Tag Archives: RPG

Pokemon Tabletop United RPG First Look

Pokemon Tabletop United RPG first look? Yes, as usual, I’m behind the times. It looks like the game was a labor of love by some fans and they’ve stopped updating and supporting it. That’s fine. From just a quick perusal of the rulebooks and “start here” message, it seems like they actually got a solid game put together.

Oh, you mean you weren’t aware that there was a Pokemon tabletop RPG? If I’m being honest, neither did I. After I decided to make this Pokemon week, I went searching for one. I’m surprised that WotC hasn’t jumped on something. Maybe they just own the rights to the TCG and can’t develop beyond that. Eh, a quick Google search would probably turn up an answer.

That quick Google search turned up that the exactly own the patent to the CCG and therefore, probably can’t develop an RPG. It’s almost like I know what I’m talking about.

As with my D&D Ravnica article, I’m only going to go through some of the lore and the character creation process. It’s been too nice here after being locked up for too long to sit around playing an hours long session of an RPG lately. I’m sure we will end up playing it at some point at least with Liam and Quinn because they’re both big Pokemon fans. And, there has to be a rainy day or two at some point over the next few months, right?

The Great

In Depth – To be perfectly honest, it might be a little too in depth. But, more on that later. I’m impressed that this is simply a labor of love by fans of Pokemon. There is just so much information in this game. Also, it is presented in a professional way. I was excited to discover the game. After reading through some materials, I can’t wait to play an actual game to see if it lives up to my hype.

This is an excerpt from the Character Creation chapter. Doesn’t that look like something WotC could have released. I want to play this game!

Well Integrated – Similar to the Ravnica book that I reviewed previously, it would have been easy for them to just slap the Pokemon name on an already established RPG and call it a day. Of course, it would have been much more disappointing if a big company like WotC had done that. I would have forgiven these guys for taking shortcuts in developing their Pokemon game. But they didn’t and bully on them!

The Good

Good Walkthrough – In keeping with the praise, they have a good walkthrough to help in creating a character. There are explanations, examples, and a thorough step by step process. Somebody should pick this game up and continue to develop it. Yes, I realize I’m somebody. Who knows, maybe I will.

From the looks of it, I either need to become a lady or grow a beard and get some sweet looking glasses.

Supplements – In addition to the main DM/Player’s Guide, there are 3 supplementary books. And that’s not even including the Alola Pokedex that is included. One deals with legendary Pokemon. One introduces sci-fi elements. The last fleshes out the supernatural. Did I mention that I got all of this for free? Man, I love the internet sometimes.

The Decent

Errata – There is also errata for the game based on some play testing. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but there can be such a thing as too much information. It’s a lot to take in initially. Yes, there is always the RPG rule of forgetting things that you don’t want to use. Even so, a new player is sure to be overwhelmed at this point.

Too In Depth? – As I mentioned earlier and, following up on that last point, the game might be a bit too in depth. I don’t think that it is. However, I am a 30 year veteran of RPGs. I know how to navigate the landscape. For new players, like Chris, all of the information is overwhelming. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that the game never took off and isn’t being updated anymore.

Again, I don’t think so. But, a former student once compared me to Mewtwo, so I’m pretty much a super genius.

The Verdict

Thanks for reading my Pokemon Tabletop United RPG First Look. I never did get around to making a character, but I surely will over the next few weeks. Then, when we get a rainy day, maybe we can play some D&D and this game. I’ll be back with a more in depth review after that. If you’ve played the game and want to let me know how it went, email, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter us!

D&D: Welcome to Joizha

Introduction

Welcome to Joizha! Yesterday, on Facebook, I got the question, “When did you start playing Dungeons and Dragons?” The person followed up that they hadn’t heard of the game until high school. So, here’s my story. And, I promise this time it will be a short one.

My mother bought me a book when I was in middle school. It was called “Firstborn: The Eleven (This isn’t correct. Spoiler Alert.) Nations Trilogy”. I read through the entire book and then went searching at Waldenbooks (if you need further proof that I’m old) for more. I don’t think I found the second book in the trilogy, but I did find the Dragonlance Chronicles series.

But, I promised quick and this is already going too long for some of you, I’m sure. It wasn’t until I read the second and, maybe even after I finished the trilogy, that I realized it was the Elven nation. Oh, that makes sense. Sithel and Kith-Kanan are elves. Also, there aren’t 11 nations.

You’d think the angry looking elf king on the front page would have been the only clue I needed.

In any case, that is how I ended up being introduced to Dungeons and Dragons. From the novels, I moved on to the game as most do. First, I purchased the Player’s Handbook and the Dungeon Master’s Guide when I was in high school. I don’t remember if my friends at the time played the game or if I got them into the game. I think it was a mixture of both. Eventually, I started jotting down ideas for campaigns of my own.

What is Joizha?

One of those campaigns I started was an ambitious attempted crossover to introduce technology into Dungeons and Dragons. My friends and I hadn’t discovered RIFTS yet, so this was a ground breaking achievement in my mind. I set out to start building the world. As often happened during my teenage years, the attempt stalled because I was more interested in young women and the mall and going to the mall to look at young women. I didn’t have the courage to talk to any of them.

Whatever.

However, I’m now married. It is frowned upon to look at other women. As a result, I have more time to finish those projects that I started and abandoned all those years ago. I completed two books (I’m more proud of the short stories, if you have time). When this quarantine (I know it’s not technically a quarantine, but we’ve all agreed that’s what we’re calling it) started, I decided to write my own Dungeons and Dragons adventure.

Enter Joizha. It was a small mining town in that “technologically advanced” campaign that I started as a teenager. So, instead of reinventing the wheel for my first campaign that I’d have time to finish, I went back and mined my memories for details. It came together pretty quickly. I fleshed out the town a bit, a harbor city that the party might visit (Staten Harbor), and took a mine from the Campaign and Catacomb Sourcebook as inspiration for the dungeon.

I didn’t upload a picture of Joizha yet to my Instagram, but here’s a rough draft of Staten Harbor

Welcome to Joizha (Eventually)

I haven’t written about Dungeons and Dragons in over 5 years. As mentioned in one of the articles I wrote back then, it’s mainly because Chris doesn’t play. The boys and I (and even Christine) played a game last year, but it ended a bit sour with the boys saying that they were bored. So, I went researching on ways to make it more interesting for them.

Then, I got a second job as a custodian at nights and things fell apart in more ways than one. I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to an extended D&D campaign. Now, as mentioned several times over the past month, I have nothing but time. Especially when school ends, we’ll be lousy with free time. So, hopefully, I have the opportunity to say, “Welcome to Joizha!” to my family and get a chance to play through the dungeon with them.

Protect your Knee

Every year in December and January, I come out of hibernation long enough to get inspired to work on the web page.A� Usually, that only lasts until February when I start back to school and everything falls into a state of disrepair for a few months.A� I am not the type to do resolutions, but this year I hope to power though those months of inactivity and instead make the page what I always hoped it would be.

As part of that plan, I’m going to start playing Skyrim and Fallout 3 again.A� That, too, is tradition.A� However, this year definitely feels different.A� I have, so far, avoided the post holiday “blues”.A� In the past, that is one of the things that has kept me from contributing to the page on a regular basis.A� If I can just keep that momentum going, things will be good around here.

My father believed firmly in the power of positive thinking. He also lived by the credo, “It’s a good day to die.” Time to start living up to his standards.

I started my trip back into Bethesda fantasy RPG this time with Skyrim.A� At first, my XBox 360 door did not cooperate and I was afraid that this plan might be dead in the water.A� However, through persistence (and a little bit of muscle, a steak knife, and a lot of swearing), I got the game up and running.A� What better way to start this adventure that with a quest!

Once I loaded the game and continued from my last save state, I texted Kevin to laugh that starting back with these games after months off was always an experience (pun not intended).A� He replied that it always took him about a half an hour to get acquainted again with the story, his character, items, etc.A� That’s about how long it took me.

Pardon the language, but this is exactly how I felt.

It didn’t help that apparently I saved the game in the sewers and the color scheme was nearly monochromatic.A� That alone made me almost quit the game and restart.A� On top of that, the reason I was in the sewer was that I was on the Thieves Guild quests.A� I had to collect three debts from people.A� It took me at least 3 failed tries of killing the first person and being put in jail before I considered restarting again.

I didn’t restart.A� I got smart.A� A�In all honesty, I stumbled on quest completion by accident.A� Instead of pulling out my mace and bludgeoning her to death and then having to beat the rest of the town to death, too, before either dying or ending up in jail, I simply punched her until she submitted.A� Not necessarily good, but at least it finally advanced the story.

All’s fair in love and Skyrim.

What are the chances that I continue playing to beat that story?A� That’s been my goal for the six years that I’ve owned the game.A� I can honestly say that after this latest play session, I don’t know.A� That’s unusual for me.A� I’m usually a big fan of the D&D style fantasy.

We slept in the living room last night as a family and we plan on it again tonight, so I played some Hearthstone and Minecraft on the computer.A� Therefore, I didn’t get a chance to play last night to see if I could find that hook.A� That’s the main problem.A� I’m just not that interested in the main story.A� When I played the other day, I completed the quest to be inducted into the Thieves Guild and I was so excited that I completely zoned out on the conversation that led into the follow up quest.

That’s not an isolated incident.A� When I first got the game, I played it for 50 hours over two weeks.A� I was unemployed and had a young child who napped daily back then.A� How did I play 50 hours and only make it to the Thieves Guild quests?A� A majority of that time was not spent questing.A� Mainly, I roamed the countryside looking for butterfly wings and flowers to increase my alchemy skill.

Skyrim can save its damn self.

I took stock of what my life had become and didn’t like it one bit.A� So, I put the game to the side for the first time.A� As I wrote, I’ve since given it a few more chances.A� Here I am giving it one more.A� One last?

What keeps me coming back?A� Obviously, I don’t have to like the game.A� Sure, it is almost universally considered to be one of the best games, both in the series and overall.A� It’s not like I’m ever shy about going against conventional wisdom.A� It’s clearly not a “keeping up with the Joneses”.

I think that it just goes back to what I wrote earlier.A� I’m usually a fan of any type of fantasy setting and I’m a fan of RPGs.A� I suppose that I just have to face facts and realize that if I’m going to beat this game, I may just have to power through the story that I don’t like very much.A� It’s either that or hope that some aspect (besides chasing butterflies) of the story finally hooks and speaks to me.A� As it stands right now, I’d much rather play the apocalyptic future version of the game in Fallout 3.A� Maybe I will just do that and try again with this game once I’ve finished Fallout.

After all, it’s looking more and more like Fallout might be a instruction manual for the near future.

Currently Playing..Vol.15

  • Dragon Quest Heroes -World Tree’s Woe and The Blight Below (PS4): A�As a fan of anything Dragon Quest (I almost bought the little blue slime stuffed pillow..true story), I couldn’t resist this title on the Pre-Owned rack at Gamestop. A�I plunked $24.99 of my hard-earned cash on the counter, rejected the employee’s awkward attempt at upselling and sped home, eager to start a new Dragon Quest adventure. A�If I may veer off the beaten path for a minute..is it me or is the Gamestop upsell crap a little annoying? A�Do you remember when the upsell just consisted of “Do you want to insure your disc for an extra $2.00?” Now it’s “Do you want to insure your disc? Picking up any controllers today? Placing any Pre-Orders today?” I always bite back my sarcastic response of, “Oh yeah!!! I completely forgot about a controller! Because they are so godamn cheap and clearly an impulse item! A Pre-Order! Yes! Let me plop down cash on a game that isn’t even out yet y’know just in case there is a looting incident and the 127 copies you will have in stock sell out! Oh and I get some silly-ass t-shirt and free downloadable content that will be available for free anyways on the next printing of the game? Well sign me up!!”

Ahem. What am I writing about? Ah yes, Dragon Quest Heroes. A�To my surprise this isn’t a traditional DQ (Yeah, us people in the “know” call it DQ..hmm…why do I want ice cream now?…), no, this game is more like Dynasty Warriors. A�You form a party of 4 warriors and basically tear through hundreds and hundreds of monsters. It’s like a beat ‘m up mixed with an RPG and sprinkled with a small bit of strategy..a very small bit. A�The story is that, unlike the traditional DQ game, humans peacefully coexist with monsters. That is until some Count Chocula lookalike, no wait, I can do better, The Count from Sesame Street lookalike shows up and casts a spell driving all of the monsters crazy (yes, I am proud of of that Sesame Street reference) causing them to attack humans. A�This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as his plan goes as he wants to destroy the humans, destroy The World Tree, release darkness upon the world, and essentially just be a bad egg. Along the course of your quest, you meet up with fellow heroes from different dimensions and they join your cause. A�FYI, A�Aurora is the stronger of the two starting characters and as for the rest of your party Bianca, Terry and Yangus are beasts. Most people who have played this game seem to agree with me. A�Okay so that’s the story so how about the gameplay? Well it’s fun, you mindlessly bash the snot out of monsters using weapons you find, buy, or craft. You level up as you would in any RPG and as your level increases you are granted skill points which can be used to boost your attack, defense, intelligence, and can also be used to unlock your characters’ special abilities and spells. A�Sounds pretty neat, right? Well, yes it is, for awhile..then the levels get repetitive. Basically there a few different types of levels; you guard on object (I.e a gate, a person, or a World Tree root) from the hordes of monsters, a boss level, or a level where you have to destroy all the monsters on the map. Yes, the levels themselves are aesthetically different but the core mechanic stays the same and tends to turn this game into a bit of a bore. I have about 30 hrs into it, and I just don’t see myself playing it too much longer. Don’t get me wrong, in small spurts this game is pretty fun, but anything longer than an hour at a time and you’ll find yourself yawning too.

Grade: C