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Live Blog A four-season travel in Elonta (a Pokémon: Tabletop Adventures campaign)
Talden2011-11-04 16:40:26

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Elonta 101: What you need to know

You know, it's funny how things starts. A friend of mine, who is living in another country, was begging me for a tabletop RPG session using Skype. He came back with new ideas, over and over again, to the point where I was fed up with it. I consider myself a very good DM, but unfortunately, I don't play that role very often; mostly because I want to play in home-made universes and original systems, while I have a very nasty habit to not finish anything I begin.

Then, out of the blue, I discover Pokémon: Tabletop Adventures, on this very wiki. Instant nerdgasm. The excitement pushed me to show it to two of my friends, the aforementioned enthusiast, and another friend so much into roleplaying game he must have been playing AD&D in his playpen. Both were excited. But sadly, no DM would be ready for that kind of game in my regular playgroup. Except... if I was to do it myself.

That's why, out of the blue, I got myself two players, a whole new region to create, and basically an awful lot to do before we can actually play. But since I've been a player in another campaign (that campaign, to be exact), I had a good grasp of what was needed. And off we go, to my first campaign since I don't know how many years, in a nostalgia-fueled univere we all know and love!

So... Where to begin?

I didn't want to play in a established region. Mainly, because my two players probably know those region better than me (yeah, I admit it, I played Blue and Soul Silver, but nothing in between!). Plus, it's always fun to create something new, you can surprise your players with enough cleverness. Hence was born the region of Elonta.

Elonta is a long, sea-bordered country, with a few islands scattered further in the ocean. In order to respect the canon, who had the brilliant idea of Theme Naming every city, important places will be named after celestial or space-related objects (like Meteor Mount, Pulsar Research Center, or Void Fields). It is not very different from other regions in terms of technology: we still have trains, the Internet, universal health care, cars, and the possibility to digitalize living beings in order to stock them in a computer. However, it is hot. Spring and Autumn are quite hot, Summer is unbearably hot, and Winter is moody and rainy, but you won't see any snow soon. The center of the region is looking like a desert, and every year those nasty sands seems to gain a little more terrain... The islands, on the other hand, are much more tolerable, and actually are used to produce anything that won't be at ease with the continental weather.

Elonta, however, is really living for the Star League, the local version of the Pokémon League. Oh boy, does the League is important over here. School vacations are based on the League calendar, to let kids watch championships on their spare time. Gym Leaders have a deep connection to their city, some of them assuming the role of elected officials when needed. Official tournaments draws more money and attention than football would in our universe. It's THAT big.

A quick note on the tournament structure: there is actually 12 Gym Leaders in the region, being linked to a city or a place of their choice. When challenged and beaten, they give away badges, however those badges are only valid for one year, and you must challenge them again the following year to get a new one. With four badges, you have the right to register for any seasonal tournament (three of them each year: Spring, Summer and Autumn); if you win one of those seasonal, or got eight badges, you have access to the final tournament (at the end of Winter). The champion is revered, and get quite a whole lot of money, but there is no Elite Four properly. The only way to become a Gym Leader is to wait for one of them to resign and give his throne to someone else... whether that person is a champion or not. Needless to say, changes are not exactly a frequent thing.

There's quite a lot more I have planned, but I guess that's all you need for now. Let's take a look at our two players.

The first is Aelya Esander. Ugh, that name, even an elf would find that embarrassing... Anyway. Aelya is the daughter of a very nerdy scientist and a very hot fashion designer, unfortunately divorced for quite a few years now. She got the brain of the first and the girly sense of the second. She followed the equivalent of high studies in that region (school is mandatory until the age of 12 only), and is actually quite versed in Pokémons and their natural habitat. Her dreams are moving towards photography however, as the flashing lights of the city are more appealing to her than the cold neon of laboratories. She is followed by Nebul, a male Solosis who used to be a test subject of her father. (In game terms, she's a Researcher/Watcher, using the Watcher redux houserules to incorporate most Photographer aspects.)

The second is Abel Kayne, a more traditional aspiring trainer. Living with his parents in the very touristic Port Nebula, where they run a hotel, Abel is very attracted to the League and the glory that comes with it. Or rather, he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life running the family business in a city that exists only because there's a nice beach. After winning a few local tournaments, he feels like he's ready to take the path of the Trainer; he also has a very clear idea of what makes a Pokémon cool, namely, "Everything that isn't a Ghost or Dark-type isn't worth my time". His best friend his Sheol, a male Zorua, who was unfortunately lost in the family hotel by a Breeder who didn't expect a litter to hatch so soon; Abel owes him all of his victory in battle. (In game terms, he's an Ace Trainer, aspiring Type Ace [Dark] as soon as he got all the prerequisites.)

I think that makes a good first liveblog. I'll update sporadically, whenever we actually get a game done. See you next time!

(°3°) <== That's a Gulpin, by the way, and it's awesome.


Nov 4th 2011 at 5:22:11 PM
Hm... Abel sounds cool and the kind of person I can follow.
Nov 4th 2011 at 6:07:36 PM
How long've you been running/setting up this game, Talden?

Nov 4th 2011 at 9:13:34 PM
But does the Pulsar Research Center do research on pulsars?
Nov 4th 2011 at 10:38:20 PM
Your description of the climate makes me wonder just how frequently one would find an Ice-type...but I suppose that's knowledge I'll have to discover by reading future updates, won't I? Continue with these interesting descriptions and excellent grammar, and I'll definitely enjoy reading your future entries.
Nov 5th 2011 at 4:08:12 AM
Quick answers:

  • We haven't started the game yet, I hope we can do it around next week. I've been working on the setting for... I'll say three weeks? A little after we started playing with Evii.

  • They didn't even went on the moon yet, maybe it's a little early to look at pulsars, isn't? ;)

  • Yes, on the main continent, you will probably never see an Ice-type Pokémon (except maybe in a bathtub full of ice cubes). Weather is a little cooler on the islands, though.
Nov 7th 2011 at 10:00:29 AM
GULPIN! (o3o)

Looks snazy. Best of luck with the group and am looking forward to future updates.