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January 6, 2012 / Wythe

Class idea: the Stander, based on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

I remember this insane game called Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure that I loved, despite my being pretty terrible at it. The premise was that you were some slinky, emo manga character who could, when enraged/focused/whatever, Hulk-out and emanate a sort of super-powered psychic version of yourself—your Stand—and use that to fight.

The design of the various Stands was novel (I always felt Guilty Gear owed a lot, design-wise, to Jojo’s), and the mechanic of switching back and forth between a rando normal-character-with-psi-potential to her badass Stand was as rewarding as it was complex and (for me) often confusing. (Perhaps for a Stander class, switching requires expenditure of Sanity points!)

What I propose is a hell scientific/psionic class whose main class power is Manifest Stand. [Note: This is rather like the Freudian Oni in Black Tokyo.] Level by level, the non-Stand PC doesn’t get much better at shit. But the STAND gets buffed radically—perhaps growing in size or changing shape, gaining bonuses to speed or initiative, learning how to use basic hell scientific powers itself (probably body-based, a la the Blooder), &c. The point is, the focus is on the Stand, not the Stander;—or, to avoid double-jargon, let’s call the non-Stand actual PC the Caller.

The Stand should be unique for each character, reflecting that character’s quirks, fears, insecurities. Perhaps a small guy manifests a huge, ithyphallic Stand, or a ratlike neurotic manifests a skaven-esque rat-thing. Either way: Doppelgänger, Hyde, id—like the tessera for a tesseromancer, like the Blood for a Blooder—the Stand offers a great new axis for gameplay, the PC-versus-herself.

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