The Theory of Evolution
It has come to my attention that some of you have questions regarding Pokémon Evolution.
Most of these questions are about Pokémon Levels, changes in the Attribute limits and the different Experience Costs for Moves.
One of the things we always say to our beloved players when they come to us with these queries, is that we wanted to give the Storytellers all the freedom in the world to handle Evolution as they see fit.
If the story calls for a moment when Evolution would be awesome, go for it! If the players want to evolve their Pokémon in a wacky way, go for it! If it would be a bad moment for a Pokémon to evolve but it would later add for character development, go for it!
This game focuses a lot on the drama and adventure of living in a world full of wonderful creatures. Encasing the way evolution works to a spreadsheet full of numbers would, in our humble opinion, restrict a ton of the fun in the game.
When pen and paper role playing games get too heavy on rules, tables, pre-requisites, formulas and math even for the most inane of mechanics; Players often confuse that excess of mechanics with “options” or “freedom”, when in reality, they’re just getting tangled in a web of rules that put a cap to your imagination.
Then again, if you are really feeling lost about how to handle a Pokémon Evolving, I have a few things to point out that will hopefully help you out.
1. Level Progression is not determinant for Pokémon Evolution. You may want to take the minimum Attributes of the next evolution stage as a reference. If the Pokémon has similar Attributes it might be about to evolve; or use the levels stated in the video games as your guideline. Or don’t!
2. Moves that change their Experience cost are not a big deal. The Experience costs in the Move List of an Evolved Pokémon can increase, decrease or stay the same. It’s up to you to decide at what point you wish your Pokémon to learn the Moves stated there.
If the cost of a Move is cheaper when your Pokémon is not evolved, you may want to get it as soon as possible. If a First-Stage Pokémon learns a move for 10 Exp and its Evolved form learns the same Move for 0 Exp, you can wait for your Pokémon to evolve so you may get that move for free.
3. Evolved Pokémon can’t learn moves exclusive to previous stages, but won’t forget any Move if they already have them. This question comes up frequently on Pokémon who evolve using Stones. Don’t worry, if you read the Rules for Moves you’ll see that there is no limit as for how many Moves your Pokémon can learn. Once the Pokémon learns a Move, it won’t ever forget it.
4. Storyteller is the one who ultimately decides when a Pokémon will Evolve. Everyone wants their Charizard, Tyranitar, Garchomp, Ursaring and other cool Final Stage Pokémon as soon as possible.
But in the end this is a game about a journey, the time will come when the stakes grow larger, and stronger Pokémon will be needed. Enjoy the ride in the meanwhile. The Storyteller has the power to decide when a Pokémon will Evolve, due to the simple fact that this game’s main focus is on the story, way above the mechanics.
All Role Playing Games are a group effort. Constant communication between Players and Storyteller will always be the key to fun sessions and awesome adventures. If your intentions are clear, your Pokémon will surely start glowing ready to save the day.