I have been making RPGs for a long time, I started with RPG Maker '95 all the way to 2k3, then I switched to RPG Toolkit, but was too buggy and lacked support. sO then came MMF2, I have made RPG systems there, not that difficult. But I think I can say this, cos I've been doing it for a long time. Although, I never used arrays, I have mixed feelings about them: I like them, cos of the sorting capabilities and the organization, but I dislike them lots, cos it's a pain in the neck to have to remember the positions of items. MMF2 has this great array, where you can name the cells basically, so you are using an array with named items, which to me, it was much easier to remember and organize. RPGs do not NEED arrays, but can benefit greatly from them, I just do not like them for the reason stated above. Variables are much easier to use for me. RPGs however, like someone else said, need "Families" or "Classes", this is useful for everything in an RPG, from the mapping system, to item management. Yer dev. time will cut down an immeasurable lot with them!
I am currently working on an RPG as well, a JRPG kind, like Dragon Warrior, but not exactly like that. Side-view battle system, like old school Final Fantasies and quite long. Haven't started it yet, cos I am waiting for C2 to get more stuff in it, specially an EXE export, cos it's a little too big for a web game. But this is my particular case, you can still make an RPG right now, but I would suggest to wait for Families/Classes to join the party.