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I don't know about others but I feel the wiki is really difficult to navigate as well as being a bit devoid of information. It feels like the information on there is cut to the bare fat but that the useful stuff is also removed. As an example, I saw this on the site: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/how-argan-argar-courted-esrola/

My process was:

"Oh what's Akez Loraddak?"
Center of the Shadowlands.
"Where?"
The God Learner name for the Kingdom of Night
"What?"
A historical empire in Kethaela
"Where?"
A coastal southern land in Maniria.
"Where?!"
A region of central-south Genertela
"Ah, okay."

I can't fathom trying to get into Glorantha as a newcomer and finding this as the wiki. I understand that a lot of effort is in this but compare it to, say, the Lexicanum for the 40k fandom: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Cadia

Almost all the questions you could possibly have are answered in the summary paragraph:

Cadia was a terrestrial Fortress World on the edge of the nebula known as the Eye of Terror. The planet was situated in an area of space known as the Cadian Gate, the only stable, permanent route into and out of the Eye of Terror large enough to allow the passage of battlefleets.[5] For this reason, Cadia was heavily fortified against the assaults of Chaos and was a frequent target of Abaddon the Despoiler's Black Crusades.

And a bunch more are answered by the "Basic Data" sheet which has a summary of all relevant logistical data.

I understand that this would be a lot of effort but maybe a fan-contributed wiki on the Glorantha site might be a solid idea? I'd happily help setting up templates etc, it's just a matter of having the space for it (and also this dodges a lot of possible legal issues, as I understand it).

 

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6 minutes ago, MachinaMandala said:

I don't know about others but I feel the wiki is really difficult to navigate as well as being a bit devoid of information. It feels like the information on there is cut to the bare fat but that the useful stuff is also removed.

Before answering some of your questions about the info on the Glorantha.com site, let me direct you to http://glorantha.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

this wiki is much more dynamic and up to date.

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It’s entirely fan contributed and can always update, anyone can join in. For copyright reasons it can’t contain vast swathes of published stuff.

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 I can see the issue with the Glorantha wikia:

1 hour ago, MachinaMandala said:

I don't know about others but I feel the wiki is really difficult to navigate as well as being a bit devoid of information. It feels like the information on there is cut to the bare fat but that the useful stuff is also removed. As an example, I saw this on the site: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/how-argan-argar-courted-esrola/

My process was:

"Oh what's Akez Loraddak?"
Center of the Shadowlands.

Akez Loradak, aka the Obsidian Palace or the Castle of Black Glass, a structure erected by Veskarthan (the local name for Lodril) for Argan Argar after that darkness deity had shorn off the top of the Obsidian Plateau which used to be his seat of power in the ancient land of Kethaela, just north of Choralinthor Bay. The castle served as a refuge for the Shadow Platea trolls and the humans of Nochet during the Greater Darkness and was the seat of the Only Old One aka Ezkankekko, son of Argan Argar and the goddess of the land, Esrola, until Belintar the Stranger slew the Lead Serpent summoned by the Only Old One in their final battle for control over Kethaela, afterwards known as the Holy Country. The Lead Serpent crushed the palace into fine dust, which now covers most of the surface of the once verdant Shadow Plateau, and its bodily remains fell across the Creek-Stream River, blocking its course east of the Plateau.

What remains of the place since is called the Tar Pit, one of the better known entrances to the Underworld, for heroes who can withstand the substance within, and who can negotiate of fight past the troll and Kitori guards and pilgrims at this site.

An article like this creates dozens more of cross-linked searches, but at least offers a few pointers. But it fails to mention the Shadowlands, which is in my opinion a lesser name for the Kingdom of Night, aka Kitori Kingdom, the political entity which united much of Kethaela and for a time also Dragon Pass and lands beyond. And yes, it fails to mention Maniria or Dragon Pass, or the continent Genertela. On the other hand, it offers the name Tar Pit by which the location is referred on maps showing the current geography.

My old encyclopedia would also offer all maps that show ths place. An information system like the one I would love to have would provide a zoomable map and layers of political and historical maps to activate.

1 hour ago, MachinaMandala said:

"Where?"
The God Learner name for the Kingdom of Night
"What?"
A historical empire in Kethaela
"Where?"
A coastal southern land in Maniria.
"Where?!"
A region of central-south Genertela
"Ah, okay."

So, do you have an idea who the God Learners were? What history was mentioned?

BTW, the text in italics that I wrote above will most probably create an irate reaction by other scholars who demand source and chapter for the data on the nature of the Shadow Plateau before it became the plateau, expand into a discussion of the Footprint Myth and the Mythos and History of the Argan Argar cult, and (if straying off far enough) the question why "pharoah" or "pharaoh" is no longer used to describe the (former, disappeared in 1616) immortal ruler of the Holy Country.

Way too much information for the casual reader, but an easily linkable list of "further reading" or perhaps even "ongoing debate" might be useful.

At the very least, my version did mention one of the myths and a few of the huge historical events that are tied to the place.

1 hour ago, MachinaMandala said:

I can't fathom trying to get into Glorantha as a newcomer and finding this as the wiki. I understand that a lot of effort is in this but compare it to, say, the Lexicanum for the 40k fandom: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Cadia

Almost all the questions you could possibly have are answered in the summary paragraph:

Cadia was a terrestrial Fortress World on the edge of the nebula known as the Eye of Terror. The planet was situated in an area of space known as the Cadian Gate, the only stable, permanent route into and out of the Eye of Terror large enough to allow the passage of battlefleets.[5] For this reason, Cadia was heavily fortified against the assaults of Chaos and was a frequent target of Abaddon the Despoiler's Black Crusades.

Being ignorant about all but the most basic information on the universe of 40k, I would have to start to research "Eye of Terror", "Chaos", "Abbdon the Despoiler" and his "Black Crusades". The definition of a Fortress World might be interesting, too.

 

1 hour ago, MachinaMandala said:

And a bunch more are answered by the "Basic Data" sheet which has a summary of all relevant logistical data.

I understand that this would be a lot of effort but maybe a fan-contributed wiki on the Glorantha site might be a solid idea? I'd happily help setting up templates etc, it's just a matter of having the space for it (and also this dodges a lot of possible legal issues, as I understand it).

To be honest, I feel the same when reading place descriptions in the Guide pdf when not having a separate document open for the map and possibly for the chapter overview. I really miss my old data structure. (Which had the option of fan contribution but was not a wiki, but a form-based database.)

Let me illustrate this with a semi-randomly grabbed entry from the Guide:

Quote

Yangku (small city): This market town is plagued by the Blue-Faced Beast, which annually visits Yangku and extracts a terrible ransom.

I know that this is in the Kralori province Jaubon because that was how I picked the entry. I have to check the map to be sure that the Jaubon province is on the Genertelan mainland (aka Vaska Long) north of the Suam Chow, and the introductory paragraph to tell me that this is in the rice basket. Checking the map, I find that Yangku lies on the northern shore of that inland sea, which creates the possibility that this blue-faced beast rises from the waters. The political map gives me the population number (4k).

I am fairly certain that a text search for the Blue-Faced Beast won't bring any additional information on this terror. Google points me to the wikipedia entry on Yang-Shi, which Dave Cake had pointed out during the Group Read of book one of the Guide, but that's not Gloranthan information, and might be beside the point.

The lexicalic entry for this place would read something like:

This small city of about four thousand souls is a market town on the northern shore of the inland sea Suam Chow, in the rice-growing province of Jaubon which lies on the continental Genertelan mainland of Kralorela, also called Vaska Long. Its clame to fame comes from the ransom that must be paid to the Blue-Faced Beast on its annual visits to this town.

Quite a lot of duplicate information in the first sentence, but then a phrase that could be re-used for most other cities in Jaubon. In a perfect world, the first sentence would have been generated by an AI, or alternatively the map info would be "magically" shown as soon as I call up the place name or the entry for the Blue-Faced Beast.

That said, providing each and every entry in this way creates a lot of duplicate information, and the sheer amount of keywords (and categories) in Glorantha is daunting. When Charles' implementation of my old "encyclopedia" went online, it created about 30,000 pages. Giving each the treatment it deserved was more work than I could manage over the years the database was available online.

 

The Wikia approach also suffers a bit from Peter's efforts to use the hierarchical categories there rather than freely cross-linking to any related entry inside the page (which would be the "organic" use of such a wiki). In a way, I felt I could do this stuff more freely within the corset of my database approach where I would simply add a list of any topic I felt was related to the topic at hand.

But then I had the luxury to be able to use out of print copyrighted passages and slightly more voluminous quotes since the stuff was hosted on glorantha.com where I had not found the time yet to rephrase the content.

In my editor view, I even got a list of the quoted passages in clear text rather than just the page number entries that were publically available. It was supposed to be a resource for people writing Glorantha stuff, so that they could read up related material without having to grap the correct book (or switching to the pertinent pdf, nowadays), and for my personal use I crave very much a dissection of all the Glorantha material like this. For the use of authors doing research on what was published or even only theorized before, access to the unpublished stuff (let me rephrase that: the "exclusively published stuff available to the highest bidders at the time the Guide was kickstarted") wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

That, and easy access to previous debates on certain topics on the mailing lists or forums, or non-canonical articles in fanzines. At least it will illustrate where sometimes strange perceptions originated.

Edited by Joerg

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For my own use the wiki is fine. I don’t think it should ever be considered an authoritative or primary reference for Gorantha, or even a particularly great introduction to it. Glorantha is a commercially published setting so that role belongs to Chaosium, it’s web presence and products.

What the wiki is great for is if I come across a reference to something, don’t know what it is and want to get a minimal summary and related references. For that I can search the wiki in a few seconds, without having to spend half an hour looking up a primary source. If I really do want more info though, it’s off to the published sources I go, and that’s how it should be.

It does sound like you have some good ideas on how to make it significantly  more useful though, which is great.

Edited by simonh
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I have to admit, as an artist I find it rarely helpful. For instance, I will get an art brief and it contains a term I haven't heard before. Or I'm about to illustrate a culture I haven't done before. 

I search for it on the wiki and most of the articles are just full of hyperlinks, without any actual descriptions, explanations or information content. Then clicking through deeper and deeper I travel down the branches of the tree and when I get to the end node, there's no or very little info there.

There is some information stored in the structure of the wiki, but that's not easily parsed by human beings.

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1 hour ago, JanPospisil said:

I have to admit, as an artist I find it rarely helpful. For instance, I will get an art brief and it contains a term I haven't heard before. Or I'm about to illustrate a culture I haven't done before. 

I search for it on the wiki and most of the articles are just full of hyperlinks, without any actual descriptions, explanations or information content. Then clicking through deeper and deeper I travel down the branches of the tree and when I get to the end node, there's no or very little info there.

There is some information stored in the structure of the wiki, but that's not easily parsed by human beings.

That's a basic problem once you start structuring information this way. Even more so if you try to avoid duplication of information. And getting into the category links basically means you get lost in administrative overhead, or otherwise re-directed to the few pages with actual content that you have already read. This bug is a feature of the category system provided by the wikia engine.

What you can do is ask a human being with access to this tool and others for a brief on this culture. I used to collect such research results from my own data collection, and I know that some of those were used for publications - my old website even had a web form to contact me when I still actively maintained my index/encyclopedia. I suppose you can find other volunteer search assistants, too. 

The Wiki usually gives one or two sources where this info was published. It also has a high number of re-directs, but fails to list the items that re-direct to a result page, which is bad if you are doing full-text searches in relevant publications.

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The wiki really hurts to look through.

Like, I know its fandom made. But compare it to Wookiepedia or the Forgotten Realms wiki or one of the WH40k wikis. Its tough to sell to a lot of new folks who are like, "Ok, my GM wants to play a game in this really old cool setting" and then they look to the wiki and leave confused or wonder why its so barren.
I.E. My friend wanted to be a nomad, and ended up as a Praxian. He looked up Prax on the Glorantha wiki.
Climate? Nope.
What the people are like? Well they herd animals and worship spirits and raid an oasis. But thats all pretty vague.
Geography? Nope. Just a list of places of interest that are all hotlinks.

It doesn't even mention the Praxian tribes. If we compared it to say, The Hordelands of Forgotten Realms (A rather 'off to the side' region far from any real focus in FR) the wiki page is far larger, carefully crosslinked in a rational fashion, and even has a ~map~ (from the one time a map was made of the place, so its a terrible map)

I don't know if the Glorantha wiki has serious controls on what it can post or something, but I've had half a mind to investigate it and see if I can at least update what's there.

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3 hours ago, Madrona said:

The wiki really hurts to look through.

Like, I know its fandom made.

The Wiki is Peter Metcalfe's research engine, with Peter's contributions amounting to at least 90%. When this tool was built, my old index still was online.

If you want to read Peter's work on describing Glorantha, pick up the pdf of "Glorantha - Introducion to the Hero Wars" from the Vault section in the Chaosium Glorantha publications.

Neither ever claimed to provide an easily accessible introduction to Glorantha in all its aspects.

 

Maintaining such an engine is a time-intensive pastime. If maintenance rests on a single pair of shoulders, there is only so much that can be done.

3 hours ago, Madrona said:

But compare it to Wookiepedia or the Forgotten Realms wiki or one of the WH40k wikis. Its tough to sell to a lot of new folks who are like, "Ok, my GM wants to play a game in this really old cool setting" and then they look to the wiki and leave confused or wonder why its so barren.

This wiki is a tool for scholarly fact gathering. It could easily have become a private only endeavor, but Peter chose a format where others can benefit from his activities, and contribute.

 

3 hours ago, Madrona said:

I.E. My friend wanted to be a nomad, and ended up as a Praxian.

Good for him. Now where does it state that the wiki provides a setting introduction for players or GMs?

The purpose of the Wiki appears to be a collection of provable published facts about the setting.

 

 

3 hours ago, Madrona said:

He looked up Prax on the Glorantha wiki.
Climate? Nope.
What the people are like? Well they herd animals and worship spirits and raid an oasis. But thats all pretty vague.
Geography? Nope. Just a list of places of interest that are all hotlinks.

It doesn't even mention the Praxian tribes.

It does, somehow, in the labyrinth of the categories and sub-categories mechanic of Wikia that Peter has chosen to use for hierarchical organisation of the data. This Wikia feature provides such links at a special position on the site.

My approach started by listing all the references I was aware of in RQ or Glorantha publications, then added my own shorthand description of the entry, and relevant quotes from the source cited with source attribution, and a list of other entries in the list I thought would be useful to read on. II started putting together that collection in 1990, and it went online some time after the publication of Hero Wars.

 

You probably are baffled by the scholarly approach of the Wikia. Isn't Glorantha a setting for rpgs? Yes, among other things.

 

 

I don't know how wookipedia manages to maintain uniformity of appearance and content for its pages. Possibly through editorial maintenance.

3 hours ago, Madrona said:

If we compared it to say, The Hordelands of Forgotten Realms (A rather 'off to the side' region far from any real focus in FR) the wiki page is far larger, carefully crosslinked in a rational fashion, and even has a ~map~ (from the one time a map was made of the place, so its a terrible map)

How many contributors do these platforms have?

All it takes to have a well-rounded piece in a wiki on a single topic is one contributor willing to work wiithin the parameters of that wiki.

 

3 hours ago, Madrona said:

I don't know if the Glorantha wiki has serious controls on what it can post or something, but I've had half a mind to investigate it and see if I can at least update what's there.

You are invited to do so, but your contributions are expected to obey the entry  format. On the other hand, a different wiki "roleplaying in Glorantha" might be started, using the existing Wiki as its source.

Given the work and consideration Peter has put into the Glorantha wikia, a new wiki might be the better course.

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6 hours ago, Madrona said:

The wiki really hurts to look through.

It’s a research tool. It doesn’t contain copyright material, it always refers to product in or out of print. 

Personally I find it very useful, but it’s certainly not an intro to roleplaying in Glorantha (nor was it intended to be so)

I’d  always direct my players to the RQG pdf or Glorantha.com

As with all public wikis, you can join in or even make your own.

Glorantha / RQ is small IP as a result the number of people curating such resources is low. Groups for the IPs you mentioned have in some cases 10s of 1000s of members on Facebook  

 

 

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I find the wiki very useful for keeping close to canon and as an _accurate_ index of sources. If it was truly a work of dozens, the weeding necessary to eliminate non-canon, uncertain canon, and fanon would be much worse.

I second the idea of a Fan-based wiki with art, speculation, and adventure hooks as opposed to dry indexing. They serve different roles, and Metcalf's is really important if you want to write or research something, err... arcane, like my focus on Darkness Age proto-Heortlings.

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Now that I understand Glorantha better the wiki is easier to use, but when I first got into the setting it was frustrating when I was trying to get information for my gaming group. However, I would like to see either a rework of the current wiki or a new wiki that's formatted better than just being a bunch of bullet points so that my players can use it. And no, before anyone asks, I can't just direct them to the guide, it being a tad pricey for me and my jobless high school friends.

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I use the wiki a lot as a GM. I never use it as a player, nor would I recommend it as a player-friendly tool.

As the GM (and using the wikia) I have written a "Player's Primer to Chern Durel and Northern Kralorela", which I have distributed to the players. This enables me to control how much information starting characters know about the setting, to orientate it towards my own views of Chern Durel and Northern Kralorela (since YGWV), and to make sure important facts are known and shared ("they hate Ignorants in Baihu").

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I think the wiki is really useful for looking up a particular place or person or object, and being directed to the source.

It's not very useful as a stand-alone source of detailed information. That's just how it is.

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