|Pokemon is far and away from being|
the only or oldest game to implement
catch 'em all mechanics.
That said, being a trainer of powerful creatures, monsters, demons, etc. isn't a completely unique mechanic to pokemon, and in a very light way, it is touched upon in GURPS here and there, so we aren't starting from nothing. Let's see what we can scrounge together to implement a system for corralling powerful allies.
Interesting Source Materials
- Basic Set - Campaigns
- Chapter 16, p.455, Animals and Monsters has some rudimentary, long, and closer to realistic rules for training animals. Usually the types of things we capture and train and battle are stronger than this, but it gives some ideas.
- Social Engineering
- Typical mons have near or above human intelligence so developing a relationship with them is a bit different than building a relationship with an alley cat or abandoned dog thrown over the fence. From this book, the ideas in Face to Face, on page 21 are probably the most relevant. The difficult part of the process is getting a random creature to decide to help you, and then building a permanent bond of trust. Look at the section on Approachability on p.25 to find methods of determining if a monster even wants to commiserate, Motives on p.25 to see if there is any chance that you can appeal to the needs of your prospective buddy, Competitive Influence if trying to convince a being to go with you versus another prospect, and especially Continuing Relationships for developing trust.
- Social Engineering - Back To School
- This entire book has, among other things, detailed rules on teaching. This might be more appropriate for a world like Pokemon where monsters are near human intelligence, or Shin Megami Tensei where we are rallying deities, angels, and things that rule over hell that might be arguably even more intelligent than humans. Specifically, chapter 1 covers how to be a good student in GURPS, and chapter 2, how to be a good teacher.
- Dungeon Fantasy 5 - Allies
- This book goes into details on how to deal with three different types of "pets," as allies, each with minute mechanical and large flavor differences. Druidic Allies covers handling mundane but powerful animals, Holy Allies covers supernatural folk (especially relevant for something like Shin Megami Tensei) and Familiars covers a lot of interesting concepts that could be helpful in simulating a lot of game worlds: a mix of mundane and fantastic creatures with especial intelligence and powers, like pokemon, and that have the ability to bestow powers to their masters, a la Persona.
- Dungeon Fantasy 9 - Summoners
- A book similar in vein to Allies that focuses on different flavor and mechanical trappings to produce even more variants of the puppet master type who manages a stable of powerful allies: the Demonologist, who deals with extraordinarily powerful and dangerous beings, The Elementalist who focuses on a particular niche, The Necromancer that handles huge swathes of minions, and Shamans that have a kinda whisperer flavor to them and the ability to quell angry spirits.
- Is it afraid? Is it afraid of me? If it is not afraid of me, what is it afraid of?
- Is it dangerous? Is it dangerous to me? Does it posture as if to attack me?
- Is it intelligent or bestial? Can I negotiate with it?
- Is it in dire need of a certain necessity? Shelter, water, or food? Is it hurting for companionship?
Dependent and Ally
Setting Switch: Allies don't cost points
- Find and locate these powerful quantities that everyone else in this competitive universe would also be looking for
- Develop a strong personal relationship with each and every one of these olympus mons so that they are willing to put their lives on the line for his sake
- Feed, shelter, and otherwise nourish things that probably have tremendously expensive upkeep.