Frequently Asked Questions
If you've any questions or suggestions about the wiki and its syntax or the Lexicon rules, 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. When we have consensus (or the Mighty Stomp has spoken) we'll clean the new question up into FAQ format.
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.
It's also common, either at the same time as the dib or shortly thereafter, to use "What links here" and/or the search box to find existing references to your phantom. You can then copy and paste relevant parts of those references (in wiki format) into the new phantom so that you don't miss any salient facts. (See User:Jcowan/Folktown for an extreme example of this; most phantoms don't have nearly so many references.)
Can I cite more than I'm required to cite? (cf. Rule 2)
In each turn after the first, you're required to cite exactly two phantom entries (which may be existing phantoms, brand-new phantoms, or a mixture of both) and one existing entry, no more and no less. An article is cited by placing it in the Citations list at the bottom of your article. For Round 2, you may not cite two brand new phantoms. See the Ghyll Index and the Ghyll Phantom Index, which jointly constitute a complete list of in-play terms.
None of these three citations can be terms you've created or written. However, this rule applies forward only: it isn't retroactively enforced. In other words, if you cite a phantom that someone else had created, and then in a later turn you define that phantom, you have not violated the self-citation rule.
If you've properly met these requirements, the body of your your entry can certainly link to other terms in the encyclopedia, including those you've personally written. These "other terms", however, must either be actual articles or already-defined phantoms, not brand-new phantoms. You are encouraged to link to the articles and phantoms that you cite, although there may be particular reasons for not doing so.
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 in the Citations footer. 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 (the Search box in the left nav bar is your friend), or the admins do it for you. Sean B. Palmer 22:33, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)
What is this "Alternate Reality vs. Fictional World" business?
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. --Morbus Iff 19:20, 1 Sep 2004 (EDT)
- In practice, entries can be Earth-parodies (see Doc Rockett or Paramount Queen), and "Easter eggs" that refer to specific Earth things, transmogrified into the Ghyll context, are fine too. Just keep it fairly subtle. --John Cowan 11:12, 27 Apr 2005 (EDT)
It's fine to have multiple links within one article to the same place, as long as you don't overdo it. One per paragraph is probably plenty. Exception: "EC" should be linked each and every time it is used. Linking different units to Chesix System Of Measures is also desirable.
Should we correct other people's articles?
The general etiquette on the correction of spelling and typos in entries other your own is to please go ahead and correct it! Furthermore, 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".
Should existing terms be favored when a new phantom is being created?
Doing this is certainly encouraged, as it helps help the interweaving and encourages things that are being mentioned to be solidified around an article. However, it's not against the rules to just make a "fresh" entry, with no immediate connection to any other defined, but not yet linked, term. Sometimes, freshness is just plain old needed.
Why aren't both written entries and phantoms listed in the index?
Quite simply, the page got too long. They were both merged into one back in the early game, but a few folks felt it just wasn't scaling, and thus, they were split up into two pages (the Ghyll Index and the Ghyll Phantom Index). You can see the last merged page at this archived URL.
What's the procedure for joining in late?
You must join in at the current letter and then proceed at the normal pace without going back to earlier letters, Allowing new players filling in entries on earlier letters would probably create a situation where only one or two folks would have time to read the "out of turn" entries (which isn't to say that you'll never be able to define an A entry -- Ghyll is planned indefinitely, with a new round starting at A once Z is reached).
A new player starting at A and remaining n entries behind the rest of the players would unnaturally unbalance the game. If you and I were conspiring to make Ghyll solely about balloon animals, for instance, I could define phantoms for letters that you'll be defining soon (which everyone else has already finished - 'ha! everyone else has finished C so I'll phantom Choking Hazard and Shataina wi... muHAHHAHAHhHAH!'), and we'd be able to exert heavier "control" of Ghyll's direction.
What are the house rules for signatures?
Always two hyphens (--) followed by ~~~~, which'll automatically link your username, timestamp, and timezone. If you don't set an alternate name, then the default is to just link to your username. To set your "use for signatures" name, go to Special:Preferences, and the third white box should be "Your name (for signatures)". Set that, and make sure "Raw signatures" is unchecked.
Should the contributors update the Ghyll Index after their creations are completed?
It's up to the player, but it'd help us out if you updated the Ghyll Index, the Ghyll Phantom Index, WhoIsWho, and the Encyclopedant Calendar after finishing your article. We'd still "catch your back" for integrity, etc.
Are the scholars (player roles) a canonical part of Ghyll?
Initially no, but potentially yes, depending on what happens in articles. You can refer to scholars in articles as well as link to their user pages in this style: [[User:MorbusIff|Morbus Iff]]. You may assume that what scholars write about themselves is true, but you are not compelled to assume it factual, as you are with the facts in regular articles, for two reasons.
Within the game, scholar pages are obviously self-serving; outside the game, scholar pages can be changed at any time, so building in dependencies on them is not entirely safe. That said, most scholars don't in fact make inconsistent changes to their pages, and are hereby discouraged from doing so. In any case, it certainly does no harm to maintain professional courtesy by verifying anything said about another scholar with the player before putting it down.
The scholarly comments at the bottoms of articles have a similar status: they are not initially canonical, but you can certainly treat them as such (thus, making them canonical) if you like.
Are already-written entries in the current turn canon?
As far as timing inside the Ghyll world, all entries happen simultaneously, such that they're all mass-canonized "at once" by the Encyclopedants. But, from the standpoint of the players themselves, once an entry has been written, it should be taken as canon immediately - otherwise, anyone can come along, write an entry that does something drastic, and invalidate all the other entries on that turn (ie., "mass flood wipes out the Folktown Record three weeks ago", breaking any current turn entries that talked about the latest edition). It'd be suicide to ask all the other players to retroactively rewrite their entries.
What's available to help create Ghyllian names and words?
- Generates entry names that begin with a specified pair of letters
- Particularly werd. (Look for the examples of Victorian English names.)
To Whom Does One Appeal to Create a New Orthogonality?
The entry on Orthogonalities states that "As scholar and player, you MUST NOT create a new orthogonality unless existing text or phantoms already suggest its unique existence." I'm wondering if there is a process, in the legitimate case that one would need to create a new orthogonality, for naming and propogating said orthogonality. I presume that since we are not defining new orthogonalities this would be limited to naming them and making references to them which don't define their contents past some trivialities. A specific example: when I created orthogonalities, part of the rationale was that my user page, though non-canonical, mentions an area that doesn't seem to belong to the current orthogonality. Now I would like to refer to that orthogonality by name in the entry I've just dibbed, Sea fairs; I'd like to call it the Andelphracia Orthogonality if I may. But I don't want to set a precedent here if it's thought that it'll be detrimental in the long run. So, what's the story? I propose that all requests for anything concerning alternate orthogonalities should be proposed on the orthogonalities talk page, and then all of the scholars can vote on it, leaving the final decision to the encyclopedants. Then any concerns etc. can be raised and dealt with beforehand. --Sean B. Palmer 21:38, 25 Sep 2005 (EDT)
- Not defining orthogonalities, as the warning suggests, is a game balance issue. If you create that orthogonality, then very little will happen to it - it will become a pocket (a wiki garden, I think they're called from c2). Look at Xurient: nothing has happened to it at all. Another orthogonality would have the exact same thing happen. I'd much rather have an entry integrate with the existing world then cast off and be ignored. I don't see any legitimate reason for creating a new ortho, any more than I'd see a legitimate reason for suddenly creating a new moon, new sister planet, or other major geological location. It becomes a wasted reference. The original warning concerns naming as well and references as well. --Morbus Iff 09:35, 26 Sep 2005 (EDT)