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WORLDBUILDING: Gym Development Plans - Structure, Nature, Challenge

GiratinasEmbodiment

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Down the Pokémon Den I go. Into the terrifying world of actual forum participation, in the hopes that Bulbagarden's forums are not full of insulting people who will drag you into a spiral of insults. An endeavour where people actually reacting to what you write with words and/or emojis is the norm rather than the pleasant surprise.
(Is it obvious my works on FFN don't get a lot of reviews?)

So, at risk of possibly starting a new thread on an old topic, this is a brewing ground for Pokémon Gym development. And I do mean development as a whole. Not just Pokémon teams for the Leader and Gym Trainers, but what going through the Gym entails, where it might fall in a Trainer's journey, what sort of character the Gym Leader is intended to be, what classes of Trainers serve there and what attitudes they carry. Maybe Gym Leader dialogue for when a challenger engages them.
That said, we're going to be flexible here. If you have an Alolan-style Island Trial or a Galarian-style Stadium in mind, that counts too. In the case of Trial Captains, N/A the matter of Gym Trainers; in the case of Stadium challenges, substitute "what classes" for "what purpose do they serve in the challenge".

If you have an idea for a Pokémon Gym, share it in a post here. If you have an idea on how to improve someone's idea for a Pokémon Gym (without violating their intentions), share it in response to their post here. If you like someone's suggestion on how to improve your Gym, edit your post appropriately. This isn't just a pot to drop things in; this is a place for prospective Gyms to be proposed by people who come up with the concepts, and improved upon by people who share interest in working on them. If someone offers a suggestion, give it genuine consideration rather than dismissing it out of hand. That said, characterization is best left to the characters' originator, so try to limit suggestions in character change to team building.

In the interest of keeping things relatable to people who are satisfied with the series as it stands, I'm going to kindly ask that all propositions and suggestions remain within the realm of the official games, preferably those already released. Good fanfiction isn't written out of dissatisfaction with and disrespect for the official work, but out of admiration for the setting and/or its characters, and a desire to tell a story therewith. I'm not saying you should fit yourself into the existing regions - quite the opposite, try to avoid copy-pasting an existing Gym if you can help it - but don't go basing the premise of your Gym off of the Gym Leader having a fan-made Pokémon or a Mega Evolution that doesn't exist.

And... I don't have any plans to use any of the Gyms I'm proposing, so I'm willing to let them be used by others if they have fanfic plots but need Gyms. If you are of a similar mind, denote it as such.

With all the terms laid out, allow me to kick things off with a few Gyms I dusted off from old notes for a fanfic I never ended up writing. I will be referring to the Gym Guide as "Clyde" out of convenience when mentioning him is relevant, just because Unova is my third-favourite region.



Gym Proposal #1: "Secrets of Evolution" (unused - free to use)
Journey placement: first Gym, with advantageous Pokémon available en route to the city if you know what's coming (i.e. Pewter Gym in Yellow/FRLG, with Nidoran available in Routes 2 & 3 to learn Double Kick).
Employed Gym Trainers: Rich Boys & Ladies, maybe with mentions of choosing to serve in the Gym in the interest of getting practical battling experience (or having been sent there for such a purpose by wealthy parents who don't want silver-spoon brats).
Gym Leader: Akari (♀) - A leather-clad redhead with a perpetual smile on her face and an ensemble that looks like she's hiding something - "She'll Always Be a Dirty Little Secret!" (Bentley Jones is so enthusiastic about people using his music, I can never pass up the opportunity to make a reference to him)
Gym procession
-Clyde is not at the entrance to the Gym; he is in the Game Corner three doors in the opposite direction from the Pokémon Center. (Yes, there is no more gambling since Gen V, but that doesn't mean you can't have an arcade with Pokkén Tournament and Pokémon UNITE machines for NPCs to enjoy.) Akari greets Trainers at the entrance herself, and does the whole "explain the nature of Pokémon Gyms" exposition in his stead, because frick the sick mind who thinks there's something wrong with a tutorial.
-First Gyms have to have a pretty basic progression by necessity, so it's a straightforward path to the Gym Leader, but it makes its impression with varied scenery. A pond near the entrance, an open plain in the middle, fake forest foliage further on, and Akari's sitting in a barren cave-like setup. The Gym doesn't SEEM to have a type association; the Gym Trainers have a fair variety. Horsea, Trapinch, Swablu, Skrelp. If regional variants are available, Exeggcute. If Mega Evolution is a thing, Flaaffy (and maybe Charmander and Treecko).
-On the off chance you haven't figured out the connection when you get to Akari, she spells it out for you. If you've just been grinding your starter Pokémon, this is when you feel like you're going to have a bad time.
Confrontation with Gym Leader Akari
"Hope you enjoyed your walk through my Gym! I don't think I introduced myself - my name's Akari."
"Quite the selection of Pokémon here, isn't there? I'll admit they're not exactly strong, but that's because they're still growing. That's the great thing about evolution - your Pokémon becomes stronger, more capable. Some Pokémon even change type when they evolve, can you believe it?"
"So many Trainers assume that collecting Gym Badges is... easy. That the first real difficulty comes when you get through Victory Road, walk up to the Pokémon League, and ask to challenge the Elite Four."
"But it's more than that. Collecting the Gym Badges requires dedication. Determination. If you go into this thinking it's some sort of recreational measure, your opponents are going to wipe the floor with you."
"That's why I'm here. I'm the first hurdle that Trainers have to clear to get a Gym Badge. My job is to make sure that they're ready for what they're going to do. That they're capable of overcoming any obstacle that stands in their way."
"The only downside is the type advantage. While other 'first' Gyms have Rock-types, or Bug-types..."
"...we have Dragons."
Team (Gym battle): Noibat | Axew
Team (post-game rematch): Noivern, Kingdra, Flygon, Altaria, Kommo-o, Dragapult

Gym Proposal #2: "Ransei Reference, Feebas" (unused - free to use)
Journey placement: final Gym before the Pokémon League, so you'll have your team mostly finalized by the time you get here.
Employed Gym Trainers: Ace Trainers talking about the importance of strategy, and Veterans who challenge you to Triple/Rotation Battles.
Gym Leader: Essa (♀) - A woman wearing in a cloak over a suit of armour, with a circlet that rests over her brow like Fierce Deity warpaint - "The Warrior Who Bonds with Pokémon!"
Gym procession
-There are eight Gym Trainers on eight coloured platforms. Each Ace Trainer has two Normal-type Pokémon; the Veterans have three. At least one Pokémon on each team is part Flying- or Psychic-type. The Gym entrance connects with two platforms on one end, and the Leader's area connects with two platforms carrying Veterans on the other end. Each platform is red upon first entering, but turn blue as the player passes over them.
-Upon stepping onto a platform, you must fight that Gym Trainer. If you win that battle and can continue through the Gym, you cycle through the Ace Trainers, who may randomly move around the platforms. If one of the Ace Trainers walks onto your platform, you must fight them now. If two Ace Trainers end up on the same platform, they might join forces to become an Ace Duo for a Multi Battle, or one might be sent back whence they came. The Veterans don't move, and the Aces won't join up with them.
-If you step onto an empty red platform, it turns blue without a fight. Likewise for the Aces turning your blue platforms red. Once you reach the Gym leader's area, the entire setup turns blue so that you can come and go as you please - and the Gym Trainers won't fight you anymore. Like DP Hearthome, if you're gonna fight, fight on the way there, or you're not gonna get the chance.
Confrontation with Gym Leader Essa
"Greetings, challenger. My name is Essa."
"I see you have seven Gym Badges. That's a rare feat - one that required dedication, and determination. I'm glad to see that you have persevered in your journey. You've overcome any obstacle that stood in your way to this point. And now, I am the final hurdle you must clear before you can reach the Pokémon League."
"As rare as it is for people to reach me, it is all too common that when they do, they make assumptions. We train Normal-type Pokémon here. And the Trainers that fight in this Gym do as best they can with their dear companions."
"But there are those who think that the Normal type... is simple. That because it cannot have the type advantage, it is easy to overcome, and it cannot be victorious."
"Perhaps we cannot have the advantage."
"But you must never assume, challenger, that because you have the advantage, you are insurmountable."
Team (Gym battle): Wigglytuff | Sawsbuck | Pyroar | Bibarel
Team (post-game rematch): Wigglytuff | Sawsbuck | Pyroar | Heliolisk | Bibarel | Staraptor
 
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LightningTopaz

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@GiratinasEmbodiment

Hi, and welcome to the Workshop!

I've moved this into the Written Word for you, and put a Worldbuilding tag on it just this time, since this appears to be worldbuilding.

For future reference, the main writing board is for stories, poetry, and active RPs--worldbuilding for your stories (or potential stories) goes in the Written Word.

If you have any questions, ask me or one of the other writing mods.
 
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GiratinasEmbodiment

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I've moved this into the Written Word for you, and put a Worldbuilding tag on it just this time, since this appears to be worldbuilding.

For future reference, the main writing board is for stories, poetry, and active RPs--worldbuilding for your stories (or potential stories) goes in the Written Word.
Thanks for correcting my error, and sorry for letting the error happen in the first place. Did a bit of looking around to try and get this thread into the right place, but I guess I was a little off the ball. That said, this is less worldbuilding for any intended story and more just inviting others to join up and come up with gameplay concepts.
 

LightningTopaz

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@GiratinasEmbodiment

Even though you are inviting others to help, it is still considered worldbuilding in a way.

If you have any more questions, suggestions, or concerns, just ask me or the other mods.
 

GiratinasEmbodiment

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Had myself a fresh idea, unrelated to all of my old notes, and decided to bump the thread here. The lack of responses so far implies that (a) there's not a lot of full-on Gym creators here [which, you know, takes a lot of patience, I'm not gonna blame you for that], (b) there's a distressingly low number of people who are willing to write with the existing Pokédex [which is an attitude I have no sympathy for], or (c) having my name on the thread is some kind of caution tape that people don't want to cross [which... is fair, I guess, I was a right fricker my first few years on Bulbapedia].



Gym Proposal #3: "The Rescue" (unused - free to use)
Journey placement: last Gym before things go to Distortion with whichever villainous team is cooking things up. Which is the seventh Badge in most regions, but the plot timing is more important than the Badge count. You'll see why.
Employed Gym Trainers: one Lady/Rich Boy, one Ace Trainer, one Veteran, one Pokémon Breeder, one Pokémon Ranger... and maybe a Dragon Tamer who's training what I like to call a "pseudo-dragon" of the Gym's type (i.e. Gyarados, Aerodactyl, Charizard, etc.) if it's not a Dragon-type Gym and there's no non-legendary dual-type Dragon/_____ Pokémon.
Gym Leader: Rune (♂) - A quiet fellow in an all-consuming robe with a hood (which he usually wears up, but lowers for conversation), who you met sometime after you got your first Badge - "The Distressing Man of Mystery!"
Gym procession
-The type specialization of the Gym... is whatever type the mascot legendary Pokémon of the game is. If the paired versions have mascots with a shared type, Rune and his Gym Trainers specialize in that shared type; otherwise, the Gym's type changes per version like Stow-on-Side and Circhester.
-The Gym is a straightforward gauntlet of Trainers; you've gotta fight your way through all five/six opponents in order to clear this challenge. Let's have a giant hill with the entrance at the bottom, and the path winds back and forth so you can have one-way slopes to make your return trip easier. Rune has a fancy throne at the top of the hill, looking down on everyone.
-When you reach the top of the hill, and interact with the hooded figure sitting on the throne... it's not Rune. It's one of the villainous team's Admins. Maybe even a female Admin for bonus "what the frick, you're not Rune" points. Pan down the hill, where all five/six of your previous opponents change into Grunts. They kidnapped Rune so they could enlist his help with the legendary Pokémon; he specializes in that type, all the legendary Pokémon in Ransei listened to type specialists, so that's probably their best bet. They replaced him and his Gym Trainers because you've been fricking with the villainous team in between collecting Badges, so maybe an ambush will put you out of their misery.
-Once you fight off the Admin, you make your way out of the Gym (Clyde was NOT in on this, he's just as surprised as you are, and begs you to make sure Rune is safe), and Distortion starts breaking loose. You find Rune's Gym Trainers locked up in the villainous team's HQ, with Rune's Pokémon in the room with them. Rune himself is shackled to a mock throne for the legendary Pokémon plot.
-After the legendary Pokémon is defeated/caught (whatever the plot requires), you get a free heal from one of your friends while you're in the room with Rune, and you have to talk to him before you're allowed to get out. As you open up his shackles, all of his Gym Trainers show up to check on their Gym Leader, and he assures everyone that he's fine - a little weary, but fine. Someone hands him his Pokémon, and he turns to you... and asks if you had made it through his Gym while the Admin was occupying it. When you respond in the affirmative, Rune points out that you probably didn't get a Badge for your troubles, and you should really earn that through an actual fight with the Gym Leader, so might as well have the fight here.
 
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