Pokemon

Pokemon

Pokemon in the world of Kanto are not the calm, mostly docile creatures they seem to be in so many other corners of the universe. Pokemon, for the most part, are wild, savage creatures that want nothing more than to spill the blood of humans. A lot of the current species will actively hunt humans; Rattata, Weedle, and Pidgeotto, just to name a few. Even the more docile, such as Caterpie, will still attack trainers if provoked. Most are territorial, many are hunters, and all are dangerous.

Taming

The act of taming a Pokemon is a difficult process. To a standard person, it could take months to make even something as simple as a Rattata listen to them. The strongest trainers have the ability to quickly break Pokemon to their will, usually through the use of their own Pokemon as enforcers of sorts. Most trainers keep their Pokemon in line through fear, as it is a language that the savage Pokemon understand.

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Evolution

Pokemon are only capable of evolution when tremendous strain is put upon their body. For some species, this is exposure to an Evolution Stone. This can be disastrous at lower Power Levels, as it causes damage to the Pokemon. In most cases, evolving early tends to be a detriment to a Pokemon. Still, Evolution remains the final defense mechanism for a Pokemon. When all its strength, all its guile, and all its speed has failed, Evolution provides that last little push to try to help the Pokemon overcome the challenge. Evolution heals the wounds, clears the mind, and, temporarily, floods the Pokemon with different chemicals. Many trainers actually fear evolution; it can make a previously loyal Pokemon rebellious and hard to control. Many a trainer has been injured when their cute Charmander becomes a brutal Charmeleon.

Societies

Most Pokemon organize themselves into basic packs and the like. There aren't many Pokemon that are truly solitary, especially in Kanto. More intelligent species form more and more complex societies. While Weedle form a collective hivemind, Pokemon such as Machop and Abra have formal social structures and have true societies. It ranges so vastly from species to species that it is truly incredible.

Power Levels

There actually exists a system for ranking a Pokemon by their strength. Called a "Power Level," this shows the current power a Pokemon has. There also has been a correlation between Power Level and age; Pokemon actually seem to be able to mature through combat, something that no other species can do. Most skilled trainers can get a close approximation of a Power Level, while a Pokemon Center can give an exact value with their advanced machinery.

Loyalties Explained

Since it can be hard to convey just exactly how difficult it is to deal with Pokemon, here are explanations of Loyalties and where they fit in with Pokemon.

Loyalty 0 is the starting loyalty for almost every Captured Pokemon. The DC may be higher than 20, but that's only for powerful evolved forms that extremely resent being captured. More often than not, while randomly acting the target will be the Trainer. I cannot convey how important this is; a newly caught Pokemon should not be expected to instantly be useable. Pokemon and humans do not instantly get along just because of a Pokeball; until the PCs actually do some work, they should not expect any sort of service. Just about any carnivorous Pokemon, regardless of level, will be Loyalty 0.

Loyalty 1 should be used for some of the more docile Pokemon upon being captured. Catching a Pidgey or Caterpie would likely have it at Loyalty 1. This is less because of any sort of loyalty but more because they are weak and either scared of the Trainer or young and unconsciously seeking attention. Most Pokemon caught below Level 10 will tend to be this. Most herbivorous or nullivore Pokemon will trend towards Loyalty 1.

Loyalty 2 would be a caught Pokemon that has been successfully turned to obey the Trainer. This would be a Pokemon that the Trainer has caught but utilized for some time. This would allow for the Trainer to command the Pokemon, but it's not going to try to save the Trainer.

Loyalty 3 is actually difficult to reach with just a Wild Pokemon that you caught. This would be a Wild Pokemon that Trainers have trained into impeccable condition. This would likely take at least a few weeks of use and taming for even a Savant. For your average Trainer, this level of training is next to impossible. Most hatched Pokemon will start here.

Upon achieving Loyalty 4, Pokemon are considered extremely close to a Trainer. This would tend to be a Pokemon that the Trainer has had for at least a year. Starters will tend to be this. At this point raising Loyalty is just more time than anything.

Loyalty 5 and Loyalty 6 are nigh on unachievable levels of care and devotion among Trainers. These ranks can take years, if not decades to achieve. Trainers with this level of Loyalty are rare, and only some of the strongest Trainers have achieved this rank.

Levels: As Pokemon level up and become more powerful, it becomes more and more likely that Pokemon are not willing to listen to their trainer. A set system for this would be difficult and clunky, so I'll just give guidelines.

  • If a Pokemon is ever clearly more powerful than its Trainer level-wise (let's say Trainer Level*2+10), the Pokemon has a chance of decreasing in Loyalty.
  • If the Trainer has leveled the Pokemon rapidly recently, there is an increased chance of its Loyalty dropping.
  • If a Pokemon's Trainer levels up the Pokemon with minimal focus on actually making the Pokemon like them, there is an increased chance of a drop in Loyalty.

While clunky, this system is in place as a sort of guideline. Basically, in most cases, Pokemon at Loyalty 3 and below have a high chance of dropping in Loyalty if they exceed their Trainer or find themselves no longer in need of them.

Note on Evolution: In most cases, Evolution will lower the Loyalty of a Pokemon at least one rank.

Shiny Pokemon

Every once and awhile, a Pokemon that is far stronger than its normal kin is born. These are far beyond an odd coloring. Oddly colored Pokemon are quite common; a Rattata caught on Route 1 will not look like a Rattata caught deep in a cave. Shiny Pokemon are different. Called Alpha Pokemon by some, these are faster, stronger, hit harder, and tend to become Pack Leaders of caught by a Gym Leader. Those that own a Shiny Pokemon quickly become stronger than they ever could have achieved on their own. These Pokemon are extremely rare, and should not be treated as Shiny Pokemon in other regions.

Shiny Pokemon don't have to follow the (sometimes awfully bad) color schemes that the games give us. Perhaps your Shiny Scyther is pitch black instead of yellow. In addition to the color change, stress that the Pokemon is at the pinnacle of the health of that species. They should be obviously bigger, more muscular, and other such improvements. Mechanically, this can take many forms. Maybe they have a +2 to all stats, or a Move the species can't normally learn. Maybe they have an Ability the species can't normally get. Whatever you do, Shiny should mean something. It's not just a cool looking Pokemon. It's a Pokemon that can be considered the strongest on a team. Just make sure to take into account how strong they are; in Kanto, the stronger the Pokemon, the harder it is to get to obey you.

Above the Alpha Pokemon, or Shinies, are Delta Pokemon. These tend to be a small part of the species that has adapted to become far stronger. This includes, at the least, superior stats and a Type Shift. They may come individually or as a group; for example, the Delta Charizard on top of Mount Moon are Dragon/Fire, while a Delta Onix within may be just Rock Typed. These are far stronger than a normal Pokemon, or even a Shiny. Whatever you do, make sure the Type Shift actually makes the Pokemon stronger and more adapted to their environ. A Sandslash adapted to live in Viridian may be Poison/Ground to become immune to the Weedle's sting.

Cryptids

These are beyond Alpha and Delta Pokemon, Pokemon so rare that they are more legend than reality, except for the few that meet them. These Pokemon require a whole separate tab, as there is quite a bit about them.

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