Gamegrene: Ghyll Round 2 Starting Soon


Eight months ago, Gamegrene launched an interactive worldbuilding and roleplaying exercise called Ghyll. Constrained to a small set of rules and the intent of building an integrated encyclopedia where Truth is further refined with each entry, Round 1 is nearly finished, and Round 2 is set to begin in the middle of May. If you're interested in playing, start reading.

Eight months ago, some may recall an odd little announcement about the Gamegrene multiplayer game Ghyll. Based on the rules of "Lexicon: an RPG", it constrained players to roleplay themselves as cranky scholars, writing an encyclopedia about a fictional world that didn't yet exist. Due to a small set of rules that force integration and stop any one scholar from defining too much, a Truth established in an earlier turn could be (and oftentimes, MUST BE) expanded weeks or months later. Though it was hard to see at first, various plots emerged and secrets were revealed, but not in the traditional storytelling linear.

Round 1, of 26 turns each representing an alphabet letter, is nearly done.

Today is the last day for entries starting with Y. Next Friday will be the last day for Z, and then they'll be a quiet period as we write our "End of Year" final thoughts (one year in Ghyll is equivalent to one round of 26 letters/turns) and prepare for Round 2, discussing rule changes, in-world themes, and/or cleaning up Round 1 entries that have grown stale. Nearly 30 players, 200 pages of text, an incredible timeline, a hundred characters, and a to-scale ASCII map of the known world. Darkly humorous? Possible. Odd? Mmhmmm.

If you're interested in joining Round 2 (currently scheduled to start May 14th, a month from now), the first thing to do is start reading. Everything you read in Ghyll is considered the Truth, whether we (as scholars and players) like it or not (oftentimes we're surprised by the ingenuity of other players). When scholars write their entries, they have to respect this Truth, even though they may add new Truths that cloud, shape, argue, or interpret the facts differently. Naturally, if your Truth conflicts with others (or, say, introduces tech levels, world destruction, or any other obvious game-breaking content), it'll have to be revised. The best way to start Ghyll is as if you were playing: start with the A entries and read on through. Since this is an encyclopedia, there is no magical and concise overview of the world... instead, it is slowly revealed as entries are written and read.

Leave comments here if you've questions, thoughts, or confusions.

well, i thought i'd just jump in and start reading entries and writing a bit...but the size of the thing is just mind-boggling. just how much STUFF have people written for ghyll!?

i'm giving up on this...i'll never be properly acquainted with this girth of information.

By the time this first round is over, there should be 190 entries. And, honestly, as long as you get enough of the "feel" of Ghyll, you don't have to read every single entry before starting to play as you'll often find yourself reading new stuff during investigation for your own entry. A lot of people will do the following before they start writing:

1) Go to the entry page (for example: Bump of the Night).
2) Click the "What links here" in the lower left corner.
3) Read up on what's been said about the entry before.
4) Start writing, researching as you go.

And generally speaking, once you write an entry, there's a bevy (ok, well, there's me and John Cowan) of copyeditors and factcheckers who will be more than willing to point out any errors. ;)

I'm intrigued, just because it resembles the Toothpaste Disaster wiki I participated last year. (Total entries: 200+)

Yep, same game system and everything. TTD had 254 entries total (see its entry here in our game registry).

I'm in. Is it too late to joing for this round?

Not at all. New players can join at any time. Round 2, Turn A starts midnight tonight, EST.