In this case, today, I crafted what would be--for me--my Perfect RPG.
Let's start with the basics.
I've never been fond of the idea of having an arbitrary limit on party number, and then having the others do nothing. Now, granted. Often the better RPGs will have justification for this. (Chrono Trigger had it be that any party greater than three would end up traveling to the end of time, as an example.)
The better RPGs will also have experience leakage: members outside the party still progress, just often not as fast as those inside the party.
Still. I've just always thought that was such a waste.
So my Perfect RPG--which I imagine having a party of 9 or 10 (if 9, the tenth as a guest party slot)--would be broken into a Primary Party and a Secondary Party. The Primary Party would be the active party...and if wiped out in battle, in comes the secondary party. In other words, instead of a Game Over for a fraction of your characters killed (seriously, why would you lose the game if three of nine people were KO'd? Those other six should still be able to do something!), they would only suffer a TPK if it is in fact a total party kill, every character you have knocked out.
...There would be an exception to this rule, however:
In some areas, the group would split into two parties, and these two parties would be doing separate tasks. Say for instance you are in a puzzle room. One party needs to do certain things to allow the other party to progress. In that instance, if one party is wiped out, then the other party wouldn't come in, because the two parties are in two physically different locations.
Whenever the parties are together as a single group, though, I would also include a 'switch parties' command in battle. This could only be done if the action bar for every party member in the active party is filled (meaning it's impossible to do with a KO'd party member), and would leave the incoming party with empty action bars.
Parties could have their members switched out during any save point. However, any time outside of battle, parties--both primary and secondary--could be organized between order and position. (Order, when all other factors are equal, determines who goes first, starting from the far right; position is forward, middle, or backward determining damage dealt/received.)
There would be three different encounter modes, and a clear indication for which type of encounter mode the current zone is: random encounters, preset encounters (you can see the enemies before engaging them) featuring some surprise encounters (the enemies are still in a preset location, just not visible), and preset encounters WITH the chance of random encounters (but no surprise-attacks that are preset).
In very rare specific instances, there would be an unofficial fourth type of encounter: infinite enemies which come to engage the group even if they stand still. (Think like Midgar Zolom from FFVII, or the infinite enemies from the tunnels if you choose to keep fighting...and fighting...and fighting.)
In battle, there would be more commands than in your typical game, but these would still be fairly self-explanatory once you got the hang of them.
-Switch Party: already explained, switches between Primary/Secondary party.
-Change positions: self-explanatory, would allow you to move forward or back one position. (To go from front to back you'd need to do this command twice.)
-Defend: halves damage taken until you take an action other than defend; during the time defending, the Counter Bar builds at double speed. (Which is, effectively, building at normal speed.) Automatically per turn provides a slight boost to the Limit Bar. (.05%/turn defending.)
For the next bit, I first need to explain--
Limit Gauge/Bar: (Abbreviation LG) The Limit Bar builds both as a character receives and gives damage (about double receive compared to give), but this is a very gradual process. Thankfully, this carries through battles, and does not reset at the end of them. There are three types of attacks which use the Limit Gauge, collectively called...
-LIMITS: Note that unlike in some RPGs, you can in fact use normal attacks; this is a separate command from 'Attack' and does not replace it. They are subdivided as:
*Lower Limits: (Abbreviation LL) These techniques use 25% of the Limit Bar.
*Limit Techniques: (Abbreviation LT) These techniques use 50% of the Limit Bar.
*Limit Breaks: (Abbreviation LB) These techniques use 100% of the Limit Bar.
Limits can be any combination of attacks, defenses, buffs, debuffs, area of effect, or what have you. Each character has limits unique to them. Limits are unlocked by using limits, number of kills a character has, and character level.
There are two similar things to the Limit Gauge/Bar, and both additionally have commands. These are...
Combo Gauge/Bar: (Abbreviation CG) The combo bar builds as a character deals damage. It does not carry over between battles. The command used by this?
-COMBOS/COUNTER BREAK: Combos use 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, or 80% of the Combo Gauge. They are specifically attacks (potentially with debuffs applied), often doing exactly what the name implies. When a character's Combo Gauge reaches 100%, they can use a 'Counter Break' (which has its name replace the 'Combo' command)--a Counter Break is effectively a supercharged Combo, the ultimate non-limit attack. (The change in name is for emphasis; a counter break is meant to pierce through any enemy's counter to your offensive, by launching one fierce attack.)
Like limits, combos/counter breaks are unique to the individual character, and are unlocked by using combos, number of kills a character has, and character level.
Counter Gauge/Bar: (Abbreviation CB) The counter bar is the defensive equivalent of the combo gauge; it builds as a character takes damage. It also does not carry over between battles. The command used by this is, obviously...
-COUNTERS/COMBO BREAK: Counters also use 10%/20%/30%/40%/50%/60%/80% of the counter bar. They are specifically various forms of defensive maneuvers: buffs, healing, covering for a teammate (e.g. the Cover Materia from FFVII, the Taunt command in many a game), applying a counterattack-debuff, or even at their most aggressive providing a counter-attack wherein if the character is attacked, they launch an attack back.
The combo break is the ultimate extension of this: the perfected defense of the character. It is meant to instantly shut down any enemy attack which is pulverizing your party.
Same as combos and limits, counters are unlocked by using counters, character level, and add in number of times using the 'defense' command to replace kills.
Note that in all three cases, the more powerful the attack, the less of them there are in the character's arsenal. Each character only has 7 Limit Breaks, 3 Counter Breaks, and 3 Combo Breaks, but they all have far more Limit Techniques than that and all have far more Lower Limits than Limit Techniques and all have more Combos/Counters than that.
I'm not going to lock in exact numbers, but it'd be something like:
12 Limit Techniques, 24 Lower Limits, 5 80% combo/counters, 10 60% combo/counters, 15 50% combo/counters, 20 40% combo/counters, 25 30% combo/counters, 30 20% combo/counters, and 40 10% combo/counters.
Like I said, not exact numbers, but thereabouts.
From there, we get into six further commands.
-Hero Magic: Hero Magic is magic unique to the individual character. I use the term 'magic' here loosely, it'd be more accurate to say 'Hero Techniques', in that there are plenty which are non-magical. (Every attack will specify if it is magical, physical, or both.) They are unlocked with level, plus by unlocking/upgrading specific other hero magics for that character. You use GP (I don't quite have an exact idea what that's an abbreviation for; the P is for Points but there's a few candidates for the G) in order to unlock/upgrade hero magic.
GP, by the way, is a universal resource, shared by all characters. It is a collective pool, which you can tap as much as you want to on a specific character. Just know that if you empty it all on one character, that's all your others who can't use it now because it's all gone. (Think like Gold, which is the other universal resource.) This is more or less a system I am borrowing heavily from the likes of Epic Battle Fantasy 3/4 and World's End which I imagine both borrowed it from some other source(s).
Some are in fact passive, but most are activated abilities.
-Learned Magic: Again I use the term 'magic' here loosely. I'll save a lot of time by just saying that this is the system MARDEK RPG uses, with minor modifications. You have (Magical) Attack Reactions (applied to any attack of that kind), (Magical) Defense Reactions (applied to any defense of that kind), Active Abilities (this is the modification since MARDEK doesn't have this), and Passive Abilities. The 'Active Abilities' are the ones listed in the Learned Magic command bar. The others are automatically done.
(Magic) Attack Reactions are done on every attack of that kind, and bring up a Reaction Bar--hit it in the zone, and the (Magical) Attack Reaction is applied; miss, and the (Magical) Attack Reaction is not applied. Pretty self-explanatory.
(Magic) Defense Reactions are done on every defense of that kind, and bring up a Reaction Bar--hit it in the zone, and the (Magical) Defense Reaction is applied; miss, and the (Magical) Defense Reaction is not applied. Also pretty self-explanatory.
All things which are Learned Magic are things which any character can learn. They require specific items to be equipped to that character to learn. When the character has used them enough, they Master the 'magic' and no longer require the item to be equipped in order to use it. However, all Learned Magic requires AP--assigned points. AP is determined by a character's level. The more AP a character has, the more Learned Magic abilities a character can use in battle. They are interchangeable, in the LM menu. Just assign and unassign as desired.
Learned Magic grows in different ways. (Magical) Attack Reactions grow by having the reaction be assigned and using a (Magical) Attack which triggers the reaction and succeeding in the reaction. (The technique does not need to connect with the target.) (Magical) Defense Reactions grow by having the reaction be assigned and using a (Magical) Defense which triggers the reaction and succeeding in the reaction. Active Abilities (which only show in the Learned Magic menu if assigned and/or mastered) grow by being used. Passive Abilities grow by number of battles the passive ability has been assigned.
When growth is maxed, the ability is mastered. Pretty self-explanatory system once you get the hang of it.
-Equipped Magic: Equipped Magic I can save a lot of time by just saying it's Materia from Final Fantasy VII. No modifications. No alterations. It's just outright plagiarizing materia from FFVII and directly copies just about everything from the system, aside from a minor detail. You can potentially have up to 27 equipped magics on a character at a time (the minor detail): 9 linked in one weapon, 9 linked in a second weapon (or the second half of a two-handed weapon), 9 linked in armor.
Equipped Magic is, as the name implies, equipped, on a character's weapon(s) and armor. It evolves, in this case by earning LP. (Learning Points.) Like with Battle XP, characters who do not participate in the battle earn 80% of the battle's LP. Certain equipment can have double or half growth rate for equipped magic. Equipped Magic is the most versatile, diverse magic in the ideal RPG game.
It is through Equipped Magic that you get the other three commands: throw, steal, and summon. (Equipped Magic is itself a command.) When an Equipped Magic is maxed out, it duplicates itself, creating an identical lower-leveled version of itself.
Seriously when I said it's materia from FFVII, I meant it's materia from Final Fantasy VII.
Magic regardless of Hero/Learned/Equipped USUALLY uses MP to cast.
Then we get into the standard:
-Item: Uses an item, pretty self-explanatory.
-Flee: Run away!
...So in total, potentially 16 commands available in battle. It'd admittedly be a bit much, but this is MY Perfect RPG, I'm building a system that I'd dream of playing, and that means something notoriously complex and highly redundant because that's just who I am.
Additional note: at the end of battle, items/gold/LP/etc./battle experience is awarded, but every action a character takes rewards some small amount of combat experience as well, meaning the more you act, the more you level up. (It also allows for party switches to still allow the party switched out to earn more than just 80% of the award for the battle.)
So we've covered battle.
Outside of battle, the menu would work much as you'd expect it to. You can access Items (using/organizing them but more on that in a bit, my item system is nonstandard).
You can organize/equip equipment (more on that in a bit).
You can use any magic which can be used outside of battle (the magic menu opens up a sub-menu of the three different types of magic).
You can open up the hero magic management window (allows you to unlock/upgrade hero magic).
You can open up the learned magic management window (allows you to assign/unassign learned magic abilities along with checking how much AP they cost to equip, a description of their effect including cost, how close you are to mastering them, and what items you have equipped which allow you to learn them; is subdivided into six menus one for each type of learned magic).
You can open up the equipped magic management window (allows you to assign equipped magic to different slots).
You can check the status of your characters. (This menu has various submenus showing all sorts of different statistics about the character in question.)
You can switch the order/position of your characters.
You can set/check on limits.
You can check on combos/counters.
You can control various in-game settings.
If you are at a save point, you can access storage items.
If you are at a save point, you can switch party members between parties.
If you are at a save point, you can save the game into various different save slots.
You can quit to the menu.
I might be missing a feature or two but that seems about it.
Now to explain--the game which I consider the perfect RPG would heal members at save points (screw needing to waste an item to do that) except for on the world map (in which everywhere is a save point).
The game which I consider the perfect RPG would allow you, however, to quit with progress saved at any time...with a single "quicksave" option. Quicksave would take you to the very second you quicksaved and you could have only one quicksave file, whereas you'd have so many save slots which you can save your game in during a save point that you can essentially never run out. In short, it'd allow for you to stop any time (a feature I hate about games with save points is that you must REACH a save point in order to stop)...but it'd still make you want to reach a save point because of all the various benefits offered in one.
The game I consider the perfect RPG would, surprisingly enough, NOT feature classes. No White Mage, no Black Mage, no Martial Artist, no Fighter, no Rogue, nothing of the sort. Now! Each character would have a unique flavor to them, which gives them the aesthetic of a class. Each character would have certain stats grow more than others (more on that in a bit), and as I mentioned before, thanks to all of them having unique limits, unique combos, unique counters, and unique hero magics, between all of those factors, every one of them would be different and original enough from one another that they give the illusion of having a class.
...But there would not actually be any class. Any character could be any class. Every character would be a mage, every character would be a melee fighter, every character could fight from a distance, or if not every character then essentially every character.
This is a decision which I came to after great thought on what most of my favorite RPGs featured. Absent from them was a predefined, preset class. Like, in Final Fantasy VII, characters might unofficially have classes. Tifa would be a Martial Artist; Cid would be a Dragoon; Cloud would be a Fighter; Aeris would loosely be a White Mage. Probably more than that if you bothered to get into it. But they are not OFFICIALLY those things. And this is what my perfect RPG would be like, where it's fine to unofficially have the aesthetic/flavor of a particular class and have stat growth particularly suited for said class...but you wouldn't actually HAVE it.
Chrono Trigger is another game that comes to mind; EVERY character was a mage and EVERY character was a physical fighter more or less, even though you can think of Aayla as a Martial Artist (especially since all her attacks are physical), Crono as a Fighter, Frog as a Red Mage, Marle as an Archer/White Mage (eventually in spite of her Ice attacks she'd be this), Lucca as a Gunslinger/Black Mage, Magus as a Mage/Black Mage, and so on. Yeah they had elemental themes to them but they didn't really have classes, not really, not officially.
Heck even the SaGa games I played didn't really have classes in the traditional sense. You had Humans/Hybrids/Monsters/Cyborgs/Robots (in 2, choosing which of the five your four characters would be; in 3, starting as human with the ability to become hybrids/monsters by eating meat and cyborgs/robots by eating metal and to revert from those by eating the inverse), each which had different mechanics behind them, but while that might kinda sorta vaguely resemble a class system, it's not really what most people think of in terms of classes.
So my perfect RPG has the flavor of classes, but no ACTUAL classes.
...That having been said, my perfect RPG has JOBS. Characters start out as Level 1 in all Jobs--and yes. It is possible (albeit incredibly time-consuming) to get every single character to be level 9 in every single job. (Of which, there are nine.)
Alchemists: The level of an alchemist effects the grade of potions (well, consumables; I use the terms interchangeably right here) crafted. (All consumables have a grade from 1-9 of how effective they are at a base rating.) Crafting is done at specific item shops, for a price. At higher levels, more advanced types of potions are unlocked for crafting. Alchemy level also effects the potency of potions, in that a level 1 alchemist using a level 1 potion might heal 100 HP, but a level 9 alchemist using a level 1 potion might heal like ten times that much. (Number not set in stone.)
When crafting, by default, the party member in the active party with the highest level alchemy skill will craft.
Enchanters/Enchantresses: All equipment has the ability to be enchanted 1-9 times, and these enchantments come from levels 1-9. Enchanter Level determines the grade of the enchantment, the type of enchantments available, and also the cost of enchanting/unenchanting equipment. Enchanting is done for preexisting, already-bought equipment.
When enchanting, by default, the party member in the active party with the highest level enchanting skill will enchant.
Smiths: It is possible to craft equipment at certain equipment shops (similar to how it is possible to craft potions at certain item shops). It is also at these same places that you can upgrade your equipment. Both of these, a smith handles. Smithing level determines the grade of the equipment smithed (be it upgrade or craft) (1-9), along with the type of equipment available to smith.
When crafting, by default, the party member in the active party with the highest level smithing skill will craft.
NOTE: In spite of these three all mentioning crafting, there is no crafting materials to meticulously hunt down because I hate doing that and this is my Perfect RPG. You just pay the gold fee and it's assumed the gold fee is you paying for the materials necessary to do the thing you are doing.
There is also no failures because screw losing millions of gold to craft the perfect item and SERIOUSLY screw the thought of entirely losing an item because you wanted to make it better and the process to make it better backfired.
Merchants: The higher level a merchant, the better deals the party will get. This is a cumulative effect. So yes, you will eventually want five level nine merchants in the party. Additionally, certain goods are locked in stores even to master alchemists/smiths. These goods are unlocked by being a sufficiently high-enough-leveled merchant. (Potential feature: whole shops available only to sufficiently high-leveled merchants. Bit iffy about this though.)
Adventurer: Determines the toughness of encounters on an adjustable bar. Each level allows for a 5% adjustment in either direction: easier OR harder. (Maxing out at 95% easier/95% harder for a level 9 adventurer setting it to extremes. Note that 95% easier is not necessarily 'easy mode', as there are benefits to facing harder enemies.) Additionally, determines the frequency of drops. (This would be on the same sliding bar: 95% makes drops 95% more likely, so double monster difficulty = double drops, essentially. However, drops cannot be less likely than 25%.)
Scout: Determines the frequency of random encounters on an adjustable bar. Each level allows for a 5% adjustment in either direction: many many MANY more encounters, or many many many FEWER encounters. Also determines chance to escape; this is a cumulative effect.
Guard: In my perfect RPG, while there would be plenty of storyline quests AND dozens upon dozens of side-quests, there would also be REPEATABLE quests. Guard level would determine the frequency of repeatable quests. The higher, the more frequently they'd be offered.
Farmer: Determines the amount of battle experience and gold earned at the end of battles; this is a cumulative effect. Yes that means five farmers earn say 500% XP/Gold. Additionally (still cumulative) determines the amount of combat experience earned while fighting.
Statistician: Determines the growth rate of everything else: higher-level statisticians influence the growth rate of Jobs (yes they make you become higher level in jobs in spite of being a job), LP, GP, and even Learned Abilities. (Instead of earning 1 point per battle, you could, saaaaaaaaaay, earn two or three with a high enough level statistician.) This is a cumulative effect.
And I'm not done yet.
There are NINE stats.
Each level, a character gains AT LEAST one point in each stat. Depending on the character, they can gain additional points in some stats. Furthermore, in my perfect RPG, you'd get 3 points/level to assign to the character as you pleased, allowing for some level of customization.
These stats would be:
VITality: Increases Total HP and CB growth rate.
SPiRit: Increases Total MP and CG growth rate.
STRength: Increases Physical Attack Damage and Limit Bar growth rate.
INTelligence: Increases Magical Attack Damage and Limit Gauge growth rate.
ENDurance: Increases Physical Defense (reduces physical damage taken)
WISdom: Increases Magical Defense (reduces magical damage taken)
DEXterity: Increases Physical Accuracy and % of Parry
KNoWledge: Increases Magical Accuracy and % of Block
SPeeD: Increases Action Bar Recovery Time (in short, makes it take less turns between attacks, making you attack more often) and % of Evade.
I wanted one stat to also increase a few other things, but I can't remember what those things were and ultimately I couldn't determine which stats would increase those things anyway.
...But wait, there's more!
Now for the ITEM system, which is where things go from "maybe potentially possibly in some extremely complex world a passable idea of an RPG" into "yeah you're just insane beyond any hope".
Each character would have their own personal inventory. This inventory's carrying capacity would be determined by the 'Backpack' item equipped to the characters' backs. A character can only use items from their own inventory, the item bank, OR storage when at a save point. To start with, this would be a single page of a 9x9 grid: 81 items.
Now, keep in mind: literally identical in every single way items will stack (up to a max of 99), but if there's so much as a single difference, they need different slots. 81's a lot of items, butstill, it may not end up being enough. As such, the backpack can be upgraded. the 9x9 grid is the Small Backpack.
Medium is a 9x9 grid...but adding a second page, doubling storage.
Large is 9x9x3, triple initial storage.
Gigantic is 9x9x4.
Compressed Backpack is a 'Bigger on the Inside' flavored item, which is 9x9x9.
Backpack of Holding ix 9x9x20.
Compressed Backpack of Holding is 9x9x99: 99 pages of 81 items each.
Keep in mind of course the whole time that there are NUMEROUS different sort functions readily available and that you can move items in bulk and so on and so forth. And that this is just for each individual character.
Equipment is, by default, listed in item management for the purposes of moving it around/storage/etc. When equipping equipment from the equipment menu, it lists where the equipment is being equipped from, and you can set a destination for the equipment you are unequipping. (Basically, the equipment menu--through various sorting methods--lists all available equipment which can be equipped, along with where it's being equipped from and where unequipped equipment will go.)
In addition to individual character item storage, you have the item bank.
The item bank is items that any character, regardless of party, can use. Items are placed in the item bank in item management. These are usually consumables but can be equipment.
The item bank is initially a 2x2 grid. It can be expanded: 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, 7x7, 9x9, 9x9x2, and 9x9x3 at maximum capacity.
Additional note: though not recommended, a character can choose to forfeit their inventory (and thus have access only to the item bank) in favor of a second back-slot for equipment, but more on that in...well. Right now.
You might notice there's a metric ton of possible potential item slots.
Why on earth would you need that much space especially when items that are literally identical stack?
Well aside from the fact that there's multiple ways items can turn from 'literally identical' to no longer being that way...
...The main reason is because--and here is where, if you were following along with my Perfect RPG and thought it was potentially passable, you'd just throw up your hands in the air and declare "I quit"--there are 62 equippable slots.
63, if you forfeit the backpack in favor of a second back equip.
You heard it right.
Many RPGs have three. Weapon, Armor, Accessory.
Many have more than that, sure, yeah. Something like "head, torso, leggings, shoes, bracers, gloves, ring1, ring2, necklace, bag, weapon hand, off-hand, backpack, cape" at a more extensive roguelike level. (I believe that's the number of slots in Castle of the Winds? Might have added one or two or not listed one or two.) Like, 14 max.
I just said 62.
Now in my Perfect RPG.
You wouldn't have all sixty-two of those visible.
But one of the things I find REALLY neat is when some of these things actually ARE reflected in characters, in that they DO have their appearance change off of equipment. When I list something as 'Visible', it can be seen; when I list something as an accessory, it cannot be seen. So the full list, approximately from toe to head, goes like this:
(NOTE: Every time I say 'potent for enchantments', what I mean is more or less: items of this type often come with a preexisting effect and/or can have them be enchanted with an effect. Some effects ONLY exist on items and cannot be added through enchantments; some effects ONLY exist in enchantments and cannot be naturally found on equipment. Below I use the two interchangeably because items which are good for enchantment are often also the type to come with a preexisting effect.)
-Accessory: Stockings. Symmetrical. (Symmetrical = you can't equip different ones on different sides.) Most provide minor defense boosts, however, their main purpose is to allow for an equipment slot to enchant. You won't find learned magic for stockings. In short, they are mostly optional, with the occasional use.
-Visible: Footwear. Symmetrical. Shoes, sandals, boots, etc. As a primary piece of gear, provides major boosts, and is a main source of learned magic.
-Accessory: Ankle x2. You can put something on the right ankle or left ankle. Ankle equipment is also wrist equipment. Anything which can be placed on the wrist can be placed on the ankle, and vice-versa. (Yes I know that isn't quite how it works in real life but for sanity's sake.) Anything which can be placed on the right side can be placed on the left side. Near-universally provide potent enchantments. Though rare, you can find learned magic on some anklewear.
-Visible: Shin. Symmetrical. Often provides defense. Provides moderate to strong enchantment boosts. Though rare, you can find learned magic on some shin equipment. Shin equipment is also forearm equipment. (Yes I know that is incredibly questionable.) Anything which can be placed on the forearms can be placed on the shins, and vice-versa.
-Accessory: Knee x2. You can put something on the right knee or the left knee. Knee equipment is also elbow equipment is also shoulder equipment. Anything which can be placed on one can be placed on the other; anything which can be placed on the right can be placed on the left. Can provide anything: defense boosts, offense boosts, potent enchantments, or learned magic.
-Accessory: Thigh x2. You can put something on the right thigh or the left thigh. Thigh equipment is also upper arm equipment. They are interchangeable. Provides minor enchantment boosts. No learned magic sources.
-Visible: Leggings. (Universal = there isn't a different side to equip.) Pants. Provide high defense and often high enchantments. VERY common source of learned magic. Required to wear at all times.
-Accessory: Briefs. Universal. Most provides minor defense boosts, however, their main purpose is to allow for an equipment slot to enchant. You won't find learned magic for briefs. In short, they are mostly optional, with the occasional use.
-Accessory: Belt1. Universal. One belt. Belts come in two basic types: item-equipping ones (basically allowing for a miniaturized second inventory, a quick-selected one of sorts where preferred items are kept) and enchantment-heavy ones. Interchangeable with Belt2. Has no learned magic.
-Accessory: Belt2. See also, Belt1, this is just a second slot for the same thing.
-Accessory: Undershirt. Universal. Most provides minor defense boosts, however, their main purpose is to allow for an equipment slot to enchant. You won't find learned magic for undershirts. In short, they are mostly optional, with the occasional use.
-Visible: Shirt. Universal. This is Armor. Equipped Magic is equipped using this equipment slot. That tells you everything you need to know; it is the most important space outside of weapon hands. Provides high defense and high enchantments and is the main source of learned magic. Required to wear at all times.
-Accessory: Overshirt. Universal. Most provides minor defense boosts, however, their main purpose is to allow for an equipment slot to enchant. You won't find learned magic for overshirts. In short, they are mostly optional, with the occasional use.
-Accessory: Torso Accessory1. Universal. Chest strap, pin medal, things like that. Interchangeable with Torso Accessory2. Chest buckles can carry items (see how that works in belts), but mostly these are items which are potent for enchantments. No learned magic exists for them.
-Accessory: Torso Accessory2. See Torso Accessory1.
-Accessory: Backpack. Universal. See above on inventory. Can instead be replaced with an item under the category of...
-Accessory: Back. Universal. Items which are slung over the back. Think like a quiver. These are items which have very potent effects built in, and many are incredibly potent to enchant, but it's their magical effects which make them useful; they have no learned magic.
-Accessory: Cape. Universal. Also cloaks. Items which are incredibly potent to enchant, but have zero or even negative defense values. Have no learned magic.
-Accessory: Shoulder x2. See also: Knee Equipment.
-Accessory: Upper Arm x2. See also: Thigh Equipment.
-Accessory: Elbow x2. See also: Shoulder equipment; Knee Equipment.
-Visible: Forearm. Symmetrical. I could technically say 'see also: shin', but this is important enough an item to be listed here since frankly the forearms as bracers and the like see more use than the shins. But to reiterate: Often provides defense. Provides moderate to strong enchantment boosts. Though rare, you can find learned magic on some forearm equipment.
NOTE: This is true of all equipment, but some equipment can take more than one slot. In particular, this is relevant to both shins and forearms which have the most of this aside from weapons/shields. If a piece of footwear equipment is of a certain type, it uses the shin slot in addition to the footwear slot; if a piece of handwear equipment (i.e., gauntlets) is of a certain type, it uses the forearm slot in addition to the handwear equipment slot.
-Accessory: Wrists x2. You can put something on the right wrist or left wrist. Ankle equipment is also wrist equipment. Anything which can be placed on the wrist can be placed on the ankle, and vice-versa. Anything which can be placed on the right side can be placed on the left side. Near-universally provide potent enchantments. Though rare, you can find learned magic on some wristwear.
-Visible: Handwear x2. (Just about one of the only pieces of visible equipment not universal or symmetrical.) Gloves. Can be placed on the right hand or the left hand. Items which provide reasonable defense and usually some potent offense boosts, and are relatively decently potent for enchantments. Semi-frequent source of learned magic.
-Accessory: Fingers x10. Five right, five left. Rings. One of THE most potent sources of enchantments, but utterly worthless in all other ways; no offense/defense (unless enchanted) and no learned magic.
-Visible: Hand x2. Weapon, for right hand and left hand; some weapons are two-handed and others are not. Required to wear at least one at all times. Additionally, Equipped Magic is equipped in these slots. As a result, THE most important slots. Obviously, provides the highest offense of any equipment, high enchantments, and is the secondary source of learned magic next to shirts.
-Visible: Shield x2. Note that most shields don't allow dual-shield-wielding, but because some do, they are still technically an x2. Note also that some shields take up a hand slot, but not all do. Some shields take up a forearm slot, but not all do. Some can take up both, others can take up neither. Some can only be worn on the non-weapon hand; others can be worn on either hand. Provides high defense and high enchantments; is a source of learned magic.
-Accessory: Lower Neck. Universal. Necklaces and the like. Next to rings, the highest source of enchantments, lowest source of defense/offense. However, they can have learned magic, albeit rare. Anything which can be equipped on the lower neck can be equipped on the upper neck. In an exception, vice-versa is not true.
-Accessory: Upper Neck. Universal. Necklaces as per lower neck, but also things like collars. Items which fit in this category exclusively tend to have slightly higher defense/offense values than their lower neck counterparts, at the tradeoff of slightly lower potency in enchantments.
I'm going to save myself some writing.
From this point upward, everything is an accessory because none of the characters should have their faces buried.
Furthermore, with the exception of the last item on this list, none of these items are sources of learned magic.
Chin: Universal. No purpose except as an enchantment slot.
Mouth: Universal. Can provide minor defense/offense/magic boosts, but otherwise is for enchantment.
Nose: Universal. Can provide minor defense boosts, but otherwise is for enchantment.
Lower Face: Universal. Can take all three of chin/mouth/nose slots but not inherently so. Can provide minor defense/magic defense boosts, but otherwise is for enchantment.
Eyes1: Universal. Can provide minor boosts in attack, magic attack, defense, and magic defense, but is mostly for enchantment. Interchangeable with Eyes2.
Eyes2: See Eyes1.
Ear1 x2: Can be worn on the right side or the left side. Provides strong enchantment boosts, and can provide some magic attack. Interchangeable with Ear2.
Ear2: See Ear1.
Forehead1: Universal. Can provide minor defense/magic defense boost, but is mostly for moderate enchantment boosts. Interchangeable with Forehead2.
Forehead2: Universal. See Forehead1.
Hair Accessory 1: Universal. Provides moderate enchantment boosts, but nothing else. Interchangeable with Hair Accessory 2.
Hair Accessory 2: Universal. See Hair Accessory 1. (Alternatively, I could merge Hair Accessory and just separate it into right/left, either works, but this is what I wrote, so it's what I'm going with.)
Headgear: Universal. Hats. Helmets. The like. Obviously, provides good defense, can also provide magical defense, magical attack, even some offense. Is a VERY good source of enchantment. Furthermore, is a semi-common source of learned magic.
...And there you have it.
62 equip slots on every single character.
Keep in mind, not all gear is universal. I mean. Exclusive gear I'd want to keep to a minimum (it's okay to have a character have one or two pieces of equipment unique to and thus equippable only for them, but not so much 62), but I also would think that characters with certain loose aesthetics to them would not be using equipment on the polar opposite of that aesthetic.
Now you know about everything which would make my Perfect RPG.
Something you might notice is absent: elements, and a list of status effects.
That's not because I wouldn't want them.
It's because I wasn't sure whether they'd be requirements or not. I wasn't sure if they'd be implemented or not, and if so, how important they'd be. Well, I knew status ailments would exist it's just a question of how many/which ones. And for elements I'm ambivalent on everything there. They could be there, they could be absent, I guess you could say they're optional, something which would be really great to have but not a requirement.
That's my perfect RPG.
Something which I would find so insanely good to play.
...And yet literally nobody else would.
Especially since. My god you know how many hours it'd take to get 100% completion on a game like what I'm envisioning? Even with the grinding-friendly mechanics built in...you're talking hundreds if not thousands of hours, navigating and integrating a complex system.
Keep in mind that you'd have dozens of consumables; your average RPG has at least ten if not 20-50 consumable items. And keep in mind that per equipment slot your average RPG has something like 10+ equippable items for that equipment slot. Some significantly more, going up into the dozens or even hundreds or in some cases thanks to randomly generated items, infinite numbers of potential things. (I wouldn't have infinite number of potential things; part of having a Perfect RPG is being able to say you did in fact get 100% completion and any mechanic involving an infinite amount means there's no such thing anymore as 100% completion.)
Plus even if that were something you'd come to like as a player.
My god how would you ever code a game that complex?
This not even going into how to make a storyline for a game, build an entire world. I mentioned a world map, because yeah that'd have to be a thing.
A girl can dream, right?