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Things Mark Really Likes about BESM 3 - BESM 3 — LiveJournal
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Things Mark Really Likes about BESM 3
I'm obviously quite pleased how BESM 3 turned out. As our swan song, it's pretty spiffy.

There are some aspects of the new game that I just adore, though, and I thought you might like to know what a designer feels is important about his game:

Unified Modifiers
Probably the best part of the new game. All bonuses/penalties/target numbers now follow the progression of ±1, ±3, ±6, ±12, ±18, ±24. This unification cuts down on too many rules and exceptions.

Sizes and Modifiers
As mentioned in an earlier post, sizes now make much more sense and are much more elegant than before. Nuff said.

This is such a great addition to BESM, but it's quite unfortunate that more about it might not see the light of day. I had the general concept of what I wanted, and David wrote some great stuff that completely captured the concept. It's tasty.

Roll High
Although I initially didn't see the need for rolling high, after the mechanics took form I fell in love with them. Much, much superior to what I created in BESM 1.

Standard/Custom Variables and Restrictions
First, these customisations a much better implementation of PMVs from Silver Age Sentinels. Having each Attribute function as written was a huge improvement. Almost as big an improvement was the reorganisation of the chapters to segregate customisation in a separate section. Chalk that change up to great playtester comments. The entire customisation of the baseline simply rocks now.

Weapons and Damage Multiplier
David takes credit for this one. [Weapon Level x Damage Multiplier] is brilliant. A vast improvement over how sloppy we handled some aspects of weapons and damage in BESM 2. Everything flows much more smoothly now.

Skills as Attributes
Making Skills just like all other Attributes was logical, efficient, and easy. Rather silly we didn't do it that way to begin with, but the Point values wouldn't really accommodate it in BESM 2.

Dimension Walk
Amber and Anime -- two great flavours that have finally come together. Don't worry if you don't understand what this means.

Dynamic Powers
The way it's supposed to be written without any of that hand-holding shit that I wrote the first time in SAS. It's a mature role-playing tool for mature role-players. If you don't "get it" when you read the description, then it's not for you.

Making all non-character things simply cost one-half is a spectacular time-saver and cohesive container Attribute. No categories, no fiddly rules. Much improved.

Skill costs vary by Genre
Loved this idea when we first came up with it, and I still love it. A great system mechanic that reflects role-playing, rather than the other way around. I don't know of any other game that does it.

Not an essential component of the game, but really handy for introducing the game to beginners. Would have been a godsend in supplement creation. And it helps reinforce the Metamorphosis Attribute. The Power Templates finally help magic click for me too ... which was one reason we never really addressed magic much in any BESM 2 supplement (I couldn't figure out how I wanted to do it).

Finally: and explanation that proves how deadly BESM can be if you want it to be. Take that, realism critics!

Item Chapter
It's great to finally have an extensive list of weapons, armour, and misc items in one place. Great for many genres.

Layout and Graphic Design
Big time Kudos to Adam. We have established a high standard for ourselves regarding graphic design (BESM 2, Tenchi Muyo, Silver Age Sentinels, A Game of Thrones), and Adam certainly proved himself up to the challenge. An excellent design that reinforced anime 1000%.
9 comments :: Leave a comment
grysar From: grysar Date: January 29th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like what I'm seeing regarding BESM 3 and have put in my order. My group made rough versions of a few of your changes (e.g. size rules) in place when using BESM 2 and Tristat, so I was happy to see them show up in 3. I look forward to getting the book,

As a side note, from what you've said here, it seems like Dynamic Powers/Power Flux are geared towards rules light/rule intensive players. That was somewhat true in Tristat DX but it sounds as if you've intensified it. That seems like a reasonable choice, although I'd argue that those prefering Dynamic Powers aren't necessarily more mature. The difference is more one of play style. As you can probably guess, I'm a rules-heavy gamer. I don't think that makes me more or less mature, it's just the style of game I prefer. In general, I think the way you allow dropping or avoiding certain blocks of rules is a great way to deal with varied play-style preferences.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 30th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
i think the reference to maturity is a matter of a difference in the gamer that uses dynamic sorcery to be sensible and humorous in ways that are a contribution to the group as well as being a fair and responsible player as opposed to ones that abuse it or use to make a mockery of the game by "god-modding" and meta-gaming
grysar From: grysar Date: January 30th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that just gets to the different play styles. Rules-heavy gaming means in general you can use powers however you want so long as you stay within the rules. Mature rules-heavy players will minimize time spent arguing about the rules and will be able to quickly give the GM the knowledge he or she needs to make a call. Similarly a mature rules-heavy player would be willing to suggest a house rule that goes against his or her interest. Strictly speaking it shouldn't be possible to "god-mode" in a rules-heavy game.

Rules-lite, as you say, involves players making more of an effort to be "fair and responsible" or "sensible." So they use their judgment as to what is a reasonable use of the power rather than using it to the full extent that the rules allow. As you say, mature players are better at this.

Essentially, for rules-heavy systems the system itself makes more judgment calls. For rules-light, the player and the GM make more calls in exchange for greater flexibility. Obviously this isn't an either or thing, most groups and in fact most gamers have a mix of both characteristics.

And as I say, I commend BESM 3 for letting players and GMs pick the style of game they want to play. More power to you for making things that some players might not like modular and thus easily removable. I just wanted to make clear that I "get" how dynamic powers work, but that I probably won't use it because it's not my play style. By comparison, I look forward to using variables to their full extent, because that is my plays tyle.
From: strongblade Date: January 30th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
As a swan song, yes, it is an awesome one to have. I am just sad it had to be a swan instead of say, a phoenix. Wonderful plumage those Phoenixes.
From: jrclarkiii Date: February 2nd, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, after watching my favorite gaming company dissipate into the ether last year, I will definitely be picking up a copy of BESM3e. Mark, I can't even imagine what it is like for you to watch this book toddle off without it being your baby anymore. Hopefully, there is a sense of pride that it still saw print.

I don't really understand some people's need to carp and complain. I'm personally just happy to see one last book from GOO, even if it technically is someone else's book.

I am curious as to how closely the Deluxe Game of Thrones Tri-Stat rules parallel the BESM3e rules. Any thoughts on how compatible those two systems are? I assumed Game of Thrones Tri-Stat was a dry run of sorts for BESM3e.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 7th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)


I just got my copy of 3rd edition and it is great! I just wanted to say thank you, Mark. Good job!

fullburn From: fullburn Date: February 10th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
All these things and more are really great additions to the system, I'm happy to have the book!

Curiously enough, about half of my group's house rules made their way into this new edition as well either in the same way we used to do it or in a superior one. That's awesome on so many levels.

The best thing so far for me: in second edition, it was relatively easy for players to powergame up cheap attacks that would completely annihilate their targets in 1-2 shots. (Level 1 weapon attack + melee = 45 damage for 4 points? Always wondered how this one slipped through the cracks) The damage multiplier system combined with too many other changes to mention seems to have really addressed this. Perhaps I can even run a campaign that actually uses Shock Value now? :D
sukael From: sukael Date: March 7th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem with Dynamic Powers, IMO, is that there are absolutely no guidelines for what should/shouldn't be accomplishable with a certain level of it.
uthred From: uthred Date: May 19th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I largely agree with this - to be honest saying "If you dont get it then your immature" seems to me to be both a) offensive and b)smacks of "The Emperor's new clothes". Dynamic powers have never been particularly well written or described in any edition of the rules.
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