4E 4e Pokemon Tabletop RPG
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  1. #1
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    4e Pokemon Tabletop RPG

    I wasn't sure where I should put this, but since it uses 4e rules, I thought this would make a nice spot for it.

    So, this has been done before, but I want to put a different twist on it. I want to create a Pokemon tabletop RPG using D&D 4th edition rules. It's rather difficult to come up with ideas for a lot of stuff, so I thought I'd see if anyone has any feedback. Here's my ideas so far.

    Each Pokemon species is a race/class mixture. As they evolve, they get paragon paths and epic destinies. Pretty much everything is just a metaphor for the 4e rules. The abilities are the same, the defenses are the same, etc. The only major difference is that some of the skills are different, and that Pokemon do not use skills. This is where trainers come in.

    Trainers are no longer just the guy or gal standing in the background picking which moves their Pokemon use. Trainers get their own ability scores, trained skills, powers, and feats. They're the ones who do the skill challenges, not the Pokemon, who only use ability checks when necessary. First thing to do for trainers is choose their class. This determines which ability scores are most important for them and gives them a few features and a trainer power. Trainer powers are different from traditional 4e rules in that the trainer themself does not use it. Any one of the trainer's Pokemon can use a trainer power that the trainer has, but if the power is encounter or daily, the power can only be used once per encounter or day by all Pokemon. For example, if a trainer has an encounter trainer power, and is using five Pokemon at once, only one of those Pokemon can use the power in this battle, because after that it is expended until the trainer takes a short rest with his Pokemon.

    Which brings me to battles. Battles in this are different from traditional Pokemon battles because they are tailored to fit 4e rules. Of course, this makes them more fun in my opinion. You now have 4 - 6 Pokemon at once on the battlefield. Being a tabletop RPG, there will likely (hopefully) be 4 - 6 players and one PM (Pokemon Master), so each player will control one Pokemon at a time, but have the option to choose which Pokemon they use. This prevents much confusion from having to deal with 5 fully fleshed "PCs" all at once.

    So, before I get ahead of myself, let me return to the first speed bump I need some help getting over: the trainer classes. The trainer classes are based off of the Pokedex holders from the manga, so the first four are the Battler, the Evolver, the Healer, and the Raiser. (The idea behind trainers is that their Pokemon learn from their trainer's physical and mental abilities, so if a trainer is strong, that will lend to their Pokemon being strong, etc. See the Evolver or the Raiser for good examples of this.)

    BATTLER

    Battlers focus on strategy and tactics to win battles. They recognize that high accuracy is a more tactically sound strategy than high damage. They put physical strength and toughness second to strategy. They also draw a bit on experience and gut instinct to help out in dire straights.

    Primary Abilities: Intelligence
    Secondary Abilities: Strength, Constitution
    Tertiary Abilities: Wisdom

    Battler's Strategy: You have the battler's strategy power.

    Battler's Strategy Battler Trainer Power
    Encounter
    Free Action, Personal
    Trigger: You miss with an attack.
    Effect: Add 1d6 to the attack roll.

    EVOLVER

    Evolvers prepare their Pokemon for evolution. During evolution, a Pokemon uses a lot of energy, so evolvers try to keep their Pokemon tough and healthy to withstand that event when it comes. Some evolvers use strategy to endure battles while others use gut feelings. All evolvers recognize that while toughness helps endure the battles it takes to reach evolution, strength will help win those battles.

    Primary Ability: Constitution
    Secondary Abilities: Intelligence, Wisdom
    Tertiary Ability: Strength

    Evolver's Preparation: You have the evolver's preparation power.

    Evolver's Preparation Evolver Trainer Power
    Encounter
    Free Action, Personal
    Trigger: You are hit by an attack.
    Effect: Add 1d6 to the defenses targeted by the triggering attack for the duration of that attack.

    HEALER

    Healers hate to see their Pokemon get hurt, so they focus on not letting their Pokemon faint. They are usually very close to nature, from which they can get medicine that will aid their Pokemon. Healers try to let their Pokemon take as little damage, so they focus on either enduring that damage or dodging it. Most all healers realize that encouragement can be a great help in keeping their Pokemon standing.

    Primary Ability: Wisdom
    Secondary Abilities: Constitution, Dexterity
    Tertiary Abililty: Charisma

    Healer's Encouragement: You have the healer's encouragment power.

    Healer's Encouragement Healer Trainer Power
    Encounter * Healing
    Free Action, Personal
    Trigger: You receive healing.
    Effect: You regain 1d6 additional hit points.

    RAISER

    Raisers train their Pokemon in harsh environments to make them stronger. The raiser's tactic is to simply get as strong as possible to beat all those who stand against them as quickly and brutally as possible. Raisers try to increase their Pokemon's damage output by training them to hit their opponent's weak spots and by encouraging them to give them more strength. Raisers rely on instincts before set strategies, knowing that battles can be won best through improvising.

    Primary Ability: Strength
    Secondary Abilities: Dexterity, Charisma
    Tertiary Abilities: Wisdom

    Raiser's Example: You have the raiser's example power.

    Raiser's Example Raiser Trainer Power
    Encounter
    Free Action, Personal
    Trigger: You deal damage with an attack.
    Effect: You deal 1d6 extra damage.

    So there's what I have so far. As you can see, they are a bit lacking in additional features. In fact, they are completely lacking in additional features. I'm at less of a speed bump and more of a brick wall with coming up with useful features that utilize the trainer's abilities in their order of importance. There are two secondary abilities because I want their to be one feature, like most 4e classes, that gives you two options that each use a different score and let you choose which one you want. Since trainer's don't do any attacking, I need to find a way for their primary ability score to still be the most important one, then the secondary score, whichever they choose, to be a little less important, and the tertiary score only affects minor things.

    If anyone has any ideas on this problem or other problems you see in the future, I want to hear everything! And if you're curious as to what else I have in store, I'd be glad to answer, provided I've gotten that far yet.

  2. #2
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    Okay, I've had a new idea. Instead of the Pokemon being a race/class combo and the trainer being additional help, the Pokemon is solely the class, but the trainer is the race, and their features are applied to all their Pokemon. This means that instead of the trainer power being used once per encounter, it can be used up to once per Pokemon the trainer uses in the encounter. This way, one trainer controlling five Pokemon is just as effective as five trainers each controlling one Pokemon (except when it comes to skill challenges, but I'll work that out. I don't think there will be that many games consisting of a single player and the PM anyway).

    I still need some help coming up with ideas for features, though. Here's what I've come up with for the Battler.

    Basic Instincts: Each of your Pokemon gains a bonus to basic attack rolls equal to your Wisdom modifier.
    Battler Versatility: Choose a number of skills equal to your Intelligence modifier. You gain a +1 bonus to each of those skills.
    Battle Style: Choose one of the following options.
    -Defensive Style: Each of your Pokemon gains a bonus to defenses equal to your Constitution modifier when it is injured.
    -Offensive Style: Each of your Pokemon gains a bonus to attack rolls equal to your Strength modifier when it is injured.
    Strategic Release: The first Pokemon you release in an encounter gains a bonus to initiative equal to your Intelligence modifier.

    These are all still only ideas that can be changed should better ones come along. I'd love to hear any suggestions, please!

    PS: Injured is just a synonym (mechanical-wise) for bloodied. Pokemon don't bleed in this happy world. =)

  3. #3
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    Even though there's no feedback yet, it still helps me get my ideas straight.

    Here're some more features. The Raiser's giving me a tough time.

    Battler

    Pokemon Knowledge: When you make a Pokemon check to learn the powers of a Pokemon you are battling, you can roll twice and use either result.

    Evolver

    Offensive Defense: Each of your Pokemon has a bonus to its Fortitude defense equal to your Strength modifier.
    Patient Resilience: The first time one of your Pokemon is injured during an encounter, it gains temporary hit points equal to 2 + your Constitution modifier. The temporary hit points increase to 7 + your Constitution modifier at 11th level and to 12 + your Constitution modifier at 21st level.
    Swift Comeback: Each of your Pokemon can use its second wind as a minor action instead of a standard action.

    Healer

    Curative Methods: Each of your Pokemon gains a bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage equal to your Wisdom modifier.
    Inspiring Speech: Each of your Pokemon has a bonus to its Will defense equal to your Charisma modifier.
    Avoid Pain: Choose one of the following options.
    - Evade Pain: Each of your Pokemon has a bonus to all defenses against opportunity attacks equal to your Dexterity modifier.
    - Resist Pain: Each of your Pokemon's healing surge value is equal to one-quarter of its maximum hit points + your Constitution modifier.

    Raiser

    Mighty Charge: Each of your Pokemon gains a bonus to speed when charging equal to your Strength modifier.

    Keep in mind that the standard array applies to trainers (there is no racial bonuses), so the primary stat usually has a +3 bonus, the secondary stat usually has a +2 bonus, and the tertiary stat usually has a +1 bonus.

    I'd really love to hear what people think!

  4. #4
    I've actually got some pokemon stuff I did a while back. I'll dig through my archives and see what I can offer to help your project along.

  5. #5
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    That would be great, thanks!

  6. #6
    I would have it function similar to the Beast Master Ranger, with obviously less focus on dealing damage directly, and more from the "Beast". Also, the ability to switch beasts. But I like what you've got so far. Some real gems in there.

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    Making the trainer's like beastmasters is a good idea, but it puts the focus on the trainer, not the Pokemon, and limits the powers the Pokemon have. Plus, it would require a lot more rewriting of rules, seeing as trainers, unlike rangers, don't actually do any fighting themselves. I think making the Pokemon into classes, although it requires a lot more paper, works better with the rules and the flavor.

    However, maybe trainer feats could draw heavily on inspiration from beastmastery, but keeping in mind that rangers are strikers and trainers can have Pokemon of any of the four roles. Thanks for the idea!

  8. #8
    I'll be honest: I think this project is doomed. I think a Pokemon RPG is actually a brilliant idea, and would love to see it.

    But I think you need a new system, not trying to squeeze Pokemon into the rather incompatible D&D system. They are SO very different in style, flow, and general sequence of combat, that I think a new system is required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaclimesZero View Post
    But I think you need a new system, not trying to squeeze Pokemon into the rather incompatible D&D system. They are SO very different in style, flow, and general sequence of combat, that I think a new system is required.
    Style maybe, but how else is it different? Turn-based RPG with hit points, damage, and status effects. I definitely see potential here.

    Plant pokemon are primal classes, fire probably arcane, martial to cover the fighting and 'normal.' Admittedly, I haven't played Pokemon in ages, but I think it could definitely work. At worst, it's a squishy oval into a round hole, rather than the square and circle mess.

  10. #10
    I see it working fine. The math is already balanced (heresy!), and there are a wide variety of mostly balanced powers.

    I see some sticking when it comes to equipment and martial classes. Nothing game changing. I'm all of the opinion to keep the race/class mix, to further differentiate different pokemons (there are quite a few). Also, some balancing with the Daily/Encounter powers. Do dailies refresh when they get sucked back into their ball?

    Jay

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