Basic Success Odds

If 1d8+LV > 3+LV, this is a "hit." This gives a 62.5% chance of success (between 75% and 50%). This means that a little more than 1/3 times, a character will not hit it, but 2/3 times, they will.

The odds are flexed by the die size:

1d4+LV > 3+LV = 25%
1d6+LV > 3+LV = 50%; 16% for 2 successes.
1d8+LV > 3+LV = 62.5%; 25% for 2 successes.
1d10+LV > 3+LV = 70%; 40% for 2 successes; 20% for 3 successes.
1d12+LV > 3+LV = 83.3%; 50% for 2 successes; 33.3% for 3 successes, 8.3% for 4 successes.

This gives us the HP for monsters. If a battle is supposed to last 5 rounds, with 1 monster/PC, then each monster should have HP that lasts it through 5 "successes." This works out to 15 hp, +5 hp/level. (e.g.: LV 1 = DC 4 on 1d8, times 5 rounds = 20 hp. LV 10 = DC 13 on 1d8, times 5 rounds = 65 hp).

We can use this to work with a "hit box" style system as well: 5 "hits" = KO.


The part after the $|$ designates when the creature enters "crisis." (its last 5/level hp…its last "victory").


A good roll by a high-damage character can almost kill an enemy (enter them into Crisis).

That's not always what we want, though. FF games are filled with goblins and monsters that take only 1-3 hits to kill, if that. So we will call the above the "standard challenge."

In order to make a lesser challenge, we just drop the number of successes. If we want, say, 3 successes to be a "minor challenge" (a single goblin or summat), this works out to 9 hp + 3 hp/level: 12 hp at level 1, 15hp at level 2, 24 hp at level 5, up to 39 hp at level 10, etc. As a hit box, it looks like this: $00|0$.

…and for elites? Bosses?

Well, by FF standards, "standard challenges" are already a little elite, but lets play ball. Lets say we want 7 successes to be an "elite challenge" (miniboss!). This works out to 21 hp + 7 hp/level (28 hp @ 1st level), or a hit box like this: $000000|0$. You could easily work in multiple "crisis points", points in which the miniboss will change form or strategy, like this: $000|000|0$, with the vertical dividers representing when the creature enters the next "phase."

Bosses work similarly. If we want them to be 10 successes (double the normal!), they've got 30 hp + 10 hp/level (40 hp @ 1st level, 130 hp @ 10th level), or hit boxes (including phases) like this: $000|000|000|0$

Quads & Duals

A "standard challenge" includes one monster per character. A "minor challenge" might only include one monster, period. A "standard challenge" lasts for about 5 rounds, while a "minor challenge" only lasts for 1.

So how long do you want your elites and bosses to stick around for? If the entire combat is just one elite critter vs. a party of 4, it's going down a LOT faster than 7 rounds (more like 2). If you'd like the combat itself to clock in at around 7 rounds, you need 1 elite per PC. Bosses are in a similar camp: they might last for 3 rounds if there's just one of them as above.

So, assuming we still don't want to have 4 Mom Bombs vs. a party of 4, how do we pump up one or two?

You can double the HP and damage of a monster, and combining two into one: the DUAL. Each one is about the equivalent of 2 PC's, so in a party of 4 you only need 2 elite duals to be a 7-round fight.

You can also QUADRUPLE the HP and damage of a monster, combining four into one: the QUAD. Each one is about the equivalent of 4 PC's, so in a party of 4, you only need 1 boss quad to be a 10-round fight.

By default, lets label "ELITES" as a 2 PC value each 7-round challenge (42 hp + 14/level hp, double damage; aka: $000000|000000|00$), and "BOSSES" as a 4 PC value (120 hp + 40 hp/level, quadruple damage, aka: $00000000|00000000|00000000|00000000|00000000$). That is a lot of HP, for sure, but keep in mind that PC's are mobbing this creature, hitting it 1/round each. This beast'll last for 10 round of 4 people hitting him upside the head.

Different party numbers are going to skew this, so DMs need to be told about this underlying math, so they can adopt it to their own groups, from 1-PC solo games to 10-PC massive games of the stars.

The Pattern

By now, you can probably see the underlying magical math that makes this work. The math is that whatever number you want the group to roll (3, in this case), times the number of victories (5, for default) = the "base HP", and then you add another hp per "victory" for each level.

The Magic

While it doesn't make much sense to talk about "hp" out of combat scenarios, it makes a lot of sense to talk about "successes." This basically makes them equivalent to each other. You can now represent skills in any challenge on the d4-d12 scale, each roll accumulating points, with a "challenge" represented by how many points you need to gain.

Higher and lower dice

Lower dice means you can't as reliably hit the target of 3+LV damage. Higher dice means you can hit this minimum more easily, and might be able to do plenty more where that comes from, with a lucky roll. In order to keep the balance between them, characters are forced to employ those 1d12s less often, and those 1d4s more often. A 5-round combat might go like this:

1d12/1d4/1d4/1d12/1d4 (total w/LV 1 = 25.5, or 28 with one extra round)

Or like this

1d10/1d6/1d10/1d6/1d10 (total w/LV 1 = 28.5)

Or Like this

1d8/1d8/1d8/1d8/1d8 (total w/ LV 1 = 27.5)

A character needs 20 damage @ level 1 to KO an enemy — these guys got it in the bag, with room to spare. That "spare room" is often wasted (a max roll on a low HP monster), but sometimes it might end the combat early. This is good — sometimes the players will roll very horribly and will draw out the combat longer than intended. Extra chaos usually favors the monsters. The stats do subtly favor PCs.

The mechanics that force a character with a d10 or a d12 attack to not use it every round vary with the class. Berserkers hack fast, but have to recover. Black Mages drink MP like water. Soldiers wait for the right moment to strike. White Mages spend MP, too.

Attack Types vs. Defense Types

These two things are made to negate each other. Effectively, every attack gets an "extra" dice that it gets to roll, and every defense "subtracts" a dice from the attacker. The most basic model is a character's Stamina or Mind, that subtracts from an attacker's Weapon or Spell roll. The attackers, meanwhile, get two-handed weapons, or double weapons.

A defender equipped with heavy armor has a Stamina equal to about 3 + LV, meaning that 4 damage is subtracted from each incoming attack at level 1. Ultimately, this means each attack needs to deal DOUBLE damage to be a "hit" — a 1d8+1 attack is completely negated most of the time (only getting a "hit" on a 7 or 8, or a 25% chance of success). A 1d12+1 attack is only 50% effective itself. A 1d4+1 attack has no hope of getting a hit (at most, they're dealing 1 hp of damage — certainly not the 4 they need to be).

To counteract this, a two-handed weapon deals double damage. A 1d8+1 attack becomes a 2d8+2 attack (average damage = 9), meaning that after subtracting Stamina and coming to 5 damage, the attack deals a solid hit (and has a bit of an edge). A 1d4+1 attack becomes a 2d4+2 attack (avg. 7), coming to 3 — probably not a solid hit, but not necessarily unexpected. A 1d12 attack becomes a 2d12+2 attack (avg. 15), coming to 11 — probably TWO solid hits.

On the magic side, a defender equipped with robes has a Mind that is just as strong (3 + LV). A mage with a staff deals double damage, just like a soldier with a two-handed sword.

O'course, not every defender HAS a big Stamina or a big Mind — a magically armored creature is going to get WALLOPPED by that two-handed weapon wielding berserker coming in with his 2d12+2 axe. It'll scathe off half his HP or so on average. Similarly, our heavily armored defender has no exceptional defenses against a Black Mage's Fire spell used with a staff — 2d12+2 damage. BOOM.

Similarly, not every attacker has a two-handed weapon or a large spell focus. Your berserker might be dealing 2d12+2 damage each round, but your thief is probably only doing 1d8+1.

This is as it should be — players should be rewarded for smart play, and this is good strategy. A party playing with good strategy is quite a bit more effective than a party that just pours on random assaults. They turn "normal" combats into "lesser" combats, filled with minor, 3-hit wins.

Of course, no one wants elites and bosses to be quite as subject to this as lesser beasts. This is why these creatures have "weak points": certain conditions that must be met in order to actually deal damage to the critter.

Common Defenses

  • Stamina: Lowers weapon damage by 3 + LV
  • Mind: Lowers spell damage by 3 + LV
  • Evasion: When attacked, roll 1d20. On an 11 or better, the attack misses you.
  • Elemental: You take half damage from a particular source (spells/weapons or an element), but take double damage from the opposite.
  • HP Boost: You gain 2 $\times$ your normal HP.
  • Counterattack: You deal damage to those that attack you.
  • Stats Buff: Increases future defense.
  • Healing: Regains lost HP.
  • Shielded: Grants Stamina to another character.

Common Attacks

  • Two-Handed Weapon: Deals double weapon damage.
  • Two Weapons or Fast Attack: Attack twice.
  • Elemental: You attack with a particular element. A creature with a weakness will take double damage.
  • Accurate: Ignores Evasion.
  • Piercing Weapon: Ignores Stamina
  • Piercing Spell: Ignores Mind
  • Status Ailment: Increases future attacks.

In the Class, or in the Weapon?

So right now, all of this information is in the Class. Berserkers have 1d12 weapon power and make two-handed weapon attacks for $\times$2 damage, costing a Delay of 2. Black mages have 1d12 spell power and make piercing spell attacks for damage that ignores Mind, costing 9 mp.

The disadvantage of this is that it locks a character pretty solidly into one attack type. Our Berserker can't switch to "fast attack" style on the fly, if up against an evasive enemy. He can't choose the optimal tactic. This might result in some unintentional boning: a party full of heavily armored breakers might have a big problem when the local evil wizards come callin'.

The solution is that a party optimized for one solution is going to get boned sooner or later by a DM using a diverse array of challenges (as they should), so the party "must" be fairly diverse. Focus is dissuaded because there's a large amount of threats out there, and a narrowly focused character won't be able to deal with them. Everyone can't just pick the same option.

If we change it to Weapon, this makes it a little closer to how the games actually play (though not always to how they feel — each character often has their own unique fighting style), and makes it a lot easier to swap attack styles to suit different enemies. This helps achieve "party of one" status, and prevents boredom/boning.

The disadvantage to this is that we gain a lot of convenience and evocation from associating weapon with class, and it would be remarkably easy for people to largely choose and equip the "best" weapons. Every melee fighter has a 1d12 weapon that suits every situation.

As a middle ground, we might change the attack styles to the weapon, leaving the weapon power with the class. So, if the berserker wants to get a "Fast Attack," they can. The effect would be that she would roll 1d12+1 for two attacks, rather than 2d12+2 for one. She would still have the same "attack rate," which futzes with the flavor a bit: she's wielding two small axes so she attacks faster, but she still has a delay of 2 rounds?

Perhaps the best solution is to provide techniques that address this. Even if the berserker's normal attack is as the first paragraph, she might be able to use the Whirling Axe tech to get a lower delay in exchange for some price (perhaps she takes a status ailment or looses her defense style, or summat).

^ Like that last idea. Versatility thru powers = win.


So now we know how the monsters take damage, and how much they can take before they go down. But what about the other half of the combat? Aren't the characters taking damage?


The trick here is to figure out an "encounter" resource against a "daily" resource. But lets start with the narrowest: encounter.

If an "average" monster lasts 5 rounds, an "average" PC should be able to last at least the same. So this starts us off as equals: Monsters and characters use the same 15 hp + 5 hp/level formula.

This is true, assuming that you want "average" combat to be a deadly contest to see who falls first. That's probably not what you want in every combat. If the FF games are anything to go by (and in this game, they're SOMETHING to go by), most combats shouldn't be very threatening or deadly. Even if you have combats composed of "minor monsters", the party could only go through a handful of these before having to rest (that is, about 2). And against Elites and Bosses? Fuhgiddabbouddit.

Of course, good tactics change that equation, so it's not a totally useless baseline. It's just not quite enough.

So what's the "right amount of HP" for PCs? Well, we DO want bosses to be a Big Deal, to risk killing a PC. In an encounter, they are the biggest threat. So if we balance PC HP with a boss in mind, we get 30 hp + 10/level, per PC. Against our typical LV 1 Ultros Boss Fight, you have 4 PC's, with 40 hp each, taking on a monster that can deal about 16 damage per hit. As a party, they are the equal of Ultros: 160 hp, with 16 damage per round given to their foes. Individually, they're each a little weaker, and the fact that Ultros can knock 'em out quick (2-3 hits) means that, if we're doing it straight like this, the party is in a death spiral. Every 3 rounds, they loose one party member, reducing their overall damage. On Round 3 (with Ultros at 112 hp), Ultros KOs one party member, and the party only deals 12 damage to him each round. On Round 6 (he's at 76 hp), Ultros KO's another, and they are dealing 8 damage to him. Round 9 (52 hp), another drops, and they're dealing 4 damage to him. By round 12, the last party member is KO'd and Ultros is sitting fat and happy at 40 hp. Well, okay, he's beat up a bit, but as a horrible monster octopus, it's not like he won't be OK.

So what flips the digits? What gives the PC's a fighting chance?

Limit Breaks & Summons.

As an entire party resource capable of dealing +12 hp damage/party member (essentially, +3 normal hits), it flips the odds nicely. Ultros may be mighty, but those characters get to summon Boko at about the halfway - 2/3rds part of the battle, evening the score.

This means that Crisis Points need to be an encounter resource, one that does not build up over the course of a day, but over the course of a single combat, and one shared by the party. A character gains Crisis in various ways in the combat, and then spends it on the summon, dealing a wallop of damage.

Adventure Design Notes

  • Each "adventure" is one level.
  • Each "adventure" assumes 3 "days," with 1 Combat, 1 Interaction, and 1 Exploration challenge each day (3 total each, 9 total "challenges").
  • Each challenge assumes ~5 rounds to resolve. Within those 5 rounds, each PC must get three "successes." This also means that the challenge can be broken up into 3 "small challenges" per PC, each one requiring only one success to win. EX: a party of 4 PC's can handle 12 "small challenges," or one challenge requiring a total of 12 successes. Most FF critters are probably "small challenges"
  • An "encounter-level" power deals effectively $3 /times$ the damage, at the cost of 5 actions or 1 encounter's total MP.

Cinematic Fights

Elites and Bosses are not your average mons. While the FF games may have just sat you on the other side of the screen and had you select menu options, this just won't do for a table-top RPG, with its deeper reliance on the graphics in yer head. FF combats are supposed to be abstract and cinematic, no? Well, then, lets make this a little more Advent Children, a little less "line up on the right side of the screen, boys and girls!"

Weak Points

Attacks on a Boss-level creature should not do damage right away. Rather, there should be some requirement the party must meet in order to be able to deal damage for a time. This "exposes the weak point." For instance, a White Dragon might have to be hit with fire before it can be attacked — and after a round, its weak point goes into hiding, until it is hit with fire again. Limit Breaks may also expose weak points.

Big Booms, Multiple Turns

Boss-level creatures should have a turn after each character, rather than an initiative count of their own. They should be able to hit harder than most other creatures (roughly, four times as hard).

Speed Notes/MP Notes

  • Currently, Speed is the order you go in combat.
    • The "actions" you get are set per tier: 1(1), 2(5), 3(8), 4(E)
    • More powerful abilities consume more actions.
    • Haste has you spending less actions, Slow has you spending more actions.
    • "Wait" adds an action.
  • Abilities have an MP cost and an action cost (AP/ATB; like 4 Heroes of Light or 13)
    • So how do jobs with lower/less MP make up for that difference? And if the MP abilities aren't more powerful, why do they "cost extra"? What's the additional risk for using MP (what happens when you run out?)? How does MP use balance with those who don't use it?
    • MP represents "spike" damage: investing a lot at once, but not being able to sustain it. vs. Actions that represent "sustainable" damage: being able to sustain it.
    • So, MP can front-load things; can Nova.; Actions are "DoT", consistent.
      • This is OK: a high defense can negate the potential of Nova to be valid, and your Nova-ing power is restored after each encounter, so you're not "forced to rest."
    • Something dealing 2x damage would either cost 2 Actions or 1 Action + 1/5th AvgMaxMP
    • Something dealing 5x damage: 5 Actions or 1 Action + 4/5ths AvgMaxMP.
      • This would mean MP cost would be consistent with damage potential, not with level.
      • This would mean MaxMP should remain constant? — essentially MP should be "5"; 5 x level?
        • 1 A = 1/5th MP (5 A = all MP)
        • Tier 0 (LV 1) = 1 A + 1/5th MP [5]; 1x damage [7] = "I can do this five times!"
        • Tier 1 (Lv 2-4) = 1 A + 2/5th MP [12, 14, 16]; 2x damage [14, 18, 20, 22] = "I can do this 3 times"
          • Ex: Fire = 2x Spell Power fire damage.
        • Tier 2 (Lv 5-7) = 1 A + 3/5th MP [39, 42, 45]; 3x damage [39, 42, 45] = "I can do this twice"
          • Ex: Fira = 3x Spell Power fire damage.
        • Tier 3 (Lv 8-10) = 1 A + 4/5th MP [80, 84, 88]; 4x damage [68, 72, 76] = "I can do this ALMOST twice"
          • Ex: Firaga = 4x Spell Power fire damage
        • Tier 4 (Lv EPIC) = 1 A + 5/5th MP [130]; 5x damage [100] = "I can do this once"
          • Ex: Flare = 5 x Spell Power Fire damage
        • The above structure makes it economical to go with a lower-cost spell. Forex, using LV 4 spell @ LV 5 [34 avg.dmg] will, after two rounds, trump a level 5 power, but a Level 5 power over the same duration (twice) yields much more damage. So if you've got time, spending MP on lower-level powers is rewarded, but higher-level powers will always produce a bigger "spike." This also gives higher-level effects a good reason for riders (to make them a little more appealing vs. the lower-level spells).
  • A "Delay" consumes "future turns," so that you can use a powerful ability early (but then can't do anything for a while).
  • A "Charge" consumes "later turns," so that you don't spend any now, but do when you use the ability.

Possible Stat Rejiggering

  • It is key to have FF-style stats.
    • This means Weapon Accuracy and Spell Accuracy (and Weapon Evasion and Spell Evasion)
      • We still want to be "equipment agnostic," so that swords, guns, etc. are easily changable. To accomplish this, Accuracy needs to be a class trait, not a weapon trait. Gunners = Accurate, Berserkers = Inaccurate.
    • 1d20 to hit? Yeah, I guess…(+1 = 5%)
        • +1/level baseline; some classes get an additional +1-5 (avg.: 3)
    • Base the stats on elements:
      • Gravity: Your physical nature. Not used for checks.
      • Shadow: Your flaws and sins. Not used for checks.
      • Earth: Your physical strength and stamina. Use for checks of toughness and muscle.
      • Water: Your awareness and intuition. Use for checks of observation and wisdom.
      • Ice: Your intellect and logic. Use for tests of knowledge and puzzles.
      • Wind: Your mobility and flexibility. Use for checks of agility and acrobatics.
      • Lightning: Your speed and accuracy. Use for checks of reflexes and reactions.
      • Fire: Your personality and charm. Use for tests of charisma and inspiration.
      • Holy: Your purity and enlightenment. Not used for checks.
      • Cosmos: Your mental nature. Not used for checks.
    • WEAPON
      • Accuracy (Lightning)
      • Evasion (Wind)
      • Power (Earth)
    • SPELL
      • Accuracy (Ice)
      • Evasion (Water)
      • Power (Fire)
    • HP: $\circ$ to $\bullet$
      • Vitality
    • MP $\Box$ to $\blacksquare$ … or $\sim$ to $\infty$
    • Speed
      • Actions $\star$
  • Turns
    • Characters with the highest Speed go first in the round. When their turn comes up, they get an Action. they can save their Actions for the next round, if they want, by Defending.
      • A Delay Time consumes actions after you use it. Delay 1, for instance, means you use the ability on this turn, and next turn, you can't take an action.
      • A Charge Time consumes actions before you use it. A Charge 1, for instance, means that you can't take an action this turn, but on your next turn, the ability is used.
      • You get more Actions per Turn as you go up in levels. For instance, at level 5, you have two Actions per turn, meaning you can use Delay 1 or Charge 1 abilities on your turn normally. You could also fit in two abilities without a delay or a charge time.
  • Attacks
    • Spend any required MP.
    • 1d20 + Accuracy (weapon or spell) vs. Evasion (weapon or spell). [Accuracy and Evasion: +1/level; avg. LV 1 Accuracy/Evasion bonus: +3]
    • Roll Power (weapon or spell) vs. Vitality. If it exceeds your VIT, you take a $\bullet$. If the difference is multiple of your Vit it might deal more $\bullet$.
    • An attack may afflict a status instead of or in addition to dealing raw damage. In this case, it usually must take a full $\bullet$ for the status to affect the target. Usually, an attack that also deals damage will deal less damage, in exchange for the status.
    • Keep track of any Delay or Charge that the ability carries.
  • Defenses
    • Your Evasion serves as your passive defense.
    • If your Evasion is pierced, your Vitality may still protect you — the target rolls damage, and if it is greater than your Vitality, you take one $\bullet$ — one Hit Point of damage. Most characters have four HPs, though some have more, and you will gain more by gaining levels.
  • Skills
    • The "default rule" for skills needs to be like FF: that is, using a skill is either an exploration, or a minigame. Like, a dialog tree. Those are big, time-consuming events, though. It's usually automatic: there's a prerequisite elemental score for the task, and those who can pass succeed and those who cannot pass fail. A character can gain a temporary boost to their elemental score by seeking Advantage (a +2 bonus) wherever they can in the world. For instance, a trap might catch anyone with a Lightning score of 5 or less. Someone with a Lightning Score of 5 gets hit, usually. But if that character found the tripwire for the trap before it was sprung, they might have Advantage, giving them an effective Lightning Score of 7, thus enabling them to dodge the trap.
  • Campaign Design
    • The FF games are heavily narrative, so FFZ needs to be that, too.
    • Because the FF games are scripted, and FFZ is not, we need to give FFZ things that can help people organically enter a story.
      • Three-Act Structure
      • Tiers come from character development.
      • Characters need to be linked to the setting tightly, and possibly to each other.
        • Characters undergo Tests.

Challenge Level

  • Currently, as an "experiment" (and to avoid too much micro-managing that won't contribute anything) we'll do playtests under the spreadsheet's "averages," with different difficulties represented by level differences: Equal level encounters are a 50% failure chance, one level lower is 40%, one level higher is 60%, etc. Big Boss starts at 15th level (100% failure for 10th level characters). Adventures can reduce his level by 1, or 1/2 (total of -7 levels, so 15th to 8th level, or 100% failure to 30% failure).
    • Adventures scale in difficulty, from 100% chance of victory at level 1, to 50% (or so). chance at level 10. So "adventure levels" scale from between -5 and 10.
      • LV 1 vs. -5 (100%)
      • LV 2 vs. -2 (90%)
      • LV 3 vs. -1 (90%)
      • LV 4 vs. 1 (80%)
      • LV 5 vs. 2 (80%)
      • LV 6 vs. 4 (70%)
      • LV 7 vs. 5 (70%)
      • LV 8 vs. 7 (60%)
      • LV 9 vs. 8 (60%)
      • LV 10 vs. 10 (50%)
      • Epic vs. LV 8-15) (70%-0%)
  • To "Win" a game of FFZ, you defeat the Villain in the final adventure. If the Villain defeats you, you "Lose."
    • Each Adventure before that can help or hinder you: they affect the outcome of the final adventure.
      • To "Win" an adventure, you accomplish the party's goals. If you do not accomplish those goals, you "Lose."
      • Each "Win" in an adventure makes it more likely that you will defeat the villain. Each "Loss" makes it less likely.
      • Win or loose, you progress through the adventures, to the inevitable final confrontation.
  • The Challenge Level is then about how likely the party is to defeat the final Villain. The ideal level of challenge would be a 50% failure rate: half of the parties fail the final adventure (and loose the game).
    • This might be harsh for a narrative game. We might consider erring (or allowing erring) in favor of the party. Perhaps allowing a 25% chance of failure, especially if previous adventures are successful. This would mean that even if every adventure before is successful, that there's still a 1/4 chance of utter failure…which basically means "don't screw up and you'll be okay."
      • If half (5) the adventures are successful, perhaps the chance is 50% ("if you're lucky, you'll win!")
      • If a quarter (2-3) are successful, perhaps the chance of failure is 75%. ("Do everything right and you might pull it off…")
      • If 3/4 (7-8) are successful, perhaps the chance of failure is 35% ("Be careful, but have faith.")
      • If none are successful, the chance is 100%? ("Perhaps an Act of God can save you…")
      • This means each adventure would be worth about -7.5% difficulty, if successful…
        • Or have different values per adventure (between -5% and -10%)…this might be better (it would allow DM's to set the challenge more, and allow for a sliding scale between "total success" and "partial success.").
      • Example: The party begins the game with a 100% chance of failure against the villain. They win, say, 7 of their adventures, each one reducing that failure chance by 5-10% (lets give it an average of 8%). This gives them a 66% chance of final victory (44% chance of failure). They need to be careful, but they'll probably win.
  • So how do you measure a "% chance of failure" in the adventure?
    • Failure implies two possibilities: either they don't reach their Goals, or they get defeated (a TPK). They could do either or both. TPK's and failure to reach the Goals doesn't end the game until the final adventure, but it does represent a defeat in any adventure.
    • There should be a sliding scale:
      • Total Failure: You screwed up big time (perhaps the final encounter gets harder?)
      • Failure: You messed up (the final encounter does not change/gets a little harder?).
      • Success: You won (the final encounter gets a little easier).
      • Triumph: You won and went beyond (the final encounter gets quite a bit easier).
    • These are affected by dice rolls. Thus, THE MATHS:
      • Simple d20 Example: (25% chance of each) I roll 1d20 to achieve all my goals at once. 1-5 represents Total Failure, 6-10 represents regular failure, 11-15 represents success, and 16-20 represents triumph.
        • Scaled d20 Example: (more likely success/failure) 1 represents Total Failure, 2-10 represents regular failure, 11-19 represents success, and 20 represents triumph.
        • Easy Challenge Level: (5/20/50/25)1 represents Total Failure, 2-5 is Failure, 6-15 is Success, and 16-20 is Triumph.
        • Hard Challenge Level: (25/50/20/5) 1-5 = Total Failure, 6-15 = Failure, 16-19 = Success, 20 = Triumph.
      • Additional die rolls might affect the odds.
        • Simple d20 Twice Example: 50% success on the first roll + 50% success on the second roll = 50% success on either.
        • Two Successes Example: 50% + 50% = 25% chance of success on both.
        • Three Successes Example: 50 + 50 + 50 = 12% chance of success on all, 50% chance of success on 2/3.
      • Combats!
        • Combats must have 5 successful rounds by one party for that party to win.
        • A successful round deals enough damage to kill your "average enemy" in 5 rounds.
          • If the "average enemy party" has 120 hp, the average party has to inflict 24 damage/round — each member inflicting 6.
          • An "average PC party" right now would only get a ~50% success rate on eliminating enemy HP in 5 rounds with enemy HP set at 110 (22/enemy), meaning a "successful round" is actually ~ 4-5 damage (which makes sense — that's what a d8 does!). There's a 75% chance to achieve that on a normal attack. Harder hits make the combat quicker, softer hits drag the combat out. IOW, a 75% chance of success/round translates into a ~50% chance of success over 5 rounds.
          • To hit 120 hp 50% of the time, the party needs to inflict another 10 damage over 5 rounds (= +2 avg. damage per person, once per combat = "spike damage")
        • It also must avoid more damage than would kill you in 5 rounds.
          • So for a character with 30 hp, you can't take more than 5 damage/round.
        • Of course, we want combats to scale in difficulty with level (and other factors).
          • Benchmark: an epic-level combat that lasts 10 rounds with a specific chance of

Time as LTR

  • TEN STEPS (Chronological)
    • Episode Zero
      • Level 1: Origin Story: The PC's come together and the Central Problem is introduced.
    • Act I
      • Level 2: Development: Explore an element (Characters, Villain, Setting)
      • Level 3: Intensify: The Central Problem gets worse (what's the worst thing that could happen?)
      • Level 4: Minor Triumph: The Party has some small victory.
    • Act II
      • Level 5: Complication: The Central Problem gets worse
      • Level 6: Development: Explore an element (Characters, Villain, Setting)
      • Level 7: Dark Moment: The Party has some great failure.
    • Act III
      • Level 8: Greatest Intensity: The Central Problem gets worse.
      • Level 9: Development: Explore an element (Characters, Villain, Setting)
      • Level 10: Rising Action: The Party begins the final assault.
    • Climax!
      • Epic Level: Climax: The Party fights their final assault.
      • Postscript: Falling Action: Loose ends are tied up.
  • DM sketches out the campaign points:
    • The DM collects 10+ "adventures" for the campaign, forming a link (however tenuous) between them. The DM also generates the villain (the Players generate their characters)
    • Each adventure has… (in addition to the mechanics)
      • Hooks (Prelude): Reasons for the PC's to take the adventure
      • Barrier/Complication/Situation (Part 1-3): Things that intensify the adventure (and perhaps use narrative character features)
      • Story Reward (Epilogue): Something the PC's get in the narrative for doing it
      • Connections (Epilogue): Paths to other adventures — links between them (2/3 per)
  • Play out Episode Zero for the campaign.
  • The PC's then select amongst several adventures; these can be broken up by tier (1-4, 5-7, 8-10, Epic), with free choice amongst the tier.
    • The first choice becomes Level 1, the second choice becomes Level 2, etc. Difficulty increases as they complete adventures (succeed or fail). Difficulty can be tied to location instead, optionally, but it's not considered that way by default.
    • As the party goes through, hit the Plot Points at the relevant moments (flavoring them as appropriate for the Adventure).

Ten Adventures

  1. Prelude: The Dragon Menace
    1. Pilot: Deep Winter (Level 1): A barbarian hoarde with a dragon is rampaging accross the northern countryside, bringing winter wherever they go.
      • Monsters: Wendigo (Blizzard Magic, gains powerful magic, basketball-themed physical attacks), Frost Gigas (Ice Axe), Remorhaz (Fire/Ice Resist), Winter Wolf (Immobilize Breath), Yeti (Fire weakness, berserker abilities, counterattacks, defensive stance vs. physicals), Snowball (Ice-bomb), Ice Cream (Ice-flan), The White Dragon (Snowstorm conditions), Snow Maiden (Ice-charmer), Bomber Penguin (causes Berserk), Glacial Eye (Blizzard, Immobilize, drains HP when low), Snow Lion (high HP/damage brute; weak vs. magic), White Element (ice elemental creature, raw magic), Lamashtu (ice drake)
      • Monster Groups
        1. Barbarians: Winter Wolf(x2), Frost Gigas(x2). Strategy: Hard physical attacks that come quick (wolves) and slow (gigas).
        2. Dragon's Allies: Frost Gigas(x3), Lamashtu. Strategy: Gigases aid the Lamashtu's assault.
        3. Melty Assault: Ice Cream, Snowball, Remorhaz(x2). Strategy: They break out the powerful attacks as quickly as possible. Remorazes, not weak against fire, make up the first row.
        4. Spirits: Snow Maiden, Glacial Eye(x2), Wendigo. Strategy: Glacial Eyes and Wendigos serve the Snow Maiden, who tries to charm warriors.
        5. Glacier Life: Snow Lion Elite, Bomber Penguin(x2). Strategy: Penguins berserk, and others physically attack.
        6. Lost in the Snowstorm: Wendigo(x2), Winter Wolf(x2). Strategy: Quick physical attacks and powerful magic attacks
        7. The Yeti:(Special) Yeti Boss. Strategy: Yeti uses huge attacks to KO squishy mages first. Reward: Lv 1 Fire Treasure
      • Sidequests: Snowboarding, Don't Get Lost, Stay Warm
      • Adventure 1: Protect the Town!
      • Adventure 2: Track the Tribe!
      • Adventure 3: Slay the Dragon!
  2. Act 1: We Become Heroes
    1. Episode 2:

An example from the Dragonslayers campaign:

  1. Episode Zero
    1. Origin Story (Level 1): The party must rescue captives from dragons. They are going north to face the Great White Dragon
  2. Act I
    1. Intensify (Level 2): The Party confronts the Great White Dragon
    2. Development (Level 3): The Party explores why the Dragons are taking captives
    3. Triumph (Level 4): The Party saves a captive from the Black Dragon, and must choose to pursue the Green Dragon
  3. Act II
    1. Complication (Level 5): The Dragons discover that they are being pursued.
    2. Development (Level 6): The Party confronts the Green Dragon and learns about the Villain.
    3. Failure (Level 7): The Villain manages to grab the Green Dragon's captive and relocate it to the Blue Dragon.
  4. Act III
    1. Greatest Intensity (Level 8): The Blue Dragon is killed, but the Red Dragon tracks down all the remaining captives and begins the Villain's plan.
    2. Development (Level 9): The reason for the Villain's plan is revealed. The captives are any individual that might be able to overthrow his royal dominion.
    3. Rising Action (Level 10): The Party slays the Red Dragon, which makes the villain execute his plan.
  5. Final Act
    1. Climax (Epic Level): The Party must fight the Kaiser Dragon as he rampages accross the countryside.

Weapons & Armor

Essentially, it fits into three camps for each:

  • Armor
    • Mage Armor (+2 Willpower)
      • Robes, Rings, Hairpins
    • Light Armor (+1 Willpower, +1 Stamina)
      • Mail, Bracers, Hats
    • Heavy Armor (+2 Stamina)
      • Plate, Shields, Helms
  • Weapons
    • Ranged vs. Melee: Melee weapons cannot be used in the Back Row; Ranged weapons cannot be used in the Front Row.
    • Single vs. Dual-Wield: All dual-wielded weapons are effectively Heavy Weapons.
    • Mage Weapons (+2 Spell)
      • Wands, Rods, Staves, Instruments, Books
    • Light Weapons (+1 Spell, +1 Weapon)
      • Daggers, Swords, Hammers, Flails (Pistols, Knives, Bows)
    • Heavy Weapons (+2 Weapon)
      • Spears, Axes, Katana, Fists (shotguns, crossbows)

The Flow

  1. The Journey: A Point A to Point B flow. Point B is the goal. It is clear from the outset (or near enough the outset), and the Adventures that happen are largely about the encounters and places passed through on the way.
    • Dragonlands Example: The Red Dragon has taken the Princess captive. You must journey to its volcanic lair from your town, and fight its servants along the way.
  2. The Hub: Home Base to External Points flow. The goal is realized only after assembling things from the External Points. The encounters are site-based locations, and after each one, the party returns to the Hub. Can be multiple Hubs.
    • Dragonlands Example: The Dragons have taken Princesses captive. You must face each dragon, destroy it, and recover the Princess.
  3. The Metroidvania: Labyrinthine flow. The Goal is only accessible after a series of "keys" is found (nested in each other; to get Key A you need Key B, to get Key B, you need Key C, etc.). Each Key has several Points around it that must be explored in order to get the Key. Each Key changes gameplay/character capabilities.
    • Dragonlands Example: The Red Dragon has taken the princess captive. You must explore the Dragon Kingdoms to find and access the Red Dragon's lair. Each Dragon Kingdom gives you a tool you need to access Mount Doom.
  4. The Dungeon: Decision-point flow. The Goal is hidden, and must be located amongs several rooms. Each room gives you a few options to find the other rooms. Not all rooms must be explored.
    • Dragonlands Example: The Dragons and their captive Princesses lurk in hidden lairs in various dangerous regions. You must find their lairs, slay them, and return with their Princess.

Challenge Structure

  • The game can be "lost" in that you fail to beat the final adventure (e.g.: you get 3 failures on it). Aside from that, the game is not lost (essentially each game of FFZ is a campaign, it takes a year to play through — woah).
  • We want the chance of failure to rise with levels, so that later experience is more difficult than low-level stuff (chance of winning one encounter = almost 100%; chance of winning the final encounter = almost 50%).
    • So chance of getting 3 failures on the final adventure = 50% (this would mean you've "lost the game," since you fail the final adventure)
    • Previous failures should increase the odds for failure in the final adventure. There's 10 "previous adventures" that can be failed, so each one may adjust the odds of success by -1% or so (so that it becomes "more difficult" but not "impossible"). A Great Success may increase the odds of success by +1% (so that it becomes "easier" but not "simple").
  • Over 10+1 "Adventures," the game should get about 5% more difficult each time (variation of +/1 5% is A-OK!) — meaning that the chance of failure in the adventure should increase by about 5% for each adventure.
    • Each adventure is 9 encounters that the PC's have to win at least 7 of to avoid failure.
    • If the fail rate of adventures goes up by 5% per adventure, getting each victory needs to be tougher on each subsequent adventure.
      • So Level 1 Adventure = ~95% chance of getting at least 7 successes (7/9 heads) = ~90%(91) chance of success on each encounter; Level 10+ Adventure = ~50% chance of getting at least 7 successes = ~70%(72) chance of success on each encounter. Approx: every 10% chance of getting 7 success = 5% chance of success per encounter; roughly +2% chance of failure/level.
  • So the party fails on a TPK (or a challenge failure). Chance of TPK @ LV 1 = 10%; chance of TPK @ LV 10+ = 30%.
    • Chance of TPK if parties are of equal power = 50%. So we need to weaken enemies and strengthen parties, by default. Then, enemies get tougher, faster, to close the gap.
      • So, currently, a party can expect to be shedding ~5 hp/member/round as a baseline, over a 5 round combat (25 dmg/combat), and doing the same to the enemies. This basically results in equal attrition of equal pools until there's only one left, which is, probably, the one who went first (or, if they got lucky, they rolled higher, and removed that advantage). Who gets to go first is a toss-up between parties, since either one could have the high SPD needed
      • Enemies need to have, at level 1, a 10% chance of dealing that damage (25/combat) or more (and a 30% chance of dealing it at level 10+), but can deal however much less they want to. ((1-2 = 10%; 3-4 = 15%; 5-6 = 20% 7-8 = 25%; 9-10 = 30%; every level automatically includes at least 1 as a "boss")).
      • To weaken monsters, don't give them equipment. This will mean their abilities are 2-5 points/round below what the characters can take (-5 @ level 10)
      • In exchange, monsters need "big guns" that make every encounter a potential risk. These need to factor into each encounter. Monsters don't exist as individuals, they exist as encounter groups. The encounter groups can be rolled randomly, and each encounter has a potential for something catastrophic. Perhaps we can use all things?
        • Elites!: The % chance is a % chance that the encounter is Elite. An Elite encounter deals more damage (x2?) and has more hp (x10?) than a standard encounter group. Elites may KO the party if they're not very careful/use Limits/etc. Every encounter is a risk, because each encounter might result in rolling an Elite, and the chances of rolling an Elite are better, the higher your level
        • Hazard!: The % chance is a % chance that a hazard accompanies the encounter. Hazards deal damage and require skill checks to navigate successfully. Hazards might be traps or obstacles that deal damage or increase enemy defense.
        • Boss!: Each level includes at least one Boss encounter that is a possible KO for the party. Bosses can challenge an entire party at once (x4 damage; x20 hp).

Adventuring Ecology & Economy

There needs to be a "cost" to each encounter, and a chance for that "cost" to exceed the "rewards." TPK's are one way to loose, but attrition, via too much cost and not enough reward, must be another way. The cost can exceed the rewards without it being an immediate loss, but if you run out of things to "spend," it's an extra way to loose.

  • You can loose an FFZ game by loosing the last adventure.
    • Odds of winning last adventure by default = 50%
      • Each Adventure loss contributes to increased odds of loosing the final Adventure. Success does likewise, adjusting the odds by +/- 1% per adventure (10 adventures = +/- 10% = 40-50% failure)
  • Adventure-level losses come from these sources:
    • TPK
    • Run out of Resources
      • LTRM: Long Term Resource Management. Over the course of Adventures. This is the method regular D&D uses.
      • What resources are FFZ characters spending to undertake an adventure, that each encounter whittles away?
        • Gil?
        • Items

Adventure Generation Steps

We have character generation. We could even randomize it. Of course, selections can be made more bold. What we need is adventure generation that is as systemic and detailed.
Chargen Steps

  1. Choose Archetype/Tribe (big idea)
  2. Choose Job (how you do what you do)
  3. Customize Character (what makes you unique?)
  4. Customize Abilities (feats, etc.)

Questgen Steps

  1. Choose Goal (big idea)
    • "Party wants to do X" (slay a thing, get a thing, convince a thing)
  2. Choose Conflicts (how you get to the big idea)
    • Location, location, location (the dungeon, the town, the wilderness)
    • Mix of Combat & Risks
    • "The Difficulties That Stand In Your Way" (antagonists)
    • vs. Adversary (overcome/dungeon), vs. Situation (endure/wilderness), and vs. Self (decide/town).
  3. Customize Story (what makes the party interested?)
    • Hooks, Links, Foreshadowing, Emphasis
    • "This is how it fits into everything else"
  4. Customize challenges (elements, etc.)
    • Reskinning, Terrain, Improvisation, The Unexpected
    • "This is what makes it different."

FFZ's Role Philosophy

Every job can conceivably fill any role. All characters have basic attack/defend/buff/debuff abilities. They may specialize in other abilities (e.g.: white mages specialize in healing), but each has basic competence (e.g.: white mages have the Banish spells to deal holy damage).

This allows parties of any size to exist, since even one character going it alone can conceivably take on whatever challenges are presented. As parties grow, individuals may adopt certain roles (e.g.: since white mages heal the best, the attack abilities don't get used as much), and may change roles round-to-round (if the party is fully healed, the white mage may go on the aggressive).

The job's basic abilities are for the main job, not the sub-job. Sub-jobs add job abilities, but not basic abilities.

  • Basic Attack: Fight: Deals damage.
  • Basic Defend: Defend: Prevents some damage.
  • Basic Aggressive: Front Row: Deals more damage; leaves you vulnerable.
  • Basic Defensive: Back Row: Prevents more damage; leaves you less powerful.
  • Basic Recharge: Wait: Recover some HP/MP/Spd/other resource.
  • Basic Spike: Job's "Basic Ability": Costs HP/MP/Spd/Something, but can deal, prevent, recover, enhance, debuff, etc.

Additional Class Stuff

FFV Advance Jobs: These might see some presence in the Advanced Jobs category. Their abilities are interesting, and I'd like to fit 'em in, somewhere, but they don't warrant brand-new jobs (no "necromancer" at the moment).

M-Tek Armor Stuff?: Probably gonna ignore it, but it could wind up an Advanced Job.

FFVI: Terra's Trance: More of a tribe ability than a job ability; perhaps include a "magizerk" for Freelancers.

FFVI: Interceptor: Another narrative ability; possibly added to the Hunter, possibly just left alone.

FFVII: Various: Probably mostly unnecessary, as the Limit Breaks (the only hints at classes) are generally variations on the "deal lots of damage" theme.

FFVIII: Various: Same deal as above: Limits are the only class difference, and they are basically "Ow."

Solution for Bosses, Elites, and Minions

Basic Concepts

Bosses are to work as four monsters in one, with four "actions" each round (or four parts that can each take action, or whatever), totally autonomous. Their abilities are the abilities of an entire party working together.

  • High Stats (net +4 bonus)
  • Quadruple HP
  • Quadruple MP
  • Quadruple Power (Weapon/Spell)
    • An "Amazing Attack" that deals double damage.
    • "Charge" techs (four rounds, then *16 damage!)
    • Dual-double-techs (four abilities in one)
    • Multiple parts
  • Standard Defenses (Stam/Will)

Elites are to work as two monsters in one, with two "actions" each round (or two parts that can take action, or whatever). Their abilities are the abilities of two characters working in concert.

  • High stats (net +2 bonus)
  • Double HP
  • Double MP
  • Double Power (Weapon/Spell)
    • A "powerful attack" that deals double damage
    • "Combo" techs (make vulnerable + deal damage?)
    • Double-techs (two abilities in one)
    • Reaction powers, Auras, Crisis powers
  • Standard Defenses (Stam/Will)
  • Standard Etc. (Speed/Luck)

Standard monsters are to work roughly equivalent to a PC.

  • Design them like you're designing a job.

Minions are to work as half-monsters, with only the capabilities of half a standard monster.

  • Low stats (net -2 penalty)
  • Half HP
  • Half MP
  • Half Power (Weapon/Spell)
    • A "weak attack" that deals half damage.
  • Standard Defenses (Stam/Will)
  • Standard Etc. (Speed/Luck)

Weak Points

The big problem with many bosses creatures is "grind": high HP totals that the PC's must gradually whittle down, leading to a lack of dynamism in the encounter.

One solution is to introduce the concept of weak points, vulnerable spots that are only exposed when certain conditions are met. When the spot is exposed, the PC's can deal damage, but until it is, they must be more defensive, avoiding attacks and provoking the conditions that will reveal the weak spot.

The weak spot may depend on the entire party to achieve, and may result in different "targetable" spots on a beast (forex, a three-stage boss that requires you to deplete the HP of two legs before attacking the head — the "weak spot"). It may work on the "roles" (e.g.: require a certain debuff).

Elites probably don't need weak points.

Different Party Sizes

Generally, encounters are one-on-one: one monster for each PC. Minions count as half a monster, elites count as 2 monsters, and bosses count as 4 monsters.

In a party with only 1 character, elites and bosses become difficult to use unless the character gains equal power, or has some possible edge. The character needs to fight like the monster in question, dealing extra damage, with more HP and MP.

In a party with less than 4 characters, bosses are difficult to use for the same reason.

In either of those cases, you can simply increase the power of standard monsters slightly (+5-10 HP/MP, +5-10 Power, additional Traits, +1-2 levels, etc.) to give them a more "boss-like" appearance, and you may consider using mostly minions, so that a one-on-one (or two-on-one) fight seems appropriately different.

Bigger parties are easier to deal with: all you have to do is add more monsters, or power up existing monsters. A six-person party might have a boss fight with a boss, and two attendants, or a single boss that is SIX TIMES as powerful as a normal monster (rather than simply 4 times).

Limit breaks are balanced with boss monsters in mind, too.


Roles are linked to abilities, not to job classes. In each round, your character may be a commando, a ravager, a medic, etc., depending on what they do. Each ability falls into one of the six "roles."

  • Attack abilities deal the damage they're supposed to (power/x2/x3/x4) and do not cost MP.
  • Ravage abilities deal increased damage (or add status), and cost MP to compensate (MP Cost = Approx. damage or 10/20/30/40)
  • Defense abilities deal increased damage, but the enemy can avoid triggering them (no MP)
  • Synergy abilities help increase damage (or defense); MP cost
  • Sabotage abilities help decrease injury (or enemy defense); MP cost
  • Medic abilities can heal at the "base level" for free, or at the "ravaged level" for an MP cost. Removing ailments is also an MP cost.


  • Characters maybe should chain several attacks by default, with AGI simply determining order. In this model, higher-level effects don't have to deal more damage, since characters can execute two of them.
    • Level 1-4: 1/round
    • Level 5-7: 2/round (2x WPW or SPW)
    • Level 8-10: 3/round (3x WPW or SPW)
    • Epic: 4/round (4x WPW or SPW)
  • Each ATB count can "buy" you an option. This is how abilities are balanced. Higher level abilities require a higher ATB count to execute (or you can chain weaker abilities).
    • Additional Targets
      • Single Target -> Main + Sub-Targets -> All Target -> All Targets + Sub-Targets
    • Additional Hits
      • One Hit -> Two Hits -> Three Hits -> Four Hits
    • More Power
      • One Dice -> Two Dice -> Three Dice -> Four Dice
    • Add Status
      • + Rank I Status -> + Rank II Status -> + Rank III Status -> + Elite Status
  • Haste will grant you another action (or two…)
  • Slow takes away actions
  • Stop makes you loose all actions. This makes it a slightly weaker effect (you do nothing this round, but perhaps next round).
  • This may lessen the frustration of status effects, since you can do more things during a round. Losing an action sucks, but if you have two or three, it's a cut in power without making you useless.
  • Charge abilities require you to gain these actions before you use them (Charge 3 = Requires 3 actions).
  • Delay abilities reduce your Initiative. If it gets below 0, you loose an action on your next turn, and it is reset to 10 ("wait"). You don't otherwise increase your Initiative score. So, Delay should not be a universal cost.
  • MP abilities can cost MP; perhaps MP can charge as you wait a la FFTA/A-2, where you gain MP when you get a turn, so your MP is a measure of your turn-by-turn spike power.

"To-Hit Roll" for statuses?

Normally, a "hit" is assumed. But a % chance for statuses to work is very much in the spirit of the games. However, this can lead to player frustration when the powers don't work (wasted turns/mp).

  • "Status Roll" vs. "Saving Throw": If applying a status requires 1d20 (10 or better inflicts it), with failure still dealing some minimal damage, that "keeps the feel."
    • Statuses last until removed, or until the encounter ends. There are no "saves." Instead, the character may fail to inflict the status.
    • Provoke: Action that tries to make enemy attack user; might fail (provoke status)
    • Interrupt: Action that tries to interrupt enemy action; might fail (interrupt status)
    • Question: If we take away "assured" statuses, damage might be higher…
      • Normal Damage + Higher MP cost than average for the level (a bit extra as a kicker for the status chance) (MP Cost = Damage + a bit)
      • Less Damage + Lower MP cost than average for the level (you save a bit) (MP Cost = average damage, not actual damage)
    • If no job revolves (solely) around the application of ailments, ailments might be split up. This would greatly alter Bard, Dancer, and Mystic: They'd need new schticks, or to be removed, or rolled into each other, or something. The jobs do have significant legacy value, though, especially with the Tactics crowd, so we need some way to "get at the archetype."
      • It may be easier (better) to just give these archetypes ways to do other stuff (to fill other roles, aside from the buffer/debuffer)
        • Bard: Healer/Buffer (defend)
        • Dancer: Damager/Debuffer (attack)
        • Mystic: "Red Mage" (defend/attack)



Level 1

Enough to use one potion on every round of every combat at level 1. If each potion was 10 gil, that's
5 (rounds/combat) * 3 (combats per session) * 3 (sessions per level) = 450; or 12.5 gil per monster; 50 gil per combat
Enough to buy D-rank equipment, one per level for the first three levels (Wpn, Amr, Acc). If D ranks are 90 gil each, that's an additional 90 gil over 9 combats (10 gil per combat, ~0.83 gil per monster)
"Variance": Random gil bonuses (60 as "baseline")…1d20 (~ 10)?
Total Level 1 Gil per Combat = 60 per character (240) (~ 70)
Total Level 1 Gil Gain = 540 per character (2160) (~ 630)


Chance in each combat to gain an item or something

Luck Roll Bonus
< 0 None
0-10 Gil
10-20 Rank + Item
20+ Special Equipment

Level 4

50 gil/combat for items
Rank C Equipment =


Normal Attack: 5 times per combat.
2 x Power: 2 times per combat.
3 x power: Once per combat.
4 x power/elite: Once per combat.


4 monsters per combat
5 rounds per combat
3 combats per session (12 monsters, 5 rounds)
3 sessions per month
1 level per month (3 sessions, 9 combats, 36 monsters)
12 months per campaign

Turning Dungeons Into Adventures

  • Each "branch" is a decision point.
  • Each "dead end" is a Failure of some sort. It may not stop the adventure, but it should have consequences.
  • Each "room" is a decision point, and also an encounter of some sort. Something can be accomplished in each room.
  • The "entrance" is how the characters get into the adventure; the "exit" (or the entrance to the next level) is how they complete it.
  • Passing "doors" may be decisions that are barred or made difficult somehow. Trapped doors have consequences for taking them. Secret doors are only available options if the party finds them. Locked doors require visits to other locations first.

Feats and Traits

  • Feats are narrow, specific, circumstantial, and fairly minor. They are for customization. If they provide a bonus, it is circumstantial (not likely to come up in every combat). If they enable an option, they can let you swap things out that are fairly equal (knowing that certain players will still try to squeeze the most out of these).
  • Traits are passive benefits. They can be fairly major. They are awarded with specialized equipment, such as Accessories, and through in-game rewards and story-based awards like other non-job abilities.
    • Weapons carry aggressive traits.
    • Armors carry defensive traits.
    • Accessories carry any traits (and uncategorized traits).


  • All characters can summon.
  • Summons are "equipped." They provide:
    • A constant Trait
    • Summon-specific abilities (like a sub-job)
    • An alternate Limit (the "summon" itself).
  • Summons are story-based: characters only get them through the plot.
  • "Compatability" should be in…most characters won't summon all the possible summons
    • Archetype/Tribe-based?

Summon Heirarchy

  • Rank I
    • Boco
      • Wind-elemental; Agility/Luck
      • Escape = Party escapes battle
      • Beak = Damage
      • Kick = Damage (+ (monster level - caster level))
      • Chocofire -> Chocoflare -> Chocometeor (magic damage)
      • Chococure (HP) -> Chocorecharge (MP) -> Chocoesuna (Statuses)
      • Chocoguard (Regen, +Stam, +Will) -> Chocobarrier (Protect & Shell)
      • Deathblow!! = Damage + stop
      • Chocobockle = Damage w/a fat chocobo
  • Rank II
    • Shiva
      • Ice-elemental; Opals; Venus; Intelligence/Luck
      • Mesmerize = Sleep
      • Icy Stare = Ice damage
      • Blizzard -> Blizzara (Ice damage) -> Stop
      • Axe Kick -> Double Slap -> Rush (physical damage)
      • Osmose = Absorb MP
      • Rasp = Damage MP
      • Cure (Heal hp)
      • Sleepja = Sleep to all enemies
      • Ice Armor = Deals ice damage to those that hit you
      • Ice Blades = You deal ice damage with your attacks.
      • Condemn = Inflicts Doom
      • Heavenly Strike = Damage + delay
      • Diamond Dust = Ice damage to all
    • Ramuh
      • Lightning-elemental; Vitality/Luck; Peridot
      • Mind Blast = Paralyzes all enemies
      • Thunderstorm = Lighting damage
      • Thunder -> Thundara (lightning damage) -> Silence
      • Shock Strike -> Chaotic Strike (lightning damage + stun)
      • Poison = DoT
      • Lightning Armor = Deals lightning damage to those that hit you
      • Lightning Strikes = Deals lightning damage with your hits
      • Judgment Bolt = Lightning damage to all
    • Ifrit
      • Fire-elemental; Vigor; Topaz; Jupiter
      • Healing Light = heals party's hp
      • Inferno = fire damage
      • Fire -> Fira (fire damage)
      • Punch -> Double-Punch -> Flaming Crush (physical damage)
      • Drain = Absorbs HP
      • Meteor Strike = Physical damage ignoring Stam
      • Mad Rush = Haste, Protect, Shell, and Berserk on the party
      • Hellfire = Fire damage to all
  • Rank III
  • Elite

Random Adventure Seeds


Take random pictures and use them as things. Mostly characters, some critters and gear, a few locations.


Random magic cards can give things that happen, or key NPC's.


UNESCO world heritage site, epic real-world locations


Adventures, dungeons, weather, treasures, and more.

Binomial Calculator

To figure out % chance of success needed per encounter to get 7/9 successes with a given likelihood.


Example List

The Sea of Ice
Odd Eyes (Big Eyes, Death Gaze): Floating eyes enmeshed in tentacles.
* Gaze
Sharks (White Sharks, Giant Sharks): Big predators with high attack power.
Sahagin: The "goblins of the ocean," with turtle and fish characteristics.
* Water Gun (Water damage)
* Shell Defense (Protect)
* Bubble Armor (Shell)
Abtu (Anet): Dangerous giant fish
Buccaneer (Pirate): Dangerous thieves
Sea Serpent (Sea Snake, Sea Dragon): Giant serpents
* Poison Bite (Poisons)
* Constrict (Paralyzes)
* Water (the spell)
Charybdis (Shoal Tooth, Reef Teef): Monsters that resemble coral beds
Hermiter (Spiral Shell): Demons that hide in seashells
* Poison Claws
Merlion: Aquatic lions with fish hindquarters
Seahorse (Sea King, Kagura): Giant predatory seahorses
Merfolk (Sea Witch): Huamns with fish hindparts
Noggle (Kelpie, Tangie): Horse with fish hindparts



Living explosives that channel the energy of attacks into their own destructive potential.


Your basic bomb uses its Self Destruct ability after being wounded in combat.

Level 1 Construct/Bomb
Absorb Fire, Weak Water
HP 25 MP 25
Stam 0(-1) Will 0(-1)
Weapon 1d8+1 Spell 1d8+3
Speed 1 Luck 3
Vig +0, Vit -2, Agi +0, Int +2, Mnd -2, Spr +2
Slam 1d8+1 damage.
Defend Gain 6 Stam, 6 Will until next turn.
Wait Recover 6 hp, 6 mp.
(10 MP)
Deal 1d8+3 fire damage to one enemy.
Self Destruct Deal fire damage equal to your remaining HP to one enemy. You are KO'd after using this ability.

Winter Wolf

Winter Wolf
Level 0 (-5) Beast/Wolf
Halve Cold, Weak Fire
HP: 1, MP: 1
Stamina: 0, Willpower 0
Weapon: 1d8-5, Spell 1d8-5
Accuracy: 0, Evade: 0, Potency: 0, Resilience: 0
Speed: 1, Luck: 0

  • Freeze Breath: Spell Power cold damage.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License