Mass Effect Part One: Turians & Intro

I’m planning a series of articles on translating Mass Effect into tabletop gaming and this is the first. As a basis I am using Silhouette as found in Heavy Gear 2nd Edition. A flexible system that scales well and is also suited to skirmish level wargaming, perfect for military/espionage style campaigns.


A militaristic and disciplined culture the Turians were only the third race to join The Council. They earned their place by defeating the Krogan during the Krogan Rebellions. To do so they employed a biological weapon, created by the Salarians (the Genophage). An act which continues to have social and political repercussions.

The Turian military stepped into the gap left by the Krogan and became the de-facto security and military force of The Council acting as peacekeepers and guarantors of security across Council space.

Turians are duty-bound and public minded as a culture and expect to see similar traits in others. Less strictured cultures and species can be rubbed the wrong way by this attitude and the expectations laid upon them. A state of affairs that also frustrates the Turians.

Turians hail from the planet Palaven and share many expansionary traits with Humanity. Something that put the two races at odds during the First Contact War. The two species are still divided by this event though many old warriors retain a grudging respect for each other, earned through blood, sweat and tears. The two races are probably more similar than they are different.

The Turian religion is a vague and animistic one. They believe places, ships, even military units have a spirit. This ‘spirit’ cannot directly intervene but may inspire. It can be liked to a ‘character’, atmosphere or an ‘esprit de corps’ in human terms.

Their law is based far more on social censure than hard and fast ‘rules’ per se. There are few strictures on personal freedoms and choices, provided they do not interfere in a Turian’s duties. The weight of cultural expectation is strong and does the job better than enforcement.


Turians stand over six feet in height and have talons on their hands and feet as well as sharp teeth and a predatory aspect revealing a raptor-like, predatory heritage. They are covered with a metallic carapace which, while no tougher than skin, does protect them somewhat from radiation and energy, radiation being abundant from their home sun. Their blood is based on hemocyanin, rather than hemoglobin, which gives them blue blood like the Terran octopus.

Turians (and Quarians) are dextro-amino based and cannot consume the food of other species without becoming ill. Their digestive system also includes a ‘gizzard’ for grinding up tougher food (they lack molars) and they must swallow stones to fill this gizzard. Polished gizzard stones may appear as charms or jewellery.

Turians birth live young and males have a crest of horns that the females lack. Both sexes were ‘make up’ to distinguish their home colony and clan, a ‘rune’ painted on their face.

Few Turians develop Biotic skills and those that do are distrusted by the common mass. They are organised into their own units, called ‘Cabals’ and deployed as specialists rather than being integrated.

Turian Statistics
Turians may look different to Humans but they are little different in terms of capability. They might be larger but they are relatively thin and frail and while they have predator aspects their duty-bound sensibilities make them less flexible thinkers.

After generating character statistics, modify them as follows:

  • CRE: -1
  • INF: -1
  • PER: +1
  • Radiation Resistance: Energy based attacks against a Turian have their intensity/damage multiplier reduced by 1.
  • Claws & Teeth: Increase Turian unarmed damage by 1. Their minimum unarmed damage is 2.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s