v0.8.0

Thursday, June 07, 2018

General

AC

The way AC is calculated has been changed. Prior, there was an AC penalty if you were not wearing armor, resulting in very low AC and making it very dangerous to play a character without armor. Now, AC is granted by individual armor pieces.

Backgrounds, Tools & Tool Proficiencies, and Omni-Gel

This homebrew is a work in progress. Instead of spending years behind closed doors and delivering a prefect product, our philosophy is to publish content quickly so players can test it and then we refine later. So before you get too excited about backgrounds, note that this is the first draft. The same goes for the tool proficiencies. As you'll quickly realize, some backgrounds reference Starship System proficiencies. These proficiencies are currently stubs and have no in-game mechanics. We're working on a larger starship rule set, which we'll release in v0.9.0.

Omni-gel is a new resource that is necessary to power tool kit abilities.

As this is brand new content, we would love to hear your feedback and ideas.

Burst Fire

We've introduced a new weapon feature that borrows from the Dungeon Master's Guide, Burst Fire. Weapons with Burst Fire allow players to spend their action "spraying and praying" giving a bit more variety to assault rifles and smgs.

Fighting styles

The advanced versions of fighting styles have been removed. Trying to balance advanced fighting styles proved difficult, and many advanced versions we're too powerful. In addition, some fighting styles have been updated:

  • Gunslinger: Effectively grants Two-Weapon fighting for ranged weapons. Though it can no longer stack with Double Tap, there is no damage penalty on the attack made with your bonus action.
  • The Freehand: Description clarified to provide bonus when wielding a weapon that is not two-handed
  • Carnage: Replaced with damage reroll (similar to 5th Edition's Great Weapon Fighter).
  • (New) Close Quarters Shooter: Slightly less powerful version of 5th editions, the limitations are put in place because the majority of combat is ranged and the benefit of the 5th edition version out-shined all other offensive fighting styles
  • (New) Assault: Increases your Burst Fire capability

Barrier

Barrier has proved to be a difficult ability to figure out. One of the primary problems is that barrier has changed between every game. Here are the iterations:

  • Mass Effect 1: Active boost in shields points, specifically providing an additional layer of shields for a duration
  • Mass Effect 2: Active boost to overall damage reduction
  • Mass Effect 3:Vanguards and Adepts had a 'biotic barrier' instead of shields which powered some biotic abilities. There was also a power called Barrier that worked like ME2, but had a new barrier detonation component.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Passive bonuses to shields

Since the onset of the project, we've wanted to keep unique and iconic powers, one of which was the Nova Vanguard which grew in popularity in Mass Effect 3. So we created a system that could improve spells by using a resource other than spell slots. But this has added a dimension of spell complexity not found in 5th edition. The other problem was barrier ticks, a class resource that could only be regenerated with a cantrip. This ultimated made the cantrip mandatory. Therefore, we've made Barrier a class feature available to Adepts, Sentinels, and Vanguards.

Here is the breakdown of the changes:

  • "Nerfs"
    • Scaling damage reduction removed, instead classes gain increased damage reduction at specific levels.
    • Barrier has a limited number of casts based on your class level
  • "Buffs"
    • Barrier can be cast as an action or bonus action
    • Having an active barrier does not reduce speed

We hope that this makes barrier less confusing without completely overhauling the system.

Cantrips

Instead of learning cantrips as part of your spell gains, you instead learn cantrips as you progress in your class level. In short, you know a number of cantrips (advanced count as 2 cantrips) based on the number of cantrips known on your progression table.

Detonators

The potency of detonators have been increased slightly, giving them a more satisfying feel. We will continue to work on how to make these more attractive.

Races

All races have been provided with a flat 10,000 credit increase to their starting credits. Prior to the increase, average rolls were comparable to taking the starting equipment, providing almost no benefit for gambling.

Salarians

  • Photographic memory: Proficiency bonus is based only on ability checks for recalling information.

Classes

Adepts

  • Blackstar: Biotic Control, Lift and Pull names are swapped (see spells below). Additionally, the Lift portion provides advantage when maintaining the spell.

Infiltrator

  • Tactical cloak: Added a duration of 1 minute

Sentinels

  • Removed the attainment of an advanced Fighting Style
  • Bastion: Assault Armor, clarified the wording of this feature. Added additional saving throws for affected targets.

Vanguards

  • Removed the attainment of an advanced Fighting Style
  • Shock Trooper: Biotic Slash now detonates a primed target.

Spells

Our Barrier changes came about from a spell review. We've slowly working through all of our spells, testing, theory-crafting, and discussing changes. This process should help clarify spell text and make advanced options more attractive. We've finished cantrips and will be working through the other biotic spell levels, tech, and combat in future partial releases.

  • Backlash: Change to a concentration spell, lasts 1 minute
  • Charge
    • Distance: Removed. Was not as attractive as Barrier Regen
    • Stunning Blow (new): Stuns target that fails saving throw. Provides a control option for players not investing in Barrier.
  • Biotic Push: Removed. Between Throw and Biotic Punch, there was no niche that Biotic Push filled.
  • Biotic Pumch: Flat barrier tick gain. Casting time is an Action.
    • Siphoning Strike: Gain 10 shield points.
  • Dark Channel: Damage reduced to d6. Dark Channel caused equivalent damage to 1st level spells. Instead of transferring to a random creature, transfers to the nearest creature.
  • Dark Sphere: Reduced duration to 1 minute.
  • Lash: Removed barrier tick cost. Set range of 10m.
  • Lift: Has been renamed Pull, as the mechanics of this spell better reflect Pull in Mass Effect 2, 3, and Andromeda
  • Pull: Has been renamed Lift and refactored, becoming a cantrip for moving objects around with a mass effect field.
  • Sabotage: Removed the attack roll, but increased cost. Added saving throw for weapons that are a part of creatures.
    • Backfire: Replaces Disable. Deals damage back at attacker.
  • Sentry Turret: Added duration of 1 minute.
  • Slam: Clarified that this spell can be used on a creature.
    • Reaction: Replaces Improved Damage. Allows Slam to be cast as a reaction.
  • Slow Fall: Added advanced options
    • Improved Duration: 5 min duration
    • Navigate: Can direct the movement of the fall.
  • Submission Net: Refactored, the spell text was confusing. Now the focus is controlling targets and preventing Tech casting.
    • Electrified Net: Allows dealing damage to trapped targets
    • Anti-Tech: Can cast as a reaction when creature casts tech
  • Throw: Increased damage to d8. Added Medium or smaller restriction to push back.
    • Radial Blast: Replaces Improved Force. Deals damage to all creatures within 2m sphere of initial target.

Weapons

  • Added ML-77 Missile Launcher
  • Added Collector Sniper Rifle

Bestiary

As the bestiary has grew a problem became terribly evident: there were too many low-CR monsters. If you want numbers, ~90% of the bestiary was found between CRs 1/8 and 3. This presents a primary problem for high-level characters because there was a severe lack of content for them to run. So the bestiary "bump" is our redistribution of CRs, increasing the CRs of most monsters. Monsters that have had CR increases have had their stat blocks updated to reflect those changes.

The benefit of this change is distributing monsters throughout CR levels, which allows more opportunities boss battles and improves experience gain. As with most games, killing numerous low-level npcs is never as productive as killing a single high-level npc. This redistribution gives players across all levels more high-level monsters to fight.

However, some will find issue that this feels like an overall "nerf" to their characters. I.e., in previous versions a level 1 character could easily take out a variety of forces Cerberus & Geth Troopers, Husks, etc. The new version increases the difficultly of these "starting" monsters. We understand this is a drastic difference from the game and that level 1 characters will not feel as powerful. We would like to offer the following reconceptualization of level 1 characters:

In the games, you play as Shepard, who is a highly-skilled, well-trained solder. You captain a ship and have achieved some of the highest ranks in the military. Thus, we see Shepard as a level 12-15 character and his/her ability to easily mow down opponents is due to their higher level. As a level 1 character, your still green. You may have some experience but its not enough to easily down a whole platoon of cerberus troopers.

New:

  • Elcor
  • Harvester
  • Klixen
  • Pyjak
  • Thresher Maw
  • Varren
  • Varren Alpha
  • Yahg
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