View Full Version : First BESM character.

2010-04-27, 07:18 AM
So, I'm in a BESM game, with the following rather long setting description (the gentleman who's running it is a fan of Robotech, and you may get some references):

Many pilots from a wild variety of backgrounds and motivations have
been called (either volunteering, or have been forced) to a training
station of the Unity, the creatures that conquered Earth, and are now
in the process of securing their sector of space to make it free from

Your character has come here, and will have to take part in their
training and initiation exercises, but how do the Unity plan to make
you their loyal subject?

Things to consider:

1. Background - what type of planet/space station etc. are you from?
What is their government and tech level?

2. How have you been called to the station?

3. What is your previous experience with the Unity, and how do you
feel about them? Are you a spy, a supporter, or have your own
motivation, such as simply wanting to get stronger?
4. What are your goals?

5. What type of mecha will you have? Does it complement the other characters?

More general Background about the setting (still in progress, but this
should give you a flavour). Please note though that it has been years
since I have done any creative writing, so please bear with me!

Earth Year 2462.

For nearly 100 years, Earth and many of its planetary colonies have
been occupied by the forces of an alien race known as 'the Unity',
insectoid creatures who possess superior technology and an unshakeable
belief in their collective goal.

Their goal - that in the future the whole universe will again be
unified and live in harmony, like it was before the Big Bang. Humanity
was one of the 1st species to be essentially made into a vassal of the
Unity, with Unity governors and military presence on many human

However, despite the fact that humanity was conquered, its new rulers
have so far not really been particularly tyrannical or oppressive.
Their general approach has been to let humanity get on with things
with minimal involvement, with violence used only to suppress
uprisings or pirate activity.

It also helped that many members of the Unity who were in regular
close contact with humanity adopted human forms and spoke their

That said, there are a couple of reasons for this laid-back approach:

1. The great infection - During the wars leading up to their eventual
victory, the Unity considered how best to deal with humanity. Early in
the conflict, it was clear that the advantage lay with the Unity, with
its superior weapons, unified government, and genetically enhanced,
psychic forces. Some factions within the Unity pushed for mankind's
annihilation, so that humanity would never again threaten their race.
However, as the conflict continued and the human casualties
skyrocketed, even the most fanatical anti-human factions balked at the
waste of life, and there was even some feelings of pity towards these
brutal, primitive creatures.

To this end, one of the greatest scientists among the Unity put
forward a radical suggestion that would both prevent the pointless
bloodbath and significantly reduce the threat of vengeance from
humanity. Her solution was simple: introduce an advanced virus that
would slowly mutate humanity into the Unity. A human would gain
advanced strength, speed and intellect, but also begin to display
signs of the changes to come; a psychic link to the Unity that would
cause discomfort if any attempts were made to harm it; a hardening of
the skin; the development of small mandibles and forelimbs.

This process should take generations, and the changes should hardly be
noticeable. However, in rare and extreme cases the change would come
fast and violently, effectively creating a hybrid creature, shunned by
humanity as a terrifying vision of what their future held, and
(mostly) embraced by the Unity as a sign of their triumph.

The humans, fearing for the future of their race (which could cease to
exist once the infection takes hold), fragmented and fell into
infighting and endless arguments. Some tried to come to terms and
accept the changes, others tried everything in their power to curb the
infection, still more resolved to continue the fight against the
Unity, no matter what.

In this way, ironically humanity underwent a desperate period of
expansion and colonisation, fueled by a whole host of conflicting
ideas and desires.

Thus a great variety of worlds, governments and scientific endeavours began.

Those who embraced science turned to machines, mutant creatures and
all sorts of genetic experiments (some even attempted to tamper with
the occult) to either fight the Unity, or their infection

Those who vowed to fight became pirates, rebels and outlaws who hid in
the wild expanses of space, preying on shipping lanes (some even on
fellow humans), or embracing guerilla tactics to stop the Unity.

Those who chose to accept this fate either carried on as they had
done, or tried to integrate with the Unity.

Indeed, the Unity encouraged integration, as the strife and upheaval
caused when humans learned of the infection had left many homeless and
alone. The Unity was more than willing to take these outcasts and
strays in, and train and educate them in their ways.

Many would-be enemies and pirates would soon find that when they faced
the Unity, they faced their own kind, given a home and training by the
very creatures that were effectively erasing the human race.

2. The Elders - Believed to be the leaders of the Unity, these
creatures, as their name implies, are the amongst most ancient in
existence. Their lives extended by means unknown, and their powers
grown nearly ten-thousand fold over their piers, they have been
likened to gods.

Throughout the war with the Unity, humans lived in absolute terror of
the Elders. No weapon seemed to harm them, no method seemed to stop
them. There were tales of millions dying by the hand of a single one.
The only reason he war lasted as long as it did was due to the fact
that amongst a population of countless trillions, there are only
believed to be 50-75 Elders at the most, and many of them were
occupied elsewhere (plus humanity became quite proficient at running

Their abilities and powers vary greatly, but most common are the
ability to influence the moods and psyche of those around them, and
supreme speed strength, intellect and agility.

They also have the power to command infected humans.

Needless to say, fighting one is not recommended.

The Unity itself

One of the most remarkable achievements of the Unity is the fact that
despite being in contact with them for over 100 years, humans had
learned relatively little about their conquerors. Perhaps 3 of the
main barriers to gaining a greater understanding of the Unity are that
their language has not been effectively translated (or spoken, as
humans lack the necessary vocal chords), they have been careful to
mask some of the most basic details about their people (such as the
location of their homeworld), and finally, have taken it upon
themselves to look and act human as much as possible around humans.

However, from the various conversations and studies made on them over
the years, the following information has been gathered on them:


While they have been called insects, their forms are incredibly
varied, as it is believed that they were originally created for
specific tasks. There are those amongst the throng of the Unity who
share attributes common to centipedes, crabs, locusts, mantis etc.

However, they do have some things in common - all appear to have 4
eyes (which may have been the result of a genetic experiment to enable
them to see across a wide spectrum), a set of mandibles for eating and
communication, a second set of 'arms' at least, and varying degrees of
telepathic ability.

They also do actually wear clothes of a sort, but these are mainly
limited to a kind of bodysuit that is colour-coded to show their role
in society (some of these colours are similar to human perceptions,
e.g. white for medics/scientists, blue for soldiers/security, while
others are more obscure).

However, their human forms all have a similar athletic build (which is
quite amazing, given the extremely diverse sizes of the creatures that
make up the Unity. As one scientist remarked 'You just gotta know how
to pack!'), although they retain their coloured bodysuits.


While in general, the insectoids of the Unity have been fairly
reticent about their history, the fact that they expressed such wonder
at the biodiversity and favourable climate of Earth suggests that
their homeworld was a much more unforgiving environment. It has been
widely speculated that they were not the dominant life form on their
planet, and learned to survive via effective co-operation, and
adapting their forms for a variety of tasks. As most Unity colonies
are based underground, many anthropologists have assumed that as a
race, the Unity developed space travel fairly late in their history,
and focused most of their energies into becoming the most successful
species on their planet, via processes that included genetic
engineering, telepathy, and various spiritual and cultural exercises
to strengthen the mind and body.

In addition, as insectoid life forms, many have tried to find
parallels to insect colonies on Earth. As such, there has been much
debate over whether they have or have ever had, the standard roles of
drones and queens in their society. Currently, it is believed that the
beings known as 'Elders' carry out many functions that we would
traditionally associate with queens. In addition, most creatures in
the Unity seem to be intelligent, and would not fall under the
category of a 'drone' or 'worker', although there has been arguments
that low ranks (see society) would fit this description. Many of these
tasks are now done by robots.

All this evidence has led scientists to believe that if the Unity ever
had a societal structure similar to those of Earth insects, they have
long since evolved from that.

Indeed, part of this evolution seemed to be an attempt to find an
ideal political system, which apparently resulted in a series of civil
wars, that the Unity refer to (in English) as 'The Great Clash of
Ideologies'. From the limited information gathered, it appears that
several planetary systems were established with different governmental
structures, with the aim of deliberately coming into conflict with
each other, until only one remained.

The result of which is the current state of the Unity today.

Society and politics

Despite being called the Unity, these beings do have factions and
disagreements. However, the important thing is that any potential
conflict is resolved through discussion, compromise, through a sort of
'telepathic democracy' (with the advantage of instant, 100% accurate
opinion polls, and pretty close to 100% voter turnout!). All decisions
are arbitrated by specially assigned high-ranking members of the Unity

The Unity themselves seem to go through stages in society. All start
off as larvae in the nursing chambers where they are taken care of by
specially engineered 'mothers' (as they believe that acting as parents
to their own children is inherently selfish, and all must be brought
up as equally as possible, so that they are allowed to reach their
full potential). In these early years, Unity members do seem to have
many of the characteristics we would commonly associate with insects
(swarm mentality, fairly low intellect, focus on single menial tasks).
During their adolescence, their talents and preferences (and how far
they are able to develop as an individual) are identified and they are
assigned roles based on their skills. Those that perform well go
through several ranks, but these ranks do not just confer authority
and prestige, they also seem to give a Unity member increased genetic
advantages (speed, strength, intellect etc.) as well as more of a
sense of self and independence, with the eventual gift of a carapace.


At lower ranks, Unity members are often part of a swarm and work with
drone robots. They have standard equipment and are often drawn to
higher ranks who can direct them.

When a Unity becomes a high-enough rank, then they are given a
carapace which can be moulded to their role and skillset. This is
actually a sophisticated large suit that psychically links with the
user to perform its role (read: MECHA).

Even at these higher levels, Unity members will operate in groups of 3.

In this way, the Unity military is comprised of swarms of robots and
low ranks to supply firepower, with squads of carapaces to both back
them up, and bring their own unique talents to the battle.

My character's official bio is as follows:

Leonardo Giovanni Alighieri (Leo to his friends), is, on the face of things, a charming and refined young gentleman. He comes from a family that includes many early space-based miners and entrepreneurs (and less uniformly Italian than his name implies), and that might as well be thought of as space aristrocracy, given the stakes they retain in various mining and fabricating interests. Leo has lived on and off of space stations and ships since childhood, and gained a great familiarity with flying them - indeed, he seems to be able to turn his hand to piloting almost anything. This talent has led him to become a test pilot for a small Mech-fabricating start-up based off of Jupiter, by the name of Titan Corp. Currently, he's flying the "Volcano Knight", the assault format (Knight) prototype of their new, roughly centaur-shaped Volcano chassis. Its long, horselike second torso allows it to be equipped with particularly powerful and fast rocket boosters,
and its four legs ensure that it's also speedy on land. Either way, it can swiftly come into close range with its opponents, where it can use its high powered plasma pistol (left forearm; the left arm also carries a shield which the mech can use when out of pistol range) and sword (equipped in a hand on the end of the right arm, although it can also be sheathed on top of the horse-torso) to full effect. (NB: I haven't actually built the mecha yet, and may have to compromise on some of these points).

The rest of the party consist of one little girl who doubles as a cage for a demon (it was this character concept that led to the one line mention of the arcane in the bio getting tacked on), a nutter in a cookery-themed mecha and a cybernetically augmented tech expert in a dual-purpose maintenance/combat mecha. I offered to do a dual background with the third of these, since he'd be maintaining our mechs, and would thus be in a position to know my character's secret history (which I'm going to try and keep from the other two gamers as long as possible):

Leo's sister was a hideously deformed insectoid, and the delivery did not go well... both she, and their mother died in the process (yay for cliche!). Titan corp is a shell for a well-funded clandestine organisation, whose professed agenda is to get humanity free of Unity rule and stop the virus further unmaking humanity. Leo is an agent of said organisation, and his mech, like all of the Volcano line of mechs (currently consisting of four prototypes to his knowledge: the general purpose configuration Volcano Soldier; the heavy weapons platform Volcano Dragon; and the utility configuration Volcano Smith) is in fact a vehicle for a one-shot, very high-powered beam weapon, concealed in the horse-like torso that each of these centaur-shaped mechs shares. Firing this weapon will melt the mech (and yes, there will be an ejector seat).

If points allow, I'll be giving Leo some resistance to mind-reading, which I might fluff as either a cybernetic addition or a virus-derived feature.

My third co-gamer is responsible for maintaining the prototype on its field trial, and is as aware of its capabilities and the nature of Titan Corp as my own character.

We're getting a 350 point build for the characters, and I was thinking of going for 6 body, 6 int, 5 soul, with a slightly modified version of the mech pilot template and a load of extra skills for the rest of the points. I've only briefly looked at the mech construction rules, but reckon what I want should be doable. Is it?

2010-04-27, 11:27 AM

Which edition are you playing in? I have a suspicion it's 3e, if only because 350 points in 1e or 2e would result in a staggeringly powerful character, and the d20 version didn't use Body/Mind/Soul to the best of my limited recollection, but I could be wrong.

2010-04-27, 11:39 AM
Yes, I think it was 3e. And yes, I would be very powerful even so... but a lot of my character's power is invested in having a big mech to pilot, and being good at piloting it (the standard mech pilot occupational template was 140 points).

EDIT: On the whole, I'm sure the character's fine. Not so sure about the mech...

2010-04-27, 07:06 PM
Well, your occupational template spent 80 points on Item giving 160 points to buy a mecha with. The book's Assault Mecha is 150 points and gives a solid baseline to work with. Customize that as you like.

Remember that the way BESM's system is assembled, you get a better benefit boosting Soul (counts for both HP and EP) than the other two. So, if you were to, instead of going 6B 6I 5S (netting 55 Hp and Ep), go 5B 5I 7S you'd net 60 Hp and Ep for the same point value. Furthermore, your ACV and DCV wouldn't decrease. You would struggle a bit more with soul and int checks, but those basic stat checks are fairly rare, more often you'll get to use your skill bonuses along with.

Remember to closely read the combat chapter. It's important.

2010-04-28, 04:15 AM
Thank you - I'll very likely start from the Assault Mecha next time I get a look at the book. And 5, 5, 7 does fit my general idea of the character being a good all rounder pretty well, so I'd have no objection to going for that at all...