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RMN is for games, not romhacks. I don't think we should be hosting deliverables that merely change the script of SNES RPGs. Regarding: Chrono Trigger Devolution

Guild Master - RPG Simulator Tournament - Preliminaries

Hola. I've been prototyping a game I've been calling Guild Master and need your help bug and balance testing the combat simulation. To do so, I'm going to run some kind of informal forum tournament where users create a party and I can toss them into the simulator to see how they fare. However, before I actually setup a proper tournament I want to run some exhibitions to get the major balance issues and bugs out of the way. This also gives you a chance to familiarize yourself a bit with party creation and combat mechanics.

Your role is to assemble a party of four heroes. Select their class, abilities, and equipment. I will then throw them against another user's party where they will auto-battle until only one side is alive or a stalemate has been reached.

Each hero you create has four abilities. Abilities may have an offensive or supportive package, or both. Because battle is conducted automatically, each ability has a type of targeting behavior. For example, "Low HP" will select an entity with the lowest health percentage. The four ability types are below, and a hero may only equip one of each type:

(click links for full listing of abilities)

Active Abilities:
Active abilities are the default action and generate AP each time they are used. Some abilities deal lots of damage but generate little AP, while others deal little damage and generate much AP.

Expensive Abilities:
Expensive abilities are the priority action but can only be used at full AP. Upon use, AP is reset to zero.

Reactive Abilities:
Reactive abilities are triggered whenever an actor is the victim of a hostile action. Some reactives generate AP for the user, while others will counterattack the enemy.

Passive Abilities:
Passive abilities are always on. Their effects are quite varied, ranging from straight stat boosts to applying bleed conditions to every attack.

Ability Fields:
(a)Soulsteal(b)72 AP(c)0 MaxAP
(n)Chaos magic that steals HP.

(a) Ability name.
(b) Amount of AP generated for the actor.
(c) Modification to the actor's MaxAP. Many healing expensives increase the actor's Max AP to prevent heal spam.
(d) Scope identifies which party it selects targets from.
(e) Target specifies how the ability behaves. A Low Res ability will target the enemy with the lowest Resist, while Bless will target the enemy with the most blessings.
(f) Power is how strong the ability is, expressed as a percentage.
(g) The number of hits an ability delivers. Multi-hitting abilities can penetrate shields more easily or apply multiple status conditions.
(h) Physical abilities scale with Attack while Magical abilities scale with Magic.
(i) Elemental affinity of the ability. Abilities with no affinity inherit elemental properties from weapons.
(j) Status conditions added to the target.
(k) Status conditions removed from the target. Blessings or Afflictions include all conditions of that type.
(l) Modification to the target's AP. Reducing AP delays expensive usage.
(m) Modification to the target's MaxAP, permanently making expensives more difficult to use.
(n) A crappy description of the ability. These need to be redone.

There are two elemental wheels. If an element is strong against the armor element of its target, damage will be increased to 150%. If it is weak against an armor element, it will be decreased to 67%. Like elements deal full damage: Fight fire with fire, as they say.

Firestrong vs.Nature
Naturestrong vs.Water
Waterstrong vs.Fire

Chaosstrong vs.Holy
Holystrong vs.Death
Deathstrong vs.Chaos

I have filled out some sample equipment to choose from. If you have a request that isn't in the list, just describe the equipment type (mighty, medium, etc), general stat composition (high attack, medium defense, etc), and element.

Equipment List


As stated earlier, each hero has a character class. Below are the available classes with their respective Lv25 values. These status are probably going to change. Each class can only equip certain equipment types. All classes have a base MaxAP value of 360. This number was chosen because it is highly divisible by many factors, so that I can define abilities as "3 hits to charge up an expensive."

Class HP Att Mag Def Res Agi Equipment
Freelancer 1650 230 230 230 230 230 Mystical, Finesse, Mighty, Light, Medium, Heavy
Hunter 1650 280 180 205 155 330 Finesse, Mighty, Light, Medium
Troubadour 1500 205 280 205 255 230 Mystical, Finesse, Light, Medium, Heavy
Knight 1950 280 130 305 155 230 Finesse, Mighty, Heavy
Cleric 1800 205 255 230 280 155 Mystical, Finesse, Light, Medium, Heavy
Magus 1200 130 330 130 330 305 Mystical, Light
Gladiator 1650 330 130 255 130 305 Mighty, Medium, Heavy
Paladin 2250 155 180 330 255 130 Finesse, Mighty, Medium, Heavy
Riftlord 1050 305 280 155 255 255 Mystical, Mighty, Light, Medium
Warlock 2100 155 305 180 280 155 Mystical, Finesse, Light

HP: Health points. You know how they work.
AP: At full AP, a hero uses their expensive ability. Lower Max AP is better.
Att: Attack determines damage dealt by physical abilities.
Mag: Magic determines damage dealt by magical abilities.
Def: Defense reduces physical damage.
Res: Resist reduces magical damage.
Agi: Agility determines turn order and hit/dodge chance.

Damage = ability.Power * Modifier * (100 / (25 + Mitigation))
Such that modifier is an actor's Attack or Magic, and Mitigation is target Defense or Resist.

Healing = ability.Power * actor.Magic * (100 / (95 + (actor.Lvl * 20))

Hit Chance = (100 * actor.Agility) / (actor.Agility + target.Agility) + 25
Such that if an actor and target have the same agility, then the ability has a 75% chance to connect.

Status Conditions
Status conditions come in three flavors: Blessings, Afflictions, and Taunts. Most status conditions stack, with the exception of Shield and Barrier. If an ability hits multiple times, then it applies an associated condition multiple times. Conditions tick at the end of an actor's action rather than at the beginning or end of a combat turn.

Regen: Regenerates HP. Regen power is 20% (see healing formula) and scales with Magic. Duration: 3
Barrier: Reduces direct damage received to 25%. Duration: 2
Shield: Reduces direct damage received to 0. All direct damage abilities dispel Shield. Duration: 2
Toughness: Increases Defense by (actor.Level * 3). Duration: 3
Willpower: Increases Resist by (actor.Level * 3). Duration: 3
Haste: Increases Agility by (actor.Level * 3). Duration: 3

Poison: Damages HP. Poison power is 20% and scales with Magic. Duration: 3
Wound: Reduces all healing to 75% per application. Duration: 4
Decay: Reduces Defense by (actor.Level * 3). Duration: 3
Flay: Reduces Resist by (actor.Level * 3). Duration: 3
Slow: Reduces Agility by (actor.Level * 3). Duration: 3
Stun: Prevents all action. Duration: 2

Bleed: Damages HP. Bleed power is 5% and scales with Attack. Duration: 6

Taunted: Actor will only attack targets affected by Taunting. Duration: 3
Taunting: Actor becomes a priority target for those affected by Taunted. Duration: 3

Most of the values have been arbitrarily chosen and very little balance testing has been done, so I imagine many overpowered abilities and load-outs will emerge. For now, come up with a party of four heroes. Go through the ability links above (which is formatted poorly but will have to do for now). Think about the hero's skillset and party make-up holistically. I will pastebin the combat log so you can see how it plays out. Keep in mind the log is formatted for debugging and not player consumption yet, though.

Feel free to ask questions while I expand the documentation. Ability descriptions in particular are woeful, as they're only informational enough so that I don't forget what that ability does. They'll improve once abilities aren't in flux as much. Also, documentation on how stats and damage equations work, etc.

Hero Form Example (need four heroes per party):

Team: Necropolis

Name: Marcus (must be 12 or fewer letters, no numbers or symbols)
Class: Gladiator
Active: Flurry
Expensive: Antagonize
Reactive: Flail
Passive: Bloodbath
Weapon: Atlas
Armor: Crescent

Battle Pacing

I'm tired and typing off the cuff so if I ramble or if something doesn't make sense then I am sorry.

One thing that has bothered me in most RPGs is how generic encounters are always harder in the first round than they are in the fifth round of combat. This is because generic encounters generally start with a large cluster of enemies and as the player defeats each one the group as a whole gets easier. There's a lack of build up, of pacing, or of whatever you want to call it. However, one positive to this method is it basically guarantees that players will receive some amount of damage every encounter--at least at the beginning--which helps you pace attrition/resource management for the dungeon as a whole (i.e. the designer knows the player will lose about 10% of the health each battle so they can predict an appropriate number of encounters and healing and consumables and etc).

So, let's think of ways we can diffuse this. I have a few ideas that are probably derivative, although I've convinced myself they're all mine, and a few other methods that are pulled from existing games. Some of these go hand-in-hand with that other thread about encouraging players to play offensively. Here are a few of them:

A) Enemies grow more powerful as you defeat their allies. This can be statistical or by giving them access to new attacks based on the number of fallen enemies, and is sort of similar to a boss pattern that changes based on boss HP. A disadvantage to this method is it becomes counter-productive to defeat enemies individually, as their powered up allies become a problem which encourages the player to try to wipe out the entire group simultaneously rather than picking enemies off one at a time. Of course, for some encounters this might be the kind of solution you want the player to lean towards, but I wouldn't recommend designing encounters such that every battle is this way. One way you could mitigate this is to have the enemies power up relative to the total remaining HP of the enemy party rather than the number of defeated enemies.

B) Enemies grow more powerful each turn. Breath of Death VII does this, as does the Cthulhu sequel. Basically, this encourages the player to defeat enemies quickly before they become overwhelmed. It does a great job of building tension or creating a damage race. Unfortunately Breath of Death VII also had a mechanic where the faster you defeat enemies the more XP you are rewarded with also. This creates an incestuous self-perpetuating grind cycle... Where being a higher level means players can kill things faster, netting them more XP so that they can level up faster and kill things even faster for a bigger XP bonus to level up faster... and faster. I think this is a great solution if you omit the XP bonus.

C) Enemies trickle into combat. This is actually the solution I've settled upon for myself. Basically, an encounter might begin with only one or two enemies but every turn a new buddy joins up until the enemy party is full. In my case, I like to show what enemies will join up in advance because I want the player to prepare for what's coming. It also helps me diversify some of the player's attacks by allowing them to damage enemies that haven't actively joined the encounter yet. Unlike solution B, tension only rises until mid-combat and then falls off as the player starts defeating enemies. While there are advantages to continuously rising tension from a challenge/balance perspective, I think there is value in providing a mid-combat climax where players feel like they're getting a handle on the situation and starting to turn things around.

So what are some solutions to battle pacing that you've found?

RPG Maker Title Screens:

So, I've started collecting title screens from RMN games that catch my eye. I began noticing that many titles follow a similar trend, that I think started with VX but also trickled its way into a few RM2K3 games. They are generally very blue. More importantly, they have a blue oceany or cloudy pattern that fills the font and often have a glowy quality. My collection is only beginning but I anticipate it will grow steadily. Feel free to share title screens that have a similar vibe.


Private pages/tabs:

It's great that I can create a page that isn't primary and therefore does not show up as a tab on the main game page. However, I wish I could set privacy settings on it so that posts/replies to that sub-page don't appear in the "Latest Posts" section. Essentially, I want to use it as an internal thread instead of relying on RMN mail. Is this possible to implement or is there already a similar feature that I'm not aware of?

RM2K3: Export Switches/Variables

Are there any RM2K3 utilities out there that will allow me to export my variables/switches into a text file or some other searchable file type? Basically, I am looking for an easy method to search for a variable/switch number by name, if that makes sense.

Looking for Testers:

I feel like I'm reaching a point in Necropolis where I'll have enough content for testers to pick apart. Volunteering now doesn't mean you'll have a product in your hands tomorrow, or even in a week, but I want to start looking now so that once testing begins I will already have a list of goals that we can work on together.

I am looking for people who have tested RMN games before or have completed a game or lengthy demo of their own. I am looking for only three testers who specialize in one or more of the following: writing and cutscenes, dungeon design, and game balance/difficulty.

Cool anime theme songs:

I don't watch a lot of anime and generally I find the music in it annoying, but here are some that entertain me:

Claymore (cool animation, cool show, but a weak finale)

Berserk (really big swords are pretty cool)

Cowboy Bebop (maybe the best Japanese cartoon series, except Robotech)

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection is probably the best retro compilation that's ever been put together. Think of any Genesis game that you would put into a compilation disc and Sega already did it. On top of that, they've thrown in some arcade and Master System gems as unlockable content. Currently working my way through the Phantasy Star series. At less than $30, this bundle is cheaper than buying the entire Sonic series for Wii Virtual Console.

Here is the game list:

* Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
* Alien Storm
* Alien Syndrome (arcade)
* Altered Beast
* Beyond Oasis
* Bonanza Bros.
* Columns
* Comix Zone
* Congo Bongo (arcade)
* Decap Attack
* Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
* Dynamite Headdy
* ESWAT: City Under Siege
* Ecco the Dolphin
* Ecco: The Tides of Time
* Fantasy Zone (arcade)
* Fatal Labyrinth
* Flicky
* Gain Ground
* Golden Axe
* Golden Axe II
* Golden Axe III
* Golden Axe Warrior (Sega Master System)
* Kid Chameleon
* Phantasy Star (Sega Master System)
* Phantasy Star II
* Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
* Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
* Ristar
* Shining in the Darkness
* Shining Force
* Shining Force II: Ancient Sealing
* Shinobi (arcade)
* Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
* Sonic 3D Blast
* Sonic & Knuckles
* Sonic Spinball
* Sonic the Hedgehog 1
* Sonic the Hedgehog 2
* Sonic the Hedgehog 3
* Space Harrier (arcade)
* Streets of Rage
* Streets of Rage 2
* Streets of Rage 3
* Super Thunder Blade
* Vectorman 1
* Vectorman 2
* Zaxxon (arcade)
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