"Big Eyes, Small Mouth" (typically abbreviated BESM), also known as Tri-Stat, is a highly flexible roleplaying game system published by Guardians of Order. Although originally created with anime in mind--it's title playing off the stereotypical character design of anime and manga--it can be used for almost any type of roleplaying game setting or genre, and in this case has been adapted for use in Noir Haven MUCK whenever players get involved in TinyPlots. Note however that while characters are required (eventually) to set up a character sheet based upon the system detailed below, plot runners are NOT required to actually use said system for their plots. Entirely free-form TP's, or ones that only use part of the system, are completely acceptable.

Rolling dice in BESM: Almost all dice rolls in BESM are made with two six-sided dice (2d6). However, only on certain occasions are players required to roll dice, such as when a character wishes do something out of the ordinary or when combat is unfolding. Otherwise, players and GM's focus on roleplaying and keeping the story moving for a fun and fast pace.

Stats in BESM: There are three primary stats in BESM, which represent your characters innate abilities.  When creating characters on the MUCK, players get exactly 25 Character Points to assign to stats (and attributes). Stats can never go above 10. Note that stats, upon character creation, only cost 1 Character Point each, but to raise a stat after that will cost 2 points each up to 7, and 3 points each from 7 to 10.

  • BODY: Body represents everything physical about a character. Health, strength, endurance, dexterity, and speed--anything related to physical activity--are all covered by the Body Stat.  
  • MIND: Mind represents everything mental about a character. Mind represents the ability to learn, make judgements, solve puzzles, and be aware of dangers in the surrounding area.  
  • SOUL: Soul represents everything 'spiritual' about your character. Self confidence, willpower, focus, fate and balance with the universe are all covered by the Soul Stat. Most things relating to the supernatural and things that tax a character's inner strengths or morals relate to the Soul Stat.

Stat Ratings and Descriptions:

  • 1: Inept
  • 2: Significantly below average
  • 3: Below average  
  • 4: Average human adult  
  • 5: Above average  
  • 6: Significantly above average 
  • 7: Highly capable  
  • 8: Extremely capable  
  • 9: Best in the land  
  • 10: Best in the world  

Attributes in BESM: Attributes are defining traits, and abilities that are not covered by stats. Things the character has learned, inborn and special abilities and the like are all covered by attributes. Attributes are ranked from 1 to 6 (with some exceptions where noted), and each one cost a certain number of Attribute Points per Level. The number of points you have to spend for attributes is basically whatever you have left over after assigning stats. If you spend part of your 25 Character Points to get your three stats to 5 each, that means you have 10 points left to spend on attributes.

-> List of Attributes <-

Defects in BESM: Character Defects are limitations or weaknesses that the character possesses. The character gains Character Points equal to the worth of the Defect. This is a good way to be able to afford more Attributes and the like. Also note that while you're technically allowed to take as many defects as you want, each has to be appropiately RPed out, so having too many will likely not be worth the trouble.

-> List of Defects <-

Derived Stats in BESM: Combat Value- Combat Value governs all aspects of physical combat, including a character's skills in attacking, defending, and delivering damage. There are two separate components of Combat Value. Attack Combat Value and Defense Combat Value. Combat Values are figured as follows:   

  • Attack Combat Value = Body+Mind+Soul /3
  • Defense Combat Value = Body+Mind+Soul /3 -2   

Health Points- This score represents the amount of injury a character can suffer before dying (or falling unconcious, depending on the nature of the setting). The Health Point score is figured as follows:   

  • Health Points = Body+Soul*5   

Energy Points- This score represent the reserves and fortitude your character has at his or her disposal when attempting to accomplish difficult tasks. Energy Points are also used for boosting a Stat or your health for the duration of a single action (10 energy points for every +1 stat, 5 for every +3 health), or to power magical and psionic talents, if these are acquired (which is very very rare). The Energy Point score is figured as follows:   

  • Energy Points = Mind+Soul*5   

Skills in BESM: Your character's skills represent his or her's extensive training and experience in a particular field. Skill Points, not Character Points are used to purchase and raise skills. A starting character receives 25 skill points (unless they have spent character points in the Highly Skilled attribute or acquired the Unskilled defect). The different skills are divided into Levels 1 to 6, and increasing the value of a skill by 1 level costs 1 or more Skill Points, depending on the skill, while adding a Skill Specialization costs 1 point each. Specializations are used to acquire a -1 bonus in the specific action. Example: A character with Gun Combat at level 3, with the (Pistol) specialization, will receive a -4 bonus on rolls having to do with using a handgun.

Extra Note: Keep in mind most skills aren't a requirement to be able to perform an action. Anyone can pick up a gun and shoot it, or attempt to drive a vehicle, or even draw a picture. Skills simply mean actual training and increased aptitude in the subject. On the other hand, some other skills might HAVE to be taken when one wants to attempt realisticly difficult actions, such as performing brain surgery. In those cases the GM might impose a heavy penalty for not having the skill or having too low a level in one, or simply state the action is plain impossible. 

-> List of Skills <-

Skill Ratings and Descriptions:

  • 1: Basic Training
  • 2: Moderate Training
  • 3: Significant Training
  • 4: Extensive Training
  • 5: Master Training
  • 6: Grand Master Training

Doing Things in BESM: When a character performs a task that is not routine- balancing on a narrow bridge over a river instead of strolling down the sidewalk, jumping from one building to the next, lifting a heavy object, etc- the GM asks the player to make a Stat Check. A Stat Check is done by rolling 2d6 against a specific Stat. The result must be under the Stat. If it's an easy task, the GM will assign a negative modifier, making it easier for you to succeed. If it's an hard task, the GM will assign a positive modifier, making it harder for you to succeed. Also, there are two circumstances which always take precedence. If you roll a 2 on any roll, you automatically succeed, and with a combat roll this means the opponent doesn't even get to defend. If you roll a 12 on any roll, you automatically fail.   

Skill Usage in BESM: A skill check works much like a Stat check. Skill Checks need to be LOWER than the attribute being rolled against to be successful. In BESM, the lower the number rolled, the better the result. Skill levels are SUBTRACTED from the die rolls, while situational modiers are ADDED.    

Combat in BESM: Combat follows a basic pattern of events. Combat happens in a series of segments called Turns. There are three steps to resolving a combat turn:

Step 1: Initiative- To do Initiative, you roll 1d6, and add the result to your Combat Value. You want to roll high.  

Step 2: Character Actions- Characters can take One Action per turn. This action can be one of several things:

  • Attack- To attack, you roll 2d6 under your combat value. If you succeed in your roll, the character delivers damage to the target. Base damage inflicted equals the attacker's Attack Combat Value, with Attributes and weapons wielded providing modifications to this number. With GM choice, damage is also slightly increased if your roll has a higher margin of success. This goes as follows: A 0 margin of success = 50% damage, a -1 to -2 margin of success = 100% damage, a -3 to -5 margin of success = 125% damage, and a -6 or more margin of success = 150% damage.
  • Defending- You can defend against each person attacking you in a round, though a +1 penalty is imposed for every person targetting you after the first one. To defend, you roll 2d6 under your Defense Combat Value. If you succeed, you've completely defended against the attack, and you take no damage. If you fail, you take normal damage. Potential rule, to be ignored for now, but that might be added once it becomes clear what combat will be like at higher levels: The defender has to beat their roll by as much as the attacker did his. If the attacker rolled a 4 below his attack value, the defender has to roll a 4 or more below his defense value as well to succesfully defend. This is to negate a possible 'combat loop', where each character, due to high defense, gets stuck not being able to hit eachother.
  • Other- Other actions include anything that's not an attack or defense. Healing someone, fleeing the battle, negotiating, or delivering an inspirational speech are all examples of "Other" actions. However, saying a few words during combat does not require you to take an "Other" type of action. 

Step 3: Resolution- In the Resolution part of a turn, you apply (or remove, if healed) any damage that was done, adjust your Energy Point total to reflect any were spent or regained, and do anything that would be done afterward. If the battle is not finished, a new turn begins, and everyone goes back to Step 1 (Initiative), or Step 2 (Attack, keeping the first initiative. GM's choice)

Total Attack: A character may elect to go fully on the offensive. Such a character may make no defensive rolls until their next turn, however all of their attacks are made with a -1 point bonus.


Total Defense: A character may elect to go fully on the defensive. Such a character may make no offensive rolls until their next turn, however all of their defenses are made with a -2 point bonus.

Willpower: A character may spend 10 energy points to gain a -1 bonus on any die roll.

Grappling: In order to Grapple with an enemy, you must usually make an Unarmed Attack against that enemy (with the stated intent to grapple). The Grapple attack does no damage to the target; instead the target may not make any movement until they break free. In addition, the target suffers a 2 point penalty to all attacks and defenses, or 4 points for actions that require extreme mobility (most 2 handed weapons). If a character is much stronger than the person who has grabbed them, these penalties are halved (much stronger means that they have a Body Stat that is at least 2 points greater than the person who has grabbed them).

Escaping a Grapple: A character may attempt to escape from a Grapple by using one of their Attacks. The two characters make contested Body + Unarmed Attack checks (with appropriate modifiers, as above). The character who succeeds by the greatest degree (or fails by the least degree) is the victor. If the grabbed character succeeds, they escape and may immediately take another action. If there is a tie, the grabbed character escapes and does not gain another action. If the grabber succeeds, the grabbed victim loses all of their remaining attacks this round and may make no defense rolls until their next turn.

Strangling/Crushing: After successfully grappling a target, a character may choose to Strangle/Crush that target as long as they maintain their grapple. This attack is automatically successful (although it may be defended against, at the appropriate penalty) and inflicts damage equal to the character's Attack Combat Value plus any applicable bonuses from Attributes.

Throwing: After successfully grappling a target, a character may choose to Throw that target as an attack. A Throw always ends a grapple, although the victim does still suffer their defense penalty against the Throw. To Throw a victim, the attacker makes an attack roll (usually Combat Value + Unarmed Attackl) with a 2 point bonus. A successful throw causes 3 base damage (plus Combat Value and any other modifiers) and knocks the victim Prone, and they must spend the next round getting up (Defending or Attacking from the ground imposes a +3 penalty). Characters suffer additional damage (as determined by the GM, based on the situation) for being Thrown into objects.

Critical Hits: In event of a natural roll of 2 or a succesful called shot to a vital location, increased damage is inflicted to the target. The player rolls 1 die and matches the result to the numbers below:

  • 1 to 3: Double Damage
  • 4 to 5: Triple Damage
  • 6: Quadruple Damage or Instant Kill

Recovering Health: Health Points regenerate at a rate equal to the character’s Body Stat for each day. The healing rate doubles if the character is in the care of someone with succesfully rolled Medical Skill but halved if he or she does not spend time resting.

Called Shots: Characters may opt to suffer an unfavorable difficulty modifier to hit in exchange for the chance of ignoring armor or inflicting more damage. A Called Shot must be specified before the attack roll is made. Below are some examples of specific Called Shots and their modifiers:

  • Vital Spot: Aiming for a spot such as the head, heart, or spine gives a +4 difficulty, but if succesful will score an automatic Critical Hit (for damage purposes, the target may still defend). If a natural critical hit is rolled this generally means Instant Death on any NPC.
  • Weak Point: Aiming at a weak point on a vehicle, such as engine or fuel tank gives a +4 difficulty, but if succesful will score an automatic Critical Hit. If a natural critical hit is rolled, this generally means the instant destruction of the vehicle. An attack on a vehicle's tires also has a +4 difficulty, and if succesful AND a hit delivers more than 5 damage, the tire is blown. If a vehicle is in motion when it loses a tire, the driver must do a Body stat+Driving skill check to retain control of the vehicle, with higher penalties the faster it is traveling.
  • Unarmored Point: Aiming at an unarmored point, such as a character's unarmored legs or through a vehicle's windshield gives a +2 penalty, and negates the damage penalty of the armor. This can be combined with both Vital Spot and Weak Point.
  • Weapon Disarming: An attempt to shoot a weapon out of another character's hand with a firearm gives a +4 penalty, and if succesful the weapon is knocked away and possibly damaged. An attempt to knock away a weapon with unarmed or melee gives only a +2 penalty, but the target gets a Body check, and if succesful retains control of the weapon, though suffers a +1 penalty on his next attack since it was brought off balance.
  • Striking to Wound: A character in combat can elect to reduce his or her delivered damage below the normal damage value to a minimum of 1 point (known as striking to wound) for a +2 penalty. He or she may not attempt this with attacks possessing the Area Effect, Autofire, or Spreading Variables.

Various Attack Roll Modifiers:

  • Character is taking extra aim: -1 (-2 if using scope). Extra aim takes a single round to achieve and is negated by a defense roll.
  • Character fast drew the weapon: +3 (0 if Lightning Draw ability)
  • Character is firing guns akimbo: +4 at same target (+2 if Two Gun ability), +6 at different targets (+3 if Two Gun ability)
  • Character is shooting a hand-held weapon while operating a vehicle (+4), a passenger in a vehicle (+2), performing acrobatics (+4). Halved if Steady Hand ability.
  • Target of ranged attack while concealed by tree or bush (+1), concealed by darkness, smoke or fog (+2), taking cover (+1 to +3, halved if Dead Eye ability)
  • Weapon being used has been accurized (-1), has the inaccurate disability (+1), is snub nosed or otherwise short barreled (+1)
  • Long Range: While we don't use specific rules for weapon range on the MUCK, GM's are still free to give penalties for when they judge a weapon is realisticly exceeding its effective range. A pistol should be pretty hard to shoot someone from at 100 yards with, etc.

-> Example List of Weapons and Armor <-