Damage and Soak

SoX Health System

Characters have two traits that determine the punishment they can take - Health and Durability.

Durability - sort of like bruising and toughness. This is the ability of a badass to get the shit kicked out of him but keep giving it back. Taking damage to your Durability won't kill you. Sort of like how a guy in an action movie can take a bullet but still be pretty okay.
Health - This is what will actually kill you. When you run out of Durability, damage goes to Health. There's some attacks (sniper rounds, Reave, the Reed) that do their damage directly to Health.

A typical character has Health levels equal to his Con stat - the actual stat, not the mod!!!. When your Health hits zero, you're dead. At 3/4 Health, a character takes minor penalties to actions. At 1/2 Health, a character takes moderate penalties. At 1/4 Health, character takes severe penalties. Roleplay it, people.
A typical character has Durability equal to his Level + 1 for every 5 ranks of Athletics.

Krogan have 1.5 times Health, and benefit from Krogan Regeneration
Geth have no Con score, and no Health. Instead, they have a fixed number that is added to their Durability score (varies by platform, I’m thinking a CROWD has 40). They do not take penalties from excessive damage.
Rachni Brood-Warriors have double Health, their chitin gives DR 4 (not unlike medium armor, but no shields), and they get +10 durability.

Attacks do fixed dice of damage. Feats give static pluses to this damage. Unless otherwise noted, dice go to Durability, while the plusses are applied to Health. So as you get more proficient at a method of attack, you get more proficient at directly killing the fuck out of your opponent.

An Assortment of Weapon Damage
Pistol, SMG: 1d6
Rifle, Shotgun: 2d6
Sniper Rifle: 2d6, armor will reduce damage, but ignores Durability
Harvester: 3d6
The Reed: 1d6, ignores damage reduction from armor and Durability.
CQC: 1d6
Vibroknife: 1d6, ignores damage reduction from armor and Durability, otherwise operates according to CQC rules.
Vibrosword: 2d6, ignores damage reduction from armor and Durability, otherwise operates according to CQC rules.

How does damage work?

Each damage source (Firearms, Biotics, Tech, and CQC) works a little differently.

Firearms do the listed weapon damage, +3 per rank, + (Tactics Skill /5). As of now, they do not get a bonus from Dex Mod (this may change after playtesting).

Biotics are a bit of a mess, the damage changes per ability. But they receive a damage bonus from the Biotics Score. Refer to the individual ability for damage.

Tech skills are a bit of a mess, the damage changes per ability. But they receive a damage bonus from the Tech score. Refer to the individual ability for damage.

Feats how they generally work
Each rank in a feat gives +3 damage to that attack's damage (as flat pluses, that portion of the damage goes straight to Health). So at Rank 3 Assault Rifle, Siege does 2d6 damage to Durability, and 9 damage straight to Health. At 3 ranks in Sniper Rifle, Dara does 2d6+9…. straight to Health, averaging 16 points of Health damage. Ouch.
Please bear in mind that feats vary individually. Read each ability for how it works.

Armor, Shields, and Barriers (this is where shit gets tricky)

Armor is easy. Armor gives damage reduction 2, 4, and 6 for light, medium, and heavy, respectively.
A note on the design philosophy of armor. Armor - the hardsuit - is a barrier. You need to punch through it to harm the individual. But once you punch through the… leg, let's say, that does nothing to the integrity of the armor over the arm. In fact, if I punch through the thigh, three inches away from the hole, the hardsuit is still good. So instead of it being points that need chewed through and then you're shit out of luck, I set it up as damage reduction applied to every shot that hits the hardsuit. If any damage is left after the DR, it punched through the armor and hit the tasty caramel center. I also built armor slightly weak, as well. It isn't a great defense. I did that intentionally, because ME/SoX emphasizes shields and barriers as protection.

Basic Shields – Basic shields provide shielding (a pool of, let’s call ‘em “shield points”) that must be burned through before damage can actually be applied to armor/the actual person. You add the rolled damage to the flat plus damage, and apply that total to the shields (so a pistol doing 1d6+6 rolls three, and subtracts 9 damage from the shield points). Anything that makes it through is then reduced by any armor that the target may be wearing. Light armor has 15 shield points, medium armor has 30, heavy armor has 45. Add to this (Tech Score times 2) for the total amount of defense from basic shields.
Shields recharge after four rounds of not taking fire.

Order of Defenses

In the order that damage is applied to your defenses:
Tech Armor (1st) »> Basic Shields (enhanced by Defensive Matrix) »> Barrier »> Armor (enhanced by Fortification) »> Durability and Health (last)

Biotics Scores and Age Bonuses

A character’s “Biotics Score” is used for a lot of stuff. It’s used as a bonus to damage, a bonus to domination rolls, and other things that I’m forgetting. To get the Biotics Score: one-time choice of Int or Wis, at character creation. Add (Biotics Skill / 5) + (Int or Wis) + (Age/50) + Misc. (You double the bonus when you’re adding it to Barrier.) Any biotic attack you make, you add to it your biotic score. (I think. Powers vary individually. Though I tried to always give the Biotic Score as a bonus.)

A character’s “Tech Score” is used for a lot of stuff. It’s used as a bonus to damage, and other things that I’m forgetting. To get the Tech Score: Add (Electronics Skill / 5) + Int + Misc.

Biotic Explosions

The damage is 3d6 + the rank bonus for BOTH powers, + the biotic score of the person detonating the powers. Owie.


Krogan Regeneration: 1 Health level AND 1 Durability level per round.
Zhasa Regeneration: 1/2 level per round. First Health, then Durabiliity
Geth Regeneration: 1 Durability every half hour, does not repair armor plating, damage to titanium skeleton, or damage to internal components. Repairs "soft tissue."

Examples no longer up to date

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