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Digital to Tabletop – Pokémon (Part 2)

Written by Michael Perry - Published on December 9, 2014

This is a continuation of a previous article about converting Pokémon to a tabletop game.  If you haven’t read Part 1, yet, then I suggest that you do that first.

And, as always, thanks for reading!



I don’t know about any of you, but, personally, capturing has always been an aspect of Pokémon that has annoyed me.  It’s not that it’s not fun to capture Pokémon or even rewarding despite the fact that it can take several hours (here’s looking at you, Entei, Raikou, and Suicune).  Honestly, the thing that has always annoyed me about capturing Pokémon is, simply, the mechanics behind it.  If you train your Pokémon too much, you’ll knock out a wild Pokémon in one shot, eliminating your chance of capturing it and forcing you to find a Pokémon that can learn the move False Swipe.  Many times, however, this still isn’t enough.  Even if you knock your opponent down to 1 HP, they’ll still break out of a Poké Ball, forcing you to try a Great Ball, an Ultra Ball, and/or any other variant that has been invented throughout the years.  Sometimes, still, even that isn’t enough, so you’ll be forced to freeze your opponent, poison them, or lull them to sleep and, as you probably have guessed or know, already, sometimes that still isn’t enough.

So, instead of throwing down the game or sharkin’ it to death, many players choose to just try to avoid this process as much as possible.  Well, I say no more!

The solution is to keep things simple and add an idea that I found in a game called, Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu which is, mind you, an idea that I find to be sorely lacking in Pokémon – a capturing level!

This is really simple, I promise.  Basically, your capturing level will be equal to the highest level Pokémon in your party.  Like in Pokémon X/Y, your Pokémon will gain experience every time you successfully capture a monster.  In order to catch a Pokémon, you use this, simple formula:

Opponent’s Level – (Capturing Level + Ball Roll + 1 for any status ailment (non-stackable) + 1 if opponent is at half health or +2 if opponent’s health is 10% or less).

Rolls for the four, basic Poké Ball’s is as follows:

Poké Ball – 1d4*

Great Ball – 1d6*

Ultra Ball – 1d8*

Master Ball – 100% Success

*A roll of 1 = automatic failure



Battling is also very simple.  The sequence is as follows:

1.  Check which Pokémon has the highest speed.  The one with the highest speed stat moves first.

2.  Choose a move to use.

3.  Check the accuracy of the move and run it through the easy formula outlined here to see if it hits or not.  Incorporate 1d20 roll afterwards.  If you hit a 20, it’s a critical and if you hit a 1, it’s a miss, no matter what the formula has to say about it.

4.  Calculate the damage.  This can be done quickly by using this damage calculator.  Don’t forget to check the “critical hit” box if you rolled well and, also, don’t forget about type advantages – the calculator will already figure them in, but I wouldn’t want you sending a bird type against a rock type or something like that, would I?



That about wraps it up.  Presented here is a basic, bare bones foundation for your own, tabletop, Pokémon game.  I hope you enjoy it!


Comments?  Suggestions?  We love to hear you think so don’t be afraid to speak your mind in the comments section below!

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Written by Michael Perry

Michael Perry

My hobbies include: writing, music composition, singing, and, of course, playing games. I also enjoy reading quite a bit and am very interested in theoretical physics and astronomy.

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