The magic number

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Thread: The magic number

  1. #1
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default The magic number

    I was going through my old notes in my plan to rewrite the first few chapters of my old fanfic when I came across which pokemon the characters have. One of them is already an established trainer with a full team of six.

    However, this is writing! I don't have to be confined by the limitations or precedents of the games or anime. So I'm wondering if I should just ditch the six Pokemon limit, or maybe even lower it to a nice round number like five.

    How do you guys deal with the maximum number of Pokemon a trainer can carry? Do you just accept six and go on, or do you fiddle with the limits or get rid of it entirely?

    From a personal standpoint, lowering it to five makes things a bit easier, as I have one less character to develop a personality for. But I also feel like an established trainer who's travelled for some time would have more, so I'm not sure which direction to go with this.

    Thoughts?

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: The magic number

    You say a character has more (at a professor's or in the PC--and rotate them out as minor characters, but focus on your main team)
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    Default Re: The magic number

    This is tricky indeed. I try not give my characters too many Pokemon, because I try to treat each Pokemon like it's just that, a character. Pokemon aren't tools who are just meant for battle an nothing else, they're characters in their own rights. Their own problems, own limitations, own genders, and own personalities. I think establishing one or two Pokemon first and their personalities is better than giving your character a full team of six Pokemon who don't really have any personality, since it might a tad too much or be a hassle to establish a personality for a full team of six right off the bat, not to mention many Pokemon need screen time, that's gonna be a bit hard for a full team of six right off the bat. I prefer to give the characters one, maybe two Pokemon from the beginning and work with that. One of the main problems with the Pokemon Anime is Ash has a clusterfuck of Pokemon, Pikachu, Oshawott, Krokorok, Pignite, Snivy, Scraggy, Palpitoad, Leavanny, Ufezant, and Boldore. The last four don't show much personality in general as they did in their debuts, they don't have a chance to because they often have to play second fiddle to the advertisement Pokemon(Pikachu, Pignite, Oshawott, Snivy) who get a lot of screen time, second tier of course is Scraggy and Krokorok, and on the last tier is Leavanny, Palpitoad, Ufezant, and Boldore. You really don't get a chance to get invested in the last fours' characters the same way you do with the formers. It's case of their being "too much of a good thing", that's why it's a big mistake to me to give a new trainer so many Pokemon from the start.

    To answer your question. Although it is writing, I feel like it's a bit going overboard that a trainer can carry over six Pokemon at once. These limitations are put on them because if they did they would be overpowered. You don't have to ditch the full six-team limit at all. Just say the trainer has five Pokemon or better yet, say the trainer left a Pokemon at home or the Pokemon passed away or something. You could even say the guy has an egg or something, or you could just have the guy catch a newbie rookie Pokemon and that could be interesting because we could see how well it would contrast with the full team of trained power players the trainer has. I mean can you imagine a newly caught Patrat, Clefairy, or Sewaddle interacting with an Snorlax, Samurott, Stoutland, Toxicroak, and Excadrill? XD

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    ポケモン Tsutarja's Avatar
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    Post Re: The magic number

    If you're completely certain that you won't be able to handle all of the potential six Pokémon properly, I'd say that you take the safer approach and have like three or four Pokémon (but like I said, if you think you're able to pull it off, go ahead). Oh, or five Pokémon, hehe, as long as you have the general idea of their character/personality and traits.

    How about you let the readers know that your trainer HAD sixth Pokémon, but something happened to it?

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    In my universe people carry any number of pokemon with them, and battles of more than 6v6 often take place. International tournaments and battles for the title of Champion are examples of battles that take a larger format; typically 10v10 or 12v12 (with breaks at the halfway stage). Gym battle size depends on the character's skill and number of pokemon among other things, and league battles are always 6v6. While official battles are never larger than 12v12, there are probably those within my universe who have underwent even longer battles.

    Most people have a core team with them however, that they generally keep through their journey, with peripherals being in rotation (or just lying around in their backpack). This allows me as a writer to avoid too broad a cast of pokemon characters, but even among the core team there are those who don't get much development - often simply because they're on the lower tier of the sapience/intelligence scale; pokemon vary wildly here. I don't feel it necessary to have an ongoing conflict or any such thing attached to every character; some are pretty much content and happy the way they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotpika
    To answer your question. Although it is writing, I feel like it's a bit going overboard that a trainer can carry over six Pokemon at once. These limitations are put on them because if they did they would be overpowered.
    I will have to disagree on the overpowered argument. It certainly makes sense within the context of a game, where having too many pokes would make you overpowered, but in any context not restricted by game rules (or broken by them), it would only make sense that challengers agree on the number of pokemon. Even if a trainer has six pokemon, they only use three versus a gym leader with three pokemon; how would that be different if they started out with nine?

    To answer your concerns, @Caitlin; - just lower it if you want. No one bites your head off for changing canon rules. Lower it, increase it, remove it if you so wish; it's all up to you, as the writer, what you want to do. One of the biggest restrictions fanfic authors impose unto themselves (and often the most unnecessary) is adhering slavishly to established canon. With the exception of a few core concepts, you can and should play around with it as much as you feel like. You want less pokemon, go for that. You want more, you go for that. You don't need to justify it (in most cases), you don't have to feel qualms about changing it; it is but an arbitrary set of rules meant for a different media than the one you are working with.
    Last edited by TheLlama; 19th June 2012 at 08:07 PM.
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    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    If you feel you can handle more than six, go for it. A team of seven starts to get unwieldy for most people, though, which is probably why the number was cut down to six.
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    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    I like the explanation from Special best- trainers are allowed to carry any number of Pokémon with them, but most stick with six so that it's easier to forge the close bond necessary to be a successful trainer with a smaller number of Pokémon

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningTopaz View Post
    You say a character has more (at a professor's or in the PC--and rotate them out as minor characters, but focus on your main team)
    I've decided to go this route, however limiting the team to five. It seems like the most manageable to someone of my skill level, especially since I want at least four of the main team to have unique personalities.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    For me it really depends on the character, most of my main characters have 2-4, and I think that it gives the pokemon a chance to develop without being overshadowed by things that are obviously more important. But that isn't a strict rule, I do believe though that putting a limit is necessary as to not overcrowd your party, I mean sure I remember thinking "Why can't we just carry as much pokemon as we want?" but cease to carry significant interest.

    With that in mind, I think the perfect number (depending on the character) is 1-8 as a maximum anything over eight is overkill, especially when they're all super strong.

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    Now I'm thinking of another magic number, the number of moves a Pokemon could conceivably know.

    I got into a discussion last night with a friend about whether, in writing or even in the anime, something so simple and basic such as Tackle should really be considered a move and take up one of the "slots". He said that it should, because it's an established rule. But come on, it's not like you're summoning lightning with your fists, something that takes time, skill and practice to do. You're only throwing yourself at an opponent, something that even a braindead sloth could do.

    Even then, I've always felt that mastering abilities and moves for Pokemon are sort of an "It's like riding a bike, you never forget." So I was wondering, is having more than four "special" moves a bit of a bad idea? I'd try to limit it so that a Pokemon isn't throwing its full arsenal of 15+ moves out in a single battle, but four always seemed like such a silly limit.

    Thoughts?

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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    ^^ Safe-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    For me, limiting moves is like saying that a pokemon is a computer with slots... There shouldn't be a limit, I mean would you limit a human to the number of intelligent tasks that they master over the years just because of their memory. It makes no sense, there shouldn't and wouldn't be a limit if the game wasn't strictly strategic, and that's why there aren't limits in the anime.
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    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    I think it would depend both on the Pokémon's species, and the individual Pokémon itself. I would think that the average Alakazam would be able to utilize a wider variety of techniques than, say, the average Conkeldurr, due to the difference in intelligence. I would also think that a particularly intelligent Alakazam would be able to utilize a wider variety of techniques than a particularly unintelligent one.

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    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The magic number

    Hmm. I just basically use whatever number of moves I damn well want to.

    In Poké Wars, because of rules of the 'verse, any pokémon can use any moves of their type or moves they can physically use. In addition, moves can be used or combined in flashy (and usually horrifyingly lethal ways)

    For instance, since Lucario has hands, it can learn Fire Punch (even though canon says it can't).

    Or Ho-oh using Heat Wave (because he's a fire type and Heat Wave's a fire type move).
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

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