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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): Virtus Arach - Virtus Arach: Creation Outline and General Rules

Dave ST

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The game will be BESM 3rd Edition.

Genre – Heroic Fantasy. The PCs are all mages of a guild. The term ‘mage’ is a loose one as it represents simply, the ability to use magic. Magic is what will allow the PCs to do impossible things like summon creatures to fight for them, augment their attacks with elemental power, or defend their fellow guildmates.

Magic comes at a price; every use of magic diminishes your Magical Energy, or in game terms your energy points.

Period – Another World: Fantasy. The game will take place in the mystical lands of Solteria. This is a mixed world of both modern-day and fantasy. The technology level is rather low (medieval) but the average day-to-day goings on is rather modern. People wear jeans and t-shirts with logos on them while the city guardsman are clad in breastplates and equipped with swords. Like some Anime and Manga… it doesn’t really make sense, and it doesn’t really have to. This way your PC can have the 'trench coat and leather pants' look or can be a cos-play addict with a variety of different outfits and still 'fit in' so to speak...

Most high tech things are just low-tech magical equivalents due to magical energy powering them, like a ‘telephone’, which might actually be two crystal balls that display an image of each caller from a separate location.

Category – Mixed (Action, Drama, Romance & Comedy). If done right the game should include all the above elements.

Game Concepts and Theme

The simplest concept is that the PCs will be all member of the same magical guild where they hang out, live life, and have a blast. Often times the surrounding cities send out a call for assistance when faced with problems that they are unable to or are unequipped to handle. They post up ‘jobs’ on the guild’s job board and off the PCs go…

You are a member of Virtus Arach, one of the largest guilds in the land. Great huh? Not really… you see Virtus Arach is a sort of a reject among the magical guilds. Only a few members are actually worthy mages (the PCs), the rest are cast offs whose magical abilities are either very weak or they inherited a style of magic that isn’t very useful (like ‘Dish Magic’, the power to magically scrub, dry, and put away dishes).

Master Hideki (whose name means ‘Splendid Opportunity’), the master of Virtus Arach, is an aging mage who has never accepted that magical ability, no matter what form it takes, is ever useless. Taking in every wayward soul over the years has led Virtus Arach to become more of an orphanage of reject mages than an actual guild. The fact the they screw things up at every opportunity doesn’t help their reputation either.

But, guilds need money to run and Jobs bring in money!

Magic - Magic takes many forms but only a few gifted people learn to channel that power. It can quite literally be anything you can think of but is usually a mystical way to improve an individual’s own capability and permit them to do the impossible. One thing is consistent however and that is magic always follows a theme.

Mages who are aligned with the element of fire do not add ice to their list abilities. Sword techniques can be magical, gun techniques; any numbers of ideas are possible.

Every form of magic the character expresses is it’s own ‘power’ and powers are fueled by magical energy and always fall under the PCs theme, for this reason all the PCs powers are assigned the ‘Deplete’ restriction.

Because all of the characters magical attacks are considered ‘weapons’ and each is a separate spell, the costs of having more than one weapon are not halved.


Ice Shield (Shield 6 (24), Protection 6 (6, variable), Deplete 3EP/Round (-3))

The ice shield provides 16 points of protection but costs the user 3EP round to maintain. However the power only costs 1 point per rank, plus the costs of variables.

Characters may very well have high energy totals, and that’s fine, in fact EP costs on powers may go up or down as the game progresses.

Basically if it allows you to accomplish the impossible, it’s a power (or spell) and costs you energy. It’s for this reason that characters should have ways of defending themselves besides just their magic.

Forbidden Magics - Some forces of nature are too powerful to be tampered with. It’s for this reason that characters may not possesses magic that relates to the magics that are considered ‘Forbidden’. These are: Time, War, Death, Life, Law, Chaos, Heaven, Hell, Dimensional, Weather, Gravity and Magentisim.

It should be noted that ‘Life’ also governs ‘Healing’ and ‘Regeneration’.

I will accept a single PC who knows healing magic, however, they better have a good background to back it up with and it will not be cheap on EP.

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Summary of Character Creation

Step 1: GM Discussion

Talk to me about the nature of the game. If you are not sure on what constitutes magic or what series of powers are acceptable, talk to me.

Step 2: Character Outline

Each PC receives 350 points to spent on character creation. At this time, you can earn an extra 1 to 5 Character Points by giving me a background history of your character, an important character story, a character drawing, and other valuable character contributions.

All PCs should have some history to them because it will be touched upon during the game.

Step 3: Assign Stats

All characters will have their stats set at 5, 6, and 7 in any order they choose. You may lower a stat to give yourself +10 Points but you may not raise any stat higher than 5, 6, or 7.

This means that 180 of your points are already spent.

Step 4: Consider Templates

You may optionally use Character Points to assign one or more templates to your character. Templates are classified as Size (for other than human-sized), Racial (such as a nekojin or half-dragon), Occupational (such as samurai or master thief).

It should be noted that Dragons are nothing but myth, at one time they flourished and taught the people how first harness the power of magic... but now, are gone.

Demons, Devils, and dark things are frowned upon, your PC should not dabble in the dark arts.

'Souls' is a common term for mages who manipulate spirits. Just because a mage manipulates a 'soul' doesn't always mean the human soul (hence necromancy) it usually means a spiritual being, like controlling the spirits that dwell in inanimate objects and making them dance about. If you're not sure, ask.

All PCs have ‘Deplete’ much like the ‘Wizardry’ template but the characters do not require components or suffer backlash. This only applies to attributes that have a magical effect.


Step 5: Select Attributes

Any remaining Character Points may be used to acquire Attributes — powers and talents possessed by your character. Each Attribute has a maximum starting level of 6.

Items are an exception; some characters may possess pieces of equipment whose ranks exceed six, like a suit of armor or a weapon. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Step 6: Customize Attributes (Optional)

Add Variables and Restrictions to certain Attributes if you like. This will increase or decrease the Attributes’ final Point costs. If you min/max I’ll kick you in the nuts.

Step 7: Consider Skills

Buy skills, you either know it or you don’t.

Step 8: Select Defects

You must take Defects appropriate to your character outline. These Defects will provide you with more role-playing opportunities. This is going to be a cliché anime game so characters with insatiable appetites, complete idiots, nose bleeders, anthropomorphic people and all other variety of anime silliness is expected. The more you put into the character the more you’ll get out of it. If you’re not sure or are having a hard time finding something that matches your ideas… make it up or get with me or even with others, we're full of ideas!

Step 9: Calculate Derived Values

After you have modified your character’s Stats through Attributes and Defects, you can calculate his or her Derived Values including Combat Value (both Attack and Defense),

Damage Multiplier, Energy Points, and Health Points.

Shock value will not be used very often, but there will be times when it’s effects are felt. Calculate your PCs shock value, but don’t worry too much about it.

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Character Name:






Point Cost:

Template(s) used:





Stats Point Total:

Attack Combat Value:

Defense Combat Value:

Damage Multiplier:

Health Points:

Energy Points:

Shock Value:





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  • 3 weeks later...

Combat in Virtus Arach will be per the standard rules in the 3rd Edition book. Any option supplied therein is avail to the PCs just as it is avail to the enemies. Here is an explanation of how it will all work.

Supplied Info - Players will be supplied the DCV of their enemies. This is to ensure that you, the player, know when you've hit your enemy and can develop a dramatically appropriate post to ensure the feel and flow of the game continues on without constant input from the ST.

Grunts, or 'Extras' as they are mostly called, will have Static DCVs. This means that if the Grunt's DCV was 10 in round 1, it will remain 10 for the entire battle. Grunts will be labled with a (G) next to their name.

Example: (G)Bandit Swordsman A

Remember that Defense drops by 3 for every attack beyond the first, so unless multiple defense are listed for a single Grunt (which will be rare, but possible), you need to take that into consideration in your post.

'Boss' or 'Named' NPCs who serve some importance in the story will rarely possesses static DCVs.

Rolling Dice - All dice rolls will be handled in the Ajax 'Beta Chat' here on RPG-Post. You do not need a password to log in, just use a log in name (preferably your character name).

To roll dice the command is: /roll xdx where 'x' is he number of dice and the sides you need rolled. So in the case of BESM where everything is done with 2d6 just type /roll 2d6.

This is the only method of rolling that will be accepted links to dice roller websites will be ignored and those rolls forfeit.

The chat can be found here:

Beta Chat

Soiler Boxes - All OOC information, especially combat information, is to be in a spoiler box. Anything OOC that is not in a spoiler box will be ignored, this applies to everything, not just combat. Readers should be able to read the story and not be hampered down by trying to decipher what is part of the story and what is behind the scenes.

A combat spoiler box should be formatted like this:

Attack 1 - (Target) x,x+x=x (Attack Name) Damage: (if you hit)
Attack 2 - (Target) x,x+x=x (Attack Name) Damage: (if you hit)
Attack 3 - (Target) x,x+x=x (Attack Name) Damage: (if you hit)

Defense 1 - x,x+x=x (Special Defenses that apply)
Defense 2 - x,x+x=x (Special Defenses that apply)
Defense 3 - x,x+x=x (Special Defenses that apply)

Notes: (anything that applies that you'd like to add

Health: XX/XX
Energy: XX/XX

I used parenthesis so you could copy and paste. Just add the brackets and you're all set. This method allows for little confusion. Everyone likes to do things their own way and I can respect that but if I can not make heads or tails of a post (because you were in a hurry, on your mobile, or just lazy) then I will not sit around waiting for you so I can clarify it, It'll be ignored it and we'll move on.
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