How Do You Design Your "Ultimates"?

KoldBlood

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I think my Crest system from my current project falls under the "Ultimate" category. Although it functioned as an entire extra layer of customization that tied battles, equipment, lore, and exploration into one neat package. Due to issues I won't go into here I ended up having to cut the system from my project but maybe it'll be used in a future project or added back in if I can iron out the issues.

So basically I took the idea of having "Ultimate" skills and tied it to a unique equipment I called "Crests". I'll just go ahead and apologize upfront for the long winded post that will likely follow but I think this system really only shines when all of the pieces are laid out.


Mechanics:
Within the game there are many Crests that the player can find and use and each one is unique with only a single copy in the entire game so you can't stack or give the same one to every party member.

Each crest provides a simple passive bonus like: Attack up, Evade Up, Elemental Resistance, etc. but the real power of a crest comes from its Crest Skills. Crests can have anywhere from 2 to 4 unique "Ultimate Skills" tied to it.

To control how often the player can trigger these powerful skills "Crest Power" (CP) was implemented separate from MP with each skill requiring an amount of CP reflective of the power of the skill being used. If a skill is extremely powerful expect to spend most if not all of your CP while weaker skills could be used much more frequently. CP slowly regenerates naturally per turn but a character also gains CP when they hit an enemy, take damage, or defeat an enemy. CP was also carried over after battle so you could save it for when the time is right or for a boss battle.

Another limiting factor was that Crest Skills could only be used when equipped to a character via a special piece of equipment called a "Crest Bracelet". Each bracelet was also unique providing not only a small parameter boost but also unique features. One bracelet might be able to equip many crests but might have a slow CP regen or a higher CP cost. Maybe you pick a bracelet that only allows a single Crest but might have a higher Max CP or lower CP cost. You could have a bracelet that is middle of the road and more balanced but didn't preserve CP after battle. Whatever the player chooses the bracelet is a key piece that controls how a character's CP is handled and how many crests can be used at a time.


Finding Crests:
Crest are not sold in shops; the only way to acquire them is through optional Crest Dungeons hidden around the world. These dungeons are typically off the beaten path and usually require the player to find the key to the open the dungeon either by finding it through exploration of the surrounding area or by completing a nearby side quest (both of which can be done in reverse order to clue the player in that there is even a dungeon in the area in the first place).

Crest Dungeons are more difficult than the story quests in their respective areas and they culminate in a boss battle that will reward the player with the Crest of that dungeon. Except for a single story related quest Crests and Crest Dungeons are a completely optional part of the game that players can safely ignore but they provide powerful rewards to the players who explore the game world and are willing to complete the challenges within.


Crest Skills "Ultimate Skills":
Finally, some examples of the skills you could gain from Crests. None of them are revolutionary (I know) but combined with the other mechanics I mentioned you could setup some interesting trump card "decks" that could help round out a character's class and/or give them some powerful options for when a situation called for it. Or, you know, you could just do a whole bunch of damage to everything on screen because that's always fun. :p
  • Dragon Storm: High damage physical attack, hits all enemies (Basic ultimate move)
  • Lucky Day: User's MP Cost is halved for battle
  • Mana Rush: User recovers 100% MP
  • Lucky Shield: User resists all States for several turns (Except KO)
  • Multi-Strike: User's normal attack hits 3 times for a couple turns
  • Pegasus Light: Revives all allies and Restore 100% HP
  • Aegis: User takes reduced damage for couple turns
  • Venom Rain: Poison all enemies (100% success)
  • Bloodlust: User's attacks heal HP for half damage dealt
  • Final Stand: User resists KO for a short time
  • Time Out: Stun all enemies for 1 turn (100% success)
  • Once Again: User can take two actions per turn for a short time
  • It keeps going but you get the idea...

Well that's my take on it. I apologize if I went too far off topic but I felt like my "Ultimate" skills seem kind of lack luster without the proper context of the rest of the game (mechanics, exploration, equipment, lore, etc.). Its more about how everything works together to give it some flare and ties the skills in not only to the combat but also the exploration and equipment management as well as the actual story and world lore.
 

Tai_MT

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Like @Wavelength mentioned, my "Ultimates" are implemented in the same vein. I wouldn't really call it a "thesis". It's more "extension of their kit" or "extreme expression of their kit". That is, my Ultimates do what the kit of the character does... except as a "one time pop off" to effectively attempt to end battles instantly. The added caveat is that you can't "grind out the TP before a boss fight" as TP doesn't save between fights and you'd have to put on equipment that allows you to preserve your TP in order to save them for the bosses.

The intended purpose (save for one character) is that these skills are used to end fights that have gone on a while... or are VERY dangerous encounters. If you build up to the required TP in the middle of the fight, you deserve to drop it and reap the extensive reward for what it does.

I wanted to avoid the "But, I might need it later" syndrome many players have for their "Limit Breaks" where they just bank them for boss fights. I wanted them to earn it during the boss fight and then drop it IMMEDIATELY as they got it, because the rest of combat just doesn't allow for easy or quick building of TP to use them.

Please also keep in mind that my skills "Tier Up" according to how the player wants to use them. For the purposes of this discussion I will not be listing all 10 variations of the same "Ultimate", but merely the four "ending options" of it.

To that end, here are the examples:

Elemental Chaos
1. 100 TP Cost, MAT + 110, 80% Chance L4 States, Stun, Paralyze, Confuse, Charm
2. 100 TP Cost, MAT + 120, 75% Chance L3 States, Stun, Confuse
3. 100 TP Cost, MAT + 130, 75% Chance L2 States, Stun, Confuse
4. 100 TP Cost, MAT + 140, 80% Chance L1 States, Stun, Confuse

Please note for this example, the Level States" are Tiered states. Some of them have "levels" of effectiveness. Poison, Burn, Blind, Sleep, etcetera. These states can "stack". That is, you can be inflicted with Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 versions of Poison all at the same time. The states in question are only inflicted at the level shown (you don't get all the versions).

The skill is effectively "Bad Breath" from Final Fantasy (if you've played that series) and inflicts every state possible onto an enemy (unless they are immune). There is also a 20%-25% chance that a state won't be inflicted on an enemy while many others are.

What isn't shown here is that the spell has "no element", which means it works on everything regardless of weaknesses/resistances. The 30 points of extra damage here are also quite valuable (from the jump of the first one on the list to the last one). The reason they are valuable is because each point of damage can be used to bypass defenses or even used to inflict more damage that will shave turns off the fight.

Death Blade
1. 40 TP Cost, Use With Falchion, MAT + 100, Zombie 30% Chance, Shattered Magic 80% Chance
2. 43 TP Cost, Use With Falchion, ATK + MAT + 55, Zombie 20% Chance, Weakness To Death 50% Chance
3. 47 TP Cost, Use With Falchion/Halberd, ATK + MAT + 55, Zombie 10% Chance, Weakness To Death 80% Chance
4. 50 TP Cost, Use With Falchion/Halberd, ATK + 100, Weakness To Death 80% Chance, Shattered Magic Defense 80% Chance

This skill (and the two after) are on a "Magic Knight". This is one of 3 possibilities for an "Ultimate" this character receives later in the game. The idea behind their kit is that they are "of two worlds". They could be a physical hitter or a magic spammer. Or, somewhere in between. At one end of the spectrum here, we have "Magic Attack" type skills that are really cheap in terms of TP Cost. At the other end, we have "Physical Attack" type skills that are expensive in terms of TP Cost. The Physical Attack type skills offer the most versatility. But, the Magic Attack type skills offer more opportunities to inflict states or maximize damage output of using the skill several times in a row.

For reference, "Shattered Magic" basically just halves the Magic Stat of an enemy for 3 turns (the attacking skill, not the defensive skill). "Shattered Magic Defense" halves the Magic Defense stat for 3 turns. "Weakness to Death" is just a weakness to the "Death" element, which for all intents and purposes qualifies as "Darkness" or "Evil" or whatever in most other RPG's.

Thorn Spear
1. 40 TP Cost, Use With Halberd, MAT + 100, L4 Poison 50% Chance, Shattered Speed 80% Chance
2. 43 TP Cost, Use With Halberd, ATK + MAT + 55, L3 Poison 25% Chance, Weakness To Nature 50% Chance
3. 47 TP Cost, Use With Halberd/Great Axe, ATK + MAT + 55, L2 Poison 25% Chance, Weakness To Nature 80% Chance
4. T0 RP Cost, Use With Halberd/Great Axe, ATK + 100, Weakness To Nature 80% Chance, Shattered Reflex 80% Chance

You'll notice this skill follows a similar format to the previous one. It inflicts "Nature" damage which is effectively "typeless" for the purposes of my game (few monsters have resistance to it, but skills that use it are in VERY short supply. Only a rare few monsters are even weak to Nature). Basically, it's a sort of "guaranteed damage type". Instead of inflicting "Zombie" (which works exactly like a zombie plague in Romero films), it instead inflicts "Poison", which can deplete HP at a pretty quick rate.

Now "Shattered Speed" in this instance halves the "Agility" stat of enemies for 3 turns. "Shattered Reflex" halves the "Luck" stat for 3 turns (which is also a separate defensive stat against skills that use "Agility" to deal damage). "Weakness to Nature" in this instance basically can guarantee an enemy is weak to Nature attacks so you can use them next turn.

Life Strike
1. 40 TP Cost, Use With Greataxe, MAT + 100, Potential Limiter 30% Chance, Shattered Attack 80% Chance
2. 43 TP Cost, Use With Greataxe, ATK + MAT + 55, Potential Limiter 20% Chance, Weakness To Life 50% Chance
3. 47 TP Cost, Use With Greataxe/Falchion, ATK + MAT + 55, Potential Limiter 10% Chance, Weakness To Life 80% Chance
4. 50 TP Cost, Use With Greataxe/Falchion, ATK + 100, Weakness To Life 80% Chance, Shattered Defense 80% Chance

You may have noticed by now that the "Physical" attacks extend usage to another weapon type that can use the skill. If you want to open up as many skills to your specific weapon type as possible, you will use this to your advantage. If you don't care, then you'll swap out to specific weapons for each dungeon you go into.

"Shattered Attack" halves enemy "Attack" stat for 3 turns. "Shattered Defense" halves enemy Defense for 3 turns. "Life" is an element akin to "Holy" or "Light" type elements in other RPG's. "Potential Limiter" is basically just "Silence".

The point of these skills is to be used "semi-regularly" to create openings for the party as well as temporarily maximize damage output for the entire party. This is the kit for this particular character.

Siege Breaker
1. 100 TP Cost, (DEF - ATK) x4.5, Three Random Targets.
2. 95 TP Cost, (DEF - ATK) x5, Two Random Targets.
3. 90 TP Cost, (DEF - ATK) x5.5, Single Random Target.
4. 85 TP Cost, (DEF - ATK) x6, Single Target.

This is straightforward. Character kit focuses on maximizing "Defense". This skill turns that "Defense" into an attack. An attack that can and usually does kill enemies it touches. Here's the difference though. You can hit 3 random targets, which may hit a boss, but not kill it, or you can hit a single target, that you choose (which could be the boss) for an insane amount of damage and probably kill it outright. Your focus is whether you want to kill a lot of mooks or the big boss.

Backstab
1. 100 TP Cost, RFX + 110, 4 Random Targets
2. 100 TP Cost, RFX + 137, 3 Random Targets
3. 100 TP Cost, RFX + 191, 2 Random Targets
4. 100 TP Cost, RFX + 352, 1 Random Target

Simple damage skill. That's sort of the kit with this character. Just DPS. "RFX" is "Luck". Which, in this case, is used as a "defensive stat". The character can specialize in using "Agility" equipment to maximize output of those skills or in "Luck" equipment to maximize output of those skills. Targets are always random for this skill, so the player must carefully "curate" the battlefield to guarantee who takes which hits. By the point in the game you get this character, most fights are 6-8 enemy affairs.

Cleave
1. 100 TP Cost, ATK + 110, Requires Battle Axe, 10% Chance to Inflict Death.
2. 100 TP Cost, ATK + 120, Requires Battle Axe, 9% Chance to Inflict Death.
3. 100 TP Cost, ATK + 130, Requires Battle Axe, 8% Chance to Inflict Death.
4. 100 TP Cost, ATK + 140, Requires Battle Axe, 7% Chance to Inflict Death.

This character's kit is all about "taking chances". Almost every skill they have has you "playing the odds" to some degree or at least "improving your odds". In this case, you can see the dilemma. Do you want to guarantee a ton of damage... or do you want to have a 1/10 chance to kill any enemy in the entire game? Do you gamble with your shot? I mean, you could 1-shot the entire big bad boss of the entire game! Or... maybe you don't. Maybe you do paltry damage. But, what's the difference between 9% and 10% anyway? Is there REALLY a difference? I mean... maybe? Are you a gambler? Does that 1% make a difference to you? Or, do you prefer not to roll the dice and 7% is the same as 10% for you and you just want to inflict as much damage as possible while maybe sometimes getting a random kill you didn't plan for?

Well, that's this skill. Gamble if you want. Or, bet on the sure thing.

Breath of Life
1. 100 TP Cost, Revives Whole Party From Death, 5 Turn Resist Death.
2. 100 TP Cost, Revives Single Ally From Death, 4 Turn Resist Death, Pharmacology Up 25% For 3 Turns.
3. 100 TP Cost, Revives Single Ally From Death, 3 Turn Resist Death, Pharmacology Up 50% For 3 Turns.
4. 100 TP Cost, Revives Single Ally From Death, Pharmacology Up 75% For 3 Turns.

Dire need skill. No other way to revive your party without consumables except this skill. But, it costs so much! What's the usage of it, anyway? When would you ever need it? Maybe you won't. But, your choices are to be able to revive everyone in the party at once, or get some bonus to your "Pharmacology", which essentially makes healing items the newly alive person uses far better. The "Resist Death" thing is nice too, which means for a few turns, that character can't be killed again, even if HP reaches 0.

That's part of this character's kit. Buffs. Resists.

Maybe you want to use the skill strategically too? Let your party members die so you can revive them and have them use the Pharmacology buff to maximum effect? A 100 HP Healing Potion will suddenly heal 175 HP!

Full Bloom
1. 100 TP, All enemies, Nature Element, MAG + PP + 70, 55% Chance For Tangled.
2. 100 TP, All enemies, Nature Element, MAG + PP + 80, 50% Chance For Tangled.
3. 100 TP, All enemies, Nature Element, MAG + PP + 90, 45% Chance For Tangled.
4. 100 TP, All enemies, Nature Element, MAG + PP + 100, 40% Chance For Tangled.

This character's kit is basically all about "HP/MP Manipulation". They only have 1 skill that does "normal" type damage to HP. Everything else is some form of gimmick that attacks HP or MP. Likewise, they are the only "Nature" element user in the entire game. This skill focuses on utilizing the maximum potential of the character as a "mage" to output a ton of damage and then "disable" the character. "Tangled" works like Stun or Paralyze with a few caveats (which I won't go into). The more MP this character has (PP is MP in my game) when the skill is cast, the more damage can be dealt. As such, this character can "bypass" traditional damage rules. That is, any normal stat tops out at 999. MP doesn't. It goes higher.

Built properly, this character can, for the price of 100 TP, clear an entire battlefield of every enemy on it in a single action.

Or, at the very least, disable everyone on it (nobody is immune to Tangled) if you don't have all that much MP to use. Well, you get good odds for disabling everyone on usage.

Basically, it's broken. Stupidly broken if you know what you're doing. The only limiting factor is gathering that TP.

Necrotic Potential
1. 100 RP Cost, Death Damage, Enemy PP - Enemy MDF * 4.5, Four Random Targets.
2. 100 RP Cost, Death Damage, Enemy PP - Enemy MDF * 5, Three Random Targets.
3. 100 RP Cost, Death Damage, Enemy PP - Enemy MDF * 5.5, Two Random Targets.
4. 100 RP Cost, Death Damage, Enemy PP - Enemy MDF * 6, Single Target.

The kit for this character is basically "Mage Killing". Almost everything in it is designed to keep mages from being effective, killing them outright, or turning them into stupid berserkers who deal low damage instead of casting spells.

This spell, in particular, just uses the current MP of the enemies against them in order to inflict a ton of damage. It's not really effective against anything without a large magic pool to draw from. Which means, mages. This also means that you'll probably kill almost any mage outright. It can be tailored to take out squads of mages or a single mage threat.

---

So... yeah. That's what I got. I left out my character who uses TP for basically every skill because their kit is "gathering and using TP constantly and being powerful as a result". Their skills are basically designed to sort of mesh with the skills of some of the other characters. As such, they have no "Ultimate". Just a series of Ultimates that you need to use in proper context.
 

Frostorm

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@Tai_MT Just for clarification, the 4 versions for each of those skills are "sidegrades" right? As in they aren't successive ranks of the same skill, or are they? Cuz they look like tradeoffs to me, like stronger dmg w/ weaker side effects or vise versa. If I remember correctly, you used a branching skill learn system, right?
 

Reinarc

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The idea I’m working with right now is that my characters ultimates are tied to TP (renamed FP). Each character gains 1 FP per turn, but will lose 1 FP when attacked.

Once all 4 members have 10 FP, they can channel all 40 FP into one character's ultimate. These range from high damage to powerful support abilities. FP resets to 0 after battle, so it can’t be hoarded.

My goal was to encourage strategic play. If you want to get enough FP, you’ll have to come up with a strategy. There are plenty of skills and items to manipulate FP to play with.

The ultimates themselves are very powerful (in my opinion) such as a poison that can chunk off 20% of a boss’s hp or the ability to taunt and counterattack all spells/attacks for 5 turns. But I’ve yet to be able to get off more than one ultimate in a battle.
 

Tai_MT

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@Tai_MT Just for clarification, the 4 versions for each of those skills are "sidegrades" right? As in they aren't successive ranks of the same skill, or are they? Cuz they look like tradeoffs to me, like stronger dmg w/ weaker side effects or vise versa. If I remember correctly, you used a branching skill learn system, right?

Yes and no. Each "Tier" is an upgrade. Skills start at Tier 1, and each one has 3 upgrades to find. You decide at each Tier what you want. In the example of "Fire", you would pick between "Damage" and "Effect". Effect would upgrade Level 1 burn to Level 2 and provide a slight and minor boost to actually burning the enemy. Picking "Damage" would bump the bonus damage from +10 to +30. You do not tend to "lose" the previous version upgrade bonuses of the skill either. So, you would have a slight bump to how often you would inflict "Burn level 1" if you went "Damage", and you'd get a slight bump in damage if you went "Effect" from +10 to +20.

Current Tier->Upgrade to next version
1->2 or 3
2->4 or 5
3->5 or 6
4->7 or 8
5->8 or 9
6->9 or 10

If at any point you end up picking 5, you're locked into one of the "middle options". That is, option 2 or 3 as presented in the previous post. The "middle options" are a mixture of both extremes. Not good at either one, but an emphasis on trying to pool some of both of their power.

A better visualization might be this:

...............1...............
............./...\............
............2...3............
........../...\/...\..........
........4....5....6.........
....../...\./...\./...\......
....7.....8.....9....10....

Because the upgrade system works this way, the player isn't likely to see which versions of the skills are the "best" unless they spend a lot of time savescumming (and there's 1 upgrade for each skill per "chapter" with 4 chapters... so... you'll be waiting a long time between your saves to see what is and is not better). The player is meant to be picking the option that "tailors" to their particular playstyle or party synergy. The player would never really know whether Option 7 is more powerful than Option 10 unless they were to see them side-by-side. Likewise, the players never see the "bonus damage" they get. They only know a "general" amount of damage that would be done (Minor, Medium, Major, Severe).

The final versions of each of my "Ultimates" is basically powerful in their own way with slight variations on doing what is essentially the "same job". Though, the drastic difference between other ends of the spectrum can completely alter the party dynamic or synergy across multiple skills.
 

ave36

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Limit Breaks in Legend of Terra Firma are dependent on the characters and their classes. For example, Mira is a Paladin, her Limit Breaks are pretty normal sword slash attacks. Oscar is a Black Knight, his Limit Breaks are sword attacks "with a price" that somehow harm the user as well, for example, inflict damage or status effects. Krible is a mage/gambler, his Limit Breaks are spell-like, styled around playing cards and are used randomly. Melle is a White Mage, her limit breaks are sort of like Aerith's in FF7, they deal no damage but have powerful support abilities. Solomon is a Scientist, his limit breaks revolve around summoning machines and contraptions.
 

AbstractMan

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I don't really use ultimates in a traditional sense in my game. The move set a player can initially have are based on a weapon specialization, each of which promote a different style of game play. Each move promoted to have a use and situation to support it.

Now, some weapons do have what I call AP dumps which could be called ultimates. These are skills meant to be for those who save a large amount of AP points. ( you gain two a turn and cab pool up to 20)

One I have I particular is called "AAAUUUHHH!!!" Which is an SMG move that costs a load of AP but it let's you unload the rest of your clip in a single turn. This in reality Is a bunch of regular attacks all rolled into one turn

Another I would consider ultimate would be a rifle skill called "Lethal shot" which doubles your next basic free actions damage. As HP is relatively low in my game this will usually kill a target in one shot. These are not terribly complex but they work well for the tactics battle system I am using.
 

Wavelength

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Another I would consider ultimate would be a rifle skill called "Lethal shot" which doubles your next basic free actions damage. As HP is relatively low in my game this will usually kill a target in one shot. These are not terribly complex but they work well for the tactics battle system I am using.
Just curious what the point of using Lethal Shot to double your next free action's damage would be (especially if Lethal Shot costs MP/TP, but even if it doesn't). After all, wouldn't it be just as good to use your basic free action two turns in a row instead?

Or does Lethal Shot not take a turn to use in the first place?
 

Meowsticks

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My idea for "Ultimates" are closely tied to the idea of Celestial Weapons on FFX (which a lot of things are taken from because I LOVE Final Fantasy X with a passion). I'm going to refer to my method for designing this in reference to my own game...because that's the only thing I have to compare it to.

Skills are attached to weapons, so the two go hand-in-hand, an "Ultimate Weapon" will have the "Ultimate Skill" but much like FFX I don't call them that, I call them "Elemental Weapons". In my game, the Elements (Fire, Ice, Water, Lighting, etc) aren't used by everyday people, but I wanted to have a way to let all of the characters use them somewhat because only have one/two charactesr use them gets old at the end of the game. Thus, the idea of "ultimate" elemental weapons was born.

Essentially, each character has their own weapon that comes from one of the elements. The skills on these weapons will generally be some of the best skills, dealing the most damage and causing statuses with ease. In addition, they tend to have the best stats as well, with high critical rates.

One thing I didn't take from FFX was having to do random minigames (like dodging lightning bolts) to get these weapons because that isn't fun. Instead, you have to beat an elemental boss to claim the weapon as your own. So yeah, that's my "Ultimate weapons/skills": the ability for each character to use elements that has only been open to two characters for the entire game.
 

Trihan

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I haven't planned any specific ultimate skills for Tundra yet, but my philosophy is that an ultimate should put the character, or at least party as a whole, about 4-5 turns ahead of where they would have been without it, when taking the battle as its core essence of a numbers game where you're just trying to reduce the number on the other side to 0 before the other side can reduce yours.

Whether that's dealing 5x normal attack damage, 2x damage with a shield that negates 3 turns' worth of damage from enemies, making the entire party immune to attack for a few turns, entirely removing an enemy from battle if their HP is below a certain level...the possible effects vary pretty widely, the important thing is that whatever the skill does, it significantly advance the party's goal of eliminating their enemy.
 

AbstractMan

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Just curious what the point of using Lethal Shot to double your next free action's damage would be (especially if Lethal Shot costs MP/TP, but even if it doesn't). After all, wouldn't it be just as good to use your basic free action two turns in a row instead?

Or does Lethal Shot not take a turn to use in the first place?

I am using an old fallout or xcom esque battle system so the way it works, is that all characters have two types of move categories. These are free Actions and skills.

Free actions are things like your basic shot, reload, or pondering. Your character can only do one of these actions per turn. It costs no resources but ammo if your character uses a pistol, rifle, shotgun, or smg. Skills take AP points, which you gain 2 per turn (Unless you ponder with a free action, then you gain 3 the next turn). You can use as many as you have the AP for in any given turn.

A player could move up to 5 squares, take a 1 free action, use any number of skills and 1 item in a single turn before passing. So, a character who has rifle specialization could spend the AP to give them a lethal shot buff, run back, turn around and then use the snipe free action.
 

15098D

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I usually design powerful skill that costs a ton of MP based around what the character's main draw is. Bruisers get an attack that does a ton of physical damage, Witches get a huge mass debuff, etc
 

kirbwarrior

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I generally have 'ultimates' do what the character does but either much better or with access to something they 'shouldn't' have access to;
  • A witch based around throwing negative states with basic damage has an ultimate that will kill anything it can, give every state and do regular damage to anything it can't.
  • A paladin that has the only way to resurrect someone midbattle.
  • A warrior that drops every enemy's defense and magic defense to 0 without taking up a turn.
  • A jack-of-all-trades that can only equip 'simple' skills but from any class ultimates to take three actions this turn.
  • Chaotic sorcerer that throws random big elemental spells out until they hit a weakness.
  • One particularly weird bard would look at each party member, determine their lowest stat, removes all debuffs from that stat, buff it to max, then make them immune to debuffs of that stat for the rest of the battle.
On the note of 'limit breaks' in particular, I did have one character that didn't have a limit break for story reasons and instead the limit bar would be depleted in place of mp or hp first (both from damage and from costs, as a % of their max hp/mp)

It largely came about from seeing Death in FFX actually get to be a useful spell, so I wanted to find a way to capitalize on that. From then on, I saw ultimates more as tools to emphasize and push the character's niche instead of being "do X but bigger". I was especially happy when I made that warrior since it was a sorely needed support skill that still fit what they were doing and their personality.
 

S-bOw-Master

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An ultimate should act as a signature skill of the character, it have to be something really unique :

It's not so hard, you just need some effort and creativity. For example in my game I have :

a character who rides an ornithopter his ultimate makes him fly toward the targeted direction and dropping napalm bombs in the path that let down a fire trail for X turns, dealing heavy damage over time and reduce enemy movement speed

An electro-wizard that can summons a thunderstorm anywhere on the map, dealing damage over time to all enemies inside while reducing their armor and magic resist(reduction amount increase with the electro-wizard AP) and you may control the path of the thunderstorm to make sure enemies stay inside

A cosmic wizard that summons a mini black hole that deals true damage in a large area and pulls any enemy toward the center. (perfect synergy with AOE team comps)

A Superman-like character: his ultimate makes him jump into the air and crash into the targeted area, dealing AOE damage to all nearby enemies, knock them back, and taunt them. Can only be used during the turn that he gets summoned or outside combat.

A military rabbit commander: her ultimate summons a mecha factory (building type unit) that periodically generates a pair of mechas (heavy melee minions), and another pair when destroyed
 

ElCheffe

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I'm currently working on the design of my ultimates or final skills as i like to call them. In order to avoid having an awful long animation for a quadrupple of damage i try to think what would be the characters goal or final skill he desires.

For example, i have a witch character who is kind of evil but when playing through the story she gets emotionally attached to the group she is travelling with. So i decided to give her a rather uncommon skill called "Ultimate Sacrifice". The skill will not damage the enemy but instead knock her out for healing and buffing all allies with her magic. For the remainder of the combat she can't be revived through a special status keeping her knocked out.

So, compared to her usual "i curse and bomb" everything playstyle / character, her final skill represents her change of mind. Therefore i decided she will not gain this skill simply through leveling up but after a certain point in the story, making it even more meaningful.

Now i only have to think about 4 more final skills...yeah....:kaoswt2:
 

bgillisp

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In my last game my ultimates were spells or skills you had to find and earn. As such they were very powerful. One of my favorites:

Concealment: +100% EVA +100 MEVA for entire party on turn 1 of battle if the person who knows the skill is in the battle party at the start of battle.

That took troop eventing to set up. But it basically lets you get the drop on enemies.
 

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I have made 60 new skills! ''after test'' I have made 3 new skills!

Made a new battleback this week! How's it look?
"This is the real secret to life - To be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play."
Me: "I don't to use other engines because I'd have to do a lot of coding."

Also my desktop right now....
mycurrentdesktop.jpg

...I literally spend more time using VS Code than MZ. :kaoswt:
actually, are there any JRPG type games (I guess turn based, so not ARPGs like say, Vagrant Story) where you have only one party member for the majority of the game? (I wonder if I'm forgetting something obvious.)

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