Creating Character Bases and Growths

Hi, I’m new to rom hacking and I was hoping to ask if there are any tips to designing a player/boss bases and growths.
I understand that there isn’t a one size fit all thing, but anything would be appreciated.

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I would use an existing official game that you think is balanced and use that as a baseline and work from there


Much of it will be based on how strong you want your characters to be compared to the enemies when the player characters are recruited, and how you want that to scale per character as the game progresses. It’s something you’ll be tweaking as you progress.

  1. Go here:
  2. Open each one in a separate tab
  3. Open more tabs
  4. Use notepad, Microsoft Excel, or any other software to cross-reference your data.

Good luck!


Alright, I appreciate all of y’alls help!

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Do you have everything you need? Let us know. Otherwise, send me a personal message and I can try to help you more.

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FE6 tends to have growth rate totals in the range of 250-280, FE8 tends to have between 290-320, and FE7 is somewhere in between. In all 3 games, pre-promotes tend to have growth rate totals around 40-80% lower than their unpromoted counterparts.

I personally prefer FE6’s growth rate range as it prevents units from spiralling out of control and generally allows for a more tailored design (lower growths meaning less variability to design around). Of course this will all be down to personal preference. If you want to create more of a sandbox experience, then the higher variability of FE8 style growth rates may be better suited.

Some even opt to go even higher to FE9 (around ~350%) or even awakening (around ~400%) style growths. While it can work in some skill-system hacks, this will make difficulty significantly more difficult to balance, so it’s probably worth being cautious if you intend to go that high. I think it can work with skill systems as it can essentially dilute certain skills. For example, a skill like rally defence which gives +4 defence would be more reasonable if your units are averaging 20+ defence, not so much if they’re averaging 10 defence. Without skill systems, I really see no reason to go this high. It’s essentially inflating the numbers for no reason and just making it more difficult on yourself to design.


I will say, growth totals are not a very significant metric of the quality of a unit’s growths, since not all stats are equally-important. At best, they’re just a light vibe check. The way the growths are distributed matters a lot more. For an extreme example, a unit with 400% Luck growth and 0% growth anywhere else has a 400% growth total, and their growths would not be nearly as good as a unit with something like 50 HP 50 Str 40 Spd 40 Def 20 Res 20 Luck 30 Skl, a 250% total.

Growths are also relative to base stats. For another somewhat extreme example, assuming same base level, a unit with 10 base 40% growth will have a higher value in that stat at basically any point in the game than one with 0 base 70% growth – on average, it would take 33-34 levels for the one with the higher growth to catch up. (10+0.4x=0+0.7x, 10=0.3x, x=100/3=33.3333…)

Referencing a vanilla game you think does the numbers well is an approach many people do. You can also map out statlines from the ground up for both player and enemy units to fit your vision of how they match up. Or, if you’re not as much of a “meticulously plan things out with spreadsheets ahead of time” person, you can just eyeball it and tune the results with repeated testing, though the spreadsheet people will probably tell you that advance planning, while still needing testing, usually saves time in the long run when done right.


First of all you need a core idea behind your game, and have to think about how to balance your growths around that.

If you plan on making a short hack (say 7 chapters), it could be a good idea to go for lower growths, but faster exp gains. Meanwhile a longer game may want a way to reduce your level, or have a higher total level you can reach.

Generally you wanna keep one thing in mind: Bases and Promo gains are Constants, while growths or things like optional/secret items vary with each playthrough. Thus relying on high growths means your unit stats can vary wildly with just a handful of levels, which makes balancing harder.

For designing a unit, don’t worry about the perfect balance on your first iteration and just give them a stat layout which makes sense with the basic idea behind the unit. A big bulky fighter should have a relatively good STR stat for example, so you take the class bases, and add a bit of strenght in there. Perfectly fine for a first draft. Then you test the game a bit, and if you find the unit to be too strong or weak, you can always adjust afterwards.

I would say grab or make an average stat calculator, put your bases, promo gains, and growths in, and see how strong the units will grow over time. Even 5% changes in growths will be more apparent to you this way, and you can more easily compare units.

I would generally also say keep growths low not just because of the balance, but because getting a great level with low growths (rare) feels great, while getting bad to mediocare levels (common), doesn’t really make you feel bad. Meanwhile having bad levels with high growths (rare) makes you feel like you got unlucky, while mediocare to good levels (common) don’t really make you feel anything. But that might just be personal preference.


All of yalls advice has given me a lot to think about, when I ain’t worrying about exams.
My hack I’m planning to have 37 chapters overall. (Prologue for Lord 1, 8 chapters respectively for Lord 1 and 2 Part 1, another 8 chapters respectively for both for Part 2, and then 4 together for the finale)
The inspiration for this being TRS

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Your motivation to create 37 chapters is commendable. But if you’re working alone, why not start with a single chapter that can be played to completion?

I was thinking working on part 1 for one lord, put the hack out and get criticisms and suggestions, then work on part 2 of the same lord. Repeat for lord 2, and then do the final chapters


That’s definitely one way to size down when starting a project. Still, I would encourage anyone to start with one chapter (map).

I definitely have the most trouble following my own advice here. I love thinking up all the details of a huge story, but I should probably try to get something done quickly if I don’t want my ideas to die as ideas.