Tag Archive: t


T – Types

TA high level of nostalgia means that this year my chosen theme for the 2016 A to Z challenge is Pokemon. Whether you yourself have a similar level of sentimentality or you’ve never really gotten into it, I hope that you enjoy this month of posts as I indulge myself.

Types. We’ve been mentioning them all month, it’s kind of hard not to when talking about Pokemon. But what is a type? A type is a class for Pokemon and their moves. Each type has three properties: types is is super effective against, types is is not very effective against, and types it is completely ineffective agaisnt.

Currently there are 18 types, and occasionally new ones are added with new generations (Generation 1 started with 15 types). Since Pokemon can either by single or dual type there are 324 different combinations, with 171 of those being unique (Dark-Flying and Flying-Dark are not unique, but are technically different). As of Generation 6, 133 of these combinations have been used for Pokemon.

Pokemon can have one or two types, but each move that a Pokemon uses will only have one type. There are no Psychic-Fire moves, although flavour text can give it attributes from two types. A Pokemon however does know four moves, and there is nothing saying that those moves need to have a common type between them. Of course, Pokemon will often learn moves that do share a type with it, because it doesn’t make much logical sense for a ground Pokemon to know an electric move.

So what these 18 types?

  • pokemon_types_wheel_by_kamionero-d6u6o9iNormal
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Grass
  • Electric
  • Psychic
  • Fighting
  • Flying
  • Poison
  • Ground
  • Rock
  • Bug
  • Ghost
  • Ice
  • Dragon
  • Dark
  • Steel
  • Fairy

As mentioned in the Gyms post from earlier in the month, most Gym Leaders and Elite Four trainers are deigned with a type theme. Trainers like yourselves however, are free to choose what Pokemon you have in your team. Most people have a mix of types, because you are going to encounter lots of different types and it can help to type advantage the fights.

Ah, that phrase again, type advantage. What does that mean? It means that certain types are strong agaisnt other types, and will deal double damage. There is also the inverse, ineffective types, where half damage is dealt. And sometimes, there is even type match ups where one type cannot damage another type.

For example, take the starter Pokemon. You will have a fire type, a water type and grass type, and they make up a type advantage circle. Fire is strong agaisnt Grass, Grass is strong agaisnt Water, and Water is strong agaisnt Fire. It makes an amount of logical sense when you think about what the types are based off. But, there is a lovely table which summarises the information for you:

Type matchups

It’s not all that complicated: Find your Pokemon type on the left hand side, find the Pokemon type you are attacking on the top, and then look for the little box. Green is good, white is normal, red is bad, and black won’t work.

Personally I go for a mix. There are too many types to get all of them in a team, even if all your Pokemon double type, but you can get a good spread, and of course, you can have Pokemon in storage waiting for that battle you need them on. I might favour certain types, psychic and fire and dark spring to mind, but I don’t have a one type team. Thinking about White 2, which I am currently playing, I have a Grass type, Fighting Type, and Fire type, which is seeing me comfortably through most fights.

 

TalonflamePokemon of the Day

T is for Talonflame

Talonflame is an avian Pokemon that closely resembles a falcon, with red-orange plumage, a grey underbelly and black flecks. When battling, Talon flame will dive at its foes, up to speeds of 310 miles per hour, and will use this speed to attack with a devsating kick from its claws. As a fire type Pokemon, embers will sometimes shower down from its feathers as it soars through the sky.

Talonflame is a relatively new Pokemon, being Generation 6, so it’s only been in the X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire games. It’s a final evolution Pokemon, and it’s basic form, Fletchling, reminded me of Pidgey, since it was a tiny bird Pokemon that you catch really early on in the game. However, for whatever reason, maybe because it reminded me of a friends (Tiny Robin Pokemon) or because I like fire types and a Fire/Flying type was a good addition to my team, I caught one, added it to my team, and then it kind of stayed there for the entire game, levelling up alongside my starter. And it was great, Talonflame was one of my favourites from the last game, and was quite good in numerous fights. That, and it looks like a falcon, which is awesome.

talonflameon

T – Timeline

Toothless Letter TOften skipping along hand in hand with plot, timelines are about the order in which things happen. Plot is the events of the novel, timeline is when these events happen.

Timelines are defined as graphical representations of a period of time where important events are marked. Timelines for novels often include all the events of a plot, whether that be the main plot events, or the sub plots, and often both. Character developments, setting changes, I put all types of stuff on my timelines, after in different colours to help distinguish between different plots, of whether something is character or plot.

Here’s one of my ones.

IMG_20150423_180331

This is the original timeline for Black Dawn, a book that is now getting a complete re-write. I’ll probably re-do this timeline at some point, with colours, but this is the first one I found in my stack of writing stuff.

In there I have chapter numbers, when character are first introduced, major developments between characters. I have the major plot points, and minor plot points, I’ve even got some one liners that I thought of and really wanted to put in the book. And you can tell that I was writing it in a hurry because I’m having trouble deciphering the handwriting, and I can peer at the original!

Planners probably use them more than I do. Mainly I use timelines when I haven’t got all the pieces of a novel in one coherent string, like when I have all the major and some minor plot points but not always the bits in-between. Whereas I can imagine that they are a very powerful tool when planning a novel as well.

I can see them being especially useful is there are any types of flashback, or time hoping going on. A couple of my novels have big jumps in time, either months or years, whereas others might visit the past in flashbacks, so whilst the novel might visit them at various places in a certain plot order, the timeline would help someone order them from the point of view of the character, or sequential time.

Thinking about it, I probably need to do a timeline for Archmage. There is just a lot going on over many years, it probably would help me to get everything straight.

Do any of you, my wonderful readers, use timelines for your novels?

T – Draconic Traits

As promised, today we are going to talk about dragon traits, which leads on from P – Physiology, and we are going to look at all the external features of a dragon.

dragontooth1Jaws & Teeth: The jaws of a dragon resemble a reptilian cousin – that of the crocodile – in the respect that the muscles which close the jaw are more powerful than the ones that open it, but it’s still practically impossible to hold a dragon’s jaw closed if it does want to open it. Some dragons have the ability to unhinged their jaw, in the manner of a snake, but this ability is only used when something is too large to bite, which is rare considering the size of their jaws naturally.

The teeth of a dragon include a lot of incisors for the tearing of flesh, since dragons are carnivores. There are some molars at the back, thought to be for crushing anything hard they might accidentally eat with the main meal, like armour for example, but they are not visible when a dragon is talking or eating normally. The teeth are made of a hard substance that resembles the bones of the dragon rather than the enamel which most other creatures use. Dragon tend to have several sets of teeth during their lifetime, which tend to grow in when they greatly increase in size.

Exotic_Dragon_Horns_by_TarjciaClaws, Spines and Horns: All dragons have claws on the end of their feet, and a good number have spines and horns as well. All of these are made from a substance very similar to the teeth, which means they are similar to dragon bone, but definitely not the same substance.

Claws are connected directly into the skeleton, and can fall out and regrow like the teeth do as the dragon increases in size throughout its life. Typically a dragon foot have three forward facing claws and one back facing claw. Whilst this back claw is not as prehensile as a human thumb, it can twist around as something akin to a thumb and the claws are very capable of gripping objects, and can even use tools or write with it, as long as the tool is properly sized and designed for draconic use.

Spines tend to run along the back spine of a dragon, but do not tend to be as rigid as horns or bones. They can be flexed by a dragon in circumstances, such as mating or trying to scare off a rival. Horn are very rigid however, and are very similar to bones in material, whereas spines would be more like human cartilage.

Dragon_Wing_and_Chest_Anatomy_by_AshereWings: We touched on wings back in P – Physiology, since the muscles required to make a dragon fly are very complex. The wing itself is a structure like a bat’s, where a thin hide membrane is stretched across a number of very thin, lightweight bones. This physical structure is augmented by the primal energies that flow through a dragon’s blood, and the membrane carries a large number of small capillaries which supply the wing with blood. A wing is large enough that a small tear in the membrane will not impede flight, but a large number of small tears, or a few big tears will threaten the wing’s integrity. Thankfully for the dragons, wing heal quickly, so they are never earthbound for long should such an event occur.

Tail: A dragons tail is serpent like in construction, with interlocking pieces of spine covered in muscles which thin out towards to tip of the tail. Because of the layers of muscle, the tail is externally strong for it’s thickness, and the back end of the dragon is almost as worrying as the front end, since the tail is capable of meeting out powerful slaps and throwing opponents across rooms. The only salvation of a tail versus teeth is that the tail does crushing damage, rather than ripping. The end of the tail can end in a simple point, like a snake’s tail, or can have a barb on the end. As of yet, not function for a the barbed tails has been found, since they do not use them as a weapon like a scorpion would. It is thought that perhaps it gives some small aid in flight, but it is clearly not a great advantage since not all dragon posses it.

Senses: Dragons are primarily hunters, so they have a very well developed set of senses, although it can vary between dragon species.

greendrago_3kjxknjxA dragon’s vision is particularly good, more than twice as good as a humans with excellent depth perception and peripheral vision. Their pupils are thin and slitted, like a cat’s, and have a similar effect of granting them dark sight, but instead of expanding to let in more light, they instead expand and allow the primal energies in their blood to shin out through their eyes, granting them their night sight.

Like other reptiles, they do not have external ears, but upon closer inspection a tiny hole between scales can be found on the head which leads into the auditory canal. Some species of dragons have frills which help them to channel sound, but this is not essential. Their sense of hearing is about as developed as a human, although they do have an interesting ability to filter what they hear, and listen out for particular sounds.

The sense of smell is derived from both the nostrils and the tongue, which is uses like a snake’s to taste the air. They can taste things from a great distance away using their tongue, but it is less sensitive than their nostrils so they cannot identify it until they get closer to the source. Once they get close their nostrils are great at telling differences between very similar smells and can use it to pinpoint with great accuracy.

Dragon taste is very well refined as well, said to be able to tell every ingredient in a stew after a single mouthful, however dragons are said to not like sweet flavours as much as savoury. No one has ever found out why this may be though.

The weakest sense a dragon has is the sense of touch, due to the hard scales that cover it’s body, hence why they are able to sleep on piles of hard treasure. It is the only sense the decreases instead of increasing with ages, since a dragon never stops growing as it gets older, and the scales grow thicker with age as well.

Dragon_scales_by_sanguisGelidusScales: The texture of scales can vary from dragon to dragon, species to species, from rough to smooth, leathery to snake like. Individual scales on a dragon will be the same as other scales, only the size of the scale on a dragon will vary. The scales on the top and sides of a dragon are larger, with one end attached to the dragon’s skin and the other end overlaps neighbouring scales, which forms the dragon’s hard armour. The smaller scales which cover the underbelly rest side by side, hence why it is though that they are softer. They aren’t actually softer, but it is slightly easier to get a weapon in between the scales, since they do not overlap.

Dragon never shed their skin during their lifetime, as the scale grow with them throughout the course of their life, which is slow, but they never lose their scales all in one go. They may occasionally lose individual scales or small patches due to injury, illness or natural moulting, but the patch only remain bare for a few months until new scales grow into the gap.

Dragon scales do make very good armour, for dragon that is, but the scales do not tend to last once they have been taken off the dragon and away from the primal energy of the dragon’s blood. So whilst people may attempt to claim dragon scales to make a suit of armour, it has never to date worked mundanely. Some magical sets, preserved through the use of long lost rituals, are said to exist, but they may just exist in the stories that they are described in.

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