Hi! If you're thinking "hey, that logo looks suspiciously like a JRPG logo" you're... very right!
Fabula Ultima is a big project of mine, one you'll be able to see from its early stages (which is to say, the current state of the game) to its completion (hopefully within a reasonable time)
So what's gonna happen? Well, first of all each patron (vanguard, hunter and shaman) gain access to a special drive folder containing notes and files concerning the project. Your thoughts and feedback will be key to shaping the game into its final form (pun intended!)
Once the game is complete, all patrons will get the .pdf version of the full game (with or without artwork, largely depending on my budget - I'd love to recruit some amazing artists for this) and a physical + .pdf bundle will be made available for sale (or Kickstarted! That would be amazing!).
Today, I want to show everyone (patron or else) what the alpha-stage character and group sheets will look like, what a character class looks like, and give you a brief summary of what the game is about.
Here's what a class spread looks like: the huge blank space will contain full-figure character designs for the class, one male and one female. The layout draws most of its elements from typical JRPG guides, but the book will be small-sized and easy to carry around!
While it's way too early to go into details, know that each Player Character will have many classes - they are more like "skill bundles". Each class can be raised up to 10th level, and each time you take a level in a class you'll gain one of its four skills. Skills marked with a (+) get better if you take them multiple times. You're not forced to take each skill at least once: you might raise Rogue to level ten and take Unfair Fighter every single time.
Your total character level will be equal to the total of your class levels: at character creation you'll get five levels to distribute among two or more classes. You might be a Rogue 3 / Weaponmaster 2, or a Pathfinder 1 / Tinkerer 4, and so on. These initial classes will be the ones shaping your character concept, but nothing prevents you from drastic changes later on - your Elementalist / Orator might take Guardian levels and turn into an armored spellcaster with a silver tongue!
The amount of customization is going to be pretty impressive, and designed to enable players to build iconic JRPG-style characters without being constrained into one class or the other and without classes taking up hundreds of pages. Also, the total character level can go up to 99... which means you can get a pretty crazy character. But hey, I don't expect your games to last that long - you'll probably play until level 45-50.
This might look like a weird design choice, and we definitely need to see how things work once the game hits the table, but it's an homage to the genre Fabula Ultima draws inspiration from - JRPG titles such as Final Fantasy (especially II, III, IV, VI, IX, X, XII, Tactics, Four Heroes of Light), Bravely Default, Bravely Second, Tactics Ogre and many others.
What to expect from the game? Well, the downloadable sheets linked below can give you some hints about what's to come - but I think the Fabula Ultima project can be summarized as a classic high fantasy game, but with modernized rules, an experience system that encourages playing to your character's traits and drives, and a shared setting and group creation process which makes sure everything in the game world is relevant to your players and their characters - no wasted elements!
In play, the game runs in a fairly typical way - but the procedures contained within the book strengthen the premise and make everyone's role at the table easier.
It should also be mentioned that part of the game's core engine will be based on Ryuutama - Natural Fantasy Roleplay, an amazing product translated into English by the awesome folks at Kotodama Heavy Industries. You can find it here - and trust me, it's adorable and tons of fun!
As always, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about this - I know this is a bigger project than what I usually do, but I've been tinkering with this for years... heck, I've been wanting to design such a game ever since I played Final Fantasy Tactics A2 for the very first time.
I hope you'll be with me for this ride <3.