Jim the Editor and I created a convoluted rule system loosely based on the drinking game Circle of Death (more commonly known as “Kings” in America) for a Pokémon challenge that is more forgiving than a traditional Nuzlocke but nonetheless causes all kinds of random fμ¢&ery. You need a deck of cards (or a simulation thereof) and draw one every time you enter an area where you expect to see a reasonable amount of fighting (i.e. not just routes with wild Pokémon, but also gyms, Team Evil bases, etc – some judgement calls on what counts will be necessary). Each different card instructs you to do something, as follows:
Ace – Waterfall: You cannot switch Pokémon unless one faints or is forced out of play, and cannot reorder your party except at a Pokémon Centre or other healing location. This restriction is overwritten by drawing a Nine, and ends if you draw another Ace.
Two – You: You can catch one Pokémon of your choice in this area.
Three – Me: You can catch the first wild Pokémon you see in this area.
Four – Elements: Your Pokémon may not use STAB attacks, unless they have no un-STABed attacks (attacks in the “status” category don’t count as either). This restriction ends if you draw another Four. You can catch the first Pokémon you see in this area that does not share a type with any of your party Pokémon.
Five – Guys: You cannot use your female Pokémon (unless you have no male or genderless Pokémon). This restriction is overwritten by drawing a Six, and ends if you draw another Five. You can catch the first male wild Pokémon you see in this area.
Six – Chicks: You cannot use your male Pokémon (unless you have no female or genderless Pokémon). This restriction is overwritten by drawing a Five, and ends if you draw another Six. You can catch the first female wild Pokémon you see in this area.
Seven – Lucky Sevens: Draw two more cards and follow the rules for both.
Eight – Mate: Box the Pokémon in your current party that has been with you the longest over the course of the game (this may be a judgement call). You cannot use this Pokémon again unless you are freed of this restriction by drawing a Ten.
Nine – Snake Eyes: A temporary Nuzlocke: until you either earn your next badge or defeat the Elite Four, immediately box any of your Pokémon that are defeated in battle. They are petrified; you can’t use them again until this rule is no longer in effect. This restriction is overwritten by drawing an Ace, and ends if you draw another Nine.
Ten – Rule Card: Remove any or all of the restrictions currently affecting you, and either make up a new rule or change an existing one. If possible, control of this card should always be given to an observer, who may be as cruel or kind as circumstances warrant.
Jack – Never Have I Ever: Teach all of your party Pokémon a new move from a TM (if possible, this must be a move that Pokémon has never known in the past). If some of your Pokémon can’t learn any new moves from the TMs you have, do as many as you can. OPTIONAL: TMs cannot be used unless you draw this card (in games that have HMs, they can be used at any time, and you can never be forced to use an HM).
Queen – A Ship Came Into The Harbour: …carrying a boatload of Pokémon! Keep catching the first Pokémon you see in this area until your party is full (or until you have caught at least three, if there are fewer empty slots in your party).
King – Vessel: Box one member of your current team and replace it with a new one of your choice from this area. The boxed team member is placed in the Vessel and cannot be returned to your active party, even by a Rule Card. If there are ever four Pokémon in the vessel, those Pokémon immediately become your new party, and must be used at least until you earn your next badge or they are removed from your party by other cards.
If you are told to catch a Pokémon in an area that has no wild Pokémon, you miss out (but any other effects of the card still happen). Certain optional rules common in Nuzlockes are also applicable here – e.g. you can accept gift Pokémon, or ignore wild Pokémon of species you have already caught (although you may wish to allow duplicate Pokémon of different genders). I haven’t yet tried playing with these rules while drinking heavily, but I suspect it probably enhances the atmosphere. I’ll probably write a revised version after I’ve finished playing a game.
I’m currently playing Alpha Sapphire under these rules. Most of my Pokémon are male, and currently unusable, the Pokémon I do have are not allowed to use STAB moves, and Jim has used a Rule Card to forbid me from using any two Pokémon whose nicknames start with the same letter. I just lost to Flannery while under the Snake Eyes rule, leaving the entire party of four that I took into that fight petrified and also unusable (Breeze the Beautifly, Cpt. Danger [formerly Sgt. Danger] the Manectric, Larrybelle the Mightyena and Right Angela the Linoone). I now have exactly two usable Pokémon remaining – Slagathor the Vigoroth and Crusher Jane the Machop, both of whom are sorely underlevelled, as well as the Wynaut egg you can pick up in Lavaridge Town (gender currently unknown). Together they must put together a training montage convincing enough to secure the release of my petrified Pokémon from Flannery’s dungeon. I am, frankly, not optimistic.
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