Shadow Song: Fusion of tabletop and JRPG

watermark

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OVERVIEW
I’ve always wanted to put elements of tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons&Dragons or Pathfinder into an RPG Maker game. Shadow Song is my first major effort in this direction.


You will notice it is a hybrid in that the game uses a Final Fantasy like side view battle as opposed to strategic grid battles. However, tabletop rules are implemented in the battle calculations. So under the hood your heroes are rolling 1d20’s vs the enemy’s AC. This makes for a much different battle flow than traditional JRPG battles. First of all, missing attacks is normal. Second, this game has a lot less battles but each battle (or “encounter”) counts a whole lot more. Third, the unseen dice rolls will rule your world, as a series of bad rolls can turn a seemingly easy encounter into a bloodbath.


A simple skill check system has also been implemented for non-combat challenges. I don’t think I’ve used it very well yet, but I believe it has potential.


DEMO
The demo should take your party to level 6. So in tabletop rpg length, that’s about 2~3 adventures. I am thinking of eventually making the game covering an entire campaign taking your characters to level 20. Download the demo here:


http://www.watermarkrpg.com/shadow-song.html


SCREENSHOTS



STORY
“Seek the Shadow Song. Begin in Ithredain.” 


The cryptic final words of your murdered parents was what brought you to the ruins of Ithredain, on the edge of the Great Wastes. When you arrived, you were surprised to meet two other strangers with the exact same fate, with each of you bearing the exact same tattoo on your left arm. Seeking to unravel the mystery of your birth, the three of you form a team to track down this Shadow Song. And thus your adventure begins…


CHARACTERS
Create your own unique team from 4 fantasy races and 5 classes. Then customize each hero with powers and feats using a Job Point system.



CRITIQUE
Try the demo and feel free to criticize and suggest. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the game, whether you are a veteran tabletop RPG player or someone who’s never, ever touched D&D. I am guessing the responses would be very different, with non-tabletop players confused over what AC means while veterans will prob. roast me for not implementing certain rules correctly. :p


For the record, I only played D&D a few times so I am by far NOT an expert of any sort. But I really enjoyed the experience. And I read lots of rule books. :)


So. It would be nice if you can answer these questions in your critique:
1. How long did you play Shadow Song? Were you able to beat it? If not at what point did you lose interest?
2. What team did you use? (e.g. Human fighter, Elven mage & Dwarven cleric)
3. How’s the difficulty? Is the game too hard? Too easy?
4. What’s your experience with tabletop RPGs such as D&D? (Anywhere from hardcore DM’s to purely FF people.)
 


Thanks. Happy gaming!
 
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watermark

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Hi folks. The demo's getting temporarily taken down to go back into the shop for some massive issues fixin's


Thank you Indrah as well as participating playtesters for invaluable comments!


The demo will be back up soon. 
 

Pine Towers

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I'm really, really, interested on the inner workings of the project and amazed on what you have so far. Can I PM you?
 

watermark

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Sure thing!  :D


Wow, I didnt know you guys already started a D&D thread here. Maybe we can collaborate!
 
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watermark

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The demo is back up. Many issues were fixed and hopefully this is a better experience.
 

Emeraq

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I just downloaded this and I have to say I love the concept. I really like the class system, training system and quest log. Are these your own systems?


With that said, I think there are still balancing issues, dying repeatedly due to far too many misses early in the game kind of detracts from the experience, and as the innkeep said, makes you want to give up..


*Editted: Balancing I believe only needs done for group with no mage. I started again with default party and am doing better, but only because magic seems to hit a little more often. But I don't usually play with a mage in party
 
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watermark

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@Emeraq Ah yes, you hit upon a vexing problem. Originally I wanted to be 'pure' to tabletop rules, but it seems this may not be the best solution for a video game. For example, the Armor Class for a level 1 monster (rat) according to D&D Monster Manual is 15. Since your hero is rolling 1d20, you have to roll above 15 to hit the monster, which means you have only 25% of hitting the monster. Even if you use the fighter who has a much higher hit bonus it is still 50%. This is much lower than the 90% usually used in JRPGs. 


Quite a conundrum. Anyone got a good solution? Maybe I need to lower the enemy defense even more.
 
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bgillisp

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I ran into this problem in my game, and I think the problem is the battle system itself. You're currently trying to recreate a table top game, but in table tops you can move around and such to increase your chances of hitting. In the current battle system that is not possible, so the player feels helpless due to all the misses, whereas, if you had an option to move around and such, players would at least feel like they could control the high miss rate by flanking enemies and such, which would help.


Since we don't really have any tactical battle systems for MV yet which allows for that, I'd suggest maybe adding skills to boost the to hit? Or items? Maybe give a magical item that can be used to make the next hit guaranteed?
 

Emeraq

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@watermark, I am curious how is it that the PC's rolls are so much worse than the mobs? I notice that I miss quite frequently, and the mobs are the opposite, they hit quite frequently? How is it that the D20 system seems to be in their favor?  Now as far as how to fix it, I can only make suggestions, this isn't a D&D game per se so why stick to the monster manual hit dice rules?  Maybe you just need to create your own to fit RM?  IE:  Mob level +5. So a level 1 mob would require a roll of 6 to hit. Or something to that effect. Obviously that won't work when you get around level 12+ as you'd be needing 17, 18, 19, 20 to hit level 12, 13, 14 and 15 mobs, but you could follow something like level+5 to hit up to the point that you reach needing 15 to hit the critter and perhaps have a top out of 16?


I do have to add that I'm quite enjoying it with the default party. I don't like rolling with a mage, but it seems to be a necessary evil in this game. The mage, Zack, has taken out more mobs than the other two NPC's combined, with the likes of the fireball and ice spells that hit multiple enemies. 


I'm stuck though but won't post here in case of spoilers. I might message you later.
 

Emeraq

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I just thought of something else, in tabletop games, don't characters have modifiers to their rolls, IE If the player has a strength of 13-14 modifier is 1, 15 modifier is 2, 16-17 modifier is 3 and 18 the modifier is 4, so that modifier adds into the hit roll?


Have you considered a point by system so the players get some ability points at certain level ups that they can put the points in where they want, str, dex, wisdom, int etc?
 

watermark

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@bgillisp good idea. Maybe i can add some skills that allows for more strategy instead of just upping character hit% directly.


@Emeraq modifiers are already implemented actually. Your characters hit% goes up when you level up based on level and class modifiers, and the mods are pretty close to D&D standards. Right now no ability points mainly cause I have no idea how to code it. Hmm... I guess the mage is overpowered.  :guffaw:  Or perhaps because enemy Aura Class (based on Will) is usually much lower than AC.


The to hit% of the monsters are very close to stats in the Monster Manual. I am surprised myself why the enemies seem to hit easier too. Will have to look into this. But if you notice if you dress up your fighter in best gear his AC goes to the 20s, which makes him very hard to hit while mages and such only have AC of 10s.


Oh and about the plugins, class and training are Yanfly mods, while the Quest system is Vlue's.
 
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Matt Beer

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I really love the concept of combining RPG maker with dice rolling.  Maybe it would be fun to look into having someone make you a graphical dice roll.  It would add a lot of spice and nostalgia to playing table top :)
 

kranasAngel

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Have you considered using the following plugins by MikauSchekzen?







I think they could be used to serve as a nicer character creation screen than what you are currently using.
 

watermark

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@Emeraq Thanks for the interest! For now this project is put on hold due to three reasons:


1. The 'miss too often' problem still needs to be solved. Sticking to pure tabletop rules is fun for ideological reasons but does not work so well in a jrpg setting. 


2. It takes a long time to code the events in this game. It's a time consuming game to make. It looks like a half year project at least, which may not work out commercially as current feedback is lukewarm.


3. I've ran out of inspiration of where to take this for the moment. :p


So for now my team is working on another project till we can better think of what to do with this one.
 

Freank

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can you add new screenshots ?
 

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