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Pokemon Starter Game

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  • Pokemon Starter Game

    So, let's just jump right into this madness.

    I've had an interest in playing Mutants and Masterminds for quite a few years now. I had the second edition core rule book, now I've got third edition, and overall I like a lot of the changes made. I've been trying to get my game group interested in playing since we saw Age of Ultron in theaters, but the idea never really gained a lot of traction. I think a large part of it is that, even though we're all familiar with the d20 system through Pathfinder, nobody's really got the time or energy to pick up the book and learn the differences so we can get a heroes game going. Also, the idea of designing effects might be a bit off-putting for some of them.

    With the announcement of Pokemon Go, and some mild excitement all around, I came up with another idea. Instead of having a high-powered supers game right off the bat, perhaps an introductory session or two with a Pokemon theme would be more appropriate. It panders to our current interests, and it gives us a pretty good framework to build off of when designing effects and learning how descriptors interact with one another.

    I am leaning towards a PL 4 game, something on the lower end to keep character creation easy. I'll pre-pay an equal amount of PP for each of my three PC's to build their starter pokemon, and whatever is leftover they will use to make their trainer. The trainer will then have something like the following on their character sheet:

    Bulbasaur's Pokeball: Summon X (Continuous Duration, Heroic, Easily Removeable) * 3 PP/rank

    Power Points earned while playing the game can either go towards increasing the abilities of the trainer, or putting additional ranks into Summon to represent the pokemon growing, learning new attacks (much like the games, I plan to limit each Pokemon to learning 4 attacks total), and even evolving into new forms.

    Seems like a pretty basic model to build off of. The Starters' initial Scratch/Tackle attacks are Strength-Based Damage effects, Growls/Tail Whips will be Weaken effects, etc. However, I've run into some problems in the design process, and I'm hoping to get some help from the community. Since I'm new to GMing M&M, I don't have a lot of practical knowledge of how the system works. I know what's in the book, but I haven't had a chance to sit down and play yet, which I feel might be hindering me.

    Primarily, there are certain attacks from Pokemon I'm not quite sure how to model: attacks like Leech Seed and Leech Life, damaging the opponent while healing yourself; Poison Sting, which can potentially deal damage over time; and the Starter Pokemon abilities (Overgrowth, Blaze, and Torrent), which offer a boost to elemental damage when the user's health is low.

    Also, I'm not 100% sure how to deal with catching new pokemon. Part of me thinks it would be best handled as an array of alternate effects, but that doesn't feel quite right to me as it would kind of "auto-level" weaker wild pokemon until they were within the same PP range as the Starter. The other idea was to create an "unoccupied pokeball" equipment item as an Incapacitate Affliction vs. Toughness (since you need to weaken a pokemon to have a better chance of catching it) but...I'm really not sure where it would go from there since you'd still need to expend PP to justify having a new Summon ability.

    Anyways, any help the community could offer towards this project would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Pokemon Starter Game

    Two things from originally reading it: lower PL doesn't actually make character creation THAT much easier. Assuming standard 15 pp/pl, most of your points go to skills advantages defenses, 1 attack power, and 1-3 other powers. Most of the difficulty comes from arrays, and from trying to perfectly match some concept instead of picking a simpler concept.

    Second for catching them: I would definitely use alternate summons in an array, buy maybe put a house rule in limiting their power until you train them. Then they 'can' grow to the same power as the original without forcing the player to actually earn note pp.

    I haven't looked at the others, but if you can ask about 1 or 2 powers at a time, I'm sure we could help. Also, peruse the rules forum. Lots of similar powers have probably been discussed there.
    Ragtop, Autobot! And Zeanthara, Are You a God?
    Fenix, in the Merge, and Alicia DeVries, in the Cosmic Merge
    Supe of the Justice League Academy


    • #3
      Re: Pokemon Starter Game

      Originally posted by RusanCrosha View Post
      Also, I'm not 100% sure how to deal with catching new pokemon. Part of me thinks it would be best handled as an array of alternate effects, but that doesn't feel quite right to me as it would kind of "auto-level" weaker wild pokemon until they were within the same PP range as the Starter.
      The rules for summon aren't that granular, but Alternate Effect/Multiple Minions do not have to have as many power points as the most expensive. You can require that newly captured pokemon are weaker than the slot allows, until properly trained. Still, this might be worth a Quirk for each unaquire/untrained level of Multiple Minion.

      Pokeball: Summon # (Active, Multiple Minions 3 (x8), General Type (pokemon)) * 10 points per rank


      • #4
        Re: Pokemon Starter Game

        I can't really help with the Summon thing, but in case ya haven't looked at how to make the powers, I can offer some assistance here.

        Leech Life would be something like Healing: Limited to Half Damage Dealt, Linked to Damage, or simply Regeneration with Source: Damage.

        Poison Sting would be a Progressive Affliction.

        Torrent, Overgrowth, and Blaze, would be Enhanced Trait: X, Limited to When Near Death.

        Hope one of those made sense.
        I've always said self deprecation is the purest form of humor. Probably why I'm such an awful comedian.


        • #5
          Re: Pokemon Starter Game

          So, I've done a LOT with this setting. I have a bunch of posts for 2e builds and rules back on the old Atomic Think Tank site (Here), and I'm running a personal campaign for someone via email in 3e now. The biggest mental obstacle for me was moving outside the battle mechanics of the video game and realizing that using M+M instead allows for much more realistic battles. Or, more like the show, if it wasn't so cheesy-child focused. The biggest one of these is: Hit Points don't exist anymore. Anything that effects hit points each round, or powers up when hit points are at a certain point, is hard to apply in M+M.

          Also, I advise using afflictions as best they apply to imitate status conditions, not trying to make new afflictions to do what the video game conditions do. (there are rules for sleep, different kinds of poison, and paralysis already. And they are built to work with the rest of the rules. And it provides a new strategy for a pokemon. One that can disable another through poison and avoiding attacks is now just as relevant a strategy as the the titan pokemon that just beats their opponents toughness down to -10. We've even ruled that a pokemon unable to battle because of a third degree status condition lasting more than a two turns (depends on the case) can be taken out of a fight just as much as one unconscious from a low toughness roll)

          Ranks of Healing or Regeneration with limitations can create your life absorbing powers.

          Another piece of advice that helped our game (in my opinion), is establishing and maintaining what can be done by a trainer in a round. A command is a move action (per the game rules). If the trainer wants to give a command, and run to the next room, and open a door, and talk to another trainer, and... they have to make some choices this way. It builds the intensity up a bit and doesn't allow for the trainer to do a hundred things each six seconds in a round. It also created a moment for the pokemon to choose to do something else, if they trainer didn't leave a command for their next action. So, in untrained pokemon, I rolled for the move they would take. Or as a GM, used it as a time to act according to the scene or fiat a complication. It worked well I think.

          Hope that helps. I would love to hear how this goes.
          Kit Andersen/GravityBoy! - Whole Family of Supers
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          • #6
            Re: Pokemon Starter Game

            Hey there,

            I'm the player in white Profits personal game by email and I can wholehartedly agree with what he's saying.
            Especially the bit about what a trainer can do in a round has really helped to improve our game.

            One thing I really like to do is incorporate some things into my pokemon builds, based on the description of the pokemon. In the nintendo games, these are usually neglected. I really feel though that they add that little something to make the pokemon come to life. For instance: In our game I own a Mudkip (cause he heard i liek mudkipz). One of the things I really wanted to reflect in my build was the finn on his head which acts as a sensory tool for the pokemon.

            Also, don't be afraid to use variable descriptors (the types really) to model some similar moves.

            Hope this helps,