I know that whatever job you have does not affect stat growth, so clearly each character has some specific base stat distribution and innate strengths and weaknesses. So, which characters do best in which classes? For example, does Tiz do better as an AGI-focused class compared to, say, Edea or Agnes? Or do the characters all have the same stat distribution and growth and Black Mage Agnes would do the same damage as Black Mage Ringabel given all things equal.
You can easily check the base stats of each character under the "status" menu, in "tactics."
I'm currently playing through at level 13, so my stats may differ from yours; however, the base values for my current party are as follows:
So as you can see, Edea is suited to be a fighter-type; Ringabel, to be a faster type, a la thief or ninja; Agnes is best as a mage; and Tiz is an all-rounder with slight leanings toward Mind-type or Strength-type jobs.
Edit to add:
However, the other poster IS indeed correct that the difference is pretty small, and mostly insignificant. As a minmaxer, though, the difference between 17 base Dex and 14 base Dex is pretty huge early in the game.
Everyone starts out as a Freelancer, and from what I've noticed of the stats, everyone seems fairly suited to all of the jobs. Taking a job automatically adjusts all the stats based on the job modifier, making them suitable for job. It would seriously upset the balance of the game if any of the party members were unsuitable for a job.
And with the difference being only a few points between characters, it won't matter in the long run.
I can give you the base stats at level 99 and I'll let you make the final decisions on their classes.
As a guideline, Tiz is more balanced , Agnes is more Magic oriented, Ringabel more speed oriented, and Edea is more strength oriented.
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.
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.
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.