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Just played the Bravely Default demo.

I'm really confused with the terms BP and Brave. What do these two do?

I'm so confused, all I do is mash Attack in the hopes that I kill the enemies.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

BP is your number of Brave Points. The number of BP you have influences your performance in battle. For me, it maxes out at 3 BP.

Certain actions naturally consume BP, and others are fueled by it explicitly (like Valkyrie Acrobatics, for instance). Some accessories and skills allow you do more damage and take less with a higher BP. Having a negative BP makes you more vulnerable in any situation.

The Brave menu command spends 1 BP to give you an extra move in battle. The Default command has you defend and you get +1 BP at the end of the turn.

If you start a turn with negative BP, you can't act. Negative BP is automatically incremented at the start of each turn.

Reative abilities like Counter are not inhibited by negative BP.

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I don't think having higher BP affects your damage output or damage taken. Reason I say this is there is a support ability that ups your damage for having higher BP - why would there be an ability for this if it's built in? Plus I've seen no mention of this change - does one of the characters say something about this? – Mag Roader Jan 6 '14 at 6:28
I've noticed that I do a little more damage with higher BP when attacking, and there was something in the help text at the beginning of the game… – CyberSkull Jan 6 '14 at 6:57
I'll have to go back and look for this. I'd love to have more reasons to try and keep higher BP values, as it makes the fight tactics much more interesting. – Mag Roader Jan 6 '14 at 7:34

Brave lets you take an extra action at the cost of 1 BP. BP means Brave Point. You can get 4 actions in a turn this way, though it's risky.

Each character gets 1 BP each turn.

Using an Attack, Item, Ability, or Running takes 1 BP (and some Abilities cost extra BP - it will say a number next to the Ability name).

You cannot take any actions at all if you have negative BP. This is the risky bit.

Using Default increases your defenses but costs no BP - therefore you can increase your overall BP by using Default (due to the 1 BP gained per turn).

BP caps off at 3 maximum.

As a shortcut, the L button is Brave and the R button is Default.

Some Abilities change BP amounts, like granting extra at particular times. Some grant bonuses for having higher BP. Read the Abilities to find out what they do.

If you just attack and that's it, you will not end up dealing with BP very much. One thing you can do is use Brave 3 times to get off 4 attacks in a row, which is cool and very effective against weak enemies; however, this is not a good idea against stronger enemies because you will be left defenseless and unable to act afterward (due to having negative BP).

Some Abilities allow for combos (like upping your # of attacks for just 1 turn) which by themselves would be useless except that you can use Brave to chain them with actual attacks. To do these safely, you're best off using Default a few times to have high defense while you wait for BP to build up, then unleash the combo.

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I'm sure I've taken actions when I had negative BP. – CyberSkull Jan 6 '14 at 6:57
I don't know how you managed that - it skips over your character when selecting what to do. Maybe you used an Ability that took more than 1 BP, and you used it when at 0? – Mag Roader Jan 6 '14 at 7:17
How far down was your BP? I've done stuff at -1 I'm sure. – CyberSkull Jan 6 '14 at 7:19
I just performed an experiment. I ended a turn with some characters at negative BP and yes, they can't act. It seems that most actions that result in -1 BP get canceled out the next turn with a fresh BP added to the character, setting the BP back to 0. – CyberSkull Jan 6 '14 at 7:29
Ah yeah, most of the time you end up at -1 which goes back up to 0 before next turn due to gaining 1 per turn. Really I think this whole system would have been less confusing if the numbers were all 1 greater - i.e. everyone starts with 1 BP and you can't act if you are at 0 or lower, but for some reason that's not how they did it. – Mag Roader Jan 6 '14 at 7:32

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