Pokemon Go has already been released well over weeks by the time of this article, it has become a global phenomenon that has consumed the lives of countless people from every age group and demographic. The game has people walking and exploring their fair cities and towns, there is a sense of camaraderie between players even when separated between a three-color team system. Pokemon Go even has children outside and playing for a change!
Pokemon GO has done more for child obesity in the last 24 hours than Michelle Obama has in the past 8 years.
— Meninist (@MeninistTweet) July 10, 2016
In light of everything, Pokemon and its resurgence in popularity has reached cosmic levels. I thought about Pokemon once again in a roleplaying system, or even just modelling a Pokemon adventure using a d20 system. Even if you use the 1st Generation Pokemon (which for you old school folks would be the original 151 Pokemon), it can a daunting task having to make stats or even abilities, what about pokeballs, and things like classes or class features if any? There are many questions that can drive a DM stir-crazy with so much material that may need to be homebrewed and crafted. So hopefully I will alleviate that strain with resources and tips on creating a potential Pokemon One-Shot.
There’s already a Pokemon D&D series on YouTube!
The series started back in February of 2016 and finished with 13 episodes in July 2016. The takeaway from this series would be the implementation of 5th Edition D&D mechanics and incorporating them in a Pokemon-esque setting. It’s still mostly a D&D setting but with elements and flavor that pull from the Pokemon lore and world.
Resources to Start your own Poke-Adventure!
- Pokemon 5e – A tumblr account with everything from a Pokemon Trainer class, backgrounds, there are stat blocks from Bulbasaur to Wigglytuff from the original 151, so while it does possess a complete assortment, there is enough for DMs and players to get started and build from these ideas. You can follow up on the Pokedex as it continues to be updated on the Reddit page here.
- Pokemon Conversions – These are from a reddit user caniswolfman24 who produced some aesthetically pleasing Pokemon stat blocks for DMs who want to that professional look.
The illustrious pokeball, a powerful magical item that when struck on a Pokemon or creature, can ensnare them into the ball-shaped object in a transdimensional space where they do not age or require breathing or food.
Wondrous Item, Rare
The pokeball is a method to transport and carry creatures known as Pokemon for individuals known as Pokemon Trainers. The pokeball possesses magical means to suspend a Pokemon in this object wherein it does not need to breath or eat while inside until released by its trainer (similar to the imprisonment spell). Once a Pokemon has been ‘caught’ by a pokeball, it is attuned to the particular Pokemon until the trainer releases the Pokemon back into the wild.
To capture a Pokemon, the trainer must make a ranged weapon attack at the Pokemon. On a successful hit,the Pokeball opens and uses its magical power to miniaturize the Pokemon for capture. Inside, the Pokemon can still struggle to escape. It must make a DC 12 Strength or Wisdom saving throw (its choice). A Pokemon has disadvantage on their saving throw if their current hit points is under half of their total hit points. On a successful saving throw, the Pokemon breaks free of the Pokeball (which subsequently destroys the Pokeball). On a failed saving throw, the Pokemon becomes attuned to the Pokeball and is now considered ‘caught’. It is considered a friendly or indifferent ally to the trainer.
Various models of Pokeballs have higher DCs and provide additional bonuses based upon the particular type of Pokemon. Great Balls (DC 15), Ultra Balls (DC 17), Masterball (DC 20).
LARP & Pokemon
I didn’t forget you LARPers out there! Since Pokemon Go has so many people outdoors hunting for pokemon, I thought about what sort of implications it might have on LARPing. As one who enjoyed LARPing in my college days, it came to me that using the app along with roleplaying elements was still possible.
But what about 1v1 pokemon battles? Well Niantic has already relayed that out of their 3 big features they wish to bring to the app to be: Pokemon Centers as customizations for Poke Stops, Trading (a really big feature), and apparently Breeding is a feature still under consideration.
Another feature that many fans have asked about is 1v1 battles which for a Pokemon LARP would rely on an app to resolve events like battles and what not. From a narrative perspective, relying on such technology seems weak or insecure but at the same token it provides a tangible collection of pokemon and methodology for players to progress aspects of an RP with real time resolutions. People might argue differently but I figure it wouldn’t hurt to toss out the idea for people.
A D&D Pokemon One Shot
So you want a Pokemon One Shot? How about some Adventure Hooks? Maybe even an Act 1 & Act 2? Let’s see! This One Shot idea assumes the party members start at Level 1 using any D&D 5e class.
- You have heard rumors of powerful creatures called Pokemon and a man who seeks individuals willing to wield these mighty creatures.
- You have been fascinated by the creatures called Pokemon since you were a child, you seek to acquire some of your own one day but never had the means until now. Prospective Pokemon masters are congregating in the hopes of acquiring the necessary equipment to capture these creatures.
- Pokemon are an expression of power and you seek to gain more power for yourself and your guild.
- A Pokemon Trainer inspired you to leave your hometown, you wish to be better than him and one day prove it.
- The gods have granted you insight and prophesied the need for these mystical creatures called Pokemon to help avert disaster.
Act 1 (Plot Summary)
There is a Pokemon convention happening in a town called Pallet nestled within past along a coastline leading to a small forest to the north. A profound researcher by the name of Herald Oak has invited various adventurers who might prove their mettle and be compatible to become potential Pokemon Masters. There is a seminar to learn more about the creatures followed by a meet-and-greet with the various available Pokemon to be given to prospective trainers who can bond with a respective Pokemon.
Some of the trainers are rather anxious to bond with their Pokemon and prove their command over them, some issuing challenges to Pokemon battles. Battles are between Pokemon under the command of their trainers or masters. The party will be issued challenges from these other trainers during the seminar. You may take this time to establish any rivals with either some or all of the party members.
After the introductory battles, the party learns that there are other Pokemon beyond Pallet, Oak hands one of the party members a catalogue of the different sorts of Pokemon known to exist and that if they happen to find unknown and rare Pokemon that he could very interested in learn more about them. Oak recommends to the party to visit a city to the north called Viridian and a quarry town called Pewter where a renowned Pokemon expert has established a dojo of sorts to teach and train others about Pokemon. He also bestows a parcel with the party, to be delivered to another Pokemon expert named Bill, located north in his offshore home from the city of lakes, Cerulean City.
During their journey to Viridian and Pewter, the party will make pass through the Viridian Woods, which reportedly is teeming with various sort of creatures and insectile Pokemon.
Once at Pewter, the party have the opportunity to explore the town. The town has a makeshift exhibit for the various fossil relics they have found of potentially extinct Pokemon from an time long forgotten. If the party investigates the town, they may hear rumors of mysterious figures appearing east in the mountain ranges of Mount Moon. A recently rock slide blocks the party’s path to Cerulean City until it is cleared off.
Gym Battle: The party can challenge the gym leader who specializes in earth elemental based Pokemon. The party may fight the gym as a unit with single elimination or individually if only a few of the players seek to test their skills. The party receive renown and a Gym Badge from the gym leader should the party (or its members) be successful in defeating the leader.
Once the party gains access to the route leading to the Moon mountain range, they can continue with their errand to Bill. The mountain is full of tight corners and caverns, which is also teeming with various Pokemon.
Near the end when the party are almost out of Mount Moon, they will be ambushed by a group of criminals who seek to capture Pokemon and use them for their nefarious purposes. They are marked by a red “R” on their uniforms and some will assault the party with Pokemon and whatever weaponry is available to them. A DC 14 Intelligence check reveals that these are members of Team Rocket, a crime syndicate. Use Bandit (Monster Manual, pg. 343) for Team Rocket members. Each member has at least either 1 Rattata, Sandshrew, Geodude, or Zubat. The leader (use Bandit Captain) has 1 Raticate and 1 Ekans.
Once defeated, Team Rocket will try to flee which leaves the route to Cerulean City clear for the party.
Act 2 (Plot Summary)
Once the party reach Cerulean city, they enter into a crisp cityscape with lush lakes and rivers surrounded by fields and woods to the west. Here, the party can rest and restock on equipment. While in the city, they learn of a bridge called “Hero’s Bridge” where a myriad of Pokemon trainers reside to test Pokemon trainers to gain passage through to the bridge that leads north to the hills and the northern shore. Bill is located past these hills and his home is at the end of the shoreline. Cerulean City is home to another Pokemon Gym, the leader is a specialist with water elemental and aquatic based Pokemon. Just like in Pewter, the party have the opportunity to battle the gym and receive a Gym Badge as well.
While in Cerulean there are additional hooks and side quests:
- A house has suffered a robbery and the owner’s Pokemon was stolen
- There are a group of traders who seek to exchange rare Pokemon for other Pokemon
- You have sighted your rivals from Pallet and they will be most interested to challenge you on your progress.
- An old man is looking for his lost Pokemon that ran away from home and will reward anyone with an interest item should they find his Pokemon.
Once the party reaches Bill’s home (use Druid), they find a mysterious Pokemon of horrific origins that attacks the party (use Chimera, Monster Manual, pg. 39). A DC 14 Intelligence (Nature) check will reveal that the creature is not a normal Pokemon or even any other sort of monster. If the creature is reduced to half its total hit points, it will try to speak in Common to the party. A DC 14 Wisdom (Insight) check will reveal that the creature was some failed experiment and that Bill was fused with it. An additional DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check will reveal a transmutation circle in the center of the room. A DC 14 Intelligence (Arcana) check will indicate that the circle was the likely culprit for the accident. Additionally, if the creature was placed back inside it while completing the ritual, it may have be able to restore Bill.
If successful, the party should be able to save Bill. Bill thanks the party and asks them why they were in his home. Should the party give Bill the parcel from Oak, the party will learn that the parcel was in fact an fossil of an extinct Pokemon, known only as Mew. Bill becomes fascinated by it and wants to spend more time researching the fossil but not before rewarding the party for aiding him in his hour of need.
Alright guys, this is just a taste of my ideas for Pokemon Go, but also a taste of the future direction with my One-Shot Adventure Ideas that will come once a month on the blog on Thursdays. I hope you all enjoyed this article, please like, comment, and share. If you want to stay up to date with my antics please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. We have an Instagram to follow for behind-the-scenes Team BAJA D&D campaign fun and also board game goodness. If you wish to help us out, there is a donate button above, every little bit helps. Thanks again and we’ll see you soon!