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[Endless: Fantasy Tactics] Expanding it into an actual RPG

CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
For those that don't know, Endless: Fantasy Tactics is a grid-based tactical miniatures game that takes inspiration from Final Fantasy Tactics about as blatantly as Legacy: War of Ages "took inspiration" from Highlander. But as it happens, FFT is one of my favorite games in the history of ever, so I am completely on board with this. And while I haven't had a chance to actually play it (on account of having no one to play with), I've read it and it looks pretty dang cool.

Spoiler: Show
Here's the rulebook (which includes unit and item cards in a separate PDF) and quickstart on Wargame Vault (part of the same company as DrivethruRPG).

Here's the product page on the company's own site.

And here's the video demonstrating the game's mechanics from the Kickstarter campaign, which is what sold me on it.

[video=youtube;D8fb55EeTm8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8fb55EeTm8[/video]


Now, one of the things I liked about D&D 4e was the precise and tactical nature of its combat. However, I just don't care for systems that complex anymore; my preferences have got a lot lighter over the years. EFT seems like it scratches the same itch, but with a much lighter system. It even has an experience system for campaign play, so you can start with a party of rank novices and level them up between skirmishes. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing it lacks is a character creation system and some simple rules for out-of-combat scenes and challenges.

So, that's kind of what I'm after with this thread. How can we expand EFT into a full-fledged RPG? My first thought was simply taking the campaign rules and bolting on icon relationships, one unique things, and backgrounds from 13th Age; maybe keep the backgrounds d6 dice pools like the battle mechanics for consistency, and just eyeball stuff from there. Maybe bring in aspects from Fate, even keeping it down to three (high concept, trouble, and free choice) like in FAE. Just pick a class and your starting commands, add all that stuff to your character, and play.

Or, we could put more effort into it. Maybe come up with some way to generate your own stats that are reasonably balanced against the official units of equal level or crystal cost. Maybe even a job-change system akin to FFT, which could then be used with the skirmish and campaign rules as well.

I'm just brainstorming at this point; i don't have any really solid ideas for anything yet, except that I tend to think the 13th Age bits are possibly a good start (icons and OUTs strike me as extremely well-suited to Final Fantasy-like storytelling, and backgrounds are a pretty elegant skill system that's isolated from combat effectiveness), and that any attribute generation system would have to account for not all stats being created equal (I'm fairly certain that JMP and ITM aren't nearly as important as ATK or DEF). Any ideas you might have are welcome.

So, does anyone else think this idea has legs? Or do I need to go back on my meds?
 
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E_MacLeod

Spirit Detective
Validated User
I would just go with a PDQ/Risus approach. Tack on non-combat qualities to each character.

This whole idea reminds me of Iron Kingdoms. :)
 

Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
I'm writing an RPG based on FFT called 16-Bit Tactics. In my playtests I use LEGO to build the battlefields. I had never heard of Endless until this very post so I am amused how similar the ideas seem.

I'm giving my rules away free on my blog, you can check out my progress there if you are interested. I'm spending today working on monsters and gear.
 

CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
So, kind of off the top of my head, here's an initial idea for a job change system:

After each battle, or non-combat RP scene your GM thinks deserves it, you earn some XP. Going up one level requires, say, ten XP; this doesn't change as you gain levels, rather the same challenges should be worth less XP as you out-level them. If you're familiar with it, the "marks" system from Mastering Iron Heroes could work as a basis. (This replaces the XP costs in the Campaigns chapter of EFT for sake of keeping the following math simpler, but it could be rejiggered to retain compatibility if that's a priority). Character level (CL) is separate from job level (JL), like in Final Fantasy Tactics.

Basic jobs (adept, bandit and squire) start at JL 1. For every XP you earn, you also gain JP in your current job equal to your level (if the XP is more than enough to go up a level, you could allow the character to level up and apply the increased JP rate to the remainder of the XP). JP equal to the current JL times ten is required to go up to the next JL. If you stick with one job, it should level up at the same rate as your character, but if you switch to another one, it will catch up faster.

When you start a new basic job, you start with one command from its list. With each new JL, you learn an additional command. At JL 3 or later, in lieu of a new command, you unlock the advanced jobs that the basic job can promote to. When you switch to one of these jobs for the first time, it starts at JL 3 with two commands.

When you reach JL 6 in any job, you become an 'elite' member of that job (elite archer, elite paladin, etc). Starting at that level and for all following ones, you can choose commands from the unique character that corresponds to the job (so an elite dragoon can start choosing from Ahm Nausalla's command list). This allows the player to not lose out of job commands they liked from before, and avoids the problem of duplicate "unique characters" or the second player to reach JL 6 in a given job getting screwed out of the upgrade.

When equipping your character before a battle, you can choose a number of commands from those you've learned from all your jobs equal to your character level, or one less if you're currently in an advanced job (effectively, being that job costs a command). Your stats, HP, MP, and core ability are determined by your current job, so make sure the commands you pick will work well with those. If you've reached elite status in your job, use the stats, HP and MP of the corresponding unique character, as well as their core ability, unless you'd rather use the one from the original job: For example, an elite archer might not want the minimum range of Alfindrate's Long Bow ability, and would rather give up the increased maximum range in exchange for being able to shoot adjacent foes.

EDIT: Forgot to mention: You can't use a command from a job until you've earned at least some JP in it, or possibly raised it by one level (so JL 2 for basic, or 4 for advanced). I also might make it that advanced jobs have to be unlocked one at a time at the cost of one command slot for the basic job, or something like that, but once you've done that, the job's commands are immediately available even if you're currently in another one; so if you just spent a Squire command slot to unlock Knight, you can still access those first two Knight commands while fighting as a Squire or even an Archer or Cleric.

I would just go with a PDQ/Risus approach. Tack on non-combat qualities to each character.

This whole idea reminds me of Iron Kingdoms. :)
Risus I've always found to be too light for me, and I'm not familiar with PDQ. I like the 13th Age approach (even though I realize backgrounds on their own aren't much more complex than Risus) in part because it serves a similar role in that system: The non-combat roleplay stuff stands alone, paid for with separate character resources, so that players never have to choose between being more effective in combat or out of it.

I'm writing an RPG based on FFT called 16-Bit Tactics. In my playtests I use LEGO to build the battlefields. I had never heard of Endless until this very post so I am amused how similar the ideas seem.

I'm giving my rules away free on my blog, you can check out my progress there if you are interested. I'm spending today working on monsters and gear.
Over in my WRM meets FF thread, someone linked to it. Didn't realize it was your baby. :D I'll definitely check it out.
 
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Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
Over in my WRM meets FF thread, someone linked to it. Didn't realize it was your baby. :D I'll definitely check it out.
Now I shall go read that WRM thread. :)

My job-switch system is bare bones. I dropped the squire and the chemist entirely for instance. I'm doing my best to make the jobs equally powerful so I can dispense with the need for tiered permissions to enter them. There will be a sidebar on how I think they should be structured if you want to go that route.

The way it works is you get XP and AP for completing tasks (primarily battles). XP raises your level and AP is used to buy Job Abilities. When you gain a level you increase your HP, MP, DMG & M.DMG by the values for the job you leveled on. You can switch Jobs between battles however you like, but your AP stays with the Job it was earned on so you probably don't have any JAs with your new job.

Of course that's not really a big deal since you should have JAs from at least one past Job and you can equip a secondary Job Skill and use those abilities while you gain AP. There are also items that can grant you the use of abilities.
 

darkgloomie

Un-jiggly
Validated User
@CLAVDIUS: "free" class changes coupled with stats determined by the class seem like an awful lot of bookkeeping to me...

My job-switch system is bare bones. I dropped the squire and the chemist entirely for instance. I'm doing my best to make the jobs equally powerful so I can dispense with the need for tiered permissions to enter them. There will be a sidebar on how I think they should be structured if you want to go that route.
I dunno, the Chemist may still have its place- ok, not the FFT chemist, but Alchemist is a recurring job in a lot of Final Fantasy games. The problem is, it would need a hell of a lot of balancing with items and abilities to make it viable.
 

Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
I dunno, the Chemist may still have its place- ok, not the FFT chemist, but Alchemist is a recurring job in a lot of Final Fantasy games. The problem is, it would need a hell of a lot of balancing with items and abilities to make it viable.
My own thinking when it comes to which jobs to include is to begin with the original game and then think about FF5.

The original had 8 jobs (6 base and 2 upgrades that actually mattered). FF5 of course added a bunch.

Since this is a tactics hack I also wanted to keep FFT and FFTA in mind. FFTA doesn't have a Chemist at all and in FFT the CHemist is almost entirely a JP tax to get to the mages. Since you need to equip Item as as JA and you would need to master Chemist to make that useful I personally never bothered. In FFTA the Item command still has to be equipped but its free and gives you all the Chemist abilities from FFT except throwing potions.

So at the end we get a Job that only has 2 things going for it:
1) Throw potions 3 squares
2) Equip Guns

I'd much rather fold that into Engineer.

For Squire I grabbed the best parts of it, added them to Knight and called it Fighter.
 

darkgloomie

Un-jiggly
Validated User
My own thinking when it comes to which jobs to include is to begin with the original game and then think about FF5.

The original had 8 jobs (6 base and 2 upgrades that actually mattered). FF5 of course added a bunch.

Since this is a tactics hack I also wanted to keep FFT and FFTA in mind. FFTA doesn't have a Chemist at all and in FFT the CHemist is almost entirely a JP tax to get to the mages. Since you need to equip Item as as JA and you would need to master Chemist to make that useful I personally never bothered. In FFTA the Item command still has to be equipped but its free and gives you all the Chemist abilities from FFT except throwing potions.

So at the end we get a Job that only has 2 things going for it:
1) Throw potions 3 squares
2) Equip Guns

I'd much rather fold that into Engineer.

For Squire I grabbed the best parts of it, added them to Knight and called it Fighter.
FFTA2 had the Alchemist class, though it was just a magic class with weird powers and got the Item command for free.
 

Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
So as not to threadjack this into talking all about me I can offer my solution for the non-combat stuff.

I give everyone 4 skills: Might, Agility, Lore, Charm. They are rated from D6-D12 (just like ATK and M.Atk, btw)

When you want to do something that needs a roll you throw your die against the difficulty. If its another character they can roll their die to resist otherwise the GM picks a number to beat.

And that's about it. Its a game about moving in squares with facing rules, I regret nothing. :D

FFTA2 had the Alchemist class, though it was just a magic class with weird powers and got the Item command for free.
Ah yes, Nu-Mou only. I just plain forgot about those.

It does remind me that I have not even started to figure out how to do races in 16BT. There's just not a lot of space to allow for stat differences.
 
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