Big Eyes, Small Mouth / Second Edition Revised / Addendum

A rules adaptation/conversion by Charlie Luce. Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Silver Age Sentinels and Tri-Stat dX are © Guardians Of Order, Inc. All rights reserved. Used without permission. All trademarks of Guardians of Order, Inc. contained herein are used without permission and remain the sole property of Guardians of Order, Inc.


Introduction: There are some of us who feel that, despite its unquestionable popularity, the changes made to the Tri-Stat system reflected in Silver Age Sentinels and Tri-Stat dX are a case of “one step forward, two steps back.” (To be fair, there are those who feel the same way about BESM’s Second Edition). However, there is still the matter of the one step forward. To partially address this, I have made an attempt to port the new and revised Attributes contained in the later products “back” to BESM in the cases where I thought it would be useful and appropriate to do so.



REVISED ATTRIBUTES:


HEALING: Rather than Healing 2 health per Level per minute, Healing simply takes one minute to perform (those who have attempted to use Healing as a Magic/Psionic Spell/Sub-Attribute will understand why). In addition, Healing one’s self can be done. The limitation on how much Healing can be done on a single person in a day is unchanged.


SPECIAL DEFENSE

Cost: Varies

Relevant Stat: Varies

Type: Universal


A character with this Attribute is resistant or completely immune to a specific type of uncommon ailment or injury or situation, normally one whose effects are otherwise insidious in nature. Special Defense can be acquired multiple times to represent a character who is resistant or immune to different kinds of attacks/events/environments. If a category is purchased once, the character is partially resistant; for example, he or she may lose only half as many Health Points, suffer the effects for half as long, be able to endure the environment for a brief period, or receive a -3 bonus on any Stat checks to resist the effects. If purchased twice, the character has enhanced or complete resistance (GM judgement).


The cost for a Level of Special Defense is dependent upon how great a role in the game environment the Special Defense plays; the GM is always the final adjudicator for all Special Defense costs for his or her game.


1 point/2 Levels: The Special Defense plays a small role in the game. Typical examples include: Environments such as tainted air, high pressure, intense cold, or high background radiation; weapons made from a rare substance (such as gold, silver, or adamantine); attacks from a specific opponent (such as a brother, single animal type, or oneself ); under specific conditions (such as in water, one hour during the day, or at home).


1 point/Level: The Special Defense plays a moderate role in the game. Typical examples include: Conditions such as aging, hunger, or sleep; weapons made from an uncommon substance (such as wood, bronze, or “cold” iron); attacks from a broad opponent group (such as blood relatives, demons, or animals); under broad conditions (such as during the night, on weekends, or in holy places).


4 points/Level: The Special Defense plays a large role in the game. Typical examples include: electricity; cold; a specific weapon type (such as daggers, arrows, or rapiers).


9 points/Level: The Special Defense plays a major role in the game. Typical examples include: fire/heat; a broad weapon type (such as swords or clubs); mental attacks.


16 points/Level: The Special Defense plays an extreme role in the game. Typical examples include: gunfire (including forms of artillery); bladed weapons; unarmed attacks.


25 points/Level: The Special Defense plays a primal role in the game. Typical examples include: weapons; energy; blunt trauma.



SPECIAL MOVEMENT: Wall-Crawling is changed; one level only allows movement as the rate of BODY x 1 meter per round (literally crawling speed), and buying a second level allows normal movement as per the original rule. See below for additional Special Movement types.



ADDITIONAL ATTRIBUTE OPTIONS:


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL

              Plant Growth: The character can cause the plants in an area to grow to ten times their normal mature state. 1 point/level.


GUN BUNNY

Blind Shooting Ability: The character suffers half penalties associated with attacking with ranged weapons in poor light, absolute darkness, or against an invisible opponent. This technique can be assigned twice to reduce the penalty to zero. The character must be capable of detecting the general presence of the target, however, through one of his or her senses (smell, hearing, sixth sense, etc.).


KENSEI

Block Ranged Ability: Under normal circumstances Melee Defense cannot be used against Ranged Attacks. This technique allows the character to parry thrown weapons, arrows, and the like; it can be assigned twice to allow the character to also parry bullets, energy bolts, etc.


FORCE FIELD

Air-Tight Ability: The field prevents the passage of gas molecules. While this is a beneficial defense against toxic gas attacks, a character in the field will eventually deplete all breathable oxygen.

 

Regenerating Ability: If the character uses one non-combat action to regenerate the Force Field, it regains one lost Level of effectiveness. A character with the Extra Attacks Attribute can regenerate multiples Levels each round.


SPECIAL MOVEMENT (and see REVISED ATTRIBUTES above)

Dimension Hop: Upon a successful Stat check, the character can instantly travel between his or her home dimension to one other dimension, such as Asgard, Heaven, Hell, alternate Earth, etc. Each time this method is assigned, the character can travel to another single dimension. Characters who can travel among many dimensions should probably have Dynamic Sorcery or Unique Attribute instead. The GM will determine if Dimension Hop is appropriate for his or her campaign.

 

Slithering: The character can slither along the ground at normal walking/running speeds. This allows a character to move quickly while maintaining a very low profile.

 

Swinging/Brachiating: The character can swing through forests and cities (areas with natural or artificial structures above swinging height) using vines/ropes/webbing or simply his or her arms.

 

Wall-Bouncing: The character can move at continuous running/jumping speed without touching the ground by bounding back and forth between nearby vertical surfaces (walls). For example, he or she can proceed down hallways or climb an alleyway between two buildings (bouncing from wall to wall).

 

Zen Direction: When the character opens his or her mind to the natural world, he or she will always move in the “right” direction. The “right” direction is not always the desired direction, however.


TELEKINESIS

Plants: similar to Wood, but must be living. This is usually seen as “motivating” the plant life rather than picking up and moving it.


WEAPON/SPECIAL ATTACK

Combining Attack Ability: Allows attacks from multiple characters to be combined into one awesome display of power. In order to do this, all the characters must have the Combining Attack Ability; if the attack uses energy there is also an Energy Point cost associated with Combination Attack: 2 Energy Points per person involved in the attack. Each character must pay this cost separately; for example, if four characters are combining, they each must pay 8 additional Energy Points.

 

The attack takes place on the Initiative of the character with the lowest Initiative. The character with the lowest Attack Combat Value makes a single attack roll for the entire group (combat Skills do not apply to the attack roll). The target has a defense penalty of -1 per character involved in the attack. If the attack succeeds and defender fails his or her defense (or does not attempt a defense), the attack inflicts the sum total of the contributing characters’ damage. For example, if two character combine, one with a 30 damage Special Attack and one with a 60 damage Special Attack, the total damage inflicted would be 90; this damage would count as a single attack against Armor or Force Field and for purposes of destroying objects or Shock Value.


 

Drain (Attribute) Ability: The Attack causes the victim to lose power in one or more Attributes; note that the GM may decide that Normal or some sorts of Racial Attributes are not appropriate for this Ability. The victim's affected Attribute(s) is (are) reduced by one CP for every 15 points of Damage of the attack. This Attribute drain is in addition to any Health Point losses from the attack. To design an attack that only drains Attributes, the No Damage Disability must also be assigned. Attributes cannot be drained below zero CP. The drained points return at the rate of one every hour. Drain (Attribute) counts as one Ability if it can only Drain one specific sort of a single Attribute (for example, electrically-powered Special Attacks), two Abilities if it can drain a single simple Attribute (such as Super Strength) or a subset of a complex Attribute (for example, energy-based Special Attacks), three abilities if it can Drain a complex Attribute (such as Magic) or any Attribute of a particular derivation (for example, any one kinetic-force-based Attribute, or any Undead Power), and four Abilities if it can be used to Drain any allowable Attribute.

 

Enduring Ability: Enduring can only be assigned in conjunction with Area Effect. The attack remains active within the affected area over multiple rounds. Examples of this type of attack include chemical clouds, sheets of fire, electrical charges, or supercooled vapors. Anyone entering or remaining in the area is immediately subject to the attack; defense checks are outlined under Area Effect. Each time Enduring is assigned, the Area Effect attack remains active for 1 additional round.

 

Mind Attack Ability: A mental assault similar to a Soul Attack, but using the Mind Stat to attack and resist. (GMs may wish to have Soul Attacks be resisted by straight Soul rather than an average of Mind and Soul, or to use the average to resist both Mind and Soul Attacks).

 

Undetectable Ability: Most Special Attacks have a visible component that makes it easy for targets to determine who is attacking them. An attack with the Undetectable Ability does not provide any indication that it is about to strike and cannot be traced back to the attacker using normal methods. This may result in the attacker gaining surprise, which prevents the victim from making a defense check. If the target knows he or she is under attack, however, a defense check can still be made at a -2 penalty (as though the attack were from behind). This Ability is most often associated with non-physical attacks such as ones with the Drain (Any), or Mind or Soul Attack Abilities. Undetectable counts as four Abilities.



NEW ATTRIBUTES:


AGENTS

Cost: 4 points/Level

Relevant Stat: Soul

Type: Normal


Agents represent a character’s mercenary employees, hired guns, researchers, or fanatical followers. Unlike Flunkies or Henchmen, Agents are often well trained, and can become reasonably dangerous. Agents fill the gap between Henchmen (see below) and Servants, allowing for a squad of effective, capable followers. Individual Agents are NPCs. All of the character’s Agents normally have identical Stats and Attributes, although Skills may vary. A character may have followers with varied Stats or Attributes, but each one counts as two Agents. Agents are built on 20 Character Points. Agents will fight for the character, although they need not be soldiers. Many advisors, scientists, or even lawyers fall under this Attribute. Agents, due to their secondary nature to the story, should usually not have the following Attributes: Agents, Dynamic Sorcery, Flunkies, Henchmen, Servant, Special Attack, or Transfer; in addition, the GM should be very careful with Magic/Psionics and Owns A Big Mecha.


Level 1: 1 Agent; Level 2: 2 Agents; Level 3: 3-4 Agents; Level 4: 5-7 Agents; Level 5: 8-12 Agents; Level 6: 13-20 Agents.



COMPUTER SCANNING AND MANIPULATION

Cost: 6 Points/Level

Relevant Stat: Mind

Type: Paranormal, Technological


With a successful Mind Stat check, characters with this Attribute can access, read, understand, and possibly manipulate data from all computers or “Silicon Age” technology nearby. When attempting to access a computer built as an Item of Power, the character suffers a penalty to the Mind Stat check of -1 for each Level of the Item of Power. To use Computer Scanning and Manipulation on a machine, the character must either be near the machine or able to access it over a network. Since this Attribute can be a very powerful tool in a campaign, the GM and players should ensure it is used appropriately. Computer Scanning and Manipulation has only two Levels.

 

              Level 1: The character can access, read, and understand data from computers.

              Level 2: As Level 1; plus the character can also alter data, and with a Mind or appropriate Skill check, programming.



CREATION

Cost: 3 or 5 points/Level

Relevant Stat: Mind

Type: Paranormal


This Attribute allows a character to temporarily create a non-living object (or set of connected objects, like clothing or a gun and its ammunition). Creation costs 5 Points/Level if the character can create anything (within the limits of his or her Level). It costs 3 Points/Level if the creation is limited to a general class of objects such as “metal,” “weapons,” “clothing,” or “food.” The GM is free to restrict any categories that seem overly broad or too powerful. The degree and utility of the created object(s) varies by the character's Level as shown below.


The character cannot create new objects outside his or her experience. The character could create a book, painting or videotape, but the content must be something with which he or she was already familiar. Likewise, a character who had no familiarity with guns could not create one using Creation. The GM may choose to require a Mind Stat check (or relevant Skill check) if the character attempts a particularly complex creation. Failure may indicate the created object does not function properly, or is otherwise flawed; this is especially applicable when creating complex technological devices. A character may normally only create one object (or set of objects) at one time; GMs who wish may allow characters with multiple levels of Creation to use those levels separately (for example, a character with Level 3 Creation to create three Level 1 objects at once). Created objects will generally last for a few minutes to a few hours before vanishing. Creation is a very powerful ability, and the GM may also set additional limits to ensure that its utilization does not unbalance the game.

 

              Level 1: The Character can Create mundane items of Personal Gear of sizes up to most appliances and man-portable weapons (approximately 30 kg).

Level 2: As Level 1, but it extends to Minor items of Personal Gear.

Level 3: As Level 1, but it extends to Minor or Major items of Personal Gear.

Level 4: As Level 3, but the character may create items up to approximately 100 kg in size.

Level 5: As Level 3, but the character may create items up to Awkward Size 1 (100-1000 kg).

              Level 6: As Level 3, but the character may create items up to Awkward Size 2 (1-10 tonnes).



DAMAGE ABSORPTION

Cost: 5 or 7 points/Level

Relevant Stat: Body

Type: Paranormal, Technological


A character with this Attribute can absorb up to 5 damage received from physical attacks (such as guns, swords, punches, or energy blasts) each Level, and change them into a corresponding number of Health Points before damage is inflicted. The new Health Points are added to the character’s current total immediately, which may temporarily raise the total above its normal maximum. Damage that is blocked by the character’s Armor or Force Field Attributes cannot be absorbed. For 5 Points/Level, the character’s Health Point total can never rise above his or her normal maximum (extra points are lost). For 7 Points/Level, the character’s Health Points total can be raised as high as twice their normal maximum value (for a duration of one hour). Damage can both be absorbed and converted (by the Damage Conversion Attribute; below) at the same time. Damage Absorption does not absorb damage from non-physical or complex attacks (such as poisons or disease), including (but not limited to) Special Attacks with the following Abilities: Drain (Any), Flare, Incapacitating, Irritant, Mind Attack, Soul Attack, Stun, Tangle.


Optimized Absorption: The Damage Absorption is focused against a particular uncommon attack form. Eligible attack forms include electricity, cold, laser beams, fire/heat, radiation bolts, etc.; Absorption cannot be optimized against broad categories such as blunt impacts or piercing weapons. Optimized Absorption provides doubled protection against the chosen attack form only, and no protection against other forms. A character can acquire both Optimized Absorption and ordinary Damage Absorption by assigning the Damage Absorption Attribute twice.



DAMAGE CONVERSION

Cost: 4 or 6 Points/Level

Relevant Stat: Body

Type: Paranormal, Technological


A character with this Attribute suffers damage from physical attacks (such as guns, swords, punches, or energy blasts) as normal, but receiving damage grants additional Character Points he or she can assign to Attributes temporarily. Points can be accumulated between attacks or combat rounds. Additionally, Character Points can only be assigned to Attributes the character already possesses at Level 1or higher. Damage can both be converted and absorbed (by the Damage Absorption Attribute; above) at the same time.

Damage Conversion does not convert damage from non-physical or complex attacks (such as poisons or disease), including (but not limited to) Special Attacks with the following Abilities: Drain (Any), Flare, Incapacitating, Irritant, Mind Attack, Soul Attack, Stun, Tangle. The extra Character Points gained through combat dissipate very shortly after the battle has finished, or before the next dramatic scene (GM’s discretion).


For 4 Points/Level, damage that is blocked by the character’s Armor Attribute cannot be converted. For 6 Points/Level, damage that is blocked by the character’s Armor Attribute can be converted. Damage blocked by the Force Field Attribute can never be converted.


At each Level, the character gains 1 Character Point for every 10 damage received from each single attack (round down). Most often, characters use these Points to enhance the following Attributes: Armor, Extra Attacks, Extra Defenses, Massive

Damage, Regeneration, Special Attack, and Super-Strength. Damage Conversion cannot be used to increase Damn Healthy!; to increase the character’s Health Points see Damage Absorption, above.


With GM permission, Damage Conversion may be designed to convert forms of energy into Character Points, rather than converting damage. Examples of energy include: sound, light, radiation, mass, heat, and others. The progression of the Attribute under these conditions must be discussed with the GM.



DUPLICATE

Cost: 3 or 4 Points/Level

Relevant Stat: Body

Type: Paranormal, Technological


A character with this ability can create one or more independent, self-aware duplicates of him or herself, each of which have a maximum number of Character Points of 5 CP times the Attribute Level. The duplicate is not under the character’s control, but will act in a manner consistent with the original character. Multiple duplicates can be in existence at any time, but creating a duplicate requires one non-combat action.


Duplicates only remain in existence for a limited time, usually for a single scene or long enough to complete a single task; because of this, the GM may rule that no benefit is gained for the Duplicates having certain Defects or Disabilities which have little chance of coming into play. Since this Attribute can have tremendous impact on a campaign if used too frequently, the GM should impose restrictions on its use as necessary; for example, Duplicates should probably not have Flunkies, Henchmen, Agents, Servants, or Transfer, and any Duplicates of Duplicates should not outlast the originator. The player should consider what consequences, if any, will arise should an enemy kill the duplicate.


There are two different types of Duplicate: Proportionate (3 Points/Level) and Customized (4 Points/Level).

 

Proportionate Duplicate

If the Duplicate Level is not sufficiently high to create a duplicate with the exact same number of Character Points as the original, a less-powerful duplicate is created. In these cases, the reduced Character Points are distributed over the duplicate’s Stats, and Attributes, Skills, and Defects proportionately with the original character. The one exception to this rule involves the Duplicate Attribute; the character may decide that his or her twin does not have the Duplicate Attribute.

 

Customized Duplicate

The character can assign the duplicate’s Character Points as desired when this Attribute is first acquired, provided the duplicate does not gain any Attributes or Defects the original character does not possess. Additionally, Attributes and Defects cannot be raised to Levels that would exceed the original character’s Levels. The GM may waive this restriction if it seems appropriate. Once the Character Points are allocated to the duplicate in a specific pattern during character creation, the distribution cannot be changed; all duplicates ever made will be identical.



EXTRA DEFENSES

Cost: 1 point/Level

Relevant Stat: None

Type: Normal


This Attribute reflects the character’s ability to use every defensive combat situation to his or her benefit. Each round, the character may make one additional defensive action per Level, and penalties for performing additional defensive actions each round only apply after the extra defenses are used. The character does not get any of the other abilities or benefits of Extra Attacks.



HENCHMEN

Cost: 2 points/Level

Relevant Stat: Soul

Type: Normal


Henchmen are very similar to Flunkies, save that they are willing to take up arms at the request of their master. Individual Henchmen are NPCs. All of the character’s Henchmen normally have identical Stats and Attributes, although Skills may vary. A character may have followers with varied Stats or Attributes, but each one counts as two Henchmen. Each Henchman should be built on 10 Character Points (plus any Defects). Clearly, most Henchmen have focused abilities and numerous Defects (often including Marked, Not So Tough, Owned, and Wanted) to raise their Stats and Attributes to competent levels. Like Flunkies, Henchmen should only possess Normal Attributes, though a GM may consider allowing a few point in special Attributes to represent non-human Henchmen.


Level 1: 1 Henchman; Level 2: 2 Henchmen; Level 3: 3-4 Henchmen; Level 4: 5-7 Henchmen; Level 5: 8-12 Henchmen; Level 6: 13-20 Henchmen.



LIGHTNING REFLEXES

Cost: 1 point/Level

Relevant Stat: None (Combat Value)

Type: Normal


The character reacts quickly in combat and frequently outmaneuvers opponents. For each Level of this Attribute purchased, the character gains +2 to all his or her Initiative rolls.



MASS INCREASE

Cost: 4 Points/Level

Relevant Stat: Body

Type: Paranormal


This Attribute reflects the ability to increase the mass (and thus density) of the character. Each Level of Mass Increase doubles the character’s mass and gives then four points of Armor and a Level of Super Strength (which cannot be used to affect Jumping Skill checks or distance). The increased mass should be considered a Unique Defect; increased density means the character will tend to sink in water and place a greater strain on such things as floors, furniture, and vehicles.



MIMIC

Cost: 4-9 Points/Level

Relevant Stat: Mind or Soul

Type: Paranormal, Technological


Upon a successful Stat check, the character can temporarily mimic any single Attribute, Stat, or Skill Level of any target character in the vicinity known to the Mimic. The Mimic Powers Attribute Level determines the amount of Attribute or the Skill or Stat Level that can be mimicked; for each Level of the Mimic Attribute the character possesses 8 points in Attributes, two Skill Levels (with specialties), or one Stat Level can be mimicked. Stats Values (at any rank) cannot be imitated until Mimic is possessed at Level 4 or higher. A mimicked Attribute/Stat/Skill does not add to but replaces the character’s corresponding Level (if applicable); if it is lower, the character’s Attribute/Stat/Skill is not replaced. The character generally only gains the benefits of a mimicked Attribute for a few minutes to a few hours before it wears off. Mimic costs 4 points/Level if the character can only Mimic one specific Skill or one sort of a single Attribute (for example, electrically-powered Special Attacks). Mimic costs 5 points/Level if the character can Mimic a group of Skills, a single simple Attribute (such as Super Strength), a subset of a complex Attribute (for example, energy-based Special Attacks), or a single Stat; or two 4 point/Level categories . Mimic costs 6 points/Level if the character can Mimic any Skill, a complex Attribute (such as Magic), any Attribute of a particular derivation (for example, any one kinetic-force-based Attribute, or any Undead Power), or two of the three Stats; or two 5 point/Level categories, or three to four 4 point/Level categories. Mimic costs 7 points/Level if it can be used to Mimic any Skill, Attribute, or Stat.


Enhanced Mimic: For a additional 2 Points/Level, the character can split their Mimicry between multiple Attributes/Stats/Skills, from one character or many.



NULLIFY

Cost: Varies

Relevant Stat: Soul

Type: Paranormal, Technological


With a successful Soul Stat check, the character can temporarily render the Attributes of other characters unusable within an area (Note that the GM may decide that Normal or some sorts of Racial Attributes are not appropriate for this Attribute). The Nullify Attribute Level determines the maximum amount of Attribute that can be nullified; 5 points of Attribute nullified per level. The character can nullify an Attribute as long as they are conscious and aware of the area (and continue to spend Energy Points if the Nullify is a Magical Power); if purchased for a Mecha (vehicle or building) and specified as operating within the Mecha itself, the Nullify can be assumed to be maintained by the systems of the Mecha itself (in this case, no Soul Stat check is necessary). If the character wishes to move the area affected by the Nullify, they must make a new Soul Stat check. Nullify costs 5 points/Level if it only nullifies one specific sort of a single Attribute (for example, electrically-powered Special Attacks), 7 points/Level if it can nullify a single simple Attribute (such as Super Strength) or a subset of a complex Attribute (for example, energy-based Special Attacks), 10 points/Level if it can nullify a complex Attribute (such as Magic) or any Attribute of a particular derivation (for example, any one kinetic-force-based Attribute, or any Undead Power), and 12 points/Level if it can be used to nullify any allowable Attribute. Nullify normally affects a small area (like a room). If the character wished to affect a larger area, they may pay additional CP (not CP per Level) for the Attribute: +1 to affect a modest area (like a house), +2 to affect the surrounding vicinity (like a city block) and +3 to affect an entire local area (like a neighborhood or village).