Lexicon discussion

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If you've any questions or suggestions about the wiki and its syntax, the Lexicon rules, Ghyll continuity errors, letting us know you're gonna miss a turn, etc., use this page to wax poetic. Be sure to sign your name (using either the second - from - the - right toolbar icon, or typing two hyphens and four tildes), which also includes the timestamp. --Morbus Iff 11:32, 20 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I dib an entry (cf. Rule 1)?

If there is a specific phantom you'd like to write, wait until the proper turn occurs (ie. waiting for the "R" turn to dib phantom "Rancor") and then edit the phantom to just include a statement of dibbing ("MIIine! ALlL MiIInnE!") and your name/signature. Naturally, the intent of dibbing an entry is so that you actually write it - if you don't during that turn, your dib expires. --Morbus Iff 15:53, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Can I cite more than I'm required to cite? (cf. Rule 2)

Each turn after the first, you're required to cite two phantom entries and one existing entry. Neither of these three citations can be terms you've created or written. However, if you've properly met these requirements, your entry can certainly refer to other terms in the Ghyll encyclopedia, including those you've personally written. These "other terms", however, MUST have been previously defined or created. See the Ghyll Index for a complete list of in-play terms. --Morbus Iff 15:53, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I had been reading this as "You must cite two novel phantoms", but Doctor Phineas Crank pointed out that Rule 2 doesn't actually say that. What's the intention here? Is it all right to cite phantoms that have already been created (but not defined)? --Jcowan 17:51, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Your required per turn phantoms citations may be existing phantoms, brand new phantoms, or a mixture of both. The lack of "novel" innuendo in Rule 2 was intentional, and the "Example of Play" on the main page also reflects this. --Morbus Iff 18:17, 27 Sep 2004 (EDT)

What happens about linking to widely-used terms?

It may often be the case that terms are used throughout the dictionary that are not cited initially: you're allowed to invent people, places, etc. that you don't actually cite a reference for. That means that later in the game, people can write about these people, and references can be strewn across the wiki that don't actively link to the phantom. How is the person to be able to research the references? The general rule of thumb is that when you create a term that you know has been mentioned elsewhere, either you go about looking for existing references and link them, or the admins do it for you. Sean B. Palmer 22:33, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Comments, Questions, Complaints?

Alternate Reality vs. Fictional World

Hello people. This looks like a nice game- but I think I got the rules a little wrong in my enthusiasm to get started, entry: anabiscot) by putting more "phantoms" into my entry than were asked for, and by fleshing one or two of them out. I find it impossible to backtrack on the fleshing out, and so a) don't know what to do about them, as I don't want to upeset anyone by not having strictly observed the rules for the first turn and b) wonder whether clearer guidance to newcomers is needed if this isn't to be a closed shop just for oldophytes --Ginestre 05:28, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Ginestre: we're open to newcomers, definitely. As for the rules, check out #1: "Scholars ... write one entry per turn" and then #2: "Entries shall cite two phantom entries". I've deleted all your out of turn entries, so there's no worries there (to return an entry to a phantom, just click the "delete" button as opposed to "edit", and give a reason for the deletion). Let me know which part of the rules initially confused you. We'll be adding an "Example of a Turn" to the main page shortly. --Morbus Iff 09:41, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Finally, and sadly, I've deleted your Anabiscot entry for being too much of an "Earth-parody". It, ultimately, looked like a school term paper that was revised to include "made up" words as opposed to their Earthen counterparts (as seen in your revising of "England" to "Ghyll", and the inclusion of Christian, Protestant, University of Helsinki, etc., etc.). Based on your timpstamps, I can appreciate how this deletion must look compared to your two hours of editing. But, it's really not the sort of material we're looking for. Think "when we crossed the threshold, I hit my new bride's head on the door jamb, and in her ensuing mental insanity, she described something that'd sounds just like Ghyll's [NameOfEntry]" as opposed to "What have I written already that I can modify for the game?" --Morbus Iff 09:41, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

The new entry on the EXAMPLE OF PLAY page is certainly much clearer than the previous offering, and is to be commended. Had that been there, I would not have stumbled as I did this morning. But the comment on my deleted entry "it's not really what we're looking for" is rather telling, and is telling me to be on my way nevertheless. "It, ultimately, looked like a school term paper..etc" also clearly reveals that you see your position as an empowered subeditor of sorts, who has the role of judging text quality; fair game -it's your server, you call the shots. But to this newcomer (a professional writer who wasted words this morning just for fun, and who hasn't written a term paper in over thirty years!) it nevertheless seems a great pity, because the game is a nice idea. Applying the wiki to what used to be called four-handed writing would allow the natural numerical limits of collaborative collective writing to over-bound. But in fact you're not open to newcomers at all, despite the protestations....but it was an interesting try.--Ginestre 17:49, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Ginestre: there's been a lot of off-wiki discussion about how this game should unfold, comprising nine months of a lot of arguing, a lot of ideas and scanty documentation, and a lot of ideas that it's going to be difficult to crystallise on the wiki quickly. I, personally, think that your entries were marvellous, but in the context of the direction that we're trying to develop for this wiki they're not quite what we're after. In other words, we're opening this up very much on the ground floor and trying to establish the past that we have, so you'll have to excuse the odd bit of seemingly baseless "oh no, that's not the way it should be done" banter. Imagine if you'd come into a game that's been running for nearly a year, and there were a lot of dedicated players and in-game jokes and conventions already. That basically is the situation here to some extent, we just haven't been able to document it properly yet, and we're also in a stage of "well, let's see what other people think". Some things are very much negotiable, and some aren't. Anyway, I hope that you'll consider still joining in and being patient with us as we work through this nascent stage, because I think your entries showed an enthusiasm and quality that it would be sad for us to miss out on. --Sean B. Palmer 18:03, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I've sent Ginestre a longer email on the subject, but the distinction I made with my actions was one of "fictional world" versus "alternate reality." It was our intent for Ghyll to be a "fictional world", one that has little semblance to the "real" world, namely Earth. While we realize this can be an impossibility, as creativity is emboldened in what we know, we wanted to stay away from what we call an "Earth parody" - a world that has direct, obvious, and blatant parallels to our own - more of an "alternate reality" as opposed to "fictional world". LORD OF THE RINGS is a "fictional world", whereas the Sci-Fi show SLIDERS is an alternate reality, as are the TWILIGHT ZONE, THE OUTER LIMITS, and so forth. Which isn't to say that I'm against equivalency - in the early game, newspaper, magnetism, war, research organizations, basements, "flash lights/beacons", etc. already exist. But they're described in an environment of "fictional world" not "alternate reality". As for judging text or entry quality, honestly, I'd like to stay as far away from that as possible. Again, the distinction made with your entry was one of "Earth parody" and not "fictional world." --Morbus Iff 19:20, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Non-turn Activities

Morbus: What're we doing with respect to canonical but non-turn activities? There's the possibility of the Encyclopedants mailing out letters to all the scholars as you discussed, but did we talk about a per-turn summary too? I think it'd be helpful in that it'd make us analyse what's currently being worked on to ensure its consistency, as well as helping newcomers to the game and people who have been on holiday etc. It could be a collaborative effort between all the scholars who contributed to the first turn, and it might actually serve to clarify some of the intentions etc. behind the entries. I'm not sure what framework could be used to justify it in terms of the game itself though; perhaps the scholars all meet up in a F2F meeting somewhere in a different location per turn? We could order it as though it's meeting minutes: have a little abstract of the location that we met at, introduce some of the scholars, have dialogue, and then the main summary of what's been written. --Sean B. Palmer 17:46, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

My personal in-game plan was, as you mention, the Encyclopedants - the people who are "funding" the encyclopedia and who "collate" the entries for "publication" (at the end of a turn). These Encyclopedants would serve as the "voice of cohesion", and really fill a void that the Ghyll Lexicon is missing: an existing backdrop to base entries on. Other Lexicons were based on existing worlds (Paranoia, Exalted, Nobilis), and thus, the "voice of cohesion" concerning stuff like dates, geography, races, etc. were the original books the games were derived from. There's none of that in Ghyll. For instance, sometime soon, the Encyclopedants will release a document, in-game, on how scholars should handle dates. This would be some sort of "Progress Report Issue 1", where # is the # of the turn in question. Ultimately, the topics discussed in these Progress Reports would be about the integrity of the encyclopedia itself: continuity errors, worrisome plot holes, and etc. --Morbus Iff 19:36, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

As for a scholarly F2F, I like that idea, and I think the best way to approximate that would be a sort of "in-game" Lexicon discussion. The Encyclopedants could release a Progress Report detailing worries they're having, and other scholars could log their own complaints and concerns on the Progress Report page itself. This would keep everything centralized, and would be a more vocal, less-controlled Current events (a "current in-game events") page. I think it'd also be handy, upon reaching Z, for scholars and the Encyclopedants to prepare a personal "Final Report", discussing how they felt things went, what could be done better for the next Round, and so on and so forth. --Morbus Iff 19:36, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Other Threads

Got some comments or questions? Add 'em here!

Players and Scholars as Canon

Er, okay, so can we refer to our own characters as the inventors of something? By that I mean, if my character invented a new sight for the smooth-bore musket, could I make an entry based on that? --Doctor Phineas Crank 14:13, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Sure, there's nothing stopping you from doing that, but by making yourself an official part of the canon (as opposed to non-canon Scholar bios), you make yourself liable to follow other people's truths. It'd be possible to kill you off, and yadda yadda yadda. --Morbus Iff 14:28, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Well, as long as I can make contributions from beyond the grave, or at least through posthumous notes, I might be okay with that. --Doctor Phineas Crank 14:32, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

That is a danger I did not foresee. In the Bobby Shwarmph entry, I included a reference that incorporated Scholar Edward Schwarmph into the canon, assuming that since he phantomed the entry and that he studies a field linked closely to that covered by the magazine edited by the character he created with the same surname, they were related. If I put him in danger in the process, that was probably a breach of courtesy. While I suppose there is nothing stopping any of us from embarking on studies to be discovered after our deaths, there is probably a better way to handle this. A later entry could establish a conduit of communication with dead scholars and other Ghyllians, but then we wouldn't have to do research at all- we'd just get a soul who was there on the line to offer their take on things. I suggest we treat bios as canonical, and all characters are "in game," and hence fair game. Then, if a scholar is killed off and its player cares to continue, the player creates a successor- say a favored student or offspring -poised to continue the work. If players are non-canon, I should either delete the Edward reference in the Bobby Shwarmph entry, be referring to someone else entirely who coincidentally has the exact same name and job, or at least get my fellow scholar'a permission before something unfortunate occurs to him as a result of my entering him into canon without his express consent. --Bast ResNovae 20:40, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Which brings me to another question- presuming events are unfolding in our world even as more entries are written, we might run into situations where an entry is obsolete or needs updating based on events that hadn't happened yet, or information only discovered after it was written. Therefore, should we be dating our entries to avoid confusion? (ie: last updated 0/09/1 EC by Bast ResNovae) --Bast ResNovae 20:40, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Making scholar biographies canon is very dangerous as it distorts the flow of the game. Since the bios are not restricted by turn of gameplay, they can be updated at any moment, thus invalidating anything previously written about them. Similarly, any scholar could define a phantom, then write about it in their scholar bio, thus hedging the bets that their phantom, written by someone else, is exactly how they envisioned it. One of the "fun" aspects of the game is seeing your ideas corrupted and perverted into something you've never dreamed of - allowing scholars to modify their biographies at any time (since they're non-turns) invalidates this aspect. Remember the intro to the game: you can argue vociferously with the interpretation and introduce new facts that shade the interpretation. Just because you've named Edward Shwarmph in an entry doesn't mean it's the exact same Edward as the scholar: it could be his twin, clone, doppelganger, or what have you. If your Edward dies, it is "truth", but that doesn't mean that a new fact can't be introduced that twists the truth into something else entirely. --Morbus Iff 21:20, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Making scholars themselves canon is something that only the player playing the scholar should decide they want to do: roleplaying a character based on someone else's direction is another aspect (with its own measure of "fun") of a Lexicon that may be enjoyable to some: it should be a choice to the player whether they want to receive this direction, or if they'd like to fixate on their own vision. Making all scholars canon, and thus definable and modifiable by others, may be above and beyond what a player would like, resulting in a character they simply don't want to play. --Morbus Iff 21:20, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Oh, I've opened a can of worms here. How does one propose a new rule? Perhaps the restriction of no new phantoms from a player's scholar's bio? Though, I'm in complete agreement that only players should be allowed to make their scholars canon. --Doctor Phineas Crank 21:41, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

That is already a house rule actually - see the last paragraph of "How to Participate" on the main page. I've already removed a number of newly defined phantoms from various scholar pages. --Morbus Iff 21:54, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Good point. Player Edward Shwarmph could, for example, be riding on the coattails of a more distinguished scholar of the saame name. Or be impersonating him. Or be a relative... or what have you. If he still has the ability to accept or reject the canonical identity as he chooses, I won't worry about it- I'll just leave it up to him.--Bast ResNovae 23:26, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Multiple links to the same place

I'm removing all links to the same place except the first (there might be some reason to make it other than the first, but I can't imagine it at the moment). Linking every instance of "Council" to the Council on Quezlarian Research is unnecessary and makes the page unaesthetic. --Jcowan 02:45, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I heartily disagree. It makes the page "unaesthetic" quote unquote because of their visual proximity to each other. But, in very long entries, like Bethany or the Bureau, linking only the first mention forces the user to scroll upwards to find a previous link, as opposed to "holding their place" and opening the link they just read in a new window or tab. I'd rather link everything for future usability, then link only the first and be distracted by a "lose the moment" treasure hunt to find the first reference to click on. --Morbus Iff 08:42, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I've got to agree with Morbus on this one. Hypertext means never having to say "but I digress." If a page appears too cluttered with links to the same term, that is probably an indication that it should be re-written with synonyms. I look forward to the day when we have a finished Ghyll Encyclopedia, where each entry is chock full of links to things that others have decided to phantom later. --Qwentyth Pyre 20:05, 20 Sep 2004 (EDT)

What I'm trying to discourage is this sort of thing (only somewhat exaggerated):

I agree with Morbus that in a very long article multiple links may be in order, but mechanically linking every reference, as above, is just maddening. I don't see how rewriting with synonyms would help, since the synonyms would just be linked -- under the preceding strategy -- to the same page in the end. --Jcowan 10:17, 21 Sep 2004 (EDT)


Well yes, that would just be silly. In your example I would link none of the "he/his/the president" but would link the two "Rambo Jones" proper name citations. Using "he/his/The President" is exactly what I meant by using synonyms. I wouldn't expect those synonyms to be links, but I would expect each proper name usage to be one. Just my opinion, of course. --Qwentyth Pyre 18:34, 21 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Correction of spelling and typos

What is general etiquette on the correction of spelling and typos in entries other than mine? (not that either my spelling or typing is perfect, but I assume nobody objects if I correct myself)? --Ginestre 13:58, 5 Sep 2004 (EDT)

If it's definitely an error, please go ahead and correct it! As long as you don't change the semantics of someone's entry, you can certainly change the syntax to make it easier to read, clearer, etc. Imagine you're correcting someone's English paper: you're not going to do their work for them, but you want to let them know that it's "i before e except after c and except in wierd words such as weird". --Sean B. Palmer 14:09, 5 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Useful Resources

You can use this random word generator to generate entry names that begin with a specified pair of letters. --Jcowan 17:07, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)

You may also make use of generators found here Chris Pound's Name Generation Page, particularly, werd, for names. (Look for the examples of Victorian English names.) --Doctor Phineas Crank 14:01, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Not to toot my own horn, but, well, I'm tooting my own horn. Need a "good" name for someone in the Encyclopedia? Try The Funny Name Generator, by yours truly. --Doctor Phineas Crank 17:31, 14 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Gameplay Change Voting

Time For Turn Changes

What time should the deadline occur?

24:00 GMT --Melik Fizzou 19:47, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT) (available from 23:00-5:00 GMT)

I'm against asking for suggestions BESIDES a simple conversion to GMT. Getting 10 to 15 opinions on the best time for them will merely create a secondary vote of "here are the favored three, pick your best", and then people feeling annoyed that their time wasn't chosen. Please merely vote on a midnight-EST-to-GMT-instead only (ie. 7pm EST). --Morbus Iff 19:25, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT)

The preferred value is the only one that really counts, the other values are just there so the talliers can see if the final decision is going to exclude too many people. I guess I should have made that more clear. (Which is what I'm attempting now.) --Melik Fizzou 19:47, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT)


Length Of Turns

A week, 9 days if Morbus would let me. --Melik Fizzou 19:47, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT) 19:06, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I'm against any sort of non-anniversary date (ie. an odd date like 9 days compared to "every second Friday" or "two weeks"). It's too much effort for people, myself included, to remember, and it'll just cause too many "arrgh, I thought this week was... " lamenting, and eventual maintenance headaches ("I thought this week was Thursday, so I was gonna write it then, but it was Wednesday, here's my entry, I know its late, please accept it, la la la!") --Morbus Iff 19:25, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Anniversary dates have the gigantic advantage of being easy to remember, but I find that a week is just a little too short, and the first turn (week and a half) was just a little too long. I'll live with the anniversary date of a week, but I still feel that 9 days is just right. --Melik Fizzou 19:47, 29 Sep 2004 (EDT)

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