Simply put: a ‘human-ized’ Pokémon (from Pokémon anthropomorph). For the purposes of this game, Pokemorphs are a literal hybrid of Pokémon and human. They cannot devolve, nor can the Pokémon and human ‘parts’ be separated: A Pokemorph is a unique, singular entity. (See The Change for information on how Pokemorphs are created.)
The manifestations of this process can vary wildly, even among the same species! At Pokemorph MUSH, we allow for and encourage player creativity (within reason) when it comes to their character designs!
Put simply, our only restrictions are:
Pokemorphs must have at least some human (anthropormophic) features from the base Pokémon
Pokemorphs must still reasonably resemble the base Pokémon via retaining some Pokémon features; a Pokemorph should display more Pokémon features than ‘gijinka‘
Pokemorphs cannot be any hybrid of two or more Pokémon species (aka “Pokefusions”) - they are always of a single Pokémon species
The amount of anthropomorphication is up to the player designing the character! As examples, a bat or bird-based Pokemorph may have six limbs (arms + wings + legs), or four (wings + legs, or wingarms + legs, or arms + legs). A fish or snake-based Pokemorph may have four limbs (arms + legs), two (arms OR legs), or even - though extremely rare, as there are some faults in the morphing process - no limbs at all. Real-life insects have six legs, and real-life spiders have eight; but many Bug-type Pokémon have only four legs - thus, we would allow a Cutiefly-Morph with six limbs, or an Ariados-Morph with eight limbs.
We have no restrictions on colors for characters - you are not limited by the ‘default’ colors or patterns for your character. You may make a character with the canon shiny colors, or anything else that significantly deviates from the default! (We only ask that you do not make every character uniquely colored.)
As stated above, we allow and encourage creative interpretation of Pokémon species as well. Examples include (but are certainly not limited to) characters such as a wolf- or coyote-based Mightyena, a katana or scimitar Honedge, Vanillite that are based on chocolate or mint chip ice cream, a tigerbear Arcanine, a man-of-war or moon jelly Tentacool, or a poppy-flowered Roselia.
Pokémon on the whole are closest to yokai, or in other aspects jinn. They are phenomenal creatures that exist in the world without necessarily obeying its natural laws. While they are everyday sights and have coexisted with humans since time immemorial, their abilities and function remain a source of mystery. Even when the barrier of language is overcome, Pokémon can struggle to explain some of their powers and biological systems, only having an understanding of “what” and lacking reasons of “how”. Exceptionally rare is the person who truly considers Pokémon at the levels of an animal, as the gulf of difference is so close upon examination as to make the comparison untenable.
Pokémon are monsters, and brutality does exist in the outdoors, with some hunting and eating one another for sustenance that cannot be found in byproducts or plants. This natural order is different from their relationships to humans however, as while humans do eat Pokémon, a respect for the interconnectivity of life is expected from the taker during the process of turning a living being into food, and comes with an understanding that to eat allows one to be eaten. While this is mostly the case in practice, as with all opinions there are occasional exceptional outliers. Thoughts around eating monster products or flesh also comes down to personal opinions, similar to real-world dietary adherence, though with differences arising from the capability of Pokémon to consent to generating foodstuffs.
Attempting to map ‘human intelligence’ onto a Pokémon only ever overlaps partially onto what they actually are, as many are born from their Eggs with fragmented understanding of the world and its operations, the capacity to vocalize, instincts that allow them to use their powers, and other piecemeal knowledge. It is a matter of ongoing study and debate how this transfer takes place, along with where information is kept for Pokémon that do not have a physical ‘brain’. The intelligence of Pokémon can vary extremely even among individual members of a species, and while species does seem to have correlation to mental function, it isn’t unheard of to find shrewd and foolish examples of monsters thought to be exactly the opposite.
Pokémon are considered persons, though rarely are citizens. They have agency over their destiny, sometimes in ways that unknowingly twist fate. Those that wish to be warriors or travelers are the ones who seek out Trainers to go with; Pokémon may appear before Trainers in tall grass more frequently than being found the other way around. It may be that Pokémon have more influence over their lives than humans, potentially responsible for their own level of intellect as well: Through unknown means, those that want to be pets end up becoming pet-intellect, while those that want to be more clever end up nearer to human capability. While close external observation suggests truth of this, the process is partially through a mechanism that Pokémon are unaware of, as only so much training is capable of being imbued into the monsters that act like beasts, and the self-reflection required to notice such changes is often lost in the moments.
There is no written history for Pokémon, nor do they have a standard writing system at all. Language is further discussed in Pokemorph Society.
For the most part, humans are physically like they are in the real world. However, their resiliency and skills range highly, including to the point of feats that would be superhuman: Surviving hits from primal powers and having unnatural strength and reflexes are possible, though encountering a human with anything beyond increased durability is viewed as extraordinary.
Though especially rare, humans of the Pokémon world can possess magical abilities, and such strange endowments tend to differ from those of Pokémon. The veracity of claims that anyone can learn to use such talents are unproven, more often manifesting as natural gifts that can be nurtured. For every human with powers there is a louder charlatan, making it difficult to find those truly capable.
Humans tend to be very cooperative with one another, as well as respectful of their immediate surrounding environment and the ecosystem of the world. Multiple religions, as well as occasionally-conflicting myths and legends co-exist side by side, many of which naturally feature Pokémon. On the whole they tend try to work together with, befriend, and understand Pokémon rather than force their way through conflicts of interest, though there can be troubles with communication. And of course, some humans attempt the rare journey of becoming a Pokémon Trainer, working alongside and teaching Pokémon to bring out their true potential.
The theme about the existence or non-existence of non-Pokémon animals has been left deliberately vague. Some players prefer to incorporate them, while others prefer a world of only Pokémon. Contradictions in theme are easily resolved on this matter, so the official stance is “no-opinion”. Keep in mind that the world of Pokémon is very karmic: If a person eats Pokémon, Pokémon can eat them.