Z-nogyroP asks:

i feel like you’ve almost certainly answered this question before, but how do you think abilities work? some abilities seem more like physical features (tough claws, thick fat, compound eyes) whereas others are a lot more abstract (pixilate, mold breaker, cloud nine). wouldn’t a tinted lens butterfree’s eyes be just as compound as one with the compound eyes ability? what makes a gluttony snorlax have less fat than one with thick fat?

I’ve tried to answer this one before; let’s see… here.

It’s a bastard of a question, to be quite honest with you.

My natural inclination is to say that abilities have nothing in common and they all work in different ways because… why would they?  As you rightly note, “abilities” covers a very wide range of traits and skills.  There’s no reason to expect that the rules governing a Butterfree’s vision would be anything like the rules governing Snorlax’s rolls of fat.  Continue reading “Z-nogyroP asks:”

Ty asks:

How would you rate changing Cacturne’s Sand Veil into Sand Rush? Too much? Not enough? Just right?

It would certainly help, because Cacturne is powerful but slow, and heavily reliant on Sucker Punch. It’s exactly the type of Pokémon who would benefit from an ability like Sand Rush, although how much is “enough” is pretty subjective. My concern here isn’t that Sand Rush would be too strong on Cacturne, but rather that it doesn’t really fit. Cacturne is a stalker, a Pokémon who follows prey across the desert, unseen and out of range, until that prey collapses from exhaustion. Tricky moves like Sucker Punch that catch the target off-guard are a good fit; Sand Veil, a silly ability though it admittedly is, is a good fit; low speed and high power are a good fit; a conventional weather-based sweeper mentality isn’t, really. I think maybe some kind of Grass-type situational first strike move, analogous to Sucker Punch, would be interesting – maybe something that has speed priority against a target with less than 50% of its health, but fails against healthy Pokémon the way Sucker Punch fails against status moves?  You could even rework Needle Arm into this; the only other Pokémon that get it are Maractus and Chesnaught, and although Chesnaught is arguably decent already neither of them is in danger of breaking the game. That probably falls under “not enough,” but I like it better as an expression of what Cacturne is about.

ShadJV asks:

Two follow up questions (unrelated to each other):

1) How do Pokemon without arms “hold” items”? I realize it would vary (and I’m not asking you to explain ALL of them) but just… like how do you give voltorb a quick claw? And even ones with arms, how do they battle without being severely handicapped from having to hold a berry without crushing or dropping it in a huge fight?

2) How does Pay Day work then? I’ve still never understood where the coins come from.

1) We do see quite a few Pokémon in the anime holding one particular type of item: Mega Stones.  The stones are usually set in wearable accessories – even for Pokémon with dextrous hands, like Lucario and Gardevoir, so as not to interfere with battle techniques.  You could probably generalise that to most other items, and create custom fittings to suit the anatomy of almost any Pokémon (Voltorb is admittedly a difficult one, but I’m willing to trust that some Poké-world artisan has figured it out).  I suspect trainers may be able to buy an assortment of these from specialty tailors and jewellers. Continue reading “ShadJV asks:”

Elchar asks:

Wait so we can just asking you about your thoughts on random Pokémon? I think you have just set a dangerous precedent for yourself. Anyway. My favorite Pokémon ever are Voltorb and Electrode actually. What are your thoughts on them and their battle power? And if Electrode could get Mega evolution, how would you set its stats, types and abilities? Thanks.

Ehhhhhhh… yeee-es?  In principle, sort of.  I try not to make a habit of it, because it has in the past led to an inbox piled high with more “ooh, talk about my favourite next!” than I can deal with.  I prefer to prioritise more specific questions, and I don’t particularly enjoy coming up with design ideas for mega evolutions, because to do a good one requires thinking at right angles to a Pokémon’s base design in a way that I’m not terribly good at.  Having said all that, you did ask, so… Continue reading “Elchar asks:”

Anonymous asks:

Alternative explanation to why Wishi Washi is allowed to cheat (which is more funny than serious): No one wants to argue with the eldritch horror of the deep. Although I wonder what the rules are in double battles when the trainer’s Wishi Washi joins the rival Wishi Washi’s school. Or maybe there’s a sort of exception for Pokemon like Vespiqueen where it’s just a biological mechanism or something like that. I would say maybe we’re just overthinking it, but overthinking’s where all the fun is.

Maybe there are some Pokémon that are just usually trained by lawyers because they’re the only ones who can keep track of the rules. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Anonymous asks:

Actually, looking at Wishiwashi’s schooling form, maybe it’s allowed because the school seems to fuse together? With the “main” Wishiwashi serving as the “brain” of the school itself? I mean, it could just be graphical limitations, but the school does look like it fuses into a single organism.

Well, “seems” is the operative word there – the whole point of Wishiwashi’s design is that it’s based on schools of fish that are able to make it look like they’re a single organism even though they definitely aren’t.  This rationale might save us from having to explain why Wishiwashi is basically allowed to cheat in Pokémon battles, but I think it does so at the expense of what makes Wishiwashi an interesting Pokémon.

VikingBoyBilly asks:

The alolan muk can’t learn thunderbolt and thunder and is able to learn rock polish and stone edge. This adds such weird characterization to the forms.

That…

…huh.

That is weird.

Alolan Muk has a lot of particles sticking out of its body that could represent stones and thus justify Rock attacks.  Maybe it can’t use electrical moves because it’s adapted for a more terrestrial lifestyle than the primarily aquatic Kantonian Muk?