A Guide to Forged Soul Skills
Every hero (or villain) needs a special skill. Think about it: Snow White can summon animals, Green Lantern can create anything from his imagination, Light Yagami has his Death Note, and so on and so forth. I’m sure you can think of a dozen others. Well, guess what?
You too will join these ranks by creating a Forged Soul Skill (also known as a Human Skill)!
Of course, there are some things you may want to consider when creating your skill:
-What kind of fighter is your character? A sneaky one? A brawler? A magic user? What would most help their style?
-Interested in beating up shadows? Want to test your mettle against other roleplayers? The kind of combat you’re interested in can help structure your skill.
-Interested in messing with other characters through magic shenanigans or showing impressive feats of speed and strength? Your skill can always be a fun little gimmick just for this purpose!
If you haven’t guessed, a Forged Soul Skill is basically your character’s unique special ability. It can be anything you desire, a support skill, an attack, a gimmick or anything, and you only have two limits: your imagination and the tier.
Now, as to what Tiers there are, we have 4 of them, Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4. Note that Tier does not limit Complexity, as a Tier 1 skill can be just as complex as a Tier 4 skill in execution.
The Tier 1 is the Soul Skill Tier everyone gets to start with. Generally speaking, they are rather weak in comparison to say a Tier 2 or 3 Skill, but that does not mean they lack importance. While their overall powerlevel might dwindle in comparison to higher tier skills, you can give them other applications aside from just being offensive, defensive or what have you, and even give them uses that the Persona Skill list doesn't cover (which is why they are here in the first place). Let's go with an example. Let's say I wanna make a Fire-related Soul Skill, something like a Pyromancy, of sorts. Well, the most basic thing I can think of is... a straight up fireball... That's not to say I should make it a fireball. In execution, yes, that's a way to go, but I could also make something like a Fire-lasso or something of the sort, that could lower an enemy's luck, or allow me to grab onto poles and other round objects, giving it more than just one use. That's the key with a Tier 1 Soul Skill. Make it Versatile, so that it isn't useless by the time you get stronger, and stronger skills at your disposal. Make sure to be descriptive too, if you really wanna be OUT there with your skill, as everything from Range, cost, any conditions you might need etc will be necessary. For those of you who're here for the first time, tinker with some ideas, and throw them at a Mod, if they're around. They should be able to answer any questions you might have that this guide won't cover.
Now, if you don't want anything super-fancy with your human skill, you can always just take a basic skill, and add a property to it, like say adding a X% boost to the next skill used, or some such. Generally, when it comes to boosts, damage increases, and Ailment inducing special effects of Tier 1 skills, 10-15% is usually where it's at, but you can increase the boost (excluding ailment chance) if you give the effect a condition to trigger. If it's just a boost like say a generic boost to damage, you can go 1 of 2 ways. Either go 15% that lasts for three turns, or a 30% boost that lasts 1 turn, or somewhere in between.
Here's an examples of these can be found here:
- Searing Shot:
- Mortal Shot:
As you can see here, I've made Searing Shot as a slighty altered version of the Skill Agi, just like Mortal Shot doesn't have a strict Pierce counterpart, it's basically modeled after Cleave with an added benefit. This is how basic a Soul Skill could be. They're a little bit more expensive than their Persona Skill counterparts, given they both have such generic boosting effects that boost damage. You don't necessarily have to limit yourself to using slightly modified versions of skills that already exist, but if you don't have any really cool ideas, these are often the safest, and easiest to gauge the power level of.
Now, the next step is for you who want passive effects, rather than an attack. Usually, passive boost effects on the Tier 1 scale follows the same principles as the Boosts, but there's less leeway, given that they boost you all the time. A 10-15% boost to a skill-type is usually what's considered balanced if you want things that affect skill performance, you can use the Arcana boosts as a general baseline. For more custom effects, continue reading.
Advanced Course - Custom Tier 1 Skills
Easy to understand thus far, right? Now, if you wanna be a little bit more creative and out there with these skills, consider this the advanced course. Here, you'll need to take a number of factors into account when making the skill. Specifically it's uses, how much it can do, it's range (if required), any conditions that are needed, it's cost etc. Usually, these are a lot tougher to gauge, but any experienced mod should be able to help you out designing a balanced, and useful Soul Skill, should you have any problems. Note that some skills could have social effects, or even slightly altered effects (as long as they don't stray too far from the original concept) in other battle styles. Time for some examples.
- Arms of the Abyss:
Notice how I mentioned things like Range, size, summoning conditions, a turn limit, and a way to remove the tentacles alltogether? To be fair, a custom Soul Skill doesn't have to be this complex, but this paticular one serves as a good example of all the conditions that can be put in place in order to balance out a skill. When it comes to Tier 1 Skills, try to be rational, and don't go overboard with their powerlevel. If something doesn't feel like Tier 1 Material (Say Time Control, or some such), then it probably shouldn't be. Here's another example of a T1 Soul Skill I've used in the past.
- Gemstone Trap:
Advanced Course - Mutating Skills
Now, for you aspiring Magus Users out there, when you get your hands on a T3 or Higher Soul Skill, you have the ability to have that Skill Mutate a Skill Type of your Choice into a more advanced element (Note that not being Magus doesn't barr you from Mutated Skills. It's just that the Magus Arcana gives more obvious benefits to having Mutated Skills). Mutating a skill type changes the nature of said skill type, even though its general element stays the same. Tier 3 Mutations deal 1/3rd of the damage as normal on targets that resist it, while say a tier 4 Mutation doesn't have that downfall, and might even ignore resistance altogether. Tier 4 Mutations can have other effects on top of the general mutation of a skill. So... what is a mutation then? Well, as an example, mutating Ice could turn it into something like Water on a T3 Level, while a Tier 4 variant could be something a little bit more extreme. You create the mutation, as there are no set guidelines for it, but for major changes, like say changing Fire into Sun Damage, would require a t4 slot.