Or How I Bait-and-Switched My Players SUPER Hard
Today’s post is a guest article from KamenWriter, who was a member of the PTA dev team since early in the system’s life and has contributed a lot of help to PTU as well.
“Over There!” AKA World War One Pokémon, was a short, two-month-long campaign which took place in Europe, 1917, in the midst of the Great War.
The world is one just like ours, with the same history, landmasses, and names for anything. The only difference is that this world has Pokémon where our world has regular animals, and they have a way to train the creatures to fight alongside them. As the game begins, two trains filled with soldiers and their Pokémon roar along the tracks, one filled with Allies heading east towards the German front, and another heading in the opposite direction, originating from Berlin, Germany carrying Central Power soldiers.
Suddenly, there is some kind of anomaly! A sudden surge of power, and the players find themselves suddenly alone on the train, except for a strange man in cobalt blue military garb, wearing a bright red poppy where his medals would be. The man disappears, and the players suddenly find that outside the window there is another world altogether. The two trains, one heading east and the other west, find themselves on the same track, roaring uncontrollably towards one another. There is a crash! The players are plunged into darkness.
When they awake, they are in a thick woods where just a moment ago there was a wide plain. On the two trains, two enemy factions are suddenly face-to-face, and are forced to survive being stranded in unfamiliar territory.
That is how Over There! Began. Probably one of the biggest bait and switches in PTU history. I approached my players with setting details, and was light on the actual content until the first session, where they were whisked away to an unfamiliar territory and forced to fight for their lives. The twist was that the most powerful of the legendary Pokémon hand-picked these soldiers, an American nurse, a Russian spy, an experienced German airforce pilot, a top-secret Psi-ops candidate, and a young German man fighting for what he believes in, in order to put them through a trial by combat to decide the fate of the human race.