Hmm... if you want to get down to pure mechanics, there are three types of general ailments, which are subdivided into multiple types. How the multiple types are handled is another question.
One thing to note is that each game's names for abilities do not necessarily match others, even in the same series. Paralysis means much different things in Final Fantasy IV
and Final Fantasy Tactics
These are the ailments that cause a character to come closer to death as time goes on, even if the enemy does no further attacks to said character.
- Persistent Poison: By far the most well-known one, where damage slowly accrues and the effect remains until cured. This one frequently has many forms (viruses, poisons, curses), but they're all essentially the same thing, just with different rates of damage accumulation. Good old poison effects in the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series are prime examples.
- Limited Poison: Same as above, but the effect goes away on its own after a certain point. Also has different forms, and can usually be cured ahead of time by items or abilities as well. Fire in Sword of Mana (which will go out after a set period) is a good example (also an example of full action lockdown, as mentioned below).
- Doom Countdown: This one doesn't affect hit points; however, it notes that the character will instead essentially be hit by a One-Hit KO attack if not somehow circumvented. This could be by ending the battle, defeating the specific enemy placing said countdown, or merely by moving the would-be victim out of range. This is always a non-persistent effect. Doom in Final Fantasy games is a good example.
This is a broad class of ailments that prevent a character from doing their full range of actions. Several of these have subtypes.
- Full body lockdown: The unit in question is not able to take any action; they however do not count as dead for purposes of other actions that may be undertaken against them. This effect usually wears off at the end of battle or after a limited time. This also includes movement. Stop in all the Final Fantasy games falls under this, as does Stone in the Final Fantasy Tactics games (other games, however, it qualifies as an One-Hit KO attack).
- Movement lockdown: Only really applicable in strategy games and action games, this locks a character into one place - usually completely anchored, but occasionally allowed a tiny bit of movement. Attacks are unaffected, but may be limited if the unit specializes in melee. Wears off after battle or a limited time. Don't Move in Final Fantasy Tactics is an example, as are the arrows from an Arrow Ninja in Gotcha Force.
- Full action lockdown: All actions are prevented, but movement is still possible. If movement is not a factor at all, it's the same as a full body lockdown. Generally over after a limited time or battle end, but some varieties can be persistent. Can be combined with movement lockdown to force a full body lockdown. Paralysis in Final Fantasy Tactics is a good example.
- Partial action lockdown: Only one class of actions is prevented. Depending on the circumstances (like if the abilities in question are cheaper or more accurate than the above), it can be more valuable to use these instead of the above. Generally not persistent. These are often broken down into subtypes.
- Physical lockdown: Attacks and non-spell abilities are prevented. Numb effects are popularly in this category; the infamous Fanatic's Tower in Final Fantasy VI enforced this on characters.
- Magical lockdown: Magic (or psionics, if that's what the game is calling it) are prevented. Mute is the most popular form of this.
- Special lockdown: Everything but basic attacks are prevented. Berserk is the most popular form of this.
- Selection lockdown: The player's ability to select actions is limited - frequently called "confusion". A couple forms of this as well.
- Action selection lockdown: The player has absolutely no control at all as to what will happen - any attack could be used, and any target, friend or ally, is legal. These are confusion effects.
- Target selection lockdown: An infrequent variety where the action can be chosen, but the would-be target is randomly chosen.
- Enemy selection lockdown: The general class of "charmed," where the character will only use abilities against the party.
In general, a temporary reduction of stats. Divided roughly into what stats a game can reduce, and whether it's of limited duration or persistent.
Common ones include:
- Accuracy reduction - Usually termed "blind."
- Attack power reduction - Sometimes known as "sap" or "weak", and can be further subdivided if there are multiple forms of attack (ranged/melee, physical/magical).
- Defense power reduction - Various ways to describe this; frequently subject to the same variety of differentiation as attack power reduction
- Resistance reduction - Usually themed with an attack type (such as an element), such attacks are functionally the same as above but dependent on a different typing flag.
- Speed reduction - Often called "slow."
- Evasion reduction - Frequently overlaps with speed reduction, but may be distinct. Often called "evade down" if so.
Effects sometimes stack multiple of these (such as a virus that saps hitpoints and halves attack until cured). But I think stacked instances can just be cited on both appropriate subpages.
edited 30th Aug '11 12:40:35 PM by 32_Footsteps