LOUISCYPHRE'S PROFILE

I am also called Rasalhage these days.
Essence Enforcer
An Enforcer's duty is to protect the city and the people. But what, exactly, does that mean?

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FOREWORD
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The main intention of this battle system was to give the player only -indirect- control over
the skills available to them. In order to set yourself up to use a particular spell, a
player has to perform two steps beforehand - they must first give an enemy the appropriate
Essence, and they must then coax that enemy in to giving -them- that Essence. This brings a
number of desirable skills to the forefront of the battle system. In order to succeed, the
player must pay much closer attention to their enemies than in other RPGs. They have to know
which spells the enemy can cast, which ones deal damage, as well as which of their own
skills are appropriate against that enemy. 

This means the player must make a weighted decision. Do they weather an unpleasant enemy 
attack, or do they forfeit use of a powerful skill? Either way, the player is forced to 
make calculated sacrifices. They will suffer a setback of some kind no matter what their 
choice is--they will either take damage, or lose options. But, by making wise decisions, the
player can convert that setback into an advantage and gain progress. In design, this is what
people mean when they say "meaningful trade-offs."



CORE MECHANICS
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ESSENCES - Each battler has five Essences (Physical, Fire, Water, Earth, and Air). In order
           to use any actions, the battler must spend the corresponding Essence. Only one of
	   each Essence may be held by each battler. Essences are gained by being dealt that
	   element of damage. Taking Fire damage generates a Fire Essence for the target,
	   which they may spend to cast a single Fire spell.
           
           Afterwards, they must take Fire damage again before they may cast another Fire 
           spell.

SURGE ---- If a battler does not hold any Essences at the start of their turn, that battler
           will Surge. When a battler Surges, they gain one of each Essence and they discard
           any stat reduction they might have, as well as most status debuffs. For that 
	   turn, the battler will deal triple damage. Surging also triggers certain skills.

SKILL ---- Player characters have up to 16 slots in which they may equip skills. Different
SLOTS      characters have differing arrays of these slots. For example, Rita has 4 Physical
           slots and 3 of each other kind, meaning she can equip four Physical spells of her
           choosing, as well as three of each other element of skill. Passive spells count
           towards this limit.

ESSENCE -- If a character has no available spells to cast, but is unable to Surge (example:
BURN       they have a Fire Essence, but all of their Fire skills are passive abilities),
           they will suffer from Essence Burn. The battler takes a large percentage of
           maximum HP as damage and forfiets their turn.



STRATEGIES
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SHIELDING
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Consider giving frail actors abilities that grant them Shield status. This boon completely 
negates one incoming attack, and is then consumed. When facing fewer but more powerful 
enemies, this can give them reliable insurance against high burst damage. Against steadier, 
more plentiful damage, Shield becomes less worthwhile.



ESSENCE DENIAL
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If you find yourself struggling with a single particular attack, try to deny the user the
Essence they need to use that attack. Several skills (e.g. Tyrannize) remove choice Essences
from their targets, allowing you to cherry-pick which skills the enemy can cast. Be aware,
however, that keeping the enemy on the cusp of Surging can backfire horribly on the unskilled.



SURGING
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Speaking of Surge, builds that focus on abusing the many benefits are perfectly viable. In
order to prevent your opponents from giving you unwanted Essences, employ Shield effects
and Ban spells to block and nullify incoming attacks. From there, bring high-damage attacks
to capitalize on the Surge damage boost in the grandest fashion possible. Several passives,
such as Endure, also benefit from Surge, so be sure to take a look at those!

If pursuing a Surge build, consider giving the other player character the skill Bodyguard.
Not only does it help protect the party, it helps that ally achieve Surge faster, because
the Bodyguard user will be getting all of the Essence from incoming attacks!



CHARGE AND PRAYER COMBOS
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There are two cycles of spells--Charges and Prayers--that are shared by all elements. A Charge
spell makes the user deal triple damage with a given element on the following turn. A Prayer
spell gives every battler other than the user (both friend and foe) an Essence of the chosen
element. Normally, Charge spells require that the user be lucky and get hit with the
appropriate element of attack, or else the effect is wasted. Using these spells in tandem, 
though, guarantees that the combo will go off--as long as the enemy can't remove that Essence.

Quick additional tip: If you see that an enemy has only one Essence remaining, and you know
that they use a damaging attack for that Essence, you can abuse that knowledge by casting
the appropriate Charge spell. They will have no choice but to hit you, completing your
combo attack for you!



DEATHBLOW AND ORBITAL STRIKE
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These spells deal dramatic damage to targets that have no Essences, but are lackluster
otherwise. They can seem worthless or unwieldly at first, but there's a trick. Employ these
spells alongside Essence-removing spells to more reliably benefit from their added damage.
For added effect, stack offensive buffs and defensive debuffs. As icing, non-damaging
buff and debuff spells don't give your enemy unwanted Essences!



INFERNO AND GREAT FLOOD
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These are both high-power nukes that hit every target in play--friend, foe, and user alike.
While they might seem pointless at first glance, they have several redeeming qualities that
can make them the lynchpins of powerful offensive builds.

There are several passive skills labeled "SOS" skills. What better way to trigger these
abilities than by lowering one's own HP? In addition, these spells grant their Essence
to everyone they hit--including the caster and their ally. That makes these two spells
the only true "spammable" spells in the game, for those times when you need reliable damage
above all else. They can also be used to set up combo attacks with an ally's Charge spell,
as if they were the corresponding Prayer--while dealing a large chunk of damage in the
process!

Lastly, for those without the courage to pursue one of the above strategies, party-protecting
spells like Vanguard, Warmth, and Fortify can be used to make the spells weaker against your
party, making them into boring old nukes. For shame.



CRITICAL HITS
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Critical hits never occur on their own--they always require that an ability dictate when they
occur. For example, the spell Glaciate makes the target take critical hits from incoming
Physical spells for a short time. Passives that benefit from critical hits are in no short
supply, making a critical build perfectly viable.



ENEMIES THAT HEAL AND SHIELD
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Some enemies you encounter will be just as savvy as players about self-preservation, and
will use HP recovery, Shield effects, or both in order to sustain themselves through the
player's onslaught. Fortunately, several skills exist specifically to counter such play.
There are skills that ignore Shields or remove them outright, and there are skills that can
prevent HP recovery and otherwise punish it. Be warned, however, that especially savvy foes
might use these skills to break -your- sustain!