Character Creation


Character Creation
  • Generate Ability Scores

Every character has six abilities that represent the character’s basic strengths and weaknesses. These abilities-Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma-affect everything a hero does, from fighting to using skills.

A score of 10 or 11 in an ability is average. Higher scores grant bonuses, and lower scores give penalties. When you create your character, you’ll want to put your higher scores into the abilities most closely associated with your character’s class.

To create an ability score for your character, roll four six-sided dice (4d6s). Disregard the lowest die and total the three highest dice. Make this roll six times, recording the result each time on a piece of paper.

This roll gives you a number between 3 (horrible) and 18 (tremendous). The average ability score for the typical galactic citizen is 10 or 11, but your character is not typical. The most common ability score for player characters are 12 or 13 (the average hero is above average).

If your scores are too low, you may scrap them and reroll all six scores. Your scores are considered too low if your total modifiers (before changes according to species) are 0 or less, or if your highest score is 13 or lower.

  • Select Your Species

As a Mass Effect character, you aren’t limited to simply being Human. There are a variety of species available, from Asari to Krogan. Select the species you want to play from those presented in list of playable species. Each species has its own set of special abilities and modifiers. Record these traits on your character sheet.


  • Choose Your Class

A class provides you with a starting point for your character, a frame upon which you can hang skills, feats, and various story elements. Choose a class from those presented in the list of Heroic Classes and write it on your character sheet.

  • Assign Ability Scores

Now that you know what species and class you want your character to be, take the scores you generated earlier and assign each to one of the six abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Then make any adjustments to these scores according to the species you selected.

For guidance, each class description indicates which abilities are most important for that class. You might want to put your highest scores in the abilities that accentuate the natural benefits of the class. Record your ability scores on your character sheet. Record your ability
modifiers as well.

  • Determine Combat Statistics

In combat, you need to know your character’s hit points, defenses, damage threshold, attack bonuses, and speed, as well as how many Force Points he has to spend.

Hit Points

Each character can withstand a certain amount of damage before falling unconscious or dying. This ability to take damage and keep on functioning is represented by the character’s hit points. Your class determines how many hit points you have at 1st level, as shown below:

Class …………………………… Starting Hit Points
Noble, Scoundrel …………. 12 + Constitution modifier
Scout …………………………….. 18 + Constitution modifier
Soldier …………………………… 24 + Constitution modifier

For example, if your character belongs to the scoundrel class and you have a 12 Constitution, you start with 13 hit points (12 plus 1 for your Constitution bonus).

Your hit points increase as you gain levels, as described on page 37.



Determine your character’s defenses as follows:

  • Reflex Defense: 10 + your heroic level + Dexterity modifier + class bonus + natural armor bonus + size modifier
  • Fortitude Defense: 10 + your heroic level + Constitution modifier + class bonus + equipment bonus
  • Will Defense: 10 + your heroic level + Wisdom modifier + class bonus

When you take your first level in a heroic class, you gain class bonuses on two or more defenses, as shown on page 36.

If you wear armor, you must substitute your armor bonus for your heroic level when calculating your Reflex Defense. For example, a 1st-level soldier with a Dexterity of 12 wearing a blast helmet and vest (+2 armor bonus) has a Reflex Defense of 13 (10 + 2 armor + 1 Dex + 1 class) . Some types of armor also provide an equipment bonus to your Fortitude Defense in addition to an armor bonus to your Reflex Defense (as noted in Table 8-7: Armor, page 132).

Damage Threshold

Attacks that deal massive amounts of damage can impair or incapacitate you regardless of how many hit points you have remaining. Your damage threshold determines how much damage a single attack must deal to reduce your combat effectiveness or, in some cases, kill you.

A Small or Medium character’s damage threshold is equal to his or her Fortitude Defense. Record this number on your character sheet.

Base Attack Bonus

Your character’s class determines your base attack bonus. Record this number on the character sheet.

Soldiers have a base attack bonus of +1 at 1st level; nobles, scoundrels, and scouts have a base attack bonus of +0 at 1st level.

Melee Attack Bonus

To determine your melee attack bonus, add your Strength modifier to your base attack bonus. Certain feats and talents might provide additional modifiers, so make adjustments as necessary.


Ranged Attack Bonus

To determine your ranged attack bonus, add your Dexterity modifier to your base attack bonus. Certain feats and talents might provide additional modifiers, so make adjustments as necessary.


Your character’s species determines her speed. Most species have a speed of 6 squares. Volus have a speed of 4 squares because they are Small.

Action Points

Your character begins play with 5 Action Points. Indicate this in the space provided on the character sheet.

If you end up taking the Action Surge feat (page 85), you gain an additional 3 Action Points.

  • Select Skills

Skills represent how well a character accomplishes dramatic tasks other than combat, such as disabling a tractor beam generator or climbing a sheer surface.

Each class comes with a list of class skills. From this list, you get to pick a number of skills in which your character is considered trained. The number of trained skills your character gets depends on the class you’ve selected and your character’s Intelligence modifier. Once you’ve selected your character’s trained skills, determine the skill check modifier for each skill.


The skill check modifier for trained skills is one-half your character level (rounded down) + the relevant ability modifier + 5. If you are untrained in a skill, the skill check modifier is one-half your character level (rounded down) + the relevant ability modifier. In other words, you get a +5 bonus on skill.

Some skills cannot be used untrained. See Chapter 4: Skills for more information .
checks made using trained skills.

  • Select Feats

Feats are special features that provide a character with new capabilities or improvements.

Your character begins play with at least one feat. If you are playing a Human, you get a bonus feat. In addition, your class also gives you several starting feats that you get for free.

Select your feats from Chapter 5: Feats and record them on the character sheet. Some feats may affect the information you’ve already recorded, so make adjustments as necessary.

  • Select a Talent

At 1st level, your character gets a talent (a special class feature). Choose a talent from any of the talent trees presented in your character’s class description. Some talents have prerequisites that must be met before they can be selected.

  • Determine Starting Credits and Buy Gear

Your character’s class determines how many credits you start play with. Use your credits to purchase equipment for your character. Chapter 8: Equipment describes weapons, armor, and gear you can select from.


  • Finish Your Character

The last details you need to add to your character sheet help you visualize and roleplay your character. You need a name, of course-something that fits your class, species, and the Mass Effect galaxy. You should also determine your character’s age, gender, height, weight, eye and hair color, skin color, and any relevant background information you want to provide. (Make sure to run your ideas past your Gamemaster so that he or she can fit them into the campaign.)

Chapter 7: Heroic Traits provides guidelines that can help you with these
details and characteristics.


Character Creation

Mass Effect: Ghosts Ziggler