Seekers of Lore
Andrew of Fictive Fantasies threw a lot of ideas at me regarding this project. I’m going to try to organize, distill, and respond to them here.
Set an explicit starting point and ending point (calendar-wise). Then you could do “Volume II” if it went really well, or focus on one in an area of the game world.
After reconsideration, agreed. I’d originally thought to leave it open-ended, but explicit and specific period makes it easier for people to commit to take part, and makes it somewhat easier for people to focus. There’s a reason I like the 13- and 26-episode anime series and don’t care for the 300+ episode series.
I think “turns” are going to be important here, for managing continuity. A turn might be a week. All must be submitted by midnight Saturday. Sunday, rest and review, so the academics are all up to speed on the new established continuity. Then round 2. I mean, you don’t NEED to do this. Maybe provide a tool to the scholars for tracking what articles have been accepted into continuity, and tracking which ones they’ve ready, to help keep track of what they need to see so they don’t contradict it.
If turns are weekly, perhaps a three-month session end to end would be appropriate. This makes for twelve or thirteen turns.
In Lexicon each article is expected to be 100-200 words. Originally I’d thought daily for a month, but that may be pretty aggressive, especially if you have to incorporate what was posted yesterday and align with previous canon. I think it can be done, but would be stressful and end up pretty disjoint. I think we can do something better with your ideas here.
In a way, you’ve got the same problem as a comic book company. All these titles coming out making new continuity every month, and you want the authors to step on each others’ established history as little as possible.
Another possible structure tweak would be to require scholars to submit an article on an established event / threat / era / etc. each “turn” and allow up to 2 specialty articles based in the scholar’s specialty.
Allow scholars to pick that specialty; geopolitical ramifications, monster threats, diplomatic negotiations with neighbors, legendary heroics, biographies, etc.
Other scholars can riff off the established events, and pull in material from other scholars’ specialty articles, while tossing out references to their own specialties.
How does this sound?
- One turn per week, for three months, for a total of twelve turns. Probably kick off at the beginning of January and run through the end of March.
- Turn ends Saturday midnight (Pacific time, since that’s where I live… and Saturday night I’m usually in a game until 9:00-10:00 PM Pacific time).
- Posts are live by Sunday morning and ready for review.
- New topics identified or ‘reserved’ by Tuesday midnight, if we want to avoid collisions. We might not; two Scholars duking it out academically could be entertaining… but it might work better as a special event thing.
- At least two articles per week.
- One article is net new and is whatever is of interest to the Scholar. If you want to write about the sacrificial magics of the Shawloon savages, despite there really being nothing else about the Shawloon in the wiki, or of sacrificial magic anyway, go ahead. It’s a bit of obscure knowledge and it seeds some ideas.
- At least one article that expands on, adds to, or otherwise builds off an existing article — written by someone else. If you talk about the sacrificial magics of the Shawloon savages, I might pick up on the Shawloon element and start talking about the geography of their homeland and just why they are savages, someone else might explore sacrificial magics across the realm.
Generally one Scholar should not edit another Scholar’s writing, but it seems reasonable that if kept to implementing hyperlinks it should be okay. This lets us drop the prerequisite on adding (and tracking!) unresolved links, and leaves selection of new topics to the Scholar.
One of the things I like about the Lexicon structure is that it requires interaction between the Scholars. You can’t just sit off to one side writing everything there is about one topic, you must respond to your colleagues. Periodically seeding with net-new articles gives an opportunity to be wholly creative (not following up), but overall most of the writing should end up fairly related to other posts.