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Learning from Las Pokemons

It’s a recurring theme over here that no matter how old school you are, there’s something you can learn from other games of the past 1-10-20-30 years, and that the other Most Popular RPGs are worth mining. In particular, that that denigrated gesamtwerk Pokemon has rich veins laced through it.

One of those veins is the massive palette of attacks available in the game. Some of these are common, some are unique to particular creatures. A bunch are more or less the same, or identical except for being tied to one of the “elemental” types (of which there are 17: take that, Galen). Many don’t make any sense. But that still leaves a couple of hundred that are distinctive and that can turn up in the most surprising places. So here’s a list of pokemonious adjectives to suggest game effects, to apply to your next goblin, orc or slime, to select with your favourite randomizer and to mix things up a little out in the chaos wastes:

1: constricting, 2: venomous, 3: fiery, 4: screeching, 5: surfing, 6: burrowing,
7: vampiric, 8: confusing, 9: ghostly, 10: terrifying, 11: enervating, 12: sticky,
13: charming, 14: infuriating, 15: seductive, 16: intoxicating, 17: paralyzing, 18: invisible,
19: stealthy, 20: regenerating, 21: soporific, 22: freezing, 23: disarming, 24: snatching,
25: scratching, 26: biting, 27: electrifying, 28: possessing, 29: psychic, 30: oracular,
31: multiplying, 32: shrinking, 33: fast, 34: heavily laden, 35: sleeptalking, 36: dream-eating,
37: rooted, 38: leech-seeding, 39: hypnotic, 40: stone, 41: tenacious, 42: hard-shelled,
43: bellowing, 44: weather-controlling, 45: teleporting, 46: distracting, 47: flying, 48: iron
49: outraged, 50: thorny, 51: caltrop-strewing, 52: fleeing, 53: character-hurling, 54: leaping,
55: extravagantly-tailed, 56: deafening, 57: blinding, 58: self-destructing, 59: amnesiac, 60: lucky,
61: clear-bodied, 62: oscillating, 63: fast-learning, 64: mimicking, 65: meteor-summoning, 66: elemental-bolt-throwing,
67: gripping, 68: guillotining, 69: whirlwind-attacking, 70: binding, 71: whipping, 72: acidic
73: fog-generating, 74: slave-taking, 75: rock-throwing, 76: earth quaking, 77: meditative, 78: agile,
79: protective, 80: clockwork, 81: licking, 82: sludge-bombing, 83: mattock-swinging, 84: soft-bodied,
85: self-transforming, 86: gas belching, 87: dive-bombing, 88: dizzy, 89: boomerang-wielding, 90: continuously-improving,
91: spiteful, 92: surprising, 93: destiny-twinned, 94: preternaturally-enduring, 95: milk-drinking*, 96: bell-striking,
97: tag-teaming, 98: moonlighting, 99: pursuing, 100: misleading, 101: shadow-sneaking, 102: power-stockpiling,
103: anticipating, 104: equipment-seizing, 105: helpful, 106: roleplaying, 107: erupting, 108: camouflaged,
109: glowing, 110: lustrous OR lustre-destroying, 111: dancing, 112: crushing, 113: cannon-carrying, 114: crying,
115: trail-sniffing, 116: tickling**, 117: water-spouting, 118: plant-controlling, 119: unflappable, 120: gravity-increasing,
121: whirling, 122: grenading, 123: cover-exploiting, 124: magic-proof, 125: bodyswapping, 126: trick-room-luring
127: potion-flinging, 128: telekinetic, 129: gravity-ignoring, 130: bardic, 131: acrobatic, 132: retaliatory,
133: sacred, 134: web-spinning, 135: light-controlling, 136: demon-dealing, 137: steamrolling, 138: gear-grinding,
139: techno-blasting***, 140: relic-singing, 141: secret-weapon-bearing, 142: glaciating, 143: icicle-spearing, 144: fusing,
145: skin-shedding, 146: cauterizing, 147: flinch-inducing, 148: monster-vomiting, 149: land-parching, 150: crockery-breaking.****

* I kid you not. I’m guessing it’s milk with knives in it, like Alex and his droogs drink to get them ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence.
** funny to everyone who’s never been set on by a nightgaunt. Think how incapacitating it can be. Imagine it happening unexpectedly. Figure out why they’re doing exactly this. Creep your players out.
*** no, I don’t know. I’m thinking they’re blasting you with some technological gizmo rather than deeper house, but do what you feel, man.
**** like scorned Latin women in 60s movies or Greeks at weddings? Maybe. Or maybe those pots contain something you don’t want released.

Believe it or not this is pretty selective. I deliberately didn’t include Leek Slap, Horn Hazard (inappropriate?), Bench manipulation (definitely inappropriate), Boyfriends (too specific), or Afternoon Nap. Do The Wave and Eggsplosion were excluded on grounds of taste, though if you’re playing T&T, by all means go for it. Continuous Fireball I consider to be an unattainable piece of cheese for a long campaign. Magnum Punch was just too nostalgic, even for me. And Sporadic Sponging is something I try to avoid.

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  1. April 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Your annotations amuse me greatly.

    • richard
      April 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks. I’m addicted to them, but in my day job they’re usually restricted to dry old references. I guess I’ve got into the habit of hiding easter eggs there.

  1. January 21, 2012 at 12:26 am

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