(NOTICE: If you got here from Googling for Real Trainer Mode, what you probably want is this page. This one here is the old version.)

So, as some of you are aware, I got super into the whole Twitch Plays Pokemon thing. At least for Gen I (Red), that is; I haven’t gotten into the new game (Crystal) as much. Maybe because I don’t have any nostalgia for Gen II. I really enjoyed the first run, though, and kind of didn’t want it to end. I considered doing a Nuzlocke run, but that doesn’t have any of the random accidents and surprises that made the TPP run so interesting. So I started making up my own set of rules.

As I was working on them, I had the thought that they were turning into a somewhat realistic simulation of what it would actually be like to be a pokémon trainer. After all, you couldn’t actually choose what attacks your guys use in fights — at best, you could shout suggestions at them, and maybe they’d listen, but more likely they’d be distracted by the crazy goddamn thing they’re fighting. And storing living creatures electronically on a home computer? Not just that but sending them over a modem line to the computer of some dude named Bill that you hardly even know? Are you nuts?

So, here’s my set of rules. The game plays basically the same, until you either get into a fight, or try to interact with a PC, at which point you’ll need a regular six-sided die. These rules aren’t tested yet, as I’m waiting on a cheap used GBA I ordered off eBay. If you try this out, let me know how it went. Share some stories.


1) You may catch any number of pokémon, without restriction.

2) Before attempting to manually store a pokémon in the PC, roll a die. If you roll a 1, delete it immediately.

3) Before attempting to withdraw any pokémon from the PC, roll a die:
1: Delete a random member of your party. if you roll an empty space, do not reroll. Regardless, the withdraw is unsuccessful.
2: Delete the pokémon you were attempting to withdraw.
3: Delete a random pokémon from the top 6 of the current box. (Again, do not reroll blanks.) The withdraw is unsuccessful.
4-6: Withdraw is successful.

1) You may attempt to switch pokémon at the beginning of a combat round. Roll a die:
1-2: Roll again and switch to that party member. Re-roll if that is impossible.
3-6: Switch as normal.

2) After resolving any switching (or deciding not to switch), roll a die:
1-4: Use the attack corresponding to that number. Re-roll if that is impossible.
5: You may use an item of your choice, or try to escape, or roll again.
6: You may use an item of your choice, or an attack of your choice, or try to escape.

1) Pokémon killed by poison or burn damage (whether in combat or in the world) are dead permanently.

2) Pokémon that faint must be healed with a Revive before they can be healed normally (e.g. potion, Pokécenter, etc.).
— Fainted pokémon that are healed accidentally must be destroyed immediately.
— You are permitted to use the PC to temporarily store fainted pokémon so that they aren’t healed at the Pokécenter, but they must be withdrawn immediately afterward. Fainted pokémon stored for any other reason are subject to the standard PC-use rules.
— Unusual healing circumstances (e.g. the heal pad in Lavender Tower) are permitted for fainted pokémon. (Therefore, a pilgrimage back to Lavender Town is a possibility, if you can’t afford to buy Revives. Good luck with the ghosts.) Mom’s healing does not count as unusual.

3) In the event of a total party wipe, all current party members are killed permanently.

4) Treat permanently killed members of your party as blank slots until you can get back to a PC to discard them. Pokémon that are only fainted are still subject to (e.g.) being chosen as sacrifices to the PC.

1) Eggs are treated as regular pokémon for all possible purposes. For example, eggs carried during a party wipe are destroyed along with your regular pokémon.

2) You are not permitted to teach HM02 (Fly) to any pokémon.

3) No trading with other players. You may trade with yourself, if you want to import your crew to another game.

4) Do not use the Pokéwalker.

5) You may use the Daycare freely. It is recommended you do so before screwing around with the PC.

6) Optional: For extra difficulty, allow escaping from fights only on a roll of 6, rather than the usual 5 or 6.

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