• Do you use Discord? Do you like catching Pokémon? Have you heard of Elaria? If you answered yes to the first two, you should give it a go! Professor Tilia is always looking for new people to help fill her Living Dex!

    It just so happens she is hosting an event right now, where you could even get your own Pokémon form added into the game! Details can be found over in the Elaria discord server, right here
  • All content from the former Roleplaying Games forum has been merged into the Writers' Workshop forum. You can find more information in this thread.

    We hope to see you roleplaying away soon!
  • What happened to the Pokemon GO section?

    Hey all! We wanted to let everyone know that the Pokemon GO section has officially been merged into the Pokemon Video Games section. You can find more information in this thread.

  • Hey everyone! The Writer's Workshop is hosting an exciting event, Trainers of Fanfiction! It's a community event focused around your characters!

Notice Major Forum Restructuring (PLEASE READ)

Amphibious Friend
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Hello all,

One week from today (April 11th) we are going to be implementing some changes to the layout of our site. Several forums will be either removed or made subforums, and a few new forums and subforums will be formed. We will not be removing any threads, just redistributing content to provide a better experience that is updated for today's site demographics.

Here are the changes being made, organized by forum category. A couple of changes are referenced multiple times in the case of a forum being moved under a different category.

Pokémon Forums
  • Shippers' Paradise will become a subforum of General Pokémon Discussion.
  • Pokémon TCG and Collectibles will be merged with General Pokémon Discussion.
The Creative Corner
  • Roleplaying Games will be merged with Writers' Workshop. [POSTPONED]
    • A new subforum called Roleplay Sign-Ups will be created in Writers' Workshop for users to sign up to work on stories together or roleplay.
    • The Stories Archive will be renamed Roleplaying Archive and will be a subforum of Roleplay Sign-Ups. All currently inactive threads and completed threads from Roleplaying Games will be moved to this subforum.
    • All active traditional roleplaying threads will stay in the main forum of Writers' Workshop. When they are completed, they will move to The Workshop Archive.
    • New tags will be created to differentiate between fics and roleplays.
Bulbagarden Game Corner
  • Roleplaying Games will be merged with Writers' Workshop. [POSTPONED]
  • The War Room will be promoted to a main forum alongside Fun & Games.

If you don't see a section you frequent on here, then it will not be affected by these changes. There's a chance the forums will be down for a brief period of time while we are making these changes. There may also be more minor changes to structure or structure for each of these sections affected, so keep an eye out for those if you frequent any of these forums. Please let us know below if you have any questions or concerns about the restructuring.
 
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I don't think putting roleplays in the Writer's Workshop is a good idea. They're so active that they'd drown out the fanfics.
Make the roleplays into a subforums in the Writer's Workshop. That would help.
Yeah, that particular notion strikes me as a bad one as well.
Roleplaying Games will be merged with Writers' Workshop.
  • A new subforum called Collaborative Stories Signups will be created in Writers' Workshop for users to sign up to work on stories together or roleplay.


  • They're already getting their own subform in the Workshop, so your concerns are already solved. Besides the roleplay forums have been dead for a long while, so I'm not surprised their getting merged with something else, though I more expected them to get outright removed instead of merged due to hpw dead it's been. But hey, this could revive it, or it kill it off permanently, time will tell.
 
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The subforum will be for sign-ups only for now, and the actual roleplays will go in the main WW forum. The reason we're combing them is because we're looking at roleplays a little differently than we have in the past. They are essentially stories told by multiple people collaborating together. Hence the name Collaborative Stories. The content is similar enough that it seemed strange to keep them apart, especially since the RPG section is very inactive recently. There are currently two even remotely active threads, and only one of those gets updated more than once every week or two, so I'm not currently concerned with them drowning out the solo fics posted there.

If the change actually results in an upswing in role-playing and collaboration, which I would personally love to see, then we may reconsider our organization method. But for now the need to have a full section dedicated to role-playing doesn't seem to be present.
 
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So this is the "announcemnt thread" the top of the page talks about, huh?
 
Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
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The subforum will be for sign-ups only for now, and the actual roleplays will go in the main WW forum. The reason we're combing them is because we're looking at roleplays a little differently than we have in the past. They are essentially stories told by multiple people collaborating together. Hence the name Collaborative Stories. The content is similar enough that it seemed strange to keep them apart, especially since the RPG section is very inactive recently. There are currently two even remotely active threads, and only one of those gets updated more than once every week or two, so I'm not currently concerned with them drowning out the solo fics posted there.
Respectfully, roleplays and fics are not the same thing. I can only see people who like to read/participate in roleplays and people who like to read/write fics getting annoyed by one or the other "cluttering up," in their view, the section. I can accept the logic of some kind of merger on the grounds that both activities involve writing, but it seems to me that the better move would to put roleplays in a subforum rather than mixing the broths, so to speak. If the concern is roleplays losing main-forum status, well, that's happening anyway, so why not opt for the route which ensures maximum ease of navigation for those interested in roleplays?
 
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Indeed. Especially since the Roleplay section is not very active. There's only two that are active right now, which means that they might get buried.
 
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I understand that historically the two sections have been used by different subcommunities of the site. But in terms of actual content, they are both forms of writing, both storytelling and building characters. One is just a solo work and the other is more interactive.

Looking at the numbers, I'm also not currently concerned about one type of thread burying the other. I can explain the logic behind this more in depth if anybody wants me to, but as of now I believe it'll work out logistically.

As a bit of a peek behind the scenes, we've been talking about making some of these changes for months, and they have been pretty thoroughly discussed amongst active staff who frequent the sections affected by this. One of our goals with the RPG/WW changes specifically is to reframe the way roleplays are viewed and structured here, because our current system isn't sustainable. Essentially we want to present roleplays (or collaborative stories, whichever term you prefer) as an alternative form of story telling. It will take some time to adjust to the change, and I fully admit there's a chance it won't work out in the end. But a drastic change was necessary to try to preserve the culture of roleplaying on these forums. I would like to encourage everyone who has any stake in either section to try out the new system when it goes live. Basically we won't know if it works or not unless users like you give it a shot, and if we find it doesn't work then we will reconsider our options.
 
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Speaking for the Workshop, I'm prepared to keep an open mind about this. Given the current activity of both the Workshop and RPGs I doubt either will interfere with the other. If this does happen, or if writers/roleplayers really don't like the changes in practice, I'm not going to nail my colours to the mast and insist they stay
 
Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
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I understand that historically the two sections have been used by different subcommunities of the site. But in terms of actual content, they are both forms of writing, both storytelling and building characters. One is just a solo work and the other is more interactive.
This frankly strikes me as a bizarrely clinical and out-of-touch view on the matter. Of course both RPs and fics are writing, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to lump them together. If I want to read some RPs, I don't want to have to sift through heaps of stories I'm uninterested in to find them, I would much rather navigate to a section which is dedicated to housing RPs, because then I can find what I'm looking for straight away. Your priority on this matter appears to be efficiency and consolidation, which I feel is not the right tack.

As a bit of a peek behind the scenes, we've been talking about making some of these changes for months, and they have been pretty thoroughly discussed amongst active staff who frequent the sections affected by this. One of our goals with the RPG/WW changes specifically is to reframe the way roleplays are viewed and structured here, because our current system isn't sustainable. Essentially we want to present roleplays (or collaborative stories, whichever term you prefer) as an alternative form of story telling. It will take some time to adjust to the change, and I fully admit there's a chance it won't work out in the end. But a drastic change was necessary to try to preserve the culture of roleplaying on these forums. I would like to encourage everyone who has any stake in either section to try out the new system when it goes live. Basically we won't know if it works or not unless users like you give it a shot, and if we find it doesn't work then we will reconsider our options.
I understand wanting to sustain the culture of RPs on this site, but I think the way you're going about it will not have the desired effect, and may in fact hasten the demise of RP as it has existed on Bulbagarden, by making finding and participating in RP much less convenient. Obviously I don't know that for a fact any more than you do, but I cannot see how this approach would breathe life into RP, and I don't think you have done a good job of getting across how you think it will do so - "presenting RP as an alternative form of storytelling" strikes me as not a particularly productive goal, as everyone already knows that RP is a form of storytelling. How will this change encourage people to participate in RP? How will it make doing so more appealing? Pardon me if I seem belligerent or antagonistic as that's not my intention, but it does not seem to me that the benefits of this change are being detailed effectively.
 
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This frankly strikes me as a bizarrely clinical and out-of-touch view on the matter. Of course both RPs and fics are writing, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to lump them together. If I want to read some RPs, I don't want to have to sift through heaps of stories I'm uninterested in to find them, I would much rather navigate to a section which is dedicated to housing RPs, because then I can find what I'm looking for straight away. Your priority on this matter appears to be efficiency and consolidation, which I feel is not the right tack.
Which is precisely why we have thread tags? The fanfics in on this site already have the EVERYONE, TEEN and MATURE tags so that people can have a vague idea of what they are about, and RPs will get their own RP - EVERYONE, RP - TEEN and RP - MATURE tags. In this way, you can filter through the various stories by just clicking on the respective tags.

Want to read a TEEN story? Click on a TEEN tag. Looking for an EVERYONE RP? Then click for the RP - EVERYONE tag.
 
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This frankly strikes me as a bizarrely clinical and out-of-touch view on the matter. Of course both RPs and fics are writing, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to lump them together. If I want to read some RPs, I don't want to have to sift through heaps of stories I'm uninterested in to find them, I would much rather navigate to a section which is dedicated to housing RPs, because then I can find what I'm looking for straight away. Your priority on this matter appears to be efficiency and consolidation, which I feel is not the right tack.


I understand wanting to sustain the culture of RPs on this site, but I think the way you're going about it will not have the desired effect, and may in fact hasten the demise of RP as it has existed on Bulbagarden, by making finding and participating in RP much less convenient. Obviously I don't know that for a fact any more than you do, but I cannot see how this approach would breathe life into RP, and I don't think you have done a good job of getting across how you think it will do so - "presenting RP as an alternative form of storytelling" strikes me as not a particularly productive goal, as everyone already knows that RP is a form of storytelling. How will this change encourage people to participate in RP? How will it make doing so more appealing? Pardon me if I seem belligerent or antagonistic as that's not my intention, but it does not seem to me that the benefits of this change are being detailed effectively.
The bolded part is a fair criticism. I may not have done a great job explaining our reasoning thoroughly, so I'll do my best to do that now, as well as respond to the other points you raise here. I'll organize my response in the form of answers to questions that have popped up or I can foresee being asked.

Why are these sections being merged in the first place?
Roleplaying games as we know them on Bulbagarden are sadly going extinct. I think this is a case of roleplayers migrating to other platforms, which tells me that something about the way we're presenting RPs here isn't working for today's users. When we have a section that's dying, we typically merge it with another section, that's pretty standard practice as we are doing with TCG and Shippers' Paradise. The same thing once happened with The War Room, though that is being reversed because the staff believe now it can stand on its own. Since we established it should be merged, the staff actually debated for a while about what section it would be most appropriate to put it under. Since TWR was going to become its own section, some felt it should fall under that since it's already under The Game Corner category. However, we decided that the content we've mainly hosted in RPG should go to WW for two reasons.
  1. Traditional roleplaying games like the ones we typically host do not have mechanics and are much more akin to stories than games like mafia.
  2. If we wanted to revitalize roleplaying, a new home and a new perspective might be what it needs.
So what we ended up deciding was actually a compromise between the two ideas. Roleplays that include mechanics (think D&D style) would fall under the newly promoted War Room, and roleplays that read more like fics that are essentially just characters interacting without any game mechanics at play would fall under WW.

Why are we organizing the merge the way we are?
I know adding the threads directly into the main section sounds a bit counterintuitive at first glance. We tossed a few ideas around, and agreed on trying this system in the end. Including sign-ups as a subforum a pretty clear choice since that would keep each RP from taking up two spots in the main forum. That would also give us a place to tuck the RP stories archive.

So why didn't we put the start-ups in that subforum as well? This goes back to the idea that the section is practically dead and it's dragging the culture of roleplaying on Bulbagarden Forums with it. If we just made the current Roleplaying Games forum a subforum without any changes, it wouldn't encourage growth and would make it more inaccessible, probably having the reverse effect we want. It just seemed like that would be dooming the section to failure. By putting the start-up threads in the main WW forum, our hope is that the WW community adopts this new style of thread and explores new possibilities with it. Behind the scenes I've been using the word "organic" a lot to describe this type of merge, I want to avoid that conflict of cultures and make it as seamless a transition as possible.

If there was a stronger active base in RP now then it probably would have been the thing to do to just make it a subforum. But sadly there's currently not.

Will combining the two clutter up the section?
Short answer, no, I don't think so. At least not right now.

But here's a longer answer. Both fics and roleplays tend to be fairly slow-paced threads, sometimes days passing before an update. Therefore I don't think we have to worry about threads getting buried, not quickly anyway. This is especially true if we end up just maintaining the number of roleplay threads we have now. Sure some threads will end up sitting at the top of the threadlist more often than others, but that's not different than any other section.

If activity does pick up and threads end up getting bumped from the front page at a faster rate than we currently expect, there is always the filter feature you can use to sort threads. We will be including at least one new thread tag to indicate roleplaying threads so if that's what you're looking for you can look at just those in a couple of clicks. And if it does become too cluttered, we can find other solutions. But as of right now, I don't see it being an issue.

How will this change encourage people to participate in RP?
I've touched on this briefly in my other answers, but I wanted to dedicate a short section to it since this was a specific question you asked and I wanted to make sure to address it fully. WW already has an active userbase and a solid team of active staff members. It's not the busiest section on the site, but it's a heck of a lot busier than RP is. If we do successfully pull of an organic merge, then ideally it might inspire WW users to give this format a shot as well and keep the flame burning.

The new structure, community, and overseeing staff also opens the doors to new possibilities that I can't possibly foresee. There's some very creative people managing and contributing to the section, I think the spirit of RP is in good hands there. If it was just a subforum, that community may not feel ownership over it and would be less likely to experiment with it. And it's possible that people looking to roleplay may be inspired to get into writing solo fics as well.

Another thing I'd like to look into is finding new ways to promote fics and other user's works, and this can include RPs. Perhaps even collaborating with our new event staff to host roleplays geared at bringing in new writers to the community.


So i know that was a very long-winded response, but I wanted to make sure I addressed all of the concerns I could. Hopefully I was thorough enough. But if I missed anything or there are additional questions that pop up please do continue posting them in this thread.
 
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Very small update, but the Collaborative Stories Sign-Ups section we had listed is getting a name change to Roleplay Sign-Ups to stay more consistent with what people are used to (and to sound less stuffy).
 
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Shippers' Paradise will become a subforum of General Pokémon Discussion.
This is a good idea.
But why not let TCG&collectibles too be a sub forum of General Pokémon discussions?
If someone intrested in collecting Pokémon wants to look something they could easily look into the sub forums instead of searching the General Pokémon discussions.

The War Room will be promoted to a main forum alongside Fun & Games.
This is a great idea. Thanks ^^
Roleplaying Games will be merged with Writers' Workshop.
This is a good idea. But why not "literature section" or "Pokétopia" or something like that which could indicate knew users that both RPs and fics are in there.
 
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This is a good idea.
But why not let TCG&collectibles too be a sub forum of General Pokémon discussions?
If someone intrested in collecting Pokémon wants to look something they could easily look into the sub forums instead of searching the General Pokémon discussions.
For similar reasons as I described for the WW and RPG merge above. TCG and Collectibles is possibly the least active section we have. If people don't use it while it's a main forum, they certainly aren't going to use it as a subforum.

Plus, it fits into the content of General perfectly fine. General has always been used to talk about Pokémon in the real world, from merchandise to theme parks. This would just be a small extension to that.

This is a good idea. But why not "literature section" or "Pokétopia" or something like that which could indicate knew users that both RPs and fics are in there.
Roleplayers are writers too. And don't forget we will have updated forum descriptions for added clarity.
 
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