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Big Eyes, Small Mouth House Rules

Table of Contents

  1. Abilities
  2. Revised Dice Mechanics
  3. Miscellaneous

Abilities

Add three Abilities to the character sheet along side the Stats:

Revised Stats

With the addition of Abilities to the game, the Stats need to be redefined somewhat:

Other Changes

Several other changes need to be made to the rules to accomodate Abilities. The "meta-rule" is that Abilities replace Stats whenever finesse is called for, while Stats are used whenever brute force is the key element; in the former case, Dexterity replaces Body, Intelligence replaces Mind, and Charisma replaces Soul.

Chapter 2: Character Creation

Step 3: Assign Stats and Abilities
The character gets a pool of Ability Points equal to the sum of his or her Stats, which can be put into any of the Abilities following the same restrictions that apply to Stats; the number of starting Ability Points can further be modified by the Talented Attribute or the Not So Talented Defect, listed below.
Step 4: Character Attributes
All Normal Attributes except for Appearance, Divine Relationship, and Heightened Awareness rely on Abilities instead of Stats; and Heightened Awareness uses Dexterity instead of Body. The new Normal Attribute of Talented (cost: 1 point/Level; Relevant Stat: none) increases the starting Ability Points by two per level.
Step 5: Character Defects
The Normal Defect of Not So Fast applies to Dexterity rather than Body. The new Normal Defect of Not So Talented reduces the starting Ability Points by two per level, to a minimum of 3.
Step 6: Skills
Skills have Relevant Abilities instead of Relevant Stats.
Step 7: Derived Values
Use the Abilities instead of the Stats when determining the character's Combat Values. Health Points, Energy Points, and Shock Value are still calculated from Stats.

Chapter 4: Game Mechanics

Dice and Dice Rolls
A fourth major type of dice roll is the Ability Check; Ability Checks are resolved exactly like Stat Checks, except that you use an Ability instead of a Stat. Stat Checks are used whenever raw power is the most important factor involved - such as breaking down a door, keeping your attention on school-work, or resisting torture. Ability Checks are made when finesse or speed is more important than power.

Revised Dice Mechanics

The following replaces the tradition 2d6 mechanism with an Opposed d6's mechanism. To roll Opposed d6's, select two dice of different sizes or shapes; designate one as positive and the other as negative and roll them. Apply the result closer to zero to the character's trait, counting ties as no modifier; so a positive 4 and a negative 3 results in a trait - 3 result, while a positive 5 and a negative 6 results in a trait + 5 result. The GM assigns a Difficulty Number which the character must equal or exceed in order to succeed; a roll of trait + 5 is an automatic Critical Success regardless of the Difficulty, and a roll of trait - 5 is an automatic Critical Failure. For every two full points that the roll is above or below the Difficulty, the character gains an additional Degree of Success or Failure, respectively; the Degrees are Marginal, Minor, Major, Extreme, and Critical.

This approach is equivelent to a 1d6 - 1d6 dice-rolling system such as the one used in Feng Shui, but without the math.

Skills reduce the Difficulty of a task instead of subtracting from the roll. In fact, all bonuses and penalties to the roll increase or reduce the Difficulty instead.

Table 4-2 Revised: Difficulty Numbers
Target NumberAction Difficulty
3Trivial. Why roll dice?
4Nearly Trivial
5Extremely Easy
6Easy
7Average Difficulty
8Slightly Difficult
9Difficult
10Quite Difficult
11Extremely Difficult
12Outrageously Difficult
13Practically Impossible

More realistic Difficulties

The table above is set to duplicate the probabilities of standard BESM; however, some of the standard probabilities don't make much sense: someone with an average Stat (defined as level 4) is quite unlikely to succeed at a task of Average Difficulty. This can be corrected for by adjusting the difficulty ratings so that "Average Difficulty" is a 4:

Table 4-2 Variant: More Realistic Difficulty Numbers
Target NumberAction Difficulty
0Trivial. Why roll dice?
1Nearly Trivial
2Extremely Easy
3Easy
4Average Difficulty
5Slightly Difficult
6Difficult
7Quite Difficult
8Extremely Difficult
9Outrageously Difficult
10Practically Impossible

On this scale, "Trivial" and "Practically Impossible" make sense in terms of someone with a Stat of 4 or 5, but slight increases in the Stat start to make Practically Impossible tasks quite easy to perform; likewise with slight decreases in a Stat and Trivial tasks. You might consider rescaling so that "Trivial" is -5 (so that even someone with Stat 0 would be rolling for a Critical Failure) and "Practically Impossible" is 15 (for similar reasons).

Alternate Criticals

Instead of treating "trait -5" and "trait +5" results as automatic critical failure or success, respectively, roll the dice again; if the result would push the result further away from the trait, add it in. If it's also a 5, repeat the process.