Flik’s sword: I’m not sure whether it’s legitimate to give it an insignificant name like “Warrior Sword”, otherwise we go with “Unnamed Sword”.
Oulan: You mean after accepting the quest you visit the respective location, but there will only be normal enemies unless your party consists of only young women (Yumiko, Griselde, Azra, Risha, Yalda, Lexy, Lorelei, Faylen). In this case, thugs will show up in turn X as well as Oulan. After they’ve shown up, you can exchange the females with males perhaps. Afterwards she’ll join. I like this idea.
Monster recruitment: I don’t like all the monsters being recruited the same way, I’d like to give the player a “stumble on” feeling. Like 1 or 2 of them recruitable in the optional dungeon, 1 or 2 in monster hunting areas, 1 directly via a guild quest as you described it, and 1 from a battle map that is accessible only in a story battle and maybe two more times from actually monster-nonrelated quests (basically a missable monster).
Hellion: I suppose you mean Eldur’s village, there is no elven village. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Keep in mind you have to distribute the optional characters according to their class, weapon type, and element. You don’t want to wait 10 chapters to get your first X innate character, wait 12 chapters to get your first spear user. Two characters of the same class and weapon type recruitable in the same chapter should really be an exception.
Here is a list of the different character categories that shows you I’m trying to balance things out compared to Rhapsodia. The time of an optional character’s recruitment is another important aspect concerning balance.
60 characters in total, 14 original, 46 returning
9 mages, 44 fighters, 7 support characters
12 Auto-recruiting important story characters:
Kyril, Andarc, Seneca, Akaghi, Mizuki, Kika, Corselia, Coop, Simeon, Lino, Busk, Ornela
6 Optional story-related characters:
Pablo, Hervey, Sigurd, Dario, Nalleo, Roget
16 Auto-recruiting less important or non-story characters:
Trishtan, Flare, Gary, Ema, Ameria, Axel, Carrie, Millay, Jeremy, Gretchen, Wendel, Paula, Jewel, Selma, Frederica, Lalacle
26 Optional non-story characters:
Rita, Maxine, Rene, Eugene, Cedric, Rachel, Katarina, Keneth, Tal, Nalkul, Champo, Noah, Reinbach, Charlemagne, Yu, Jeane, Karl, Mitsuba, Reinhold, Kate, Mercenary Leader, Red Mercenary, Yellow Mercenary, Blue Mercenary, Lazlo, Snowe
60 characters in total, 16 original, 44 returning
5 mages, 5 battle mages, 44 fighters, 6 support characters
18 Auto-recruiting important story characters:
Morio, Yumiko, Kakuji, Gohu, Griselde, Yalda, Eldur, Iris, Odessa, Humphrey, Viktor, Flik, Leon, Sanchez, Kessler, Varkas, Sydonia, Mose
1 Optional story-related character:
11 Auto-recruiting less important or non-story characters:
Azra, Risha, Trishna, Lexy, Mondo, Maximillian, Sancho, Warren, Taggart, Jeane(?), Viki
30 Optional non-story characters:
Lorelai, Lester, Eikei, Hellion, Anji, Kanak, Leonardo, Pesmerga, Zamza, Gantetsu, Anita, Oulan, Shin, Rikimaru, Badeaux, Simone, Killey, Long Chan Chan, Georg, Elza, Cathari, Josephine, Roy, Faylen, Faylon, Monster 1, Monster 2, Monster 3, Monster 4, Monster 5
Weapon: Rhapsodia/this story
Gr. Sword: 4/5
Element: Rhapsodia/this story
"Within the four seas, all men are brothers" Shuihu Zhuan