Mass Effect: Ghosts
All modern infantry weapons from pistols to assault rifles use micro-scaled mass accelerator technology. Projectiles consist of tiny metal slugs suspended within a mass-reducing field, accelerated by magnetic force to speeds that inflict kinetic damage.
The ammo magazine is a simple block of metal. The gun’s internal computer calculates the mass needed to reach the target based on distance, gravity, and atmospheric pressure, then shears off an appropriate sized slug from the block. A single block can supply thousands of rounds, making ammo a non-issue during any engagement.
Top-line weapons also feature smart targeting that allows them to correct for weather and environment. Firing on a target in a howling gale feels the same as it does on a calm day on a practice range. Smart targeting does not mean a bullet will automatically find the mark every time the trigger is pulled; it only makes it easier for the marksman to aim.
It was long thought that personal weapons had plateaued in performance, but the Geth proved all theories wrong. Mathematically reviewing their combat logs, the Geth found that in an age of kinetic barriers, most firefights were won by the side who could put the most rounds down-range the fastest. But combatants were forced to deliberately shoot slower to manage waste heat, or pause as their weapons vented.
To eliminate this inefficiency, the Geth adopted detachable heat sinks known as thermal clips. While organic arms manufacturers were initially doubtful this would produce a net gain, a well-trained soldier can eject and swap thermal clips in under a second. Faced with superior enemy firepower, organic armies soon followed the Geth’s lead, and today’s battlefields are littered with these thermal clips.
Small arms weapons in Mass Effect Saga Edition are divided into five types like in the video games: heavy pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles. In addition to the small arms, there is a number of heavy weapons available, each working in various ways. Mounted weapons and turrets are not included here.
Due to the nature of kinetic shields, melee weapons penetrate shields and barriers completely, dealing damage to the target’s hit points directly. This makes them extremely dangerous in the right hands.
Large ranged weapons can be used to bludgeon people, dealing 2d6 damage on a successful melee attack. Medium and small weapons cannot be used to attack people in melee without modifications. Melee-attacking with a weapon does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity.
There are six types of small-arms in the Mass Effect universe: heavy pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles and heavy weapons. In addition, there is a variety of melee weapons and grenades available.
Proficiencies: Weapons are divided into six different weapon groups; pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles and heavy weapons. Each of them is their own proficiency for feats and talents like Weapon Focus.
The Weapon Proficiency feats are divided into three: Rifles, Pistols and Heavy Weapons. Rifle proficiency gives a character proficiency in assault rifles, sniper rifles and shotguns. Pistol proficiency gives a character proficiency in pistols and submachine guns. Heavy Weapon proficiency grants proficiency in heavy weapons, as well as starship or mounted weapons. Some small-arms weapons are marked as Heavy or Exotic (with an H and E, respectively). Such weapons require either the proficiency in heavy weapons, exotic weapons, or both to use properly. If a character uses an exotic or heavy weapon in which they are not proficient, they take a -5 penalty to attack rolls, even if they are otherwise proficient in the weapon group.
Further specialization through feats or talents requires individual weapon categories. Specializing in heavy weapons does not grant bonuses to small-arms weapons marked as heavy, only the weapons in the Heavy Weapons category.
Exotic Firearms Proficiency
You understand how to use exotic firearms.
Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +3
Benefit: You can make attack rolls with exotic firearms that you are proficient in normally.
Normal: A character who uses an exotic weapon takes a -5 penalty to attack rolls.
Special: This feat replaces the Exotic Weapon Proficiency when it comes to firearms. You must take Exotic Weapon Proficiency to use exotic melee weapons as normal.
Each weapon is put into one of four tiers, determining their overall power. Lower tier weapons are less powerful, but smaller and lighter, making for decent sidearms. Higher tier weapons are more powerful and may have unique properties, but may be heavier or have smaller clips.
Rate of fire
Each weapon has a rate of fire, indicating how fast and much it can shoot at a time. Weapons can be automatic (A), semi-automatic (SA), single shot (S), burst with X amount of rounds (BX), a combination of the former or have a special case.
Automatic weapons work as in SWSE, only being able to be fired in full-auto (or burst fire if the character has the Burst Fire feat). Due to the large amount of projectiles fired, automatic weapons deal extra damage to shields.
Automatic weapons deal +1 damage per dice to shields and barriers and partially ignore Shield Gate, but deal -1 damage per dice to armored targets.
Semi-automatic weapons work as single shot weapons in SWSE. Treat single shot weapons in the SWSE rulebooks as semi-automatic.
Semi-automatic weapons have no bonuses or penalties to defense types.
Single shot weapons work mostly as in SWSE, except feats and abilities that grant more attacks per round (such as Double Attack or Rapid Shot) cannot be used with single shot weapons. Single shot weapons deal higher amounts of damage than other weapons with higher minimum damage than normal, but can only fire once per round and have smaller magazines.
Single shot weapons deal +1 damage per dice to armored targets, but -1 damage per dice to targets with active shields or barriers.
Burst weapons fire an amount of rounds indicated in the weapon’s description (a 6-shot burst weapon is marked by B6, and a 3-shot by B3). Despite their name and the Burst Fire feat, burst weapons work like single shot weapons in SWSE (the Burst Fire feat is for autofire weapons only). Burst weapons generally deal a low amount of higher dice, having greater variance between their minimum and maximum damage.
Due to the large amount of projectiles fired, burst weapons deal 1 additional damage to shields per round fired, but -1 damage per round to armored targets. For example, a Shuriken (B6) weapon deals 6 additional damage to shields, but -6 damage to targets with DR. One attack with a burst weapon uses up as many ammunition as the weapon’s burst count is. Burst weapons can be used with Double and Triple Attack, but cannot be used with Rapid Shot or other abilities that simulate extra bullets.
Here is a table with the effects of fire rate to different defenses:
Single Shot…..- 1 per dice…………- 1 per dice…………….+ 1 per dice
Burst-fire…..+ 1 per round…….+ 1 per round……….- 1 per round
Autofire..+ 1 per dice, no gate…+ 1 per dice, no gate..- 1 per dice
Most weapons in the Mass Effect universe generate ammunition by shaving a projectile the size of a sand grain from a dense block of metal contained within the weapon’s body. However, not all weapons use such ammunition. Virtually anything can be made into a weapon with sufficient research, and certain races, like the Geth, use abnormal ammo in their weapon from ferrous liquid to superconducting projectiles. However, most weapons can be reduced into a few categories:
Kinetic damage is the normal damage type fired by most weapons. Kinetic ammo has no special benefits.
Energy damage is used by Geth or other advanced weapons. Due to their nature, they deal more damage to targets with shields and barriers, but are less effective against armor.
Electric damage deals extra damage to synthetic enemies and shields, but less against armor. Electric weapons deal an extra 1 damage per dice against synthetic opponents, such as Geth or mechs.
Explosive damage add shock and trauma to the attack. Weapons that deal explosive damage lower the Damage Threshold of the target by 3 points when calculating damage. Explosive weapons are more effective against armored targets.
Fire damage can set the target on fire (SWSE core rulebook page 255) and deals more damage against armor, though is less effective against shields and barriers.
Cold damage can subject the target to extreme cold (SWSE core rulebook page 254) and deals more damage against armor, though is less effective against shields and barriers.
Biotic damage is a new type introduced in MESE. It deals extra damage against targets with barriers, though less damage against targets with shields.
Only kinetic ammo can be modified with ammo powers, and the damage type is adjusted as in the power’s description.
Energy………..+ 1 per dice……+ 1 per dice……- 1 per dice
Electric……….+ 1 per dice………..NA…………….- 1 per dice
Explosive………….NA………………..NA……………….+ 1 per dice
Fire……………..- 1 per dice……….- 1 per dice……+ 1 per dice
Cold …………..- 1 per dice………- 1 per dice……..+ 1 per dice
Biotic………….- 1 per dice………..+ 1 per dice……..NA
Each weapon can hold only a certain amount of shots before their thermal clip overheats and needs to be exchanged. Reload times depend on the weapon type used, and reloading provokes an attack of opportunity, unless it is done as a swift action.
Assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles have a reload time of a standard action.
Pistols and submachine guns have a reload time of a move action.
Heavy weapons require a full round action to reload.
Some weapons have longer or shorter reload times. A gun with the Fast Reload property or a character with the Rapid Reload talent lowers the time needed by one increment – a standard action becomes a move action, and a move action becomes a swift action.
Some weapons have special qualities in them, things that make them unique from other weapons. Weapon modifications can also add properties to the weapons.
Chargeable weapons can charged for extra effect. Small arms weapons can be charged with a move action, but other, heavier weapons might take longer to charge. Two damages are given for chargeable weapons. The first damage is for a standard shot, and the second is for a charged shot. Weapon charges can be maintained for an indefinite amount of time, but the character must keep hold of the weapon when charged. Some weapons use up more ammo when charged. The amount of ammo used in a charge is noted in brackets. For example, the Arc Pistol is Chargeable (3), which means it uses 3 rounds when charged.
Fast reload weapons are quicker to reload. Pistols and SMGs with the fast reload property take a swift action to reload, and shotguns, assault rifles and sniper rifles take a move action.
Scatter weapons fire multiple small projectiles towards a single target. Generally short ranged weapons, in addition to becoming less accurate with each range increment, they also lose 1 die of damage. An attack with a scatter weapon is treated as an area attack, but only covers one square. The wielder makes an attack against the reflex defense of anyone in the square, dealing half damage on a miss. Aiming grants no benefit for a scatter weapon.
Piercing weapons can pierce cover, penetrating defenses and making armor all but useless. Piercing weapons automatically ignore up to 5 DR of the target and bypassing 5 DR and the hitpoints of any cover in front of the target. If a piercing weapon kills the target, it deals any leftover damage to any target or object directly behind the original target.
Homing weapons move their projectiles one way or another towards their targets, making hitting the target easier. Cover grants only half its normal bonus against homing weapons.
Rapid-fire weapons fire very fast and as such have increased recoil, but also put more bullets into the air.
Weapons capable of fully automatic fire suffer only a -2 penalty to attack when autofiring (or using the Burst feat) at point blank range and no penalty when the weapon is braced before firing at that range, but have an additional -2 penalty to attack when firing at medium range or longer. However, successful attacks with autofire (or Burst) deal 1 additional damage per damage dice but use double the ammunition when firing.
Semi-automatic rapid-fire weapons grant the Rapid Shot (core, p.88) feat to the wielder for that weapon only. If the wielder already has the feat, they take only a -1 penalty when firing more than one round with the Rapid Shot feat.
Seeking weapons are equipped with advanced targeting systems which read heat signatures, track movement and otherwise assist under various conditions. Weapons with the seeking property ignore concealment when you use the Aim action in addition to its other benefits.
Accurate/Inaccurate weapons work as in SWSE. In addition, accurate sniper rifles do not take a penalty when firing at medium ranges, and take only -5 when firing at long ranges.
Weapons have different ranges than in SWSE and are determined by their weapon type in the chart below
Pistols……………………0 – 5…………….6 – 15…….16 – 20…….21 – 40
SMGs…………………….0 – 5…………….6 – 10……..11 – 20……21 – 30
Shotguns………………0 – 5…………….6 – 10……..11 – 15……16 – 30
Assault Rifles……….0 – 10………..11 – 20……..31 – 40……41 – 60
Sniper Rifles…………0 – 10………..11 – 30……..31 – 60…..61 – 100
Heavy Weapons…..0 – 10………..11 – 30……..31 – 40…..41 – 50
Thrown…………………..0 – 3……………4 – 6………….7 – 9……..10 – 12
Sniper rifles take a -2 penalty when firing point blank, but no penalty when firing at short range. They take -2 penalty at medium ranges and -5 at long ranges. For every 100 squares beyond long, sniper rifles take a -10 penalty.
The small-arms of the 22nd century are all highly customizable, with universal slots for modifications. It comes as no surprise that many modifications exist for weapons, each specializing the weapon further. Each small-arms weapon has room for one modification. Some modifications exist in the same location, making them mutually exclusive.
Applying a modification to a weapon takes 10 minutes of work, a DC15 mechanics check and a workbench.
A modification that increases the weight of the weapon has varying effects on a weapon. If the weapon has the Accurate property, it is removed. If the weapon has neither Accurate nor Inaccurate, it gains the Inaccurate property. If the weapon has the Inaccurate property, every attack with the weapon takes a -2 penalty to attack.
In addition, each weapon can be modified with ammo powers (explained in chapter 6).
Stripping weapons as presented in Scum and Villainy grants additional modification slots as usual.
All weapon modifications in Scum and Villainy are available in MESE with the following modifications:
Neutronium Reinforcement does not increase the weapon’s weight.
Pulse Charger can only be used with weapons that do not deal Kinetic damage.
Slinker does not exist.
List of New Weapon Modifications
Magazine upgrade: Increases the clip size of the modded weapon by +50%. (Available for assault rifles, pistols and submachine guns.)
Piercing mod: Grants the weapon the Piercing property. If the weapon already has the Piercing property, increase the amount of DR ignored by 3. (Available to assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles and shotguns).
Extended barrel: Grants +1 damage per damage dice. Cannot be used with a high-velocity barrel or a heavy barrel. (Available for all weapons.)
High-velocity barrel: Grants the weapon the Piercing property. If the weapon already has the Piercing property, increase the amount of DR ignored by 3. Grants +1 damage per damage dice. Increases weight. Cannot be used with an extended barrel. (Available for assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and submachine guns.)
Ultralight materials: Drawing the weapon is a swift action (free action if the character has the Quick Draw feat). (Available for all weapons.)
Precision scope: As per SWSE standard targeting scopes (core, p. 140). Sniper rifles come with an automatic precision scope (Available for assault rifles, pistols and submachine guns.)
Spare thermal clip: A spare thermal clip holds a single thermal clip inside it. While the clip is inside, reloading the weapon is a swift action. Inserting a thermal clip into the weapon is a full-round action that provokes an Attack of Opportunity. (Available for shotguns and sniper rifles.)
Stability damper: When using the autofire, burst fire, double attack or triple attack actions, reduce the attack penalties by 2 (to a minimum of 1). When using rapid shot, decrease the penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0). (Available for assault rifles and submachine guns).
Power magnifier: Grants a +2 bonus on Use Biotic and Use Computer checks to use biotic powers or tech modules. (Available for pistols and submachine guns.)
Low-light scope: As per SWSE enhanced low-light targeting scope (core, p.140). Increases weight.
Heavy barrel: Grants +2 damage per damage dice. Increases weight. Cannot be used with an extended barrel.
Cranial trauma system: Increases the critical multiplier of the weapon by 1 (x2 becomes x3, and so forth).
Smart choke: Ignore the attack and damage (for Scatter weapons) penalties for the first range increment.
Concentration mod: Reduces the time needed to use the Aim action by 1 swift action (up to a minimum of 0).
Enhanced scope: As per SWSE enhanced low-light targeting scope (core, p.140).
Thermal scope: As per enhanced scope, but ignores total concealment and allows shooting through total cover (though the bullet must still penetrate the cover).
Heat sink: Replenishes 20% of the weapon’s clip at the beginning of each round.
In the Mass Effect universe, modern combat hard-suits have a “triple canopy” of protection: shields, armor, and self-repair. The outermost layer is created through kinetic barrier emitters, which detect objects incoming at a high rate of speed and generate deflecting “shields” provided they have enough energy in their power cells.
If a bullet or other incoming object gets past the barrier, it contends with the more traditional body armor. A sealed suit of non-porous ballistic cloth provides kinetic and environmental protection, reinforced by lightweight composite ceramic plates in areas that either don’t need to flex or require additional coverage, such as the chest and head. When the armor is hit by directed energy weapons, the plates boil away or ablate rather than burning the wearer.
The last level of protection is provided by the suit’s microframe computers, whose input detectors are woven throughout the fabric. These manage the self-healing system, which finds rents in the fabric and, assuming any such tear would wound the flesh underneath, seals the area off with sterile, non-conductive medi-gel. This stanches minor wounds and plugs holes in the suit that could prove fatal in vacuum or toxic environments. Soldiers are not always fond of the “squish skin” that oozes gel on them at a moment’s notice, but fatalities have dropped sharply since the system was implemented.
All the armors found in the SWSE rulebooks that aren’t setting specific may be used in MESE. An armored flight jacket in Star Wars is equivalent of an armored flight jacket in Mass Effect.
Kinetic barriers, commonly called shields, provide protection against most mass accelerator weapons. Whether on starships or a soldier’s suit of armor, the basic principle remains the same.
Kinetic barriers are repulsive mass effect fields projected from tiny emitters. These shields safely deflect small objects traveling at rapid velocities. This affords protection from bullets and other dangerous projectiles, but still allows the user to sit down without knocking away their chair.
The shielding afforded by kinetic barriers does not protect against extremes of temperature, toxins, or radiation.
Shields have two properties, Shield Rating (SR) and Shield Strength (SS). Barriers use Barrier Rating (BR) and Barrier Strength (BS), but function similarly.
Shield Strength acts as buffer HP. All damage taken is reduced from the target’s shields first.
Shield Rating reduces all damage to the Shield Strength from all damage sources unless otherwise stated. The amount of Shield Rating is equal to half the character’s heroic level.
Gaining shields: Heroic classes grant an equal hit die of Shield Strength as they do hit points. Thus, the soldier gains 1d8 shields per level, the scout gains 1d6, and the scoundrel and noble gain 1d4 shields per level. At first level, the amount of Shield Strength gained is maximized, then tripled, like Hit Points. A character does not add their Constitution modifier to their amount of Shield Strength gained each level.
Upon gaining a level, a character trained in Use Biotics can choose to turn all his Shield Strength into Barrier Strength or vice versa.
Recharging shields: Shields and barriers recharge automatically on the beginning of the character’s turn a number of points equal to the character’s heroic level if no damage has been taken on the previous round.
Shields can also be recharged manually by using two swift actions and a Use Computer check. Barriers are recharged by using two swift actions and a Use Biotics check. The result of the check is the amount of shields recharged.
Once a character’s shields or barriers break, a portion of the remaining damage is negated based on the type of damage taken.
Damage from single, burst and semi-automatic weapons is reduced by 100% (even with feats such as Rapid Shot).
Scatter and automatic weapons ignore Shield Gate completely.
Biotic and tech power damages are reduced by 100%, but any existing effects do not end and may continue to deal damage during the next round.
Armor as Damage Reduction
Instead of granting a bonus to the wearer’s Reflex defense, armor in MESE grants Damage Reduction, which reduces incoming damage based on the armor’s original Reflex value. Certain armored targets or objects also have damage reduction.
Each piece of armor has Damage Reduction (DR) that depends both on the type of armor and the armor’s Reflex defense. Reduce incoming damage to hit points equal to the DR (shield and barrier damage is unaffected by DR). Piercing weapons ignore the first 5 points of Damage Reduction.
Armor can still grant a bonus to Fortitude or Will defense as usual.
Damage reduction for armor types:
Light armor = Reflex bonus
Medium armor = 3 + Reflex bonus
Heavy armor = 5 + Reflex bonus
Certain damage types deal extra damage to targets with DR. This damage applies only to penetrate the damage reduction. Any excess damage is wasted.
Damage Threshold and Shields
Only damage that applies to the target’s hit points counts towards the Damage Threshold. Special abilities, feats and talents that move a character down the condition track (such as the Bounty Hunter’s Hunter’s Mark talent) still apply.
Due to the modular nature of modern armor, many modifications can be made to existing armor sets. Each set of armor has one existing modification slot, and powered armor has two. All armor comes automatically equipped with vacuum seals powered by mass effect generators.
See the Scum and Villainy sourcebook for existing armor modifications and rules for modifying armor.
List of New Armor Modifications
Improved shield generators: an armor equipped with improved shield generators recharges an additional 5 SS per round if no damage is taken.
Omni-tool adaption: an armor equipped with an omni-tool adaption modification grants a +2 equipment bonus on Treat Injury, Use Computer and Use Biotics checks when using an omni-tool.
Emergency repair: You can take a -10 penalty on your Mechanics check to repair armor in order to reduce the amount of time needed by 1 swift action. (Tech specialist)
Backup shields: Once per encounter, you can take a -5 penalty to your Use Computer check to recharge your shields in order to reduce the amount of time required by 1 swift action. (Tech specialist)
Flash barrier: Once per encounter, you can take a -5 penalty to your Use Biotics check to recharge your barrier in order to reduce the amount of time required by 1 swift action. (Biotic talents)
Medi-gel (medical gel) is an all-purpose medicinal salve combining an anaesthetic and clotting agent used by paramedics, EMTs, and military personnel, produced by the Sirta Foundation. It heals various wounds and ailments, instantly sealing injuries against infection and allowing for rapid healing by having the gel grip tight to flesh until subjected to a frequency of ultrasound. It is sealable against liquids – most notably blood – as well as contaminants and gases. Technically its properties make it illegal under genetic modification laws, but the restriction, in this case, is ignored because of the product’s beneficial properties.
Medi-gel acts like a medpac in the SWSE Core Rulebook, except a character can benefit from Medi-gel once per encounter, rather than once every 24 hours.
Omni-tools are handheld devices that combine a computer microframe, sensor analysis pack, and a miniaturized fabricator. Versatile and reliable, an omni-tool can be used to analyze and adjust the functionality of most standard equipment, including weapons and armor, from a distance. When activated, an omni-tool can appear over either of a person’s forearms and/or hands, and occasionally both, as an orange hologram. The fabrication module can rapidly assemble small three-dimensional objects from common, reusable industrial plastics, ceramics, and light alloys. This allows for field repairs and modifications to most standard items, as well as the reuse of salvaged equipment.
An omni-tool can be used for most Use Computer checks that do not require larger hardware, Mechanic checks to do minor repairs, and Treat Injury checks to dispense Medi-gel.
Omni-tools have 2 upgrade slots, plus additional slots equal to the wielder’s Intelligence modifier. Applying or changing upgrades takes one hour and requires a DC20 Use Computer check. Some upgrades require previous upgrades before they can be used, and are marked with an indent. The omni-tool can be outfitted with the following upgrades:
- Capability to use Static Tech modules. You must still pay to add Static Tech modules to your power suite.
- Capability to use all Tech modules. You must still pay to add Tech modules to your power suite.
- A +2 equipment bonus to Use Computer checks when activating Tech modules.
- Capability to use Biotic powers.
- A +2 equipment bonus to Use Biotics checks.
- Capability to use an omni-blade.
- Increase omni-blade damage by one die.
- Change omni-blade damage to another type.
- Capability to use an omni-shield.
- Increase deployed omni-shield SS by 10, and SR by 5. May be taken up to 2 times.
- Increase omni-shield defense bonus by 1. May be taken up to 2 times.
- Increase omni-shield damage by one die.
- Remove shield duration, shield can be active indefinitely.
- Change omni-shield damage to another type.
- Capability to use an omni-bow.
- Increase omni-bow damage by one die.
- Apply one of the following properties to the omni-bow: piercing, homing, rapid-fire, seeking, accurate.
- Apply the scatter property as an alternative firing mode to the omni-bow.
- Change omni-bow default damage type to another type.
- A +2 equipment bonus to Knowledge, Mechanics, Pilot, Treat Injury or Use Computer (when not using Tech modules) checks. May be taken multiple times for different skills.
- Increase the SR of the character by 5. May be taken up to 2 times.
- Increase the SS of the character by 1. May be taken up to 2 times.
Although melee-combat applications for the omni-tool are almost as old as the device itself, the feature was largely unused prior to the Reaper invasion. The need to take on multiple husks in close quarters forced the Alliance to develop ways to enhance the tool’s offensive capability.
The most common melee design is the “omni-blade”, a disposable silicon-carbide weapon flash-forged by the tool’s mini-fabricator. The transparent, nearly diamond-hard blade is created and suspended in a mass effect field safely away from the user’s skin. Warning lights illuminate the field so the searing-hot blade only burns what it is intended to: the opponent. More technically adept soldiers frequently modify their omni-tools to maximize stopping power through electrical, kinetic, or thermal energy. Some troops integrate their weapon with their kinetic barriers, transforming the omni-tool into a wrist-mounted bludgeon; others fabricate flammable gases, held in place by a mass effect field and ignited upon impact. All prove deadly surprises for opponents who expect a disarmed Alliance warrior.
Omni-blades require a swift action to activate, and last until the end of the character’s next round or until attacked with. An omni-blade is a melee attack that deals 3d6 kinetic damage.
The omni-shield is a specialized variant of the omni-blade. The omni-shield creates a highly durable mass effect barrier that stops bullets and biotic powers from affecting its wielder.
Activating an omni-shield is a swift action. When activated, it grants a +2 shield bonus to Reflex defense to the wielder, and lasts for five rounds or until manually disabled (a swift action). While the shield is active, the wielder cannot use the hand his shield is activated on for attacks (other than a shield bash), nor can he use weapons that require two hands. A character may reduce the shield’s duration by one round to use the omni-shield for a shield bash, which is a melee attack that deals 2d8 kinetic damage on a successful Reflex hit and is pushed 1 square if the attack also hits his Fortitude defense (size modifiers apply to Fortitude as usual). Once the duration is up or the shield is disabled manually, the shield requires a cooldown period of 2 rounds.
Additionally, it is possible to deploy the omni-shield onto the ground as a standard action. Any enemy in front of the deployed shield is subject to a shield bash attack (as above). Deploying the shield immobilizes the wielder, but creates cover in the square it is deployed in. When deployed, the omni-shield has a Shield Strength of 20 + your heroic level, and a Shield Rating of 10. Any ranged attacks that miss any target behind the omni-shield because of the shield’s cover bonus deals damage to the omni-shield. The shield recharges 20 SS per round, regardless of whether or not it took damage that round. The shield’s wielder may use small or medium weapons to attack while the shield is deployed, though he takes a -2 penalty to all attacks. Once the shield is depleted or 5 rounds pass, the cover disappears and the shield requires a cooldown period of 2 rounds.
The deployed omni-shield grants no bonus against melee attacks.
The omni-bow, favored by Talon mercenaries, is a deadly and silent weapon. The omni-bow manufactures bolts similarly to omni-blades, but the omni-bow fires the flash-forged weapons as projectiles at great speed and can be equipped with a various grenades for even more power.
The omni-bow is a medium sized semi-automatic ranged weapon that deals 4d6 kinetic damage with a single bolt. As a move action it can be charged to deal 2d6 extra damage. In addition, a character can expend a grenade he owns to use that grenade’s damage as the standard bolt’s damage as well as gaining the grenade’s secondary effects (so an omni-bow charged with an Inferno Grenade would deal 5d6 fire damage (7d6 with a charged attack), and 2d6 fire damage for 4 rounds if the damage exceeds the target’s damage threshold). Grenade-charged omni-bow attacks do not confer any area of effect, and do not deal half damage on a miss. The omni-bow has range equal to a pistol.
An omni-bow can be upgraded with various properties. If the scatter property is chosen, a character may use a standard action to fire multiple bolts at a target, making a scatter attack with 4d6 damage as normal. Scatter attacks can be charged. Grenades cannot be used with these scatter attacks, though they other properties apply to grenade-charged attacks.
Cain C4 Explosive
The Cain Explosive is a type of plastic explosive often used by the Talon mercenaries. Illegal in Citadel space, it carries a considerable punch.
Cain C4 can be equipped with either a remote detonation or a trip-wire. If placed with a trip wire, you must determine in which direction it is pointed, “painting” all squares in a straight line from its location. When an enemy enters a square painted by the Cain C4, the Cain explodes. Roll an attack roll against each enemy in the blast radius, dealing 8d8 explosive damage on a hit, and half on a miss. Cain C4 explodes in a 2-square radius.
One charge of Cain C4 weighs 1kg, with an availability of Illegal.
Most individuals know only their mother tongue, and rely on machine translation. Modern portable computers allow anyone with a few hundred credits of equipment to enjoy seamless real-time translation of alien languages, courtesy of handheld PDAs, computers in clothing or jewelry, or sub-dermal implants. Without fast and accurate translation, galactic trade and culture would not exist.
Governments provide subsidized software, updated through the public extranet “on the fly”, often as users approach spaceport customs facilities. Even the Batarians, who isolated themselves from galactic society nearly two decades ago, take pains to provide up-to-date glossaries and linguistic rules, though most suspect that this is only so they can continue exporting propaganda.
It is still considered broad-minded and practical to be able to speak without machine aid. Children often take courses in alien language, and most races can speak the simplified artificial “trade tongue” with little difficulty.
Some species must rely on machine translation to interact with the rest of the galaxy. Hanar, for example, cannot reproduce the spoken language of any humanoid species, and other races cannot reproduce Hanar bioluminescence without mechanical aid. Newly discovered or obscure races don’t have machine translation available until the linguists have had time to study them.
A universal translator costs 200 credits and allows the wearer to talk any non-extinct language to other living beings. It does not allow the wearer to talk languages that have not had contact with the Council or languages that are only spoken by extinct races (such as Protheans) unless configured to do so (one month’s work per language with a DC 20 Use Computer check).