Pokemon for open legend

I’d also like to point out the flaws to the optional rule for a futuristic pokemon world, as of course that would mean more realistic rules, like pokemon dying and not just feinting, or even guns and magic getting involved. With a versatile system like OL, it wouldn’t be that difficult to hand players some guns, and then have the pokemon have guns, and then everyone has guns and the whole purpose of pokemon trainers is ruined. So for a campaign involving OL and pokemon, it would probably just be better if they stuck to just pokemon and nothing else. Magic and stuff would be fun and all that, but lets face it, too much freedom, and someone’s bound to shoot a magickarp. Or at least set some ground rules for the specific campaign.


Thanks for the response!
Yeah all of this could be done through crunching the numbers as you say; that is one idea. I also would like to consider the finishing blow idea, however that system alone would interfere with the idea of status effects making it easier to catch.

In regards to Pokemon stats and combat: I feel that, while it may seem wrong, having such an open system means that one can apply limitations to it in order to make more specific campaigns. I would likely apply some limitation to the usage of a Pokemon’s attribute scores based on what they are capable of learning, and how well they were trained.

In addition; my campaign would likely have it be very rare for a character to be able to invoke “Summon Creature” and if they did then having it’s creature have the innate energy signature of whatever that make a Pokemon a Pokemon would require further knowledge. If someone has “Summon Creature” for example, it would have to be reasonably explained and so on.

I might start a subject on choosing to limit yourself in Open Legends for story or for mechanical sake.

Anyway I also really like the idea of “Capturing” Pokemon in different ways besides the PokeBall (or those ancient stones that had minerals capable of suspended animation of Pokemon).

Edit: Refer to this post for a great explanation of PokeBalls explained by the appearance of a wild Pokemon Professor!

1 Like

Whereas my thought is to explain the Pokémon catching/battling mechanic by MEANS of either Creation or Influence. My knee-jerk reaction is Creation, have the extraordinary focus feat (Pokeball), bring up Pokémon through the summon creature boon. Inherent limitation in power comes from limitation in the Creation attribute–the stronger you become as a trainer, the stronger the Pokemon that you can bring to battle/control in battle. To be able to summon a particular type of Pokemon you also have to catch it by making a successful creation skill roll (at adv. 1 thanks to your pokeball focus) to “catch” a Pokémon in battle.

And as for technology/magic, limiting the kinds of tech or magic is completely at the prerogative of the game master. You don’t have to make lethal things allowed. Maybe team rocket has an army of evil poke drones that shoot lightning bolts. Maybe the super powerful Yveltal that’s ravaging the countryside shoots out bolts of dark, devastating energy. None of that has to be lethal, even if it reduces your HP to 0. You rule in your game that dying is “blacking out” ala the video games. It results in a catastrophic failure, you awaken in the nearest Pokémon center and your villain has advanced his nefarious plot in some way.

Idk, I just think there can be a lot of fluidity in the poke verse and how everything is interpreted.


Exactly! This is why I asked for ideas. Hopefully, I’ll see enough to formulate a system that I am happy with. I’m not versed enough in Open Legends yet, and it would help if I did that before making such comments as I have been, so I’m sure there’s a lot one could do with feats to express the catching system. Having the PokeBall be a focus is really interesting.

Again, this could all be simplified by the GM home-ruling, but it’s fun to try to adhere to a system sometimes.

there exist a couple pretty comprehensive Tabletop Pokemon Systems–Google Pokemon Tabletop United/Pokemon Tabletop Adventures. They have complete pokedexes and a number of movesets and rules for training and such. If you’re wanting detail, those might be right up your alley.

I think the benefit and challenge of Open Legend is moving away from the specifics of a numbers-based Pokemon system to a more cinematic feel.the story of a Pokemon RPG is not going to be the same as a Pokemon video game–If one tried to run a tabletop RPG in which the players are running around, grinding their pokemon to higher levels, catching more to fill their pokedex, etc, I feel like that would get really tedious really fast. that is more single player-friendly, hence the video games.

In a tabletop RPG, you get to do what the games CAN’T do–tell a different story in that same universe. Maybe your pokemon evolves because of some important character bonding event, rather than you completing the required number of XP to get him to the correct level. Maybe you’re stopping a great evil, or maybe you’re the protector of a forest Ala the pokemon rangers, with your companion pokemon by your side making the land safe for wild pokemon. Maybe you protect villages from wild pokemon incursions. Have you ever read the pokedex? That stuff is S C A R Y. There are pokemon that abduct children in the dead of night! A million story opportunities could arise by not HAVING to focus on the in-game mechanics of increasing pokedex numbers and level grinding and resource management.

I think OL can help tell those kind of stories. If you’re wanting something more akin to the video game experience, even with a light and fun feel, there’s a lot of resource management that this system is not equipped (and does not WANT to be equipped) to do.


I have been misrepresenting myself. The reason I am participating in this discussion is that I want to bring Pokemon to a place where the things you talk about finally have room to play out. There are just some things that I want to have a system for, like catching Pokemon, to make sure that I am consistent with the difficulties to do so.

I regularly play things with my friend that involve no rules at all, just discussion, and I love it. For this campaign, though, that is using rolling, I am weary of giving difficulties for one thing that don’t make sense relative to the difficulties of others. Having some system to develop CR for catching, for example, will eventually help me to get a feel for things so I can adapt to unique ways of catching later on.

I hate numbers. Any limits or specifications are going to be as nominal as possible. When I say limits I mean something like the following:

My friends and I play a DnD campaign and at one point we were transported to a dimension in which the laws of the universe operate under an Open Legend system. That is to say that magic can be done more readily through willing things to happen rather than performing some chant or gesture. To acknowledge this change, I had my Warlock start off by only being able to do things similar to the spells he knew and his connection to his patron.

Eventually, through practice, he was more in tune with his new connection to his extraordinary abilities and could do much more.

I personally felt much more connected to the world in doing so. This would be echoed in my PokeLegends campaign, but completely optional. What I mean by having training be related to Pokemon capability is that as the story progresses and experiences are experienced, the players and their Pokemon will grow together and they can coordinate more in depth maneuvers.

I want mechanical ideas as well so that I can consistently compensate for when a Player handles things in a unique way such as using Influence or maybe just good ol’ Taming using some relative attribute to catch a Pokemon.

TL;DR I meant limitations in a fictional way that are optional and mechanical systems for this so that I can consistently compensate for the endless possibilities of the world.(IE: The difficulty of catching a Pokemon with a Ball compared to Influence or Taming)

Edit: I tend to ramble and lose my true point, but all I really want is some ideas for Challenge Ratings IF anyone has any . Otherwise I will just judge how difficult it is myself.

In regards to the pokemon capture mechanic i was thinking of the following steps:
Trainer throws the pokeball and makes an Agility check vs Guard
For every say 5 points over guard, gain a bonus to capture the pokemon
once captured, the player makes a d% roll to see if they capture the pokemon using this rough formula:
Target % to pass = 100- damage taken - pokeball type - staus effects + CR of pokemon.

mainly cause i have so very rarely used the d% :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah i found that system as well and holy heck is that in depth! I agree that an RPG means you can tell any type of story you want, how you want etc.

More than anything just want to take the OL system out for a spin and see what happens

Personally I think your goals as set out there can happen mechanically by just having the GM sort of “choose for you” and use the existing mechanics for Companions. Since the Companion feat allows you to spend your feat points to give feats to the Companion, you could handle Pokemon this way. Some players could have a wide variety of weaker Pokemon (2 feat points for Companion Tier 1), so even a first level character could have 3 Pokemon (matches the feel of the game from my perspective). Other players might have a single Pokemon that’s very powerful (Companion Tier 3). I would just run with this and handle it like Magic Items are handled in a traditional RPG – get a “wish list” from each player of their favorite Pokemon and then, when they go places, you could have them roll “1d100” or something. On a 90 - 100 (or 80 - 100) roll, they encounter one from their “wish list”.

The only rules change here is that you prevent the players from picking their new Pokemon when they level up. Instead, they have to take the ones you give them, but they can freely “lose” a Pokemon and get the feat points back (exactly how Companion already works) to become the master of a new one.

One other rules tweak I might implement – maybe to add to the fun since you’ve just restricted them, I might allow them to acquire a new Pokemon even if they don’t have the feat points for it. Introduce some kind of drawback mechanic that allows them to “hold onto” the Pokemon until they level up and then spend the feat points on the Companion. This would make up for the fact that they don’t just choose the Pokemon they want, rather the GM determines randomly when they find their favorites (and on purpose at story high points). Perhaps the mechanic is “All your Pokemon have Disadvantage 1 when you have more Pokemon (Companions) than your feat points allow” and then at each XP / level up, they can choose to reorganize their “Pokedex” by rearranging their Pokemon collection.


Thank you for the response! I will definitely try something along those lines.

Also, thank you for your work on this game. It has brought my friends and myself countless hours of enriching experiences (as before mentioned it’s also shaking up our DnD world as we transition between dimensions (systems)).


You’re welcome! :innocent: … I’m really glad that it means something to you. It does to me as well, that’s why I’m sharing it. Hearing about people enjoying the system is what keeps me plugging away at it!


Yeah the “hold on to” mechanic could be the “sent to computer system” from the games. They obtain them and are then held in the system until they have enough feat points to access them.

Edit: Could even make it so the computer can store many Pokemon but the number they can have on them is determined by their investment into the Companion feat. You would deposit them into the system and get refunded the feat points, having to buy them back to pull out another.


These are all really cool ideas and now I wanna play Pokemon RPG :sob:


I think for now the first thing to do is the following:

create a Pokemon bestiary of the generation 1 Pokemon

Use the free adventure and convert those monsters to Pokemon (cause I haven’t actually run a game yet of OL)

Create Pokeball mechanics and temporary “feat slots” so players can collect them

That’s the plan anyway


Need any help with any of that? I’d be happy to crunch a few things if my life/wife permits me the time.

1 Like

Wow. Everything I know about Pokemon is indistinguishable from “nothing at all” yet I am enjoying this thread immensely!


That would be handy actually, but i have never collaborated with anyone on a RPG project before (or any for that matter). So I have no idea what program or site we should use for it. This is also my first real attempt at something like this, I have dabbled with a few RPG systems here and there but thats it.

1 Like

Within the next couple of weeks I will likely play some one shots with my friends. I will use the Companion feat with the option to put Pokemon in “storage” to get the feat point(s) back.

In addition, though, if someone has a moment that shows a special connection with a Pokemon then I might give them a certain tier of Companion for free with it. For catching Pokemon I will just give them a situational CR based on the method used, circumstance, and so on.

Pokemon character sheets will be up to the Players but they’ll have to be at least related to what the Pokemon were capable of in the games.

I’ll post here about all the fun we have :grin:.

Thanks for the discussion!


Good idea!
That will save you sooo much time dude!
Plus it will get players involved with understanding the rules and mechanics a lot better, which also saves you time!
I never mind explaining rules to my players (which I had to do so much of in D&D 3.5 OMG), but it’s always nice when I don’t have to!


So this is the idea I had for the capture mechanic for Pokemon OL.

Action: Throwing Pokeball (Agility vs Guard)
Capture: d% + 1 per point over Pokemon Guard + Pokeball used
Capture DC = 100 - damage taken(as a %) + Evolution level of pokemon (each stage is 5)

So if Trainer has Agility of 3 and tries to catch a Bulbasaur which has 10/25 HP.
Throwing pokeball: d20+d8 vs Guard (15), trainer get 20
Capture: d100 + 5 + 0 (standard pokeball) = 65
Capture DC = 100 - 40 + 0(evolution 1) 60
So trainer catches the pokemon
If however the trainer fails to make the roll, but is in within 10 of it they can make a another roll, up to 3 times before the pokemon breaks free

1 Like