This is a guide to the Pokemon ruleset to be used with the Improv System. This ruleset is meant to simplify the existing Pokemon rules from the games into a tabletop-friendly format.
The Six Stats
Rather than the three stats normal characters use in the Improv System, Pokemon characters use the six stats found in the video games.
Hit Points (HP)
Special Attack (SpA)
Special Defense (SpD)
To calculate a Pokemon’s stats, simply use the chart below using the Pokemon’s base stats (this method does not include the system for stat increases from leveling up your Pokemon, detailed later in this article). To calculate a Pokemon’s total hit points, add five to their HP stat and level totaled together.
39- = 0
40-59 = 1
60-79 = 2
80-99 = 3
100+ = 4
Example: a Pikachu has a base HP stat of 35. at level 1, its HP stat would be 0, and it would have 6 total hit points.
When you acquire a Pokemon, assign each of its stats with a number from highest to lowest based on its base stats (player’s choice on a tie). The rule of Base Relations dictates that the stats must increase in accordance with their order, and a stat lower in the order may not surpass one above it.
Example: Pikachu’s stats are 35 HP, 55 Atk, 40 Def, 50 SpA, 50 SpD, and 90 Spe. A caught Pikachu’s stats could be ordered like this:
Using a Stat
To use a stat, whether using an attack, or an ability outside of battle, making a skill check is conducted by rolling 1d20 and adding the applicable stat.
Example: our Pikachu, with its SpA stat of 1, is attacking using a special move. The player would roll 1d20 and add 1 to the result.
As Pokemon battle and overcome obstacles, they grow in power in much the same way characters do. Each time your Pokemon overcomes a challenge, they are awarded by the GM a number of experience points, or EXP, appropriate for that challenge. The fastest way Pokemon gain EXP is by battling other Pokemon. The formula for calculating the EXP needed to level up is your Pokemon’s current level multiplied by 10, and the formula for the EXP yield of a Pokemon battle is the defeated Pokemon’s level (subject to GM discretion).
Example: your level 1 Pikachu will need to gain 10 EXP to level up to level 2. If he defeats an enemy Pokemon of level 1, he will be awarded 1 EXP.
When a Pokemon finally gains EXP equal to or greater than their level times 10. they automatically level up. Leveling up is a quick and simple step process.
Step 1. Increase your Pokemon’s stats.
Whenever your Pokemon levels up, you must choose one stat to increase by +1.
Step 2. Add or replace moves learned at the new level.
Pokemon can only know 4 moves at a time.
Eventually, your Pokemon will gain enough levels to evolve. When your Pokemon evolves, increase each of their stats by the difference between the evolution’s base stats and the pre-evolution’s.
Example: The difference between a Raichu’s and Pikachu’s base Spe stat is 20 (Pikachu’s is 90 and Raichu’s is 110), so if you gave your Pikachu a thunderstone, its Spe stat would go up by 1.
Moves are what Pokemon use to battle each other. Every Pokemon is restricted to only knowing 4 moves at any given time. If a Pokemon is trying to learn a fifth move, you must first choose an existing move for your Pokemon to forget. Moves are recorded on a Pokemon’s character sheet in a particular format.
Name | Type | Category | Power | Accuracy | Effect
Name: the name of the move (eg: Tackle, Razor Leaf, Flamethrower)
Type: the move’s typing (eg: Normal, Grass, Fire)
Category (Cat.): the move’s category, whether it is a physical (ph), special (sp), or a status (st) move
Power (pow.): the move’s power level that goes into the damage calculation
Accuracy (Acc.): the miss chance of the move. you must roll under this number (including any modifires) on a d% roll before rolling an attack roll.
Effect: any extra effects caused by the move
Example: Quick Attack | Normal | ph | 90 (1d8) | 100% | priority +1
The Combat Round
Once an encounter starts, all combatants (Pokemon and trainers) must roll initiative. A Pokemon rolls initiative by rolling a Spe check. Turn order operates in much the same way as it is laid out in The Combat Round.
Types of Actions
- sending out a Pokemon
- returning a Pokemon
- throwing a Pokeball
- using a move
- healing a Pokemon
Attacking and Defending
To attack, you must declare who you are attacking, and with what move. Next, make a Atk/SpA roll (1d20 + Atk/SpA stat) and compare it to the defender’s Armor Class / Special Armor Class (10+Def/SpD). Your roll must be higher than the defender’s AC/SAC. If the defender’s is higher, the attack misses and nothing happens.
Damage is calculated using the formula below. Damage modifiers include Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) and type advantage.
Damage = (damage dice + attacker’s Atk/SpA) – defender’s Def/SpD
The attack’s damage dice depend on the power of the move used:
10 – 29 = 1d4
30 – 49 = 1d6
50 – 69 = 1d8
70 – 89 = 1d10
90 – 100 = 1d12
110 = 2d8
120 = 2d12
130 = 3d10
140 = 4d10
150 = 5d10
180 = 8d10
200 = 10d10
250 = 1d%+50
If the move gains STAB, increase the damage dice by one step.
Depending on the type advantage, multiply the damage total by 2, 4, 0.5, or 0.25.
Some moves increase or decrease the battling Pokemon’s stats by stages. Each time a Pokemon’s stats change stages, recalculate the stat using the modifier on the chart below. Whenever a Pokemon is withdrawn, its stat stages reset to 0.
Accuracy & evasion chart:
Command checks are required to take any action besides a single movement while commanding a Pokemon. If you take any action besides movement, make a DC10 Charisma check or lose your Pokemon’s turn. Some conditions modify this DC:
+2 if you take a move action
+3 if you make an attack
+5 if using an item on your Pokemon
Catching Wild Pokemon
Catching Pokemon is a crucial part of the game. to catch a wild Pokemon, you must throw a Pokeball at it. the weaker the Pokemon is, the easier it will be to catch. A capture check is performed by rolling a d%. The goal is to roll lower than the capture DC.
Capture DC = catch rate – level + Damage Threshold + ball type + status
Catch chance modifiers:
poke ball = +5
great ball = +15
ultra ball = +25
specialty ball (net, dive, dusk) = +35
status (frozen, paralyzed, sleep) = +25
100% HP = -10
99%-76% = +10
75%-51% = +20
50%-26% = +30
<25% = +40
Example: You find a wild level 10 Pikachu (catch rate of 25%) and get it down to low HP (4/16). You throw a Pokeball at it and calculate the capture DC. 25 – 10 + 40 + 5 = 60. On your d% roll, you got a 38 and succeeded in catching the Pikachu!