[HERO 6th] Conversion Project: Mass Effect

Posted: December 3, 2012 by Jay Steven Anyong in Articles, Campaign Design, HERO, Roleplaying Games
Tags: , ,

I’m a big fan of Mass Effect. In my mind, Mass Effect is perhaps one of the most interesting sci-fi videogame rpgs to have come out since Star Control 2. Interesting aliens, a strong storyline and a well thought-out setting with plenty of opportunities for various adventures are all hallmarks of a good game, and is fertile ground for my own games.

So after giving it some thought, I figure I might as well see how I can convert the setting to the HERO system. For the purpose of the project, I’ll be using HERO 6th Edition, the latest iteration of the long running series. Thankfully they’ve already released Star HERO as well, a sourcebook for sci-fi games, that I can use for the project.

The aim of this conversion is to try and emulate the setting without getting too precise. While HERO is certainly capable of emulating down to the last detail, I’m gunning for the spirit of the game as opposed to recreating every tiny facet of the computer game.

It’ll be a bit of work, but it should be an interesting exercise to re-learning the HERO system if anything.

I’ll probably start off with designing Racial Packages for the main playable races that people will be most interested in trying out: Turians, Asari, Salarians and Quarians to start off first.

Given that this is a bit of an exercise, I’m not looking to run this immediately and I probably won’t be spending all my time on it. Still it will be a semi-regular feature on the blog as I make further progress on it.

Before I can start any sort of conversion work I’ll need to set the basic guidelines for the game. HERO is a system that relies on point distribution to build characters, so setting limits on the points for character generation will go a long way to balancing the player characters.

For this campaign I’m looking at a Very Powerful Heroic level game. What this means is that the player characters represent the very best talent that the setting has seen without stepping into the superhuman category.

In HERO terms, the Very Powerful Heroic campaign gives the following points allowances:

275 total points
50 points of matching complications
30 Maximum Points per complication

It’s a lot of points, especially when you consider that the characters won’t be paying for equipment. Still it might work out.

As for limits on individual characteristics, let’s go with the suggested limits for that category:

Characteristics: 10-23
Speed: 2-5
Combat Values: 5-9
Damage Classes: 5-10
Active Points: 25-70
Skill Points: 90-150
Skill Rolls: 8-14-
Normal / Resistant Defenses: 8-12 / 5-8

It probably doens’t make a lot of sense to non-HERO guys, but it’ll hopefully make more sense when I get to building stuff for it.

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