Guardian Angel of the Description Thread
Life is a story. Which is the one that defines you?

Matsumori Days
Matsumori High. Where everything begins. And ends.


Marrend plays Suikoden 2!

Perhaps a little earlier than expected, but, we have saved, quite arguably, the best game in the Suikoden series for the last.

Photo obtained via Wikipedia.

This was not at all planned! It just kinda came out that way?

Er, anyway, there's a lot of features that start in this game that we (generally speaking) see going forward in the series. Characters can to have up to three Runes attached to them at any given time. Shops in the headquarters grant access to all recruits that can be in-party, not just whoever happens to be in the party at the time. Players can sprint without needing a Holy Rune. Though, future games, being on the PS2, don't really use that feature, as running seems to be the default action for d-pad control from what I've noticed. There might be a toggle-option in Suikoden 5, but, I don't recall.

As before, I'm aiming for the 108 bonus, and generally best ending possible with this play-through. Questions and/or comments are welcome, as always.

Table of Contents
Session 1 - There are Highland gentlemen, and there are Highland gentlemen...
Session 2 - Barn Fort burning
Session 3 - Let's Muse over this attack, shall we?
Session 4 - This is where we start being Suiko-screwed
Session 5 - And we got trouble! Right here in Two River City!
Session 6 - Green Hell Zone, Act 1
Session 7 - Knights of the Round Table Matilda
Session 8 - The King has died! Long live the King!
Session 9 - Wampire Veekly
Session 10 - The war battles to end all war battles
Session 11 - The 108% perfect ending

Marrend plays Suikoden!

Hey kids, what time is it? If you answered "Howdy Doody time!", well, okay. I won't disparage that. I get the reference. However, if you said "It's time for Marrend to get Suiko-screwed!" you hit it on the nose! I've done written LPs of all the PS2 games, so, let's re-visit the PS1 era, and go back to where it all started.

Photo obtained via Wikipedia.

Suffice it to say, there's a lot of things that we took for granted before that aren't available in this game. For one, each character has their own inventory, and equipped items still count towards that character's inventory limit. Also, characters may only have one Rune attached to them at any given time. Of particular note in this regard is the Holy Rune, which allows for running/dashing.

As with the other written LPs, the goal of this LP is simply to achieve the 108 Star Bonus. Questions, or comments, are welcome, as always!

Table of Contents
  • Imperial March
Session 1 - In service to the Emperor
Session 2 - Ted's costly mistake
  • Rebel scum!
Session 3 - Sorry for capturing you before?
Session 4 - The end, and beginning, of a hero
Session 5 - Our first recruits
  • Fall of three Great Generals
Session 6 - Kwanda Roseman
Session 7 - Milich Oppenheimer
Session 8 - Teo McDohl
  • Vampires and Dragons and Imperials! Oh, my!
Session 9 - Vampire Hunter D Viktor
Session 10 - The Return of the Son of the Fly Dragon Part 2 - Director's Cut Extended Edition
  • Fall of an Empire, birth of a Rebuplic
Session 11 - Kasim Hazil
Session 12 - Sonya Shulen
Session 13 - 108% completion!

Marrend Plays Suikoden 5!

So, the hour has come. Perhaps sooner than I would have liked. Still, since it's been such a fun ride, maybe it is time for another written Let's Play? The featured game is, of course...

Photo obtained via Wikipedia

...Suikoden 5! This is a freaking long game. I've typically clocked over 100 hours on previous plays of this game, and that's probably the number one reason I was so hesitant to start it. However, on the plus side, the game sees a return of the skill system introduced in Suikoden 3, and a party size of six makes a return. Yes, players have control over all the characters, unlike Suikoden 3.

As with the last two titles, the party may hold additional members that do not participate in battle. The number of additional members have been increased to four, and are not limited to purely support characters! I don't believe members can be switched mid-battle. However, this still allows for more flexibility in regards to fights, and various character recruits that need to have other characters in the party.

Also new to this game is formations, which have their own unique Unite-like command. They are similar to the Rush command from Suikoden 4, only there isn't a cooldown period between uses, and the formations tend to have their own advantages and disadvantages. I typically don't mess with formations too much, though.

As with the other written LPs, the goal of this LP is simply to achieve the 108 Star Bouns. As always, commentary and/or questions are welcome!

Table of Contents
  • Marriage Traditions
Session 1 - Prince Freyjadour went to Filgaia, and all I got was this stupid T-shirt!
Session 2 - A gathering Storm(fist)
Session 3 - Sacred shenanigans, Batman!
Session 4 - Goodbye Stormfist! Hello, Lunas!
Session 5 - Gizel's checkmate
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Stopped Worrying and Recruit Characters
Session 6 - Barrows of fun
Session 7 - Harry Potter Prince Freyjadour and the Prisioner of Azkaban Agate
Session 8 - The Fall of the House of Usher Barrows
  • Loyalist Army Assemble!
Session 9 - Maybe, at some point, we'll help out Lordlake
Session 10 - A promise kept, and a blessing of stars
Session 11 - Lelcar lamentation
  • Felana Wars Episode 5 - The Barrows and Godwins Strike Back
Session 12 - The Bandit Prince
Session 13 - Long live Queen Lymsleia!
Session 14 - The Queen's Campaign
Session 15 - Where's the Calvary?
  • Final Round! FIGHT!
Session 16 - Return to normalcy. Sorta.
Session 17 - The Queen joins the Loyalist Army
Session 18 - 108% Finale

Marrend Plays Suikoden 4!

Welcome, one and all, to my second attempt at a written Let's Play! This thread's featured game is...

Photo obtained via Wikipedia

...Suikoden 4! Now, here's a game I usually find more fun than Suikoden 3. Having full control of the party is definitely an upside, as the way it worked in Suikoden 3 was... well, it was a experiment, at best. Another oddity is that, once players obtain the HQ, they can set up three (or four) separate parties. This is a functionality I barely use, but, it's interesting to note regardless.

That's not to say the game doesn't have it's share of downsides. Such as, for whatever reason, they limited the party-size to 4, rather than 6. Another thing I don't quite understand is that there is no "all members" window for Jeane-mistering (I mean, come on, she's the Rune Sage in EVERY SINGLE GAME), the Blacksmith, or the Armorer, despite being one of the best (and most useful) features that the series introduced in Suikoden 2.

All that aside, this should be a fairly regular (for me) playthrough. Though, I must admit, I sometimes forget a star or two (Damn you, Ted), and therefore cannot gain the 108 Star Bonus. So, if there is a challenge to be had, it's to get that bonus! As before, I will be as receptive to any feedback as possible, and the thread is open to comments!

Table of Contents
  • Graduation, and the Kindling Ritual
Session 1 - Message for you, sir!
Session 2 - Path to Exile
  • Deserted Island and Obel
Session 3 - Lost and found
Session 4 - Isles of Terra
  • Joining Forces with... Pirates?
Session 5 - Wrecthed hive of scum and villainy
Session 6 - All your Stars are belong to Us
Session 7 - Everything's coming up roses
  • Recovering Razril and Obel
Session 8 - Homecoming for Lazlo
Session 9 - The End of the Ring, the Return of the King
  • The Last Unicorn Stage
Session 10 - Coup De Gras

Marrend Plays Suikoden 3!

Welcome, one and all, to my first attempt at a Let's Play! This thread's feature game is none other than...

Photo obtained via Wikipedia

...Suikoden 3! I kinda have mixed feelings about this game. Like, I love how the game's story switches perspectives (even if that means going over the same territory multiple, multiple times), and the skill system was a great addition. However, I felt combat was a little too oversimplified, and the way engagements of war battles resolve fell flat, as they are a simplified version of the combat engine.

As an aside, this should be a fairly regular (for me) playthrough. The only challenge I'm giving myself is to obtain the 108 Star Bonus. As this would be my first Let's Play (written or otherwise), I will be receptive to any and all feedback and comments!

Table of Contents
Session 0: What's in a name?
  • Hugo Chapter 1
Session 1: Departure to Vinay Del Zexen Duck Village
Session 2: Saint Loa Knights, ASSEMBLE!
Session 3: Zexen "hospitality"
  • Chris Chapter 1
Session 4: Of treaties and betrayal
Session 5: A Captain in both name and reputation
  • Geddoe Chapter 1
Session 6: Happenings at the Hallow
Session 7: Oh crap, we're officially Suiko-screwed!
Session 8: Hike it to Caleria!
  • Chris Chapter 2
Session 9: East North Frontage Street
Session 10: Ixnay on the Iksay
  • Hugo Chapter 2
Session 11: Tinto Trio
  • Geddoe Chapter 2
Session 12: Mantor Rider! Buuuurgllleeeer!
  • Geddoe Chapter 3
Session 13: Double dose of Geddoe!
  • Hugo Chapter 3
Session 14: Where Hugo finally gets Suiko-screwed!
Session 15: Chisha, plus a few more stars
Session 16: Around the world map in eighty days two hours
  • Chris Chapter 3
Session 17: The Battle of Chisha Village
Session 18: Sacrifice of the Alma Kinan
  • Thomas Chapter 1
Session 19: Thomas, Event-Hunter Extraordinaire
Session 20: The Tenkai Star recruits!!!
  • Thomas Chapter 2
Session 21: Liberation of Budehuc Arual Castle
  • Chapter 4
Session 22: The New Alliance of Free Stars Zexen and Grasslands
Session 23: 'Bout time I got that Blinking Mirror!
Session 24: A "family heirloom" gets passed on
  • Chapter 5
Session 25: Geddoe and Le Buque, part 2
Session 26: Between Water and Fire I constantly travel. A simple clue to unravel.
Session 27: Coup De Gras
  • Green Bishop Chapter 1
Session 28: All aboard the Plot Train!

Somethin' weird on my game-page!

I'm not sure what's going on, but, I've a few posts that are, for the lack of a better term, "tabbed outward". I've no CSS on that gamepage, my browser history is pretty empty, and hard-refresh isn't doing anything.

Is anybody else experiencing this and what's the solution?

Humble offerings from the "Bludgeon of Inspiration"

In this thread, you will find various bouts of creative writing. Most stories will relate to certain games I've made, but, there may be exceptions as well. Use the table of contents below if you're interested in a specific area/game, or just go down the thread at your leisure.

However, to start it all off, this particular story is supposed to bridge part of the two-year gap from Matsumori Days and Konae's Investigations. It's not quite finished yet, but here's what I have of it:

She stood behind the podium in her graduation gown with a certain amount of pride. She closed here eyes for a brief moment, then started her speech.

"There have been times when I wonder how it is that we have gotten this far. For myself, it all began with a simple brochure that my father obtained. On it, was the crest you see above me, and the words 'Matsumori High. Where everything begins and ends'. Little did I understand the truth behind those words. Certainly, the fact that I would cease to be a middle school student would be construed as an end, whereas my career as a high school student was at its beginning. However, the meaning of those words became clearer as time passed. For, in that time, I have seen new friends, new challenges, and new experiences."

On the words 'new friends' her gaze seemed to focus on a very specific portion of her audience. I knew she was looking at him, specifically. I bet he didn't catch it, though. Not to mention the extra meaning 'new experiences' took with all six of us. She continued, "Perhaps some of us have similar stories, perhaps not. Regardless, we now find ourselves on the precipice of another ending and beginning. The end of our time here, and the beginning of the next stage of our lives. Perhaps some of us have chosen to look for employment. Perhaps some of us have chosen to continue out education in college. Whatever we choose, we will not, no, can not forget Matsumori High, or what it has done for us."

I joined in the hearty applause. After that, the principal made his speech, officially graduating the class of 2010. I smiled as they threw their hats up, and thought I'm going to be doing this very thing next year.

When the ceremony turned to refreshments, we made for the student council president. I poked fun at her, "Nice speech, Ms President."

She nodded in acceptance, and said, "While you may not have intended that as a compliment, it is taken as such."

She glanced at Goho for a brief moment, but then noticed Kojiro coming toward us. Goho called out to him, "Hey, Kojiro! Over here!"

I sensed the faintest hint of disappointment in Masako's face. I know she had feelings for Goho, but she's been holding them back. I'm not really sure why, though, since it is Masako, she probably wants to confirm something before making any moves.

As I was thinking this, I noticed Masako looking at me. I blinked a few times. She knew what I was thinking about just then. Her expression was totally blank, but I knew that she knew. It's Masako, after all. Then, she said, "Yasui, might I have a word with you in private?"

Came the typical response, "Uh, yeah. Sure."

The two left as Kojiro asked me what that was all about. I tried to sound like I was kidding, saying, "That? Oh, Masako's gonna confess her love to Goho. That's all."

Kojiro laughed, then said, "Masako? Love? Yeah, right!"

If only you knew, Kojiro.

She looked up at the sky for a while. The way the wind gently brushed her hair and graduation gown made her look really pretty. Well, Masako was pretty to begin with, to be honest, but this pose made her look more so. She turned back at me, and showed me a serious face. Masako was generally a very serious person to begin with, but, I've never seen her this serious before. As if she read my mind, she shook her head, then said, "Please, do not think that you have done something wrong. In fact, just the opposite."

I was confused, "What do you mean?"

She sat down, and said, "Allow me to get straight to the point. What are your feelings toward me, Yasui?"

I blinked. I responded, "Well, you're a good friend, and insanely smart. I dunno what you want to do with yourself, but I imagine you can do pretty much anything with your grades."

Was that a smile? I probably imagined it. Masako never smiles. Anyway, she nodded, then said, "My future does seem to be filled with several possibilities. However, there is a point I wish to explore further, if I may. You said I was your friend. Are you happy with that relationship?"

I wasn't quite sure where this was going, and said, "Well, yeah. Why should I not be happy with it?"

She looked more sternly, then said, "A possible reason to not be happy with it is it you wanted something more intimate."

I looked at her, super-surprised, saying, "I-intimate? You mean, like, my girlfriend?"

Masako spoke plainly, "A 'girlfriend' can be defined as a girl who happens to be a friend. Though, the context of being 'more than friends' is the more common usage. In respect to that context, that is not exactly what I was referring to."

My head hurt from Masako's explanations. She moved her hand away, then said, "Forgive me. I did not mean to make this harder than it already was."

I asked, "Then, could you tell me what you mean? In a way that makes sense to me?"

Masako nodded, then sighed a bit. This somehow reminds me of all the times she volunteered to tutor me. Her normal way of speaking uses crazy-high vocabulary so people like me get lost easily. I could tell that she specifically held back on her usual way of speaking so that I could actually understand what she was saying. It seemed like such a burden, that I asked to stop tutoring me. She wouldn't have it, though.

"Yasui," she said, breaking my reminisce, "I may not show it particularly well, but I care about you. Quite a bit, in fact. Thus, I wish to know if you are happy with merely being friends with me, or if you might consider something more intimate."

I cocked my head, and said, "I'm still not sure what you mean by 'more intimate'."

She wore a pained face, then said, "It seems I must be more straightforward with you. So be it."

She stood up, breathed another sigh, then said, "Goho, I love you."

I was taken back from hearing her call me by my given name for a change. Then, the words that she spoke started to sink in.

She spoke again, "Goho, I love you. However, I can understand if you do not feel likewise towards me. However, I wanted you to know this before..."

Her voice trailed off into the distance. Her face became sad, then resumed almost exactly where she left off, "Before I go to college, and we are separated."

I stood up, and held her close. After about a minute, I realized what I was doing, and pushed her away, wildly apologizing. She had a feint smile, then said, "There is nothing to apologize for, Goho. Your heart was in the right place, even if your mind was not entirely aware of it. That is one of the reasons I love you."

I was confused with myself, not really knowing what to do, or how to handle this. Masako seemed to understand, and said, "It is all right if you need time to sort your feelings. When you are ready to answer," she produced a piece of paper with neatly written handwriting on it, gave it to me, and said, "give me a call."

At the very least, I allowed Goho to know how I felt about him. It almost didn't matter to me if he returned the feelings, or not. Would it be better if he did? Perhaps. However, that is not how the world works.

I attempted to live the next few days as normally as possible. I had volunteered to work at my grandmother's day-care center, however, I found it difficult to concentrate on my tasks. Having emotional stress was a new experience for me, so I adapted as much as possible.

One day, my grandmother had ordered a pizza for the staff. The shop was but a few blocks away, not to mention that I could use a bit of respite from the place, so I volunteered to get it. This worked to my grandmother's advantage, as she happened to have a coupon which discounted the amount that would need to be paid if it was a pick-up. I arrived a few minutes early, but that seemed irrelevant. I looked around the shop in a casual manner, then noticed a couple. The man had his head cocked, looking at me in a quizzical way. It was as if he was trying to identify me. The woman turned to face me, and laughed uncontrollably. Realizing who they were, I went to them, thinking, He's not used to seeing me in casual clothing.

I greeted them, "Greetings, Umehara. And to you as well... Goho."

Out of the blue, Goho called me up and asked me out for pizza. Not that I mind, but I'd like a bit more notice than this. Oh well. I told him I was okay with it, and we set up the date.

Though, with us, can you really call it a date? I mean, we've been friends since, like, forever-and-a-half. I don't really have any deep feelings for him. If it were Massaki, that'd be a different critter.

Anyway, I wasn't sure if Goho wanted to talk about Masako or not. Masako is very careful about everything, so maybe she didn't tell him anything. Poor girl. She didn't care for all the guys at school practically drooling over her, but the one guy she likes has no clue. Life's funny like that, though.

I decided to ease into things with one of his favorite subjects: baseball stats. For a guy that's not all that great with math, he understands statistics when talking about sports. I don't quite follow the baseball lingo he spouts, but I have a basic understanding of them. At some point, I said, "I have to ask. What did Masako want with you that day?"

He fell silent, then said, "She, um, said a bunch of stuff I didn't understand."

I laughed, and thought to myself, Masako! What are you doing? Geeze, at this rate...

He interrupted my thoughts with, "She said she's in love with me."

A long pause passed before I felt comfortable talking again, "Okay, well, how did you respond to her?"

He shrugged, then said, "I kinda didn't. It was a bit much to take in, you know? Though, she said I can get back to her later, and gave me her number."

I blinked a few times, then said, "Well, it's Masako, so she's probably okay with waiting for you. However, you should really get back to her as soon as you can. It's terrible to make a girl wait."

He cocked his head to his side. Man, he must have heard more than a bit of melancholy in that last sentence. I thought to myself, Come on, Massaki! Get out of that shell of yours! I'm rooting for you!

Then, I noticed that he wasn't exactly looking at me. Somebody behind me. I turned around, and saw the figure there. I couldn't hold back the laughter. Masako, how long have you been standing there?

I told Joruri, "She said she's in love with me."

She took a byte of her pizza, and sipped her drink. After that, she said, "Okay, well, how did you respond to her?"

I shrugged, then said, "I kinda didn't. It was a bit much to take in, you know? Though, she said I can get back to her later, and gave me her number."

Joruri blinked a few times, then said, "Well, it's Masako, so she's probably okay with waiting for you. However, you should really get back to her as soon as you can. It's terrible to make a girl wait."

She seemed a little sad, but my gaze meet that of a girl near the counter. She was a tall and thin type. While I didn't mean to stare, I couldn't help to notice the size of her chest. She wore a plain orange blouse and a black skirt that went below her knees. Her blonde hair was tied up in a ponytail, and her eyes were blue and had a certain serene look to them.

Damn, this girl seemed so familiar! Still, she must think I'm so queer, staring at her like this. I then noticed that she was walking over to us. Oh man, now what have I done? Then, I hear this really calm and distinct voice, "Greetings, Umehara. And to you as well... Goho."

I did a double-take, then said, "M-Masako!?"

She nodded, then said, "Correct. I must confess, I did not expect to meet either of you here."

Joruri finished laughing, then said, "Hey, why not sit down with us? For old time's sake?"

Masako shook her head, then said, "As much as I may enjoy spending time with you, I cannot stay."

Joruri shrugged, then said, "Oh well. Had to ask. Good luck with the kids, Masako!"

She nodded, then got her order, waved to us, then left. Masako has... kids? I suddenly felt betrayed.

Masako left with one last wave to us. I waved back, cordially. When I turned my attention back to Goho, I saw the saddest face I ever saw on him. Wait a second. I hastily explained, "Masako works at a day-care center run by her grandmother. You didn't know that?"

He didn't seem to be listening to me, and just said, "Either it's me, or Masako has grown."

Under normal circumstances, I might make a sly quip about her boobs. However, this didn't seem like the right time for such a thing. Wait a second. Is he depressed about Masako being somebody else's wife? I said, "Goho, you love Masako, don't you?"

He seemed to wake up, then said, "Wah? No! Of course not?"

Disbelieving, I pouted, then said, "Oh, please. You wouldn't make that look if you weren't sad about Masako being married."

He shot back, "It's hard to think of Masako marrying in the first place, don't you think?"

I shook my head, then said, "She told you that loves you, right? Would it not follow that she might not mind being married to you?"

The possibility seemed to hit him like a ton of bricks. The only thing I could do was think to myself, Masako, it looks like you're going to have to wait a bit longer!

Table of Contents
  • Matsumori series
Unfinished bridge
Something troubles me...
Attempt at romance
Scene from Konae?
Konae, the Night Stalker

  • Uchioniko
Heartache custom content story?
From fanfic threed - Fluffy piece starring Katsumi

  • Oracle of Askigaga
A start for Oracle?
Attempt at romance
This was hard to write
From fanfic thread - variation on the above story

  • Nakaishi Wars
Possible scene?

  • Mechanima
A Synthate's Past (second hide-tag)

  • Unnamed Suikoden Tribute!?
Suikoden spin-off?
Marrend goes off the deep end for the Nth time (first hide-tag)
Maybe some good can come out of this?

  • Unrelated
Chirstmas Eve depression
Failed blog-cast
Wanting to reaching out, but...
Dream relay
Dream relay, part 2
From fanfic thread - Lulu's stream-of-consciousness between FFX and FFX-2?
Dream relay, part 3
Suikoden 3 LP!
Secret Santa 2016 - Gift to Gedge109
Suikoden 4 LP!
Suikoden 5 LP!
Suikoden LP!
Suikoden 2 LP!
Dream relay, part 4
Dream relay, part 5
Dream relay, part 6
Twisted fairy tail
Secret Santa 2016 - Gift to Cap_H

Might, Magic, and Mafia (Game Thread)

With a tremendous crash, the Wanderer's vessel lands on... wherever this place is. After they get their bearings, they note that the landing was not without cost.

Corak, the Mysterious has vanished, Day 0!

Day Phase 1 has begun. The situation for today is...

Dragon Pharaoh's Pyramid (MM5/Darkside of Xeen)

With his Orb finally returned to him, the Dragon Pharaoh knew that he could trust the party with whatever assistance he could provide.

Special effects: Lynching and Night Phase kills will return all pertinant character information, such as name, alignment and powers.

This phase will last 72 hours, or until a simple majority of votes have been reached.

Welcome to Might, Magic, and Mafia! (Sign-up and rules thread)

The Flavor
The Night of the Falling Stars has seen much change. The wanderers say they have come from another world. They also claim to have visited other worlds, saving each one as they go. They promise that they shall save ours in the same fashion. Perhaps this is true, perhaps it is not. But from what are we being saved from? Only time shall tell.

The Rules
Day Phases will last 72 hours, or when a simple majority (>50% of living players) of votes is achieved. If a day phase concludes with a tie, the action taken will be randomly determined.

Night Phases will last 48 hours, or when all players that have night actions submit them.

Votes will not be counted unless they have the proper formatting (#lynch <player>, #nolynch, #cancel). You may want to have your vote separate from the rest of your post for visibility, but it's not required.

Mod-kills will be based on a "three strikes and you're out" concept. The following actions count as "strikes":
*Having a post with a "Last edited" notation.
*Not posting for a consecutive 24-hour period.
*Posting after the day phase has concluded, regardless of how it was concluded. To this end, I will attempt to update post count as often as possible, or necessary.

Lynching and/or night kills will only return a player's alignment, not his or her precise powers or role.

There are fifteen "situations" in the game, all based on various locations in Might and Magic games.

At the beginning of each Day Phase, I will randomly determine which situation the players find themselves in.

Each situation has a bit of flavor text, and usually has an effect on the game. I tried to be as true to the source material as possible on both flavor and effects, but my memory may have failed me on some accounts.

Whatever effect a situation may have trumps the usual rules-set, as indicated by the text. I tried to make the text self-explanatory, but if any questions about them arise, direct them to me.

Once a situation has occurred, it cannot occur again, unless all situations have transpired.

1) ivoryjones, Drog - killed Night 1
2) MrChearile, hero - killed Night 2
3) chana, Terwin III - mod-killed Day 1
4) CAVE_DOG_IS_BACK, Sir Falagar - lynch-killed Day 1
5) Gourd_Clae, villain - lynch-killed Day 2
6) color=#0000FF]rabitZ, hero - lynch-killed Day 3
7) thatbennyguy, hero - auto-killed Day 3
8) Liberty
9) MirrorMasq, hero - killed Night 2

Side note: Once the game begins, I shall alter this list to reflect who is still alive.

Skill Conceptualization

I wanted to make this an article, but one of the powers-that-be of RMN said that it would be better suited for a GD&T/GD&D thread. In any event, here's a few thoughts on creating skills. 'Cause sometimes, skills have character.

If one is going to make an RPG, then making skills is going to come around eventually. Some games have a specific skill set for each character and creature in the game. Others have a shared pool of abilities that both ally and enemy have access to. Specific skill ideas can be drawn from various sources, but allow me to go over a few more common ideas for this article. Let us first concentrate on skills that only require the INT stat, which I refer to as "spells".

The main attribute of a spell is it's elemental affinity. This is usually defined as a primal element of nature (Fire, Wind, Water, Earth), an element of moral standing (Divine, Damned), or whatever else can be an attribute (Status, Surprise, Mind, Body, etc.). However, it is Let us keep things simple, and consider the various properties of the more typical elements found in games.

Fire is the element of destruction, chaos, and emotional extremities. It is loud, obnoxious, and impulsive. It is also insatiable to the point of consuming whatever it can for the express purpose of breeding. Arguably, Fire's main property is destruction. Filling out the Fire category with nothing but attack-magics is appropriate for the element. That's not to say that it cannot have support effects. If one wishes to touch on the emotive aspects of Fire, then spells that cause berserk, confusion, or both, become options. Attributing a STR modifier, such as the buff "Bravery" or debuff "Cowardice", could hammer Fire's role as a warrior's element. Status removal, or healing, might be possible with a "Flames of Purification" concept. If the myth of the Phoenix is used, or otherwise important, then Fire can also have a resurrection effect.

Wind is the element of speed. It is quick-witted, fleet-of-foot, and is bound by no rules save it's own. That's not to say that it's sheer speed does not, or cannot cause havoc. It might not enjoy causing havoc as much as Fire does, however. Wind's main property is it's speed. Attributing a SPD modifier, such as the buff "Haste" or debuff "Slow", to Wind is appropriate. "Wind of Sleep" could be an interesting concept to play with, but I suppose a "Blind" effect might work here too. Choosing to continue in the tradition of Final Fantasy in the use of "Areo" as a name for a wind attack spell is an option, but don't forget about "Hurricane", "Tornado", "Gale", or "Gust". A "Breath of Life" concept can explain healing and/or resurrection spells with a Wind element.

Water is the element of constant change. Calm and tranquil, yet capable of destruction in it's own right. Arguably, Water's main properties are healing, purification (which might be a fancy way of saying "status removal"), and resurrection, should one be literal about the "Water of Life" concept. Filling out the Water category with healing magic would be appropriate for the element. That is not to say that it cannot have attack spells. Some games use Ice as water's method of attack, but that shouldn't stop one from using names like "Deluge", "Tsunami", Splash", or "Soak". If Fire modifies STR, then Water modifies INT with the buff "Epiphany" and debuff "Stupefy". If Water is to have a spell that causes a status effect, it probably should be "Poison". "Silence" might also have a place here as part of Water's tranquil nature.

Earth is the element of rocks, mountains, and, nature. It is stoic, and unwavering in it's purpose. Hard to move, but once it gets going, it would be difficult to stop. Earth's main property is it's resistance to damage, if not outright invulnerability. A DEF modifier, like the buff "Protect" or debuff "Disrupt" is certainly appropriate. If "Petrify", or other paralysis-like effect, is a consideration for a status condition, Earth might want that status. If one wishes to be ironic, "Silence" could be an Earth status as well. There are certain RPGs out there where flying enemies are immune to earth-elemental damage. I'm looking at you, Final Fantasy series! Anyway, one can choose to follow that line of thinking, or, in the case of a "Meteor Shower" concept, ignore it entirely.

Divine is the element of pure, untarnished, goodness. It promises Everything You Could Ever Want. It always delvers on it's promise, but in ways nobody ever expects it to. The willingness to sacrifice oneself for the betterment of others is of note here. I've seen a number of games where all Divine-elemental spells do is insta-death, or at least have some interesting effect on, undead. I can't totally argue that line of thinking. However, I believe the concept of beating face with the power of righteousness, in a literal sense, should be more expansive than that. In any event, Divine powers have been known to heal wounds remove status, and resurrect. If one is feeling particularly generous, a spell that buffs all stats simultaneously, such as "Bless", is appropriate.

Damned is the element of pure, untarnished, evil. Like Divine, it promises Everything You Could Ever Want. The main difference is that Damned tantalizes it's target endlessly, only to take it all away at the peak of expectation of the Ultimate Reward. If the will of Divine is to sacrifice self for the benefit of others, then it can be said that it is the will of Damned to sacrifice others for the benefit of self. Maybe it's just me, but some Final Fantasy games attribute percentile-based spells (Demi, Quarter, etc) to the Damned element. Other games deem all status-causing spells to be Damned, as it exemplifies the eagerness of Damned to "play" with it's prey before finishing it off with "Doom". This is a perfect characterization of Damned. It should absolutely revel in torture. That's not to say that pain cannot be inflicted along side of the statuses, however. Indeed, a true fiend would have it no other way. If one is feeling particularly sadistic, a spell that debuffs all stats simultaneously, such as "Curse", could be appropriate.

What about techniques, or, skills that only require the STR stat, then? Techniques are usually tied to the weapon that is used. As such, some games have the gall interesting proposal of granting techniques something akin to an elemental attribute. Sometimes, it is condensed into one "Physical" element. Sometimes, it branches out into the categories of "Slashing", "Bludgeoning", and "Pierce". Those are the basic types, but some games expand the idea even further, and have an element for each weapon category (i.e: daggers have a "Dagger" element, spears have a "Spear" element, etc). However, let's stick with the basics.

Slashing is the type of damage usually associated with swords, but axes, certain pole arms (Poleaxes!), and certain daggers can have this damage type as well. Techniques with this attribute always attempt to cut at the target to deal it's damage. Raw damage is one thing, but severing limbs, such as arms, feet, legs, would be a possible venue for debuffs, if not outright statistic nullification. In the case of decapitation, a status effect of instant death.

Bludgeoning is the type of damage usually associated with hammers (Just ask my muse!) and maces, but staves and bare hands would have this type as well. This attribute attempts to literally pound things into submission. Hence, a "Knockout" ability that essentially insta-kills would certainly be appropriate. If one wishes to be whimsy, "Sleeper Hold" could literally make it's target go to "Sleep", or have a "Mage Masher" that causes "Silence". Supposing martial artists exist in a game, they could have "Furious Flurry of Fanciful Fisticuffs". Granted, that is way too silly long to be an actual technique name, but I hope one gets the general idea. A STR buff in the vein of "Accumulate" (Final Fantasy Tactics reference) might be appropriate here.

Piercing is the type of damage usually associated with bows, most daggers, and certain pole arms (spears, pikes, etc.). This attribute focuses all it's strength to one specific point, preferably the weakest one, and strikes at that point with all the might one can muster. The Dragoon class of Final Fantasy make a strange case for having a character jump in the air at heights that would not be achieved within any known laws of physics, and crash down on an opponent with disastrous results. Well, disastrous for the target, anyway. I also recall a demonstration of a combat scene in Romancing SaGa 3 where a bunch of characters came out of the party line, and, literally speaking, shot arrows over the battlefield. If these things are appealing, by all means include them. If one wishes to be more realistic, "Puncture", or other like techniques are what one would be looking at. As for skills that can cause status, "Eye Gouge" is certainly possible, as is "Head Shot" and "Throat Skewer". There might be a DEF debuff, if not an outright DEF-ingnore technique, in the case of "Armor Peirce".

As one can see, skills can have a certain personality. How these "personalities" are defined in a game is not limited to what I listed, but they are the most common definitions. The best-case scenario is if characters and the more intelligent creatures of the game have spells and techniques that cater to who they are, what they do, and their beliefs. However, going through the motions of this kind of customization can be quite time-consuming. Which is something that might not be entirely desirable. In such cases, cookie-cutter skills are a viable option.
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