PMDU New Member Guide

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Hello everyone, Sundance here. This guide is meant to serve as an introduction to the group for new members, and explains everything you need to know in order to participate. This gets updated semi-frequently with new info whenever something comes up, so if you're ever unsure how something works, please check here before asking a question.

Getting Started

How do I join?

Joining PMDU is easy. Simply join up to the DA group as a member (you will be automatically accepted), download the current recruitment form for either drawing or writing, and fill it out as instructed.

What do I need in order to participate?

All you need to participate in PMDU is a deviantArt account, an art or writing program, a way to upload your contributions to the group, and most importantly, an official application for your team. Skill level is irrelevant - one of the aims of a group like this is to provide a comfortable environment for artists and writers to improve their skills while having fun. A decent free digital art program to consider is GIMP, for those who don’t have access to alternatives.

Participation, however, is also not mandatory. Missing events or completing certain events late will not harm you in any way, and we will not force you out of the group for periods of inactivity.

Where do I begin?

First, you'll need to read through the journals covering the group's rules. The links in the Getting Started section at the main page are the important ones, and they're linked again here:

Rules - The regulations that you as a member need to follow while within our group.
New Member Guide - That's this journal right here. You'll need to review everything carefully so you understand how teams work and how you'll fill out your application.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions. These are questions that crop up every now and again related to a variety of things. If you have questions, read this and the other journals before asking.
Submission Guidelines - Exactly what it says on the tin. This gives an organized list of what submissions go in which folders, what submissions the group does not accept, and also includes a little tutorial at the beginning that details how to accomplish the act of actually submitting to the group.

Once all that is out of the way, it's on to the next step: filling out the application.

Recruitment Forms

The recruitment form, or application, is a registration for your team within the world of PMDU, and serves as a quick reference of your characters, as well as a sheet to keep track of systems and resources. A starting team typically consists of two (2) Pokémon, though solo "teams" are also allowed. More team members can be gained through the use of participation and rewards.

There are two mediums of applications - one for visual art and one for writing - both with their own versions for each Guild. Make sure you choose the medium that best suits your focus and interests, but also keep in mind that visual artists are quite welcome to use writing to supplement their works, and vice-versa. However, you cannot receive credit for full-writing entries with just an art application, nor full-art entries with just a written application, so for those who specialize in mixed media it is highly advisable to fill out a form for each.

Please refrain from altering the color scheme on the official art applications, as the different aesthetics of each one help us identify them easily at a glance.

Written applications must include the interaction with the given NPC in order to participate.

Do not use official applications for collab requests or NPCs.

:bulletred: Your Team :bulletred:

Think of a name for your team of adventurers, then draw them into the offered character slots on the form in any way you please. This can be anything you want, but please avoid offensive or overly vulgar team names.

For a fresh team, you are allowed to start with a maximum of two Pokémon. This can consist of two Basic Stage Pokémon (example: Abra and Jigglypuff) or one Basic Stage and one 1st Stage (Jigglypuff and Kadabra). You cannot have two 1st Stage Pokémon or any 2nd Stage Pokémon in a beginner team. These restrictions are in place to prevent members from ‘maxing out’ their team too quickly, giving members more reason to participate and develop their characters. Pokémon considered Babies in the games count as Basic Stage, as do unhatched eggs (you may start with an unhatched egg and hatch it at any time). This means that you may start with a baby Pokémon OR its Basic Stage form if you please (Jigglypuff or Igglybuff would both be equally appropriate as a starting member). You may have doubles of the same Pokémon on a team.

For a more "visual" explanation on stages, you can check this chart.

Legendary Pokémon are prohibited, as they are reserved for story purposes.

Teams who start out with a solo Pokémon may add a second member at any time without the need of a recruitment chance, provided they still meet the Basic+Stage 1 starting restrictions (i.e. if you start with a solo Teddiursa, you cannot add a Charizard for free; it would need to be Charmander or Charmeleon). This does not apply if a Pokémon has been removed from a previous team of two, only for beginning teams.

When designing Pokémon to use in your team, please avoid straying too far from the official designs. While you are free to customize various aspects of your Pokémon to give them a unique look, consider that they still exist within the world of Parai and have to abide by the same physical rules as others of the same species. You could, for example, style your Pokémon's fur, or give them a small birthmark, scars, and make small anatomical changes with discretion, but avoid drastically altering the Pokémon's body type or coloration. Shiny Pokémon are allowed, but keep in mind that they are an extremely rare genetic mutation and this should be considered when designing the character. Eye color can be whatever you like, barring complete rainbows.

Pokémon who have Transform or Illusion must still be drawn and/or written as their regular forms on their applications. They are also unable to have "permanent" forms.

Breeding, for the most part, functions exactly like it does in the games: parents must be in the same Egg Group, and baby Pokémon who have parents must be of the same species as the female. It is possible for females in Parai to give birth to babies of the same species as the father, but this is a rare occurrence and is not available to members just yet.

Gender and sexuality don’t matter; you’re free to add a custom symbol to your character’s gender tag if you feel it’s relevant to their identity (a linked mars symbol for a homosexual male for example), or you can even leave the gender tag blank if you wish. Genderless Pokémon such as Ditto may identify as male or female if they choose.

You are free to draw nearly in any style, but avoid copying or tracing other’s work directly. While direct anthropomorphism (drawing Pokémon with human bodies for example) is not allowed, you are free to make a four-legged Pokémon stand on their hind legs, adjust proportions slightly, and take slight liberties with things such as changing the number of claws/fingers for better adaption, but keep in mind that this is a difficult skill for many Pokémon to master. Aquatic Pokémon like Magikarp or Wailmer may need help from their partners to move about on land, but are capable of breathing air normally.

:bulletorange: Moves and Traits :bulletorange:

You will get to choose a maximum of four moves for your Pokémon, as well as an Ability, Nature and Traits/Characteristic. These can be any combination of elements that are capable of being obtained by a Pokémon in-game through legal means from Generation 3 and onward, including egg, tutor, Technical Machine, Dream World, and event moves. Once all four moves have been finalized, further edits will be offered as a common mission reward. Try to think of moves that can best complement your Pokémon's role and what they do.

In PMDU, Pokémon may have only one ability active, so choose wisely. Hidden Abilities are acceptable, but only if they have been legally released. At this present time, we do not accept unreleased HAs.

Natures and Traits are entirely cosmetic in PMDU and will not affect your stats. Pick whichever you feels best describes your character's personality. For a list of Natures and Traits, see here. You may change your Pokémon's Nature or Trait at any time if you feel they have undergone a change in character.

:bulletyellow: Stats :bulletyellow:

Stat points are allocated for distribution upon creating a character. You will start out with 10 per character and may distribute them to your character’s stats however you please. Each stat may have a maximum of five points allocated to it, used as a rough gauge to determine your Pokémon's proficiency in said area, with zero being complete ineptitude and five being a mark of excellence. You do not have to distribute every stat point if you don’t want to; leftover points may be kept for later, but you will need to use certain rewards to be able to add them back in.

Stats are NOT affected by abilities, nor temporary boosting moves such as Swords Dance. You may use these moves to boost your power in missions but they will not contribute towards bonus objectives.

Stats and their type bonuses are as follows:

Strength: This applies to your Pokémon's physical fortitude and power. It determines how well they can recover from injury, how easily they can overcome tests of strength, and in some cases their mental resolve. Fighting, Ground, Rock, Dragon and Steel Pokémon are allowed two bonus points into this stat.

Intelligence: Your Pokémon's academic skill, knowledge and strategic cunning are linked to this stat. Psychic, Dark, Ghost and Poison Pokémon are allowed two bonus points in this stat.

Agility: This refers to your Pokémon's speed, reaction times, dexterity and acrobatic capability. Pokémon of the Flying, Water, Bug and Electric types may take two bonus points in this stat.

Charisma: This refers to your Pokémon's social skills, ability to read others, and their aptitude at negotiation. Ice, Fire, Grass, Normal and Fairy types are allowed two bonus points in this stat.

Note: You can only choose one set of bonus stats for dual-type Pokémon. Mawile for example is Steel/Fairy, meaning that you would have to pick between 2 extra points in Strength or 2 extra points in Charisma, but not both at the same time. If you wish you may also split the 2 bonus stats between each time, so Mawile could have 1 bonus point in Strength and 1 bonus point in Charisma.

On the art applications, the space below the stat section where it says _ / 10 is for the point total. The number written should be "points remaining" out of 10, so if you use all your points, it should say 0/10. Bonus points do not count toward this total.

Please keep in mind that these stats serve mainly as a means of making mission paths more dynamic; they will never stop you from completing an objective. Stats are merely a guideline and should be interpreted how you please. A Pokémon with a high intelligence stat, for example, does not need to be particularly scholarly. Regardless of your stat choices, you will always be able to participate in all missions and tasks and have something to do. Stats may be reset as a character progresses through the use of a reward or upon evolution.

:bulletgreen: Inventory :bulletgreen:

This is where you keep your Accessories, consumables, Tools, and other treasures that your Pokémon will acquire through their journey. Members start out with 25 spaces of storage - available on the Andalusst Atlas - with which they can place all their excess items. Storage is free, and is managed by your team’s Guild.

In addition to that, all team members have three Equip slots present on the application. These slots are for items that your Pokémon is currently wearing or holding, which means these can be carried with you and used in Missions, Tasks, Errands, and Dungeons. Simply draw or write the items into the blank slots once you acquire them.

It's also all right to draw miscellaneous "characteristic" items here (such as small piercings, bandages, or chocolate crumbs) without actually taking up an inventory slot if nothing else is there. These do not count as actual items. Items that are carried by Pokémon naturally - such as Cubone's bone club, Farfetch'd's leek, and Braixen's wand - also do not count as actual items unless given to off-species team members.

Pokémon within a team may swap items between members freely, but not with other teams.

You are able to reset/reorganize your team member Inventory as many times as you like before the start of a new objective, as well as any time during Personal Stories, but you cannot change your Inventory once your team starts a group event.

Star Coins (Stars) are coins crafted from Star Piece gems, and are the primary currency in the world of Parai. Your team begins with zero (0) Stars, and whenever more are acquired through events, or spent to purchase rewards, you will be prompted to edit this value.

:bulletblue: Accessories :bulletblue:

Teams will automatically receive one Guild-issue template accessory per member upon joining their Guild, regardless of whether or not they have completed a Mission, Task, or Errand. These accessories don't have to be taken right away, and may be saved for later if a member so chooses. The items available for new teams, as well as which Guilds offer them, are listed on Chantelle's Wear and Flair Accessories page.

For starting teams, if an accessory is not present in Chantelle's shop, it is not permitted to wear. In order to obtain different accessories, or to customize your existing ones, teams will need to complete group objectives to earn Star Coins and accessory customization vouchers. Full accessory customization is 5 Star Coins per slot (making a total of 15 St), but all slots are free with the use of a voucher.

You can customize accessories to a large extent. The only rules about these changes are that 1) they should not contain nor reference any legendary names or designs; 2) they should not contain nor reference any real-world copyrighted material (for example, the Pepsi logo); 3) they need to stay in the same category of apparel (ex. a hat must still be some kind of hat; you can't turn it into pants or a shirt). If you are not sure your customization is legal, or you have any other questions, please contact a moderator.

For every customization and re-customization you perform on any given accessory, you will need to fill out a new customization template. If you're re-customizing an accessory, the one you made last time will be the one used as the base, instead of the template. For example, if you made a Glitter Scarf from a template last time and you're looking to re-customize that same accessory, you'll use that as the base and turn it into the new one.

:bulletpurple: Tools :bulletpurple:

Tools are specially-crafted items that are imbued with the power to utilize a move outside of and in addition to your Pokemon's existing moveset. These items come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with an equally-varied combination of moves to accompany them. Generally Tools will retain their effects after use, but there are some that only allow one use before they are consumed or destroyed, and some that replenish themselves only at the start of every new objective.

Tools can be obtained in a variety of ways, but are currently only available from the June Tasks.

:bulletblack: Merit and Strike :bulletblack:

Teams begin with zero Merits and zero Strikes. Participating in certain objectives and completing them in a specific manner will add a point to either. Think of this as a sort of reputation system between your character and their Guild. Doing things that the Guild considers within their code of ethics will generate Merit, while completing objectives in a manner your Guild discourages will generate Strike.

Depending on how much Merit/Strike you accumulate, you'll be able to participate in certain special events and gain favor with various NPCs. A team with a high Strike rating may be barred from participating in objectives that require the Guild's trust, but may find themselves benefiting in other ways, and vice versa.

:bulletwhite: Submission :bulletwhite:

Once you’re happy with your application, simply submit it to the corresponding group folder as well as to the Andalusst Atlas (information below). Once it has been submitted, your form will be reviewed, and if necessary you will be asked to change it.

Members are given a full week to make any necessary changes to their applications, whatever they may be. If something comes up and the corrections won't be able to be made in that time, members may contact a moderator for an extension. Once the given time passes, if the application still has yet to be corrected, it will be removed from the group, and the member will receive a second notice. They then have one more week to correct it and resubmit; if they cannot manage this within that time frame, all of their other group material will be removed (voiding rewards from previous objectives), and they will not be able to submit anything for the team until the application has been edited.

Once you have submitted your application - or any other group objective - please do NOT remove it from the group! You do not need to remove it in order to update it. Please leave it where it is so that we can easily locate it if necessary.

Participation and Rewards

In PMDU, the two primary sources of direct participation are by taking part in Missions and Tasks, which are events hosted by the group presenting a certain scenario or challenge. Once you've familiarized yourself with what’s going on by reading or viewing the presentation, it’s up to you to draw or write your characters taking part in the event.

Typically, member teams will be briefed by the Guild Leaders or other NPCs responsible for hosting the event, which will contain notes on the objective, location, expected rewards, as well as other details necessary for completion.

When it comes to the depiction of the event, it’s important to remember that you have creative freedom as to how you can approach the problem, so long as you stay roughly within the presented guidelines. You do not have to portray everything with 100% accuracy and you’re also free to take liberties with narrative tone and the like. If you think you want to put a humorous spin on a serious problem, for example, then by all means go for it. Focus on creating something that you feel will contribute something fun and enjoyable.

Do note that members need to include a link to their team's application(s) on all submissions for group objectives.

:bulletyellow::bulletwhite: The Andalusst Atlas :bulletwhite::bulletgreen:

The Andalusst Atlas is a system created solely for PMDUnity by dr-dos. It serves as a very helpful catalog of events, and has a variety of features such as a larger team Inventory, a Team Search function, and a plethora of various statistics. Additional systems will also be implemented as the group continues to expand and evolve.

Each team has its own Logbook into which completed objectives must be submitted. Moderators use the Atlas to check member submissions quickly and easily, and to send out a team's proper given rewards. Submitting your material to the Atlas is mandatory, and you will not be able to collect any rewards until your submissions are present in your Logbook and have been verified by a moderator.

In-universe, the Atlas' functions are part of a record-keeping project managed by Alexander the Meowth and the local Regigigas.

For collaboration teams: currently there isn't a functional system in place to support these, so you will need to pick ONE person of your collaboration to create an Atlas account and manage the team. DO NOT upload multiples of the same team from different accounts.

If you change your username: the Atlas does not change names with you, so your teams will be attached to the "old" account. You'll need to note the group with your old username and the new one so we can move your team(s) over to the new name.

The Atlas uses deviantArt's links, and it requests these links next to every box requiring a dA link. You WILL NOT be able to use the standard links you grab from your URL bar. If you do not know what a link is, PLEASE GOOGLE IT OR ASK. Do not just slap in what you think might be applicable.

:bulletred: Missions :bulletred:

Missions are, simply put, large events with intent to progress the story. These will be accompanied by interactive elements such as polls or competitions, the outcomes of which may have a permanent presence within the world of Parai. Missions will offer generous rewards and open up new areas of the map upon completion, and so will aim to be presented on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Members are encouraged to try their best to produce something cool and collaborate with other teams for these.

Late Missions will always be available for completion, no matter when a team initially joins the group. This way members joining further down the line are welcome to catch up on secondary rewards if they so choose. These late Missions will be submitted to the corresponding Late Missions folders, as the on-time folders will be locked once the deadline for each has passed.

:bulletorange: Tasks :bulletorange:

Tasks are secondary objectives that generally occur after Missions and are released as a set, allowing members to complete several smaller events within the given deadline. These Tasks will generally run for one month, and will have a variety of duties for each Guild that can only be completed by that Guild's members. Tasks will generally reward teams with Tools, miscellaneous items, and Merits and Strikes, the latter being varied based on how your team completes the objectives.

Late Tasks will not give rewards, but may still give a team Merits or Strikes (provided they meet the requirements for either) as long as the current Arc is running. Once the group moves to the next Arc, late Tasks will no longer award anything.

:bulletyellow: Errands :bulletyellow:

Errands are the occasional minor job requested by an important NPC. They are typically small, miscellaneous duties that are posted semi-regularly and will reward one or two Star Coins. Any team can complete these Errands, regardless of Guild or stats.

Members are encouraged to experiment and have fun with these prompts, and to use them for character development purposes. You can get away with submitting unfinished/unrefined works for these, or simple sketches/prose if time is an issue, but do note that even these so-called "placeholders" still need to be able to complete the Errand's objective as standalone submissions.

Errands generally last three to five days, and have a downtime of four days before an additional Errand is posted after. They do not run during Missions and Tasks, but rather during the breaks between. Members may complete Errands late, but there is no reward to be gained from doing so.

:bulletgreen: Recruitment and Retirement :bulletgreen:

Occasionally, new Pokémon may be recruited to your team as a reward for completing a mission or task. The kind of recruitment allowed will change depending on the event, and will take up a slot in your party. You may have a maximum of four (4) active Pokémon on a team, but it is also possible to "retire" team members to make room for new characters. In order to do this, you’ll need to purchase a Retirement Form from your guild and fill it in with the character’s details.

Retired Pokémon may still appear in your stories as supporting characters, and are able to be directly involved with the team's activities (unlike personal NPCs).

NPCs may be recruited to the team, provided they meet recruitment requirements.

:bulletblue: Evolution :bulletblue:

Evolution is a common reward for completing Missions and Tasks. A Pokémon may evolve at any time after having completed an event and acquired an Evolution Slip. These can be purchased from the Guild for Star Coins, or obtained as rewards from the completion of certain objectives. Evolution Slips earned as rewards can also be returned to the Guild for a moderate amount of Stars, or traded in for other benefits, so they can be useful even for fully evolved Pokémon.

Evolution does not only have the potential to change your Pokemon's form, but also to completely reset its allocated stat points and given moveset. Through evolution, members can add points, take away points, or rearrange their point setup - provided they are still within the 10 point + 2 bonus limit - so if you have unused points laying around, evolution would be an excellent opportunity to add them in and put them to use.

When Pokémon feel ready to evolve, they can fill out the Slip as a polite heads-up for the Guild management, and turn it in to their Guild record-keepers to be filed away. After doing this, they are than more than welcome to act on evolution at any time. Should they evolve before turning in the Slip, they need only fill it out and hand it in afterward.

Pokémon that require additional means to evolve (such as finding a Fire Stone, holding a Magmarizer, or using an Oval Stone) will still require these means to do so in-story, but for administrative purposes, the only item members will ever need to evolve is the Evolution Slip. This means that the requisite story items can be acquired in any manner you like.

For Pokémon that cannot or are unwilling to evolve, stats and movesets may be reset with a different, as-of-yet unreleased reward.

:bulletpurple: Guild Leader Reports :bulletpurple:

If we see something we think is really cool, a Guild Leader may choose to write a small report about your contribution. This is mainly for fun, and a good way for hard working artists and writers to get exposure. Think of it as a "featured artist" function. A full feature will be presented for missions, in which we’ll also do something fun for winning teams.

As of this update, the Guild Leader Reports have yet to be implemented. They are expected to become active around Mission 2.
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yukiathecat's avatar
would it be allowed to use a character creator and edit it as long as we credit the original artist?