[RMVX ACE] A GAME WHERE THE MAIN CHARACTER ISN'T PLAYABLE

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I have been tossing around video game ideas. One of the ideas I had were the main character isn't a playable character. It isn't for some special reason, she just isn't good at direct combat and prefers to assist her friends on the side lines. What do you guys think of this? She still goes on the journey with them so besides not directly participating in combat, she will still be a member of the team.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6299
So this game would essentially be comparable to one big "escort mission"? I can see it working in many ways, and you could explore very interesting story and gameplay terrain with a plot that revolves around an unplayable main character. Just make sure your protagonist gets enough attention in the storytelling and she has a really good reason to be travelling with the party at all.
She more like an on field adviser. Have you played Persona 3 or 4? Its kind of like Fuka or Rise.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
Logically speaking, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for everyone who follows you around to be good at fighting.

What makes them the "main character" though? In a video game, the character whom you play as the most often is, pretty much by definition, the main character.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
21781
Strangely enough, I was thinking of having a character like that in one of my games. The story behind the character is that she's the main protagonist's teacher/tutor, and her knowledge/wisdom of other cultures (amongst other things) would be essential for the journey. My thought was to allow players to access her via a menu option, and use an encyclopedia script that I snagged for a different project.
With the ideas that I have been throwing around, she's suppose to have sort of a diplomacy role. She the only person who can talk to the special beings that will be one of the main focuses of the game. I also plan for her past to play a large role in the game.
The closest game I could think of was Recettear, since you don't control Recette directly when traveling in the dungeons, only when you're in shop.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
I mean, the main character in Pokemon isn't playable in battle. I think the newest Fire Emblem game has your party's tactician/manager as the "player avatar", giving orders to all of the combat units during battle, as does most of the X-Com series, Starcraft, Warcraft 2, C&C Red Alert, and probably a number of other strategy and RTS games.

I think in all these games, the reason for it is to give the player an avatar within the game, a character they're playing as, while still allowing most/all of the soldiers to be generic and replacable. In the case of Fire Emblem, none of the characters are actually generic, but they are all expendable.

In all the cases I listed, I will note, you are actually playing as the character. The character is just not the one fighting during battles. You still walk around as that character, playing as them 100% of the time when you're not in a battle. And in most of them, every action your party takes during battle is technically your main character giving an order to another unit.

I'm also reminded of Marona, the main character of a tactical RPG called Phantom Brave. While she can fight, she's the worst fighter on your team and the game ends if she dies, so she generally shouldn't engage the enemy unless there's no other choice. What she spends all her time doing in battles is summoning the other party members, who are all demons whose souls have to be bound to physical objects on the battlefield. This makes her very much playable in battles, even though she's not fighting. She's like the "king" that the other chess pieces need to protect, in a way.
I know what you mean. Have you played Dead Moon Night? Its a game on this site. You control a character on the field that doesn't fight in any battles, but still adds to the plot. I'm going to make my main character like that. But I want her to play sort of a support role a little like Marona( I've played Phantom Brave, great game). Like I mention earlier, I want her to provide support role similar to Rise from Persona 4.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
I'm not a fan of nameless personality-free "player avatar" characters in general; even less when they never appear on screen and have no dialogue. The player character in Starcraft or X-Com is functionally equivalent to not having a character, and the one in Pokemon is only slightly better. For the most important role in the game, you'd think creating an interesting and worthwhile character would be a high priority.

This is just my own preference though. A lot of people seem to consider this a neutral thing rather than a bad thing, and prefer it over a main character they don't like or can't relate to.

If you can make it a real character like Marona or Ryse, I approve. It would be an extremely unusual way of doing things, but in theory I'm not sure what's wrong with the idea.

Oh! On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 4 did this. There were four characters who were party members, but none of them actually fought. They each had a "monstorb" that could capture certain monsters and then summon them to fight for them later. Each monster could be assigned one character as its trainer, which gave it different powers and changed how it leveled up, so the characters did provide a support role like you're suggesting. It mostly worked well: it gave the player a big party with lots of choices in battle, but kept the narrative focused on a small number of main characters. However, it did kind of stretch my imagination wondering why the characters weren't fighting also, or at least why the enemies weren't attacking them. You'd think at least some of the enemies would figure out to go after my unarmed, unprotected leader instead of my front liners.
This prospect reminds me of what I've heard of the plot of the anime Gravion.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
32378
Well, this depends on what your idea of a role-playing game is. In the games that you (LockeZ) seem to prefer, the character is already there waiting for you to take control. In table top Dungeons and Dragons, and indeed, virtually all video game incarnations, you create the character. It doesn't come packaged for you. Baldur's Gate is probably the best example of this. All of the writing that deals with the main character, the Ward of Gorion, is open ended for an androgynous character. Similarly, all of your characters in Knights of Legend are created by you. The same with a Bard's Tale. NES era games handle this a little differently. In Dragon Quest and Legend of Zelda, you get an avatar that has no name, no personality, no existence beyond you. To create a main character that these people are protecting, or basically following the advice of, doesn't seem to be a big stretch.

Example:

It was just a dream, wasn't it? But the priest said it was a prophecy and that I have to go and stop it from coming to pass. "How can I though?" I shout, an edge of hysteria in my voice. "I know nothing of fighting, or combat." The priest gives me a piercing stare. There's some sympathy in it. With great authority, he says, "Then we shall send one with you that he may fight for you."
Paradise Blue does this, right? Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I haven't completed it yet. But I got the impression that the player took control of a group of mercenaries who were working for the main characters?
Pretty much. ^

When I saw this thread initially I thought what you meant was like an idea for a game I had a long time ago where the 'heroes' would be out fighting and the characters you play as would aid them on their journey. So basically you'd jump from viewpoint to viewpoint and watch the heroes at specific parts of their story, but from the eyes of someone outside the actual group.

For example, one planned version was that of a young girl who got lost. You'd meet the heroes in the forest and they'd escort you out. In battle you wouldn't control the heroes (only the girl, and she'd have a few turns and be in charge of the items). Another example was that of a Miniboss who was a recurring character (three times you'd see their pov) and would show how the heroes have gotten stronger - wipe them the first time, a more challenging fight the second and being wiped by the in the third battle.

IDK, I liked that idea of main characters that aren't who you actually get to play as.

(Also, Ashe of FFXII basically became this for me because I never really used her but the main story revolved around her.)
Recettear is a good example.

Story-wise, Final Fantasy X may be a good reference. Technically Yuna isn't supposed to fight, and her posse of her guardians are supposed to protect her.
SunflowerGames
The most beautiful user on RMN!
13323

If you did like a history game it might be possible to do this. You play the game as explores, but the game focuses on the historical figure.
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