Tech Powers

Tech Powers

This section subject to revision. Feedback on balance and ease of use welcome.

Tech powers in ME are clever uses of the Omni-Tool. For further information on Omni-Tools see the equipment section.

Many tech powers involve interfering with enemy equipment such as weapons and kinetic shields. These powers are based off the omni tool user hacking into the onboard computers built into these devices. The Omni tool user must be within their tools signal range, have appropriate software and spend a complex action to do so. (editor’s note : software has been removed for simplicity)
See also Omni-Tool Melee Attacks
Attacks are opposed by the targets firewall.

For example: to stop an enemies firearm, the omni tool user may hack into it and tell it to eject its heat sink, disable heat management, damage its programing to miscalculate the mass needed for each shot causing dangerous recoil or shots that do no damage, or even crash it’s onboard OS causing the owner to have to reboot it.
For now we have decided to simplify the process and ignore programs. Assume devices have a firewall equal to their rating.
SR4 has device ratings on page 214 but most devices would have rating 3
-gameplay note: most applications would logically use hacking but that was too boring so some attacks use hardware and other skills depending on target.

Range : until further revision Attack powers (cryoblast, neural shock, incinerate ) have a maximum range of your omni-tool’s signal rating X 10 meters and Hacking powers (overload, sabotage )have a range of the tools broadcast range (based off of signal rating) but require the user to have scanned for wireless signals. (looking for things to hack)

Cooldown : Powers require a cooldown that is modified by the Omni-tool’s response rating and certain armor upgrades. More complicated powers (those with higher thresholds required for success) have longer cooldowns.
Cooldown for powers with one threshold 4 turns – Omni-tool response rating.
Cooldown for powers with two threshold 6 turns – Omni-tool response rating.
Cooldown for powers with three threshold 7 turns – Omni-tool response rating.


Inhibiting an enemy from using a biotic implant. Replaced with sabotage.

Energy Drain:

Energy Drain saps an enemies’ kinetic barrier power to boost your shields. Like Overload, this ability will do double damage to shields.
Hardware+Logic (2)
Damage = Net hits x 15% of base shields
Bonus to shields =net hits X 10% of base shields


Using the onboard mini-fabber and omni gel for raw materials,the user can carefully prepare a packet of highly volatile gasses in an energy sheath and hurl them at a target. This consumes omni gel to provide matter for the charge. This attack is considered anti-vehicular for the purpose of defeating vehicle armor.
The standard threshold is 1, the user can deliberately raise the threshold to raise the damage or add area affect. The rational is that less skilled users have enough trouble pulling off the simplest version where advanced users can configure the tool to create more dangerous packets.
Synthetic enemies take ½ damage from these attacks. Enemies have a chance of catching on fire. See SR4 page 155.
Hardware+logic for standard attack
Damage : 5P
Against Tech Armor it does double damage.
Blast:none for standard version
+1 threshold for 2 metre blast
+1 threshold to increase damage to 8P
Consumes 1 omni gel per use.


Using the Omni Tool to hack into the suit hardware of a foe to shutdown their kenetic shields, rendering them vulnerable to attack. Overload is typically used to take down shields or synthetics, doing twice as much damage to shields as it does to synthetics, but will also cause any unshielded enemies using flamethrowers to explode.
This is a wireless hacking attack so jamming can prevent its use.
Standard attack: Hacking+Logic(2)
Synthetic enemies will be stunned for 1 round per hit.
+1 threshold to target their weapons at same time , overloading them for a number of rounds equal to your hits.
Damage = net hits X 20% of base shields.
-If used on an unshielded enemy with a flamethrower?????
-notes: the original idea was to do a fixed amount of damage based of the targets remaining shield power.

Neural Shock

By way of a good knowledge of biological nervous systems the user can create a specialized energy burst tailored to the target’s nervous system overloading it and sending them into shock briefly. This is a very uncommon use of the omni tool as it takes a very good understanding of both biology and omni tools.
duration 2+1 per net hit.

Tactical Cloak/Shadowstrike

sing a holo equipped omni tool the user creates a convincing hologram of empty space around them allowing them to move without being detected. The user’s omni tool processor is severely taxed by this and moving a number of metres greater than its response rating will cause the image to degrade and the program to crash. Attacking also disrupts the effect. It provides a -4 dice modifier to perception tests to see the user. Normally this effect can be sustained for a number of rounds equal to the omni tools’ System rating + net successes.
+1 Threshold to increase perception penalty to -5


the practice of using an omni tool to compromise an enemy’s hardware with a software attack. Corrupting the Friend-foe identification software of A.I. and drones or causing a weapon to overheat and malfunction.
-Omni tool must be within signal range.
-Vrs Geth or Drones: Hacking+logic
-Vrs Cyborgs (ie messing with biotic amp implants): Cybertech+Logic
-Vrs equipment (disabling/overheating firearms):Hardware+Logic
Sabotage vrs weapons: causes an overload and drastic heat buildup. The weapon
consumes its thermal clip in an attempt to maintain safe temperatures. If there are not enough “charges” left in the clip then the weapon will overheat dangerously and does damage to its user equal to it’s damage code as fire damage. If the user succedes in a reaction test (3) they can drop the weapon before damage is done. Some weapons overheat with catastrophic results.
Users often try to wait until they think their opponents thermal clip is exhausted before trying this but skilled users can overheat weapons even with fresh clips.

NOTE- for weapons that use 1 thermal clip per shot, any attempt to fire the weapon without a full clip will fail (automatic safety features )

Hacking+logic (1)
damage is a 20% loss of thermal clip “charge”
net successes add 20% additional “charge” loss.
(ie: 2 successes cause a heat sink to loose 40% of it’s “charge”, 6 successes means a full thermal clip is emptied and damage is caused to the user)
-Duration =net hits.
-if disabling a weapon you can add +1 threshold to cause damage in addition to disabling it for a turn.Treat as attack with Damage value of weapon with 1 HIT.

Combat Drone

In this version drones are physical machines that vary widely in size and potency. Drones are not created by the omni tool but can be controlled, repaired and augmented with one. Drones as deployed by main story characters tend to be tiny ones that can be carried and deployed with minimal cost and if destroyed they can often be salvaged. Drones deployed by Enemies tend to be the larger types that carry themselves into battle and have better firepower and shielding. Their deployment is limited by cost but even the alliance knows the value of disposable cannon fodder. Drones are treated in the same way as SR4 except that you cannot jack into a drone.
See ?? section for Drones.

Tech Armor

Tech Armor is the common term for a complex series of field generators that disrupt incoming force using a stationary warp effect. The theory is that bullets that would normally shatter on impact instead break apart when they strike the field. The field then bleeds away the shrapnel’s kinetic energy. The standard design for tech armor traps the warp field between two low-yield kinetic barriers to protect the user from the field itself. When the outer barrier fails, the warp effect is discharged, potentially harming anyone nearby. For this reason, many soldiers modify the armor with a haptic-style light effect to warn allies not to get too close. On missions where stealth is paramount, this effect is disabled. Cynical soldiers joke that the design is called “tech armor” because if it were simply called “warp armor,” no one would use it.
Treat as ablative armor. A pool of hit boxes that are depleted after shields and before damage resistance.
Armor points equal 25% or max shields.
+ 1 Threshold for each additional 25% you want to add.
If armor is depleted the it releases a blast with knockdown equal to 4+net successes

Cryo Blast

The omni tool creates a packet of super cooled subatomic particles and hurls them in a energy sheath at the target. This can slow or even stop some foes in their steps as armor joints loose flexibility and servos lock up. Armor can become brittle under this kind of assault and sudden shocks like throw or shockwave can shatter opponents.
The omni tool must have a tool kit addition.

Hardware+logic(2) .Target makes body test(-2 dice if they don’t have sealed armor), hits are subtracted from attackers net hits. If attacker still has positive hits then they succeed and target takes -4 reaction and additional -2 for each net HIT.
if reaction is reduced to zero or lower target is frozen

Frozen characters resist damage with no armor, no augmented bonuses and cannot dodge. -Characters who take lethal damage while frozen are destroyed/shattered.
-Effects dissipate at rate of 2 reaction per turn.

A.I. Hacking
replaced with sabotage


Fortification uses high-energy batteries and superconductive devices within the armor to create a Foucault-current effect, essentially a magnetic field that can immobilize metals, even nonferrous ones. The field is triggered by sensors similar to those in a kinetic barrier. It is powerful enough to protect against most modern weapons, but there are drawbacks. The currents cause metallic objects to hold their position relative to one another, and although the field only lasts for a split second, it creates resistance that can slow or fatigue the wearer. Without specialized training, a soldier can quickly become exhausted or stumble at the wrong time.
Bonus shields Net successes X15% of base shield strength.

If user attempts to move at half speed or greater they must make a Body+logic opposed test vrs net successes of original to avoid being fatigued by the field. Each net failure gives a box of Stun damage.

Tech Powers

Mass Effect (Shadowrun 4th ed) PrimeApe PrimeApe