Re: Trying Tri-Stat, anyone know how to play it?
You are correct on all counts!
(This is going to be a little general, because I'm not sure what changes were made to TriStat's generic system.)
TriStat is based off of Big Eyes, Small Mouth, which was designed to play certain styles of anime (theoretically every style, but in practice leaning heavily towards action, comedy, and romance genres). Because of this, the game assumes a lot of hand-waving on the part of NPCs, where you just give them a few traits and call it a day, or else build important ones exactly like PCs. And note that, since the game uses a 2d6 system, two people who are worth 50 pts aren't necessarily an even match for one at a hundred. They could be a lot stronger or weaker, depending on how the action economy versus both sides' combat focus plays out. There's really no good way to eyeball NPC threat levels beyond eyeballing it.
Similarly, since people don't die easy in the genres they're imitating, the game's design is for most attacks to take a lot of hits to seriously injure or incapacitate someone. This is good in conjunction with the above problem, since you're unlikely to accidentally take a player out with a poorly-balanced guy without having a lot of time to build them an escape hatch.
- Volume III is now available! You know, if you like that sort of thing.
Which you do.