I've recently been toying with the idea of running a campaign of Pokemon Tabletop United v1.05. The system seems like it would accommodate my preferred GMing style, the settings of the various games are well-documented and seem ideal for episodic-format campaigns, and I have players who are interested.

That being said, my own interest in Pokemon, and that of my players, comes from having played the games and watched the anime; I would like to present a world, and an experience, similar to that portrayed in those specific sources. Pokemon Tabletop United draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources (including the Pokemon Special manga) in which Pokemon trainers tend to make a more active role in combat, and the violence is more frequently fatal. As a result, many of the available player character features include or are entirely built around human combat.

I can easily ask my players not to make combatant characters, and present a world in which human combat is rare. My concern is that that there will be unexpected mechanical fallout from doing so; It's tricky to predict even the direct impact of such changes on the game, and there may well be subtle knock-on effects that are even harder to predict.

So, I have to ask: When running a PTU game with the human violence taken out (but the Pokemon battling left in), what should I be worried about or take precautions against?

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's this game called pokerole that seems more based on the anime from what I gather. \$\endgroup\$ – user23954 Jul 20 '15 at 6:22
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Admit it, you just want to get this question into the list of hot network questions and confuse people. \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Jul 21 '15 at 11:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Laika I found Pokerole, and it seems perfect for my purposes! Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Dec 9 '15 at 5:29

An answer to this question was posted on the Pokemon Tabletop adventures board by a user named Domo.

Based on what he's said, the main problems for the GM lies in the uselessness of Status effects because of the trainers actions, with only Burn or Poison remaining as an effective tool for the GM to combat Trainer interference with.

He also goes into action queues and initiatives during combat as well, and tracking initiative can definitely get pretty cumbersome based on his description.

The last thing he mentions is that its much more difficult to build support based trainers than it is to just build full combat trainers for Gym Challenges or Bosses.

If you're more interested in reading his in depth answer instead of my summary it can be found here.


Short answer: Nothing

After a read-through of the rules, it appears that there really isn't anything that needs to be done to run Pokemon Tabletop United in a closer-to-the-games style. Simply don't use any of the rules that pertain to a trainer's involvement in battles. This is backed up in the 1.05 Core PDF on page 7:

If you’re wanting to play a lighthearted game where Trainers always cheer on their Pokémon from the sidelines and Team Rocket goes home after they get beaten in a Pokémon battle, that’s totally doable!

However you should consider keeping trainer stats. This is because, realistically, there are situations where they might matter, even if they never get involved in typical battles. These are things like environmental hazards as well as things such as simply wanting to punch that guy.

This is especially apparent if you think about the anime: Even early on it's shown that trainers can get hurt pretty easily when Ash saves Pikachu from the spearows. This shows that an adventuring trainer at least should have HP (and its derived stat: Hit Points).


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