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gun6
01-19-2008, 01:10 AM
Ready for grading!
Length: +13.6k without spaces.
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The Bored Game


"So, you're the new kid who wants to join our little game?"

The voice seemed to come from a tall teenager with thin rectangular glasses and almond hair that almost fell below his shirt's collar. He grinned mischievously as if he were about to pull a prank on somebody, but managed to retain an ice-cold intensity in his pale blue eyes. He brushed his khaki cargo pants off as he stopped leaning against the wall behind him, and walked towards the focus of his attention.

"Um, yes?" the boy replied nervously. The green zigzag pattern on his black sweatshirt seemed to resemble an electrocardiogram that might be of himself at the moment. "I heard that you were playing a game, and I-"

"It's not just a game!" the tall boy responded angrily. He paused a few seconds and ran his fingers through his hair before he seemed to calm down. "Look, it doesn't matter how much experience you have with board games, or role-playing, or anything like that. It just matters if you're serious about this. Are you?"

"Well," the nervous kid responded, "I suppose that I could try. I might not be very good at it, but..."

"Fine. Just be warned- we don't tolerate slackers, " the intimidating boy said before leading him through a wooden door beside him. A redheaded boy and a blond girl were sitting at a table in the middle of the empty room that appeared to be a vacant classroom. The boy and girl looked at him with disinterest, and returned their respectively brown and hazel eyes to the board game they were playing. The newcomer glanced around the classroom and noted that it looked neglected because of the thin layer of dust on every brown, wooden desk. A blue bottle of Windex was snuggling up against the white paper towel roll beside it on a chair, and three black backpacks huddled together against a contrasting white wall. He shivered as he felt cold air streaming from the air conditioning vent above him.

"Trust me, they'll warm up to you in time," the tall teen said, "by the way, her name is Shelby, and his name is Nick. My name is Derek. I'm our "leader", and I'm pretty nerdy, but I really don't care."

"OK Derek, I'm Thomas," the shaky boy replied as he shook hands with Derek.

"All right. First of all, I need to train you in the art of the ninja!" the leader exclaimed as he made a chopping motion in the air. Thomas made an awkward facial expression, and Derek laughed. "I'm just joking! I'm just going to teach you how to play our tabletop game. I've already set up a spare board in the corner of the room. Come on!"

The corner of the room was fairly sanitary, even though there was a thin layer of dust on the large teacher's desk due to the room's lack of use. A large, colorful board game was set up on a large rectangular table, adding some color to the otherwise dull, white classroom. The board itself was very vivid and detailed, and was composed of tiny squares almost like a chessboard, although the squares were smaller. A large sandy desert region dotted with cacti was on the south side of the map according the the compass rose. A polar region with tall snowy mountains was to the north. Tropical islands lay in the sea to the West, and large grassy plains with scattered turquoise rivers and emerald forests in the East. Various squares were marked with red, blue, and yellow dots, and a single square with a white circle was in the direct center of the map. The map legend on the side of the board said that it was the "Starting Location".

"As you can see, this is the game board. There are different boards, but this is the first board in the Pokemon RPG series. As such, it is also the best board for beginning players to start out with," Thomas's mentor explained. "You're going to have to choose a starter Pokemon. This will be the Pokemon that you will control throughout all of your future games unless if you decide to start over with a clean slate."

Derek picked up a small, brown, paperback rule manual from the space to the side of the board, and opened it. He flipped through the pages until he found the one he was looking for. Derek handed the manual to Thomas, and started to look for something in the board game's large box.

"Let's see..." the boy mumbled to himself as he read the page in the manual, "selectable starting Pokemon are: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Machop, Slowpoke, Grimer, Pikachu, Eevee, Teddiursa, Glameow, and Mime Jr."

The kid thought about it for a minute, then announced his selection to Derek.

"I think I'll start off with a Squirtle," Thomas said proudly. Derek found what he was looking for, and placed it on the table. It was a small brown box made out of cardboard. He lifted the lid off of the bottom half to reveal a small stack of cards with a "Pokemon RPG" logo on the back of each card. The geeky teen browsed through the deck of cards until he pulled out a single one. It was a Squirtle card, as made obvious by the large illustration of a turquoise turtle spraying bubbles from its mouth on the front side of the card. It also had some numbers and letters on the side of the card, but Thomas couldn't figure out what they meant.

"Here is your Squirtle card," Derek said calmly, as he slid it across the table towards the other boy. He also placed a small figurine of a trainer with a blue hat, black hair, and a blue jacket with dark blue jeans. "This is your character piece, which you'll use when you're moving across the board."

"Thanks a lot, but what do these mean?" the curious boy asked, pointing at the letters and numbers on the side of the Squirtle card.

"Oh, those are the stats of the Pokemon," his teacher answered. "HP stands for Hit Points, or how much damage that Pokemon can take. When a Pokemon has no more HP, it is Knocked Out and cannot battle. Attack is how strong Squirtle's basic physical attacks are, and Sp. Attack is the equivalent for basic special attacks. Defense and Sp. Defense mean how much damage is reduced from an opponent's physical or special attack targeting Squirtle, and Speed determines which Pokemon moves first each turn in battle. For example, Squirtle has five HP, so it can take up to four points of damage before being KO'ed. Its Attack and Sp. Attack are two and three, so Squirtle deals two damage when using a physical attack, and three damage when using a special attack. Are you with me so far?"

"Yes," the student replied as he nodded his head, "I understand. Please continue."

"OK," Derek replied happily, "Squirtle has a Defense of two, and a Special Defense of one. If an opponent's Pokemon were to attack Squirtle with a physical attack with a power of four, it would result in Squirtle taking two damage, because four minus two is two. However, if the opponent attacked with a special attack instead, it would deal three damage. Squirtle has a speed of two, so it's probably going to go second most of the time. Oh!" the boy exclaimed, "if there are two Pokemon with an equal Speed, a coin is flipped to determine who goes first. Also, if a Pokemon uses an attack that deals one point of damage against a Pokemon with a Defense or Sp. Defense stat higher than that physical or special attack, it deals no damage because you cannot have an attack that deals negative damage. Also, there are Pokemon types and Special Moves that each Pokemon learns, but I'm not going to go into that until later."

"Wow, thanks! This sounds complicated, but I bet it's fun," Thomas commented as he stared at the Squirtle card with new understanding.

"First of all, place your character on the square with the white circle in it," his mentor said before pointing at the "Starting Location", "you will start from here. In order to move, you must roll a die and move across a number of spaces less or equal to that number. Here's the die." He grabbed a single white die from the Pokemon RPG's box and slid it across the table to the beginning "trainer". Thomas rolled the die and watched it land on four.

"So, move four spaces. Remember, you can move two or three if you want to, but you can't move five times," Derek lectured. The other boy slid his character piece four spaces to the north. The icy mountains seemed to hang intimidatingly over his little trainer figurine, almost as if daring it to come closer. "After a player moves his character, we roll the die to determine whether he or she encounters a wild Pokemon. The number must be less than or equal to the total number of Pokemon that the trainer owns. Because you only have Squirtle, you will encounter a Pokemon only if you roll a one. Feel free to roll the die now," he said. Thomas rolled the die, and two small black dots peered at the tiled ceiling.

"You narrowly evaded a Pokemon," the teacher continued. "Because you're the only person playing, it's your turn again. Otherwise, it would be the player to your left's turn."

The newbie rolled the dice to move, and ended up with a three. He moved two spaces east and one space north, which caused his character to stop on a square with a red dot and a blue dot. He looked at the map legend... "Pokemon Center" and "Poke Mart".

"So, you've landed on what seems to be a small town, with a Pokemon Center and a Poke Mart," noted the geeky boy across the table from him. "A Pokemon Center restores all of your Pokemons' HP, and revives KO'ed ones. A Poke Mart allows you to draw a card from the Item Deck." He indicated where the Item Deck was, which was right next to a smaller pile of cards. The backsides of the cards were green, with "Item Deck" spelled out in white. Thomas drew the top card from the deck and showed it to Derek.

"A Poke Ball, hm?" the older boy mumbled to himself as he peered at the card through his glasses. "Requirements: Wild Pokemon must have one HP. Capture one wild Pokemon with a roll of one, two, or three. Place on the bottom of the deck after use."

"So... this means that I can catch I wild Pokemon when I encounter it, right?" Thomas questioned.

"Well, it means that you have a fifty-fifty chance of catching a wild Pokemon," Derek said, which caused the other boy to frown. "Note that every Item Card has a requirement, such as this Poke Ball's requirement for the Wild Pokemon to have one Hit Point. You also can only have a maximum of three Item Cards. Any additional card requires you to return one Item Card from your hand to the bottom of the Item Deck."

"I suppose that I'm good to go catch my first Pokemon then!" the anxious kid exclaimed. He rolled the die... a two. The miniature blue trainer was lifted up by two pale fingers, and was placed in a square at the bottom of the tall white mountain range. Another roll of the die resulted in a one.

"Whoo, first battle!" the kid shouted, much to the chagrin of the three other teenagers in the classroom. "Wait, how do I know what the wild Pokemon is?"

"Well, there are specific decks that are included with every board for each "zone" there is. On this board, there are four zones- the icy mountain range, the desert, the grassy plains, and the tropical ocean. Each of these Zone Decks have Pokemon that are suited to the individual zones. For example..." he continued as he picked up a small deck that was by the desert zone and looked through the cards, "the desert zone has four Cacnea, three Trapinch, three Sandshrew, two Solrock, two Lunatone, two Hippopotas, one Larvitar, and a single Regirock. When a Pokemon is caught, it leaves the deck permanently unless if the person who caught it restarts with a new character. In the game's box, there a deck filled with enough evolved Pokemon to match the amount of basic Pokemon there are."

"Wait," Thomas interrupted, "how do Pokemon evolve?"

"Pokemon evolve by battling wild Pokemon," his tutor replied as he shuffled the Zone Deck and placed it back where it originally was. "It takes two battles to evolve a basic Pokemon into its first evolution, then three battles to evolve that Pokemon into its second evolution. Pokemon with only one evolution evolve with four battles, and Pokemon that evolve with an item require you to have that Item Card in your hand. When you use the Item Card, the Pokemon automatically evolves without the need for a single battle. But, there is one very rare card in the Item Deck. It is called "Rare Candy", and it automatically evolves your Pokemon to its next evolutionary stage even if it has never battled."

"Wow, I want a Rare Candy," the younger boy remarked.

"Well, we've been playing for five weeks, and it's only shown up three or four times so don't get your hopes up too high," Derek said pessimistically. "Anyways, the Wild Pokemon is..." he said to himself as he drew the top card on the deck and revealed it to Thomas.

"Meditite..." the boy mumbled to himself upon seeing the card. "Its stats are... four HP, two Attack, Sp. Attack, and Sp. Defense, one Defense, and a Speed of three. I guess that it isn't that tough... its stats are mostly weaker than Squirtle's. Hey wait, what's this? It says, 'Ability: Pure Power - Meditite's Attack is doubled.'"

"Pure Power, hm?" Derek replied as he pried the card from Thomas's hand, "it appears to be an ability. An ability is something that gives a Pokemon an advantage in battle, such as higher stats. Look at your Squirtle card's ability. It should be 'Torrent', which increases the strength of Squirtle's Special Moves when its HP is low. Be sure to know how to use abilities to their full potential."

"Thanks," Thomas said gratefully, "I guess that I'll use my Poke Ball now then."

"Um... no? You're forgetting that you have to weaken the Wild Pokemon in battle before you can catch it. When battling, the person to your right usually controls the Wild Pokemon's actions in battle. Since I'm teaching you, I'll control the Meditite, " he lectured as he grabbed a handful of what seemed to be small blue cardboard circles the size of a dime. "These are damage markers, which indicate the amount of damage that a Pokemon currently has. Trust me, there are a lot of things you need to know, but we'll save that for later."

The battle began with Derek placing the Meditite card on the center of the board, allowing the blue and gray childlike Pokemon to meditate peacefully. Thomas followed the example by placing his tiny blue turtle's card right before the wild Meditite. The Squirtle's trainer sneezed as a small cloud of dust was blown off of the teacher's desk beside him. The air conditioning that was to blame whispered a small "whoosh" in the background.

"Bless you," the other boy stated, "since I'm faster, I think that I'll start off with a normal physical attack. Tell me how much damage is done to Squirtle." The newbie thought for a moment before saying that it was two. "Good job. Place two damage counters on Squirtle so you can begin your turn." His student grabbed two of the small blue discs from the table and covered Squirtle's illustration with them.

"Hmm... what should I use?" Thomas mouthed to himself as he looked over his Pokemon's card. "Ability: Torrent, 'When this Pokemon's HP is three or lower, increase the strength of its damaging Special Moves by one point'." He glanced at the Special Move beneath the Ability: "Water Gun: Special, 1 'Ignore the Sp. Defense of the target'," and glanced at the damage counters. "It looks like Squirtle has three Hit Points remaining, so I guess that I should use Water Gun".

"It looks like you're catching on," Derek said, snapping the pondering boy out of his concentration. "Torrent activates when Squirtle has three or less Hit Points, and it increases the strength of its Special Moves. Water Gun normally inflicts one points of damage regardless of the opponent's Special Defense, but because of Torrent, it now inflicts two damage. If you used a normal physical or special attack, it would deal only one point of damage due to Meditite's defenses, so using Water Gun is the 'best' decision that you could make in this situation."

Two damage counters were dropped onto the meditating Pokemon, and Derek decided to use a normal physical attack again. The small pile of damage counters began to shrink as two more were stolen away and placed on the tiny turtle's face. Thomas grew nervous when he realized that Meditite could easily KO his Squirtle next turn, and that he couldn't use his Poke Ball yet because Meditite still had two Hit Points.

"By the way, there's a little bit of information about Item Cards," Meditite's controller mentioned, "they're able to be used at any time unless if it is stated on the card. For example, if it's your opponent's turn, you may use a Poke Ball. You just can't use an item during the middle of an attack."

"Really?" Thomas questioned. "So that means that I could attack, and then use a Poke Ball as long as I use it before you attack me? Hmm... I'll use a physical attack to reduce Meditite's HP to one." Derek began to say something, but was cut short by his opponent. "Poke Ball, go!"

The hopeful trainer tossed the die into the air and hoped that when it landed, he would be looking at a one, two, or three.

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TUTORIAL ATTACK, GO!

Pokemon: Meditite

Bryce
01-19-2008, 03:25 AM
I shall be reserving this story ^_^

Expect a grade in a few days at the most (most likely tonight, though)......

Bryce
01-24-2008, 01:40 AM
Story/Plot: So, Thomas, a child (we are never really given his age) appears before the reputed “overlord” of some mysterious board game, in what seems to be an old room in a school. After receiving a thorough lecture that this is indeed “more than a game”, Thomas is ushered over to a beginner’s set, and Derek begins teaching him of the rules. The guidelines and directions, which seem to drag on forever, eventually give way to an appearing Meditite (a card that is pulled from the deck) and using the advice that he was given by Derek, Thomas battles it with his Squirtle card, and attempts to catch it with the Pokeball card that he pulled from the deck as well.

Once you get over the initial “oh, this is basically just a rundown of the battle system”, I think one would find this to be quite an enjoyable story. I loved that it was all just in the style of a board game, for that really made for a plot that I haven’t seen around here before.

In order to catch the reader’s attention & get them into the whole swing of the tale, you need either a vivid, exciting opening, or at least a bit more throughout the story. We didn’t see very much at all, to be honest, and that really hurt you.

Introduction: It wasn’t as good & well put together as I had been expecting. The beginning was mysterious, which I enjoyed, but awfully confusing at the same time. First off, you never truly explain anything about any of the characters besides their appearance & that one of them admitted to being a nerd & was a teenager. Otherwise, the characters, setting, and everything else was a mystery that you never expanded on…..never gave any further insight to. I was really let down that you failed to tell about Thomas, especially since he was the main character. Where did he come from? How old was he? What was his personality like? These are all key & crucial points that need to be included in your story if you want us to have even the least bit of a connection with the character……which is one of the most tremendous parts of a story: developing characters.

Anyway, I thought the initial conversation between the supposed “leader” and the “newcomer” was interesting, yet a tad bit contradictory in itself:

"So, you're the new kid who wants to join our little game?"

&

"It's not just a game!"

This was an extremely incompatible pairing of sentences: The first sentence, spoken by the nerd, states that he thinks of it as a “little game”, but then, not but three sentences later, we see him protest that it is not “just a game”. Watch out for things like that, for they can make for an unrealistic story and faltering characters.

Grammar/Spelling: Just short of excellent. It was very, very difficult for me (even with my grammar-hawk eyes) to find a multitude of errors, so I really commend you here. Three or four mistakes in a 13k story is really impressive (but some of them were repeated.) Here are a couple that I managed to scrape together.

"Trust me, they'll warm up to you in time," the tall teen said, "by the way, her name is Shelby, and his name is Nick. My name is Derek. I'm our "leader", and I'm pretty nerdy, but I really don't care."

The indicated (bold) part was where you made a mistake…..When you wish to put quotation marks around something in the middle of dialogue, you use apostrophes instead, like this: ’leader]

A large, colorful board game was set up on a large rectangular table,

As you did with the first two adjectives (large & colorful), you would place a comma between (the 2nd large & rectangular)…..Also, try to avoid using the same word more than once in a sentence.

Derek handed the manual to Thomas, and started to look for something in the board game's large box.

I noticed this quite a few times: You always tend to place a comma before the (and) when there shouldn’t be one. A comma should only be put after (and, but, & or) when it is a compound sentence, but this is a simple sentence.

The newbie rolled the dice to move,

Try to avoid using slang or internet talk in your stories. Accomplice would be a good replacing word in this situation. (However, if the word “newbie” was to appear in a character’s speech, it would be acceptable, for there are certainly words that we use when talking that won’t appear in a dictionary, and the way we say things sometimes helps shape our character.)

Length: I am not really one of those graders that will scold you if you barely skim the minimum amount of length instead of aiming for the middle (which you basically did anyways), because I really don’t think that length has a big impact on the story itself: Quality > Quantity is actually a very wise statement, to be honest. Good job here.

Detail/Description: This was nice for a Medium Pokemon. You made sure to include a variety of descriptive adjectives, and I could really see the whole room that they were in. The dustiness, the ancient, forgotten quality, the cramped quarters & apathetic children. However, the whole “this is how the game works & all the statistics and such” sort of thing really overpowered the nice detail, and therefore it made for a somewhat boring story.

I would have loved for the attacks in the “supposed” battle to be described in full detail, and also you could have elaborated greatly on the characters’ personalities, but otherwise I felt that you did a fine job with description. I especially liked how you exaggerated on the icy, chilliness of the mountains on the game board……That was a nice touch.

Battle: I am sorry to say, but the title (the Bored Game) really was applied here. I understand that you were trying to put an original spin on the whole battle sequence, but I don’t really think that it turned out the way you had intended it to. While the battle is (supposedly) presumed to be the most exciting & “edge-of-your-seat” part of the whole story, I found myself wearied by it from the beginning.

From what I understand, the card that is placed in the center of the board materializes into a sort of hologram of the actual Pokemon (correct?). Well, even if it was so, you still could have detailed the Meditite and Squirtle engaged in battle, and even firing off an attack or two at each other…..But instead the characters chose to just state which move their Pokemon would use, and then they were done with it.

I would have to say that watching two people battle Pokemon cards would be more exciting than this, because yours (although it was basically the same idea) just felt like more of an overview/summary of what was actually happening instead of detailing the events & such….

The part that was bittersweet about your battle sequence (meaning I liked part of it, but disliked it in the same way) was your use of statistics and such. I enjoyed how you went in-depth as to what each number and symbol stood for, such as the Attack, Special Attack, etc. Also, I liked how you used Item cards and a scale as to how much a Pokemon must be weakened before it could be captured. However, as stated before, packing so much information and making it seem as though it was a pure textbook lesson really didn’t do you any good, I am sad to say.

Outcome: Well, I started off with high hopes for this story, because in the first few paragraphs it seemed that you were setting up for a truly original & great story, but I was really let down. While the overall grammar was well above average, and your plot was somewhat inventive, it didn’t really come up to par with the expectations set forth by a Medium Pokemon. The battle was nonexistent…..truly nonexistent, and if the boredom factor hadn’t clinched it, the battle did. Meditite not captured. I am terribly sorry that I made you wait this long, just to be let down…..but I know, for a fact, that had you even went with an expanded version of a forest venture, with a traditional battle, you would have done better.