So for past 18 months or so, I've been brainstorming a game that in many ways is a tribute to Bandai Namco's Tales of series (I've been a fan for more than 4 years). Inspiration Since there is a lot of games and other types of entertainment focused on mythologies such as Norse (probably the most popular one), Greek/Roman, Japanese, (Ancient) Egyptian, and quite a lot more, there's a real lack of fantasy (and not fantasy) settings that use Slavic mythology. While there's not a whole lot of records regarding Slavic mythology and various sources sometimes have different "takes" on various things, I think it's worth investigating and expanding, while also putting a bit of my own spin to it. Characteristic Genre A tale to define yourselfYep, I'm taking a lot of things from the Tales of series, including a characteristic genre. While a lot of stories deal with such a theme, I hope my story will put a bit of spin on it: each character (player and antagonist alike) leads a life in which they have a various level of comfort, but due to many events that transpire they grow desperate to retain it (their way of life) or change it. Setting The story is set mainly on the continent of Surav (it is a really large piece of land, believe me) that has a variety of climes (think of Tales of Xillia's Rieze Maxia). The continent is under the control of the Kingdom of Radegast, led by King Krakus, and has enjoyed a relative peace for nearly a thousand years, but recently diabolhim started to wreak havoc all across the land. Pressured by the populace to resolve the situation, he summons his daughter back to the capital and with her help wishes to quell people's fears. Terms Diabolhim – monsters that prawl the land. No one knows where they originate from. Heralds – people able to hear Fonics. They are highly regarded in the community and are often sought after for advice. Fonics – the blessing of the Planet, they are her thoughts carried by avatars from deep within her. Avatars – the messengers of the Planet, avatars are powerful aiding spirits governing the elements of the land. Monastery – an independent organization that mainly gathers Heralds. Non-Heralds also join the Monastery to learn healing fortes and in doing so aiding the populace. Characters The player party consists of eight people, including: Arina (the main protagonist), a 24-year-old woman who leads her life as a non-union mercenary. A chance encounter leaves her with little choice, but to be thrusted into a spiral of events beyond control of a mere mortal. Her weapon of choice is spear. Kresnik, a middle-aged man with an air of mystery around him, he is a self-proclaimed "diabol hunter". Even though he travels all over the continent, his social skills leave much to improve. His weapon of choice is scythe. Egon, a 16-year-old young man who is a member of the Monastery whose skills are recognized all over the land. However, due to the way he joined the organization has left him bitter, despite his outward collected appearance. His weapon of choice is mace. Yurand, a 26-year-old man who is a member of Heraldsward, a special military unit within the army of Radegast charged with protection of the Princess. His dedication to the cause is serious to a fault, resulting in him being often picked by others. His weapon of choice is sword. Dobrava, a 19-year-old young woman, she is a Princess and a Herald. Since she was young and her powers discovered she has led a very sheltered and lonely life, yet she still hopes that things will change for her. Her weapon of choice is book. Gameplay Combat I'm planning to use Theo Allen's sideview battle system. Skills are known as "fortes" and are divided into following types: Martial fortes – abilities performed instantly while using weapons as catalyst. Damage is calculated with user's M.ATK and target's M.DEF. Hybrid fortes – abilities performed instantly using weapons enhanced with elemental properties as catalyst. Damage is calculated with the user's average of M.ATK and F.ATK and target's average of M.DEF and F.DEF. Clime fortes – delayed abilities that carry a variety of properties performed with the use of Climes. Effectiveness is calculated with the user's F.ATK and target's F.DEF. Excel fortes – powerful abilities that carry a variety of tide-turning effects. Some characters have other skillsets, but they related to story. Generally, each playable character have 29 fortes counting all abilities from all skillsets, yet I'm not sure if that's too many. I'm considering to put a spin on martial fortes at least by giving them "extensions", meaning one martial forte with chain into another martial when certain requirements are met. Requests Since Arina is a non-union mercenary she will be able to accept requests at inns, taverns, or such. I'm hoping to have a bit of variety of quests aside of monster killing and item finding (the recently released Ys: Memories of Celceta on Steam has some pretty nice quest variations which I'm definitely going to use). Exploration Since I'm a really big fan of Tales of Berseria I'm considering to have several smaller maps to represent a whole area than relying on an old-school world map. Of course, with a big world there'd be options to travel between areas without wasting time when one wants to go to a very distant place that was once visited when the story would require it. Camping To give a bit more realism to the game I'm going to handle field saving using camping. Dungeons and outdoor, open areas will have fireplaces around which you can erect a camp and not only save your progress, but also recover you HP and FP (the game's MP), and interact with your party. Maybe I should add some camp cooking as well for even more variety. ---- I'm still debating on how to best start the story, I'd rather have an opening that will "hook" a player to the story with a "bit" of action than start slowly with some calmness or something. For now I have two ideas: Start with short "childhood arc" that explains some things on what resulted in her becoming a mercenary. However, considering how I loathe the childhood arc in Tales of Graces f, I think I'll pass on this. Start at the first dungeon, however it wouldn't be an action-packed opening or anything like that, you team up with a certain character mid-dungeon, fight the boss together, he then disappears, and Arina goes back to the village where she got the diabol extermination assignment, and from that the plot continues. I hope to hear some advice/input from you all. Also, I haven't posted everything I have planned so far; wouldn't put too many spoilers.