Need input on small cast instead of standard large cast

So I’ve been learning how to use FEBuilder with a “small project.” (Small meaning the story isn’t particularly long. It’ll likely be 15-20 chapters instead of the 30ish.

Something I want to do is have a lot of varying dialogue, enemies, and possibly maps based on support levels between two units being high or low, if someone is dead, if someone has been neglecting a weapon rank, etc. Some of these would be simple conversations, such as someone’s master/trainer scolding them for not using swords, for example. I’m also wanting to make every character supportable with every other character. I love games that don’t just react to the choices you make, but how you are playing the game too.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a good example of lots of little things happening based on how you’ve played up to that point. I want each playthrough to basically be a unique experience (Without it being roguelike that is).

With that in mind, the ONLY way this will be manageable is if the cast is small. Maybe 10 unique units. This, however, has a number of cons immediately evident.

  • Fire Emblem is primarily a game about armies. It isn’t really designed around a small interconnected cast.
  • A unit death needs to impact story, but having a small cast encourages resets and never losing anyone.
  • Class distribution. Having a small cast means that peg knight is likely your ONLY peg knight. Fliers or other valuable units become that much more valuable.

Some possible solutions I have are:

  • Tier 3 classes with the branching promotions. This can allow the units you DO have to be slightly more customizable.
  • Generic units. great to fill in those missing spots if someone died/you want another of X unit/etc.

Generic units might be the best solution here, yet I’m not sure how I would go about implementing them. Is there a patch that adds them in some way? Is there a way natively I’m not thinking of? Perhaps a way to add them to the battle preparations shop?

Also, tier 3 units is kind of high considering how short the story is overall. Is there some way to have FE9’s auto-promotion at “level 21?” If so, could I maybe change that to level 10, rebalance T2 units to be more “T1.5,” and then the T3 units cap at level 10 so that’s 30 levels total. The same if you promoted early at 10 into the standard T2. This is mostly a thought, I think generic units will likely cover any concerns I have about options.

Finally, are there any other possible pitfalls I might not be seeing here? Yes, I know it’ll be a lot of work to do all that, but frankly that’s the kind of thing I’m going for anyway.


While I’m not entirely sure about how to add generics into a battle preps shop - what comes to my mind as a potential option (although this is more on the vein to not allow the player to switch any main characters for generics while they still live) is to force-deploy all 10 characters every chapter and have an indeterminate number of generics in the roster as well - so if a playable character dies you might get a slot to put any generic in.

Still, you’ll usually run into this regardless of cast size, whether you have seventeen lords or none.

Hell, somebody might even reset after they lose one of those generics.


Lesk “Hardly touched FEBuilder at all” Lyfeld

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The most amount of supports you can do is 7. I dont know exactly the amount of units you’re planning to do, but writng supports will easily be some of the most tedious work availiable. Assuming you want to do all 7 slots for supports

Vanilla fe8 supports up to 50 units with 7 supports (and 3 conversations)

350 different supports, with over 1,050 conversations needing to be written.

This is in no way meant to discourage you. However, I do urge and recommend that you plan out the workload (I wrote a ton myself without planning and it sucked the soul out of me even today)

Well, they said about 10.

Anyways regarding the gameplay stuff, there’s other considerations:

  • If every character is meant to be tied in to that great an extent, perhaps opt for forced casual mode for the game, instead of dealing with the reset issue? Depends on how much you want to have death-based developments.

  • Instead of just branching promotions, you could also have some kind of reclassing mechanic?

  • Fixed growths or something similar to ensure that having your only flier getting stat screwed isn’t a big swing in difficulty.


That’s assuming every map is planned for more than 10 units every time. Considering the work load of writing them I wouldn’t recommend it.

Alternatively deploy limit will always help to limit how many generics are in the map so you can just plop them down to the army bench. I think there might be a way to have menus pop up to buy units? I’ve seen it done in a hack before but it’s on the map via talk convos

Okay, this is actually a pretty fair point. I’m hoping that players knowing as they go into it might let the death be just to see what happens at least lol. Though tbh, I would be that person that resets anyway…

That is a GREAT point. Okay, so I doubt it’ll only be 8 characters, but I can cut the “I don’t think these two really have anything to talk about” supports out. I’ll keep this in mind. Honestly, maybe it’s better this way right? restriction breeds innovation and all.

I thought about forced casual. My fear is that it’s hard to balance around. It’s easy to cannon fodder someone when you know they’ll just come back. Maybe if it had the Starfox 64 mechanic of out for the next mission thing… but I’m not a coder so if there isn’t a patch for that it isn’t happening.

Reclassing was an idea. I was thinking about some village or scroll or something that could do it. More as a proof of concept or to play with it than anything. I would like to try and avoid though.

Fixed growths is a good point though. I’ll keep in mind.

Hmm, that might be able to work. I wasn’t planning on a base mechanic, but I might be able to and have it work there with some minor event scripting.

Thank you for the replies so far, this has been very helpful in getting the idea into a more clear scope and expectation.

My promote patch adds a unit menu command for promoting that appears when x criteria is met. One example provided is to always show up at level 20.

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Oh nice! That works the way evolve works in pokemblem right? That would be incredible, I’ll install that for sure.

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Yeah, I made it for pokemblem and just changed the default text to “Promote” for the patch.

There’s ASM to add an option to preps menu that runs an event. You could use that to hire generic mercenaries. I’m not certain whether it’s public though.

A warning: if the cast is too small, there either won’t be much excitement heading into later chapters (you won’t get new recruits) or early chapters will suck (not enough party members).