Super Console by Doresh
Post 1Original SA post
Post 2Original SA post Super Console
(There's a picture of each class in the book, but those are just stick figures wielding class-appropriate equipment, so I'll skip it. This page's pretty busy with all this WarmaHorde goodness, anyways. )
Making a classed character is pretty fast, as they already come with their starting attributes (ranging from 3 to 12, with a sum of 47). Each class also has 2 Favored Stats aka attributes and on Unfavored Stat . Each time you level up, you can increase two stats by 1 point. If you want to increase your Unfavored Stat, the other one has to be a Favored Stat (so you don't mess up your character too badly). If you increase both of your Favored Stat, you get an extra point you can use to increase another stat, provided it is not your Unfavored one (or one of the two Favored you already increased).
Class abilities are pretty rigid in an OSR / Returners kind of way, as there aren't any choices or variations to take. Every member of the same class gets the same 12 abilities, gained at levels 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 80, 95 and 99.
Spellcasters alternate between getting access to a level of their spell list (like in D&D, but it only goes up to level 5) and a proper class ability, a lot of which are shared abilities that grant spells an area effect with varying drawbacks. The weakest of these abilities is Wide Beam (hit all enemies or allies with a spell that has a numeric effect - like damage or healing - with reduced effect and increased cost), and the strongest is MIRV (hit anyone you want with any spell at full effect, but still with increased cost).
Most Warrior classes tend to get a lot of passive abilities boosting their damage output and general survivability, though they have at least one active attack ability that costs Mana to use (usually a double-hit ability they gain around level 30).
Abilities that do the same thing (like hitting multiple targets) can't be combined, but different abilities (like hitting multiple targets and boosting the attack) can as long as it makes sense.
One of the 2 new classes of this super edition, the Adventurer is a non-magical support class. Most of his abilities are centered around party buffs that aren't particularly powerful, but last for the entire fight and cost no Mana to use. In fact none of his abilities cost Mana, leaving more Ether potions for the rest of the party. They can also help the party to instantly escape from battle and find more cash when looting.
Offensively, they learn two debuffs (one of which reduces enemy odds on Resisted Actions, while the other deals a bit of damage and can paralyze the target). They also shine when it comes to equipment, as they can use anything that is not exclusive to a single class, and even that restriction drops at level 95. This flexibility is further helped by their balanced starting attributes, with no attribute being below 6.
Their Level 99 capstone ability is the classic Mimic , allowing the Adventurer to repeat the last action perfromed in combat at no mana cost.
Your go-to warrior for ranged attacks, their actual class name tends to change a lot depending on the genre, with primitive eras having Rock Throwers and futuristic ones Riflemen.
They have quite a lot of Mana-using abilities for a warrior, mostly revolving around hitting multiple enemies or boosting their arrows with elemental effects (or both at the same time). They - of course - gain a damage bonus when using ranged attacks, and learn some useful passives that reduce an enemy's dodge chance (up to auto-hits at level 80) and allow them to act before anyone else in combat. Their capstone ability is Arrow of Slaying which works just like the Arrow of Death of the Arcane Archer (a ranged attack that can cause the Doom status aka instant death).
The magical version of the Adventurer, able to hurt enemies with music and cast a range of magical songs. They are also nice to have round for shopping sprees because they grant the party a 10% discount on everything at level 15. The level 30 ability Battle Song (allowing them to always use a song and perform another action) makes them very gishy, and level 50's Underestimation (they're always the last MC to be hit in battle) puts some aggro away from them.
Their capstone ability is Double-voice , allowing them to sing two songs at the same time (which combined with Battle Song gives them 3 actions per turn). Also of interest is Backwards Singing gained at level 80, which allows them to sing songs with reversed effect (like dealing damage instead of healing), doubling their effective spell list.
A class rarely seen after medieval times, these guys are all about taking and dealing lots of damage. They have a rather extreme attribute spread (Strength and Vitality at 12, Luck at 7 and everything else at 3 and 5), making them somewhat slow and vulnerable against magic and status effects (though they gain passives to mitigate these drawbacks).
Their most defining ability is level 1's Berserk , granting them 2 attacks per turn - at the cost of only being able to attack, and only being able to attack the closest enemy. Once combat starts, they're essentially on auto-pilot, though that somewhat improves as they gain levels. They can opt to attack the most dangerous foe at level 15, attack any target at level 40, and can pull off a triple-hit attack at level 50. The capstone ability is Go Nuts , a quadruple-hit attack.
Overall, they're really good at dishing out the hurt, but the lack of control makes them only really useful for secondary characters or people who are more into roleplaying instead of actually playing the game.
The classic blaster class, these guys are very squishy (like pretty much all pure casters), but have a big pool of magical power. They gain the standard spellcaster ability loadout (aka more spells and AoE abilities), with their unique powers being Devastation (boost spell damage at the cost of more Mana) at level 30, Early Hit (always goes first in combat) at level 95 and finally Master of Magic (the Mana Bar now goes to 200%) at level 99.
These guys have access to White and Black Magic like a Red Mage and learn a bunch of weird, esoteric abilities instead of the more standardized AoE abilties of other casters. They can give any spell an area effect at full effect and at reduced cost no less - but they have no real control over who gets hit. The spell will hit anyone - friend or foes - who falls into the spells targeting criteria. This starts at 5th level with being able to hit anyone whose current Health is divisible by 3, and the Calculator later gains similar abilities for Mana (level 15) and Level (level 30), and an ability that allows him to hit targets whose Bar is divisble by 2 instead of 3 (level 50). To make full use of this, the Calculator can also sense/scan targets to see their current Bar totals.
Level 65 grants Altitude Target , which is probably the safest - if most situational - ability as it hits either every flying (high or low) or non-flying target. Level 80 gives them Extra Capacity , a weaker version of the Black Mage's capstone ability (Mana Bar goes to 150%). Level 95 grants the risky Esoteric Magic (spells target the whole area, with enemies having a 75% chance of being hit and allies a 25% chance), but level 99 finally makes this and previous abilities superfluous with Math Genius , which allows him to target anyone he wants and still pay reduced cost.
These guys are all about one-use items. They already start out with the ability to purchase these items at half price (simulating them being mixed from their cheaper ingredients), and level 10 doubles the effect of restorative items they use. They eventually learn to alter and enhance the effects of other kinds of items, use two drinks at the same time, and mimic the effects of certain spells (level 80 lets them produce gunpowder that works like the Meteor spell, and level 95 makes gives their blood healing properties that lets them use the Restore spell at the cost of 1% of their Health). Their capstone ability Duplicator finally breaks the world's economy by allowing them to duplicate items as much as they want.
The other new class. These are former bad guys now fighting for the side of good, making them unavaiable before the Medieval Era as the few Dark Knights that existed before were 100% evil. They're pretty slow warriors (their Speed starts at only 3) with a lot of attacks that can cause Status Effects.
They don't get the Dark Wave ability (an early AoE attack that is paid in HP) of their FF-counterpart, but rather the Dark Strike ability which allows them to use the Black Mage's Dark spell at reduced cost, and which is always upgraded to the next powerful version as he levels up. This has limited use against Undead (who are healed by Dark elemental attacks) until level 80, when Dark Strike sucks the dark energy out of them, being treated like dealing Holy damamage against Undead.
The rest of the Dark Knight's abilities are very flavorful and funny. I'm More Powerful Offscreen (level 20) does just that, giving him a nice buff on everything if the rest of the party is either knocked out or not around. One Scary Dude (level 65) can cause the Slow status on a single target by just laughing maniacally. It's the Main Villain! (level 95) makes monsters confuse the Dark Knight for their boss, making them unable to hit him with single target effects. The capstone ability True Form finally allows the Dark Knight to open a can of One Winged Angel whoopass whenever his Health falls to 20% or less, instantly healing him up to 75%, giving him the same Status Effect immunities as a Boss monster, and an even better all-round buff that stacks with I'm More Powerful Offscreen.
The polearm-wielding, jump-crazy FF class. Their signature ability is of course Jump , which removes them from the combat area for 1 turn before crashing down for double damage (or quadruple damage on a crit). Their passives revolve around higher crit chances and bonuses to damage, evasion and attack aka accuracy. They are perfect for weapon abilities that trigger on a crit, since level 30's Critical Strike always activates them on a Jump attack. Their only Mana-using ability is It Doesn't Fit There! , which adds the Silence status effect to a Jump attack (apparently silencing enemy casters by putting their polearm through their throat). Leech Strike (level 50) makes them regain 5% of their Health and Mana on every succesful attack.
Things get really crazy with Speedy Jump (level 80, skips the 1 turn delay for Jump attacks, effectively doubling damage all the time), What Goes Up...? (level 95, jump and spend as many turns in the air as you want, with each turn doubling your damage multiplier) and Pole-Vault (level 99, Jump attack on two targets in one turn).
Your archetypical warrior who may or may not have spiky hair and an oversized sword that has apprently no weight behind it.
Their first two abilities are stuff you'd normally see in FF's Samurai and Paladin class (both of which aren't in this game): Two-Handed Strike gives a bonus to damage when wielding a weapon with both hands (even if the weapon in question requires this anyways), and Cover lets the Figher sacrifice his action to take a hit meant for a comrade. After that, it's mostly passive abilities to improve offense and defense, with the only active abilities being Crosscut (level 30, your double-hit ability) and Unavoidable Strike (level 99, an undodgeable attack with a hefty damage bonus). Level 65 also allows the to use any weapon ever, including stuff created by the Mechanist (more on him later).
This one's a rather strange caster, as his Earth Magic only has odd levels, with the gaps being filled with utility abilities (like being immune to traps and negating enepy surprise attacks), Terrain Attack (level 15, essentially an attack skill that scales with level and uses Vitality for damage), and an ever-increasing list of elements the Geomancer becomes immune to, with his capstone ability Elemental Wholeness making him immune against any element except for Dark and Poison.
This one's basically a nerdy version of Edgar from FF6, able to produce various devices like chainsaws and drills (and airships at level 95) and being able to put enemies to sleep with Technobabble (level 15). Most of their abilities revolve around modifying devices (with Two-Gun Mojo at level 50 allowing the use of 2 devices at the same time) or making it easier to produce them, with their capstone ability Scotty allowing them to instantly create any device at a hefty Mana cost.
Having no use for weapons, these guys have unarmed damage that scales with their level. They have a weaker version of Jump with Focused Blow (level 5) that makes them skip a turn to focus before attacking with a damage bonus that roughly translates to double damage. On the upside, Furious Breakdown gained at level 20 is not only one of the earliest double-hit abilities (aside from the Berserker) but also completely free to use. They also gain some restorative abilities, your typical FF Counterattack (level 30) and bunch of passives. Focused Mind (level 80) lets them use Focused Blow instantly, essentially giving them a murderous damage bonus, and their capstone ability Turbo makes them perma-Hasted, allowing them to act 1.5 times as fast as normal, with the Slow status only bumping them down to normal speed for its duration.
These warriors combine magic and martial prowess, starting off with a Barrier that buffs the defenses of the whole party if the Mystic Knight's Health reaches 20% or below, and learning several versions of Magic Sword starting with level 5. Magic Sword allows them to imbue a sword or knive (be it their one or an ally's) with a Black Mage spell whose level must be equal or below their highest Magic Sword level. For the next 100 ticks, that blade weapon will trigger the spell instead of performing a normal attack. This let's the wielder reuse the same spell multiple times wiht a single casting, at the cost of having the Mystic Knight waste an action imbuing the weapon, and with the drawback that the enemy has a chance to dodge the spell attack like any other normal attack. Also, no area effect for you.
Level 80 also gives them a typical Samurai ability with Gold Attack , dealing damage depending on how much money they are willing to sacrifice. Their capstone ability Sword-beam brings them much closer to full caster status, as it skips having to physically hit enemies for Sword Magic to trigger. The descritpion sadly doesn't make it 100% clear whether or not they still have to use an action to imbue their weapon, though "you can just cast them as a Black Mage would" seems to suggest this. They also still have the 100 ticks of free spell use, though, encouraging them to spam the same spell over and over.
These sneaky guys are all about dealing status effects and improving their dodge chances, reaching their pinnacle at level 95 with Invisiblity (auto-evade at a hefty Mana cost). Two-Weapon Strike at level 15 is the earliest double-hit ability (except for the Berserker, again), though it costs Mana unlike their FF counterpart's dual-wielding. But like their counterpart, they gain the Throw ability (level 30) that lets them sacrifice a weapon in their hand or inventory to deal massive damage. Their capstone ability is Mad Ninja Skills , which makes every successful hit a critical.
The most iconic FF gish class. These guys are far less squishy than your typical caster and learn both White and Black magic. On the downside, they only learn 5th-level spells as their capstone ability where other casters already get them at level 65 (though their level 80 ability Double Cast somewhat mitigates this by being able to cast two spells at the same time), and their first AoE ability Area Effect (level 5) hits both friends and foes. Their actual broken capstone ability is gained at level 95 and is called Magical Hack , allowing them to turn any offensive spell they're targeted with into any other White and Black magic spell by paying double its cost (so they can just turn the enemy's attack spell into a healing spell).
These are oldschool FF Summoners, using very powerful summon spells that are area effect by default (unlike every other kind of spell), but are very expensive to cast and hit everyone by default (except the Summoner itself on damaging summons). Thankfully, the Summoner already starts with the ability to exclude himself or friends at level 1. Later levels let him "aim" more precisely. A bit weird, but probably necessary when you have something like level 30s ANYTHING! , which summons a random summon from your pool for free (and it wouldn't really make sense to say target all the enemies if you don't know if you'll end up with a heal summon). The Summoner also has its Mana Bar raised to 150% at level 95, and level 99 gives him Godlike Power , allowing him to summon all but the most powerful summons for free.
This class of course is able to use Steal to "borrow" items from a target. This ability probably has the biggest change with the two styles (Console campaigns only make this usable in battle, while Mixed only makes this usable outside of battle). Also among the abilities is utility stuff (like finding secret passages and screwing around with surprise chances, more loot) and further interactions with monsters (bribing them, trading items with them, attacking and stealing at the same time). Level 95 has the useful Baf Full of Stuff , giving them a daily pool of cash from whcih to procure stolen goods. Level 80's Don't Get Squashed is the same Mana-intensive auto-dodge as the Ninja's Invisiblity , except it only works on magic. Their capstone ability is Stab Vitals , the same kind of auto-crit as the Ninja's capstone.
Your go-to caster class for speed- and time-related buffs and debuffs an non-elemental damage. Their other class abilities are pretty standard. They do get the somewhat inferior "hits everyone " AoE modifier at level 15, but their level 30 ability is the Enhanced Wide Spread , which is a pretty early "hit allies or foes at full strength" ability. Things get pretty interesting in "postgame", with Slipstream at level 95 forcing die rerolls and the capstone ability Duplicate forcing a single event or action to happen again (though you can't use that twice in a row).
A cross between a Blue Mage and a Pokemon trainer, these guys start with Capture Monster , giving them a chance to stuff any non-Boss monster into a bag to release at a later point, giving them a one-time use of that monster's most powerful attack. Further abilities revolve around scanning and debuffing monsters. Level 65 finally grants Polymorph , allowing the Trainer to turn into the captured monster, with a separate Health Bar and everything. Counterstrike at level 80 gives a pretty high chance at countering any monster's ability with itself, and the capstone ability Monster Expert gives the Trainer full knowledge of every monster in existence, including the main villain.
The main healer guy. Pretty standard caster abilities, with Everybody Loves You at level 50 being an anti-aggro ability that trumps even the Bard's, and the capstone ability of Double Heal allowing the use of two healing spells in a row (which is more specific than the Red Mage's Double Cast, but it has
the advantage of making one of the spells be cast for free if it is a lower level than the other one).
A particular case of confusion arises from the level 15 ability Chain Healing . It has the exact same effect as the more generally-named Line Attack (hit everyone in a straight line with a spell's full effect), just a different name. This will become a bit strange shortly.
A "Task" in Super Console is nothing more than another name for ability, though the CPU can come up with funky stuff that has nothing to do with the abilities from the class list. The main difference is that magic Tasks are much more narrowly defined, as they only unlock a single spell.
Tasked characters and Classed characters generally don't exist in the same campaign.
Tasked Characters are not bound by a class, and their starting attributes (with a total of 48 instead of 47, though the minimum is 4 instead of 3) as well as their Favored and Unfavored stats are set by the player. Any equipment restrictions are obviously a bit loose with this option, though it is recommended for everyone to limit himself to one signature weapon type they can use.
Unlike Classed characters, a Tasked character starts off with no task/ability whatsoever, and he has to gain them through means that differ from the kind of Task system used for the campaign.
The most straightforward Task system groups the class abilities and spells into skill trees (or rather a list of similar abilities). Spell families like Fire or Life get their own skill tree, as are the AoE spell modifier abilities (listing both Healing Chain and Line Attack separately; guess it's a skill tax?).
Classes are usually split into 2 Skill Trees each, focusing on different aspects/roles (like how the Figher is split into his attack and defense abilities). Pure casters generally have only one Skill Tree giving access to new spell levels (which is slightly odd seeing how you have to learn the spells individually, but the book thankfully notes this just boils down to "Pick a spell form this spell list with the listed level", allowing characters to get a broad selection of spells without having to dip into half a dozen skill trees).
Some rare abilities also seem to be missing from these trees, like the Black Mage's Devastation. The "Berserker Angry Tree" is also weird, as it instantly blesses your character with the Berserker's autopilot (though I guess you can just houserule that it's optional to activate).
The default way Skill Trees work is that characters learn a new task/ability/skill (those are a lot of different terms for the same thing) every even level. The only restrictions are that skills from the same tree have to be taken in order, and every skill has a minimum level. This gives characters a lot more stuff to get and in shorter intervalls no less. Especially non-casters gain much more utility, at the possible cost of redundancy (you might end up with different flavors of double-attack skills).
A more streamlined alternative are batch Skills , allowing characters to learn entire skill trees (still limited by the minimum level requirements) at level 1, 5, 10 and every 10 levels after that.
Another option uses Iconic Characters , characters that are limited to 2 or 3 skill trees. This generally requires a bit of tweaking and adding, and campaigns with Iconic Characters tend to be shorter.
If you don't want the characters to learn skills instantly, there's the Training Center option, which forces characters to visit training centers, teachers etc to fill their unlocked "slots".
With the Empowerment option, Tasked characters don't learn anything on their own, but have to be granted access to abilities through outside means, like items (be they actual equipment or just accessories) or spirits or whathaveyou. These generally allow MCs to trade abilities by just switching items, but the items can also be stolen or broken.
Baubles And Doodads
The blandest version of Empowerment has every ability tied to specific item (like a wand that uses Fire). Some of them can have limited charges or might be one-shot items.
Items That Gain Experience
Your not-Materia. They gain experience like characters, unlocking more and more of their abilities (like Fire spells, increased Health Bar or an entire class' abilities). Their max level is usually far below 99, and they tend to split in two once that happens.
This is also the most fleshed-out, as the section after the Skill Trees includes various example "Living Items", with an interesting twist in that offsprings have a chance to mutate, changing their abilities or turning into an entirely different Living Item.
Your Almost-Persona option. Each character is bound to a summon-like being (which can't be switched around) that gains all sorts of powerful options as it levels up, with the characters able to transform into these monsters for a limited amount of time.
This option is unfortunately a bit vague, as it doesn't tell if the character gets to use a different task option for is untransformed state. Oh well, just tweak it.
Spirits Of Heroic Memory
A FF5ish option. It's similar to the above, but this time the characters have bonded with the spirits of ancient heroes, each representing one of the classes. Each time a character levels up, his bonded spirits gain two or more levels that are only used to check if they gain any new abilities. Class changing is a matter of minutes, and the CPU may even allow certain abilities to work regardless of the current class.
An alternative to this option has the characters possessed by demons, which are powerful, but hard to control.
Like Joining Forces, the spirits bonded to a character can't be transferred to another one.
Let's make a Classed and a Tasked character, both at level 30 for some customization, and with a personal Rage attack. Equipment and their secondary attributes have to wait a little bit.
Nimbus Zippioso Kupoire
A dark, brooding figure, eternally mourning over his dead boyfriend or something. He has spiky hair and wears asymmetrical lederhosen and a coat, all made out of belts connected to each other via zippers. Is weapon of choice is a greatsword the size of a surfboard.
Nimbus will of course be a Fighter. His starting attributes at 1st level are:
His Favored Stats are Strength and Speed, and his Unfavored is Intelligence (hampering his Magic Defense). Level 30 gives me a total of 29 level ups to play around with. For 20 of those, I'll just pick the "raise your 2 Favored Stats and any other that is not the Unfavored one". 5 level ups go into "Raise a Favored and the Unfavored one", and the remaining 4 go into "Raise 2 normal ones". Attributes I will ignore completely are Spirit (since that's also the social attribute) and Luck (because his doomed life is anything but lucky). This means he'll be a bit weak to status effects and is dodge chance sucks, but thus is the fate of his cursed existence.
With that out of the way, he's what he looks like now:
At level 30, he knows Two-Handed Strike, Cover, Guard (improves his Defend action to a +15 bonus instead of +10), Severe Beating (+10 Damage), Cutting Skill (Crit Chance of 10%) and Crosscut (double-hit).
His Rage attack will be Vital Rage , instantly gaining 50% Health and Mana bar (which can get them over 100% for the rest of combat). The power of angst is hard to take down.
Sheady (aka CD-i-tan)
Sheady is the CPU/goddess of the land of Filippia, a small and unimportant land in Gamindustri. She tries to become popular, but kinda fails at everything (except for making Youtube poop). She also has a weird obsession with Blanc (aka Wii-tan), always trying to impress her by poorly copying her work.
Her weapon of choice is a staff (in honor of Blanc's hammer), and just like every goddess, she has access to a HDD form (aka "multi-part plugsuit with floaty mecha bits"). Her floaty mecha bits are however taped to her body because they tend to just malfunction and fall off.
For Sheady, I go with the Skill Tree option, with her HDD form being represented with the Joining Forces option (which will probably just add some monster-related buffs to her or something, which we'll get to later). Her main sthick will be status effects, because those Zelda CD-i cutscenes are that terrible.
Her most important Attributes will be Magic (good for spells and status effects) and Intelligence (to resist status effects). Her Unfavored stat will be Strength, because she lacks Blast Processing.
Her 29 level ups will all go into "2 Favored, 1 whatever", since she needs all the help she can get. The other stats will be leveled more or less evenly, with a slight focus on survivability.
At level 30, she gets 15 skills to pick from. An good choice is Sword Enchantment from the Mysti Knight tree, as it allows her to conserve MP and be effective in melee. Sword Enchantment doesn't give her any spells in and of itself, though. 6 of her skills will therefore be used on a couple Elemental trees (Fire, Ice and Lightning), giving her access to the first two tiers of each. 6 further skills go into the Status Tree, giving her 6 status effects to play with. Another skill goes into the Basic Metamagic Tree for the Wide Beam ability.
Her Rage Attack will be Magical Rage , allowing her to spam two spells in one action.
All in all, she's somewhat between a Mystic Knight and a Black Mage.
Next Time : Magic (and maybe Equipment as well)
Post 3Original SA post
Oh, I'm so looking forward to this one.
The most important offensive attribute for a spellcaster is - shock of all shock - Magic . Not only only is spell damage based on it, but it also determines Magic Skill , which let's you cast spells more often and makes it easier to get Status Effects working.
Speaking of paying, as mentioned way earlier, a spell's cost is essentially damage to the caster's HP Bar, with the difference between the cost and Magic Skill determining how many percent you lose. Since this is about differences and not absolute values, a spell could have a cost of zero, or even a negative one.
Attack and Healing Spells
These work pretty much equal (with healing spells essentially dealing negative damage). The damage of a spell is equal to [Magic Attribute + Modifier], with an upper limit based on its level or tier. Healing spells have a fixed Power rating, making these spells very dippable for a otherwise more warrior-like characters (they can heal just as much as a pure caster, but their lower Magic attribute means they'll run out of juice way quicker).
Unlike physical attacks, these spells always hit.
Status Effect Spells
Status Effects can be resisted with your Status Resistance vs the caster's Magic Skill. Status Effects typically stick around until the end of combat or (in the worst case) until healed by a spell or item. A lot of Status Effects can be shrugged off each turn by repeating the resist roll (with a cumulative bonus each turn).
Bosses are of course immune against all the fun save-or-die effects, and they can try to shrug off anything else. Spells and items that remove status effects always work without fail.
As for the Status Effects themselves, they are straight from Final Fantasy. The only major difference in effect is Poisoned , which deals damage based on its strength instead of a percentage of the victim's health. The flying status is also separeted into Low-Flying (hovering, only protects against Earth damage) and High-Flying (true flight, now melee weapons can't reach you).
One of the few magic schools with some spells that are area-effect by default. Buff-type spells also have the neat feature of being maintanable, with their effects going on as long as the Bard keeps using actions on it (and running for their normal duration once the Bard stops), which doesn't cost Mana.
: +5 Magic for the whole party.
: +5 Defense/Magic Defense and +10 Evasion for the whole party. Nifty.
- Sound Blast : Single-target air damage (or sonic damage if the CPU allows for more unorthodox elements), with a cap of 20 like all crappy 1st level spells. The only other general-purpose damage spell comes at level 5, so Bard's don't make for good blasters.
: Paralyzes a target.
: Stops the target.
: +20 Status Resistance and +5 Damage for the whole party.
: Holy damage to all undead enemies.
Song of Life
: Can be used in battle to grant the entire party a suped-up version of the Time Mage spell
, and it can be used outside of battle as a party-wide
SoundSong of Silence : Silences every opponent.
: Area Effect Confuse.
- Fast Beat : Party-wide Haste .
: Single-target air/sonic damage. Like all ultimate spells, this one has a cap of 99, which you won't really be surpassing outside of buffs.
- Song of Power : +10 to all attributes for the whole party, plus a Healing effect with a power of 70. This is sweet .
This school is all about blasting enemies with all the colors of the elemental rainbow, with a couple status effects thrown in for variety.
- Aero/Bolt/Fire/Ice/Quake/Dark : Your starting pool of basic elemental attacks. Dark is slightly more expensive (though that shouldn't really have an impact most of the time) because it is more rare, but it has the disadvantage of healing undead.
: Your basic poison spell. Has a lower cap than the previous spells, but it deals its damage each turn till the effects wears off.
- Frog/Sleep/Confuse : These 3 spells deal exactly the status effect they're named after.
Aero II / Bolt II / Fire II / Ice II / Quake II / Dark II
: The same as the level 1 versions, but with a higher cap (40 instead of 20).
: The target's Health Bar goes down by 20%, while yours increases by 20%. Nothing about if this works at full power on Bosses or not, which is strange. I would probably rule it out as it is some kind of gravity-effect (to use FF-lingo).
- Bio II : Moar poison, this time without a cap as its the last poison spell.
- Typhoon / Lumiaire / Flare / Glacier / Richter / Void : These ultimate spells deal damage up to 99.
A strange school of magic without level 2 and 4 spells, as its power comes in big jumps.
: Grants Low-Flying.
: Like the Black Magic spell.
: Blinds the target.
- Nature's Touch : A very weak, but party-wide heal spell.
: This one grants High-Flying.
: Slows down 2 targets that are close to each other.
: Again, like the Black Magic spell.
: A Doom aka Instant Kill effect, which can even affect the undead unlike most other Doom effects.
: Useful to get around obstacles, and it effectively removes the earth immunity of flying creatures.
- Nature's Fury : An area effect attack whose element depends on the surrounding.
: Somewhat weaker than a normal ultimate attack spell, and its damage is part fire, part earth.
: A party-wide healing spell
an non-elemental area effect attack at the same time.
: Instantly teleports the entire party on a random location of the world map. Okay.
- Richter : Another Black Magic spell.
Not sure if I could do those flames, but the rest looks doable.
The big guns. These guys are very expensive, but very powerful, and they affect everyone by default (except for the Summoner itself if the effect is harmful). Summoners can already focus this down to just the party or the enemies, but this could become problematic for a Tasked character.
Every attack summon deals a fixed amount of damage, which is usually equal or very close to the damage cap for that level of spells.
(A lot of these are straight adaptions from FF summons, but some are more... unique.)
: Non-elemental damage.
- Lord of Locusts : The same as Avian Lord, but with a Paralyze effect on top. They even cost the same, which is a bit odd.
: [insert Vanilla Ice joke here]
- Atlas : Earth damage.
: Lightning damage.
: A wall of water grants +10 to Defense and Magic Defense
- Artemis : non-elemental damage
: Fire damage
: The Golem's giant hands cut incoming damage in half (or merel negate the damage from one enemy in Mixed and Brutal games). Bosses can one-shot the Golem though.
- Tiamat : 5 AoE attacks, each dealing a different element (Air, Dark, Fire, Ice, Lightning)
: The "Massan god of technology" deals darkness damage through his "dark corporate aura".
: The "Texxanian god of games" smashes everyone with gigantic d10s that deal non-elemental damage.
: The "Nehamshiran god of monster trucks" runs everyone over with earth damage so powerful it still deals half damage to flying creatures.
- Tatro : The "Infantine Goddess" boost everyone's secondary attributes by +10.
For non-elemental damage and screwing around with the space-time continuum.
: The effect of the target's actions are delayed by 20 ticks, making combat a bit more Earthbound-y.
: The target heals 2% of his Health Bar each turn. Outside of combat, this work like
- Slow : Slows down the target, to no one's surprise.
: Reduces the target's Health Bar by 1/4 of its current rating. Bosses are immune.
- Haste/Stop : Grant the status effect they're named after.
: Deals damage that is part fire, part earth.
: Like Demi, but this time it's 1/2 the current rating.
- Exit : Either warps the entire party to the dungeon's exit, or removes a non-boss enemy from combat (though it doesn't count as killed, thereby leaving no rewards).
: Causes the Old status.
: This one goes up to 3/4.
- Haste II : Twice the speed boost for twice the fun.
: The utlimate version of comet. Specifically mentions that this is the one that killed the dinosaurs.
: The target immediately gains 2 actions. Its brokeness is reduced by its price, a cooldown period of 50 ticks, and the fact this spell can never affect more than one target.
- Vortex : A Doom-effect spell that works on undead because the target is actually just warped thousands of years into the future.
For all your healing needs, with some utility and divine retribution.
: Heals the target - or damages it if it is undead.
: Removes Poison and Blindness.
: +10 Defense.
- Sense : Uncovers man useful informations about the target (current Health/Mana, Damage and Defense, vulnerabilities), though it often fails on bosses.
: +10 Magic Defense.
: The better Cure.
: Either casts Cure on a target, or deals a low amount of holy damage. This one's mainly useful for the Red Mage, whose otherwise risky Area Effect ability allows him to heal his allies and damage his enemies at the same time, though it is of course also nice for cheap area healing or as a general (is somewhat weak) attack option.
- Tiny : causes the Tiny status.
: The betterer Cure.
: Cures Paralysis and any effect (status or not) that was caused by a spell.
: Resurrects the target (with Health equal to if it was healed by a Cure I spell), or insta-kills undead. Doesn't work on those who died of old age or poison.
- Reflect : Reflects spells back to one of the enemies. Area effects still only hit one enemy, unfortunately. And just like in the games, reflected spells can't be reflected back again.
: Continues the trend of a current-level spell that pulls double duty on last-level strength.
: The betterest Cure. Heals with maximum efficiency or staright up insta-kills non-boss undeads.
: Removes any harmful status effects.
- Wall : Blocks all status conditions.
: Resurrects the target with Life I if it should die during its duration. Works like Life II on targets that are already dead.
: Resurrection with full Health. Insta-kills undead - except for bosses who are affected as per Holy II.
- White : Ultimate-grade holy damage.
Next Time : Equipment - aka let's buy some swordchucks.
Post 4Original SA post
I always think about Khorne when it comes to Khador pictures. Must be a combination of their color scheme and their symbol.
Weapons in JRPGs come in a wiiide variety, which is why Super Console opts for a freeform design. The CPU picks the weapon's or armor's Power (used to calculate Damge or Defense, respectively) and some bonuses to find out the price. The cost formula is based on which tier the equipment's Power falls into (ranging from Beginner to Endgame), which can result in very sudden price jumps if two weapons from the same type are very close at the breaking points.
Weapons can be designated as Monk Gloves (or a similar type of weapon), which adds its Power directly to the Monk's damage and provides its weapon bonuses to his unarmed attacks. Their cost is calculated as if their Power was ten times as high, so they only add a little bit of extra damage. In Mixed and Brutal games, the Monk can decide to strike with another body part, which is useful of he's wearing gloves with the wrong element.
Characters can wear 3 pieces of armor: The main armor, a shield, and an armor accessory (usually a helmet). The last two have only a single tier, but a much smaller Power range and a high cost.
Bonuses add a fixed cost based on tier to the overall price, with some bonuses costing as much as 2 or 3 normal bonuses. Some bonuses can be used to mimic special kind of equipment (like a Fire Sword), while others are meant to be added to all weapons from a certain group (like Bows or Greatswords).
Status effects use the weapon's Power to see how hard they are to resist. This usually gives weapons a fantastic chance to inflict their status effect, but they eventually fall out in favor as their Power is static. Still, endgame weapons are much better at inflicting effects than a spellcaster.
Worth 1 Bonus
: For all your two-handed weapons. Adds a lovely +5 to the final damage rating (Fighters add another +5 for their class ability), but shields are right out of the question, and the wielder's recovery time increase by +1 tick.
: Deals a specific status effect on a crit (or always if with a certain Dragoon class ability).
: The weapon deals double damage against targets weak to its element, but does nothing against targets aligned to the element.
: Increases the critical hit chance. Can be taken multiple times for an even bigger bonus.
- Back-Row : The weapon deals full damage from the back row. Usually for ranged weapons, but Console and Silly games tend to have weird melee weapons that have this anyways.
: Like Enhanced Critical, but it triggers on every hit. The Doom status is its own bonus (so I think Enhanced Critical can't triggers this effect as well, otherwise Dragoons could get ugly. Then again, it's the CPU that comes up with weapons, not the players).
: A more extreme version of Elementally-aspected. Deals triple damage to weak targets, actually heals aligned targets, and deals +5 Damage to everything else.
: These odd weapons actually heal the target, with a Healing Power equal to its Power. Work normally on Undead, though.
: Deals area-effect damage. Think Edgar's Autocrossbow, or a couple auxiliary guns from Metal Max (anyone heard of that franchise?).
- Fast : Reduces recovery time by -1 tick.
- Doom-Effect : Tries to insta-kill its target. Doesn't really work on undead or bosses.
Worth 1 Bonus
: Half damage from one element, 50% extra damage from its opposite element.
: Grants immunity from two status effects. Can be applied multiple times.
- Stat-Boost : Grants a bonus to a primary attribute. Doesn say how big, but a glance at the example equipment section suggest a +5, which is pretty standard for attribute buffs.
: Again a much more extreme version of Elementally-aspected: You are healed by one element, but take double damage from its opposite element.
- Bladed : Anyone hitting you hurts himself (albeit at reduced damage). Very nice for tanks.
- Safe Armor : Used by armor pieces and accesories like Final Fantasy's ribbon, this bonus makes you immune against all status effects.
Items and Accessories
Items are your standard FF affair, with Potions, Ethers and Phoenix Downs. More mundane items have the same kind of effect you see in video games, with Tents being one-use items that that allow full recovery after a good night's sleep, and with Keys being another one-use item that opens any door or lock.
Mixed and Brutal games treat this stuff way more realistically, and offer other stuff only used outside of battle less realistic games only glance over, like torches, backpacks and food. And depending on how realistic you want things to be, the FF-style items might not even be available at all.
Accessories mostly mimic bonuses you can get for your armor. Depending on the campaign, characters might only ever be able to equip one accessory, or they might be able to equip multiple accessories on different body parts (listed with the accessory), which may or may not rule out having an armor piece in the same location.
This section lists example stores for an entire campaign with Classed characters, with each piece of equipment listing which class can equip it. It follows the guideline of handing out a new batch of equipment every 10 levels or so.
The raddest weapons come from the 11th store (for levels 95 and up), featuring stuff like 8-bit Theater's Swordchucks (with Multi-Attack), Cray (a massive super computer for the Calculator) and the 1000-segment Staff (which is probably whip by that point).
The Ultimate Wepaons
The are the one-of-a-kind weapons (one for each class) that can't be bought and offer very powerful and unique traits. Their Power is also extremely high (up to 160), making spellcasters very jealous of martial characters.
Ultimate weapons of note are the Archer's Orion , the Black Mages Stabbity (another 8-bit Theater reference), the Dragoon's Longinus and the Fighter's Excalibur because of their ridiculous crit chance (75%, with Longinus having 95%. It and the Excalibur also sport the highest Power). FF mainstay Masamune also appears as the Ninja's ultimate, giving him a free double strike. The Mystic Knight also gets a nasty ultimate with Greyswandir , which automatically casts a 5th-level Black Magic spell on a hit.
Another reference can be found with the Adventurer's ultimate, who gets the Master Sword , a sword with the Back-Row bonus (though it seems this got switched with the Orion's bonus, as those weapons come right after each other, Critical Hit chances seem to be more common with blades, and Orion isn't actually ranged according to RAW).
And for all fans of System Mastery, there's the Dark Knight's Stormbringer , which restores the wielder's Health Bar by 20% per successful hit.
A bunch of premade Mechanist devices and the parts required for them, which can be used as a guideline to create new devices. The examples include FF6 classics like the Chainsaw, non-weapon devices like the First Aid Kit and the Jetpack, and more ridiculous stuff like an Orbital Strike and a Robot companion that fights alongside you.
Some examples for those Tasked characters that require items to use their abilities. Generally, these don't take up any equipment slots and can even be stuffed into the backpack. It's basically the CPU handing out abilities and spells and the party deciding who gets to use them at the moment.
Equipping the Example Characters
Now let's hand out some stuff for the two 30th level example characters I made a while ago! I'll make the equipment from scratch, with their power roughly based on the 6th example store (which covers levels 30-39, with the weapon power falling the Intermediate tier). I'll ignore accessories for now to speed things up.
After taking a quick look at the monster section, I find out that an average monster as all its combat stats equal to its level. To gauge the character's effectiveness, I will therefore use an average level-appropriate level 30 monster.
His weapon will be the Bladeboard , a greatsword as big as a surfboard. The toughest 2-handed example weapon in this tier is the Golden Axe with a Power of 43. I go for 45, the maximum for the tier. It's 2-handed of course, but also Fast because if Cloud can just ignore his weapon's mass, so can Nimbus. The final cost comes out at 1800 bucks, which is more expensive than anything else in the store.
To balance this out, I'll make the armor a bit weaker and therefore cheaper than what is available in store. The armor here is all in gold, silver and other precious metals, while Nimbus is of course wearing his zipper belt getup. His Zipper Belt Coat has a Power of 26 (the lowest for that tier) with no bonuses, and his head is only protected by a Bandana at Power 6. All in all, his coat costs 810 bucks and his bandana 320.
With all of his class abilities and equipment factored in, his final stats come out like this:
Strength 35, Speed 28, Vitality 29, Intelligence 8, Spirit 5, Magic 12, Luck 8
Initiative : 29 (25 ticks)
Attack Skill : 33
Damage : 57
Defense : 30
Toughness : 20 (This is Defense without the Armor, used primarily for healing and poison)
Evasion : 19
Critical Percentage : 10%
Magic Defense : 19
Status Resistance : 18
Magic Skill : 21
Abilities : Two-Handed Strike, Cover, Guard, Severe Beating, Cutting Skill, Crosscut
Crosscut (our double-hit ability) has a Spell Cost of 15, with compared to Nimbus' Magic Skill of 21 means it'll cost him 20% of his Mana Bar to use.
And now let's compare him with the level-appropriate monster:
The monster has a 15% chance to dodge Nimbus' attacks, while Nimbus has only 5% thanks to his crappy Luck. This is also his chance to resist Status Effects. He is truly cursed.
- Nimbus' boosted Damage of 56 means he'll take off a whooping 75% of the monster's Health Bar. A Crosscut can easily one-shit it. Nimbus meanwhile takes 25% per hit. Level-appropriate spell damage takes off 40%, however.
I originally envisioned her with staves, but since Sword Enchantment only works on swords and knives, she gets the Healing Knife . Since Sword Enchantment overrides the weapon's actuall effect, she can still attack just fine with it, even from the Back Row at full effect.
The example dagger from the store is the Chrome Dagger at 25 Power. I'll drop this to 20 to somewhat soften the increased cost of having the Healing bonus. This also gives it a Healing Power equal to the basic Cure spell. All in all, it costs 620 bucks.
For armor, I pick the Silver Robes (Power 18, 380 bucks) straight out of the store and add in some Silver Bracelets (Power 10, 300 bucks) and a Silver Tiara (Power 5, also 300 bucks) for good measure.
Strength 4, Speed 10, Vitality 14, Intelligence 41, Spirit 12, Magic 41, Luck 13
Initiative : 20 (25 ticks)
Attack Skill : 17
Damage : 18 (only vs Undead)
Defense : 26
Toughness : 15
Evasion : 22
Critical Percentage : 5%
Magic Defense : 36
Status Resistance : 21
Magic Skill : 36
Abilities : Sword Enchantment, Wide Beam, Fire I + II, Ice I + II, Bolt I + II, Status Spells (Sleep, Tiny, Confuse, Frog, Bio, Bio II)
Her first tier of elemental spells has already reached the cap of 20 damage, but they cost only 1% to cast. The 2nd tier also hit its cap of 40 and costs 15% to cast. Confuse also costs 15%, Bio 5%, while Frog, Tiny and Sleep go for 10%, and Bio II for 20%.
Using Wide Beam for area effect has no cost change on the 1st tier attack spells, but the 2nd tier and Confuse now go up to 25%. Bio II costs a hefty 30%, Bio I 15% and the other Status Effects 20%.
Let's compare her with the level-appropriate monster:
The monster has a 25% chance to dodge and Sheady a 10% chance. Both resist each other's status effects at 10%.
She only deals damage with er knife against undead, which would be a meager 5% (probably 3% because she's in the back row and deals half damage) She herself would suffer 25%, or rather half of that in the back row. Her 1st tier spells deal 15% damage, while her 2nd tier go for 40%. Wide Beam reduces this to 5% and 25%, respectively. All these damage values can be doubled if the enemy is weak against the used element. Bio I can deal 20% per turn, while Bio II goes for 25%. A level-appropriate attack spell would hurt her by 20%.
- Stabbing Nimbus with the Healing Knife restores him by 25%, while a healing seppuku would heal her by 30%
All in all, these two alone could demolish two level-appropriate monsters per turn (with Nimbus crosscutting two targets and Sheady wide-beaming them with a 2nd tier spell). Neither of htem is very tanky, Sheady because she's a squishy wizard and Nimbus because he ditched a shield to absolutely murder everything.
For a fun experiment, it turns out that bosses add +35 to both normal and Magic Defense. This drops Sheady's damage output to a maximum of 1% (or 2% on a weakness), while Nimbus still dishes out 20% (twice thanks to Crosscut). Her only status effects that actually work on such a boss would be Sleep (for some breathing room) and the two Bio spells (both actually dealing 15% and 25% per turn since boss Toughness is boosted far less than its defenses, making it her best options).
Meanwhile, the boss's beefed up damage can take out 50% of either of their Health in one shot. Naturally, bosses aren't really supposed to be fought by just 2 dudes.
Next Time : Console conventions.
Post 5Original SA post
Our newest Aftherthought is up, and we basically have a similar conversation to what happened in here a few pages back, regarding farming and why isn't there a rad farming game if it's so versimilitudinous already. Plus listener mail.
How could I forget Wowsers?
Same here no question. Especially if there was still the monster rancher random generation off physical media gimmick somehow. Dice aren't good enough.
It just depends on how many dice you roll.
And while a Harvest Moon + Monster Rancher game sounds kickass, I prefer a hybrid between Harvest Moon and Monster Hunter . Go into the forest, kill some monsters, make a new hoe/axe/hammer/watering can out of their parts.
Man, this one took a while for some reason.
This chapter lists a bunch of common JRPG conventions and tropes, and how to include them in your campaign. Mixed and Brutal games will ignore most of these, but Console and especially Silly games are encouraged to go wild with them. I'll focus on the conventions most unusual and/or interesting in a roleplaying campaign.
Arbitrary distinction between active and inactive party are pretty normal for Silly and Console games, less so for Mixed games were there really is no reason why you can't just have everyone active. Brutal games on the other hand probably need an inactive party in the form of reserve characters.
So how to deal with inactive party members? Well, you can just roll with it, or go balls out crazy and have inactive party members wait at a resort when they're not teleported to the active party.
Cheat Codes and Walkthroughs
Reading the campaigns walkthrough is a valid tactic in Silly games. And if the players somehow manage to input a cheat code in a tabletop RPG, let them go wild. And if they know the Konami code, give them some extra XP.
Cutscenes are to be feared, because they take control away from the players and allow the CPU to get away with all sorts of stuff. So the benevolent king just got assassinated and nobody thought about using a Phoenix Down or a Life spell? That's a cutscene for you.
Demihumans and Other Species
Is that a female Ronso?
Intelligent humanoids not used as cannon fodder for the good guys exist, but they tend to be rare and secluded. Don't expect to see more of them than a village and the one token guy in the party.
There are these two info boxes about console RPG economy I just have to copypaste here:
Best Inn in Town? Ha! posted:
Don't be silly. There's only ne inn in town. There's only one magic shop, one weapon shop, one armor shop, and one item shop. In fact, there might be just one company that owns all the stores, since they all seem to have the same prices, and the magic shop buys your swords for the same price the weapon shop does. It's all one big monopoly, I tell you.
Sometimes, when you do something really nice in a particular town, the shopkeepers there will give you a lower price on their wares. 25% is the standard discount. This is a very rare occurence.
However, if you do something nice for the entire world (like saving it from certain destruction), no one will sell things to you for any cheaper. They won't even lend you a few potions for when you go fight the Main Villain. Shopkeepers are notoriously ungrateful.
The Great Disaster
These always happened at some point the world's history to explain where all those fancy ruins and artifacts come from. And you can be pretty sure that the Main Villain was involved in some way. He might've wrecked the entire world during the war that got him sealed away, he might have caused several natural disasters by crashing into the planet, or he might've unleashed one of those fancy 6th level spells (aka "plot device magic").
Governments are always at least partially evil and/or corrupt. Therefore, rebels and bandits are always good guys with a valid point. Except for that one guy who always turns out to be working for the Main Villain.
Play an unrelated party game for in-campaign rewards! Too bad they never released a standalone version of Blitzball <_<
Modes of Travel
Who doesn't like airships?
Parents and Role Models
All Main Characters only have on parent. The other one either died or went missing years ago. Most of the time, you don't even have to come up with the other parent's fate. Everyone just accepts that you just have one.
To fill out this void, most find a mentor and/or role model. Some of them are plot devices, others might join the party later, and at least one of them is actually evil.
Unless there's a timer on screen, time doesn't matter. The Main Villain will always wait with his world destruction plans for the heroes to arrive, no matter how many days or even weeks they waste on sidequests.
On the same note, the heroes can't wait for stuff to happen or get done. Unless they move the plot along, the smith will always take "just a little while" for his work.
Also, unless there's a day/night cycle, it's always the same season at the same time of day.
(Suffice to say, Mixed and especially Brutal games probably have a more realistic interpretation of time.)
These can exist in any game apart from Brutal ones. Always glowing, always rotating, these mysterious structures save the campaign's current status. Mixed games tend to feature slightly less powerful Save Points that don't turn back time back to when the campaign was last saved. They just clone you.
The default in-universe explanation for Save Points is that they copy the user's soul (or an anchor for the actual soul), from which he can be reconstructed. Only one such copy can exist. Trying to make a another one can seriously mess with that soul.
The reason why Save Points aren't used by everyone and their mother is that you lose any memories you've gained since your last save. This includes any memories of the afterlife, and only determined heroes would want to get back into their aging, mortal shells once they've seen Heaven.
Evil characters like the Main Villain would probably like to abuse Save Points anyways, but souls of the damned can't leave the Underworld/Hell once they've entered it.
Suffer to say, whole adventures or even entire campaigns can be centered around finding the origin and true purpose of these wonderful artifacts.
Sequels and Prequels
True sequels are very rare in the world of Console RPGs (through exceptions have started to become more frequent). Themese and concepts might be similar, but they're usually set in an entirely different world with an entirely different cast.
If it is a true sequel, old characters tend to revert back to Level 1. This is perfectly fine for Silly games, but other kinds of games generally need an actual explanation.
The easiest general solution has the PCs play the next generation of heroes, with the old cast returning as important NPCs. One might even be the Main Villain this time around.
An important quirk of Console RPG sequels is that they typically change the gameplay in a more or less severe way. So feel free to include Rage Bars for the next campaign, or switch from Classed to Tasked characters.
Prequels are generally a bit easier to run, and they work in reverse in that this time, once important NPCs could be player characters. Still, gotta watch out for a time paradox.
Sidequests and Optional Bosses
There's always stuff to do aside from the main quest(s), and if the players become too overpowered, there's always that one monster lurking around that is even more powerful than the Main Villain (as in "everything only takes 1% Health, and he can one shot anyone.").
Townsfolk in Console RPGs can usually just repeat the same one or two lines ad nauseum. Silly games might have them turn out to be robots, or perfectly normal human beings who go out of character when the heroes aren't looking. They are also perfectly okay with the heroes entering their house and taking everything that is not nailed to the floor.
On the other hand, the heroes can't actually cause any harm to anyone or anything in town, as they can't start fights. This way, the local guards will always be able to arrest the heroes, no matter how high their level is.
Of course, more realistic campaigns can just go the boring way and make everything realistic.
Gas giants, suns and black holes are perfectly valid endgame adventuring locations.
Why not just kill the Heroes?
Depending on how realistic the campaign is, the Main Villain might gladly send weak minions towards the heroes, he might wait till they are actually a threat to him, or he might try to murder them in their sleep (so avoid his attention at all costs).
If the Main Villain is of the "Your soul is mine !" variety, he might just let the heroes get away time and time again because higher-level souls are more nutritious.
Next Time : Genre & Styles. Let's see how much Chrono Trigger and Live-a-Live I can find here.
Post 6Original SA post Super Console
Time to go Chrono Trigger.
Genre & Style
Or more specifically "Era & Realism", these two dials have the biggest impact on your Super Console campaign.
This generally determines how serious the campaign is going to be, which also affects how easy (or impossible) it is to die. The realism "setting" can change throughout the campaign, depending on what makes the most fun for the players.
Full on parody mode. Monsters appear out of nowhere and probably transfer the party into another plane of existence for a battle, combat is exactly like in the video games (aka the melee fighters never actually touch anything with their weapons, they just swing at the air and then a number pops out of the enemy), Dragoons can still jump just fine in small tunnels, and days only pass when the party sleeps at an inn.
Phoenix Downs and such are also less important here, as nobody dies unless the plot demands it. If you go down in battle, you immediately stand up with 1% Health afterwards.
The straight-faced version of Silly. All the silly tropes are still there, but everyone just accepts them without further questions. Things are a bit more lethal around here, as people don't stand up after a fight unless they're resurrected with an item or spell.
A more D&Dish perspective, now abilities don't function when it wouldn't make sense (like use Jump in a tunnel), but they now actually have out-of-combat usage (like using Jump to get on top of a building). It's even more lethal here, and the item selection is probably scarcer.
The biggest change is the inclusion of combat movement and positioning, as well as some D&Dish combat maneuvers.
No Save Points, items and equipment is crappier, and it's pretty easy to die. This "setting" only really exists to point out that realism kinda takes the fun out of a game.
The eras follow a somewhat straight line from the beginning of creation to the wild space age, after which things might regress back.
There are also several suggestions for tone, themes, class and item restrictions and possible rules tweaks. Also here are lethality tweaks that might replace the ones from the realism dial.
The Timeless Time
The time before time, when people lived in an unchanging world, nobody ever died, and evil has yet to make its first move that will ultimately end this era.
Generally, this era serves more as an origin for fancy mystial artifacts, or to explain the world's origin. If heroes do exist in this era, they are slightly more powerful than later humans (or other intelligent folks), and they all have to be magical. Plain Fighters or Thieves don't exist (yet), though Archers can be reflavored into Mystic Archers. Chemists are also known as Farmers here, since normal items aren't a thing here (everything of use grows on trees).
Were cavemen and dinosaurs (and probably lizardmen as well) fight for survival in a landscape filled with volcanoes. Overall, things have become pretty simple after evil wrecked everything for everyone forever.
Archers are Rock Throwers in this era (using the most advanced weapon available at the time), and a lot of magical and technical classes don't exist (except for Black and White Mages who are shamans. Oh, and Geomancers of course). Fighters still don't exist either, but there's the Berserker for you. A unique hybrid class comes in the form of the Feral Child , which combines abilities from the Monk and Trainer class.
As cavemen are pretty tough, they always stand up with 1% Health after a fight when KOed.
The Golden Age
After the dinosaurs and lizardmen died out (thanks, Lavos), civilization will eventually advance towards the world's first great civilization, which is inevitable doomed to collapse in a great disaster that probably involved the Main Villain in some way.
The Golden Age is overall a poor man's version of the Timless Time, with more of a focus on magitech and a social class / caste system with wealthly nobles and dirty peasants.
The only class not available in this era is the Monk (whose unarmed fighting style is too uncivilized). Everything else is available, though non-magical classes are generally reserved for the lower class. One-use items cost only half as much, and everything else is widely available.
Similar to the Ancient Times, but even more hardcore and dangerous. Really not very varied and interesting outside of time travel campaigns. Though this is usually where evil starts to openly appear and scheme for later eras.
Here eyes are pretty far apart.
Our standard JRPG setting, where the forces of evil are busy conquering everything. Pretty standard and bland overall, aside from the lack of Calculators and Mechanists (though they might just be very, very rare).
And alternate approach ditches the sword & sorcery stuff for pirates, with armor being reflavored into cool pirate clothing and accessories.
Pretty much Final Fantasy 6, with an industrial atmosphere and evil empires to deal with. Every class can be found here.
Things are also slightly more lethal here, as people don'T automatically stand up after being KOed.
Final Fantasy 7: Everything's pretty modern and ruled by evil corporations whose pollution and shenanigans threatens the whole world. The forces of evil are ready for another big strike, and things generally look rather grim. If the heroes can't manage to either save the world or launch a space ark to the stars, there will probably be nobody left for another era.
Berserkers don't exist here, Archers are now Gunlsingers, and Monks are called Brawlers. It is however very likely that this era uses Tasked characters instead of classes.
The Space Opera time. Also the Showdown Era, as this is usually where the forces of evil launch their final strike against humanity, whose outcome will determine whether the next era will be a galactic Golden Age or a regress into Ancient Times.
Everything is more high-tech in this era, and magic is typical reflavored into psychic powers. Geomancers and most melee classes (especially Dragoons) are either nonexistant or pretty rare, with the Archer aka Gunslinger the main warrior class. As ranged weapons become the norm, the usual distinction between Attack Skill and Ranged Attack Skill is dropped, replaced with an universal Attack Skill running off Strength (now called Accuracy).
Next Time : Monsters! What's your favorite Final Fantasy enemy?
Post 7Original SA post Super Console
Let's make some monsters
Sephiroth's little sister causes some serious awwwww wherever she goes.
Coming up with a list of monsters for any JRPG-inspired games ( especially the ones with a level cap of 99) is quite a daunting task, even if there's plenty of critters to borrow from the source material.
To make things easier for the CPU, monster creation in Super Console is very fast and loose (aka the opposite of the Returners's monster creation). All monsters of the same level start with the same stats, which are then modified by their type(s) and whatever abilities and spells the CPU gives them.
Monsters have the same level, primary and secondary attributes as the player characters. Their secondary attributes are however completely separate from their primary attributes. Everything solely depends on level (primaries are 5 + 1/2 level*, secondaries are straight up level - except for Toughness and Initiative which is 3/4 level plus 3; Defenses should get a slight extra boost if there are a lot of physical powerhouses in the party). Treasure is initially 5 times its level, but can go up if it has a particularly powerful monster type. Bosses and other strong monsters can drop an item, and most have another item that can be stolen.
This is overall pretty nice for palette swaps and recurring bosses, as you can just dial around with the level and then alter the details.
Speaking of types, this is where you flesh out the monster. They act as templates that modify primary and secondary attributes and list abilities that are either mandatory for that type or just very common. Most types are modelled after specific creature type families, like Goblin (aka "generic humanoid monster"), Elemental or Undead. More general include Magician and of course Boss.
A monster can have more than one type, creating stuff like an Elemental Undead Faerie Golem. This is especially useful for Ghosts, as that's a separate type from Undead without the typical Final Fantasy Undead traits.
There are no Human-centric types aside from Magician, but the game's supplement (which I will probably tackle as well) has you covered there. For now, pick Gobling or Magician.
As far as abilities go, the CPU has free reign to pick what he wants. He can give the monster some added resistances, weaknesses or status immunities, a couple spells, or abilities borrowed from a class or merely based on one. The only real limitation is that Bosses shouldn't be able to cast Relife and Cure IV, as that would make them pretty OP.
*) This means I was overselling magic damage a little for the example characters - if the monster in question wasn't a dedicated magician, that is.
In the grand tradition of JRPGs, your typical random encounter monster will become less and less dangerous as the heroes reach endgame, thanks to the stream of damaging abilities they learn.
To make up for this, monsters can be assigned one of four special monster classes, a predetermined list of abilities that make it about +50% (later even +100%) stronger than a normal monster of the same level. They're essentially these annoying elite mooks you run into later dungeons.
(Note that boss monsters typically don't have a class, as they can already have anything the CPU wants them to have for more uniqueness.)
The warrior class for monsters. Improved offense and defense, as well as a double- and later area-effect-attack. Especially annoying are level 40's Punt (kicks a front-liner into the back row, which loses its damage reduction if the front row is empty) and level 95s You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry (lost Health adds to damage; if one of these dudes is down't to 1% Health, they hit with +99 to damage. Talk about ouch.)
Creatures from the elemental planes that are, well, extra-elemental. They gain some fixed resistances, weaknesses and elemental attack spells, with elemental boosts to their physical attacks. These guys get pretty scary at endgame, with level 80 giving them Beyond Elemental (their elemental attacks deal normal damage to targets that resist their element, triple damage to targets that are weak to it, and double damage to everything else) and level 95 granting Summoning (summons a fellow Planar of lower level for free).
The Status/Debuff class. They deal less damage than normal, but they can inflict an ever-increasing amount of status effects with their attack and even shut off positive effects on their target. Level 50 is especialy nasty, as they learn Touch of Doom (their attacks inflict Doom aka Instant Death). Level 65 gives them Dread Gas (an AoE attack that deals a crapton of different Status effects, like a Morbol or whatever they're called again), level 80 grants Boss Status (resists Status Effects like a Boss!), and level 95 grants the lovely Doom Gas (AoE Doom effect)
The spellcaster class. They start off with an elemental attack spell that levels up with them, learn to heal themselves and other Buffs (like Reflect at level 30), as well as a couple Status Effects. Level 50 gives Mana Thief (attacks damage Health and Mana, the latter partiall restoring the monster's own reserves) and level 80 grants Master Mage (Magic Skill +20). They have a lot of Mana at high levels, with level 65 boosting their maximum to 150% and level 95 flat out giving them infinite Mana.
Monster Use Guidelines
Monsters typicall come in groups of 2 to 6, with stronger monsters often travelling solo. It's generally okay to have the monsters of a new area be a bit stronger than the heroes. As long as they don't die too often, they will sooner or later be able to just curbstomp everything.
Things are a bit harder to gauge at higher levels when a lucky status effect can seriously wreck the party, but the CPU can always decide to play it safe and whip out status effect attacks on the fly if he's assured the party can handle it.
This covers some classics like the Forest Goblin (Level 1 Goblin), the Angry Snail (Level 1 Shell) and the Skeleton (Level 4 Undead), as well as something more original like the Shades of Future Past (Level 5 Robot Ghosts, remnants of the Golden Age) and the Carnivorous Grass (Level 10 Plant).
Let's tackle your favorites:
(I'll base these ones on their appearance in Final Fantasy V or VI, but mostly V, as that game has just the right levels of goofiness for Super Console and my personal favorite. Recurring bosses will be based on their first encounter, with guidelines for later ones)
Bomb. Definitely Bomb.
Here you go:
Bomb (Level 21 Bird Elemental)
A floating fireball monster that body slams people or casts Fire spells. After some time - or when its health is critically low - it will self-destruct for an AoE attack.
"Bird" is more of a general type for flying critters (with Bomb being a low-flyer). It's not strictly necessary for Bomb, but I figured "why not?". It makes him a bit faster, but squisher, which I guess makes sense for something that's all too eager to explode.
Attributes : All 11, except: Speed 26, Magic 16, Luck 16
Secondary Stats : All 21, except: Damage 16, Defense 16, Magic Defense 16, Evasion 31
Toughness : 19 Initiative : 24
Ticks : 25, 50, 75, 100,...
Special Abilities : Low-Flyer. Healed by Fire attacks, but takes double damage from Cold attacks. Casts Fire (16 Damage). When Health is in the red (aka <= 20%), or after 2 turns (one less than its average squishy life expectancy), it will self-destruct, killing itself while unleashing a Wide-Beamed Fire spell (or a stronger version that does not reduce the spell's power).
Treasure : 105 Bucks
Steal : Nothing (oh well, a Potion can't hurt)
Everyone's favorite! The Pug/Tonberry.
Tonberry (Level 46 Brutish Shell)
A small, hooded lizard-thing with a lantern and a cleaver that will slowly walk towards the party to stab them to death.
Tonberry is an excellent candidate for a monster class, especially the Brutish one. Some games give his attack an instant-kill quality, but his classic appearance has him as a physical powerhouse that can really dish out the hurt.
The Shell type is actually designed for snails and turtles, but its modifiers (very slow, lotsa defense) were just too fitting for him. Sure, the type also reduces his damage output, but that's what Brutish is for.
And just to be really mean, I give it the Fighter's Sword-Scalpel ability.
Attributes : All 28, except: Vitality 33, Speed 18
Secondary Stats : All 46, except: Damage 41, Defense 66, Magic Defense 56, Evasion 31, Status Resistance 56
Toughness : 43 Initiative : 33
Ticks : 20, 40, 60, 80,...
Special Abilities : Weapon grants +5 until disarmed or destroyed somehow (already factored in). Can spend action to Psych Up (+3 Damage for the rest of combat). Can perform One-Two Punch (2 attacks in one action, costs 25% Mana). Punt (attack that deals half damage and sends target to back row). Sword-Scalpel (20% Crit Chance).
Treasure : 230 Bucks.
Steal : Plumed Hat (helmet , power = 12)
Cactuar (Level 27 Plant)
A weird cactus man that shoots out a hail of needles (1,000 to be exact) that are notable in that they always deal the same amount of damage (1,000 to be exact).
Again, there are no absolute damage numbers in Super Console, so this doesn't translate directly. Still, it suggest that this spell (1,000 is a class Blue Magic spell) ignores armor and therefore targets Toughness. It's pretty much a one-shot version of Bio. As the FF6-iteration of the Cactuar needs a turn of preparation before casting the spell, I'll say it deals as much damage as Bio II (Magic - 5) and doesn't cost Mana. At least they're pretty tough, so they shouldn't die in the first turn.
Attributes : All 19, except: Speed 9, Strength 24, Spirit 24
Secondary Stats : All 27, except: Defense 37, Magic Defense 32, Evasion 7
Toughness : 28 Initiative : 13
Ticks : 33, 66, 99, 132,...
Special Abilities : Double damage from fire. No damage from nature-based spells. Half damage from Ice and Water. Can cast 1,000 Needles (14 Damage, reduced by Toughness, requires 2 turns to cast).
Treasure : 135 Bucks, Feather (cures Petrification)
Steal : Feather
Don't tease the octopus, kids!
I take that as "Ultros Boogie!"
Ultros (Level 13 Elemental Fish Boss)
A giant purple octopus perv who doesn't serve any bad guy and is just goofing around on his own.
As a Fish (aka "generic sea critter"), he takes extra damage from fire attacks, and half from Ice and Water. I also made him a Water Elemental so he gets healed by Water and takes double damgage from Lightning (just like in the games). This extra type was not strictly necessary, but I did it anyways for convenience. It also weakens him on the magic side, which is part of the joke. And since he's a Boss, he's pretty darn beefy.
His only attacks are Tentacle (AoE physical attack) and Ink (aka the Blind spell). Later encounters grant him some buffs and debuffs, as well as a couple elemental spells and flight for some reason.
Attributes : All 22, except: Intelligence 17, Spirit 17
Secondary Stats : Damage 28, Defense 48, Magic Defense 43, Attack Skill 28, Magic Skill 28, Evasion 18, Status Resistance 33
Toughness : 23 Initiative : 23
Ticks : 25, 50, 75, 100,...
Special Abilities : +50% damage from Fire. Double damage from Lightning. Half damage from Ice. Healed by Water. Can cast Blind. Can hit the entire party with a single physical attack (25% Mana).
Treasure : 650 Bucks, Eyedropper (removes Blindness)
Steal : Eyedropper
Only one correct answer:
You have a fine taste.
Gilgamesh (Level 26 Goblin Boss)
Somewhat incompetent servant of big bad Exdeath, good ol' Gilgamesh made its entrance as the series' first recurring boss. He initially started out as a spear-wielding bloke, only to later hulk out into a multi-armed freak with a bunch of swords.
I could've gone for Ogre (aka "generic big humanoid monster"), but old Final Fantasy games make it pretty hard to tell how tall humanoid enemies actually are compared to the player characters.
His first appearance is pretty bland, as he only attacks and flees way before being killed. Later encounters have him use several spells (he's basically a Red Mage in this system), topped with the Dragoon's Jump ability. I would also give his multi-armed form some Fighter abilities. And let's not forget that cheap Excalibur-knockoff he uses in a later fight (essentially a physical attack that always reduces Health by only 1%).
And of course, later encounters give opportunities to steal pieces of the Genji armor set, the best there is.
Attributes : All 28
Secondary Stats : Damage 41, Defense 61, Magic Defense 61, Attack Skill 41, Magic Skill 41, Evasion 31, Status Resistance 46
Toughness : 33 Initiative : 33
Ticks : 20, 40, 60, 80,...
Special Abilities : Nothin' for now. He tends to flee though.
Treasure : 1,300 Bucks, Elixir (fully restores Health and Mana)
Steal : Elixir
There you have it. Pretty fast overall, especially if you make yourself an automated Excel sheet (which shouldn't be too hard seeing how the formulas are pretty straightforward).
Next Time : Gamemastering stuff, including the Main Villain (who is created differently)
Post 8Original SA post Super Console
Time for the last couple pages!
Some short bits left over from the monster chapter. Thought it was getting a bit long.
As mentioned, Experience is tracked in yet another bar that goes to 100%. It is filled by comparing the difference between the average level of the monsters with the average level of the party, modified depending on the difference in numbers (so defeating a group twice as large hands out double the XP, while 4 dudes defeating a single monster cuts the profit down to 1/4). If the calculation gets a bit out of hand, just wing it.
Bosses are handled differently, as they just level the party up without touching the Experience Bar.
In essence, the party levels up every four battle encounters, leading to roughly 1-2 level ups per game session.
Next up are more detailed rules for spending Patience to fast forward boring grinding.
Leveling (2 points of Patience)
The party keeps grinding in the same area until they level up (again without touching the Experience Bar). Aside from the Patience cost, the party will have to spend one potion of appropriate power per character, one status-fixing item per character, and one Tent and Phoenix Down in total (all to simulate the stuff they spend during the grind).
Levelling can only be done once per area, as the monsters are considered to weak after that to be worth the effort.
Looting (1 point of Patience)
This represents the party barging into everyone's house and taking everything not bolted to the ground. This can also be done in castles and cleared-out dungeons (which offer better rewards). For obvious reasons, this can also only be done once per area.
Rewards for looting include cash, restorative items and a piece of equipment. Castles and dungeons offer roughly twice the loot, with a good chance for an accessory or better equipment.
This chapter starts off with some pre-game preparation (pretty standard stuff, all in all) and advice for those Tasked Games where the party requires items to learn/use new stuff.
The Console Story Cycle
This represents the basic way console RPGs tell their story: the party arrives at a new location, plot happens, a boss is fought and the party travels to a next location to repreat the cycle.
There are of course variations to be found. Sometimes there is no boss, and sidequests can be found to break up the cycle a little. Other areas have the heroes travel multiple times before something significant happens.
This section features two tables showing the typical damage dealth by magical and physical classes per level. In an interesting twist from the "Linear Warrior, Quadratic Wizzard" trope, magicians actually start off with higher raw damage output (since spell damage doesn't use one of those averaging formulas involving the caster's level), but physical fighters take over around level 15. And that's not even going into the double-hit ability every dedicated warrior gets.
To keep it short: Use it only as a plot device. Never give the party unrestricted access to time travel. Think Chrono Trigger.
The Main Villain
The big bad guy. The most important character after the player characters. He should be menacing and carefully planned out. Each Main Villain needs to have a good motivation, a plan, and enough power to pull it off.
The example writeup for the Main Villain assumes a party of level 75. The Main Villain is a level 100 monster of unknown type (or rather "None of your business"), with Primary Attributes at 80 (aside from Speed, which is 99) and Secondary Attributes between 100 (Evasion) and 150 (Attack Skill) - not including Status Resistance which is 1,000 (aka any Status Effect that does work on bosses just bounces off of him 99% of the time, no matter what).
Strangely, the writeup ommits Toughness and Initiative, though that can be fudged (both is probably around 80 or so, possibly with a +5 or +10 bonus).
Ability-wise, the Main Villain can use every White, Black and Time Magic spell (excluding Life III and Cure IV, as that would be OP). His chances to resist status effects is doubled (aka don't even bother). He takes double damage from one element (usually Holy), but only half from all the others. Black Mages pretty much suck against the Main Villain (unless Drain and Absorb work at full effect). Other casters will certainly run into problems if the Main Villain keeps casting Reflect (and why wouldn't he?).
As if that wasn't enough, killing him usually has him come back in his True Form, which tends to be even more powerful.
Once the Main Villain is down for good, it's time to either prepare for a sequel, or just have an epilogue to show the fates of the heroes.
And that's it for Super Console. I can definitely recommend it much more than Returners. It has just the right amount of crunch for a light-hearted or serious game. Needs some houseruling to cover more unorthodox console-stuff like Shin Megami Tensei, but that's to be expected.
Next Time : Before I return to more Crawford goodness, I'll tackle Super Console's supplement. Should really only take 3 posts at the most.
Post 9Original SA post
Post 10Original SA post
Post 11Original SA post Super Console: Monster Mash
Now for the rest of the book.
Monster Mash's default assumption are a Silly campaign in the Magitech Era. Medieval Era works just fine, aside from most likely ruling out the Meks Robot evolutionary path.
The Angry State
This is a small little tweaks to give critically wounded characters a slightly better survival chance. If their Health fallws at or below 20%, they gain +5 in Damage, Defense and Magic.
Here are a couple new ones. The most-frequently used in the new monster class abilities are the three Break statuses, originally from Final Fantasy Tactics and reflavored into something more fitting for monsters. They all apply a non-cumulative -10 penalty to a certain score or two: Claw Break (aka Sword Break) reduces Damage, Mind Break Intelligence and Magic , and Scale Break (Armor Break) reduces Defense.
Another FF classic makes its Super Console debut with Zombified , which curses the target with those fun Undead traits (Cure hurts, Dark heals, Doom heal you fully, Life spells and Phoenix Downs are instant-kills).
Something I don't recall seeing in a FF game is Corrupt . This status overloads its victim with evil, making it attack its allies in blind rage. It's overall a meaner Berserk: There's no Damage bonus, but the victim will always hit his allies, and he isn't forced to just use physical attacks like a berserker has to, making Corrupt spellcaster with their AoE potential a lot more scarier than a Berserked spellcaster.
Super Console defaulted to the 8 classic FF elements (Fire, Cold, Earth, Air, Lightning, Holy, Darkness and Water), with the option of coming up with new elements (like Sonic for a Bard spell or two, or Acid).
Monster Mash cuts the selection down to 7: Cold is gone, having been entirely replaced by Water. Since monsters don't have access to the Holy element (only their human enemies do), Lightning (no without an opposing element now that Water has taken over for Cold) is the monster's number 1 choice against Dark-aligned enemies (like their former boss).
Monsters have a quite a problem with normal adventuring equipment. They can't carry swords or other weapons, put on armor or shields, and accessories like shoes and rings are usually right out of the question.
For this, the Main Villain came up with Baubles. A single Jewel can temporarily fuse with a monster's head or chest to augment its attack, while up to 2 Orbs can float around it, boosting its defense.
In game terms, these are essentially equippable weapon, armor an accessory effects. Similar to how those old effects counted as 1-3 bonuses, baubles are rated in 1-3 Stages, indicating the mimimum monster evolution required (Base, Intermediate, Advanced) to wear it.
Fortunately, all the normal items like potions and so work just fine (even on robots).
One of the major problems monster parties come across is that most of their members can enter a town without causing panic (except for Monstopolis, that one hidden city entire run by monsters). The campaign has to be especially silly if the party's ED-209 wannabe can just stomp into the local item shop to buy some potions while the giant-ass monster bird and his titan friend occupy the entire market square.
Luckily, there are Wandering Merchant . Their selection tends to fluctuate quite a lot, but at least you can encounter them in the wilderness, and even inside dungeons. They're basically like Neko from Secret of Mana ( especially if it's always the same merchant).
As their a kind of random encounter, they only appear if the CPU says so or the party spends a point of Patience to dick around the place till they run into him.
As Baubles are created by monsters and for monsters, you can't really buy them. In fact, they don't even have any prices listed. So how do you get them? Well, they can gain them as drops from defeated enemies, quest rewards or treasure. Wandering Merchants also tend to have a couple, but they only hand them out through trade: a Bauble can be exchanged for another Bauble of the same Stage, or they party can trade in an amount of unused items equal to the Bauble's stage times 25 (aka it's their main way of getting rid of junk instead of selling it).
And here's the GM stuff.
The Life of a Monster
Monsters are more than short-lived creatures that spontaenously spring into existence to harrass heroes in a random battle encounter. Here's the default assumption on monster society:
Goblins and Birds live in simple clans and flocks, respectively. Simple and straightforward.
Spores are creepy dudes (even for other monsters) who lived underground for who knows how many thousand of years, and may or may not have a couple crashed floating islands from the Golden Age stashed in their floral Underdark. Nobody really knows what they actually want. They are so secretive and mysterious that even the Main Villain didn't know of their existance until they themselves appeared before him looking for work.
Meks were created by the Main Villain himself, and only a few of them ever betray their creator and master.
Apprentices obviously come from the human population. They are almost as creepy as Spores, for they are strange and twisted monsters on the
Wisps are part of the world, a natural phenomenon that somehow gained sentience.
The most important point in any monster's life comes when a Boss or the Main Villain himself comes recruiting it for the forces of Evil.
It is very important for the CPU to set the monster-human relations for his world. Do they hate each other's guts? Do humans fear them, or do they live together? Maybe monsters didn't even exist in the world until the Main Villain came around, with the player characters being one of the first monster pioneers.
Since the party will at least initially work for the Main Villain, it's important to remember why they would do it. Sure, he's a megalomanic jackass, but hey, it's always better to be on the winning side!
And seeing how the Main Villains plans to conquer the whole world, there's plenty of job security, ways to get promoted and lots of nice places to live in (if they weren't burned down to the ground, that is). And you even get to keep working for him after you die.
As the player characters will eventually form a group of elite monster, they are essentially the Main Villain's secret task force to help his evil plans come fruition. They kidnap the princess, they steal the elemental crystals, and they sneak into the king's castle.
Fighting Evil with Evil
Smarter monsters will eventually start to doubt the Main Villain. He doesn't seem to have any plans for what to do with his army after he has conquered the world, or what's to become of his mighty empire after his death (which you'd think would be kind of important will all those scheming backstabbers around). There are also these moments where talks about destroying the world or ending all of existence...
When a monster finally snaps and goes against the Main Villain, it can be for three reasons: It might be genuinely fighting for the forces of Good now, it could just rebel out of selfish reasons (like revenge or the prospect of wealth), or it might just become one of those scheming backstabbers who want to become the next Main Villain.
Simply put: Not every epic war between Good and Evil has to be about humans (and demihumans) on one side and monsters on the other. Maybe both have an equal amount of humans and monsters, allowing dragons and dragoons to join forces in jolly cooperation.
There are two kinds of infiltration campaigns possible: the players might take the roles of shape-shifting monsters that infiltrate human society (though that's probably only good for a session or two; monsters gotta be monsters), or they might actually be working for the good guys all along, letting themselves be recruited by the Main Villain to destroy his plans from within.
An interesting idea involves the campaign starting after the war between good and evil has ended (opening options for a prequel). How could things develop, depending on who won?
If the Main Villain was victorious, the scheming backstabbers start becoming much more active. The party's main job will probably involve beating some sense into rebellious Bosses. Or they could be trying to backsab the Main Villain themselves. Or maybe they and other monsters find out it was better with the good guys around - especially if the Main Villain seems more and more serious about destroying the world...
If the good guys won, things are a lot less convenient for the monsters. The Main Villain's fortress disintegrated with him, his army is scattered, and mighty heroes are searching the lands for its remnants. A comeback will not be easy, and will certainly require a lot of time and patience. After all, the Main Villain was like over level 90, and those pesky heroes still beat him.
A couple new tropes for you Console RPG campaign:
The Human Alliance
: The main faction opposing the Main Villain's scheme. Usually led by a King, usually with a much smaller army, and generally dependent on a couple talented adventurers.
: An interesting option that has the players alternate between a human and a monster party, kind of like a sanbox where you're constantly foiling yourself. Not sure how much of a console trope that is. The book however mentions at least one game that is kinda sorta like this (Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits).
: As mentioned, that one twon/city that is like every other town/city, except everyone is a monster. A very nice place because you can just shop without alerting the guards, but being in Monstropolis for an extended period can become very annoying, as the wealthy and civilized town monsters only feel pity for their poor outworld cousins.
- Size Mismatches : Though often ignored in Silly games, being a Titan. Colossus or Garuda can have some definite impact on out-of-combat adventuring. Titans can't really fit into tiny dungeons and make surprise attacks pretty much impossible, and a Garuda can't land in a city without cleaning the whole place and blowing away a couple children. One way around this is to have the players control multiple monster characters, or the CPU can throw the big guys a bone and have the Bosses hide in castles and dungeons big enough for them. On the plus side, airships become superfluous if the party's Garuda or Dragon can just let the others fly on his back (except for the Titan), an a Titan or Collosus can easily help his comrades over seas, mazes and other obstacles.
Human enemies finally get some love in Super Console with these new Creature (or Antagonist) types. It's not recommended to just use PCs from the core book as enemies (those would be Bosse sin their own right), but Monster Mash provides guidelines as to what abilities a monsterfied version of a Super Console class would be expected to pull off.
The default for human enemies is the Townsfolk type, which is just like the Goblin in the core book in that it doesn't change anything about the stats. Other types include Demihuman (all your elves ind dwarves lumped together into one type, with a thing for Geomancer magic), Guards (physical tanks), Scouts (fast dudes that like to tweak ambush and surprise chances in their favor), Soldier (physical warrior).
Also included are two especially powerful types that count as two enemies for calculating EXP: The Angel (Holy-spamming elite mooks with raised stats across the board) and the Angry Mob (essentially a swarm; very sturdy, and almost always able to perform a physical AoE attack).
Also included are - again - example antagonists. The most interesting are the Multiple Mage (Level 10 Magician Angry Mob, a single Time Mage who messed around with time travel to create a hundred duplicates of himself) and the Silver Angel (Level 32 Robot Angel, so Shin Megami Tensei).
And that's it for this particular Final Fantasy roleplaying game. There's also Console Handheld around, which emulates the first couple handheld RPGs. It's in the pocketmod format (of course), with a lot of streamlining similar to Microlite d20 (my favorite change probalby being that you don't have to buy new gear to get better bonuses, but because the old stuff decrades as you level up). Not sure if I'll do a oneshot or not, as that game's very short and designed for being tweaked and houseruled.
There are also still other FF-inspired games ripe for the riffing. I've set my eyes on two or three, with Returners probalby being the highest on the list because I think I'm not tackling enough bad stuff.
Still, I'll probably follow my old plan of continuing with more Crawford goodness first. But before that , I think I should first link my stuff on the wiki.
Post 12Original SA post
Oh whatever, let's do this Console oneshot.
This is a little Console spinoff in PocketMod format, with 10 small pages (1 of them being the character sheet) fitting comfortably on 2 normal ones. It's heavily modeled after old handheld JRPGs. This, as well as the unorthodox class selection suggest it leans muc closer to SaGa than Final Fantasy this time around.
It should be noted that this game is all about house rules, with the book itself only providing the bare minimum.
Monsters and PCs only have 4 stats: ATK, DEF, MAG and SPD. Like in Super Console, everyone's HP and MP has a fixed maximum of 100%. But instead of Super Console, this game doesn't use charts and instead reduces HP directly by the difference between ATK (or MAG for spells) and DEF. Because of this, ATK and MAG are generally much higher than DEF on any given level (with equipment factored in). Monsters dish out around 25-30 direct damage per attack, while PCs pull off around +5 to +10 more.
Stats are always equal to your level, which then gets some juicy modifiers (ATK for example is always Level + 45 + type modifier). Monsters have a fixed modifier array that is then further tweaked through its type. Bosses don't get increased DEF like in Super Console (which would have a good chance of making them invulnerable here thanks to the lack of charts), but incoming damage is reduced to 1/10 instead. I'll probably borrow that for Super Console's Drain and Absorb (the two spells that deal a fixed percentage of damage without excluding bosses)
For PCs, their modifiers come from their class and their equipment. Each type of weapon (sword, staff, axe, bow) and armor (armor, shield, helmet) has a fixed bonus. But since monsters become harder as you proceed through the dungeon, their effective bonus drops by 1 point each level you gain (meaning you'll effectively keep dealing the same damage, and your DEF drops by 2 if you're in full gear). I presume their can't go into negatives, so there's at least that.
To restore your equipment bonus, you either have to find "fresh" equipment or buy new, level appropriate stuff (which gets more expensive depending on your level).
Combat follows SPD order. Outside from status effect or special items which the GM came up with as a reward, attacks always hit. Blocking of course adds a temporary +15 bonus to your DEF. There's still a Back Row, this time offering a +10 DEF bonus and requiring a bow or spell to hit you in the first place.
XP doesn't exist. Instead, the party levels up after each battle they won. Bosses are worth 2 levels.
There are only 10 spells in the whole game. If it deals damage or heals, you can add an AoE if you cut their effectiveness in half (hopefully after DEF was subtracted).
FIRE, ICE and LIT are your elemental attack spells, dealing some nice MAG +50 damage for 10% MP.
CURE and the stronger CURA are go-to healing spells, while LIFE resurrects people.
HEAL gets rid of status effects
HOLY is spells instant death to undead monsters
- Those status effects are BIO (poison), and DARK (adds a 50% miss chance)
Going by the spell price being based on their level, I think these spells degrade just like equipment does. Not sure what this means for HOLY (maybe it goes down from 100% damage?).
There are four classes in the game, each with different modifiers (around +/- 5 to 10), abilities and carrying capacity.
: The flexible dudes. They can carry any equipment and can use every spell, though they have to buy spells and they take up item slots.
: A MAG-oriented class that can't use shields. They get 2 free spells, but they chance every level at random.
: Can't use any piece of equipment other than (torso) Armor (which explains their huge ATK bonus). After every fight, they can copy the stats of a non-Boss enemy they fought (before applying their own modifiers).
: Can't use equipment at all. They instead come with build-in Punch (physical damge), Laser (fire damage) and Force Field (DEF bonus) that doesn't degrade like normal equipment, making them very handy for extended dungeon-delving.
There you have it. Short, fast, silly.
Other FFRPG news
Valent Games is apparently working on Sidearm (a tactical spinoff with a Western theme) and Console III (this time with a setting), both using an abstracted combat grid, playing cards instead of dice (with your accuracy and the defenders evade showing the range of cards you have to use to hit), and a system similar to Marvel Super Heroes where all numbers (from stats to damage) come in fixed increments (10, 15, 30 all the way to 99999).
I say "apparently" because the last official update is from 2009. Yikes. Oh well, at least they have a wikidot page , which even includes free downloads to the already published console products (in case you're too crummy for "pay what you want"). That's at least something.
And considering our old pal Returner, there's apparently an unoffical 4th edition called SeeD that seems to be more crunchy and customizable (though I fear this could be one of those ultra-crunchy IRC/forum RPG rules). Looks like my future Returner review will be a double-feature.