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Big Eyes Small Mouth 4E

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Introduction

The Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM) 4th Edition Extras character sheet was designed to be easy to read and navigate, and is broken down into 6 sections to focus on different aspects of the character sheet:

  1. Title (i.e. Character Sheet) - this displays and provides a management layer for character information, character points, size template, and sheet options.
  2. Screen - the main player interface tracking status, conditions, defenses, attack capabilities, rolls, and active attributes.
  3. Stats - provides a management layer for purchasing and viewing stats.
  4. Attributes - provides a management layer for purchasing, configuring, and making changes to attributes; including defects, items, power flux and power variation attributes.
  5. Skills - provides a management layer for purchasing and managing skills, and performing skill rolls.
  6. Trappings - provides a player interface for managing inventory and note keeping.

For sheet Status, Updates & changelog, see: Big Eyes Small Mouth 4E/Status
Sheet created by John D.

BESM 4E character sheet preview (Nov 2021, v.1.2)

Contents


Game Mechanics Conversions

Every effort has been made to represent BESM 4e in Roll20 to the best of the Core and Extras rulebooks. However, not all rules or concepts translate well from BESM 4e into Roll20 (or a VTT). Where ever a rule or concept could not be represented well, or the rulebooks were too ambiguous or open ended, attributes or game mechanics were codified and made more strict to better facilitate sheet automation and game play flow. These changes will be called out throughout this documentation.

Edges and Obstacles

All rolls are subject to edges and obstacles, therefore, every roll will present the player with a choice to select the roll as: Normal, Minor Edge, Minor Obstacle, Major Edge, Major Obstacle. Some automation has been factored into weapon rolls where edges or obstacles applied by an attribute, weapon customization, or maneuver will be totaled and applied to the roll.

As per the Core rulebook, edges and obstacles are cumulative and can cancel each other out. This concept is baked into weapon rolls.

Under normal conditions roll selections are configured as such:

  • Normal = 2d6
  • Minor Edge = 3d6kh2
  • Minor Obstacle = 3d6kl2
  • Major Edge = 4d6kh2
  • Major Obstacle = 4d6kl2

If a minor edge is factored into a weapon roll, then the roll selections are shifted to accommodate the new base:

  • Normal = 3d6kh2
  • Minor Edge = 4d6kh2
  • Minor Obstacle = 2d6
  • Major Edge = 4d6kh2
  • Major Obstacle = 3d6kl2

If a major obstacle is factored into a weapon roll, then the roll selections are shifted accordingly:

  • Normal = 4d6kl2
  • Minor Edge = 3d6kl2
  • Minor Obstacle = 4d6kl2
  • Major Edge = 2d6
  • Major Obstacle = 4d6kl2


Damage

BESM offers a variety of ways to calculate for damage, and the one employed by this character sheet is "Modifying The Total Damage, Based On Attack Roll". The reason for this is to eliminate scenarios where a character may hit their opponent/target as well as they possibly can, but then roll damage as low as the dice can possibly go.

Additionally, basing the damage on how well a character can perform a maneuver also mitigates scenarios where their opponent never takes any significant damage due to the mathematics of them being superior in stats and/or attribute values. While the merits of this can be debated, in game play this ends up more detrimental to players and immersion because combat scenes will painfully protract without GM intervention.

Also, the Extras rulebook spreads damage over 5 progressive layers, but since we have machines to do the math for us this damage spectrum is spread over all 11 possibilities of the dice rolls. The end to end scale remains the same, but the actual damage output is more granular.

In summary, an attacker's potential damage is a percentage of their weapon's total damage based on the dice roll. This damage is applied to the defender if their defense roll is lesser than the attacker's attack roll. Actual damage taken by the defender is mitigated by any active protection layers, such as forcefield or armor.

Shields

BESM 4e removed the Shield attribute as was present in 3e. This character sheet has brought back the Shield Attribute for reasons of game mechanics. In BESM 4e, the intention was to express a shield as an Armor Attribute with the Potent customization. Additionally, the game mechanics behind shields apply as such:

If using a shield to parry an attack, then the benefits provided by the Potent customization would apply to the character's defense roll.

However, if the shield is being used to block an attack, then the character makes no defense roll and places the shield between them and their attacker. Thus, resulting in the shield applying its Armor Rating (AR) to the attacker's damage before applying any Armor attribute (though Forcefield AR would apply before the shield's AR).

This is quite complicated to express in code, to treat Armor as a Shield when the attributes are the same. Therefore, the simplest way to express the above rules/behavior was to bring back the Shield Attribute.

Attribute and Skill Groups

These groups provide a few functions outside of organizational housekeeping for players. They facilitate:

  • Items - an item in BESM is also an attribute, but an item is made up of one or more other non-item attributes. Each of these other attributes can also have their own customizations, and items can have defects. Therefore, a group can be assigned as an item, and, as per the Core rulebook, all attributes and defects assigned to an item have their costs halved.
  • Power Flux and Power Variation Attributes - these attributes are unique in that they affect attributes assigned to them. The most logical way to implement Power Flux and Power Variations were as a group type. While Power Flux and Power Variation are assigned as attributes, once they are assigned to a group they change the group type respectively. Only one Power Flux or Power Variation attribute can be assigned to a group, but not both or in other combinations.


Attributes

Each attribute has three buttons to be aware of:

Q activates and deactivates the attribute.

) locks the attribute from having any changes made to it.

y opens a modal for configuring, applying customizations, and assigning levels to the attribute.

Besm4e attr demo2.gif




An attribute can only be configured/modified when the padlock is open. This includes opening the options menu via the gear icon, naming/renaming the attribute, and selecting the type of attribute.

An attribute can only be activated when the padlock is closed. When activated, the attribute's characteristics and customizations will be applied to the character. When deactivated, the attribute's characteristics and customizations will be removed from the character.


Besm4e powerflux demo4.gif

Power Flux

Once assigned to a group, set the appropriate level, then lock and activate to set up the group's flux points for all other attributes in the group. Defects and skills should not be added to power flux groups (use the Skill Flux limiter on the Power Flux attribute for fluxing skill points instead).

Any number of attributes may be added or removed, as long as the total attribute cost does not exceed the available flux points. See Core rulebook for more details on what attributes are appropriate for a power flux.



Power Variation

Assign to a new group and then add the attributes that will share character points (they do not need to be activated). Then set the power variation attribute level to n-1, where n is the number of attributes in the group (sans the power variation attribute). Lock and activate the power variation attribute to establish the total number of variable character points that can shift between attributes in the group.

Note: per the Core rulebook, new attributes can NOT be added to an established power variation. If upgrading, with GM permission, deactivate the power variation attribute before augmenting attribute levels. Adding new attributes requires increasing the power variation attribute level appropriate to the total of attributes in the group.

Telekinesis

When activating Telekinesis, with an effective level > 1, a special Weapon will be armed with the No Hands Enhancement. Please see the Core rulebook for how damage is attributed at each level. By default, Telekinesis has no Range or Area Enhancement assigned, and therefore can only be used at "touch" range on a single target/object. Assigning the Range Enhancement will apply to the Telekinesis Weapon. If the Area Enhancement is applied, this assumes the Weapon affects everything within the area. The way the Core rulebook was interpreted for Telekinesis was to lean into the textbook definition of telekinesis:

The supposed ability to move objects at a distance by mental power or other nonphysical means. - Oxford University Press

Therefore, the description in the Core rulebook for using the Telekinesis as a Weapon with bare telekinetic force is not supported by the character sheet. Instead, the Telekinesis Attribute applies to manipulating objects. The effect of using the Telekinesis Weapon should use "thrown" objects up to the mass detailed in the Core rulebook. If a player wishes to use bare telekinetic force as a Weapon, then they should create a new Weapon Attribute where this is the effect of the Weapon and assign the No Hands Enhancement along with all other appropriate Enhancements or Limiters, such as Knockback, Range/Area, Stun, Concentration, etc.

Additionally, the Telekinesis Attribute should be thought of as a clumsy or broad use of force. For fine manipulation, as in performing tasks with hands, players should assign the Extra Arms Attribute with the Range Enhancement where the effect is telekinetic in nature. This will allow characters to wield weapons with telekinesis, open doors, throw switches, perform grappling maneuvers, etc.

Defects

Among the list of attributes, defects appear as an option as they share the same framework as attributes. However, when a defect is selected as the attribute type, the options menu will change to accommodate the possible configurations for defects. Including the type of defect.

Skills

While skills are also an attribute, they require a different framework than other attributes do. However, skill points are still acquired by purchasing a "skill attribute". When configuring a skill attribute, each attribute level will provide 10 skill points, and a skill group must be selected in the skill attribute's options menu via the gear (y) icon. When activated, the skill points purchased in the skill attribute will be configured in the corresponding skill group. Actual skill purchases are done in the skill groups.

Per the Extras rulebook, skill specializations can be purchased for the cost of 1 skill point. However, each skill receives one specialization for free. This is reflected in the character sheet through automation. In the skill options menu there is a specializations field for entering specializations in a comma separated format. The first specilization entered will not cost a skill point, but for each consecutive specialization entered (separated by a comma!) will automatically add 1 skill point to the total cost of the skill.

The reason comma separation is emphasized here is because that's what the character sheet looks for to determine the number of specializations have been configured for the skill.

Skills do not need to be activated.

Each skill is preconfigured with a default stat(s), but players (with GM permission) may change which stat(s) should apply to a skill when rolled, via the person icon (U). Press this button to reveal the available stats. Depressing a stat button will set that stat for the skill. Depressing multiple stat buttons will average those stats together.

Custom Skills

The skill system is based on a JSON formatted string. GMs with a pro subscription may pull the HTML and CSS files from the Roll20 GitHub repository to use as a custom template, locate the variable global_templates_skills_json and replace its JSON string with a correctly formatted JSON string containing alterations or new skills. The skills list builds on the first open event of a new character sheet, so new skills or alterations cannot be introduced later in a character sheet's use. The skills system is driven by sheet workers and not the API.

Skill Groups (as per Core ruleset)

BESM Core skill groups are not natively supported by this character sheet. However, due to how the skill systems works, skill groups may be supported as custom skills by replacing the default skills JSON string with one that contains skill groups instead. Note: this will NOT change the skills framework of the character sheet. Therefore, to accurately portray the cost of skill groups per the Core ruleset, multiply skill group costs by 10 in the skills JSON string. Such that a Skill Group that costs 1 point per level should cost 10 in the custom skill JSON. Similarly, a Skill Group that costs 2 points per level should cost 20, and so on.

Other Genre Skill Costs

Skill costs default to multi-genre, but all other genres defined in the BESM Extras rulebook can be configured with a pro subscription by adjusting the variable global_templates_game_genre. To achieve this the GM must uses the HTML and CSS character sheet files on Roll20's GitHub repository, and add them to their game as a custom template.

To change the skills cost to match your game's genre, follow the chart below to set the value of global_templates_game_genre accordingly:

  • Multi-Genre = 0
  • Action Adventure = 1
  • Animal Adventures = 2
  • Classic Horror = 3
  • Detective = 4
  • Loony Cartoons = 5
  • Romantic Comedy = 6
  • Slice of Life = 7
  • Spy Thriller = 8
  • Supernatural Occult = 9
  • Eco Fantasy = 10
  • High Fantasy = 11
  • Low Fantasy = 12
  • Urban Fantasy = 13
  • Cyberpunk/Realitypunk = 14
  • Hard SF = 15
  • Mecha Drama = 16
  • Post- Apocalyptic = 17
  • Soft SF = 18
  • Space Opera = 19
  • 20th Century War = 20
  • Age of Discovery = 21
  • Age of Pirates = 22
  • Age of Samurai = 23
  • Ancient Mediterranean = 24
  • Industrial Age = 25
  • Middle Ages = 26
  • Steampunk = 27
  • Stone Age = 28
  • Wild West = 29



Stats and Shortcomings

By default the character sheet uses the tri-stat system BESM is largely built upon. The tri-stats are also referred to as all aspects stats. The Shortcoming defect allows players to specify different aspects of an all aspect that are deficient, or not as good as other aspects of the all aspects stat. These are called major aspect stats. They are codified in the character sheet according to their corresponding all aspects stat (see below).

When one or more shortcoming is activated, the all aspects stats will breakout into their respective major aspect stats. Note that major aspect stats are equal to the value of their all aspect stat, minus a corresponding shortcoming. If no shortcoming is applied then the major aspect stat remains equal to its all aspect stat.

Body

  • Agility - ability to move quickly and easily.
  • Constitution - vitality and health.
  • Dexterity - skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands.
  • Strength - the quality or state of being physically strong.

Mind

  • Creativity - the use of the imagination or original ideas.
  • Intellect - the faculty of understanding objectively, abstract, or academic matters.
  • Perception - the ability to perceive something through the senses.
  • Reasoning - the action of thinking about something in a logical, sensible way.

Soul

  • Awareness - the state of being conscious of something; the ability to directly know, feel, or to be cognizant of events.
  • Charisma - compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
  • Composure - the state or feeling of being calm and in control of oneself.
  • Willpower - control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.



Maneuvers and Rolls

Attack and defense rolls build dynamically based on the weapon armed and the maneuver selected. Edges, obstacles, damage, and attribute/customizations are all calculated and included in the output of the roll.


Perception Rolls

Perception rolls, found under 'Rolls' on the Sheet section, are appropriate when a character may take notice to something discernable through their senses. This roll is based on Mind, or Perception if shortcomings are used.


Senses

Perception rolls are based on one of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste.

Icon Mapping

E Sight

m Hearing

Y Touch

r Smell

c Taste


Heightened Awareness

This attribute adds directly to perception rolls when active, increasing the roll base. Hence, (Mind||Perception) + Heightened Awareness + 2d6.


Heightened Senses

Apply either a minor or major edge to a Perception roll by sense (i.e. sight, hearing, taste, touch, or smell). A bonus icon will appear next to the sense icon indicating whether a minor or major edge would apply to that sense used in a Perception roll.

Icon Mapping

& Minor Edge

+ Major Edge

Example

E& Sight with Minor Edge

Sensory Impairment

This defect deviates from the Core rulebook to better suite the game mechanics of the charactersheet. While the available ranks remain the same, they will apply an obstacle to the Perception Roll when using a particular sense or the sense will be unusable entirely.

Icon Mapping

_ Minor Obstacle

- Major Obstacle

D Loss of Sense

Example

m- Hearing with Major Obstacle

Sense Edge/Obstacle Resolution

Edges and obstacles applied by Heightened Senses and Sensory Impairment follow the Core rulebook. A minor edge and minor obstacle will cancel each other out, or a major edge becomes a minor edge when a minor obstacle is applied, and so on.

Sixth Sense

These allow a character to have awareness of phenomena but do not otherwise affect or expand Perception rolls.


Supersense

Extends what can be perceived by the five senses. While Supersenses do not directly affect game mechanics, they do allow characters to make Perception rolls against their environment when the appropriate Supersense would apply. Such as if a character had the Ultraviolet Supersense, would be allowed to make a visual Perception roll against the ultraviolet spectrum for something that could only be seen in ultraviolet light or is emitting ultraviolet light.

Weapons

When a weapon attribute is activated, it appears on the Screen section as being armed. All characters start with a main hand and an off-hand. The attribute Extra Arms will appear here, too, when the attribute is activated, providing more "hands" that may be armed with weapons. If a weapon attribute is assigned the enhancement No Hands, then the weapon attribute will appear armed on the Screen section without occupying a hand.

Weapons without the No Hands enhancement will occupy a single hand, by default, or two hands if the weapon attribute has been assigned the Hands limiter. Arming weapons happens automatically using the following logic:

Single Handed

  1. Occupy main hand if empty
  2. Occupy off-hand if empty (this will enable dual-wielding)
  3. Occupy extra arm if present and empty
  4. Both main hand and off-hand are occupied, force arm in main hand (this will disable the current weapon armed in the main hand and replace it)

Two-handed

  1. Occupy main hand if both main hand and off-hand are empty
  2. Occupy extra arm if two extra arms or more are present and empty
  3. Force arm in main hand (this will disable the current weapons armed in both the main hand and off-hand and replace them)


Unarmed

If no weapon attribute is armed then the character sheet assumes an attack or defense roll is Unarmed. Any unarmed related attributes will be applied, such as Combat Technique - Brutal or Melee Attack - Unarmed.


Targeted Attacks, Defense, and Damage

When activated, any attribute that is natively targeted (i.e. Enemy Attack), or can be configured to be targeted (i.e. Massive Damage with limiter Targeted), will have a corresponding button appear on the Screen section to add or remove the attribute's bonus to the appropriate rolls. This allows the player to quickly factor in their character's targeted bonuses when acting on a targeted subject.

Icon Mapping

[ Enemy Attack

e Enemy Defense

t Massive Damage - Targeted

b Ranged Defense - Personal

; Ranged Defense - Movement


Enhancements

Autofire - an armed weapon with Autofire will expose a UI for players to select the "fire mode" for their weapon (Single, Burst, or Full Auto). Note: this enhancement does not follow the Core rulebook exactly. Due to the ambiguity of the Ammo Limiter, taking into account the most likely intention for how Autofire should work, and researching fully automatic firearms, the rate of fire for each fire mode is: Single = 1, Burst = 3, Full Auto = 6. How many shots hit is determined by the dice roll but only if the attacker's roll defeats the defender's. It is difficult to accurately portray automatic weapons in BESM, but as BESM is an effect-based game accuracy in the game mechanics is not the point. This enhancement seems best for small arms where the rate of fire would be under 650 RPM. For larger, vehicular/mecha type weapons, the rates of fire can be ridiculous and this is where effect-based thinking should flourish. At 2,000 or greater RPM, this would better be portrayed as a weapon with high damage and the Accuracy Enhancement, as the high rate of fire is delivering greater probability of deadly force. Note: players who want to "spray" with Autofire should have the weapon set to Full Auto.

Attack rolls will expose the number of hits per shots expended. When playing with the Ammo Limiter, players should subtract the number of shots expended (not hits!) from their weapon's Capacity.


Range - an armed weapon with Range will expose a UI for players to select the range their target is within (Effective, Intermediate, or Remote) and apply the appropriate penalty for Intermediate or Remote ranges. See Extras rulebook for more information.

Limiters

Ammo - when selected in the Attribute's Options menu, a new field will be exposed to set the weapon's Capacity. Note that the rank assigned to Ammo will determine the number of reloads, i.e. rank 1 = 6, rank 2 = 3, rank 3 = 1, rank 4 = 0. This is not the number of shots! Capacity defines the number of shots available per reload. In terms of modern firearms, Ammo rank would define the number of magazines carried for the weapon, and Capacity would define the number of rounds per magazine. In terms of Medieval weapons, a bow would have Ammo of 1 (rank 3) and capacity of 24 arrows in the quiver. To determine the appropriate value for a weapon's Capacity, work with the GM and use modern and ancient weapons for reference. Such as, most modern automatic and semi-automatic rifles can receive a 30 round magazine, a revolver up to 6 rounds (depending on caliber), etc. While some automatic rifles can have 100 round magazines, these are unreliable and should also have the Unreliable Limiter applied to them (just a suggestion).

An armed weapon with Ammo will expose a UI for players to manage their "reloads" and "capacity". These fields can be changed manually, however, a "reload" button is available to restore a weapon's capacity when exhausted if there are reloads available. The intention here was to provide as much automation as possible. Players should only ever have to manually restore the weapon's reloads. There are no checks to enforce reloads exceeding Ammo ranks. Please play honestly, or exceed with GM permission.

Status Page

View known issues, roadmap, and version history: Big_Eyes_Small_Mouth_Status