06 Dec

Campaign Seeds: Mysterious Ruins

arceus ruins

Artwork by トネコ@お仕事募集中

Hi Pokémon Tabletop fans! First of all, my apologies for the lack of recent activity. Most of it can be chalked up to the recent DDoS attack on ZetaBoards and my desire to wait until I was sure the situation had stabilized before making more content posts. Everything should be fine now – you may see some occasional hiccups accompanied by CloudFlare’s 520, 522, or 524 errors, but I haven’t seen one last for more than a few minutes at most in the past couple days. ZetaBoards just moved to using CloudFlare protection, and on top of that there are the usual issues in the aftermath of a DDoS attack.

That out of the way, let’s talk about today’s campaign seed theme. Ever since the Ruins of Alph back in Gold/Silver/Crystal, mysterious and ancient ruins have featured prominently in the Pokémon series and supplied some of the most interesting bits of lore to be found in the franchise.

Most traditional Pokémon campaigns will feature ruin delving at some point, perhaps as a side plot, but what about campaigns that are wholly built around ruins and perhaps the exploration of one mysterious ruin in particular? As we all know, the pedigree of tabletop RPGs in general is filled with a focus on ancient ruins and dungeon crawling, so I’ve tried my best to give these ideas an interesting twist or two.
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14 Nov

Campaign Seeds: The Road to Tomorrow

It’s no secret that getting started as a PTU GM can be hard, whether due to the learning curve on encounter creation, or simply figuring out what to do given the vast possibilities of playing Pokémon in a tabletop medium. So what I want to do here is write posts that are explicitly geared towards helping new GMs get started with the system. This will range from fluff content like this post to more mechanically-oriented posts such as sample characters and early game encounters.


Artwork by SIN

All of the campaign seeds in this post defy the usual expectations of a campaign where the players set out to conquer the Pokémon League, but they are not so far removed from the Pokémon source material that you have to build everything from scratch yourself. These campaign concepts can live comfortably within the existing Pokémon regions you know and love, given some adaptation and modification, and they all heavily emphasize travel or exploration, which is an important aspect of the Pokémon franchise.

Another theme I incorporated into these campaign seeds is the idea that from the very beginning, the players are clearly part of something that will have important implications for the future of their society. Criminal threats are fleeting, and when Team Rocket falls, it’s often not too long before a near-identical criminal Team rises to replace them. Fame and glory as League Champion only lasts as long as it takes for someone better to come along and beat you. But in these campaign concepts, the players are creators; they are building structures, making discoveries, and establishing norms that will affect the world of their campaign for generations to come.

Let’s get started. These campaign seeds are listed in order of the least to the most deviation from a “To Be a Master” campaign.
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