A new indie RPG looks to combine a world and characters inspired by popular MMO Final Fantasy 14 with gameplay that harkens back to Dungeons & Dragons’ Fourth Edition and the tactical crunch of mech game Lancer.
Tim Gonzalez’ Beacon draws from FFXIV’s flexible job system, allowing players’ characters to swap between more than two dozen classes - from the dragoon-like dragon rider to the dimension-slicing riftblade - before they embark on their next quest.
Each job has a separate progression across three levels, unlocking additional skills as it grows in strength, and features a unique limit break - the class’ strongest move that can be used only once per quest or between long rests, which shares its name with the powerful abilities seen in FFXIV.
As well as combat-focused jobs, Beacon’s rulebook includes detail on professions geared around crafting and gathering, such as fishing and mining - similar to ‘Disciples of the Land and Hand’ jobs seen in Final Fantasy - which can be used to gain additional supplies and gold.
Final Fantasy 14’s influence can also be seen in Beacon’s setting of The Source, which shares its name directly with the video game’s universe. Like FFXIV’s setting, Beacon’s crystal-based universe is split into numerous ‘reflections’ that serve as different worlds and dimensions for players to explore, with the magical technology of ‘magitech’ - magitek in FFXIV - present across all.
The clear homage to Final Fantasy 14 in Beacon’s world and characters joins with gameplay inspiration taken from Dungeons & Dragons 4E and the tactical combat of crunchy mech RPG Lancer, as well as the Powered by the Apocalypse system used in games such as Monster of the Week and Avatar Legends.
Beacon evolves Lancer’s battle system with a phase-based structure to fights, with specific actions - whether it’s defending, healing, hiding or attacking - assigned to phases that execute in a set order every round. Combat utilises Beacon’s three core ability scores of Bulk, Agility, Mind and Magic, as well as using grid maps to calculate movement, range and line-of-sight.
Outside of combat, Beacon uses the traditional d20 of D&D to resolve narrative encounters, combined with the three-tier measurement of success seen in Powered by the Apocalypse games, with rolls resulting in a miss on a 9 or under, before achieving a hit - on 10 to 19 - or critical hit on a 20-plus. Player-created character backgrounds and titles - another apparent nod to FFXIV - provide relevant bonus modifiers to rolls via abstract concepts such as “former acrobat” or “spent a year polymorphed into a squirrel”.
Beacon has been in development for over two years, with a playtest version of the game available for free via Gonzalez’ Itch.io page. A Kickstarter campaign launching on September 13th will look to crowdfund a full release for the game’s 400-page rulebook.