[Lexicon: an RPG]
Lexicon is an RPG meant to be played on a Wiki. Since this is a Wiki, that clearly means we should play Lexicon.
Basically, players are a bunch of scholars preparing an encyclopedia. There are rules for turns and citations and what-not.
There are links to games of Lexicon, both complete and in-progress, at http://www.gamegrene.com/wiki/Lexicon_games.
It might help to get a consensus on general mood/style for the game before starting.
Note the following game is dead and has been for quite some time. In fact, the link no longer works.
Wiki at http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~stan/wiki/pmwiki.php .
Current Turn: [Letter D]
Possible Bored, Snarky Observers:
I think doing some sort of conspiracy-theory-nut/secret organization lexicon would be cool, but I don't know if anyone else is up for that.
- That might work. An alternative idea that just popped into my head (bad head! write a paper!) was a hook for the writing of the lexicon itself. A fantasy setting: due to some (as yet unexplained) disaster, conspiracy, or recurring event, long-term memories are draining from the world. The great scholars, artificers, and tale-spinners meet in haste to preserve what history they can in written form before all of civilization is left blind to its past. Of course, not everyone agrees on what it is most important to preserve, and some might seize upon the opportunity to tell their own vision of the past . . . after all, who will be left to say otherwise? I'm worried that the concept might turn into "ye olde generic fantasy," but we might be able to take that hook to interesting places. --WillShipley
- So, Perhaps post-cataclysm where the last surviving scholars are trying to leave some record of the previous civilization so that not everything is lost?
- Oooh! How about they're preparing a sort of reverse-time-capsule thing to send back into the past to try to prevent the cataclysm! And of course all the scholars have different ideas of what would prevent the cataclysm...
- I'm not sure that strikes me as being as compelling as the before... why are you trying to preserve something if you're going to save it anyway - why lexicographers? Now, there might be a way to structure such a game, but it sounds more like a nomic-style game than this is, with people creating the history and proposing plans and everything coming to a vote, with the winning history(ies) shaping the plans, and the winning plan winning the game. But while i'd probably also play that, its not this. Now, such a game could follow LexiconRPG with the Lexicon as history...
- I'd actually like to make that last thing i wrote a proposal: play LexiconRPG as a post-cataclysmic scholars trying to save what they can, and then play a game where we work out and vote on plans to save the world by going backwards in time, with the Lexicon forming the basis of that game. ... you know, i just read Pastwatch by OrsonScottCard?, this is starting to sound a lot like that...
- A tempting thought, but I'm worried that the reverse time-capsule might restrict players a bit too much; i.e. not only do we have to decide whether or not our entry is something worth preserving, it has to be something worth preserving and something useful to save the world. But random inspirational concepts aside, I'm willing to help nourish whatever world seed we eventually choose. (I'm a fan of the post-cataclysm idea, because it adds a dark urgency to the tone of the game, but this is a fun enough concept that you've got me now matter what we do.) --Will
Thoughts on the matter:
- It seems to me that, seeing as it will soon be break and some people will be far from or occasionally far from a computer (compared to at school, anyway), playing the LexiconRPG might be a BadIdea (as compared to waiting until the next semester starts)
- Yeah. I'll be in Mexico for most of the 1st half of break. --JonathanBeall
- An alternative (that wouldn't help people gone for long enough) would be to run rounds of more than a day (eg 3-7 or longer), which would solve sporadic access problems (though not complete lack of access)
- The plus side of break, on the other hand, is that people will have more free time in order to participate, especially with longer rounds.
- Since Jonathan and Robin will be gone for different halves of break, you could combine them into JonabinSchriebeall! *is silly*
- You know, this may be a Wiki, but there's no reason why we couldn't set up a seperate Wiki for the game. Link to it from this page, of course, but that might help isolate fact from fiction as it were. -Will
- Seconded. -LauraKanofsky
- Its also possible to keep all the pages subpages of this page, that way they are still part of this wiki, but not enmeshed in it, and very clearly associated with this page. It would also make sense to not link to pages outside of this pages network of pages, to keep it contained. And of course, within the network we can hide the networking in hypertext by using some formatting tricks... eg, it would still look like normal WikiNames -Squirrelloid
- . . . so . . . what's our ETA? It is now Winter Break. Holidays are coming up, but there's two weeks of dead time after that (for those of us not travelling) . . .
- I really wouldn't mind starting a game over the break, as I have lots of free time to write now. (Something that will be sadly different during school). However, if too many people are unable to participate, I can wait. -KevinBergemann
The game is played in 26 turns, one for each letter of the alphabet.
1. On the first turn, each player writes an entry for the letter 'A'. You come up with the name of the entry, and you write 100-200 words on the subject. At the end of the article, you sign your name, and make two citations to other entries in the encyclopedia. These citations will be phantoms -- their names exist, but their content will get filled in only on the appropriate turn. No letter can have more entries than the number of players, either, so all citations made on the first turn have to start with non-A letters.
2. On the second and subsequent turns, you continue to write entries for B, C, D and so on. However, you need to make three citations. One must be a reference to an already-written entry, and two must be to unwritten entries. (On the 25th and 26th turns, you only need to cite one and zero phantom entries, respectively, because there won't be enough phantom entries, otherwise.)
It's an academic sin to cite yourself, you can never cite an entry you've written. (OOC, this forces the players to intertwingle their entries, so that everybody depends on everyone else's facts.) Incidentally, once you run out of empty slots, obviously you can only cite the phantom slots.
3. Despite the fact that your peers are self-important, narrow-minded dunderheads, they are honest scholars. No matter how strained their interpretations are, their facts are as accurate as historical research can make them. So if you cite an entry, you have to treat its factual content as true! (Though you can argue vociferously with the interpretation and introduce new facts that shade the interpretation.)
An optional rule that we might want to implement deals with phantom entries. Basically, for each letter, phantom entries have to be filled in before new entries can be made. Obviously this works a little better with longer turns. People working on phantom entries should call dibs on them so that we don't get several people writing the same entry.
Um, it figures that the game would stat right after my computer borked itself. Is there any chance I can still play, or shall I join RichardGarfinkel in the ranks of the bored, snarky observers?
I think the general feeling is yes, though we're not sure on how the details work out. It already sounds like the number of citations isn't likely to magically work out exactly. Not to mention, as long as your computer is fixed relatively soon, you'll probably make this turn.
Hmm...isn't this (absent the Gnomic-like proposal) more of a GroupStory? than an RPG? Insofar as there's no (formal) competition, no win or loss conditions, etc.. Or am I missing something?
- what rpgs are you playing that have competition and win/lose conditions? The point is to assume a role and have fun. A leveling dynamic seems to be the only ubiquitous thing we're missing, and thats hardly required as there are systems which dont have one.
- You'd think that, ClayHambrick, but in thinking that, you are underestimating the tendency of the people playing to seek out in-character conflict. At present, we have violent disagreements among the characters on at least two issues. (Alchemists vs. Artisans and skeptic/arcanist/miraculist views of magic, for those playing)
My computer is "fixed," (actually, I'm back home so I'm no longer stuck using my not-in-such-good-shape laptop). So, since I haven't heard any objections, I'm going to sign up and play.