Mass Effect (Shadowrun 4th ed)
How to play
For the most part, this page will reference the page number where the relevant rules can be found. In some cases new rules or changed rules will be presented here in full. Page numbers will be listed (whenever possible) for both the original printing of the 4TH ed and the 20th anniversary edition. SR4 p. XX for the original book and SR4A p. XX for the anniversary edition.
The rules are based off of Shadowrun 4TH edition with some minor changes
1 Core concepts SR4A p. 60
OK the very basic synopsis is : Players get a character, the character has attributes, skills, equipment, and sometimes Powers .
Attributes indicate how fast or strong or charismatic your character is.
Qualities are special characteristics that alter the rules for a character in a specific way such as granting a new ability or adding a penalty. ( jump to the qualities page. )
Skills indicate how well they can perform tasks ( like shooting someone or defusing a bomb) ( jump to the the skills page )
Equipment should be self-explanatory.
Powers are special attacks or options that often have their own special rules. (biotic attacks, cryo-blast, etc). Many of these powers are limited by Cooldowns which are explained later.
1.1 Dice Rolls and tests SR4A p. 60
D6 ‘s , always D6’s for everything. Works like this; roll D6’s and every die that produces a 4, 5, or 6, is a success ( or a “HIT).
The total number of dice that you roll is called a dice pool .
1.2 Game Balance ”color:orange;“>NEW
For game balance we’ve had to add some concepts to SR4 : cool-downs
Several abilities and powers have Cool-downs , meaning that once used, they can not be used again for a set number of combat turns. When in doubt, if a power ( or device that grants a power ) has a limit use (measured in turns) then it can be assumed to be unavailable afterwards for an equal number of turns.
1.2 Target numbers and hits ”color:green;">SR4A p. 62
1.3 opposed tests SR4A p. 63
Used when two parties are directly competing, such as contests of strength or playing hide and seek. Whichever party gets more HITs , is the winner. Keep track of how many surplus HITs the winner has as it’s often used to determine effect.
Back to top.
2.1 Attributes SR4A p. 67
2.2 Qualities SR4A p. 68
2.3 Skills SR4A p. 68, 118
2.3.1 build and repair SR4A p. 138
22.214.171.124 Omni Gel NEW
2.4 Making a character
2.4.1 Build Points SR4 p. 72
2.4.2 Choosing a Species
2.4.3 Purchase attributes SR4 p. 73
126.96.36.199 calculate secondary attributes SR4 p. 73
2.4.4 Purchase Skills
188.8.131.52 Active skills
184.108.40.206 knowledge skills
220.127.116.11 Language skills
2.4.5 Qualities SR4 p. 77
Our game will include several classic SR qualities (minus a few inappropriate ones) and a number of new ones. The new ones can be found here.
18.104.22.168 Classic SR Positive qualities SR4 p. 77
22.214.171.124 Classic SR Negative qualities SR4 p. 80
3 Combat SR4A p. 144
3.1 Initiative SR4A p. 144
3.1.1 Initiative Passes SR4A p. 145
3.1.2 Surprise SR4A p. 165
3.2 Actions SR4A p. 146
3.2.1 Special actions
- Full Defense SR4A p. 160
- interception SR4A p. 161
- Subduing ( Melee )
3.2.1 Called shots.
3.3 Movement SR4A p. 148
3.4 Combat sequence SR4A p. 149
3.4.1 Declare attack
3.4.2 Apply Situational Modifiers
3.4.3 Make Opposed Test
3.4.4 Compare Armor or Kinetic Shields
126.96.36.199 Kinetic Shields NEW
Kinetic shields act as a protective buffer by absorbing damage.
When a ranged attack hits someone or something protected by shields, the modified damage value of the attack is subtracted from the shield value. When the shields are reduced to zero, any remaining damage is passed to the shield’s user.
Rapid fire and shotgun flechettes can overwhelm shields quickly and effectively do bonus damage. See Bullet Ablation rules.
Shield Recharge: If a shield user is not struck for a combat turn, their Kinetic shields will automatically recover 20% of their normal max value (rounding up ) . Note: some powers can affect a shield’s max value or recharge rate.
188.8.131.52 Physical Armor SR4A p. 160
In this version of the rules, Ballistic and Impact armor were merged, we use only one armor value for both.
184.108.40.206.2 Armor Penetration ( AP )
220.127.116.11.3 Encumbrance SR4A p. 161
3.4.5 Damage Resistance Test SR4A p. 162
3.4.6 Apply Damage SR4A p. 162
18.104.22.168 Damage Types
- Physical SR4A p. 162
- Stun SR4A p. 162
- Electricity SR4A p. 163
- Fire SR4A p. 164
- Acid SR4A p. 163
- Cold SR4A p. 163
- Falling SR4A p. 164
- Fatigue SR4A p. 164
22.214.171.124 Knockdown. SR4A p. 161
3.5.1 Recoil SR4A p. 152
3.5.2 Rate of fire SR4A p. 153
- SA ( 1 shot per simple action)
- BF ( 3 shots per simple action )
- FA ( 6 shots per simple action, 10 shots for a complex action)
- HVAR ( Arsenal p. 24 sidebar )
These special firearms (also called super machine guns) have a very high rate of fire, using specially designed barrels and Ezzo cores to prevent overheating and excessive recoil.. When fired in full-auto mode, high-velocity weapons can only fire long bursts or full bursts (see Full-Auto Mode, p. 143, SR4). Unlike normal firearms, high-velocity weapons can fire two long bursts in a single Action Phase. All other rules for firing long bursts apply as noted on p. 143, SR4.
When used to fire full bursts, high-velocity weapons use 12 bullets instead of 10 and thus impose a –11 dice pool modifier instead of –9. When used to fire narrow bursts, a +11 DV modifier to the attack applies, while a wide burst applies a –11 dice pool modifier to the defender’s dice pool. When used to attack multiple targets, a high-velocity weapon can attack two targets with two long bursts, three targets with one long and two short bursts, or four targets with four short bursts (using a full burst to attack multiple targets is the only legal way to fire short bursts with a high-velocity weapon). All other rules for full bursts, as described on .p. 144, SR4, apply. The rules for Suppressive Fire (see p. 144, SR4) remain unchanged.
- Mini gun ( Arsenal p. 30 sidebar )
Miniguns refers to a weapon with an extremely high rate of fire. Some use several rotating barrels to reach tremendous rates of fire.
Miniguns can only fire full bursts (see p. 144, SR4) and use 15 bullets for a single full burst instead of the usual 10. Miniguns impose a –14 dice pool modifier upon the attack roll. A narrow burst applies a +14 DV modifier to the attack, while a wide burst applies a –14 dice pool modifier to the defender’s dice pool. When used to attack multiple targets, a minigun can hit three targets with two long and one short burst, four targets with one long and three short bursts, or five targets with five short bursts. All other rules for Full bursts as described on page SR4 p.144, SR4A 154 apply. If a minigun is employed for suppressive fire, it uses 30 bullets instead of the usual 20. The rules for Suppressive Fire remain unchanged (see p. 144, SR4 , SR4A 154) with the exception that a character hit by the suppressive fire suffers the Vindicator’s base Damage value times 1.5 (round up).
3.5.3 Shotguns and Spray weapons
Some Shotguns and Spray weapons can vary how quickly the projectiles will spread out. This can have a varied effect. Modern firearms can reconfigure the spread as a simple action. ( Free action for smartlinked weapons)
Narrow Spread SR4 p. 144, SR4A p. 154
Medium Spread SR4 p. 144, SR4A p. 155
Wide Spread SR4 p. 144, SR4A p. 155
Effects on Kinetic Shields: Shotgun sprays can overwhelm kinetic shields ( see rules for Bullet ablation )
3.6.1 Grenades SR4A p. 155
3.6.2 Blast Effects SR4A p. 155
3.7 Rockets and missiles SR4A p. 156
3.8 Melee Combat SR4A p. 157
3.8.1 Special Melee attacks.
3.8.2 Melee and Kinetic Shields NEW ( see rules for Bullet ablation )
3.8.3 Biotic Melee powers. NEW
3.9. Barriers SR4A p. 166
3.9.1 Barrier Ratings
3.9.2 Shooting through Barriers SR4A p. 166
3.9.3 Destroying Barriers SR4A p. 166
3.9.4 Physical Barriers
3.9.5 Tech Barriers NEW
3.9.6 Biotic Barriers NEW
3.10 Vehicle Combat SR4A p. 167
3.10.1 Vehicle Ratings SR4A p. 167
3.10.2 Vehicle Tests SR4A p. 168
126.96.36.199 Gunnery Tests
188.8.131.52 Sensor Tests
3.10.3 Types of vehicle combat
184.108.40.206 Tactical Combat
220.127.116.11 Chase Combat
18.104.22.168 Character/Vehicle Combat
3.10.4 Vehicle Damage SR4A p. 170
22.214.171.124 Very Large Vehicles
Powers fall into three general types: powers granted by Biotics , powers granted Omni-Tools, and powers granted by cybernetics and other equipment.
- Using a power
- choose power set power force
- Select target- Area effects
-- Special : using two powers at once.
- Make skill test determine effect
- resistance and Net Hits.
— resist drain
- learning a new power
4.1 Biotic powers
Biotic powers and their rules have their own page.
4.2 Tech Powers (Omni-Tool powers)
4.3 Other Powers
4.3.1 Powers granted by cybernetics
Initiative boosts and extra initiative passes
5.0 The Galactic Credit
5.1.5 Device Rating
5.1.6 Signal Ratings and Range
5.1.7 Biotic/ Tech power Defense
5.2 Advanced Technology (omni tools, mass effect fields, hacking, tech powers..)
5.3 hacking and bypassing
5.3.1 passwords, passcodes, passkeys
5.3.2 hacking actions
5.3.3 overriding Friend/Foe ,hacking drones and synths
5.4 Electronic warfare
5.4.2 Intercepting wireless signals/ comm traffic
5.4.3 encryption and decryption
5.5 Virtual Reality, Haptic interfaces and Direct Neural Interfaces
5.5.2 versus Haptic Interfaces
5.5.3 Direct Neural Interfaces
5.6 Virtual Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence.
V.I. and A.I.
5.7 Build, Repair and Fabrication.
5.8.1 controlling drones
5.8.2 Drone skills and tests
5.8.3 Drone sensors
5.8.4 Drone Initiative
Drones get only one ( 1 ) initiative pass.
5.9 Security Systems and Locks
5.10 Galactic Communications
5.10.1 The Extranet
5.2 Concealing gear
Most modern weaponry is designed to collapse into a more compact form, this makes them much easier to conceal. Collapsed weapons gain a -2 conceivability bonus. Collapsed weapons cannot be quick drawn, the must be readied with a simple action.
5.3 availability and Buying/Selling
5.3.1 Black Market
5.3.2 Selling goods
5.4 citadel laws and permits
- laws concerning Weapons
- Laws concerning VI, AI, and drones.
- Laws concerning body augmentation.
- Gene Modification
- Cybernetic Implants
5.5 Explosives, rockets and guided munitions
5.6 Modifying Gear
5.6.1 modification slots
6 Equipment Listing
Back to top.
7 Health and healing
Medi-Gel. Normally First-Aid or Medicine can only be applied once per set on injuries, Medi-Gel can supercede this limitation. Each application of Medi-Gel effectively ignores this limitation.
V.I. assisted medicine: Modern medical equipment often comes equipped with V.I. assistance and in some cases robotic arms to conduct the Medical skill check by itself. Such automated equipment has it’s own skill rating.
Toxins …coming soon
Disease …coming soon
Drugs …coming soon
sample Toxins …coming soon
sample Diseases …coming soon
Sample Drugs …coming soon
8 Character advancement
Karma awarding Karma
- Improving skills and skill groups
— learning time
- Gaining positive qualities
- removing negative qualities
- improving Attributes
- Learning Biotic Powers
- learning new Tech Powers
Back to top.
9 Running the game
10 Friends and foes
11 Life in the Galaxy
Identity and Identification
unfinished and unsorted chapters