Mass Effect: Stardust
“There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own, you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension.” – “Sovereign”, Reaper dreadnought
The Reapers – a colloquialism refering to an all-powerful AI species which relentlessly pursues the destruction of all organic life in the galaxy – are a concept that defies definition in modern galactic life, beyond direct comparison to the geth (which are able to be engaged in a classic fashion). The idea of an “all-consuming, life-ending AI race from beyond the stars” is a little ridiculous; an idea disregarded by all but the most enthusiastic of maniacs.
Commander Shepard, a human Spectre, claims to have battled the Reapers, and these claims were given some weight due to the attack of the dreadnought known as “Sovereign” on the Citadel, but skepticism mounts against the idea of “Reapers” being an actual thing in the galaxy. Common belief places Sovereign’s identity more along the line of a geth flagship of some sort, and nothing more.
It is extremely unlikely that any PCs would believe in Reapers, as little proof beyond strangely shared cultural boogeymen suggests the presence of such beings. They are incomprehensible, and at this time, their existance is chalked up to being the unverified rantings of a hot-headed human Spectre. Still, many beings witnessed the attack of Sovereign on the Citadel, and it isn’t unbelievable that belief has begun to grow among some circles.
PCs who feel that their characters would have some comprehension of the patterns and common threads between all races’ fears of tentacley space monsters from beyond the stars can make a “Formidable” Lore Knowledge skill check or an “Impossible” Xenology Knowledge skill check to see if they can put into words some of what they know, but beware: with such a fascination comes extreme danger.
Players in this game should consider their characters lucky to be extremely unlikely to meet Reapers at the time period the game takes place in, though they may be discovered building a presence in some of the fringe places of the galaxy. Due to the Reaper method of combat, it is theoretically possible that PCs may meet entirely new forms of Reaper ground forces if they do happen to encounter them.
“You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.”