Right let's talk about a game i have lots of fond memories of, a game that
sucks donkey balls
Namely BESM2e, this will mostly be a mechanical review because BESM is sort of the exemplar of poorly thought out unplaytested rules because the people making it just didn't care. (The designers have literally said as much.)
I specifically have the revised version in front of me which is slimmer and fixes some issues with the unrevised version. Don't worry, the most obvious fix i will mention when i reach it.
Let's dig in shall we.
The book opens with "What is Anime?", A list of anime genres(all of which the game fails at emulating to varying degrees), and "What is roleplaying?".
Next up we get to charecter creation, yay!
Step 1 is GM disscussion, a good step 1 IMHO. Notable however is the power levels to point values, this thing LIES as you will see i can make Light Yagami on 30 CP, but vampires cost 60(Shit you not, the vampire template in there races&monsters book is 60CP). The only real power level in this game is how badly you break the system.
Also there is an example, it involves catgirl pirates.
Step 2 charecter outline is boring, no one cares.
Step 3 Assign stats!
Finally mechanics! now i can start hating this system properly! In fact the entire rest of this post is going to be about how terrible the stat system is.
Let's start with the stats themselves, they are body, mind and soul.
They all let you roll for things, and this is shitty for two reasons.
One you roll 2d6 and try to roll under your stat, human average is 4(and god is 12), do you see a problem? Yes human average is Complete and total shit . with a whopping 16% chance of success at a standard task, and standard tasks are basically on scale with the "Standard difficulty" of your favorite game(So DC15 in d20, no penalties in GURPs etc.), so in 2e we get the massive rules patch that is skills! you know instead of having a non-shitty system we add a subsystem to patch it.
Second problem? Soul is rolled for god damn everything. GOD, DAMN, EVERYTHING, because anything that isn't immediatly obviously under body or mind is actually soul. Resistance to mind control? Soul. Willpower? Soul. Luck? Soul. Charisma? Soul? Psionics? Soul.
Since were on the topic of soul's god stat status let's talk about health and energy. Each point of body gives 5 hp, hp is fucking hp run out and you go unconscious. Each point of mind gives 5 ep, which is used for magic/psionics i mean there's a rule about using 5ep to add +1 to a stat roll but no one ever remembers that anyways.
Each point of soul gives 5 points of both .
A diversion from the actual text for a moment. In BESM1E there was a split between stat points and character points, so your core competency was separate from your cool shit, this was good, except there were attributes(Fortified Body, Powerful Mind, and Strong Soul) that increased your stats which ruined the whole point of them being separate. So in 2E they merged CP&SP. While an elegant solution it is the wrong one, the correct one was to remove the ability to convert character points into stats at all.
Stat stacking is the newbie spoiler strategy of BESM2e, having say Body 9, Mind 9, Soul 12 costs all of 30 CP, and makes a pretty effective character. At least until you start cheesing the fuck out of the game to hell and back, but we'll get into how to do that later. Even if you do cheese the game to hell and back you still need reasonable stats to be effective, and if your stats are below the 6-8 range then it's pretty much always the best thing you can do with your points.
Then we get into the types of attributes, basically the easiest way to flavor any particular special attribute. No complaints here, this is a very nice thing to have for this sort of system.
Then a thing about house ruling shit.
Then we have a long long list of all the special attributes and there point costs per level, which will be the real meat of my review because i am going to review literally every single attribute, because Fuck, this, game .
So I have three hours to kill have an update.
BESM SUX BALLS Part 2 FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN YOUR ATTRIBUTES! (Soul is still broken)
Animal Friendship- 1Cp/lvl, make a soul roll to befriend an animal even a hostile one! Each level after the first gives... -1 to the soul roll, so literally strictly worse than just pouring more points in soul. Still a good 1 point wonder.
Appearance- 1Cp/lvl This does nothing until lvl4! Then it gives art of distraction equal to lvl minus 3. Half the party will still have it.
Art of Distraction- 1Cp/lvl Make a soul roll, unless you use sex appeal from Appearance then you can roll body. If you succeed you can distract a group of people with a magnitude based on your level, at lvl1 this distracts one person, at lvl6 this distracts -1,000- this brings us to a constant issue with the attributes, they scale exponentially so your usually better off just stacking them.
Astral Projection- 3Cp/lvl This makes you an astral entity, your invisible and can't attack or be attacked except by telepathy and mind control. Level determines how fast you go in this state from normal speed to 10kx speed. Now this brings us to another constant problem with the attributes there's a lot of cool attributes that are all balanced with each other, the problem is...there not worth the stat points.
Aura of Command- 1Cp/lvl this is a lot like Art of Distraction except strictly worse because that specifically mentions it can motivate people!
Combat Mastery- 2Cp/lvl this raises your ACV&DCV by 1, except there normally calculated by sum of stats / 3. Yeah.
Damn Healthy!- 1Cp/lvl It gives you 10 more hp per level, or you know you could just buy more stats.
Dimensional Portal- 2,3,4Cp/lvl It makes a portal 2 points a level makes it a fixed point(who cares?) 3 points a level makes it a portable object, 4 points a level just lets you make portals where the fuck ever. Level 1 gives you a suitcase sized dimension(so my magic suitcase for 3cp opens into a...suitcase?) level 6 gives us a fucking CITY.
Divine Relationship- 1Cp/lvl This lets you reroll any roll once per level each session, this is totally worth the points, and would be the best defensive advantage in the game point for point if Area Attacks didn't exist. Lucky hats for everyone!
Dynamic Sorcery- 4Cp/lvl Make a soul roll and spend some EP to...well it's undefined there's a scale listed from cantrip(lvl1) to PLOT(lvl6) so basically this attribute either sucks huge donkey balls or is utterly broken depending on the players ability to work over the GM. Just take Magic/Psionics, god.
Elasticity- 1Cp/lvl This lets you stretch and contort your limbs, only has two levels, level one affects one limb, level two affects your whole body. That's right being mr.fantastic is worth 2 Cp!
Electronic Counter Measures- 1Cp/lvl can jam sensors, communications or homing attacks in a radius based on level, lvl6 lets you affect a planet, fuck the internet!
Energy Bonus- 1Cp/lvl it gives 10 Ep per level, useful if you have magic/psionics! except you know you can just BUY MORE SOUL.
Environmental Control- 1,2CP/lvl Can create Light, Darkness, Silence, Temperature or Weather in a region, level determines how large an area you can affect. Six points to shroud the continental US in eternal darkness or winter? Sure why not?
Exorcism- 1Cp/lvl Used to banish monsters and spirits, you make a soul check with a bonus equal to your lvl, they make a soul check with a penalty equal to your lvl to resist, if you succeed they can't attack for a round and lose lvl*5 energy at 0 energy there banished. It's ok.
Extra Arms- 1Cp/lvl You have extra arms... upto 50 at lvl6. Try to convince the GM this lets you make 25 extra attacks!
Extra Attacks- 4Cp/lvl FUCK, THIS, ATTRIBUTE. It is broken and bad and breaks the game. Lets you get an extra attack per rank, therefore monopolizing combat time.
Features or Accessories- 1Cp/lvl basically lets you have minor cool stuff, one at lvl1 and 50 at lvl6(there's that exponential problem.)
Flight- 3,4Cp/lvl Lets you MFing FLY BITCH, for 4 points a level you can actually hover, level4+ lets you break atmosphere if you have space flight, you get a 1cp discount if you can -only- hover and a 2cp discount if you can -only- glide(yeah fuck that)
Flunkies- 1Cp/lvl this lets you have a number of 10cp bitches, from one bitch at lvl1 to 20 bitches at lvl6.
Focused Damage- 1Cp/lvl This boosts your damage by 5 per level with one specific combat form. In other words 99% of the time! Yeah it's good, we'll get to HOW good when i do weapon attacks.
Force field- 2,3,4Cp/lvl Blocks 15/damage level from all attacks, but any attack that penetrates the force field reduces it by one level. Pretty elegant actually. 3CP version is personal, 4CP version is extendable, 2CP version is a wall(Good times!), there's also a list of advantages/disadvantages for your force field that increase/decrease it's effective level, the worst being shield only which means it only works when you fail a defense roll by 1. Oh and uses energy which is A)pointless because Magic/Psionics exist and B) Strictly worse than just using Magic/Psionics.
Ground speed- 2Cp/lvl Let's you go fast! From being a car at lvl1 to being super sonic at lvl6!
I'll stop here, since my group for today is spamming up skype.
Oh, you can tesseract things much, much worse than that. I don't want to steal WhiteMage's thunder, though, so I'll see if he knows The Trick.
BESM SUX Part 3 POINT WHORING FOR FUN AND PROFIT
Welcome to the part you've all been waiting for, me breaking the game throughly over my knee, but before that a history lesson.
You've probably noticed a lot of the attributes are total shit, because they cost way too god damn much. It's almost as if they were designed on a completely different point scale.
They were .
You see, in BESM1E there were a host of "Cool Powers Attributes" that cost 4cp a level and gave you 10 "cool stuff points" that could be drawn from a special list, These were as a rule thoroughly broken with vanilla characters, but they were pretty balanced in themselves. A Mecha Pilot, Sailor Senshi, Sorceress, and Demon Lord could all go adventuring, do cool shit, and be reasonably balanced. In 2E all of these were made to cost CP directly, making them about 2.5 times as expensive as they used to be.
Am i saying 1E with all the supplements was better than 2e? Yes, that is exactly what i'm saying.
The inheritors of the cool stuff attributes are now instead of being a tool to make the game more fun, just a tool to MASSIVELY BREAK THE GAME IN HALF. Oh a quick note, these can't buy up your stats except for metamorphasis(we'll get to that one) so yeah, buy more Soul kids.
Item of Power is our first point whoring attributes, for 2CP per level we get an item worth 5Cp per level, Pretty straight forward, not a lot to say on this one points go in points go out.
A favorite trick of my old group was the "Lucky Hat", a lvl1 item of power with divine relationship 5.
Magic/Psionics, For 4cp per level you get 10 points that can be spent on spells, so the same ratio as item of power. The "downside" here is that spells cost energy points equal to their character point cost, if the spell is ongoing you have to pay it's cost again every hour.
Metamorphosis, Metamorphosis lets you play shape shifters and senshi, each rank will let you move around 5Cp, or add 5Cp to your character(more powerful forms are temporary), all for the cost of....5Cp per rank. So this is, LITERALLY useless. The senshi mode just makes you suck when outside your senshi form with no other effects, and the shape shifting form is stictly worse than just buying the 5cp worth of stuff. WHY IS THIS A SINGLE ATTRIBUTE ANYWAYS, They're two very distinct concepts.
Own a Big Mecha, 4cp a level gives you 20 mecha points per level, the idea of course is you have a big cumbersome mecha, except OBM doesn't require awkward size consummate to it's level(If it did, this would actually be reasonably non-broken), so go ahead and have a 120point skin tight suit of powered armor!
Servant, 1cp per level gives us a 5cp per level servant, the 2cp per level version lets us change our servant when we wish, but let's be honest you'd rather just have more servants. Of all of these this one scales the worst in higher power campaigns since your only limited to a possible max of 30cp servants, and by "scales the worst" i mean "Is god damn amazing rather than pure stupid"
Now all of these are in themselves perfectly effective ways to break the game and make your GM cry. But that's just not good enough you say? Well, that's ok because you don't have to limit yourself to one level deep, yep that's right you can Stick point whoring attributes inside point whoring attributes . Now mecha forbids us from taking any of the others, but Item of Power and Magic are fair game to abuse everything, as is servant, metamorphosis would be if it didn't suck monkey balls.
So let's go with an example the "Grimoire of Broken Worlds" a lvl6 item of power that has within it countless spells of summoning, that makes perfect flavorful sense.
That's 30 points to spend, so i spend it on magic lvl6, and energy bonus lvl6(to pay for my magic, duh).
With Magic i buy four specific servants at lvl6, and since hey why not let's buy a customizable servant at lvl6 to boot, that leaves us with 24 points leftover, i Buy OWN A BIG MECHA 6.
I'm not going to stat out my servants and the mecha, but i'm looking at 5 30Cp charecters, and a 120 CP mecha, all for the low low price of 12Cp, and said 12Cp comes with the energy i need to abuse this.
Oh and those servants? Could have items of power, servants or magic of their own. Cause WHY THE FUCK NOT!
BESM SUX Part 5 MORE ATTRIBUTES!
Mind Control- 1-4Cp/lvl It's uh mind control, 4 point version lets you affect everyone&everything, 3 point a level lets you affect a broad group(might i suggest humans?), 2&1 point get very specific. You roll mind vs. the average of there mind and soul stats, lvl4+ lets you affect more than one person at a time.
Mind Shield- 1Cp/lvl Increases your effective mind/soul against Mindcontrol&Telepathy, or you could just you know buy more mind&soul.
Natural Weapons- 1Cp/lvl gives you a natural weapon, these are worthless. And yes tentacles are listed, and yes they give bonuses to grappling.
Organizational Ties- 1-3Cp/lvl Gives you access to an organizations resources, cost is based on relevance to campaign(Examples include the student council at 3Cp/lvl). A personal favorite attribute for your servants.
Own A Big Mecha- I've said everything i need to in regards to mecha and it's ability to become infinite.
Personal Gear- BATMAN!
Place of Power- 1Cp/lvl Gives you a place of power that stores 15ep per rank, and the size increases with rank. Might be reasonable for a magic user if you can ensure you'll always be in your place of power(lvl6 gives you a city!).
Precognition- 1-2Cp/lvl Rank one gives you visions every couple of sessions, rank two every session. two CP a level let's you intentionally summon them. Everyone should spend 2Cp to get a vision every session and DRIVE YOUR GM INSANE.
Regeneration- 4Cp/lvl lvl1 makes you regenerate all of 1hp a round when not doing strenuous activity, lvl6 makes you regenerate 1/5th your max hp per round even in combat, yeah way too many damn points.
Reincarnation- 3Cp/lvl Makes you come back from the dead, another "Way too many damn points".
Sensors- 1Cp/lvl Detects shit in a massively stupid radius.
Servant- God i love point whoring!
Shape Change- 2-3Cp/lvl Let's you change superficial details about people, 3 points a level let's you affect others as well. Only has two levels.
Shield- 1Cp/lvl Gives 15 armor/lvl if you fail a defense roll by exactly 1 point, just goes to show how terrible shield only force fields are.
Sixth Sense- 1Cp/lvl Let's you detect a bunch of stuff like "Evil" and "Lies, each rank gives you another adventure breaking sixth sense. Also you can use a soul roll to get more information out of it.
Size Change- 1-2Cp/lvl let's you make things grow or shrink, 2Cp a lvl let's you do both.
Space Flight- 2Cp/lvl Let's you fly in spaaacceeee lvl6 let's you go FTL.
Special Defense- 1Cp/lvl You pick some silly thing like say poison, and at rank one your highly resistant to it and at rank two your immune to it. Might i suggest bullets? or Blades?
Special Movement 1Cp/lvl Let's you pick one special movement mode per rank.
Balance- Never lose your balance.
CatLike- Take half damage from falling and always land on your feet.
Lightfooted- Walk over quicksand and ice at full speed.
Untrackable- Your uh untrackable.
Wall Crawling- You can walk on walls.
Water Walking- Pretend your jesus!
Speed- 1Cp/lvl It's uh, kinda pointless since ground speed exists. It boosts Initiative and is cheaper than ground speed if you have high body i guess.
Spirit Ward- 1Cp/lvl Blocks out supernatural entities and deals damage to them.
Star Flight- 2Cp/lvl It's the FTL transit attribute that leads you go between stars, rank six explicitly means breaking the normal FTL rules your GM set down.
Stealth- 1Cp/lvl i could be stealthy, or i could JUST BE INVISIBLE, or TAKE THE STEALTH SKILL.
Super Strength- 2-3Cp/lvl Let's you lift shit and do more damage with physical attacks.
Swarm- 2Cp/lvl Let's you turn into a number of vermin equal to Rank*Current Hp.
Telekinesis- 1-2Cp/lvl Let's you move stuff WITH YOUR MIND, one point a level gives you something like hydrokinesis.
Telepathy- 1-3Cp/lvl Let's you read thoughts, then add them, then at rank four let's you engage in mind combat. This attribute is a cheaper and more applicable mind control basically. Only affecting humans is only 2Cp/rank too!
Teleport 5, 10Cp/lvl Let's you fucking teleport, there's a safe distance and a max distance which demands a mind roll. Even rank one is pretty fucking good with a safe distance of 10meters and a max distance of 10kilometers. Lvl6 let's you to Jupiter basically. the 10Cp a lvl version let's you bring others.
Transmutation- 1-4Cp/lvl It's full metal alchemist the ability! lvl3 of the 4Cp version will let you do everything they do in that show that doesn't involve the philosophers stone.
Tunneling- 2Cp/lvl It let's you burrow, lvl6 is 100kph.
Water Speed- 2-3Cp/lvl It's for boats and subs and mermaids. 2Cp a level is on the water, 3Cp a level is under the water.
Weapon Attack- Ok kids, this deserves it's own damn post. The things you can do to the game with weapon attack, jeeze.
BESM SUX BALLS Part 6 YOURS IS THE DRILL!
It's time for another in depth look at breakin BESM.
Weapon attack at base costs 4 points per level, and gives us an attack that does 15 damage per level.
There's a rule about alternate attacks, these cost 2 points if there level equals the highest level attack you have, and 1 point if they are one point lower. They did actually remember to mention they still cost 4ep per level with the magic attribute.
Now it's time to get into weapon abilities, each positive ability lowers the attacks damage by 15, each defect increases it's damage by 15. In case you were wondering, yes this makes low level attacks stacked with drawbacks awesome.
Accurate- Gives a -2 to your attack roll. Meh, i could buy two levels of combat mastery with this four points and combat mastery sux.
Affects Incorporeal- Affects astral and insubstantial people.
Area Effect- The best normal ability! It gives the attack an Area radius equal to the damage /3 in meters. Oh and best of all a successful defense roll will only halve the damage. Add this to all your attacks!
Aura- Auto damages everyone who touches you, counts as two abilities, blows chunks.
Auto Fire- You hit a number of times equal to the amount you succeed your attack roll by, and they only block hits equal to the amount they succeed there defense roll by! Costs three abilities making it worthless, used to cost one pre-revised, holy crap they fixed something broken!
Burning- It's a DoT, moving along.
Concealable- Let's you conceal handheld and mecha weapons, no one gives a shit.
Contagious- Let's you spread your attacks effects, sadly it costs three or six abilities and thus blows chunks.
Drain Body/Mind/Soul- Drains 1 stat point per 15 damage, FUCK YEAH this is nice.
Drain Energy- Does energy damage equal to the normal damage, it's...ok.
Flare- Blinds people if there hit by the attack, they make a body check with a penalty equal to damage/15, and are blinded for one round per point they fail the roll by.
Flexible- This gives them +1 to there defense roll, whopdie fucking do.
Homing- If you miss the attack will try to hit again next round, has built in accurate, counts as two abilities. Meh.
Incapacitating- Aka save or die, they make a stat check at -4 with a +1 per 15 damage the attack would deal. Counts as three abilities and thus blows chunks.
Incurable- The damage from this attack can't be healed, in other words it's a fuck PCs button. Counts as two abilities.
Indirect Fire- Let's you have artillery shells that shoot over stuff, also +2 to your attack roll, so fuck that.
Irritant- This is flare except it doesn't need to hit!
Linked (Attack)- If this attack hits and penetrates armor/shield then the linked attack auto hits as well, and you can uh chain link them...Yeah. Obvious but boring game breaker detected.
Linked (Attribute)- This one is a bit more fun, sadly the list of attributes you can apply it to(Dimensional Portal, Metamorphasis, Size Change, Shape Change, Teleport) is pretty limited.
If only i could apply this to any attribute, then we could properly replicate gurren lagann(linked merging.)
Long Range- Bluh bluh huge range
Muscle Powered- Let's you apply the damage bonus from super strength to this, If you have two or more levels of super strength take it, if you don't don't.
No Regeneration- Doesn't let things regenerate, meh.
Penetrating Armor/Shields- Halves one type of damage reduction, two abilities make you ignore them. Not generally worth it.
Quake- Creates holes in the ground with a size based on damage, meh.
Soul Attack- Ignore armor/forcefields, can hit astral/insubstantiol charecters, and you use your Soul stat to attack with and they use average of mind and soul to defend with, can be used while astral . A whopping five abilities, unless you take no damage then it's only two.
Spreading- This is strictly worse than area effect, it can effect upto one extra target in close formation per 15 damage and adds a +1 to there defense rolls. Or this would be strictly worse, if i wasn't about to use it to destroy space/time.
Stun- The attack can't kill, you know instead of just letting that be a genre/player choice.
Tangle- Immobilizes them.
Vampiric- Om nom nom nom the damage, counts as only one ability or two if you can go above your caps.
YAY the fun stuff, and by fun i mean game breaking.
Backblast- Creates a blast behind you that does damage, never don't take this.
Drop Shields- Turns off your forcefield for a round, nope.jpg
Exposed (Mecha Only)- Exposes you for a round when you use it.
Fixed (Mecha Only)- The weapon has a fixed turret arc, big fucking whoop.
Inaccurate- +2 to your attack rolls, might be worth it if your hit chance is dumb.
Internal- Can only attack things inside your mecha/charecter, meh.
Limited Shots- One disability gives six shots, two gives three shots, three gives one shot. You can always spend 1cp to clone the attack and that's cheaper than 12 for 45 damage.
Low Penetration- Armor or Forcefields are twice as effective, not worth it.
Melee- It's melee range, not bad since it's two defects.
No Damage- Does...no damage, only worth one defect so fuck it.
Only In (Enviroment)- Oh yes my submarines weapons can only be used underwater, how terrible.
Self Destruct- Four disabilities to kill myself? fuck that.
Short Range- Has a shorter than normal range, 90% of all attacks get it.
Slow- Takes an extra turn to use, not worth 15 damage that's for sure.
Static- You can't move while using this attack.
Stoppable- The attack hits at iniative zero and can be shot down, it has hp equal to damage/3. Can be taken multible times adding another round each time. Not horrible, better than slow anyways.
Toxic- Can only affect biological thingies, if you should take the attack it will be obvious.
Unreliable- You crit fail on an 11-12 instead of a 12, an extra 3% chance to crit fail is worth 15 damage.
Uses Energy- Isn't this what magic is for? One slot if it costs 5 energy, two slots if it costs lvl*5 energy.
Basic min/maxing of attacks is to buy a lvl2 attack(thus allowing you to buy sub attacks for 1Cp) and load it with defects since they give a flat +15 damage per point rather than you know modifying the damage per level or something.
Now as promised, i will destroy space time. Just as an example of how powerful this attack is the unrevised edition had a chart listing the damage you needed to deal to destroy a planet, earth had 120 armor and 240 health...
First let's name our weapon, since we're going to destroy spacetime we'll call it the Supernova BlackHole Canon .
It's a lvl6 attack for maximum destruction, so that's a base of 90 damage.
We'll take the defects Backblast, Drop Shields, Fixed, Limited Shots x3, Only In Space, Static, Unreliable, and Uses Enegry * 2. So that's 255 damage, we're already to the point were two shots of this will crack the earth, but that's not good enough.
We're only going to take two weapon abilities, area effect, and spreading. That makes it 225 damage.
So have you figured out what's going on? Well here's the trick the spreading attacks have to impact within two meters of the initial attack, but each of the hits has an area of effect equal to 75 meters. In other words there's no way they don't overlap. And it hits Sixteen times for a total of 16*225= 3600 damage. Seeing as how it only needs to do 360 to crack the earth like an egg, i think over 3k is sufficient to destroy the universe.
BESM SUX PART Whatever+1 MECHA ATTRIBUTES
Artificial Intelligence- 3Cp/lvl Makes your mecha autonomous, except your mecha isn't actually autonomous until A.I. 3, still it's a good buy for mecha as it turns them into charecters in there own right. Just buy some skills to make up for there pathetic stats.
Extra Capacity- 1Cp/lvl Allows you to carry a metric fuck ton of people, upto 5,000 at lvl6. Requires awkward size.
Extra Endurance- 1Cp/lvl Let's your mecha operate for longer than the few hours default, lvl6 let's you operate indefinitely. In other words, always get lvl6.
Maneuver Bonus- 1Cp/lvl Grants a bonus to iniative and DCV, why this doesn't exist as a charecter attribute i'll never know.
Mecha Regeneration- 4Cp/lvl Like normal regen, but worse and for mecha.
Mechanical Transformation 2,4Cp/lvl This gives the mecha one additional form per level, which has the same charecter point total as the mech. Fuck you metamorphasis, fuck you.
Merging- 2Cp/lvl We've gone over this, it should totally be legal for linked attack .
Multible Mecha Attacks- 10Cp/lvl It's like extra attacks, but for mecha... Or you could just, ya know, buy A.I. four and give it extra attacks.
Special Equipment- 2Cp/lvl Undefined value attribute.
Subordinate Mecha- 1Cp/lvl See Merging.
Summonable- 4cp/lvl If you want a summonable mech, you can always make one with magic.
Super Transformation- 5Cp/lvl This is mechanical transformation but with fewer limitations, big whoop.
Toughness- 4Cp/lvl Damn Healthy! for mecha but it's over priced giving +20hp/lvl.
Next time is defects.
BESM SUX Part Whatever plus two DEFECTS!
Ah defects, yet another place where BESM breaks down. Now compared to the things I've already done to this system like chain point whoring and infinite recusive mecha there not a big deal, but there another one of the breaks you can find by random.
Ageism- You get points for being pedo bait...
Attack Restriction- You can't attack a certain subgroup of people, i suggest "my friends" or "innocents"
Awkward- You trip a lot, at 2bp you get -1CV.
Awkward Size- You can get upto six points from this, on the other hand that makes you the size of a FUCKING MOON.
Bane- You take damage from something normally harmless. I suggest game balance, you'll never find that in BESM.
Cannot Talk- It says nothing about hyperspatial signs though!
Conditional Ownership- Your mecha doesn't technically belong to you. Crippling, because taking your tank out for joy rides is like half the point of having a tank. (You know, rather than a skin tight body suit.)
Cursed- Your cursed, no guidelines given.
Diminutive- You have 1/5th hp, and do 1/5th damage for 3 points...
Easily Distracted- Your distracted by some thingie or another.
Girl/Guy Magnet- Getting all the dudes/chicks is apparently a defect.
Hangar Queen- Basically you need a lot of maintenance.
Inept Combat- Gives you -1CV for 1CP, WHY WOULD YOU TAKE THIS.
Involuntary Physical Change- For one point your ranma, for two points you turn into a nut when you touch a walnut. (What, a PC had that in a game i was in.)
Magical Restriction- There's restrictions on your cool powers...like needing to wear your sailor suit...or needing a SPECIFIC ITEM. So basically it's non-broken item of power as a defect, what the christ BESM.
Marked- Free points for looking exotic!
Nemesis- Some cool guy has it out for you personally, this is bad how?
Not so Fast- Your body is 2 points lower dex wise.
Not so Strong- Your body is 2 points lower str wise.
Not so Tough- Your hp is 10 points lower. Notice something from all of these? That's right you can take them all at 2, take six points of body and be up 2 effective points of body and 3 CV!
One Arm/No Arms- You lack arms dude.
One Way Transformation- Enter your super state permanently!
Owned by a megacorp- Your someones bitch.
Phobia- It's a phobia, blah blah.
Physically Unappealing- You be ugly.
Recurring Nightmares- So you um, get points for having bad dreams? Sure why not.
Red Tape- You have to file paperwork.
Restricted Ground Movement- Well if you hover/teleport why not?
Restricted Path- Take it at 2, force the GM to set the entire campaign in a single house!
Sensory Impairment- 1Cp for having fanboys gush about your glasses.
Significant Other- You have your very own pet kidnap magnet.
Skeleton In the Closest- ...This is right next to a picture of two men holding eachother. FUCK OFF GOO.
Special Requirement- You need something above and beyond the norm.
Weak Point- People can shoot at your weak point to do x2 damage! except there's rules for doing stuff like this already! Why NOT take it?
Unskilled- You will never take this, ever.
Volatile- You EXPLODE when you die, how cool is that?
Vulnerability- You take more damage from certain attacks.
Wanted- Your being hunted down by some group or another, well your a PC anyways right?
Mecha Only Defects
Crew Requirement- Your mecha need more crew, doesn't come with a red shirt army. Ignore it.
Exposed Occupants- For some dumb reason your cockpit is unarmored.
Limited Endurance- Well you only need a few minutes to destroy space/time sooo....
Mutual Damage- one point means you take 1/5th the damage your mech takes that's ok, two points mean you take all of it fuck that.
Noisy- Your mech is LOUD, why can't my character be LOUD?
Poor Maneuverability- Penalties to init and DCV.
Reduced Capacity- Barely can hold the pilot, or can't hold a pilot at all.
Start-Up time- Well if you have endurance six...
Summoning Object- You uh, need your morpher to summon your zord.
Wind Powered- It's a boat motherfucker!
Next Time! SKILLS, and i'm done with these boring ass lists!
BESM SUX Part 9 MAD SKILLS
Well, this is going to be a somewhat jarring because i'm out right going to compliment BESM a bunch this update.
So skills, each charecter stats with 20 skill points and gets 10 more per rank of highly skilled. It suggests a GM might only allow non-combat skills(good idea), or only allow combat skills(terrible idea), or disallow skills entirely because there out of genre(we'll get to this.).
So each skill rank gives a -1 to all rolls under that skill, pretty simple really. The thing i'm going to compliment is skill point costs. You see there's a big a chart with lists of skill costs by genre. With the point cost being based on the genre.
A skill costing 6points/rank is a genre/caimpaign defining skill, the example is unarmed attack in a boxing caimpaign.
A skill costing 5points/rank is one that is very important and success or failure will often hinge on it.
All the way down to a skill costing 1point/rank which is a skill that is entirely fluff based.(Cooking in most genres)
There's a big list of Genres. Cyberpunk, Hotrods&Guns, Martial Arts, Medieval Fantasy, Modern Military, Occult/Horror, Space Opera, and Teenage Romance.
This is just...shocking. It has sound ideas, there well executed, and reasonably balanced(within itself). It's a very very jarring from the usual fare for BESM. So credit where credit is due.
There's one, glaring, issue. IT DOESN'T BELONG IN BESM . It came out in the Hotrods&Gun bunnies book, a mostly low powered supplement, and exists only to fix the giant flaw in the system that low attributes blow such huge chunks in there success rates thus allowing low powered games to have reasonable success chances but within there field of expertise.
But even in less powerful games BESM is a cinematic system, with core competency very broad and relying on special abilities to determine specialization,a huge list of skills just doesn't fit the genre and they should have built a better core mechanic instead of creating an obvious rules patch. Instead the solution we did get warps the mid-high level games which didn't have the problems skills needed to solve.
Also the combat skills are terrible and stupid and shouldn't exist.
BESM SUX Part 10 COMBAT, DEAR GOD
The last step of charecter creation is derived values, we've talked about how CV, Hp&Ep are calculated. There's one more derived value which is listed as optional, shock value. It's hp/5 and if you take more damage than your shock value you lose your action.
Wait seriously? A fucking katana with an ACV of 4 does 19 damage.
We're now out of the lists and lists chapters, and instead we're at game mechanics.
We start with some blah blah. That includes how combat is badwrong but gets tons of rules support.
Then there's the basic rules, roll 2d6 roll under your stat. There's a difficulty chart here that really shows how badly human average needs to be like 8. (Practically impossible is +6, if your god you shouldn't need to roll for that.)
Now combat rules, oh dear god is BESMs combat FUCKING AWFUL. Like it may not have the worst combat system ever, but it's close.
Roll under your ACV, if you succeed you hit...except they get to roll there DCV and if they succeed your attack misses.
Do you have ANY IDEA what the whiff factor is in this game? Well if you have an ACV of 4 you have a 16% chance of hitting, but let's say you have an ACV of 8 you have a 72% chance of success right? sounds reasonable, until you remember that an equivalent opponent has defense chance of 41%, so you have a whopping 30% chance of hitting them. and note, as you get skilled your chance of hitting an equal opponent starts going DOWN again after ACV8 because there defense chance scales faster than your additional hit chance. And with the damage numbers involved even without min/maxing your probably one shoting them.
So yes, massive whiff factor, one shot combat.
Actually let's talk about damage some more, the default damage of an attack is...your ACV. Now if you have personal gear you can get say a katana which is a minor item and gives +15 damage, but again the base proficiency in damage is your ACV.
Now for six CP you could take focused damage swords and go from 15+Acv damage to 75+Acv damage.
This is a theme throughout all of how you deal damage, base proficiency in damage is extremely low, but you can do obscene damage if you invest even minor amounts in it.
Your ability to invest in defense doesn't even compare to the offense you can get, it takes 24CP to buy heavy armor 6 which offers you all of 60 damage reduction, yeah the same amount katana boy got from 6cp, a lvl6 attack would do a base damage of 90 by comparison.
So yes, combat is either a boring high luck slog fest, or rocket tag(if you buy AoE). Fuck this game.
BESM SUX Part 11 RULES!
Following the terror that is the combat system is the rules for damage, and then recovery.(Body hp per hour, [Mind+Soul]/2 ep per hour)
Then there's a list of equipment but i've already explained how personal gear breaks low power games.
Next up is "Expanded movement rules"(Ie actual movement rules), not much to say here, there is a crashing/falling damage table but it's not really abusable so who gives a shit?
After that is expanded combat rules, but remember combat is badwrongfun. There's a bunch of called shot rules that only exist to make deadeye ridiculous(why yes i would like to take a +2 to my attack roll to give them +4 to there defense roll and i get an auto-crit!) Grappling rules (Bleeecchhh)
Oh and variable damage rule which um, is a good thing. Since it makes the maximum damage equal the base damage and the randomness can only bring it down. It's more luck in combat but at least you won't be playing rocket tag.
And then, MIND COMBAT.
Once you iniatite mind contact with the telepathy attribute, the mind rape can begin. The aggresor can get out at any time, not so much for the defender.
You roll the average of your mind and soul(Didn't telepathy say roll MIND?!) as your ACV and they do likewise as there DCV(complete with a +2 penalty), if you succeed in mind combat they lose energy equal to your mind+soul. If you drain them to zero(and remember you can flee at any time if your butt is getting kicked) you break there mind.
What can you do with a broken mind? Whatever the fuck you want kids, rewrite/delete memories, plant suggestions, kill them outright. Go nuts.
Then there's rules for psyche aka sanity, it starts at [Mind+Soul]/2 but it goes up every time you succeed a psyche check and goes down every time you fail. So there's only two possibilities after a few sessions you have a psyche of "I auto succeed" or your psyche hits 0 and you go nuts.
Oh hey, there's the blowing up buildings and planets chart! Earth has 240 armor(armor pen is your friend here) and 280 hp(though this will only sink continents and such, to turn it into an asteroid belt requires another 280 damage.).
A rule for staged stat costs that makes higher attributes more expensive. So get 5s in all your attributes and then max out your highly skilled if the GM uses this.
Now we have unknown superhuman power, which you choose an amount of points, and your GM spends them with a 50% bonus. This was a dumb idea in the el hazzard rpg and it's a dumb idea here. Just let the player spend his damn points and have the character discover them in game.
BESM SUX Part 11 GM/Player Advice.
First up it talks about caimpaigns/mini-caimpaigns/one shots, blah blah.
Then is choice of genre, a couple of anime genres are listed here.
Creating a setting, basically a list of standard anime settings.
Category(Action, Comedy, Drama, and Romance), my god mentioning action as a genre and not calling combat badwrongfun? I'm surprised.
Now we have some sample caimpaigns, something that's a pretty good idea actually.
Journey to the East, it's journey to the west but you go from china to japan. Welp.
Atlantis Rising, During WW2 a sea battle frees the techno-wizards of atlantis, can the axis and allies put aside there hatreds to stop Atlantis?(Holy shit, a WW2 game where your not killing Nazis!)
Magical Bug Hunter Keiko! It's a magical game where the players shrink to tiny size and fight insects, and like there school is mysteriously related to the insect kingdom.
Vetrens of the Psychic Wars, Human kind develops drugs that give people psychic powers, but they burn out your brain in a few years and work out best on kids. The mega corp that made the psychics got split into two companies by the governments of the world because monopoly of psychic power is a problem, question why don't the governments just make there own?
Anyways, not a bad idea.
Legends of the Galactic Empire, Standard space opera+Three musketeers, meh.
Voyagers of the new dawn, the wicked queen of dark fairys has stolen the fucking sun, are you a bad enough dude to journey off the edge of the world in your magic flying ship to steal a new one from among the stars?
Ok this is...pretty damn awesome.
Next up is talking about world building and the supporting cast, which for some reason the "Is there paranormal stuff" is listed under supporting cast advice(lol wut?), then it discuses adventure design.
Next up is fan service! Actually it's a example anime tropes like hyper dimensional mallets, late for school, and terrible cooks. Oh right and naughty tentacles, and you were doing so well avoiding the skeezy stuff GoO.
A bit about character advancement. Look 1-2 CP a session doesn't matter, most animes that advance do it in like 10 point chunks anyways.
Then we have advice for the GM&Players, including another repetition of combat being badwrongfun, now one they just talked about action being a playable type of game, also the fact WHO WOULD WANT TO DO BESM COMBAT ANYWAYS?!
Next time on BESM Sux....
Wait it's done you say? FUCKING FINALLY!