RPR Archive BESM (Big Eyes, Small Mouth) Planning and Testing Thread

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by RC-1215, Dec 21, 2008.

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  1. RC-1215 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2008
    star 1
    Howdy folks, with the permission of the moderator SaintHeart, I have another type of die-based roleplaying system to bring to your humble roleplaying forum in hopes of gathering (and improving) roleplayers that make up the small anime fanbase.

    Big Eyes, Small Mouth, or BESM, is GUARDIANS OF ORDER?s flagship publication ? the multigenre Japanese anime and manga role-playing game. First nominated for the 1998 Origins Award, which recognizes excellence in role-playing game design, BESM has recently been expanded and updated to a 288-page, full-colour SECOND EDITION. In a single volume, BESM provides you with the tools you need to create dynamic characters, settings, and adventures that are limited only by the boundaries of your imagination. Whether you want to play a young girl with magical powers, a ruggedly handsome mecha pilot ace, or an ancient elemental force that feeds on human fears, BESM puts the power of creation in your hands.

    From here I'll help in giving some information on what to expect (as most is extracted directly from the books I have at my disposal) as well as how to create characters. It's all very easy and runs on a slightly different system as many die based games you may have encountered before.

    The Tri-Stat System

    The character creation and conflict resolution game mechanics used in BESM is called the Tri-Stat System. This introduction to anime role-playing also serves as a manual of game conventions for this game system: characters? base abilities are governed by three Stat values; character points are spent to gain special powers; players roll two six-sided dice to determine an action?s success or failure; dice rolls are modified up or down to reflect an action?s difficulty; rolling low is better than rolling high.

    The advantage of using the Tri-Stat System for a wide variety of games is cross-genre compatibility. For example, a character that you created using Big Eyes, Small Mouth could be transplanted from your game into an adventure in the Sailor Moon RPG universe. Similarly, a Tenchi Muyo! RPG character could be used in an El Hazard RPG story plot, and vice versa. As you can see, all books that use the Tri-Stat System function as game supplements for all others in the Tri-Stat game network! Big Eyes, Small Mouth is the core product that ties all of the other anime RPGs together, which is of course what we will use for the basis of the game itself.

    This is a trial run of course, and we'll do walkthroughs of character creation, combat, and general roleplaying over cross-genres with characters of original designs from any anime that you may wish to make a character from (Tenchi, Ghost in the Shell, Hellsing, the possibilities are nearly endless).

    Playing Big Eyes, Small Mouth

    BESM is a multi-genre anime game that can accommodate nearly any setting or time period. The rules are simple to use and thus do not afford a high level of detail. The tast resolution and combat system were designed to capture the fast-moving nature of anime action. This element is one of the central strengths of the game, making BESM ideal for either the novice or experienced role-player. Nevertheless, the role-playing interactions between the GM and the players, as well as between the players themselves, are the primary focus of Big Eyes, Small Mouth and, to this end, the game?s rule mechanics are straightforward. BESM offers a wide array of options, not complexity.

    Character Creation

    The design of your new anime character should involve a thoughtful collaboration between you and the Game Master. Your objective is to create a character who is fun to play, has plenty of reason to adventure, and who fits into the GM?s campaign. In BESM, you can choose to spend as little as ten minutes designing a character or upwards of an hour. The difference lies in the amount of detail and individuality given to your character. At no time du
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    BUGGER! Of all the times to own the d20 version rather than the Tri-Stat... :_|

    However, if you're willing to help with character creation, I don't see any reasons why this couldn't work. Underlying mechanics certainly help alleviate power-playing.
  3. RC-1215 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2008
    star 1
    Of course I am willing to help with character creation, otherwise, what would the point of making this thread be?
  4. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Touché.

    I suppose, then, the second thing that comes to mind would be the ultimate goal of the thread. Obviously the ease of implementation of the BESM core rules is the crux, but to what end? Is there a particular anime you have in mind, or merely an anime-style RP in a unique universe?

    In any case I'm game for this learning/experimenting experience.
  5. blubeast1237 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    Count me in also.

    Though I'm still confused about the "switching between any anime/game" part.:confused:

    -B-
  6. RC-1215 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2008
    star 1
    darthramza: What I had planned to do was something more cross-genre, seeing as players couldn't necessarily play the heroes/villains of a particular anime (but I could use them to explain later examples as well) they would pick a genre they know well enough on their own, create their own character to fit into that universe (and with the help of a game supplement that actually suggests this), brings the characters together in a more believable way (perhaps akin to Dubya_Scott's Exiles game, which upon further reading say I enjoyed for the most part.)

    Needless to say, the universe the players go to is unique in an anime-style way, and the characters themselves are the ones who are out-of-place.

    blubeast1237: How can I best explain this... hmm. The way the Tri-Stat system works is your character, no matter how unique to a certain universe, would be able to go on-par with characters from other universes without there being a major gap in skill and power. With the character creation points allotted, anyone in a different universe who shares your level of skill is no better than you, and those with a moderate increase in their skill level are certainly going to be more challenging opponents.
  7. TheManinBlack Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2007
    star 4
    Personally I wanted to write up a massive One Piece game and can't wait to see this get done.

    Charles Atlas Super Power GO!!!!!
  8. LightWarden Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    So, the good news is that Guardians of Order produced a "TriStat dX" pdf and hosted it on their website that basically provided a free overview of the system and the powers and such so that people could build their characters, relying on the GMs to buy setting books and stat books and such, basically the equivalent to the SRD that we use in D&D.

    The bad news is that two years ago, GoO folded under their debts and the company website went kaput.

    The good news is that BESM 3rd edition was picked up and published by ArtHaus, a company that publishes under White Wolf.

    The bad news is that this is ArtHaus, a company that produces such stellar releases as Pimp: The Backhanding, and The Book of Erotic Fantasy. Ok, so they also publish World of Warcraft RPG books, but my point is that they haven't actually done anything with the series aside from release the book that GoO poured all their effort into. In fact, the 3rd edition book isn't even available at White Wolf's online website.

    Essentially you're running a game in a system that's not supported anymore. Not that something like that has stopped the Star Wars d6 guys, but it means that there's more pressure on you for creating things. Though, on the bright side, there are people who still keep the free pdf online.

    On the subject of creating things, right now you're not exactly giving me the best of feelings. If you're going to start a game in this forum for the sake of teaching others the rules, you might have more luck with it if you had a specific idea in mind. Sure, you could have a "go here, fight enemies" thing, but it won't really capture the imagination of your players as if you'd actually developed some sort of setting or plot. I don't recommend mimicking Exiles if you're just going to have a random encounter generator. If you want an anime-esque game, it's all about your style, but you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't have something interesting to form the backbone of your plot and world.
  9. Saintheart Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    He does have a particular scenario in mind, Light -- he spoke briefly with me about it before putting up the thread. I won't blow the surprise by saying what it is, but it raised my eyebrows a little.

    For my part, I'm interested. I know next to zip about anime (bibliography of Starblazers, Ninja Scroll, and G-Force, yay) but I love eastern-themed games. And as you probably know, katanas are just better. :D
  10. RC-1215 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2008
    star 1
    Thankfully in the book that I have, it provides a rather-detailed starter adventure that accomodates every genre out there (I'll list them now so everyone can get a feel of where their characters could fall into, although everyone probably knows these genres or are vaguely familiar with them.) This adventure itself I plan to use as a base and build a series of adventures off of that using that particular setting.

    Mecha, magical girl, hero team (sentai), martial arts, sports anime, exotic girlfriend, interdimensional exiles, supernatural action, samurai or ninja action, swords and sorcery, weird conspiracy, and pet monster.


    If there would be any genre that sticks out the most (or maybe a combination of genres, as many anime nowadays can fall into) that is the point of this planning thread: to plan.

    I don't plan on mimicking Exiles verbatum, nor do I plan to use it any more than a staple for the way a game like this should be run.

    And as with all who have expressed interest, LightWarden your information on GoO and the semi-callous commentary only serve in making me work my hardest in order to make a game like this strive and pull through.

    On another note, I'll be giving character creation examples, and should anyone have a particular type of character in mind, I'd be happy to work with all of you in this thread upon creating your character and offer some GM-friendly advice via PM on the littler portions of creating a BESM character.
  11. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I'm most interested in seeing how Tri-Stat handles Mechas, because it will probably be very different from the d20 version, and I just like giant robots.:D

    Glad to see there's an overarching theme, btw.
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