Job/Class System?

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Job/Class System?

Post by WarriorOfLight »

I've been kind of mulling over this a while, and I was wondering what people's thoughts were about it. OVA is a wonderful system that has an extremely large amount of potential for lots of things, but I have a couple friends that are very interested in doing something similar to FFT's system mechanically. For those who are not familiar: Final Fantasy Tactics has a very robust Job System that allows people to essentially make almost anything they like, provided they take the time to learn it a few examples is a Knight who knows White Magic, a duel wielding thief, a monk who could teleport instead of walking...the list can go on.

I had an idea regarding on how that could possibly be done, yet my experience with OVA as a system is as of yet untested, but I'm finding it to be an interesting thought experiment simply because it lets me understand the guts of OVA and how it works.

My idea is simply like FFT, where using a class earned you job points to level up to offer more proficiency/skills/whatever. (I'm not worried about the in-universe reason at present, simply if it is mechanically possible). These job classes would simply be templates of abilities/weaknesses and skills that are added as the job is leveled up and similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, if the character decides to switch jobs, the obtained information is possible to be used outside of that class so long as it is 'equipped'.

In FFT, you had your class ability (Which could be White Magic, Black Magic, or some kind of physical thing that gave you a list of options), a spot for a second class ability, a 'reaction' ability that is usually something like a counter, a parry, or an auto heal. A support ability which could be something like equipping axes, a defend command or something similiar and a movement ability. (Note that I'm probably not USING all of these, but I'm explaining the basic idea). So players would have minimal room to use absolutely everything, they would have to choose what they want.

My first problem? Character creation. Assuming I go with Job Points for upgrading and improving the job, (which isn't so much of a big deal, just a lot of writing down and balancing to make sure it works), there would of course be inherent (no doubt some custom) flaws to balance out the job, which could be battle oriented or socially oriented, or possibly both. I personally don't see any real issues with this per-se, provided that the job classes are the things that offer the combat utility and the characters themselves have all the social abilities and flaws. But what I was thinking was starting them with a set amount of job class points that certain background advantages or disadvantages could give them. Say, starting off poor could give them a lot of social disadvantages in certain situations or outcomes, but allow them cheaper access to certain classes, equally costly 'nobility' advantage would cheapen the cost for starting out as a knight, and other backgrounds could simply give first access to that job.

I am not immediately concerned with scale of how OVA works, I find that it's dice system is one of my favorite, and if I truly need to get out the 'epic boss fight' stuff, I'd potentially offer scale dice to give the feeling of fighting something larger than life, but that's way down the line, I feel.

My second concern is simply balance, and options. Would having a large array of options in templates and eventually overpower the game? In one way, that is most definitively the spirit of FFT, as leveling up in that game made things absolutely bonkers in random encounters and pure utility with what you could do, but could it be too much where even challenging fights are ruined by simply giving them that mechanical freedom? I don't think it's an incredibly massive issue, due to how OVA manages unique combat abilities with it's endurance system, but coming from a JRPG background, I wonder if it can mesh properly.

My third concern is leveling the job classes, how far would be too far? Would it not matter provided the abilities are properly balanced, and 'late game' abilities offer a positive benefit or utility as a way of rewarding the player for sticking with a certain class so far, when you could simply hop around and make whatever you wanted?

I'm interested in hearing what you guys think, because this has been rattling around my head a while.
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Re: Job/Class System?

Post by sniffycrab »

Don't do it. Seriously.

OVA is a statistic Light System and FFT is a statistic heavy system ran by a computer. As is right now in OVA any character can learn any ability and level up that ability by spending 2 XP per level. They can also buy off any weakness at 2 XP per level. You usually only get 1 to 3 XP per session.

Now their is heroic leveling which is 1 xp per level and slow leveling which is 3 xp per level. You could make it a Job levels faster with one ability but slower with other abilities. But players would just switch jobs every time they wanted to level a specific ability. My suggestion is run OVA as is and try to capture the FFT setting instead of mechanics.
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Re: Job/Class System?

Post by MarthWMaster »

I feel as though a setting like FFT's (or one designed to evoke the same feeling) depends on the existence of a Job System. It's just tol intrinsic to do without. Though I agree that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for this to work properly through OVA without overhauling a lot. OVA is designed so that you can choose exactly what Abilities your character should have, whereas FFT does the opposite, deliberately restricting your options while allowing for "earned" customization.
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Re: Job/Class System?

Post by Clay »

Actually, I think it’s very doable, you’ll just need abstract the concept somewhat. Having the granularity of 99 Levels or 300 Job Points goes against the grain of OVA a bit.

If you want to make it very simple, just create a special Job Ability, and then define what benefit each Level of that Job provides.

Fighter +1 may include Strong +1 and Tough +1. Fighter +2 might add on Evasive +1 and increase Tough to +2. And so on. For balance purposes, just assign a number of points to each Job Level and make sure every Job uses the same number.

If you want to treat it more like Final Fantasy Tactics, you’ll need to create little packages of Abilities that you can buy with Experience Points. For example, Move Up might cost 1 XP and includes Quick +1. Firaga might cost 3 XP and nets you an Attack +3 with various fiery Perks and Flaws.

Either way, as long as everyone has access to similarly powerful Jobs/Abilities and XP, balance should at least be mostly okay.

...arguably grossly unbalanced jobs would be MORE like FFT, though!
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Re: Job/Class System?

Post by Chris Brady »

I've been kicking around creating an FF styled game, where the players pick a 'Job' like Dragoon or Dark Knight and White Mage, and they make their characters the Job they want to play.
"And now my friends, a Dragon's Toast! To life's little blessings; wars, plagues and all forms of evil. Their presence keeps us alert-- And their absence keeps us grateful!" - T.A. Barron
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