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Skills and Stats

Well, its been awhile, but I have no where near forgotten.  I've recently purchased Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Pokedex: Prima Official Game Guide Vol. 2.  This will be the base of all the information I'll be using.  So, if you want a jump on the game... you could pick this up and know where I'm going.  All of their stats are scored from 1 to 5... I believe.  So when your Pokemon level, you'll need to know the score in each stat because it will work something like this:
  • 1 Bar - 1d2-1
  • 2 Bars - 1d4-1
  • 3 Bars - 1d6-1
  • 4 Bars - 1d8-1
  • 5 Bars - 1d10-1
I have other ideas such as:  You get to roll an additional die per evolutionary stage and keep the highest result.  Ex: Charizard levels, so he rolls 3d8 and gets a 1,4, and 8.  The 8 is the highest, so the result would be 8-1... or 7.  I like it, but I see two problems:  1) This might put too much emphasis on evolutionary stages.  I feel that they should be more powerful, but I think it might dissuade people from using Pokemon other than 3rd stage evolutions.  2) It might just be too complicating.  And I think I might move the HP roll up a die size (1d2 -> 1d4, 1d4 -> 1d6, etc..).  Regardless, the system isn't complete and may be changed hundreds of times.

Skills were something I was worried about, since I wasn't sure how I was going to fit them in the stats Pokemon present (Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed).  What did I come up with you might ask?  Well, the influence comes from the original d6 of the Star Wars game, but with my own ideas put into it.  You will have 6 "Non-combat Stats."  So far they are:  Knowledge, Athletics, Persuasion, Crafting, Sneak, and Perception.  Each one of these stats will start at a low base like 1d2 or 1d4 and putting points into them will increase the die size.  However, that will cost a lot of leveling points.  As another method of customizing for less cost, there will be sub-skills or something along those lines, I don't have a term for it yet.  There will be some set sub-skills, such as running, jumping, sneaking, search, etc.  But you will be able to add any sub-skill you can think of.  Now, putting leveling points into these sub-skills will be much cheaper and it will work differently.  When you put points into these sub-skills it adds a direct bonus to your skill roll.  Ex:  Your Athletics are at 1d6 and you have put a couple points in Climb; let's say 5 points.  When you roll to attempt a Climb, you would roll 1d6+5.  Personally, I think this is a really nice system for skills.  I hope you guys thinks its interesting.

Hopefully, I'll start writing the sections shortly after my college semester ends.

Issues in Complexity

While I've been working on game mechanics and trying to flesh things out, I've realized there are some issues:

  • Starting at higher levels - I'm not sure what to do with starting Pokemon when you start at higher than level 1. 
  • Managing Pokemon - I'm not pleased that people will need hundreds of sheets with their Pokemon's stats.  So far, I'm thinking a binder will be mandatory.  A simple solution would be to have multiple Pokemon on one sheet, however, it may become confusing to try to fit stats, moves, moves details, special abilities, nature, height, weight, friendship, any special details, and anything else I come up with... and of course, the confusion of having Pokemon on a sheet that you're not using.  And a much smaller issue is feeding Pokemon.  This is one of the most difficult details to remember.  I think I've only worried about food maybe once or twice in any of my D&D games.
  • Keeping to the game - This is another major issue.  And by this I mean, what's to prevent a Pokemon Trainer from calling out 6 Pokemon to take something down?  Obviously, there will be penalties to using more than one Pokemon.  And also, there will be no problem in official matches, gym and elite four challenges.
There's some more issues I'm mulling over, but these are the ones I came up with for now.

Technology Evolutions

As stated before, Technology Evolutions or Tech Evos will be replacing the Trade Evolution system in place in the games.  Just like the Trade Evo, you'll be able to evolve a Pokemon that evolves through Trade at any time.  However, through the power of technology, you'll be able to evolve almost any Pokemon at any time!  The down side is that they're stats will suffer for premature evolution.  I'm not 100% sure of what will exactly happen.  Basically, when the Pokemon evolves, you'll roll its two lowest stats like you would when you level, except it will be one dice higher (d4->d6) and you'll subtract that number for every 5 levels early or so.  Also, stone evolution Pokemon will not be affected by Tech Evos. 

Tech Evos are going to be available through Tech Specialists through special requisites or through a Pokemon Center, but it will take time and will cost a decent amount of money based on stage of evolution and other factors.  Also, Pokemon Centers will not pre-evolve Pokemon.

More Mechanics and General Update

I've also decided to scrap the idea of using feats.  I will be making a list of abilities that you'll be able to select at each level.  I'm not going to post them until they're final or at least further along.  Right now I have close to 50 abilities, and I like how they're turning out.  On top of that I started the tactics for Pokemon General.  I broke it down into two categories.  The first you'll select attack, defend, and a combination of the two.  I'm not sure if I want to make it 50/50 for the combination, or break it down further.  But the second part is the formation, such a block, circle or pincer.

I also started on writing up the level progression for Pokemon Trainer.  I'm not sure I like where it is, so I'm going to be tweaking with it for awhile.  I may just break down and make the other base classes and get involved in some extremely early testing.  I may start working on getting some Pokemon mechanics down.

Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still working, but everything's so up in the air that its not worth posting yet.

More Game Mechanics...

Alright, I've been thinking the past couple days and I came up with some mechanics.  First up is the Action/Commands system.  Actions are how many points your character gets per round.  Commands are how many things you can request your Pokemon to do.  The more complicated the action is, the more action or command points it will take.  For example, this is all numbers just being thrown out, a level 15 Pokemon Trainer might have 9 Command Points and 5 Action Points.  If the Trainer wanted to jump a 4' space, that would take 5 Action Points.  However, if the Trainer wanted to close a door or walk 5', that would be 1 Action Point.  Now as for the Command Points, if a Pokemon wanted to use tackle, that would be one Points, but if a Pokemon would want to use Hyper Beam it would be 5 Command Points to attack and then 5 Command Points to rest.  When you use a move that requires resting afterwards, the remaining Command Points will go towards resting and the rest will be used up immediately on your next turn.  How the point system will work will be pretty simple.  You will get your points at the beginning of your turn and they get replenished at the start of your next turn.  Leftover points are wasted.  Example:  Trainer has 9 Command Points and uses 5 points.  Next round, Trainer has 9 Command Points.  Some actions, such as using a potion on a Pokemon in battle, can use a combination of Action Points and Command Points.

The other game mechanic I've been debating was how to do abilities.  First, I was going to use Feats, then I was thinking about just having abilities gained with certain levels, and the idea of even making talent trees popped in my head.  Instead, I decided to take little bit from all three.  Every level you'll be able to select special abilities.  I'm not sure yet if I'm going to make a list for each level, or for level groups (like 1-3, for example).  I do know that I what each class to have its own selection.  Every ability may not be unique to one class, but the selection will be.  Example, at 4th level, a Pokemon Deviant will be able to choose from A, B, C, and D, whereas a Pokemon Breeder will be able to choose from A, C, E, and F.  I don't have any intention of posting abilities till I'm a little more certain of more mechanics.

Also, another thing I've been meaning to post about is this:  This game will not be for Purists.  By that I mean, I will not be sticking directly to what's presented in the games and anime.  I will be making rules for exception; like how to get electricity to effect ground Pokemon.  I will be making all Gym Leaders about the same level.  I may even go so far as making additional areas.  I apologize if this upsets people or even turns them off to this game, but I am trying to make a game as realistic as a Pokemon game can get.  Also, I'm trying to give the game some replayability. 

Alright, I'll keep everyone updated.  Keep the comments and opinions coming.

First Overhaul...

I've been thinking and today I finished the thought.  I was thinking that prestige classes may be a little too D&D-ish, and I agree with that thought.  I came up with a new idea that will give the system a little more of a unique feel.  This idea derives from Shining Force and Fire Emblem.  The four basic classes will go from 1 - 20 and starting at level 10, each class will be able to choose a new "promotion" class (that more than likely will not be the official term). 

                                  _____ Pokemon Type Specialist
                                 /
Pokemon Trainer --------- Pokemon Ranger
                                \_____
                                              Pokemon Master


                                   ____ Poke Tech Specialist
                                  /
Pokemon Breeder ------- Pokemon Medic
                                 \____
                                            Pokemon Professor

                                  ____ Pokemon Martial Artist
                                 /
Pokemon Warrior -------- Pokemon Commander
                                \____
                                            Pokemon Soldier

                                   ___ Pokemon Gangster
                                  /
Pokemon Deviant ------ Pokemon Outlaw
                                 \___
                                          Pokemon Trancer

  • Pokemon Type Specialist - This class can use one chosen type of Pokemon better than anyone else.
  • Pokemon Ranger -  This class gives up its ability to capture new Pokemon for the ability to use surrounding Pokemon to help in whatever way needed.
  • Pokemon Master - This class is a general improvement over the Pokemon Trainer class.  There is also an extremely vast improvement to capturing Pokemon.
  • Poke Tech Specialist -  This class has not changed from its original conception.  However, it will now also help in a new game mechanic that will be described below.
  • Pokemon Medic -  This class can heal Pokemon outside of battle, brew potions, and create nutrient food.
  • Pokemon Professor -  This class has unprecedented lore in Pokemon knowledge, myths, and rumors.  More specific details will come later.
  • Pokemon Martial Artist - This class gains a better unarmed attack and can help train its Pokemon faster.
  • Pokemon Commander - This class has the ability to command full Pokemon Squadrons and has the ability to give bonuses to surrounding Pokemon allies.  Honestly, I'm worried about the balance of this class, but I love the idea of it.
  • Pokemon Soldier -  This class is a specialization with ranged weapons and other tactical abilities.
  • Pokemon Gangster -  This class will focus on using Pokemon to commit crimes and will have the ability to steal Trainers' Pokemon.
  • Pokemon Outlaw -  This class will focus on the use of lethal and banned Pokemon moves.  This class will be the best at combat, but will not be able to compete in any official Pokemon Battle, Pokemon Gym Challenges or even challenging the Elite Four.
  • Pokemon Trancer -  This is an interesting class idea that I came up with.  This class hypnotizes Pokemon to do their bidding.  This gets rid of the problems with the chance of capturing, since they can just hypnotize the Pokemon and then capture the Pokemon.  Also, there is no worry about a Pokemon not listening to the Trancer's commands.  However, this type of training is highly illegal.

The new game mechanic is something that I really like is, Technology Evolution!  That's right evolution based off of a technological catalyst.  This will replace the Trading Evolution for the simple fact that it doesn't make any sense.  Poke Tech Specialists make Tech Evos possible.  You either need one in your party or you have to pay one in town.

Now I know this is huge change, but I think its much better than the original conception.  I know I won't get that much, but I would love to hear some feedback. 

Prestige Class Possibilities

One reason I want to base the system off a D&D style is to enable an easy use of the prestige class system. So far I have a couple ideas for prestige classes.

- Poke Professor: This class will add a lore bonus to what information you will know about pokemon. This will help with info on unknown pokemon and even your opponents. This will be geared towards Pokemon Trainer and Pokemon Breeder.
- Poke Tech Specialist:  This class will help tremendously with any technology based around pokemon.  You'll be able to get more information from your pokedex, increase stats of your pokeballs, and increase functionality of any other peripheral, such as a pokewatch.  You'll also be able to create new use applications with the game master's (GM) approval.
- Pokemon Gangster:  This class is for those of you that want to join the devious underside of the Pokemon World.  Enter this prestige class to have abilities and affiliations with gangs like Team Rocket, Team Magma, Team , etc.
- Poke Outlaw:  This is a class for another new addition to the genre.  This is a trainer who focuses on banned and lethal moves.  This trainer sacrifices his ability to compete successfully in sanctioned matches, and maybe even earn a bounty on his head.

These are the first ones I've come up with, and there will probably be more on the way.

The Mission Statement...

I have been playing role playing games for the past 17 years.  I've played D&D 2, 3, and 3.5, Star Wars d6, d20, and Saga Edition, Warhammer, Vampires: Dark Ages, Werewolf, and Werewolf: Wild West.  As far as my Pokemon experience, I've been watching the show since it started airing here in America and I watched that.... well.... for awhile, at least.  I've read a little bit of the original manga (or Japanese comic) and I've played all of the main games (Blue, Yellow, Silver, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed and Pearl) and a couple of the off-shoots that I'm not so proud to admit (Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokemon Snap, etc.), and of course all the Colosseum games. 

I'm going to start development this week and I already have a bunch of ideas.  First, the game is going to be based off the D&D 3.5 system, and then I'll probably tweak everything.  I feel that its a good base and I like the use of feats and skills.  There is going to be a couple huge differences from the system, the games and the series.  Firstly, you will play as a trainer and all your rolls will be based off of a d20 system and your pokemon will be based off a d6 system.  How will the two systems work together?  Well, we'll see.  I have a couple ideas.  I want all the areas mentioned (Kanto, Jyoto, and Houen) to be explorable.  If I get even more ambitious, I may make new area, but we'll see.  I want all the Gym Leaders to be actual challenges as opposed to Brock having lvl 10 pokemon and being a legit Gym Leader.  I want gym challenges and Elite Four challenges to be more of a higher level, end game type of game play.  The most important thing I want to try and capture is the feel of a good role playing PnP game.  I want to try and separate from the childishness of the series and the systematic style of the games.  I want to create a system that promotes a serious game style and maybe even a dark game style. 

Planned for now, I will be working on the outline on Sunday.  I'll do my best to get organized and figure out what I need to do.

Oh, and a little bit of insider information...  So far, 4 classes are planned:  Pokemon Trainer, Pokemon Breeder, Pokemon Ranger, and Pokemon Warrior.