What's your idea of what the Katana/Blade-wielder archetype behaves like in battle?

HumanNinjaToo

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First, what I mean by the Katana/Blade-wielder archetype: the PC who uses either a one-handed sword (maybe two-handed sword but not so big as a buster sword or berserk greatsword, something like dual-wielding a katana) or Katana or ninja-sword, something along those lines.

I've always thought about this type of PC being a DPS that is battle-focused on flashy sword skills that deal high damage. To me, this PC is different than a rogue-type because they are not dealing out a lot, if any, status ailments or debuffs; pretty much just straight DMG. They would rely on other party members to draw focus away from this PC in order to buff or set up a strong attack or series of attacks. I think of this role a lot like a melee-type DPS role in an MMORPG, for example.

I'm just wondering what other people interpret as this archetypical role? Or if this role means something entirely different to you?
 

JtheDuelist

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I always base Katana wielder characters in the same manner as Fire Emblem's Myrmidon/Samurai and Swordmaster classes- high Speed, high Skill fighters who can make good use of high crit rate weapons effectively, but compensate that power and speed with low HP and magic resistance pools and mediocre Defense.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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That makes sense. Basically a glass cannon, but one that slices instead of slings spells.
 

Chainer07

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When i hear katana the first thing that pops into my mind is the Samurai class from Final Fantasy Tactics on the Ps1. the ones can use Katana (Release soul) for special attacks.
 

Redeye

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I once based a "Samurai" class off of Critical Hit Combos. Several of your skills would provide bonuses for landing critical hits, as well as a stackable buff that boosted your Critical Hit Chance. The goal would be to obviously maintain a steady chain of crits, maximizing the Samurai's DPS. Very powerful, but pretty luck-based and squishy. (Like the Myrmidon from Fire Emblem, as mentioned above).

You could also make the Swordmaster a "Basic Attacker" whose DPS was entirely dependent on their basic attack. Their skills would revolve around buffing their basic attack and self-preservation. The Basic Attack itself would rely on a rather high ATK stat, critical hits, and sometimes even Multi-hits (using the Attack Times+ feature). Although, this type of class would be better themed after a Fistfighter imo.
 

Chainer07

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I once based a "Samurai" class off of Critical Hit Combos. Several of your skills would provide bonuses for landing critical hits, as well as a stackable buff that boosted your Critical Hit Chance. The goal would be to obviously maintain a steady chain of crits, maximizing the Samurai's DPS. Very powerful, but pretty luck-based and squishy. (Like the Myrmidon from Fire Emblem, as mentioned above).
that sounds too much like any rogue tho. its hard to find the balance.
 

Redeye

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that sounds too much like any rogue tho. its hard to find the balance.
I tend to revolve my rogues around Status Ailments and skills that punish advantageous enemies, for example, a skill that would deal extra damage to fast / slow enemies, or an attack that used an enemy's high ATK stat against them. There'd also be poisons, debuffs, stealing, etc.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I too have always associated rogue with a debuffer and status ailments.

I really like the idea of a swordsman getting buffed and chaining attacks together with crit combos or something. It reminds me of samurai job in FF14 where you can begin a combo and change it up as you go, or string a few combos together to unleash a better move later.
 

gstv87

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Critical Hit Combos
that, usable for small groups of enemies.
if you combine the ability to rush with that, you get the same result as an area control character, but melee instead of ranged.
AND, it wouldn't have the ability to get out of that area once committed to the attack.
rush in, slice everything for gourmet salad, and hope for the best afterwards.
it'd be pretty useless for hand-to-hand combat, but very effective for groups.

if you want to make it a samurai archetype:
-short range.
-medium to high critical chance.
-no magic (maybe self-target protect spells or heals, but no attack magic)
-ability to berserk once or twice per turn (maybe remove ailments or debuffs)
-medium armor.
-ability to evade but not block projectiles
-ability to rush several enemies at once (tied to range: can't rush while surrounded, rushes *into* groups)
-maybe taunt or otherwise attract enemies?
-abilities tied to sword: loses sword, must rearm or retreat.
--ability to hand-to-hand without sword, in order to rearm.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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@gstv87
In terms of translation to RM, I've been kicking around the idea of having the samurai guy end his more powerful skills with a provoke type state on the enemy hit. The idea is that just like a DPS in an MMORPG, the samurai would draw the attention of enemies. Also, borrowing a little from the berserker archetype, have the samurai deal more DMG with physical attacks as their HP gets lower.

The trouble I have is wrapping my head around how (with RM) you could make critical hit combo system that doesn't become too OP. If you can do 2-5 critical hits in a row/combo, that's probably going to be a lot of DMG all at once. If the enemy HP is high enough to account for this, then that makes other character DMG look meh. I guess it is a puzzle as to how to make the critical combo skills require enough set-up so they don't become easily exploited, but still accessible enough to not make it seem like a chore mechanic.
 

RachelTheSeeker

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As far as my own concepts? I'm most biased toward the idea of a yojimbo or ronin, and will address my opinions of such below. My biggest inspirations come from the Ronin/Shogun/Bushi from the Etrian Odyssey series, the Samurai from Final Fantasy (especially Tactics), and the Samurai class from the Pathfinder tabletop RPG.

I'm totally a fan of katana-using classes being built for critical hits, and being more agile than the usual Fighter. I wouldn't see them as being glass cannons unless they purposely eschew heavy armor such as the classic ronin, yojimbo or ninja archetypes. I can't see them as being heavily tanky by themselves but they're no slouches toward taking damage and they can definitely dish it out, especially nailing the sweet spot on occasion. I'm also biased toward some ki powers for a katana-user! Things like a "razor wind" to attack multiple foes, striking at superhuman speeds to hit more than once, an overly-flash iaido cut to deal true damage or insta-crit (or insta-kill), and a means to self-heal or stave off ailments through personal resolve come to mind.

I know more about Western arms and armor over Japanese stuff but I do enjoy and respect Eastern martial arts and weapons. The absolute heaviest European armor seems to be more protective than the heaviest Japanese armor, but I'm not certain by how much. But IIRC a samurai's armor is still heavy-duty by that culture's standards. And as much as I'm not a total weeb for the katana, I'm well aware that it's also not a wimp of a weapon that a lot of HEMA practitioners make it out to be in comparison.

Overall, I think a good comparison is the Warrior and Martial Artist from Dragon Quest. Your typical heavy-armored Western man-at-arms would have higher defense but act slower in a JRPG, but a samurai feels like they'd trade some protection for agility and critical chance. Neither should be squishy in my mind, but both should approach the role of being a melee fighter differently. Heck, even a katana-user's lack of a shield could be the only difference needed to their defensive stats.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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@RachelTheSeeker So after reading your post, you're saying that your view of samurai type is more tanky than a glass-cannon, but still able to deal high amounts of DMG, and heal and use some form of magic/Ki?

I've seen that version before, but I'm wondering if it's too much of a best-of-the-best type of character. That's totally fine too BTW. What would you consider to be this character's weak point? Or what could the enemy exploit to wear them down in battle?
 

Redeye

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@HumanNinjaToo
For balancing Critical Hit Combos, you could always just nerf the power of Crits (RM's crits deal 3x damage, you could easily use a script/plugin to reduce it to 2x or something, basically making it a chance-based variant of elemental exploitation). Or you can alter the Critical Multiplier of individual skills / Critical Resistance of individual foes. You can also tamper with Critical Evasion so that some enemies can negate your chances.
 

Chainer07

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All of this makes me think about the days I tried to classify everything under the trinity laws. Is it Warrior,Wizard,or Rogue? Knowing where it falls under makes it easier to understand the traits and stats. Is it more agility or magic type? We know it's a warrior already. But if you build it towards being warrior,rogue then the high crit glass cannon would make sense. If it's more warrior wizard then using spirit/ki/magic would make sense. But putting it as all 3 would be technically "red maging" it where it can be good in all lines but a master of none which seems like a downgrade for a samurai.
Just my opinion on the subject.
 

RachelTheSeeker

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@RachelTheSeeker So after reading your post, you're saying that your view of samurai type is more tanky than a glass-cannon, but still able to deal high amounts of DMG, and heal and use some form of magic/Ki?

I've seen that version before, but I'm wondering if it's too much of a best-of-the-best type of character. That's totally fine too BTW. What would you consider to be this character's weak point? Or what could the enemy exploit to wear them down in battle?
Thinking it over, I'd say that magical stats should probably be their worst aptitude for a RPG. Low MP, lower MDF (hence, the ability to make up for that by resisting ailments), and perhaps their ki powers shouldn't have as much effect due to a lower MAT? I do like the idea of a tanky warrior being at least decently resistant to magic (even if the have little to no magic to use), but a tradeoff for a ronin could be a notable weakness to the arcane.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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@Redeye You're right, Yanfly plugins for critical control and critical hit effects would most likely work great for that.

@Chainer07 I agree, I don't like the idea of a samurai type being that jack-of-all, master-of-none type of character either. I'm leaning toward them being a glass-cannon type.

@RachelTheSeeker When I think samurai, I think of an honorable warrior with control and determination. Maybe ki powers shouldn't be about dealing DMG at all then, maybe they focus on clearing negative status and building up buffs? But when you mention ronin, I think of the disgraced warrior/samurai who probably fights dirty and would use ki for debuffs and/or adding some tricky negative states to the enemy. And I like the idea that samurai would have some decent resistance to physical attacks (maybe due to evasion?), but have a pronounced weakness to magic.
 

Chainer07

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@Redeye You're right, Yanfly plugins for critical control and critical hit effects would most likely work great for that.

@Chainer07 I agree, I don't like the idea of a samurai type being that jack-of-all, master-of-none type of character either. I'm leaning toward them being a glass-cannon type.

@RachelTheSeeker When I think samurai, I think of an honorable warrior with control and determination. Maybe ki powers shouldn't be about dealing DMG at all then, maybe they focus on clearing negative status and building up buffs? But when you mention ronin, I think of the disgraced warrior/samurai who probably fights dirty and would use ki for debuffs and/or adding some tricky negative states to the enemy. And I like the idea that samurai would have some decent resistance to physical attacks (maybe due to evasion?), but have a pronounced weakness to magic.
Instead kis can ronin use dirty trick the could be warrior or alchemist based? For example throw dirt to cause blindness or add poison potion for a chance to cause poison?
 

CrowStorm

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@Chainer07: Ronin were not, as a rule, scoundrels or dirty fighters. Even though their honor was tarnished by their position as "wave men" and their failure to "Japanese properly" and commit seppuku to erase whatever stain on their honor roninized them, that didn't mean that they stopped caring about it entirely. Almost all seven of the protagonists of Kurasawa's seven samurai--a seminal work in the genre but Christ I hate that word what's so great about stupid semen I digress--are actually Ronin, and even the total slob played by Toshiro Mifune (Japanese for Clint Eastwood), were still preoccupied with their honor to one degree or another. Also gotta recommend the late 90s Deniro flick 'Ronin' which was written by one of my college professors (he's the writer that's not David friggin' Mamet lol).

Anyway to answer the OP:

I see their main shtick in combat as being High Slashing (or just Physical if your game doesn't make any strike/slash/thrust distinction) damage influenced primarily by AGI but also by STR/ATK. High critical rate. High resistances to most mental and magical status effects sort of like Rachel said. If your game has a bleed status effect, my gut feeling is most katana attacks/skills should have some chance of inflicting it.

Skills should definitely include Aijutsu (draw-cut-sheathe, one fluid motion) as an Instant Cast or just very, very fast ability that does high single target damage and some kind of 'Blade Dance' ability (okay, that's what's it's called in my game Live Free Or Die when used by Tseng who styles himself as a samurai/ninja) that deals sword-based damage to multiple targets (could also be an AOE if you're using AOE). The "Blade Grasp" trick is neat as hell too.

I wouldn't personally give them healing abilities--except self only--or particularly high defense (not a total glass cannon/squishy wizard, but nowhere near the DEF of a proper tank either).

In the original FFT IIRC the Samurai Class's 'Draw Out' class abiltiy did MAT (equivalent) based damage instead of being based on Phys. Atk. That isn't necessarily MY idea of how a Samurai type class/PC should function, mind you, but it is AN idea that has impacted my own thinking for years.
 
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TheoAllen

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Disclaimer: I don't know anything about samurai IRL

When I heard samurai, here's what I thought mechanically in a game, in general:
  • Take the most common warrior stat, buff attack a lot, slightly buff agility, reduce the armor/defense.
  • The class is the most efficient and dangerous in one-on-one combat.
  • Close and personal.
  • Weaker area of effect attack or do not have one at all.
  • Resistant to mental debuff.
  • Do not have ranged attacks.
  • Most of the utility is self utility, not party buff.
  • The buff mostly boils down to deal more damage.
  • The debuff mostly boils down to deal more damage.
  • Higher critical rate than the other class
  • Weak to collateral damage such as any explosion skills
  • If it's a unit produced in strategy games, it is more expensive than regular warrior.
 

RachelTheSeeker

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@Chainer07: Ronin were not, as a rule, scoundrels or dirty fighters. Even though their honor was tarnished by their position as "wave men" and their failure to "Japanese properly" and commit seppuku to erase whatever stain on their honor roninized them, that didn't mean that they stopped caring about it entirely. Almost all seven of the protagonists of Kurasawa's seven samurai--a seminal work in the genre but Christ I hate that word what's so great about stupid semen I digress--are actually Ronin, and even the total slob played by Toshiro Mifune (Japanese for Clint Eastwood), were still preoccupied with their honor to one degree or another. Also gotta recommend the late 90s Deniro flick 'Ronin' which was written by one of my college professors (he's the writer that's not David friggin' Mamet lol).
Yea, merrily. So much as even the GaijinGoombah video "Samurai Jack is No Samurai! Here's Why That's AWESOME!" from 2017 has some decent insight on samurai versus ronin, painting the latter in a positive light. IIRC, the 47 Samurai obtaining revenge in their famous story were ronin due to the circumstances. If interested, the GG video can be found here, and I recommend it as one of my favorite videos from him.
 

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