This section details how to create a trainer character. You can find a character sheet online here. Feel free to make a copy of it that you can personally edit.
Who Are You? Edit
You are playing the role of a trainer in the pokeworld. Talk with the GM about what the campaign will be about. This game is designed to have you travelling the world, exploring new areas, capturing Pokémon, and battling trainers to become the best. Along the way you’ll probably foil some bad guys, encounter legendary Pokémon, and maybe save the world a bit while you’re at it.
But you need to figure out who you are. This starts by picking a name, an age, a gender, a physical description, and all that other stuff. But who you are on the inside is far more interesting. What drives you? What kind of Pokémon do you like? Are there Pokémon you don’t like? Who do you want to become? What kinds of things do you want to accomplish in life?
Maybe you’re training to take over your father’s gym one day as the next in the long line of gym leaders. Maybe you’re sick of running the family fighting-type gym and never want to see another fighting Pokémon again. Maybe you want to travel the world and learn everything you can to become a better scientist or doctor or artist or whatever other career you have in mind. Maybe you want to catch more Pokémon than anyone ever has so that humanity can learn as much as possible about these strange creatures. Maybe you want to make a name for yourself. Maybe you want to become a crime-fighting superhero with a team of legendary Pokémon. All of these are possible and more.
Think about who you are, because that will influence everything that happens next, from the kind of trainer you create to the kind of Pokémon you catch to every action you take in the game.
One thing that will define your journey is your goal. That is, in one sentence, what your character aspires to be or do. Your goal doesn’t have to be possible, but it should be something you see yourself working toward every session. Here are some examples of good goals.
- I will become the most powerful trainer in the world.
- I want to discover and name a Pokémon that was previously unknown to humanity.
- I gotta catch ‘em all.
- My Gastly and I are going to beat the Elite Four no matter what.
- I’m going to open the first dark-type gym.
- I’m going to get my PHD in Pokémon Studies by capturing and battling electric Pokémon.
- I want to learn to heal anything so that I never have to see someone suffer again.
- I want to become an ace photographer for Pokémon Geographic magazine.
A goal should be ambitious. It doesn’t have to be possible, like catching all the Pokémon in the course of gameplay. Nobody in your game is likely to have the patience for that. But don’t pick a boring, easy goal. Sure, you could have a goal like “I want to catch a Rattata, or at least give it a decent effort.” Yawn. How about “I will breed an army of rodent Pokémon and begin my reign of squeakiness!” Is it sane? No. Are you likely to succeed? Probably not. Will it be fun to try? Absolutely!
A goal should also be fun. Fun for you as a player at least, even if your character doesn’t always enjoy pursuing it. Beyond that, every time you go out of your way to pursue your goal you earn a kudo. Any time you or one of your Pokemon are rolling dice you can spend a kudo to reroll all dice and take the higher result, and later you'll be able to do even more with them. You can have up to 5 kudos at a time.
With all we’ve said about the importance of goals, if you find out your goal isn’t working you can change it. Maybe in your adventures you find something more interesting to go after. Maybe you succeeded at your goal and want a new challenge. Maybe you just changed your mind or got bored with the old goal. If that’s so, talk with the GM, and work out a new goal that’s interesting and that you’ll be able to pursue in the game while still working alongside your friends, because there’s few worse goals than those you have to chase after all by yourself.
What Is Your Title? Edit
Your trainer ID will broadcast some basic information to your opponents, as well as to anyone watching the match either live or in its broadcast form. Chief among these are your title and name. Each trainer may choose whatever title they wish, and it's common to see titles like gambler, ace trainer, scientist, punk, or fossil hound.
Consider what your trainer does and how he or she does it. If your trainer specializes in water Pokemon you might go with swimmer, surfer, fisherman, or sailor if any of those fit other characteristics of your trainer. If you're short on inspiration, you could look through the list of classes and pick a title that suits your character.
You can change your title at any time, to suit development in your character. Titles have no direct impact on mechanics, but they give everyone a good idea of what you're about.
What Are Your Talents? Edit
In this game, attributes define your basic talent, and there are 4 of them. speed measures your raw speed and how quickly you move, as well as how deftly and gracefully you can move. Strength measures your muscles and health. Sense measures your intuition, your people skills, and your awareness. Mind measures your logic and willpower as well as your access to the mystical aura that can be used in ranged attacks.
All humans with these base attribute scores:
Speed: 20 - Strength: 30 - Sense: 30 - Mind: 40
These are known as IV’s or initial values and they rarely change. You’ll also have EV’s or effort values, and those can improve through experience. All of your EV’s will start at 10, but you can eventually raise them all the way to 60. Your IV plus your EV is your total stat. So if you’ve trained your strength EV to 30, you have a total of 60 in strength.
You will increase your EV's as you progress in the game, but you can get a head start by choosing some foibles. A foible is a flaw, not necessarily a crippling flaw, but something that holds you back. What a character is bad at can be as interesting as what they're good at, and you can have a lot of fun with them. Here are some questions that you can use to think through what foibles might make for a more interesting character for you to play:
What things can't you do well? Are you bad at driving?
What code of behavior will you stick to even if it isn't to your advantage? Will you help anyone in need? Will you always show hospitality? Will you never pass up a chance to take advantage of suckers?
What mental hiccups get in your way? Are you terrified of bug Pokemon? Do you have a tendency to blurt out stupid things? Are you scared of heights? Are you stubborn?
Do you have any physical limitations? Do you get winded easily? Are you clumsy? Are you really short or freakishly tall? Are you covered in scars or burns?
We recommend 3-6 foibles. For each foible you take, you get 20 extra XP at the start, which you can spend right away or a few sessions in when you have a better idea of how the game works and who you want your character to be. If you ever decide you want to get rid of a foible or it doesn't suit your character, work with your GM. This usually costs you the 20 XP you gained when you first took the foible. You may also decide to take a foible later on, and in doing so you gain 20 XP. Again, work this out with the GM. You could, of course, exchange one foible for another.
Humans take damage and resist elements as if they were normal types. Of course, they're not Pokémon. That's ridiculous. But they have many similarities.
Your maximum hit points are always equal to twice your strength plus your mind, and each box in the upper left hand corner of your character sheet represents 10 HP.
What Are Your Skills? Edit
Skills are a representation of what you’re good at. You’ll get to pick 6 skills, and you don’t have to pick them all when you start the game. If you have a blank skill slot, you can fill it in at any time.
There are a variety of skills to pick from with their associated attributes in parentheses, and each of which lists several possible specialties below it. Specialties are dealt with later.
Ancient (Mind) Edit
This is your ability to excavate ruins, know about history, dig up old fossils, read old nearly-forgotten languages, and generally understand things that have passed into history and legend.
Archeology: Understanding ancient human civilization.
Paleontology: Knowing about prehistoric Pokemon and fossils.
Artistry (Sense) Edit
This is your ability to dance, cook, paint, draw, sculpt, perform in shows, use fashion, sing, play an instrument, and all that jazz, literally and metaphorically. Artistry is used to give Pokémon haircuts and tasty food.
Visual Arts: Painting, drawing, photography,
Music: Singing, musical instruments, dance.
Beauty: Decorative outfits and makeup.
Athletics (Speed) Edit
This is how good you are at running, jumping, biking, skating, gymnastics, hiking, and more. If you need to get from here to there over land, you'll want athletics for that. Athletics also covers riding Pokémon.
Ball Sports: Basketball, Football, Calvinball
Track and Field: Running and Jumping
Riding: Pokemon and Bicycles.
Gliding: Parachutes and gliders.
Awareness (Sense) Edit
This is your skill for noticing important details. It's used for finding things, detecting an ambush, tracking, spotting clues, and finding hidden items. And after the third time in a row you went to pick an item up only to find out it's another voltorb, you'll wish you put more points into this.
Sight: Visual awareness.
Sensory: Any senses but visual such as hearing, taste, or smell.
Equipment: Binoculars, radar, infrared vision, Silph scope, microscope.
Climb (Strength) Edit
This is your skill for climbing trees, cliffs, buildings, ropes, and the like. It also covers spelunking.
Grass-Type: Climbing trees and vines.
Rock-Type: Mountains and caves.
Urban: Climbing walls, fences, and buildings.
Crafts (Strength or Speed) Edit
This is your skill for carpentry, costume-making, and all other skills related to making something by hand. Artistry covers making things look beautiful while crafts covers making them functional, and if you have both skills then you can make items that are both. Science covers making high-tech devices. Strength would be used for building a log cabin or forging a sword, tasks that require muscle and endurance, while speed is required for tasks that require working quickly or in more detail, like knitting or whittling.
Woodworking: Woodcarving and carpentry.
Metalworking: Blacksmithing and jewelry crafting.
Cloth: Knitting, tailoring, and weaving.
Empathy (Sense) Edit
This is your ability to understand people. While awareness will tell you if a person's wearing real or fake leather, empathy will tell you what a person's fashion choices say about who they are. You can use empathy to show kindness, to help people with their burdens, to see through lies, and to resist other social skills.
First Impression: Getting the gist of someone you just met.
Psychology: Profiling and understanding given repeated, personal meetings.
Kindness: Helping others feel cared for and appreciated.
Health (Strength) Edit
This is how healthy you are. It’s used to resist infection, to hold up under injury, to filter out toxins, and to see how much you can drink. That sort of thing.
Brawn: Absorbing damage.
Immune System: Handling poison and disease.
Influence (Sense) Edit
This is your ability to convince people to go along with you, whether that means you charm, lie, intimidate, lead, bargain, order, or reason them into agreement. While empathy is about understanding who people are, influence is about getting them to do what you want or believe what you tell them.
Deceit: Tricking people into thinking or doing what you want.
Charm: Getting people to like you or think well of you.
Stage Presence: Getting a crowd to listen to you.
Martial Arts (Speed)Edit
This is your ability to punch, kick, block, and grapple as well as wield melee weapons. If you have this skill you can deal your strength IV in fighting-type damage or speed IV in normal type damage, +30 on a crit, but your target gets a speed save to dodge.
Striking: You can punch and kick, and as a difficult attack you can deal your speed total in normal damage or strength total in fighting damage. Crit and dodge as usual.
Grappling: You can pin targets for 40 damage, 80 as a difficult attack, as either normal or fighting damage. On a crit the pin is harsh.
Weapons: You can deal your strength IV in damage when using a held weapon, strength total as a difficult action. The type of damage dealt is based on the item, such as steel for a lead pipe or grass for a wooden staff. Most items deal normal damage.
Medicine (Mind) Edit
This is your skill for healing people and Pokémon of statuses and injuries as well as diagnosing and treating patients with any ailment or malady. It covers your knowledge of all medical information.
Doctoring: Treating people, be it first aid or surgery.
Veterinary: Treating animals and Pokemon.
Nutrition: Feeding people and Pokemon.
Muscle (Strength) Edit
Muscle is used to move things around with your powerful sinews. Arms, legs, tongue, this is the skill for someone who works out a lot.
Lift: How much you can pick up in a pinch.
Carry: How much you can haul long distances.
Mysteries (Mind) Edit
This is your weird stuff skill. Magic, psychic phenomena, ancient mysteries, and more. This skill only covers knowledge of all of those, but as you unlock certain classes you may gain actual mystical abilities.
Ancient Lore: The secrets of ancient civilizations and Pokemon.
Psychic: Knowledge of psychic phenomena.
Magic: Knowledge of magic rituals.
Nature (Mind) Edit
This is how much you know about Pokémon and the natural world. It's how well you can survive in the wilderness. It's how much you know about biology and ecology. Nature specialties are by environement.
Rugged: Mountainous or desert environments.
Aquatic: Lakes, rivers, oceans, etc..
Forests: Anywhere there's lots of trees, even a jungle.
Urban: Wildlife that lives around humans.
Reflexes (Speed) Edit
This is how quickly you react to things. It’s used in situations where good instincts and quick reactions are key. It's also used for driving and piloting vehicles.
Science (Mind) Edit
This is your skill for building gadgets, programming computers, repairing machinery, hacking into things, mixing chemicals, engineering, charting the courses of planets, advanced mathematics, and all that other nerd stuff.
Software: Programming and cracking security protocols.
Hardware: Making and fixing physical objects.
Academics: Knowledge of physics, astronomy, seismology, etc...
Stealth (Sense) Edit
This is your skill for moving about unseen, and for hiding. But it also covers all sorts of thievery including lockpicking, safecracking, and pickpocketing.
Skulking: Moving about undetected by people or pokemon.
Stealing: Shoplifting, pickpocketing, and other forms of taking without getting caught.
Counter Security: Disabling or bypassing security devices such as cameras, locks, etc...
Swimming (Strength) Edit
This is your ability to move through water by wading, rafting, swimming, or scuba diving.
Surface Swimming: Moving through water with ease.
Diving: Going underwater with or without scuba equipment.
Floating: Using surfboards, kayaks, canoes, and rafts.
Sections Not Used Edit
As you go through your adventures you will have the chance to gather classes and badges. However, you start with neither. Those sections need not be filled in when you bring your character sheet to the game. Instead, you'll earn badges as you defeat gyms, and you'll advance and earn the right to add different classes later in the game, after you've had a chance to see what playstyle suits you.
In the course of your travels you'll likely pick up a number of Pokemon. Those that are sent directly to the PC you can record on the back of your character sheet, just listing the name of the Pokemon and its challenge rating. This section gives more about what to do with that information should you decide to see what your Pokemon is like.
At the end of every session, if you attempted to make progress toward your goal, you get 10 XP. You can spend XP to increase one of your EV's by 10, and this costs XP equal to the new value. So if you're raising your Mind EV from 20 to 30 that costs 30 XP. You can't skip steps and go from say 20 to 40 by only paying 40 XP, you have to pay 30 to raise your EV to 30 and then 40 to raise it to 40.
Alternatively, you can buy specialties. Specialties are subskills you have that show particular mastery in a specific facet of a skill. The skills list above lists suggested specialties, but you're free to work out your own with the GM. when you're thinking a specialty, you should be able to think of two other specialties for the skill that are just as useful as the one you're coming up with where they don't overlap. For example, intimidation would be a good specialty of influence, because it's about as useful as the other specialties we mentioned. But getting people to do what you want would be a poor specialty because that's pretty much exactly what the influence skill is, so that specialty would be overpowered. Conversely, a specialty that's too narrow will be underpowered, something like convincing people to buy magazine subscriptions. You're welcome to do something so narrow, but we recommend something broader like sales.
You can find out more about how specialties work here.
Also, the first time you win a gym badge you are able to select a class. Each class has a list of abilities and you get to select 3 abilities from that class to start with. Every time you earn a badge from then on, you get to select a new class ability for your class.
Additionally, as a group the players could keep a list of every Pokemon they've acquired through capture, trade, gift, etc... (You can track that using this helpful sheet, which you can make your own personal copy of or print out). For every 100 Pokemon the party studies in this way, they unlock a new class, being able to select a single ability from that new class. From then on, any time they earn a badge they can select a single ability from any class they've unlocked, be it their original class or a new one. Instead of unlocking a new class, a player may decide to add a new skill to their character's sheet.
Players become elite trainers after beating the Elite 4. Doing so allows them to unlock a destiny ability that represents the pinnacle of their achievements throughout the campaign.