Those who follow my blog know that I love crossovers and conversions- and have in fact already converted concepts such as Pokemon and the Steven Universe characters to the BASH (Basic Action Super Heroes) role-playing system. And given that Final Fantasy is one of the greatest science fantasy franchises ever -which incidentally is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary- the time seems right to try a BASH conversion of it as well.
Of course, given that nearly every FF game, series or movie takes place on a different world, it is impossible to describe all of them here. But we can discuss the themes that keep recurring; you can go from there. You’ll of course need a copy of BASH Ultimate Edition as well.
These are forces or substances that provide powers to certain monsters, characters or items. There’s always at least four- Earth, Wind, Water and Fire– and often Ice, Lightning, Holy and Dark. Sometimes Poison is considered an Element as well. In BASH terms these are considered damage types. Powers or attacks that do not use any of these are referred as Non-Elemental.
Creatures and objects often have Elemental Affinities, so that they take less (or more) damage from certain Elements. This is usually based on which elements are “opposed” in the setting. See a typical list of opposites below:
Earth vs Wind
Water vs Lightning
Fire vs Ice
Holy vs Dark
Poison has no opposed element, but its damage may still be resisted or increased by certain abilities.
The affinities, and their corresponding BASH traits, are:
Absorb – Absorption Power
Immunity – Immunity Power
Resistance – Resistance Power
Vulnerable – Damaging Weakness* (double damage)
Weakness – Devastating Weakness (triple damage)
* = not the BASH Vulnerability Weakness
Known by many different names -Espers, Eidolons etc.- most Final Fantasies include these- creatures of enormous power from a far realm that can be summoned for help in combat. In some versions, they just appear, deliver a magical effect, and vanish- making them no more than a vision that takes place during an otherwise-normal spell. But in some settings, they actually materialize and take part in the battle. To simulate this, use the Summoning Power with the Limitation: Summons Only. All Summons are creatures with 60 Hits and at least one Power that fits their “theme”. For example, Shiva The Ice Goddess always has Diamond Dust, a Special Attack that does ice-based damage. The basic form of this Power gets you a specific Summon; for 1 extra character point you can call three of them, and for 2 extra points you can summon any of them. Note that Summoning often requires Magic Points to use (that is, it has the Energy Cost Limitation.)
Most main FF characters can use these: abilities that can exceed their personal limits, usually in dire circumstances. Typically they are attacks, but they can be any Power, even Healing. A Limit Break must be high in Level -at least 4 or higher- and always has the <Situational> Limitation (Usually, Only when Hits are below 25% maximum).
Spells: As in most classic Fantasy, FF spells always have the Limitations <Casting> and <Energy Cost>.
Spell names: traditionally, level 2 spells have the suffix “a”; 3-level spells have the suffix “ga” and 4th level spells have the suffix “ra”. Example: Fire, Fira, Firaga, Firara. 5th Levels spells have unique names.
Status Effects: These effects are caused by certain abilities, spells and items. There are two types: “negative” statuses that hinder the target, and “positive” status that are beneficial. These are some of the most common:
Status – BASH equivalent
Berserk – Boost (Brawn, only while berserk) [Usable on Others] Linked to Mind Control <Only to cause the target to attack using only physical attacks>
Charm– Mind Control
Confuse- Confusion [Friend from Foe]
Fear– Daze [repels enemies]
Transform- Shape Shifting [Usable on Others] <Only into a harmless animal such as a frog>
Petrify- Immobilization [Target Only] Linked to Increased Density 1 [Usable on Others]
Poison– Continual Damage (Poison)
Slow– Slow [Lethargic]
Stop– Immobilization [Target Only]
Stun– Daze <one Page only>
Zombie– Shape Shifting [Usable on Others] <Only into a zombie>
Status – BASH equivalent
Auto‐Life– Healing [Usable on Others] <Delay (only when target reaches 0 Hits)>
Flight– Flight [Usable on Others]
Haste– Super Speed [Usable on Others]
Invisible– Invisibility [Usable on Others]
Protect– Armor [Usable on Others] <Physical Attacks Only>
Reflect– Deflect [Double-Maker] <Spells only>
Regen– Healing [Usable on Others, Regenerative]
Shell– Resistance (Spells) [Usable on Others]
Equipment– Weapons, Armor, Shields, Accessories and other Items are considered Standard Equipment unless they have magical or technological properties- in that case they are Special Equipment, possibly boosted with Equipment Enhancements (see Awesome Powers #6.) Particularly powerful items might be Powers with the Gadget Limitation.
Leveling Up– If you are planning on running a FF campaign rather than just a few sessions, you should use the Optional Experience Points rules (UE, page 130) to allow the PCs to level up. Preferably, use Method 2 to simulate the games more closely.
Credits: My thanks to the Final Fantasy Wiki and the fan-made Final Fantasy D6 role-playing game for providing inspiration and ideas for this article!
Art by david-adhinarya-lojaya-combs.