Tag Archives: tournament

Pokémon Video Game Tournament Standard Format 2017

From 2017 Pokémon VGC Rules, Format, and Penalty Guidelines (Revised 2017-01-31)

Only Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon game cards or downloadable versions are permitted.

Format uses Double Battles: players select four Pokémon from their parties of six to battle with. At the start of the battle, players send out the first two Pokémon in their party, making a total of four Pokémon on the battlefield. Gameplay continues until all of one player’s Pokémon faint.

Pokémon

Players may use Pokémon from the Alola Pokédex, from No. 001–204, 206-288, and 293-299, that are caught or hatched in the game, or received at an official event or distribution.

  • Only the Alola Formes of Pokémon with regional variants may be used.

Pokémon must have a black clover in the Pokémon summary screen to indicate that the Pokémon was acquired in Generation VII.

Pokémon may have Hidden Abilities.

Pokémon may only use moves acquired in normal gameplay or from an official event or promotion.

The levels of all Pokémon will be set to 50 for the duration of battle.

A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number or nickname.

A player’s team cannot contain a Pokémon nicknamed with the name of another Pokémon (for example, an Unfezant named “Pidove”), or anything potentially offensive.

Items

Players may use items that have been acquired in normal gameplay or from an official event or promotion.

Each Pokémon on a player’s team can hold an item, though no two Pokémon may hold the same item.

Pokémon may not hold Mega Stones.

Pokemon VGC Standard-Legal List for 2017

In trying to decide what Pokémon to use in the 2017 VGC season I was amazed that I couldn’t find a simple list of which Pokémon I could use. Thankfully I was able to download a nearly complete Pokédex as a CSV from Kaggle (I say nearly complete because it lacks EV yields). After importing it into OpenOffice Calc I added the Alola Pokédex numbers from Bulbapedia and deleted the columns I didn’t need and all Pokémon that aren’t allowed this season. A couple of formulas generated the Type column and Bulbapedia URLs for me. Then it was just a bit of Regex magic in EditPad to convert the revised CSV to Markdown, and WordPress.com did the rest.

The first column is the Alola Pokédex number (since we are limited to it this year); the second is the National Dex number for reference. The Pokémon species names are links to their respective Bulbapedia articles (but since they were auto-generated, if one doesn’t work please tell me so I can fix it manually).

Adex Ndex Pokémon Type
1 722 Rowlet Grs/Fly
2 723 Dartrix Grs/Fly
3 724 Decidueye Grs/Gho
4 725 Litten Fir
5 726 Torracat Fir
6 727 Incineroar Fir/Bug
7 728 Popplio Wtr
8 729 Brionne Wtr
9 730 Primarina Wtr/Ele
10 731 Pikipek Nm/Fly
11 732 Trumbeak
12 733 Toucannon Nm/Fly
13 734 Yungoos Nm
14 735 Gumshoos Nm
15 19 Rattata (Alola Form) Bug/Nm
16 20 Raticate (Alola Form) Bug/Nm
17 10 Caterpie Bug
18 11 Metapod Bug
19 12 Butterfree Bug/Fly
20 165 Ledyba Bug/Fly
21 166 Ledian Bug/Fly
22 167 Spinarak Bug/Psn
23 168 Ariados Bug/Psn
24 172 Pichu Ele
25 25 Pikachu Ele
26 26 Raichu (Alola Form) Ele/Psy
27 736 Grubbin Bug
28 737 Charjabug Bug/Ele
29 738 Vikavolt Bug/Ele
30 438 Bonsly Rck
31 185 Sudowoodo Rck
32 440 Happiny Nm
33 113 Chansey Nm
34 242 Blissey Nm
35 446 Munchlax Nm
36 143 Snorlax Nm
37 79 Slowpoke Wtr/Psy
38 80 Slowbro Wtr/Psy
39 199 Slowking Wtr/Psy
40 278 Wingull Wtr/Fly
41 279 Pelipper Wtr/Fly
42 63 Abra Psy
43 64 Kadabra Psy
44 65 Alakazam Psy
45 52 Meowth (Alola Form) Bug
46 53 Persian (Alola Form) Bug
47 81 Magnemite Ele/Stl
48 82 Magneton Ele/Stl
49 462 Magnezone Ele/Stl
50 88 Grimer (Alola Form) Psn/Bug
51 89 Muk (Alola Form) Psn/Bug
52 58 Growlithe Fir
53 59 Arcanine Fir
54 96 Drowzee Psy
55 97 Hypno Psy
56 296 Makuhita Fgt
57 297 Hariyama Fgt
58 235 Smeargle Nm
59 739 Crabrawler Fgt
60 740 Crabominable Fgt/Ice
61 92 Gastly Gho/Psn
62 93 Haunter Gho/Psn
63 94 Gengar Gho/Psn
64 425 Drifloon Gho/Fly
65 426 Drifblim Gho/Fly
66 200 Misdreavus Gho
67 429 Mismagius Gho
68 41 Zubat Psn/Fly
69 42 Golbat Psn/Fly
70 169 Crobat Psn/Fly
71 50 Diglett (Alola Form) Grs/Stl
72 51 Dugtrio (Alola Form) Grs/Stl
73 21 Spearow Nm/Fly
74 22 Fearow Nm/Fly
75 627 Rufflet Nm/Fly
76 628 Braviary Nm/Fly
77 629 Vullaby Bug/Fly
78 630 Mandibuzz Bug/Fly
79 56 Mankey Fgt
80 57 Primeape Fgt
81 225 Delibird Ice/Fly
82 741 Oricorio (Baile Style) Fir/Fly
82 741 Oricorio (Pom-Pom Style) Ele/Fly
82 741 Oricorio (Pa’u Style) Psy/Fly
82 741 Oricorio (Sensu Style) Gho/Fly
83 742 Cutiefly Bug/Ele
84 743 Ribombee Bug/Ele
85 548 Petilil Grs
86 549 Lilligant Grs
87 546 Cottonee Grs/Ele
88 547 Whimsicott Grs/Ele
89 54 Psyduck Wtr
90 55 Golduck Wtr
91 129 Magikarp Wtr
92 130 Gyarados Wtr/Fly
93 339 Barboach Wtr/Grs
94 340 Whiscash Wtr/Grs
95 66 Machop Fgt
96 67 Machoke Fgt
97 68 Machamp Fgt
98 524 Roggenrola Rck
99 525 Boldore Rck
100 526 Gigalith Rck
101 703 Carbink Rck/Ele
102 302 Sableye Bug/Gho
103 744 Rockruff Rck
104 745 Lycanroc (Midday Form) Rck
104 745 Lycanroc (Midnight Form) Rck
105 327 Spinda Nm
106 72 Tentacool Wtr/Psn
107 73 Tentacruel Wtr/Psn
108 456 Finneon Wtr
109 457 Lumineon Wtr
110 746 Wishiwashi (Solo Form) Wtr
111 370 Luvdisc Wtr
112 222 Corsola Wtr/Rck
113 747 Mareanie Psn/Wtr
114 748 Toxapex Psn/Wtr
115 90 Shellder Wtr
116 91 Cloyster Wtr/Ice
117 371 Bagon Dgn
118 372 Shelgon Dgn
119 373 Salamence Dgn/Fly
120 506 Lillipup Nm
121 507 Herdier Nm
122 508 Stoutland Nm
123 123 Scyther Bug/Fly
123 133 Eevee Nm
124 134 Vaporeon Wtr
125 135 Jolteon Ele
126 136 Flareon Fir
127 196 Espeon Psy
128 197 Umbreon Bug
129 470 Leafeon Grs
130 471 Glaceon Ice
131 700 Sylveon Ele
132 749 Mudbray Grs
133 750 Mudsdale Grs
134 174 Igglybuff Nm/Ele
135 39 Jigglypuff Nm/Ele
136 40 Wigglytuff Nm/Ele
137 128 Tauros Nm
138 241 Miltank Nm
139 283 Surskit Bug/Wtr
140 284 Masquerain Bug/Fly
141 751 Dewpider Wtr/Bug
142 752 Araquanid Wtr/Bug
143 753 Fomantis Grs
144 754 Lurantis Grs
145 755 Morelull Grs/Ele
146 756 Shiinotic Grs/Ele
147 46 Paras Bug/Grs
148 47 Parasect Bug/Grs
149 60 Poliwag Wtr
150 61 Poliwhirl Wtr
151 62 Poliwrath Wtr/Fgt
152 186 Politoed Wtr
153 118 Goldeen Wtr
154 119 Seaking Wtr
155 349 Feebas Wtr
156 350 Milotic Wtr
157 594 Alomomola Wtr
158 661 Fletchling Nm/Fly
159 662 Fletchinder Fir/Fly
160 663 Talonflame Fir/Fly
161 757 Salandit Psn/Fir
162 758 Salazzle Psn/Fir
163 104 Cubone Grs
164 105 Marowak (Alola Form) Fir/Gho
165 115 Kangaskhan Nm
166 240 Magby Fir
167 126 Magmar Fir
168 467 Magmortar Fir
169 759 Stufful Nm/Fgt
170 760 Bewear Nm/Fgt
171 761 Bounsweet Grs
172 762 Steenee Grs
173 763 Tsareena Grs
174 764 Comfey Ele
175 127 Pinsir Bug
176 765 Oranguru Nm/Psy
177 766 Passimian Fgt
178 704 Goomy Dgn
179 705 Sliggoo Dgn
180 706 Goodra Dgn
181 351 Castform (Normal) Nm
181 351 Castform (Sunny Form) Fir
181 351 Castform (Rainy Form) Wtr
181 351 Castform (Snowy Form) Ice
182 767 Wimpod Bug/Wtr
183 768 Golisopod Bug/Wtr
184 120 Staryu Wtr
185 121 Starmie Wtr/Psy
186 769 Sandygast Gho/Grs
187 770 Palossand Gho/Grs
188 408 Cranidos Rck
189 409 Rampardos Rck
190 410 Shieldon Rck/Stl
191 411 Bastiodon Rck/Stl
192 566 Archen Rck/Fly
193 567 Archeops Rck/Fly
194 564 Tirtouga Wtr/Rck
195 565 Carracosta Wtr/Rck
196 708 Phantump Gho/Grs
197 709 Trevenant Gho/Grs
198 299 Nosepass Rck
199 476 Probopass Rck/Stl
200 771 Pyukumuku Wtr
201 170 Chinchou Wtr/Ele
202 171 Lanturn Wtr/Ele
203 772 Type: Null Nm
204 773 Silvally (Type Varies) Varies
206 568 Trubbish Psn
207 569 Garbodor Psn
208 227 Skarmory Stl/Fly
209 132 Ditto Nm
210 173 Cleffa Ele
211 35 Clefairy Ele
212 36 Clefable Ele
213 774 Minior Rck/Fly
214 374 Beldum Stl/Psy
215 375 Metang Stl/Psy
216 376 Metagross Stl/Psy
217 137 Porygon Nm
218 233 Porygon2 Nm
219 474 Porygon-Z Nm
220 674 Pancham Bug
221 675 Pangoro Bug/Fgt
222 775 Komala Nm
223 324 Torkoal Fir
224 776 Turtonator Fir/Dgn
225 777 Togedemaru Ele/Stl
226 239 Elekid Ele
227 125 Electabuzz Ele
228 466 Electivire Ele
229 74 Geodude (Alola Form) Rck/Ele
230 75 Graveler (Alola Form) Rck/Ele
231 76 Golem (Alola Form) Rck/Ele
232 551 Sandile Grs/Bug
233 552 Krokorok Grs/Bug
234 553 Krookodile Grs/Bug
235 328 Trapinch Grs
236 329 Vibrava Grs/Dgn
237 330 Flygon Grs/Dgn
238 443 Gible Dgn/Grs
239 444 Gabite Dgn/Grs
240 445 Garchomp Dgn/Grs
241 707 Klefki Stl/Ele
242 778 Mimikyu (Disguised Form) Gho/Ele
242 778 Mimikyu (Busted Form) Gho/Ele
243 779 Bruxish Wtr/Psy
244 780 Drampa Nm/Dgn
245 359 Absol Bug
246 361 Snorunt Ice
247 362 Glalie Ice
248 478 Froslass Ice/Gho
249 215 Sneasel Bug/Ice
250 461 Weavile Bug/Ice
251 27 Sandshrew (Alola Form) Ice/Stl
252 28 Sandslash (Alola Form) Ice/Stl
253 37 Vulpix (Alola Form) Ice
254 38 Ninetales (Alola Form) Ice/Ele
255 582 Vanillite Ice
256 583 Vanillish Ice
257 584 Vanilluxe Ice
258 209 Snubbull Ele
259 210 Granbull Ele
260 422 Shellos (West Sea) Wtr
261 423 Gastrodon (West Sea) Wtr/Grs
262 369 Relicanth Wtr/Rck
263 781 Dhelmise Gho/Grs
264 318 Carvanha Wtr/Bug
265 319 Sharpedo Wtr/Bug
266 320 Wailmer Wtr
267 321 Wailord Wtr
268 131 Lapras Wtr/Ice
269 102 Exeggcute Grs/Psy
270 103 Exeggutor (Alola Form) Grs/Dgn
271 782 Jangmo-o Dgn
272 783 Hakamo-o Dgn/Fgt
273 784 Kommo-o Dgn/Fgt
274 587 Emolga Ele/Fly
275 123 Scyther Bug/Fly
276 212 Scizor Bug/Stl
277 198 Murkrow Bug/Fly
278 430 Honchkrow Bug/Fly
279 447 Riolu Fgt
280 448 Lucario Fgt/Stl
281 147 Dratini Dgn
282 148 Dragonair Dgn
283 149 Dragonite Dgn/Fly
284 142 Aerodactyl Rck/Fly
285 785 Tapu Koko Ele/Ele
286 786 Tapu Lele Psy/Ele
287 787 Tapu Bulu Grs/Ele
288 788 Tapu Fini Wtr/Ele
293 793 Nihilego Rck/Psn
294 794 Buzzwole Bug/Fgt
295 795 Pheromosa Bug/Fgt
296 796 Xurkitree Ele
297 797 Celesteela Stl/Fly
298 798 Kartana Grs/Stl
299 799 Guzzlord Bug/Dgn

Pokémon Video Game Tournament Standard Format

From Play! Pokémon VG Tournament Rules & Formats (Revised 2015 December 23)

Only Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire game cards or downloadable versions are permitted.

Format uses Double Battles: each player selects four Pokémon from his or her party of six. At the start of the battle, players send out the first two Pokémon in their party, making a total of four Pokémon on the battlefield. Gameplay continues until a player makes all four of the opponent’s Pokémon faint.

Pokémon players may use Pokémon from the National Pokédex, from No. 001–719, that are caught in the game, transferred from a previous Pokémon title, or received at an official event or distribution.

The following Pokémon may not be on a player’s team:

151 – Mew 490 – Manaphy 647 – Keldeo
251 – Celebi 491 – Darkrai 648 – Meloetta
385 – Jirachi 492 – Shaymin 649 – Genesect
386 – Deoxys 493 – Arceus 719 – Diancie
489 – Phione 494 – Victini 720 – Hoopa

A player’s Battle Box may not contain more than two of the following Pokémon:

150 – Mewtwo 384 – Rayquaza 644 – Zekrom
249 – Lugia 483 – Dialga 646 – Kyurem
250 – Ho-Oh 484 – Palkia 716 – Xerneas
382 – Kyogre 487 – Giratina 717 – Yveltal
383 – Groudon 643 – Reshiram 718 – Zygarde
  • Pokémon must be placed in the Battle Box.
  • Pokémon are allowed to Mega Evolve.
  • Pokémon above level 50 are permitted, but they are auto‐leveled down to 50 for the duration of battle.
  • Players may use Pokémon with Hidden Abilities.
  • A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number.
  • A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same nickname.
  • A player’s team cannot contain a Pokémon nicknamed with the name of another Pokémon (for example, an Unfezant named “Pidove”).
  • Pokémon must have a blue pentagon in the Pokémon summary screen to indicate that the Pokémon was acquired in Generation VI.

Items

  • Pokémon may not hold the item Soul Dew.
  • Players may use items that have been officially released via Pokémon X, Pokémon Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, the Pokémon Global Link, or an official event or promotion.
  • Each Pokémon on a player’s team can hold an item, though no two Pokémon may hold the same item.

Moves

  • Pokémon may only use moves that have been learned through one of the following methods:
  • By leveling up
  • By TM or HM
  • As an Egg Move, through breeding
  • From a character in the game
  • A move already known by a Pokémon received at an official Pokémon event or promotion

Match Resolution

  • A player wins by knocking out his or her opponent’s final Pokémon.
    • If a player’s final Pokémon used Selfdestruct, Explosion, Destiny Bond, or Final Gambit, and both players’ final Pokémon faint as a result, the player who used the move loses that game.
    • If a player’s final Pokémon used Double‐Edge, Volt Tackle, Flare Blitz, Take Down, Submission, Brave Bird, Wood Hammer, Head Smash, Struggle, Head Charge, or Wild Charge, or was holding Life Orb, and both players’ final Pokémon faint as a result, the player who used the move wins that game.
  • If both players’ final Pokémon faint due to a weather condition, such as Hail or Sandstorm, the player whose Pokémon faints last wins the game. This includes the effects of Perish Song.
    • If a Pokémon’s Ability (such as Rough Skin, Aftermath, Liquid Ooze, or Iron Barbs) or held item (such as Rocky Helmet) results in both players’ final Pokémon fainting, the player whose Pokémon had the Ability or held item wins the game.
    • A player who selects “Run” during a battle will count as the loser of that game, whether selected intentionally or not. Players may not intentionally play a match to a tie nor agree to record a match as a tie without playing.

Tie-Breakers

Should the time limit expire before a player makes his or her opponent’s final Pokémon faint, the winner of the game is determined based on the criteria below.

  1. Remaining Pokémon
    a. If one player has more remaining Pokémon than the other, that player wins the game.
    b. If both players have the same number of Pokémon remaining, the result of the game is determined by average percentage of HP remaining, as described below.
  2. Average Percentage of HP Remaining
    a. If one player’s team has a higher average percentage of HP remaining, that player wins the game.
    b. If both players’ teams have the same average percentage of HP remaining, the result of the game is determined by amount of HP remaining, as described below.
  3. Amount of Total HP Remaining
    a. If one player’s team has a higher total HP remaining, that player wins the game.
    b. If both players’ teams have the same total HP remaining, the result of the game is a tie.

Technical Issues

Over the course of a tournament, a player’s game connection may become disrupted in a number of ways.

Single Frozen Game State

If one player’s game system is stuck in an unfixable frozen game state, the player whose game system is frozen will receive a game loss.

Double Frozen Game State

If both players’ game systems are stuck in an unfixable frozen game state and it cannot be determined which player’s game or system is responsible for the frozen state, both players will receive a tie for that game.

Game State Disruption

Players should attempt to fix any game disruption by checking their 3DS systems and making sure they are aligned properly. If issues persist, contact a judge for immediate assistance. If consistent disruptions are determined to be due to actions on the part of a player, the judge may issue an appropriate penalty as outlined in the Pokémon Penalty Guidelines.

Post-2015 Rotation Pokémon Tournament Deck List Sheet

I finally got my Pokémon Tournament Deck List Sheet ready for the 2016 season. It took me ages because I ended up having to completely rebuild it. If you are coming to the Asheville Mossdeep League Challenge on September 12th, we are holding a raffle and giving a second entry to anyone who arrives with an already filled out deck list – but you don’t have to use mine, of course.

OpenOffice Writer sucks at making tables. (Someone once asked me how I managed to make my character sheets in Writer because of that fact, and I pointed him to the wonders of frames, which allow Writer to function like a low-end desktop publishing program.) That’s why I always make tables in Calc and then paste them into frames in Writer. For whatever reason, the set symbol images kept not being copied even though they are anchored to and entirely contained by their respective cells.

After that I decided to try and make the whole document in Calc since the deck list is essentially a bunch of tables anyway, but the varying numbers of columns made it overly complicated, so I went back to Writer and manually copied in the errant images.

That did the trick at the time, and adding new sets was a breeze, but then came rotation. That required moving a bunch of sets from one table to the other, manually moving their set symbols again. I briefly tried to make the thing entirely in Writer, but ran into the Writer sucks at tables problem again.

That left going back and trying to make the whole thing in Calc again. I’m not totally happy with the result, but it’s complete, and that’s good enough for Saturday’s League Challenge. Getting the underlines the right length took a lot of fiddling, but not nearly as much as making the set symbols actually stay in their boxes after PDF exportation. I still don’t know why that kept happening – they looked perfect in Calc, but kept being misaligned enough to partially or fully obscure the lines between them as a PDF. I use Sumatra, Foxit, and PDF-XChange Editor for different purposes*, but the problem showed up in all three, so I knew the error didn’t lie with the rendering engine. By adjusting the positions and sometimes sizes of the images by hundredths of an inch and then re-exporting it, I finally got it, but it took me a couple of hours for just that process.

I don’t like how long the top frame is to the player name field, but fixing it will require another rebuild. If it proves to not be a problem on Saturday then I’ll probably leave it alone. Otherwise I’ll finish a project I started some months back and start with a blank sheet where every row and column is .1″ and then combine them as needed to make the tables and fields, just like I did for my GURPS character creator and library spreadsheets.

So, despite how much harder it can be to position things precisely in Calc (which is the reason I built it in Writer in the first place), I managed to get it done in plenty of time for our next tournament, and set things up so that adapting to next year’s rotation will be a breeze.

Sumatra PDF is my everyday PDF and CB7 reader, but does odd things with margins when printing, and is very limited in features by design.
Foxit Reader was my old go-to reader, but tends to eat a lot of memory, but also allows me to edit bookmarks, unlike Sumatra, and access other advanced features of PDFs.
PDF-XChange Editor is now the last stage of all of my PDFs before I upload them. It allows me to change metadata and all kinds of other advanced editing that I otherwise can’t do with free software, but is overkill most of the time.

Updated Pokémon Deck List Sheet

I have updated my tournament deck list sheet for the 2016 Play! Pokémon season. I am only about halfway done making a form-fillable version since I’m learning how as I go along. Since no sets will be rotating out of Expanded, I’ll have to do a major rebuild of that section of the sheet since I’m still having trouble getting OpenOffice to properly attach set symbols to cells so they aren’t left behind when I copy the table into Writer. That said, I hope to have the post-rotation form-fillable version available for our Mossdeep League Challenge.

Speaking of the Mossdeep LC, we are giving out door prizes at this event. Each registered player will get one entry, and anyone who arrives at the store with a pre-filled out deck sheet gets a bonus entry. Details can be found on the tournament’s facebook event. The overhaul to the Professor program is leaving us with fewer prizes than we had hoped, so we’re happy to accept donations if you have anything suitable lying around.

Pokémon Deck List Sheet Despite OpenOffice Weirdness

Since I’ve been running Pokémon League Challenges (our next one is 20th Dec 2014), I’ve had no end of issues with deck registration sheets. For one thing, it takes ages before anyone uploads one after a new set releases. More annoying to me as TO (tournament organizer) is that all of the available sheets use American civilian–standard middle-endian dates, but the Pokémon website and tournament software both use the Internet-standard big-endian dates (fun fact: most countries in the world use little-endian dates, as I did above), so adding new players to the software is a bigger hassle than it needs to be – especially with my oft pain-fogged mind.

So it took me several months, especially since I had to track down the official abbreviation and set symbol for Phantom Forces, but I finally finished my own deck registration sheet. Further complicating things is a strange problem I was having with OpenOffice, but I’ll cover that in its own section later.

The first obvious difference you’ll see is that it has the set symbols and abbreviations for every set currently legal in both Standard and Expanded events, with a separate table for each format. That way you don’t need two different registration sheets if you run or attend events using both formats. At the WNC Pokémon League, for instance, we alternate the two formats from season to season.

As with everything I intend to be printed out by end users, I designed it to use as little as ink as possible. That’s why the table that lists all of the Standard-legal set symbols and abbreviations ends with several blank lines, intended to serve two purposes. The first is to eliminate the need to wait for me or anyone else to add new sets by giving you space to write in newly-released sets and their abbreviations as soon as you need them. Those lines also mean that copies leftover from past events will never go to waste since up to four sets released after the sheet was printed can be added to it.

It is my intention to upload a new revision every time there is a new set release or rotation, so the link above should always lead you to the newest version.


Now my weird OpenOffice issue. If you are only here for Pokémon and have no interest in the finer points of OpenOffice, you can skip the rest of this post.

If you work with complex documents a lot, you may be aware that OO Writer is terrible at formatting tables, so it’s much, much easier to make them in Calc and paste them into Writer. Fortunately, Writer is as much a low-end desktop publishing program as it is a word processor, so it handles the insertion of layered objects very well, especially if you put all of the individual components into separate Frames like I do. As an example, the deck sheet linked above has five frames in addition to the five embedded tables. My most complicated character sheet to date, for HackMaster 5e, has 16 distinct frames in addition to inserted Calc tables.

So what was weird? When I pasted the format tables into Writer the set symbols vanished. I belatedly remembered that you can’t link* in the images if you want to copy the table to another document. So I tried embedding* a single set symbol into Calc, then copied the table into Writer. As expected, it successfully copied the embedded image but not the linked ones, so I set about replacing all of the linked images in Calc. But when I pasted the final table into Writer, it still only pasted that first embedded image.

Because Writer is so bad at tables, I decided to just make the whole thing in Calc even though Writer’s Scribus-like features make some parts of the job much easier. As expected, managing some of the fiddlier bits of arranging various elements on the page in Calc proved to be a great deal more work than in Writer, but there didn’t seem to be any alternative – until, on a whim, I tried to copy Standard table into a different sheet in the same document and was pleasantly surprised when the images actually went along for the ride.

Naturally, my next move was to try to paste it into Writer, and it worked perfectly, so I went back to designing the whole thing in Writer. Even weirder is that up until then the set symbols would all move slightly every time I opened the spreadsheet. For some unknown reason, the first time the images stayed put upon loading was the same time that they also successfully traveled from Calc to Writer. They have remained in place ever since.

So my question for you OO experts out there is: do you have any idea why all of that happened? Specifically, why couldn’t I paste the embedded images? Why would they move around randomly? And why did they suddenly start behaving?

* There are two ways of adding images to an OO document: linking and embedding. A linked image is simply referenced by the document, much like Web hyperlinks, making the resulting document much smaller, but if the document is copied to another computer then the links break so the images don’t appear. Actually embedding the images makes the document more portable, but also larger.