Session 2 begins at 5 EDT today. Click here to join the game and hit “Join Game”! I’ll probably be in the server early so feel free to come on in and chat beforehand.

(PROBABLY) FINAL UPDATE

It looks like the roster is set!

-DisturbedShadow, an assassin with a Zubat

-axelchildofdestiny, a fire mage with a Charmander

-TheOtherGuy, a speedy acrobat with a Fletchling

-Novibear, a doctor’s apprentice with a Turtwig

-Pikathulu, a poison mage/assassin with a Gastly

I’m looking to begin the first session next Sunday (May 10) at 5PM EDT, if that’s ok with everyone?

UPDATES, AGAIN

The roster so far is

-DisturbedShadow, an assassin with a Zubat

-axelchildofdestiny, a fire mage with a Charmander

-TheOtherGuy, a speedy acrobat with a Fletchling

I can fit two more players.

For those of you still looking to make a character, I have some more information on the setting to help get you started. Bear in mind everything is still open ended as far as history and lore go, so feel free to take liberties.

You are an inhabitant of Arthholme, a great city surrounded by towering walls on all sides. Within the walls exists a complete ecosystem of trade, as well as spots of nature for Pokemon to roam. Other such cities exist, but interaction between them is limited, for the Wilds beyond the walls are treacherous, and few tread out lightly.

For those that venture out, however, it is often the promise of treasure that draws them. In the Wilds there are places: dungeons of old magic, lairs of rare and powerful Pokemon ... there is great reward for those that return alive.

Will you be one of them?

Also, we will be starting at Trainer level one, starting Pokemon level 10, and you get 5000 starting monies.

MORE UPDATES

Ok, since I’m getting a lot of people commenting, and since I can only really handle 5 players at most, the only fair way to do this is to take the first five people to give me characters. (Don’t let you discourage you however! I’ve had other people express interest in GM’ing extra groups in the same world that can run into each other every now and then!) That means a description: some kind of backstory, a reason your character is out on adventure, and some kind of personally trait. It also means selecting a Pokemon to start with (at this point Charmander and Zubat have been claimed,) and a level one Trainer built, or at least some idea of what classes you want to take.

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So what does that last bit mean? Well, PTU is a class-based system. Picture your traditional RPG classes: Warrior, Rogue, Mage.

Actually, that’s a great place to start. Let’s look at all the archetypes, and how you might approach them in this game. We’ll take a look at the traditional Fighter, Rogue, and Mage, as well as what I’ll call the Ace. It’s important to note that PTU is a multiclass system, so you can mix and match various options (sort of like Trainer types in the games except you can combo up to four of them) in the book to fill out these archetypal roles in a way that fits your style, or you can utilize various aspects from several.

Fighter: You want to participate in the battle alongside your Pokemon? Alright. There are several classes dedicated to doing just that, like Athlete and Martial Artist. If this is your shtick, you might want to look in the “Game of Throhs” PDF as there are a number of classes dedicated to the use of weapons like bows or swords (now that I think of it, Honedge is a valid starter choice...) I find that this archetype tends to combo very well with either rogue or magic elements, as holding your own in a fight involving highly destructive creatures with elemental powers is quite the tall order.

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Rogue: So maybe fighting directly isn’t your thing. Not upfront anyway. You want to focus on being sneaky, smooth talking, or exploration? You may be a tricky person, but that doesn’t mean your class choices have to be! There are two classes called Rogue and Provocateur that are worth looking at: one focuses on sneaking around and dirty fighting, the other deals with social manipulation. You may also want to look at classes that are all about exploration, like Chronicler or Survivalist. Lastly, unless you go for a more combat oriented assassin type of character, you’re gonna be very reliant on your Pokemon during fights, so some of the more Ace style classes may be valuable investments.

Mage: Aha! You want supernatural powers! Well, the core book has got a number of classes for you: take a look at Hex Maniac (or Sage if you’re more inclined towards clericky support) and the psychic classes. There’s a whole section on supernatural classes for you to peruse. Of course, if you want powers that feel more like something out of high fantasy rather than the vanilla Poke-verse, “Game of Throhs” has got you covered! There is an entire list of elementalist classes for each Type, so if you’re dream is to be a Fire or Ghost wizard or whatnot, this is your chance. If you want to really focus on the possibility of magical combat, you should take a look at the Arcanist class in the same book. Note that while I am personally very liberal towards the inclusion of supernatural powers for humans, you should still clear it by me and have some sort of explanation in your character’s backstory as to why they have these abilities.

“The Ace”: Alright, alright. You came here to play Pokemon and chew bubblegum, and you’re all out of bubblegum. Well, there are a lot of Pokemon focused classes out there for you. First off, there is literally a class called “Ace Trainer”. There is also a Stat Ace and Type Ace, where you pick a chosen Pokemon stat or type respectively to specialize with (sort of like gym leaders). Other common classes include Capture Specialist and Mentor, for those who want to catch and raise lots and lots of Pokemon. On top of this, there are what are called the Battling Style classes; they’re a little more on the advanced side, but if you take the time to read through how they work they’re actually pretty powerful in their own right, allowing you to direct your Pokemon in battle in interesting ways.

While you can take up to four different Trainer classes, at the starting level it’s more practical to only have one or two, so don’t feel pressured to decide on four right away; there’s always time to change your mind later on. If you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this class stuff, you can simply let me know conceptually what kind of character you’re interested in playing, if you have any team preferences like offensive, defensive, support ... and I can suggest a few class combos for you.

UPDATE

Alright, so I’m going to share some pointers for those of you who haven’t played with the system before. Out of all the PDF files in the download (which you can find here) you’ll want to start with the “core” rulebook. It may seem like a lot of reading at first glance, but you really only need to look at chapters 2-5 and chapter 7. Additionally you can outright ignore any section that talks about derived values (things like how to calculate a character’s maximum HP, movement speeds, throwing distance, that kind of stuff) as this character sheet will do that for you automatically.

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Is there anything in particular you should focus on? Well, here are my personal top 3 pieces of information I would recommend you make sure to pay attention to.

The first is how to make a skill check. Normally, when your character attempts to do something where success may not be guaranteed, I will make you roll for a particular skill; there are 17 different skills, but the process is the same for all of them (although your character will naturally be better or worse at some). Every skill has a “value” and a “modifier”. You can see them for each right on your sheet.

To make a skill check, all you have to do is take the value, and roll that many six sided dice (AKA d6), then add the modifier to the result. In roll20, this can be done simply by typing “/r Xd6+Y” into the chat window, using the appropriate values. For the example character I made above, an Occult roll would be nice 4d6+3, whereas an Athletics roll would be a meager 1d6. A Guile roll would be 2d6+1, and a Stealth roll would be 3d6.

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The second thing you should become familiar with is how to make an attack. You roll a twenty sided die to see if you hit (“/r d20”), and I will ask you for the move’s AC. This represents how accurate the move is, with lower values being more accurate. Then you roll for damage (the sheet will tell you exactly what the damage roll for the move is).

Now if you’re being hit, I’ll ask for your evasion, either physical, special, or speed based. Note that if I ask for either physical or special, you can give me your speed instead if its higher. That gets added to the AC of the move making it harder to hit with. If it does hit, you will take damage, and subtract either defense or special defense from the total, and then apply type effectiveness. I would recommend having a calculator or smartphone handy to speed up the process.

The third key piece is how to stat pokemon. You’re gonna catch a lot of pokemon, and you’re gonna have to stat them. Unlike the video games, where pokemon just automatically gain stat values as they level up, you get one point every level that you choose where to put it. You can put that point into any stat you want, but you must follow the Base Stat Relations rule. What does this mean? Well, all pokemon have a set of base values determined by their species and nature. The Base Relations Rule puts a Pokémon’s Base Stats in order from highest to lowest. This order must be maintained when adding Stat Points. For example, with a neutral nature, Charmander has Speed > Special Attack > Attack and Special Defense > HP and Defense. Here, Speed must always remain higher than other Stats.

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Stats that are equal need not be kept equal, however. Charmander’s HP and Defense do not need to be kept the same; they must merely both follow the rules of base relation, each staying under Attack and Special Defense. The character sheet will handle all base stat generation and adjustment from natures for you, and you can find information on moves, abilites, and levels in the “Pokedex” PDF.

That’s really it in terms of super important stuff. Now on to character building! Over the next week or two I plan to work with you guys on this. Generally your character should have a backstory, something that drives them, and a long term goal of some kind. These can be anything. Additionally, you might want to start thinking about starting pokemon and classes. While I haven’t yet decided how many pokemon I’ll let you guys start with each, you should note that they don’t have to be the traditional grass/fire/water starters from the games; any pokemon with a three-stage evolutionary line is fine as long as its not a pseudo-legendary like Dratini or Bagon. As for classes, you can just look at what’s available in the book and see if anything catches your eye, and I’ll cover them in the next update. One thing, though, is that since this will be a High Fantasy pokemon game, all the classes in the “Game of Throhs” PDF will be available for you guys to pick as well, if characters with swords or magic is your thing ;)

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As some of you are aware, I’ve been running a fairly popular Pokemon game set in space. That game is wrapping up and going on break after next week due to the semester ending at my school, so now I have time to run a new campaign from now through summer.

Naturally I thought of playing with you TAYers over roll20.net, and at this point my schedule is pretty flexible for evenings, so who’s in?

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Seeing as I’m coming off a sci-fi epic, I’m thinking of running a fantasy adventure this time around. It’ll probably have a somewhat sillier tone, so you can shenanigan to your hearts’ content, but within that I can spin it a number of different ways; so if you are interested, you can say if you have any style preferences, such as light-hearted vs gritty/dark, overall difficulty, focus on more traditional gym challenges vs more of a centered plot, etc. One thing I will say though is that I generally don’t take too much directly from the video games and anime in terms of people and places, so I would expect an original setting over something like medieval Kanto (not that there’s anything wrong with medieval Kanto! its just not quite my style).

So yeah, if you’re interested/I haven’t scared you away yet, you can download the rulebooks for the Pokemon Tabletop United system here. Don’t worry if all these PDFs seem daunting! I’ll be here for the next few weeks before we actually start to help you sort through everything and build your Trainer and Pokemon. You can also find a fantastic fantastic super helpful online character sheet here that automatically calculates values and tells you what all your moves, abilities, feats, etc actually mean.

Anyway, my main goal here is just for us to have fun, so don’t worry if you don’t have any tabletop experience (almost everyone in Spacemon started out with no experience!); those of us who do will be here to help.

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I think that’s it for now, I’ll be bumping this every week as we get closer to starting. For now just let me know times, style expectations/preferences, and any questions you have.