Pokemon Tabletop Adventures

PTA is a fan-made Pokemon-themed Tabletop RPG currently under development. In it, players take the role of Pokemon Trainers battling for gym badges, doing contests, thwarting criminal organizations... that sort of thing.

It can be downloaded here, though be sure that you pick the latest release (in the News section). Has its own wiki, where updates are posted quite often. It's a little rough around the edges, but that's excusable due to still being in development.

A sister system to the original Pokemon Tabletop Adventures system was created in response to perceived balance issues and inconsistencies in aforementioned. Called Pokemon Tabletop United, the new system consolidates the combat stats of both Trainers and Pokemon, simplifies the class system (and, by extension, Cross Classing), and adds in a skill system similar to those seen in Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons. The latest version includes the splatbooks The Blessed and the Damned (Blessed from now on), which provides fluff and crunch to make Legendary Pokemon more powerful and/or interesting, and provide extra incentives and plot hooks for players to interact with them, Do Porygon Dream of Mareep?, (Mareep), a sci-fi book that explores a myriad of options the genre has to offer Pokemon, and Game of Throhs, a fantasy-oriented book with content otherwise in a similar vein to Mareep.

See also Pokethulhu, which is... um... kinda different.

In addition to the Tropes that apply to the Pokémon series in general, PTA include the following:

  • Adaptational Badass: Trainers are considerably more involved in battles than in the core series; even if they aren't the sort of class that attacks, it's quite possible they'll be on the receiving end at some point.
    • Special mention to those trainers focusing on a single type. Easy to exploit in the official games; they Took a Level in Badass here because they have their own character class that amps up their type's power. Especially when an extension of Ace Trainers, they can do a lot of damage.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The advanced forms of Martial Artists players can become are Athletes, Aura Users, Black Belts, Dirty Fighters, Ninjas, Weapons Masters...and Massage Therapists.
  • Ascended Meme: Many feats available to the Athlete class reference Slam Remixes.
  • Character Level: In addition to the 1 to 100 levels that Pokemon advance through, Trainers alos have levels from 0 to 50.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Lots of Trainer Features work like this, primarily ones that allow PCs to use Pokemon moves. One Advanced Class even lets you cast abilites from a legendary Pokemon's hit points.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Unlike the video game, Pokemon and Trainers can actually die in battles, from taking twice their max HP in damage. Which needless to say discourages taking on Legendary Pokemon with hatchlings for experience.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Godspeakers, an advanced class for the Mystic which channel the hit points of legendary Pokemon into some hella powerful moves, can easily be interpreted - and played - as this. Hell, it's even possible to channel Kyurem and become a literal Crystal Dragon Jesus. One of their Features is even called "Praise Me."
  • Damage Reduction: There are a small number of Trainer Features which grant DR.
  • Damage Typing: Uses the same type rules as the orginal games, though Typeless is an addition.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The Athlete class.
  • Psychic Static: The Voltorb Flip feature allows characters to block mind-reading attempts by imagining playing an elaborate game of Voltorb Flip, which prevents the mind-reader from accessing anything else.
  • Splat: There are 9 Base Classes, each of which has multiple Advanced Classes
    • Ace Trainer: They want to be the very best, like no one ever was! Focuses on Strength and Constitution, and tends to be a Determinator no matter what Advanced Class you pick. The Ace Trainer's well, ace is that their Pokemon automatically receive more experience than others, and deal a few more points of damage.
    • Breeder: Good at breeding Pokemon, focusing on Wisdom and Charisma. Might sound kind of lame, but this is a Role-Playing Game, not a "Kill Everything" game. Can become a Support Party Member in time through Advanced Classes, and their Pokemon are usually born quite strong due to the Natural Edge ability.
    • Capture Specialist: Really, really good at capturing Pokemon, whether it be through a making your own Pokeballs, having a poke-ball shooting arm cannon, or just being incredibly single-minded. Tends to be The Smart Guy. Focuses on Dexterity and Intelligence.
    • Coordinator: Specializes in winning Contests instead of battles, focusing on Charisma and Constitution. Which isn't to say they're worthless in battle, as they can grant their Pokemon some pretty badass capabilities.
    • Martial Artist: A Badass Normal (or Empowered Badass Normal should you take the Aura User Advanced Class) that focuses on Strength and Dexterity. Most of the advance classes allow the trainer to fight alongside their Pokemon, either with a Weapon of Choice, or just good old fisticuffs. Can sometimes use Pokemon moves, but only a certain number of times per day.
    • Mystic: Either through eldrich rituals or having a true understanding of nature, Mystics can channel Pokemon, and "Borrow" their powers. The class focuses on Strength and Wisdom, and Advanced classes also let the Mystic mimic Humans, control the true power of the Unown, or go all A God Am I.
    • Psychic: self -explanitory. Focusing on Intelligence and Constitution, psychics can fight alongside their Pokemon, and can use Pokemon moves like the Martial Artist, but can use them at will for a small HP cost.
    • Ranger: Like in the Pokemon Ranger games, Rangers can use Stylers instead of Pokeballs to temporarily (or permanently) befriend Pokemon. Focusing on Dexterity and Charisma, a ranger can either be a law enforcement official, or harness the power of their allied Pokemon (or even the power of Legendaries.
    • Researcher: If the party's Capture Specialist isn't The Smart Guy, then the researcher definitely is. Focusing on Intelligence and Wisdom, researchers fight by knowing more than the opponent, ranging from giving empowering advice to calling in favors from Legendary Pokemon.
  • Training from Hell: It is possible to give Pokemon this if you choose. Particularly the Ace Trainer class has a lot of Feats that harm the Pokemon for long-term gain.
  • Upgrade Artifact: TMs and HMs are present, however the "M" stands for "Medicine" instead of machine and looks more like a syringe than a CD.
  • What the Hell, Player?: The attacks "Explosion" and "Selfdestruct" have this built into them as a mechanic: their use makes a Pokémon dislike its trainer significantly if they don't already.

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Tropes applicable to PTU include the following:

  • Action Bomb: Electrode and Voltorb, of course. They were given a capability, or special trait, to encourage this, rendering them immune to loyalty loss from the use of Self Destruct or Explosion.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Channelers can achieve this eventually, though its range and restrictions make it a somewhat dubiously useful investment.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: The Hobbyist can learn from a select list of Features several other classes use simply by watching their use as their capstone Feature.
    • Photographers maintain albums with which they can also live up to this trope, in which they study photographed moves to better evade them, or even teach said moves to their Pokemon.
  • Badass Normal: Very possible - the Soldier class has no overtly supernatural moves (or in fact, any Moves in the Pokemon sense of the word at all), but is still very combat capable.
  • Bond Creatures: Channelers effectively make Pokemon they use routinely this, though, through force of will, it can apply temporarily to any Pokemon they encounter.
  • Capoeira: The Technician branch of the Martial Artist class is explicitly stated to be inspired by both Hitmontop and Capoeira.
  • Character Customization - A staggering amount. Focusing on Pokemon alone, almost every other class can add new abilities, moves, alter base stat distribution, or even shift or add to a mon's type.
  • Chef of Iron - Mildly, and potentially played straight if you take additional combat classes, but the Chef class does provide two abilities that're useful in combat in addition to all of its mundane cooking.
  • The Chess Master: The Mastermind class, which focuses on manipulating the battlefield and one's allies to win.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. An injury system was added both to prevent this trope and discourage turtling - every time a target passes their 50% mark for Hit Points, or suffers grievous damage in some other way, they receive a Hit Point max draining Injury. 1 results in a cumulative 10% Hit Point reduction, and 5 or more will make every action the user chooses to make cause them further Hit Point loss. Ten or more and that's all she wrote. Injuries are not readily healed by potions and Moves alone, though some Features can mitigate them.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: An optional penalty one can apply to cybernetics in Mareep. Even a handful are enough to prohibit the use of Aura or Ghost moves.
  • Dance Battler: The Dancer class learns most Moves with "Dance" in their names from the handhelds, and can teach several in turn to a player's Pokemon.
  • Darker and Edgier: The core book neither suggests nor discourages this, though with so many options for trainers to actively fight, and classes like the Lasher and Hunter, the capacity for it is there.
    • The overwhelming majority of settings in Mareep qualify, mostly by virtue of Pokemon being so light hearted and kid friendly to begin with.
  • Equippable Ally: In stark defiance of canon, Honedge's line can become these. There's nothing stopping you from taking an edge that makes them your weapon(s) of choice, even.
  • The Fashionista: A class, focused on using accessories (for the player) and held items (For their Pokemon) to great effect. Fittingly, Serena is the class image model.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With / Masquerade: Some legendaries in Blessed are described as taking these, sometimes to hide among humans. Others could care less, or choose less mundane "disguises."
  • Ghost Memory: Channelers can, with the right Feature, access the memories of a Pokemon's past hour automatically upon channeling them.
  • God Slayer: Usurpers from Blessed are this - at the cost of losing all other features or edges in the Blessed splatbook, they can transform into an (initially low level) legendary themselves as a result.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The Athlete, also with a dash of Super Coach.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Several. The most traditional use of this is the Hobbyist, which can learn other Features by seeing them, though the Rogue and even the Dancer are very versatile classes that synergize well with others.
  • Magikarp Power: Trope Namer aside, a handful of otherwise unremarkable Pokemon have very powerful High abilities, or abilities restricted to level 40 and higher. Bellsprout's (and only Bellsprout, possibly as a shout out to the famously skilled anime one Sway, which effectively allows it to throw any move sent its way back at the enemy at no harm to it, is one stand out example.
  • Musical Assassin: Musicians can be this, and just about every other conceivable Musicians trope you could imagine.
  • Olympus Mons: A book has been written to enhance these for campaigns in which they need to be particularly impressive.
  • One Curse Limit: Averted. Pokemon can easily be affected with multiple status ailments at the same time. Houndoom even gets a unique Ability that allows it to automatically poison anyone it inflicts a Burn on.
  • Pint Sized Power House: Underdogs specialize in this, using Pokemon that are either unevolved or possessed of low base stat totals and powering them up to the point that they're comparable, or, in some cases, even more powerful or versatile than their evolved or higher BST rivals.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Channelers, once again. Telepaths and Aura Guardians can as well through their respective supernatural means.
  • Stone Wall: Enduring Souls focus on making their Pokemon these, as do Defense, Hit Point, or Special Defense Stat Aces.
  • Taking the Bullet: A Feature for players, and an inherent capability for Pokemon loyal enough to care.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Very common across the board. Many mediocre Pokemon in the handhelds are incredible in PTU thanks to a different method of distributing and leveling stats, a change in the way abilities are limited (Pokemon will gain 3 that are all simultaneously active over 40 levels, but may gain more through features their Trainers use), and new abilities and capabilities. Furfrou, as an example, goes from a mediocre tank-esque Pokemon who's fantastic ability still couldn't quite save it, to an incredibly versatile beast that can swap between nine different abilities as its fur style dictates, including sweeper favorites Moxie and Defiant, on top of the aforementioned ability, which cuts all physical damage in half.
    • Furthermore, most negative Abilities were altered to give some sort of benefit. Truant, for example, now has the Pokemon fail to act on a roll of 1-7 on d20 instead of every other turn, and the Pokemon also heals 1/10th of its maximum HP and gets a +3 on rolls to cure itself of any status effects.
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: Encouraged, but not enforced. Mistreatment of Pokemon in this system (which is far more possible than it is in the handhelds) may lead to their disobeying or abandoning you altogether. At the very least, they require command checks when ordered to attack, and they won't intercept attacks for you or your allies.