Red Mages

fireflyege

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How do you do your red mages?

I need inspiration because I feel my work is halted because of the lack of progression.
 

bgillisp

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You may wish to define what you consider a Red Mage first, as everyone has different ways of thinking of them. After all, a Red Mage could just be a mage that works with Fire.
 

Poryg

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I don't. Simple :D

But if I did, I'd make them very red. With hood and huge robe. Maybe even red eyes.
 

fireflyege

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@bgillisp a mage that uses both white and black magic but does not capitalize on either and is also pretty good with slashing weapons.

@Poryg you forgot the feathered hat. :D
 

bgillisp

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Ok, now define White and Black. You see, you can't assume everyone has played final fantasy and knows those archtypes. You need to be specific for a general discussion thread.
 

fireflyege

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Well, FF has the most basic class system so I think everyone would understand it. Everyone knows what white and black magic is. But I will define them.

White magic is mainly healing spells and often associated with a healer role. White mages also single handedly slay undead.

Black magic is offensive and uses elemental or non elemental attacks and are mainly glass cannons.

Red Mages are exceptionally good at both of those arts and can also do swordplay. Their main strength comes from using all 3 at once when needed so they have an answer to every situation as a jack of all trades but a master of none class.
 

Poryg

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So they are exceptionally good in both, but master at none... Makes sense :D
 

bgillisp

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First, never assume everyone has played those games. I went a long time without playing them as I only had a PC so couldn't as they were NES, SNES, PS and PS2 only games. Others might avoid them as they think they look dumb. And as for White and Black Mage...what if someone played and grew up on a game with a different definition of those, and so assumes you mean that? Can you say you've played every game in existence, and know every use of every word? Probably not. So *never* assume everyone has played game x please, or knows what definition y means.

Now to answer the ?: Personally I find the FF style of Red Mages useless. In FF1 they got cut off way too early on what spells they could learn (even after the class upgrade), so by late game they could barely scratch opponents. In ff3 and 5, same problem. In fact, I've yet to play an FF game where the Red Mage, as they implement it, was worth using.

In my opinion, the problem is they cut off their spells too early. In 1 they cut off without being able to learn the high level attack spells, and anything but them did nothing to late game opponents, so it was just a wasted spot in my party. And later games where I could change classes I never felt it was worth having them for the same reason. In fact, about the only time I felt the Red Mage was worth having in the party was mid game when being able to have them heal in a pinch was handy. But outside of that, it was a useless class slot, and I would always pick something else.
 

fireflyege

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@bgillisp I also never played it. It is just that I see the class system in every game I play so I guess you are right.

I want to make a renewed, a little more powerful red mage so that is why I wanted to hear about people's opinions.
 

bgillisp

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Hmmm...well I mentioned why I think the FF version is a flop above. But to make it work, I think you'd have to make it maybe level slower than the traditional mage? For example (using your FF White/Black/Red archtypes here), maybe try this:

Black and White Mages learn access to level 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8 (FF3 went to level 8, not sure about the others, but let's just use a cutoff of 8 for the example) at the following levels (#'s just for example sake, would need to be rebalanced for any game they are used for):
1/7/13/21/30/38/46/58

But, Red Mages get access to those level spells at the following levels instead: 7/13/21/30/40/50/65/80...and yes, this means they have no spells until the same point the White and Black Mages get level 2 spells.

In other words, they run 1 - 2 levels behind the pure mages in firepower, but at some point they will get all the spells. Would make them ultra powerful late game...if they get there. I think something like this might fix the problem I mentioned of them being useless as it feels like they are using a peashooter when everyone else is using a Rocket Launcher.
 

SOC

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Red mages excel in early game and fall off mid-late game. If you want them to continue to be relevant throughout the entire game, you'll need to designate them to have some unique spellsword mechanics as well that will help them transition into late game. Their strengths lie in the very fact that they are so versatile: they're amazing for supporting your melee DPS without using resources, they're amazing at supporting your AoE magic DPS or exploiting elemental weaknesses, they're amazing as a back up healer when things get bad, and their MP is basically a "shared" MP pool for the rest of your group when thinking of them as a support to your main Fighter, White Mage and Black Mage, relieving the burden of long journeys with few rest spots in between.

In FF5 and FF Dimensions, mastering Red Mage grants Dualcast, which is absolutely necessary for any mage to be relevant late game. This often takes a long time to master, which further supports the idea of picking Red Mage up early in the game to level it fast and be using it when they're at their strongest. In Dimensions, Red Mages continue to be a jack of trades by allowing players to get Max HP +30% ability at job level 3, but also very unique abilities like Attune Blade which functions like FF6 Celes' Runic, and Magic Blade which allows physical elemental (and status effects) DPS. Magic Blade is quite useful for Osmotic Slash, which drains MP from the enemy while dealing melee DPS, and Stoning Slash which will instantly petrify any enemy vulnerable to it, but still deal decent damage if they're immune.

In FF11, Red Mages were mostly just support mages for Refresh (restoring other players' MP) and Haste. They had some other niches like Chainspelling Stun, or sometimes could solo stuff by sub jobbing a Ninja and doing dual wield spellswording with Enspells. In FF14, Red Mages are full of utility thanks to spells like Vercure and Verraise, which allow them to help healers and also bringing Embolden which buffs the Red Mage's magic damage, and buffs everyone else's physical damage. They also get a little bit of Spellsword action, that charges up slowly as they cause their spells and try to balance their magic between white and black mage. They excel at learning new fights, but because of their massive utility, they end up doing less damage than the other two mages, Black Mage and Summoner, making them not as desired for farming encounters.

So, if you want to design a Red Mage for your game, I would recommend answering if you want them to be their typical useful early-mid game, weak mid-late game, or if you want them to be a solid job throughout the entire game. If you want them to be good throughout the entire game, you'll need to think about how to make them more unique to other mages and give them more of a specialized purpose like Spellblade abilities, rather than remaining a jack of all trades. If you try to make them good and also jack of all trades throughout the entire game, they basically become way too OP and overshadow all your other characters. But there are a variety of ways to make them unique compared to your other jobs: things like dual casting mid-tier spells could make them feel different enough but also remain relevant late game if you balance it correctly, or think further like allowing them to build a separate resource (Like TP) as they dual cast which they then use to do melee Spellsword like abilities, which is how FF14 does it.

Alternatively, you could always make them have specific White and Black magic that only they have access to, while allowing your White Mages and Black Mages have their own unique spells. For instance, White mages could have spells like Cure, Poisona and Protect, while Red mages get Slow, Silence and Confuse. Then, Black mages have Fire, Blizzard and Thunder, while Red mages get Poison, Sleep and Break. However, I think a Red mage who can't Cure isn't a true Red mage so that's up to you. If you want some more inspiration, definitely give FF Dimensions a shot. Red mages are balanced very well in that game, but do fall off late game. However, due to the nature of how the game was designed, your main mages can still begin the game and master their main jobs first, then learn Red Mage second while still equipping their main job's abilities and having full access to their spells, and still keep wearing the same equipment as their main job due to Red mage gear being so vast, and just level up Red mage as if they were still playing their main job allowing them to get Dualcast without as much stress. For example, allowing a character to begin the game as White mage, max it out, then switch to Red mage, and continue to function exactly as a White mage with the same spells and gear as they max out Red mage (although they'll have Red mages stats so less MP and MND, but more HP, DEF, STR and MAG).
 

Frogboy

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I typically don't do jack of all trades classes because they tend to end up sucking at everything by the end of the game. The Red Mage is basically the Final Fantasy version of the Bard. The only time they are really all that useful is if they are your only Mage in the group.

I prefer Fighter/Wizard type characters to have a very limited and specialized spell selection that scales all the way up mixed with good fighting ability. So instead of having your choice of all of the lower level stuff and none of the higher level stuff, they'd get a single school or theme of magic but be able to cast the low and high levels of their niche. They're less versatile in their spell selection but make up for it with martial versatility and they don't miss out on the good stuff at the end of the game.

The only way that a true Red Mage could really be useful all the way through the game would be to have them level up at a slower pace and not permanently restrict their access to the best spells and weapons in the game (except for maybe things like Excalibur, Nuke and Life 2 if we're talking FF1 here). They would be overall better than most other classes but only for those who want to spend the time grinding them up a lot farther than they would normally have to to gain that extra power. Dragon Warrior 3 had the Sage class that pretty much followed this formula and it worked pretty well, IMO.
 

10kk

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Classically as you pointed out, a Red Mage FF archetype means a wide variety of spells but not a master of either. If you are also looking for progression, I would make them learn new spells at the end of dungeons or challenging encounters, optional or otherwise.

In order to make the Red mage viable their spells need to be situationally good enough where they don't just stick to one spammy thing (damage/healing).

Maybe instead of being a raw heal, it heals based on missing HP. Maybe the spells do extra effects instead of JUST damage.
 

SquallStorm

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I give them equal stats in the offensive department but their skill set will reflect their lean. I don't do true red mages cuz they can quickly get overpowered if not handled properly.

Example. In my current project, my MC is capable of casting Shadow elemental anima (magic), but her primary focus is sword attacks. Her anima is much more suited to utility, with skills liked Shadow Wall (creates a barrier that scales with her M.Attack and the target's Max HP), Bane of Life (Spreads and refreshes the four DoTs in the game if present), Shade Purge (Instant, light healing and removes DoTs.) Returning Shadow (Damages and gives her a shield based on damage done) etc. I make them more akin to how FFXIV handles them, with a focus one way or another and utility.
 

Failivrin

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Personally I think Red Mage is more of a gimmick than an actual class, witness the huge variation in abilities between games. If it's about combining traits of different classes into a jack of all trades, the only thing that matters is whether the combination is balanced. FFIX's Freya remains usable throughout the game by combining traits from the Dragoon class with White and Black magic. (Then again, FFIX is fairly easy, so none of the characters become prohibitively weak).
 

M.I.A.

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In my Final Fantasy inspired project, I have turned my "Red Mage" into more of an Archer with Red Mage like qualities.

Although he specializes in targeted weaknesses, he also uses broad, lower tiered magics. Also, for his "Boost" (Limit) Skills he has access to Dual Cast, Double Cast, and Top Tier (which enables him to bolster his magic proficiency to align with that of the other specialist mages).



Hope this helps. :)
-MIA
 

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Ellie Jane

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I'm thinking of having a dynamic class system. Rather than choosing your class, your class instead describes you.

So you choose a roster of spells, and based on those the game decides what you are. If you're mainly white magic you're a white mage and get some stat boosts and limited gear based on that. But anybody can use any spell, in any combination.

What those classes are is undecided yet.
 

atoms

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If you're going fully final fantasy style I would do something to make them more special, like give them a few unique skills and reduce the MP cost compared to other mages.

You could also try to mix it up a bit so maybe they only have 2-3 elementals compared to 6. I don't mean 3 skills but 3 elements. Then they could have at least 2 buffs and some melee attacks. That makes them more of an average class between melee/magic. The only thing is, there'd have to be a reason for this class to still be useful later on in-game otherwise the players will pick a more powerful class in it's place, so the twist I'd say to add is give them a unique elemental skill that some enemies are weaker to than other elements. Or, instead, make one of their buff skills unique to them only.

Something like that would do the trick.
 

Adam1013

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For my project, my red mage has lower level white and black magic and learns it at a slower rate than white mage and black mage. However their usefulness comes in versatility and support.

They can equip rods and wands and magic armor and fight in the back row or they can don heavy armor with a sword and shield and fight in the front row. All which casting spells to fit the bill at the time.

Unique to my red mage are status spells such as poison, blind, etc which actually matter in my game and are useful. All status spells AT LEAST deal damage if they don’t provide a negative status, minus sleep or course.

They also have access to -en spells which is cast on an ally and grants them additional damage of a certain element to their basic attacks.

Red mage also has a powerful “2 hour” skill where they can indeed dual cast spells for x amount of turns.

Exclusive to my Red Mage is the the refresh spell that allows you to cast an MP regen.

Red mage is often over looked however with the right build and versatility they can be one of the best on the field :)
 
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HumanNinjaToo

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Over the course of my life, my first and only real introduction to the "Red Mage" was through the Final Fantasy lens. My opinion is that they originally designed the red mage to be a "spellblade" type of class.

So I think it depends on what you your red mage to be. As you, @fireflyege, have mentioned, you are going for a red mage that is an homage to the FF red mage archetype. Personally, I see red mage, and I am wanting a fire wizard.

Someone mentioned Freya from FF9. I liked that type of red mage: she was combined with the Dragoon class to add more versatility. My suggestion would be to do something similar. Give your red mage something unique, to help it stand out from the other mages. However, I don't think becoming a super mage, or a time mage, or whatever kind of mage is the answer. I think the best path would be one that focuses on the original FF intent of "Red Mage" (at least in my opinion) and to go with a spellsword type class.

My suggestion to do so would be to have the red mage focus on magic infused physical abilities, so they are dealing two or three different element type DMG when they use a skill (e.g. Fire Sword does "slash" DMG and "fire" DMG). Of course you run into other issues with this concept, such as damage being spread over multiple resistances instead of just one.
 

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