 50 pounds.
Heavy armor is a full plate suit, with a significant exoskeleton and articulated joints. Some models boast weapon mounts, or mass effect generators allowing basic flight (as the Fly power). Heavy suits only weigh 20 pounds when worn, but they have a +10 armor bonus and increase the strength die by 1 type. They weigh about 100 pounds when powered down. Medium and Heavy suits require a d8 strength to wear effectively. 
All military suits (light, medium, and heavy) have an integral HUD system that adds +1 to Shooting rolls. They are also fully sealed, providing +4 against environmental hazards and provide air, heating and cooling for up to six hours. These suits are seldom available on the civilian market, though light suits run about 1000 credits, medium 3000-5000, and heavy suits start about about 10,000, before built-in weapons or mass effect generators are considered.

Shield systems are the equivalent of the Barrier power; they have a Hardness of 10, and fail when they take more than that in a single attack. As objects, the do not take additional damage from raises, nor do damage rolls against them ace. Damage above the Hardness is applied to the character. These can be activated with a Tech skill check, but this does require an action; most users seek solid cover to activate their shields. Activated shields will remain on until deactivated or brought down; they do not have a duration as the standard Barrier Power does. Shield generators cost 100 credits per power point, with a minimum of 200 credits; Power Points do not recharge while the shield is in use, making higher power point capacities vital to endurance. Easy-to-use systems (with some VI support) can be had, adding +1 or +2 to the Tech roll to activate for 100 or 200 credits more, respectively. Hardened shields can also be had, adding +2 or +4 to the hardness, for an additional 500 or 1000 credits, respectively, per shield generator. Standard Systems Alliance issue armor includes shields with a 10 hardness, 10 power point capacity and a +1 on shield activation; other Citadel races are similar. Some special teams' equipment may have higher capacities, better recharge times, or a +2 shield activation.

Armor Breaches: Any attack whose AP exceeds your Armor bonus, or which causes 2 or more wounds, represents an armor breach, and the full effects of the environment will begin in 1d4 rounds. Breaches may be repaired using the Repair skill, or by using the mechanical application of the Healing power. In some cases, this is not terribly significant; that your armor breached in a shoot-out on the Citadel isn't necessarily the end of the world for a human or turian... but it could make a quarian sick, and might result in the immediate death of a volus. When the going gets tough, the tough seek cover.

Bio-amps are small power supplies that are designed to interface with a biotic's implants, providing additional power to their systems. Very small, they are concentrated and expensive power supplies, but invaluable to biotics who use their powers often.
Basic amps cost 50 credits per point of power capacity, and replenish at the rate of 1 per minute. Amps with up to 10 point capacities are available on the open market, as are fast-charging amps that recharge 3 points every 2 minutes (this capability costs another 200 credits). Those amps with more than 10 points require special permits in Citadel space, and cost 75 credits per point above 10 (and the 500 credits for the first 10). Many biotics will carry cheaper power point batteries (20 credits per point, with a 30 point maximum), though these require 3 rounds to set up, and a Tech check transfer power. During the power transfer, the character is -2 to parry, pace, and any physical skill checks. Bio-amps can also be optimized to work with certain powers; this costs 150 credits per +1 to the Biotics skill granted; the amp can only have bonuses to two skills, and no bonus may be larger than +2.

Medi-gel is a multipurpose anaesthetic, clotting and sealing agent that can be used to rapidly heal wounds. When applied with an omni-tool, it allows the use of the Healing power, with or without the Neutralize Poison or Disease modifier (some advanced medical equipment has the Greater Healing or Crippling Injuries options; such devices are expensive and usually quite large). Someone with the Healing skill using medi-gel adds +2 to their Healing check, or +4 if able to apply with the Healing Power. Medigel is fairly reasonably priced at 20 credits per dose; cheap enough that many people carry one or two doses in their omni-tool.

Omni-gel is a suspension of micro-spheres of plastics, ceramics, and light alloys in a viscous carbon-silicon lubricant. Civilian-grade 3D printers, and military-grade omni-tools, can use omni-gel to create simple, durable goods; more advanced printers can create objects with multiple moving parts. Omni-gel is frequently use to perform field-expedient repairs on materiel; while not as good as bring the item in for real repairs, omni-gel patches can keep a piece of hardware working for a long time.
Breaking an item into omni-gel is not necessarily the most economical way to carry it; it's worth far more as a completed item than as raw gel. Furthermore, a lot of objects cannot be broken into omni-gel; it does not work on most structural materials (i.e. buildings, starships, the frames of vehicles), and a lot of security features (locks, etc.).
In general, 1 unit of omni-gel is received per pound of item dismantled, and breaking an item into omni-gel requires a device capable of doing so (such as a military-grade omni-tool), a Tech or Repair check and 1 minute per pound. With a raise, 2 unit are received. Most items will leave a sizable waste pile once the components of omni-gel are extracted. Items created solely out of omni-gel can be recycled without loss; if you use 5 units to create an omni-blade, you can recycle those 5 units back into your system. Each unit weighs a bit more than 3 ounces, so there are 5 units in a pound. When minifacturing, you must have enough units to create the whole item (thus the preference for small weapons when creating omni-blades).
Old-style electronics and computers can be hacked effectively with omni-gel, using the gel to create a new network through which an omni-tool can work. These are rapidly being phased out as the new security upgrades go on-line, but if an older computer is encountered, each unit of omni-gel adds +1 to the Repair, Hacking, Thievery, or Tech roll to bypass the device.
Omni-gel is available for purchase at 5 credits per unit (25 credits per pound).


  1. shields is not very clear.

  2. Much like the poster above, I wonder at the meaning of shields. They act like the barrier power but does that mean they are stationery like the barrier?

    1. Shields can be a little bit hard to follow, but here's the gist:

      The Barrier power can either be used for in-place shields (the cover shields some enemies throw up, the hex shields of the geth), or for personal shields, like installed in armor. When installed in armor, they are as mobile as the armor.

      Shields have a Hardness of 10. That means bringing down a shield requires doing 10 damage in a single hit... and, since they're counted as "objects", they ignore aces to damage (i.e. if you roll a 6 on a d6, you do not roll again), and they ignore bonuses to damage from raises (so if the TN is 4 and you roll and 8, you do not get additional damage). This makes shields hard to bring down.

      Activating your shield requires a Tech roll, and the shield then stays on until brought down. This Tech roll does not require an action (so no multi-action penalties), but it can fail, which is why shields sometimes take a moment to recharge. If you spend more money on your shields, you might increase the hardness (it's hard to bring down Hardness 14 shields), the power point capacity (power points don't recharge while the shield is running), or the Tech roll (making it less likely you will fail to bring up shields).

  3. Krogans are waaay overpowered in my opinion. Their pros far outweigh their cons.

    1. They are INSANELY overpowered, but they work out by the numbers and, really, Krogan in the Mass Effect universe are overpowered already. There's a reason why they're feared.