Pokemaster, Variant (3.5e Class)

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Pikachu! Thundershock!

Pokémasters are capable of capturing monsters and having the monsters fight for them. They train their monsters to become stronger and better, and may even elevate them to new levels of strength. Monsters controlled by a Pokémaster are known as Pokémon, a term that also describes a whole subset of monsters who have an especially close bond with Pokémasters.

Abilities: Charisma determines how many Pokémon a Pokémaster can control. A Pokémaster is also somewhat dependent upon ranged combat, which is highly influenced by Dexterity. Most Pokémaster class skills (see below) are based on Charisma, Intelligence, or Dexterity.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d6

Class Skills: The Pokémaster’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Concentration (Con)

Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Pokéballs) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Train Pokémon (See Description) Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Survival (Wis)

Skill Points per level: (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Control Pokémon, Caster Levels, Train Pokémon, Pokédex, Starter Trainer's Bond, Trainer Type
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Craft Pokéball
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Type Specialization
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Increased Awareness, Apprentice Trainer's Bond
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Craft Greatball
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Double Team
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Speak with Pokémon
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Transfer Control
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Improved Trainer's Bond
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Craft Ultraball
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Second Type Specialization
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Superior Trainer's Bond
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Craft Masterball
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Fast Transfer Control
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Third Type Specialization
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Master Trainer's Bond
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Type Mastery

Class Features[edit]


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Pokémasters are proficient with Pokéballs. Pokémasters are proficient with light armor, but not with shields. Pokémasters are proficient with dealing nonlethal damage with any bludgeoning damage with which they are already proficient (thus, they do not suffer a −4 to-hit penalty when attempting to inflict nonlethal damage with any bludgeoning weapon they are proficient with).

Caster Levels: Even though Pokémasters do not gain spells per day or have spell levels, Pokémasters have many caster level dependent abilities. A Pokémaster gains a Pokémaster caster level for every Pokémaster level. If a Pokémaster gains a Prestige Class which adds to Caster levels, she may choose to raise Pokémaster caster levels instead of other caster levels.

Pokémon: A Pokémon is any Aberration, Animal, Dragon, Elemental, Magical Beast, Ooze, Outsider, Plant, or Vermin which advances by "Hit Dice" rather than "By Character Class." Creatures which can advance by hit dice or character class – like Beholders – are Pokémon even if they have character class levels. Deity-level creatures, including unique dragon types and unique arch-fiends, are not Pokémon regardless of creature type. A Pokémaster can use Wild Empathy, if they have it, on any Pokémon as a normal Diplomacy attempt to influence NPC attitudes – regardless of whether or not the Pokémaster shares a language with the Pokémon or the intelligence of the Pokémon.

Pokéballs and Pokémon: When a Pokémon is caught with a Pokéball (see Craft Pokéball below), it is shrunk down and placed in stasis like with Gloves of Storing. While in a Pokéball, Pokémon do not need to eat, sleep, breathe, etc. A Pokémon can be returned to its Pokéball or removed from its Pokéball as a standard action by the Pokémaster which owns it within a range of 25 feet + 5 feet per two caster levels. If a Pokéball with a Pokémon in it is traded, given, or sold to another person, ownership of the Pokémon is also transferred. A Pokémon heals rapidly while within its Pokéball. Regular damage is converted to nonlethal damage at the rate that nonlethal damage normally heals for the creature. Nonlethal damage heals at the normal rate while in its Pokéball.

Control Pokémon (Ex): A Pokémaster can have a number of owned Pokémon in Pokéballs equal to her Charisma Modifier be "Controlled." A Controlled Pokémon behaves like a summoned monster when released from its Pokéball, and is essentially under the control of the Pokémaster. A Pokémaster cannot control a Pokémon whose Challenge Rating is equal to or greater than the Pokémaster’s Caster Level. See the rubric for increasing challenge rating based on extra hit dice or class levels in the Monster Manual to determine if the Pokémon is Controllable. An uncontrolled Pokémon will act as it sees fit, possibly going on a rampage, running away, or simply sleeping until it is returned to its Pokéball. Furthermore, Dragon-type Pokémon are harder to control than other Pokémon, and use twice their CR or their own CR + 4, whichever is less, to determine whether they will obey their Pokémaster. A Controlled Pokémon cannot use any Summoning ability to summon uncontrolled Pokémon.

More than one Controlled Pokémon can be out of their balls at any one time, but only the first one released behaves like a summoned monster – any subsequent released Pokémon will act normally, usually standing around and watching events transpire, or sleeping (extreme events can cause them to take direct action at the DM’s option).

Increases to Charisma only affect the number of Pokémon which can be Controlled if the increase would affect spells per day for a Charisma-based spellcaster. As such, effects like Eagle's Splendor do not increase the number of Controllable Pokémon, but a Cloak of Charisma would. Once a Pokémaster has reached the limit of the number of Pokémon which can be Controlled, the Pokémaster cannot Control any more until one or more of the Controlled Pokémon are released from Control or killed. Releasing a Pokémon from Control takes about 10 minutes. Control can be reasserted, but only if the Pokémaster has the ability to Control that many Pokémon.

Trainer Type (Ex): There are four types of Pokémasters. During character creation, pick your Pokémaster's type based on four attributes (Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom). This defines the bonus that you can give to your Pokémon while training.

Losing Pokémon: A Pokémaster can, at any time, release their Pokémon into the wild. This is a process that takes about 10 minutes, during which the Pokémaster says her goodbyes to the Pokémon. The Pokémon is then free to do whatever it wishes. Its current intelligence, alignment, and abilities do not change from what they were prior to this release. The Pokémon’s Pokéball is destroyed in the process, and is no longer attuned to that Pokémon. Pokémon who were treated especially well or poorly by their Pokémaster will not forget that treatment and may, at the DM’s discretion, act accordingly either immediately or at some time in the future.

Death and Pokémon: Sometimes Pokémon die. This causes a great loss to the Pokémaster, both emotionally and spiritually. A Pokémaster whose Controlled Pokémon dies immediately loses 200 XP times the CR of the Pokémon (zero XP for Pokémon below CR 1). A Pokémaster can make a Will save (DC 15) to halve the XP loss. XP lost in this way are recovered if the Pokémon is raised from the dead by any means (usually raise dead or resurrection). The XP is recovered if the Pokémon is Reincarnated, but the new body breaks the Pokémaster to Pokémon link and the Pokémon is no longer controlled, and may no longer be a Pokémon (depending on its new type).

Train Pokémon (Ex): A Pokémaster can Train or Evolve their Pokémon with their Train Pokémon skill. Each training session takes 8 hours. The effects available from Training Pokémon are based on the number of Ranks in Train Pokémon the Pokémaster has:

  • 4 ranks – Grow Pokémon: This causes the Pokémon to advance 1 Hit Die, if it would not cause the Pokémon to exceed its advancement limit. This may cause the creature to grow in size category, see the monster description. This may also cause the Pokémon to become uncontrolled, if this raises its CR to past the maximum CR the Pokémaster can control. You select what skills, if any, a Pokémon gains for its level, and if this advancement would cause a Pokémon to gain a feat, you may select the feat. The DC for Training Pokémon is equal to 20 + the Pokémon's new CR.
  • 6 ranks – Train Pokémon: You can use this to give the Pokémon a bonus appropriate for your Pokémaster Type. Each successful training session bestows a +1 inherent bonus to the Pokémon's appropriate attribute. This bonus may not exceed your appropriate stat modifier. For example, a Strength trainer with a Strength score of 17, meaning a +3 Strength Modifier, may give up to 3 points of bonus Strength to every single one of Pokémon by training this way.
  • 8 ranks – Learn Trick: This is used to teach a Pokémon a new Move. The DC for teaching tricks to Pokémon is equal to 25 + the Pokemon's CR + the move's DC modifier. (A move's DC modifier depends on the move; a general rule is e.g. average damage done/5)
  • 10 ranks – Evolve Pokémon: This causes the Pokémon to evolve to a more advanced form. Note that this may cause the Pokémon to become uncontrolled if this raises the CR to past the maximum CR the Pokémaster can control. Pokémon who become Dragons in this way are not harder to control than natural dragons are. You select what skills, if any, a Pokémon gains with its template, and if this would cause a Pokémon to gain one or more feats, you may select the feat(s). The DC for evolving Pokémon is equal to 25 + the Pokémon's new CR.

This is not the only way that a Pokémon can evolve.

  • 12 ranks – Inspire Pokémon: You may be an especially kind or cruel master to your Pokémon, giving it a permanent +8 Sacred or Profane bonus to any statistic. You may only give this bonus once to each Pokémon, and you cannot give different bonuses (Sacred or Profane) to different Pokémon.

A Pokémaster can advance their Pokémon without altering their appearance, with more difficulty. The Pokémon gains all the abilities of the new form, but it does not change in size or show any obvious effects of the transformation. The DC for a "silent" transformation is 35 + the Pokémon’s new CR.

Pokédex (Ex): A Pokémaster character can identify any Pokémon with their Pokédex using their Knowledge (Arcana) skill. While the Pokémon's name and type are immediately identified, the specific Pokémon's stats require further checks. (If you beat the DC, you may obtain an additional piece of information about the Pokémon for every 5 points your checks exceeds the DC)

Trainer's Bond (Ex): You develop a deep bond with the first Pokémon that you catch. It is called your Bond Pokémon, and you get a permanent bonus equal to your Pokémaster level on all skill checks involving that Pokémon. You may choose to switch your Bond Pokémon anytime at a cost of 50 times your level XP. At 4th level, your Bond Pokémon receives a +4 on a single stat. At 9th level the bonus increases to +4, and you may once per day Inspire that Pokémon to give it Haste for 5 rounds and replenish all its special attacks and abilities. At 14th level the bonus increases to +6, and you may Inspire that Pokémon twice per day. At 19th level the bonus increases to +8, you can Inspire that Pokémon three times per day, and it is treated as having no HD advancement limit. Should you ever un-Bond with that Pokémon all of the above bonuses are lost, including any HD above the original HD advancement limit.

Craft Pokéball (Sp): A 2nd level Pokémaster can craft Pokéballs. Crafting a Pokéball requires 50 GP, 5 XP, and exceptional machinery available. Crafting a single Pokéball takes 1 day and requires a DC 15 Craft check. You may choose to increase the DC by increments of 3; every increment gives the ball a +1 enchantment bonus on attack rolls with it, and increases the wielder's ECL for determining the damage done by 1. This works for Pokéballs, Greatballs, Ultraballs and Masterballs. A regular Pokéball costs 100 GP to buy from a Pokécenter. A Pokéball acts as a thrown weapon, which is used as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 15'. Using a Pokéball is considered to be using a spell like ability. If a Pokéball thrown by a Pokémaster hits a Pokémon, it inflicts 1 point of subdual damage per caster level. If the Pokémon is unconscious after being hit by the Pokéball, it is sucked into the Pokéball and now belongs to the Pokémaster who threw the Pokéball — the Pokéball is now sitting in a square formerly occupied by the captured Pokémon. If a Pokéball hits a Pokémon, it is attuned to that Pokémon and cannot be used on any other Pokémon — ever.

Type Specialization (Ex): At 3rd level, a Pokémaster can choose a type which to be her specialty. A Pokémaster gains a +1 bonus on all Bluff, Handle Pokémon, Knowledge, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills on or about such creatures for every 3 caster levels she has. A Pokémaster can choose a second type to be equally proficient with at 12th level, and a third at 18th. A Pokémaster can Control one extra Pokémon which must be of a type that she specializes in.

Increased Awareness (Ex): At 4th level and above, a Pokémaster’s Pokémon become more intelligent and aware. After the Pokémaster has owned her Pokémon for at least 1 week, its intelligence changes to the Pokémaster's ranks in Handle Pokémon if that is more than its normal intelligence.

In addition, a Pokémaster can make her Pokémon gradually see things her way – a Pokémon’s alignment shifts one degree towards the Pokémaster’s each week if she can succeed in a Handle Pokémon check at a DC of (15 + the Pokémon’s CR). The DM decides whether it moves Law/Chaos or Good/Evil first depending upon circumstances. So if a Lawful Good Pokémaster captured a Banette (a Lawful Evil Pokémon), the Banette could become Lawful Neutral after one week, and could be Lawful Good after 2 weeks.

Craft Greatball (Su): At 5th level, a Pokémaster can craft a Greatball, which is a more powerful form of Pokéball. It behaves just like a Pokéball, except that it costs 500 Gold and 50 experience points to craft (DC 20) or 1000 Gold to buy, and inflicts 1d4 nonlethal damage per caster level.

Double Team: Upon reaching 6th level, the Pokémaster is able to control two Pokémon out of their balls simultaneously, even in battle. This ability only functions so long as both Pokémon are more than 2 CR less than the Pokémaster's caster level. For example, a 7th level Pokémaster could command a single CR 6 Pokémon in battle or two CR 4 Pokémon, but could not command a CR 3 Pokémon and a CR 5 Pokémon simultaneously.

Speak With Pokémon (Ex) At 7th level, a Pokémaster has Tongues always on, which affects their captured Pokémon. Even though a Pikachu's speech still sounds like “Pikapika, pikachu!”, it is perfectly intelligible to the Pokémaster. Further, the Pokémaster’s speech is understandable by Pokémon even if they do not normally have a language – even Pokémon not normally capable of communicating at all.

Transfer Control (Ex): At 8th level, a Pokémaster may change which Pokémon she currently controls. All newly controlled Pokémon must be in Pokéballs possessed and owned by the Pokémaster. Transfer Control is a full-round action, during which no Pokémon can be commanded by the Pokémaster. At 17th level, a Pokémaster can use Transfer Control as a move action.

Craft Ultraball (Sp): At 10th level, a Pokémaster can craft an Ultraball. An Ultraball is a much more powerful form of Pokéball. It costs 2500 GP and 250 experience points to craft (DC 25) or 5000 GP to buy. When used, it inflicts 1d8 points of nonlethal damage per caster level.

Craft Masterball (Sp): At 15th level, a Pokémaster can craft a Masterball. A Masterball is the ultimate expression of the Pokémon Hunter – it costs a hefty 15000 GP, 1500 XP and unique equipment to manufacture (craft DC 30, 1 week crafting time) and subdues the first Pokémon it hits if that Pokémon does not have more hit dice for every caster level of the Pokémaster who threw it. If a Pokémon is too strong to be captured automatically, it may yet succumb, as it still suffers 1d12 nonlethal damage per caster level.

Type Mastery (Ex): The Pokémaster chooses one type that she is already specialized in to Master. All her Ultraballs function like Masterballs against Pokémon of that subtype, there is no limit to the CR of Pokémon of that subtype that she can control, and she can control one extra Pokémon of that type, in addition to her bonus controlled Pokémon from type and type specialization.

Pokémasters and Starting Equipment/Ages: A Pokémaster begins play with a CR 1/2 Pokémon of her choice. A Pokémaster also begins play with an empty Pokéball and 3d4 x 5 gold pieces worth of equipment. In campaigns with regional or Clan specific starting equipment, a Pokémaster’s starting Pokéballs is in addition to her regional or clan specific equipment.

Pokémasters start adventuring as soon as they finish their Pokémaster course, usually at the age of 18.

Adventures: The life of a Pokémaster naturally leads itself to adventure. Most Pokémasters spend at least some of their time exploring in order to find and capture new Pokémon and hone their skills.

Pokémasters and Alignment: Most Pokémasters have an extreme alignment; although many are kindly masters, others are vicious and cruel to their Pokémon. Pokémasters tend to shy away from neutrality, as their constant battles of will with Pokémon generally make them quite accustomed to choosing sides.

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