My kids just designed Dungeons & Pokémon Go

After the latest update for Pokémon Go made them harder to catch and harder to find, my kids have been missing the game they love. In their game, Pokéballs are unlimited and Pokémon are almost always caught (with a little persistence). Pokémon live in their favourite places (playgrounds with swingsets usually) and gyms don’t exist (because they’re too hard). It’s a game with pure pursuits — collecting and evolving and playing.

Instead of adapting to this new form of the game, this morning they took matters into their own hands. My eldest asked:

“Could we just keep playing Pokémon Go on paper?”

They’ve discovered my D&D books before and I’ve played a simplified version with them a couple of times. They know D20 exist, but they’re no experts. Yet in a single car ride — here is the game they devised…

Rules of Pokémon Go (on paper)

  1. Dad is ‘The Professor’. He gives you Pokéballs for good deeds and Lures for extra good deeds. (This is by far my favourite rule)
  2. The kids need to carry this book with them at all times. (This is already happening in our household. They practically have it memorized.)

3. The Professor needs to carry these in his pocket at all times.

4. At random times/locations (determined by The Professor) a wild Pokémon appears! The Professor rolls 3d100 to determine the page number of the handbook — that page is the Pokémon that appears. The Professor quickly scans the stats on the page and chooses a ‘difficulty’ number — usually between 5 and 25. (30+ for legendary — can’t just give those away!)

5. The kids have drawn circles on their page for all the Pokéballs they have earned. They roll a d20 and add their ‘level’ (still in Beta) — if this is lower than the Pokémon’s difficulty, they scratch a line through one circle to show that it’s spent and try again. If it’s higher than the difficulty: GOTCHA! 
(at this point they enthusiastically write down their new capture on their sheet)

Tweaks we’re considering

  • Leveling up — we’re going to create levels dependent on how many Pokémon you catch (5 for Lvl 2, 15 for Lvl 3, 30 for Lvl 4, etc)
  • Bonus objects to boost your rolls like Razz Berries
  • We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!