A four-season travel in Elonta (a Pokémon: Tabletop Adventures campaign)


Swimmer, crocodile and family drama

Hello everyone and welcome back to our (increasingly popular) liveblog! As promised, I've come with new material: our first game went yesterday night, which gives me a nice, long story to tell you. Ahoy!

Excuse me if I don't write everything in character, by the way, as I find it extremely tedious to write and read. We'll have to do with my usual out-of-character rambling tone!

Our story begin in Nebula Harbor, in the very first week of Spring. The Star League has just closed his previous year tournament, crowning a certain Melchior as the new champion, and a new year of battle is about to begin. Aelya and his father, Sanford (seriously, what's up with those names?), came to the little harbor to get some deserved vacations. Buuuuut it's not really the most appropriate moment: it's nowhere near close a weather nice enough to bathe, and the city is still pretty dead after Winter. A boring vacation ensues... Or Is It?

Both take their room in Abel's family hotel, where the gentleman is currently bored out of his skull. Aelya receive from her father a not-yet-released-to-the-public gift: the Photodex, cutting edge technology combining a really good digital camera with a Pokédex. The resulting Squee! probably shattered glass a few blocks away. The two protagonists finally meet, chit-chat for a while, and then bear witness to the product of one talented Breeder currently resting at the hotel: a litter of three newly-hatched Eevee. Again, the kawaii factor is through the roof.

After taking a few pictures, Aelya heads to the beach to take more pictures with her new gadget. Marvelling at the local fauna and glittering water, she completely forget to get back in time, prompting Sandford to fetch Abel to look for her. And, oh contrived coincidence!, just at the right time. You remember those annoying swimmers in the games? Those who can't let you walk or swim near them without challenging you? Well, it's just like that, except with less duels and more nasty intentions. Three of those guys cornered the poor Aelya, whipping out the Tentacools and Carvanha, and Abel had to jump in the fight to save the day, like the white knight he really is (even if he denies it).

This first fight will teach us three lessons.
  1. Sheol (Abel's Zorua) love to use Snarl, a HM move that I was kind enough to let him buy at creation. Snarl creates a blast radius around Sheol, deals a rather nice amount of Dark damage, and can be used every turn if necessary. It's freaking powerful.
  2. Abel would never hesitate to Snarl if there's a human in the blast zone (himself included). He won't do it if a partner or one of their Pokémon is there, however.
  3. During a combat, Aelya will probably scream and run everywhere while Nebul (her Solosis) uses his telekinesis to various purposes.

The battle ended with two running thugs, a fainted Carvanha and a badly wounded swimmer. Surprisingly enough, they actually took those two to the hotel, and then call for police and ambulance. I think it's time to add some trivia: Abel's dad is a cool dad all the way, but his mother is less easygoing. Guess who reacted well at the view of a beat-up thug in her hotel? (He also has a sister that he never mentioned in his background, but I shoehorned her in the setting and went with the flow.)

After healing their wounds, they catch up on the Star Leagues they unfortunately missed. Two big news ahead: Orient, Gym Leader of Selena Center, is stepping down the role after only three years (while most leaders tend to last at least ten years). Even more absurd: his replacement is eleven years old. The local Internet must have burst into flame wars that night, that wouldn't have been pretty. With a sigh, Abel said to himself he have to leave his parent's hotel as soon as possible, otherwise he won't ever be able to get to the League.

Anyway, night passes, but our heroes are in for a rude awakening. Some gang have raid the place, taking Abel's father hostage with a Voltorb. Of course, it's the very same gang yesterday swimmer's from, and let say his boss is pissed than someone beat his men on "his" town (despite never been seen in that town before, mind you). Not impressed in the slightest, Abel challenge him to a very YuGiOh-esque one-on-one duel: if he wins, they leave, if he looses, they get the hotel. The 16 years old is engaging in a gentleman's duel with a man twice his size: ladies and gentleman, that kid has balls.

The duel is about to begin, but one of the mook actually got the baby Eevees from earlier, and show them to the boss as a gift, to which he responds by gleefully throwing a Pokéball. Capturing a helpless baby Pokémon was the last straw, and both Abel and Aelya jumps into fight... sorta.

Let there be known that the ensuing battle was a complete mess.

I'll try to summarize this. The boss uses a Sandile in the beginning, starting the confrontation with Abel. The Sandile (nicknamed Dundee) was sneaky and crafty, throwing sand at Sheol, burying himself in the ground and emerging only to bite hardly. Seeing how easy the fight was going, the boss turn his back and tried to capture another Eevee, but Aelya wouldn't have any of that and let Nebul loose! Suddenly facing two opponents, the boss throw out a Gligar... and that was his big mistake: he wasn't trained to use two Pokémon at the same time. He was distracted just long enough for his Sandile to take a critical hit, almost fainting him. He turned his attention back to that battle... leaving the Gligar without a command. During that time, Aelya caught the Eevees by hand or telekinesis, and Nebul kept creating Reflect-bunker and throwing the menacing Voltorb everywhere. At the climax of the battle, Sheol, now facing the Gligar, used Snarl despite his own master being in the radius, KO'ing the Gligar and the Sandile buried in the ground, unaware he was in the dangerous zone. Abel's father already calling the cops, the boss is forced to leave the place without any glory nor Eevee, but with a last death threat anyway.

You would think it's a good place to stop the story? Guess again! More drama is yet to come.

Being the nice guys they are, they give the Eevees back to their Breeder; yet this one is very disturbed at the idea that one of them was captured, and therefore would not be suited for being released in the wild (as it would naturally become attracted to humans and therefore not good for his client's hunt game* ). For some reason, this throws Aelya in a fit like never before, insulting the man as being amoral and wrong and he should feel bad for it.

Sanford come to resolve the situation, and a few minutes later, comes back with a good and a bad news. The bad news is: they're going back home immediately. She refuses strongly. The dialogue went something like this:

  • Sanford: You're going back home with me. Getting assaulted twice in less than a day is hardly what I call vacations.
  • Aelya: No.
  • Sanford: What do you mean, no?
  • Aelya: No, as in "I'm not going back with you".
  • Sanford: What? Why are reacting like this?
  • Aelya: Because it's boring, I hate this place, and I've seen more adventure in a day than in my whole life with you!
  • Sanford: You... You sound just like your mother! I'm just trying to protect you from all this!
  • Aelya: Well I can see why she left you now!
  • Sanford: ...

A very, very cold silence ensues.

Heartbroken and enraged, he lefts her doing whatever she wants in life, and go pack his things. Oh, and you want to know what was the good news? He actually bought the three Eevees and give them one each, keeping the last one for him. Because he wanted her to feel better about the situation. Ouch. She tries to make up for it, but they still quit on a sour note.

At the very same time, Abel is trying to cope with his own family problems. How to leave the hotel to live his dreams right at the beginning of the high season, when working force is the most needed? His overbearing mother would never let him, since she hates his duelling habits. Aelya comes with a solution (courtesy of natural 20 on a Random Knowledge throw): hire students and drop-out in need of money for cheap, since school year is just beginning, to compensate for his absence. His mother is... reluctant, to say the least, and that's why the always helpful dad tells him to leave tonight if he wants any chance for this plan to succeed.

Many tears were shed, a brand new Pokédex was given to Abel by his father as an early birthday present (but on the condition that he uses the iPhone-like device to call his mother once in a while), and our heroes finally go on their incredible journey through Elonta.

This liveblog has been way too long, so I'll leave you until next time with the very same sentence that ended our game session:

"Abel... Where are we going to sleep now?"



I like it so far, though Sanford and Aelya's relationship reminds me too much of a Disney Movie, with the overprotective father and his daughter who wants to leave her home and go do exciting things.

Abel on the other hand is getting more interesting... And do I smell a shipping between Abel and Aleya?
Psyga315 14th Nov 11
Ah, plot! And an interesting one at that! Intrigue, conflict, passion...well, not in the romantic sense. Getting to the point, I think that this was a good recap of a dramatic session, and I hope that future updates will be just as remarkable.
EndarkCuli 14th Nov 11
It's funny how you all seems to like my story (and my players, too), because when I was writing it, it felt kinda tacked-on and somehow railroaded. I had to put everything in order during the first session, so that they can freely roam the world on the next one... Oh well, nice to see you enjoyed it! :)
Talden 15th Nov 11
Wow. You have all the hallmarks of a good DM: improvisational skill, leading the player the right way...

I'm almost tempted to say it's a shame you don't DM more often.
AweStriker 15th Nov 11
Aah, here's some of the potential I saw when I heard about this system.

Hashil 15th Nov 11 (edited by: Hashil)
Talden, stop this. You are making me look bad. Well, "bad" isn't the right word...

I think "horrible", "pathetic", and "dear-Missingno.-why-isn't-Talden-G Ming?!" work better.
EviIPaladin 17th Nov 11
Ow come on, that's not true, I like playing in your games! :) And if you up the ante a little on the few next sessions, it'll be just fine. Besides, my players are doing more than half the work on that awesomeness, it wouldn't be as good without those two insane guys.
Talden 18th Nov 11