GURPS: Mass Effect, Part Five

What about equipment though? Some of the ME stuff is definitely out there. My thinking along these lines is to keep it simple:

  • “Omnitools” are just TL10 (?) wearable computers with holographic displays and the appropriate computer programs loaded in. So a hacker would have intrusion stuff, an engineer would have building stuff, a physician or medic would have a medical scanner (UT200) built in and so on. The holos that appear are just special effects that don’t really have a lot of actual use (and could probably be turned off or muted or just seriously altered.) I suppose it could be a portable universal mini-tool (UT85), but that doesn’t work for me.
  • Medigel … is problematic. Will probably need to let players know beforehand that doesn’t exist because honestly, that robs of all the danger.
  • Personal shields are relatively easy to figure out – they’re additional DR. UT190 has the following: “A force screen’s Damage Resistance is semi-ablative: every 10 points of basic damage rolled removes one point of DR, regardless of whether the attack penetrates DR. A partially-ablated screen regenerates 1 DR per second for every 10 DR the field started with (minimum 1 DR). Thus, a DR 50-59 screen regenerates DR 5 per second.” This doesn’t track with ME at all – their shields appear to be purely ablative. The real difficulty is probably figuring out how much of DR – I’m tempted to just go with a static 30 (with presumption that this can be upgraded later?), but haven’t fully committed.
  • Armor is difficult. ME1 is really the only game where you have multiple versions of armor, with ME2 and ME3 allowing you to modify your default armor with new mods so I lean toward using a nanoweave vacc suit (UT179), which puts the DR at 30/15* (Flexible) and weight of 30. Throw in the above-mentioned shields and you’re looking at DR 60.
  • Weapons is where I hesitate. Based entirely on the various codex entries, the weapons used in ME are Grav Guns (UT143) which are pretty decent but the GURPS entries have Rcl 1 and armor divisors of 10 (!), which is definitely not the case in the game. The assault rifle in ME1, for example, is so unbelievably inaccurate that it is irritating. I’m likely to use gauss weapons instead (UT141) just because. There are no man-portable beam weapons in the game. In ME2, you do get the flamethrow, mini-nuke (!), cryo thing, and a lightning thing, but they aren’t super great (except the mini-nuke.)
  • Okay, so let’s have two equally equipped GROPOS shoot one another. 
    • Both are wearing the TL10 nanoweave vacc suit with full shields (DR60).
    • Both are carrying TL10 gauss rifles (UT142) which do 6d+2(3) pi-, have an Acc of 7+2, RoF 12, and a recoil of 2. 
    • Soldier One fires a single shot at Soldier Two and hits. Average damage on 6d+2 is 20 points. With an armor divisor of 3, his opponent’s shields will protect … 20 points. Hmm. However, as the shields are ablative, this means his damage resistance is down to 40 as 20 pts of shields are gone.
    • Now, if Soldier One fired a full burst (12 shots) at Soldier Two and connected with … let’s say a 3 round burst, things get a bit more interesting:
      • 1st bullet did the above damage.
      • 2nd bullet: again, average damage is 20, but target’s DR is now at 40 before divided by 3 which gives only 13. This means 7 points get through. As pi-, this is halved (to 3) but is impaling so target took 6 points of damage. Shields (which were down to 10) are thoroughly depleted at this point.
      • 3rd bullet: average damage is 20, but target’s DR is just his armor now (so 30). Apply the armor divisor and it defends against only 10. Jump through the hoops here (halved for pi-, doubled for impaling) and the target takes 10 points again.
      • This means, with a three round burst, the target has taken a total of 16 points of damage, which likely puts him into the negatives and will have to roll against one Major Wound check (unless they’re a mook, in which case, they’re dropped.)
    • Hmm … that’s … not bad.
    • Flipping it around, let’s presume that Grav Guns are used instead of gauss rifles. So a Grav Needle Rifle has 4d (10) imp inc (the incendiary modifier probably needs to go away) with RoF 20 and Rcl 1. As before, let’s presume the target has the nanoweave vacc suit with full shields so DR 60.
      • Presuming, 3-round burst that hits. Average damage of 4d is 12, which is definitely less average damage.
      • Bullet 1: Apply armor divisor of 10 vs DR of 60, which means it protects 6. Average damage is 12, so 6 gets through and is then doubled due to impaling so we’re back to 12. Already, this weapon is a lot more lethal. An average soldier is at or below 0 hit points already and will have to make the major wound check. And that’s just one bullet!
      • Bullet 2: Shields of 30 were hit by 12 points, which means 18 points remain. Total DR is thus 48. Apply armor divisor and see only 4 DR applies. 8 points gets through, then is doubled to 16 for impaling. This is serious major wound territory already and, with the damage already soaked by bullet #1 is probably death check territory.
      • Bullet 3: Shields of 18 took 12 points, dropping them down to 6, which gives total DR of 36. Armor divisor means only 3 points of DR protect, so this round inflicts 9 points, doubled to 18 for impaling. If this dude isn’t dead at this point, holy cow. He’s taken (by my count) 46 points of damage. That’s multiple death check territory.
    • So yeah … definitely thinking gauss weapons are the way to go. Otherwise, this is too lethal. Like “You’re clearly playing on Insanity mode…”