Pony Thought of the Day: Cutie Marks in BESM

At the request of some folks in the DC Brony Society, I’ve been working on an MLP campaign in the out-of-print anime RPG Big Eyes, Small Mouths (Second Edition, a.k.a. “the good one”). I’ve worked up a few new attributes, and here’s the first and most obvious, Cutie Mark.

Cutie Mark (1-5 CP/level): You possess a special talent in which you excel. On taking the Cutie Mark, identify both the talent and the mark which symbolizes it (both subject to GM approval). Add your level of Cutie Mark to any rolls involving your special talent.

Example: Sweetie Bell acquires Cutie Mark (Singing) level 2, in addition to Soul 5 and Performing Arts (Singing) 3. The next time she makes a Performing Arts (Singing) check, her target number is her Soul stat (5), plus her level of Performing Arts (3), plus 1 for having the appropriate specialization, plus her level of Cutie Mark (2), for a total of 5+3+1+2=11. Assuming no difficulty modifiers, she must roll an 11 or lower to succeed.
The cost per level of Cutie Mark varies depending on how widely applicable the special talent is:

  • 1/level: The special talent is usually only applicable to a few non-combat rolls which only rarely come up in normal play, such as apple farming.
  • 2/level: The special talent is applicable to a variety of non-combat rolls, none of which occur frequently, or applicable to a narrow selection of rolls which come up frequently, such as carpentry.
  • 3/level: The special talent is applicable to a variety of non-combat rolls, some or all of which come up frequently, such as parties.
  • 4/level: The special talent is applicable to a variety of non-combat rolls and/or a narrow selection of combat rolls, such as stunts.
  • 5/level: The special talent is applicable to a wide variety of combat and non-combat rolls, and/or is deemed very powerful by the GM, such as speed or magic.
Note that the specific cost of a talent may vary according to the type of game. In a game focused on competing in agricultural fairs, Cutie Mark (Apple Farming) might be 5 points per level!

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