Of Humans, Pokémon and Psychic Powers
Over the last few days there have been some of you who have contacted us asking:
“Pokerole, why can't my Trainer have psychic powers? I have seen they exist in the game/anime/manga/other RPG's so why they are not included in your game?”
Well, while the answer to that is pretty simple, I would like to discuss the pros and cons of a setting that included Humans using psychic powers in our game and detail you the reasons as to why we ultimately chose not to add them as part of the main setting.
First let's talk about numbers, in the first Pokémon games (Red/Blue/Yellow) there are around 315+ Trainers to battle, from these, only 4 are considered to have Psychic abilities of their own, and they were all gathered inside a Psychic-Type gym.
Now, these numbers don't change much with the newer generations, people who use Psychic powers (if they are real) are supposed to be an extremely rare occurrence.
If we included special rules for Trainers who wish to be Psychics in the Core book, we would be inviting a lot of trouble for the Storyteller.
What reason would the players have as not to choose the obviously upgraded version of the human? And suddenly we have a whole party of five players with psychic powers. Weren't psychics supposed to be rare?
This isn't practical from a gameplay standpoint, while it sure could be fun to use superhuman abilities it is simply not the point of the game. The game is about growing up as leaders of a team and sharing moments with your super awesome pets.
If it is your honest wish to play as a Human with psychic powers there are other RPG's out there like “Psi World” who can fulfill that wish. But if you want to play Pokémon we honestly believe that you should play as a human with no special abilities other than your courage, so your character may learn more about trusting others and working together to bond with your Pokémon.
The second reason for not including Psychic humans, it's because in all Pokémon media depicting these kinds of Trainers, they all own or use Psychic-Type Pokémon.
We believe that's a little suspicious.
Why aren't there Psychic humans using only Poison-Types? Or Bug-Types?
There's also the fact that if you watch the anime, you'll notice how all Trainers claiming to be psychic, lose their magnificent powers when their Pokémon lose focus or faint in battle.
Something like that happens in the games, with Psychic trainers claiming they have seen the future and saying that they know they will win, only to end up defeated.
This has led us to believe that most trainers claiming to have psychic abilities are simply working alongside their Psychic-Type Pokémon and finding gullible people who believe them.
If you think about it, that's actually a lot more fun!
For some reason the Pokémon fandom really clings to the idea that Psychic Humans are the real deal, yet no one claims that Fire breathers have Fire Powers, or that Gym Leader Valerie is a real Fairy, or that Bird Keepers can fly.
And that's another problem. If we included Psychic humans, there would be Players who will want to use other kind of powers, and that would be unfair for them!
We would have to make a list of abilities for Trainers with all the 18 types like other games have made; and then we would have a whole lot of super-humans battling in the sky with their amazing powers like super-heroes and we would fondly remember the times in which this game was about Pokémon.
In the core book we acknowledge the fact that there are humans and Pokémon who can do incredible things that go beyond the rules, but they are supposed to be a goal, not a starting point for the players.
As always, we'll say “don't limit yourself” you are free to add everything you find fun into your games, you can have flying-firebreathing-fairy humans with psychic powers in your story if you wish, but did you really begin playing Pokémon to be a superhuman?