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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  21:28:26  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Poll Question:
The previous poll question: "Should some of the fans of the Forgotten Realms come together, organize a group (the precise details yet undetermined), to produce unofficial "canon" material for other fans of the setting?"

We received 40 responses, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the FR Community organizing itself to produce an unofficial canon or "fanon" material. As of the time of this posting, only two individuals were opposed to the idea. Eleven were either undecided or supported fan material but in an unorganized fashion, and the remaining twenty-seven votes supported the proposal.

Since so many were in favor of an organized method of creating fanon material for the Realms, I am putting forward this motion: "Should the FR Community organize around a Wiki to create and post fanon (fan canon) for the Realms?"

Here is the argument for the Wiki, how it might work, as well as the Pro's and Con's.

The central argument in favor of the Wiki is the organization of material, and the ability for everyone in the community to participate. One of the biggest obstacles that have faced similar projects in the past is that large projects were started, but never made it to completion due to their scope. A Wiki allows people to create things in much smaller chunks and submit it to the community for review. It does not have to be with a particular project, it can center around an area of interest or expertise. Do you really like Cormyr or Elvish lore? Well, you can focus all of your attention on creating and contributing to those things. This will hopefully ensure greater participation in the project.

I envision the Wiki functioning as follows:

There will be four sections.

The first section is open for anyone to submit anything that they want to the Wiki that is Realms related--art, music, lore, stories, whatever if it is fan created and Realms related it is accepted. It is not in anyway reviewed by others, aside from making sure it is Realms related and it is not copywritten material.

The second section is for material that is being submitted for review into the fanon. When you submit things suggestions will be made by others, and the focus will be on making sure it does not conflict with the established fanon, to making sure it is thematically appropriate. There may also be some other established criteria that it may also need to meet, which will need to be discussed by the community. This is essentially an editorial process, attempting to prepare something to potentially be added to the fanon.

The third section is for material that has gone through the previous editorial process. In this section things are being voted into the fanon by the community. This is how disputes get settled. Just like the canon Realms, all the changes to the fanon may not strike your personal fancy, but unlike the canon Realms changes to the fanon at least need to meet with the approval of the majority of the community.

The fourth section is for material that is now officially part of the fanon. This is for material that has gone through the editorial process, it has been voted on and viewed favorably by the majority of the community, and it is now part of the fanon Realms. Future submissions will need to be checked against this to make sure it does not conflict. Things in this section will not be editable by anyone except individuals who ultimately become editors, and the only reason they edit it is to add more updated material.

PROS:
- The Wiki is not dependent on any single individual or handful of individuals. It is a community-oriented project.

- The Wiki breaks down projects into smaller "chunks" making projects more manageable.

- The Wiki creates a way for people to share their own personal Realms with the rest of the community, as well as to contribute to a living fanon that is community built. This keeps the Realms alive.

- It is rules independent and thus does not lock us into any particular version of D&D. People can play the Realms with whatever ruleset they like whether it is D&D, Pathfinder, or something else.

- It allows broad-based community participation, rather than limiting the creation of fanon into the hands of a select few individuals. Anyone who loves the Realms can contribute and participate.

- The community gets to determine what goes into the fanon and what does not. This means the things that get added have at least some base of support within the community. This limits the likelihood of something happening to the fanon that huge majorities of the fans hate.

CONS:
- Wikis are not the easiest of tools to use, and this could limit participation. Efforts can be made to limit this problem, but there will always be some degree of a learning curve.

- Some people may hate the format. This is a controversial point, as some people may also find the format more organized and useful. It is an issue of personal taste. However, because some people may hate the format, they may choose not to participate.

- There will need to be discussions and consensus around guidelines and rules for submitting material to the fanon. It will need to be clear, fair, easy to understand, and workable.

Obviously, there are still some things that need to be worked out. If we get some consensus here on the path forward, then the next step will be to discuss how we handle the edition issue and disputes over established canon. I have some ideas there on how we can try and bridge some divides and bring back together various segments of the community. If we can achieve some consensus on that then the next step after that is to begin discussing how we will handle the rules and guidelines to bring things into established fanon.

Choices:

Yes, the community should organize around a fanon Wiki.
No, the community should organize around a fanon, but use something other than a Wiki.
I do not support the community organizing to create fanon material, around a wiki or anything else.
I am undecided.

(Anonymous Vote)

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  21:40:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's already a Forgotten Realms wiki. Perhaps it's just me, but I would suggest that adding to the existing one would be far more productive than duplicate their efforts.

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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  21:45:05  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There's already a Forgotten Realms wiki. Perhaps it's just me, but I would suggest that adding to the existing one would be far more productive than duplicate their efforts.



The existing FR Wiki is for canon material only. They actively reject and remove any fan created content.

This Wiki will actually serve the current FR Wiki well, as it will provide a resource for people to post their fan-created material. As a result, there will be no conflict or overlap in purpose.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  03:12:49  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think a Wiki is appropriate for 'fanon' - it causes confusion.
I'm not a big fan of Wiki's, regardless, except for the original - Wikipedia. The others are all pop-up fests (and some of those pop-ups have Malware).

This site is already setup to host fanon, and 10-15 years ago it did a good job. However, its EXTREMELY outdated. If we could get something prettier going, and perhaps have things organized a little differently - maybe have a completely separate page for 'fanon', and then have that highly organized, by region, author, and/or subject matter. In other words, if someone wants everything pertaining to Impiltur, they just type in Impiltur and get a list (just like a Wiki... but NOT a Wiki!). You want to know about famous swords, then type in 'swords'. You want to see (non-canon) articles that relate to Khelben (or Elminster, etc), then type that in. Or, just browse the whole list until something catches your eye.

Heeeeeey... I got an idea! How about an online CKC? Heck, if WotC can do it with their mags, why can't we? The only reason the DDi tanked is because not enough people wanted to pay for it (which isn't a problem for us). That way, we can have our cake and eat it to - come out with new articles, maybe even have those 'themed' issues we were talking about, and still have the whole thing searchable (so you can view individual articles without having to read the entire issue, if thats what you prefer. We can even include the stuff from the 1st 9 CKC's.

Kind of like a cross between the CKC's, and those series of online articles WotC used to have on their site (that could run for various lengths). In that way, suppose I wanted to do an article on the city of Sultim. Rather than write one big, honkin' article (which it would turn into if I was writing it), it could be compartmentalized into smaller, bite-sized chunks. In fact, more than one person could work on a series, taking on different aspects of it; so maybe I would write up the city government, guard, and civic buildings, and someone else could focus on local businesses and trade, while another may want to do a thing on 'entertainments' (festhalls, brothels, Popular Inns, perhaps even 'tours' of local landmarks, or a museum, etc, etc). I suppose all of that could be built off of an introductory piece with some history about the place.

You get the idea.

One of my favorite series was the one on portals - that has a lot of traction. I also like the one where Azoun and his wife kept 'hopping' about using some random teleporter widget. Thats called a 'frame story', and allows us to write about all different things within the framework of the over-story. All of that is doable with an online version of the CKC.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Jul 2017 03:14:05
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  05:28:28  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Markustay -

There are a number of issues with the CKC as a format.

First, and perhaps the most obvious, is the fact that the CKC has already tanked once due to internal division over a host of issues. Of course, these are still very real issues that face any project that will still need to be ironed out. However, there is no sign that the CKC is moving in that direction.

Second, the format of something like the CKC limits and restricts the number of participants. It also places specific individuals in centralized roles, effectively turning them into gatekeepers against content that they may not personally like--rather than letting the community as a whole decide.

Third, the central goal is to establish a fanon--an alternative canon--to maintain the living atmosphere of the Realms. This is because WotC is choosing, for whatever reason, to largely slow or end the furthering of the Realms canon. In addition to that most of the community has become splintered and divided, and no longer rely on the canon Realms any longer because it has deviated so far from the original Realms. There needs to be a way to try and knit things back together, to try and mend the divisions, and re-establish what has been lost. That is the purpose of putting forward the idea of a fanon project--a way to try and fix what has become broken since WotC is either unwilling or incapable of doing it.

Fourth, having the CKC be transformed into some type of central database would require someone to code and build it. That could take months and months, whereas Wikia is freely available and ready to use immediately. This assumes that Candlekeep would even see the project as desirable, which I imagine it does not considering its previous stance on the legalities of the CKC. I disagree with their conclusions on the legalities, and considering there has been a Wiki dedicated to the Realms operating for years there is no reason to believe that a Wiki that is dedicated to unofficial Realmslore would get GREATER scrutiny than one that is more likely to contain official canon copywritten material.

I am unsure what you mean by Malware. I am considering using Wikia, the same as the official FR Wiki. I use an Ad Blocker so I have never received a pop-up while using Wikia. Some further information here would be preferable. Regardless, there are other Wiki hosts that can be used. We are not limited to Wikia if there is a problem with that particular service.

In the end, I mean no offense to Candlekeep in saying this, but all things considered, there is no reason to believe that the CKC is coming back. That ship appears to have sailed. It has been years and years since its last release, and every time the topic has come up the same things kill it again. There is no reason to believe that the CKC is going to move forward, but even if it did the same problems that plagued it before would re-emerge and continue. That is one of the advantages of a Wiki-like structure. It eliminates gatekeepers, and so long as there can be an agreed upon set of guidelines and rules for how things get added to the fanon, it is equally fair to everyone. It is also transparent and open, preventing any single individual, or even a small handful of individuals from bringing it to a close. It does not rely on any singular leader, but rather a community that is actively engaged in the creation and editing of new material.
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  05:39:47  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is not a response to anyone in particular, and should probably be part of my OP. However, I do not want to edit that now that voting has started.

One of the more critical issues that projects like this have faced in the past is that they fail to get completed. People start something, but they do not follow through, for whatever reason--life, commitment issues, burnout, whatever. What the community has proven, through the creation and maintaining of the FR Wiki for official Realmslore, is that the community can successfully start and maintain a project like this--it is already doing something similar. So this means that we know that this is an achievable goal, and this is something that we should not overlook as we make our decision. Other similar attempts have failed, but the FR Wiki has been successful.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  06:16:29  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The reason why I would still be willing to back a CKC is because Candlekeep has always had a quasi-official status, because of the people that hang around here. A Wiki that's just 'created by the fans' doesn't really interest me, because it's no different than the tons of homebrew FR lore I come across on people's pages. I find some of it interesting, and I've even stolen a thing or two here and there, but it mostly just wallows in obscurity forever. I have my own projects which are finally coalescing into something tangible, so I'm good by myself (that way, I know nothing will contradict any of my own, personal fanon). I guess I finally understand where George Krashos is coming from.

But the best of luck to everyone involved in this - I am looking forward to reading whatever you produce.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Jul 2017 15:28:53
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  06:43:55  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Markustay -

I should point out that I do not see us as somehow 'splitting' from the Candlekeep Community. It's more of a situation of, 'folks from Candlekeep are using external Wiki software.' I would imagine, and hope, that things that get posted there also get discussed and talked about here on the forums.

After all, if WotC is no longer producing new Realmslore what else is there going to be to discuss? How many times can we rehash the same old topics again and again? That is the entire argument for a fanon, because otherwise the community is going to wither and die. ...and it has already been dealt potentially fatal blows with the stuff WotC has done to divide the community based on edition changes.

If Candlekeep wants to integrate Wiki software into their server to host an official fanon Wiki, then I am all in favor of that. However, based on their stance on the CKC I do not see that happening.

Edited by - Aldrick on 07 Jul 2017 06:47:40
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3545 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  08:38:14  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I dont think a wiki integrated with candlekeeo or affiliated with candlekeep is such a good idea (although it would give it an immediate credibility).

If wotc decide they dont want the wiki to exist it will have to be removed immediately. If its part of candlekeep they may also demand that candlekeep has to go because it distributes such material.


Also what if you get two widely differing but equally brilliant submissions for the same region/npc/artefact. How would it be decided which one to use.

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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
744 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  08:50:04  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
Also what if you get two widely differing but equally brilliant submissions for the same region/npc/artefact. How would it be decided which one to use.

I was wondering this too. If we're all allowed to just add whatever, there could be a thousand different takes of some issues, like cosmology and early pantheons and so forth.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  10:20:14  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I dont think a wiki integrated with candlekeeo or affiliated with candlekeep is such a good idea (although it would give it an immediate credibility).

If wotc decide they dont want the wiki to exist it will have to be removed immediately. If its part of candlekeep they may also demand that candlekeep has to go because it distributes such material.


That's the reason it will never happen. I am not opposed to it happening, and I honestly do not think this outcome would result. However, the Candlekeep community collectively speaking is fearful of WotC litigiousness (some might argue for good reason). Regardless, it is the reason that I do not believe anything like the CKC or anything similar will be produced by the site. This is the need for an outside Wiki.

I also felt that a Wiki was a good way to combat this fear of WotC litigiousness. Primarily because of the FR Wiki, which focuses on official canon, has yet to be shut down. They are dealing with official material, opening themselves up to problems that we should not have to face to the same degree. If the FR Wiki is still kicking around after all these years, a fanon FR Wiki should be safe.

quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
Also what if you get two widely differing but equally brilliant submissions for the same region/npc/artefact. How would it be decided which one to use.

I was wondering this too. If we're all allowed to just add whatever, there could be a thousand different takes of some issues, like cosmology and early pantheons and so forth.



The way I imagine it working, as I described in the OP, is that things will gradually be added to the fanon ('the fan canon'). This is done through popular vote. When dealing with conflicting fanon it would obviously matter whether or not something has already been accepted or not.

If something has already been accepted into the fanon, then all entries that want to be accepted into the fanon will by necessity need to conform to it. Just like with canon, we will not want conflicting material. This is one of the things that will be tackled and dealt with during the editing/review process before the entry is even prepared to be voted on. Thus, if there is something conflicting in the submission, it needs to be brought into alignment with established fanon to be considered. If for some reason that is not possible, it would be placed in the section of the wiki for all other material submissions (things that are not being brought into the fanon).

If two entries are submitted at the same time that are in conflict, there will need to be a Wiki policy in place on how to deal with that. However, I imagine the fairest way to do it is to have them both go through the editorial process at the same time and be submitted to the vote simultaneously. Then whichever is the most favored (gets the highest votes) gets adopted into the fanon. Of course, both of them would still need majority support. The entry that does not make it into the fanon will be placed with the other entries.

It is perhaps best to think of the proposed Wiki as having two major sections. There is one section dedicated to a "living fanon" which is the primary focus of the Wiki. However, the other section of the Wiki anyone can submit anything that they want so long as it is fan created and Realms related. It does not go through the editorial process to be accepted into the fanon. Things that are not accepted into the fanon would also be moved there. So, in that half of the Wiki--which will probably be the largest part, in all honesty--you will be able to find things that contradict the established fanon. It will be a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration, and people can cherry pick from that anything they want to use in their home Realms.

The fanon, however, is a "canon" version of the Realms created and maintained by the fans of the setting. The fanon is designed, as the Realms was intended, to be a living world. This means once we have all the issues we have with the existing canon ironed out, that the timeline will advance in this alternative Realms, and the setting will change as people submit lore. Some people may write short stories, other people may summarize historical events, whatever people want and the community collectively accepts will be adopted into the fanon. This is what was voted on in the last poll, which was intended to measure the support in the community for an organized effort to establish a fanon version of the Realms. This is necessary because, as we know, WotC has divided the community with their edition changes and is not really producing substantive amounts of Realmslore--which in the long run means the Realms community dies. If there is no new material coming out for the Realms, then we run out of things to discuss, and people get tired of rehashing old topics. A fanon version of the Realms would allow us to continue enjoying the Realms regardless of whatever decisions WotC makes.

If people vote down the Wiki suggestion, then there will need to be a consensus around something else. If no consensus can be reached then the idea fails because we cannot get majority support for some path forward. So, if people are voting against the idea, then it is important that they offer alternative suggestions. Obviously, for all the reasons stated, it will probably have to involve something off site from Candlekeep.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  15:39:52  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is probably another (very good) reason why I'd be leary: part of what you said earlier in the discussion (regarding CK and the CKC's) was that "no-one would be in charge", and that sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. If this moves forward, I 'might' become interested in doing some small bits (like what I wrote about Kunrad's Rest recently in another thread). In fact, considering the amount of stuff I have been adding to my most recent maps (I really needed to overhaul FR's river systems... or lack there-of), A Wiki may be the best way for me to publish those bits (rather than have to explain them every time a person asks). I could just say, "Check the Candlekeep Wiki" (note that I would still want the association... and considering that the folks running this site do NOT own the name, we could use it regardless).

And one of these days I am going to show up at a Gencon with those Candlekeep shirts I designed so long ago.

Hmmmm... we could even call it the 'Candlekeep Fiction Section' (keeping it in-line with the idea that we are the actual Candlekeep , and that this is indeed 'a library'). I am trying to think of a better term than 'Fiction' - "Fake News"? LOL

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Jul 2017 15:40:33
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  15:44:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Candlekanon!

Or CKanon.

I like the idea, though I'm not sure there will be a huge amount of support for it. We do have some prolific and creative folks, here, but they're in the minority of a group that's not overly large, anyway.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  17:15:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
'Candlekanon' - thats brilliant. I LOVE it.

So if I wrote a little something about Bombards, would it be canon, kanon, or cannon?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3545 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  17:30:34  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
TSR discovered it needed a traffic cop to improve quality and reduce contradictions. Wotc got rid of that and their products have suffered the consequences.

An arbiter with the final decision is a must for a shared world.

A communitt project is something ive long dreamed of but im old and could only do it on my terms, id never accept anything god centric and that would put me at immediate odds with more than half the people here. So in order to help it id have to exclude myself from involvement.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  18:34:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

'Candlekanon' - thats brilliant. I LOVE it.

So if I wrote a little something about Bombards, would it be canon, kanon, or cannon?



There's not a lot of cannon canon in the Realms.

...Nor are there many cannons, in canon.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 07 Jul 2017 20:39:05
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2017 :  23:39:46  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

This is probably another (very good) reason why I'd be leary: part of what you said earlier in the discussion (regarding CK and the CKC's) was that "no-one would be in charge", and that sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.


quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

TSR discovered it needed a traffic cop to improve quality and reduce contradictions. Wotc got rid of that and their products have suffered the consequences.

An arbiter with the final decision is a must for a shared world.


I don't think it is correct to think about it as 'no one being in charge' and as a result who the hell knows what will end up in the fanon. The quality of what is accepted into the fanon will obviously be determined by the community. However, I honestly believe handling conflicting fanon/canon will be SO MUCH better than the established Realms.

The reason for believing this is two-fold.

The first is the Wiki format. It just makes it easy to organize information and cross reference stuff, if you mention an NPC, an organization, a place--whatever. Either it exists already in the fanon or it does not, and if it does we can easily find it in a single click. So, the organization itself makes it so much easier to find contradictions or mistakes.

The second is something all of us have experienced here on the forums. Whenever we have had a question or participated in a discussion, how often is it that someone else here brings up some piece of Realmslore you had either forgotten or did not know existed? The simple truth is that the Realms is too big for anyone to keep all of that canon in their head. A single gatekeeper will inevitably fail at some point. When you have many people, who are invested in the setting, who care deeply about the lore, using a tool designed for organizing this type of information--the likelihood of fanon/canon conflict is really low.

So, the gatekeeper issue is the one that I am least concerned about.

The larger issue is coming up with a group of policies that the majority of people support. The policies will prevent the sense of anarchy or chaos that people might be concerned about because they will need to be designed to combat these very concerns.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I could just say, "Check the Candlekeep Wiki" (note that I would still want the association... and considering that the folks running this site do NOT own the name, we could use it regardless).

...

Hmmmm... we could even call it the 'Candlekeep Fiction Section' (keeping it in-line with the idea that we are the actual Candlekeep , and that this is indeed 'a library'). I am trying to think of a better term than 'Fiction' - "Fake News"? LOL


So long as there is no objection from Wooly Rupert or others who run the site. Although you're right that the do not own the name, we do not want to offend/upset anyone who runs the Candlekeep Forums. I reserved the name on Wikia just in case, since you brought it up, and I did not want anyone to snatch it before a final decision was made.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I like the idea, though I'm not sure there will be a huge amount of support for it. We do have some prolific and creative folks, here, but they're in the minority of a group that's not overly large, anyway.


That may be true, but the FR Wiki that deals with official canon has sustained itself well over the years. One of the hopes that I have is that we will grow the community beyond the people we have now, and maybe get other people interested in the Realms. I also hope to reach out to artists who like drawing/painting/creating stuff for the Realms. The Wiki can be open to them as well, a place for them to display their creations, and it opens up the possibility of using that art on the Wiki in the articles as well.

I really hope something like this will be a way for us to grow the Realms community beyond what currently exists. Hopefully, in doing that, we will also get more talented contributors and editors.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

A communitt project is something ive long dreamed of but im old and could only do it on my terms, id never accept anything god centric and that would put me at immediate odds with more than half the people here. So in order to help it id have to exclude myself from involvement.


We have not made any definitive plans on how to handle the deities and such. However, that is something that will have to be discussed, and you and I both strongly agree on these grounds. I honestly believe that the discussions, at least when it comes to the deities, will come out in our favor. If for no other reason than even the people who prefer more active Realms deities as characters are not going to want people in the fanon doing the same thing to the deities that happened in the canon. I am more sure of winning that consensus than this one.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  00:50:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which name did you reserve? I really liked Wooly's 'Candlekanon' (Although I suppose the 'official' name should be Candlekeep Wiki). That way, we could even do entries on stuff thats been on the shelves here for years.

@Dazzler - I'm kinda in the same boat, having finally come to understand Krash's 'standoffish' attitude towards these things. But now I've also come full-circle, and I think guys (and gals) like George and yourself can find a way to make it work within your own 'Homebrewanon' (man, thats a moutful). Here's what I think I may do - I have my over-arching Over-Cosmology, and nested within that I have my version of Realmspace, and then nestled within that I have my own versions of Toril & Abeir, and then my own Faerūn. Each is a 'picture-within-a-picture'. But at the very tail-end of all that personal fanon is people, places, and things. 'The small stuff'. So even though I might be leaning toward a more Lovecraftian D&D of late, while maybe Wooly or Krash prefers their 'all things divine' somewhat closer to canon, and at the other end of the spectrum there is you, who doesn't want any 'god stuff' near his Realms. And yet, I can write about an interesting Inn that exists in my version, and you could write about some stuff that's brewing amongst the Zhents, and George can write about the history of toiletries in Impiltur (I kid! I kid! ), and Wooly can write a little something about a Giant Space Hamster that became one of the best damn sewer workers Waterdeep ever had, and so on, and so forth. Each can come from our own little, personalized version of The Realms, but we do not have to include our own, personal 'Big picture'.

This works for me, because for years I've been adding little bits here and there to maps, and then I make up some lore about it... and then I completely forget it when someone asks me about it years later (having just seen the map in question). From now on, when I churn something like that out, I can just post it on the Wiki. Hell, even the stuff I add to my conversion maps (not the stuff that comes from either setting involved - completely homebrew stuff I add as I go along, because I know "something should be there") can go on the Wiki.

So don't worry about Gods, or no Gods, or if Cthulhu is actually the High Priest of the Dark God, or if Pandorym is one of those giant robots that comes together from separate parts (Exodia, the Forbidden One?) None of that matters when we boil everything down to 'material usable within a campaign' (because frankly, 90% of the crap we talk about around here doesn't make a it of difference in-game). So no wild theories - just lots and lots of small, modular, USEFUL entries people can steal for their D&D campaigns.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jul 2017 17:56:05
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  01:05:35  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Which name did you reserve? I really liked Wooly's 'Candlekanon' (Although I suppose the 'official' name should be Candlekeep Wiki). That way, we could even do entries on stuff thats been on the shelves here for years.


I reserved http://candlekeep.wikia.com/ since that is the most obvious one for someone to swipe before we made a decision.

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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  01:20:44  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

@Dazzler - I'm kinda in the same boat, having finally come to understand Krash's 'standoffish' attitude towards these things. But now I've also come full-circle, and I think guys (and gals) like George and yourself can find a way to make it work within your own 'Homebrewanon' (man, thats a moutful). Here's what I think I may do - I have my over-arching Over-Cosmology, and nested within that I have my version of Realmspace, and then nestled within that I have my own versions of Toril & Abeir, and then my own Faerūn. Each is a 'picture-within-a-picture'. But at the very tail-end of all that personal fanon is people, places, and things. 'The small stuff'. So even though I might be leaning toward a more Lovecraftian D&D of late, while maybe Wooly or Krash prefers their 'all things divine' somewhat closer to canon, and at the other end of the spectrum there is you, who doesn't want any 'god stuff' near his Realms. And yet, I can write about an interesting Inn that exists in my version, and you could write about some stuff that's brewing amongst the Zhents, and George can write about the history of toiletries in Impiltur (I kid! I kid! ), and Wooly can write a little something about a Giant Space Hamster that became one the best damn sewer workers Waterdeep ever had, and so on, and so forth. Each can come from own little, personalized version of The Realms, but we do not have to include our own, personal 'Big picture'.


I agree with everything you wrote Markus, but there is also no reason that people cannot share stuff that has no chance of making it into the fanon. I plan to share stuff that I know will never be accepted by the community--such as an alternative to the Spellplague and running a post-apocalyptic Realms. I also plan to do an alternative write-up for Thay that is basically a straight up retcon. I also plan to do Burning Wheel rules writeups for the Realms, designing lifepaths, traits, and skills--though I intend to base my rules off of what is written in the fanon.

All of this is separate from fanon submission stuff.

The purpose of the fanon is to try and knit back together the community that has been divided, grow the community, and keep the Realms alive. People should feel free to share whatever they want, regardless of whether or not it is intended for or is accepted into the fanon.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  02:42:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick



So long as there is no objection from Wooly Rupert or others who run the site. Although you're right that the do not own the name, we do not want to offend/upset anyone who runs the Candlekeep Forums. I reserved the name on Wikia just in case, since you brought it up, and I did not want anyone to snatch it before a final decision was made.


Big Al is the guy that owns this site. He's the one you'd need to run that by. I'm just another person posting here, albeit one with a few more options than most.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I like the idea, though I'm not sure there will be a huge amount of support for it. We do have some prolific and creative folks, here, but they're in the minority of a group that's not overly large, anyway.


That may be true, but the FR Wiki that deals with official canon has sustained itself well over the years.


Apples and oranges.

The FR wiki draws from a lot of existing material, and it's canon material. No one is making anything up; they're summarizing the work of others (not to disparage their efforts; indeed, it is quite the undertaking to find all of that info and get it formatted, cohesive, cited and cross-referenced). It serves as a resource for a much larger audience than we do, and it offers solid, easy to find canon info for those that either lack access to source material or don't want to wade thru bookshelf after bookshelf trying to find one throwaway reference.

What you're proposing is that a smaller group create their own material wholesale, and offer it up to an audience that may or may not be interested. It's a variant DM's Guild, with a smaller audience and without the potential for earning a few pence or getting official notice from WotC.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade; indeed, I applaud you for trying to organize something like this. I do think, however, that you may be a little too optimistic on the potential, here. (Admittedly, WotC has quite well curbed my enthusiasm, and I might be overly pessimistic, here.)

I will say that if you get this off the ground, I will likely not participate. Not out of opposition or anything -- it's because I barely have time, right now, to even think of my own projects, and because (ironically!) I've little interest in fanon. I've read some that was awesome, awesome stuff, and I've read some that has made me regret the time I just lost. In general, unless it's from the pen of Krash or someone else with an already proven record, I don't even pay attention to it.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2055 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  04:30:15  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
yeah but the wiki still hasnt got all the 4e stuff out in the deity section. it still lists hanaili as a version of Sune

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  14:59:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

yeah but the wiki still hasnt got all the 4e stuff out in the deity section. it still lists hanaili as a version of Sune



There's a lot of content on the FR wiki. It doesn't magically update itself - someone needs to find something in need of update and then take the time to do something about it.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
281 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  15:32:03  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think using a wiki is a good idea (well, it was my idea :) ). The Forgotten Realms Wiki is solely for canon, licensed, and official lore. It would really dilute our coverage to include homebrew, fanon, and so on. Yet many people want to add their own developments, characters, and so on to the wiki (with some arguing bitterly when we tell them they can't). I'm not in favour of any group of fans establishing their own single vision for the Realms, but I think our experience shows the larger fandom wants something like this and having a fanon wiki would be a good outlet for it. I see a fanon wiki as just a good place to archive a lot of homebrew lore, shared and available for all to see and use.

So the Candlekeep Wiki would be a fine sister wiki to the Forgotten Realms Wiki. It would be like the three Star Trek wikis: Memory Alpha for TV canon, Memory Beta for the licensed works, and
Memory Gamma for the fanfic and fanvids.

The sheer amount of words regularly pumped out by Forgotten Realms fans on any given topic on a daily basis shows the fandom has the capacity to fill a wiki twice over. :D

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick
CONS:
- Wikis are not the easiest of tools to use, and this could limit participation. Efforts can be made to limit this problem, but there will always be some degree of a learning curve.


In my experience, the learning curve is rather short. Wikia (now called Wikia powered by FANDOM as part of some rebranding nonsense) provides some WYSIWYG editors (VisualEditor and Rich-Text) that people might find easier. Old hands like me might prefer the raw code. In the end, it's basic forum coding and simpler things. If you can use the Candlekeep forums, you should be good. :)

Template coding and formatting is harder, but we all just copy existing codes from other wikis and hack them to what we need. This project is in luck: the Forgotten Realms Wiki has already developed templates and category organisations suited to the Forgotten Realms and five editions of D&D, free to copy and use.

The Candlekeep Wiki would need a distinctly different visual style to avoid confusion, but that's just a matter of picking different colours, background image, and logo.

Wikis are hardly pop-ups. The Forgotten Realms Wiki has been going over 11 years, others even long. Many wikis do fail early in their lives, but that's the same with any online community or project. The creator of Forgotten Realms Wiki itself left after a month, but not before handing off leadership to another user, who did make a go of it. The community it has now isn't the community it had when it started or even 5 years ago. Once a wiki gets through its start-up phase, it becomes self-sustaining. This is the virtue of allowing anyone to get involved, from people in the core of the fandom (Candlekeep regulars) to passers-by (people Googling the Realms). It doesn't need organisation or leadership, only community spirit with shared values and agreed-upon project scope. I've seen other wikis suffer bullying and divisive members, but the FRW's community get along amazingly well. A wiki does need Administrators (users who can delete, block, and manage) and a Bureaucrat or two (super Administrators who can make and unmake admins), but these can be picked from trusted and reliable members and vary over time.

Wikia does have a lot of ads. But I don't see them. :) If you get an account with them, you'll only see ads on the Main Page of any wiki. If you switch to the old Monobook skin in Preferences, you don't see any ads.

We've never heard a whisper from Wizards of the Coast or lawyers or anyone. We write original descriptions, remove copied text, avoid crunch and full stats, and limit image resolutions so they're not as good as originals unless WotC has already freely provided them. The US's Fair Use law makes it quite legal to take and use this stuff for a valid reason, us to collate and detail the lore (basically free advertising for WotC), you to develop it. Homebrewing is exactly what an RPG setting is intended for: fans to take, change, adapt, expand, and share. Thousands of wikis operate for countless franchises seemingly without any legal issues.

The Forgotten Realms Wiki and the Candlekeep Wiki would work well in tandem. We can link pages between wikis, so a reader can read the canonical article on the FRW then follow a link to the fanon article on the CKW. For example, FRW's Ilbratha details all the canon lore on the sword. Go down to External Links, and there's a link to Ilbratha on the Baldur's Gate Wiki, detailing gameplay and stats for the game, which we don't cover. In this way, we can build a web between different wikis and versions of the setting.

As well as sharing code and templates, we can also share lore content. Text generated for a wiki isn't owned or copyrighted, and is available for others to use. (And they do, some scurrilous websites rip off our articles and even try to publish them as books.) It's just polite to give attribution and thanks. I see this sharing going both ways.

Say I want to develop Koryo for a Kara-Tur Redux. I want to develop the Yio Dufong as a band of drunken-master bear warriors (using the 3e prestige classes), why, because it'd be awesome! :D I can copy the text of the article to the CKW and expand it to my heart's content.

Or I can expand on the Order of the Bladewright with the homebrew and the PC I talked about on Candlekeep, here (that game died pretty quick, btw). I can use the existing wiki article (I wrote) as a framework, then add the homebrew in.

Similarly, users working primarily at the CKW would perforce be writing canonical lore as as a basis. They could then add that to the FRW, or we could copy bits, thereby developing both the canonical and fanon articles. So I think this would be beneficial to both wikis. Hopefully many CKW users will develop wiki skills and migrate to the FRW as well.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

yeah but the wiki still hasnt got all the 4e stuff out in the deity section. it still lists hanaili as a version of Sune


There's a lot of content on the FR wiki. It doesn't magically update itself - someone needs to find something in need of update and then take the time to do something about it.


I'm afraid the gods and their churches are a largely undeveloped topic for the Forgotten Realms Wiki. They are large, complex topics, and the current community is more interested in other matters (generally places and people of the 1e, 2e, and 3e eras, Returned Abeir of 4e). We've got Ilmater, Eilistraee, and Waukeen rather well done. I might do another later, but Ilmater was a major project.

But yes, wikis are at the mercy of users' interests. People work on what they're interested in or what they need for a campaign, and whatever gets caught up with that. It's a hobby after all, doing something you don't like doesn't make it fun. Still, we do things to flesh out the setting when come up tangential to a project or to help out. If you have a specific request, then drop us a line here at Requests and someone will pick it just to help out. There's already been a request for deity updates, which I think was too general to be done. Something more focused and specific is more likely to be picked up.

So we need more people interested in detailing a few more gods. A wiki's motto should be: "If you build it, they will come, and if they come, they will build it for you. :)

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Administrator of the Forgotten Realms Wiki and Candlekeep Wiki

Edited by - BadCatMan on 08 Jul 2017 15:37:44
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  18:10:39  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, maybe have two sections in a Candlekeep Wiki - one for the 'Official CK Fanon' (Candlekanon), and another for related 'personal theories' (which would be listed as 'apocryphal' to the official fanon... "fanon of fanon" LOL). Or, at least make external links where we can hosts such 'personalized material' elsewhere.

Also, I have been 'color coding' (a great idea I stole - and reworked - from Brian James and his original GHotR) my own history/timelines/lore, to differentiate the canon bits from the non-canon (and not just for readers - its helps me as well, because when you've been saying the same thing for almost 20 years, you start to forget it isn't canon).
So maybe something like that, or even just bold-face type, so that people can SEE where our own personal canon begins and official (WotC) canon ends. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, and for most entries it won't matter much, but for those of us who love to piece-together theories from lots and lots of stray bits of lore, we like people to be able to see where we were coming from in creating it. On the other hand, I suppose footnoting everything could also work (I would embolden AND footnote, so people know specifically what part of a certain statement is part of WotC canon).


quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

yeah but the wiki still hasn't got all the 4e stuff out in the deity section. it still lists Hanali as a version of Sune.

And 4e is when I stopped using the Wikis (there is more than one FR one, BTW). I found it counter-intuitive when I was trying to figure stuff out, because 4e changed everything (so if you were writing a historic piece, it was practically useless).

And now with 5e 'putting things back', I think it just makes everything worse, because NOW to update the info correctly, we'd need entries for each edition (or at least 3 separate categories, since we didn't have this problem in 1e/2e/3e).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Jul 2017 18:11:23
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1366 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  01:44:57  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the idea sounds interesting, though I'm completely against building on anyone else's real estate (Wiki, Facebook, etc) when it comes to things like this. If you don't own it, they can take it away from you. Just my thoughts (and I don't want to be a kill-joy), but it's a general principle I follow when building any website.
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