I'm not sure if any of us saw this Final Fantasy 14 news coming, especially since it basically just stealth-dropped on the website over 20 hours shy of an official Twitter announcement, and two days before the game's next live letter, where this sort of bomb is usually dropped.
This ambush of an announcement comes with its own pre-order page for the starter set, as well as a full advertisement page that promises an expanded rulebook and "Scenario & Gamemaster" guide. If that announcement is anything to go by, this isn't just some tie-in board game, it's a fully-fledged TTRPG—the kind you'd be able to run a big ol' campaign in.
"Based on the hit MMO Final Fantasy XIV, the FFXIV TTRPG is a tabletop roleplaying game that lets you experience Eorzea from a whole new perspective. Step into the shoes of a heroic adventurer or assume the gamemaster's mantle, then cooperate to forge your own unique stories within the vast and exciting universe of Final Fantasy XIV."
I'm trying to stay calm over here since I'm both a long-time FF14 player and a big TTRPG nerd. It's literally in my writer's bio. I'm also trying to decipher what we can expect out of the system itself, though the screens we've been given aren't all that revealing. Here's what I can piece together from the very limited context.
The system seems to use d20s (that's 20-sided dice) and d6s (six-sided dice). There's a combat grid with cardboard miniatures, but the grid itself is small, giving me some Final Fantasy Tactics vibes.
The character sheets themselves also have familiar-looking tooltips on them, reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (D&D 4e) and its "combat powers". For those of you who've only played the latest edition (otherwise known as 5e) 4e gave every class combat powers, game-like abilities that did specific things, replacing the game's typical features and spell slot system.
These had a bit of a dire reception for trying to make the game too much like an MMO, though the general opinion has softened over time. The excellent game ICON RPG (which is still being playtested) is made by the same people who built the popular mecha system Lancer, and that has a bunch of 4th edition DNA in it. I also spy a Limit Break icon there, though how you'll charge and use it is anyone's guess.
Some of the character art looks familiar, too—confirming you'll at least be able to play a Dragoon and a White Mage. Though, given it's a starter set, I'd imagine these are premade characters for new players to get to grips with.
There's no confirmed date beyond a "coming soon", though I can imagine we'll be getting more information come Final Fantasy 14's next live letter on September 23. Until then, I will try to contain my excitement—and maybe play a few more sessions of ICON RPG while I wait.