No game survives contact with the players.
I’ll be going back and making a few alterations in the previous Mass Effect articles to reflect what we discovered in playing the scenario I wrote up and we played through over the weekend.
Overall, things worked very well. I’d make a few changes though:
1. We played at the Cinematic Level, I think it would work a bit better at the Adventurous level (30 character points, 40 skill points). Would make people have to work at things a bit more.
2. Fumbles on a roll of ‘1’ are a bit lame when you only have one dice to roll from a level one skill (for example). All ones should be considered bad or unfortunate, but not fumbles.
3. Letting people make dodge rolls against ranged weapons is a bit lame. Especially since it makes AGI the KING OF STATS. I think a set difficulty threshold of Point Blank/Short/Medium/Long/Extreme – 0/1/2/3/4 would work better. Someone capable of ducking and dodging would add 1 to that, a full on dodge (no other actions) would add 2 and soft/hard cover another 1-2. Otherwise someone with high dodge/AGI is, essentially, unhittable. Keep the Close Combat as normal.
4. Double the shield ratings (which is what I’m going to do, so if you look at the site now I’ll save you the bother by changing it).
5. All the weapons I’ve listed have a range of values. Half of the maximum should be considered standard-issue and the upper end is ridiculously powerful, high end gear. Keep that in mind when doling things out.