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The setting of Final Fantasy Tactics (Advance) is remarkably compelling from a tabletop standpoint. By suggesting that the party are playing reconstructions of self-characters who can change jobs via equipment, a number of possible games are suggested.

What system can model the "job switching" mechanic of final-fantasy tactics along with the movement and facing elements? What sub-systems do I need to tack on from other games to provide for the psychological "this is a construction from the players' minds" element?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think you can make it work with GURPS. It has an option for modular abilities. I've used them to model a robot's ability to load different language interpreting cartridges, but there's no reason you couldn't say that the movement module has an option for jump +1 and move +1, and with enough advancement points you can add a move-find option to it.

Of course if you want to be nerdy about it you'll use one of the tabletop FFT implementations already online. I haven't played any, but Google seems to like

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Well, the one that immediately comes to mind is Hero System. Just buy the skills and powers with a Inobvious Accessible Focus. Lose the item, lose the abilities. Allow players to spend experience to buy only powers they already have in an object. I'd suggest 50 point characters (yes, rather low) and 25 points of focii-linked powers.

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