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12:00 AM
@NautArch For the rarity thing, I could say, with the Rarity Meteor Swarm comes up in games, why not just let it destroy the planet? It's a bit of a cop out answer, that doesn't really solve the issue. Alternatively, I could say, with how rarely it comes up, what's the harm in just not allowing it?
That tweet is interesting, but seems to line up with "You're not all there" when you're in a Trance.
(Also sorry about the sudden spam, just catching up after commute / dinner)
hey there @Randomorph
Hello @Shalvenay
how're things going?
Pretty good, yourself?
doing alright, although rather slowly these days, no games
12:05 AM
Ahh that's a shame. No one local? Have you tried checking on something like roll20?
@Randomorph my local games are on hiatus, although I might stroll down to the FLGS in the near future and see what's up over there. I haven't really tried the LFG thing on roll20 either, ever...not sure how that'd work out for me, either
(I actually have a bunch of pent-up GMing I want to get done, but it's a matter of organizing players)
@Shalvenay never done the FLGS thing myself. LFG on roll20 has been hit or miss. Got one awesome gaming group I've had the last year and a half or so off of there, but also had a few less good experiences. Overall, I'd still recommend it, with the stipulation of being very choosey and not putting up with toxic behaviour.
@Shalvenay posting a campaign as a GM on roll20 you could have a hundred applications by Monday.
@Randomorph yeah -- I've had hit or miss experiences myself with gaming groups. part of the issue with all my pent-up GMing is it's a lot of short-form stuff and one mini-campaign that I have yet to playtest at all, nothing full-campaign-scale
@Randomorph I'm also...not that adept at figuring out fits quickly if you will, and also have been known to play some rather peculiar chars
(last FLGS game, which was broken up by DM schedule changes much to everyone's chagrin, had me playing a Gnoll monk/priestess of St. Cuthbert in a bounty-board style AD&D campaign)
@Shalvenay "figuring out fits quickly" Do you mean meshing with a party? Or something else?
@Randomorph meshing with a group, yeah
12:13 AM
Also nothing wrong with peculiar characters. I think campaigns just need a good session zero, that outlines that the party needs to be cohesive
(there are some questions as to if I truly mesh with really any group out there)
Also if you want playtesters, roll20 is a good source as well
@Shalvenay I think we all feel a bit like that sometimes
@Randomorph yeah, I want to test my stuff on somewhat-known-quantities before I unleash it on strangers, too :)
@Randomorph yeah, I generally don't have too many party cohesion problems. if anything, I'll drive party objectives harder than some other players might want
@Shalvenay I meant running a session openly as a playtest. Let them know you're just doing a trial run and looking for feedback.
yeah -- that would be what I'd do, but my mini-campaign isn't quite ready for that I reckon :)
(my experience is that us folks here on the Stack are far more in tune with the sort of meta-analysis needed for good playtesting than RPers at large are)
12:21 AM
That's pretty fair. GMs in general are also better at feedback than serial players IME as well
may I ask what your background/experience re: RPGs is?
I started off with way too much freeform before working my way through various D&D editions and poking at Fate a bit before washing up on these shores
where I picked up DW and a few other systems, honed my DMing skills a fair bit on short-form stuff in D&D 5e mostly,
D&D 5E mostly. Also played some Dark Heresy (2E) and Paranoia. I've researched a fair amount of systems too, but that's the ones I've actually played.
all editions of D&D save for 3e straight and 4e (although I tried 4e)
4e looked interesting, but I understand the issues some people had with it. 3e was a glorious train wreck, as far as I can tell lol
DW, a bit of classic Traveller, a bit of Fate, a session of Do: PoTFT, one or two other systems I can't recall offhand
12:28 AM
I recognize the others, but what's Do: PoTFT?
@Randomorph Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. ask @BESW about it sometime
(I still want to try GURPS and Burning Wheel, but haven't gotten the chance to do so)
@Randomorph Link
Oh boy that looks Zany lol
It's a diceless GMless RPG about teenagers who fly between tiny worlds trying to help people with their problems, and trying to decide where they want to spend their lives.
@Shalvenay GURPs feels a bit much for me personally. Burning Wheel looks quite intriguing though. My DM was considering running it eventually, to try it out.
12:33 AM
On each turn you may help people, or get in trouble, or both. When you help people, you write a sentence describing it. When you get in trouble, everyone else collaborates to write that sentence. At the end of the session you have a physical document describing the story.
@BESW So it's a bit like Mad Libs of TTRPGs?
In that the group is writing things down to create an artifact of play, yes.
@Randomorph yeah. I have a campaign concept (logistics/survival heavy) that I think BW would be a good fit for
Everything I know about Burning Wheel I learned from Mouseguard.
@Shalvenay ooh neat. That sounds fun. I feel a lot of people throw away logistics in games, which kind of takes away from certain aspects of the game for me. Also Verisimilitude when the Barbarian has 3 Great Axes, 25 Javelins, and is still carrying the Halfling and all their gear too.
12:37 AM
...also that one of the greatest masterers-of-complex-systems I've ever known got a headache from it.
@Randomorph yeah -- what I'm doing is going away from the classical formulations though -- want to do something centered around disaster relief and recovery
@BESW yeah BW looks like it has a very different take on things compared to a lot of RPGs. It also appeared to have a lot of different resources to track.
This guy was deep in Ars Magica, En Garde!, 4e, etc.
@Randomorph -- it's not the worst headscratcher I have campaign-wise though (I'm just waiting for a chance to learn/play the system)
One I've been interested in playtesting is Open Legend
12:47 AM
...I wanna learn how to hack the Solar System for more games in the vein of Lady Blackbird.
But then, I'm also trying to learn how to hack the horror out of Cthulhu Confidential.
@BESW oooor we could just play more Lady Blackbird
@trogdor If I could make LB as easy to set up a new game in as Fate is, it'd be in the running for Favorite Default System.
Mm it does seem hard to set up
Only reason we get it off the ground is premade characters
Glorious premade characters
@Randomorph I don't mind carrying capacity that much because I don't push it very hard at-the-table -- then again, I like having campaign chars that can live off the land to at least some degree anyway
@BESW It would definitely be nice if the system they used was easier to hack into
1:00 AM
@Randomorph although speaking of carrying halflings -- just wait until yours is on Driderback ;) (I have a currently-stalled 3.5e game where I'm a hin druidess and one of the partymates is a celestial drider monk. ceiling-drider is fun ;)
hey there @KumosAgosta
1:18 AM
hey there @nitsua60
I finally got around to changing my profile picture on this site... Even though it's not picking up for chat
@KumosAgosta it might take a few hours for it to do so
I change mine a lot and often it takes about 1 or 2 hours to change
Sometimes more sometimes less but the point being it should take eventually
Ah, makes sense.. I guess just pretend there's an image of classy headcrab reading the paper while drinking some exquisite tea by my name for the time being.
1:36 AM
@SPavel We're told it's almost entirely caught and handled automatically, but an aware user will notice it much quicker than the automated scripts.
hey there @nitsua60
@SPavel That sounds a lot like you're co-opting JC as your GM.
@Shalvenay hiya
@nitsua60 how're things going?
Just trying to unwind/decompress a bit here. Spent six hours in the car today--my mom's in the ICU. (Recovering well.)
@nitsua60 ah
1:44 AM
But, as always, the things to be grateful for are all there: she's in the care of advanced medical services, my dad's mobile and there for her, they're not going to go bankrupt and end up on the streets because of a medical emergency, my wife makes it easy for me to pop away for eight hours with little notice, and an unprecedented (in this area) act of God has given me the week off of work. It's practically Pangloss over here!
I'm still trying to sort out a bunch of connector issues here. managed to get one licked, but now I have a bunch of other things to think about
hey as well @MikeQ
Hey @Shalvenay, always nice to hear from you. What's new?
@MikeQ got to take my pastoralist Orcs for a whirl, and want to give them another whirl with a suitable test subject :)
@nitsua60 No, he would not be the DM, the DM would decide whether or not to ping Crawford
Crawford would be the DMG
also, trying to help a player with backstory writers block
(on their second D&D char ever)
and wrote up a mini-campaign (prob. will run it in D&D 5e. L1-4, bit more conventional than my previous campaign concepts, designed for a party of 3 tho)
1:57 AM
@Shalvenay What is that, a campaign about herding cattle?
@MikeQ nah. it's a take on Orcs as a NPC race that I've been playing with as of late
want to try them with someone who's steeped in old-school D&D as kind of a test-of-reactions
I think I'm confused. What sort of reaction are you expecting?
@MikeQ well, I want to see how much auto-hostility I get from the PC side vs. more curiosity or acceptance
Ah, okay. I like to do that too - mix up the character races, abandon the traditional race-role-alignment assumptions
2:12 AM
@MikeQ aye. that's one of the things in the mini-campaign for that matter :) taking some inspiration from the Hobgoblin Devastator NPC in Volo's and mixing it with my own spin on things
So a level 1-4 party, versus how many hobgoblin devastators?
@MikeQ the answer's actually 0 :P but to go further is spoilers
Fair enough. I too avoid spoilers here, on the near-impossible chance that any of my players can see the chat.
hey there @SoraTamashii
Hey Sha! :D
2:22 AM
how're things going?
Working on a side-homebrew (Pokemon). Got pointed out something MAJOR that I overlooked. Attempting to remedy the issue now.
@SoraTamashii Are you trying to run a Pokemon game in DnD 5e?
Mike Q, yup. But I want the satisfaction of making it myself as opposed to using already existing PkMn homebrews. It's not that I didn't realize there was a decent PkMn TTRPG already out there or anything... b-baka!
@SoraTamashii heheh. got a mini-campaign of sorts worked up for D&D 5e. I take it things are still quite busy on your end btw?
@mxyzplk, I will not argue nor complain about your decision on the matter. I think, at this point, it may be the best answer.
2:31 AM
In the systems I've researched, the player power is split between the trainer role and their various pokemon, which is more like the video games. But from your question it sounds like you want players to have DnD class mechanics and also have a pokemon follower?
Sha, yeah. But, I will try to free up a space to play a campaign. I just don't get session-length free times often enough right now. Today is my first in a long time, and even then... housework... (hisses violently)
@SoraTamashii nods
@SoraTamashii do keep in mind that since this is online play, I can work with things in chunks -- you don't need to free up a full 4h session's worth of time, somewhere around 2h-a-"session" is workable for getting through things in a pinch
Mike Q, my idea is to allow a player to still be an adventurer. Pokemon will be essentially summonable monsters you have fight alongside/for you. I want the homebrew to have the flexibility for a campaign to be as much like the world of Pokemon as possible or D&D but with Pokemon in it alongside the monsters... Whatever level of involvement the DM wants from the module. Hence why I am so focused on making sure everything is balanced.
@SoraTamashii All I can think about is a PC ripping off his shirt, shouting "this Pokeball throwing technique has been passed down the Armstrong family for generations!" and attempting to suplex a Pidgey.
@SPavel YES! I'm not the only one! :D
2:43 AM
Of all the summoning/minion classes, the only balanced one is probably Fiendbinder from Tome of Magic
Because it doesn't let you multiply action economy
@SoraTamashii Hm, in that case, I'd point to KRyan's answer. There's no reason to do the 1-100 leveling scale if you're implementing it in 5e's system.
Just do some qwic maffs
Level 1 is now level 5, level 2 is now level 10, etc
The tricky part is for mapping pokemon abilities/attacks/HMs/TMs into spells, and trying to balance what is essentially a spellcaster companion...
@MikeQ More like a Warlock
(which I guess is more of a caster in 5e, idk)
@SPavel yeah, the 5e Warlock is implemented as a variant caster class basically
2:55 AM
There is an issue in trying to oversimplify Pokemon's level system directly into 5e's. For one, evolution gets messed up. For example, Caterpie would evolve into a Metapod immediately. Into a Butterfree at Level 2. Compare this to Charmander evolving into Charmeleon at Lv. 3. If we made it so Caterpie doesn't become Metapod until Level 2, that then evolves into Butterfree at Level 3 implying equity to Charmeleon... who would easily destroy it at equal levels. Plus the narrative detail in
In the supplementary material of Pokemon, PP does not exist so daily use is no biggie wiggie
Caterpie would become Metapod at level 2 since level 1 is too soon
Pokemon lore that the earlier a Pokemon evolves, the weaker it is... meaning Charmeleon are supposed to be equal to Butterfree in this case... It creates issues in that regard.
@SoraTamashii What if you designed it such that there is a minimum level difference between evolutions/abilities gained?
Mike Q... Go on?
@SoraTamashii The other thing is that some Pokemon have much faster level curves than others
2:59 AM
SPavel, I actually was accounting for that. I was also accounting for the fact trainers tend not to keep the same team throughout their journey... Of course, in an RPG, that detail might change as players become attached to their Pokemon. Haha
@SoraTamashii What do you do when DMs level PCs by fiat?
As is very common.
Because calculating XP is tedious.
Ah, Milestone leveling... I love doing that. Well, just as it is with players, Pokemon leveling would be done appropriately based on the narrative, with evolution being based on appropriate narrative markers. I was actually going to start working on the milestone evolution system next anyways, haha. :)
One other thing you can do is dissociate Pokemon level from PC level
I know XP calc is tedious. That's why I like giving multiple options to get to the same outcome on things. Let the people decide what they'd rather do.
SPavel, clarify your exact meaning please?
The Fiendbinder prestige class in 3.5's Tome of Magic spends gold on precious materials to summon demons
Perhaps trainers must pony up cash to boost their pogeymans
3:04 AM
@SoraTamashii Well, basically you set minimum level gaps between consecutive forms. So if a pokemon would reach a level where the Nintendo-to-Wizards math says it would evolve twice, then evolve it once, and delay the evolution to the next valid level.
Then you can write your custom 1-100 XP curves for the monsters
Oh! Wasn't there something in 4e that was similar?
@SoraTamashii in 4e you could learn ritual casting that often needed a component that costed such and such
Mike, that was what the second set of Level-error explanation was. I'd basically have to remap all 800+ Pokemon evolution levels at that point because the Bug Pokemon, in particular, royally mess that up due to Pokemon's narrative lore on evolution. I mean I could do that. I could probably right an algorithm to do most of it for me even... But it would still be tedious comparing all 800+ to keep things consistent
Honestly, there's plenty of Pokemon lore that has nothing to do with levels
Not once did Misty tell Ash "I see your Pikachu is now level 71, nice job"
3:08 AM
Not sure exactly how it compares to a specific 3 or 5 ritual casting ability though
^^ Agreed with SPavel. I strongly suggest focusing on the narrative/story/flavor and not at all on the mechanics.
@trogdor maybe that's what I was thinking of? I dunno. Been too long since I touched 4e. It's like a different lifetime to me.
In Pokemon Go, levels go up to 40, or 80 depending on how you count
and are unrelated to evolution
@SoraTamashii And if you think that will be a headache, even once you figure out the level-evolution problem, you will need to figure out how to translate pokemon abilities mechanics into DND spell mechanics.
@SoraTamashii closest thing I can think of in comparison
3:10 AM
Well, the "a little bit of damage" moves are easy
Poison is just DOT, sleep exists
Confusion exists
Last time with 4e wasn't exactly yesterday for me either
Sure @SPavel but apparently there are around 1000 different "moves"... I suppose you could simply say "pick the spell with the most similar effect"
SPavel, levels are largely ignored in the anime because it follows different rules (in many cases for the better, despite vg and manga elitests claim). As for Go, that's a whole different can of worms... When you're sending Pokemon to the slaughterhouse to evolve others... I'd prefer narrative evolution, like the anime does.
Mike, Abilities would be more like Traits than Spells. If you mean attacks, I actually already started that. The hard part on that is factoring for damage... Pokemon types and 5e damage types are about as compatible as Pokemon and Digimon types...
@SPavel Except pokemon Confusion and DND Confusion are very different. It's fairly commonplace for a low-level psychic pokemon to attack using the Confusion move, but having characters cast Confusion level 1 is where you start dealing with the balance mess.
@SoraTamashii Right, I was mixing up terminology. I meant "Moves".
@MikeQ No no
Like "he hurt himself in his confusion"
The move is crap garbage and nobody wants it
40 base power, who came up with that
@SoraTamashii So just use those rules
Problem solved
3:17 AM
Mike, fair enough on the confusion. lol. Anyhow, I get your point, and I've already seen that issue. As for Pokemon Conditions and D&D conditions. They can be integrated, but when you get to "conditions" that aren't actually conditions like D&D Confusion... things get messy. Trust me, Levels were the easiest of the problems. I'd rather get the fundamentals down first. Haha
SPavel, Hold on, chat is sort of deviating down the same off-topic as answers on my question were. The question I had was "Would this sub-Level system work without breaking 5e?" Not "Do Pokemon and D&D meld together easily?" I already know the answer to the latter is "no". The easiest way of melding them is to take a narrative-first approach and not think too hard about the mechanics... But I'm wanting to also get a grasp on making TTRPG mechanics so I have the experience for making future games
@SoraTamashii When it comes to making up one's own system, experience helps. What systems are you familiar with (other than 5E)?
(Actual games, not just Homebrews.) I can't get a grasp on making mechanics if I just shrug everything off as "the DM decides everything."
Playing? None. DM-ing, 4E, 5E, and I dabbled in Hero System a ways back (around the same time as 4E), but I don't remember the edition. Probably HS6E, if I were to guess.
@SoraTamashii The thing is, there's a world of difference between coming up with mechanics and forcing them onto a concept. If you want to practice making TTRPG mechanics, do that. As much as lots of people do it, forcing D&D mechanics onto concepts they're unsuited for is actually much harder than writing mechanics from scratch.
@Miniman for the record, I agree
hey there @Penanghill, welcome to the RPG.SE lair :)
3:32 AM
Thanks @Shalvenay
@trogdor As a side note, lately I've been learning a lot about crocodiles, for RPG-related reasons. And, yanno, I knew crocodiles were really cool. But damn, crocodiles are so friggin cool.
@SoraTamashii -- have you considered trying a few systems from well outside the D&D milieu? that might be of aid in your mashup here
Miniman, I agree. Making a mechanic on its own is easy. I found that out when doing small homebrews for campaigns. But I want to be able to form mechanics around ideas just as easily as ideas around mechanics. This is why I'm not trying to cram Pokemon into the normal D&D levels. I made a Sub-System mechanic for it. But instead of addressing if the mechanic is functional and would be able to still work in 5E's system, people kept ignoring it to talk about, often times, things with little
relation to the mechanic, such as KRyan who went on about a whole slew of things that had nothing to do with anything I said.
Miniman, I agree, Izzy. Crocodiles are quite cool. :P
@Miniman lol, what makes you say that? What thing about them is blowing you away ATM?
Sha, I have considered. I want to familiarize myself with Warhammer and Pathfinder. I also have a few manuals for other games that I bought. I can list these games I have if you want.
Trog, be real now... There are plenty of things about Crocs that are amazing. When they sit on riverbanks, jaws wide open, they're very much like dogs panting... it serves the same purpose!
3:40 AM
@SoraTamashii I ask mainly to know which specific thing
I already know some few things about them, but I don't know what caught @Miniman 's attention about them
Fair enough. lol
@trogdor Bar?
@SoraTamashii I think they were trying to treat this like the XY Problem, which is really common on the stackexchange sites, and shows up a lot on RPG.SE with "How do I <insert complicated scenario here>" questions.
@quadratic-wizard That said, your answer, in conjunction with Matt's was a lot of help. I do appreciate the help you gave even if it was in part off-topic. The parts that were on topic still did help me out.
3:52 AM
@SoraTamashii Alternatively, instead of dividing everything by 5 (i.e., from the 1-100 scale into the 1-20 progression), you can do the reverse (i.e., from the 1-20 scale into the 1-100 progression), and Pokemon have their own individual leveling track that is separate from a normal PC's track.
Actually, that's harder to do in D&D 5e than it seems.
@MikeQ Well, that's stupid. pouts I meant what I said and said what I meant. The scenario presented was simple: Will this idea, if implemented, cause big issues with the 5e's game system? If so, where is the issue and how can I fix it? I wasn't asking for complicated analysis on Pokemon's stat system mechanics. It's a different medium! I wasn't asking for people to tell me that I need to use CR. I know monsters use CR... I need Pokemon to also resemble aspects of PCs, hence the question...
In order for 100 levels to mean anything, you have to give something at each of those 100 levels. But since D&D uses such small numbers (e.g. you may go several levels before getting even an additional +1 to attack), there aren't enough things to give at each of 100 levels.
I just wish more people would have actually, you know, read the question and answered accordingly. The two people who actually helped the most seemed to miss what I was asking halfway, but on different sides of the question, resulting in, from combining their answers, me getting an idea of what I was wanting to know... After tossing out half of each of their answers... :/
Oh, speak of the devil and he will appear. Hey Quad!
@QuadraticWizard Yes, that is correct. But it would preserve the gradient/granularity of how Pokemon advance in the game, in terms of gaining evolutions and moves.
@SoraTamashii A frame challenge is a fair answer, if explained well. If the problem is "How do I do X?" then it is entirely valid to say "Don't do X at all, because ____".
3:56 AM
Mike, okay, that sounds scary. It does make logical sense, don't get me wrong... but having to crank EVERYTHING up that high? That idea made my heart stop for a second.
Sure. Some years back I did a little work on a Pokemon conversion of D&D 3e, though I never completed it. My idea was to condense 100 levels down to 20, and just round everything down. However, you lose the exactness of such-and-such a Pokemon learns such-and-such a move at level 17, or evolves at exactly level 16, and so on
but I think KRyan's point has merit, that if you adapt Pokemon to D&D, you have to be willing to abandon its mechanics, because Pokemon was designed for a video game RPG and the numbers work very differently in a JRPG than a tabletop game
Quadratic Wizard, I actually do partially agree with that part of your answer despite how I made it seem. I didn't mention it in the comments of your answer, to avoid actually making it a discussion, but I was originally planning on capping the Levels at 50, but got scared off by the juxtaposition of the L20 PC Level system and the L50 PkMn Level system. It just felt wrong in doing so because of how awkwardly levels would go up in comparison to one another.
In fifth edition D&D, you gain maybe one thing at each of 20 levels, plus some hit points. It's not possible to divide one of those levels into five parts.
Quad, I disagree with KRyan. A lot. He was right that you have to adapt, not translate. No duh. Humans aren't computers. But he was also assuming everything about what I was doing ignoring what I actually said and just saying I was doing a bunch of BS I wasn't. He p***ed me off.
(Censoring myself because I don't know SE's policy on swearing)
That's why I was referring to the Pokemon Levels as "Sub-Levels". The idea was for them to grow at about the same rate as their trainers (with some variance). I even say exactly this: "while still confining a Pokemon's stat growth to something similar to the 5e system as if their Levels were [Pokemon Level]/5, to maintain balance."
The impression I get is that a Pokemon level is worth one-fifth of a PC level, both in terms of XP requirements and power.
4:07 AM
@SoraTamashii Their explanation is a bit roundabout, and seems to assume that you're new to tabletop games. But the point is valid. DnD's mechanics and the Pokemon video games mechanics were designed to be completely different things, and you can't merge them while fully preserving both. Inevitably, you will need to make significant compromises, or try a different approach (which is what their answer suggests).
Quadratic: "its proficiencies and gradual stat increases approximately resemble its equivalent 5e level (in this case, "16/5": round down to "3", even if .5 or more)" I did notice earlier in the example there was a contradiction that may have made things a little confusing, so I edited that. I must have been thinking faster than I was typing on that part. Still, irrelevant seeing as nobody was talking about that part of the question. lol
The problem is that in D&D 5e, where a PC gets one or two things when they level up, there's no way to divide that five ways.
Mike, I know you can't merge. How many times do I have to say: No duh. You have to adapt the vg into the rpg. Anyone with half a brain would know that. It's so common sense it doesn't need said. So why is it people keep telling me this when I keep saying I'm not trying to force the two together? I'm just trying to get the parts that can fit to fit and I am willing to rework everything else. If it turns out I need to rework the parts that did fit so it melds nicely, so be it. But I'm not some
It seems as though the purpose of adapting D&D 5e to a 100-level system, instead of adapting Pokemon to a 20-level system, is to preserve the Pokemon figures, so that, say, Pikachu learns Thunder Wave at exactly level 18
idiot who doesn't know basic principals of game design. Adapt to the medium. Not once did I mention a need for a complex algorithm in my original post, did I? If I did, please, tell me and I'll flagellate myself accordingly!
4:17 AM
@SoraTamashii Well, okay, but you need to define what "the parts that can fit to fit" looks like. From your question and the comments, I'm having trouble figuring out what the end goal is, and perhaps that is why users aren't giving you the answer you want.
But the drawback is, say you have a D&D 5th edition character who reaches level 20, then you go back and ask yourself how that might divide 100 ways instead of 20. What you end up with is a lot of empty levels, because there aren't 100 significant things to give out to make each level meaningful
You'd end up like, okay, Pikachu gets Thunder Wave at level 18, then at level 19 he gets one hit point, then at level 20 he gets one hit point
and you're just levelling up more often and getting less each time you level
Quad, oh no, I understand the purpose of doing that. The issue is, that would be a larger undertaking as I'd then have to upscale. I'd rather try to preserve the integrity of both systems if possible. I'd rather downscale the new aspects from Pokemon if need be than upscale the existing system. Upscaling risks a higher chance of breaking the game's balance by causing either underbalancing or overbalancing. See YuGiOh TCG's track record with making new mechanics for case and point.
But the alternative, which is if you get actual good things at each of 100 levels, is you end up way more powerful and versatile than a D&D character.
@SoraTamashii Also, have you researched other attempts to emulate Pokemon in a d20 system? If so, what did you like/dislike about them?
If you take Pikachu as an example, in seventh gen he starts with two moves and gets sixteen more by level 58. That works fine in Pokemon's system, because at each level he gets a small stat increase. But in D&D 5e, you don't increase stats.
4:23 AM
@QuadraticWizard At least, not at each level.
In 5e, you get +1 to attack every, like, six levels. Scale that to x5, and your Pokemon get +1 to attack every thirty levels.
Mike, The only part that I am focused on right now is the level system, which is the only part of Pokemon that can nicely fit into D&D without requiring a full overhaul of the system. The Stat system had to be overhauled. Every attack needs to be adapted. The way Pokemon know attacks had to be redone. Items need reskinned, created, then tested. The only pieces that can fit are Levels and the fact Pokemon are technically monsters. But in and of itself, that makes these details not easily fit as
I can't find a precedent for this aside from animal companions/familiars which don't really operate the same way as what I am going for. If I sound stressed, it's because I am. I just want this to work and it's irritating me.
The resulting system sounds very different from D&D 5e. If the only part that fits is levels, and even then only because it's easy to multiply twenty by five, then you would have to modify 5e too much for it to work.
Mike, as for researching, I only found one system... and all it was... it was just Pokemon as D&D monsters and somebody else made a Pokeball for it. I haven't found a quality ttrpg of this despite being told it supposedly exists.
@SoraTamashii Well, I would at least suggest not being stressed. This is a site where "Be Nice" is a rule and we debate about imaginary characters in number-based games. Unless you're a professional game designer on a deadline, there's nothing at stake here worth getting angry about.
4:29 AM
D&D works one way mechanically, Pokemon works another way, and the numbers are fundamentally incompatible. This is one reason I gave up on my attempt at a Pokemon D20 conversion years ago. You would have to basically stat up each D&D creature separately, each attack separately. Even for the original generation Pokemon games, that's a lot of creatures and attacks.
And even then, the first thing I did was to ditch the attachment to a hundred-level system, because D&D doesn't work on hundreds. The only special things about 100 levels over 20 are that the levels match those in the game for reasons of tradition, and that you have finer granularity. But that fine granularity doesn't improve the gameplay, except to allow for such-and-such a creature to obtain an attack at the exact same "level" as it does in the games for reasons of tradition.
Quad, but that's why I also pointed out that in my post I listed it as a sub-level system. While they display as Levels, they are effectively the equivalence of 5 Pokemon Levels = 1 5E Level. This allows the stat growth to still follow D&D's system. But, instead of saying, "Oh! Your pokemon is evolving randomly in the middle of Level 3!" or "Your Pokemon learned a new spell halfway through Level 7!" it displays the Sub Levels like they were the levels. Essentially, it's a cosmetic system that
Cosmetically, sure, it's aesthetically pleasing for Charmander to evolve at level 16, rather than level 3. But all that's really happening is you're multiplying the level by five just to match how it works in the video game.
@QuadraticWizard That really doesn't sound too bad. Just have it so that "Pokemon" is a standalone pseudo-class that doesn't follow regular character advancement, and that pokemon can't take regular character levels. It goes from 1 to 100 and there will probably be a lot of levels where nothing happens (I suppose +1 hp would work?). If the Pokemon is more of a follower to a relatively powerful PC (who has PC classes) then it's really not a huge loss.
makes the erratic growth mid-5e level make more sense and be more apparent. Their functionality is essentially a game mechanic to provide Narrative reason for changes and keep connection to Lore, if you were to ground it down to it's very basic elements. It's meant to be mechanically and narratively relevant. As (I believe) you said, the level ups would be way more frequent for Pokemon. But the function of a level up would also be different because of the difference in systems.
My opinion is that it's not worth dividing each level into five segments. Gameplay doesn't really benefit from levelling up so fractionally. I don't think it improves the game to have Pokemon learn new moves four-fifths of the way into levelling up just to match the exact numbers in the actual video game.
4:38 AM
Yeah, it's not like your Pikachu will be a Paladin. As I said, functionally Pokemon serve the role of monsters, but with a similar growth system to that of a PC. It also would allow explanation for how Player's Bulbasaur could defeat a wild Venusaur, as CR alone would make you normally assume it's not possible.
Would the pokemon's level need to increase at the same rate as the trainer?
Our own @JuneShores wrote a Pokemon-inspired hack for Fate Accelerated in issue 1-3 of the Fate Codex.
Mike, is that to Quad or me? I want to assume me, but I don't want to be vain...
("How to Train Your Mutant Fire Dog," p11.)
@SoraTamashii To you, since you're the one who wants to design it :D
4:39 AM
My understanding is that both increase at the same rate, so that you level up each time your Pokemon levels up five times.
@BESW but I think the argument is trying to make something in 5E
BESW, hey! :D Also, I keep hearing a lot about June. I need to talk with her sometime. lol Anyhow, I don't really know Fate System. :/
@SoraTamashii June is in here ATM,... You could ping
@trogdor Aye, I saw that. But one nice thing about Fate is, being so narrative-driven, Fate implementations are good at driving down to the bone of play goals which can get obscured in the drive toward mechanics by systems like D&D.
My issue with that is, the game doesn't benefit mechanically (lore-wise, maybe, but not mechanically) from such precision, and most of those levels don't give you anything at all, so there's no reason for those to exist.
A 5th level fighter is measurably more powerful than a 4th level fighter, but if a 16th level Pikachu levels up and becomes a 17th level Pikachu, and gains nothing, then he didn't really become more powerful. He just gained a fraction of the way to becoming more powerful.
4:42 AM
@SoraTamashii [wave] I know very little about 5e, myself, but I've got some experience with design and homebrew in general. If I haven't pointed you at it before, I highly recommend using the 3+1 questions to focus any design work.
@BESW fairynuff
@QuadraticWizard Perhaps +1 hp as a consolation prize? Maybe the trainer gains some small reward whenever any of their pokemon level up?
Quad, But the learning process itself can be all narrative-based. The levels and effects don't have to apply right on level up. If need be, the "Level Up" can wait until the next rest or when the player levels up too. It's not like a player will enter a stressful situation banking on their Pokemon learning a new move just at the right moment. They'd go in expecting their team, as is, to be ready for the challenges that await.
It's almost like AD&D where you could wish your exceptional strength from, say, 18/20 to 18/30, but it wouldn't make you any stronger because the next breakpoint was higher than that. Or D&D 3e where increasing your Strength from 18 to 19 didn't make you any stronger at all
Quadratic, Technically, there are attacks in Pokemon that are User Level dependent. I don't know how I'd adapt those yet, but it is possible such attacks could benefit from that... But I'm not that far yet. I'm just trying to get the groundwork done so I can get to those details.
4:45 AM
D&D similarly has spells that deal, say, 1d6 damage per level. But you can't really divide that by five.
@QuadraticWizard Sure, 1d6 per five levels. In other words, a pokemon's effective caster level is equal to 1/5 of it's "pokemon level"... I suppose that works to some extent.
@JuneShores, would it be possible for me to pick your brain in regards to making a Pokemon ttrpg homebrew sometime? Doesn't have to be now if it'd be a bother. lol
Oh hi!
@SoraTamashii Maybe I missed where you said it, but I'm not seeing any answer to the first thing I'd want to determine when I make changes to a system: what effect or change do I want to see at the table that the current system isn't providing?
In particular, I'm not sure what play goals the 1-100 level progression is supposed to support.
Another problem to adapting Pokemon to D&D is, you already have to change a lot. Pokemon doesn't have D&D's ability scores, not exactly.
4:47 AM
I'd be happy to chat about it.
My understanding is that the 1-100 level progression is essentially thematic.
Mike, Level would increase comparably to how you understand it... Pick a starter, for the sake of example.
Pokemon the video game uses 1-100 level progression, and serious game fans may, in theory, have strong attachment to those numbers. Charmander evolves at level 16, for example.
The SE policy is Be Nice. It applies at all times, and to people in the room, people on the site, people not on the site, people you know in meatspace and none of the rest of us know, celebrities, &c. Your self-censoring was appropriate. Even better: take a deep breath or two. Assume Good Faith of everyone you run across. When it seems two are talking past each other ask "what might I be missing?"
(Yes, it might be that the other person's the one missing something. But you can rarely fix that, and you can often learn something looking at oneself.)
Were I making a Pokemon conversion to D&D, the first thing I'd do is ask, if a Pokemon showed up in D&D, what would its stats be, as a D&D creature? It would be fine for Charmander to evolve at level 3 of 20, instead of 16 of 100. He might still learn the same abilities in the same order.
4:51 AM
I'm skimming the conversation up to now. Are you trying to drift D&D to play Pokemon?
BESW: The issue i have with 5E's system is that it would drop some of the relevant nuance found in Pokemon's Level system. For instance, convert Evolution Levels. L1 Caterpie would be an instant Metapod and L2 Butterfree. Even if you spaced it out, you have Butterfree as Charmeleon's equal... which is laughable. It would basically cause one system to eat the other instead of the two blending together for the experience players would want. The issue is, it'd be the mechanics of one devouring the
Sora's goal is to bring Pokemon into the D&D 5th edition rules. However, they're trying to retain the level 1-100 of the Pokemon games for thematic reasons.
other causing a lot of the narrative and lore from the adapted work to be lost in the process.
Have you looked at any of the existing fan-made Pokemon games? Some of them are very D&D-inspired, and may have worked out some of these challenges already.
4:54 AM
@SoraTamashii That goes back to my original suggestion - Use the source material and do the 1/5 division, but implement a limit of how many things a pokemon can gain per level increase. IIRC, in the games, you can choose to prevent a pokemon from evolving at the assigned level.
My opinion on this is that there's disadvantage to sticking so closely to the original numbers. A designer should ask how to evoke the feel of Pokemon in a tabletop game, rather than ask how they can change the mechanics of D&D 5th edition so that the existing numbers of Pokemon make sense in it.
Sorry I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "drift". I'm still new to online interactions with a larger group of RPG-gamers and don't know some of the terms.
My own approach to this kind of conversion is to break away from the original material's mechanics completely and reduce it to narrative elements, then rebuild those narrative elements using the new system's mechanics.
Right, that's what I'd do.
What I am trying to do is merely adapt Pokemon to D&D, the same way other homebrews adapt media from one medium to RPGs.
4:57 AM
@BESW I think that had been suggested, both in the post's answers and in the chat, but it seems like Sora wants to preserve the progression from the source material.
"Drift" is a word which here means "To take one game system and modify it to do another thing." It's similar, but not identical to the term "hack."
Ultimately, I don't think you can shoehorn Pokemon's numbers into D&D - the best you can do is to say, "If a D&D character meets Charmander, what statistics would it have?"
@MikeQ Right. Describe what you like about the experience and story of the 1-100 leveling, using only natural language--don't use any technical language at all. Then see how you can achieve those qualities in the new system.
You can often preserve much of the experience while changing the cause of the experience.
BESW, the only ones I've found (not that I know good resources) have been a raw conversion of Pokemon into monsters. I can see the appeal of doing that, but I feel like something is missing in doing such.
(@SoraTamashii I don't know if you know: ALT+ENTER can insert a line break into a message, which has two side-effects. 1) It'll allow much longer messages. 2) It'll break any Markdown in the message. I mention it because I see a few that look like you got the "message is too long" box and hit ENTER, to complete the thought three or four messages later.)
4:59 AM
Now the drawback to manually statting up each Pokemon is, you have to essentially stat up at least 150 creatures from scratch
Anyway, as someone who only knows Pokemon and 5e through third-hand accounts, I'll bow out.
Mike, so, basically you think my idea would work, so long as I am careful about stat changes? Would I risk breaking the balance of any of the other 5e elements? I want to try to keep my homebrew from actually harming the source medium...
Welcome back Miniman! We're still waiting to hear what specific fact made you think Crocs are "so friggin' cool" as you put it. :P
@SoraTamashii I don't know, that really depends on how you define "breaking the balance"
Video and tabletop games are different mediums that you interact with in completely different ways. It's like the difference between the Harry Potter & the Half Blood prince book and movie. They have similar contents, but the way they are delivered, processed by the audience, etc. are completely different. (and the movie was better)

Miniman explains why crocodiles are so friggin' cool

1 hour ago, 12 minutes total – 31 messages, 2 users, 0 stars

Bookmarked 12 secs ago by BESW

5:02 AM
In the Pokemon world, monsters have the inherent power, and people can succeed by learning to harness these creature's power. If you're alone in the woods, and have no Pokemon to protect you, then even a low-level Pokemon is a threat.
If you're level 1, yeah.
But in DnD, it's people and player classes who have the power - they can perform heroic feats and cast spells from ancient texts or the knowledge of their god. So whether or not pokemon should be able to overpower typical DnD creatures, that's for you the designer to decide.
I think if you want to do Pokemon in D&D specifically, you really ought to look at what you want the monsters to do, what you want the players to do, and how they interact. Then make game rules that push that behavior.
How I imagined it is that a Pokemon is an ally. You have a human PC and one or more Pokemon also controlled by that player.
Essentially no different from one player having multiple characters
BESW, I see. Personally, I want to try and keep it as true to both Pokemon and 5e as possible. I am willing to sacrifice large parts of Pokemon's system, but partially because I feel it'd be more convenient to adapt than to fully rebuild. Plus, it's good practice for adapting mechanics around ideas and not just the other way around, seeing as both are useful skills. If need be, I can accept building from the ground up, but with 800+ Pokemon... I'd prefer to try avoiding that, for convenience...
5:06 AM
Though another issue is, do you represent the Pokemon tradition of fielding one at a time and keeping the rest in reserve? Do the others get XP even if they don't fight? What if they get behind in level?
@JuneShores Do you think 13th Age-style "background" skills might be an appropriate compromise?
June, thanks for the clarification on what "Drift" means! :D
@BESW compromise to what end?
Right, one of the reasons I gave up trying to make a Pokemon D20 years ago was... you basically have to abandon any idea that you'll be able to "import" the existing Pokemon stats with ease.
@JuneShores So you can quickly and easily write up a particular Pokemon on the fly without having to invent a coherent set of pre-made mechanics for all of them.
5:08 AM
The mechanics are so different that ultimately you have to take it from a narrative standpoint.
It's kinda like aspect-only Fate.
Quad, that's why I'm not trying to shoehorn numbers in. You seem to think I am trying to get a ballroom dancer to start break dancing at a charity gala. I'm just trying to get a tap dancer and a flamenco dancer to agree to a waltz.
They don't waltz.
@SoraTamashii I am very, very confused by this metaphor. But I think the "Use Pokemon's narrative and 5E's mechanics" suggestion has been refused so many times, we should probably stop pushing it :P
@BESW Hmmm. Maybe? I'd rather... hm. OK, I need to think about this for a moment, because I have thoughts about doing Pokemon in D&D.
I am also confused.
brb, gotta get some water.
5:12 AM
Basically, the only advantage of putting a 100-level system into D&D, which already has a 20-level system, is that the numbers match those we are familiar with from the games.
BESW, If you completely redo everything, you can make Pokemon work with a L20 system. But, that requires a lot of work that, for over 800 monsters (with more added yearly now) is not reasonable to do, especially when I've mentioned that I am partially trying to get used to trying to make mechanics.
But a successful adaption would already have to abandon all the other numbers in the Pokemon game: the stats (e.g. an Attack stat of 200 has no place in D&D), the damage numbers (e.g. what's a 60-power move in D&D?), the attack effects (how does paralysis convert to D&D? burn? poison?)
@SoraTamashii Right, which is why I'm suggesting things like the 13th Age compromise.
@nitsua60, I didn't know. Thank you for informing me... However, when I saw your message, I tried doing it and it didn't work for me. Is it only able to enter the line break when the "too long" message appears?
It'd let you use d20-style mechanics to make Pokemon on the fly. You don't have to make them ahead of time, just write up the ones you need when you need them.
5:15 AM
@SoraTamashii Or maybe I should have typed in the right keybind? It's SHIFT+ENTER, not ALT_ENTER =\
On-the-fly would be interesting, especially since a DM can straight-up invent new Pokemon.
OK, back.
My own thinking was, you don't actually have to stat up 150 creatures, just whatever creatures the PCs will meet that session
BESW, I appreciate the help you were giving nonetheless. :)
So, in D&D I do not think that giving monsters stats at all would be a good thing. There's too much going on in the system to account for them. But what you give them instead depends on the gameplay loop.
5:18 AM
WOOO gameplay loop. [settles down with chin on hands]
(the line break isn't working for me either)
Mike, I define "Breaking balance" as "anything that causes the game to be too unfair for either side." If a party of 1 could kill Tiamat without a struggle, that would be broken balance. If a party of 4 wiped to what was supposed to be a CR1/4, then the balance was broken.
Actually, another balance problem is that in Pokemon, a level 100 Caterpie is considerably weaker than a level 100 Mewtwo in all respects, but in D&D, a wizard and a fighter are supposed to be approximately balanced.
5:21 AM
June, I agree, different mediums need different methods. I'm just trying to adapt the book into a movie, without corrupting the book's lore. Of course, doing that, no matter what route I take (my proposed route included), is proving difficult.
@SoraTamashii Right, and that happens because books and movies are designed to deliver information in fundamentally different ways. Regardless of the conversion, you will lose something.
What lore are you afraid to break?
In order to match D&D's idea of level balance, any two Pokemon available to the player character should be approximately equally good choices. You don't really have that in Pokemon the game. Mewtwo is just straight better.
Yeah... that's one piece of the lore I am not keeping. I think Oak was just a paranoid old man who spread a myth long enough people took it as truth. The games, manga, and anime all show that humans are not subject to the whims of all Pokemon. It's all about level. A L3 Caterpie is a pest, L5 Poochyena a nuisance, and a L50 Arcanine a threat. Pokemon has built its own lore which nicely translates certain aspects into equivalent 5e CRs at certain Pokemon levels on a species-by-species
@QuadraticWizard That's not necessarily a problem though, if the players are able to gain new pokemon throughout the adventure. Some monsters are simply more powerful than others.
5:26 AM
(Thanks nitsua for the correction!)
On my previous train of thought: so, if you want training to matter then how does permanent advancement work within the more free and social dynamics of a tabletop game?

If they don't have to work to maintain their prowess in whatever field, as is the case in standard D&D, then they can sit on their hands all day instead of working toward their goals.This is not the case in any Pokemon adaptation -- the shows, comics, etc. focus on training as a huge part of their narrative. But you also don't want grinding to be a thing.
Because grinding is not going to be fun at the table.
D&D traditionally made training a formality that you did to level up
It's a thing in Pokemon because it's not so heroic for Ash to run around attacking birds for fight practice
It's not heroic in D&D, either.
Anyway, my conclusion is that the only way to represent a creature in 5th edition is to represent it in 5th edition's terms. That's way easier than trying to make 5th edition arbitrarily accept numbers from a game that uses entirely different mathematics. Either way, you need a good understanding of how D&D 5e works in order to either modify it or create content compatible with it.
For Pokemon levels, I'd do the D&D thing where spell, dungeon, and PC levels all mean different things. A Pokemon level is not analogous to a PC level, it's more like XP. You evolve at whatever breakpoint and gain whatever benefits.
5:34 AM
I get this, and that's part of the reasoning for my idea. I want Pokemon to be able to appropriately reflect their level of threat while in the wild, but to be able to appropriately grow when journeying along with a PC. I want my PCs to feel challenged if ambushed by hostile Pokemon but to feel confident they aren't *necessarily* about to be wiped
if they don't have Pokemon of their own. (One or two of them die? Okay, *maybe*... But not all...)
I want the Pokemon to be able to appropriately reflect the nuance from the source materials, which I feel just shoehorning them into the D&D system
That said, the resulting game would be D&D with some Pokemon, not really Pokemon the RPG, because you're using D&D as the mechanical basis, so it'd all work like D&D.
Quad, I was going to make the options of "how many Pokemon can battle at a time?" and "does everyone or just the battler gain XP?" be up to the DM, just like whether the DM wants to follow the levels or use it as a general guideline in a milestone campaign. I want to have it set up so the DM can choose, but isn't left to fend for themselves in figuring out how to do things if they choose the mechanical path, like I tend to when I play (as long as I can keep up with it in doing so.)
To be honest, I'm still not clear on what your goals are.
@JuneShores Same here. I'm out of suggestions at this point.
Quad, well, yeah... I figured out a conversion won't work the moment I saw the capture mechanic for Pokemon... I'm not about to tell a player "if you want to capture a Pokemon, you need to perform this complex algebraic equation... YAY!"
That would just be cruel!
5:49 AM
My goals for a D&D based Pokemon game would be to focus on how the monsters interact with the dungeon first. Don't do any battle rules at first, just dungeon stuff. Bulbasaur can climb and pull things with its vines. Squirtle can flood chambers and provide water. Charmander can keep you warm and burn stuff. Simple. This is why I'd use an old school, pre-1e D&D to do it. After that, give them a couple hit dice, a couple stats for battle, and a weapon for an attack.
For wild monsters, look at the bizarre dungeon eco-systems of the early game for inspiration. "How do the monsters live in the dungeon? What is their effect on it?" Follow from there.
That definitely sounds like a 13th Age style approach would be a very easy fix.
13th Age
Training may boost a hit die or a stat for a while. Nothing permanent. Levels would be 1-100, but the monster would only change at the canon breakpoints. This lets them respec their dungeon powers and grow their attack stats.
heck, maybe don't even give 'em hit dice and stats, etc. Just represent them as a bonus custom skill the player has.
5:57 AM
Home Wifi went out. On Mobile Hotspot. Don't have long. I only regret not getting to catch up to see what y'all said. Anyhow, I guess this is goodnight. Also, Mike, you seemed to understand what i was going for and why. Trust your earlier understandings.
Ehn. That flattens out the possible mechanical interactions with the monsters. It's good for player backgrounds because it opens up avenues for roleplaying where skills would flatten it out. It asks the question, "Who are you?" and gives you a new way to define your character. Doing the same thing to Pokemon would instead flatten out the potential interactions, since there's only so many ways you can interact with that.
Good night, @SoraTamashii
Speaking of changing the topic, I'm trying to replicate a puzzle dungeon a la Tomb Raider, Uncharted, etc.. System is Pathfinder, but system-agnostic ideas are fine. So I'd like challenges other than "fight the monsters" or "notice the deathtraps" or "Roll intelligence to see if your character solves the puzzle". Any suggestions?
I'm sure there are tutorials out there for making puzzles.
@MikeQ Check out Masters of Umdaar for some ideas.
They've got this mechanic called a Cliffhanger.
The group's in a dangerous situation, like a locked room with the walls closing in, or a platform lowering into a pit of acid.
There's five chances to roll skills to improve the situation. On your third success you're out and maybe get something cool like finding a new clue. If you don't get three successes out of five rolls, Bad Stuff happens.
6:09 AM
It's like a mini skill challenge, that's really easily modified to a lot of different situations either by changing the flavor or mixing up the mechanics a little.
6:26 AM
Lady Amherst's pheasant from Kangding, China. (Photo: Jed Weingarten)
One point twenty-one ziggurats?!?!?!#maybeImisheardthat
@fredhicks I can't get my head around one point twenty one ziggurats. I can imagine the first one, but the rest is just a mental block.
@JuneShores That last one is pretty good and raises some solid points about the difference between legitimate puzzles and games that have puzzle-like elements to it.
6:55 AM
From a friend:
> Bletchley Snark. +2 to cryptography-related humor when the fate of the world is on the line.
7:30 AM
@JuneShores oooh one for Braid, very interesting
and the Witness even better
One of my all-time favourites: to ‘lick’ something ‘into shape’ originated in the medieval belief that bear cubs are born as formless lumps that need to be licked into bear shape by their mother.
Curious what our new game Greedy Dragons is all about? We've got a quick walk-through of the rules (and a copy of the rulebook) on our Learn to Play page! https://www.evilhat.com/home/greedy-dragons-learn-to-play/
7:50 AM
I am trying to make a Dragon Ball RPG, and thinking about expanding action order and dice rolls to a per scene basis rather than per action. Mostly because this keeps the options of character focus open while also letting the game's fiction look like Dragon Ball's large scale chess piece treasure hunts.

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