Details on battle mechanics in WAAPT as of January 2017.
The battle system is different than that of the games and in some ways closer to the anime. A not-exactly-turn based battle model is followed in official competition, whereas outside of competition there is a wide assortment of battle styles and regulations that can be followed, ranging from "almost turn based" (for demonstrations, for example) to "fight for your life!".
A trainer in battle issues order to their Pokémon to attack or hurt another one, and the Pokémon tries to comply with the order. In the general case, unless otherwise agreed upon previously, it is the target of the attack who chooses whether they will be hit and how. Much like the anime, a Pokémon can indeed dodge most moves, even ones that have 100% accuracy gamewise. However, moves that always hit like Aerial Ace should hit regardless. Of course, you are not going to always be able to evade hits, and what you can and can not do to attack, defend or evade is subject to some level of common sense. (For example, the vast majority of Pokémon would not be able to dodge most special Electric type attacks.) Check the relevant section of Every's Introduction Essay.
Also take into consideration that just because you teach your Pokémon Hyper Beam and Giga Impact, he will not just one-shot another player-controlled Pokémon in one hit, in particular if it is an already experienced Pokémon. There is a difference between saying "I know Kung Fu" , fighting using Kung Fu, and knowing Kung Fu. Have your Pokémon get some character development by actually sparring, practicing moves, etc. On the other hand, silly Pidgeys and com mons are kinda fair game and they are good targets for practicing moves and strategies.
The entire gamut of battle formats are available to players and characters in the RP, including Triple and Rotation battles. Alternatively, where agreed upon, custom battle styles like tag doubles could be used.
- 1-on-1: each side has one Pokémon in the field at a time. Just like the standard in the games.
- 2-on-2 ("doubles"): each side has two Pokémon in the field at a time.
- 3-on-3 ("triples"): each side has three Pokémon in the field at a time.
- Tag Battle: each side has up to two Trainers, who send enough Pokémon each to make two on each side of the battlefield (eg.: the tag Lance battle in HG/SS).
Note that this is different from the battle mode, as in how many Pokémon to use and under what conditions (Clauses). For example, two Full Teams (6 v/s 6) can battle using any of the first three standard modes mentioned above, but it can also be, for instance, a Trainer with 3 mons against a Trainer with 5 mons.
Special Ruling: Sky Battles are open to any Pokémon capable of sustained flight and/or who have the Levitate ability.
Most of the rules and guidelines exposed here serve as a de-facto standard for WAAPT interplayer battles, unless the plot mandates otherwise (see for example the Conquest Arc). However, if you want to have a battle under a special set of rules, you can still do so provided you and the other player involved reach a provable agreement (this meaning something other players can consult, such as Discussion or the chatroom).
Unlike in the main games, Pokémon in WAAPT can eventually learn any move within their movepool and current level (if you’re using it). Of course, wild mons are mostly limited to natural movepool, that is: by level and one/two moves by breeding.
This strongly changes the utility, approachability and mechanics of some techniques that operate on the movepool as a target, like Mimic, Imprison or Assist, to an important degree. While most of those have been featured in RP already and can be explained here, it can be useful to do a quick fact checkup when using moves like Imprison, Mimic or Assist. Things like Taunt or Encore can also require a special treatment.
As for what other moves can a mon learn, this is mostly TMs, HMs and Tutor Moves, as long as they fall within their available movepool. Mons are not limited by generational availability of the techniques, so it is possible, albeit extremely rare, for example, to have a G1 mon know a G1 or G2 TM, and it is perfectly fine for them to know tutor moves from different generations, although you could try to leave available something for them to learn in-story. You could have your Pokémon get an event move via an "event" in backstory or in story, a mon who was purified as part of their backstory, for example, would know a Purification Move (or rather, an available egg move).
For more information on what moves change their effects and mechanics in this adaption and how check Special Move Mechanics.
In the Battlefield
In a regulated / official battle, mons by default can use up to four distinct moves. Which moves those four are dependent of course on what the particular mon has learned and is instructed to use: the first four moves you use are the ones that go "in", no matter what your available movepool is, so choose well.
Special rulings here:
By default there is no such thing as PP for moves in this RP. However, this does not in any way mean your Pokémon can just spam Earthquake to win. Mons as individual creatures still have a limited supply of elemental energy to use.
In particular, it is expectable that the more the battle drags out, the more the Pokémon tire out, meaning their moves might not function at full power. Conversely, if your Pokémon has been saving his strength for that one Close Combat, it makes sense that it'd come out stronger than usual.
Moves like Disable, Spite and Grudge may change in meaning. Spite imposes an artificial limit on PP, then substracts from it; the effect wears out with a stay at a Pokécenter, etc. Disable seals usage of a move temporarily, but not its strength. Grudge seals usage of a move until the target shakes off the effect (with a good rest, etc).
Items like Ethers can be used to eg.: restore "PP" when blocked artificially, or to overall restore a mon's strength (but not its health).
This section covers buff moves (moves of the "Status" damage Category that raise one of the user's stats).
In terms of buffing, gradual buffing either by itself or chained (see below) is allowed. Instant buffing (As in getting +6 of one stat in one turn) is not. Note that there are moves naturally exempt from this, such as Belly Drum, but remember they have a drawback.
When a buff move is used on its own, they retain their effect afterwards, and their effects stack as well. When using a buff move as part of a chain to an attack move, however, the effect of the buff only lasts until the chained-to attack has ended. This effect stacks with previously available boosts so long as the sum does not go over
+6 in its stat.
Because a chained buff only exists for the upcoming attack move, it does not "de-stack" with an opponent's status lowering move such as a Leer, though previous (normal) buffs will still be affected.
Note: Chained buffs were non-transient up until some time ago (July 2013 or so). This is no longer the case.
Special rulings here:
One particular feature of WAAPT battle mechanics is chaining, which works in a similar way as it does in eg.: fighting games.
In the duration of a turn, status buffing moves (see above) can be chained onto an attack move. Thus Swords Dance or Bulk Up, but not Glare or Sand Attack, can be chained into Aerial Ace or Bone Rush, but not into Light Screen or Water Sport. Healing moves are also unable to be chained in any fashion.
Attacking moves additionally cannot be changed. Regardless of the speed of the mon in question, you get one damaging move per turn.
As an exception to the rule, Protect can be chained onto an attack move. Because this nullifies the only practical drawback of Protect though, use this with moderation, and be more than willing to back down if called out on abusing this. To be sensible, remember that just like in-game, Protect is subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns. The same goes for Detect.
Since the question has been asked a lot: no, Weather moves, King's Shield, Baneful Bunker, Light Screen, and Reflect can not be chained from or into. They don't boost the caster's own state and they are not attack moves.
Do note that chaining moves is something that realistically takes time. Your Pokémon might be able to Flamethrower a Scyther before it can approach, but if your mon tries to chain a Calm Mind to it, it might not be able to pull it off before the Scyther completes its attack. Thus it is important that if you are going to write a chaining in a "turn", you obey the rule in Every's Essay about not deciding the result of the action by yourself.
Movement and Range
(Sanctioned) Moves are not the only thing a Pokémon can do during battle. They are more or less free to move around the battlefield and even converse, depending on what the Rules of Drama and Funny dictate for the moment. More savvy mons can move around so as to use the terrain to their advantage.
Unless otherwise specified, it is "kinda safe" to assume a flying mon is flying. Similarly, unless otherwise specified, it is kinda safe to assume that in a partially underwater scenario a water mon is underwater.
Where available, Pokémon can use whatever items and objects they find in their vicinity to their advantage, as cover or as attacking items for example. Taking cover behind a rock, or tearing down a tree and Flinging it at the opponent, are things that can be done unless under tournament regulation.
Special rulings here:
- Rapid Spin
When using weather moves, weather abilities or entry hazards, care must be taken to make their portrayal sensible. Thus, these moves will likely differ somewhat from their in-game mechanics by necessity, such as the effects of weather alteration indoors.
The most egregious example is that there are ways beyond Rapid Spin to remove or otherwise palliate entry hazards: for example, it makes sense for a Surf or other AoE water-type move aimed at the battlefield to help wash out Toxic Spikes.
Remember that if your opponent makes use of a move that changes the Geo Effects or otherwise alters the battle environment, such as say a Surf damping the entire arena, such effects should not be ignored.
There are in this incarnation various moves, items and abilities subject to altered or special mechanics to make them work more sensibly than the usual game/manga/anime incarnation. Unless stated otherwise, moves here follow mechanics based on the current generation mechanics in terms of relative power, targeting and area of effect. Similarly with Abilities. Exceptions will be noted in the articles linked here.
Example of special mechanics to be considered during battle include but are not limited to:
- Canon moves that work differently than other canon incarnations. See Special Move Mechanics.
- Moves imported from other canon sources, like the TCG
and Thunder Armor.
- Abilities imported from other canon sources, like the TCG.
- IQ Skills from the PMD series.
- Stuff we made up, like exclusive moves (usually homages to other works).
As a general non-rule-but-guideline for TCG and PMD imported stuff, we take into consideration the PEFE interpretation. Balance of such abilities and skills is also an important matter so these moves and abilities should be consulted about in Discussion before portaying their adaption.
Other related stuff not necessarily tied to battle mechanics that you might want to keep an eye on: