What are your thoughts on the Curse and Worse Curse system in my Fire Emblem fangame that lets players Curse their runs and recreate Death Difficulty?

It’s an optional system where players can make their runs harder by taking on additional challenges without the need for external hacks and patches, challenges like Negative Growths and Constant Fog Of War and “Foes Grow Stronger Over Time” and “Foes Grow Even Stronger Over Time” and No Growths and No Money and Same-Turn Reinforcements and “Every turn the main Lord has a 1 in 10 chance to die from random heart failure”. I might even add more curses like “Ally accuracy is always halved”.

You can even recreate Death Difficulty from that Bismix sketch!!

I might also add Blessings to the system, so players who want to make my game easier for them can Bless their runs with cheats like “Customizable Character is buffed to S+ Tier” and “Player Units always crit” and “Protagonist Lord Gets An OP Personal Weapon” and “Miracle+ Mode - Player units cannot die”.

Also, let me know if you want certain Blessings or Curses added to the game.


Since this system is completely optional, equivalent to in-built challenge runs, I don’t have any big problems with it. Looks cool, if a little snarky. Actually, its very snarky. Practically dripping with sarcasm, like a Redditor talking about religion.

I suppose more options for the player can’t make the experience worse, although I think at a certain point it gets to be too much, y’know?

Like, jokes aside, why the hell would anyone seriously want to play with a 1/10 chance of an instant game-over every turn? This is just save-state bait. Just… have there be a time-limit before the Lord has a heart attack, so it isn’t just mindless rage-bait. Same thing with halving Ally accuracy: you’re just asking for save-state abuse at that point.

My one big concern is that this sort of difficulty setting requires a lot of fine-tuning. That means that either A) you don’t go through the process of making it possible to complete your game using certain combinations of curses, in which case you’ve set up a softlock trap for the player, or B) you try to make it compatible, which will add a LOT of stress and work that you have to tack on for your project, work that will only be seen by a tiny fraction of your playerbase.


I don’t know why anyone would want to play with a 1/10 chance for their Lord to drop dead every turn, or somewhere between a 1/10 and 4/10 chance for their attacks to miss, somewhere between a 2/10 and 8/10 chance to dodge attacks, and somewhere between a 1/10 to 3/10 chance for their attacks to do triple damage. Whenever luck ruins plans that logically should work fine if good and bad luck get out of my way, I load a savestate and perform the same actions after burning RNs, I don’t rig RNs for crits or misses. At that point I think Fire Emblem should have a RNG-less mode because its impact on my game can’t do anything good for what I want out of the game. But for the people who love RNG, for some reason, and yell at me over the internet whenever I say RNG is bad and I’m not putting it in my game, this exists.

Mathematically there are easily over ten possible combinations of different curses here. There would be even more if I added blessings and any more curses. Is it mathematically possible to playtest every possible combination of active and inactive curses? I don’t know, but I won’t. If players contact me and show proof certain maps are impossible with certain curses active I’ll consider making some changes that only take effect if that curse is active, to ensure the map is theoretically beatable. Might even make alternate versions of those maps accessed if that map’s curse is active, alternate versions modified to be beatable with the curse. But this curse system isn’t part of the intended gameplay experience, it’s for challenge runs and streamers and anyone who wants to theorycraft the solution for seemingly impossible puzzles. If somebody said “I turned on every curse to make the game harder, and then couldn’t beat the game, you monster” that’d be hilarious. Bet he also turns the horror off in Spooky’s Mansion and calls the game boring, then cheats in Celeste and calls the game too easy.

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There is no curse system in FE.

That is all.


I played a PC game and while going through its options list to customize the experience I thought “Why don’t more games these days do this?”.

Because it is bad game design.

Most of what you said is just fluff or extra bs to a joke bismix made.

There’s no real conversation to be had here outside of “check out this funny thing that was inspired by a bismix post”.


I feel like this idea definitely has some really fun potential but ultimately a lot of the ideas you’ve currently brought up just feel like difficulty for the sake of it rather than actually being a fun challenge. Several of these just add more RNG for the sake of it. Some of these are fun though, and nice to have built in. People already do Negative/No Growths and it’d be nice to have the option to just have it be part of the game rather than having to patch it in manually.

You kinda hit the nail on the head here. Tbh I feel like if you have to ask this question it’s probably not going to be something that others will enjoy either. In my opinion, for challenge modifiers like this you should probably stay away from stuff that are just RNG for the sake of RNG and more like the ones that boost enemy growths or constant fog. Those can change up the gameplay in meaningful ways that can potentially make for interesting challenges.

Your core idea is good but I feel like the specific curses might need some tweaking because half of them just sound really awful and only add difficulty arbitrarily, making things less fun rather than more. Maybe focus more on stuff the player can genuinely engage with? Players can plan around and control how they deal with permanent fog, but adding elements of RNG introduce elements that the player has basically no control over. Having a 1/10 chance to just lose a map for no reason feels awful because the player can’t do anything about it, they just have to hope that they don’t hit that 1/10 chance and it WILL happen eventually if they’re doing a full run.

Tl;dr: These kinds of curses are most effective when the player can directly interact with and plan around the challenge.


This idea actually reminds me a lot of the Draconian Quest options in Dragon Quest XI, which similarly allow you to impose difficulty-boosting modifiers on a playthrough. It may be worth looking at what that game does to get a sense for how this type of feature could work in practice!

I would advise considering your features carefully, though. I wouldn’t really say giving the player a random chance to just arbitrarily lose each turn really adds challenge, since there’s nothing they can actually do about it. It’s potentially funny as a gag, I suppose, but additional challenges should be things the player can actually do more about than just hoping they don’t happen and abusing save states.


This is exactly how I feel about RNG in strategy games. A random chance for the Lord to die instantly from random heart failure feels wrong to people used to the strategy game as it is, because they haven’t gotten used to it, but they have gotten used to the other ways RNG can get in the way of making plans with what you have versus what you know is coming. It comes from the context of a joke, something we’re used to considering silly. And for the argument that shocking moments due to RNG misses/crits can force you to rethink your strategy and adapt to changing circumstances, while overlooking the ways RNG can make the game easier for you than intended by the developer, the same is true for Ambush Spawns, but they don’t make the game easier. Unless they’re all suicidal weaklings who charge into a strong unit and make that unit stronger.

In the first Three Houses battle, which I beat today (I am replaying 3H), Dorothea was going to finish off Dimitri, with Byleth next to her, but she missed. Dimitri got a turn and destroyed Dorothea. Then I moved Byleth into position to boost Edelgard’s EXP when she took Dimitri out. If I knew Dorothea had a 0% chance to hit Dimitri there according to the random number the game had prepared for me, I could have used Byleth to weaken Dimitri and take heavy counterattack damage, or miss and take heavy damage, burning that RN for Dorothea so she can hit and end this. Good thing I was playing on Casual mode or that would have been the end for Dorothea, permanently, through no fault of my own, and all the time I spent planning out that battle and optimizing it for my army would have gone to waste unless I broke the rules of the Iron Man and redid the battle but with some decisions made in arbitrarily different orders to burn different Random Numbers.

Thank you, I’ll look into these. Are there any other great games with built-in challenge mode run options like this?

I do think there’s a difference between what you proposed and how RNG currently works in Fire Emblem. If the 1/10 chance for your lord to die was a joke then my bad, but I feel like the primary difference is that you’re taking a calculated risk. If I have a 75% chance to one hit kill with a ranged unit, or a 100% chance to one round an enemy but take a counterattack in return, I can decide whether or not I want to risk wasting a unit action in return for not taking any damage. In the RNG you’ve brought up, there’s no risk management. Every turn I could just lose and have to restart the entire chapter due to things completely out of my control.

For the record, I’m not trying to say that RNG in Fire Emblem isn’t frustrating at times. Getting smacked by a 3% crit sucks and missing crucial hits is pretty awful but again, I feel like there’s a difference between that and having a random chance to lose slapped onto me. There’s no interaction with the player. There’s a difference between a one time risk that the player consciously chooses to take and one where, through no fault of the player, the they lose because the game said so. If I go for a 75% hit and miss instead of attacking with a unit with 100% hit, that’s at least partially on me because I thought that risk was worth taking. If I lose an entire chapter because of a 10% chance that was always present, no matter what, I’m frustrated because I couldn’t do anything to influence that outcome.

All I’m really saying is that challenges like the ones your proposing shouldn’t increase the amount of RNG without any way to combat it. If there’s gonna be new RNG involved, take steps to make sure the player can at least mitigate the odds of failure and have some control over the outcome, because if they lose because of factors outside of their control, that’s not challenging, that’s just frustrating.


I understand where you’re coming from and I don’t think either of us are objectively wrong or right here. I just have a different perspective. I believe if luck screws the player over even once, even if it technically was a good thing for the player on paper (such as critting an enemy you wanted to milk for exp and wexp and supports, or an enemy that should have killed your Lord missing to let you win the day with a subpar strategy), that’s one time too many. I just don’t see anything good in luck based chances for things to go better or worse than they should. Sure, you can reduce some chances and increase others, but I see those as baby steps taken to reduce the impact of a problem we’re better off removing. What if, during playtesting, a level was only beatable with good RNG at key moments, but thanks to the luck of the playtesters and initial players, nobody noticed until the game had its final release?

A random chance for the Lord to randomly die from random heart failure is a joke, it’s absurdist comedy like Desert Bus. It’s a silly answer you’d give to a question like “What if Mario Bros had RNG like Fire Emblem and your stomps only had a 60-90ish% chance to end in your favour and every time you got hit by something there was a 10-30% chance it did nothing to you?”. Clearing the game with this active is a feat of luck, not skill, unless impressive things were done to minimize turn counts to reduce the necessary number of good luck rolls.

I don’t believe my philosophy of “No RNG” is the only way everybody should design their games. I don’t consider it the one true philosophy, but I think it is a valid philosophy worth experimenting with.

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I just feel like this is the wrong series to take this approach with. Fire Emblem is sort of built around RNG in a way where you can’t rip that out without it feeling wrong- like the entire series is built around random stat level ups, which is an actual nightmare for the actual game design and only serves to make your units feel more customized. There are strategy games that take this little-to-no RNG approach, Banner Saga and Into the Breach come to mind, it just feels like missing the point to me. No shade on your philosophy, I think it’s a totally valid view, just like wrong series to use it on, lol.


Going to be honest here - but I’d take on those challenges if they came from a ‘unique’ standpoint with some sort of “niche” enjoyment to them - and having things such as ‘okay, the enemies are stronger now’ or ‘they are even stronger now’ is not the type of “unique” challenge I’d be considering a challenge (I literally play Cursed Pixel Dungeon competitively).

Sure, permanent Fog of War is possibly the only challenge out of those to actually sound remotely considerable on that list - but challenge “runs” could be made to be more than that.

You could force Fatigue as a challenge, make defeated enemies respawn with Void’s Curse, withhold all and any rewards within chapters/chests, replace them by blackjack pieces and have players buy random chests including the expected rewards for that chapter on its end.

Hell, you could even make the player’s weapons all have halved durability as a challenge and it would be enough to make a player require a double take. Hell, you could even go far enough and make a mode that essentially sets all HIT to 100 - as a challenge, as all these would alter the player’s mindset.

If you truly want to do something like this, I recommend you do it on a vanilla copy first - as players will be more familiar with that source material and will be able to play without having to play guess who guess what before softlocking themselves over +37 death mcdoofus.

“Challenges” such as ‘well the enemies are going to scale hard so fuck you playing slow’ or ‘should have rescued your lord they just had a heart attack’ aren’t hugely inspired challenges.


And what if you want ‘extra-challenging’ versions of challenges? Well, those can be easily thought of in a ‘feasible’ manner too - kill everyone that gets fatigued, call it ‘Starvation’. Make some chests randomly be mimics - make everyone locked to 20-stat caps.

I can probably venture more potential ‘Curses’ that would be more creatively engaging than adding the ‘Inflation’ tag on your game.