Doing the math

I've been reading a lot of battle formulas for RPGs and character stats and all sorts of related details in order to try to shake out exactly what I want to do with mine. It's really interesting to see how some games use character levels heavily and others rely entirely upon the stats that the characters have gained via their levels along with their equipment. In FF5 for example, stats are derived from Jobs, Abilities and Equipment. It's the combination of character level and stats which determines the multiplier for the damage. Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy differ in a lot of ways, one being how the former has much smaller values than the latter. You don't see lots of 9999s popping up in a DQ. Chrono Trigger was a bit of a blend of the two in this sense. ATB with lower numbers than in FF games of the era. Hell, character HP and MP capped out at 999 and 99 respectively.

I realize that the best way would be to just decide and go with something and tweak and work. But as I start to work on one thing I realize that another thing is necessary, and the cycle continues. I should just pick a few things. What stats are there? How do they work? What are their maximum values? How do they tie together?

All of these can, should and will be changed as time goes on, and yet picking something knowing that it will be "wrong" to start with feels weird. Yet is necessary.