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Brainstorming A Worthy Pokemon RP

Discussion in 'Pokémon Role Play Discussion' started by Pokemon Fanfiction Novels, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. I've got a question for you, reader. Have you ever joined a Pokemon roleplay in which you made it to the end of the story? If you did, was it worth it? If you didn't, do you want to experience it one day?

    In my personal experience, clearing through to the end of a roleplay was no easy task, and it required the luck or connections of fellow writers who shared in that vision. Even so, it was immensely rewarding, and it bolstered my confidence in the making of many future works, because I knew now I had the grit to finish them. Don't get me wrong, here. Even when you try writing a story together, and everyone quits out of boredom, you're still wiser from the experience.

    But, well . . . I'd like to think you approached Everest with climbing gear to reach the top.

    For those who do want to be part of a roleplay that reaches the end, you've already shown some potential by not clicking out of here upon discovering it wasn't the usual story pitch. I'll still be throwing out ideas for a worthy plot, but know that this is also a discussion with suggestions to help boost your confidence. Off the top of my head, these three come first to mind, most likely because they apply to roleplays in general:

    1. Your roleplay MUST maintain momentum. If an airplane stops going forward, it falls- and the roleplays after the first page are an airplane graveyard. Once you judge a story worthy, commit to it with at least one post every day, to the point that everyone notices when 24 hours have gone by without a post from you. I cannot stress this enough. Post. Every. Day.

    2. Know what is worth mentioning, and what you can skip over. There's a reason that books, movies, and TV shows transition forward in time past mundane events. Embrace the Time Skip, make it a regular thing with your co-authors, because otherwise you'll be trapped in the same day forever.

    3. Establish what your characters want, and the barriers keeping them from it. Writer's block, and the Law of Diminishing Returns, for example, are a couple of the barriers that prevent you from completing your roleplays and becoming more confident. But if you really want what you don't have, you'll pursue it no matter what. Same with your characters: establish what they want, and want badly- but don't let them have it before the end. They may never get it, but as long as they hope, that's what's important.

    Right, then. Time for that worthy plot brainstorm. The plot, of course, is composed of a setting, characters, conflicts, and themes, all mixed together by the various authors' styles. So, what's going to get a bunch of authors on the same wavelength for the long term? What is interesting enough to be worth coming back for daily, even for months and years at a time?

    -Setting: For this, I'd bear the audience in mind. My default is an established Pokemon Region in the modern year, since that's what the core community here understands. However, if the joiners are a group of friends or acquaintances with a mutual desire for something more, such as a world in catastrophe, let it be voiced. That's what the polls are for.

    -Characters: Since I can't speak for personalities before seeing them, for now let's talk numbers. I think that decent core group should be somewhere between three and six people. Any less, and it's no longer a "group." Any more, and we lose track of who's who. Not to be callous, but this means turning down applicants at peak capacity. Furthermore, like a D&D campaign, there ought to be some established reason for the group to remain in close proximity for the vast majority of the time. Otherwise, what stake do you have in reading the posts of some guy who's never interacting with you?

    -Conflict: Arguably more than anything else, conflicts drive the narrative. OPs establish the setting, then joiners carefully detail their characters, but none of it matters if the struggle is weak, or just never established. A good villain makes an RP. So does a time crisis, or a desperate need to prove oneself. I'll flesh this out a little further down.

    -Themes: Let's talk real life. You came here to escape reality, but guess what- it bleeds into your fantasy anyway. Getting bullied by adults? Let's have a nasty drill sergeant character. Scared of bad grades? Put your character through high-stakes practical testing. If you're going to commit to a story for a year, it might as well contain concepts that matter to you.

    For starters, I imagine a story taking place in Kanto, following the events of the First Pokemon Movie (with Mewtwo). See? Most of us know about that. In an alternate timeline, after Mewtwo abandons his mission to take over the world with clones, a second genetic abomination picks it up. This entity, known only as Missingno, develops its own army of superior clones, then initiates a sort of "Noah's Ark" event in which it kills off every non-cloned pokemon, and much of humanity. I'm not sure whether to make this a deadly virus or a brutal war, but I'm leaning toward the virus. Without their former pokemon, the remaining trainers attempt to capture some cloned ones, but the clones prove immune to pokeballs. As a last resort, scientists perform a counter-clone operation, creating super-trainers with powers that allow them to dominate pokemon without balls. The characters are these Clone Trainers. Throughout the story, they receive military education through a mock trainer journey. When it is finished, they throw themselves against Missingno and its reign of clones.

    See how everything I've been talking about adds up? Now, this is just a rough sketch, and not "worthy" yet by any means, but it should help with the conversation to come- assuming there is any. In a while, I will return to see if anyone responded. If it turns out there is no one on this site who is committed to posting daily, and obsessed with seeing a story through to the end, well hey, at least I'll know. But maybe there is.
  2. Well, to me the main problem is real life itself. I'm still in High School, and with test month coming around, I need time to study. As well, by brother shows animals at the fair, which is going on currently, meaning I can't post on rps like I could with a computer. Alot of other things lead up to it, and the plot advancing to far while your away, leads only to people just up and leaving it completely. As I said, lots of things.
    Merciless Medic likes this.
  3. While I understand you come from a point where you want to help those who want a RP that doesn't peter out halfway through the plot, I think you made some honest mistakes based on how you wrote it. I'm gonna break it down step by step to explain why most of the things you mentioned do not really work in the end of the day.

    1- This is the one I disagree with you most. Expecting someone to get a post out everyday...well frankly that's insane. If you expect to keep a good writing quality for one, a post a day is pretty out there. If you expect to keep your Roleplayers happy, you should probably not put such hard requirements on the people here. The people who join an RP are looking to have fun and possibly improve their writing skill. What your proposing is that they have a second job or second school that they have to allot time to everyday. That's not fun, nor not really possible, at least not to me or @Mr.Glaceon . I'm not opposed to a certain grace period where they have to post in three days or so, at least that gives some leeway if your only sick for a day or so. I mean, really. Thinking people are going to post everyday without fail...what is that? You cannot expect people to not get burnt out over that. If you can do that, all power to you, but I personally can't.

    2- I agree with this. Time Skips are essential, otherwise you get a boring drawn out plot. We don't need a post dedicated to what happens 24/7. Of course, not every roleplay needs these, but I'll get back to that in a second.

    3- I don't quite understand what you mean for this one. Most characters are designed with multiple quirks and a desire, be it to help people, escape from a certain place, or get rich- nor have I ever seen a character designed without such purpose who's personality wasn't "Hes nice to every1 and doesnt liek to see peple mistreat pokemon he also wants to be the champion!!!1!" I don't see why you needed to say this when it's a fairly easy thing to grasp in the first place.

    And now for your plot creation. It's less I have a problem with the way the Pokemon plots for Roleplays are set up in the first place. If you'll allow me to banter for a moment I'll tie it all together, okay? Okay.

    A lot of Roleplays on here try to do an entire region roleplay, with characters that may be new or different from roleplay to roleplay. Except, here's the question I'm asking you- when have you seen one of those finish? Where they got every badge, went to the league, and someone was crowned champion?

    I'm going to wager never. And if you have, it's

    The problem is that people will inevitably get burned out (Law of diminishing returns, I suppose) especially on this site, where teenagers and preteens make up the majority of the content creators. People don't really want to do the whole song and dance- it's only a short time into when they realize that. I mean, how many of these roleplays even make it to the first gym?...Not many, I'll wager again. And this is especially a problem with roleplays that use the actual Pokemon regions. How much thought do you need to put into a plot for that? Not much beyond "fite gym get bage". Fan made regions allieviate this somewhat with a new surprise waiting around the corner, but more often than not those are still uninspired retreads of what we've seen in the main series with some exceptions.

    But, you know what Roleplays I have seen finished? They begin and end? They are what I call "Single Day Plots". These have a story that, as the title indicates, sets up and ends within a day in game. You may ask "Where's the character growth?" Well, here's the thing with single day plots- they are also continous. Let's say a character gets a scarring injury in one of these. When they show up in another Single Day Plot, they retain the memory of the last plot and the scar from the injury. Continuous characters in a way.

    These offer unique situations- like being trapped in a cave system, or being hunted by a murderer, getting confronted by an evil team. But optimally these get resolved within a days time, and at most a week (In game, of course). They even give reasoning for the group sticking together- they are safer in numbers. Plus, if they know them from the last RP, they can be buddies by circumstance. Do you get what I mean? They offer new and different situations each time that allow the characters to grow and diversify in reaction to it. With established periods of time passed between each one it even allows them personal time to change according to the character's creator.

    And, about that plot you came up with...Yeah a lot of that doesn't make sense to me, especially military training through the simulated journey. All that information they learn from gyms and all is going to be useless against a eldritch abomination that shouldn't exist and won't hesistate. Wouldn't they also be better as hollow shells who can be easily replaced and the scientists who made them wouldn't get attached to them? I'm sorry for picking it apart, as you said it's just a concept, but it's weak and not something I would come back to. Anyways, that was pretty jerkish of me to attack that, so let's tie everything back together and move on, shall we?

    So what I say makes a perfect roleplay- An environment where your encourage to post often but not forced to do, a plot that is resolved timely and not an entire journey, and where small amounts of time skips are encourage to skip boring parts of the plot.

    Finally, I want to make this clear- I want to start a discussion. Not a flame war. I want to speak in a civil manner about creating an optimal roleplay. I think you are a good person and a good writer and maybe I shouldn't of talked about your plot, but regardless. I hope we can work together to figure something out that will make a roleplay that is successful and fun for every party involved.
    Le Marsouin and Merciless Medic like this.
  4. First things first: I wanna thank both of you guys for getting back to me. I very much enjoy civil dialogue toward improving a craft, and I like being called on it when I'm wrong amidst acquaintances. It's infinitely better here, among peers, than hostiles. Okay! Now, then: Glaceon. I see your biggest objection was to my belief in the necessity of daily updates when life so often interferes. I'll elaborate more on this when I get to BurbleBurble, but I haven't overlooked the fact that life happens. And yes, it is at least as time-consuming to read what was written in the last 24 hours as it is to make a 3-5 line post.

    BurbleBurble: Perhaps we will have to agree to disagree on the "post daily" recommendation. When I first joined in August 2017, Johnson_Ace (Emperor Palpatine) and I maintained a daily updating habit for almost three months. https://pokecharms.com/threads/pokemon-twisted-beige-kanto-journey-with-a-twist-rp.17674/page-6. Was it a commitment? Yes. I joined no other RPs. I set aside an hour a day for exercise, and another hour for post-writing (as suggested by Andrew Klavan, an author I admire). And you know what? It was far more enjoyable for me than any other RP I'd done in years. So much so, in fact, that I supplemented the RP with its own audio version. We clearly come from different backgrounds, when what you consider "a second job," I would consider "my hobby." This is anecdotal evidence, but it doesn't stop here. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have a full-time job as a high school English teacher (*-dodges tomato, bar stool, and two bullets-*) and relatively good rapport with my students, including familiarity with their after-school extracurricular activities. Trust me, I get that people are busy; but I firmly believe that we can make the time if we want to, because I've seen plenty of evidence. I creep peoples' "last seens" on here. I know who's sneaked a visit eight hours ago, two hours ago, thirty minutes ago. 10-30 minutes set aside per day is not an unreasonable expectation. Those who are capable of going 24 hours without checking their phones are free to make themselves the exceptions. Of course, if there are writers who simply don't want to commit to that, then fine, it's their free time to spend how they want. But they'll have to accept the high probability that their RPs will die prematurely each time.

    About the third thing that came to mind . . . I think the reason I considered it was because I'd seen so many roleplays in which people start pokemon journeys for no reason. Yes, it's obvious when you think about it, but . . . you gotta think about it. YOU certainly do. Not everyone does.

    Let's shift ahead to your rhetorical(?) question, of how many times I'd seen an RP in which the players got every badge. Once. It took a while. The battle I ended up having with the champion (another RPer) was enormously personal, because my character and hers had become lovers. That was a strange time in my life . . . but I digress from your point.

    I agree with your assessment about the Pokecharms age group. It was about the same for the RP website I frequented when I was a teenager, The Pokemon Crater (RIP). But of the hundred or so regulars, I still found four who shared my passion and sense of commitment. Those are the ones I'm looking for now. Perhaps I'm a generation removed, and now almost all plots must be single day in order to hold the attention spans of this group. I'm not implying that this is a bad thing; in fact, if that's the format that ends up working (RP threads that are really "chapters" in a sense), I'm ready to pitch in. It would give its members reason to take long-term breaks at the end of each session. I'd like to learn more about this, and see how it's been like in the past.

    Don't worry about tearing apart my well-composed plot, and ripping out my heart in the process, and taking a huge bite from it while I look on in agony. *Wink* I could have elaborated, but as my old college professor says: "If you have to explain anything afterward, you lose." Oh, well- screw it. My thinking was this: the Trainer Journey is not a sport or encyclopedia collection quest, like in canon. It is about militaristic conquest, leadership, and survival skillbuilding. Trainers are effectively handlers of bio-weapons capable of massive damage. Gym challenges are the litmus tests of team functionality before the simulated combat against the superior numbers. But that's less important than my reason for clones themselves. As I've said, conflict matters to me. Trainer clones will never be without that: self-conflict about their own existential lives, conflict against their original trainers, whom I forgot to mention will be competing against them, conflict with their overseers, who demand their full cooperation and submission on a tight leash, conflict with their pokemon, whose respect they must now earn rather than get from a pokeball, and on it goes. Much of this stems from what I've observed when I've lurked in other RPs: school life tropes, themes of self-doubt or overcompensating, loneliness, being under pressure . . . okay, I'd better put a pin in it.

    Thank you very much for getting back to me. I don't mean this as a "thank you, you're dismissed," I'm sincerely glad you put as much into responding as you did. I wouldn't have made this if I didn't suspect there were some people besides myself and Ry_burst who wanted to get to the end of a roleplay. There are some parts of my response that are a bit sloppy, in the sense that I probably overlooked a couple of things, but bring them to my attention, and I'll address them. Anyone else who wants to pitch in constructively, the floor's always open.
    BurbleBurble likes this.
  5. Hey man, the last English teachers I had were real great teachers. Kudos to you man, especially if you make it fun.

    Now on to the actual matter, I suppose I was a little too dramatic in my original response. I don't manage time well, y'see, so that prolly has a hand in the thing. I find it hard to fit in time to do the the things I want. I'm not sure why I was so vitrolic in the first place if I'm being honest :p Maybe I'm too used to talking to teenagers or young adults. Not too sure.

    In any case "Second Job" was a dramatization too. Yeah, maybe it can take an hour or two a day, but that's not really a problem with proper time management...Which I lack. In any case sorry for going off on that one thing a little too much. While I don't see myself making an RP with a "Post every day" mentality, I'll consider encouraging posts sooner rather than later and attempt to hold myself at some sort of time barrier. I've often held things back before- be it my roleplays or others -by taking too long to post. Like, way too long. Seriously I'm not gonna even say how long because it's embarrassing. Man, I've never backpedaled on an opinion so hard before...

    And yeah, I suppose I kinda hit my own argument on the head, huh? I guess I never really thought people would need it spelled out for them. It seemed like a pretty basic thing to me, but as you said, it might not be so basic to everyone...

    For the continued "Single day plots", I'm gonna be honest and say I've seen one example on here. They aren't all that common as opposed to the journey, school, or other such roleplays. However these characters continue on until very recently- which is only because of people moving on and working through real life right now. Anyways, here's the links. Starting with Stalagmite and Stalactites, Le Saut Trompe, The Secret of Meteor Falls, and then Grave of the Forgotten in chronological order. Those roleplays interconnect characters and detail an arc in three of them. Let me be brief so you don't have to read through these. The first establishes most of the characters, one in particular being a ace trainer of sorts. In the second, she gets captured by Team Rocket. She doesn't show up in the third, as she's still captured, before showing up yet again in the fourth shell shocked and ruined by Team Rocket. That established a character and shows how she was effected by the events of the preceding roleplays. All of those take place within a day or two. And all of those sans the last made it to the end...ironically I was present for that one. Is there a connection?...Probably not. It's easy to view them as chapters of a whole, because that's essentially what it is. Eventually we have a grand finale and close things off, before we start off on a new journey with new characters.

    As for your plot, I'm still a bit iffy about it but it's mostly for the whole clone thing :p I'm just a bit averse to things that I'm not too acquainted with, and maybe it stepped a little away from what I feel made Pokemon, well, Pokemon. That being said it still seems interesting and if it does become a whole full fledged thing in the future I might look into it.

    Anyways I thought your response was pretty air tight. I hope I covered all the points you brought up, and if not feel free to point them out.

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