The friend who gave me the Men In Black roleplaying game, also gave me Basic Action System Heroes (BASH!) Sci-Fi Edition. I had never heard of this game so I thought that I’d use it as one of my entries in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. BASH! appears to be primarily a super-hero game that the publisher has ported over to other genres. There is also a Fantasy version of the system. The descriptions state that you only need a pair of D6s, the rules and a 3×5 card to play. Let’s see how this works out.
So the basics of the game appear to be roll 2d6, multiply by a stat or power to get the result (beat an opponents roll or a difficulty number). If you roll doubles, roll another d6 and add it. If it matches the double, roll another one until there is no match. Then multiply. Thank you for putting the basic concept at the front of the book. I hate having to dig for the core mechanic. The keep rolling on doubles sounds like an interesting concept.
So there are three character stats. Brawn, Agility and Mind. Pretty straightforward. These range from 1 (normal man), 2 (standard professional like soldier, average marksman, scholar, etc.) 3 (exceptional professional like a very competent scientist) 4 (human max for any stat like geniuses, pro-athletes, etc.) 5 (alien or machine like quality, max for the stat). I like that they define what each level represents. For new characters, you get 7 points to spread across the three stats. You can reduce the number of powers by 2 in order to get an 8th stat point. This must be a hold over from the super-hero game. There are different alien races in step two that have minimums or maximums in order to select that race. So before deciding on my stats, I looked over the races to see if anything interested me. Hmm.. Eldans may have been influenced by Vulcans and the Velkar sounds like Klingons. There is a race of lion like people called the Simbasa. Let’s run with that. Races have certain advantages, disadvantages, skills and powers. Do I get them for free or do I have to pay for them during character creation? I couldn’t find an answer so I’m going to say “I have to pay for them.”
Next comes Advantages and Disadvantages. You gain an advantage for each disadvantage you take. Well the Simbasa already have Long Sleeper (need more sleep in a day) disadvantage. So I’ll take an advantage of my choice. Unknown Ally is a mysterious GM controlled ally who appears at random times and helps out. I really liked the sound of that. There is no information on the number or maximum advantages/disadvantages that a character can have or how you could gain future advantages/disadvantages in the rules. So I’ll stick with the one set.
You get 7 points of powers. Some powers were straight from the superhero game. Others were things that could have been skills (dog fighting in a starfighter?). Four points were already taken by the powers gained from the Simbasa species. So with the three left over points I selected off-hand pistol (I can attack with two pistols) and quick draw (I have a feeling I’m making an alien lion gunslinger).
Next is skills. You have mental skills (based off your mind score) or physical skills (based off of your agility score). The number of skills is equal to the attribute. So I’ve got three physical skills (one of which is already taken up by athletics) and two mental skills. Each skill has a specialty so it’s something you are extra good at. I selected several that I thought would be good for a space lion who was separated from his pride and had to make it on his own as a streetwise mercenary. That was the end of chapter one on character creation.
The next chapter went into equipment. Each character started out with 5,000 credits to buy equipment. I selected what a merc could have. And as with most games, there are sections of the character sheet that are still blank? Somehow I missed where the Hits a and Wound Threshold is at. Back at the key terms, it states that heroes get 100 hits. The index guided me to a page in the combat rules for the Wound Threshold and needed a better explanation. The gist is if you are damaged it can affect your agility and skill rolls. Makes sense, but what do I put the threshold at? Meh, since I have no GM to ask, I’ll just leave it blank for now.
So the character, named TaChar, was a member of a Simbasa pride out roaming the universe when he got separated from the pride. A group of mercs took him in and he learned the trade. He takes different jobs trying to survive and is continuously looking for his pride to see if he can rejoin. Here is the character sheet.
There is an image near the start of the book that looks like it came from the Star Ace RPG. I don’t have a copy to check, but it looks familiar.
This is clearly a sandbox game. There were lots of examples of different styles of play and different sci-fi genres (post apocalyptic, fighting mecs, cyberpunk, space opera, space fantasy and examples that were clearly inspired by various sci-fi franchises. A ton of “your GM can adjust things for their game and here’s how” guidelines. However there was a lot of superhero feel to the text. It could have used a little bit more polishing. I wonder how the game holds up in actual play?
I’ve discovered another blog that is participating in the #CharacterCreationChallenge and added it to the CCC page. I’ve also added a link to the hashtag on Twitter so anyone can see the latest posts with that hashtag.
Coming Up Next:
Star Wars Saga Edition