Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Road To A Pokémon Is Never Long

Velkommen tilbage til Pokemons verden!

Pokemon GO 1st Anniversary Poster

We're ready to continue with Character Creation in Pokemon AD, my homebrew tabletop RPG inspired by PokeroleTroubleshooters, and of course the games, Anime, Manga, etc., of Pokemon. I'd like begin by backtracking for a moment to my previous post to define the Character Attributes as simply as possible.

Pokemon AD Character Sheet,
A Fan Design for a Fan Project by yours truly.

First, the Personal Attributes: These are the number of dice rolled when attempting to perform an action of any time. Each die that comes up a 5 or 6 is considered a Success. The more Successes the better. The PC begins with 15 dice to allocate among the five attributes. They receive an additional 2 dice after the first session based on Player and GM discussion.

Cool: Appearing attractive, fashionable, and impressive. Also appearing calm and unfazed.
Fitness: Physical well being and prowess. This cover dexterity, health, and strength.
Heart: Empathy, as well as enthusiasm fueled by emotion. 
Knowledge: Mentally stored information.
Wits: Cleverness and logical reasoning.

Next we look at the Trainer Attributes. These are the number of dice from the Personal Attribute you are rolling in conjunction that are replaced with Exploding Dice. For example, say you're character is trying to convince another Trainer not to give up. You are using your 4 dice of Heart with your Connection of 2 to emotionally motivate . Replacing two of your regular Heart Dice with two Exploding Dice lets you roll a 1, 3,3, and 6. The 6 explodes and you get a 5. What might have been one Success has become two!

During Character Creation a PC receives 5 dice to assign to Trainer Attributes. You need not put dice on every one of these Attributes and you can not start with more than 3. After the first session you get an additional 1 die to place where you wish based on fellow player and GM recommendation. Remember, you can't have more than 3 on any one stat. 

The Trainer Attributes are:

Connection: You ability to emotionally link with people and Pokemon. 
Drive: Your personal willpower and determination. 
Experience: Know-how obtained over time from events, practice, and observation.
Insight: Intuitive understanding of an event or another's actions, thoughts, and motivations. 
Talent: Raw, natural ability. An inborn knack of being good at something. 

OK, moving on to new material, let's go to the upper right side of the Character Sheet and see what else we have to define.

Below Trainer Class we see Rank. Rank is an overview of the effort your PC has put into their life as a Pokemon Trainer and a recognition of the skill they've achieved. Think of it as the opposite of Level in a Dungeons and Dragon type of game. Instead of raising your Level and getting new abilities, you build up your Skills, Moves, and other abilities and then you raise in Rank.

In order to go up in Rank the PC must overcome a difficult challenge or opponent and this victory must be witnessed by someone officially affiliated with the Regional or World Pokemon League

The Ranks are:

Beginner: First Session Only - Following the Tutorial Stage the PC is Normal Class Rank.

If you are a Battle Trainer, there are two additional  Class Ranks - Ace and Elite - which lie between Ultra and Master and are usually reserved for NPCs because of their specific natures. As these aren't important for our purposes I'll save them for another post. 

There are advantages to Rank, including a +1D bonus to using your Specialty Pokemon (see below) and having a positive reputation. The latter will be explained more in an upcoming post.

Following Rank is Specialty; many Pokemon Trainers specialize in a particular Pokemon Type. In the games, this tends to go by the nature of the Pokemon's power such as Electric, Fire, Ghost, Psychic, Rock, and others. There are 18 Types in total. In other media you see Pokemon grouped by things like all Cat Pokemon, all Dog Pokemon, or all Forest Pokemon even if that means mixing Grass, Ground, Bug, and certain breeds of animals Pokemon native to that biome.

A Player Character receives a +1D6 per their Rank (not including Beginner) when utilizing their Specialty Type of Pokemon. 

What happens if you don't choose a Specialty? Well, in that case the bonus die per Rank goes to your Trainer Class Skill (see Skills below). 

Current Game refers to what campaign you are currently playing. As I noted in a prior post on this project, our campaign is titled Pokemon: Rise and Fall. Players choose which version of the game they 'purchased', Pokemon: Rise or Pokemon: Fall. This choice effects various plots, subplots, obstacles, and other elements of the campaign's narrative as it relates to their character. 

Skills are things your character has learned to do over their lifetime through a combination of teaching, study, and practice. PC Pokemon Trainers begin the game with 3 dice in a Trainer Class Skill and 9 dice worth of personal or more general Skills. No Skill may start at more than 3 dice. Remember, your Trainer Class Skill is automatically 3 dice. This Trainer Class Skill must be directly related to your Pokemon Trainer Class.

Example: Patricia's PC Nina is a Pokemon Photographer. Nina's 9 Skill Dice are divided up as follows: Athletics: 2D, Awareness: 3D, Geography: 1D, Pokemon Calls: 1D, Survival: 2D. Her Trainer Class Skill is of course Photography at 3D. 

Dave's PC Felix is a Pokemon Rider. His Trainer Class Skill is Riding at 3. The rest of his Skills break down to Foraging 2D, Navigation 2D, Pokemon Care 2D, 

Additionally, Trainer Class Skills Explode!

Skills are largely defined by the Player with the GM OKing or Vetoing any given Skill. While very general Skills are allowed (and even encouraged) they will not be as effective as a more specific Skill. In other words, Nina has Survival and Felix has Foraging, meaning both can find food in the woods and maybe shelter. Nina is likely to find a some edible berries and a shallow cave, while Felix is likely to find mushrooms, useful herbs, and materials for building a good fire and small tent. 

Skills are dice added to a Personal Attribute roll when performing an Action. Repeating for clarity, you Add your Personal Attribute Dice to your Skill Dice to get the total Dice Pool for your roll. 

Example: If Nina wants to take to a picture of a Farfetch'd, she will need to call one over and then get a great photo of it. 

Calling one into a picturesque clearing, she uses her Knowledge of 3D and her Talent of 1 to get 3 dice, one of which will Explode. Then she adds her Pokemon Calls Skill of 1D. She's rolling a total of 4 dice, 1 of which will Explode. 

Let's say she's successful and now take a picture of it with her Pokemon Wildlife Camera. She rolls her Wits to figure out the distance, lighting, etc. and thinks her Talent applies once more. The GM agrees. Wits of 2 means 2 dice are rolled, Talent of 1 means 1 die will Explode. Now she adds Photography, which happens to be her Trainer Class Skill. She has 3 in that! Three Exploding Dice! Nina will be rolling 5 dice in total, 4 of which Explode! Front page of Pokemon Geographic, here she comes!

Wow, look at the time! I've got to go for now. Hopefully I can finish this up with the third installment. 

See you soon as our Pokemon journey continues!

Barking Alien


  1. Just FYI, I'm loving seeing this unfold.

    Also, and maybe I'm looking ahead, but one of my favorite aspects of Troubleshooters is the player-based decision of whom the main character of each gaming session is going to be.

    1. That might be tricky. We've never played a Pokémon campaign before, it's a homebrew system, and an original region.

      I think I'll need to guide them a bit in the early stages of the campaign. As we progress, I would like to have the Players take the helm more and more.