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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    I've been showing up sporadically over the last *thinks back*...month in a half? Well in around that amount of time, I've been asking for ideas, concepts and inspiration for a Shin Megami Tensei RPG. I know I've been rather vague about the idea and I would really like to thank those who gave me some some advice, so here's what I've arranged so far! I would also like to note that the fantastic FFd6 RPG by Dust was a huge inspiration to this game, even inspiring the main dice roll! I've also posted this on the TV Tropes forum, and I've been getting help by another fan, Neccy 60!

    Well, without further ado, here's what I've got for Shin Megami Tensei: Better Title Pending (SMT: BTP, for short)

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Base Mechanic

    2d6 + modifiers

    Stats, Levels and Experience

    Stats fall into the 6 original stats from the first SMT games:

    • Strength (Physical Attack and Damage)
    • Magic (Magic Damage and MP)
    • Intelligence (Magic Attack and Negotiations)
    • Agility (Evasion and Turn Order)
    • Vitality (Defense and HP)
    • Luck (Critical Hits, Random Drops and Escape Attempts)


    At character creation, everybody gets 24 points to spread amongst these stats, with a cap of 6 at 1st level. Characters gain 1 stat point every level. Stats give modifiers, giving a bonus to secondary stat like HP and Physical Attacks.

    Alright, with stats out of the way, there's levels and XP. There are 30 levels in total, and you need 10 XP to level up each time (meaning that the amount you need to level up never changes [thought that may change]). You get XP for mostly for combat, usually by fighting an enemy from -2 to +2 the party level. Fighting enemies +3 (and for every +2)the party level grants an extra XP per 2 levels, while enemies -3 the party level give no XP. Mini-bosses also give +1 XP, while bosses give +2 XP. You can also gain XP from special challenges or just good roleplaying.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Classes

    These represent several of the playable characters found in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. There are 8 in total, but most of them come in two categories: Summoners and Enhancers. Summoners call demons to assist them in combat, while Enhancers empower themselves (either using personae or shifting into a demonic form). The classes (and their basis/inspiration) are:

    • Demon Controller [Shin Megami Tensei I, II & Strange Journey] - Can call 2 demons into battle, but lack special abilities
    • Devil Summoner [Soul Hackers, Raidou Kuzunoha] - Can call a demon into battle, let's them advance faster and can use special "combination skills"
    • Persona User [Persona 3 & 4) - Can empower themselves with an ever-evolving persona
    • Avatar Tuner [Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2] - Can transform into a suped-up demonic form
    • Wild Card [Persona 1, 2, 3 & 4] - Can empower themselves with a variety of static personae
    • Devil Child [Devil Children & Demi Kids] - Has a permanent demon ally that can improve and evolve through fusion, though they aren't restricted to only using them.
    • Demon Sponsored/Demi-Fiend [Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocture] - A part demon that can call another demon and evolve using demonic essence
    • Demon General [Majin Tensei I, II and Devil Survivor] - Can call a demon and enhance them with special abilities


    As of right now, these are all just sketches on a notebook without much detail. Something I do know is that none of them are set up into any role like fighter, caster or healer; stats and demon/persona/skill selection do that. Most of them have also have a bank limiting to the amount of something they can have (such as demons for summoners and skills for Avatar Tuners). This increases with level.

    There might also be advanced classes that allow the PCs to specialize into something like Half-Demon or the like if I can come up with more (and give them a better name)

    If I ever get a proper handle on these classes, I'll probably make other classes emulating games like Shin Megami Tensei: If... or the magic-using companions from the first few games. Hey, maybe I'll set up playable demons!

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Abilities

    Defining characteristics that characters gain as they advance through the game (though they gain 2 at 1st level). They're the feats or merits of the game, and are divided into two different categories: General and Class, which are pretty self-explanatory. Some of them have prerequisites, from being 1st level, to having high enough stats to having another ability. Some so far are Favored Arcana/Species, Improved Fusion, Mesian/Gaian and Non-Human.
    I have some of them down just fine, but others need some work and I'm still not even sure how a few will work out in the game. I know I listed a few already, but here's a complete list of what I've got so far:

    • Non-Human (Now in Animal, Machine, Manikin/Innocent and Shadow flavor, but a bit of a mystery of what to do with it)
    • Mesian (Bonus to Neg. for Law, vs. Chaos)
    • Gaean (Bonus to Neg. for Chaos, vs. Law)
    • Improved Fusion (Fusion is now demon's level/demons fused + 1)
    • Favored Arcana/Species (Bonus to Neg. and vs. a specific species or arcana)
    • Favored Skill (Gain a bonus on using a skill tree such as Agi or multi-attack physical)
    • Exceptional Talent (Gain a bonus to non-combat checks)
    • Reduced Summoning (Summoning demons costs less MP)
    • Alert (Less likely to become surprised)
    • Shared Body (Still not sure)
    • Companion (Someone to help with mundande and maybe story tasks, but that's all I have so far)
    • Weapon Specialist (Gain a bonus to Attack and Damage with a particular weapon type)
    • Sythesizer (Can enchant weapons are armor)
    • Diplomat (Straight bonus to Neg.)
    • Juggernaut (Bonus to HP)
    • Arcane (Bonus to MP)
    • Child of Myth (Bonus to Neg. and vs. demons of a specific mythology)
    • Berzerker (Avatar Tuners become half-demons with high attack & criticals, but low defense and the inablitiy to use skills)


    Still more to come, of course!

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    Gear

    The standard affair of things found in most games: Weapons (both Melee and Ranged), Ammo, Armor, Accessories, Tools and Items. Weapons have an Accuracy and Power rating (both enhanced by Strength) and Armors have a DEF and EVA rating (enhanced by Vitality and Agility respectively). Accessories give special bonuses like elemental resistances, stat boosts or status effect prevention. Tools are equipment demon/persona summoners need to do their summons. They also give bonuses like increased stock and stat bonuses to summons. Items are one-use nick-knacks that heal HP, heal MP, cure status ailments, deal damage or status ailments, resurrect allies and even permanently increase stats. Ranged weapons also have ammo that allows the wielder to deal elemental damage or status ailments with the weapon.

    Every character has 6 gear slots: 2 weapon slots, an ammo slot, an armor slot, an accessory slot and a tool slot. Demon Sponsored, however, have only 1 slot: magatama. Magatama act as a weapon, armor and accessory all in one. They cannot be bought, only gained as a Demon Sponsored increases in level.

    Currency used to pay for items and equipment, amongst other things. Usually Yen in the human world (or not, whatever) and Macca in the Makai or Makai-fied world.

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    Skills

    Or more accurately, spells and powers. Skills allow characters and demons to attack with higher and elemental damage, boost stats, heal and many other things. They come in different type, such as Physical, Fire, Expel, Recovery or Ailment. Demons also have affinities that aligned with a certain type that lessen the stat prerequisite to learn skills (see below) by about 1 (perhaps 2).

    In order to learn a certain skill, a character or demon needs to have stats at least as high as the prerequisite listed in the description (e.g., VIT 8 and MAG 5) and be able to reach the skill tier. Skill Tiers go from 1 to 9, and a character or demon can access tiers of their level/3, rounded down (so a level 14 character can learn tier 4 skills and can learn tier 5 when they level up).

    Skills require a certain expenditure of HP (for physical) or MP (for everything else), but can also be passive, meaning they are always active and never need to spend either HP or MP.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Combat

    (Big post under spoiler)
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    Also known as the 'ol Press Turn system. Just like the newer games of Shin Megami Tensei (except Strange Journey for some strange reason), whenever someone scores a critical hit or hits the elemental weakness on somebody else, that someone gets an extra "half-turn" to attack, use a skill/item or pass. On the other hand, scoring a critical miss or using an element that somebody else blocks, absorbs or reflects causes that someone to lose not only their turn ends regardless of how many half-turns they had. One can gain as many half-turns as they want, but can only accrue one half-turn per enemy.

    Before any of that begins, however, everyone makes an Initiative roll to see who goes when. The highest goes first, the second highest goes second and so on.

    On their turn, characters have several options listed here:

    • Attack (Make an attack against an opponent with a weapon)
    • Skill (Use a skill)
    • Defend (Reduce the amount of damage take by 50%, but are unable to evade)
    • Talk (Try to open negotiations with the target [see below])
    • Item (Use an item)
    • Summon/Change (Summon a demon, switch personae or change form. Switching personae doesn't actually use a turn)
    • Pass (Give a turn to someone else, as well as an extra half-turn)
    • Escape (A group action, allowing to escape with a collective Strength vs. Agility contest)

    Combatants have 4 combat statistics:

    • Attack (Weapon/Skill Accuracy + Str/Int + 2d6)
    • Damage (Weapon/Skill Power + Str/Mag + 2d6)
    • Evasion (Armor EVA + Agi)
    • Defense (Armor DEF + Vit)


    For an attack to connect, an attack roll must match or exceed the defender's evasion score. If the attack hits, the attacker makes a damage roll, subtracting the amount from the defender's defense. If the attack rolls under the defender's evasion score, the attack misses. Either an attacker or can deliberately fail any of these checks (especially useful when a defender has a particular elemental reaction; see below)

    When a combatant rolls a natural 10, 11 or 12 on an attack, they score a critical hit, dealing double damage and giving the attacker a half-turn. Before the attacker can do this, however, he has to make an attack roll, adding his Luck bonus.

    Combatants usually have some special reaction to elemental attacks. Here's a list of the degrees the elements might effect a combatant:

    • Weak: Takes 50% more damage from the element
    • Resist: Takes 50% less damage from the element
    • Block: Takes no damage from the element
    • Reflect: The attacker takes the damage
    • Drain: Any damage that would have happened is instead healed


    Combatants can have multiple reactions to different elements, but reactions don't stack and only the higher reaction works (Drain > Reflect > Block > Resist > Weak)

    During combat, combatants may sometimes be afflicted with some kind of impairment. These are called status ailments, which debuff whoever is afflicted with them. A list of them so far:

    • Poison: Loses HP every turn until at 10%, lowers defense
    • Silence: Unable to use skills, summon or change
    • Confusion: Random chance of either doing nothing, attacking allies, helping enemies or acting * normal
    • Rage: Will always attack enemies. Highers power, but lowers accuracy and defense
    • Fear: Won't do anything, may run from the battle
    • Exhaustion: Losses MP every turn until at 10%
    • Enervation: Halves stats
    • Charmed: Switches sides
    • (Might add down, dizzy and stone, but not sure).


    Fusion Skills: When using a certain arrangement of skills, two or more players can initiate a special attack called a Fusion Skill. To initiate a fusion skill, each player part of the initiation must use a skill from the prerequisite. The fusion skill is activated when the last initiator, but until then, enemies and allies can do as still use their turns and go on.

    Whenever a hidden enemy attacks, have an Agility vs. Luck roll for each character (enemies can roll against more than one character). If the enemy is successful, it (and only it) gets a free half-action on whoever it won against in the contest. If the character is successful, they don't get attacked...unless it's by another enemy (or maybe they're just immune since they already see it coming; not totally sure). After the surprise, roll initiative as normal and continue. Remember, the players can also surprise an enemy they know of if they take the special precautions (hiding in the shadows, getting to higher ground, trojan horse, etc.)

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Negotiations

    Fighting isn't the only was to deal with demons. At anytime during battle you may try to talk to a demon with a Neg check. When you first talk to a demon, you take a stance, whether Friendly or Threatening. Depending on the demon's personality and what stance you take, you either gain a +3 bonus, -3 penalty or neither. After that, each person in the party can make a check, adding bonuses or penalties depending on what they say and whether the demon likes it or not. Different personalities like different things, of course, and even the demons with the same personality act and feel differently than others. Bonuses and penalties range from 1 to 5. Positive and negative reactions are cumulative, and every demon has a threshold that may cause them to attack, retreat, heal the party, give an item or join in (see below).

    If you have the same demon with you, make a Luck check. If you succeed, the demon gives you an item. If not, they either attack or flee (50/50). If the demons happens to be dead, the roll is an automatic failure.

    Additionally, Light and Dark demons are difficult or even impossible to recruit, sometimes even to talk to. In order to do so, the time must be at it's maximum rating or a character must have a special skill, like Dark Talk or Hymn. Demon reactions are:

    • Attack: The demon attacks, gaining a surprise round.
    • Retreat: The demon flees, possibly by being asked
    • Item/Heal: The demon grants an item, or heals you/one of your demons
    • Join: The demon joins your stock


    As demons come in many shapes and size, so do their personalities. Here is an undetailed list of some I've made (and a few I took from a previous project)

    • Trickster
    • Pious
    • Hedonist
    • Sagacious
    • Narcissist
    • Foppish
    • Artistic
    • Seductive
    • Child-like
    • Adolescent
    • Animalistc/Beastly
    • Jack
    • Knightly

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    Alignment, Time and Non-Combat (?)

    Alignment is how characters view the universe, whether through a Lawful or Chaotic view. It is measured in a meter going from 12 (Law) to -12 (Chaos). Most characters are considered neutral until they reach either +8 or -8, at which point they become lawful or chaotic.

    Law believes in order, peace and tradition. Chaos believes in freedom, change and adaptability. Neutral, the balance between the two, believe in personal empowerment, individuality and inherit strength.

    Gaining points is pretty much a roleplay thing, as it would be pretty tedious to track down every law and chaos opponent you fight as in other SMT games (although fighting an entire lawful or chaotic stronghold or organization might be different...). Also, Light and Dark are only measured for demons since I'm not quite sure what a "light" and "dark" action is in SMT.

    Time phases are way to determine time and it's effect on the world, opening up fusions, new enemies, new forms for Avatar Tuners, etc. Usually go from 1-8. Usually determined by phases of the moon, but may be determined by weather or even seasons. The phase changes with each rest, terminal visit, otherwise non-combat action or just plain waiting around.

    In a sitsuation requiring a certain amount of skill (like moving something heavy or hacking a computer) requires a check to do, usually rolling 2d6+Stat Modifier.

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    Enemies and Fusion

    Creatures and things you fight against, such as demons, shadows and regular humans

    Every creature belong to a species, their physical being and how demon summoners categorize them. This determines their stats, alignments and sometimes personality. A list of them are:

    • Gods
    • Goddess
    • Avatars
    • Divine
    • Fallen
    • Viles
    • Furies
    • Fiends
    • Femme
    • Earth Mothers
    • Dragons
    • Fairies
    • Demigods
    • Tyrants
    • Birds
    • Beasts
    • Holy Beasts
    • Wilders
    • Haunts
    • Fouls
    • Elementals


    Every creature also belongs to an Arcana, their spiritual being and the way persona summoners categorize them. This determines the elemental affinity and tactical focus of the monster. Here's another list:

    • Fool
    • Magician
    • Priestess
    • Empress
    • Emperor
    • Hierophant
    • Lovers
    • Chariot
    • Justice
    • Hermit
    • Fortune
    • Strength
    • Hanged Man
    • Death
    • Temperance
    • Devil
    • Star
    • Moon
    • Sun
    • Judgment
    • World


    Affinity is the particular skill focus a demon/persona has. It's what they focus in and they receive an ease on stat prerequisites for skills (tiers still apply, though).

    • Physical
    • Fire
    • Ice
    • Electricity
    • Wind
    • Almighty
    • Expel
    • Curse
    • Ailment
    • Recovery
    • Support


    Fusion: Every demon has a listing of what they can be fused with and what they make. Formula is Demon Level's/Demon's Fused. Species/Arcana is the 1st demon + the 2nd demon, going by chart.

    Rank: A"demon's level". Starts at one, but grows as used. Each has a max of 8 levels. They only have to gain 3 XP rather than 10 to level, but only gain skills (and only every 1-3 levels). Everytime they level, the summoner makes a Luck roll. If succeed, the demon/persona gains a mutation when they gain a rank, giving them a stat bonus, a hidden skill or a mutation skill (against their affinity, i.e., a Jack Frost learning Maragi). They always have a skill above their level at or near the end of their rank.

    And as far as I know, that's most of what I've got. Like I said, this is just a sketch, but with that in mind, I'm still have trouble with a couple of things. Here's a list of them that' I'm just noticing:

    • A way to implement Half-Demons and Ascended
    • How to balance out Summoners vs. Enhancers
    • Figuring out Bosses and Mini-Bosses
    • Handling and balance of abilities
    • Whether or not to put in technical "skills", like driving or athletics.
    • Ruling whether physical skills use a percentage of HP like in newer games or a straight number like in older games
    • Determining skill stat prerequisites
    • Differentiating weapons
    • Handling tools
    • Figuring out a good income of money
    • Figuring out All-Out Attacks
    • But, other than that, what do you guys think?


    There has been a lot of this handled at TV Tropes in the link in the OP, but I wanted to go to this board and see if you guys had any idea or feedback on the project. Thanks if you do, and if not, just thanks for viewing!

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    I'm playing Devil Survivor right now.

    Of course, it won't really be Shin Megami Tensei unless Magic is dramatically more important than every other stat.

    My understanding is that Persona and various of the SMTs take place in different universes? Not that it matters at all, just saying.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    True, and it's pretty much why I went back to the original SMT stats by splitting Magic into Magic and Intelligence.

    From what I understand, pretty much. But hey, Amala network and stuff.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    In the games, at least, it's not so much that Magic is fundamentally more powerful - it's that magical skills scale better and that physical-type skills are pretty useless by comparison. Especially with elemental rock-paper scissors.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

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    Looking good so far. One minor thing, I'd maybe add Asura to the list of species for Avatar Tuner use. The Asura are very clearly singled out in Digital Devil Saga, but whether you consider that noteworthy enough to be included here is up to you.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Sounds good, any other ideas?

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    Umm... let's see...

    Have you considered if you want to include both Garu and Zan skills? I know some people equate them both as Wind, but Zan is usually described as force damage, even if it damage boosters are described as Wind... another call on your part, really.

    Also, some of the levelling and XP system seems odd. Given the source material, I'd have assumed you'd have it go up to level 99. Is the reason to avoid grind at the table (which would, admittedly, be pretty damn dull), or something else? Also, the XP requirements for levelling seem... low.

    Under combat, may also want to note that hitting a target's weakness(es) inflicts the down condition, which I would heartily suggest you include, as it leads to All-Out Attacks, which gives a sense of party co-operation. And since I note that you say you still need to figure out how they operate, a quick suggestion.

    When all of one side in a combat have the down condition, their opponents may elect to perform an All-Out Attack. At least two opponents must elect to perform the All-Out Attack in order for it to take effect, though there is no maximum on the number of participants, nor is it compulsory to perform one - one may always elect to relent from performing an All-Out Attack. If an All-Out Attack is successfully initiated, every participant makes a normal Attack against each of their downed opponents.

    How is Avatar Tuner Skill acquisition going to be handled? Are you going to include a form of the Mantra/Hunt Skill system, or streamline it to something else?

    Phew... that's a lot more than I thought I had to ask. Hopefully it's constructive.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge View Post
    Umm... let's see...

    Have you considered if you want to include both Garu and Zan skills? I know some people equate them both as Wind, but Zan is usually described as force damage, even if it damage boosters are described as Wind... another call on your part, really.

    Also, some of the levelling and XP system seems odd. Given the source material, I'd have assumed you'd have it go up to level 99. Is the reason to avoid grind at the table (which would, admittedly, be pretty damn dull), or something else? Also, the XP requirements for levelling seem... low.

    Under combat, may also want to note that hitting a target's weakness(es) inflicts the down condition, which I would heartily suggest you include, as it leads to All-Out Attacks, which gives a sense of party co-operation. And since I note that you say you still need to figure out how they operate, a quick suggestion.

    When all of one side in a combat have the down condition, their opponents may elect to perform an All-Out Attack. At least two opponents must elect to perform the All-Out Attack in order for it to take effect, though there is no maximum on the number of participants, nor is it compulsory to perform one - one may always elect to relent from performing an All-Out Attack. If an All-Out Attack is successfully initiated, every participant makes a normal Attack against each of their downed opponents.

    How is Avatar Tuner Skill acquisition going to be handled? Are you going to include a form of the Mantra/Hunt Skill system, or streamline it to something else?

    Phew... that's a lot more than I thought I had to ask. Hopefully it's constructive.
    I was wondering that, too. I'm going to with Garu first and wait to implement force attacks.

    It was another concept from FFd6, but that's precisely why. At first I was thinking about using the 99 cap, but that grind...

    Yeah? I thought it'd pass fast and give a level each session, but no good? Any ideas on what I should do with it?

    That was a toss up I was...tossing around, but I still haven't decided whether to put it in. I know how they work, just not if I should put them in. These look alright, though.

    Avatar Tuners gain Mantras, but Mantras come from levels instead of, say, different enemies. Could be changed, though. I experimented with putting Magitite in the game and having that replace Atma Points, but never found a good way to put it back in.

    Hey, whatever you can lend is never to much.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    One thing, why would anyone want to be a Demon Controller when they could be a Devil Child?
    Last edited by Xegek; 2010-12-05 at 04:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Xegek View Post
    A few things. One, Digitial Devils should probably incorporated somehow. Also, why would anyone want to be a Demon Controller when they could be a Devil Child?
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by Digital Devils. As in the novels?

    An extra demon, an extra turn. Maybe there should be restrictions to make it more viable and the Devil Child less game breaking?

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    I have thoughts for you. First, is it necessary to split Demon General and Devil Child? I'll grant that I haven't played the games that Demon General and Devil Child are from, but just going off the description there, one could essentially be an ability that the other could take to focus on a single demon

    Similarly, I can't help but think the mechanics for an Demon Sponsored and an Avatar Tuner who couldn't leave combat mode would be very similar. Fluff wise they may be different enough, I'm just not sure about them feeling distinct enough.

    Incidentally, is fusion going to be as important in your system as it was in, say, P3 or the Raido games? I'm referring to skill inheritance mostly. If there is no inheritance, that'd likely make the fusion system simpler to design, although that might require a larger number of things to fuse. Conversely, if there is inheritance, I can only see that as something your DM/Storyteller needs to do with you. (For instance, "No, I'm not letting you put Victory Cry on Helel. In fact, no Armageddon for you.")

    As to balancing Summoners vs Enhancers, perhaps a summoned devil of a given level does not do as much damage with a given skill than an enhancer would? Maybe enhancers have higher stats for their level than demons, or can obtain an additional 'Imma Player' bonus to their effectiveness?

    Also, how often do abilities come? 2 at first level is fine, but you need to decide how often they come.

    Oh yes, before I forget, you may want to set down guidelines for demon and persona creation. For instance, something like: Level 1 Demons can have up to two weak skills, 20 stat points to distribute, and 1 point to distribute to resistances.*

    *I'm vaguely envisioning a system where taking resistances costs points, while adding weaknesses can give back points.

    I haven't read whats been said on tvtropes, gonna look there now.


    Edit: By 'Digital Devil', I think he means the Avatar Tuners, perhaps simply not making the connection right away. After all, their game was Digital Devil Saga, right?
    Last edited by Vauron; 2010-12-05 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Vauron View Post
    Similarly, I can't help but think the mechanics for an Demon Sponsored and an Avatar Tuner who couldn't leave combat mode would be very similar. Fluff wise they may be different enough, I'm just not sure about them feeling distinct enough.
    Fluff-wise, they are notably different. Avatar Tuners have a major Hindu/Vedic thing going on, twisted though it is. In the game they come from, they can't learn skills without cannibalising other demons for their Karma and Atma. They're stuck with one affinity, but in time (and with a LOT of grinding) they can theoretically learn every skill in their game.

    The Demi-Fiend just kinda... levels up Magatama parasites to learn abilities. He can swap between Magatama out of combat to change his affinities and such, too. Not as familiar with Nocturne as I am with Digital Devil Saga.

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    I'm fully aware of the fluff differences between Naoki's power and Serph's, its just that I'm not sure the crunch would be different between the two. Fundamentally, outside of it being possible for the enemy to throw an Avatar Tuner into human mode, the main difference I see would be that a Demon Sponsored could change his stats and resistances. From the sound of things the way they would gain skills would be largely the same.


    Edit: Query: Why would any class look overpowering at this point? Never mind the awesome additional plus turn a Demon Controller would have over a Devil Child? More actions tend to be very useful.
    Last edited by Vauron; 2010-12-05 at 05:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Vauron View Post
    I'm fully aware of the fluff differences between Naoki's power and Serph's, its just that I'm not sure the crunch would be different between the two. Fundamentally, outside of it being possible for the enemy to throw an Avatar Tuner into human mode, the main difference I see would be that a Demon Sponsored could change his stats and resistances. From the sound of things the way they would gain skills would be largely the same.
    Point. However, it is worth noting that human form for the Tuners is occasionally quite useful, as their magic resistance rockets whilst they're in it in game at the expense of becoming really vulnerable to guns.

    As it stands, yes, they gain skills a little too similarly. Which is why I'm beginning to think a Mantra system closer to that of the game might be worth considering, even if it'd be a headache to implement - it is basically a second XP bar, after all, and that might be needlessly complicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vauron View Post
    I have thoughts for you. First, is it necessary to split Demon General and Devil Child? I'll grant that I haven't played the games that Demon General and Devil Child are from, but just going off the description there, one could essentially be an ability that the other could take to focus on a single demon

    Similarly, I can't help but think the mechanics for an Demon Sponsored and an Avatar Tuner who couldn't leave combat mode would be very similar. Fluff wise they may be different enough, I'm just not sure about them feeling distinct enough.

    Incidentally, is fusion going to be as important in your system as it was in, say, P3 or the Raido games? I'm referring to skill inheritance mostly. If there is no inheritance, that'd likely make the fusion system simpler to design, although that might require a larger number of things to fuse. Conversely, if there is inheritance, I can only see that as something your DM/Storyteller needs to do with you. (For instance, "No, I'm not letting you put Victory Cry on Helel. In fact, no Armageddon for you.")

    As to balancing Summoners vs Enhancers, perhaps a summoned devil of a given level does not do as much damage with a given skill than an enhancer would? Maybe enhancers have higher stats for their level than demons, or can obtain an additional 'Imma Player' bonus to their effectiveness?

    Also, how often do abilities come? 2 at first level is fine, but you need to decide how often they come.

    Oh yes, before I forget, you may want to set down guidelines for demon and persona creation. For instance, something like: Level 1 Demons can have up to two weak skills, 20 stat points to distribute, and 1 point to distribute to resistances.*

    *I'm vaguely envisioning a system where taking resistances costs points, while adding weaknesses can give back points.

    I haven't read whats been said on tvtropes, gonna look there now.


    Edit: By 'Digital Devil', I think he means the Avatar Tuners, perhaps simply not making the connection right away. After all, their game was Digital Devil Saga, right?
    The difference I'm trying to make is that Devil Children are restricted to one demon, their ally, to enhance and the enhancements are stick until different fusions. Devil Generals can enhance any demon that comes in their roster and the enhancements are mutable. A Devil Child's ally is also going to last the character, from 1 to 30. Demons for the General come and go.

    Really? I'm envisioning them as wildly differently (though it's in my head and I am creating it, so that a pretty big given). Still, this isn't the first time someone brought it up, as there was a project with the same concern. Neccy on the TV Tropes board suggested a time limit, but I'm still kinda iffy about it. I went into the thinking that they were simply a difference of Summoner vs. Enhancer, Demon Sponsored vs. Avatar Tuner, in this case. The Magatama is simply an entire equipment set with a few skills attached; selectable any time out of battle but fixed. The Avatar Tuners give themselves an entire make over, enhancing their stats, taking on natural attacks and armor and having an ever selectable skill set as they go on from their Mantra. Maybe thats still not enough, and if it isn't, I'll try to go for a little more. And hey, if that doesn't tickle 'ya, I'm sure I can work without one.

    This actually one of the aspects I haven't thought out, and I'm kicking myself for it now. I want to say P3 and Raidou and all the other stuff, but maybe I'll do something different. Maybe I'll try another game for fusion. Like you said, Inheritance can cause problems (or at least I think you did...)

    I was actually thinking about a suggestion that the TV Tropes forum gave me: that demons are given less stats to work with than regular characters. What do you guys think?

    Abillities come every 5 levels. It's another FFd6 thing, but I actually think it's a fantastic amount of time for a player to decide what they want to do with their character and enough time to allow for a character to develop.

    That sounds pretty sweet! I'll definitely write it down somewhere!

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Well, if you're going to make Devil Children stuck with their companion demon, what differentiates them from Persona Users?

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Xegek View Post
    Well, if you're going to make Devil Children stuck with their companion demon, what differentiates them from Persona Users?
    I think the only difference would be fluff and the chance of upgrading it when you get over your issues.

    And possibly how you call them into use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otogi View Post
    Really? I'm envisioning them as wildly differently (though it's in my head and I am creating it, so that a pretty big given). Still, this isn't the first time someone brought it up, as there was a project with the same concern. Neccy on the TV Tropes board suggested a time limit, but I'm still kinda iffy about it. I went into the thinking that they were simply a difference of Summoner vs. Enhancer, Demon Sponsored vs. Avatar Tuner, in this case. The Magatama is simply an entire equipment set with a few skills attached; selectable any time out of battle but fixed. The Avatar Tuners give themselves an entire make over, enhancing their stats, taking on natural attacks and armor and having an ever selectable skill set as they go on from their Mantra. Maybe thats still not enough, and if it isn't, I'll try to go for a little more. And hey, if that doesn't tickle 'ya, I'm sure I can work without one.
    Part of my problem with their similarity was having a brain fart and forgetting that the demifiend would be a summoner . I'm not sure how good an idea throwing a time limit on Avatar Tuner's would be. Much of my problem with that is how getting put into human form was essentially a punishment, combat wise, as you lost the effects of all your skills.

    I was actually thinking about a suggestion that the TV Tropes forum gave me: that demons are given less stats to work with than regular characters. What do you guys think?
    Great minds think alike than, while I didn't state it as explicitly as I should have, that was what I was suggesting with my vague suggestion on demon creation. A lower number than the 20 I suggested may be warranted, but those were off the cuff numbers anyway.

    Something to keep in mind: Summoners will have more actions than Enhancers will. For every turn a Persona User has, a Demon Controller will effectively have three. As such, if an Enhancer's damage is on par with a demon of the same level, than they might have trouble competing.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Xegek View Post
    Well, if you're going to make Devil Children stuck with their companion demon, what differentiates them from Persona Users?
    A demon companion is a separate entity, while a persona counts as the same character as the user.

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    In which case, why would you want to play as a Persona User since getting in two actions is better than one?

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    Default Re: Shin Megami Tensei: Clever Title

    Quote Originally Posted by Xegek View Post
    In which case, why would you want to play as a Persona User since getting in two actions is better than one?
    That is a good chunk of the reason that I suggested that Enhancers be more potent than demons. A Demon Controller can essentially cast a buff spell, a healing spell, and attack during their team's turn, while a Persona User has to pick one. Admittedly, with Persona User I am worried about elemental immunities, especially when they paired with physical immunity. In P4 it was only a minor nuisance if you ran into a phys and wind immune monster with Yosuke in your party, but I can't help but think it'd be more of an issue in a role playing game.

    Also, I'm kinda confused with the initiative system, considering the basis in the Press Turn system, I think how it works is that your initiative roll decides who goes first on your team.

    In any case, the first paragraph of the combat post ends in an unfinished sentence:
    "One can gain as many half-turns as they want, but can only accrue one" doesn't make much sense to my mind.
    Last edited by Vauron; 2010-12-05 at 07:02 PM.

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