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final fantasy magic viviAny fantasy writer who uses magic in their world needs to consider how the magic works, and the different types of magic your characters can use. When I was a kid I spent many hours playing Final Fantasy so I know how to use different magic in a tactical fight.

Depending on your characters strengths and weaknesses will depend on their role in the team. Team members usually have one main role and then a secondary role.
Here is a list of general roles;

  • Attacker (physical)
  • Attacker (magical)
  • Healer
  • Defender
  • Saboteur
  • Support (working title)

Attacker (physical)
This guy will be the strongest who uses weapons to cause high amounts of physical damage on an opponent. Usually his secondary role is defender. Has very average magical capabilities.

Attacker (magical)
This guy causes very high magical damage to the enemy but is normally very weak physically. Needs to be defended. Good for long range attacks. Secondary role would be a healer (magically)

Whether using magic or medicine, this guy runs around behind the others and sorts out their owies. Usually has to be defended by stronger members.

Defender (secondary role)
Defends weaker members of the team.

Saboteur (secondary role)
This guy uses hindrance spells on the enemy. Things like; slow, blind, lower defence etc.

Support (working title) (secondary role)
This is normally the secondary role of the healer. They use boosting spells on team members like; speed, higher attack power, and defence spells like shield.

In a team in Final Fantasy, generally you’ll have some guys with these roles

  • Main character; strongest physical attacker, secondary role; defender
  • Secondary attacker; not as physically strong as main character but stronger than magic users. Can lend herself easily to other roles with average capabilities.
  • Main Magic user; secondary role; healer, saboteur or support
  • Main Healer; secondary role, healer, saboteur or support

Obviously there will be people with unique capabilities and these standard types do not lend themselves necessarily to the complex characters presented in a novel. But it’s a starting point to take inspiration from.

In a game there are long distance attackers (normally magic users) but also physical attackers using guns, bows, throwing knives etc. Good for flying creatures.

You will have close range attackers which is normally the main attacker.

In magic there is always elemental attributes; fire, wind, water, electric, earth etc. Some are weak against others. To fight a fire demon you would use water elemental magic etc.

The best thing to do is asses the enemy first. Some are weak against magic, strong against physical attacks or weak against certain elements, have a high attack power, low magic power and all other variables. Depending on the enemy will depend on your tactics, whether you need to use defensive spells, or magic, or whatever.

This may or may not be useful to you but I hope it was inspiring. I would not recommend spending long hours on a games console (if you wouldn’t otherwise) just to find this information out for yourself.

The Test
See if you can guess who has what role from this picture of characters from Final Fantasy XIII.