I've started work outlining an overhaul for the Kara-Tur article. The article as it stands is too verbose in the areas that it has, and completely lacking content otherwise. I plan to include new sections, like how they are in typical wikipedia-style continent articles, such as demographics, history, geography and climate, economy, definition and boundaries, and culture. These will all eventually have their own respective full articles that will be linked to, but initially they will be dead links.
As this little project goes forward, please reply to this topic with any questions/comments/concerns. I shouldn't need much help, but if you already have work done, we should definitely collaborate to save time.
As a person who lives for lore, content is important to me, but also accessibility. I aim for the pages I edit to have just enough information to be convenient and informative, with the option to view more if desired. Yes, this leads to more work and more articles, but there is a boat-load of information to be recorded. Even for a small topic like the currency of Kara-Tur could easily fill a small article of its own, so that is the intention. As a DM, having quick access to short info and quick access to detailed info is important for making a good story.
Let me know if any of you are particularly attached to any part of the article or its children. I don't want to step on any toes.
Want to watch my progress? Check out User:Kukudush/Kara-Tur Overhaul.
- Thanks for taking this on! Yes, I agree the continent page should have general and overview information, with lore specific to certain locations on their respective pages or developed into larger, separate articles.
- Here are some issues to consider when tackling Kara-Tur.
- Past editors on Kara-Tur pages haven't been the best. Some have copied passages from the sourcebook wholesale; we've removed what we've identified, but there might be some out there still. Others have had very poor use of English, so their articles are not reliably accurate, complete, or easy to read, or are outright incomprehensible. Some fanon lore and misinterpretations may have crept in. I've tagged what I've found for cleanup, if not a total rewrite. We've also wound up with some fan-made maps that include non-canon locations (I just deleted one) that may need to be removed.
- I've done everything in Koryo, individual currency pages, eastern languages, stubs for tribes and ethnicities, the religions, Chukei province, and miscellaneous things. I've listed my work from here downwards.
- A convention of the wiki is to divide the continents into smaller regions based on the compass directions, to focus lore on those areas and for generalities (like mentions of the North or the South) and add an intermediate layer of organization. We've done Faerûn and Zakhara. Kara-Tur remains to be done, but I've already categorized some pages as northeast, south, southeast, etc. Kara-Tur is a weird shape and it's been tricky thinking of a decent way to divide it.
- The Horde sourcebooks make references to Kara-Tur, but typically get everything a little bit wrong, which often trips us up. Spelljammer lore also makes weird references to Kara-Tur, but I can't speak to that. Sirwhiteout may have more knowledge of this.
- I recommend starting with something specific and narrow in focus in order to get used to things, such as wiki policies and style and the vagaries of the setting, then working your way up to the large topics and broad-scope stuff. It tends to be easier and less overwhelming that way. :)
Just my two cents- Would it be possible to find a complete map of Kara-tur? One that doesn't focus on one nation or region, and shows political boundaries and major geographical features? This would definitely help show where everything is in relation to each other.
Also, remember that the FRW is not Wikipedia- it is not structured the same, and does not require the same sorts of articles. In your sandbox page, for instance, I see links to pages such as History of Kara-tur, Climate of Kara-tur, Languages, Demographics, Religions, Races, Culture- which is not entirely correct. Honestly, most of those pages would be unnecessary. Stuff like Culture, History, Languages, belongs on pages for specific nations or groups- the culture of Wa belongs on Page:Wa. There is no one, unified culture of Kara-tur; each culture belongs in its own section on a page dedicated to a group or nation. Also, climate and geography definitely do not require their own articles. Descriptions on Page:Kara-tur, and more detailed descriptions on other pages (again, the geography of Wa belongs in section on Wa's page), are more appropriate.
"History of __" pages occur when there's an incredibly detailed history of a nation or people to record- not an entire continent's history. Give a brief overview of the major events in Kara-tur, then more detailed histories on the pages of the nations and groups. For instance, the complete history of Nexal and its achievements and rulers is on its page, but the history of Maztica section, on said page, gives a brief overview of Nexal's history, as well as the history of other peoples on the continent.
This is all my suggestions- by no means am I an expert on Kara-tur. I do, however, have a love of organization and lore. Feel free to ignore me or question me as you wish- but I can't promise I'll answer (Maztican final exams are really difficult).--SilverTiger12 (talk) 19:23, March 19, 2018 (UTC)
- The problem of a map for Kara-Tur is tricky. We could possibly edit one of the fan-made maps to show its features more accurately, but I don't know if that would be considered fanon or not. Until someone can address this well, I think it's fine to stick with the map I have currently on the sandbox article, or any map that is more up-to-date.
- I definitely see your point with regard to some of my outline. For example, I would remove the link to Religions of Kara-Tur, and under each religion sub-heading, I would instead just link to their full articles, respectively. I'll look over my outline tonight to see what I should change.
- For all of the main article link entries on my current outline, they are intended to become brief overviews (not full histories) that link to more specific locations. I will remove the ones that don't make any sense to have, but will keep others if necessary. If a section is overflowing, it might call for a new article, or moving the specific information somewhere more appropriate and only keeping the generalities.
- Now, for some of these subtopics, there is a LOT of canon material for them. If I see merit in creating a separate page for a subtopic, I still intend to do so. IMO, it's messy to have hundreds of lines of description for a subtopic in an article. If my Kara-Tur geography subheading write-up ends up being super long (which I predict), there's no reason I should be afraid to create a separate article for the details, and then further link to more specifics (i.e. Kara-Tur -> Geography of Kara-Tur -> Shou Lung#Geography -> Geography of Shou Lung). Ideally, all of the geographic detail will be contained in the article of the respective nation/region, barring extreme detail which could warrant creation of a Geography article for said nation.
- In this way, the reader can choose to go incrementally as deep or as shallow as they want their information to be. Also, the editor can rely on this hierarchy of detail, reducing redunancy when creating new articles. Got information about the social customs of Kuo Te' Lung for the Shou Lung page? Put what's relevant to Shou Lung generally, and then link to a more specific page. This avoids overloading the parent article with details that aren't relevant to its scope. (which I think we agree on?)
- The intention is not to copy Wikipedia's style. The intention is to take what is useful and use it. If I'm writing a backstory about a character who has taken a great journey through Kara-Tur, I don't need to read an entire essay on Chukei's geography. Maybe I want a general overview, and only specifics in two of the points on the route? Having to sift through an essay-like article is tedious and I won't subject a reader to it unless it's absolutely necessary.
- And if I want extreme detail? I can easily just go deeper and find it. This way of organizing is used on Wikipedia for a good reason, not just for aesthetic. It's predictable, and easy to follow.
- However, I will use my best judgement for deciding these things, and follow policy as close as I can. And I welcome criticism 100%. If I'm wrong, please tell me why. My aim is a wiki that is enjoyable and really useful, so don't pull any punches. My ego will be just fine :^)
- Periodically I'll post my progress on the Kara-Tur sandbox article, so please feel free to chime in with tips or suggestions. I appreciate the effort you all make to be helpful to little newbies like me. :3
- There are several decent maps for Kara-Tur in the KTCS, Ronin Challenge, and the Kara-Tur Trail Map. One shows the political boundaries of Shou Lung, T'u Lung, and Tabot (the one Kukudush is currently using). However, the borders of the other nations are unknown and very speculative, and given the hazy geography in those parts (vast unmapped jungle, tundra, and plains) are likely not meant to be precise. I'd rather not try to make an effort of it.
- Unlike Wikipedia, the Forgotten Realms Wiki doesn't have to deal with quite the volume of lore or level of detail that Earth has, and Kara-Tur doesn't even have as much as Faerûn. So it is feasible to keep a full account of something on the parent page. My preference is to have all the relevant lore on the one page and to avoid subpages and duplication wherever possible. Having multiple different accounts of a topic means multiple things that need to be updated if something is changed or added. One page is easier to manage, multiple pages need extra layers of categorisation. A long page is fine, if it has sufficient sections and organization to keep stuff easy to find, and images and floating quotes to stop it being a wall of text.
- Given the way Kara-Tur has been presented, with Oriental Adventures discussing in detail a lot of culture for a generic Asian setting, then adding a few pages for the continent, it would be fair to have sections on Kara-Turan culture, society, economics, etc. as a whole. There's more lore for those than some nations. Given how detailed some of it is, splitting it off into separate articles could be considered, if it would be overwhelming to the main article.