The Descended is an idea of mine, which essentially combines elements of Dungeons & Dragons, with Fable, Adventure Quest, and tad bits of Ratchet & Clank thrown in. (Interesting combo, no? It’ll make more sense later on, I swear.)
The world has three base classes: Warrior, Rogue, and Mage. Unlike most systems which branch out into HUGE numbers (like 13 classes), my system was to remain simple. You could combine classes, with any two—or even all three—at your disposal.
The combinations are…
Warrior + Rogue = Martial Artist (I couldn’t think of anything better)
Warrior + Mage = Paladin/Death Paladin (was considering Battle Mage, but decided against it; Paladins refer to the class, but a paladin can be of any alignment. Evil paladins, however, are classified as Death Paladins.)
Rouge + Mage = Woodsman (again, best I could think of),
And all of them combined, a Joat. (Stands for: Jack of All Trades.)
The world is also governed by eight elements.
They have a rock paper scissors type system to keep balance. (Balance is very important in the beliefs of ‘good’ characters, as well as any ‘lawful’ characters. Chaotic Good, Lawful Evil, they all believe in balance.)
Energy electrocutes Water.
Water extinguishes Fire.
Fire melts Ice.
Ice absorbs/deflects Light.
Light vanquishes Darkness.
Darkness consumes Wind.
Wind beats Earth.
Earth nullifies Energy.
--Of course, this is only technically how things work. In reality, it’s just strength/weakness. Nobody’s truly immune to an element attack, but if hit with their strength, it’ll do far less damage, and with their weakness, far more.
Like classes, there are multiple combinations. Someone can have one, two, or all elements mastered.
(Why doesn’t everyone go for the multiple route, then? It’s quite simple, really—the more you branch out, the weaker you are, where as you focus your stats in one area, you’re stronger. The only people who can do this are the ‘Highest Level’ [900+] characters, who have enough power to kill pretty much anything no matter what. See below—Deities.)
Light + Darkness = Shadow
Light + Wind = (still working on it, but those who use it, I’m thinking are going to be called Priests/Monks. You know, like Monk Warrior, Monk Rogue, etc.)
Light + Earth = Crystal
Light + Energy = Nova/Sun (either works, I guess)
Light + Water = Reflect
Light + Fire = Bane
Light + Ice = Mirror
Darkness + Wind = Swift
Darkness +Earth = Sub/Under/Cave (one of them; probably cave)
Darkness + Energy = Black Lightning (no creative name; that’s just the best way to describe it. It’s considered evil. While it’s not evil per se, it certainly has a bad enough reputation that very few good people will use it.)
Darkness + Water = Clever
Darkness + Fire = Black Fire (see Black Lightning)
Darkness + Ice = Shard
Wind + Earth = Wall
Wind + Energy = Storm
Wind + Water = Evade/Evasive
Wind + Fire = Explode/Explosive
Wind + Ice = Bliz
Earth + Energy = Magna
Earth + Water = Mountain
Earth + Fire = Magma
Earth + Ice = Spike
Energy + Water = Blast
Energy + Fire = Plasma *
Energy + Ice = Conduit
Water + Fire = Steam
Water + Ice = Glass
Fire + Ice = Anti/Count
All of them: Master.
Each element has its strengths. Energy, Fire, Ice, and Earth are all aggressive elements; they are meant to harm.
Darkness is illusion based, amongst others. (Deceit and manipulation are both traits I associate with Darkness and Water, but I couldn’t decide to officially call them a member of one and not the other, so I list primary traits.)
Light is healing-based (or fighting undead; both work).
Wind is buff-based (making the member--as well as allies--tougher).
Water is manipulation based, amongst others. (See Darkness.)
In this world, the stats can go up to 9,999, with three exceptions:
-Health; that’s 99,999.
-Experience; that’s 999,999
-Levels; that’s 999.
-Intelligence: Controls both the amount of MP someone has and how much damage Magic-type attacks do. Reflex is given a small bonus. Raw brain power of someone; this is how smart someone is, their IQ, I suppose. The smarter they are, the quicker they can formulate complex plans.
-Wisdom: The counterpart to intelligence, wisdom is Soano's equivalent of real-world experience. As such, it's one of the few stats which can be gained without either leveling up or drinking a potion (or wielding an item for that matter). It can be gained in that manner--you can invest extra points into wisdom--but it's not the only way possible to be earned. People naturally gain 1 Wisdom every time they level up and every time they have a birthday. This extra point can be traded for other stats (3 for level, 2 for birthday), though it's definitely not recommended.
Wisdom is totally separate from intelligence--it's possible to be the smartest person alive, but be naive due to inexperience, due to lacking wisdom. Similarly, if you're dumb as a rock, as long as you have enough wisdom, knowledge of how to act and when, then you'd...be able to out-perform people with higher Int scores, due to your approach being just better.
-Instinct: For the sake of not having too many stats, this stat also includes something else I was considering making a stat, "sixth sense". People with a lot of Instinct are in tune to their world, able to do a lot without thinking much. (Yes, this makes them another counter to Intelligence: Instinct and Intuition are often called opposites for a reason.) While not a complete opposite to Intelligence (if you do it right, you can combine them, with side-effects often including instantaneous and perfect reaction to situations), they frequently are seen as clashing. As such, this stat also gives a Reflex bonus. (This bonus is tripled when combined with the Int bonus.) Another side-effect of combining Instinct with Intellect is a .25 Wisdom bonus per point in each (that is, 1 point of int+inst = +.25 Wisdom).
Instinct is one of the main stats used to shrug off status effects, making it the bane of Water, Darkness, and Wind Mages who specialize in magic which does as much. Intelligence and Wisdom both play a part, however. Endurance will not increase resistance to mental status effects like illusions, but will increase resistance to physical status effects.
-Dexterity: Skill with your hands. The better your DEX score, the better you are at parrying. High Dexterity is good for dual-wielding, sword-and-shield combos, two-handed weapons, and ranged weapons. It greatly amplifies skils such as pickpocketing, allowing them to be much easier. It improves Ranged-type weapon damage. Additionally, it also gives a slight Reflex bonus.
-Nimbleness: The opposite of Dexterity, Nimbleness is for the legs. The more Nimble you are, the better you dodge. You gain a balance bonus, as well as a +.5 strength roll to all kicks. Additionally, you also receive a Reflex bonus due to leg improvement.
-Reflex: Not a stat itself; it's a sub-stat of INT, INS, DEX, and NIM. Put simply, it's how fast you can react. Reflexes make you go faster, able to run quicker, react sooner, swing faster...it's really one of the most important stats for all classes (especially Rogues) to have, which is why so many stats give it a bonus. While this could also be called, "speed", speed is what I consider to be a kind of superstat for Rogue-type stats, which include Dexterity and Nimbleness.
-Luck: How fortunate you are. People with bad luck do poorly in life no matter how good their stats are and no matter how hard they try. (They get hit more frequently than they should, suffer constant Disaster Dominoes, can never seem to land a blow, etc.) Inversely, people with good luck can have horrendous stats, absolutely suck, and shouldn't survive any encounter at all. That high luck stat will make them win via Deus Ex Machina, Contrived Coincidences, basically, sheer dumb luck. People with higher luck scores receive bonuses on all rolls (when rolls are applied), whether those rolls are known or not. The most common way to see this is that someone with high luck improves the enemy's chance of missing, like DEX and NIM do.
-Charisma: How charming and persuasive you are. This is basically your ability to convince anyone and everything to do whatever you want them to. A good skill for Rogues, because it influences things like bluffing and whispering, among others. It also influences how they see you; better Charisma, better perceived appearance.
-Strength: Your raw power. The stronger you are, the more damage you inflict. (Gives an attack bonus, as well as a slight bonus to accuracy. The main accuracy-boosting stats are Dexterity and Reflex.) Melee weapons receive a strong damage increase. Ranged- and Magic-type weapons used in ways they were not meant to be (such as a staff as a club, an arrow as a dagger, etc.) receive a slight bonus from this stat, too. (At the cost of only receiving half the bonus from their normal type.) Strength also gives a .4 bonus to Endurance.
-Endurance: How much damage you can take. It both increases the maximum HP of a person and reduces the amount of damage they take when hit.
--As levels increase, people become drastically more powerful. They fight harder opponents, and slowly move up. However, when people get to a higher level…things change. There’s nobody else around to match them. Their alignment makes them…dangerous.
And so, the gods intervene. If a person gets to ‘Highest Level’ range, one of three things will happen:
1: They ascend. The gods make this high-leveled person into a fellow god. It’s the ultimate dream of pretty much everyone to get to here.
2: They are ‘struck down’.
3: They find themselves ‘Nerfed’, also called ‘descended’.
It really depends on balance. Balance is important; there’s a good reason that the gods ascend/strike down those who become that powerful. Anybody at that level won’t possibly destroy balance, won’t risk destroying the natural cycle, they will do it. They are a threat to balance.
Evil Highest Level characters will either
-Rule the world. They will first conquer the world with an iron fist and then become an unstoppable tyrant. With their extreme power, nobody will be able to topple their reign, and they’ll never die from aging
-Destroy it, kill everything—naturally, nobody wants this.
Good threatens balance just as much. They will bring the world into a golden age, where peace and prosperity are the dominant factors. Now, this is good for a small area, as in, part of the world. Something would eventually defeat the balance, and if not…
Well, it is a small section of the planet.
Over the whole world, however, it is extremely bad. The scale instantly favors good, and things risk coming to a halt. In other words, if there would be a utopia, every soul in existence would eventually be extinguished just as surely as the world being blown up would be.
But why not just ascend everyone who gets that high? It’s incredibly rare, after all.
It’s the same rule: balance. It’s the balance between good/evil gods. (Neutral, people don’t care about. There can be an infinite number of neutral gods. And while it is one of the most common alignments for players, it is the rarest of the rare for people to keep. Almost everyone will inevitably go good or evil.)
If there are fifty good gods and only twenty-five evil gods, then a good guy will find themselves struck down. With that same number, however, an evil person will find themselves ascended in a heartbeat.
The same is true vice-versa, so if evil gods had a majority, an evil person would be struck down, while a good person would become a god.
Evil gods don’t like too many good gods. Who likes being outnumbered, after all? Yet they also don’t like competition; with too many evil gods, Good would be overwhelmed, but that would leave far, far too much open for the pickings, with civil wars basically making things far worse for them. So, evil gods will limit other evil ascensions as well.
Good gods, on the other hand, will just do it out of balance. They will accept no more than ten more on one side. (60-40 is acceptable, where 61-40 would not be, to give an example.)
They know that imbalance towards evil risks destroying the world; imbalance towards good will risk losing the souls of people, the planet, everything.
Currently, the good gods have a ten-god lead on the evil gods. (It’s hard to get to that level and still be evil, it’s explained.)
Ascension lands a nice place among the deities…
But it is not always going to happen.
Being Struck Down sounds negative; it really is—they die. As in, their mortal body is destroyed, where in ascension it’s brought with them. But it’s only negative in comparison. The underworld is divided into three basic sections:
And each section has an overlord who is a God themselves.
But it’s impossible for any one person to rule over a section of souls that large, so, it’s divided into subsections. Struck Down individuals rule over a section of their alignment. Good rules over good (or neutral), Evil over Evil (or neutral), and Neutral can rule over whoever they want to, although the Neutral section of the underworld is the largest.
They are close to gods, but not quite at the, umm, same level. (Pun not intended.)
It’s a heck of a good life, but far from optimal to them, because they know what they’re missing out.
The third option is to be “Nerfed”, sent down to the planet as a Level 1 version of themselves. These people were inches away from being struck down, but chose this option instead. They’ve all seen life as an ascended, but were denied the opportunity to live that life. This might sound bad, but they get to keep all their memories, experience, and…most importantly…their abilities.
Of course, at level one, most of those abilities are fairly worthless, and are a drain to use. (Storm3, for example, is one of the most advanced spells possible. It is theoretically possible to use at that level, but its MP consumption makes it not worth it for a while—most people wouldn’t learn it ‘til much later; I’m thinking 50 minimum, maybe even 100.)
But, hey, they have them!
It’s essentially a “New Game +” for life; they’re going to have a far easier time in life than they did the first time around.
(Note about Deities--I decided that Deities apparently have access to TVTropes. :P While mortal characters might use similar terms to TVTropes, only Deities or Nerfed individuals will use the exact name.)