[HERO 6th Mass Effect] Power Translation: Warp

Posted: December 4, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, HERO, Roleplaying Games
Tags: , ,

In order to translate Powers properly in HERO, one has to get used to the idea of “Effects-based” systems. HERO powers are defined by small effects that are often stacked on top of each other to form their desired end result.

While not all powers are particularly complicated to emulate, some might require a little bit of planning. In Mass Effect, Biotics have access to a power called Warp. With regards to how it works in the context of the setting, Warp causes rapidly shifting mass effect fields that shred a target apart.

Effects-wise, Warp does two things:

  • It deals damage over time (6 seconds to start with), and
  • Lowers the target’s ability to withstand damage.

That’s two effects that the system has to emulate. Let’s start looking at it in HERO terms.

First off, the attack that deals damage over time at range. Given that it’s a fairly lethal setting, I’m pinning it as a Ranged Killing Attack, with the Damage Over Time modifier. With regards to it’s ability to reduce defenses, I’m also giving the Warp Power the Drain effect, which reduces Energy and Physical Defenses by a small amount.

The resulting power looks like this:

Warp:  (Total: 70 Active Cost, 53 Real Cost) Killing Attack – Ranged 1/2d6 (standard effect: 1 BODY, 2 STUN), Alternate Combat Value (uses OMCV against DCV; +0), Damage Over Time (5-6 damage increments, damage occurs every Segment, +4) (50 Active Points); Requires A Roll (Skill roll; -1/2) (Real Cost: 33) plus Drain ED 1d6 (standard effect: 3 points) (Real Cost: 10) plus Drain PD 1d6 (standard effect: 3 points) (Real Cost: 10)

It’s an interesting build since it mimics the in-game effect fairly closely. With the Warp power dealing 1 BODY, 2 STUN every phase (which takes 1 second of in-game time) over the next six seconds, while reducing any Physical and Energy defenses by 3 Points. As this is a psionic power, we’re also using the Alternate Combat Value modifier to enable the use of Offensive Mental Combat Value (OMCV) as opposed to the usual OCV.

The active point cost of the power is pretty high (at 70) already the maximum allowed at the current power level, but I think that it’s appropriate for what amounts to a psionic power ripping you to shreds with their mind.

  1. if it’s psionic, wouldn’t it be EGO based?

    • Hi Heather!

      Good catch on that, I’d forgotten about EGO based attacks. (Or maybe I was traumatized ever since I had a player really go all-out on making a super psionic.) Yes, the biotic powers of Mass Effect are technically psychic powers and so therefore should be EGO based.

      I’ll see if I can change the build to reflect that.

  2. Philo Pharynx says:

    I love effect-based systems.

    In M&M, I’d go with a toughness drain linked to a damage effect with secondary effect. Pretty nasty.

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