Eldritch Tamers Go!
Regarding the Death of Pokemon
Pokémon fight. This is known. What happens to them when they lose is less clear. Or is it.
When a pokémon is reduced to 0 hit points in the core games, it is said to have “fainted”. However, if they had simply fainted, why can you not catch a wild pokémon that has been reduced to 0 hit points? A pokémon put to sleep (which is not too dissimilar from fainting) is actually easier to catch. If you can very easily catch a pokémon that has been reduced to 1 hit point and put to sleep, but cannot catch a pokémon at 0 hit points at all, something must be substantially different between these two states.
Put simply, a pokémon that has been reduced to 0 hit points is DEAD. You can’t catch it in a pokéball because it is not “fainted”, it has passed on! This pokémon is no more! It has has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! It’s metabolic processes are now history! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-POKEMON!!
A pokémon that has been caught in a pokéball, however, has a slight advantage in the fight for life. A pokéball serves to preserve the life of a pokémon. When a non-wild pokémon is reduced to 0 hit points, it is immediately converted back to a digital state and returns to its pokéball, where it is stabilized. This does not mean that a caught pokémon is somehow immortal or impervious to fatal injury — after all, the pokémon canon is replete with graveyards full of bereaved trainers mourning their deceased pokémon.
A pokémon that has been reduced to 0 hit points immediately returns to its pokéball. If that pokémon is revived — either through the use of a Revive item, herbal medicine, or the attention of a medical professional (such as at a Pokémon Center) — within 12 hours of being knocked out, it will be none the worse for wear. Every 6 hours that passes thereafter without receiving treatment, the pokémon will permanently lose 1 point from its Hit Point IVs as its life force fades from within the pokéball. Should it’s hit point IVs drop to 0, that pokémon is very very dead.
A domesticated pokémon whose pokéball is destroyed is similar dead. It is not uncommon for more ruthless and unscrupulous trainers to, after defeating a foe, destroy their pokéballs to prevent them from posing a future threat. Of course, faced with the death of their pokémon, many trainers will take up arms who would not otherwise.
The pokéballs of a defeated foe can also be taken, though such theft is frowned upon and such “stolen pokemon” have the same (or worse) obedience problems as traded ones.