Discussions/WikiBooks

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The Basic Idea

There's a considerable amount of inspired writings on the Wiki. While the Wiki is a splendid, dynamic tool, the end result is quite hard to overlook and use in actual play.

Enter the WikiBooks. My idea is to collect all your writings in nicely formatted PDF files that follow the themes of already exisiting books from White Wolf, at least to start with. A quick example of how this might look can be found here: http://www.miketilly.com/stuff/docs/Wiki_Hearthstones.pdf

It seems to me the easiest book to Wikify would be the Book of Three Circles - i.e. a collection of spells, artifacts and hearthstones, and perhaps rules and articles related to them.

/ Resplendence

Interested? Sign here

If you read this and think you'd have use for WikiBooks, please put your nick below so I know if anyone cares for my idea or not.

How To Do It?

I would compile all the suitable content from the Wiki pages, format it and otherwise make a book-like PDF. There are a few questions though:

  • Most importantly, is it even interesting for enough people? It would involve some work, so if noone appreciates it, I will go back to doing it for myself.
  • Should the contributions be included only with explicit permission from the authors, or should everything not explicitly forbidden be included?
  • I don't want to judge anyone's writing skills (in fear of my own being judged), but should there be some kind of selection of suitable material?
  • What will WW think of it? If they react negatively for what's basically a mod community celebrating and thus promoting their products, I think they are anal beyond reason, but you never know.
  • How should it look? The example above is how I write my own Exalted stuff, but there are a few questions, such as:
    • Page format? Since the metric system rules, I suggest A4 format. The details, such as page borders, margin widths, columns, etc, can of course be discusssed - I've tried to squeeze a good amount of text in on each page without making it look cramped.
    • Typefaces, layout, etc?
    • Cover? Page index?
    • How should the authors be credited? My suggestion is to include a "By XXX" line for every piece, and maybe have a list of credits at the end, in case the WikiBooks spread.
    • Should there be yearly or quarterly updates to keep up with the Wiki?

That should get the discussion started and hopefully quickly wrapped up so we maybe can produce a book and create the actual WikiBooks page.

Comments

Another thing that might be cool is if the people who make up visual Charms trees made up some that'd fit in? Just a thought. I'm not particularly picky on how I get credited, or how it looks, since I have no style. - haren

Good idea, but it would have to follow the same strict visual style to satisfy my pedantic urges. ;P Resplendence

I think this would be cool! I ave this idea that we could make locationbooks - two or three pages describing a city and culture, say, followed by Manses and Demesnes of the area (complete with new Hearthstones...but Manses first!), and then maybe three to six Exalted of the area - each one with a custom Charm cascade and an Artifact or two, plus abbreviated writeups of important people in their lives.

Obviously something like that would have to be a directed project rather than a compilation - but I think the results could be miles superior to simply cataloguing Wiki content, and we can make great use out of the hugely creative community and positive workshop-like environment we have here. - willows

Thanks willows, but I won't do anything until a sizable bunch of people give me thumbs up for this. Your idea about a locationbook has considerable merit, but a Bo3C book would be a good start before we go wild. Before that, I need to see some interest in the general idea. Resplendence

That PDF looks damn good, Mike. --dissolvegirl

  • I think that the explicit permission model is probably the best. But I also think that bugging people about whether it's okay would be completely cool.
  • It depends on the intended purpose of the books. If you're out to showcase what the Wiki has to offer, then some kind of content editing has to take place. If the purpose is to make the Wiki accessible in a different format, then you might as well throw everything in.
  • I think there isn't any good reason to stick slavishly to the format of the Exalted books themselves. I'll think more about appearance.

- willows

  • But who will collect all the permissions? It's certainly easier to just make an annoucement and give a deadline for exclusions.
  • I think it would be both a showcasing and a compilation, but mainly the latter. Depends on what people want though.
  • The Bo3C is just for the first book, really. There is as you say no need to stick to already existing books.

Resplendence

  • I would definately prefer a compilation to a showcasing, for two reasons really, the main one being there is rarely wiki content I seriously dislike and also, while an idea might not be the best on wiki, sometimes it does just fit right anyway. - Kraken

I think willows location books are a neat idea, and would love to see something like that! - JackT

Maybe have agreements/permissions listed on User Pages, so you could check on a given contributor's page whether or not they agreed to share their stuff in that way? So on my page I might put in a disclaimer that all personal subpages are off limits (not that there would be much of interest for anyone else in them anyway), but that all stuff I've contributed onto other areas, say Martial Arts or Charms, are up for grabs...? Have Fun... nikink

The simplest thing would be to have a PermissionsPage where everyone can go to give permission to use their stuff. By putting it all on one page, it makes things easier on those running the WikiBook project, so they don't need to rummage around through UserPages looking for disclaimers. - Quendalon
It seems like the best thing would be a page where writers give explicit permissions to their writings by linking to it. I'm still waiting for enough people to give thumbs up to this idea though, and then I'd have to wait for enough approved links to appear on the permission page. It can take a while... Resplendence

I think it´s a great idea. If you want everything to look "exalted" like, you can use the page background image from the "Games Of Divinity Unchopped Appendix" or "Creatures Of The Wyld Appndix" available from White Wolf web site, the font for the titles is called "Pterradactyl" and the main font is Goudy Old Style. If you have MS Word 2000 + and some program to distill to PDF, youre set. I know it takes some formatting work, but once you got a template, it can be really easy. Anyways, there are some copyright issues about using WW material, but were not trying to profit from it right? it´s like paying for using the exalted logo on this page... Sindaen

One thing to worry about it "trade dress." In short (very, very short), if White Wolf doesn't prevent even well-meaning people from designing derivative works that look like theirs (i.e., the art, fonts, etc.), they may be on much shakier legal ground if they try to stop someone from producing something offensive or harmful using that trade dress. -- JesseLowe

I did something similar for martial arts a while ago with MartialArts/BestOf, using a voting system to decide what made the final cut. The PDF can be found here: http://www.voidstate.com/rpg/Exalted_Wiki_Martial_Arts.pdf so if you want any of the graphics I used, fonts or whatever, let me know and I'll send 'em over. As for what to include, I vote for showcasing the best with relatively short PDFs on various topics - Voidstate

I like the idea and if I can be of any help (I also used to make everything I write on Exalted look as if it was drawn from official books), I'd like to participate. I hope there will such a Wiki book of TheNexusProject and the like. The only thing I think we need in addition to the exalted-looking layout are artworks to illustrate the books. It would be great to have pictures of Artifacts, regions or Signature characters. Jiba

Regarding the copyright issues, etc.: The contributions of individuals are already explicitly the property of their creators (and it's my understanding that they have been from the beginning), so getting explicit permission from the individual creators is actually necessary. To that end, the "page to give permissions" model is probably the easiest to realize (as opposed to the only other satisfactory method proposed: individual contacts. Shudder the thought). In similar vein, the IP of White Wolf is and has always remained the IP of White Wolf, so avoiding any use of IP is best, minimizing use is less good, but tolerable (probably), and completely ignoring the issue is an invitation for a lawsuit, and possible trouble for the Wiki. As such, in personal request, be very careful how you use anything that you use, as I'd prefer not to have this resource removed in the process of trying to make it more useable. The "not for profit" concept doesn't apply here, as White Wolf has explicitly reserved all rights, including "not for profit" rights, to its IP. Again >Be Careful<. -Suzume (who's probably done enough legalese for the day...)

Thanks for the info, but my first reaction is that it would be incredibly anal and counterproductive of WW to restrict fan work. They do seem to be quite benevolent about it, however. Not that it matters for Wiki books, really. The MartialArts/BestOf is the only such thing I know. I think it's too much trouble and micromanagement to collect other Wiki resources into a book unless they're very structured or made to be in a book from the beginning. Resplendence
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