Pathfinder as a Fantasy CJRPG Tabletop Engine?


Homebrew and House Rules

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What the title says. Looking for ideas for what tweaks would make PFRPG more closely emulate the feel from old JRPGs, such as Tales of Phantasia, Breath of Fire 3/4, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Legend of Mana, Final Fantasy 4,5,6,(and maybe Tactics).

I'm not looking to perfectly emulate any one of these games, but to just draw inspiration from them to give a pathfinder campaign a different feel.

And I'm looking for any suggestions people might have to make Pathfinder do that better. This can be alterations to the options available, the GM content, or the ruleset. I'm particularly interested in hearing any ruleset tweaks people think would help.

Off the top of my head I've got:
- Change out the list of available races for ones that would be more at home in a JRPG - Animal People; Elves; Fey/Magic Race; Humans.
- Make use of less archetypal western fantasy RPG monsters, and use some homebrew JRPG style monsters instead.
- Special effects are likely not from weapons, but innate to the character, whereas weapons just do better damage.
- No such thing as horses. People ride weird fictional animals instead.
- Airships and Smallish Mecha may be a thing.
- Some custom JRPG style spells or class abilities.

Since the Paizo boards don't allow you to edit posts, I'm going to link to a google doc now, which I might edit if I see anything good to add to it or if I flesh it out later on my own:
JRPG Pathfinder Document


You said you want to make the game 'feel' like an old JRPG.

From my experience, there are a lot of factors that give a JRPG its 'feel', including setting and villains (both of which you have control over, as GM).

But to me, one of the essential factors of the JRPG 'feel' is the personality / attitude / humor of the protagonists, i.e. your PCs and the players that control them. Needless to say, the GM has very little control over this.

I guess this can be said about any 'feel', not just limited to JRPGs. If your players aren't actually working with you, you might find yourself the only one at the table trying to emulate JRPGs while the other players are roleplaying screaming superstitious pouncing barbarians 24/7 or medieval rogues who try to steal from every magic shop they find.

Heck, if I was trying to pull this off, the first thing I would do is tell my players, "For your character, please base your roleplay and mechanics off an existing JRPG / anime character. You can even have the same name."


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One thing would to be to remove all long range teleport methods, except maybe portals.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What is a JRPG? I get the Role Playing Game part but J ?
Thanks


I would start by running it in a different system, preferably one made to do what you're trying to do. For example: There's a group of people out there trying pretty hard to translate Alshard, a Japanese TRPG that is to Final Fantasy IV-VI what D&D is to Lord of the Rings. It's not in English yet, but there people out there trying to translate it. 4E is also a better fit for this than PF. Anima - Beyond Fantasy is also a better fit for this than PF. Tenra Bansho Zero (Which HAS been completely translated into English) is also a better fit for this than PF. What I'm saying is that PF is actually pretty bad at doing what you're trying to do.

Now, that being said...

Darkholme wrote:
Change out the list of available races for ones that would be more at home in a JRPG - Animal People; Elves; Fey/Magic Race; Humans.

Plenty of JRPGs have dwarves. But then, plenty of JRPGs also have only humans. If you want my advice, don't bother making a list. Let the players decide and build up from there.

Darkholme wrote:
Make use of less archetypal western fantasy RPG monsters, and use some homebrew JRPG style monsters instead.

I have yet to encounter a fantasy JRPG that didn't involve goblins, dragons and mimics at some point. I think you're fine using what you have, but more content is always appreciated.

Darkholme wrote:
Special effects are likely not from weapons, but innate to the character, whereas weapons just do better damage.

Another way of doing it is to make special properties of weapons purely narrative, or at least relatively absolute. A knife that can cut locks will cut ANY lock, no matter how well-constructed, no matter if it was made with magic, no matter if it was made by a god. It just does it. A sword cursed so it can hit ghosts doesn't need the Ghost Touch property. It just does it. In terms of "Special effects," I'm guessing you mean the Skills/Artes/Super Moves that JRPGs use a lot. Well, DSP's Path of War is getting its full release next week, and I feel like that does the job pretty well in terms of special moves.

Darkholme wrote:
No such thing as horses. People ride weird fictional animals instead.

Most JRPGs have horses. I'm pretty sure Final Fantasy is the only JRPG where horses weren't a thing, and even then, it's not as though horses don't exist in FF games. They just aren't used as mounts by the protagonists. If you'd like to do something different, more power to you. I, for one, am a fan of large wolves or motorcycles as mounts.

If you're really adamant about doing this in PF, you've got a serious uphill battle ahead of you. I would recommend getting a team together and getting a forum, a wiki or an IRC channel to do your dev work. Seriously, this isn't going to work if you try and do it by yourself. This is a fine idea and too many fine ideas go by the wayside because the person who suggest them was taking on more work than they could handle.


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ElyasRavenwood wrote:

What is a JRPG? I get the Role Playing Game part but J ?

Thanks

JRPG = Japanese RPG. Examples include Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Seiken Densetsu, Tales of Phantasia/Symphonia/Abyss/Vesperia, Breath of Fire, the Atelier series, Grandia, Arc the Lad, Xenogears, Lunar, Shin Megami Tensei, Golden Sun, Skies of Arcadia, Suikoden, Ar Tonelico, Riviera, Paper Mario, etc.

Edit: Even more examples.

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You can accomplish pretty much all of this with existing rules. There's even listings for airships and giant robots in the CRB.

- Reskin some of the existing races. There's several 3pp that provide animal races. I personally made an anthropomorphic race for my players. Come to think of it, most JRPGs back then did not have many playable races. If they did, the race had little mechanical impact. It's what made games like Breath of Fire and Chrono Trigger unique. Whereas every other game had all humans, BoF and CT had cat girls, nagas, frog men, and robots. It wasn't until FF7 where a party could have some really weird members. It's ironic that race played a much larger role Western games when JRPGs of the 2000s had some really weird party members.

- Reskin existing monsters and use monsters from Japanese culture. There's already listings for classic Japanese monsters like kappa and oni. A lot of original monsters from JRPGs tend to be really goofy, like giant grasshoppers that attack you with violins.

- Special effects? I'm not sure about this one, because most old school JRPGs did not really give many special attacks to martials. Either they got magic spells or a single unique ability, both of which can be modeled by class features. It wasn't until after FF7 where everybody got their own pool of special attacks, though the Final Fantasy series took it to the extreme by essentially making every character the same except for their weapon and limit breaks.

- There's already exotic mounts, like giant riding lizards and birds. Just change the price according to how common they are in your campaign.

- Even the CRB has listings for airships and giant mechs. You could give nautical ships a fly speed. Thunderscape: World of Aden has many steampunk vehicles. In fact, that's actually a pretty good book since it feels very JRPG-ish with exotic races and airships and magitech.

- Reskinning psionics is a good start since it uses points. A book called Spheres of Power will release in a month or so, which basically allows the GM to create their own magic system while letting players pick thematic powers for themselves.


Agreed with the Psionics and Path of War. I imagine the Path of War stuff will be really easy to plug in as special moves.

I would recommend digging around a bit. You'd be surprised to see how much of your work has already been done for you with such an active homebrew community. :)


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Or check out the Final Fantasy d20 site.

Classes, Archetypes, PrCs, Skills Feats Equipment.
Races. Deities. Magic.

PDF verisons.

The site is constantly being updated (they just added Cybertech and Firearms.

Should be easily mined and converted to Pathfinder.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks Guys. Lots of this stuff looks like it will be helpful.

Alternate Systems
I don't want to use 4e; It's just much too minis focused. I have looked into several varieties of Alshard (Fortissimo, Gaia, Savior) in the past. They all looked very interesting, and I would love to play them. Arianrhod looked even better to me. The problem was that none of them are at all available in English - and my tiny amount of Japanese Knowledge is nowhere near good enough to translate an RPG book, nor do I have the funds to hire a translator to do it for me. TBZ and Anima both didn't look that good when I looked at them, but maybe I will look at them again.

Setting, Player Characters, Atmosphere
I agree wholeheartedly. If I'm going to run a JRPG styled game, I will need my players to cooperate, and I'll need to make the effort to have some entertaining Japanese style personality traits and some catch phrases for important characters.

Magic Access
That's a good point. Long Range Teleportation should be basically nonexistant, with the exception of Portals that are somehow part of the plot.
On the other hand, healing magic and resurrection are easier to come by and more commonplace (Phoenix Downs, for instance) - not that it makes a ton of sense, since they often bake a character's death into the plot and for some reason you cannot use a Phoenix Down on them to fix it.

Weapon Effects
When I said Special Effects, people seem to have not understood me. I meant things like "Flaming". Magic item properties which do more than boost the numbers and damage. Like, if someone has a flaming weapon attack, that tends to be an attack they have as a character, rather than due to a particular item. I know that non-magic characters often didn't have any magical capabilities, but of the characters that did have magical capabilities, those tended to be more due to the character than which weapon they were holding. You do see some elemental weapons though occasionally.
This one will be easy for me, as I've already got an alternate game mechanic I use so that I don't have to worry about WBL so much, and most of the mechanical benefits of WBL are baked into character advancement instead.
The narrative weapon effects idea is an interesting one that I will have to consider.

Special Techniques
Good Suggestion on the Path of War stuff; I had forgotten about that.

Races
Hmm. The JRPGs I remember playing a great deal of had a fair number of races in them that served a role as more than monsters in many cases. You see humans, and elves, occasionally half-elves, in Tales of Phantasia. You see Humans and Jumi and Some Demons and Recurring Animal people (Niccolo is a Rabbit, Daena and the Gato Grottoes Nuns are Cats, Chobin Hoods are woodsy- dwelling rodent people, There's a walrus pirate captain who commands pirate penguins, Larc is a Wolf, Capella is a Monkey, Teapo is a Teapot, Sierra is a Unicorn, There are the Dudbears which seem to be animated teddy bears, A Dwarf Miner named Watts, Mermaids and Faeries, Flowerlings, A Centaur (Gilbert) A Harpy (Monica) A Pelican who delivers mail, etc, the elemental races in at least some of the Seiken Densetsu titles (but they are never playable or even allies). Final Fantasy 6 had Humans, Moogles, and Espers. Breath of Fire has a ton of clans, the most frequently recurring being the Woren, Grassrunners, Wing Clan, Manillo, and of course, the Dragon Clan (in earlier games).
It's not uncommon to have humans be the only player character options, but many of these other things would make perfectly reasonable choices to include.

JRPG Monsters
Sure, Goblins, Dragons, and Mimics show up regularly enough. But Orcs, Ogres, Drow, etc; not so much. I'm not saying that I can't use any published monsters, as pointed out, there are a whole bunch Paizo has already printed that would be a good fit - There's just also a bunch that are very Western, or Very D&D, which should either be uncommon or nonexistent.
And maybe I *SHOULD* include the giant praying mantis with a violin as an enemy that sounds entertaining. Giant bug with levels in Bard. I will likely also pick some choice monsters from some memorable JRPGs I played as a kid, and making Pathfinder versions of them. I imagine many of them can be made easily by taking one of the many existing monsters and making adjustments.

Mounts
You make a good point about there being exotic mounts available that I can draw from. I will likely just have to change which ones are more frequently available, and shift things away from horses. I also like large wolves and motorcycles; I just need to figure out how magitek I want to take things. If I go with a Seiken Densetsu feel, then motorcycles and mechanical airships don't fit very well (but a boat that flies via magic might). If I go final fantasy, then they fit just fine.

Mana Pools
There's a 3pp out there that gives spell pools for all the spellcasting classes, right? If not, I've got the old 3.0 Unearthed Arcana, maybe I can make that work.

Sources of Inspiration
I'll definitely see what I can mine from the FFd20 project; I'm sure there are at least a few things I can grab even if I don't use the system outright.
NeoExodus seems pretty anime (at least from it's cover art) - perhaps it will have some good things I can use as well. Is anyone familiar with it?

Difficulty, Scope
I don't think this will be such an insurmountable task. I think much of the work has been already done for me, and I should hopefully be able to pull from a variety of sources to make it happen fairly easily.

I expect I will likely have to build some races and monsters, go through the Pathfinder stuff and ban some effects (like long distance teleport), add in easier access to some things (like Phoenix Downs), but all in all it doesn't sound like it will be too terrible.

I think Pathfinder would do a pretty good job at running some JRPG type things, and I don't think it will be cripplingly difficult. Let me know if you guys have any other suggestions/input, and I will start copying down some ideas into that document in my first post when I have a chance.

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Phoenix Down
I think the Down'd condition in Final Fantasy games falls well with the dying condition. In early Final Fantasy games, a party member literally dies at 0 HP. However, later ones (when they started having actual plots) said a character merely falls unconscious. This is evident in games where resting at the inn brings back fallen allies. This is why I always rolled my eyes at the arguments "WHY CAN'T WE USE A PHOENIX DOWN TO REVIVE AERIS?!" Phoenix Down doesn't actually bring someone back to life. It just revives an unconscious person. Otherwise, FF7 would have a world where the dead can come back just by taking a nap in a comfortable bed. Okay, the manual actually calls the condition "DEATH," but are you really taking that seriously when there's also a condition called "SADNESS?" But I digress.

To implement phoenix downs would actually be much simpler than changing when the party gets access to raise dead.
1) Healing no longer revives a dying character. It only stabilizes them.
2) Introduce a 2nd level (3rd for any arcane class that might cast it) cleric spell called Raise that cures the dying condition and restores them to 1 hitpoint per HD.
3) Phoenix Down is essentially an oil of Raise.

Random Note FF7 spoiler:
Come to think of it, the inability to raise Aeris would actually make sense in D&D context. Aeris would be considered an outsider because of Cetra heritage, so raise dead spells would not work well on her.

Magic
Prevent teleportation? Just limit the game to spell levels 4 and lower. Anything higher comes from an artifact or sufficiently powerful creature. JRPGs tend to have very limited spell effects compared to D&D. Even in Final Fantasy Tactics, most of them are just blasts, healing, and buffs/debuffs like haste and slow. A level 99 Terra couldn't change reality on a whim.


Make the main characters and personalities. A defining characteristic of JRPGs is that the player is merely guiding the character as opposed to being it.


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A big stylistic difference between Japanese and western RPGs is how summons work. In WRPGs, summons usually stick around and count as an extra buddy in battle, and are usually of a power level comparable to the rest of the party. In JRPGs, summons are generally a lot more powerful (many are powerful spirits, and some are akin to gods), but are significantly more limited. A JRPG summon shows up for long enough to do one attack (usually with a really high MP cost) and then vanishes back to whence they came. Essentially, summons are usually just big spells.

Something else to consider (and something that is also a stylistic decision) is transparency of information. While it's generally taken for granted, heroes in RPGs have the uncanny ability to make almost anyone talk to them. Whether it's a spell, a supernatural power possessed only by heroes, or just ridiculous charisma, it seems too useful an ability to not at least give it a nod.

Finally, there's the consideration of tech levels. Yes, technological developments in a lot of JRPGs have barely progressed beyond the level of the renaissance. But for every Seiken Densetsu III or Final Fantasy Tactics, there's at least one FFVI or Tales of the Abyss. A couple (Chrono Trigger and Tales of Phantasia come to mind) shift tech levels violently partway through. Providing rules for airships, motorcycles and magitek armor for those scenarios might be germane, but also might be a lot of work just for optional content. Alternatively, consider that, often times, high technology is mainly the province of the villains of the piece.

As another source of inspiration, check out Iron Kingdoms if you have the chance. The setting explicitly deals with power-armor, bizarre firearms, and magic-run technology. It's also fully d20-compatible. Eberron is another good source.

My suggestion about assembling a team isn't just for the workload. Too often, single-person projects can end in frustration just because the person didn't consider something another person could have suggested. Even just one partner could provide enough creative variance to keep from getting stuck on one idea for too long.

Oh, also, the spell point system in Unearthed Arcana is a good starting point, but is broken as all get-out. Use it for inspiration, but break away from it as soon as you can. Give thought to other alternatives, as well. Rather than having a pool of mana that depletes as you cast spells, consider having magic-users initially be empty of mana and have to channel it from outside in order to spend it on spells (I think Wild Arms 3 did something like this, but I don't remember too well).

Good luck.

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Cyrad wrote:

Magic

Prevent teleportation? Just limit the game to spell levels 4 and lower. Anything higher comes from an artifact or sufficiently powerful creature. JRPGs tend to have very limited spell effects compared to D&D. Even in Final Fantasy Tactics, most of them are just blasts, healing, and buffs/debuffs like haste and slow. A level 99 Terra couldn't change reality on a whim.

Hmm; JRPGs do tend to have limited spell effects compared to D&D/Pathfinder, and they are mostly attack spells, healing, buffs, and debuffs (plus Summons, which are are a big deal in terms of power but tend to take much more mana, meaning they come up less frequently).

In D&D/Pathfinder though, most of the attack spells aren't even worth taking/using. They mostly don't scale well with the rest of the game, so even if one is competitive when you first get it, it will soon be nearly useless. If I were to go that route, I'd need to find something that does 3.X blasting differently (less terribly).

Neurophage wrote:
A big stylistic difference between Japanese and western RPGs is how summons work. In WRPGs, summons usually stick around and count as an extra buddy in battle, and are usually of a power level comparable to the rest of the party. In JRPGs, summons are generally a lot more powerful (many are powerful spirits, and some are akin to gods), but are significantly more limited. A JRPG summon shows up for long enough to do one attack (usually with a really high MP cost) and then vanishes back to whence they came. Essentially, summons are usually just big spells.

Hmm. Very True. They almost never have a what I would consider to be "Proper Summoners" or "Necromancers" as an option.

Neurophage wrote:
Something else to consider (and something that is also a stylistic decision) is transparency of information. While it's generally taken for granted, heroes in RPGs have the uncanny ability to make almost anyone talk to them. Whether it's a spell, a supernatural power possessed only by heroes, or just ridiculous charisma, it seems too useful an ability to not at least give it a nod.

Haha. That's true, but most of the people don't have much useful to say. "Press B to Jump!".

Neurophage wrote:
Finally, there's the consideration of tech levels. Yes, technological developments in a lot of JRPGs have barely progressed beyond the level of the renaissance. But for every Seiken Densetsu III or Final Fantasy Tactics, there's at least one FFVI or Tales of the Abyss. A couple (Chrono Trigger and Tales of Phantasia come to mind) shift tech levels violently partway through. Providing rules for airships, motorcycles and magitek armor for those scenarios might be germane, but also might be a lot of work just for optional content. Alternatively, consider that, often times, high technology is mainly the province of the villains of the piece.

Hmm. Again, good points.

Neurophage wrote:
As another source of inspiration, check out Iron Kingdoms if you have the chance. The setting explicitly deals with power-armor, bizarre firearms, and magic-run technology. It's also fully d20-compatible. Eberron is another good source.

Hmm. I've taken a look at both of those, and I think I have some friends who picked them up. Good suggestions.

Neurophage wrote:
My suggestion about assembling a team isn't just for the workload. Too often, single-person projects can end in frustration just because the person didn't consider something another person could have suggested. Even just one partner could provide enough creative variance to keep from getting stuck on one idea for too long.

Point Taken. Having some people to bounce ideas off of and to get creative input from could be helpful. I will probably get started based on the ideas I have and the things that people have mentioned in this thread, and then bring someone on to get some more input once I have something to start from.

Neurophage wrote:
Oh, also, the spell point system in Unearthed Arcana is a good starting point, but is broken as all get-out. Use it for inspiration, but break away from it as soon as you can. Give thought to other alternatives, as well. Rather than having a pool of mana that depletes as you cast spells, consider having magic-users initially be empty of mana and have to channel it from outside in order to spend it on spells (I think Wild Arms 3 did something like this, but I don't remember too well).

If I go with spellpoints, how about this one: Houserule Handbooks: Spell Points.

I never actually played any of the wild arms games, the fact that they're "Western Themed" put me off of ever picking one up.

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Darkholme wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

Magic

Prevent teleportation? Just limit the game to spell levels 4 and lower. Anything higher comes from an artifact or sufficiently powerful creature. JRPGs tend to have very limited spell effects compared to D&D. Even in Final Fantasy Tactics, most of them are just blasts, healing, and buffs/debuffs like haste and slow. A level 99 Terra couldn't change reality on a whim.

Hmm; JRPGs do tend to have limited spell effects compared to D&D/Pathfinder, and they are mostly attack spells, healing, buffs, and debuffs (plus Summons, which are are a big deal in terms of power but tend to take much more mana, meaning they come up less frequently).

In D&D/Pathfinder though, most of the attack spells aren't even worth taking/using. They mostly don't scale well with the rest of the game, so even if one is competitive when you first get it, it will soon be nearly useless. If I were to go that route, I'd need to find something that does 3.X blasting differently (less terribly).

You could do that. Blasts really shine when you use Metamagic and effects that increase the spell caster level

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But those metamagics and whatnot often require higher level spell slots, which wouldn't be available if limited to spell levels 4 or lower. Or are you suggesting that they still get more slots, but none of the spells selectable are of a level higher than 4th?

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Darkholme wrote:
But those metamagics and whatnot often require higher level spell slots, which wouldn't be available if limited to spell levels 4 or lower. Or are you suggesting that they still get more slots, but none of the spells selectable are of a level higher than 4th?

Yes, they still get those spell slots, but all 5th level and higher spells are basically gone from their spell lists. This way, they can still get more spell slots and augment their spells, but you won't be seeing any wishes, long range teleportation, and dimensional travel.

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Cyrad wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
But those metamagics and whatnot often require higher level spell slots, which wouldn't be available if limited to spell levels 4 or lower. Or are you suggesting that they still get more slots, but none of the spells selectable are of a level higher than 4th?
Yes, they still get those spell slots, but all 5th level and higher spells are basically gone from their spell lists. This way, they can still get more spell slots and augment their spells, but you won't be seeing any wishes, long range teleportation, and dimensional travel.

Hmm. Would you suggest removing all the higher level spells, or would you suggest keeping the ones that are just blasts, healing, buffs, and debuffs?

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Darkholme wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
But those metamagics and whatnot often require higher level spell slots, which wouldn't be available if limited to spell levels 4 or lower. Or are you suggesting that they still get more slots, but none of the spells selectable are of a level higher than 4th?
Yes, they still get those spell slots, but all 5th level and higher spells are basically gone from their spell lists. This way, they can still get more spell slots and augment their spells, but you won't be seeing any wishes, long range teleportation, and dimensional travel.
Hmm. Would you suggest removing all the higher level spells, or would you suggest keeping the ones that are just blasts, healing, buffs, and debuffs?

I recommend just removing 5th level spells and higher. Handpicking all the spells above that would be an absolute chore, and not really worth it when the best blasts are 4th level or lower. 4th level is also the level clerics get cure critical wounds, which remains the best healing spell until Heal at 6th level. I'm not sure if you want Heal in your game because that cures basically everything in the game and heals a ton of hitpoints, too. 4th level debuff spells like enervation and black tentacles remain useful at all levels.

If status effects become an issue, you could introduce a 4th level cleric spell called Esuna that removes one condition listed under Heal, and can remove more than one condition based on the caster level.


How's the progress looking, Darkholme? Any new developments since Sunday?


You could look at this other similar thread.

Creating a fantasy technology level based off of anime/JRPGs


Scott Andrews wrote:
One thing would to be to remove all long range teleport methods, except maybe portals.

That's good advice for almost any campaign.

I second the Final Fantasy d20 RPG site. I regularly review it just in case they've added something I can use for my standard setting.

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Neurophage wrote:
How's the progress looking, Darkholme? Any new developments since Sunday?

Been busy with unpacking (Just moved into a new place last week), but a little bit.

I've looked at it some more and done some brainstorming.

I'm thinking I may take a stab at this in some small chunks first. Maybe a gazetteer with a short write up on the races and a couple countries to start. Then put together a smallish document of alternate rules focused on running a JRPG themed game; and perhaps some JRPG themed monsters or feats after that.

I've also been giving some thought to Tech Levels and stuff (After reading some of that anime thread linked above); and I'm thinking of going with something more Breath of Fire and Seiken Densetsu inspired than something more Final Fantasy-esque.

Most importantly, I'm thinking I want to integrate my other ongoing Pathfinder-Based ideas and projects into a single larger interconnected vision. A few alternate mechanics I have been working on for my home games would also work well for this sort of thing.

I've been meaning to try my have at RPG Self-Publishing for a few years now, and maybe this will be the time to do it. I don't think I will be posting my work up here piecemeal as I go, but with any luck I will have something playtestable that comes out of this, and I will happily extend that to people here to fiddle with if it goes that way. If something stops me and I am unable to continue down that route, then there is a good chance I will simply share what I have and move on to other things.

If you guys are interested though, I would totally be willing to post up any developments as a sort of "Where Am I" Progress Report as I go, and discuss things while I do it.

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Races
So far I am thinking I will start with some BOF Style Races; Various Animal-Human Hybrids - perhaps not with the same ones being important - though some equivalent of "Dragon Clan" seems likely. Some of these already exist; in those cases I will determine if they will be a good fit as is, or if I will need to make changes. Then I'll look into cultures to give them and what not.

I've also been toying with the idea of having some of those races have the ability to change shape into something completely different (losing access to all their regular character abilities, Tenser style) and how best to accomplish that. Currently I am leaning toward having a feat that lets you build a separate character using modified eidolon rules, with lots of extra restrictions. That would allow me to have characters do things like Ryu turning into a dragon, or Nina in the first game turning into a giant bird thing. And making it a feat (rather than an archetype like Synthesist Summoner which adds to your other abilities) means you could make take any character (Qinggong MoMS Monk? Urban Ranger? Barbarian? Greatsword Fighter? Wizard?) and give them a racially tied ability to turn into a ferocious tiger beast thing with stats and abilities appropriate to your level (or dragon, or rat, or fox, or whatever). Of course, I think this would be a complex mechanic to do well, and would be something to do later, but still, an idea.

Tech
As mentioned, I don't think I am going to up the tech level, at least not to start. I might do an airships thing at some point, but I still largely enjoy the medieval fantasy feel.

Monsters
I've put together a list of JRPG monsters from several sources, and I'll be looking into which ones can be mined for ideas. I also have a partially completed variant system for producing Pathfinder Compatible monsters (AND NPCs), faster, easier, and with more customizability than the base system does, which I have been working on for a while (I am aware there is supposed to be some kind of alternate system coming out in a book next year, but options can still be good). This would be how I would put together any new monsters.

Magic/Abilities
I'm contemplating the idea of moving to an MP based mechanic as a replacement to spell slots and all manner of limited use abilities such as rage powers or the ki pool or grit, and providing archetypes to handle that. I don't doubt that it could be done mechanically with minimal effects on the game balance of the game, but it would require a lot of number crunching. So that's currently just something to contemplate as a future possibility.

I am also considering the suggestion of massively restricted spell access, and pondering if that might be easier by suggesting not to include full casters of any variety.

Smaller Houserules/Rules Tweaks
I have a bunch of things I've tried or picked up from other variations of d20 that I believe make the game better, not sure which of them (if any) I will use. Maybe Trailblazer's BAB Progressions - they're faster to remember and cleaner, and statistically equivalant in the vast majority of cases - so if you want to use normal PF stuff with them that should still be an option.

Sources
I've been looking at some 3pp (and older d20 material, and the FFd20 site) as well, and looking for Ideas I may want to incorporate. So far nothing concrete, but I am considering the PoW stuff, and maybe making it innate to everyone.

But as you can see, most of this stuff is still in the brainstorming phase.


Something to keep in mind as far as classes is that in JRPGs there is way less caster/martial disparity. You have your warriors jumping around dropping down like meteors and pulling off a whirlwind. Your blaster wizards are still pretty powerful, but player wizards arn't pulling out an extra dimension, destroying the economy through fabrication, teleporting the enemy into the sun, pooping out a permanant clone, summoning an army, etc.

Player Warriors are less bound by physics, letting them jump around and destroy terrain.

Player Casters aren't capable of casting powerful and lasting effects constantly.

Dark Archive

Way Ahead of you Aeon.

That's part of why we've been talking about Path of War (and possibly making it extend to everyone, blocking access to higher level spells, and removing summon spells.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neurophage wrote:
ElyasRavenwood wrote:

What is a JRPG? I get the Role Playing Game part but J ?

Thanks

JRPG = Japanese RPG. Examples include Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Seiken Densetsu, Tales of Phantasia/Symphonia/Abyss/Vesperia, Breath of Fire, the Atelier series, Grandia, Arc the Lad, Xenogears, Lunar, Shin Megami Tensei, Golden Sun, Skies of Arcadia, Suikoden, Ar Tonelico, Riviera, Paper Mario, etc.

Edit: Even more examples.

Nerophage. Thank you. I see you are talking allot about computer role playing games it seems. I have only a passing familiarity to the final fantasy series, and thats just well because i know it exists. Again thank you.

Dark Archive

ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Nerophage. Thank you. I see you are talking allot about computer role playing games it seems. I have only a passing familiarity to the final fantasy series, and thats just well because i know it exists. Again thank you.

Ah. yeah; I grew up playing many of those japanese videogames, and they had a certain atmosphere to them that is hard to come by in English Tabletop RPGs, and I think Pathfinder would be a relatively good fit for the genre, with a few alterations.

I'm still chipping away at this, btw. Working on some setting and thematic things at the moment, figuring out what the basic races and politics of the setting will be like; then I am thinking I will do up some kind of Gazeteer Thing.


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That Final Fantasy d20 site is missing a very important class:

Onion Kid
Alignment: (Any)
Skill Ranks per Level: 0 + Int
Class Skills: none
Proficiencies: (weapons) none; (armor) none
Starting Wealth: 0gp
HD: d4

Lv-BAB --------------------------- Fort - Ref - Will - Special
1--+0 ---------------------------- +0 --- +0 --- +0 --
2--+0 ---------------------------- +0 --- +0 --- +0 --
3--+0 ---------------------------- +1 --- +1 --- +1 --
4--+1 ---------------------------- +1 --- +1 --- +1 --
5--+1 ---------------------------- +1 --- +1 --- +1 --
6--+1 ---------------------------- +2 --- +2 --- +2 --
7--+1 ---------------------------- +2 --- +2 --- +2 --
8--+2 ---------------------------- +2 --- +2 --- +2 --
9--+2 ---------------------------- +3 --- +3 --- +3 --
10-+2 ---------------------------- +3 --- +3 --- +3 --
11-+2 ---------------------------- +3 --- +3 --- +3 --
12-+3 ---------------------------- +4 --- +4 --- +4 --
13-+3 ---------------------------- +4 --- +4 --- +4 --
14-+3 ---------------------------- +4 --- +4 --- +4 --
15-+3 ---------------------------- +5 --- +5 --- +5 --
16-+4 ---------------------------- +5 --- +5 --- +5 --
17-+4 ---------------------------- +5 --- +5 --- +5 --
18-+4 ---------------------------- +6 --- +6 --- +6 --
19-+4 ---------------------------- +6 --- +6 --- +6 --
20-+30/+25/+20/+15/+10/+5 +15 -- +15 -- +15 - Ascendancy of the Onion

Ascendancy of the Onion (Divine)

Upon reaching 20th Level, the Onion Kid selects 3 classes. The Onion Kid gains all weapon & armor proficiencies, abilities and spells of those classes as though he had 20 levels in each of those classes, including retroactively gaining Bonus Feats awarded by those classes (but none of the entrance restrictions, such as those required Alignment, etc). The Onion Kid also gains a bonus on all Skill checks equal to his Onion Kid Level +3. Finally, the Onion Kid gains 8 Hit Points per Onion Kid level.


chbgraphicarts wrote:

That Final Fantasy d20 site is missing a very important class:

Onion Kid
Alignment: (Any)
Skill Ranks per Level: 0 + Int
Class Skills: none
Proficiencies: (weapons) none; (armor) none
Starting Wealth: 0gp
HD: d4

Lv-BAB --------------------------- Fort - Ref - Will - Special
1--+0 ---------------------------- +0 --- +0 --- +0 --
2--+0 ---------------------------- +0 --- +0 --- +0 --
3--+0 ---------------------------- +1 --- +1 --- +1 --
4--+1 ---------------------------- +1 --- +1 --- +1 --
5--+1 ---------------------------- +1 --- +1 --- +1 --
6--+1 ---------------------------- +2 --- +2 --- +2 --
7--+1 ---------------------------- +2 --- +2 --- +2 --
8--+2 ---------------------------- +2 --- +2 --- +2 --
9--+2 ---------------------------- +3 --- +3 --- +3 --
10-+2 ---------------------------- +3 --- +3 --- +3 --
11-+2 ---------------------------- +3 --- +3 --- +3 --
12-+3 ---------------------------- +4 --- +4 --- +4 --
13-+3 ---------------------------- +4 --- +4 --- +4 --
14-+3 ---------------------------- +4 --- +4 --- +4 --
15-+3 ---------------------------- +5 --- +5 --- +5 --
16-+4 ---------------------------- +5 --- +5 --- +5 --
17-+4 ---------------------------- +5 --- +5 --- +5 --
18-+4 ---------------------------- +6 --- +6 --- +6 --
19-+4 ---------------------------- +6 --- +6 --- +6 --
20-+30/+25/+20/+15/+10/+5 +15 -- +15 -- +15 - Ascendancy of the Onion

Ascendancy of the Onion (Divine)

Upon reaching 20th Level, the Onion Kid selects 3 classes. The Onion Kid gains all weapon & armor proficiencies, abilities and spells of those classes as though he had 20 levels in each of those classes, including retroactively gaining Bonus Feats awarded by those classes (but none of the entrance restrictions, such as those required Alignment, etc). The Onion Kid also gains a bonus on all Skill checks equal to his Onion Kid Level +3. Finally, the Onion Kid gains 8 Hit Points per Onion Kid level.

That is a character that needs off site training to get to 20... Then Arcanist bladebound archetype, inquisitor, and something else lol.

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