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Split the Wiki

Well, it has occured to me that only after The Vault split from wikia did order begin to return, something that is slowly being lost in the Forgotten Realms wiki.


Well let me start the story back where it started, with the Vault. When the Vault started in wikia, it had great potential. It was a fledgling wiki and then things wen wrong. Articles became clustered and confusing, not well written, and overall, useless? Big articles like NCR and Brotherhood of Steel were well written and perfect. Administrators were greedy, if the article was not written their way then boom! you are temporarily banned for vandalism.

Then there was two options left: either split from wikia, or end the Vault. They chose to split from wikia, I have recently rejoined the Vault on its new destination. With administrators not working on what should be called Nukapedia soon, I began to fix up articles, make them how they should be. I also joined the New Vault, as we should put it. The articles there need organizing and that is being done.

You see the major problem with the Forgotten Realms Wiki is information regarding 3e and 4e, in my terms being a wikipedia editor as well, the whole article should be updated to the stats of the 4e with the 3e being kept in preservation. However, the way it is going, the 3e information is being retained and very poorly written and the 4e info is being stuffed into a history section.

So there are various propositions here:

1) Split the wiki and have one wiki the Forgotten Realms 3e Wiki and the second wiki the Forgotten Realms 4e wiki, or Wikipedia Style. 2) Take the Forgotten Realms wiki and have it split apart from wikia like happened in the vault. 3) Take the Forgotten Realms wiki and split it from the wiki as happened in the vault but recreate that wiki in Wikipedia Style. 4) Vice Versa to number 3. 5) Split the wiki into various smaller wikia's based on split Faerun topics

Plenty of others as well.

Mr. Youtube 03:24, December 29, 2011 (UTC)

I see what you're saying. Thanks for making the suggestion. However, the best way to improve the wiki, in my opinion, is to just improve the wiki.

Unlike Fallout, which has a large number of fans at any one time, and even more so when new games are released, this wiki is on a niche subject with only a few people interested at one time. The older generation of tabletop gamers, of which there are many, tend to shy away from wikis, as they prefer sources such as and other more traditional means. This means there are never very many people contributing at one time, although there is always a steady trickle.

I would rule out two separate wikis for 3e and 4e on the basis that the universe is contiguous and there is a lot of shared information. For example, Waterdeep is a city in 3e and 4e, and on Wikipedia, one would not find an article on 16th century Venice and a separate article for 20th century Venice (although its history might be split into separate articles; something that has happened with Waterdeep).

You point out two issues which I believe are at odds:

  • You claim the admins of the Vault became elitist and rejected edits not of the highest quality.
  • You claim there are too many low-quality articles on this wiki.

There is every likelihood both claims are true. However, we are aiming to strike a balance between good editing, and editing at all. Only allowing great edits would put too many people off. We are still duty-bound to reference the sources from which we contribute information, however.

To rectify the situation you perceive, I would suggest:

  • Always cite your sources. Always. There is a wealth of templates for citations.
  • Cite other people's unreferenced information. You will encourage them to cite sources themselves.
  • Help other people in a helpful way, rather than a critical way, to encourage people to submit more valid information, but still have fun.
  • Write in the past tense. Imagine you are in 2000DR or 3000DR, and you are looking back at the events taking place. That way, we avoid a situation where 5e comes along, advances the timeline, and all 4e articles need to be rewritten in the past tense.
  • Imagine 4e as 'stuff that happened around 1470DR' and 3e as 'stuff that happened around 1370DR' and write a chronology as though you were within the game universe. You needn't explicitly have a '4e info' section. People understand that from the year. If it's stats, it possibly violates no crunch.

Hope that helps!

Fw190a8 14:55, January 2, 201w2 (UTC)

Sorry Fw but you make one mistake your right in both 3e and 4e Waterdeep is a city so that's a bad example. I'm in favor of 2-3 wikis (I.e. 2e, 3e, and 4e). A good example is Neverwinter and New Neverwinter the same "city" but one is a city, 3e, and the other is ruins, 4e. The rest I agree with though, but there's a large community of players and people who dislike the radical changes that 4e introduced like huge swathed of lands are scared and others are exposed to the underdark. I like the fact that parts of Aber have rejoined with Toril. That's an awsome factor but everthing else including new game play mechanics suck.

Pharuan Undearth 21:40, January 2, 2012 (UTC)

FW, I agree. The Forgotten Realms has been around a long time... I am not entirely happy 4e jumped 100 years into the future... and the destruction of the world reminds me too much of the Chaos War in Dragonlance :) But it is canon, and I believe the past is very important... Youtube, I understand you want everything updated, but just think of all the source material before 4e... characters and rich history which has to be included into the world... not to mention the great writers who have contributed... Everyone remembers Drizzt Do'Urden, but what about Ren o' the Blade or Artus Cimber... yes, sadly, they are dead in the present, but they are alive in those novels and many gamers like to play in the past... or in the Realms they remember... compare it to Star Wars... many gamers still play around the First Death Star and some in the New Jedi... for me, this wiki is everything Forgotten Realms... for both new and old gamers alike :)

Darkwynters 22:54, January 2, 2012 (UTC)

I'm completely against splitting the wiki. Beyond that, I have nothing new to add to the discussion, except to say that I agree with the points raised by Fw190a8 and Darkwynters.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 00:38, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

I'm all for splitting the wiki. Have one Classic Wiki for 3e and before and a New Wiki for 4E and after. The editions just do not mix. Even more so when the editors are 4E supporters and think that all the old stuff does not matter. Worse 4E just ruins the world for no reason. Take any of a hundred locations, 4E simply ruins them for no reason. Well, this place used to be a city but they it got turned upside down and is now gone. So if the article is 'the Ruins of Where ever', how does one add anything to that article? Start every sentience with 'well the Grey Mug tavern was once on south street before the city was obliterated'.

4E is not really just a continuation of the history of the Realms, it's simply a new game based off of the popularity of the old Realms. How are things like lets kill of 99% of all the NPC's of the Realms a good idea to keep history? So now all the NPC articles must state well this character is dead, of course. It gets worse with magic, as 4E magic is nothing like the older editions. I once edited plenty of magic articles, but gave up after they were mostly rewritten by the 4e supporter crowd. The same is true for most other articles. I'll write a nice page about a single place, then low and behold a 4E supporter will re-edit the page with oh well this used to be a place until a giant blue tree grew in the middle of it and destroyed everything and basically deleting my article. So why bother to even do an edit or add anything if it will just be ruined by whatever 4E did to it?

Bloodtide 03:24, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

Your distaste for the changes made when 4E came out (that I share, mind) is irrelevant. This wiki is nothing more than a glorified history book, albeit one that is always expanding and people will never find boring. There's no difference between saying something like "The land of Netheril was once a verdant land full of lush wildlife." (paraphrasing, of course, from one sourcebook or another) and saying "Once a large continent west of Faerûn, Maztica disappeared from the face of Toril with the advent of the Spellplague, when it was transposed with the Abeir continent of Returned Abeir." It's all history.

Your issue seems to be more with the editors and less with the subject matter. If you're upset that old material is being replaced, then fix it and speak to the individual editors on their talk pages. If they still refuse to listen, speak with an admin, who can at least temporarily ban them. However, if the issue is that they're adding history to an article, making outdated information irrelevant, than that's just tough luck.

Cronje (talkcontribs) 03:12, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

The main issue on this began when I was editing Neverwinter, I updated all the information and made it past tense so that it would fit into 4e, as I had done this with Baldur's Gate to no objection. Pharaun objected, so did a few others. Then when I made New Neverwinter, in a way it was a way to make it 4e and 3e, but that article has evolved past that point. Every article needs to be updated to past tense, a big wiki movement, so to say or the wiki needs to be split. --Mr. Youtube 04:59, January 3, 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Youtube 03:24, December 29, 2011 (UTC)

If the wiki were split, you'd have to create all those articles from scratch, unless the plan is to export/import the pages from here to the new wiki, in which case you'd still have to do all that work anyway.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 13:42, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

I do not want to see the wiki split, that seems like a huge amount of work. I would much rather see the work going into improving content. Can we come up with a page format or organizational style that allows info from all editions to be presented in chronological/edition order? Or how about breaking out the 4e material to its own pages and linking to it using a naming convention--sort of an internal split done via the Category system perhaps.

If the consensus is to split, then I would go with Bloodtide's suggestion to make a 4e-and-beyond wiki and keep this one 3.5 and earlier. There is no reason to have more than two wikis because it is all shared history and the only difference would be game mechanics which we are trying to minimize anyway. I like the sense of history that this wiki provides and I would prefer we kept it all in one place, even though I don't ever plan on using 4e material. Just think about what would be lost when you search for something--a separate wiki would break the chain.

Moviesign 15:52, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

As the post from the 4E supporters have shown, they love the destruction of the Realms. To them it's all 'official history'. So if someone writes a nice article the 4E supporters feel righteous coming in and reediting it and saying haha that was obliterated in 4E, suck it up and deal with it. I'm sure I'm not the only FR fan who simply gave up adding anything to the wiki.

The basic problem is that the 4E so called history is just too extreme. It would not be so bad to just add 100 years of history to an article, but the problem is the 4E extreme obliteration of history.

This came up before 4E though, with the Tilverton article. In 'current' 3E this city was destroyed. There were thous of us that were editing this article to add more information, but the 'pro change soon to be 4E folks' would come in and rewrite everything to the destroyed 'current' city. It brought up the idea that all articles must be current as to whatever wizards says they are that day. Then if you wanted to do an article on a 'currently' destroyed place you had to add 'ruins and this person is dead' and such to your article. This only got worse with 4E as just about every NPC is dead, and the 4E supporters demand that all the articles should say 'dead person, ignore them'.

My suggestion at the time was to keep the histories of each person/place/thing separate divided by events. The main article would just be a small introduction, and the 'history' would contain all the details be the timeline. The idea is simple, you could go to the section of the article that contained the time-frame you were interested in. And that section would be 'up to date' for that time. You would not have to read stuff like oh blue light obliterated this 100 years from now if you were reading the article from an early time frame.

In most cases this would give you something like three articles per article on the same page: A historical view, the view of the article as normal, and how it was obliterated and or changed in the future. Of course the 4E supporter crowd did not like this as they demand that everything on the wiki be changed, obliterated and destroyed to meet the 4E history.

So we could really use a Classic Realms Wiki....

Bloodtide 15:52, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

You're asking for the wiki to be split into two - one with all the information pre-4E and one with everything, including 4E. Not only would you be giving those editors who migrate to the pre-4E wiki a ton of work to do in recreating articles, but you'd be effectively splitting the active editors pool, of which there are about a dozen of us. Better to enjoy the Realms you remember and ignore the 4E stuff, rather than stretching our contributors further.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 22:25, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

First and foremost, I am really proud to be a part of this wiki. I have enjoyed the Realms since my 13th birthday and to find a place where all my beloved books and source material can be found is flat... cool! I am disappointed with 4E... I started with the red box, so every edition felt like it built on each other... of course, I still pick up 1st edition material when playing 3.5... for one thing, not every NPC or location has been upgraded with each edition... take Elmwood... there is no 3E or 4E info... so is this village gone in 4E? I really like how FW stated, "Write in the past tense. Imagine you are in 2000DR or 3000DR, and you are looking back at the events taking place. That way, we avoid a situation where 5e comes along, advances the timeline, and all 4e articles need to be rewritten in the past tense," because whether or not you want to completely obliterate the Realms, the truth is Cattie-brie is dead and in 3000 DR even Drizzt Do’Urden will be dust... As for 4E, even I have to admit reading about Cattie-brie’s death would have been better read, than observed while editing her page... but even while my heart skipped a beat, I realized 100 YEARS... of course she is gone... but like Movie says, just write about 3E... as for 4E... if the wiki is in past tense, you can say: Elmwood was a village on the Moonsea and as for it being destroyed in 4E... just add that to the history: in 1474 DR a giant asteroid hit the peaceful farming village and killed everyone! Again, I would like to commend you guys on your passion for this wiki :)
Darkwynters 23:33, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

You see, this is what would happen if we split the wiki:

This wiki becomes the Forgotten Realms Pre-Spellplague Wiki

The new wiki would become the Forgotten Realms Post-Spellplague Wiki

Sure we would make pages from the ground up, or we could migrate articles needed. However, those against splitting the wiki, what you should do is rewrite all articles in past tense starting when you can. That would effectively help avoiding splitting the wiki.

This wiki already has a past tense policy (which I'll admit I just discovered) so I would like to see this policy enforced and articles rewritten in chronological/edition order as needed. How about some templates similar to {{timescale}} that we can use to mark statements as belonging to a particular edition? Like so.3E This would be useful as an unobtrusive way to annotate big articles until they can be rewritten, and little articles that don't need to have 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5, and 4e sections added (bleah :P )
Moviesign 03:01, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

I too would like to see that policy enforced, except in the case of the year pages, as the present tense works well for those pages. I don't think we need to add [1E][2E][3E][3.5E][4E] tags, though. As long as everything is properly referenced, the References section of the article will show them what year the information was published.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 03:06, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

It's not just about the history of a person/place/thing. We can write all articles as if you were writing from 2000 DR and we still have the 4E problem. And that is 4E destroyed and obliterated half the Realms. Entire nations and landmasses are gone and destroyed.

And the 4E wiki would not need all the 3E or older information, as it all does not matter to a 4E game. A 3E wizard or magic item is not the same in 1/2/3E and then 4E, they just have similar names. A 4E wizard can't find an old spellbook with a 3E spell in it and cast it. And it gets even worse with the gods and monsters. After all 4E just randomly changed things that made no sense based on the history of the Realms(Duegar are Devils? Succubi are devils? Naga's are immortal? and the big 'oh they are not elves they are elardin or whatever').

Bloodtide 03:01, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

I really see no reason to split the wiki. As others have pointed out this wiki doesn't see that much activity to begin with and the 4e information doesn't destroy the 3e information. All the events that happened in the past still happened. Yes, there have been changes to the lore surrounding the creatures, but this is nothing new (even if the extent to which the 4e writers and designers went about it was more extreme). For example, before 3rd edition, dwarves couldn't be mages and there was no such thing as wild magic. Since 3rd edition, that's no longer the case. Should we then make a 2e wiki? A 1e wiki? What about when the inevitable 5e comes along?

Contrary to what some may believe, I'm not a fan of all the changes made in 4e (the confusion surrounding aasimar and devas, just to name one headache). Many of the retcons, I feel, were unnecessary. But since they're canon, we have to live with them. We can ignore them for our own campaigns and fiction if we so wish, but for the sake of record-keeping and maintaining a wiki that covers official material and not just what we'd like to imagine to be canon we can't let our own personal feelings get in the way.

You think everyone who works at Wookieepedia is a fan of the prequel films? Or loves every retcon that's come along? Of course not. But that doesn't mean they pretend whatever it is they didn't like doesn't exist. That's because they take the job of maintaining a database seriously and don't let themselves divide up into smaller groups, which, ultimately, would be able to accomplish much less.

The same goes for Memory Alpha. Or The Vault. Very few people are ever completely satisfied with the entire library of material put out for a long-running franchise like the Realms. But that doesn't mean we should just pretend everything else didn't exist. It does. And it's here to stay, at least until the arrival of a fifth edition.

I vote we keep the wiki as one, though I'm not necessarily opposed to moving it off of Wikia as The Vault did, if someone has a plan as to how to accomplish that. But that's an entirely different matter than splitting the wiki.

Don't split the party, guys.
Niirfa-sa 06:01, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

Nirrfa, you make an excellent point! I mean even growing up I felt the Night Parade stunk and was pretty disheartened by the sudden return of Wulfgar in Passage to Dawn. Personally, I liked his death in The Legacy. You're right, I might not like to changes in 4E, but I do have a responsibility as an editor to check and see if Elmwood exists in 4E materials (it doesn't), because this will make the wiki more powerful. If a 4E supporter changes a page... just add under the Notes section the change. For example, Twinkle was a Defender +4 in 2E and in 3E they turned it into a ridiculous +2 Defender. As for monsters, I guess the same can be true... keep the most recent info in the infobox and the rest add to the page with references and use the Notes section :) Again, splitting the wiki would be a horrible idea... working together would be better!
Darkwynters 18:41, January 4, 2012 (UTC)

If such is the case we would need to start reediting all pages on this wiki right away to make them all in past tense. That is the only way I can see a proper wiki forming that does not involve Pre-Spellplague and Spellplague and Beyond content.
Mr. Youtube 03:27, January 5, 2012 (UTC)

This wiki's problems aren't about splitting content (though that is an issue) but more about having dedicated editors and administrators. I'm the first to admit that I am neither. It is impossible for me to be and that has been the case for over three-and-a-half years now. I don't cite the majority of my sources because I have so little time online in a week & prefer to add content to the expense of all other concerns.

When I started editing The Vault, I only ever saw one admin active and it was before Fallout 3 came out so there wasn't much of a community either. This disheartened me and my edits to that wiki slowed to a crawl, even though my subject matter had hardly been touched by anyone else. I think we suffer from a similar problem. We don't have the man power to adequately check and support the community. As such, even considering splitting the wiki is folly as the job simply won't get done. Consider that 4e was released in 2007 and we're still having a problem with it in 2012 despite the relative lack of FR content.

As for writing articles in the past tense, that is supposed to have been the case for at least two years (though I know from experience how difficult it can be to keep reminding yourself that's what's supposed to happen when you're reading a present tense source).

hashtalk 14:58, January 8, 2012 (UTC)

Wow, hot topic! Glad to see so many people contributing to the discussion on this.

I must point out that, as already mentioned, your personal opinions of any edition of the game have no place in this discussion. You're entitled to your opinion, and me to mine, but those opinions should not detract from the wiki's purpose of providing canon information. Of course, we could always start a new forum thread called 3e vs 4e and see what happens. ;)

The consensus so far is definitely to keep a single wiki, but to write in the past tense. The policy has indeed been there for a long time. I see three problems currently:

  • The policies are hard to find and new members are unaware of them.
  • The policies are not being enforced.
  • (A lesser concern, but) there is still a huge amount of unsourced information out there on the wiki.

As admin, I could easily lay the smackdown on anyone not obeying the established policies, but this would be counter-productive as we need people to want to edit the wiki and nobody likes having their edits criticised. So far the technique has been to improve "poor" edits or those that ignore the policies.

I would like to suggest we do the following as a result of this discussion:

  • Write all new information in the past tense in accordance with Forgotten Realms Wiki:Remove wiki from timeline.
  • Encourage new editors to do the same by referring them to the policy using their talk pages.
  • Don't enforce the above in a rude way!
  • Nobody should feel obliged to take on the task of re-writing huge swathes of the wiki in the past tense, as we'll get there eventually.

I would also like to make the following recommendation, and ask for your opinion on this:

  • As the wiki is written from an in-universe perspective (except stuff like books and authors), use years instead of referring to editions in the article text. Reasons:
    • Somebody who needs to know the edition will know enough about the Realms to get the edition by looking at the year.
    • Somebody who doesn't need to know the edition (a reader of novels, for example) would be confused by the edition.
    • The in-text citations can be used to identify the edition by seeing which source the information came from, even if a year is absent.

What I want to avoid is a system where it's commonplace to have a "3e and earlier" section and a "4e" section in lots of articles. I feel like this is divisive and unnecessary, and we should be thinking of the Realms in terms of a unified history, not a series of "snapshots in time".

Feel free to throw in your own thoughts though, of course!

User:Fw190a8 19:13, January 8, 2012 (UTC)
Great post, Fw190a8! Some thoughts on your comments:

"Write all new information in the past tense in accordance with Forgotten Realms Wiki:Remove wiki from timeline."

This seems like a reasonable idea and one that I'm personally in favor of advocating. However, a question arises as to if this applies to everything. Personally, I'd prefer limiting the past tense to articles that specifically detail character biographies, events, background lore, etc, while leaving racial or class descriptions in the present tense unless canon has significantly altered these descriptors. It just seems awkward to me to talk about humans, for example, in the past tense as if they don't still exist in the setting.

For example, in my edits to the classes adding information from the previous editions, I've assumed that most information said about classes, even in pre-4e, still holds more or less true, it's just that the 4e versions represent the "normal" version. The same applies to racial articles (the tiefling article, for instance, doesn't say that all tieflings now look like 4e tieflings - just that this is the most common physiology).

However, that might be overly complex, particularly given the problems you've mentioned about enforcing policies and if no one else wants to pick this up we could just adopt the blanket "past tense" policy used by Wookieepedia. It's not my preferred style, but I can live with it and it does keep things simple.

"Encourage new editors to do the same by referring them to the policy using their talk pages."

This seems reasonable. I'll admit to not being active all the time (usually just when I'm doing research for my campaign) but if I spot new users that haven't been welcomed I'll point them to the policies.

"Don't enforce the above in a rude way!"

Hopefully this goes without saying, but it's nonetheless important to point out.

"Nobody should feel obliged to take on the task of re-writing huge swathes of the wiki in the past tense, as we'll get there eventually."

I was going to point that out myself, actually. While I wouldn't necessarily discourage anyone from making these edits, it is an incredibly huge burden to take on and I wouldn't worry about getting it all over with immediately.

"As the wiki is written from an in-universe perspective (except stuff like books and authors), use years instead of referring to editions in the article text."

This is more or less what I already do.

"What I want to avoid is a system where it's commonplace to have a '3e and earlier' section and a '4e' section in lots of articles. I feel like this is divisive and unnecessary, and we should be thinking of the Realms in terms of a unified history, not a series of 'snapshots in time'."

I agree and to a certain extent think this falls under the general "no crunch" policy, since most of the differences between the editions are mechanical, rather than in lore (granted, 4e changes a lot of lore as well). If we split things by edition, it just invites a whole lot of unnecessary information that we don't really need or want, like class levels, challenge ratings, hit die, etc.

I've actually given this whole issue some thought for some time and think we may also need a revised canon policy. I have some proposals along those lines, which I'll post shortly in a separate thread, but I'm open to suggestions here as well. In general, I think we should focus on prioritizing lore over crunch and most recent information over older information, but only when the two conflict. Any information not directly or heavily inferred to be contradicted from previous editions, I think, is absolutely safe and no one should feel that everything is being thrown out that isn't explicitly mentioned or covered.

Niirfa-sa 22:20, January 8, 2012 (UTC)

I agree with everything Niirf-sa has said, but (as I mentioned earlier) I'd like to keep the various year pages in the present tense, as opposed to the past tense. Not only is it the format that The Grand History of the Realms uses but also the one used on Wikipedia.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 02:02, January 9, 2012 (UTC)

Well, now to be fair and make everyone as unhappy as possible, I would say that every single year pages MUST be set in the past tense, except for whatever year is the official year per the officials. And, after all, as nothing before 4E matters, all so called history pages should be rewritten to conform to 4E. So for example a wizard in 1350DR must be called a 'so-called wizard', as they are not a 4E wizard class in any way shape or form. And all places/people/things obliterated or changed by 4E must have that statement in the very first sentence of the page, to let all 4E folks know how useless the old stuff is to them. So everything should say the dead human Bob who ran the now destroyed store in the now destroyed city of Hope and so forth.

It's the only fair thing to do.

Bloodtide 22:20, January 9, 2012 (UTC)

I have to say, being contradictory for the sake of being contradictory just makes you look like an ass. It definitely doesn't help get your opinion across in any sort of constructive way; in fact, it makes your arguments less strong.
Cronje (talkcontribs) 05:45, January 9, 2012 (UTC)

Blood, you completely read my mind :) Everything is past! Even 4th edition. I'm completely cool with this... as for 4E being mostly game mechanics... I have to say I'm really... really disappointed in the Monster Manual 4th edition :( I finally took a look through the book today... All the monsters have a tiny paragraph about them and then pages of stats... I remember in 1992 opening the 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium Volume 1... and seeing all the pages of writing... I feel kind of bad for young gamers... no more creature society... or history... just stats, but still... Blood, I just read the last part of your speech... I'm sorry 4E has made you so mad... but I can tell you this... the other editions DO matter... remember as you stated before "99% of the NPCs are dead"... so how are 4E supporters going to attack these pages... yes, Old Night is dead and the Herald's Holdfast is probably ashes, but until I see evidence and references... those pages will stay in past tense, but the information will still be there... recorded... P.S. Blood, I just finished reading your passage and nearly died... funny, but sad
Darkwynters 06:02, January 9, 2012 (UTC)

I hope Bloodtide is just being sarcastic, there is nothing wrong with the timeline pages. They are concise statements of what happened each year and the timeline reads like any other similar history presentation I've ever seen. Also, I strongly disagree that anything before 4E is useless because you know that WotC will someday introduce time travel! :D Seriously, the pre-4E stuff is valuable precisely because it does NOT contain crunch. It doesn't matter that a 2E wizard would not be considered the same in 4E, they still did great and terrible things in the world they knew. The mechanics may change, but the hopes, dreams, ambitions and needs that drive a good story are just as valid in 4E as they were before 4E. Players and DMs can and will draw inspiration and ideas from the creative writing and imagination of those who pioneered this genre. Descriptions of clandestine organizations, rowdy pubs, tranquil religions, and calculating liches are not artifacts to be buried, they are treasures to be appreciated.
Moviesign 16:48, January 9, 2012 (UTC)

Cheers, Movie and take heart, Blood! This site is about the preservation of history and keeping our Forgotten Realms nostalgia alive. Even if Duergar now have spiky hair missiles :)
Darkwynters 18:23, January 9, 2012 (UTC)

First, let's be civil. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Civility but it should go without saying. We're all capable of having a rational discussion.

Second, I hadn't thought about the idea of having different tenses for different articles. We could either:

  • Always write in the past tense, because it's just easier that way.
  • Collectively decide on the tense most appropriate for each type of article.

Personally I would lean towards different tenses in different situations. In most the English language texts I have read that describe timelines, the present tense is used, although this is not a hard-and-fast rule. We generally follow Wikipedia's style unless we have a good enough reason to be different, and as pages such as Wikipedia:January 9 are in the present tense ("commits suicide" rather than "committed suicide"), I feel we should do that.

So, I suggest:

  • Locations such as nations, regions, geography and settlements (including planes/cosmology): past tense
  • Individuals (people and specific named monsters): past tense
  • Items (food, specific weapons, specific magic items): past tense
  • Deities: past tense
  • Historical (such as History of Waterdeep, but not years): past tense
  • Years: present tense
  • Racial and monster descriptions (elf, dragon, etc, but referring to no specific individual): present tense

When we either get this list nailed down, or decide that everything is going to be past tense, one of us can add a proposal to modify the existing policy, then as per the usual way, we can discuss and refine, and upon either two weeks passing with no objections, or everyone agreeing from the start, we can turn it official.

Anyone have more to article types add to the list? ;)

User:Fw190a8 22:44, January 9, 2012 (UTC)
Seriously, the pre-4E stuff is valuable precisely because it does NOT contain crunch.
  — Moviesign

I agree. I think that in most cases contradictions will be minor (such as the classification of monsters) or easily smoothed out (such as the creation of Tel-quessir to cover pre-4e elves). Even when contradictions can't be smoothed out easily, I don't see any reason why information can't be presented under a "Behind the scenes" header which explains how the information has changed over time, like a history of the bard class explaining how in 2e it was a form of rogue.

Descriptions of clandestine organizations, rowdy pubs, tranquil religions, and calculating liches are not artifacts to be buried, they are treasures to be appreciated.
  — Moviesign

Again, I agree. I don't see any reason why we can't preserve most of the lore from prior editions. Indeed, one of reasons I'm opposed to a split is because I'm afraid a lot of the work previously done and yet to be done for pre-4e material will be abandoned or lost.

Anyone have more to article types add to the list? ;)
  — Fw190a8

One thing that occured to me just now is where classes fit in. I'd probably put them under "present tense" since classes never really go extinct anyway. As I stated earlier, I've generally interpreted information from previous editions on the classes to represent valid, but just not as close to the "average" as the most recent information is where contradictions present themselves. Generally, this seems to work since D&D classes are very loose approximations of character archetypes anyway.

Niirfa-sa 01:56, January 10, 2012 (UTC)

I'm not going to rehash everyone else's arguments, but I have to agree that splitting the wiki makes no sense. We have low activity as it is and splitting into 4e and 3e wikis will alienate more users and lead to a further decline in activity.

Regarding the use of past tense, I'm not sure I understand the mechanics of Darkwynter's suggestions. For example, why would a location that still exists as of 1479 DR be referred to in past tense? The same goes for items that exist in the current FR year. I realize that WoTC occasionally moves the timeline forward, but until the Spellplague, the changes were minor. If memory serves me, the timeline moved from 1358? to 1374 in the first twenty years of the FR campaign setting. If 4.5e is released and the timeline moves forward five years it really doesn't make the subject matter of an article written when 1479 was the current obsolete or necessitate a re-write into the past tense. In short I would suggest referring to any person/place/thing that's alive or in existence in 1479 DR in the present tense. Material from sources prior to 3e should be written about in the past tense.

Boo Too 08:10, January 10, 2012 (UTC)

It's a long thread (which is great because lots of people are contributing!) but just in case you missed it, Boo Too, my suggestion was that you consider that the 'present' year is 3000 DR (or any sufficiently large number that will always be in the future) rather than the generally accepted current year of 1479 DR.

If you wrote all articles for things that exist in 1479 DR in the present tense, and then WotC decided to advance the timeline to 1600 DR, you would then have to rewrite a lot of articles in the past tense, which I feel just creates work.

User:Fw190a8 20:36, January 10, 2012 (UTC)


I have been following this discussion on RSS and though i do not have the same amount of knowledge that a lot of you others have, but i am against the splitting. And i don't wanna restart the arguments as it seams that all has been said (No need for me to reword other arguments)... But about the past tense if there is any info a about it in a newer edition just add the date and say what its like then with a good title.
So how about this guy's is the Baldurs gate page about pre and post spellplague a good example of how a page that has information about both versions? Or does any one have good examples of how a page of selected type might look like? Having examples might help the discussion, and help as a template for further building of pages? (Also when I'm well enough to return it will be good to have)

Terrorblades - This is recorded live at 21:43, January 10, 2012 (UTC)
If you wrote all articles for things that exist in 1479 DR in the present tense, and then WotC decided to advance the timeline to 1600 DR, you would then have to rewrite a lot of articles in the past tense, which I feel just creates work.
  — Fw190a8

To a certain extent, while seemingly awkward, it also is fairly true to Greenwood's original intent that the Realms represented the (forgotten) origin place of many of our world's ancient myths and legends. So while, canonically, FR's present is more or less in line with ours, representing it as in the past is somewhat true to the spirit of the setting.

Niirfa-sa 06:38, January 11, 2012 (UTC)

Can someone point to a good 4e/older edition mix article? One that can be read and understood from any edition without bias? The ones that bug me the most are the destroyed places. Ok, I get it 4E went crazy and destroyed the Relams to be cool. Ok, fine, whatever. So how do I add anything to a destroyed place? The place gets listed in the 'ruins' or 'former settlements' category, so what if I add a tavern or a road? Do we need a 'former tavern' category? Most of the big articles, like Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate are a mess of 1/2/3/ and then non conformist 4 E information, and don't make much sense. For example, does all the headers under Waterdeep like Government even apply to 4E? So how would anyone know what is 'right'? Baldur's Gate is even worse, you have no idea what goes in what edition/year. Take the Bloomridge part for example; nothing there says 'after the spellplague'. You would read that and think that Bloomridge was there when they founded the city.

And how about deity write ups, they have much the same problem. How can I add to the Human God Talos, when the page is covered with oh this was just a orc god, silly. If I add holy days are they orc holy days or human holy days?

I guess it comes down the usefulness of the Wiki. At one time, the wiki was a great place that I could send people to for information. You want to know a bit more about Talos, go to this page. But the 4E spam makes all the old E stuff useless. A person can't read about the human god Talos without the 4E spam. Then they come back and say oh that page said 'whatever' and I have to tell them oh well you need to ignore this and that part. It makes it pointless.
Can someone point to a good 4e/older edition mix article? One that can be read and understood from any edition without bias? The ones that bug me the most are the destroyed places.
  — Bloodtide

While it's not FR, I do think Wookieepedia generally does a good job at sorting things like this. Usually the article lists information relevant to every era in an ordinal list of oldest to most recent. For example, the article for Coruscant includes an infobox which lists the number of satellites, including a notation that was one was later destroyed, a list of native species that includes both current inhabitants and extinct ones, a list of the various forms of government the planet has experienced (in chronological order), and the various factions with which it has been affiliated (again, in order).

And how about deity write ups, they have much the same problem. How can I add to the Human God Talos, when the page is covered with oh this was just a orc god, silly. If I add holy days are they orc holy days or human holy days?
  — Bloodtide
  1. The wiki's about providing the most complete picture of the FR, not just one specific to a particular edition or favored version. That means that the retcon about Talos (and Yondalla... and Lathander... and...) has to be included and shouldn't really be buried somewhere where no one's going to see it like it's a shameful secret. Doing otherwise would be edition favoritism.
  2. In regards to Talos and the other retconned gods specifically, my own interpretation is that most people still worship the gods under their 3e names - it's just that it is also known that Talos and the others are aspects of other gods. But I still think of an aspect as a quasi-deity sort of separate from its source, which was also how Sharess was treated in 1e (before it was retconned that she was separate from Shar).

Elaborating on that, think of the avatars of Hinduism or the Holy Trinity common to most forms of Christianity. In both cases, one or many deities are represented by a number of different "faces" with distinct personalities and domains, though each is still a part of a greater whole. In this way I would say that separate articles for Talos and Gruumsh are still merited, though it should be mentioned in the Talos article that he's an aspect of Gruumsh and on the Gruumsh page, it should be mentioned that one of his aspects is Talos.

It's not all that dissimilar really to the way the Rashemi saw Mystra, Selune, and Mielikki as three faces of one goddess, though in that case their belief is canonically held to be incorrect.

Niirfa-sa 01:04, January 12, 2012 (UTC)

The only suggestion that I can come up with at the moment is that articles be written as histories of the person/place/thing that is the topic. So the Waterdeep page would have sections for each distinguishable era. Say for example, pre-history to 1 DR, 1 DR to 1032 DR, 1032 DR to the Time of Troubles and so on to the Spellplague and beyond. They don't have to be labeled as such, but something that makes the table of contents useful. This would necessarily put the most recent information last, but that's okay, it's only a click on the table of contents away to the 4E or 5E info which might be just "this became a smoking crater in 1555 DR", or might be an elaborate description of some awesomely cool stuff, with pictures (written in past tense, of course).
Moviesign 03:03, January 12, 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine with that insofar as histories or biographies goes, but I think other characteristics, like society, geography, or culture, should still remain a combination of editions, with acknowledgments to differences that emerge. I wouldn't put everything from 3e under one header and everything from 4e under another; that seems artificial and out-of-universe to me.
Niirfa-sa 09:04, January 12, 2012 (UTC)

Coming specifically to the infoboxes on articles such as Shadowdale and Cormyr, if you look at {{Location}}, it has the ability to list up to 5 different statistics for the population of a location, with a year against each. This makes it easy to represent the population of a place under 3e and 4e rules at the same time, which has an affinity with Niirfa-sa's comments on not putting everything under '3e' and '4e' headings.

Check out History of Waterdeep for what I consider to be a good example of historical information represented without making separate 3e/4e areas. Okay, so the last section shouldn't be called "Present Day", and there is no 4e information, but that style should be the one adopted to seamlessly integrate 1e, 2e, 3e, 4e and soon 5e information into one article.

User:Fw190a8 20:51, January 12, 2012 (UTC)

Well, I'm sure in favor of the way Var the Golden does it. You have one real article about the place, and then have the link if you'd like to see what 4E arbitrarily did when they obliterated this location for no reason, click here Var the Drowned. So anyone who wants to read about Var can look on the Var page, anyone who wants to know about it's destruction can look on the other page.

Most history articles are fine, as the years break up the information. The Info Boxes are fine, but most pages are a mess of mostly 2/3E information and then a sprinkle of 4E changes. Take Thay. Right at the top of the page it says nation ruled by Zurkis, not arbitrarily obliterated undead crater land(as it would for 4E. And the info box lists Sazs Tam as the ruler(4E) but all the other information in 2/3E.

I think separate articles for major events that change an area or place should have separate pages. Take Myth Drannor, it has three clear (and edition-less) eras: 1.Elven empire, 2.Ruins and 3.Reborn elfhome. But read the article and it's a mix of all three eras. I think the three separate, but linked articles would work much better. Then you could simply go to the article that is most up to date for what you want, without getting stuff you don't.

User:Bloodtide 23:51, January 12, 2012 (UTC)

sorry to rejoin so late in the dissucion, um... let me say this i will have to concide to the will of the many if they want to keep one wiki. That i am fine with i love the idea of making little 1e/2e/3e/4e symbols next to a cetian section would be most useful and i think awsome. Yet i don't like it when someone use "new" information to rewrite the page to suite the new sources info. Again the best example is Neverwinter and New Neverwinter, the neverwinter page either needs a section or a new page link, which it does, to explain new neverwinter and all its glory. That is the best thing yes yes writing in the past is fine for items, maybe, or cities and people, definately, but most certianly not creatures, unless there is proof of total annilation or extinction. That's all the argument i have in me for the moment, yell at me about something i shall respond. :-P
Pharuan Undearth 07:33, January 14, 2012 (UTC)

So its settled, we will not split the wiki, but rather we shall update the info by making everything past tense and by adding icons much like in the Fallout Wiki which has icons to show the game's the certain object appears in, but in this, icons to show which edition this specific thing takes place in. -- 02:18, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

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