The Laws of JRPGs – part 1

JRPGs have a very peculiour ruleset. There’s a form of logic in them, none of it native to our own world. Today we’re going to look at the basics of two parts of JRPG logic. The Random Encounters and the lack of bussiness sense of the magic users!

Random Encounters

If I could discuss anything with a quantum physicist, or any reasonably intelligent scientist for that matter, it’s the concept of random encounters. Everything about them is just absolutely impossible in any way imaginable. Most people look at it from the “group of enemies out of nowhere” angle, but just really think about this for a second. This isn’t just a big group of enemies appearing out of nowhere in an empty room, ready to pounce you. This is so much more than that.

To prove my point, let’s run a quick test.

How many enemies are in this picture?

Anyone with a reasonable amount of experience with JRPGs will know the answer to this one.

The answer is infinite

The answer is infinite.

There are infinite monsters in the room.

The room will never run out of enemies, ever.

You can run for hours upon hours inside of it, while having the doors barricaded, and somehow still run into a group of three-four monsters every ten to twenty seconds.

Think about all the implications here. An unlimited source of lifeforms in a small confined area, that still somehow allows you to traverse it. Where are these monsters coming from? Are they leaping through time and space itself to make it to you? Are they materializing out of thin air? Could they materialize inside of you?

What’s even more interesting is that you can stop them from appearing in front of you by simply standing still. So movement somehow causes their appearance. Either their appearance is caused by energy created from friction causing matter to simply exist where it once did not, or monsters have designated areas to interdimensionally travel to whenever lifeforms are detected.

And both would have a massive significance in being explored thoroughly by the scientists of these JRPG worlds. Somehow technology in these worlds tend to be overly developed in extremely odd ways, so it wouldn’t be too demanding to explain what’s causing these monsters to just appear out of nowhere.

Why not learn to control this power?  If creatures really do materialize out of nonexistence, you could create an infinite supply of cattle for slaughter, full-grown. Or mass an army to kill off the bad guy. Give him a taste of his own medicine.

If they reach you through a form of travel, researching that would allow you to be anywhere at any time in a moment of seconds. Fuck that airship thing, give us direct access to every location in the game instead. If we need an area to focus on for movement, why not the Bad Guy’s Evil Lair of Evil? That’d save us a lot of time trying to find him.

Mages are idiots with no business sense

What do mages, wizards and witches do, outside of being magic users? No really, what do they do? There’s never an explanation as to why they’re learning magic, what they’re planning to do with this, how it gets applied outside of assisting some idiot with big spiky hair and a broadsword they happen to run into.

We know witches live in some secluded hut in the woods somewhere, being one with nature because…

We know mages and wizards go to school to learn magic so they can grow up and…

Oh right, there’s no further knowledge as to what the hell they do. In most cases, the bad guy has the foresight to hire at least a dozen of them as bodyguards because big thick-headed guys with giant swords can’t handle magic users. So at least several mages are sell-swords. Or rather, sell-staves. Somewhere out there, there’s an agency letting out mages, renting them to the highest bidder. They’re playing both sides, and as clever as this is, they could easily top that in so many more ways.

Let’s say your JRPG world divides elements so that one mage can only learn one at a time. This is just to make things a bit easier for the time being, if you’re in a casual RPG like Final Fantasy and can just use everything, then congratulations! All of the following is possible!

Water

Imagine you’re a water mage. You cast water spells until your HP runs out. If you want really quick cash, you’d open up a simple swimming pool franchise. All you need is a big hole to fill with your magical waters. Refreshing the water shouldn’t be too hard if you have near endless supply of water at your disposal. Another route you could take with this opening a hot spring together with a fire mage.

You wouldn’t have to worry about your MP cost either, if you run any sort of profit, stocking up on healing items should be fairly easy.

A much slower, and near world-economy breaking use of water elemental casters would be becoming a farmer. You’ll never suffer dry seasons. Nobody could ever raid your farm since you could just destroy them with elemental attacks if they’d even try, so you wouldn’t need to farm under a single Kingdom, and instead supply the whole world separate from whatever nation your land is on. This in turn means that the Kingdom’s protection costs for your farming are null, and that you’ll have more control over the price of your goods.

Fire

Not that great with water? Like to burn things up instead? Good, because there’s enough you could do with fire. For one, could easily create a restaurant. Grills and barbeques are the easiest routes you could take this. Seeing meat should be in endless supply thanks to random encounters, and you have an endless energy source thanks to your mana, starting up a franchise from nothing would be easy.

Now imagine winter in a time before insulated windows, central heating, or anything to keep the cold out except dressing warmer. Fire elementals could easily create a hot room for people to warm up in… At a cost, of course. And if that’s possible, a sauna shouldn’t be too hard either. All you need is a little water, and you’re done.

Wind
Ancient Medieval Indoor Skydiving.

Enough said.

Healing/Support

Who even needs to go to an inn to recover anymore if you can just heal people with your magic instantly? You wouldn’t need hospitals anymore, and healing would be the equivalent of Pokemon Centers. You walk in, pay your fee, get healed, and walk out.

Then there’s the buffing sub-division, that could easily help you get that extra boost you’d need to get through the day. There are so many extra ways the stat boosts could help you in everyday life outside of battles. I doubt I’d even have to go further in-depth about it. Just imagine being able to buy a strength boost when moving furniture. It would make everything so much easier.

Final Fantasy-style

You’re in a Final Fantasy-type setting where you can just cast every single element? Holy shit, do you even know how lucky you are? You hit the jackpot. You can do all of the above. Heck, you could be a one-man nation. Why do you think the bad guy is pretty much always a bad guy in these settings? It’s so hilariously easy to just rule everything you see, it’s a big surprise there are kings, shop owners, and farmers who aren’t all abusing the gifts that magic have given them.

Imagine a situation where you will never run out of mana, and think of the possibilities. You can shape the land around your house with earth magic, create a farm in your backyard, have a swimming/sauna area on the side, with some extra business selling food and providing buffs. You wouldn’t even need an army to rule the world. With just one massive vacation resort, you could start a global empire.

Although at one point you’d have to either get the other mages to join your glorious empire. Otherwise you’ll have to either enslave them or kill them.

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3 thoughts on “The Laws of JRPGs – part 1

  1. Your mage economy was both funny & true. It seems like all mages do is learn how to do more magic so they can learn even better magic, with no end or purpose in sight.

  2. You should play some D&D. Then you would know that an adventurer could make more money in one day, than a farmer can in a whole year. So yeah, it would be worth it for a mage to go on a little quest, get some loot, so he could go back to his tower and study magic, experiment a little, etc.

    Besides, who is gonna stop the Tarrasque from eating your village, if not you?

    • I’ve played a little D&D. It actually raises a whole different series of questions for me. Especially economically. For one, in terms of supply and demand, the amount of equipment scattered around still fetching the current assigned prices doesn’t really make much sense. They’re just randomly scattered around objects, who even demands these if they’re in such abundance even the adventurers are constantly trying to get rid of them?

      Also interesting to note how towns and cities rarely ever have any forms of protection outside of things that will get in the way of the heroes at some point in the story. It’d almost make you wonder if the so-called heroes are the real evil, considering nobody ever has as much problems getting ahead like they do.

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