Pokémon Essence V0.8

My Pokémon ttrpg, Pokémon Essence, as just received an update

Feature list:

  • Revamped dice-pool Action Resolution System – just as easy to use as before, but now better able to reflect each Pokémon’s individual strengths
  • Rules for Dark, Steel and Fairy types
  • All 151 Gen 1 Pokémon included
  • Rules for adding Pokémon from later Generation 2+
  • 96 appreciably different and qualitative abilities

Download Pokémon Essence for free on itch.io now!

Check out the full length dev-log here

The next update, V0.81, will be the Viridian Region edit. It will include encounter tables, quests and locations for Pallet Town, Route 1, Viridian City, Route 2, Viridian Forest and Pewter City, including Pewter Gym, the Pewter Science Museum and the Pokémon School. Work is already in progress, check out a Route 1 encounter table below:

  1. Youngster Ronny has a cowardly Rattata and wants some help teaching it the move Quick Attack.
  2. A group of Rattata are eating from an abandoned picnic hamper. A Pidgey keeps swooping down, trying to take a sandwich.
  3. A Rattata is gnawing at a can of tinned food, trying to open it
  4. Schoolkids Shermon and Danny are having a very slow Pokémon battle, trash-talking each other all the while. Shermon has a Kakuna and Danny has a Metapod. They will trash-talk anyone who comes nearby too.
  5. A nearby tree contains a nest with 2 fledgling Pidgey getting ready to fly for the first time. A Rattata is below the tree, waiting to pounce on them if they fall.
  6. A young girl chases after a Pidgey which is flying overhead, carrying a pencil case.

I figure that if I can make a route with only Pidgey and Rattata interesting, the rest of Kanto has great potential!

Some qualities of a souls-like ttrpg

  • Story-light, lore-heavy
  • Map exploration with loops (Jaquayed dungeons)
  • Deliberate and punishing combat
  • Gameplay mechanics that interact with death
  • Boss Fights
  • A dark/grim overall tone
  • Git Gud – player skill/knowledge increase more important than gear/levelling up

If only I could be so grossly incandescent!

Solaire of Astora

It is entirely possible to make a game with all of these qualities.

But if a game has enough of these qualities that it continues to feel souls-like, then it is still souls-like.

Everyone’s experiences of a game are unique, so this is really my list of qualities for a souls-like game. Yours might differ.


It was revealed last week that the new Dark Souls ttrpg will use a version of D&D 5th edition.

This is a very odd pairing.

Odd enough that not one, but two ttrpg game jams have sprung up in response.

Predictably, I am working on an entry.