The Red Thread “You think just because you give us a couple of colony worlds that this makes up for what was done to my clan brother, to my people? You understand nothing of us, nothing of our honour. But I promise you, even if it leads us to extinction – we will make you understand it in blood. Ours, mixed with that of every salarian who yet breathes in the galaxy.” --Urdnot Wreav, Citadel Council meeting, 25 June 2187 “And it’s here that we see the real problem of it all. We didn’t realise until it was all over just how much of our knowledge, our expertise, was stored in artificial intelligences of Class Four and above. Indeed, we didn’t figure out until about two years in that it was Class Five A.I.s who taught us how to best trigger a consciousness response in a Class Six system. And that’s before we even go anywhere near the tragedy of the Geth…” --John Palmerston, Address to University of London, 23 February 2189 In the year 2186, Shepard defeated the Reapers. Shepard activated the Crucible, an ancient weapon against the terror of the galaxy, the Reapers. A cataclysmic pulse of energy reached out across the galaxy, eradicating the Reapers. But, tragically, all sentient machine intelligence up to Class 4 AIs also perished in the pulse. And by all reports, Shepard perished in the Crucible’s wave of destruction. Victory was achieved – at a high price. The ten years following have been harrowing, but with the relays repaired and the Citadel well on its way back to full functionality, the galaxy looks forward to an era in which its greatest threat has been extinguished. An era in which the possibility of peace is endangered, but in which hope can now flourish. But perhaps one should be careful of what one wishes for… Welcome to Mass Effect 4. This is a RPG set ten years after the events of Mass Effect 3. Since Mass Effect is all about importing previous characters, PCs from Ashen or indeed other Mass Effect RPGs are most welcome, but not required and knowledge of those games is not necessary to play in this game. It’s a game in the spirit of Mass Effect, which means it’s as much about interaction between species, people, and pasts as it is high technology or spanning the stars. There is a storyline, of course, and hopefully you’ll have some fun weaving your own character’s life in with the one that exists here. Rules and other useful advice 1. Send your CSes to me for approval. Original characters only; no canon characters from ME2 or ME3 will be accepted. 2. I don’t believe in rubberstamping CSes. Quality characters will determine whether you’re in or out. Therefore, don’t frantically hammer on the keys with a cardboard cutout for a character and click “send”. Hammer on the keys and send me something interesting. 3. Very importantly, remember that there are two threads – one following a timeline where Shepard picks the Control ending, and one following a timeline where Shepard picks the Destroy ending. Your character may well change depending on which thread you choose for that character, so choose wisely (or, if you wish, create a character for each thread for a different experience.) 4. If a player holds things up or keeps other players from posting for a longer period of time, I will be ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL* of his character and possibly kill him or her off or write her out. 5. “Does not play well with others” is something that should not be appearing on either your kindergarten report card or on PMs to me regarding your play style. This is a social game, so … be social. Reach out to your fellow players; interact with them. Never fear, I’ll be providing lots and lots of individual challenges, but this is your story as much as it is mine, so make it that way. 6. I don’t have any problem with OOCs in-game, but there is an OOC thread in the Role Playing Resource forum for lengthy discussion if you want it. 7. The game is set ten years after the events of Mass Effect 3. Further information on the state of the galaxy can be found in the OOC thread. As to whether you’ll encounter ME2 or ME3 characters … well, (a) it’s a big galaxy but (b) you never know. Why not play an IC character and find out? 8. This is a Mass Effect game and that means most of you will have played the game before. Try not to use any meta-knowledge you have as a result. 9. Above all, have fun! * This is your obligatory Mass Effect meme for the game. “We’ll bang, okay?” will not be said again unless you have a very, very good character justification for it.