by Adam Meyers
FF7 and Last Airbender please :)
The pact magic is pretty cool, but I think if I were to play that I would go sorcerer. The system is built around it after all, and d20 might not be the best system for roleplaying that dynamic
Personally I'm voting for the sample worlds based on how interesting the systems are too me. I pulled for pact magic(alera and few other examples) and materia in the last round. The thought of players getting power for making deals with powerful creatures opens a lot of gameplay and roleplay options( Read: chances to ruin themselves) in my opinion.
What about making basic builds much like how Mutants and Masterminds did i.e. Paragons have these basic abilities. However, by changing [blah] to [blah2], you grant more to physical abilities at the cost of a blast power. (Or whatever.)
Then you can (hopefully) satisfy those people who want:
a Jedi/Sith or less restricted psychic warrior (I personally disliked the attack/defense modes legacy sacred cow)
a more free form summoner than the one in the APG, perhaps like Gaara and his sand from Naruto, which isn't much different than a bender
a self buffing psionicist / DBZ-ish martial artist (kaioken X10!) / shaman who takes on the abilities of animals like DC's Vixen
But while the others were sort of plug n play, the 4 worlds get more focus. Just an opinion.
I have a few campaigns where i simply use most of the builds from pathfinder but change some game mechanics and add entirely new classes and beastearies. This tends to be a ton of work on my part to make things that stick to a set of rules that dont exactly exist. Im so stoked on Spheres and these settings would be awesome to use as well.
"world where people manipulate elements" also describes _Codex Alera_ to some degree. And honestly, I'd like to see that one moved up -- especially since Jim is pretty RPG-friendly. I know he licensed Dresden Files to Evil Hat, but if you're just looking for permission to name it ("to model a world like that in _Codex Alera_ you might do...") he might be game for it.
Those names are trademarked, but in general their systems aren't. There is no such thing as a copyright on a name, or even on game/system mechanics. So calling them "Bending", "Materia", "The Force", and such would avoid most problems.
Just make sure you don't use any proper nouns from those universes if you lack permission to use them.
Any oriental adventures? Like ninja magic? Does this system also work with blood magic?