[HR] [Silly] Pocket Demons

Pocket Demon Trainer

A bizarre sort of summoner, the pocket demon trainer uses spherical rune-inscribed balls made from the nuts of the apricorn tree to function as summoning portals for chaos demons that will serve the trainer. By themselves, trainers are weak combatants, although relatively rugged from a life spent outdoors.


Hit Die: d6

Armor: none

Weapons: bows/crossbows and bolas/darts/nets/slings/saps/staffs

Attack/save progression: per cleric


The true power of the Pocket Demon Trainer comes from their demons. No Trainer may carry more than 6 of the runic balls at any time, lest their infernal magics interfere with each other and spontaneously summon multiple uncontrolled demons. No demon may be controlled whose base hit die exceeds the level of the Trainer (pluses do not count, so a level 1 Trainer can control a demon with 1+3 HD, but not 2+1). Additionally, they are limited to a total number of Hit Dice based on their level. For counting total Hit Dice, pluses do count, with +4 being equal to 1 Hit Die (so a Demon with 4+8 HD counts as 6 HD).


Level 1: 2 Hit Dice

Level 2: 4 Hit Dice

Level 3: 8 Hit Dice

Level 4: 12 Hit Dice

Level 5: 18 Hit Dice

Level 6: 24 Hit Dice

Level 7: 34 Hit Dice

Level 8: 46 Hit Dice

Level 9: 62 Hit Dice

Level 10: 80 Hit Dice

Level 11: 94 Hit Dice

Level 12: 110 Hit Dice

Level 13: 126 Hit Dice

Level 14: 146 Hit Dice


Demons are completely under the control of their summoner, but must be able to see or hear commands in order to obey. If they find themselves unable to receive commands, they will attempt to return to the last spot their summoner was seen; if this fails, they will return to their home plane (but can be summoned again). Note that this means that if a Trainer is knocked out or put to sleep, their Demons will unsummon themselves. All Demons save as fighters of half their hit dice (disregarding bonus HP). Demons that are in their highest form may have HD and bonus Hit Points (i.e. 3+3 HD). If they gain an additional HD, they also gaining additional bonus Hit Points in proportion (so that a 3+3 HD Pocket Demon that gained an extra Hit Die would have 4+4 HD; a 4th-level trainer could control it, but it would count as 5 HD for total amount controlled). Pocket Demons fight as monsters of their Hit Dice. A Judge should calculate the HD for all mutation levels of a Demon. When a Demon gains enough HD to evolve, it changes forms.

At first level, a Trainer starts with up to two Pocket Demons, keeping in mind the HD limitations. A Trainer uses a Thief's XP chart, but must also dedicate XP to their Demons to cause them to grow in power. At each level beyond first, a Trainer either gains a new base Pocket Demon with Hit Dice equal to or lower than their new level, or one Pocket Demon gains one Hit Die (and any matching bonus HP). Finding additional Demons is at the whim of the Judge. Capturing a free Demon requires hitting it with a ranged attack (the apricorn is typically cast from a sling, but may be thrown with a range of 10/20/30), at which point the Demon may save vs. spells to avoid being imprisoned. A typical apricorn may be found and carved for free (so long as the Trainer has an appropriate proficiency such as Art: Sculpture or Craft: Carpentry). For every 100 gp of exotic materials used in the creation of an empty ball, it imposes a -1 to the Demon's save vs. spells.

A Pocket Demon gains levels as though they were classed characters with a base XP of 500. When gaining Hit Dice, use the chart on Page 152 of the Lairs & Encounters PDF to find attacks that do similar damage to the Demon's attacks, then modify damage to match their new Hit Dice. They also gain 1 point of AC for each new Hit Die up to (and including) 9 HD, but do not gain AC for Hit Dice above 9.


A Trainer can only have one Demon summoned at a time at level 1. Starting at level 5, they may begin crafting Training Manuals (see below). At level 6, they gain the ability to have two Demons summoned simultaneously, and at level 12 they can summon three Demons at once. At level 9, Trainers can form a Gym. The Gym is similar to a Mage's Sanctum, except that it will attract Trainers instead of Mages. If a Gym Leader is known for specializing in a particular type of Demon, the Trainers attracted will tend to select Demons of the same or similar types (i.e. a Water Leader may get followers with Water or Ice Demons).



Using Pokemon stats to generate Pocket Demons

All of the video game stats referred to below are base stats (see a good online database for information on base stats).

Hit Dice: Use the Pokemon's weight to generate weight-based HD, then add 1/30th of the Pokemon's HP stat. Most Pocket Demons should have 1 or 2 HD at their first mutation stage, plus 1 or 2 per each additional stage (exceptions would be legendaries and pseudo-legendaries). In extreme cases, this can lead to very high bonus HP numbers, such as Chansey (4+20 HD).

AC: Add Defense and Special Defense together, divide by 40, and round to the nearest whole number.

Speed: Double the Speed stat, rounded to the nearest 10.

Attacks: Pocket Demons get the greater of one attack per mutation stage or one attack per two hit dice. Attacks should be selected with a maximum level of 10*HD (i.e. a 2-HD, 1st-stage Pocket Demon will have one attack, selected from Level 20 or below).

Damage: Add attack strength and either Attack or Special Attack (as appropriate). Every 50 points of combined power is a die size (i.e. 1-50 is 1d2, 51-100 is 1d3, etc). Attacks that get a STAB bonus are increased one die size. Melee attacks can be used infinitely. Ranged attacks get 1 use per day per 5 PP. Ranged attacks with a base damage die of d4 or less have range as a sling. Ranged attacks with a rate of fire of 1/2 (due to recharge) have range as a longbow. All other ranged attacks have range as a shortbow. Area attacks (Explosion or Self-Destruct) deal their damage in a 10 foot radius for each damage die beyond the first and in a 5 foot radius for each die type above d2 (so a 2d6 area attack would deal damage in a 25 foot radius – 10 feet for the second die, and 5 feet each for d3, d4, and d6).

Abilities: Demons learning Fly or Surf (which may only be taught through Manuals) do not use these abilities to attack. Instead, they may use those abilities to carry their Trainer (and only their Trainer) either in the air or on the water.


New Items:

Elemental Stones: These rare stones are roughly the size of a sling bullet. Imbued with elemental energy, most people use them as sling ammunition, never knowing they can cause particular types of Pocket Demons to change forms. When used as ammunition, they receive no attack bonus, but instead deal 1d6 magical damage of a particular type. Known stones are:

Fire – fire damage

Water – water damage

Thunder – electrical damage

Leaf – cold iron damage

Moon – silver damage

Sun – fire damage

Shiny – positive energy damage

Dusk – negative energy damage

Dawn – positive energy damage

A Trainer with one of these stones and an appropriate Demon may use the stone to force a mutation.


Training Manuals: Much like casters can create magic items, Trainers can create runic gems that they call “Training Manuals” to teach Demons moves above and beyond their standard repertoire. A library is needed for research into moves. It costs a minimum of 4,000 gp for a library to research moves with a Power of 50 or less, 8,000 for moves with a Power of 51-100, and 16,000 for moves with Power greater than 100. Once a Trainer knows a move, it may be copied into a Training Manual at a cost of 500, 1500, or 3000 gp based upon the move's Power; more powerful moves require more expensive gems to contain their power. The gem is then fused to the surface of the Demon's apricorn container, and the Demon learns the appropriate move. Unfused Manuals may be found in the treasure hordes of defeated Trainers. Fly and Surf are each considered to be Power 90 for the purposes of creating Manuals.


If I may:

Pocket Demon Trainers keep upon their persons several occult devices that alert them when a capturable Pocket Demon is nearby; and obsessively check, adjust, and reset these contraptions, no matter where they are. As such, Pocket Demon Trainers suffer a -1 penalty to all surprise rolls; and a -2 to passive Hear Noise checks.

This is pretty incredible!

I'm imagining a setting where characters suffer reaction roll penalties if they fail to honor the ancient maxim of Our Eyes Met: We Must Battle.


Unfortunately (or fortunately) my smartphone is so old it can't run that portable thaumotological program. Given what I've witnessed, though, I'd be tempted to make them automatically surprised.

Clarification to the damage rule: When calculating damage using Atk + Pow or Sp Atk + Pow, the resulting damage should be read on the "1+ and 2" line, then read down an appropriate column until reaching the line for the Demon's current HD. If the damage die would start at 1d10, use the bite (large) column, find the Demon's current HD, then read down two more lines (since 1d10 first occurs two lines below 1d8).