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Commander Shepard (Mass Effect 2) power walking

Staff Commander Mandala Shepard

(Profile #3 - Mass Effect 2 part 2)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“Things *explode* around you, Shepard.”
– Moklan of Omega, stater of profound truths.


The Staff Commander Mandala Shepard profiles are presented as a chronological series, to avoid interminable articles. They almost all have S P O I L E R S. In order :

  1. Commander Shepard – Mass Effect – start there.
  2. .
  3. Commander Shepard – Mass Effect 2 part #2 – this here profile.
  4. .
  5. Commander Shepard – Mass Effect 3 part #1.

This third profile covers the rest of the first half of Mass Effect 2 – from Freedom’s Progress to Illium.



  • Real Name: Staff Commander Mandala Marie-Louise Kanitha Shepard.
  • Other Aliases: Spectre (Cerberus callsign), Captain Shepard vas Normandy (formal title for the Migrant Flotilla), Alison Gunn (cover identity), “Siha” (Thane Krios’ nickname for Shepard), “Shep” (Kasumi’s nickname for Shepard), Battlemaster Shepard (title used for Shepard by Grunt, and thus presumably the rest of Clan Urdnot except Wrex), “the first Human Spectre”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Chief Sakun Shepard (father), Captain Jo-Hannah Traoré-Shepard (mother).
  • Group Affiliation: Council Special Tactics and Reconnaissance. Commanding officer of the Normandy SR2.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile aboard the Normandy SR2.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 145 lbs.
  • Eyes: Pale, reflective grey Hair: Jet black

Officer and gentle mum

Captain Jo-Hannah Traoré-Shepard — Mandala Shepard’s mum — is a highly regarded Systems Alliance senior naval officer. During the first game, she’s the XO of the SSV Kilimanjaro, a first-in-class dreadnought. In other words, she’s the second-in-command and head of operations of one of the four most powerful warships in Humanity’s arsenal.

After the death of her daughter, Naval Command promotes Mrs. Traoré-Shepard to Admiral (presumably Rear Admiral). She immediately turns this offer down. Reportedly, Captain Traoré-Shepard saw her promotion as a transparent political ploy to capitalise on the popularity of her daughter.

She announced that she would remain a Captain so she’d still be in the field, continuing to defend the galaxy personally now that Commander Shepard had fallen. This stance made her somewhat famous and popular.

This minor popularity increased when a journalist asked her about the “Portrait Of Humanity”. This is the composite face that replaced Staff Commander Mandala Shepard on Systems Alliance Navy posters, and was meant to represent all of mankind.

Captain Traoré-Shepard dryly observed that Naval Command should have saved the money and kept her daughter, who was already an all-natural composite of human heritages.


Despite these remarks, Mrs. Traoré-Shepard did take full command of a capital ship. By 2185 she’s the captain of the SSV Orizaba, a Kilimanjaro-class dreadnought and the flagship of the Fifth Fleet. El Pico de Orizaba  is the tallest mountain in Mexico, following the naming convention for Kilimanjaro-class ships.


Though the game doesn’t mention it — since only some versions of Shepard have Navy parents — it seems reasonable to assume that part of the excellent relationship between Cdr. Mandala Shepard and Admiral Hackett is due to Cpt. Jo-Hannah Shepard being Hackett’s top skipper.

It is likewise likely that the Kilimanjaro was a Fifth Fleet capital asset during the Battle of the Citadel in 2183. But this is not specified in the game.

Captain Shepard’s appearances in game are very brief (a radio conversation and an e-mail). But from those and her career she seems to be much like her daughter. She appears to be a person with a rare level of calm and compassion, and a formidable leader and commander.

After learning of her daughter’s return, Cpt. Traoré-Shepard apparently just shrugs her shoulders. Presumably, she assumes that Mandala was on some sort of secret Spectre mission all along and had to fake her death.

Powers & Abilities

Shepard has fully recovered, and has reclaimed her rank as one of the most dangerous persons in the galaxy.

Her extraordinary leadership, charisma, reflexes, gunfighting prowess, acumen and N7 military training remain an unmatched combination. And she still has her magic touch. Situations that should go horribly wrong just work out right when Shepard’s in charge. One assumes that situations are afraid of her.

She’s still a guns and gear freak. She now has a whole new generation of guns, a full-sized armoury and several engineering and gunsmithing experts to play with. The arsenal aboard the Normandy is sufficient to win a war.

Shepard herself carries enough guns to take on a platoon. She looks about 125 lbs., yet her guns and armour look about 90 lbs. Being a walking arsenal is likely a combination of :

  • Her own high strength and fitness.
  • The artificial musculature in her armour enhancing these.
  • Mass Effect-based weight suppression for her ample ordnance.

Other assets

Unlike in the first game, Shepard demonstrates obvious hand-to-hand combat experience and martial arts training. She employs a number of kicks, punches and even gridiron football-style tackles that hit with bone-crunching strength. It is possible that she further trained with the deadly martial artists among her tactical team, particularly Thane Krios.

Generally, if Shepard takes charge things will be put right no matter what the odds. And that will probably involve explosions.

She’s in many ways comparable to the classic Captain America. An ethical paragon and moral compass, an invincible super-soldier and war heroine who came back from the dead to defend everyone, and a greater-than-life charismatic leader who’ll never desert the front line.

We have the technology to rebuild her, part 1

Beyond the metallic shells encasing her bones — which our game stats assume are practically unbreakable- – Shepard retains a network of medical implants. These filter out toxins and allergens, and greatly facilitate surgery and recuperation.

These filters were presumably installed during her reconstruction. They likely goal was overcome phases where the process employed toxic materials and/or her body was autotoxic. Though these filters saved her life against a virulent poison on Omega, they do not appear to filter ethanol out.

Shepard has opted for a cutting edge Serrice treatment that alters muscle tissue. It perforates it with micro-fibres to increase output, and grows armoured synthetic fibres on the outside. These augmentations chiefly increase her resistance to impacts and other physical trauma. They also grant her enhanced endurance and a startling level of strength for her stature.

The improvements are already apparent in our game stats, though the full effects have yet to take place.

We have the technology to rebuild her, part 2

The main goal for these strength-enhancing procedures is to carry heavier body armour and weapons without being slowed down. But Shepard also underwent the treatment for plain old melee combat given the danger posed by husks in close-quarter battles.

Between the augmented strength, her hand-to-hand fighting skills and her enhanced ability to take blows, she’s able to beat some Krogans in hand-to-hand combat.

The metallic parts, bone replacements, dense fibres, etc. also make the highly athletic Shepard heavier than she looks.

Commander Shepard with a beret and some remaining scars

The successive Serrice viral deliveries normally take place in week-long hospital stays over a span of months. But with Shepard being a cyborg it is possible to run it with no hospitalisation at all. The treatments are done by Dr. Chakwas using the Normandy’s sick bay. Shepard is given painkillers and is medically monitored as the virus works inside her.

So far everything’s working fine. But Chakwas has joked that at this pace Shepard has but a few years left before she has built a tolerance to all known painkillers.

Shepard also retains her Unity drug module. Dr. Chakwas has implanted corresponding modules in all members of the tactical team.

Dark Energy

As Shepard finishes the bulk of her medical recovery, Miranda Lawson briefs her about the Reapers tech making her body run. She also explains how Shep’s nervous system is assisted by Dark Energy. This is the same mechanism that allows husks to emit electrical shocks.

Technically, Shepard is thus now a biotic. However, she cannot perform conventional biotic manifestations. She might be able to briefly manifest tiny biotic warps in the palm of her hand. She could theoretically learn to deliver husk-like energy shocks. But that would be tremendous effort to acquire useless powers.

However, Subject Zero agreed to teach Shepard her distinctive technique to charge ammunition. It generates a sort of biotic micro-warp, making projectiles explode with Dark Energy on impact. This is normally an advanced technique only practised by a handful of biotics. But according to Zero the energies given off by Shepard and some husks are just right for this application.

The trick largely relies on an induction bracer designed by Subject Zero, which interfaces with Shepard’s guns. She mostly provided the prototype out of spite to show that she could get more results with Lawson’s own design than Miranda did.

This is my rifle

Shepard’s main rifle is a monstrosity called săt sănbòm (“mean-looking beast”). Three such rifles have been built in the Normandy’s armoury.

These are rebuilt M-96 Mattock semi-automatic weapons sporting :

  1. A “Massani Special” underslung shotgun with HESH slugs.
  2. A phasic needler coaxial rifle developed by Tali’Zorah, nicknamed the Bos’tet-Buster.

See our Mass Effect 2 Weapons Locker for all the tech.

Though her main weapon is by itself three guns, Shepard also packs :

  • A Mantis high-powered sniper rifle (often with its own coax phasic needler).
  • A captured geth “plasma shotgun”.
  • A large-calibre Carnifex side arm.
  • Plus some sort of heavier weapon, usually a M-100 grenade launcher.

On a tactical deployment she’s bristling with guns. One wonders why she’s not carrying another piece on her right hip – since there’s some room left there for a machine pistol or somesuch. Shepard, you slacker.

Commander Shepard with her environmental helmet on

At this stage, the fully kitted săt sănbòm are Shepard’s main weapon. However, she will eventually evolve toward more specialised weapons (a Viper semi-automatic precision rifle and a Revenant light machinegun). She will also switch to a Phalanx heavy pistol after training to aim via its laser sight rather than a standard HUD interface.

Shepard’s armour is equipped with a better version of the old MARSOC “webbing”. It still has a side anchor for a handgun, a small-of-the-back horizontal anchor for the shotgun, and two vertical anchors close to the shoulder blades for rifles. But there’s now an additional anchor at the centre of the upper back for a heavy weapon.

Strange bedfellows, part 1

Super-agent, where are you now

Shepard’s relationship with the Council remains marred by their differences about the Reapers. Still, they continue to diplomatically find ways to work together. This is of course helped by Shepard’s old mentor Admiral David Anderson. Anderson now represents Humanity on the Council – though in practice his position is more junior than the other three species’.

Thus, Shepard obtained her reinstatement as a Spectre (having lost her status when she died). This rests on the understanding that she’ll be operating outside of Citadel Space for the time being.

It was a compromise to avoid a “political shitstorm” (in the words of Advisor Udina). Howbeit, this gesture of support should not be underestimated. Especially since the Council exerts next to no oversight on Spectres and the status is almost never revoked.

Shepard diplomatically avoids using her Spectre status to its full extent, but she *is* above Citadel law.

Auld Alliance

Her relationship with the Council is in fact better than her relationship with the Alliance. All she has left Alliance-side is the personal but unofficial support of Admiral Hackett. Human intelligence services see her as an AWOL probable traitor.

Numerous Alliance soldiers and officers likely support her but can’t do much. And Shepard’s alliance with Cerberus is viewed with understandable dismay by her former allies.

Rock star wearing shades

Shepard is famous – but nobody has heard anything about her in 2 years. Furthermore, most aliens lack experience in recognising Human faces, and her appearance has changed enough that most Humans will not immediately recognise her.

Still, people in Council Space who do recognise her or hear her called Commander Shepard will usually be impressed. The vast majority will feel honoured to meet the heroine of the Battle of the Citadel, the Skyllian Blitz, the Virmire Raid, etc. etc. and the first Human Spectre.

This is especially true on the Citadel, where millions owe their lives to Shepard. They will happily give her discounts and offer preferential treatment.

Many Citadel Security officers, especially Humans, also spontaneously offer to facilitate things for Shepard if they recognise her. This includes Captain Bailey, who apparently directs the force on Zakera Ward, one of the five “arms” of the Citadel.

Strange bedfellows, part 2

Commander Shepard is now in a tense alliance with Cerberus. This is an organisation that tried to have her killed multiple times, and took significant casualties as a result. This unlikely pairing is caused by an ongoing crisis.

The population of isolated human colonies keep vanishing without a trace. These colonies being independent worlds in the Terminus systems, neither the Council nor the Alliance have an interest in investigating.

Furthermore there are vague reasons to suspect that there’s a connection between tens of thousands of Humans missing and the Reapers. It is just enough to have the Council steer away from the case and to have Shepard steer toward it.

Commander Shepard with her Kuwashii visor in a non-combat position

Shepard knows that the Illusive Man is using her. She knows that he has an habit of throwing his assets into exceedingly risky situations in the hope of getting a big payoff. She knows that he doesn’t care about losses.

On the other hand, Cerberus is the only agency willing to take decisive and immediate action to save lives. This leaves Commander Shepard little choice but to operate with the backing of terrorists and butchers. Fully knowing that they will sooner or later expend her and her crew in some half-baked gambit.

Get behind me Satan, part 1

Shepard’s relationship with Cerberus is pregnant with an inevitable showdown. She knows first hand of the vileness of her allies. Shepard did investigate small colonies that Cerberus had slaughtered to use as fodder to try and create their own husks – among other horrors.

Commander Shepard knows all too well that Cerberus never hesitated to have her fellow Systems Alliance Marines killed. Or even tortured at length to run demented experiments. She has seen the results of their irresponsible experiments with insane Rachni hatchlings. She has seen how they assassinated her Systems Alliance ally Rear Admiral Kahoku.

Working with Cerberus is loosely comparable to working for the Klan circa 1920.

However, Shepard is but one woman against imminent galactic-scale mass extinction. She knows that neither the Council nor the Systems Alliance will budge on the Reapers issue since there’s no proof. Cerberus is the only chance for her to save thousands from disappearing, and she literally owes them her life.

Get behind me Satan, part 2

The situation is further complicated by the mostly apolitical nature of the Lazarus cell. Jacob Taylor, Kelly Chambers and most of the Normandy crew are not really aware that they’re part of a racist, terrorist, torture-happy conspiracy.

They have a very sanitised image of their employer, and think they’re fighting for a good cause. They would quite probably balk up and leave if they knew what Commander Shepard knows.

The wild card is Miranda Lawson. Yes, Miranda’s a senior officer of the organisation and seems to be a true believer. But Shepard soon comes to realise that Lawson’s seemingly fanatical dedication to the organisation has complex and fragile roots.

Haar Stijl

Shepard agrees to work for the Illusive Man because she has a secret weapon that he probably cannot understand. As she recovers her incredible charisma and unique style, Commander Shepard turns the Normandy from a Cerberus ship into her personal ship.

As the operation goes better than any Cerberus op ever did and Shepard keeps getting everything right, the crew realises that they’re working for a bona fide living legend. They become loyal to her, not Cerberus.

Many on the Normandy crew are willing to die because they think they’re the defenders of Humanity. But within a few weeks they’re willing to die because they’d follow Commander Shepard in Hell itself.

Which is pretty much the mission statement, anyway.

Commander Shepard aims her Mattock in anti-shields mode

As the mission unfolds, the Cerberus quandary recedes. Shepard turns the assets Cerberus spent years and billions of credits assembling into her ship, her crew, her staff and her weapons. After Mandala Shepard and Miranda Lawson come to an understanding, all that remains of the Cerberus matter is the working relationship between the Illusive Man and Commander Shepard. She has eaten everything else.

Elephants, part 1

That the Council decides to maintain its relationship with Shepard and reinstate her as a Spectre despite her association with Cerberus should not be overlooked. While the Council has a well-established procedure of not wanting to know anything about how the Spectres make sausages, Cerberus is an avowed enemy of the Council.

The actions of Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson to save the Council a few months before Shepard’s resurrection did create some breathing room. But it would reasonable to consider that Commander Shepard is AWOL, a traitor, associated with a terrorist organisation and quite possibly brainwashed or a clone.

Shepard is not, at this point, too different from Saren and she knows it (hence the way she keeps staring at Saren’s statue on Bekenstein). And she’s playing a game nobody ever seems to win.

Elephants, part 2

However, there’s a key difference. The Council owes Shepard their lives, paid for by Alliance personnel who died on Commander Shepard’s order to rescue the Destiny Ascension.

Furthermore, though this isn’t covered in the game, a No-Prize Hypothesis  is that Councillor Anderson realised what Shepard was planning to do. Covertly confirming this deduction and telling the Council that she is a double agent are credible actions on Anderson’s part. He and Commander Shepard presumably have code phrases to signal duress or its absence.

In this hypothesis, agreeing with Anderson to let Shepard operate means that the Council gains a lot of intelligence about their enemies in Cerberus, at essentially no cost.

The Council also presumably considered that reinstating Commander Shepard was a good way to relieve pressure from Humans wanting to have more Human agents promoted to Spectre status.


As Shepard finished her recovery, the mysterious abductors struck again. They attacked a small Terminus Systems human colony called Freedom’s Progress . This time, Cerberus received the information early enough for the Normandy to be the first responder.

Commander Shepard’s magic touch held true. For the first time ever a witness was found. Furthermore, Shepard’s close friendship with the Quarian Admiralty Board’s agent Tali’Zorah vas Neema allowed her to obtain extensive footage of the mass abduction.

The Collectors unveiled

The culprits were identified as the Collectors. These are an enigmatic alien race coming from beyond an impassable Mass Effect FTL relay called Omega Four.

Both the Illusive Man and Commander Shepard suspected that the Collectors worked for the Reapers. They became nearly certain that the vessel that had destroyed the original Normandy was a Collector warship specifically sent after Shepard.

Commander Shepard listens to Captain Anderson

Commander Shepard wanted to reuse the method that had worked so well during the Saren Plot. She planned to assemble and build up a team of badasses she could lead against impossible odds.

Though most of her old hands were not available, the Illusive Man had anticipated her strategy. He had prepared a list of redoubtable individuals who might agree to work with her. In most cases, Cerberus had already made openings and offered massive signing bonuses.

Commander Shepard also prepared some groundwork. She renewed ties with David Anderson, who was invaluable in having her Spectre status reinstated. She took Lawson and Taylor as her field team on a number of low-risks missions (well, by her standards), to evaluate the skills of these two top Cerberus agents.

Shepard started upgrading the Normandy’s armoury, testing and selecting various weapons along with her staff. Unbeknownst to Shepard, Admiral Hackett — commanding the Alliance’s Fifth Fleet — also blocked Systems Alliance Naval Intelligence investigations into her return and apparent betrayal.

She’s a woman with a mission…

During this extensive prep work, Commander Shepard criss-crossed the galaxy to recruit a certain calibre of operative – some of the best and deadliest. Based on her experiences during the Saren Plot, Shepard offered the same general deal to everyone.

Beyond Cerberus’ money, she made it clear that this was a near-suicide run. But she would personally help each of her recruits put their life in order before braving a high chance of death.

Most were sceptical at first. But as the missions unfolded they all came to understand how Commander Shepard could solve seemingly intractable problems. She could help them settle accounts before the big showdown, in ways nobody else could approach. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fix critical issues.

During her recruitment work, Shepard was unexpectedly reunited with her friend Garrus Vakarian, who joined her nascent team. After their chance encounter on Freedom’s Progress, Tali also indicated that she’d like to work with Commander Shepard again, though that wasn’t possible right away.

…got a serious mind

Shepard also conducted some troubleshooting missions for Cerberus. Notably, she was asked to investigate a secret Cerberus research facility. This lab had been working on something called Project Overlord  before it went offline.

As the Commander and Vakarian expected, Overlord turned out to be an horrific project that had gone catastrophically wrong. There was only one known survivor. Appalled, Shepard gunned down everything that she didn’t blow up and rescued a second survivor – an autistic test subject .

She took the test subject to a specialised Systems Alliance facility for medical care. She left no room for discussion and thus put an end to Overlord.

The battle of Horizon, part 1

As Commander Shepard and her motley crew picked up steam, the Illusive Man informed her that the Collectors would shortly hit a colony on Horizon. Shepard would soon determine that the encounter had been provoked by the Illusive Man. He had leaked to the Alliance that Commander Shepard was with Cerberus and would be on Horizon in the near future.

Commander Shepard with her Kuwashii visor

As he had hoped, the Alliance sent Staff Commander Alenko to Horizon. This was done under the cover of installing anti-ship batteries as the Alliance’s gift to the independent colony. And as the Illusive Man had gambled, the Collectors did hit Horizon hoping to grab Alenko and Shepard as well as the colonists.

Shepard and her commandos derailed the abduction of the Human colonists, though the Collectors left with about half the population. Shepard did not take it well, seeing it more as a half-failure. But no other fighting force would have even gotten within a mile of the battlefield.

The battle of Horizon, part 2

The Commander&rsqo;s confrontation with Alenko was also a partial success. Kaidan had only half-gotten over her death. He was shocked to see that Shepard was indeed back and working for Cerberus, which he had previously refused to believe.

Kaidan ended up agreeing that she probably knew what she was doing. But one order from the Alliance would be sufficient to pit Alenko against Commander Shepard and the terrorists, criminals and murderers she was now with.

Though Shepard felt bittersweet, Horizon had been a success. The brutal, pitched battle had :

  • Confirmed that the Collectors were very interested in her.
  • Elucidated what their modes of operation were.
  • Provided captured technology and samples for analysis.
  • Confirmed the reliability of the counter-Collectors measures developed on the Normandy.
  • Saved thousands.

It also made it clear to the entire crew that it wasn’t an ordinary mission. They were duking it out against super-advanced aliens likely serving the Reapers. The mission goal of entering the impassable Omega 4 relay was no longer an abstract strategy but a reality approaching at a good clip.

I alone love you

To continue preparations and recruitment, the Normandy docked on Illium , an Asari-dominated world in the Terminus Systems. Illium was a free commerce zone, meaning access to the sort of people and resources Commander Shepard needed. However, Shepard was significantly more daunted upon docking on Illium than she was upon landing on Horizon.

Cerberus intelligence had eventually located Dr. Liara T’soni on Illium. Early reports stated that she worked for the Shadow Broker, an intelligence-network-for-hire and mob Commander Shepard had already clashed with on Citadel.

Later reports contradicted that. It was now thought that she was heading some sort of agency fighting against the Broker. In either case, Liara was obviously a changed person compared to the adorkable xenoarchaeologist Shepard had been living with prior to her death.

The closer she got to Illium, the more the Commander feared that Liara was too changed and was lost to her, or that she would do or say something that would make her lose Liara like she had half-lost Kaidan.

Worst, she feared that Liara, who knew her on a intimate psychic level, would tell her that she was not Shepard but simply a recreated body with copied memories, dreaming that it was Commander Shepard.

The wild bunch

As the Normandy lands on Illium, Shepard’s tactical force is composed of :

  • Miranda Lawson, callsign Prodigal. Human with extensive genetic enhancements – possibly the most extensive in the galaxy. Biotic, veteran Cerberus officer, intelligence expert. Very high intellectual and physical acumen, highly capable light combatant, wide range of technical and scientific skills.
  • Lt. Jacob Taylor, callsign Operative. Human, veteran shock trooper and assault specialist of the Systems Alliance Marines. Also a biotic. Highly competent and reliable small unit commander, redoubtable in close-quarter battle (CQB ) situations, highly disciplined and professional soldier.

Commander Shepard still bearing some scars from her resurrection

  • Kasumi Gōtō, callsign Master Thief. Human, mistressly appropriator-of-things and B&E expert. A specialist at irregular procurement of high-value works of art. She uses these skills to act as a deadly stealth fighter moving under cover of a cloaking field.
  • Professor Mordin Solus, callsign Professor. Salarian, bona fide genius. Dr. Solus masters a seemingly endless array of scientific, technical and artistic fields. He is by himself one of the very best R&D “teams” in the galaxy.
    The sped-up Solus works at an amazing pace, and his extensive training with the Salarian Special Tasks Group (STG) makes him a deadly hitman, military intelligence expert and black ops veteran.
  • Zaeed Massani, callsign Veteran. Human with decades of military and mercenary combat experience, expert with every weapon you care to name. A ruthless killer, bounty hunter and black ops specialist who has seen it all, and did even worse.
  • Garrus Vakarian, callsign Archangel. Highly qualified scout/sniper and engineer from the Turian military, as well as experienced police. Garrus is an incredible marksman, and his list of military specialities and expertise badges is nearly as long as his close friend Shepard’s.
  • Subject Zero a.k.a. Jack, callsign Convict. Presumably the most powerful Human biotic in the galaxy, reaching levels thought to be impossible in a Human due to the horrific experiences performed on her during her whole childhood. Also a superior streetfighter and a veteran of numerous urban firefights.
  • Grunt, callsign Grunt. A Krogan super-soldier meant to be the ultimate Krogan fighter. Enormously strong and resilient, extremely ferocious and determined, regenerative – and still growing up. Prefers close quarters.

Shepard also enjoys the services of two friends and colleagues from the old Normandy who are not members of her tactical force – Dr. Karin Chakwas (chief medical officer of the Normandy) and Jeff “Joker” Moreau (helmsman of the Normandy). Both are among the very best Systems Alliance experts in their specialities.

Squad leader

In-game, the action is centred around Commander Shepard and two squaddies forming a small fire team. This is for gameplay reasons. But it becomes somewhat jarring as Mass Effect 2 includes 12 characters on Shepard’s tactical squad (!), plus Liara, plus infantry-trained Normandy crew members.

Outside of video game logic it is difficult to justify most missions being done by three persons, unless stealth is essential.

Commander Shepard uses too much lip gloss but she doesn't care

The simplest solution is used in the game during the Collectors’ Base mission. All squad members are actually on the ground, but in multiple teams operating separately. Commander Shepard’s small team is the spearhead of the operation.

Most missions can be depicted this way in a pen-and-paper game. Pick a standard fire team size that just happens to match the number of players (assuming you have 3 or 4 players), and have two or three teams tasked with different objectives whilst Shepard’s does the main job.

All ground teams are go

Examples include :

  • A team going in loud and heavy to make the biggest diversion they can (something like Grunt/Jacob/Jack, assuming close quarters).
  • A team cutting off access routes for enemy reinforcements.
  • A team raiding the enemy security centre to hack and disable automated defences and open doors (say Tali/Kasumi/Jacob).
  • A team securing and holding the exfiltration zone.
  • A team riding in Shepard’s wake to capture resources and prisoners for intelligence purposes.
  • A team sabotaging enemy life support to force them to evacuate.
  • A team destroying the opposition’s air force before it can be scrambled.
  • An advance sniper team (say Garrus/Thane/Miranda) to support Shepard with long range fire at some key point of the mission (for instance when having to cross a large open expanse).
  • Etc., etc..

Fire teams could also react to situations. One example is rolling out of the Normandy when contact is lost with Shepard’s team on the Purgatory prison ship, and taking control of the docking bay area before going in heavy to determine what’s going on.


In a pen-and-paper context this makes it possible to go all Rashomon . That is, you run the mission by alternating between the point of view of the various fire teams, with the GM choosing an appropriate frequency to hop from one team to another.

And if Commander Shepard is too powerful a figure, then it is possible to play through the assignments of all fire teams but hers and leave the GM to play Shepard between missions.

Players can also decide on the general strategy and the composition of each team. This allows them to choose which squad member to play even if the game doesn’t hop from point-of-view to point-of-view.

This also allows the GM to use the plot, maps and other elements for three or four times as long as the mission is told from the PoV of multiple specialised squads. Hey, there’s enough work involved as is.


By this point Shepard is almost fully recovered. The last few scars are fading without a trace.

Early on her hair is still growing back and between useful lengths. Since it looks like a hedgehog crossed with a weasel Commander Shepard wears an old Systems Alliance surplus beret and uses medi-gel to greatly accelerate hair growth.

The beret gives her a very martial air. Her features look much sharper without hair to frame and soften them.

“Improvements”, my enhanced tush

As she finished regaining her weight, health, and looks, Shepard realised that Lawson had made “improvements”. Close to 15 years of ageing have not been reproduced, and Commander Shepard now looks in her early 20s.

Lawson having unusual body image issues, she also made small changes to Shepard’s physique. Slightly larger bust, slightly longer legs, more streamlined shoulders and arms, a slightly more pronounced hourglass figure, enhancing her tuchus a bit, etc. and erased various scars Shepard had never bothered to have removed.

Commander Shepard spots the giant satellite dish about to crash on her

What is really noticeable is the difference in age. It gave Joker good material for several “I didn’t know that Commander Shepard had a daughter !” routines.

Commander Shepard would vaguely like to be angry about these unrequested alterations. But she can’t really muster the wherewithal to feel that way after the shock of her resurrection and her early, undead-looking state. She still has a tendency to nervously check her face in mirrors to reassure herself that she looks alive and that her eyes are not glowing red.

(Yes, this section is a tongue-in-cheek, in-universe rationalisation for Bioware’s changes to the stock female body model and rendering. Moving on…)

Totally ladylike

Shep now uses makeup and had her hair styled. The makeup was originally used to cover up small wounds, swollen eyelids and badly cracked lips. The hair was strategically placed to hide the worst facial scars. Shepard kept these touches after they became unnecessary. She prefers to be a bit prettied up to ward off her vague fear that something might go wrong and make her look dead again.

Her makeup includes liberal use of lip gloss – probably more than advisable given her full lips. Her use of mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow likewise tends to be heavy-handed due to her lack of time or experience.

Most Asari seem to consider that Commander Shepard is smoking hot. Thus, they tend to be pleasant and helpful toward her. Shepard is seldom hit by the conceited attitude a lot of Asari have toward Humans. She can even be treated as a peer and one of the girls based on her appearance and some sort of Asari-ish vibe she’s apparently giving off.

Even highly disciplined Matrons (like Samara) and free-spirited Matriarchs (like Aethyta) took an instant liking of Commander Shepard despite her youth. Dr. T’soni obviously agrees with their assessment.

Eye colour : yes

Commander Shepard always had intense, magnetic grey eyes – and the power of her gaze is now even greater. Her eyes now have a slightly reflective quality. Under some lights they can even glow a bit, like an Asari’s. The pale shade of silvery grey is reminiscent of the eyes of some light-skinned Asari such as Samara.

According to Lawson there’s a ultra-thin layer of film that was there to protect the regrowing eyeballs. For some obscure reason, it did not dissolve as it should have. But having it removed is more likely to lead to problems than keeping it in. This is where the reflectivity comes from.

Shepard is pleased to have somewhat Asari-like eyes. The stress of her regard is something to behold. It enhances her considerable presence and is an asset in those rare occasions where she goes for the intimidating stare.

Amusingly, there’s a faint resemblance about the nose and eyes between Commander Shepard and her father figure – her former mentor Admiral Anderson. Somebody who’s not used to seeing people with a mixed heritage like Anderson’s or Shepard’s might think they’re actually related.

Walking like a man, hitting like a hammer, she’s got the look

Though she’s less Spartan than before when it comes to her appearance, Shepard remains a marine born and bred, from a male-dominated military. Her body language remains direct, assertive and masculine.

People from more conservative societies occasionally get a sense that Commander Shepard is aggressive and domineering. This is almost entirely down to her stances and gestures not corresponding to how they subconsciously expect a woman to move. Shepard’s Systems Alliance Marines body language is too masculine and creates dissonance.

Commander Shepard being interviewed

During an atypical undercover mission with Kasumi Gōtō Commander Shepard had to receive a crash course in brand new skills. These included walking in heeled shoes, wearing a short dress showing some cleavage, carrying a purse – and other lady-like stuff she’d never done in her life.

Kasumi makes this her pet cause, and works to have her friend wear something that’s not uniforms, combat boots or body armour.

Shepard prefers not to wear the standard Systems Alliance women’s breastplate. Its “PR-friendly design” is widely considered an embarrassment. Her preferred cuirass is a high-end Kestrel unit with :

  • Additional power pods.
  • An advanced movements-reinforcing artificial musculature built in.
  • Predictive speed-draw weapons ejection software.
  • And numerous other specialised systems and customisations.

This things is worth a fortune.

Augmented reality

Shortly before the destruction of the Normandy her buddy Garrus had convinced Commander Shepard to buy a custom Kuwashii tactical visor/targeting computer like his.

Just like Garrus, Shepard fell in love with her visor. Just like Garrus, she wears the damn thing everywhere but in the shower and in bed. The vertical HUD plate constantly scrolls information in front of her right eye.

Commander Shepard keeps experimenting with new apps. She also typically changes the data display to green to match her eyeliner and the reticle to a light grey-blue to match her eyes. Yes, her military training did not cover colours coordination. The aiming reticle is clearly above eye level when not in combat, so as not to look pointlessly threatening.

The visor is equipped with even better cybernetics and tactical software. This allows Commander Shepard to transmit tactical directives to her team at the speed of thought by simply thinking in a specific manner and looking at things.

Following this rapid stream of information and interpreting the coded data flashing on one HUD’s to represent Shepard’s orders requires extensive training. However, the visor’s software displays data in a clearer manner than Systems Alliance gear does. It is also less specific to Human visual perceptions (particularly colours).


The music playlist on Shepard’s visor reveals why she’s such a terrible dancer and mediocre bass guitarist. 80% of it is syrupy love ballads from 15 years ago with no beat to them. She’s this era’s equivalent of Chris de Burgh  fan, and not the four good songs either (I counted).

Most of the rest is the giga-hit compilation album Love Themes From Vænia – from the interminable, blockbuster Asari romantic movie saga. On the side are three cheap, formulaic historical romance audiobooks that can reasonably be called bodice rippers.

There’s also Great Romances of Asari History which somehow manages to be even schmaltzier and less historically accurate than the Human stuff. Seriously, it’s terrible. Don’t buy it.


There’s a new and improved Commander Shepard quickly emerging from the ordeal that was her resurrection. It is a woman of steel, tougher than even the living legend and war heroine she was before her death. Much of her previous characterisation reasserts itself, but there are notable differences.

Shepard is markedly more expressive, animated and spontaneous than before. For instance she smiles regularly whereas she seldom did before. Her manner is more direct than that of the perpetually serene Commander Shepard of old.

She has a form of brash confidence that contrasts with her calm, analytical demeanour ante-mortem. But this comes in spurts and her general modus operandi remains deliberate and thoughtful.

Commander Shepard on Horizon

This seems tied to seeing a much younger woman in the mirror. That makes her feel more vital and less interested in projecting an air of wisdom. Her tone also tends to be less curt and her voice can be softer than before. She’s not currently a military officer, and is thus less in “giving orders to everyone all the time” mode.

Some of her remarks might even called little jokes. Yet Shepard retains her famous “Asari sense of humour”, so they tend to just be gently sarcastic remarks and segues.

Whether she could tell an actual joke to save her life remains uncertain. But she now does a bit of friendly ribbing and is the straight man in a sort of low-key comedy duo with Garrus.

Paragon faltering, part 1

Shep is also more roguish and pragmatic. She’s more willing to employ violence, deceit and compromise if she’s confident that it’s worth it. Her knee-jerk reflexes about her Spectre authority being contested are also arguably worse. To the point of ordering — in forceful terms — C-Sec cops to scram as their racist behaviour toward a Quarian vagrant incensed her.

Her patience with sexism is about as developed as her patience with racism. If annoyed enough she might end up pointing out that she has a much larger pair of figurative balls than pretty much anyone else.

There are even little spurts of half-macho, half-hoydenish behaviour such as drunkenly insisting she can out-drink anybody, delivering Dirty Harry-style threats or unsubtle insistence that her gun is bigger and longer than the other guy’s.

These “marine moments” are rare, though, and usually happen when she’s the only woman around.

Commander Shepard also acts like an over-the-top super-macho tough guy when dealing with Krogans. But this is to bridge cultural differences – this is just how Krogans roll. Thanks to her friend Wrex, Shepard understands the basics of Krogan cultures. She knows how they respect women with a quad (a common Krogan slang term with numerous meanings, based on the males of the species having four testicles).

Commander Shepard actually likes all the posturing, bragging, headbutting and aggression of “acting Krogan”. It’s pretty fun.

Paragon faltering, part 2

Part of these evolutions is increased confidence in her capabilities. Part of this is a slow drift away from her pure and shining moral centre. Part of this is a reaction to a bad experience in 2183  when she had to let hostages die to prevent terrorists from escaping to launch another genocidal plot.

This incident broke a little something within Shepard – who had always managed to turn “no good choice” situations on their head before. It started a slow spiral where the ends justify the means.

Still, while the metal has its corroded spots, Commander Shepard remains a knight in shining armour. Her ethics remains miles above that of most action heroes. While she could conceivably go bad, her affiliation with Cerberus ironically pushed her toward resuming ethical impeccability like before her death. She doesn’t want to resemble the Illusive Man.

The more time passed, the more Commander Shepard’s proximity to nuances of grey receded. This seemed to be directly correlated with her growing understanding of how the Illusive Man thought — and how she could conceivably become him.

Paragon faltering, part 3

A typical Shepard moment occurs on Omega. She and two of her operators are infiltrating a mercenary operation by posing as expendable cannon fodder. After signing on, Commander Shepard spots a swaggering young man who also intends to sign on.

Confronting him she realises that he’s just a kid with a 50 credits pistol and an overblown sense of machismo. She then grabs his pistol and wrecks the feeding mechanism, preventing him from joining the mercenaries as a freelancer.

One day later, the young man learns that the situation he intended to join exploded into all-out war where nearly everybody died. He would almost certainly have been slaughtered by Shepard and her fire team if he had been recruited.

The Dirty Dozen, part 1

Commander Shepard’s management style has changed. She’s the one going out and recruiting, instead of being approached by volunteers. The type of persons she approaches are also closer to being mercenaries, and are generally more self-centred and lawless that her previous team.

At first glance, what she does is a straightforward “I’ll scratch your back and you’ll scratch mine” deal. The recruits usually get a lot of cash from Cerberus, but the core of the deal is that if they help Shepard on her mission, she’ll help them back on a job of their choice.

The Commander now has quite a reputation. Thus, “Shepard promises to help” is understood to mean “the situation will be solved but good”. Though some recruits are initially sceptical, their doubts recede as they see her at work.

Commander Shepard talks with her mentor Captain Anderson on the Citadel

An important component of the deal is that the main mission under Commander Shepard’s command is very high-risk, and that team members should thus prepare for their likely death. As the squaddies make preparations for their possible demise, Shepard’s offer of help becomes a chance to put right something important in their life. Something they want to see fixed before they brave overwhelming odds.

With the ultimate soldier and leader at their side, they can address situations they never could have handled otherwise.

This is the deal as Cerberus and the recruits understand it. As it turns out, there’s a third layer.

The Dirty Dozen, part 2

What Commander Shepard actually intends to do is to take this collection of world-class badasses and change them into *her* team. She makes them permanently loyal to her, and turns them into her personal friends.

Like with Garrus, Wrex, Liara, etc. she’s turning highly talented operators into big goddamn heroes. These will carry on being a major force for good even after her death. Having been led by Commander Shepard to form the very shield defending the galaxy is a life-changing experience.

Shepard being Shepard, the manipulation is that there’s no manipulation. She’s sincerely, openly 100% there for her crew, treating them as if they were already her friends no matter what and offering her unmitigated support and benevolence.

Backed by her charisma and intelligence this is difficult to resist. And there’s a snowball effect as team members see what Commander Shepard does for the others and her sheer problem-solving power (occasionally without things exploding).

Most of her tactical crew comes to sincerely trust her. They thus realise that the real contract was that Shepard would make her pack of badasses into better persons.

The ties that bind, part 1

Since Commander Shepard is fielding a larger team this time — she needs a lot of firepower to take on the Collectors — she has a lot of people to juggle. Her relationships with her operatives thus tends to follow specific themes, since she can’t spend that much time with them.

Kasumi Gōtō (callsign Master Thief)

Kasumi quickly becomes a close, genuine friend. She always admired Shepard and wanted to meet her, and the Commander soon does her two big solids just because she’s on her crew. Kasumi adopts the role of the bubbly, supportive, fun-loving, young-at-heart best friend. And being an insatiable gossip, she tells her everything that happens aboard the Normandy.

In those few occasions where Shepard has genuinely free time and can relax, she’s usually with Kasumi. Gōtō has claimed the role of Commander Shepard’s instructor in civilian habits (such as wearing more feminine clothing and gaining a knowledge of the arts), a project with which both women are having a lot of fun. Kasumi nearly died of laughter over Shepard’s first attempts to learn how to sit whilst wearing a short skirt.

Garrus Vakarian (callsign Archangel)

Garrus has been through some difficult experiences and initially preferred to be alone. But Shepard and Vakarian are close friends and siblings in arms. They often send small signals to each other that they will always be able to count on each other.

When they work together Garrus enjoys making deadpan remarks that make Commander Shepard laugh. And Shepard made it clear that she respects his need to brood but will not let him fall into bitterness, anger or depression. For a while, Vakarian and Shepard are essentially cheering each other up so Garrus will get over the death of his team and Mandala will get over her depression about Liara.

As Shepard realises that Garrus is only pretending to recover from his experience on Omega, she takes a more direct hand in the life of her friend. Thus she proves once again that she’s the best there is at what she does – and what she does is pretty cool.

Miranda Lawson (callsign Prodigal)

Miranda is Commander Shepard’s main lieutenant, as well as her liaison with Cerberus. Shepard soon realises that Lawson’s glacial, bitchy attitude stems from a tragic life and serious personal issues. She relentlessly treats Lawson as a person and a friend rather than a resource and a tool.

As Commander Shepard becomes what Lawson always craved — a trusted peer and a faithful friend — Miranda starts hesitating about which of the two towering figures — Commander Shepard or the Illusive Man — she should align with.

Commander Shepard establishing a rapport

Zaeed Massani (callsign Veteran)

Massani initially had a poor relationship with Shepard. But they worked things out and Massani has decided that Commander Shepard would be the one he would transmit his experience to in his twilight years. Shepard came to call him “Ammi Massani” (somewhere between “Mister Massani” and “Uncle Massani”, depending on local Arabics).

They often have beers and long after hours conversation about special operations.

Massani even provided Commander Shepard with moral support during times of poor morale over Liara T’soni, though Kasumi, Garrus and Miranda later shouldered most of that role. As Shepard’s doubts about whether she made the optimal calls during her first mission with Massani grow, the distance between her and Massani increases again.

Grunt (callsign… Grunt)

Grunt, being very young, is a simple person and easily pleased. And Commander Shepard knows enough about Krogan cultures to figuratively speak his language. After his rite of passage into adulthood, Grunt matter-of-factly states that Shepard is his battlemaster. In his culture, this is a sort of combination warlord and martial arts master to whom one can pledge allegiance.

Commander Shepard wants Grunt to live among his own for a while — specifically the clan of her friend Wrex, who agreed to take Grunt in — so he can mature normally when the mission is over. Shepard is patient with Grunt’s unrelenting need to fight. She’s aware that while he’s smart and exceptionally well-spoken, he’s a kid in many ways and has to learn more about being Krogan.

Dr. Mordin Solus (callsign Professor)

Commander Shepard plays a key role in Mordin’s life. She’s a trusted moral authority Mordin can confide into about the cross he bears. She gives him a shot at again playing a major role in saving the galaxy. And the good doctor finds the mission to be very exciting and stimulating. Being with Shepard is just like the good old days with the STG, cranked to 11.

Mordin knows from the get-go that he can trust Commander Shepard, presumably from her STG file. He seems proud to work with her. Shepard plays an almost priest-like role for Dr. Solus as he struggles with ethical issues from his past. This is because she’s one of the few persons concretely tangling with issues as weighty and far-reaching as Dr. Solus does.

Her slightly corroded idealism inspires Mordin, who aspires to lift his own pragmatism to greater ethical heights.

Jacob Taylor (callsign Operative)

Jacob has the most hierarchical and military relationship with Commander Shepard among the team. He is a disciplined professional with immense respect for Shepard. He is one of Commander Shepard’s trusted lieutenants to lead another team in the field. But they have no special affinities outside of work.

Shepard further made a few passes at Jacob while she was disoriented after her resurrection. And while Jacob understands that Commander Shepard was not acting like herself he keeps her at arm’s length due to a previous experience with Miranda Lawson.

Subject Zero (callsign Convict, usually called Jack)

jack is thoroughly puzzled by Shepard’s attitude toward her. This is due to her limited frame of reference. Commander Shepard relentlessly skirts just at the fringe of Jack’s comfort zone to convince her that she’s her friend. Jack warily growls at her as she’s too paranoid to easily accept Shepard’s friendship.

This is a long and difficult process. But Commander Shepard knows that she will eventually teach Jack how to relate to people in a non-toxic way. Mandala is horrified by what has been done to Subject Zero, and considers it her personal responsibility to put Jack on the path toward healing and overcoming her trauma.

Asari booty got soul, Asari Maidens love to rock ’n’ roll

Shepard misses Dr. T’soni terribly. She thinks about her all the time and this makes her feel miserable and lonely.

Some of her behaviour is clearly depressive. She stares at Asari Maidens in the street who have glitter-like crown patterns like Liara’s, she drags Zaeed Massani in squalid, dangerous bars where she gets drunk ogling the Asari dancers, she mopes over the four photos she has of Dr. T’soni, and she once impulsively bought an alien porn mag since the centerfold model looked vaguely like Liara.

Commander Shepard may also be developing an alcohol problem over T’soni, since her body filters mostly ignore ethanol.

Though Shepard and T’soni lived together for but a few weeks, frequent psychic melding gave them precise, intimate knowledge of each other’s feelings. It also gave the certainty that they wished to be together for as long as possible.

The relationship was past sweet and well into saccharine. Both had heavy schedules to keep and were aware that they didn’t have much time to spend together given how often Commander Shepard got shot at. They thus went long on attentions and ponies-and-rainbows tenderness.

This was jarring for their friends, since after a week or so Shepard and T’soni were behaving as if they had been living together for months if not years. They shared habits, mannerisms and references, occasionally finished each other’s sentences, knew each other’s preferences and reflexes, communicated with but a glance, etc.

Romantic dreams

By the time of her death Commander Shepard was nudging the idea of marriage in Liara’s direction. That was precisely because she lived a life of danger and might die at any point. While the idea of Shepard’s death always made Dr. T’soni clam up, the Commander wanted her to have a military widow’s pension and rights when the inevitable came.

She also wanted Liara to be mentioned in history books as Commander Shepard’s wife, not listed in a sidebar as one of her crew. Shepard doesn’t care much about her own place in History, but wants Dr. T’soni to be remembered even if her role is less flashy than Shepard’s.

Being a big softie and a romantic, Commander Shepard also has stock fantasies of starting a home and a family and raising little blue daughters in a big nice house (maybe on Elysium or Eden-Prime – or an Asari colony world ?). But she knows that her odds of getting to do that are minimal.


Joker (trying to cheer Shepard up): “C’mon Commander you’ll see it’ll be great ! Better than old times !”
Shepard: “I hope so. I died.”

“I am Commander Shepard, and this is my favourite store on the Citadel.”

“Look. You want this solved. I solve problems. That’s what I do. Let me in and I’ll get this district straightened out.”

“I’m going to stop the Reapers, but I won’t sacrifice the soul of our species to do it.”

Miranda: “I’m impressed, Shepard. So far things have gone exceptionally well. As Cerberus operations go, this is one of the best I’ve been a part of.”
Shepard (with a friendly smile): “Maybe that’s because it’s not a Cerberus operation.”

Shepard (in an assertive-yet-soothing tone): “Look. I know you’re scared. Of the Vorchas. Of the plague. But this man isn’t to blame. He isn’t spreading the plague. He came to Vorcha territory. They’re immune. Why would he come here ?”
Batarian gunman (animatedly stops pointing his shotgun at Shepard): “She’s right. It makes no sense.”

(Seeing a guard beat up a helpless prisoner) “This degrades you as much as him. Stop this. For your own sake.” (The guard shrugs, but leaves the prisoner alone and goes away.)

(When interviewed about the Battle of the Citadel, ramrod-straight and with some anger) “The Alliance lost eight cruisers. Shenyang. Emden. Jakarta. Cairo. Seoul. Cape Town. Warsaw. Madrid. And yes, I remember them all. Everyone in the Fifth Fleet is a hero. The Alliance owes them all medals. The Council owes them a lot more than that. And so do you.”

Shepard (interrupting a Krogan shaman, with exaggerated swagger): “Enough words. Tell us where the enemy is and he will die.”
Shaman: “AH ! I like this Human ! She understands !”

“I’m listening.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Staff Commander Shepard

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 06 Motivation: Upholding Good
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Spectre
Inf: 09 Aur: 09 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 026 HP: 120

Enchantment: 01, Kinetic absorption (Structural damage only): 05, Regeneration: 02, Skin armour: 02, Systemic antidote: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Enchantment can only be used on a projectile-based weapon’s attack power (usually Projectile Weapons or Shotgun Blast), but can be maintained as long as this weapon is being used.
  • Enchantment is a biotic ability, and the extra AP doesn’t work against ME2 Defenses of the Shield type.
  • Power Loss – Enchantment requires a specially-designed induction equipment connected to a weapon modified to route the Dark Energy to its projectiles.
  • Regeneration receives a special +10 Bonus when it comes to recovering from surgical procedures.
  • Skin armour only works vs. blunt, unarmed and structural damage.

Acrobatics (Climbing, Dodging): 04, Artist (Bass guitar, singing): 01, Charisma: 10, Detective (Identification systems): 05, Gadgetry: 04, Martial artist: 06, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Blitz, camouflage, cartography, danger recognition, demolition, field command): 06, Thief (Stealth): 04, Thief (Locks & Safes, Security systems): 06, Vehicles (Land, Water): 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 08, Weaponry (Heavy): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Gadgetry is limited to maintenance, repair and power user operations.
  • Shepard receives a +2CS penalty to all OV/RVs if she attempts to use Artist (Dancer) Unskilled in campaigns that allow for it.

Area Knowledge (Milky Way galaxy), Attractive, Combat Shield Restoration, Conditional Soaking (Blunt attacks), Credentials (Council Spectre), Expertise (Military protocols and equipment, Special military operations, Military intelligence operations, Military instruction), Familiarity (Earth history, Galactic history, Wilderness survival, Military history, Zero-G combat, Asari lore, Basic knowledge of quarian and krogan societies), Gift of Gab, Headquarters (Expansive – SSV Normandy SR2), Iron Nerves, Language (Khmer, Prothean, Council Trade, and some military vocabulary in Brazilian Portuguese, Tagalog, Standard Arabic, Russian and the major asari language), Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (Her fans and admirers), Luck, Schtick (Double-tapping).

Bonuses and Limitations:
Attractive is limited to compensating for negative reaction modifiers from most Asari whom Shepard meets.

Illusive Man (Low), Councillor Anderson (High), Admiral Hackett of the Alliance Fifth Fleet (Low), Crew of the Normandy SR-2 (High), Dr. Liara T’soni (High), Aria T’loak (Low), Captain Bailey of Citadel Security (Low), Grissom Academy (Low).

Guilt (over Dr. Liara T’soni), early on a Creepy Appearance (glowing scars) that quickly fades.


  • HIGH-END ARMOUR WITH HIGH-END MEDICAL SYSTEMS [BODY (Hardened) 10 /BODY/ 04, Cling: 04, Cold immunity: 03, Flame immunity: 03, Invulnerability: 05, Lightning immunity: 03, ME2 Defense (Shield): 22, Radio communications (Booster): 02, Regeneration: 05, Sealed systems: 12, Shade: 02, Skin armour: 03, Medicine (First aid): 04, Limitations: Cling only works on metallic surfaces and reduces movement speed to 0 APs, Invulnerability takes five minutes per roll, Medicine (First aid) is Self Only, but works automatically, Skin Armour doesn’t work vs. Blunt or Structural damage].
  • BASIC OMNI-TOOL [BODY 01, Data storage: 12, Radio communication: 13, Superspeed: 01, Limitation: Superspeed only for tasks involving processing information using the omni-tool, Misc.: Translation database.
  • M6 Carnifex sidearm [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 07, Range: 04, Ammo: 6, R#02, Rec. STR 03, Drawback: Shield and Barrier RV is considered one CS higher against this weapon, Limitation: Projectile weapon has No Range, use the listed Range instead].
  • Rebuilt “săt sănbòm“ M-96 Mattock [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 09, Ammo: 16, Telescopic vision: 02, R#02] w/ “bos’tet-buster” coax gun [BODY 01, Sharpness (Projectile weapons) (only against Kinetic Shields): 02, Sharpness (Projectile weapons) (only against synthetics and robots): 02, Limitation : the second Sharpness is a Mass Effect field] and “Massani special” underslung shotgun [BODY 03, Stagger: 08, Projectile weapon: 07, Bonus: Stagger is Combined with Projectile Weapons and ride its Range, Stagger has Scattershot, Limitation: Can only be fired every third Phase].
  • Geth “plasma shotgun” [BODY 04, Energy blast (Diminishing): 09, Range: 04, Ammo: 05, Schtick (Double-tapping), R#03, Drawback: Heavy Armour RV is considered one CS higher against this weapon, Limitation: Energy blast has No Range, use the Range listed instead].
  • M-92 Mantis sniper rifle [BODY 02, Projectile weapons: 11, Ammo: 01, Telescopic vision: 04, R#03, Drawback: Slow reload].
  • ML-100 Grenade Launcher [BODY 03, Bomb: 12, Range: 04, R#03, Ammo: 15].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Mass Effect video game trilogy.

Helper(s): Darci, The Red Baron.

Writeup revised on the 16th of December, 2012.

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