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MegaTheGamer

Concepts for Implementing Fistfighters and Firearms Into Fire Emblem

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For a while now, I've wondered about how one could introduce new elements into Fire Emblem's weapon system. It's really quite a closed system that's been balanced and rebalanced countless times; adding a new weapon or type of fighter wouldn't be easy at all, especially with concerns for logical justifications and interaction with other mechanics.

 

So this is a thread for me to throw out a couple of ideas I had about how to integrate new weapons/fighting styles into FE. Anyone can comment on my ideas, expound upon them, or propose alternatives. I just bounced these ideas off of a friend and he suggested I make this thread to get my ideas out there, gather critiques, and just get some thought going.

Fists

The first idea is about fighters that actually don't use a weapon at all, but prefer straight-up fisticuffs. Brawlers, or what Final Fantasy would call a Monk. 

-The obvious problem with these units is simple: other units are going to keep obtaining better weapons and grow stronger much faster than a fighter using his same old fists with better stats.

-Thankfully, Radiant Dawn offered a rudimentary solution when it's laguz units faced the same issue. Giving all laguz a weapon type "Strike" for unarmed blows, and as the weapon rank increased, so did the Mt and Hit of their fangs, claws, etc. A fist fighter could work on a similar system to this, and logically, it makes sense. By fighting unarmed, this unit would, of course, build muscle and be able to throw punches faster, as represented by their level ups. But, in addition, their fists would probably become calloused, or harden from repeatedly striking things, making the same punches more effective. Thus, rather than upgrading to more effective weapons, this unit's one weapon would become more effective, essentially upgrading itself.

-Another idea would be to take the Strike weapon type and, instead of tying it directly to the stats of the fists, make it a traditional weapon type by offering the unit pseudo-armaments like Brass Knuckles, a Cestus, or similar tools for augmenting blunt, unarmed strikes. The logic being that, if you're punching things on a battlefield filled with swordsmen and mages, those hits need to really count, so there's no shame in beefing up your fists with some metal.

-One issue that remains is, this Brawler would be meleelocked. Even weapons that are mostly melee have ranged options, like a Levin Sword, Javelin, or Hand Axe, but I don't see any way of giving a fist user this kind of option. Maybe 1 range only would just be the inherent weakness of the fist units.

Firearms/Guns

That was the easy one, though. The other idea was how, mechanically, one could implement firearms in a balanced way. The FE universe might not want for black powder when they have magic, but not all FE settings are created equal. 

-First, damage. Obviously, shooting a gun isn't more effective the more physically strong you are, nor does it require a spiritual element like magic does. How much destruction you can cause with a firearm depends on how your aim is, how precisely you can target the vital organs of your enemies, such as the brain, heart, windpipe, etc. As such, the stat that makes the most sense for damage calc would be Skill, the measure of your precision and accuracy. 

-Would this make Skill too broken? After all, it already determines hit rate and the better part of crit calcs. I don't think so, though. Skill is already considered among the less useful stats by many fans, since often damage output, the ability to double, and durability are far more valuable to a unit in the long run. This would make Skill a very important stat for these Gunners or whatever you might call them, increasing its meaningfulness. 

-Another consideration for firearms is range. One can shoot a gun much farther than traditional ranged armaments like bows, but they aren't large and unwieldy like ballistae; they are small, light, handheld weapons. Guns should logically have rather large ranges... but how to balance this so they add meaningful depth rather than just being busted? I propose that guns use their full stats at point-blank (1 range, maybe 1-2), and the farther out the unit shoots, the gun starts losing Hit, and perhaps eventually, Mt. It makes logical sense; the farther away the target, the harder it is to take aim and hit reliably. And at very long distances, their target will appear rather small to them, making it difficult to accurately hit the vital points brought up before, which would lessen damage.

 

So, that's my musing on it. If you have anything at all to add, or a critique or criticism of this, feel free to speak up! I like considering how to add new mechanics, but I'll be the first to admit I'm no designer, so I can't tell if my logic flows for game design purposes. I'd love to hear other's opinions, ideas on how to improve this, or alternate implementations, hypothetical or not.

 

Also, this the first thread I've created aside from my introduction thread, so I hope this is the right section and it's formatted well. Just let me know if it's hard to read, and feel free to move it if there's a better board for this.

Edited by MegaTheGamer
Additional clarification

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I think you could make "Brawlers" feasible if you made fists a "Brave" weapon, where you attack twice for every normal attack. This would make it so that when a brawler fights an enemy whose DEF is lower than the brawlers MT, the brawler can be incredibly useful (almost broken). However, when up against well defended units like knights, brawlers would be practically useless, without the "Slayer" weapons most other classes can use. I also think that fists should be strong against knives, since a lot of judo focuses on being able to disarm enemies with knives.   

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I think you're overthinking the 'Brawler' type. Just give them a gauntlet type weapon and have it work like every other melee weapon with slayers/effective weapons included. To fix the supposed range issue just give them a gauntlet that would work off of 'ki' type energy(either it's tied to strength or magic, whatever) for that 1-2 range you're worried about.

Edited by Emeraldfox

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1 hour ago, SullyMcGully said:

I think you could make "Brawlers" feasible if you made fists a "Brave" weapon, where you attack twice for every normal attack. This would make it so that when a brawler fights an enemy whose DEF is lower than the brawlers MT, the brawler can be incredibly useful (almost broken). However, when up against well defended units like knights, brawlers would be practically useless, without the "Slayer" weapons most other classes can use. I also think that fists should be strong against knives, since a lot of judo focuses on being able to disarm enemies with knives.   

That would actually make sense, since there wouldn't really be a way for Brawlers to have an advantage against armor/mounted types, so no slayer access would make sense. As for the Brave, since they only need one fist to hit you, I suppose they could presumably always hit you twice before you got a swing in. I do like you idea for WTA against knives; I didn't know that about judo, actually. Ignoring the Fates triangle, perhaps fists, knives, and bows could be a separate triangle, leaving magic with just it's own triangle(s) outside those of physical attacks.

39 minutes ago, Emeraldfox said:

I think you're overthinking the 'Brawler' type. Just give them a gauntlet type weapon and have it work like every other melee weapon with slayers/effective weapons included.

Perhaps I am, but I did want to mention the ideas given by Radiant Dawn, since they were there. You're right, making them a normal weapon type with gauntlets, as mentioned, would certainly be easy enough mechanics-wise. I just thought that maybe a more interesting idea would make more sense within the FE universe. Also, it would help differentiate Fists from other types of melee weapons like Swords, etc. if they worked in a "strange" way. Does that make sense?

39 minutes ago, Emeraldfox said:

To fix the supposed range issue just give them a gauntlet that would work off of 'ki' type energy(either it's tied to strength or magic, whatever) for that 1-2 range you're worried about.

I do like this, as I didn't think of using ki blasts a la Street Fighter for a ranged option. It would also make sense since martial arts do have that aspect to them of "finding the strength within you", which could manifest as ki. One thing to consider about this, though, is how they would work in a Gaiden/Fates scenario with no weapon durability. While the gauntlet idea would make sense for them to wear out, I wonder how one would balance a ki attack that doesn't have limited usage. Perhaps make them unable to double with it since they need time to focus on charging it?

Thanks to both of you for the honest feedback, regardless.

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For the Brawler/Monk, I really like the idea of having a default brave weapon, with the weapon rank giving substantially bigger bonuses than the other weapon ranks, but that doesn't mean they can't also have caestus, knuckles, claws etc.

I propose the ki blast should be a skill that makes huge magic damage but damages the user like the magic in Gaiden, since it's spiritual energy or whatever.

 

For the guns, they should have higher might than other weapons but only take half bonus damage from skill. Of course, that would make strenght useless, so you can just do something like what FE7x has with bowguns, where strenght gives a bonus to con. It would make sense and be relevant, since guns are generally heavier than melee weapons.

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I love the idea of a monk/brawler type. It is one of the few typical fantasy classes missing from Fire Emblem. It isnt that hard to throw together really.

Give them access to fist weapons. These weapons are, like the beast stone, outside of the weapon triangle.

Due to their lack of ranged weapons, give them a special skill upon promoting to the tier 2 class. Catch Arrow/Dagger. This gives them essentially a breaker skill against ranged weapons. They still won't have access to ranged weapons, but allowing them to dodge and barely be effected by them kind of clears that up.

On the topic of Fire Arms, there is a way to do that.

First, give it a fixed damage amount. No stat effects its damage output, other than skill for increased crit rate and accuracy.

Second, give it a good damage amount. The first tier gun that would be the equivalent of iron, has the same might as a steel weapon. Give it a step above whatever it's tier is.

Third, Range. Give the gun a 1-5 range depending on what it is. Pistols should be 1-3, rifles should be 1-5.

Fourth, ammo and reload time. IF durability is not included in the game, Like Fates and Gaiden, the gun itself will not break but will still require ammunition. Ammunition could be bought in a bundle of 10 rounds, and each pack of 10 rounds take up an inventory slot. Also, reloading guns come at the cost of movement. So if a character fires a gun in round one, in round two they have the option to either move and reload, or reload and fire again. They cannot move, fire, and reload all within the same round. This slows down the guns use and makes it considerably slower in how often it is used than a bow, but will still do a lot more damage than a bow could.

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1 hour ago, Enaluxeme said:

For the guns, they should have higher might than other weapons but only take half bonus damage from skill. Of course, that would make strenght useless, so you can just do something like what FE7x has with bowguns, where strenght gives a bonus to con. It would make sense and be relevant, since guns are generally heavier than melee weapons.

Quote

First, give it a fixed damage amount. No stat effects its damage output, other than skill for increased crit rate and accuracy.

Second, give it a good damage amount. The first tier gun that would be the equivalent of iron, has the same might as a steel weapon. Give it a step above whatever it's tier is.

A couple of my Skype people actually mentioned something similar when I linked them the thread this morning. Yeah, I think Strength would be used for a Con-type usage with guns so it isn't useless to Gunners. Half Skill + High Mt I can see. They also brought up the idea of guns doing a boatload of damage but being unable to double since these would theoretically be flintlocks, so you'd need to reload every shot. That would work well with Tolvir's ideas. As one of my friends said, "That's the thing about the flintlocks, though, they really fucked you up if you got hit".

Quote

Pistols should be 1-3, rifles should be 1-5.

I can agree with this. It gives us different options for guns, and combined with my idea of them losing Hit with increasing distance, it could still be balanced.

Quote

Ammunition could be bought in a bundle of 10 rounds, and each pack of 10 rounds take up an inventory slot. Also, reloading guns come at the cost of movement. So if a character fires a gun in round one, in round two they have the option to either move and reload, or reload and fire again. They cannot move, fire, and reload all within the same round. This slows down the guns use and makes it considerably slower in how often it is used than a bow, but will still do a lot more damage than a bow could.

I like the thought put into this, and this would definitely make sense for a modern gun with clips to hold multiple rounds at once. Though, I get the idea that guns in FE would be more like flintlocks, and for that, I was given the idea on Skype that they can't double, having to reload every shot, as mentioned above. If the game had durability, we could certainly balance them out by having to carry ammunition on their person as you say.

Edited by MegaTheGamer

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-Would this make Skill too broken? After all, it already determines hit rate and the better part of crit calcs. I don't think so, though. Skill is already considered among the less useful stats by many fans, since often damage output, the ability to double, and durability are far more valuable to a unit in the long run. This would make Skill a very important stat for these Gunners or whatever you might call them, increasing its meaningfulness. 

I disagree with this logic. You've made skill important for the single class, but now you've also devalued Strength for that class and still left the problem.

-Another consideration for firearms is range. One can shoot a gun much farther than traditional ranged armaments like bows, but they aren't large and unwieldy like ballistae; they are small, light, handheld weapons. Guns should logically have rather large ranges... but how to balance this so they add meaningful depth rather than just being busted? I propose that guns use their full stats at point-blank (1 range, maybe 1-2), and the farther out the unit shoots, the gun starts losing Hit, and perhaps eventually, Mt. It makes logical sense; the farther away the target, the harder it is to take aim and hit reliably. And at very long distances, their target will appear rather small to them, making it difficult to accurately hit the vital points brought up before, which would lessen damage.

Early guns had significantly less range than bows; they don't need to have "large" ranges.

3 hours ago, Enaluxeme said:

 It would make sense and be relevant, since guns are generally heavier than melee weapons.

This is blatantly untrue. Guns are generally lighter than melee weapons; the barrel is hollow metal while the weapon is solid metal.

2 hours ago, Tolvir said:

Third, Range. Give the gun a 1-5 range depending on what it is. Pistols should be 1-3, rifles should be 1-5.

Don't do this. Please. Don't. Do. This.

Fourth, ammo and reload time. IF durability is not included in the game, Like Fates and Gaiden, the gun itself will not break but will still require ammunition. Ammunition could be bought in a bundle of 10 rounds, and each pack of 10 rounds take up an inventory slot. Also, reloading guns come at the cost of movement. So if a character fires a gun in round one, in round two they have the option to either move and reload, or reload and fire again. They cannot move, fire, and reload all within the same round. This slows down the guns use and makes it considerably slower in how often it is used than a bow, but will still do a lot more damage than a bow could.

This, on the other hand, seems really fun.

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17 hours ago, Bedimal Eliwan said:

This is blatantly untrue. Guns are generally lighter than melee weapons; the barrel is hollow metal while the weapon is solid metal.

Barrels have to withstand an explosion inside them, whereas melee weapons need to be moved fast in order to reliably hit and block. Real melee weapons aren't gargantuan metal bars like in fantasy. Of course, I'm talking about medieval guns, not a 9mm you can see nowadays, but if I was, the weights would be more or less the same.

Also, keep in mind the weight of the ammo.

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I had a similar idea where guns can be made stronger but determined by skill, as skill will determine how accurate your shot is and therefore a more deadly shot. In regards to strength, that can be like con except only certain weapons can be wielded if you have enough strength, as not anyone can use say an assault rifle without it going flying all over the place.

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On 27/01/2017 at 0:09 PM, Enaluxeme said:

Barrels have to withstand an explosion inside them, whereas melee weapons need to be moved fast in order to reliably hit and block. Real melee weapons aren't gargantuan metal bars like in fantasy. Of course, I'm talking about medieval guns, not a 9mm you can see nowadays, but if I was, the weights would be more or less the same.

Also, keep in mind the weight of the ammo.

Yeah but in order to swing and stop a swung weapon (particularly an axe or something equally top-heavy) you need quite a bit of strength. Not to mention that swords and axes had to cut through stuff like gambesons and padded jacks so you'd have to swing it with a lot of your body strength (particularly by rotating the hips when swinging) A gun isn't anywhere near as heavy in the sense that they only thing you have to deal with is recoil. With a sword, you have to actually stop its momentum if you miss and you have to accelerate it quite quickly in order to hit hard. All of this while keeping edge alignment in mind. Even with flintlocks the explosion wasn't anywhere near strong enough to require as much strength to use as a sword, axe or even a spear did. And forget about bows. Bows were the most strength-based weapon that we've ever created.

I say con shouldn't matter for much with guns (or rather, they should all have really low weight). If they can't double anyway on account of being flintlocks then how about guns be used in melee range and clubs or, better yet, in conjunction with bayonets. They should function like lower powered spears. Weapon triangle loss against axes because they have all of the weaknesses of a spear but no win against swords because they are much shorter than spears, so the spear's advantages against the swords are immediately gone.

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