06 Jan

Gym Design: Unconventional Challenges

muscle over mind

artwork by 弐河99℃

Last time I talked about Gym Design, I constrained myself to more traditional League format challenges. Nonetheless, the advice I gave there is just as applicable to unconventional Gym Challenges, which is what I’ll be focusing on for this post. For the purposes of this post, I consider a conventional Gym Challenge to be one where the Trainers on each side battle Pokémon to the last mon standing, and Trainers participate only through Orders and other League Legal Features rather than fighting directly. Most of the ideas and concepts here will still focus on combat, as I believe that’s a defining characteristic of a Gym Challenge as opposed to a Contest, Pokéathlon, or other (generally) non-violent competition. However, the goals and rules of the challenges will differ greatly from a conventional Gym.

As before, I’ll give example outlines at the end for Gym Leaders using the concepts developed in this post at the end so you can have a starting point or source of inspiration for your own campaigns. Do note, unlike the previous Gym Design post, you’re not supposed to try to incorporate every heading in this post into a single Gym! Most likely, you’ll just take one of the concepts and put your own twist on it.
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21 Dec

Gym Design: Signature Elements

brock and misty

Artwork by BlueSoul

Sorry again for the delay! Holidays and all, I’m sure you understand. The next couple posts will come much more quickly, and I’ll try in the future to be better about warning when there’ll be more than a week between posts.

Good Gym Challenges are not merely difficult battles designed along a theme – incorporating distinct and unique elements is part and parcel of designing a memorable and compelling Gym Leader. The Pokémon Tabletop United core book already goes into this topic in broad strokes and covers some basic ideas, such as picking an interesting theme and making sure to present Gym Leaders as members of the community with roles and a personality outside of their League status, but here I’ll go into some more detail on some specific elements that help make for a memorable Gym Challenge, with two outlines for example Gym Leaders following the advice here.
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