Every Pokémon with a trainer has a stat to represent their bond with their trainer. This is a number between -3 and 12; it is unknown to the Player and is tracked by the GM.

Whether a Pokémon is controlled by the Player or the GM depends on their bond with the Player's PC. If the Pokémon has a high bond with multiple trainers, it is controlled by trainer who owns its pokeball. If it doesn't have a pokeball, or custody is otherwise vague, well... That's some Homebrew for the group to discuss.

A wild Pokémon may also have a bond with a trainer. If their bond reaches 3 or higher, Catching attempts will always succeed.

While the GM cannot share an exact number, they may tell the Player which level the bond is at. The levels are as follows...

Distrusting (-3, -2, -1)

  • GM controls the Pokémon
  • The Pokémon will go out of it's way to ignore or be antagonistic towards their trainer, or will only obey out of fear.
  • If wild, they will be extremely hostile or fearful towards the PC.

Neutral (0, 1, 2)

  • GM controls the Pokémon
  • The Pokémon usually will not listen to its trainer, but they may do so when given extra incentive or vested interest, or if they are threatened.
  • Most wild Pokémon are at this level by default.

Trusting (3, 4, 5)

  • Player usually controls the Pokémon, but the GM may sometimes chip in
  • The Pokémon likes its trainer and will usual listen to them.
  • It will only disobey for reasons like having a distractible personality, not understanding the command, thinking it knows better than the trainer, etc

Close (6, 7, 8)

  • Player controls the Pokémon
  • The Pokémon cares deeply about its trainer.
  • It will only disobey if the command would put itself or its trainer into extreme danger

Bonded (10, 11, 12)

  • Player controls the Pokémon
  • The Pokémon and trainer are bonded for life on a deep level.
  • The Pokémon will never disobey its trainer.

Changing this stat

Bond can be raised and lowered as the GM sees fit, but here are some suggestions. As bond grows higher, it will be more difficult to continue to raise it.

Raising Bond

  • Showing the Pokémon affection, giving it compliments and gifts, etc.
  • Rescuing the Pokémon from danger
  • Spending time with the Pokémon outside its Pokéball
  • Sometimes happens after an evolution

Lowering Bond

  • Neglecting the Pokémon's physical and emotional needs
  • Being verbally or physically cruel or abusive to the Pokémon
  • Leaving it in PC storage for months or years.
  • Sometimes happens after an evolution

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