Table of Contents
In PTA, Combat happens in 10 second rounds. Each round, a Trainer has the ability to perform one Command Action, one Shift Action, and one Trainer Action. Pokemon gets one Shift Action and one Move Action.
The Initiative of Pokemon and Trainers are determined by their DEX stats and Speed Stats respectively.
During each round, Trainers will go first, in order of highest DEX to lowest DEX. Following Trainers, Pokemon then have their initiatives, going from highest Speed to lowest Speed.
During a Trainer’s turn there are many different things they can do; they may use one of their Trainer Features, use their Pokedex, use an Item, switch their active Pokemon, or attack another trainer or Pokemon. The majority of actions a trainer can take a Trainer Action, though many are Free Actions, and some are even Shift Actions.
Many feats require a Trainer Action during your turn to activate and use. Arms Attacks are an example of a common Trainer Action. Other actions that require a Trainer Action include:
- Using an item on a Pokemon or a Trainer, unless specified otherwise by the item or one of your features.
- Throwing a Pokeball to Capture a wild Pokemon
- Switching from one Weapon to another.
- In place of a Trainer Action, a Trainer may send out two Pokemon, return two Pokemon, or send out one Pokemon and return one Pokemon (If the returned Pokemon is under 1% of its full HP, returning the Pokemon and sending out a different Pokemon is a Free Action).
The Shift Action is the most straightforward action during your trainer turn; it's simply moving. How far your Trainer moves may depend on your Trainer stats.
- Trainers have an Overland Capability of 5, or 3 plus half of the highest of your STR, DEX, or CON modifier, whichever is higher.
- Trainers have an Surface Capability of 4, or 2 plus half of the highest of your STR, DEX, or CON modifier, whichever is higher.
- Trainers have an Underwater Capability of 4, or 2 plus half of the highest of your STR, DEX, or CON modifier, whichever is higher.
Many features can be activated as Free Actions, but one Free Action available to most trainers is particularly notable: using the Pokedex
Using the Pokedex is an important part of any trainer’s life. In Pokemon: Tabletop Adventures, when a trainer uses a Pokedex on a Pokemon they have never identified with their Pokedex before, they gain “DexExp.” As a reminder, for every twenty-five different Pokemon that are identified with a trainer’s Pokedex, that Trainer gains one level.
When someone uses their Pokedex on a Pokemon, they gain access to the Pokemon’s entry in the Bestiary/Pokedex. However, when a Trainer uses their Pokedex, they are not immediately informed of what Pokemon their Pokemon just identified. It takes thirty seconds, or three Rounds, for the Pokedex to load all relevant information. Until then, you’re still in the dark about what Pokemon you’ve just identified, unless you have a trusty Researcher on your team who can recognize the Pokemon by appearance without the help of their Pokedex. Using your Pokedex is a Free Action.
When you Issue a Command, you are telling one of your active Pokemon how to Shift and which of their Moves, Abilities or Capabilities to use during that round of the Encounter. If you have any additional instructions to give to your Pokemon, you would do so during your Issue a Command part of your turn during that round.
You do not need to announce the Move of your Pokemon during your Trainer Turn - rather the ‘Command’ action should just be announced during the Pokemon’s turn, but you must have a Command action available to have a Pokemon act.
Pokemon generally have two actions each turn; a Move Action, and a Shift Action.
The most basic use of a Move Action is performing a Pokemon Move. Unless otherwise noted, every move, from Leer to Hyper Beam, requires a Move Action.
Shifting is much the same for Pokemon as it is for Trainers; they may take their Shift Action to move, depending on their Movement Capabilities. However, Pokemon have one special ability that trainers do not - Covering.
If a Trainer is being targeted by an attack, one of that Trainer’s Pokemon may may a check on a 1d20 to try and Shift into the line of sight in order to Cover the attack. If the Pokemon’s Speed stat is 20 or below they must roll 11 or better on the d20 check to be allowed to Shift into the way of the attack. If their Speed stat exceeds 20, they need only to roll 6 or better on the d20 Check. If a Pokemon’s Speed stat exceeds 35, they do not need to make a check. Covering an Attack for their trainer forfeit's a Pokemon's next Shift action.
So, you’ve declared your attack, you’ve passed the Accuracy Check and now you’re dealing some damage to the enemy. But, how much damage?
When Calculating Damage, you’ll go through this line:
Roll Damage, and then add the total to the appropriate Attack Stat. At this point, you’ll hand over the total damage to the target(s) and they’ll subtract the appropriate Defense Stat. Finally, they will apply Weaknesses and Resistances and subtract that total from their HP.
Look up the Move’s Damage Dice Roll and roll the dice. Add up the total on the rolls, this should be the easy part. Don’t forget to add STAB when using a same-typed Move.
Add Appropriate Attack Stat
Look up next to the Range of the Move, whether it be Melee or Ranged, and after each Move’s Range it should either say No Damage (in which case you wouldn’t be calculating damage), Attack, or Special Attack. Attack and Special Attack specifies which stat you’ll be adding to the Damage Dice Roll. Ranged Moves tend to use Special Attack and Melee Moves tend to use Attack, but pay attention to the Range line to know which Stat to add.
After Rolling Damage, adding the Appropriate Attack Stat, you give the total damage to the target and they will subtract the appropriate Defense Stat from the total they receive. If the Move used the Attack Stat, the defender will use their Defense Stat. If the Move used the Special Attack Stat, the defender will use their Special Defense Stat.
Apply Weaknesses and Resistances
Weaknesses, Resistances and Immunities are arguably one of the most important mechanics of Pokemon: Tabletop Adventures. They dictate which Pokemon are good to be fighting with against the threat at hand and which Moves should be used whenever attacking a Pokemon. When the attacking Pokemon’s Move is an Elemental Type that the target Pokemon’s Elemental Type or Types is Weak against, multiply the total from Rolling Damage and Adding the Appropriate Attack Stat by two. If both of the defending Pokemon’s Types are weak to the attacking Move, multiply the total damage by four. If one of the defending Pokemon’s Types is weak to the attacking Move, while the defending Pokemon’s other Type resists the attack’s Type, do not apply a multiplier to the total damage. If the defending Pokemon’s Type resists the attacking Move’s Type, divide the total damage by two. If the defending Pokemon’s has two Types that both resist the attacking Move’s Type, divide the total damage by four. If the defending Pokemon’s type is Immune to the Move’s type, the Move deals no damage.
After applying Weaknesses, Resistances and Immunities, subtract that total from the defending Pokemon’s HP.
Weaknesses and Resistances:
The following chart displays weaknesses, resistances and immunities by type. When a Pokemon has two types, multiply the two type's weakness values to find it's new ones.
Encounters with other Trainers are generally nonthreatening and are occasionally made with wagers. It is important to decide before the battle what you’ll be wagering or their could be disagreement after the fact. However, it is not unheard of for Trainers to agree on a change of the wager during a Battle. Usually, Trainers in these kind of battles will only have one active Pokemon at a time to issue commands to. These battles can easily be expanded into two versus two, three versus three or even four versus four if the party of Trainer happen to find other willing trainers. The amount of Pokemon each trainer will use is also usually agreed upon before battle so that Trainers with only a few Pokemon do not feel overwhelmed by their opponent who has a team of six powerful Pokemon.
Gyms may have their own special rules depending on the setting your GM is handling so it’s important to ask during the start of a campaign the format in which Gym Battles take place. Usually Gym Battles are tests of skills in one on one battles against a Gym Leader to prove your worth but with the limitless campaign settings, anything could be different. Once thing that will always remain the same is that once you beat a Gym Leader, you will receive a Gym Badge.
Wild encounters are a different story. Wild Pokemon will commonly see Trainers as a threat to their home, or, in the case of larger predatory pokemon, tasty food. In these cases, Wilds will swarm your Party and for this reason, when you are traveling in the wild, you should always try to have an alert, active Pokemon. It’s unusual to come across a Wild by itself, unless it is a predator out on the hunt by itself, but even then many predatory Pokemon will hunt in packs. Wild Pokemon whose territory you’ve entered will usually try to flee when weakened or defeated in battle, losing their will to fight. This is your chance to capture a Pokemon! Pokemon who are hunting your party might also try to flee if you defeat them, or they just might fight until they are felled. Rangers and Law Enforcement usually do not mind when you kill an aggressive Pokemon, however if you leave a trail of dead Pokemon who wanted to disengage from battle, you’ll likely get arrested.
After any battle encounter, your Pokemon should receive experience points.
Some wild Encounters don’t always go as planned. This is when it’s best to count your losses and get out of there. Your party will need to make escape checks, but it might be worth it!
An Escape Check removes a player from a wild Encounter, by using a Pokemon as cover. If a player has no more active Pokemon, an ally’s Pokemon may cover the escaping player. The Escape Check takes up your entire turn (Trainer Action, Pokemon Action and Shift). To make the check, roll 1d20. You need to roll a 11 or better to successfully escape, removing your Pokemon and yourself from the encounter. However, if there is more than twice the amount of wild Pokemon as there are players and Pokemon on your team or if all of the wild Pokemon in the encounter are twice the level of your active Pokemon who is helping you make the Escape Check, the Escape Check is 16 or better. On a successful roll, Shift yourself and the Pokemon helping you make the Escape Check 15 meters away from the Encounter, ignoring Speed Capabilities and Trainer Shifting limitations. Wild Pokemon will ignore players who successfully make an Escape Check, however if they rejoin the encounter, all future Escape Checks for the remainder of the Encounter are 20 on 1d20.
Wild Pokemon may make these checks too, to escape players. Usually on successful rolls, they’ll be Shifted over 20 meters per round away from players until Players give up the chase.
You may suffer up to three Status afflictions at the same time. If you get a fourth Status affliction while already having three, the offender who causes the fourth affliction may choose which prior affliction to replace or to not replace any prior affliction at all. While suffering the effects of afflictions, the afflicted may choose in which order they take damage from their afflictions and which order they make checks to cure themselves of the afflictions.
The Pokemon’s Speed Stat is halved. On the first round of Paralysis, roll 6 or better on 1d20 to act as usual. On the rounds following that, you must roll one higher, capping at 16 (6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16). On a failed roll, no Move may be used. You may not Shift either. Dragon and Electric type Pokemon may attempt to self-cure paralysis, only a roll of 20 will cure during their turn instead of shifting and/or moving. When a Paralyzed Pokemon is sent out of its Poke Ball , the Paralysis check starts at 11. On Turns following that, you must roll one higher, capping at 16.
On the first round of Sleep, a 16 or better will wake you. On following turns, you must roll two less then the previous turn to wake up, capping at 6 (16,14,12,10,8,6). On a failed roll, the Pokemon may not use a Move or Shift unless they have a special Move. When a pokemon uses Rest, it remains asleep to two turns no matter what, no longer no shorter. When a Sleeping Pokemon is sent out of its Poke Ball , the Sleep check starts at 12. On Turns following that, you must roll two lower, capping at 6.
The Pokemon’s Defense Stat is treated as if it has been lowered 2 Combat Stages. Once per turn, you may try to roll for self-curing the Burn in place of a Pokemon’s Move. On d20, the check is a 17. Fire-Type Pokemon only need to roll a 13 when attempting to self-cure burn. At the end of every round, the Burned loses 1/10th of its Max HP.
The Pokemon’s Special Defense Value is treated as if it has been lowered 2 Combat Stages. Once per turn, you may try to roll for self-curing the Poison in place of a Pokemon’s Move. You may not try this for Badly Poisoned. On d20, the check is a 17. Poison and Steel type Pokemon are immune to becoming Poisoned. At the end of every round, the Poisoned loses 1/10th of its total HP. When Badly poisoned, the afflicted loses 5 HP, then twice that, 10 HP, then twice that, 20 HP, then twice that, 40 HP, etc. at the end of each round. A Pokemon does not suffer the effects of Poison while in a Poke Ball.
The Frozen Pokemon may not use a Move or Shift. Once per turn, you may try to roll for self-curing the Freeze in place of a Pokemon’s Move. On d20, the check is a 16. This roll is only 11 for Ice, Fighting, and Fire Pokemon. If you are hit with a Fire, Fighting, Rock, or Steel attack, which has a Damage Dice Roll, you are Defrosted.
You may not Shift or use a Move during your next turn.
Before using a Move or Shifting roll 1d20. On 1-10, you deal STAB to yourself. Do not apply Weakness, Resistance, Defense or Special Defense. On 11-15, you may use a Move and Shift as normal. On 16-20, you are cured of confusion.
Before using a Move or Shifting roll 1d20. On 1-10, you may not target the Pokemon you are Infatuated towards with a Move. On 11-19 you may use a Move and Shift as normal. On 20, you are cured of the Infatuation.
A Critical Hit adds the Damage Dice Roll a second time, including any base amount in the Damage Dice Roll.
Basic Terrain affects which Speed Capability you use to Shift.
- Earth Terrain: Earth Terrain is underground terrain that has no existing tunnel that you are trying to Shift through. You may only Shift through Earth Terrain if you have a Burrow Capability.
- Regular Terrain: Regular Terrain is dirt, short grass, cement, smooth rock, indoor building etc. Shift through Regular Terrain, per meter or space as normal.
- Surface Terrain: Surface Terrain is Water that is deep enough for a Pokemon or Trainer to stand waist level in. A Pokemon Shifting through Surface Terrain uses its Surface Capability for its Shift value. What is Surface Terrain for one person or Pokemon might not necessarily be Surface terrain for all Pokemon or Trainers, depending on their height.
- Underwater: Underwater Terrain is any water that a Pokemon or Trainer can be submerged in. You may not move through Underwater Terrain during an encounter if you do not have an Underwater Capability.
Hindering Terrain modifies both how Pokemon Shift and how Pokemon Target anything.
- Blocking Terrain: Blocking Terrain is any wall, mountain or structure in general that you would not be able to naturally walk through. You cannot Shift through Blocking Terrain, you cannot target through Blocking Terrain. If the object creating Blocking Terrain allows, you may travel over Blocking Terrain or target over Blocking Terrain.
- Rough Terrain: Rough Terrain is anywhere with enough debris or brush around so that Trainers are up to their waists in terrain. Some examples of Rough Terrain is scorched earth, building debris, forests, mountainsides, etc. When Shifting through Rough Terrain, Trainers and their Pokemon treat every meter, or space, as two meters, or two spaces. When targeting through Rough Terrain, you must roll +2 during Accuracy Check to hit. Spaces occupied by other Pokemon are considered Rough Terrain.
Difficult Terrain only modifies how Pokemon Shift during their turn. More rules for Difficult Terrain will be added in the future.
- Icy Terrain: Pokemon moving on Icy Terrain do not stop moving in the direction they start moving until they hit Blocking Terrain or leave Icy Terrain. If a Pokemon Shifts towards a Target on Icy Terrain, they stop adjacent to the Target and the Target is Shifted in the direction opposite of the Shifting Pokemon until they hit Blocking Terrain or leave Icy Terrain. A Pokemon may choose to make a Stop Check instead of using a Move during their turn to stop Shifting as a result of Icy Terrain’s effect. The check on 1d20 must be 14 or higher.
- Sandy Terrain: Sandy Terrain is not basic sand on the ground. Sandy Terrain is loose, grainy sand that you’d find in a desert. While moving on Sandy Terrain, Pokemon who do not have a Burrow Capability or the Sand Veil Ability treat all of their Speed Capabilities as if they are Shifting through Rough Terrain.