Eldritch Tamers Go!
Random Encounters are a core element of all role-playing games, but their role in the Pokémon franchise has been very different from other RPGs. In most RPGs, Random Encounters serve to spice up the story, but are also a primary tool for depleting the player characters’ resources—the PCs may earn some extra experience from a random encounter, but they also lose hit points, ammunition, healing items, and other resources that will be needed for later “keyed” encounters. They may be sought out for “experience grinding”, but overall they are avoided so that the party is fresh and fully armed for the fights that matter for advancing the story.
In the Pokémon games, random encounters actually add to the party’s resources, in the form of new pokémon. There may be a couple of wild pokémon encountered as plot-elements, but the predominant way that a pokémon trainer grows his party is by going to new areas and seeking out these random encounters in order to catch new pokémon to add to his team. In this way, random encounters are almost never something to be avoided in the Pokémon games, but rather a thing to be sought out.
Because of this unusual reversal of the purpose of the random encounter, this game will not use random wilderness encounters in the same way as other tabletop RPGs. Rather, players may choose to deliberately trigger “random encounters” as a way to seek out new pokémon (either for experience or as new party members).
“Random Encounters” deliberately sought out by PCs are done through the action of Pokémon Hunting. In order to engage in Pokémon Hunting, the PC must travel to a wilderness area (check the Maps for ones nearby) and spend an hour (in-game time) searching. This will normally result in the appearance of 1 pokémon, but may instead trigger an encounter with a swarm of pokémon if the species is particularly common or numerous in the area.
Hunting repeatedly in a given area over a short period of time will likely turn up different species, but also reduces the probability of encountering a pokémon — as the population is depleted and the remainder wise-up and hide.
Hunting Rules Overview:
- Hunting for Wild Pokemon must be initiated by the PC.
- Hunting for Wild Pokemon takes 1 hour, and triggers a roll on the encounter table (roll 1d24).
- A successful skill check using Knowledge (Pokémon), Profession (Pokémon Ranger), Survival, or a similar skill allows the player to roll twice and choose the result.
- When a given result is rolled, remove it. Rolling it again results in no encounter.
- After 1 week of in-game time, removed results will be replaced by appropriate mons.
- Standard encounters are with a single pokemon of the indicated type.
- Swarm encounters are with 2 pokemon of the indicated type per PC present.
The species found by Pokémon Hunting may be determined not only by the area being searched, but occasionally by the prevailing weather patterns, or by the occurrence of a Pokémon Outbreak. A Pokémon Outbreak results in a particular species that is uncommon to a particular area suddenly swarming there in unusual numbers. When an outbreak occurs, it typically lasts for 1d10 days. During this time, the swarming species will typically be encountered at least 50% of the time when hunting.