View Full Version : Anyone know of Tri-Stat?

2010-12-17, 09:37 AM
I learned from a friend about this game system called Tri-Stat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-Stat_dX), a free tabletop game system. It looks kind of like M&M mixed in a bit with other game systems. For those who have played it before, I was wondering on your opinions of it and suggestions when playing it before I go into a RL game using it.

2010-12-17, 10:29 AM
BESM was one of my college gaming group's standard pick-up-game systems to use when we wanted to play, but didn't have a quorum for one of our ongoing games. The way they had things organized made it possible to play just about any character type you wanted to within the game's genre (anime characters for BESM, superheroes for SAS, etc).

We didn't find it to be particularly well-suited for ongoing campaigns, but that was an older version of the rules (which may have been updated to address that for all I know) and may have also been a result of our group's dynamics.

2010-12-17, 11:06 AM
We recently switched to BESM 3rd Edition, but havn't yet played it much. But from having read the rules and creating characters, it seems like something we really like. The big selling point for me is, that it does not have any class levels, but at the same time is a rather simple system. I looked at GURPS and RuneQuest, but they seem much more complex and complicated.

Our campaign is really mostly about exploring places, meeting people, and figuring out whats going on. Creating character builds or combat really isn't much of a priority for us. And I also enjoy the ability to first come up with a setting and then think about how characters and creatures are represented by the rules. When playing D&D, a lot of things are predetermined just by the fact that you use the PHB.

One thing to keep in mind with Tri-Stat is, that this game isn't balanced. Balance just isn't a concept it botheres about. When beginning a game, players should start with creating backgrounds and personalties for their characters, and then start thinking about how each of these characters can be represented by the rules. It's also a good idea to check with the other players that you make a character of a similar power level. If you just start with picking and customizing abilities that are powerful, it's no problem to come up with several instant-win abilities. For example my group has a thief who had put lots of points in a wide variety of skills. Another player plays a mage and could easily have created three extremely powerful spells that destroy every enemy within 100 meters in the first round of combat.
When players are interested in making powerful characters that can deal with enemies most effectively, TriStat is certainly not a good system. It just turns very rediculous very fast.

2010-12-17, 11:37 AM
I'll agree about the balance issue. If you're looking for something to keep players in line, you're looking at the wrong thing. If you can decide as a group to be reasonable and thematically appropriate, it's hugely fun and worth trying out. If you can't say, "no I'm not allowing that because it's ridiculous and will kill the game", you're not going to like TriStat or BESM.

It's super easy to make things that are broken, and the foreword flat out tells you, "yeah, you *can* do that, but we trust your group to do what's fun for everyone." Also, if players want to get silly, just remember the GM can do the exact same thing. The greatest strength and weakness of TriStat is how open ended it is.

2010-12-17, 10:20 PM
Ah, thanks for the advice. So Tri-Stat is something like M&M then, with fewer restrictions? I've played M&M and I know how to break the game with it, which is why there's always restrictions and people to look over the sheets when I play a M&M game.

2010-12-17, 11:30 PM
I love BESM 3rd edition. If you can get a copy of that, give it a try. It's fun, but very rules-light, so my only advice is to make it clear that breaking the game is not the goal. That shouldn't be a problem with a reasonable group though.

2010-12-18, 06:25 AM
The best way to get BESM 3rd Edition is probably to buy the pdf-version. The print version had only a very low number of books printed and the company that made them is no longer in business.