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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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This is a story of one of my first times gming, running the PTU system for two players. There's no grand punchline or climax it's building up to, in fact the campaign died off quite abruptly, but some good people over in the Kamigakari thread said that they'd enjoy reading it and I hope at least some of you do too. It's not too terribly long, enough to fit into one thread in its entirety. Feel free to rag on it or ask questions, I could really use help to improve my gming since players tend to only give the default "it was good/fun" piece of feedback.

This campaign takes place in the new region of Circo, a roughly Mexico-sized piece of land that is still in its developmental infancy; while pokeballs have still been around for quite some time, automobiles and personalized radios are still the bar for what is considered 'cutting edge' technology. The region is largely unmapped due to the population's heavy reliance on water travel and stereotypically terrible sense of direction, leaving it open for the players to discover new areas and investigate local legends or rumors. I wanted to recreate the feeling the original games gave by plopping players into the center of a whole new world, and letting them explore it at their leisure. Whether that worked or not is anyone's guess.

In any case, I hope it's not too terrible to read, and if you feel up to it I'd love to hear any nuggets of wisdom you want to give to an aspiring gm.

We can't have a story without its characters, of course, so without further ado:
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This is Kate Barque, the elder of the two Barque sisters, and daughter of Doctor Nancy Faye Barque and Professor James Quincy Barque. An esteemed pokemon breeder and a famous pokemon professor respectively, those two make up the parental half of the Barque family and currently reside in Seeblatt where they conduct their research to this day. Their names are well known to households in Seeblatt and Squircle, but outside of the Eroteme Forest their mentioning only serves to draw attention from scientific circles, not public ones.

Having grown up alongside pokemon, Kate developed a great deal of knowledge concerning the many types of pokemon and their development over multiple life stages. Kate found their slight differences, even within the same species, fascinating and it drove her to research how a pokemon's training, raising, birth parents and several other factors added up to how strong a pokemon could become.

As her final thesis, Kate is determined to test her theories and studies by building the most powerful pokemon team ever assembled, starting with her own chikorita. A Lonely little thing named after Kate's mother, Fey is constantly thirsty for attention and will stop at nothing to steal it from other pokemon. Kate has done everything she can to help make Fey a strong fighter: feeding him right, training with him, even ringing his diet with spicy foods. Now Fey and Kate are ready to take the next step in their journey and assemble a team to prove Kate's theories correct.
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This is Breanna Barque, or Bree for short. The younger sister by a year, Kate could care less about pokemon research and training like Kate, instead finding a love in the great outdoors and the many bug pokemon it holds. Bree's favorite pasttime is sneaking out of the house to explore the vast Eroteme Forest surrounding the town, getting hopelessly lost, and having to be tracked down by trained zigzagoon and dragged back by the ear by her mother. Bree's developed quite some experience for the wilderness lifestyle as a result, having picked up the Survivalist class whereas her sister Kate is a Mentor.

To try and dissuade her from sneaking out into the woods in search of bug pokemon, the Barque family decided to gift Bree a baby bug pokemon of her very own for one of her birthdays. Not only did this exacerbate the problem, but the rather deadly choice of a scyther probably speaks volumes of their parental style. While disagreeable with most other pokemon and more than willing to use those scythes at the drop of a hat, Gloria is at the very least Adamant to stay by her owner's side and has proven capable of protecting Bree while she's out in the forest.

The rest of the storytime is carried almost entirely through screenshots, so apologies in advance for grammatical errors. You'll know what I mean. Just think of them as mint-condition, first edition prints.
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In my defense for what a few of you might be thinking, I had no idea who Dobson was at the time of running this, I just found the character image by googling "25 Essential Expression Drawing Challenge" until I found a few that worked for what I needed. I apologize regardless.
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Introducing Gloria and Fey, doing what they will essentially be doing for the entirety of the campaign: guarding food and wanting pats.
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I liked how the players decided to run away from home and become vagabond pokemon trainers without provocation. It wasn't the campaign premise or anything, they just got really excited at the idea after I told them where they'd be starting.
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Bree rolled quite well, even having a bonus from being in an Urban area (one of her Survivalist favored terrains.
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Meanwhile, Kate rolled a natural 1. Which is an impressive feat given that PTU traditionally uses 2d6 for all skill rolls, but she happened to choose Stealth as one of her two deficient skills during character creation.

This is what happens from Bree's perspective...
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...and this is what Kate sees from her perspective.

Hidden text: Misdreavus, the Screech Pokémon. Misdreavus are extremely mischievous and like to cry out at night just to startle people.
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Kate's panicked attempt at damage control.
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Kate rolled pretty well for Acrobatics here, notably less so for Stealth.
Christ, these two are abusive as fuck.
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And the unfortunate aftermath.
>the face of a job well done, without having done anything at all
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In fairness, dinnertime is a warzone when you eat next to dozens of hungry and wily critters. Gotta establish dominance and all that.
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Dude's so embarassed about fucking their age up so spectacularly that he just shuts down.
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Skipping several skill checks from players and pokemon alike here, for ease of reading.
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The pokemon itself was rolled randomly from a location-based encounter table, but I gave Kate two rerolls for having prepared the time and location for a specific pokemon. Turns out she didn't need it, as I'd rolled up a Tympole on the first attempt.
Well its always nice when luck is on your side.
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Our first battle!
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Hidden text: Just kidding! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMjcAloQkfA
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Hidden text: Kate's Pokemaniac feature teaches her the following:
- It is Male
- It is Level 6
- It is Water Type
- It has a Skittish Nature
- It has the Water Absorb ability
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The tympole is introduced to its new best friends. Fey is not happy with having to share the spotlight.
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Ohhhh. PTU has to do with Pokemon.
I had no idea and just clicked because I was just checking the catalog without any goal in mind and saw "storytime".
Oh yeah, duh, probably should have mentioned pokemon in the title. It stands for Pokemon Tabletop: United, an offshoot cousin of Pokemon Tabletop: Adventures that was made when players grew dissatisfied with the (lack of) skill system and unbalance. Problems still persist of course, but it still makes for a fun system nonetheless.
Did they decide their characters were going to be siblings or was that something they decided on themselves?

>I liked how the players decided to run away from home and become vagabond pokemon trainers without provocation. It wasn't the campaign premise or anything, they just got really excited at the idea after I told them where they'd be starting.

So you told them some details about the setting and then they came up with the idea of playing a couple of trainers who are getting their start by running away from home?
You know your childhood is going to be interesting when you grow up in "See blyat".
The latter; all I gave them was the writeup of the region itself, and they decided what town they started in and that they wanted to be sisters. I proposed the specific parents and their home life, and they came up with the goal of running away from home to be pokemon trainers before the game started. It was pretty nice that they already had goals in mind before the campaign started, it took a load off of my shoulders since I didn't have to come up with heavy-handed reasons for their characters to travel around.
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>Bree rolled quite well, even having a bonus from being in an Urban area (one of her Survivalist favored terrains.

Get out of here Stalker.
Seeblatt is actually the name of the shape of a lillypad! All of the major cities are named after shapes, in fact, though most are pretty obscure. An eroteme is just the shape of a question mark, so the mysterious Eroteme Forest is just "question mark forest," Squircle is just a squared circle, and so on. Kinda like how every major town in Kanto is named after colors, or every major town in Johto is named after plants, Circo's theme is shapes.
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Pokémon Black & White Sound Gamerip: Caught a Pokémon
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What is the difference between a big and small one?

Can Apricorns still be made into weird poke balls like in silver and gold?
Is the latter common knowledge in Circo.
I don't know how you did it but you chose the absolute perfect image for Fey. That is an expression that says, "I would crawl through a mile of broken glass just to steal someone elses paps"
The Big Mushroom is essentially just a higher tier version of the Tiny Mushroom, and some classes that make use of such items (such as the Chef class or the Botany subclass of the Researcher) are able to make much higher quality meals/medicines out of the Big Mushroom. By itself, the Tiny Mushroom can be ingested to cause 5 damage to whoever eats it in exchange for +1 Combat Stage to a random stat. The Big Mushroom, by comparison, instead causes the Poisoned status condition to whoever eats it in exchange for +1 Combat Stage to two random stats.

Just like in the gold/silver generation, apricorns can be made into a variety of pokeballs-- all it takes is some investment into either the Survival or Technology skill as well as taking the Apricorn Ball crafting edge. There used to be an entire subclass dedicated to making every different type of ball out of various apricorns, but that was scrapped and condensed into a single edge because of its universal lack of popularity.
The fact that apricorns can be crafted into pokeballs is common knowledge in Circo, because apricorn balls were the precursor to the modern pokeball-- before the current electronic version was invented, apricorn balls were the simply only way to capture pokemon. While the modern version is much more efficient to mass-produce, however, apricorn balls still hold their niche as antiques and cheap, specialized alternatives for those who know how to find/make them.
>Latex opera gloves
Oh look, another fetish of mine I can pin on that damned cartoon
I'll have to deliver the compliment; that picture was actually picked by the player, rather than myself!
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Not much to say about the hidden text this time, a bunch of mechanics explaining that Bree found worms.
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I mean, they were literally raised like animals
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Coincidentally, the two players had gotten into pokemon battles for different reasons simultaneously despite being in completely different areas. I'd feared one of them would spend the time powerleveling while the other was left behind, but they were both on the same wavelength on this one.
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Thankfully pokeballs aren't broken unless a pokemon breaks out of them. In Kate's case she just missed the throw entirely.
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It's really cool when players talk between themselves for a while. I get to take a momentary breather, and it shows that they're interested enough in the game to roleplay farther than "press the X button at the GM until plot happens."
I've run PTU before, but I gotta ask. How long did you spend preparing for sessions? Or, I dunno, how long did it take you to go from having an idea to the first session?
I'm beginning to realize the Pokemon world is kind of like Australia, there are few places you can go without potentially encountering something that can inflict at least a status effect on you if not damage.
Years, months, or a couple days depending on what you'd consider a proper answer. The map and concept for Circo itself was from way back when I was in high school, but I never really started planning for a campaign until I found the map again years later. I hem-hawed over wanting to try GMing again after my last failed attempt for a couple months, and finally belted out the setting notes for the players over the course of a couple days before announcing it. The game itself started only a few days after that, once the players had their characters ready and we'd all talked about what they wanted out of the campaign itself.

It sounds like a long time of dedicated planning and worldbuilding when I put it like that, but it was really just a couple days of actual preparation spread out along years of procrastination. The map itself was a few minutes of sketching, and making it look nice enough on a computer took a few hours on paint dot net, but even that's just because I'm finicky. The setting notes were broad enough that I could fill in the details as they became important, so I just needed to write up the general technology level and major organizations/areas of note in the world, which took a few more hours of thinking and not all that much writing. I could share those too, if you'd like? Specific pokemon encounters were generated on the spot, thanks to PanoramicPanda's P.T.U. Tools. If you're running a PTU game, google that, it will save your life.

Granted, this entire game was done in play-by-post format, so the sense of panic and urgency that usually accompanies gming wasn't present. If a player asked a question or did something unexpected, I had ample time to take a step back and research my answer. Roleplaying as multiple characters/pokemon at once and even running a split party is a breeze as well, it really takes a load off of your shoulders as a gm in this format. Biggest weakness is the slow posting and inevitable death of the campaign, sadly.
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>It's really cool when players talk between themselves for a while.

Yeah. It feels good when your players start doing that. They are enjoying the world and their characters enough to get invested to the point of acting for fun and not just because they are prompted to.

>I get to take a momentary breather, and it shows that they're interested enough in the game to roleplay farther than "press the X button at the GM until plot happens."

That is another benefit!
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We're now moving into part 2! There's only 2 parts, just to let you know. This was when we started to move into the actual traveling segment of the game.

The hidden text is a simple homebrew system I made for the game that covers wilderness survival and travel a bit more than "make one Survival check between point A and point B," since the players were focusing on the wilderness parts of the game and it'd be a shame to boil their entire motivation to play down to a single die roll.
It's a bit too much to copy into one post, so I'll paraphrase: traveling happens in six-hour segments, you can choose to gather stuff, look for pokemon, hide from pokemon, navigate, or do any Extended action that your character is capable of during that time. Multitasking is possible but slightly more difficult. There's also optional rules for keeping track of food, water, fuel, temperature, all that nitty gritty stuff, but we ended up not using those.
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Most of Breanna's rolls were average for this, save for her Survival which was through the roof and netted her plenty of sweet loot as a result.
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Just like the show, it's perfectly viable to befriend a pokemon sans any battles or balls. There's mechanics for it and everything, which Bree's taking advantage of here.
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Or, well, she was taking advantage of that. Past tense.
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In PTU, every character starts with every skill as Untrained, rolling 2d6 whenever said skills are called into question. In addition, each character chooses one skill to start as Adept-level (4d6) and one skill to start at Novice-level (3d6). In return they must choose 3 skills to be Pathetic (1d6) and these skills can never be raised above this level afterwards.

The only reason I bring this up now is to inform that Bree's three Pathetic skills are Education: Occult, Education: Technology, and Command.
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Hidden text: Weedle #1:
Level: 5
Type: Bug/Poison
Nature: Quiet
Ability: Shield Dust

Weedle #2:
Level: 2
Type: Bug/Poison
Nature: Impish
Ability: Shield Dust

Weedle #3:
Level: 5
Type: Bug/Poison
Nature: Bashful
Ability: Shield Dust
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"When diplomacy just doesn't cut it, sleep spells do twice the charming in half the time." - bardic adage
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Our first real random encounter!
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Weirdly enough, this part seems to still include the last part. My bad.
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And for the first time this campaign, a trainer jumps into the fight! There are many trainer classes that make poke-punching more efficient and effective. Kate is not one of them.
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The battle rages on, this time a full-on team brawl! Things get a little more mechanically complicated in terms of who goes when, but it seems to work out alright.
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After a few bruises, a few crits, a few knockouts and a few misses, the battle comes to an abrupt end!
...and so does the campaign. That's the last post of a now-dead game, sad to say. Thanks for sticking around for the storytime, I hope you enjoyed it! All I could possibly have left to share are setting notes that I made for the players to read, or I suppose answers if you've got any questions.

If I do pick up the gm torch again in the future, I'm hoping to be better at it and actually run a game to completion, so if you've got any bits of gming advice to share given what you've read I'd love to hear it.
I'd like to hear about the organizations and stuff. Sounds interesting enough!
The game seems like it was going swimmingly, what happened?
Righto, here's the notes I had at the time concerning the region's organizations. It's rather short, only detailing the Pokemon League and Diamond Industries, but a Team Rocket-esque criminal organization and various small businesses the characters would discover were to make an appearance as well, added as the game progressed like a sort of growing journal.

I had notes along these lines organized into different places for the players to read, mainly one for the notable areas of the Circo region itself and the rumors/legends surrounding them, and others for famous household names, acquaintances of importance (consisting only of Kate and Bree's parents at the moment), miscellaneous rules and organizations of note. None of them were terribly large due to the brevity of the campaign, but they still exist.
The same fate that inevitably awaits all play-by-post games: sudden, inexplicable radio silence. No drama or anything, just no more posts.
just like kamigakari anon. My condolences.
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Here's the region notes. Might as well dump these too, maybe someone here could use them as inspiration? Or just steal them outright, have at it.
And finally the various well-known legends and rumors. I think that's about it as far as shareable content goes, save for the boring non-setting stuff. Feel free to scavenge to your hearts' content, learn from my mistakes, rise from the ashes.
Weirdly related to the subject, Kate and Bree are Isekai GM and Hayate, respectively! We still play together (obviously), but the PTU campaign was years ago.
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So true, sadly. I'm not even done reading and this already makes me miss my own pbp PTU days.
Ours died nearly the exact same way. One player stops, and the entire thing crumbles.
i-it's a fun story though!
is PTU meant to be played via Play By Post or is it also good in a more traditional format?
>It's a bit too much to copy into one post

if you have it in long form somewhere then could you pastebin it and link the pastebin?
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I've played it both ways, and each has its own ups and downs..
The game has a fair bit of math, mechanics, and stats. Which can take up a lot of time in a live session. Preparing encounters on the fly becomes even more of a challenge when you have to stat each individual pokemon. We still had a ton of fun, but you've just gotta work with the mechanics, figure out the best way to keep things running smoothly, and prep a bit extra ahead of time.

Play-by-post on the other hand gives you plenty of time to prepare and think out how you want something to go (as OP mentioned at some point).
Encounters are a bit less of a hassle when you can take minutes/hours/days to stat and prepare stuff you hadn't planned originally.
It's also a lot easier to RP your pokemon (or for your GM to) and involve them in what's happening outside battles.
Although, it still suffers from the same thing all pbp do. Taking a literal age to get anywhere, and a huge risk of falling apart. Though if you've got a group that'll stick with it (and can write) it's a much more casual and story/character/world focused experience imo.

Tl;dr: You can play in meatspace, just know the system.
Thanks for the storytime!
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>Kate and Bree are Isekai GM and Hayate, respectively
>Radio silence
>But we still play together
I'm glad you liked it, my heart goes out for you eventually finding your own PTU game that survives.

It was probably *intended* to be played in a more traditional format, but play-by-post covers many of the weaknesses the system has, since you're expected as the GM to be playing up to dozens of NPCs at the same time, near-constantly. Players want to interact with their shoulderbros, it is the nature of pokemon fans, and PbP lets them do that much more easily. >>57295876 pretty much already makes every other good point I'd have on the subject.

It's a bit too much to copy into one post, but two posts would probably be just enough room if you'll give me just a moment.

Thank you for reading it! It was certainly a trip down memory lane.
>It's a bit too much to copy into one post, but two posts would probably be just enough room if you'll give me just a moment.

I will wait patiently.


>The game has a fair bit of math, mechanics, and stats. Which can take up a lot of time in a live session. Preparing encounters on the fly becomes even more of a challenge when you have to stat each individual pokemon. We still had a ton of fun, but you've just gotta work with the mechanics, figure out the best way to keep things running smoothly, and prep a bit extra ahead of time.

sounds like a game that could benefit from some generators/bots where you fill in a few variables and it spits out the statted critters you need for an encounter.

>much more... ...story/character/world focused experience

Ok that does sound good. I guess there are some upsides to PBP aside from being able to accommodate groups with horrifically inconsistent internet connections and impossible to sync schedules provides all involved have a large amount of dedication and communicate regularly outside of the game.
I was wrong, they're definitely short enough for just one post. Here's the both of them.

I realize now that while the Simplified Travel rules worked fine, the Simplified Survival rules were pretty wonky even on paper-- it only takes the average person using these rules 4 days to die of starvation (assuming all of their skills were Untrained), rather than the usual average of 35-40, and dying of thirst only takes half that. In retrospect, that's probably the main reason we decided to ignore those when we were playing. Feel free to toss those.

I never wrote down how to determine the DCs for the various Simplified Travel rules, but they were mostly played by ear using the book's scale of check difficulty. Beating the DC by 4 gave a bonus. I ruled that in a forest, sneaking up on unaware pokemon was a Novice-level check (DC 10), and every 4 above that allowed you to pick an extra encounter from the list. Foraging for items was slightly easier due to the dense forest life, and I ruled that while finding usable items was also a Novice-level check, you found an extra item for every 2 you beat the DC by instead of every 4. Navigation was generally an auto-success if you had a map and compass, but without them the base DC was 13 (Adept-level) in Eroteme Forest in particular. There was no set DC for trying to actively avoid pokemon with Stealth, but if a random encounter occurred while you were sneaking the opposing pokemon would simply roll Perception versus your Stealth result instead of automatically finding you.

These rules seemed to work well enough for us, but they're still firmly in jury-rigged homebrew territory. Feel free to steal, tweak or toss whatever you like if you want them.

>sounds like a game that could benefit from some generators/bots where you fill in a few variables and it spits out the statted critters you need for an encounter
That's exactly what ptu.panda-games.net is, actually! Check it out, it's a lifesaver for PTU gms.
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>sounds like a game that could benefit from some generators/bots where you fill in a few variables and it spits out the statted critters you need for an encounter.

The problem with that is there are a lot of things that could come into play in an encounter.
What if a player wants this pokemon, and the generator gave it a terrible nature/stats?
What if that stat distribution just makes it too weak?
What if it's actually too powerful, able to knock out the PC's pokes in 1 hit?
I mean, the last two are really the only two big concerns, at least for me.
I was a bit lazy when I ran the game, and just distrusted all their points evenly through all but unnecessary stats, then let the players redistribute if they caught it

>provides all involved have a large amount of dedication and communicate regularly outside of the game.

And there you will find the pbp killer.
It helps if you already know and are friends with the other players. Peer pressure is your greatest tool in keeping a game running smoothly, apparently?
Oh shoot. I'll actually have to check out that sight then. Hopefully it just generally proves me wrong.
The PTU system is actually extremely forgiving when it comes to catching wild pokemon; while wild pokemon stats are built by adding their leveled stat points to their base stats like usual, once a player catches them they're allowed to instantly reallocate all of the stats they gained from leveling. The only true random variable is the Nature, and lots of trainer classes (mostly Coordinator subclasses) are able to tweak a pokemon's Nature to their liking. The system assumes that players are able to find NPCs with said abilities in most major towns, the same way you can find a Move Tutor or Researcher to buy TMs and medicines from.

I suppose the only thing about a pokemon that can never, ever be tweaked by RAW mechanics is what Hidden Power type they're attuned to. Base stats can be shifted around by medicines, egg moves can be taught by a sufficiently skilled Mentor, even a pokemon's typing or the typing of their Moves can be changed by the Type Ace class.
got more maps?
This game is pretty cool the way it focused more on the world and daily struggles compared to warping between towns in a gym busting spree.
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I have to go to bed, but if anyone would like a PTU storytime about a duet campaign (just me and my one player) that went on for about 1.5 years, I'd be happy to contribute to the storytiming tomorrow.

Pic related, is the map I made for my campaign. Poffin points to anyone who guesses where it is based on.
Sadly, none besides the original Circo map, it was very much a "Theatre of the Mind" sort of campaign with various images you saw in each post to frame where the scene was taking place.

I'm glad you liked it, the show and games always stress that "it's about the journey" shtick, so it'd be a shame to skip over traveling segments.

Absolutely! Storytime away, assuming the thread's still alive by the time you wake up. Otherwise another thread will do, I'm sure nobody will complain. Your map looks way more detailed than mine, you've even got specific attractions labeled everywhere which is something I hadn't bothered to do. If I were to take a guess, would it be based on central Europe?
Bah, just noticed I forgot that Lilacane City has the Horizon Badge. Yeah, there's 9 badges... in-universe I wanted a situation like the anime episode with rival gyms vying for a spot (Horizon and Stampede are competing for a spot, and while it's settled they both count). But really I just liked all my gyms too much to cut any
Lifesaver indeed, my last time crashed and burned because I didn't have access to something like this, but now that I have one I know a player who's going to be really happy about a reboot.
Dude, woah.
>I have to go to bed, but if anyone would like a PTU storytime about a duet campaign (just me and my one player) that went on for about 1.5 years, I'd be happy to contribute to the storytiming tomorrow.

Please do. What kind of game was it?
> ...and returns shortly afterwards with a pack of friends. You are being hunted!"

Oh dear.

Still I guess that's one way to try to catch predatory pokemon. How Dangerous!
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Nope, not Central Europe. :)

I tried to mix the feel of the anime, manga, and games! Mostly inspired by the manga, because it's so great! I built my campaign to be almost a 'prequel' of sorts to the games, drawing from the loose canon of the games (but little else), and making revisions as I felt necessary to make things more interesting.


Our adventure begins many years prior...

A young girl washes ashore on a beach, with oceanic Pokemon drawing nearby Rangers to her rescue. With little memory - perhaps from her youth - she is adopted and shuttled around the Pokemon world for years. Adopting the name of Driftwood - usually called 'Drift' by her friends - she eventually settles in Orre, studying Pokemon at one of the few ranches in the desolate region. Sharing a special connection with Pokemon, she befriends many, and decides to pursue the position of Pokemon caretaker herself.

But our story truly begins in the Cascoma region. A new frontier, it is the first region to be settled since the founding of the Pokemon League. The League is taking the opportunity to ensure that civilization there is a true balance of progress and preservation, science and nature. Many Pokemon researchers flock there, or are recruited, for a wide range of projects. One such researcher, Professor Madrone, calls in Drift as a candidate to alpha test a mysterious project... what he calls the "Pokemon Index", or "PokeDex".

The difference between the arid Orre region and the verdant and green Cascoma region is as stark as night and day. Burgeoning with wild Pokemon of every type and variety, Drift is overwhelmed as she arrives in Amgal Town, home to Madrone's laboratory/garage. Greeted there, she finds the other candidate for alpha testing the Pokedex... a young, intense man named Logan.

The two are tasked with wrangling some starting Pokemon, while Madrone watches to see who he'd prefer as the alpha tester...
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(That picture is a commission I had for my player, to celebrate her birthday, by the way. The Pokemon depicted are her 'dream team' - she's gotten 5/6, but she's still looking for a Tropius to catch!)

Logan was assigned to catch a Zubat with his Beldum, and did so with brutal efficiency. Meanwhile, Drift was to catch a Chikorita... but she has no Pokemon! Instead, she chased it around the garage, kicking aside papers and laboratory equipment as she struggled to befriend it. But the sassy and playful Chikorita just wanted to cause mischief, as she wasn't interested in being trained. But in the end, Drift convinced Rita to not be her Pokemon, but instead be her -friend-... and Rita joined up, on an understanding they'd get up to mischief together.

Drift was mortified at the destruction, and thought she'd failed for sure. But instead, Madrone was impressed at Drift's determination and her clear ability to befriend Pokemon, to try to understand them... and quite upset at Logan's brutal take-down of the Zubat, and his clear lack of compassion for it. Logan explained that Zubats were too common to really matter, but Drift vehemently disagreed, stating that every Pokemon warranted an entry in the Pokedex. Professor Madrone agreed with Drift... and therefore chose her, a person who had never trained a Pokemon before, to test the Pokedex. To Logan, he noted that he was working on a second Pokedex, but he wouldn't give it to Logan unless he proved he was capable of training that Zubat. Logan swallowed his pride, and agreed to the challenge.

Talking with Madrone after Logan left, Drift reaffirmed her goal of researching and befriending every kind of Pokemon. Madrone thought it a noble goal, and explained his own research: investigating unique one-of-a-kind varieties of typical Pokemon, such as a 'crystal Onix'. For this reason, he often has to investigate urban legends, rumors, and mythology.
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In addition, Professor Madrone also explained some of the unique differences the Cascoma region had, compared to other regions...

Cascoma is founded to almost be entirely a 'nature preserve', due to its incredible plethora and diversity of Pokemon. The routes on the region map are the only legal places for Trainers to catch Pokemon without authorization, and quite often it's illegal to even go off-route at all! However, it is possible to earn such authorization by acquiring Gym Badges.

Here, Gym Badges aren't just accolades - they're 'passports'. Each Gym governs an area of the Cascoma region, and the Gym challenges are tailored by their Gym Leader - a person experienced with that area - in order to test whether Trainers are capable of handling themselves off-route, and doing so responsibly. In the Pokemon world, you see, Pokemon battles are the best judge of character... and in Cascoma, the wild and untamed frontier, the land itself is quite dangerous!

Above the Gym structure, the Elite Four and Champion are also different in this region. The Elite Four here serve to safeguard special interests broader than geography, and the Champion - who passes each member of the Elite Four's 'judge of character' individually - serves to advocate a 'direction' for the League in the region. At the start of this adventure, the Elite Four were still being decided upon, though candidates were in place, and there was a temporary Champion as well, ready to relinquish the title.

Attached is a map of the areas of Cascoma, each color corresponding to the badge contained within its area. The Horizon badge and Tidings badge are unique in that they allow Trainers unlimited flight and unlimited seafaring and diving, respectively.

Okay, enough exposition!
Why does your island look like the cross section of a human leg though?
is that how deep the lore runs?
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Attached are four of the nine Badges. I still need to get around to making the others. >_>

So! Drift was tasked with not only gathering the data of every kind of Pokemon, but also actively hunting for unique, special Pokemon... her job would be to travel around the Cascoma region, investigating the (quite common) tall tales of the region and local legends to see if they hold merit, while also gathering Gym Badges in order to get access to more areas!

The campaign started more episodic, with Drift following up leads in 'adventures of the day', and also gathering her first few Gym Badges along the way. She stopped a turf war between a gang of Timburrs and a gang of Panchams, caught a few of her most loyal friends such as Pedro the Venipede, and more. She also acquired some of her first Gym Badges!

The Menu Badge, in Coverden City, is a common choice for a Trainer's first Badge - and so too was it Drift's. However, Drift could have picked any Badge to be her first... Similarly to Pokemon Origins (anime), every Gym Leader has a variety of teams they use, and their flagship Pokemon are trained to 'hold back'. (A justification for under-leveled Pokemon, if needed.) I did roughly balance Gyms by their distance from Amgal Town, though.

Another difference from the games is that Gyms in Cascoma aren't arranged strictly by type, but instead, by theme! Each Gym does have a 'dominant typing' or two, but I went for theme teams over type teams. For example, Charlotte, Coverden City's Gym Leader, has Slurpuff (her ace), Pawniard, Cherubi, Pansage, Exeggcute, and Vanillite. Mostly Grass-type; all Cooking-themed!

As one might guess, Charlotte is a chef, who hosts free buffets for the city often, and hosts Gym battles at her restaurant! The battle takes place in an arena at the center of the restaurant, where patrons periodically vote for which Trainer is the most creative in their battling! Winning a vote has waiters deliver a dish of berries to your Pokemon team!
Oooo another story,
Drift lost the first time she tried this Gym, but won the second time when she realized the trick to winning the votes - frequent mix-ups not only of move typing, but also of move contest category, and also using unique strategies beyond just moves!

While she was training for the Menu Badge, Drift also came across the first hints of the larger plot going on in Cascoma... She went to Fort Coverden to learn about how field Rangers make poffins and apricorn balls, and the like... and while in the field gathering materials, came across some poachers hunting for wild Pokemon! These poachers were from a mysterious group called the Hunters, bankrolled by the underworld criminal mastermind known only as "Grimnir", infamous for wearing a suit of power armor in his hunts for powerful and mysterious Pokemon. Grimnir recently made headlines by recruiting the world's most dangerous bounty hunters into a personal army, and has apparently begun invading Cascoma with them for reasons unknown!

Drift didn't try to stop the poachers, but instead, tried to run! In the start, Drift was very much a "this isn't my problem' kind of character, who didn't want to be a hero. But that would change...

Acquiring the Menu Badge - and the TM for Natural Gift - Drift relaxed in Coverden City for a time. She investigated a mysterious Pokemon that was covering up the street murals being made for the annual "Artist's Alley", and in doing so, captured a disgraced artist who had bought a poached Inkay from the Hunters. Rescuing the Inkay, Drift learned they were native to Cape Dismay, and set off to return the Pokemon to its home. However, unable to surf on Foggy Waters (Route 2), Drift had to find someone to take her there.

Charlotte, eager to repay Drift for helping Coverden City, introduced Drift to Kelsey, the Gym Leader of Dayfry Harbor. Kelsey was in town, about to set off in her boat - the S.S. Kelsey - on a research project at Cape Dismay...
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Oops, I forgot my picture!
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Drift met Kelsey at the docks of Coverden City. There, the exuberant Gym Leader explains with great gusto that she's investigating what she's calling the "Big Bloop", a mysterious sound that emanates from the depths of the Preciserene Ocean... Kelsey hypothesizes that this sound is connected to the unusual storms that have been ongoing for the last 40 years, and perhaps even the geological activity decades ago that led to the famous eruption of Mt. Selenes...

You see, just after Cascoma was first founded, Mt. Selenes erupted. This devastated a large portion of the surrounding land, and burned down the first iteration of Oceatt City. (Now the Oceatt Underground, as Oceatt City was built atop the ashen ruins.) Soon after, flooding drowned the coast, and the storming seas haven't relented since, while Mt. Selenes and Mt. Coalshan continue to rumble once in a while.

Drift had learned all of this from Lauren, a teacher at the Coverden Museum of Regional History, while she was relaxing in the city. (There was a mini-game where this traveling teacher would ask questions at museums she visited after the tour, and Drift's player could answer them to get berries.)

Drift had also learned some other tidbits - such as how Cascoma was founded thanks to the concerted efforts of 'the Big Three'; billionaire Fatima, CEO of Egress Corp. Wilhelm Egress, and world-famous Pokemon Professor Cayley, who discovered the digitization process that allows Silph Co. to make Pokeballs, and lead to the creation of Porygon.

Anyway, back to the docks! Drift goes aboard the S.S. Kelsey, and bonds with Kelsey on the journey. However, deep in the Foggy Waters, a mysterious shadow appears in the sky... then lands aboard their ship, atop the back of a Braviary!

This man warns the two to turn back - that if they go further, he will be forced to stop them, for they're meddling in affairs beyond their understanding!
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Defiant, Kelsey tries to bring out a Pokemon, but the attacker beats her to it - using a "traditional" apricorn ball, he brings out a Mamoswine, and commands it to use Ice Beam to divide the ship, sealing Kelsey in the bridge.

Drift also tries to fight back - left alone with the man - but his Pokemon are far stronger than hers. Deflecting the attacks, the man's Mamoswine freezes the ship in the waters, then repeats his warning: that the League's research will lead to their destruction, and that Cascoma needs to be left alone! The legendary Pokemon of Cascoma are too powerful to be poked and prodded at.

Drift, confused, asked what Pokemon he's talking about. But the man is reluctant to speak more, saying that Drift shouldn't trust the scientists of Cascoma... then he leaves, flying away on his Braviary.

Drift frees Kelsey from the bridge. Kelsey explains that man was an infamous eco-terrorist hounding the region lately, who has attempted to stop settling efforts. He's never harmed anyone, but he's destroyed a lot of property and ended a lot of expeditions and research projects.

"Not today!" Drift says, as she works to free the ship from the ice as well. Kelsey joins in with her Corsola, and together, they're back on track! Grateful at the help, Kelsey invited Drift to join her in the Kelsub when she goes to the seafloor.

Diving down in the submersible, they find a fault in the seafloor... and a reddish glow emerging from it. Kelsey dismisses it as lava, a sign of the geological troubles she predicted... but Drift almost sees something else, within the crack, and senses a foreboding presence...

Dismissing it, they continue to Cape Dismay. Landing ashore, Drift is surprised to find Logan here. He's trying to fish for a Feebas, who are said to appear in the waters of Cape Dismay's caves on stormy days. Drift - very interested in catching such a rare Pokemon, and besting Logan - races to catch one of her own.
These caves, you see, are on the way to returning Inkay... Cape Dismay has submerged caverns beneath it, that lead to a congregation of Inkay and Malamar here when the tides are just right. The caverns' waters glow with their lights during these times... and the caretaker of the island's lighthouse, who Drift learns from, explains that these tides also create eddies in the shoreside caves which Feebas are attracted to.

Using this, Drift not only catches a Feebas, but also tries to return Inkay... but the grateful Inkay, though distrustful of any other Trainers, is also reluctant to leave Drift's side, who it's grown close to. Drift, touched by its choice, agrees to become its Trainer and teach it what Trainers are really like. This was the first of many times that I made my player cry, heh.

After beating Logan in catching a Feebas, Logan challenged Drift to a Pokemon battle! Fighting on the beach, Logan was confident that his flying Zulu the Zubat and Belfast the Beldum would win, since the waves and mud of the beach wouldn't hinder them... but instead, Drift used Feebas and Inkay's knowledge of the currents to her advantage to wreck them!

Stunned, Logan conceded defeat. Holing up in the lighthouse, the two bonded a bit, even... Logan explaining that he simply wanted to prioritize stronger Pokemon in the Pokedex, because they were the most misunderstood, the trickiest to train. Most people know how a Zubat operates, what a Pidgey is like. Few understand Pokemon like Beldum.

Drift begins to sympathize with his goals, but not his methods. She tries to explain that training should be done with compassion, not just efficiency... but Logan dismisses that as coddling. The two part ways, still rivals...
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Returning with Kelsey to the mainland, Drift then parts ways with her, promising to meet her in Dayfry Harbor someday soon. Drift turns east, heading towards Splitton Town and its Step Badge! To do so, Drift must travel through Amgal Town once more.

Passing through Amgal Town, Drift catches up with Professor Madrone - and then meets an unexpected guest, Professor Cayley! It turns out Professor Cayley and Professor Madrone were once friends, though their relations now seem quite tense. Professor Cayley is revealed to have been burned by the eruption and fires in Oceatt City decades ago, but she's still quite striking regardless. She greets Drift, expresses interest in the results of Drift's research, then leaves. Madrone explains he used to be her assistant, then became a peer in the field, but they grew distant over differences in opinion on alternative energy sources in Cascoma. After the Hanful Reactor disaster - where it's experimental energy source melted down and resulted in pollution on Route 33 still being cleaned up by Muks - Madrone was hesitant to test any other energy sources, but Cayley was all for it, thinking the loss of the Hanful Reactor meant that they needed to be tested more than ever. Drift saw merit in both sides, but stuck with Madrone's, thinking it was best for the Pokemon.

After this encounter, Drift leaves Amgal Town, and heads into Route 4... the Lost Woods.

In real life, it was Halloween, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect. You see, the real-world location Route 4 is based on translates to "the place of evil spirits", and also went by "the valley of lost children". I had a perfect Halloween encounter planned... but little did I know that this Halloween session would also have Drift finally heed the call to adventure and become a real hero!
Setting foot into the Lost Woods, Drift got a little lost because of the twisting paths and dense canopy that made time almost fade away. Stumbling through burnt clearings, and following a dirtied river, she eventually tripped over some vast roots into a small town not marked on any maps...

Jafoal Town was a happy, small town that was under construction still. It consisted of a few houses, a post office, a Pokemon Center that hadn't been installed with any videophones or medical machinery yet, and a large hill with a towering tree that overlooked the town. The Town was eager to be officially recognized by the League, and was just awaiting the paperwork, any day now. The town was in the middle of a heatwave, so lots of people were sipping iced tea at the cafe.

Sitting underneath the tree was a young man sketching its leaves. with diligent detail. Introducing herself, Drift learned his name was Kent, and he was a research assistant of Cayley's, investigating the relationship between Grass-type Pokemon and flora such as this tree - the largest tree on the continent, and the oldest. The town was very proud of its 'protector', as they called it, and Kent believed the tree's root system connected to the entire forest... his crazy hypothesis was that this forest was all just one tree, mutated to sprout multiple times from the ground.

Staying for a while, weird things began to happen to Drift... When she drank tea at the cafe, she felt raw leaves and bits of bark in her mouth, but after spitting it out in disgust, saw it was just normal tea. Walking through the town, she often tripped on things that weren't there. The mirror in the room she stayed at (all Pokemon Centers have lodging for traveling trainers) briefly showed an overgrown and ruined room, but when she turned around, everything was normal...

Rita, Pedro, and her other Pokemon were all thoroughly spooked as well. Deciding enough was enough, Drift tried to leave town...
However, tripping over a root, her compass broke... and try as she might, she couldn't navigate in the forest, as she kept getting turned around and ending up back at Jafoal Town!

Finally, with great suspicion, she runs up to the large tree in the center of town and touches it... and feels broken, battered, burnt bark, where she SEES healthy and flourishing bark. Stepping back, frightened, she whirls around at a yell - and finds that some of the local loggers are rushing into town, warning of an eruption that started a forest fire, barreling down on the town!

The townsfolk struggle to escape, but alas, their path is cut off by the fires -and they realize they're surrounded by fires, and have to simply wait for help to arrive. Sending all of their Water-type Pokemon towards a nearby clearing with their children, the adults stay behind and begin to pour all of their water on their 'protecting' tree, protecting it from the approaching flames - choosing it over their own homes.

Drift, aghast, realizes she is watching the events of the Mt. Selenes eruption 40 years ago... and finds herself ghostly, immaterial, unable to fight the flames with her Pokemon. She watches as Drifloons appear from the sky and save the children, carrying them to safety... and then the town burns before her eyes.

Awakening from her vision, she finds herself in the remnants of Jafoal Town... The tree at the top of the hill is revealed to be an ancient Trevenant, still standing thanks to the help of the townsfolk. Around her, the eyes of small Phantumps watch from the darkness of the woods.

Roots hold up the walls of the buildings, support the rotten wood. The trees, unchecked by loggers, could have grown past the borders of the town. But they didn't... the Trevenant truly did control the trees of the forest, and to honor the villagers who sacrificed their lives, who tried to sacrifice their town, to protect it... it left their town standing, to remember them by.
Struggling to understand the Trevenant's intentions, Drift spends some time talking to it... and learns that the Trevenant only has enough power on a harvest moon to reveal itself to people, and it chose Drift to speak to. Through some questioning, Drift learns that the fire - the eruption - were not just a natural disaster. That the Trevenant wants Drift to know that someone CAUSED the eruption 40 years ago. The Trevenant doesn't want vengeance, not quite... it just wants justice for the people who died for it.

As the sun rises, the Trevenant falls back into its slumber, the Phantumps disappearing into the shadows under the trees... and Drift cries, sorrowful and angry, promising to make sure everyone knows what Jafoal Town died for, and who killed them.

This is where Drift TRULY began her adventure. She now began hunting for whoever somehow caused the eruption 40 years ago...

Continuing her journey to Splitton Town, Drift traveled through the magical Ho-Oh Rainforest, full of Psychic Pokemon, and with the mysterious Tamanous Rock, a towering rock full of caves and crevices, supposedly full of spiritual power. Reaching Splitton Town, at the base of Mt. Sunado, she learned that it was once a flourishing logging town, but they voluntarily stopped logging after realizing these forests were supernatural. The rainforest got its name by supposedly being rejuvenated by Ho-Oh's rainbows after the eruption of Mt. Selenes... and deep within the woods, supposedly lies the legendary 'Skystone', which can only be found if you're not looking for it...

Here also is Reynold, of the Step Badge! An archaeologist, he's busy preparing for the opening of a "Sealed Chamber" at the Sewitzen Ruins on Mt. Sunado - an archaeological site with over 10,000 artifacts and over 300 skeletons. Interested, Drift climbs up the mountain to seek Reynold out, challenge him, and watch this Sealed Chamber be opened!
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Arriving at the Sewitzen Ruins the night before the opening, she camps out with Reynold and his two assistants. Reynold is a a mystic, who sees himself as the bridge between the supernatural and the scientific. In the face of people In the face of people who increasingly see Pokemon as unusual animals relying on extra-dimensional energy sources or what not, Reynold is one of few voices in the League that believes that Pokemon are deeply spiritual and mystical creatures, and cannot be explained away by science.

This is important to Drift, as she knows her experience in the Lost Woods would be unbelievable to many... but perhaps Reynold could be trusted. Talking to him deep into the night, Reynold agrees that she can't seek many of the scientific people of the region for help... but also gives her some leads to look into, suggesting she travel towards Oceatt City and the Underground, and perhaps even visit Mt. Selenes.

In the middle of the night, however, the Sigilyph patrolling the Sewitzen Ruins suddenly disappear! Suspicious, Drift and Reynold go towards the Ruins... when they are ambushed by two assailants, one of whom commands their Gastly to knock out the two! Reynold falls asleep, but Drift manages to stay awake... and sees that the two are actually Reynold's treacherous assistants, sabotaging the Sealed Chamber for reasons unknown!

Fighting them both, Drift manages to stop them from destroying the sealed chamber with their Koffing and Gastly, and then rouses Reynold from his slumber. Reynold questions why they'd destroy the Sealed Chamber... and when it's opened the next day, Drift sees that the walls are inscribed with the ancient legends of the Windust Tribe!
lot to read in here.
The mural depicted two stories, from the left and from the right, that met in the middle. On the left and right wall, ancient, powerful Pokemon, create mountains and oceans, droughts and floods... Towards the center, we see their domains meet, creating churning coastlines, then a flourishing land, which a serpent watches from above. And in the center, two Windust Tribesmen hold spheres above their heads.

Reynold notes that this tribe can be read from the center outwards, or from the edges inwards... a common theme of the Windust, who believed in great cycles.

Drift, of course, recognizes that these are the legends the eco-terrorist was speaking of... but she dismisses these beliefs in legendary Pokemon as nothing but myths.

Reynold, happy that Drift saved the Sealed Chamber from sabotage, accepts her challenge to a Gym Battle! His Gym, underneath a cultural exhibit in a longhouse, looks like an ancient ruins with many booby-trapped tiles. His team - Baltoy, Bronzor, Honedge, and Nosepass - mostly float, and with Nosepass and Baltoy, he can move around Bronzor and Honedge to make up for their speed, or trigger traps with telekinesis! But even Reynold doesn't know what traps are where... they randomize every match!

Realizing it's not a game of surprise but instead a game of memory, utilizing the traps that have been revealed, Drift is able to beat Reynold and acquire the Step Badge and the TM Rock Tomb. Now, Drift sets off to Oceatt City to investigate the events that happened 40 years ago...

Yeah, I hope I'm not giving too much detail. I'd say we're about... a third of the way through the story, since I'm only trying to over real major beats. Some of the stuff I've mentioned doesn't look important, but it is.

If people want me to go into more or less detail, ask away. Feel free to ask any other questions, too, of course.
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Using a nearby ferry to travel directly to Oceatt City, Drift is wowed by the the city! She'd traveled through Mytikas City before, to reach Splitton Town, but while Mytikas City was sprawling and regal (being the home of the Elite Four and many museums), Oceatt City is towering and technologically advanced! After the original Oceatt burned down 40 years ago, Wilhelm Egress personally oversaw a 'reboot' of the city, funded entirely by Egress Corp.

While in the city, Drift began to look into getting its Circuit Badge from Egress Corp, in order to get access to the Oceatt Underground, to investigate it. Officially, Wilhelm Egress is the Gym Leader of Oceatt City, but he's often so busy that he has his secretary Portia handle the Gym Battles for him. While training for this, Drift is contacted by Professor Cayley, whose lab is in the city!

Dropping by the lab, Cayley introduces her assistant Katal, who is researching Pokemon metamorphosis and change. Katal is relaxing in the lab, eating candy bars and sharing them with her Gulpin. The three discuss the promising nature of the Pokedex. Drift consults Katal for some advice on how to evolve a few of her Pokemon. She considers asking Cayley privately about what happened 40 years ago, but thinks better of it, given that Cayley was burnt badly, and lost her friend Kent when Jafoal Town burnt down...

However, Professor Cayley does give some advice on how to handle the Gym Battle to come, and as Drift leaves, she calls ahead to Wilhelm to inform him of a promising challenger... so when Drift arrives, she is surprised to find Wilhelm Egress himself waiting for her!
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Welcoming Drift to the Sky Spear - a needle-shaped tower with a revolving arena-dome atop it - Egress invites her onto the elevator, and explains the rules of the Gym Battle - during the fight, the two competitors wear VR headsets, which obscure the appearance of the opponent's Pokemon! Using only context clues, such as move effectiveness and moves used, the competitors will have to deduce what their opponent's Pokemon are, or overpower them with brute force!

During the battle, Drift realizes Egress is quite tricky, as his team - Porygon, Castform, and Rotom - all change type frequently! However, certain moves they use are dead giveaways, so Drift is able to emerge victorious!

Egress congratulates her on the victory, and presents her with the Circuit Badge, and the TM for Volt Switch - and a Pokeball! Egress privately brings Drift aside, and explains she wants Drift to bring a Castform of her own on her journey, to record her observations and help Egress Corp. if she would. Drift is honored by the request, and is happy to welcome the shy Castform to her group!

Afterwards, Drift heads down to the ashen ruins of the Oceatt Underground, and presents her Badge for entry. Though tour groups are guided into the Oceatt Underground, the Badge allows a Trainer to head off the tour trail, and look into the buildings themselves... while snooping around, Drift finds a room in an abandoned apartment building with documents in surprisingly good condition, and a map of the Underground. Believing it to be a map leading to treasure, since it marks a bank, Drift follows the documents to the bank vault... and sees a modern vault door installed here, one that is maintained to this day, suspiciously...
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While trying to get into the vault at the bank, it opens of its own accord! Hiding, Drift watches as a mysterious Eevee races out of the vault, running towards an apothecary nearby - and two researchers wearing gasmasks chase after it! The Eevee screeches in fear, and Drift immediately leaps into action.

In the dark and shadowy apothecary, Drift sneaks and takes down the two researchers, then rescues the Eevee. With her trademark ability to quickly gain the trust of Pokemon, Drift convinces the Eevee to come with her... but is then blindsided by an explosion that destroys the wall of the apothecary!

A Mawile leaps into the fray, and snatches Eevee in its jaws, then races back to the bank!

Giving chase, Drift staggers through the vault doors before they close - and realizes she's in a secret underground laboratory! All around her, Pokemon are being experimented on illegally, given disturbing type-changes. Behind glass, a fire-type Spritzee, an ice-type Koffing, and more all look to Drift, desperate to be saved.

And across the central room, overlooking all of these prison cells... the Mawile delivers the Eevee into the clutches of... Katal!
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Katal reveals that she has been kidnapping Pokemon - such as this Eevee - and trying to unravel the secrets of type-metamorphosis! Drift, outraged, attacks Katal to take back Eevee! Katal is a powerful trainer, but her Mawile and Muk quickly fall to Drift's attacks, despite Katal fighting dirty with a Wonder Launcher. In the end, Drift is struggling to beat her Gulpin, whose defenses are extraordinary due to its Eviolite. Wearing down Drift's team with Toxic, Katal then has Gulpin evolve mid-battle into Swalot to finish Drift's team, but Drift seizes the weakened defenses to strike, finishing Katal off!

The police arrive, and Katal is arrested for her unethical and illegal torturous experimentation on Pokemon... Professor Cayley, horrified that such a monster was her very own assistant, pledges to help relocate the hurt Pokemon, returning them to their original owners. Drift says goodbye to Eevee, delivering the Pokemon to Cayley's care until her original owners are found...

However, no answers were found in the Oceatt Underground about what happened 40 years ago... so Drift continues her journey, this time heading through the mountains.

So, at this point, I'm gonna go a bit more 'broad strokes' just because I don't remember much of the details - sorry!

Basically, while traveling, Drift bumps into Logan more and continues to trounce him in battle each time. For example, while in Oceatt City they both investigate reports of a powerful Fire-type Pokemon in an abandoned gasworks facility, discovering that it's a temperamental Larvesta that got washed away there in a flood, and now rules the local Pokemon in the factory with an iron fist. Working together to beat it, Drift concedes the catch to Logan, and gets more of an understanding of his training style in the process. He's strict and always pushes his Pokemon, but he does so out of a sense of mutual respect. Even Zulu, his Zubat, works hard to prove himself to Logan!
a person stands on their leg, a people stand on their land.
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Ah, another important event... while in Oceatt, after the gym battle, Drift goes to visit Cayley's labs in the Pokemon League Tower to see how she's doing after Katal's arrest. While heading up the elevator, the tower is attacked by Hunters! Drift escapes her elevator to stop the Hunters from poaching any Pokemon, but instead finds of their Terrible Trio - Leland, the hacker-Hunter - ransacking the League's server rooms for unknown reasons. Fighting him and his Staraptor and Gengar back, Drift almost has him on the ropes with Rita and George (her Curious Flaaffy she saved from a Joltik infestation).

However, just as she's about to catch him... the windows on the skyscraper shatter inwards, and two Voltorbs roll into the hallway and explode! Sent flying back, Drift shakily stands back up as she witnesses Grimnir, the leader of the Hunters, arrive to personally rescue Leland. He floats in through the windows, his mysterious power armor deflecting her Pokemon's attacks, then commands his Voltorbs to Explode.

The two Explosions destroy the floor, the servers, and knock out Drift in one fell swoop. She awakes later in the hospital, with Madrone and Cayley happy to see her awake. Drift now has suspicions that the Hunters are looking into whatever happened 40 years ago, trying to find the Pokemon that caused it... they've previously pursued legends and myths before, so why not now?

After recovering with Rita - both sipping lemonade, their favorite drink, in a cute hospital bed chat - the two then depart, newly determined, towards Conquerette Town. This small town at the peak of Mt. Coalshan is home to the Peak Badge, and Rochelle, its Gym Leader, researches the Three Sisters - Mt. Coalshan, Mt. Selenes, and Mt. Hailier. Traveling through the foggy marshes that separate Oceatt City and Skyhome Town, Drift has a small Christmas special session where she saves a Delibird from a gang of browbeaten Murkrow struggling to appease a Honchkrow!
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Climbing Mt. Coalshan is difficult, as the mountain is surrounded by an oppressive heat, the climb arid and dry and craggy. She has a few adventures on the way up - like stopping a feuding Cubone and Pupitar, who were carrying on the battles that killed their parents, and getting lost in an intricate Durant anthill built into the mountainside.

At the top, just before the summit of Mt. Coalshan, is Conquerette Town. A settlement of pioneers and frontiersmen, Rochelle is the new Gym Leader, having been passed the title by her father before her. She travels across the mountain range of Cascoma, studying each mountain and its unique weather patterns. Currently, Rochelle is preparing for a festival in Conquerette Town celebrating the imminent eruption of Old Steady, the calmest Camerupt in the world, who's about to erupt on-schedule (every decade).

Drift meets up with Rochelle, and discusses Mt. Selenes's eruption 40 year ago. Rochelle notes that the eruption of Mt. Selenes was unusually sudden, further reinforcing Drift's suspicions that someone caused the eruption for unfathomable reasons... and that the Hunters tried to sabotage the Sealed Chamber because it was connected to the eruption that destroyed the Windust and reset Cascoma centuries ago.

Venturing up Mt. Coalshan to see Old Steady, the two are stopped by the mysterious eco-terrorist - who introduces himself as Coquin. His Absol lands besides him, and he delivers a dire warning:

The legendary Pokemon of Cascoma, he explains, are stirring in their slumber, as the League repeats the mistakes that nearly doomed them 40 years ago. He's determined to prevent the extinction of another people, the devastation of Cascoma's life, even if it means destroying this town. He reveals to Drift and Rochelle that he holds a piece of what he calls the Red Orb, which is capable of controlling the legendary Pokemon within the crater. He demonstrates its power, stirring Groudon in its sleep, causing a minor quake!
Desperate, Drift does the only thing she can think of - challenges Coquin to a battle! While fighting him, Drift tries to explain that she also wants to stop the Hunters from reviving Groudon and Kyogre, and that Coquin doesn't have to destroy towns, people's livelihoods, in order to stop them. Coquin explains that he does have to, as this is a war - the other pieces of the Red Orb and Blue Orb are in the hands of the enemy, and if they find out where Kyogre and Groudon are, it's over.

The battle is tough! Coquin's team - Mamoswine, Yanmega, Sigilyph, Braviary, Bouffalant, and Absol - are terrifyingly powerful, but Drift is able to fight them back with the help of her team, by virtue of her special connection with her Pokemon... in the end, Coquin falls, but the Red Shard reacts poorly with Groudon. It stirs in its slumber in the crater, revealing to Drift that the legendary Pokemon truly is real, as she sees its blue markings glowing through the lava...

Coquin concedes defeat, and admits that he doesn't want to do what he's had to do. He wants to save Cascoma, and did so in the way of his people - the Windust Tribe. As the last survivor of Cascoma's "wardens", he was trying to wage a war... but now he sees that it might be too late, and that there might be too many forces at work in Cascoma. Rising up again, he acknowledges that Drift understands what's at stake, and agrees to ask her for help if he needs it - and promises to find a more peaceful way to stop people from discovering Groudon and Kyogre, and to keep them sealed in slumber.

Drift, shaken by the realization that the legends are real, and that Kyogre and Groudon caused the floods, earthquakes, and eruptions 40 years ago... has also been given her biggest lead yet. Nobody intended to cause the eruption 40 years ago. Instead, they were trying to control Groudon, just like Coquin was, and failed.
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Before Coquin goes, he explains he has the help of an 'ally', and will talk to this 'ally' about whether Drift can be included in their mission. He then leaves Drift to return to her quest...

Now, I just realized I forgot to mention a few important things, my apologies:

1.) When Drift received Castform, she also received a Porygon. Both were a part of a deal with Egress to include Pokedex entries on his Pokemon.

2.) Porygon is known to the public, but Castform is still a confidential trade secret, still in the works. Nobody saw Egress give Drift Castform, and she's never really mentioned it to anyone else.

So, when Drift decides to head south towards Centry City - to talk about the events 40 years ago with Fatima, the Gym Leader of Centry City and the billionaire founder of the Cascoma region - our hero is surprised when she's ambushed on Route 30, "Range's End", by KATAL of all people, accompanied by more mad scientist goons!

Katal explains that she was able to break free from her imprisonment in Mytikas City thanks to the help of her 'superiors', and followed Drift here to capture Castform for her experiments. A heated battle ensues, but with an even more viciously upgraded Wonder Launcher, Katal is able to wipe the floor with Drift... and Drift's Castform is kidnapped, while Drift watches helpless, unable to save it!

Desperate, Drift changes her quest entirely. Turning away from Cascoma, she now pursues every lead she can to find Katal's secret laboratory, somewhere in the Cascoma region!

Bumping into Logan on the way south - as he's heading to the Safari Zone in Grovid City. She doesn't trust Logan enough to confide in him she's searching for Castform, but does surreptitiously get the lead to look into the LIPO Facility - an experimental laboratory south of Centry City that researches the energy that powers Pokemon moves. The surrounding area has recently had Charjabug go missing...
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While in Grovid City, Drift and Logan fight off another one of the Terrible Trio of Hunters, Diana, at the Safari Zone. She was attempting to poach the rare Pokemon brought there from around the world, using her (highly illegal) strategy of using way more than the legal limit of 6 Houndours. Drift also learns that Psyducks have been going missing from the lakes in Latawata City...

Bonding over the fight, but still unable to trust Logan enough, Drift splits up to investigate the LIPO Facility. Using her connections with Cayley and Madrone, she talks to a friendly researcher - Lumen, an ambitious scientist who thinks very little of the LIPO Facility's chances of finding anything, but is just waiting to get a project of his own - and learns that they also have no idea where the Charjabug are going.

Snooping around the LIPO Facility's grounds and the desert surrounding, Drift stumbles across a secret entrance... and finds a vast underground laboratory once more, but far larger than the one in the Oceatt Underground. Breaking into the lab, Drift quickly realizes that it's researching energy, just like the LIPO Facility... but it's researching how to draw energy from Pokemon. In this case, using Charjabugs to power their machinery, and inducing controlled migraines in Psyducks in order to harness their telekinetic power. Horrified, Drift tries to sabotage the place... but is attacked by Lumen!

Lumen reveals that this is the project he's been waiting for, something that'll really make him famous. He grew tired of siphoning power from the LIPO Facility 'upstairs', so he kidnapped these Charjabugs to do so. The Psyducks, though... that's orders from above.

Fighting Drift, she realizes that his Luxray, Noivern, Rhyperior, and Beheeyem all specialize in devastatingly powerful moves with charge and recharge times... but by hooking them up to cables in the facility, he's able to allow them to attack again instantly, at the cost of their HP!
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Defeating Lumen, Logan arrives with the Pokemon Rangers, revealing he suspected something was up based on her questions. Lumen and his cohorts are captured, and the labs cleared out... but not before Drift gets a lead from the laboratory.

You see, while she was prowling around, she saw what the Psyduck's lab was trying to do... which involved manipulating... traincars, of some sort, depicted on a monitor. This means that there's another facility near a railroad track, likely away from prying eyes.

Talking with Logan, the two put it together that this facility is near Route 13, the "Forgotten Railroad", by Verson Town. Verson Town has the unique feature of having lots of version-exclusive Pokemon in close proximity. :)

Verson Town is also home to the Pokeball Factory, headed by Henrietta, an ex-Egress Corp. worker who quit after she lost her arm in an accident developing artificial Pokemon. Afterwards, she decided to pursue a replacement for artificial Pokemon entirely - the creation of advanced machinery that can do the job of Pokemon, letting Pokemon relax instead of become tools.

While visiting Verson Town with Logan, the Pokeball Factory is attacked by the Hunters! Drift and Logan work together to stop Leland and the third of the Terrible Trio - Orion, a Hunter who fights Pokemon himself, relying on his Pokemon only as support and to distract Rangers and police and the like! My player freaked out when she realized that Orion was fighting her Pokemon himself... and WINNING!
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Though they're able to stop Leland and Orion from stealing anything, Drift begins to suspect that these attacks are distractions, following her from place to place as she investigates these secret laboratories. Which means that the enemy is somehow able to track her movements...

She immediately replaces all of her Pokeballs - thankfully, she's by the Pokeball Factory, after all - and then (with Logan this time) hunts for another mad science laboratory.

Following the railroad, the two find a large set of metal doors which the tracks disappear to. Working together to pry them open, they infiltrate yet another mad scientist facility... this time, dedicated to producing mysterious sets of armor consisting of plates, electrodes, and headsets... Logan notes that they can fit multiple shapes of Pokemon, but all of them are built for large Pokemon.

On the factory floor, they're stopped by Henrietta, who explains that they simply don't understand what they're fighting - that what they're fighting is the future. That infinite energy is possible, if Groudon and Kyogre can be caught... but that requires powerful Pokemon that can defeat them. Politely asking Drift and Logan to allow her to demonstrate, Henrietta sends out a Magnezone, and releases a berserk Gyarados, a frenzied Machamp without a belt, and enraged Pangoro. The Magnezone manipulates the armor into attaching onto the three berserk Pokemon, and commands them to attack! With the suits controlling their actions, the three Pokemon are forced to battle Drift and Logan's teams!
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Defeating Henrietta by working together and using the factory to their advantage, they force Henrietta to let them into the depths of the facility, and explain what's going on.

She reveals the existence of a secret, dark side to the scientists of the League - what they call the Gathering. The scientists each grew frustrated with the restrictions on experimentation that the League imposed in Cascoma. When they discovered Groudon and Kyogre existed and could provide infinite geothermal energy, they had a novel idea.... if they could be captured, then that energy could be harvested. The two Pokemon would suffer, maybe, in solitary confinement... but there would be no need to struggle over energy, ever again. With infinite energy could come infinite resources... infinite happiness. What's the worry over a few Pokemon suffering to achieve such a utopia? We accept testing on Pokemon for products as useless as perfume or shampoo.

Shaken, Drift and Logan both disagree. Drift says to Henrietta that infinite happiness is already possible, if only we worked alongside Pokemon, rather than exploiting and using them... Logan, not quite as optimistic, just thinks that the price isn't worth it, and that it'd be impossible to capture Groudon and Kyogre, even with Pokemon as strong as the ones Henrietta used. Henrietta wryly smiles , as she opens the second half of the facility... and reveals that they plan to make -stronger- Pokemon.

Here, they find research on what is called the 'Berserk Gene', and they find Castform being pumped with it, alongside being forced into deadly atmosphere conditions to provoke greater power. Katal, watching the experiments, turns to find the treacherous Henrietta leading the two in! Another battle with Katal results in Castform being freed - as Drift's mysterious ability to befriend Pokemon helps its break through its berserk rage and fight against Katal - and Katal is forced to run away as the facility explodes around them...
Drift, Logan, and Henrietta also escape, in the nick of time. Henrietta lastly explains that the Gathering -hired- the Hunters, using them to capture the Pokemon needed for their secret experiments. Henrietta also reveals that the Gathering's final base and their leader remain a secret... but refuses to reveal that much, with a wink.

Now Drift sees why Coquin didn't trust the League... they've been infiltrated by these rogue researchers, willing to do anything to achieve infinite energy, believing that any price is worth it. With Castform recovered, Drift and Logan try to figure out what to do next... which likely involves stopping Groudon and Kyogre.

Receiving a call from Professor Cayley, she asks the two to come to her laboratory in Oceatt City. Flying there on Logan's Drampa he just caught, she greets them, then introduces them to a friend... Coquin!

Coquin reveals that Professor Cayley was his mysterious ally. Decades ago, before the eruption of Mt. Selenes, Professor Cayley and the other founders of the Cascoma region stopped Coquin's father - who was not afraid to take lives. But when Groudon nearly awoke and destroyed Oceatt City - and horribly burnt Professor Cayley - she realized the truth that Coquin's father spoke of. When he was old enough to take up his father's legacy, she reached out to him, and provided him the funding and tools necessary to protect the secret of Kyogre and Groudon. But as they grow closer to awakening - as the Hunters and the Gathering grow closer to finding them - Cayley knows that secrecy isn't worth it any more, and she has to trust Drift and Logan to help stop the enemy.

Coquin reveals that his people were nearly able to create a third orb - the Jade Orb.
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The Windust Tribe crafted the Red Orb and Blue Orb in two locations - the Kyogre Temple and the Groudon Temple, on opposite sides of the region - and the Jade Orb was destined to be crafted in a lost tower, somewhere in the center of the region. The Red Orb was thought to control Groudon, and the Blue Orb Kyogre... and the Jade Orb, Rayquaza.

If they can't stop the enemy from controlling Groudon and Kyogre, what they -can- do is control Rayquaza by constructing the Jade Orb. But this requires finding the lost tower... and the directions, Coquin knows, are only able to be assembled by visiting both the Kyogre Temple and the Groudon Temple.

Logan agrees to fight the Hunters and delay them as best he can, while Coquin and Drift both seek out the Temples and find clues to the construction of the Red Orb and Blue Orb, since the process was lost to time.

So, more adventures, yay! They traveled around the region. The Kyogre Temple turned out to be up north, near Dayfry Harbor, so Drift was also able to fulfill her promise to Kelsey and challenge her to a Gym Battle, in order to go diving for the Kyogre Temple. This Temple turned out to be in an underwater cave system beneath islands nearby, protected by huge Clamperl and Skrelp. While looking for this temple, they also found the Semmra Ruins - a flooded settlement near Latawata City filled with Dratini, which had another Sealed Chamber talking of the creation of the Orbs and with clues to the location of the tower.

To the south, they found the Groudon Temple near the Petrified Forest of Route 44. This Temple was guarded by a group of Unown who handed out clues to the many traps, which were maintained by a mischievous Spiritomb. Conquering the Spiritomb, Drift managed to befriend it as well, promising it plenty of fun pranks on their journey - and having it join her team!

Each of these chambers and temples had different perspectives of the Tower...
Bah, I realize now that I forgot an important "side quest". My apologies.

While trying to find the Groudon Temple in the south, Drift also looked into the Fodferus Mines, where Sofia - the head miner - was butting heads with Ginny - a paleontologist researching the fossils in that area of the desert. Ginny, it turns out, had just found what she was calling the 'apex predator' fossil... and was excited to test her new machine that revivified fossilized tissue on it.

Of course, things went wrong when the Gathering attacked her laboratory to steal the machine and the fossil! Drift was able o fight them off - having been in the area to try to resolve the dispute in order to investigate the fossils - and the show went on. Gathering all of the region's foremost scientists - including Cayley, Madrone, and others - they watched as Ginny prepared to revivify ancient flesh before their eyes...

But the Pokemon that appeared from the machine was feral and monstrous. Instantly, the power surge destroyed the lights, and a horror movie began! The mysterious fossil brutally forced its way towards the exits, trying to escape. Drift attempted to stop it, but her team was powerless before its incredible ferocity and might. However, GRIMNIR appeared! Taking it down in a heated battle with his Garchomp and his Mightyena, he was able to capture it and escape by leaving Exploding Voltorbs in his wake...
Alright, back to the present... again, my apologies...

The different Temples and chambers each look at the tower from a different perspective. Together, it revealed the tower was built into the side of a narrow canyon with a river running along the bottom of it. Logan knew exactly where this would be, and lead Drift and Coquin to it - revealing the Embedded Tower of Cascoma! With the river submerging the bottom third of the tower, the canyon walls swallowing up the middle, and the top open to the sky, it was truly balanced between the legendary trio...

But the Hunters and the Gathering - working together publically for the first time - had assembled there first to destroy it!

Working together to fight the Terrible Trio, they were able to defeat them - and then Drift had a rematch with Katal while Logan and Coquin fought off hordes of mooks. The battle took place across all three levels, moving between them as the situation called for. The bottom level was flooded with rushing rapids and damp air - the middle level dry, feverishly hot - and the top level filled with sand swept by winds, with keening whistles coming through the holes carven into the ceiling.

Though our heroes were able to fight the amassed forces of the Hunters and the Gathering's few elite left... it all came crumbling down when Grimnir showed up personally. Even with the three of them fighting him at once, Grimnir swept them one by one... then revealed his ace in the hole, Genesect! With Logan and Coquin defeated, Drift was left alone to face him... and though she put up a great fight, Grimnir was still able to destroy the Embedded Tower, and left Drift to wash away in the river.

Waking up on the shore, with recollections of the day she was saved from the ocean - of the mysterious spritely Pokemon that pulled her from shipwreck - Drift realized she was stranded in the middle of Cascoma's arid region.

(Nearing the climax!)
Fending for herself in the wilderness, Drift made her way back to Rivine Town. On the way, she realized that the enemy had known of their plans to reach the Embedded Tower... and put it together that PORYGON was likely the 'mole'. Interrogating it, her suspicions were confirmed. Reuniting with Logan and Coquin, they flew back to Cayley's and dropped off the Porygon to be fixed, and then discussed their plans on what to do since they couldn't make the Jade Orb... they decided on finding the Gathering's last base, and stopping them before they could reach Groudon and Kyogre, who had disappeared from Mt. Coalshan and the seabed of Route 2.

This lead to some more investigation, where they stumbled upon some other plots, got some more Gym Badges, and also began some training! They found that a researcher at Olflax College had her teleportation project sabotaged by the Gathering... which shunted the school's laboratory building into another dimension. Breaking into the lab after dark, Drift ended up discovering an alternate dimension of twisted space and time. Trapped in a twisted and broken form of the college-building where gravity was all wrong, she managed to break free of it... but found herself in a vast void. All around her, Abras, Natus, and Ralts would blink in and out of existence, and flocks of Unown flew like migratory birds. In the distance, she saw vast yawning portals that revealed hordes of these Pokemon hooked up to electrodes, in Gathering laboratories... and down in the depths of the dimension, she saw Groudon and Kyogre slumbering, stirring restlessly.

Returning to her dimension with the help of a Dusknoir (that she, at first, thought was trying to eat her), Drift explained to the other heroes that Groudon and Kyogre were in another dimension as well as this one... which explains why they were able to exist in multiple regions, multiple mythologies, at once. And that the Gathering seemed to be trying to break into this dimension!
Working with Scotlyn - the researcher who developed the teleportation technology- the team devised a means of detecting when the Gathering broke into the other dimension, and punching a portal of their own that would 'piggyback' on the coordinates, dumping them out at the same spot. There, they'd be able to stop the Gathering from controlling Groudon and Kyogre, and take back the Red Orb and Blue Orb - which they'd have on them.

In the mean time, they gathered allies, resources, and trained. Logan and Drift contacted the Gym Leaders they could trust, and assembled a team to fight the Gathering in the other dimension. Drift suspected Egress - given that he'd provided her with the Porygon - so she didn't inform him of their plans, just where to meet. Then, the three heroes decided they needed to get stronger to prepare for the final fight.

Coquin took them to Grove Town, a small village unrecognized by the League near Gargrant Falls and Rivine Town. There, the three met Altimo, a Pokemon sage who was capable of teaching 'mastery moves' to Pokemon and their trainers. The three studied underneath him in harsh lessons... and then Drift and Rita waded into the Grotto of Trials, in the Grove of Ancient Trees, to earn the final lesson.

Here, Drift learned Rita's entire backstory for the first time - that she was afraid of evolving, because her trainer had pushed her to evolve when she wasn't comfortable changing... but she was also afraid of letting Drift down by being too weak in her basic stage. Drift vowed to always love Rita for who she was, and that her strength of spirit was all that mattered... and they emerged from the Grotto ready to learn 'Frenzy Vine'. With Rita being but a Basic Pokemon, the move was extremely difficult to control... but Drift's mysterious ability to soothe the hearts of Pokemon let her do so.

Logan's Metagross and Coquin's Absol also learned their own 'mastery moves', too - just type-shifted to Steel and Dark, of course.
Having attained the mastery moves, and gathered the Gym Leaders, the heroes were ready when the Gathering finally struck! However, they didn't realize how obvious it'd be when the Gathering struck - a huge whirlpool opened up in the Preciserene Ocean, the result of a dimensional portal appearing beneath the water!

In their base - hidden in the desert of southern Cascoma - the heroes activated their 'piggyback portal'! Drift, Logan, and Coquin, alongside the Gym Leaders of Cascoma, all stepped through the portal into the "Pokedimension"!

The dimension, as hinted at earlier, takes on the properties of wherever the portals come from... so now, with the Gathering having appeared from the sea, and the heroes from the desert, the place was two polar opposites. Far overhead, a raging sea of waterspouts and whirlpools spewed frothing spritz... and far below, a sandstorm raged, with desiccated trees rising up like spears of bone. Between the two extremes, the Gathering's battleship-sized submarine soared through the dimension's void with psychic energy surrounding it - the end product of the Psyduck experiment.

And in the distance... Groudon and Kyogre were waking up.

With the unusual gravity, the heroes were able to race up the bone-dry trees towards the battleship, then use their flying Pokemon to assault it! Hunters and Gathering goons kept the Gym Leaders at bay, but Drift, Logan, and Coquin were able to reach the battleship... where Grimnir emerged, ready to face them.
Grimnir snapped a finger, and their mask was derezzed into voxels.... then fluidly peeled away into the head of a Porygon-Z... revealing Professor Cayley!

The heroes' resolve was shaken! The entire team had trusted Cayley with all of their strategies... that's how they kept getting beaten to the punch!

Professor Cayley revealed that 40 years ago, her dream of infinite energy had began. Back then, she'd focused entirely on Groudon... she developed a "dubious upgrade'" for her beloved Porygon, that would enable them to travel into other dimensions... and following it, she tried to control Groudon with an artificial device she'd invented.

It failed. Groudon raged, the volcano erupted, her region was destroyed... she killed her assistant... and when Porygon Z jettisoned her from the dimension, it got scrambled in the process, and left behind her other Pokemon.

This wasn't just about infinite energy anymore. It was about justifying all that she'd lost in that moment. If she gave up now, her Pokemon she had to leave behind... her assistant Kent... everything she'd destroyed... would be for nothing. But if she achieved infinite energy - utopia - then all of those mistakes would be washed away, all well worth it in comparison. Those shadows of the past would dissolve in the light of the bright future.

Drift... understood. She felt for her. But she couldn't let Professor Cayley do this.

Cayley unveiled the two Orbs - the Red Orb now completed thanks to Coquin's shard - and simultaneously took control of Groudon and Kyogre! Convinced that if she controlled both, the powers would cancel out! Her body surged with energy.

Desperate, the heroes began to attack the orbs - to try to destroy them before she could bring Groudon and Kyogre within range of capture! But Cayley was just present enough to be able to issue commands to her Pokemon! Her Porygon-Z, her Genesect, and the rest of her team fought to defend Cayley's limp floating body!
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(To elaborate on the Porygon-Z reveal - Porygon-Z's moveset was dedicated to Conversions and Sharpens in order to be able to form itself into a power armor. Kinda bullshit but it's really cool, so who cares!?)

The battle was hard-fought, and the team was struggling against not just Cayley's Pokemon, but the goons and mooks... but then the Elite Four arrived! I skipped over the Elite Four, but basically Drift had met all of them previously, of course, and most were good friends who had wanted to tell her they were secretly Elite Four, but couldn't. (I'll tell a story about one of them.) Finally, the Champion arrived - Lauren, the quizzing traveling teacher that Drift had met at all the museums!

Now, the heroes could focus on taking down Cayley! Logan and Coquin split up to dismantle the ship's propulsion, and Drift focused on bringing down Porygon-Z and Genesect! In the end, the two were brought down in double-edged attacks as Drift's own Pokemon went down, leaving Rita and Drift alone against Cayley. Rita used Frenzy Plant to crush the orbs in Cayley's hands... causing Groudon and Kyogre to be freed. Drift, Logan, and Coquin struggled to get them to turn back and return to their slumber... but that they did.

The ship stopped, and began to crumble... the Gym Leaders and Elite Four worked to take Hunters and Gathering scientists back through the portals... but at the last second, Cayley fell into the void!

Desperate, Drift leapt into the abyss to save her! Rita launched a vine to grab Drift, but she wasn't able to hold her, and they both fell trying to save Cayley! As they tumbled into the infinite void, time and space compressed... and when they opened their eyes, they found five Pokeballs floating in the air around them, with a river of pink energy bubbles thrumming below.

Cayley's old team, preserved in time and space. Of course, now they were stranded... but suddenly, a tear in space opened up, and everyone fell back into the real world...?
>This was the first of many times that I made my player cry

For real?
Lol, for real. Well, the Inkay moment more made her tear up then cry. She'd been with that Inkay for a while out-of-universe, and it was absolutely petrified of trainers. It really touched her that it chose her over its family, because Drift had proven herself a good person.

The Jafoal Town session also made her tear up, when she saw everyone sacrificing themselves to protect the tree and their kids, and realized she couldn't save anyone, but could only watch.

The Cubone / Pupitar backstory was another tearjerker, Cubone was absolutely devastated about its mother's death and was basically on a suicide mission trying to avenge it by fighting the son of the Tyranitar that killed his mom.

She also teared up a bit when Cayley revealed her tragic backstory. The actual dialogue was a lot more emotional and Cayley was really clearly a broken person about it.

The vast majority of the tearjerker moments have been in our second campaign though, a Star Wars Force & Destiny campaign.
>Yeah, I hope I'm not giving too much detail.

No! No no no this is good! I like it.

I wasn't saying I wanted less detail. I was looking forward to reading this before sleep tonight.
And now that I am it's lovely.
Back in the 'normal' dimension, Drift hurriedly searched for Logan and Coquin to make sure they were okay. Cayley was arrested by the Elite Four, with the rest of the goons processed as well... and the Champion sincerely thanked our three heroes for saving not just all of Cascoma, but possibly the entire world. Coquin was promised a pardon for his crimes in the past - Logan's Zulu the Golbat finally evolved into a Crobat, proving he was ready to receive a Pokedex - and Drift was ready to hunt for the "sprite-like Pokemon made of water" that had saved her life... lastly, the three were invited to partake in the upcoming tournament to determine the Champion of the Cascoma region, as Lauren was ready to relinquish her temporary hold on the title...

So, that's where the main story ended, and the post-game began. Drift, Logan, and Coquin went on some other adventures after that, including discovering the secrets of Mega Evolution by visiting Kalos and learning from a young Gurkinn; searching for the Manaphy that had saved Drift's life, by finding the lost city of Samiya; and investigating the appearance of 'foreign' Pokemon in Cascoma.

This last plot hook is the biggest one; after the showdown involving lots of dimensional portals, I had my excuse to introduce new Pokemon (such as Pokemon from S/M, which came out late in our campaign) to the Cascoma region, alongside just adding more Pokemon in general to encourage Drift to visit previous routes again. In addition, I had a mysterious evil corporation who bought Lumen out of prison as a consultant on parole, and I have neutral InterPol agents "Stud" and "Stunner" investigating the dimensional portals - one of them is a Faller, and they fear that Ultra Beasts have invaded the Cascoma region. (Which they have.)

However, we took a break on the boat trip back from Samiya, to start up our SW F&D campaign. We agreed we want to return to Pokemon someday... maybe when the next version of PTU comes out!
I'm glad you're enjoying it!

This was my first extended campaign I've ever done, the only one I've ever had really reach a satisfying 'conclusion' (even though we kept going, ha!) It was also the first time I planned (out of necessity, given the system), and now I'm ADDICTED to planning. For Cascoma, I had

It was a real blast. PTU may have a lot of flaws and kinks to work out - and I hope the next edition does so - but it's still a great system at its core, and tabletop Pokemon really is amazing.

I also think PTU is really one of the best duet RPGs out there, simply because of the fact my player had so many NPCs that just felt natural coming along with her - her team! Bold Rita, Cheese the Stuck-Up Milotic, George the Curious Ampharos, Cotton the Cowardly Altaria, Pedro the Heroic Venipede (who's a Bug/Dragon!)... it was a shame that I couldn't talk more about their shenanigans and how fun it was to play them as characters. Getting Mega stones for them was always great.

Oh, by the way, Rita herself actually got a Mega Stone, in a sense... it let her temporarily become a Meganium! That worked out way too perfectly to not do, haha!

Anyone have any questions? I know I didn't introduce all of the Gym Leaders or the Elite Four, so I'd be happy to do that if people want to hear about them.
>After recovering with Rita

Who is Rita?
Her Chikorita. :)
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Yeah, sorry, I realize that for a Pokemon storytime I probably should have included the Pokemon more, heh... It was just getting so long and I was worried that nobody would read if it I went into autistic levels of detail.
How does Henrietta's outfit work?

The white parts all seem to float or hold themselves at impossible angles.
Uh..... magnets?

Ha, I actually always assumed the coat was hanging by her forearms, but I just noticed that yeah, it'd be falling off her other arm, wouldn't it?
She's basically wearing a slinky sleeveless brown dress, high heels, collar/bangles on her flesh limbs, earrings, hairpin, and a VR headset.

Then the floating bits consisting of a cape and sleeves.

She either cosplays hardcore or she one of those makers who also craft their own bizzare and provocative outfits.
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How much of the plot did you have planned out in advance and how much of it did you work out as the game progressed?
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Great question. For a Pokemon campaign, I knew I wanted to be able to reference other cities, Gym Leaders, etc. to make it feel alive and like a real region, I wanted a history to the region, and I wanted a few antagonistic parties.

I first began by figuring out what theme I wanted for my region. Just like how Hoenn was "Abundant Relations", Sinnoh was "Myths and Mysteries", Unova was "One Variety", Kalos was "Beauty", etc...

I designed my region to emphasize "Incredible Diversity", because it was based on my home of Washington state, which I always said to my player would be an excellent choice for a Pokemon region, as it really has it all: temperate rainforest, glacier, volcano, desert, beaches, cities, farms, it's got so much diversity in just a single state. And it has a lot of notable, world-famous locations and landmarks, like the Space Needle, Microsoft, etc.

This informed a lot of my design choices. For example, it's why I didn't stick to types for the Gym Leaders or Elite Four; I wanted to emphasize 'diversity'. It's why I brought back the concept of two villainous teams (Hunters and the Gathering). I included Pokemon from every generation on every route as much as possible, and I tried to make sure routes had a lot of type variety too, even in the early game. Each 'archetype' (early game rodent, early game bird, early game bug) could appear in different places, so every place could theoretically be the beginning of its own Pokemon journey.

I also decided upon the theme of "science and nature" relatively early on, when I decided I wanted to set the story in the past (since I prefer Pokemon when it's mostly rural and small towns, but there's still crazy science in a few places; like Kanto and Johto) I liked the idea of a region being 'settled again' by the League, which would invite a lot of interesting discussions on how to do it right, or whether to do it at all.
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I was also really inspired by the original concept art for Capsule Monsters, pic related.

So, I planned out all the major cities, all the major routes, based off of real world locations. I did a LOT of research for that, and actually discovered a lot of cool places I intend to visit IRL someday. I also brainstormed the Gym Leaders based off of professions - I actually did that in an old thread on /tg/, you might be able to find it! - and I used the 'science and nature' theme to inform the two enemy teams: the Hunters represented 'natural enemies', poachers who respected their quarry in their own twisted way.. and the Gathering represented 'scientific enemies', scientists disregard Pokemon as tools and pawns.

I came up with the Terrible Trio of Hunters - Leland, Orion, and Diana - and the Admins of the Gathering - Lumen, Katal, and Henrietta - based off of some explorations of their premise, and using their names as inspiration. (The Terrors are gods, the Admins are scientific units.) For Grimnir/Cayley, I liked the idea of a Pokemon Professor who turned out to be evil, and I also was inspired by the Pokedex entry for Porygon-Z. I also threw in Coquin as an "N" type character, as I really liked that wrinkle in B/W's plot, and I intentionally planned him to be redeemable.

So, yeah, I planned out the broad strokes of the plot - the enemy groups, the major antagonists, their goals. I didn't plan as much detail of their plots, though. For example, I didn't intend Coquin to really become a party member like he did... I didn't come up with the Groudon and Kyogre Temples or the Jade Orb plot until later... the details of Cayley's plan, I came up with as the game went on... and all the post-game stuff, I didn't have any of that planned at all.

I had an inkling of an idea about the Pokedimension, inspired by the GSC Chapter of the manga, but it really expanded a lot in play to become a bigger deal than I anticipated.
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PTU really demands a lot of planning, though. I'm lucky that I ended up being almost addicted to it, ha. I have a Google Doc full of character descriptions with their teams and biographies, a list of routes with the Pokemon that appear on that route and a brief description and a link to a Google Sheet with their stats, multiple playlists I curate (Routes, Cities, Trainer Battles, Wild Battles, Boss Battles, etc.) for playing during a session, etc.

The plot did change a lot, though. It was only by virtue of having quite broad strokes for the plot that it seemed 'planned'. The whole kidnapped Castform arc, for example, that was relatively spur of the moment. I also expected a bit more adventuring after the Halloween session, I didn't expect my player to immediately get gung-ho about vengeance, she'd been so reluctant to do much more than research. (She was new to RPGs, and has gotten much better about motivations.)

The best part, for me, was easily planning all the routes and the teams. It was really fun thinking up interesting obstacles for routes, making sure each route felt unique and different, and picking out what Pokemon would feel best. Each route has one or more Pokemon that only appear on that route, and a few Pokemon that it shares with neighboring routes. They also always have at least one feature that is recognizable and memorable. My goal was for my player to be able to remember each route, even if it was just "that route with the canyon and Durants". I think that worked out well.

That's why I was really happy when I got the excuse to seed the region with S/M Pokemon and more. :)
>>>57313257 #

>The battle was hard-fought, and the team was strgglng against not just Cayley's Pokemon, but the goons and mooks... but then the Elite Four arrived! I skipped over the Elite Four, but bsclly Drift had met all of them previously, of course, and most were good frnds who had wanted to tell her they were secretly Elite 4, but couldn't. (I'll tell a story about one of them.) Finally, the Cham arrived - Lauren, the quizn trvln techr that Drift had met at all the muss!

>Now, the heroes could focus on taking down Cayley! Logn and Coquin split up to dintle the ship's prn, and Drift focused on bringing down Porygon-Z and Gect! In the end, the two were brought down in double-edged attacks as Drift's own Pokemon down, leaving Rita and Drift alone against Cayley. Rita used Frenzy Plant to crush the orbs in Cayley's hands... causing Groudon and Kyogre to be freed. back and return to their slumber... but that they did.

>The ship stopped, and began to crumble... the Gym Leaders and Elite Four worked to take Hunters and Gathering scientists back through the portals... but at the last second, Cayley fell into the void!

>Desperate, Drift leapt into the abyss to save her! Rita launched a vine to grab Drift, but she wasn't able to hold her, and they both fell trying to save Cayley! As they tumbled into the infinite void, time and space compressed... and when they opened their eyes, they found five Pokeballs floating in the air around them, with a river of pink energy bubbles thrumming below.

>Cayley's old team, preserved in time and space. Of course, now they were stranded... but suddenly, a tear in space opened up, and everyone fell back into the real world...?

I demand more detail on these scenes. It's the battle and immediate aftermath the end of the main plot line.

The Halloween session had a lot more detail than this. It seems like the End of the main plot should be as detailed as the retelling of the session that introduced the main plot.
Ha, true. My apologies, I was getting sloppy from having written so much, and from the captchas getting so annoying.

(Also what the heck happened to your quoted text?)

Alright, let's start from the top... when the heroes and the Gym Leaders entered the dimensional portal, with the 'reality bomb' Scotlyn made tearing the hole to piggyback on the teleportation of Cayley's base.

The two infinite planes of sand and sea, above and below, stretching off into the horizon - the waterspouts and desiccated trees, reaching for each other - and between them, Cayley's battleship, hurtling towards Kyogre and Groudon!

Immediately, the heroes had to take stock of their situation and figure out what to do. Gym Leaders with flying Pokemon hurriedly gathered Gym Leaders without, and worked together to spread out and fight the Hunters. Drift had Cotton the Altaria, Logan his Metagross, and Coquin his Braviary, Sigilyph, Yanmega... so they were all ready too.

We had some legit dogfights in the first part! It was absolutely an epic set piece, with the waterspouts and trees making for great obstacles. The waterspouts could swallow Pokemon while also serving as surfaces for swimming Pokemon to use (if they passed a skill check). The trees, likewise, were surfaces for landbound Pokemon, but were incredibly fragile - an attack that hit a tree splintered it into the equivalent of Spikes!

Our heroes had to fight through swarms of Gathering scientists and Hunters to reach Cayley's ship, but with the help of the Gym Leaders, were able to do so.

Once they breached the perimeter, I gave Drift the option of how to handle it - to sabotage the ship from within, attack the engines, or try to reach the bridge and take down Grimnir. Eager to get revenge and finally defeat Grimnir, she chose the latter. Logan and Coquin followed her, deciding they'd increase their chances by sticking together.
(Sorry for the wait, I tried to find our Skype logs to transcribe this better but I couldn't. My memory is always a bit fuzzy for the really dramatic fights.)

As our heroes reached the nose of the ship, ready to bash their way in, they discovered they didn't have to - Grimnir emerged from the hatch, staring them down.

"This ends here," Grimnir said, and then snapped a finger. As described earlier, Cayley's face was revealed... and she looked almost regretful, but determined.

"Cayley!?" The heroes reacted, stunned! Drift especially... she'd trusted Cayley wholly, always gone to her for advice. After Katal was arrested, Professor Cayley had even offered Drift a position as her assistant when she was done with the Pokedex, and Drift was still considering it.

Cayley nods, solemnly.

"Henrietta told you much, I'm aware. About our dream... a future where there is no want. Where nobody starves, nobody freezes, where lights always shine and the Pokemon are always safe. Forests untouched, waters unpolluted, skies unclouded..." Cayley shakes her head, troubled. "It's worth the price, Drift. It must be... It has to be!"

Drift began to put things together. Her burns... Kent's death...

"If I don't do this, Drift, then it was all for nothing! We're on the cusp of it here, Drift!" Cayley withdraws the Orbs, carefully holding them with gauntlets, preventing the skin contact that would link her mind with Kyogre and Groudon. "You would stop me now? When we're on the precipice of a great tomorrow? You would make my four decades of suffering and pain, all for naught? You won't even give me the chance to make things right?"

"You'll only make things worse!" Coquin roars back. "You know what will happen! My people tried what you are about to, for the same reasons, I'm sure!"

"They didn't!" Cayley denies it. "Science and lore, are both on my side! With the control armor... with Genesect... I can tame Groudon and Kyogre, where your people failed!"
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Pocketing the orbs again, Cayley looked to Drift, desperately.

"If you stop me now, Kent will have died for nothing. I tried this before, Drift... I... My Porygon, you can see it's broken... malfunctioning..." Shaking her head, shaken herself, Cayley struggled to explain, as the battle rages on around them. "I modified Porygon, with a... dubious... upgrade. To allow him to venture not just into space, but into another dimension. Here, I found Groudon slumbering... in my hubris, I tried to take control of him, with Coquin's father's artifact... and I failed, yes. I destroyed Oceatt. I killed Kent, and many more. And when Porygon Z overloaded himself to allow me to escape... the attempt corrupted his data... and he wasn't able to bring my Pokemon with me."

Drift looked on, understanding fully how invested Cayley was in the success of this project now. As she said... it would all be for naught.

"If you stop me here, you make their lives worth nothing," Cayley said, coldly. "You trusted me once. Trust me still! Trust that I can do this! I know this price isn't worth it, Drift, I know! But I've already paid that price, and I'm going to get something for their lives!!"

Drift shook her head, tears running down her face. "I can't, Cayley. I can't."

Cayley reeled back, as if slapped, then nodded, the emotion draining from her face. "Then you'e forced my hand."

Porygon-Z peeled himself from her body, and she sent out Garchomp and Mightyena, her two strongest Pokemon... Tossing the gauntlets aside, she then withdrew the two Orbs before anyone could stop her!

The battle truly began!

Oh boy oh boy!
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(Just attaching random pics because why not.)

So, for this battle, lots of interesting effects could occur. Both the waterspouts and the trees were within range of the fight and usable for some advantages or could come up as obstacles on poor rolls. The ship would try to pitch the heroes off of it by twisting back and forth, bring trees and waterspouts into contact... and all the while, Groudon and Kyogre were approaching. Every round, they would alternate using a powerful attack, while Mightyena and Garchomp lead the charge. Genesect came out eventually as well - once one of them went down.

Some memorable tactics were Logan's Lapras using Ice Bream to freeze the water spouts, Coquin's Absol slashing trees and his Tangrowth wielding them as clubs, and Drift riding on her Scolipede Pedro's back, commanding Rita to use Frenzy Plant in order to line up foes to trample them underfoot with Steamroller.

Likewise, Cayley's Pokemon - though not quite commanded - had some interesting tricks up their sleeve. Genesect's Drives all had interesting interactions with the surroundings, like setting the bone-dry trees aflame, or electrifying the waterspouts.

As the battle raged on, they realized time was running thin, but so too were Cayley's Pokemon. When the Elite Four arrived and started clearing out hordes of Hunters and Gathering scientists, the tides turned... Logan and Coquin seized the opening to go to destroy the engines of the ship, thus slowing the march towards Groudon and Kyogre. This left Drift alone to face Genesect and Porygon-Z! I don't quite remember the specifics of the fights, unfortunately, but I do remember panels from the ship being torn up, with Rita batting them away with her vines, and Drift's Milotic Cheese attacking from the waterspouts, jumping between them to always hit from a good angle.

As the fight went on, Cayley struggled to maintain control of Groudon and Kyogre, as well...
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Thanks for asking for more detail, I am remembering a lot more dramatic stuff.

So, Cayley was definitely failing to control the legendaries. But what troubled Drift a lot - even after the fight - was that she wasn't sure if Cayley was only failing because she was struggling to fight Drift's team at the same time. If she hadn't been fought... could her plan have worked?

Drift struggled to keep her morale and spirit up while thinking about this. Even if that was true, it was too late now. Cayley was stubbornly holding onto the two Pokemon, and with her control slipping, all she was doing was aggravating them... inspiring them to inflict harsh destruction unseen since the Windust tribe.

Genesect and Porygon-Z fell to Drift's last two Pokemon - Rita and Pedro (Bug/Dragon, remember) her most faithful duo - and Cayley was left without Pokemon. Destroying the orbs with Frenzy Plant, Groudon and Kyogre were freed. I also forgot to mention that Drift had to actually -convince- them to turn back and return to their slumber, but that she did. (Her Charm was through the roof!)

However, as the ship began to collapse from Groudon and Kyogre's final tantrum, and the Elite Four and Gym Leaders were focused on rescuing others... Cayley fell into the abyss behind Drift while she was focused on getting Groudon and Kyogre to turn back. Discovering Cayley tumbling away, Drift had to choose whether to save her... someone she did once love and trust... but also someone who had nearly destroyed Cascoma twice... but also... someone she could almost understand why she did that.

She leapt after her, calling for Rita to hold on - and though Rita tried, she failed this vital roll, and the three tumbled into the void together.

Cayley was barely conscious at this point. Drift, knowing she wasn't anchored, instead tried to find another way to escape - perhaps using her Altaria, Cotton, to fly back up. She grabbed onto Cayley, but then felt the sensation of space-time compress...
From what seemed like an incredible distance, five Pokeballs appeared first as specks, then rushed towards them - not moving, but instead just... the distance between them, and Drift and Cayley and Rita, being... shortened. It was like they were falling into a funnel, the walls coming closer more than the Pokeballs were.

Looking at these old hand-cranked Pokeballs, Drift realized from the initials etched on them that they were Cayley's original Pokemon team... from when she was Drift's age. That they hadn't died, for time had been so compressed in the depths of this dimension, that for them it was just 5 minutes or so... (We'd previously established the compressive effects of this dimension; the team had contemplated detonating a reality bomb at one point in order to train for a lot longer, a la the Mirage Island part of the R/S/E chapter of the manga! I don't remember if they went through with this plan or not.)

However, things weren't looking good... as space and time were brought narrower and narrower, Drift realized she couldn't even retrieve Altaria from her ball. She was nearly crushed before suddenly, it was like the funnel was broken in half by a rending in space... and she poured from its side into reality, crumpling to the ground of the Cascoma desert with Cayley landing next to her, and the Pokeballs clattering all around. Rita plopped onto Drift's head soon after, to Drift's great relief.

Whatever had saved them, had done so for inscrutable reasons. Likely another legendary, residing in the dimension between appearances in the real world...

And this is where the ending continues off, I suppose. I can't think of much else of note for the actual ending. A reunion with her friends - extremely grateful to be alive - and a tearful goodbye to Cayley, as she was taken away by the authorities. Cayley's Pokemon, for what it's worth, were sent to other Trainers to be fostered in a sense... but Cayley is allowed visitations in jail.
Again, it's quite late, I've written a lot today, and honestly my memory's always been terrible and so I usually only remember the broad strokes of my plot. My apologies if I'm still missing the level of detail that you'd prefer.

I'm really glad that at least one person has been enjoying this storytime. It's really great reminiscing over this adventure. I wish I could really convey it in all of the detail and glory that it was in the moment...
>The two infinite planes of sand and sea, above and below, stretching off into the horizon

Was that intentionally invoking the artwork from the windust chamber or was is that coincidence?
>Thanks for asking for more detail, I am remembering a lot more dramatic stuff.

I notice the same thing happens to me when players ir GMs from old games ask me to tell them about things that happened that they we're fuzzy on.

Retelling it to them both helps me remember details and helps them remember details I forgot or was never previously aware of.
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If I remember correctly, total coincidence!

My player was the one who suggested where to put the heroes' reality bomb - which happened to be in the middle of the desert, for tactical reasons. I'm pretty sure I had previously planned Cayley's secret base to be a submarine, so it worked out 100% perfectly just by total fluke, haha.

I totally ran with it though, and designed the entire extended fight scene around the waterspouts, sandstorms, dead trees, etc.
Sleep well.
>for tactical reasons

It is hard to sneak up on a compound in a flat desert since there is nowhere to hide as you approach.
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Aw, thanks. :) Not heading to bed just yet, just getting tired enough to write like shit, but not tired enough to sleep, you know?

Exactly my player's thoughts. Flat open ground, nearby no cities or settlements. It was way, way off-route, so no random Trainers would be stumbling across them.
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So was Cayley suicidal and/or losing touch with reality when she fell off the ship, or just too exhausted to stand?
She just gave up, yeah. So, a combination of being too tired to try to stay aboard the ship, and being resigned and thinking she could never atone for what she's done now that she'd failed.
So when did she first invent the persona of Grimnir?

Did she found the hunters or did Grimnir take over an existing criminal organization and reorganize them into what she needed them to be?
Oh, great question, that was definitely a part I forgot to go over, heh.

Cayley-as-Grimnir founded the Hunters, yeah. The purpose was manifold. She had an initial investment in the organization - from her private wealth and some embezzling - but then basically organized poacher goons into an army, giving them jobs and taking a cut of the funds in order to finance the Gathering. Some of that money also went to paying the Three Terrors.

The goons in Cascoma were almost entirely distractions, though sometimes they were used for numbers on important missions. The real important jobs, though, were always given to the Three Terrors.

For example, the assault on the Pokeball Factory was to develop a 'Pokeball jamming device' for the fight in the Embedded Tower, which would prevent trainers from sending out more Pokemon. It ended up not working out so well - since all the heroes had at least one Pokemon they had out with them most of the time - which explains why I completely forgot about it in the storytime, lol. It was an interesting limitation for the first few rounds of combat, though, before they found and destroyed the machine.

But yeah, the Hunters were considered a serious threat by the League and InterPol. Poachers had never been organized in such a manner before, and Grimnir was extremely wanted. Cayley rarely found it necessary to actually act as Grimnir though, until Drift started meddling in Cascoma.
How crippled was She by the burns she had sustained and how much did her porygon-Z power armor help with that when she was disguised as Grimnir? (I'm guessing she didn't wear it when pretending to be "herself")
How do you work out the neutritional value of cooking and eating a given Pokémon? Does it vary?
She wasn't disabled at all by the burns except superficially.

the chracter art you posted for he didn't show any burns from what little of her was visible, so that combined with her using power armor when acting as Grimnir, or when wading into battle undisguised in the final made wonder what the nature and extent of her injuries were.
Yeah, totally understandable. The pictures are mostly baseline references, I unfortunately couldn't find a picture online of an older half-burnt woman in a labcoat, so I just went with something close but not quite right.

So, her burns covered the right half of her body, give or take. She was a bit weaker on her right side and her senses were numbed there, if not gone entirely... but she still could walk, fight, etc. Normally.

However, as Cayley she avoided doing much physical exertion or Pokemon training, so plenty of people assumed she was more crippled than she was in actuality.

If I had money beyond a college students income, I'd totally have gotten commissions of some of the team and the most important characters. Alas.
did you write your notes or type them?

>Specific pokemon encounters were generated on the spot, thanks to PanoramicPanda's P.T.U. Tools. If you're running a PTU game, google that, it will save your life.

Oh yeah, I used PanoramicPanda's tools as well. TOTAL life-saver, absolutely incredible stuff.
There wasn't too much thought put into it, besides imagining how big the goldeen physically was and how much it could probably feed. I ended up going with "two small meals" for the sake of convenience since there were two players, but who knows, maybe the campaign could have gone full Dungeon Meshi if it continued?

It was mostly written on paper, but the majority of those notes ended up unused because of how early the campaign ended. There were a few drawn maps of some of the towns, and a writeup of all eight gym leaders as well as important NPCs in the region. A lot of the notes were descriptions for various places in the world to discover or legends for the players to investigate; Circo ended up being much more of a wilderness-ruled land than it originally was in concept. I'd like to run it again, some day.

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