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A story based on PMD without the "P"

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
Without using actual Pokemon, of course. I don't want Nintendo suing me for what little I have.

So, I am thinking of a story where the premise of every single Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game.

Main character becomes a creature with superpowers for whatever reason.

Albiet, this is a much crueler world.

A world that he is unfamiliar with, where he's lost and the world is larger and seemingly against him.

Generally, I am thinking of how I can adapt the story to my needs. I'm not going to rip off the entirety of Pokemon or similar series.

So, what sort of pitfalls should I address?
 

Tallow_Phoenix

Totally not a vampire
So basically you want to write an isekai-type plot, right? I looked it up on Google and found this article about writing in the genre. While it's very much anime-centric and some of the points kind of annoy me, there's some helpful information in there. In particular there's this:

"What task is it? How is MC approaching to complete this task? Is the MC slicing the enemies with generic weapon like sword or overpowered magic or is he using tricks and schemes? ... It surprises me that the writers who were able to come up with randomest of all random ability and equipment could not think of main quest other than generic “defeat the Demon Lord” or “conquer the world” type quests."

It's pretty basic, but it's important! So think about who your character is and what they'd be motivated to do, even if at first it's just "survive". Because that's also a powerful motivator.
 

Tallow_Phoenix

Totally not a vampire
Also, if you want to bounce ideas off me here, feel free ^^
 

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
Generally, it does start out in the middle of nowhere. Though I am arguing if I should do PMD to the letter like:

  • Should someone find the unconscious main character and basically become the character who concerns himself in educating the main character to the world around him and thus the audience?

  • Have him wake up alone, having to survive the unknown world on his own, not knowing if he can find a semblance of civilization or at least another person.
Just one thing, I refuse to write a harem. While it won't on its own improve the story, it's really not my thing.
 

Tallow_Phoenix

Totally not a vampire
I certainly wasn't suggesting a harem! Don't mind this author with his terrible taste. :p

I think my first question is where does he end up; that is, what kind of middle of nowhere? Is it a savanna, desert, a tundra, a swamp? Can he see anything on the horizon when he wakes up? That'll go a long way in determining where he goes and what he looks for first, if he does end up being alone initially. Are there going to be cities or towns in this world? That'll probably be where a sympathetic character would take him, unless they live in animal-like burrows or nests.

You could do a combination of both, where they end up having to survive alone initially and are later found, cold and hungry, by a sympathetic character.
 

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
I think my first question is where does he end up; that is, what kind of middle of nowhere? Is it a savanna, desert, a tundra, a swamp? Can he see anything on the horizon when he wakes up?
He ends up on an island, a sparsely populated island with a very cold climate. He would be surrounded by trees, next to a convenient pond.

Are there going to be cities or towns in this world?
I'm thinking that the majority of civilization is decentralized, with few kingdoms united. Essentially, think Ancient Greece and its city-states.
 

Tallow_Phoenix

Totally not a vampire
I'm thinking that the majority of civilization is decentralized, with few kingdoms united. Essentially, think Ancient Greece and its city-states.

That sounds really interesting! You could have a lot of different small civilizations, each with their own idiosyncrasies. Maybe the kingdoms/city-states would have something to gain from taking in/taking advantage of this mysterious stranger that appeared in their midst (the main character). Do you have any ideas for the cultures of the area? If you do have a sympathetic character come to help them out, you could help flesh out their backstory by putting them in the context of whatever culture they come from.
 

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
Maybe the kingdoms/city-states would have something to gain from taking in/taking advantage of this mysterious stranger that appeared in their midst (the main character).
I've thought of that. I'm thinking of doing a play by play of a beginning of a typical PMD. Go somewhere to retrieve someone or something.

Then it ends in an unexpected turn.

Which makes me think:

How would I have areas like Mystery Dungeons? Would it be strange to adapt a gameplay mechanic to a story where certain locations are different every time you visit?

How would I handle guilds? Each game does it differently, having played up to the third installment. Maybe each town does it differently?

Do you have any ideas for the cultures of the area? If you do have a sympathetic character come to help them out, you could help flesh out their backstory by putting them in the context of whatever culture they come from.

As for that, to go hand in hand, maybe the area has a cultural idea that if someone asks for shelter, you have to.

Like in certain European cultures?

That way, it explains a bit of the world and that it introduces a new character dynamic to both?
 

Tallow_Phoenix

Totally not a vampire
(sorry, got waylaid by Predators and Prey :D)

How would I have areas like Mystery Dungeons? Would it be strange to adapt a gameplay mechanic to a story where certain locations are different every time you visit?

If you're set on making it that similar, you can make it magic-based. Or the areas can be set in some kind of unstable geological area, like a network of vines or a cave that gets broken up by water. Maybe there's earthquakes and/or volcanic activity that keeps messing with the landscape.

How would I handle guilds? Each game does it differently, having played up to the third installment. Maybe each town does it differently?

I've actually only played PMD Blue, so I can't tell you for sure. It would make sense if each culture has a different way of doing things, but how would that affect the MC? Maybe the MC will have to interact with guilds from other places than the one he started out in, creating cultural conflicts with their differing ways of doing things. Or maybe it doesn't have to be guild-based, but can be a volunteer-based rescue thing instead so the MC has a chance to join in all the different areas. It's up to you!
 

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
If you're set on making it that similar, you can make it magic-based. Or the areas can be set in some kind of unstable geological area, like a network of vines or a cave that gets broken up by water. Maybe there's earthquakes and/or volcanic activity that keeps messing with the landscape.
I might go with a supernatural explanation. Or try to combine explicitly supernatural causes with naturalistic causes.

I.E. Such an area that has a volcano that aids in the ever-changing landscape.

Or maybe I shouldn't rip off everything.

It would make sense if each culture has a different way of doing things, but how would that affect the MC? Maybe the MC will have to interact with guilds from other places than the one he started out in, creating cultural conflicts with their differing ways of doing things. Or maybe it doesn't have to be guild-based, but can be a volunteer-based rescue thing instead so the MC has a chance to join in all the different areas.

I had this idea for a sub-plot. Due to the decentralized natures of these guilds and not having one single unifying organization, which these places have a lack of oversight.

A system ripe for corruption.

Which means that maybe these guilds aren't ran with the best intentions in mind.
 

Tallow_Phoenix

Totally not a vampire
I had this idea for a sub-plot. Due to the decentralized natures of these guilds and not having one single unifying organization, which these places have a lack of oversight.

A system ripe for corruption.

Which means that maybe these guilds aren't ran with the best intentions in mind.

Sounds good! I kinda like when political intrigue that goes over the protagonist's head nevertheless affects the plot. And don't worry too much about ripping things off - as long as you handle it in an original manner, you're good.
 

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
Which considering there are locations with obviously supernatural properties and a corrupt guild, it's a rock and a hard place.

It's ripe for a bit of horror too.
 

Zerzehn

Dojyaaaaaaaaan~
Double post but:

What if bit by bit:

The main character's mind becomes closer to what he's become?
 
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