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ZUGZWANG is an illustrated panfandom role play with a twist-- to play the chessmaster's game, your character must choose to either give up their memories or their abilities. right now we have an on-going summer extravaganza with both our beach episode and welcome to sylincrossing events! kick back and relax at the beach as you arrive in this strange new city, and maybe make some new friends or enemies along the way. we are both plot and character driven with a very active discord! feel free to stop on by!
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The purpose of this thread is to catalog the rules systems for forum roleplay I've written. Everything I put here is free for anyone else to use or adapt for their own sites. Just make sure to give credit and link back to here. I also appreciate being given feedback about how well each system works, in order to help fix problems and make better systems in the future.
If you want to ask me to design a system for a particular setting or just discuss game design in general, feel free to PM me here or find me on the Pixel Perfect Discord server. I'm always up for a challenge.
Table of Contents
The ORT System - A simple system designed with My Hero Academia in mind. The resolution mechanic essentially boils down to Rock-Paper-Scissors, but with a few extra factors to add depth and result in plot hooks depending on what people pick.
Killing Game - A moderately complicated system for Danganronpa-style successive murder mystery games. It's not a directly competitive system. Instead, characters who do a better job of playing their role in the case are rewarded with points that can be spent on narrative control.
Archetype Manifest - An in-depth player-versus-enemies system based on the Persona series. It essentially works as a cooperative puzzle game where building stronger Personas gives you the tools necessary to beat harder groups of Shadows.
Vermillion Frontier - The blog for my free tabletop sci-fi roleplaying game. This is also where I post about game design in general.
Designing a System - A basic outline of the things I aim for and the things I avoid when designing a system for a forum RP.
Each character has three stats to describe her Quirk's strengths and weaknesses. New characters divide 200 points between these stats. No stat can go above 100 for a new character, but points gained after character creation may bring stats above 100 at no extra cost. The stats are as follow.
Overwhelming: How effective the Quirk is at quickly and decisively defeating enemies. Reliable: How effective the Quirk is at controlling the battlefield and keeping things from getting out of hand. Tricky: How effective the Quirk is accomplishing things in unexpected, unconventional ways.
When two characters get into a fight, both of them PM the admins to secretly choose which stat they're using for the fight. The admin then determines who wins based on the following rules.
If both combatants used the same stat, then the one with the higher value in the used stat wins.
If the combatants used different stats, then determine the winner as follows:
Overwhelming beats Reliable by overpowering it
Reliable beats Tricky by ensuring it can't use its trickery
Tricky beats Overwhelming by "fighting" with unconventional means
The admin posts in the thread to identify the winner and specify how many Results (see below) each character can choose. Results are allocated as follows.
Both combatants always get 1 Result each.
The winner gets 1 extra Result.
If one of the used stats was 30 or more points above the other, then the combatant with the higher used stat gets 1 extra Result.
Results are the outcome of the fight beyond who wins and who loses. The winner will always get either 2 or 3 Results, and the loser will always get 1 or 2 Results - this means that even the loser of a fight can achieve something by fighting.
After the admin announces the winner, the winner should post to specify which Results she's picking and describe how she achieves them. Next, the loser posts to specify which Result or Results she's picking and describe how she achieves them, but she cannot pick a Result that's opposed to a Result the winner picked (except where explicitly stated otherwise). After that, the thread continues as normal, but any further fights should take place in separate threads.
The list of possible Results follows. Each Result can only be picked when you used an associated stat in the fight - this means that you might sometimes need to use a bad stat in order to accomplish your goals. The letters after each Result show which stats they're compatible with: O for Overwhelming, R for Reliable, and T for Tricky.
Delay (RT) - Make the fight long and exhausting. Opposed to Speed.
Glory (OR) - Make onself look strong or smart. Opposed to Humiliation.
Humiliation (OT) - Make the other character look weak or foolish. Opposed to Glory.
Information (T) - The other character reveals a previously-unknown character trait of her choice. No opposites.
Injury (O) - The other character is seriously injured. No opposites.
Protection (RT) - Take possession of something or someone, ensuring that the subject is safe. Opposed to Destruction.
Resistance (ORT) - Only choosable by a loser who has also earned a second Result. The second Result can be the opposite of one of the winner's results, negating it.
Speed (OT) - Make the fight quick and easy. Opposed to Delay.
Teamwork (R) - Allied NPCs achieve what they set out to do. No opposites, but cannot contradict winner's results (except with Resistance).
As an example of how this works, say that someone with the Quirk to turn water into soda gets in a heated argument in the town square with someone with the boring (but ordinarily very powerful) Quirk of some sort of super strength. They both PM the admin to say that they're using their strongest stats: Tricky for the soda maker, Overwhelming for the strongman. Thus, the soda maker is the winner and the strongman is the loser.
The admin posts to announce this, gives the winner 2 Results, and gives the loser 1 Result. The winner takes Humiliate and Information. He describes how he jumps into the town square's fountain in hopes of luring his opponent after him, then transforms the surrounding water in order to soak him in sticky, fragrant flavored syrup. Then, the change in viscosity makes the fountain spray wildly, providing cover to escape. The Humiliation is self-evident, but it's left up to the loser to decide what the Information means.
The loser takes the Injure result. He describes how he jumps into the fountain without a second thought and lands a few solid blows before his opponent can escape. As for the winner's Information, the loser decides to expose his social phobia, describing how he flees from the laughing, jeering crowd with tears in his eyes, even more bothered than you'd expect anyone else to be in that situation.
The winner comes away from the fight nursing a few broken bones, and he didn't even manage to put a scratch on his opponent, but he still comes across as the clear victor. Because the system is more about the outcomes than the fight itself, it leaves plenty of plot hooks for future threads: recuperating from injuries, third parties reacting to the humiliating incident, and the revelation of a character trait that might not otherwise have come out. It doesn't really matter who's actually "stronger," because the story is driven by different things.
As a final note, I'd recommend having the advancement system be based on fights, rather than on raw posts or wordcount. This system makes it relatively easy for low-level characters to beat high-level ones, so it's not a huge deal either way, but fight-based advancement would let you put extra incentives in place. I'd probably make it something like 2 stat points per fight, with a 10 point bonus for a fight between combatants who haven't fought each other before - this would be a good way to encourage people to interact with newbies, and since the award is the same for both the winner and the loser, it also lets newbies catch up relatively quickly.
This is a somewhat unusual system, so it's important to state up front what it's trying to do and what it's not. Killing Game is a system designed for collaboratively telling a story about successive murders and murder investigations. What makes this genre difficult from a roleplaying perspective is that murder mysteries are all about picking up on subtle clues, but players who want their characters to survive have no incentive to leave those clues. Therefore, this system focuses on rewarding players for having their characters bring suspicion on themselves, while still leaving enough reasonable doubt to keep the story suspenseful.
This reward takes the form of case points that are granted to players at the end of each case. The system is designed with the intent that if everyone tries to get as many case points as possible, the result will be a murder mystery that's interesting to play through for everyone. The details are at the end of the rules, but the summary of how case points are awarded is as follows.
Investigators: These are the players who don't know the truth of the case beforehand. They get case points for correctly putting the facts of the case together, which involves writing out their version of how events happened, and for being paying attention and being correct about the facts of each case.
Suspects: These are the players whose characters are suspected of the killing. They get case points for promoting uncertainty, which means dividing the investigators as evenly as possible between thinking they're innocent and thinking they're guilty. When they aren't defending themselves, they usually also act as investigators.
Killer: This is the player whose character is actually guilty of the killing. She gets case points in the same manner as a suspect, but is not considered an investigator. She also gets some bonus case points for sacrificing her character.
Victim: This is the player whose character was murdered. She plays the largest role in determining the facts of the case, but can't act in any of the other roles (except case moderator). As such, she gets a large bounty of case points automatically.
Case moderator: This player coordinates some of the initial setup of the case in secret. As a result, she can't act as an investigator. Unless she ends up as the victim, she gets some bonus case points to compensate for not being able to participate in the investigation.
[This system doesn't require characters to have any special stats. The admins can use whatever type of character profile they prefer. However, the character creation rules should include the following instructions.]
Your character should have a secret: something central to her history and personality that the other players don't know. Each character's secret should only come out either near the end of the game, or in the events surrounding the character's death. Try to think of something shocking that might have some relevance to a killing game. When you submit your character for approval, PM her secret to the admins.
In order for each case to be properly dramatic, it's important to make sure that both the killer and the victim are well-established characters with plenty of personal connections to the rest of the site. In order to help with that, the focus point mechanic is used. A character must acquire a certain number of focus points before becoming a victim, killer, or suspect.
Whenever a regular thread is finished, the participating players should notify the admins. The admins will then lock the thread and award each participating character with a number of focus points equal to the number of other characters that were in the thread. So, for example, after a thread with a total of 2 characters, each character gets 1 focus point. After a group thread with 3 total characters, each character gets 2 focus points. After a group thread with 4 total characters, each character gets 3 focus points.
Focus points can't ever be transferred between characters, even if both characters are owned by the same player. As long as the players are making a genuine effort to roleplay, the admins should always award focus points for a completed thread, even if it's a short one. Because focus points are only ever used to determine case participation eligibility, there's no reason to "grind" for large numbers of them.
The players do not spend focus points. Once a character has them, she has them forever, even in later cases. A good number of focus points to require for the first case is 5. It might be a good idea to increase this number for later cases, but requiring more than 20 or so makes it prohibitively difficult for new characters to get involved in cases.
Once a few characters (at least 4) have enough focus points to participate in a case, the admins can start the offering phase. This is the first phase of a new case. The admins should select one person to be the case moderator. This can be one of the admins, but it can also be a trusted player. The case moderator should announce the start of the case with a post like this.
The offering phase has begun! Characters with 5 or more focus points can participate. Potential victims can now post offering threads to provide an opportunity to kill them. Other characters can post in offering threads in order to become suspects.
Players who are willing to have their characters die during this case should PM me their killer/victim flags now!
The killer flag and victim flag mechanic is a way to let players pretend that their characters are at risk of dying, even if the player doesn't actually want the character to die just yet. In order for a character to actually become a killer or victim, the player must PM the case moderator with a message along the lines of "set the victim flag for [character name]." If the player doesn't do this, then the case moderator will assume that the player doesn't actually want her character to kill or be killed. Killer flags and victim flags must be set separately for each case.
The offering thread is the way a player sets things up for her character to potentially be murdered. The thread should detail the "how" and/or "why" of the potential murder. For example, a thread where the character insults or threatens the other characters would work, because it gives them a reason to murder her. A thread where the character goes somewhere dangerous alone would also work, because it gives the other characters an opportunity to murder her.
Any characters who respond to an offering thread will become suspects if the one who started the thread is murdered. Their posts should demonstrate why they'd be suspicious, but shouldn't explicitly show any murdering (after all, it's still unknown at this stage who the victim will be). So, for example, if the offering thread involved insulting characters, then a suspect might describe being obviously very offended. If the offering thread involved being in a dangerous isolated area, then a suspect might just describe how she's in the same area.
Every character that makes or responds to an offering thread must have at least the required number of focus points. A player cannot respond to an offering thread she started. The case moderator cannot respond to other players' offering threads (but she can start one of her own). There's no limit on the number of offering threads a character can be in at once.
The offering phase lasts 2 weeks. At the end of this period, the case moderator privately makes a list of all possible murders. A murder is possible wherever the following conditions are met.
1. The one who started the offering thread has her victim flag set.
2. At least three characters responded to the offering thread.
3. At least one of the characters who responded to the offering thread has her killer flag set.
If there are multiple possible murders that satisfy these conditions, then the case administrator should pick one at random. Then, she should privately contact the new victim and killer so that the three of them can work together to decide on the specifics of the murder. The other characters who responded to the offering thread become suspects.
If there are no possible murders that satisfy these conditions, then the offering phase ends without a killing. A new offering phase should be started a few weeks later.
This phase is performed in private between the case moderator, the victim, and the killer. The victim and killer should reveal their secrets to each other and try to incorporate them into the killing. The three of them should discuss how exactly the killing should take place. In case of a disagreement, the victim's preference comes first, since she will be the one in charge of coordinating events with the other suspects and responding to requests for evidence.
Once the basic sequence of events is established, the victim and case moderator should privately contact each of the innocent suspects in turn. They should do this without revealing the identity of the killer or of the other innocent suspects so that the innocent suspects can still participate in the investigation phase.
With each innocent suspect, the victim should describe what the suspect has seen and what she should know about the case. The suspect should reply with how she'd react, and this exchange should continue until a clear sequence of events has been established.
Finally, the victim and suspect should decide on what the suspect's alibi should be. The alibi is a piece of information that proves the suspect's innocence. It should remain hidden until late in the case, so the suspect should try to think of something that her character would want to hide even if it makes her look more suspicious. For example, she might have been committing some lesser crime elsewhere at the time, or the alibi might hint at her secret.
Once all the alibis have been set, the victim should contact the killer again to establish a fake alibi for her. The fake alibi is a false piece of information that would seem to prove the killer innocent, but it should contradict the real alibis. Because the real alibis aren't revealed until late in the case, this allows the killer to seem like an innocent suspect until the end. The disproval of the fake alibi is the climactic moment of the case.
In this phase, the victim will describe the facts of the case and answer the other players' questions. It will be completely up to the victim to decide how much information to reveal. It's important to reveal enough to be fair, while still keeping enough things unclear that it's not immediately obvious who the killer is.
The first post of the phase is written by the victim but posted by the case moderator (in order to hide the victim's identity as long as possible). It narrates the first signs that something is wrong. It could be that one of the characters isn't showing up for breakfast. It could be a scream or loud crash from elsewhere in the building. Whatever it is, it shouldn't immediately reveal the victim's identity.
Other characters can then reply to describe their initial reaction and investigation into the circumstances. There is no need to respect post order in this thread, since it's expected that some characters will have more to say than others. After waiting a few days to build suspense, the victim writes a post describing the discovery of the body and the case moderator posts it.
Following the reveal of the body, all living characters can engage in investigation. They can do this either in the body discovery thread or in other threads posted with the investigation tag. In order to investigate, a character should describe some investigative action in her post, then put some bolded, underlined, or otherwise emphasized text at the bottom of her post asking the victim's player to respond. The victim should post to describe the information the investigation reveals. The killer and suspects can engage in investigation just like anyone else. Characters can also perform investigation via private message if they want to wait to reveal the results during the case itself. It's entirely up to the victim how much information each investigation reveals.
Once everyone seems to have collected enough information to satisfy themselves, the victim should announce the end of the phase and the start of the trial. However, investigation can continue even into the trial when it would make sense (for example, comparing a photo of a footprint to a character's shoe).
During the trial, the victim picks one of the suspects (ideally the most obviously suspicious one) and starts a thread to serve as that suspect's examination. This suspect is considered the first prime suspect. The other players should play along and focus their discussion on the prime suspect.
The thread should be used to discuss the facts of the case. There is no need to respect post order. At any point during the thread, a character can post a theory about what the prime suspect was doing during the murder. This can take the form of a character explaining the theory to the other characters, or it can be narrated in first, second, or third person form. A theory post is designated by including the test "Verdict: Innocent" or "Verdict: Guilty" at the bottom. Each player should only post 1 theory per prime suspect, even if she controls multiple characters. The case moderator and the victim's surviving characters cannot post theories.
Each prime suspect thread lasts 1 week. During this time, the prime suspect's character will be responding to theories and trying to defend herself, but the prime suspect's player should actually be trying to keep things interesting by making her character act a bit suspicious in order to hide her alibi. During the scoring phase, each suspect is scored based on dividing the other players as evenly as possible between innocent and guilty verdicts.
At the end of the week, the prime suspect selects the theory she feels is closest to the truth. This might even be a guilty verdict for an innocent suspect or an innocent verdict for a guilty one, as long as it hits the other important points of the events surrounding the case. Finally, she reveals her alibi (or fake alibi) in order to divert the discussion toward the other suspects.
Once the thread is concluded, the victim moves on to the next logical prime suspect. This continues until all suspects have had their turn as the prime suspect. Then, the game moves on to the next phase.
At this point, all the alibis have been made public and it should be clear which one doesn't fit with the others. If not, then the case moderator and victim might have to nudge discussion in the right direction using their other characters or through out-of-character means.
Once the killer's identity is clear, all that remains is to wrap up the case. The killer should reveal her own secret and the victim's secret if they're not already known. Finally, the killer should nominate one other character (either in-character or out-of-character) to summarize the entire case in one big explanation post.
After all remaining in-character discussion has been handled, the killer is executed. It should be up to the killer's player how exactly that occurs. Then, the game continues onward. In a couple of months or so, the site admins can then announce the start of the next case.
At the end of the case, the admins hand out case points to each character based on how the case went. They should go through the following list and award points wherever applicable. Some characters receive multiple awards (for example, one of the suspects is also the killer, and all the other suspects are also investigators).
As a reminder, the suspects include everyone who responded to the victim's offering thread. The investigators are everyone except the characters controlled by the case moderator, the victim, and the killer.
Victim award: The victim is awarded 2 points per suspect. Try to write an offering thread that lots of people will respond to!
Killer award: The killer is awarded 1 point per suspect (including herself). Compensation for sacrificing a character.
Moderator award: The case moderator is awarded 1 point per suspect. This is not awarded if the case moderator is also the victim. Compensation for not being able to participate in the rest of the case.
Suspect award: Each suspect is awarded the lower between the innocent and guilty verdicts they received as prime suspect. Only verdicts by investigators count. Try to split the other players between thinking you're innocent and thinking you're guilty!
Investigator award: Each investigator is awarded 1 point per correct verdict. Try to figure out the truth behind the case!
Theory award: Each investigator whose theory is picked as closest to the truth by a prime suspect is awarded 2 points. Each player can only receive this bonus once, even if they have multiple characters or are selected by multiple prime suspects. Try to bring your theories to life!
Conclusion award: The character who is chosen by the killer to write the final summary of the case is awarded 3 points. Throughout the case, show that you're prepared to take center-stage in the finale!
So, what do case points do? That will depend heavily on the needs and tastes of the site. The main purpose of case points is to incentivize moving each case forward. Figuring out what sort of benefits should be attached is up to the site admins. This section is essentially a list of suggestions. However, some of the items here shouldn't be put in the same game together. Therefore, you should not just copy this section into your site's rules!
The total number of case points awarded per case will range from as high as the number of active players squared to as low as half that. This will be divided among the site's members, but players who consistently put their characters up as victims and killers will accumulate a larger share. The costs below assume a site with about 10 active members, so very large or very small sites might want to scale their costs differently.
Players should be allowed to transfer their case points between their characters and between each other for large purchases. Most of these items are out-of-character purchases, so it doesn't make sense to restrict them to individual characters.
Custom appearance Cost: 10 points This can include granting a special-colored display name or a custom title. It might also extend to any chat programs used by the site.
In-character boon Cost: 20 points The character who buys this item receives some sort of resource that the other characters don't. For example, they could get a lock on their door or manage to plant a tracking device on the mastermind behind the killing game. This doesn't have any effect on the case system, but it can put the character at the center of plot developments. The admins should consider a big discount if they like the player's idea and it has a good in-character justification.
Reveal a plot element Cost: 30 points If the admins have a larger plot they want to slowly reveal over time, this can be a good way to do it. The player who buys this item is secretly told some plot details that no one else knows. Then, at an opportune time, the player can decide to reveal the truth in-character.
Weird character Cost: 40 points Some character concepts might be too weird to allow everyone to play them, but not quite weird enough to completely break the site concept. On a more realistic site, this could be a celebrity or a psychopath. On a less realistic site, it could be a robot or an alien. In any case, a player who's earned this many points can probably be trusted to handle a weird concept responsibly. Buying this item might permit making a new weird character, or it could entail revealing that an existing character was weird all along.
Reveal a new area Cost: 50 points This is a good way to introduce new boards in order to keep things interesting. The cost should be high enough that players need to pool their resources together in order to afford it, but low enough that it should be buyable every case or two.
Invent a plot element Cost: 75 points If the admins want to let the players define the plot, then this item should be offered. Don't put it in the same game as the "reveal a plot element" item. The player who buys this item can decide one of the larger details of the plot, but the admins should be ready to veto any plot element that would contradict existing characters' backstories.
Cheat death Cost: 100 points This item might allow a character to come back after being "murdered," or it might allow a killer to survive her execution. The admins should think carefully before including it, since it can cheapen the impact of death.
Outcome bidding Cost: 500 points, bidding-style As an option to let the players determine the final outcome of the killing game, this item can be used. Characters bid points toward the outcome they'd like to see, and bidded points can be retracted or moved to another option at any time. Once the threshold is reached, the site begins to draw to a close (perhaps with a climactic final case).
Here's an abbreviated step-by-step guide for how the gameplay loop for each case goes.
During the downtime between cases, players have normal threads with each other and accumulate focus.
The admins select a case moderator who then announces the start of the offering phase.
Potential victims post offering threads. Those who are actually willing to have their characters die PM the case moderator to set their victim flags.
Potential killers reply to offering threads. Those who are actually willing to have their characters die PM the case moderator to set their killer flags.
The case moderator selects a valid killing and privately notifies the victim and killer. The killer and everyone else who replied to the victim's offering thread become suspects.
The victim and killer privately agree on the main details of the murder. The victim takes the forefront in deciding the specifics of the case.
The victim privately contacts each innocent suspect and establishes what they were seeing and doing at the time of the murder. Together, they come up with alibis for each suspect that prove their innocence but won't be revealed until late in the case.
The victim privately contacts the killer again and together they come up with a fake alibi that would seem to prove the killer's innocence, but which conflicts with the real alibis.
The case moderator posts a thread (written by the victim) that reveals that a killing has taken place, and then reveals the victim's identity.
The investigators roleplay the discovery and pose investigative questions that the victim's player is in charge of answering. Once this is done, the trial begins.
The victim selects a prime suspect and starts a thread for her examination. The investigators discuss the prime suspect and pose theories regarding the prime suspect's role in the case. Each theory should conclude with either "Verdict: Innocent" or "Verdict: Guilty." The prime suspect picks which theory is closest to the truth and then reveals her alibi to divert suspicion.
Repeat the previous step until every suspect has had her turn as prime suspect.
Once all alibis are known, the true identity of the killer becomes clear. The killer nominates a player to write a full summary of the murder.
The murderer is executed. Case points are awarded.
This is a system designed for telling stories set in a universe similar to those of the Persona series of video games. The mechanics center around a parallel world where the repressed aspects of the collective unconscious manifest as monsters called Shadows. The players' characters are capable of traveling to that parallel world and fighting the Shadows using the power of the social archetypes they embody, their Personas. As the video games do, this system draws heavily from the mythological interpretations of Jungian psychology structured around the Marseilles Tarot.
The main focus of the system is on players-versus-enemies combat resolution. Admins and players set up Gauntlets of Shadows which function like puzzles which anyone among the players can attempt to solve. Each Gauntlet is tied to the outcome of a story situation, and whichever player solves the Gauntlet first chooses how that situation turns out. The pieces of the puzzle are the players' Personas, and by making threads together to develop Social Links, a Persona gains abilities that will be useful for clearing more difficult Gauntlets. When resolving a Gauntlet, there is no randomness and no hidden information. The same player choices will result in the same outcome each time. The administration's only required role is to know the rules and ensure that everyone's following them.
This system was designed mostly with Persona 5 in mind, but it can function in any Persona-like setting where defeating monsters in a parallel mental world results in changes to the physical world. Gauntlets might be treated as floors of a universal dungeon like Tartarus or Mementos, or they might each be an individual's mental world as with the Midnight Channel or Palaces. The administration should specify which of these is the case for each site according to their own preference.
Archetype Manifest uses a turn-based battle system with different rules for Shadows and for the players' characters. Instead of tracking HP, all damage comes in the form of status effects. Each status effect comes with penalties of its own, and any character or Shadow hit with two status effects is defeated. The focus of the gameplay is on trying to figure out how to put together a team of Persona-users to defeat a group of Shadows before being defeated in turn.
The skills and status effects of this system are based on the Persona series, but because of the greater focus on status effects, skills involving manipulation of HP (Dia, Regenerate) are absent and skills involving manipulation of status effects (Energy Shower, Stagnant Air) are treated as extremely powerful. Instead of spending HP or SP to use skills, each skill can only be used once before the user must rest. Additionally, powerful skills can impose status effects on the user as blowback. In general, skill definitions have been stretched somewhat far to accommodate this kind of system.
Each type of Shadow follows a simple and completely predictable behavioral pattern. This means that players can say with complete certainty what will happen 2 or more rounds into the future depending only on which skills the players themselves choose to use. The difficulty comes from the fact that the players have a limited number of skills uses to work with, and against higher-difficulty Gauntlets, it becomes necessary to predict many moves ahead in order to avoid getting wiped out.
This system is somewhat unusual in that it's not about characters fighting each other and comparing power levels, but it still involves definitive win and loss states. I believe it's best to think of it less as a JRPG and more as a cooperative puzzle game with roleplaying elements.
This section details the character aspects that are required by the mechanics of the system. The administration should use a standard character template that includes all the usual aspects (personality, history, etc.) and then add these fields onto the end. These descriptions make reference to mechanics explained later in this guide. Refer back to here when deciding which options are most fitting for a new character.
The Marseilles Tarot deck consists of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana can be read as steps along the journey of a human lifetime, from infancy to complete fulfillment and enlightenment as an emotionally self-sufficient adult. However, successful completion of this journey is not to be taken for granted. Humans are social creatures, so they need each other's help in order to achieve healthy development. Each of the Major Arcana is associated with a character archetype, and people who fill that archetype can help others take the corresponding step. The choice of which of the Major Arcana one's character represents is an extremely important one.
In game terms, most of the Major Arcana have two unique properties each: a Major skill which the character can use and teach, and a Link Effect which can be granted to other characters. Both of these properties are bonuses granted for completing a thread with the character. Additionally, most of the Major Arcana have access to 3 Minor Skill lists. There are a total of 6 Minor Skill lists (one for each of the suits of the Minor Arcana plus one for aces and one for royals), but because there is some overlap between the Minor Skill lists, most characters will have access to most skills. The skill lists can be summarized as follow.
Coins: Utility skills that change the battlefield for allies and enemies equally, including passive skills that implement those changes automatically.
Cups: Support skills that remove or prevent status effects, including passive skills that redirect negative effects from allies onto oneself.
Swords: Physical skills that quickly defeat opponents in exchange for taking negative effects as backlash, but with passive skills that grant bonuses when under negative effects.
Wands: Elemental skills that put status effects on multiple enemies, with passive skills that nullify or reflect an individual element.
Aces: The few most powerful skills from each list, most of which include some sort of drawback, and without any passive skills.
Royals: A large number of skills from each skill list, but without the most powerful skills, and without any passive skills.
Each character must pick one Major Arcana archetype to embody. There are 22 to choose from, including 0 (The Fool) and two which are numbered 20 (Judgement and The Aeon). 21 (The World/The Universe) is not included, as an individual who has reached total completeness and fulfillment is by definition not subject to character development. Such people might exist in the background, but they are not suitable to be the focus of the story. Descriptions of the Major Arcana and their archetypes follow.
0 - The Fool Major Skill: None Link Effect: Learn a Minor Skill known by this character as if it were a Major Skill Minor Skills: All Special: Can only equip a maximum of 1 Major Skill
An aimless existence. A person who does not set out on the journey in the first place will avoid the growing pains inherent in self-discovery. However, this makes it impossible to live up to one's full human potential. It is not a rejection of maturity, for rejection is a decision, and decisions require personal agency. The Fool does not even see the path. It is an innocence that can be envied but not emulated.
I - The Magician Major Skill: Deathbound (Swords) Link Effect: Pure Potential - Can equip an additional Major Skill Minor Skills: Wands, Swords, Aces
One who acts. The first lesson learned by every human is the distinction between oneself and one's environment. Where one acts, the other is acted upon. The ability to choose between one action and another is the foundation upon which all freedom is built. The Magician takes this principle to its logical extreme, acting upon the world, freely creating for the sake of creation itself. However, it is only a matter of time before one begins to crave a purpose to fuel one's actions.
II - The High Priestess Major Skill: Energy Shower (Cups) Link Effect: Inner Clarity - Decrease Cups Major Skill requirement to 4 Minor Skills: Wands, Cups, Aces
A keeper of intuitive belief. In the search for purpose, the first answers come from our shared human instincts. Even without being told, we have a deep inner sense that some things are true and beautiful, while others are false and ugly. The High Priestess is one who trusts these feelings above all else. It's traditionally considered a feminine archetype due to the concept of "women's intuition," but a man can embody it just as well. In any case, the lack of objective standards bothers some more than others.
III - The Empress Major Skill: Rebirth (Cups) Link Effect: Bottomless Compassion - Duplicate one known Minor Skill from the Cups list Minor Skills: Wands, Coins, Cups
One who nurtures. Helping people is the single most straightforward form of goodness, leaving an impression on the world that cannot be denied. Everyone has been on the receiving end of this sort of benevolence at one point in their lives, and some decide to devote themselves to passing it along to others in turn. The Empress is generally considered the motherly archetype. It's not exclusive to women, though, as it forms quite a contrast to its masculine counterpart. After all, there are threats that no amount of nurturing can prepare one for.
IV - The Emperor Major Skill: Primal Force (Wands) Link Effect: Relentless Determination - Duplicate one known Minor Skill from the Aces list Minor Skills: Coins, Swords, Aces
One who protects. Wherever people are prosperous and happy, there will be those who seek to attack and exploit them. Without a protector, any happiness is short-lived indeed. The Emperor is generally considered the fatherly archetype, but just as with its counterpart, it's not exclusive to men. Protection is often less straightforward than it seems, however, as protecting a victim from an aggressor can turn the aggressor into a victim in turn.
V - The Hierophant Major Skill: Stagnant Air (Coins) Link Effect: Universal Consistency - Duplicate one known Minor Skill from the Royals list Minor Skills: Coins, Swords, Royals
A keeper of rational belief. Faced with the complexity of situations where not everyone can be happy, the natural response is to use consistent rules to determine the proper outcome. At the logical extreme, this results in everything from society to the natural world being completely quantified and cataloged by rules and laws. This is the diametric opposite to an intuitive worldview, and thus the Hierophant is considered the masculine counterpart of the High Priestess, but a woman can embody it just as well. When the laws constructed by fallible humans fail to completely capture the complexity of the world, some will be content with the approximations, while others will turn away and seek deeper truths.
VI - The Lovers Major Skill: Heat Riser (Coins) Link Effect: Chosen Path - Decrease Coins Major Skill requirement to 4 Minor Skills: Wands, Coins, Aces
One who lives a difficult choice. The archetypes up to this point are those which form the foundation of a functional society, symbolized by its spiritual and temporal leaders. Beyond this point lie those who transgress against and reshape society. The choice to take a new path is symbolized by the choice between partners with which to walk it. The one who embodies the Lovers is defined by the path rejected, choosing difficult wisdom over easy ignorance. However, once outside the bonds of traditional roles, there is nothing left to stand in the way of one's selfish ambitions.
VII - The Chariot Major Skill: Heat Wave (Swords) Link Effect: Relentless Pursuit - Duplicate one known Minor Skill from the Swords list Minor Skills: Swords, Aces, Royals
One who conquers. To turn against society is not necessarily the same as to abandon it. A person unbound by social rules is at a tremendous advantage compared to those who still work within them. The Chariot takes full advantage of this fact, pursuing all goals by the most direct path possible. Some are content to reshape the world in their own image. Others will begin to wonder whether their power brings with it obligation.
VIII - Justice Major Skill: God's Hand (Swords) Link Effect: Countless Punishments - Can keep two Minor Skills from the Swords list in Storage Minor Skills: Cups, Swords, Royals
One who divides the world between good and evil. Those with the power to reshape society will find it surprisingly fragile. This fragility inspires a desire to defend it. A person who embodies Justice is more destroyer than protector, deciding what cannot be allowed to continue to exist and then carrying out the sentence without mercy. But the world is an unfathomably big place with unfathomably many evils, and most will eventually realize that their task is ultimately a hopeless one.
IX - The Hermit Major Skill: Panta Rhei (Wands) Link Effect: Great Library - Can keep two Minor Skills from the Wands list in Storage Minor Skills: Wands, Coins, Royals
One who retreats. Faced, with the inevitability of evil, a natural response is to withdraw from the world and refuse to engage. When the game is unfair, rebellion takes the form of refusing to play it in the first place. The Hermit has power, but chooses not to use it. And even if one chooses not to push against the world, one will find that the world still pushes back.
X - The Wheel of Fortune Major Skill: Makarakarn (Cups) Link Effect: Endless Possibilities - Can keep any one skill in Storage Minor Skills: Cups, Swords, Aces
One who is bound by fate. At the midpoint of the journey, it has become clear that obeying the ways of society is futile, yet trying to change society is equally futile. Card 10 mirrors Card 00, yet this new aimlessness is made more painful by the understanding of the world's absurdity. The Wheel of Fortune is confronted by the question of whether it is possible or even desirable to break free. The endless cycle of struggling, failing, and questioning can only be broken by turning within.
XI - Strength Major Skill: Me Baisudi (Cups) Link Effect: Total Focus - Decrease Swords Major Skill requirement to 4 Minor Skills: Coins, Cups, Swords
One who masters oneself. The external world may be impossible to completely control, but the internal world is fundamentally one's own domain. No one else can control one's feelings. The person that embodies Strength recognizes this and devotes all effort inward in order to become a better person. At the conclusion of this process is complete selflessness - a state that some might find disturbing.
XII - The Hanged Man Major Skill: Debilitate (Coins) Link Effect: Immovable Calm - Can keep any two Minor Skills from the Passive list in Storage Minor Skills: Coins, Cups, Aces
One who does not live for one's own sake. With the understanding that personal pains and pleasures are fleeting and meaningless comes a desire to latch onto something more meaningful to pursue. This could take the form of a friend, an institution, or a moral system. The Hanged Man will bear any burden, passively and without complaint, in the service of this greater purpose. However, selflessness is not a natural state of being, and everyone must eventually confront their own humanity.
XIII - Death Major Skill: Abyssal Wings (Wands) Link Effect: Decisive Change - Can keep any two Minor Skills from the Aces list in Storage Minor Skills: Wands, Aces, Royals
One who embraces a transformation. The archetypes leading up to XIII deal with breaking down the ego shaped by society. Those that remain deal with rebuilding a new "self" which is capable of internalizing the greater truths of the world. The person who embodies Death has cast aside the past and been reborn into a new existence. There are many paths for such a life to follow, and only a few of them lead to enlightenment.
XIV - Temperance Major Skill: Resurrection (Cups) Link Effect: Balanced Vessels - Can keep any two Minor Skills from the Cups list in Storage Minor Skills: Cups, Aces, Royals
One who keeps the balance. In order to understand the world, it is first necessary to achieve harmony with it. This harmony takes the form of balancing the countless opposing forces which act upon oneself. The person who embodies Temperance recognizes that all evil things are merely good things taken to an extreme, and lives accordingly. This way of life brings happiness to oneself and one's surroundings, but true enlightenment requires firsthand experience of the darker aspects of the human condition as well.
XV - The Devil Major Skill: Ragnarok (Wands) Link Effect: Doubled Malevolence - Duplicate one known Minor Skill from the Wands list Minor Skills: Wands, Coins, Swords
One who challenges notions of right and wrong. Tarot is about greater understanding of the truths of the world - it does not concern itself with good or evil. Human notions of morality are a flimsy thing, and one who refuses to acknowledge this will never be wise. The Devil may or may not be a "bad person," but is certainly aware of just how flexible that term can be. The implications that follow are so terrifyingly bleak that many prefer to turn away, falling into a spiral of hedonism.
XVI - The Tower Major Skill: Thunder Reign (Wands) Link Effect: Sundered Shell - Decrease Wands Major Skill requirement to 4 Minor Skills: Wands, Swords, Royals
One broken by a revelation. Everyone has deep-held views about the world and about themselves engraved upon them for the convenience of society. When these views are shattered, only a painful emptiness remains. The Tower struggles to repair a worldview that has been undermined by the loss of one or more of its central pillars. This is an immensely difficult task, but success is one great step toward enlightenment.
XVII - The Star Major Skill: Rebellion (Coins) Link Effect: Inner Light - Can keep any two Minor Skills from the Coins list in Storage Minor Skills: Coins, Aces, Royals
One who builds the future. Even if the comforting ideas people are taught about their place in the world are lies, that doesn't mean that existence is pointless. Life's only meaning is that which we give it. The Star takes this lesson to heart, striving for a better outcome with a boundless sense of hope. Taking responsibility like this can be liberating, but it can also bring great pressure and loneliness.
XVIII - The Moon Major Skill: Niflheim (Wands) Link Effect: Arsenal of Dreams - Can keep any two Minor Skills from the Royals list in Storage Minor Skills: Wands, Cups, Royals
One lost in one's own world. The more people struggle to make things better, the more vulnerable they are to becoming blinded by visions of what could be. When ideals and reality fail to match up, confusion and fear often result. The Moon is caught in a different existence than that inhabited by the rest of humanity, seeing important things as trivial and trivial things as important. Overcoming these illusions is difficult, all the moreso because they might well be more real than the perceptions of society at large.
XIX - The Sun Major Skill: Silent Prayer (Coins) Link Effect: Complete Awareness - Can keep any two Minor Skills from the Coins list in Storage Minor Skills: Coins, Cups, Royals
One who embraces the truth. To know something is not the same as to internalize it. Many truths are painful or come with terrible implications. The Sun takes this in stride, facing everything with an unflinching smile. Such an approach makes it possible to banish all the comforting falsehoods that stand between the mind and enlightenment.
XX - Judgement Major Skill: Black Viper (Wands) Link Effect: Acceptance - Can keep two Major Skills in Storage Minor Skills: Wands, Cups, Swords
One who accepts humanity. If knowledge is power, then enlightenment is ultimate power. The question, then, is what should be done with that power. The one who embodies Judgement responds by turning back to those that follow, redeeming the fallen and understanding what made them fall. Recognizing the fundamental unity between all people, this is one possible way to reach the end of the path.
XX - The Aeon Major Skill: Any two Link Effect: Learn either of the two chosen Major Skills Minor Skills: Any one list
One who transcends humanity. This is an alternative route. Where Judgement comes from the traiditional Judeo-Christian Tarot, The Aeon comes from the Neopagan Thoth Tarot. In recent years, technology and society have developed to the point that the human condition itself has been irreversibly changed. The Aeon is inhuman, whether by origin or by choice, whether in body or in mind. It is impossible to say where such an entity's path leads, but it need not walk that path alone.
Each character knows a certain set of skills. The base amount of skills that may be known and equipped depends on the character's level, and some additional skills can be known through the Storage mechanic. Skills in Storage are skills that are known by the character, but are not equipped and therefore can't be used in battle. Characters can swap skills between their equipped list and Storage at any time between Gauntlet attempts. Characters can also choose to forget a skill at any time, but a skill forgotten in this manner can only be regained by being learned as a new skill after a successful Gauntlet attempt.
Storage slots are gained via certain Social Links. The skill list of a Level 0 character with the Justice and Death Social Link effects and several extra learned skills would look something like this:
This section lists the basic skills that will make up the bulk of a character's skill list. In order to learn a Minor Skill, the skill must be on one of the lists associated with the character's Archetype. Starting characters pick 3 Minor Skills to know. Additional skills are learned through Gauntlets and Social Links.
Each Minor Skill is listed under one of the Minor Arcana. Most skills are also considered to be on either the Aces list or the Royals list. Skills on the Aces list are bolded and skills on the Royals list are underlined. A character who has access to either of the lists a skill is associated with can learn the skill. Note that passive skills, which are neither bolded nor underlined, do not appear on the Aces or Royals lists.
Some Minor Skills are considered to be upgraded versions of a base skill. When a skill is listed indented next to a bullet point under an un-indented skill, the un-indented skill is the base skill and the indented skill is the upgraded skill. In order to learn an upgraded skill, the character must already know either the base skill or another upgraded skill with the same base skill. For example, to learn Bufula, a character must already know either Bufu or Bufudyne. Characters with access to the Aces skill list are exempt from this requirement.
The list of all 108 Minor Skills follows. An alphabetized glossary of all skills and their functions can be found at the end of the rules.
Die For Me!
When two characters finish a non-Gauntlet thread together, the social bond formed generates power for them both. This is referred to as a Social Link. The benefits a character gets from a Social Link depend on the Archetype of the thread's other character. Finishing a thread together should always result in a Social Link unless the admins judge it to be extremely obvious that the participants aren't actually trying to roleplay.
In their final posts in the concluded thread, each of the participants should tell the admins, out-of-character, which benefit they wish to get from the Social Link. Depending on the Archetype of the partner, this will usually be one of two choices: learning a Major Skill, or obtaining a link effect. Each Major Skill is associated with one of the Minor Arcana, and the Major Skill cannot be learned until the learner knows at least 5 Minor Skills of that Minor Arcana. This requirement is decreased by some Social Link effects, and skills in Storage count toward the requirement. Furthermore, a character can only equip 2 Major Skills at once (note that this limit starts at 1 for characters of The Fool's Archetype, is increased by 1 by the Magician's Link Effect, and does not count skills placed in Storage). It is never possible to learn two copies of the same Major Skill at once.
It's only possible to get one benefit at a time from a Social Link with a single character. However, one can have a Social Link with two characters of the same Archetype in order to get both the Major Skill and the Link Effect of their Major Arcana. It is never possible to know two copies of the same Major Skill, but a forgotten Major Skill can be replaced with a new social link. There are two special cases:
The Fool teaches Minor Skills in place of Major Skills. There is no requirement of already having a certain number of skills of the same Minor Arcana before learning a Minor Skill in this manner, but they still count toward the limit of Major Skills a character can have equipped at once. A character can only have two Minor Skills from this effect at once, regardless of how many Fools are befriended. Learning a skill from The Fool can never result in knowing more than one copy of the same skill.
The Aeon's picks two Major Skills to be able to teach at character creation. A character can only ever have two Major Skills learned from characters of this archetype at once.
When characters form Social Links, they should update their character sheets to explicitly note what they're getting from each person. It should look something like this:
Alice (The Devil) - Duplicated Die For Me! Bob (The Devil) - Learned Ragnarok
A Social Link can be reversed by either member at any time. Additionally, characters who are removed from the site due to inactivity have all their social links dissolved. The effects of a social link being reversed or dissolve are as follow:
Learned Major Skill (or Minor Skill from The Fool) - Skill is forgotten
Duplicated Skill - The duplicate is forgotten
Gained storage - The character must reorganize skills, forgetting skills if necessary, so that the storage is emptied before the next Gauntlet attempt
Decreased requirement to learn Major Skill - Requirement returns to normal, but old already-learned Major Skills are not lost
These effects kick in for a character as soon as that character isn't in the middle of a Gauntlet. Reversing a Social Link is most often done when two characters are in disagreement as to how a coming Gauntlet should resolve, as they shift from friends to rivals. A reversed Social Link can be rebuilt in the same manner as forming a new Social Link.
Group threads can also result in Social Links. When a thread with more than two participants is completed, each character's concluding post should pick one other participant who has not been picked yet to form a Social Link with. This results in every participant forming two Social Links: one by choice, and one by being chosen. This number remains the same regardless of how large the group thread is.
A character's Level determines only one thing: how many skills can be equipped. Not counting Storage slots, this is also how many skills the character can know at once. Starting at Level 0, the character can equip 3 skills. Each Level adds another skill. At Level 5 (the maximum) the characters can equip a full set of 8 skills.
The only way to increase one's Level is to be a part of the group of characters that clears a Gauntlet. Clearing a Gauntlet of higher Level increases the character's Level by 1 and allows the character to learn a new skill. Clearing a Gauntlet of equal Level allows the character to learn a new skill, but does not increase the character's Level. Clearing a Gauntlet of lower Level does not give any reward.
In Archetype Manifest, combat is turn-based. Shadows behave predictably, following a few simple rules, but players have a variety of actions available to them.
Both Shadows and characters are organized in battle by their position. Most skills and Shadow abilities work based on their targets' positions, which means that a large component of Gauntlet strategy is arranging the positions such that Shadows end up wasting their turns. Each side of each battle has positions ranging from 1 to however many units are on that side. The units at position #1 are on the front line and in the most danger, while those at higher positions are further back.
For the players' characters, starting position is determined by the order in which they join the Gauntlet. Whoever started the Gauntlet thread is at position #1, and each additional joiner takes the next position. This can be overridden by players specifying which position they wish to start in, with any disputes decided in favor of whoever posted first.
During combat, whenever a character uses a skill, that character is bumped up to position #1, and all the characters that were previously in front are bumped back a spot to make room. This cannot be overridden, even if the character would prefer not to change positions.
Shadows' initial positions within a Gauntlet are determined by the player who makes the Gauntlet. After that, Shadows only change position when they're DEFEATED. A DEFEATED Shadow is removed from the Gauntlet and all remaining Shadows move forward to fill the vacated position so that the frontmost Shadow is always at position #1, the next Shadow is at position #2, and so on.
In order to act, a character simply posts in the Gauntlet thread and puts the name of the skill to be used at the bottom of the post. Because skills are automatically targeted depending on the other side's positions, there's no need to specify a skill's target. A valid skill usage must fulfill the following requirements:
The character is a member of that Gauntlet attempt.
The character has not yet used that skill. (It is not yet "used up.")
The character did not act last turn.
The character is not under a status effect which prohibits acting.
As noted above, a character who uses a skill is always moved up to position #1, bumping back other characters on the same side as necessary to make room.
Characters may post in a Gauntlet even if they aren't using a skill. This can be useful in setting the scene or roleplaying interactions for characters who are injured or saving their skills for later in the Gauntlet.
Once one of the characters acts, the turn passes to the enemy side. This means that having more characters in the party does not grant more actions per turn.
Multiple Shadows can act in a single turn. Every Shadow has two possible actions it can take: one action which it uses when it survives the round (its "Soul" ability), and one action which it takes on the turn it is DEFEATED (its "Body" ability). Shadows only begin using their Soul ability when they're close to the front of the position order, but a DEFEATED Shadow will always use its Body ability unless specifically prevented from doing so by a status effect. This means that it can be dangerous to defeat a large number of Shadows on the same turn, especially for a low-level party.
Shadows act in positional order, meaning that the one at position #1 acts first, the one at position #2 acts second, and so on. Even if the Shadow in front doesn't act due to status effects or other factors, Shadows further back can still act normally. See the information on building Shadows later in this section for more details on when Shadows act.
Some Shadow abilities are targeted at a single character. Each turn, Shadows which use targeted abilities aim them at the characters in positional order. So, the first Shadow to use a targeted ability aims it at the character in position #1, the second aims at #2, and so on. This doesn't generally mean that Shadows attack characters at their corresponding position. For example, if the Shadow at position #1 doesn't use a targeted ability but the Shadows at #2 and #3 do, then Shadow #2 will target character #1 and Shadow #3 will target character #2.
A character cannot be hit by two targeted abilities on the same turn. This means that if the Shadows use more targeted abilities than there are characters in the party, the extra targeted abilities will have no valid target and therefore do nothing. This can give an advantage to small parties. However, note that characters can still be affected by any number of untargeted abilities at once.
These are the negative effects that the game is built around. They persist across multiple turns, remaining in effect until removed by a skill except where noted otherwise. Because Shadows play by different rules than characters do, some status effects have separate rules for afflicted characters than they do for afflicted Shadows. Status effects are always denoted with ALL CAPS text.
Note that attempting to inflict a status effect on a unit which is already suffering from that same status effect does nothing. As such, it can be a good tactic to bait Shadows into wasting their turns hitting characters with status effects they're already suffering from.
DEFEATED The unit can no longer fight effectively for one reason or another. Any characters who have the KNOCKED OUT status effect, or have two other status effects, immediately have those status effects removed and replaced with DEFEATED. When a Shadow is DEFEATED, it can't use its Soul ability, but it uses its Body ability instead. Note that while DEFEATED Shadows are removed from the position order, DEFEATED characters are not, which means that they're still valid targets for Shadow abilities. DEFEATED characters are immune to all other status effects, so using them to take hits can be very effective.
KNOCKED OUT The unit has taken a single very powerful hit. It's usually the characters who will be dishing out this level of pain, either against Shadows or as backlash for using strong moves, but some rare Shadows can perform attacks like this as well. This status effect is usually immediately replaced with DEFEATED, but some skills can prevent that.
EXPEL The unit has been smited by holy power. This status effect is only applied against units who are already suffering from a different status effect. Units who aren't already under a different status effect are immune. As such, EXPEL only works to defeat a unit that's already been weakened. This status effect is imposed by light-elemental attacks.
CURSED The unit is especially vulnerable to further damage. This status effect doesn't do anything on its own. A CURSED enemy suffers no penalties aside from the fact that a second status effect will DEFEAT them. This status effect is imposed by dark-elemental attacks.
DOWN The unit has been sent sprawling by a forceful attack. For Characters: The character cannot use skills, but can instead take the special action Get Up. Taking this action removes the DOWN status effect, but it uses up a turn, so it's important to only use it when it's safe. For Shadows: On the following turn, affected Shadows cannot use their Soul action. The DOWN status effect is removed at the end of the turn.
SHOCKED The unit is seizing up due to electrical discharges. For Characters: If the affected character uses any skill, the character is immediately KNOCKED OUT by the exertion. For Shadows: If the affected Shadow tries to take its Soul action, it is immediately DEFEATED. This also causes the Shadow to take its Body action afterward. As always, the same character cannot be the target of multiple Shadow actions on the same turn, so if both the Shadow's Soul action and Body action are targeted, the Body action hits the next character in the position order.
ABLAZE The unit is being rapidly consumed by fire. Once afflicted by this status effect, the unit can survive for 2 turns. After the unit's side has taken 2 turns following the affliction, the unit is KNOCKED OUT at the end of the turn.
FROZEN The unit is immobilized in ice. For Characters: Once afflicted by this status effect, it lasts for 3 turns. After the character's side has taken 3 turns following the affliction, the FROZEN status effect is removed. While FROZEN, the character cannot use skills and does not benefit from passive skills or individual buffs. For Shadows: If the Shadow is under this status effect when it gets KNOCKED OUT or DEFEATED, it cannot take its Body action. Its Soul action is unaffected, but unlike for characters, this status effect does not go away over time.
These actions are not skills, but they still cost a turn to use. They don't directly result in progress through the Gauntlet, so it's generally best to avoid using them. However, sometimes they're the only way forward.
Get Up This special action is only usable by a character with the DOWN status effect. It removes that status effect from the character. Because it's not a skill, it can be used multiple times in the same Gauntlet. In some circumstances, multiple characters might get caught in a loop of repeatedly getting knocked DOWN after getting up. In these cases, it might be best to Run Away.
Arrive This special action allows a character who wasn't part of the Gauntlet attempt to join it. It can only be used as long as it doesn't take the number of challengers above the Gauntlet's Max Challengers. Because it uses up a turn, it's generally better to have everyone be part of the Gauntlet from the start, but there are a few cases where joining midway through can be smart.
Run Away This special action removes the character from the battle. The character is then free to start or join another Gauntlet attempt. The character is removed from the position order and the other characters are moved forward to fill the emptied position. A character who flees in this manner cannot be replaced with the Arrive special action - the party will be shorthanded for the rest of the attempt. This is generally only useful when a Gauntlet attempt has become hopeless and everyone wants to try something else, but sometimes it can work as a last-ditch effort to get a more favorable position order.
Because this system has no randomness and no hidden information, the resolution of a round of combat can be determined by anyone who understands the system. The admins can nominate any player who shows a strong grasp of the system to be a moderator and post updates to a Gauntlet in their place. If a moderator makes an important mistake in an update post, the combat should be rolled back to the last valid update and re-done from there.
It's entirely possible for the players challenging a Gauntlet to think several moves ahead and know which skills they want to use in advance. In this case, they can post their skills one-after-another without waiting for a moderator or admin to update the thread. This changes nothing about the resolution order - the moderator should still have the Shadows act in between skill usages as normal, even if that means they're acting more than once in the update.
The following is an example of a resolution post. The exact form of the post isn't important, as long as all the relevant information about the state of the battle is recorded. Moderators should try to make resolution posts as often as possible to ensure that the players are all on the same page regarding their attempt.
Last round's actions:
Alice uses Bufu. Ignorant Maya is FROZEN! Alice moves to Position #1, Bob is moved back to Position #2. Ignorant Maya uses Arrogant Smile. No effect. Impulsive Robe uses Careless Invective. Alice is CURSED!
This section covers the rules for making shadows and organizing them into a Gauntlet. Even players who have no interest in designing a Gauntlet on their own should read this so that they know what they're up against.
Each Shadow is a very simple enemy constructed from two components, one of which corresponds to the action the Shadow takes when it survives and the other corresponding to the action it takes when it's defeated. These are referred to as its Soul and its Body respectively. A Shadow's Soul also determines the position at which it begins fighting the characters, and its Body also determines which status effects it's immune to.
There are 22 different Souls and 22 different Bodies to mix and match when making a Shadow, which results in 484 possible combinations. Each Soul and Body correspond to one of the Major Arcana. Those correponding to higher Arcana are generally more difficult.
A full description of each of the Souls and Bodies follows. The Range field for Souls is the highest position in which a Shadow will use its Soul action - at higher positions, it will only act when DEFEATED. The Immunities field for Bodies is the list of status effects the Shadow will be immune to. The Cost field is used as described in the following section on building Gauntlets.
Ignorant The shadow cast by innocence. Cost: 1 Range: 1 Action: "Arrogant Smile" - This action has no effect. Targeted: No
Impulsive The shadow cast by proactivity. Cost: 2 Range: 2 Action: "Careless Invective" - Target is CURSED. Targeted: Yes
Delusional The shadow cast by intuition. Cost: 2 Range: 2 Action: "Disruption Wave" - Target is knocked DOWN. Targeted: Yes
Obsessed The shadow cast by attachment. Cost: 2 Range: 2 Action: "Sukunda" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Tyrannical The shadow cast by responsibility. Cost: 2 Range: 2 Action: "Cruel Whip" - All Shadows recover from DOWN status. Targeted: No
Dogmatic The shadow cast by rationality. Cost: 2 Range: 2 Action: "Samakaja" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Biased The shadow cast by independence. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Rakunda" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Selfish The shadow cast by confidence. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Burning Desire" - Target is set ABLAZE. Targeted: Yes
Merciless The shadow cast by discernment. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Retribution Bolt" - Target is SHOCKED. Targeted: Yes
Indecisive The shadow cast by realism. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Murky Haze" - All Shadows recover from ABLAZE status. Targeted: No
Gullible The shadow cast by deference. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Sukukaja" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Impotent The shadow cast by restraint. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Grounding" - All Shadows recover from SHOCKED status. Targeted: No
Cowardly The shadow cast by submission. Cost: 3 Range: 3 Action: "Rakukaja" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Treacherous The shadow cast by flexibility. Cost: 4 Range: 4 Action: "Samanda" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Stagnant The shadow cast by balance. Cost: 4 Range: 4 Action: "Entropy Raiser" - All Shadows recover from FROZEN status. Targeted: No
Apathetic The shadow cast by perspective. Cost: 4 Range: 4 Action: "Chilling Fog" - Target is FROZEN. Targeted: Yes
Violent The shadow cast by turmoil. Cost: 4 Range: 4 Action: "Blood Rage" - Casts Samakaja and target is knocked DOWN. Targeted: Partial (Only DOWN portion)
Manic The shadow cast by hope. Cost: 5 Range: 5 Action: "Blasphemous Babble" - Casts Rakunda and target is CURSED. Targeted: Partial (Only CURSED portion)
Oblivious The shadow cast by fantasy. Cost: 5 Range: 5 Action: "Lunacy" - Casts Sukukaja and target is set ABLAZE. Targeted: Partial (Only ABLAZE portion)
Conceited The shadow cast by understanding. Cost: 5 Range: 5 Action: "Impulse" - Casts Sukunda and target is SHOCKED. Targeted: Partial (Only SHOCKED portion)
Guilty The shadow cast by acceptance. Cost: 5 Range: 5 Action: "Final Embrace" - Casts Rakukaja and target is FROZEN. Targeted: Partial (Only FROZEN portion)
Monstrous The shadow cast by trascendance. Cost: 7 Range: 7 Action: "Awe" - EXPEL against all opponents Targeted: No
Maya An undifferentiated blob of darkness. Cost: 1 Immunities: None Action: "Fall Apart" - This action has no effect. Targeted: No
Robe A symbol of wielded power. Cost: 2 Immunities: EXPEL, CURSED Action: "Arcane Burst" - Target is CURSED. Targeted: Yes
Crystal A symbol of intuitive knowledge. Cost: 2 Immunities: FROZEN Action: "Shatter" - Target is knocked DOWN. Targeted: Yes
Blossom A symbol of the power of nature. Cost: 2 Immunities: DOWN Action: "Sukunda" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Scepter A symbol of the power of civilization. Cost: 2 Immunities: ABLAZE Action: "Last Charge" - All Shadows recover from DOWN status. Targeted: No
Scroll A symbol of rational knowledge. Cost: 2 Immunities: SHOCKED Action: "Samakaja" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Sign A warning of a choice ahead. Cost: 3 Immunities: EXPEL, FROZEN Action: "Rakunda" - As the skill Targeted: No
Fist A warning of forceful conquest. Cost: 3 Immunities: CURSED, ABLAZE Action: "Burning Touch" - Target is set ABLAZE. Targeted: Yes
Scales A warning of a binding decision. Cost: 3 Immunities: EXPEL, SHOCKED Action: "Polar Discharge" - Target is SHOCKED. Targeted: Yes
Lantern A warning of coming darkness. Cost: 3 Immunities: DOWN, ABLAZE Action: "Freezing Flame" - All Shadows recover from ABLAZE status. Targeted: No
Cards A warning of unpredictability. Cost: 3 Immunities: DOWN, SHOCKED Action: "Sukukaja" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Beast A warning of leashed ferocity. Cost: 3 Immunities: EXPEL, CURSED, DOWN Action: "Energy Eater" - All Shadows recover from SHOCKED status. Targeted: No
Puppet A warning of a watching controller. Cost: 3 Immunities: CURSED, FROZEN Action: "Rakukaja" - As the skill. Targeted: No
Skull A nexus of irreversable change. Cost: 4 Immunities: CURSED, DOWN, SHOCKED Action: "Samanda" - As the skill. Targeted: No.
Vessel A nexus of balanced forces. Cost: 4 Immunities: EXPEL, DOWN, ABLAZE Action: "Vital Deluge" - All Shadows recover from FROZEN status. Targeted: No.
Chains A nexus of inescapable truths. Cost: 4 Immunities: CURSED, EXPEL, FROZEN Action: "Traitors' Fate" - Target is FROZEN. Targeted: Yes
Tempest A nexus of great destruction. Cost: 4 Immunities: EXPEL, SHOCKED, ABLAZE Action: "Dread Burst" - All Shadows recover from CURSED status and target is knocked DOWN. Targeted: Partial (Only the DOWN portion)
Wisp A presence which resists all suppression. Cost: 5 Immunities: DOWN, SHOCKED, ABLAZE Action: "Vital Drain" - All Shadows recover from FROZEN status and target is CURSED. Targeted: Partial (Only the CURSED portion)
Mirror A presence which bears a dark reflection. Cost: 5 Immunities: EXPEL, ABLAZE, FROZEN Action: "Energy Focus" - All Shadows recover from SHOCKED status and target is set ABLAZE. Targeted: Partial (Only the ABLAZE portion)
Face A presence which casts a knowing gaze. Cost: 5 Immunities: CURSED, SHOCKED, FROZEN Action: "Glare" - All Shadows recover from ABLAZE status and target is SHOCKED. Targeted: Partial (Only the SHOCKED portion)
Trumpet A presence which emits a defeaning tone. Cost: 5 Immunities: CURSED, SHOCKED, ABLAZE Action: "World of the Dead" - All Shadows recover from DOWN status, target is FROZEN. Targeted: Partial (Only the FROZEN portion)
Divinity An existence above humanity. Cost: 7 Immunities: SHOCKED, ABLAZE, FROZEN Action: "Deicide Reprisal" - Target is KNOCKED OUT. Targeted: Yes
A Gauntlet can be set up by any player. This is a two-step process. First, the player should decide what the stakes of the Gauntlet will be. Second, the player should make a list of Shadows to be part of the Gauntlet.
The stakes of a Gauntlet can be just about any question of how an individual or group of people will react to some circumstance in the outside world. Challenging the Gauntlet represents fighting against the phantoms of the unconscious in order to give people a chance to change their way of thinking. The question posed by the Gauntlet might be a simple matter of "yes" or "no," or it might be more open-ended. In either case, whoever clears the Gauntlet first will decide what the answer will be.
As for populating the Gauntlet with Shadows, each Gauntlet has a level which represents how dangerous the associated mental landscape is. The level determines both how many Shadows are in the Gauntlet and how many "points" the builder must use to buy Shadows. The point cost for each Shadow is equal to the Soul cost times the Body cost. So, for example, a Merciless Tempest would cost 12 points. The number of Shadows in a Gauntlet of a given level can fall within a range of values, but the points value must be exact. The builder can always throw a low-level Shadow or two into the Gauntlet if the value comes up short. Finally, each level has a "max challengers" value, which means that the number of characters challenging the Gauntlet at any one time cannot be greater than the given number.
Admins can make as many Gauntlets as they like. Other players can have only one Gauntlet made at a time, which means that before making another Gauntlet, they must either close it or wait for it to be cleared. A Gauntlet may be closed by the one who created it at any time as long as no one is in the process of challenging it.
When building a Gauntlet, each new Shadow added to the Gauntlet must fulfill two conditions:
The Shadow is not an exact copy of another Shadow already found in the Gauntlet. So, for example, if the Gauntlet already has a Merciless Tempest, then it is not allowed to add a second Merciless Tempest to the Gauntlet.
The Shadow is not immediately before or after another Shadow which shares the same Soul or Body. So, for example, it's fine for a Merciless Tempest and a Merciless Divinity to be in the same Gauntlet, but they can't be right next to each other.
In order to challenge a Gauntlet, a character should post a thread with [CHALLENGE] in the title and specify which Gauntlet is being challenged at the bottom of the opening post. Challenging a Gauntlet is only permitted if no one else is in the process of challenging that Gauntlet.
For the next 48 hours, other players may support the attempt by posting in the thread. Once 48 hours have passed, or once the number of challengers (including the one who posted the thread) has reached the limit for the Gauntlet's level, the characters may begin posting their actions.
The player who made a Gauntlet is not allowed to start the challenge against that Gauntlet, but may still support a challenge as a participant.
Failure and Success
A Gauntlet is failed when all the characters are DEFEATED or when they have no valid actions (for example, due to using up all their skills or due to the only surviving member having already acted last turn). There are no serious penalties for failing a Gauntlet. When a Gauntlet is failed, none of the players who participated may start a new challenge against the same Gauntlet for 48 hours. However, they may still join attempts started by other players' characters. When a Gauntlet is failed, it is returned to its initial state with all Shadows revived and returned to their initial positions.
A Gauntlet is successfully cleared when all its Shadows are DEFEATED. The one who posted the challenge should decide how the Gauntlet's stakes are resolved (the other participants may offer their input, but the choice ultimately rests in the hands of the initial challenger). Characters of lower level than the Gauntlet's level gain +1 level (regardless of how much higher the Gauntlet's level was than their own). Characters of equal or lower level than the Gauntlet also learn a skill. Characters of higher level than the Gauntlet gain no reward for clearing it.
Skills learned as a reward for completing a Gauntlet must be either a Minor Skill from one of the skill lists associated with the character's Archetype, or the Major Skill associated with the character's Archetype. It is not permitted to learn a second copy of a skill the character already knows in this manner. The only way to learn two copies of the same skill is via the Duplication Social Link effect.
This section describes how each of the system's skills are used. Some groups of skills all follow the same rules, so those rules have been put here to save space.
Global Effects Examples: Rakukaja, Rakunda, Rebellion, Silent Prayer Rules: These skills result in conditions which affect the entire battlefield, enemies and allies alike. They can be very powerful, but they can also do more harm than good if used carelessly.
-kaja skills Examples: Rakukaja, Sukukaja, Samakaja, and skills which combine one or more of them with another effect. Rules: These skills produce global effects which increase everyone's defenses. In effect, they give everyone immunity to a selection of status effects. Units which are already suffering from the associated status effect are not cured. If the battlefield is already under a -nda effect, then the two effects cancel each other out, which means that going from a -kunda global effect to a -kaja global effect requires two uses of the -kaja skill. If the battlefield is already under a -kaja effect, then using that same -kaja skill again does nothing.
-nda skills Examples: Rakunda, Sukunda, Samanda, and skills which combine one or more of them with another effect. Rules: These skills produce global effects which increase everyone's vulnerabilities. In effect, they temporarily remove all immunities to a selection of status effects. Units already under the associated status effect on the same turn as the -nda skill is used are immediately KNOCKED OUT. If the battlefield is already under a -kaja effect, then the two effects cancel each other out and units already under the associated status effect aren't KNOCKED OUT. This means that going from a -kaja global effect to a -nda global effect requires two uses of the -nda skill. If the battlefield is already under a -nda effect, then using that same -nda skill again will KNOCK OUT all units under the associated status effects, but does not change the global effect.
Passive skills Examples: Autorakukaja, Firm Stance, Static Discharge, Null Ice Rules: These skills aren't used like other skills. Instead, they always take effect every round whenever they're relevant. This means that they're never used up, but it also means that the holder can't choose not to use them. If a passive skill would be a hindrance, then the holder should forget the skill or put it in Storage before starting the Gauntlet.
Auto- skills Examples: Autorakukaja, Autorakunda, Autosukukaja, Autosukunda Rules: These passive skills repeatedly use -kaja or -kunda effects at the start of the characters' turn, before they take their action. This usually results in the battlefield being constantly under the associated global effect, but there are exceptions. For example, even if one of the characters has Autorakukaja, an enemy Shadow still might use Rakunda, and Shadows which act later in the turn order would then be able to act normally since the Rakukaja effect isn't refreshed until the start of the characters' turn. If two characters have opposed Auto- skills, then both skills are ignored. Note that Auto- -nda skills result in units with the associated status effects being KNOCKED OUT every turn.
Individual Buff skills Examples: Charge, Concentrate, Heat Up, Endure Rules: These skills give bonuses to individual characters, working like positive status effects. Individual buffs apply only to the character that has them. Some skills give them to the user, while others give them to an ally.
Party Buff skills Examples: Makatora, Makarakarn, White Wall, Rebirth Rules: These skills give bonuses to the entire party as a whole. However, once they're used up, they're removed from the entire party.
Resist Skills Examples: Resist Ice, Resist Fire, Resist Elec, Resist Wind Rules: These passive skills give the character a conditional immunity to a particular status effect. The immunity is only active when the character is already under a different status effect. In other words, the resisted status effect can never be used to finish off the character. This is generally inferior to Null skills, but it can be used in tandem with other passive skills that require the character to be vulnerable to a status effect. Note that -nda effects temporarily negate Resist skills.
Null Skills Examples: Null Ice, Null Fire, Null Elec, Null Wind Rules: These passive skills give the character complete immunity to a particular status effect. Note that -nda effects temporarily negate Resist skills.
Reflect Skills Examples: Reflect Ice, Reflect Fire, Reflect Elec, Reflect Wind Rules: These passive skills act just like Null skills, except that they also inflict the status effect on any unit which tries to inflict it on the character. This can be dangerous, since a Shadow which is DEFEATED by a reflected Soul action immediately uses its Body action as well. Note that -nda effects remove the Null aspect of these skills, but the reflection works as normal (so that both the character and the enemy are hit by the status effect).
Attract Skills Examples: Attract Ice, Attract Fire, Attract Elec, Attract Wind Rules: These passive skills cause the character to take a particular status effect in an ally's place, as long as the character with the Attract skill is further back in the turn order than the character to be protected. They only function when the character is vulnerable to the status effect, meaning that they can't have an immunity and they can't already be suffering from that status effect. Both the character with the Attract skill and the character that was protected are considered to have been "targeted" by this attack, which means that the character with the Attract skill cannot be targeted by a second Shadow that turn. Attract skills only redirect the status effect as long as the character with the Attract skill isn't already suffering from a different status effect, which means that a character will never be immediately DEFEATED as a result of having an Attract skill.
Capture Skills Examples: Capture Ice, Capture Fire, Capture Elec, Capture Wind Rules: These passive skills function exactly like Attract skills, with the exception that the status effect is redirected even if the character with the skill is already suffering from a different status effect. This means that characters with Capture skills are more reliable in their protection, but they can also end up sacrificing themselves.
The following is an alphabetical listing of all skills in the game, including Major Skills and Minor Skills of all arcana.
Absorb Light Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Light or Reflect Light Effect: Whenever there is an attempt to inflict EXPEL status on the character, this instead removes all status effects (except for DEFEATED) on the character. Samanda stops this from working, but Samakaja does not. (See Passive skills)
Abyssal Wings Class: Major Archetype: Death Prereq: 5 Wands Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-9 are CURSED.
Agi Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemies at positions #1-2 are set ABLAZE.
Agidyne Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Aces Prereq: Agi or Agilao Effect: The enemies at positions #1-4 are set ABLAZE. The user is also set ABLAZE as backlash.
Agilao Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: Agi or Agidyne Effect: The enemies at positions #1-3 are set ABLAZE.
Arms Master Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: When the character uses a skill that would normally result in getting KNOCKED OUT as backlash, the character is instead pushed DOWN. This bypasses all immunities and redirection. (See Passive skills)
Arrow Rain Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemy at position #2 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Attract Dark Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: None Effect: Attracts the CURSED status effect. (See Passive, Attract skills)
Attract Elec Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: None Effect: Attracts the SHOCKED status effect. (See Passive, Attract skills)
Attract Fire Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: None Effect: Attracts the ABLAZE status effect. (See Passive, Attract skills)
Attract Ice Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: None Effect: Attracts the FROZEN status effect. (See Passive, Attract skills)
Attract Wind Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: None Effect: Attracts the DOWN status effect. (See Passive, Attract skills)
Autorakukaja Class: Minor Lists: Coins Prereq: Rakukaja or Blood Ritual Effect: Automatically casts Rakukaja at the start of each turn. (See Global Effects, Auto-, -kaja skills)
Autorakunda Class: Minor Lists: Coins Prereq: Rakunda or Spell Gloom Effect: Automatically casts Rakunda at the start of each turn. (See Global Effects, Auto-, -nda skills)
Autosamakaja Class: Minor Lists: Coins Prereq: Samakaja or Pain Eater Effect: Automatically casts Samakaja at the start of each turn. (See Global Effects, Auto-, -kaja skills)
Autosamanda Class: Minor Lists: Coins Prereq: Samanda or War Cry Effect: Automatically casts Samanda at the start of each turn. (See Global Effects, Auto-, -nda skills)
Autosukukaja Class: Minor Lists: Coins Prereq: Sukukaja or Taunt Effect: Automatically casts Sukukaja at the start of each turn. (See Global Effects, Auto-, -kaja skills)
Autosukunda Class: Minor Lists: Coins Prereq: Sukunda or War Cry Effect: Automatically casts Sukunda at the start of each turn.
Black Viper Class: Major Archetype: Judgement Prereq: 5 Wands Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-4 are KNOCKED OUT. The user is FROZEN as backlash.
Black Wall Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Aces Prereq: Cursedi or Me Cursedi Effect: Grants the "Anticurse" party buff. This negates all attempts to inflict the CURSED condition for the whole turn. Characters who are already under the status effect are not cured. It ignores -nda effects, but does not protect against self-inflicted status effects. The buff only goes away after a turn where at least one enemy attempted to inflict the associated status effect. (See Party Buff skills)
Blood Ritual Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Aces Prereq: Rakukaja or Autorakukaja Effect: Casts both Rakukaja and Samanda. (See Global Effects, -kaja, -nda skills)
Blue Wall Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Aces Prereq: Shockdi or Me Shockdi Effect: Grants the "Antishock" party buff. This negates all attempts to inflict the SHOCKED condition for the whole turn. Characters who are already under the status effect are not cured. It ignores -nda effects, but does not protect against self-inflicted status effects. The buff only goes away after a turn where at least one enemy attempted to inflict the associated status effect. (See Party Buff skills)
Bolt Strike Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is SHOCKED as backlash.
Bufu Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemy at position #1 is FROZEN.
Bufudyne Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Aces Prereq: Bufu or Bufula Effect: The enemies at positions #1-3 are FROZEN. The user is also FROZEN as backlash.
Bufula Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: Bufu or Bufudyne Effect: The enemies at positions #1-2 are FROZEN.
Burndi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The ABLAZE ally first in the turn order has that status effect removed.
Capture Dark Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: Attract Dark Effect: Captures the CURSED status effect. (See Passive, Capture skills)
Capture Elec Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: Attract Elec Effect: Captures the SHOCKED status effect. (See Passive, Capture skills)
Capture Fire Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: Attract Fire Effect: Captures the ABLAZE status effect. (See Passive, Capture skills)
Capture Ice Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: Attract Ice Effect: Captures the FROZEN status effect. (See Passive, Capture skills)
Capture Wind Class: Minor Lists: Cups Prereq: Attract Wind Effect: Captures the DOWN status effect. (See Passive, Capture skills)
Charge Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Grants the user the "Charged" individual buff. When a character with this buff uses a skill that KNOCKS OUT an enemy, the enemy immediately behind that enemy in the position order is also KNOCKED OUT. If this enemy was already going to be hit with another status effect by the skill, then that status effect instead hits the next enemy in the position order, and so on. This buff is lost once used or when the character is DEFEATED. (See Individual Buff skills)
Concentrate Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Grants the user the "Concentrated" individual buff. When a character with this buff uses a skill that would impose a status effect other than KNOCKED OUT, the number of targets hit by the status effect is doubled, hitting higher positions as necessary. This buff is lost once used or when the character is DEFEATED.
Cursedi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The CURSED ally first in the turn order has that status effect removed.
Deathbound Class: Major Archetype: The Magician Prereq: 5 Swords Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-2 are KNOCKED OUT. The user is CURSED as backlash.
Debilitate Class: Major Archetype: The Hanged Man Prereq: 5 Coins Minor Skills known Effect: Casts Rakunda, Sukunda, and Samanda. (See Global Effects, -nda skills)
Die For Me! Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Aces Prereq: Mudo or Mudoon Effect: The enemies at positions #1-10 are CURSED. The user is also CURSED as backlash.
Downdi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The DOWN ally first in the turn order has that status effect removed.
Endure Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: At the start of each Gauntlet, the character gets the "Ready to endure" individual buff. When the character is DEFEATED, this buff is removed along with the DEFEATED status effect and replaced with the DOWN status effect (which ignores all immunities and redirection). The buff is spent before any other individual or party buffs which would revive the character. Once the buff is spent, this passive skill serves no further purpose. (See Passive, Individual Buff skills)
Energy Shower Class: Major Archetype: The High Priestess Prereq: 5 Cups Minor Skills known Effect: Removes CURSED, DOWN, AND SHOCKED from the entire party.
Firm Stance Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: The character, when afflicted by the DOWN status effect, ignores all attempts to inflict other status effects and ignores all -nda effects. (See Passive skills)
Fog Breath Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Aces Prereq: Sukunda or Autosukunda Effect: Casts both Sukunda and Rakukaja. (See Global Effects, -kaja, -nda skills)
Freezedi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The FROZEN ally first in the turn order has that status effect removed.
Frost Edge Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is FROZEN as backlash.
Fusion Blast Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is set ABLAZE as backlash.
Garu Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemies at positions #1-4 are pushed DOWN.
Garudyne Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Aces Prereq: Garu or Garula Effect: The enemies at positions #1-8 are pushed DOWN. The user is also pushed DOWN as backlash.
Garula Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: Garu or Garudyne Effect: The enemies at positions #1-6 are pushed DOWN.
Glacial Edge Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: Frost Edge or Tousatsujin Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemy at position #2 is FROZEN. The user is FROZEN as backlash.
God's Hand Class: Major Archetype: Justice Prereq: 5 Swords Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-3 are KNOCKED OUT. The user is SHOCKED as backlash.
Green Wall Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Aces Prereq: Downdi or Me Downdi Effect: Grants the "Antidown" party buff. This negates all attempts to inflict the DOWN condition for the whole turn. Characters who are already under the status effect are not cured. It ignores -nda effects, but does not protect against self-inflicted status effects. The buff only goes away after a turn where at least one enemy attempted to inflict the associated status effect. (See Party Buff skills)
Hailstorm Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: Arrow Rain or Myriad Arrows Effect: The enemy at position #3 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Hama Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: None Effect: EXPEL against the enemies at positions #1-6.
Hamaon Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: Hama or Samsara Effect: EXPEL against the enemies at positions #1-9.
Heat Riser Class: Major Archetype: The Lovers Prereq: 5 Coins Minor Skills known Effect: Casts Rakukaja, Sukukaja, and Samakaja. (See Global Effects, -kaja skills)
Heat Up Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: Whenever the character recovers from being FROZEN, the individual buff "Heated" is granted. This buff functions like the buff granted by Makatora, but only for the affected character. Note that getting DEFEATED does not count as recovering from being FROZEN for the purposes of this buff. The "Heated" buff is consumed before the buff granted by Makatora is. (See Passive, Individual Buff skills)
Heat Wave Class: Major Archetype: The Chariot Prereq: 5 Swords Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-3 are KNOCKED OUT. The user is set ABLAZE as backlash.
Jinpugeki Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is pushed DOWN as backlash.
Kamikaze Strike Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Aces Prereq: Jinpugeki or Reppu Strike Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemies at positions #2-7 are pushed DOWN. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Life Surge Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: At the start of each Gauntlet, the character gets the "Surge ready" individual buff. The first time the character takes a status effect, this buff is removed along with the status effect. Once the buff is spent, this skill serves no further purpose. (See Passive, Individual Buff skills)
Lightning Smash Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: Bolt Strike or Thunder Smash Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemy at position #2 is SHOCKED. The user is SHOCKED as backlash.
Makarakarn Class: Major Archetype: The Wheel of Fortune Prereq: 5 Cups Minor Skills known Effect: Grants the "Universal reflection" party buff. While under this buff, the next time any enemies attempt to inflict a status effect (other than KNOCKED OUT) on the party, all such attempts that turn reflect each status effect onto the enemy that attempted to inflict it. This removes the buff. (See Party Buffs skills)
Makatora Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Grants the "Excess energy" party buff. While this buff is active, the party members can use a skill that has already been used up. If they choose to use a skill which hasn't already been used up, then the skill isn't consumed. In either case, the buff is removed after one skill usage. (See Party Buffs skills)
Me Baisudi Class: Major Archetype: Strength Prereq: 5 Cups Minor Skills Effect: Removes the ABLAZE and FROZEN status effects from the entire party.
Me Burndi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: Burndi or Red Wall Effect: Removes the ABLAZE condition from all allies.
Me Cursedi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: Cursedi or Black Wall Effect: Removes the CURSED condition from all allies.
Me Downdi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: Downdi or Green Wall Effect: Removes the DOWN condition from all allies.
Me Freezedi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: Freezedi or White Wall Effect: Removes the FROZEN condition from all allies.
Me Shockdi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: Shockdi or Blue Wall Effect: Removes the SHOCKED condition from all allies.
Mudo Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The enemies at positions #1-5 are CURSED.
Mudoon Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: Mudo or Die For Me! Effect: The enemies at positions #1-7 are CURSED.
Myriad Arrows Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Aces Prereq: Arrow Rain or Hailstorm Effect: The enemy at position #4 is KNOCKED OUT. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Niflheim Class: Major Archetype: The Moon Prereq: 5 Wands Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-3 are FROZEN.
Nuclear Blast Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Aces Prereq: Fusion Blast or Scorching Blast Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemies at positions #2-4 are set ABLAZE. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Null Dark Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Dark or Reflect Dark Effects: Nulls the CURSED status effect. (See Passive, Null skills)
Null Elec Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Elec or Reflect Elec Effect: Nulls the SHOCKED status effect. (See Passive, Null skills)
Null Fire Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Fire or Reflect Fire Effect: Nulls the ABLAZE status effect. (See Passive, Null skills)
Null Ice Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Ice or Reflect Ice Effect: Nulls the FROZEN status effect. (See Passive, Null skills)
Null Wind Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Wind or Reflect Wind Effect: Nulls the DOWN status effect. (See Passive, Null skills)
Pain Eater Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Aces Prereq: Samakaja or Autosamakaja Effect: Casts both Samakaja and Sukunda. (See Global Effects, -kaja, -nda skills)
Panta Rhei Class: Major Archetype: The Hermit Prereq: 5 Wands Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-7 are pushed DOWN.
Plasma Discharge Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: When one or more characters with this skill are under the SHOCKED status effect at the end of their turn, then before the start of the enemy turn, the enemy at position #1 is SHOCKED. (See Passive skills)
Primal Force Class: Major Archetype: The Emperor Prereq: 5 Swords Minor Skills Effect: The enemies at position #1-2 are KNOCKED OUT. The user is knocked DOWN as backlash.
Ragnarok Class: Major Archetype: The Devil Prereq: 5 Wands Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-4 are set ABLAZE.
Rakukaja Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Increases everyone's defenses, allowing them to shrug off being SHOCKED and set ABLAZE. (See Global Effects, -kaja skills)
Rakunda Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Decreases everyone's defenses, making it more dangerous to get SHOCKED or set ABLAZE. (See Global Effects, -nda skills)
Rebellion Class: Major Archetype: The Star Prereq: 5 Coins Minor Skills known Effect: Imposes the "Critical" global effect. When this effect is active, any action that KNOCKS OUT a target also KNOCKS OUT the unit immediately behind that target in the position order. If this target was already going to be hit with another status effect by the same skill, then that status effect instead hits the next enemy in the position order, and so on. As a result, Shadow action that impose the KNOCKED OUT status effect have an extra target, but the rule that no character can be targeted by multiple Shadows on the same turn remains true. This global effect does not go away on its own. (See Global Effect skills)
Rebirth Class: Major Archetype: The Empress Prereq: 5 Cups Minor Skills known Effect: Grants the "Ready for rebirth" party buff. If a party member is DEFEATED while this buff is active, the buff is removed in exchange for removing the DEFEATED status effect from that member. Even if party members are already DEFEATED when the skill is used, the buff is not immediately consumed. (See Party Buffs skills)
Recarm Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The DEFEATED ally last in the position order has the DEFEATED status replaced with DOWN. This ignores all immunities and redirection.
Recarmdra Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Aces Prereq: Recarm or Samerecarm Effect: The DEFEATED status is removed from all allies. The user is then KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Red Wall Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Aces Prereq: Burndi or Me Burndi Effect: Grants the "Antiburn" party buff. This negates all attempts to inflict the ABLAZE condition for the whole turn. Characters who are already under the status effect are not cured. It ignores -nda effects, but does not protect against self-inflicted status effects. The buff only goes away after a turn where at least one enemy attempted to inflict the associated status effect. (See Party Buff skills)
Reflect Dark Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Dark or Null Dark Effect: Reflects the CURSED status effect. (See Passive, Reflect skills)
Reflect Elec Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Elec or Null Elec Effect: Reflects the SHOCKED status effect. (See Passive, Reflect skills)
Reflect Fire Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Fire or Null Fire Effect: Reflects the ABLAZE status effect. (See Passive, Reflect skills)
Reflect Ice Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Ice or Null Ice Effect: Reflects the FROZEN status effect. (See Passive, Reflect skills)
Reflect Light Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Light or Absorb Light Effect: Reflects the EXPEL status effect. (See Passive, Reflect skills)
Reflect Wind Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: Resist Wind or Null Wind Effect: Reflects the DOWN status effect. (See Passive, Reflect skills)
Reppu Strike Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: Jinpugeki or Kamikaze Strike Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemy at position #2 is pushed DOWN. The user is pushed DOWN as backlash.
Resist Dark Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: None Effect: Resists the CURSED status effect. (See Passive, Resist skills)
Resist Elec Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: None Effect: Resists the SHOCKED status effect. (See Passive, Resist skills)
Resist Fire Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: None Effect: Resists the ABLAZE status effect. (See Passive, Resist skills)
Resist Ice Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: None Effect: Resists the FROZEN status effect. (See Passive, Resist skills)
Resist Light Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: None Effect: Resists the EXPEL status effect. (See Passive, Resist skills)
Resist Wind Class: Minor Lists: Wands Prereq: None Effect: Resists the DOWN status effect. (See Passive, Resist skills)
Resurrection Class: Major Archetype: Temperance Prereq: 5 Cups Minor Skills known Effect: All DEFEATED allies have that status effect removed and are instead put in DOWN status, ignoring all immunities and redirection.
Samakaja Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Amplifies magical defenses, making CURSE and EXPEL less powerful. (See Global Effects, -kaja skills)
Samanda Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Effect: Weakens magical defenses, making CURSE and EXPEL more dangerous. (See Global Effects, -nda skills)
Samerecarm Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: Recarm or Recarmdra Effect: The DEFEATED ally last in the position order has the DEFEATED status removed.
Samsara Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Aces Prereq: Hama or Hamaon Effect: EXPEL against the enemies at positions #1-12. EXPEL against the user as backlash.
Scorching Blast Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Royals Prereq: Fusion Blast or Nuclear Blast Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemy at position #2 is set ABLAZE. The user is set ABLAZE as backlash.
Self-Destruct Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: Whenever the character is DEFEATED by being placed under two status effects at once, and one of those status effects is ABLAZE, then the enemy which inflicted the second status effect is KNOCKED OUT. Note that a Shadow KNOCKED OUT in this manner will immediately use its Body action. (See Passive skills)
Sharp Student Class: Minor Lists: Swords Prereq: None Effect: Enemy attacks that normally KNOCK OUT their targets instead push the character DOWN. This ignores all immunities and redirection. (See Passive skills)
Shockdi Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Royals Prereq: None Effect: The SHOCKED ally first in the turn order has that status effect removed.
Silent Prayer Class: Major Archetype: The Sun Prereq: 5 Coins Minor Skills known Effect: Imposes the "Silence" global effect. This removes all other global effects and prevents additional global effects from being imposed. This effect remains until the user's side acts again on the following turn. (See Global Effects skills)
Spell Gloom Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Aces Prereq: Rakunda or Autorakunda Effect: Casts both Rakunda and Samakaja. (See Global Effects, -kaja, -nda skills)
Stagnant Air Class: Major Archetype: The Hierophant Prereq: 5 Coins Minor Skills known Effect: Imposes the "Stagnation" global effect. This effect causes the number of units affected by status effects (except for KNOCKED OUT) to be doubled. This applies both to player actions and to Shadow actions. As a result, targeted Shadow actions target 2 characters instead of 1, but the rule that an individual character cannot be targeted by more than one Shadow on the same turn remains in effect. This global effect does not go away on its own. (See Global Effects skills)
Sukukaja Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Effect: Increases everyone's agility, making it easy to avoid getting FROZEN or knocked DOWN. (See Global Effects, -kaja skills)
Sukunda Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Royals Effect: Decreases everyone's agility, making it more dangerous to get FROZEN or knocked DOWN. (See Global Effects, -nda skills)
Taunt Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Aces Prereq: Sukukaja or Autosukukaja Effect: Casts both Sukukaja and Rakunda. (See Global Effects, -kaja, -nda skills)
Thunder Reign Class: Major Archetype: The Tower Prereq: 5 Wands Minor Skills known Effect: The enemies at positions #1-5 are SHOCKED.
Thunder Smash Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Aces Prereq: Bolt Strike or Lightning Smash Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemies at positions #2-5 are SHOCKED. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
Tousatsujin Class: Minor Lists: Swords, Aces Prereq: Frost Edge or Glacial Edge Effect: The enemy at position #1 is KNOCKED OUT. The enemies at positions #2-3 are FROZEN. The user is KNOCKED OUT as backlash.
War Cry Class: Minor Lists: Coins, Aces Prereq: Samanda or Autosamanda Effect: Casts both Samanda and Sukukaja. (See Global Effects, -kaja, -nda skills)
White Wall Class: Minor Lists: Cups, Aces Prereq: Freezedi or Me Freezedi Effect: Grants the "Antifreeze" party buff. This negates all attempts to inflict the FROZEN condition for the whole turn. Characters who are already under the status effect are not cured. It ignores -nda effects, but does not protect against self-inflicted status effects. The buff only goes away after a turn where at least one enemy attempted to inflict the associated status effect. (See Party Buff skills)
Zio Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: None Effect: Enemies #1-3 are SHOCKED.
Ziodyne Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Aces Prereq: Zio or Zionga Effect: Enemies #1-6 are SHOCKED. The user is also SHOCKED as backlash.
Zionga Class: Minor Lists: Wands, Royals Prereq: Zio or Ziodyne Effect: Enemies #1-4 are SHOCKED.