BESM is a generic-mechanics game based on the Tri-stat system, for use with any genre that you want to play in. The term “Big Eyes, Small Mouth” refers to the premise that the game is based on common Anime tropes and story settings. You can create any type of game you like, from swash-buckling fantasy to inter-galactic space opera, all seasoned with a Japanese animation flair. If you see it on TV “Anime-style”, then you can play it at home “table-top style” with BESM.
This is the second edition of the rules; I do not currently have the third edition yet. Actually, I think that this is an advantage for the following reasons:
(1) this PDF is a solid, economical purchase when compared to pricing of the third edition PDF
(2) it follows the Tri-Stat System more closely than does the third edition (from what I have read about it)
(3) most of the supplements seem to be native for the second edition rules here - not for the third edition
In a nutshell, the TS(d6) system is very simple to learn: you have three primary attributes, a few derived scores using simple formulas, some background information creation requirements, and two lists - one for skills and traits, the other for defects and hindrances. (I like simplicity in games, because most of my players are not lawyers, doctors, bank managers, or accountants -- they are actually people who have time to play games. A simple concept like this could revolutionize the industry; less is truly more.)
- I suggest that you buy this game BEFORE you get the free copy of the Tri-Stat rules. BESM explains the TS(d6) system core mechanics better than does the free PDF, in my opinion. Plus, you get a nifty game universe to play in. (I got the free PDF and did not like it; I got BESM later, and now, I like the Tri-Stat system. Graphic art and layout really does matter when it comes to entertainment and communication of a complex idea …)
BESM 2nd revised delivers a solid, yet simple game system to create your own fantasy / fictional world. This is book is not short on information, flavor, or creativity. If you are looking for an easy-to-learn-and-use system, that has many supplements to support it, BESM 2 will be a good game system for your group.
[5 of 5 Stars!]