View Full Version : Running a BESM game

2008-06-19, 02:54 AM
I posted this on the XKCD forums a bit ago, but I don't visit these forums often, so it didn't occur to me to post it here.

This thread is to serve two purposes: First, to chronicle the exploits of my sister and her fiancee, and two, to get feedback and hopefully ideas from other Pen and Paper RPG players.

BESM, for those of you who don't know, is an anime-based system similar to GURPS. Unfortunately it's out of print now, but you might still be able to find a copy of the book on eBay if you're interested in it. We're using the Tri-stat system version, as opposed to the d20 version that was around for a brief period, which I don't have.

Anyway, my sister is rather unfamiliar with PnP games, so I thought this would be a good introduction to them for her, since she's an anime fan. Her fiancee has some experience with D&D at least, and maybe some other systems, but I don't know for sure which ones.

My sister made a Harry Potter-type witch, while her fiancee made an overconfident wrestler. Both are students at the same high school. The first session was last Sunday. I started it off with Thorpe (the wrestler) in the finals of the state wrestling championship, to get them both familiarized with the battle system. His opponent, who I came up with off the top of my head, lost after four or five rounds. The next few days of game time were pretty normal, but one day they notice things are odd- very few people were around, and there didn't seem to be any birds or bugs or anything. When they get to school, only a small handful of other students are there. Thorpe pokes around and eventually checks out the teacher's lounge, where a punk he's known for most of his scholastic career is tearing furniture up, breaking the coffeemaker, scatterng files around, and so on. The punk tells Thorpe to piss off when he tries to put a stop to this, and disappears down the hall. At this point, Wilhelm, another student Thorpe knows, shows up and asks if he knows where everybody is. Not finding anything out, Wilhelm departs. Thorpe, being something of a troublemaker himself, decides to raid the chemistry lab for things with which to make a homemade explosive.

Meanwhile, Shera, my sister's character, is poking around the school and looking for any clues. She has an odd feeling which she feels she should recognize, but doesn't. Getting an odd feeling from the direction of the city library, (she has the Sixth Sense: Magic Sense attribute) she heads there. The feeling gets stronger as she approaches, but fades shortly after she arrives, though it's still present. Wilhelm is there, doing some kind of research, but he doesn't have much of anything to say. She heads back to the high school and notices Thorpe sitting in a room filled with smoke from a failed bomb, spinning around in a teacher's chair and hooting for no reason in particular. While they had both been seeing a few other students earlier in the day, by now they're the only ones there anymore. Thorpe decides to tag along with Shera in the hopes of finding out what's going on (because "There's nobody to impress around here, so why not?").

They take Thorpe's car to City Hall, where Shera's odd feeling seem to be originating from now, stopping on the way for Thorpe to loot an empty convenience store and stuff his bag full of pork rinds. When they arrive at City Hall, they encounter a force field blocking the entrance and all the windows. Shera lanches a fireball at it to see if she can penetrate it, but it fizzles before doing anything. Thorpe, who until this point didn't know Shera was a witch, puts her in a headlock. Shera gets out of it by levitating Thorpe off the ground by the scrotum, which naturally puts a damper on his enthusiasm. Once he's calmed down, they're pretty much out of ideas until Thorpe, brilliant thinker that he is, decides to ram the force field with his car. This totals the vehicle, and makes no apparent difference in the force field. Now being completely out of ideas, they decide to head back to the public library.

On the way, they turn down an alley and encounter a street gang. They seem to be more interested in fighting than in figuring out what's giong on, and attack. Thorpe easily dispatches three of them, causing the others to hesitate. While they do, Thorpe strips off the three downed tough's clothes and ties them all together by thier underpants. The gang's leader then decides to follow them, mostly because he's pretty sure Thorpe could take them all singlehandedly if he happens to feel like it.

Making it back to the library without further incident, they find the place trashed and Wilhelm nowhere to be found. The gang spreads out and searches for him, eventually bringing him back to Thorpe and Shera via dragging him by the collar. Wilhelm is shaken by this, but reveals that he's managed to find a spell that supposedly should restore things to how they should be, but a concave mirror ad a certain sword are neccesary to cast it. Shera has a mirror, but to get the sword, they need to go to the local museum. They arrive there and locate the sword, while Thorpe picks up an English battle axe. They head back to City Hall and try to cast the spell, but nothing happens. Thorpe gets the idea to try using the sword on the force field, which cuts a hole through it big enough for himself, Shera, and the gang to enter.

Shera locates the source of her odd feeling on the third floor of the building. They make thier way up there and open the doors to a large room, revealing a person standing in front of a huge swirling vortex, chanting in an unknown language. Thorpe charges him, only to get punched by the person, resullting in a feeling similar to being hit by a car. Shera can feel very clearly that her feeling is eminating from this person, so she asks him what he's doing. He replies that the world is in trouble and can't survive in it's current state, and needs to be restored to how it was before. He then raises his arms and summons a bunch of pig-dog-beasts. Thorpe does the first thing that comes to mind and grabs Shera, then leaps into the vortex with her.

After falling for what feels like a long time, they both find themselves on a mountainside. Thorpe decides it's a good time to munch on his pork rinds, and does so while they make thier way down an overgrown path towards the foot of the mountain. Towards dusk, they come accross an old cabin, where they decide to spend the night, not realizing that a blind old man lives there (they didn't even knock before coming to this decision). He invites them in for the night and tells them there's a town not far away if they stay on the path. Thorpe goes out and looks around the countryside a bit before going back in and asking if the BLIND old man could draw them a map of the area.

They leave the next morning and arrive at the city, asking around a bit before determining that they want to go to a place called the Magic Kingdom. They locate a cargo vessel headed there and get passage on the ship. This is the point where we ended the first session.

The second session was this Monday. They had some time before the ship to the Magic Kingdom left, so they looked around the city for a while after Thorpe attempts and critically fumbles at building a pipe-bomb. They wind up in the business district and notice that everyone is doing business with what looks like credit cards. Deciding they need some money, they try to sell all the chemistry equipment that Thorpe looted from the school last session. They find a buyer at a knick-knack store, but since they don't have cards, they wind up trading the stuff for a ring, which Shera takes. The store owner directs them to a bank down the way, where they apply for and get credit cards. After this they wander around a bit more before heading back to the airport and boarding thier ship to the Magic Kingdom.

On route, they notice that the landmass of the place they just left drops off suddenly into nothingness, finding this odd. They arrive in the Magic Kingdom and wander around a bit, noticing that everyone seems to be wearing the same vest and robe combo, differentiated only by colors. After a bit, they get directions to the university and head there. At the front desk they ask about people who know anything about time magic, to find out that time magic is extremely rare and powerful, and only one person in the known regions can use time magic. The person they're talking to suggests that space magic might be something they should inquire about, and directs them to the specialist in the university. The specialist says it may be possible to help them get back to Earth, but he'll need a dragon's egg to perform the spell. He opens a portal to the region they left earlier and transports them there, on the mountain, a bit below the mouth of a cave.

Leading them up to the mouth of the cave, he casts a protective spell on the three of them in case the dragon tries to use it's fire breath. They come up with the plan of Shera levitating Thorpe into the cave and dropping him on the dragon's snout so he can stab it in the eye. Shera makes a Dynamic Sorcery check and rolls a critical failure, which sends Thorpe rocketing skyward, but fortunately she manages to catch him with another spell before he hits the ground.

Sucessfully levitating Thorpe into the cave, she drops him onto the dragon's snout, where he stabs it in the eye with his sword, which naturally wakes it up and pisses it off something awful. The dragon starts clawing at Thorpe, trying to get him off it's snout, while the wizard fires off a beam of energy, striking it in the chest. Shera conjures up the most poisonous plant she knows of, then tries to levitate it into the dragon's mouth as it roars, but misses and strokes it in the head with the plant instead. Meanwhile Thorpe is slashing away at the dragon with his sword, while the wizard conjures a big blade and uses it to knock down the stalactites hanging from the roof of the cave over the dragon, smashing it with them. Shera then conjures a big ball of acid at the dragon, while Thorpe pulls out his pipe bomb and heaves it into the dragons mouth while it starts to breathe a gout of fire. Evidently it went down the wrong pipe, because the dragon keeled over and thrashed about for a bit before dying. The wizard goes in and collects two of the dragon eggs, and gives the other two to Thorpe and Shera, then opens up another portal back to his office in the Magic Kingdom. This is where we left off on Monday.

Thoughts, questions, and comments are welcome.