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Something All My Own

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Post by Celestria on Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:27 pm

Note: This Guide was originally posted on another Site and so some aspects are pertinent only to that site, but the document as a whole is helpful for the creative process and so I'm posting it here.

Something All My Own
A Guide to Customizing the Character Creation Process

In Final Fantasy, of late, there is a great deal of emphasis on customization of character development. Gone, mostly, are the days where a given character was boxed in by their Character Class into a certain path of abilities and only those abilities. Each character had a role in the party and that was all they were really able to do.

Although, if you pay attention, that customization idea existed as far back as FF III with the Job System.

The highest level of customization of each character exists in Final Fantasy X because of the Sphere Grid being continuously linked, and Final Fantasy XII because all characters use the same grid, they just start with certain preferences.

What if, though, you wanted to play a character class that is not on our list? There are lots of them, actually, that we don't include for one reason or another. What if you fell in love with Lulu's dolls and wanted to play a little girl who used her dolls to fight? Technically that would be a Puppetmaster class, but Puppetmaster isn't one of the classes on the list that we use, which is why I'm using it for this example.

Are we going to tell you that you're out of luck?

Heck no! We'll applaud your creativity and start suggesting ways to make it work.

There are several paths that you can follow in creating your Enfant Terrible Dollmaster (or Little Miss Badass Dollmaster, or Badass Adorable Dollmaster, your preferences may vary depending on how sincere you want the little one to be with the cute factor or how sinister).

Summoner, naturally, is going to be a good choice because of the Summoning and how it can be used to provide animation and strength to an otherwise harmless doll. Beastmaster is less ideal for dolls unless you want to approach them as being perpetually animated and thus closer to being Pets than toys. One of the Mage Classes would be excellent because the Spellcasting can be infinitely customized in terms of just what a spell looks like. Pictomancer is a bit twitchy because that's designed more around drawing what it is that you're going to do and then unleashing the animated picture on your opponents (though that is another good one for adorable little girls to use to completely kick people around). My actual best suggestion for this one, because it's actually neutral as far as sincere/sinister goes, is Summoner/ Black Mage or Black Mage/ Summoner (although either option in conjunction with any form of magic could be intriguing. Summoner/White Mage with using the Dolls to heal could be interesting too). There really is no difference between the two in relation to the actual abilities involved, so take your preference between the two Class Abilities and go with that one. (Note: Summoner's Chant ability could come in VERY handy.)

A Summoner/Black Mage is going to need a High Magic score as well as a High Evasion and a High Magic Defense. The key is to avoid getting hit. So on the 65 point build I mentioned in an earlier guide, the stats would likely look like this.

Str: 5 Def: 5 Mag: 15 MDef: 15 Agi: 5 Eva: 15 Acc: 5 (Luck: 15)

Ordinarily a Summoner would have higher combat stats than that, but this particular build has the character as being immature physically so her stats are going to be limited to just that 65 point build. A more physically mature Summoner would likely have at least a 10 in Strength but would not likely go higher than that.

(Or equip her with a Racket. One of the Effects of a Racket is that it attacks from a distance using the wielder's Magic score instead of their Strength score. Real useful for those Mage Classes who wanna get personally involved in the fight. Mairi-chan has a Wok that can do both.)

Now, the secret to playing your Puppetmaster is to stop thinking of the Dolls as only weapons or only Summons. They can be literally anything that you can create.

A Doll could be, for example, a Swarm Summon of small dolls that have the ability to join together to make a big one, maybe 5 dolls, one for each leg, one for each arm, and one for the body and head. (If you think I'm joking, there's a boss fight in FF IV against just such a Puppetmaster.) The MP value of the Summon is related to the Tier strength and standard spell cost for any abilities you want for the Summon and the actual strength in battle is related to the strength of your little girl's Magic score.

Or maybe she uses her Summoning to call a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man of a Summon. Who knows? The possibilities are endless, just stay reasonable with variety in a single example and MP cost.

A Doll can be a Weapon, either in the form of an animated doll that runs up and hits your opponents for you, or as an aid in spellcasting, just like Lulu's dolls.

A Doll can be Armor, such as a pseudo "mecha" suit that the little girl can climb into if she wants to fight alongside her friends. In that case I would suggest having an Effect of the suit being a bonus to Strength and Defense

A Doll can be a Spell, and it's dependant on the actual description of the casting process. You want to cast Fire? In the description say that one of the dolls runs up towards the opponent and leaps into the air, opening its mouth and spitting out a burst of flame before running back and leaping into the little girl's arms. Or, she calls on one of her dolls, it appears carrying a round ball with sparkles coming off the end, the doll runs towards the opponent and leaps into the air and then explodes into flame. It's up to you. The doll is the vehicle of the spell, part of the description. It doesn't matter if the doll doesn't exist outside of the spell.

A Doll can be an Enchantment. Ever seen one of those Keychain plushies? Or one of those coin purses made to look like a doll with a zipper in the back? A tiny doll can hang from a loop on her belt and provide some ability boost or some magical enhancement.

A Doll can be a Party Member, especially in the case of Automatons or other manufacted persons who have gained self-awareness.

A Doll can be a Pet, if it has gained some sense of independent thought but is still weaker than an actual Party Member.

A Doll can be a Mount, if it's big and somewhat mechanized . . . or not.

The possibilities are literally endless if you have the ability to look at things from a different angle. There is no one way to do anything. It's a matter of deciding what you really want and finding ways to make it work.

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