Jürgen Hubert (jhubert) wrote in roleplayers,
Jürgen Hubert

A Call for Help

It's been nearly a year since I created the Arcana Wiki. It started with my firm belief that inspiration for gaming could be found pretty much everywhere. And since I had already created a number of wiki projects, creating another wiki seemed obvious. Thus, I created the Arcana Wiki with the mission statement: "To become like the Wikipedia - if the Wikipedia was written by gamers, for gamers!"

That is to say, each entry contains both "factual information" - the kind of stuff you might find on a Wikipedia entry (though we tend to focus on the more interesting aspects of something instead of dry statistics) - and a "Game and Story Use" section where anyone can add adventure, story, and campaign ideas.

Take a look at the following entries to see some examples of how it works in practice: Arcology, Aufhocker, Centralia, Pennsylvania, Global Consciousness Project, Irondale Inn, Palimpsest, Pope Joan, Santa Muerte, The Gangs Of Old New York, and Transhumanism.

These are only a small number of samples - at the time of this writing, the wiki has more than 1,600 pages from almost any conceivable topic! Furthermore, it has also expanded into things not covered by the Wikipedia. For one thing, it has now a Trope Section, which attempts to convert the information found at the TV Tropes Wiki into something more suitable for gamers. For another, it provides summaries of and links to all sorts of news stories which contain inspirational material. See the entry for the year 2008 for a large number of example stories. Furthermore, we have used the wiki software to create a number of random generators useful for gaming - for Random Characters, Random Adventure Seeds, Random Crimes, and Random Animal Hybrids.

Still, there is a lot of material still not covered - and for that, we need help. We have three people who contribute new material on a fairly regular basis, and a number of occasional contributers - and we'd like to see more of both. So, what kind of stuff could you contribute to the Wiki?

The short answer is "pretty much anything". But here are a couple of specific sub-projects you might want to contribute:

  • Your Hometown: We need descriptions of real world locales - and lots of them. If you think there is some place you are familiar with - whether it hides dark secrets, old legends, or simply could be the place for a really cool fight scene, head to the List of Countries and find the right place to add your own locales.
  • Mythological Creatures: We already have a large number of supernatural critters from around the world, but the more the merrier! Also see the much shorter lists of Fictional Creatures from non-gaming fiction and the Mythological Characters, which detail unique entities instead of entire "species" of critters.
  • Mythological Places: Add to such locales as Atlantis, the Kingdom of Prester John, Pilatusstadt or Area 51.
  • Tropes: The TV Tropes Wiki has vast amounts of material, and we need all the help we can get with porting it over. But it's a worthwhile endeavor, because all those tropes can be used to make explanations for adventure seeds and campaign ideas easier. You don't need to explain what a Robot War or an After The End setting are when you can just link to the relevant pages. You likewise don't need to explain the conventions for Body Horror or a Zombie Apocalypse. For your adventure ideas, you can easily distinguish different types of villains such as an Evil Matriarch, a Hanging Judge, and a Monster Clown without having to go into detail.
  • Campaign Settings: We want to provide detailed explanations of the most important themes and elements of the various published campaign settings out there - whether Delta Green, Deadlands, or Space: 1889 - but we haven't gotten very far.
  • Terrain: Terrain is always of vital importance in games - especially during fight scenes. Add to our collection of terrain types, which ranges from Swamps and Archipelagos to Garbage Dumps and Shopping Malls.
  • Technology: There is all sorts of technology which might make an appearance in adventures. If you have any particular knowledge, add to such entries as Weapons, Robots, Vehicles, or Architecture.
  • News and Events: The Timeline is intended as a repository for real world events and news items. So if you come across anything interesting in either history or the daily news that could be converted into an adventure, go to the correct year and add it. Stories such as the Palisades Rathouse, the discovery of a portal to the Mayan Underworld, the zombie caterpillars, or the Stockholm Bloodbath provide examples of such entries.
  • Adding the "Rate" module: This is more of an annoying chore than anything else, but it needs to be done. We've recently decided to add a module which would allow users to rate individual pages quickly and easily, but unfortunately it needs to be manually entered into existing pages (new pages already have it as part of their page templates). This forum thread explains how it is done. So far, we have finished all entries beginning with the letters "A", "B", "C", and "Z"...

To write new entries, take a look at the Wiki Syntax Documentation, and read the What to Add to the Arcana Wiki, What The Arcana Wiki Is Not, and the Arcana Wiki Style Guide

Admittedly, that's a lot of material to digest. But if you want to jump right in, do the following: Browse the Arcana Wiki, and when you discover an entry you like, try to think of additional adventure ideas, hit the "edit" button at the bottom of the page, and add your ideas. Take a look at the existing formatting, and you will learn the conventions of the Arcana Wiki in no time. I've enabled anonymous edits, so you don't even need to register at the wiki to add new materials (though you should do that, if you want bragging rights for your material...).

Anyone interested in helping us out?
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