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Types

GalladeofSpades

Imaginative 24/7
There's something that I've always questioned myself, and since I need this info to complete a certain one-shot, I'll have to ask it.

When Pokémon typing is considered, do you take the natural forms of those types into consideration?

To clear things up: Say an Oshawott is in the jungle, when it gets ensnared in vines somehow. Although it tries to escape the vines, it can't since Grass beats Water. Since it doesn't know any moves that are effective against Grass at the moment, it can only escape with the help of another pokémon.

What I guess I'm asking is, do you follow this line of resoning? Or better yet, does this reasoning even make sense?
 

Skiyomi

Only Mostly Dead
I don't think I've done a situation like that in a fic, but I can get behind the basic concept of it. After all, a fire-type would probably be in trouble if it fell in a lake. I seem to recall the anime itself showing rock-types having a problem tunneling under a body of water since they kept getting wet.

Though... for your specific example... well, those'd have to be some pretty extreme vines. I could possibly buy the contact of the vines hurting Oshawott because of the aforementioned principle (...though it's not like he has trouble walking over actual grass, so I don't think you can extend that too far). I don't know if I could buy him not being able to get himself loose since these are just ordinary, inanimate vines, instead of the vines off a Pokemon that is consciously trying to restrain him. I guess it could be a huge mass of vines that Oshawott could work into knots by panicking but... that's less about his type and more about his situation.

*scratches head* I don't know... the natural type thing seems to have a lot to do with how much practical sense the type disadvantage makes in the first place. Water dousing fire is easy. Some of the others take a little more explaining in the natural world. That's my take at least. Sorry, I'm not helpful.
 

Dragonfree

Just me
It depends on how you interpret types, really. If you imagine the type chart is just a simplification of the logical result of the interactions between different kinds of moves and Pokémon, then being tangled in vines shouldn't be any worse for an Oshawott than a Rattata unless you come up with a special reason - but then you'd probably not actually make Vine Whip any more powerful against the Oshawott, either. And if types are a kind of energy that infuses Pokémon and Pokémon attacks and the type chart comes from how those energies interact, then getting tangled in regular grass would just not be equivalent to being hit with a grass move at all. But if you take the type chart literally without regarding Pokémon moves as having special mystical properties, then something like what you're proposing is logical (provided the reader can suspend their disbelief about that literal interpretation) - then Oshawott are just weak to plants the way vampires are weak to garlic, and whether the plants are Pokémon attacks or not, it would have trouble.

I personally tend to use something of a hybrid of the first two interpretations above - type interactions that seem to make intuitive sense, like Water against Fire, work on a physical level so that normal water will hurt Fire Pokémon, while the reason a move like Vine Whip hurts Water Pokémon more than others would lie in typed energy infusing the vine that reacts with the Water Pokémon's body. I have a whole worldbuilding thing in TQftL with all proper Pokémon moves that use PP having a 'supernatural' component that enforces the type chart, even moves that many authors would interpret as purely physical (e.g. Tackle).
 
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GalladeofSpades

Imaginative 24/7
I don't think I've done a situation like that in a fic, but I can get behind the basic concept of it. After all, a fire-type would probably be in trouble if it fell in a lake. I seem to recall the anime itself showing rock-types having a problem tunneling under a body of water since they kept getting wet.

Though... for your specific example... well, those'd have to be some pretty extreme vines. I could possibly buy the contact of the vines hurting Oshawott because of the aforementioned principle (...though it's not like he has trouble walking over actual grass, so I don't think you can extend that too far). I don't know if I could buy him not being able to get himself loose since these are just ordinary, inanimate vines, instead of the vines off a Pokemon that is consciously trying to restrain him. I guess it could be a huge mass of vines that Oshawott could work into knots by panicking but... that's less about his type and more about his situation.

*scratches head* I don't know... the natural type thing seems to have a lot to do with how much practical sense the type disadvantage makes in the first place. Water dousing fire is easy. Some of the others take a little more explaining in the natural world. That's my take at least. Sorry, I'm not helpful.

It depends on how you interpret types, really. If you imagine the type chart is just a simplification of the logical result of the interactions between different kinds of moves and Pokémon, then being tangled in vines shouldn't be any worse for an Oshawott than a Rattata unless you come up with a special reason - but then you'd probably not actually make Vine Whip any more powerful against the Oshawott, either. And if types are a kind of energy that infuses Pokémon and Pokémon attacks and the type chart comes from how those energies interact, then getting tangled in regular grass would just not be equivalent to being hit with a grass move at all. But if you take the type chart literally without regarding Pokémon moves as having special mystical properties, then something like what you're proposing is logical (provided the reader can suspend their disbelief about that literal interpretation) - then Oshawott are just weak to plants the way vampires are weak to garlic, and whether the plants are Pokémon attacks or not, it would have trouble.

I personally tend to use something of a hybrid of the first two interpretations above - type interactions that seem to make intuitive sense, like Water against Fire, work on a physical level so that normal water will hurt Fire Pokémon, while the reason a move like Vine Whip hurts Water Pokémon more than others would lie in typed energy infusing the vine that reacts with the Water Pokémon's body. I have a whole worldbuilding thing in TQftL with all proper Pokémon moves that use PP having a 'supernatural' component that enforces the type chart, even moves that many authors would interpret as purely physical (e.g. Tackle).

So basically, what you're saying is that, although some situations are simple enough to explain with that line of reasoning (like the Fire Type in the lake example), but there are some other situations that aren't very easy to explain (like the example I posted above)?
 

Azurne

~ ♥ ~
Basically, it depends on how you interpret the type chart. I generally think of grass types as a kind of absorbent to the water type, so being doused with water only further strengthens them to a point (like going outside and watering a flower so it grows). Just being tangled in some natural vines isn't any different then any other living thing being tangled though, because there's a difference between something actively trying to choke you and just being caught.

Or, like Dragonfree said, you could also interpret pokémon types and their powers as having something a little more than just 'water beats fire', in which Oshawott IS repelled by all kinds of plants and grass pokémon, and is subsequently weaker when entangled in any type of plant, sentient or not. Both make sense to me as long as you're consistent with them.
 

Slipomatic

Eon Collector
I sort of follow typings in a semi-realistic way. For the example of oshawott being stuck in vines, I'd say he could get out eventually with little or no harm due to typing. But if it is a pokemon doing vine whip on it and restraining it, I would definitely say it would harm oshawott. Only way I can think of oshawott taking damge while in vines was if a pokemon was using vine whip and then draining it with mega drain through the vine.

I do follow with water causing physical harm to fire pokemon, but I also believe that in a non-combat situation, hot springs shouldn't harm fire pokemon as the heat should be soothing for most of them. (I can understand charmander family and others with an external flame wouldn't dare touch water.) I guess if you decide on one side, stick with it. I'd probably work with the best of both sides, be realistic, but be sensable.
 

SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
The example you gave with Oshawott and vines seems like an excessively strict take on the type chart to me.

(Although, it does sound like it could make for an interesting story. If you think about weaknesses like allergies, then having an Oshawott with an excessive grass weakness/allergy could lead to the situation you described and would probably make for a very difficult life for it.)

Thusfar, the type chart's never come up in my writing. I don't remember much of how things went down in my old chaptered fic, but I wouldn't count that as something really worth remembering anyways. My three one-shots combined contain only one pokemon battle, and that battle doesn't have any reason to involve the type chart. However, I think I would end up taking a more realistic approach to the type chart interactions, since I like trying to give Pokemon a more realistic spin.

The way I see Pokemon, the games as we know them could exist within the Pokemon universe as well. They are no more accurate to "real life" battles than any of our other video games reflect real battles (I'm thinking about Fire Emblem's weapon strengths/weaknesses here in particular). Some of the type combinations obviously work out (water is great again fire, fire is great against grass, normal attacks are ineffective against rock and steel), so those were obviously carried over into the games. However, some of other type combinations had to be generalized in order for them (speaking about developers of a pokemon game that lived in the Pokemon universe) to create a working, balanced game.

For example, it's easy to see how flying pokemon could dominate bug types. Birds do tend to win out over bugs. Thus, flying > bug in games. In "real life" pokemon battles, a move like wing attack wouldn't be any more effective against a bug than a tackle, but because wing attack is something usually only seen in flying pokemon, it was assigned a flying type and thus was super effective against bugs.

However, when you get to some of the more unusual parts of the type chart, things get a little harder to justify. Dark types in particular seem challenging in all their type interactions. Why should they be vulnerable to bug and fighting? Or immune to psychic? Speaking of psychic, why is it so vulnerable to bugs? (We've had some very interesting discussions in the authors' cafe about the bug > dark/psychic types before). I try to find ways to explain them, but that doesn't always work out too well, so occasionally I think I would side with more of a "we don't know why these pokemon seem to perform so well against these others, but they do so we put that in the games". Maybe no one in the pokemon world understands why psychic attacks won't touch dark types, or why bugs excel against both psychics and darks, but they see that things often go that way so they just go with it.

If you come up against types like that in your writing, I believe you have 2 options: go full literal and disregard those combinations entirely, or assume that "it just works" and poke-science can't understand it yet.

However, I think I always try to stick to the most literal interpretations I can. Thus the type chart is more of a general guide and works more on a move-by-move basis than as a overarching law. (Vine whip probably wouldn't work very well against Blastoise due to it's hard shell, but mega drain could still be extremely effective.) This also leads to ignoring some immunities (I don't care if it's a flying type, if it's on the ground an earthquake is going to affect it, and ground types might not always be immune to electricity) and taking other things into consideration (I don't care if fighting > rock, if you're not crazy strong your punching isn't going to do much to a piece of steel or a rock).



TL;DR: I favor literal interpretations of the type chart as much as possible, but try to keep the type chart in mind and find ways to explain why it works the way it does, even when that gets difficult (again, dark types are a perfect example for this).
 

Slipomatic

Eon Collector
I guess one easy way to look at type charting... Use examples from the anime series (the older ones, specifically Pewter Gym Battle and Roxanne Gym Battle.)

I agree with most of the stuff Snoring frog says, but I have a few theories as to why fighting would be strong against dark type. if you look at it in a figurative way, dark types are supposed to be sneaky and tricksters, relying on outwitting their opponents to win, as in underhanded wins. It usually means they will be slightly more weaker in defense than other pokemon (minus umbreon who has some decent defense.) Fighting pokemon would be most effective as they're about attack power and not so much on special attacks, which would give them an advantage over dark types.

That's just my two cents between fighting and dark. I don't mind not knowing why certain types are weak to others or what classify what.
 

SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
I guess one easy way to look at type charting... Use examples from the anime series (the older ones, specifically Pewter Gym Battle and Roxanne Gym Battle.)

I agree with most of the stuff Snoring frog says, but I have a few theories as to why fighting would be strong against dark type. if you look at it in a figurative way, dark types are supposed to be sneaky and tricksters, relying on outwitting their opponents to win, as in underhanded wins. It usually means they will be slightly more weaker in defense than other pokemon (minus umbreon who has some decent defense.) Fighting pokemon would be most effective as they're about attack power and not so much on special attacks, which would give them an advantage over dark types.

That's just my two cents between fighting and dark. I don't mind not knowing why certain types are weak to others or what classify what.

I think a similar fighting/dark theory might have come up in previous discussions, now that you mention that. I think whoever mentioned it before also brought up that since dark types aim for the stealthy/underhanded approach, they don't fair well against fighting because fighting types would be very in-your-face fighters. Thus, fighting types would tend to stick close to the dark type, rendering them unable to put to create the necessary gaps they needed to be effective, instead of fighting like a different type of pokemon that might just fire off special attacks into the shadows in hopes of scoring a hit.

I'm glad you mentioned that, otherwise I don't think I would have remembered that line of thinking.
 

Slipomatic

Eon Collector
glad to be of help. :)

I don't have any solid ideas as to why psychic types are weak against bug and vice versa, along with bug > dark.

I'm willing to guess that psychic pokemon, for the most part, are strong special attackers, but at the cost of defense. This makes them easy targets for bug type pokemon as their attacks are mostly physical attacks and not special attacks. This would be the same with bug having the advantage over dark types. Reason bugs are weak to psychic would be while their defense is somewhat okay and their speed is somewhat good, their special defense is lacking.
 

SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
My favorite theory concerning bug's advantage over dark and psychic and dark's immunity to psychic concerns the mental makeup of all three types. Essentially, both dark and psychic types are extremely powerful mentally, but whereas psychic types utilize their mental prowess in mostly offensive ways, dark types utilize it in mentally defensive ways. As we mentioned, dark types are focused on stealth and underhanded tactics, so they utilize their "psychic" ability to shield themselves from the prying abilities of psychic types that would threaten to reveal their intents and locations, ruining their stealthy approaches. In essence, both types are "psychic", but dark types simply use that power to aid them in being stealthy and tricky.

These shared qualities also (sorta) help explain their shared weakness to bug types.

Psychic types are probably almost all telepathic, and a lot of their prowess would come from being able to predict what the opponent was going to do by reading their mind. Bugs, however, are often known for having a "hive mind", which often gets portrayed as "one queen controls numerous drones or subjects with her mind". This sort of disjointed multi-mind simply proves too much for a psychic type to handle, and so their weakness is not so much a vulnerability to the bugs themselves as it is an inability to discern what a bug is thinking, making it much more difficult for a psychic to protect itself from bugs. Since dark types (theoretically) share this psychic ability, we could argue that they use a bit of their psychic power to also mind read (to aid them in staying hidden, avoiding attacks, and keeping the element of surprise) and thus they would suffer the same difficulty as psychics would in this case.

I'll admit it feels like a bit of a stretch on the bug > dark front, but I do think that theory seems sound as far as dark > psychic and bug > psychic goes. I suppose one could argue that ghost > psychic because psychics would have a harder time latching on to the ethereal minds of ghosts, but ghosts would not be immune to psychic because they do not have any of that dark-type shielding, they only have a bit of natural advantage.


On a lighter note, I particularly like AwkwardZombie's approach to explaining flying > fighting, which you can see at the end of this comic: http://awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=081610
 

Slipomatic

Eon Collector
This is an interesting theory, but to counter the hive mindset, there are some bug pokemon that wouldn't fall under. For example the caterpie family and beautifly wouldn't fall under it nor would paras/parasect, venomoth, shuckle, and others. Your case would work if a lot of bug pokemon didn't exist. I think with ghosts, they would be more of spirt pokemon of the dead reborn without memories of their past life. (It would make sense if there was any proof to back it up.) Given that ghost pokemon are etheral, I would have to agree that they would be weak against a psychic attack and vice versa, but it would be more of the fact that they lack a physical body (minus spiritomb with the keystone) and thus would need more energy to maintain its physical form. I'm not sure about ghosts.

Back to bugs though, I think it would actually deal with more of the fact that most bug pokemon know moves that can cause severee disruptions of air wavelengths and thus cause a very distorted view of the world if you were to use psychic. It would also cause disruption of focus due to most bug moves creating a certain frequency which is very painful to listen to for extended periods of time.

I like the comic depiction of typings. :D
 

SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
True, not all bugs would use that hive mindset, but keep in mind that I'm viewing the typechart as if it were developed by people living in the pokemon universe. The chart in itself is a gross simplification of how things would actually work, so just a few good bug types that consistently win out against psychics could be enough to cause people condensing the various pokemon types into a game to use that. Although, I do also quite like your idea with bug attacks that screw with the air and use unusual frequencies. I think the combination of the two ideas might work.

And ghost aren't weak against psychic, I didn't mean to imply that at all. Psychic is weak against ghost, but that doesn't run both ways. I was simply saying that psychic types being weak against ghost types could be explained by ghosts ethereal nature, since that could make them harder for psychics to locate mentally. Like trying to listen to a phone call with a very weak signal, you can get blips of it, but it's much more difficult than with a strong, clear signal.
 

Sid87

I love shiny pokemon
I think thinking too hard about why Dark works or does not work against certain things is a losing task because Dark is an ambiguous thing. It's very ethereal and not as solid of a concept as "Water" or "Electric". Being that, they could really make it effective or not against anything they say.

There are still a few others that bother me. Why is Steel not very effective against Water, but Water isn't super effective against Steel? It seems to me that those should be the exact opposite. Nothing about water inherently repels metals, but water will rust rust them. Water should take normal damage from Steel, but be super effective against it.

Speaking of which, why isn't Electric super effective against steel? Metal is a perfect conductor? I get that they created the Steel type because they wanted something with a lot of resistances, but I still think both Water and Electric should be super effective against it. Not fighting, though. I never see people punching through steel. Why is fighting super effective against it?

Still on the steel thing (it's a really faulty type, I guess): why is it super effective against ice? And why doesn't ice resist water, since I mentioned it?

I feel like I'm getting way off-topic, so let's loop this back around:

I tend to write things more realistically, so I, personally, wouldn't have an Oshawott be hurt just by being caught up in vines. I remember a Memebase comic a few months ago that showed a screenshot from HG/SS with the character talking to Quagsire and the text saying "Quagsire is rolling around in the grass". Then it cuts to an image of Quagsire because all scratched up from the grass and hurt with words saying "It's super effective!". This topic reminds me of that.

Another one that gets me is pokemon that are FIRE, but not outwardly so (like Ninetales or Arcanine), should a water-type attack hurt them as much as it would hurt something with visible flames, like Charmander or Emboar or Magmar? It doesn't seem like it should. Hurt them, sure, but to a lesser degree, I would imagine. I imagine for the sake of writing, that's how I'd handle that.
 

SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
I think thinking too hard about why Dark works or does not work against certain things is a losing task because Dark is an ambiguous thing. It's very ethereal and not as solid of a concept as "Water" or "Electric". Being that, they could really make it effective or not against anything they say.

There are still a few others that bother me. Why is Steel not very effective against Water, but Water isn't super effective against Steel? It seems to me that those should be the exact opposite. Nothing about water inherently repels metals, but water will rust rust them. Water should take normal damage from Steel, but be super effective against it.

Speaking of which, why isn't Electric super effective against steel? Metal is a perfect conductor? I get that they created the Steel type because they wanted something with a lot of resistances, but I still think both Water and Electric should be super effective against it. Not fighting, though. I never see people punching through steel. Why is fighting super effective against it?

Still on the steel thing (it's a really faulty type, I guess): why is it super effective against ice? And why doesn't ice resist water, since I mentioned it?

I feel like I'm getting way off-topic, so let's loop this back around:

I tend to write things more realistically, so I, personally, wouldn't have an Oshawott be hurt just by being caught up in vines. I remember a Memebase comic a few months ago that showed a screenshot from HG/SS with the character talking to Quagsire and the text saying "Quagsire is rolling around in the grass". Then it cuts to an image of Quagsire because all scratched up from the grass and hurt with words saying "It's super effective!". This topic reminds me of that.

Another one that gets me is pokemon that are FIRE, but not outwardly so (like Ninetales or Arcanine), should a water-type attack hurt them as much as it would hurt something with visible flames, like Charmander or Emboar or Magmar? It doesn't seem like it should. Hurt them, sure, but to a lesser degree, I would imagine. I imagine for the sake of writing, that's how I'd handle that.

I think steel is super effective against ice for the same reason fighting and rock are. I guess it's sort of a "ice is fragile and these things are hard" kind of deal?

As for why ice doesn't resist water, I think that one actually makes sense. Sometimes throwing water on ice just makes more ice, but sometimes adding the water melts the ice. It depends too much on the temperature of the water, so they just left it neutral. That's what I think, at least. For that particular matchup in writing though, I think it would end up being based mostly on the environment and the move itself. For instance, scald would probably be very effective against ice, but something like water gun would probably be neutral or ineffective based on the environment (unless I had a reason for the pokemon using it to be spitting out heated water).

That's a good point with the fire types. I'm wondering if water attacks should even be particularly effective against fire-types without external flames, or if they should just be the same as getting any other pokemon hit with a water attack. I suppose if the pokemon got a lot of water shot into it it might make it more difficult to produce flames, but other than that it doesn't seem like it should do much. Hm...idk, I guess I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.
 

Sid87

I love shiny pokemon
I think steel is super effective against ice for the same reason fighting and rock are. I guess it's sort of a "ice is fragile and these things are hard" kind of deal?

As for why ice doesn't resist water, I think that one actually makes sense. Sometimes throwing water on ice just makes more ice, but sometimes adding the water melts the ice. It depends too much on the temperature of the water, so they just left it neutral. That's what I think, at least. For that particular matchup in writing though, I think it would end up being based mostly on the environment and the move itself. For instance, scald would probably be very effective against ice, but something like water gun would probably be neutral or ineffective based on the environment (unless I had a reason for the pokemon using it to be spitting out heated water).

That's a good point with the fire types. I'm wondering if water attacks should even be particularly effective against fire-types without external flames, or if they should just be the same as getting any other pokemon hit with a water attack. I suppose if the pokemon got a lot of water shot into it it might make it more difficult to produce flames, but other than that it doesn't seem like it should do much. Hm...idk, I guess I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.

Another one I started thinking of after I wrote this was: What about Ground types that aren't directly linked to the ground? Like Trapinch? I get that it might be based around using ground-based moves, but it is not any more grounded than a Charmander is, so why should Trapinch be immune to electricity? Same with Cubone; I get it could use its bone club as an insulated lightning rod, but if I was writing a Cubone/electric-type battle, all I'd have the Electric type do is try to hit Cubone's body; that should still affect it. And then there's Flygon and Gligar...they are Ground types, but they FLY! If they are in the air, shouldn't electricity still substantially hurt them?
 
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SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
Another one I started thinking of after I wrote this was: What about Ground types that aren't directly linked to the ground? Like Trapinch? I get that it might be based around using ground-based moves, but it is not any more grounded than a Charmander is, so why should Trapinch be immune to electricity? Same with Cubone; I get it could use its bone club as an insulated conductor, but if I was writing a Cubone/electric-type battle, all I'd have the Electric type do is try to hit Cubone's body; that should still affect it. And then there's Flygon and Gligar...they are Ground types, but they FLY! If they are in the air, shouldn't electricity still substantially hurt them?
Exactly. Ground might actually be one of the worst types for things like that, now that I think about it. It seems like very few ground types are grounded at all; it's really more of an "earthy but not really plant"-type.

That's just another reason I think of the type chart as if it were developed within the Pokemon universe. Even with "real" pokemon within that universe, the type chart isn't a set thing; it's just what they use to simplify type interactions so that they can make video games based on the popular sport of pokemon battling.
 

Dragonfree

Just me
Psychic's weaknesses are all common fears: bugs, ghosts, and the dark. (The ability Rattled reacts to those same types, and that's explicitly about fear, so I really don't think it's a coincidence.) I think the idea is that a mentally-based Pokémon would be especially sensitive to things that unsettle it. It makes a lot more sense than many other weaknesses/resistances.


Stuff like the Ground-types that aren't very grounded are why I wave my hand and bring mystical energies into it where it doesn't seem to be physically intuitive. :p
 

SnoringFrog

Well-Known Member
Psychic's weaknesses are all common fears: bugs, ghosts, and the dark. (The ability Rattled reacts to those same types, and that's explicitly about fear, so I really don't think it's a coincidence.) I think the idea is that a mentally-based Pokémon would be especially sensitive to things that unsettle it. It makes a lot more sense than many other weaknesses/resistances.
This. This is surprisingly simple and makes a lot of sense. I like it.
 

Slipomatic

Eon Collector
Although I'm late in saying this, ice does resist water types. Dewgong, which is ice/water type, takes .25 damage from water moves. Ice does indeed reduce water damage by half so that statement is out. Ice can be considered weak and fragile when it is fairly easy to break ice itself when it is fairly thin. On the other hand, it is indeed harder to break it in it is thicker.

Dragonfree's explanation sounds good to me.
 
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