I was looking for a challenge I could start on vacation, and ran across the Scramble Challenge. This challenge differs slightly from that -- maybe it's a modified Scramble? Anywho, here's how it works:
I use an RNG to pick 12 unique random Pokemon. These are the only Pokemon who can make up my team. Exceptions: necessary HM-only Pokemon (who cannot fight at all), temporary team members if I need to wait a bit until I can get the first Pokemon from the list, any forced captures or forced team members, etc.
I cannot have duplicates of any Pokemon on the list, and I must use the first one of those Pokemon I catch. So I can't catch two Geodudes and use the second one if I like it better -- I need to use the first Geodude (unless the second is shiny - then I get to choose). Exceptions: Pokemon who will be at different evolutionary stages in the list. For example, I can have two Eevee if one will evolve and the other won't, or if they each evolve into different Pokemon.
A shiny Pokemon on the list can replace its non-shiny counterpart on the team, but only one of those Pokemon may be used after that point. The other must be permanently boxed.
Other Pokemon may be caught, bought, gifted, etc. (including shinies), but they must be permanently boxed. They cannot be included in the storyline.
Trading is allowed if it's necessary in order to get a particular Pokemon.
That's about it! I'll be posting the prologue tomorrow.
First update! This is just the prologue, though. :p
"Psst. Hey, Max. Max!"
Max opened his eyes to his best friend shining a flashlight in his face. Blinking against the light, he groaned. "What do you want? I'm tired."
"But it's Tourney Day!" The light bounced as if to emphasize this point.
Max rolled over and looked at the alarm clock. "It's four in the morning, Blue. Nothing starts until after ten."
Blue rolled his eyes. "The competitions start at ten. But the lottery starts at six."
Max's eyes widened at the reminder. That was right. The lottery. Every kid from ten to eighteen between here and Viridian would enter, hoping for a chance at official registry as a trainer. The winning kids would be given a set of pokeballs, a license, and fifty dollars to help pay for care costs before they started making money of their own.
A Pokemon trainer could make a lot of money.
And unlike adults, who needed to pay for their licenses and renew them every three years, a kid who won the lottery didn't have to pay for any of that. Ever. Once they had a license, it didn't expire -- they just needed to go in for a new picture every year until they turned eighteen, and every three years after that.
This year, Max and Blue were finally old enough to enter.
"Seriously? Six in the morning?" At his friend's nod, Max fell back on the bed and groaned. "You're sure it's not PM?"
"Yep. Six AM. And they only take names for an hour at most. Last year they ran out of registration numbers in the first twenty minutes. So we've gotta be early. I checked and there's already like ten people in front of the office. So come on! Get up!
Max sighed and got up.
Blue had been right about the crowd. By the time they got to the town hall, there were about fifty kids waiting in line by the door. A lot of them were older, kids getting close to eighteen, hoping against hope that they'd get their license. For some of them, this was it. Licenses were expensive, and not everyone could afford it.
Max didn't think about the fact that he could never afford it. Blue probably could, but that was because his parents worked at the lab. The government paid for everything. So, Blue was only here because he wanted a chance to get his license years earlier than he would otherwise.
Max and blue took their place at the end of the line. They settled on the sidewalk to wait.
When Blue's name was called, he froze. Max pushed him forward. "Go on! Blue, that's you! Go on, go up there!"
After the ceremony, Blue looked at his friend. "This doesn't change anything, you know. I'm not going anywhere without you."
Max smiled. "I know. Besides, there's always next year."
Though the next year it didn't happen either. Or the year after that. Or the year after that.
My player character's name is Max.
Max's rival is Blue.
QOTD: What do you name your rival? Do you go with the defaults, or do you make up your own?
I'm excited to see which team members you get. That's kind of a lottery, too, in a sense!
QOTD: I used to name my rivals after my best friends. It's kind of random these days. Sometimes I use canon names. Sometimes I name them something that pertains to my particular theme/challenge. And a lot of times I still name them after buddies.
After a brief IRL interruption, I'm back with chapter one! :D This features the first Pokemon on the list, which was cool because I didn't need to worry about any temporary team members.
@Smote - I decided to post the list as I went along for exactly that reason. :p I never thought of using my friends' names! I usually pick from the list of defaults, but recently I've been branching out. Except for this one.
Happy Birthday! I'm sorry it didn't work out this year. There's always next year. I didn't get mine until I was almost eighteen, remember? So there's still time!
This is a kabuto fossil. It's one of the smallest ones we found. The markings on its back must be some sort of scarring, we thing, or some sort of mineral deposit. It's been cataloged and photographed and everything, so don't worry about me getting in trouble.
Just, you know, don't tell my boss.
Give mom a hug for me, and tell Lisa I miss her.
* * *
Max folded the letter up and sighed. He was fourteen today.
He didn't want to be fourteen today.
He wanted to be ten again. He wanted to be friends with Blue again. Before Blue got new friends, friends with lots of pokemon and people who worked at the lab with pokemon, and pokemon, pokemon, pokemon. He hated it. He hated his brother for bringing it up, for sending him a pokemon fossil, for having his own pokemon and winning the lottery.
He hated pokemon.
Still, he opened the box.
It looked a little like a horseshoe crab, round on top and nearly flat on the bottom. It fit easily into the palm of his hand, and he could keep it in his pocket if he wanted. And on its back was a strange design in what looked like some whitish-greenish substance. It was perfectly smooth. It certainly didn't look like scarring, unless the scars were covered by whatever was embedded in the shell.
"Max!" His mom shouted up the stairs, jarring him out of his thoughts.
"You have a visitor!"
"'Kay, I'll be down in a second!"
He set it aside and shoved the box under his bed.
Blue sat at the kitchen table.
"Turner," he said, using Blue's real name just to annoy him. "What are you doing here?"
His former best friend smirked. "Hey, Max. Long time no see."
"Two and a half years." Though really, they'd stopped being friends long before that.
Blue laughed. "Yep. Hey, listen, I've got a surprise for you."
"Yeah, it's outside. Come on." He got up and walked to the door.
* * *
"So, where's this surprise?" Max asked Blue when they were outside. They walked along the side of the road.
"It's in the lab."
Max wondered if Blue knew that he wouldn't have left the house if he'd heard that up front.
"So, uh," Max said, not sure what to talk about. "How is everything?"
"It's good! I've been on the tourney circuit for a while now."
Of course he had. "How's that going?"
"It was good, for a bit. Until they, ah, closed the circuit."
Blue turned red. "They closed down the tourneys. There's been a big change in how they do things -- I guess they're making them more regulated and stuff. Instead of tourneys there are gyms, and only in certain places -- the most popular tourney spots, I guess. And now there's this group of people regulating everything having to do with training and pokemon -- they're called the Elite Four. And they rescinded a bunch of licenses and made it so any kid can get one free, but adults have to pay. And there's a test to pass and everything. There's more of course, but that's the gist." They turned into the parking lot to the lab. "Anyway, here we are."
Max didn't know what to think. No more tourney days? Gyms instead? How would that work? He pictured a group of kids in a workout gym with a bunch of pokemon. That couldn't be right. And wait a minute... "Any kid can get a license?" Not that he wanted one, of course. But it couldn't hurt to be sure.
Blue grinned at him. "Yep! And I talked to my dad's boss and he's got a surprise for you." He turned serious suddenly. "I'm sorry for how I've treated you lately. I've been a jerk. I just got so wrapped up in everything. The tourneys are cool, and so are the people. But it wasn't fair to just up and leave and stop talking to you and stuff. I hope this will help make it up to you."
Nothing could make up for almost four years without his best friend, Max thought. But he didn't say it. Instead he followed Blue into the lab.
Inside were three pokemon. Blue gestured toward them. "Here they are! You get to pick one."
But I don't want a pokemon. "But I don't have a license," he said.
"Sure you do! Didn't you hear what I was saying? You get a license and a pokemon. It's all free for kids ten to eighteen." Blue grinned. "My dad'll print it out for you once you pick your present out."
Max sighed inwardly. He really, really didn't want a pokemon. He wasn't even sure what to think of Blue and his apology. But he looked, anyway. It was only polite.
The first was reddish-orange and reptilian, with a bright flame on its tale. It opened its mouth to reveal very sharp teeth. Charmander.
The second looked sort of like a giant blue turtle. It stood upright, making its shell look a little like a too-big backpack. Squirtle.
The third was green. It looked like a cross between some kind of reptile and a plant. It had scales, for the most part, and a bulb growing out of its back. Bulbasaur.
"Well? Which one're you going to pick?" Blue asked impatiently.
Max was about to say he really didn't want to pick, because he changed his mind a long time ago and really didn't want a pokemon -- that he didn't eve like pokemon, hated them in fact -- when the Squirtle turned around to look at something through the doorway. One its shell was a mark that looked just like the one on the kabuto fossil his brother sent. This one was all black, though, not white like on the fossil.
"What's wrong with his shell?" he whispered.
"Oh, that? It's just like a birthmark, I guess. Dad says that different breeds have different shells and marks and stuff. I don't know what kind he is, but it's just the way he was born."
Max looked at his friend. "You mean it's not from an injury or anything?"
Blue shook his head. "Nope. A scar would have a texture."
What would cause two unrelated pokemon, born hundreds of years apart, to have the exact same marking on their backs?
"I'll take that one. The squirtle," he said.
"Good choice," Blue said, as the squirtle walked up to Max and looked at him curiously. "What're you gonna call him?"
Max didn't look away from the intelligent red-brown eyes. A sudden smell of sea salt and a memory of waves and water and thunder on the ocean should have startled him, but didn't. It was definitely not his memory.
"Poseidon," he said. "His name is Poseidon."
Received Squirtle, level 5, named Poseidon.
Water - level 5
Tackle - Tail Whip
QOTD: I got lucky with this one -- one of the starters was on the list. How do you choose your starter? Do you keep them on your team?