Hey, everyone, thanks for taking the time to read this. If you clicked on the link, odds are you're doubly a nerd--once for Pokemon, and again for being interested in a d20 version, or at the very least, a fan of d20-style pen/paper RPGs.
Yes, wall of text. OMG SCAREH!
If you do fit in that category, odds are at one time or another you've wondered if there's a d20 Pokemon RPG out there. Well, there is. There's the Pokemon Tabletop Adventures. If you want something that looks decently worked on, check it out. Personally I had a problem with the fact that out of roughly 210 PDF pages (of which technically each page is 2 pages), my rough count was about 24 of them being actually rules, and the rest of it being charts (moves, classes, etc).
The GM Guide has roughly 8 out of 24 pages devoted to rules, the rest to charts of stuff that seems useful, but to me seems like stuff the GM should come up with on his own (where Pokemon live, how much XP to give out for defeating Pokemon).
My MAIN problem with this is that essentially they took game systems that worked for a video game RPG that IMO don't work well in a d20 format. Or maybe I missed something and they're not intending to work off d20s, but multiple d20s, etc.....
Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing ideas in the PTA, it has a pretty big following (their home forums have just under 2k people), and I can't even imagine the effort that was put into creating something like this, testing something like this, etc.
Next up, a System I just found:
Pokemon Tabletop United
This is much more like what I was looking for, a D/D-esque Pokemon experience (minus the weird house rules you have to do to ACTUALLY play Pokemon in 1/2/3/3.5/4e/Next).
Most of their PDF actually deals with mechanics, rather than endless charts (though they are present as well, as in any RPG sourcebook). I enjoyed many of their mechanics, while I continued to grimace at others that, in my eyes, were in the games because it WAS a game, and (again, in my opinion), didn't belong in an RPG.
Again, that said, both systems have had a lot of work put into them, and look great--if all you're looking for is a game-to-Pen/Paper RPG port. There are a bunch of things that I did not like about it (level caps too high in my opinion, don't like how they kept game Contest mechanics when it should be a straight-up beauty/cool/tough/etc pageant [easily one of the most glaring but not one I care about too much], and apparently the need to throw every last thing from the games into the RPG, no matter if it makes sense in the new medium.
All that said, I've started my own Pokemon RPG, which I hope to keep roughly in the d20 area, and have it be more akin to more traditional Roleplaying Games.
Not everything from the games is going to make the cut. For starters, I'm not going to feel the need to include every bell and whistle from the Itemdex into the game (literally and figuratively). I do want berries, I do want some sort of Pokeblock/poffin, but I don't necessarily think it should raise attributes (permanently).
I'd slash the max levels for Pokemon significantly, and introduce a new way of learning moves, and craft Pokemon individually to make sure they feel right.
Try to get some way to get big battles, using not 1 of your belt team, not 2, not even 3, but your entire belt team at a time. Introduce Psychics as augmented humans, but try to balance their increased personal powers by lowering their team's effectiveness. And essentially the same thing with human trainers--they can focus their own abilities so that the trainer can fight better, but their team will fall slightly behind other teams of their level.
But I would try to always keep the focus on the Pokemon, and keep them more powerful than anything else.
Right now my new development is in pre-Alpha, while TPA and TPU are just about out of Beta and just entering Alpha.
Again, Tabletop Adventures and Pokemon Tabletop United are pretty decent systems, if you're looking for a good tabletop pen/paper experience, even if they are not for me. I believe they have every single Pokemon from Generation 1-5 implemented currently.
This is somewhat on my brain atm and I thought I would share this with all of you, just in case you guys, like me, ever wanted to play a pen/paper Pokemon RPG.
And yes, part of it was just to talk about the fact that I'm working on one too.