While many console RPGs ask the player to control pre-existing characters with their own unique characteristics and personalities, Etrian Odyssey requires players to create their own characters from a number of different classes. Each class has at least one special skill or aptitude. While only five characters can be in the party at a single time, sixteen characters can be created and kept in waiting back at the Explorers Guild. Characters can be switched in and out when in town, so if a given specialty is needed for a specific obstacle, the party can be tailored appropriately.
The player customizes characters by allocating skill points to specific skills during level advancement. 1 skill point is earned with every level.
Using the Explorers Guild
- There are 5 options that can be done here
- Register: Make a new character.
- Organize: Have pre-existing characters Retire, Rest or Leave.
- Formation: Go here to organize your adventuring party.
- Talk: Let's you have a conversation with the NPC here. He may give you a hint or advice on how to use the guild.
- Leave: Exit the Explorers Guild and return to town.
Some of these options can be quite complicated. We will go over them more in depth in the following sections.
Registering a new character takes 3 steps:
- Type in a name (this can be up to 8 characters long).
- Choose a class.
- Choose one of 4 portrait images that will represent this specific character.
When a character is first made they will have 3 skill points that you can put anywhere. It is highly suggested to assign at least one skill that will use the character's MP with either a special attack or ability. The rest should go towards either further strengthening that skill, beginning to go towards a theme (specific handful of skills), focusing on the prerequisites for a specific desired skill, boosting stats, or just have fun experimenting.
Important note: Be sure to assign those skill points before taking a freshly created character into the labyrinth for the first time. New characters are very fragile their first few levels and can use all the help they can get.
Retiring a character is letting an old veteran from your party retire and leave their apprentice in their place. This apprentice is a new character that must be made immediately after the previous character retires. The point of doing this is this new character will have more skill points than a default character would have. The higher the leaving veteran's level is the bigger the skill point bonus.
In exchange for 10 levels a character can use the Rest option. The minimum level a character can be to Rest is 30. No matter what level they were before resting they will be 10 levels lower afterwards. This is a hefty price since not only do you lose those levels, you also lose the 10 skill points that were gained though them. The benefit of resting is the character's skill points have been reset completely. Now you can re-assign them all in a different manner how ever you wish.
There are some obvious pros and cons to resting. The main pro is being able to re-select all of that character’s skill points. All of the cons revolve around the lost 10 levels. The character will not only be down 10 skill points along with the levels but they will also be weaker since those lost levels had been effecting stats. On a positive note, if you will be training/exploring in the same area before resting the character will be gaining levels at a faster rate than before.
If you are curious about experimenting with skills quickly jsut to learn what your options are it is suggested to save before resting and then try out different sets of skills with each character class. If the skills are set up even worse than they were previously you can reset and try resting again.
Class specific guides
Even though every class has a specific niche that they belong in while in a party they are highly customizable. It is possible to have different characters of the same class have vastly different focuses via how skills are used. Each character class is covered in detail within their own page as listed below. However the conditions for unlocking special classes are also noted briefly here for the sake of convenience.