Forum:She's alive!

Forums: Grand Lodge > She's alive!

So according to Inner Sea Intrigue, Allevrah Azrinae is still alive in the "base" canon (for lack of a better term) of the Pathfinder Campaign setting. We have her as dead in the wiki, as she's the final boss in the Second Darkness AP, and is assumed to have been killed by the PCs. I wonder if this might be a good time to revisit our policy of changing characters and places according to how an adventure (including modules, APs, PFS scenarios, etc) progresses. I know that this was never a well-detailed policy written in stone, but I think it's worth discussing.

The danger I see in staying with our current policy, is that the wiki will become less and less accurate in describing the base canon as it appears in most Paizo publications. I don't think that will ever make it obsolete, but the discrepancies will become more obvious as the years go by. If we instead describe places and people that only appear in an adventure as they first appear in that publication, it might be more useful for people using the wiki (as well as containing a lot less spoilers to watch out for). The only exception to this would be things whose timeline is advanced by the publication of another AP (as we have seen in the Shattered Star and Jade Regent APs.)

Changing articles that take our current point of view would be tricky, but we could get a good start by simply looking at all the articles that have spoiler badges. What do others think?
Inner Sea Intrigue raises (and perhaps answers) and additional point that we've debated in the past. The book lists Kafar as an 8th level Alchemist. Kafar's stats first appeared in Sanctum of the Sages, a PFS scenario. In the scenario, he is listed in the high tier as being 8th level. This might solve our year-long conflict about how to list tiered characters from PFS scenarios. (Somehow I wonder if Yoda8myhead was thinking the same thing).
Just bumping this thread. There hasn't been much wiki activity in the last few weeks, but I'd love to hear what people think, since it would be a pretty big change for the site.
Without going into too much detail and potentially getting into trouble, I can say that the current POV might be a good thing to revisit because we have done a poor job of describing everything in the past tense. If we do so, then whether someone is alive or dead is largely arbitrary, as even if we include no date of death, we still have written the article as if the person is no longer alive. This would be significantly more work, but might be something we want to consider in the near-ish future.

As far as the matter at hand, I think we should include dates of death only if the character is dead in the baseline canon and their death (or events involving their death) has been included in a timeline in a published book. As such, we can say that Allevrah is alive (and still an elf?) but that King Eodred is not (as the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne are assumed to have already happened in at least two products (Lost Cities of Golarion and Lord of Runes, but also in other fiction and adventures that involve the Gray Maidens, specifically).

I don't recall if I was specifically thinking of the wiki when we did the Inner Sea Intrigue rogue's gallery (see what I did there?), but it does make much less sense to list a prominent figure with only a few class levels. I believe our line of reasoning was that a lower-level alchemist simply wouldn't have made enough of a name for himself in the setting to warrant his inclusion. I have no problem with using high-subtier versions of characters on the wiki, and consider the low-subtier versions "leveled-down" variants as a matter of policy, but also have no issue with going the other way. There's also the issue of NPCs who appear in one book or at the start of an AP with one class/level and gain levels, multiclass, or change alignment, etc. by the time they appear in a later book. I do not think they need to be the same policy for both, but having guidelines for how to handle each would be a good idea.

Thanks for your input, Yoda8myhead. I hope others will chime in as well on these subjects. I think setting the high-tier version of the characters as their default level is a great idea, and will make including PFS materials a lot simpler.
I've been doing even less reading/editing recently, as my wedding gets closer. Hopefully when we get back mid July, I'll be able to do more. I tend to get home from work earlier when colleges are out, and I hope to put that time to good use. I think that its is fair to suggest that until there is an official result for the module, we shouldn't assume if someone died or not. As to the higher vs lower level people and which should be listed on the wiki, Wikipedia doesn't list a general as a sergeant, he was a sergeant at one time, but his page lists him as a general... I think in that vein the highest level is what should be on the page. (still using the different tiers for what type of product overrides others)

This rings a faint bell - what were the arguments of old, Branding, re this to save reinventing the wheel? What is the policy currently?

The original argument that we ended up going with, if memory serves, was that we would include most information on adventures, including how they turned out if the PCs succeeded at the main objectives. There were some drawbacks and caveats to this, however. Many APs have campaign-altereting outcomes that cannot be predicted, so we would not include THAT particular information. It was a messy compromise with which nobody was particularly happy, but allowed us to include info that was revealed in the adventures. The new idea is that we only include the outcomes of adventures in the wiki if they appear in other published adventures, such as how Rise of the Runelords happened according to Shattered Star.
So posting and editing on the wiki have been very light this summer (to say the least), and we have yet to definitively resolve this issue. To complicate the matter a bit more, I've realized that there is a third option that we have not yet considered: we could ignore the changes presented in the APs and simply present the world as it exists at the BEGINNING of each of them. If there is a canon conflict between APs, such as between Shattered Star (SS) and Curse of the Crimson Throne (CotCT), we briefly state these in the various articles on the subject but go with the older version. This means that we present Korvosa as if Eodred Arabasti II is still on the throne (before the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne). We can include material from SS, just not the parts that contradict material from CotCT. Contradictory information could be posted either on a separate page (e.g. Eodred Arabasti II (Shattered Star AP)), or could be included at the bottom of the regular page (to separate it visually a bit), or could simply be mentioned in the references section. I know there aren't many of us around, but what do we think of these options?
Ew.. .I think that would be ugly..... I've always been a proponent of having all information on the subject provided on the main page (I still prefer the unincorporated resources on the main page below the resources instead of the talk page) I'd prefer the usage of a spoiler button similar to those on the paizo boards to multiple pages on the same topic. to continue your Eodred Arabasti II (Shattered Star AP) example, if an article about rulers brings more information about his rule to light you'd have to update 2 articles instead of one. I think its too much of a burden, and browsers may not understand or properly use multiple pages. I also think putting another bar you have to learn for new editors is bad, and understanding when to split a page would be one of these such things
Thanks for your input, Cpt kirstov, I think that's a better format myself. Do we have code that can hide information like the Paizo messageboard spoiler code?

I know that there are mediawiki extensions for it.... we may have installed some in the previous spoiler talks, but i'm not sure where to check that or if I have access to them

Okay, with the publication of the Curse of the Crimson Throne (Pathfinder RPG hardcover) we now have two APs (along with the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition) that people are regularly playing that take place before at least two other APs (Shattered Star (adventure path) and Jade Regent (adventure path) for starters). I am willing to start rewriting existing articles that incorporate changes that happen within the APs, restoring them to how the person, place, or thing appears at the start of the AP (see above for that whole argument). This way we'll have the most useful information that is applicable to the largest number of people. Does anyone disagree with this? If not, I'll draft a new policy and get started.
Here is an example of the spoiler extention I spoke of before, with intructions on how to add it.
I think that setting the articles' baseline to be useful to the most people is a good idea. That said, we also benefit from including developments that take place after or as a result of APs. In the case of the Gray Maidens, having a header following their basic info (history, organization, members, etc.) that went into their disbanding and post-Curse of the Crimson Throne activities (see "Shattered Steel", Curse of the Lady's Light, and Lord of Runes) would be appropriate.
I agree that there are a limited number of subjects (such ask the Gray Maidens) that would benefit from having material from subsequent APs included. Taking the Gray Maidens as an example, I think that this can simply be done in a section titled something like "The Curse of the Crimson Throne AP and beyond", in which we include all relevant information from CotCT, SS, and so on. This would mean making some non-in-world references, but if they're limited to the section headers, I think that would be okay. I'll try to redo one of the CotCT-related pages as an example.

Spoilers in this section!!

Quickly jumping in knowing this is complex and not having properly refreshed myself on the whole argument above beyond this thread:

First, minor-ish point, I am unsure we want real-world titles within the articles as that spoils the in-world nature of our writing - our token Golarion scribe would know nothing of APs. He may be aware of a major historical incident though such as the 'Second Chelish Civil War' we have been enjoying of late. Perhaps an historical title like that is a better way and made so obvious it clearly relates to the start of the AP?

Secondly, I am also uncomfortable about resetting articles to an 'arbitrary' point in the past. Only 2 APs have been revisited, but many elements of those APs have been picked up in later sources and developed, so how would we define that 'limited number of subjects' for special treatment (and would new editors understand / pick up on this list?)? How do we define the point we reset to?

I think the simplest thing would be to continue to adopt the personality of that scribe in Golarion writing in, currently, 4716 AR. This minimizes any rewriting needed as most pages have adopted this philosophy. So, events in CotCT happened some years ago (calculated from date of publication so, for instance, the recent troubles in Cheliax have been occurring in 4615–16 AR and are now concluded: apply spoilers.) I appreciate, Brand, this is not helping you achieve a solution to your specific problem, but we wouldn't just want to solve one problem and generate a whole set of new ones.

Just taking deaths as a subject, some deaths are written into the AP as a definite, whereas some others are assumed on 'the PCs succeed' guidance. Eodred is definitely dead in 4716, but is Queen Ileosa? I think we have also stopped short of adding any development from the 'Beyond the AP' sections many of the APs have into the wiki pages too. So, we do have a lot of unstated (maybe they are?) rules in this area.

On the other point, defining a person by their highest level achieved makes sense to me - we can always add a footnote to show lower levels / starting levels and, as a ref, real-world discussion elements could be used. There seems to be some unanimity here.

Is this worth a Skype call to discuss? Maybe you could have a crack at a strawman rewrite as a talking point too, as you offer above?

This is all a bit philosophical as it hits the big questions for the wiki (which you are trying to address, Brand):

  • What is the purpose of this wiki?
  • Who are we trying to support?
  • What is history on Golarion?
  • What persona are we adopting when writing wiki articles?
  • How on earth are we going to do any major change when we are in no way keeping up with Paizo's publication schedule as it is? If something like this is left half done, it will be doubly confusing with some pages in one state and others in a different one.

I can understand not wanting real world titles in the main body of articles. That's fine with me, as we can always include explanatory information in footnotes instead.

Here's my argument on the main subject: resetting all articles to the baseline of The Inner Sea World Guide (or another Campaign Setting book if not covered in the ISWG) makes the wiki useful to the largest number of players and GMs out there. The reason is because it can be used both by those who have not played an AP, and those who have played it. Adding info that happens within the adventure is only useful to those who are playing or have played it, and may not even reflect the setting as they have experienced it. Incorporating information from the APs that does not describe a thing as it exists before the beginning of the AP leads us down the rabbit hole we are currently in: does an NPC die or not, is that building destroyed, who rules that city, has a major event such as a fire/flood/etc occurred or not? Resetting articles that mention AP events eliminates a lot of this confusion, while we don't lose a lot of content.

Eliminating all intra-AP events also limits the amount we have to cover, something we should always be striving towards given our lack of editors. Resetting the articles that already include intra-AP events would be relatively easy, as it involves a limited number of articles from only a few APs.

On the subject of power levels, I think the publication of Inner Sea Intrigue has shown us what Paizo policy is for characters from PFS scenarios: use the highest tier. I don't think including lower-tier info is useful, while it is time-consuming, and we should just follow Paizo's lead.
Maybe I'm mis-understanding what Brandingopportunity is saying, but I disagree with completely removing information from adventures on multiple levels:
  • It does a disservice to people who come looking for the history. If you pick up Shattered star as your first AP, and what to know the facts of CotCT, this is where people were sent. Why should we take that functionality away?
  • How far do we go? Are we going to delete all articles that only have citations from APs and the citation is the first article in the cite book template? Because if we are ignoring the events we are going to have to ignore the people and places as well, as we only know them in relation to the events. There's no way you get get 3 relevant sentences for All the Worlds Meat without talking about Vancaskerkin's gang taking it over. Heck even Ileosa Arabasti would get cut to 5 sentences.
  • It removes the easiest point of entry for new editors - yeah, we haven't had too many of these, but when we have, many of them are editing when prepping for their home adventure. Many of these will be adventure paths.
  • It removes 1/2 of a tier 1 resource from being able to be referenced.
  • Paizo moves the date forward, why shouldn't we? There is a "long history" of other pathfinder products commenting on events of past APs. On top of the Shattered Star adventure path, Lord of Runes and Lost Cities of Golarion all mention the fallout of the end of RotRL. If we aren't mentioning this event from the AP, are we still allowed to mention it from the other sources? It would be the same exact information, just a little more vague.
  • One of the stated goals of these early adventure paths was to build the world through the adventures. If we ignore everything form the adventures, we ignore how the world was built.

"Adding info that happens within the adventure is only useful to those who are playing or have played it" - I disagree. It only not useful to those whom are playing it and look to the wiki on their own to know things that their character wouldn't. If its a GM of the AP, they can copy/paste the information, omitting the information they don't want their players to see. If they are a GM making their own adventure set in Korvosa, Eels End should be there as places they can find information to set encounters or have legends of.

"and may not even reflect the setting as they have experienced it." - City of Strangers and later Lord of Runes added information about Kaer Maga that directly conflicted with the world as I experienced it 3 years earlier, does that mean that we shouldn't add information from chronicles books or fiction either? I think if we restrict to what any individual table may or may not have experienced, we loose a valuable piece of the scope of the project. I didn't experience WWII, that doesn't mean it doesn't effect the world today, or that there shouldn't be documentaries about WWII. Similarly, My players may not have gone to Eels End in one of my CotCT games, but one of them was addicted to shiver coming from there in a later book, so it still existed. A writer in current day Golarion would be writing about it, which is the point of view of the project.

Now, I agree that things not actually published (IE: it is assumed the players kill them) should not be put into the wiki until it is collaborated in a canon source. I guess in my view the line is anything that the PCs do, should not be assumed to be done, until published, but any events that happen due to the NPCs actions, should still be fair game.

Aye aye Cpt.: I agree with all you say there - well put. If I now better understand the proposition, it is a wholesale change to the philosophy of the wiki which, several years on and a lot of work later would mean deletion of material placed in the wiki in good faith to help others over many years: I'll veto this. The baseline of the ISWG is the ISWG, not this wiki and people can readily get hold of that book (moreover, through mostly your efforts, Branding, the contents of that book are pretty much incorporated here). One of the big advantages of the wiki is we pick up new info about elements and bring them together in one page - those little extras, and big extras, come from all sources including the middle of an AP. When we are struggling failing to keep up with the output at Paizo, any major rewriting / 'resetting' of stuff already out there will kill us and confuse us. Potentially, we would have no references on the wiki to major events, persons, orgs, etc. in Golarion that are only fleshed out in an AP: any wiki users would be out of luck searching for them.

Suggestions: use a historical date / event as a title, append a footnote to show this is the beginning state of an AP, and write that subsection for those starting an AP. Anything after that is from within the AP or from other sources after that baseline, under different headings/subheadings. Everyone's happy, no rewriting, maybe some rejigging. If you have the inclination, another solution might be to reverse the idea you and Cpt kirstov discussed above. Ultimately, the arbitrary point that begins an AP is a real-world concept, you could embed a link in, say, Korvosa in the refs section along the lines of Korvosa (situation at the start of Curse of the Crimson Throne). Make that page a real-world page and then you are free to do as you please stating the contents of the page are specifically to aid players and GMs of the AP. Lot of work!

There is some unanimity here on a number of useful points that we should salvage.

So to put examples to what I'm saying Gaedren Lamm should have the 'death' date removed from the template, and the last sentence removed. It is just assumed he died, but Ileosa Arabasti's death has been confirmed in Shattered Star, and therefore should remain.

I think you make several very good points, Cpt kirstov, and have almost convinced me of your argument. Here's a main concern that I'd like to address:

Where do we draw the line? I agree that things done by PCs in a module or AP should not be included in the wiki, and that we should only focus on "historical events" that are specifically mentioned in other publications. An example of this is Ileosa Arabasti. She and many of the events of the CotCT AP are mentioned throughout Curse of the Lady's Light, and could be included in the wiki. But what about the fate of Verik Vancaskerkin? His fate is up to the PCs, but how much do we include? Do we include him taking over the butcher shop in Edge of Anarchy, or do we merely say that he is a member of the Korvosan Guard and a relative to all the other Vancaskerkins? The events that transpire in All the World's Meats is not mentioned in any subsequent publication, nor is Verik's ultimate fate, so should it be left out? It seems that the question about which details to include or not to include is very subjective and would have to be made on a case-by-case basis, but that opens up many cans of worms. Wouldn't it just be easier to not include any information about his seizing of the butcher's shop, and merely state that he was a disgruntled guard during the time of Ileosa's rise to power? His overall importance, after all, is very low when compared to Queen Ileosa, so limiting ourselves to chronicling events that are explicitly mentioned in other publications would be a whole lot easier and would not involve the omission of important facts about the setting.
I disagree about the Gaedren Lamm issue, Cpt kirstov. Since his fate is not spelled out in a subsequent publication, he should not be marked as deceased. I think we'll have a much, much easier time if we only include events that are explicitly stated.
I think we are in agreement on Lamm, he was the example of what should be removed, vs the queen, that should not. I would include that Verik took over All the World's Meat. That was an action of the NPC, not dependent of the PCs actions, and is even spoken of in the past tense in the adventure. Maybe that's how we draw the line? Anything in the adventure which is in past tense? Not sure if thats spelled out enough in the writer's style guide to be able to use as a guideline (you or yoda would be better suited to answer that)
So here's another thought I just had: do we only include AP events in the wiki that have been explicitly stated as having happened in subsequent publications, or do we include all events from all adventures? I would argue for the former, as otherwise that leads us down the path of including events from such campaigns such as Kingmaker, Wrath of the Righteous, etc, i.e. ones that have major consequences that radically alter the campaign world as a whole. Better to err, IMO, on the side of caution. We can still include background and setting information from those APs, just not those that are based on events that happen within the adventures. If so, we would limit ourselves to describing events that happen in the first three published APs, i.e. Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness. Are there any other publications that assume other APs/modules/scenarios have happened?
Hell Comes to Westcrown assumes the events in Council of Thieves took place. Also, both of last year's Cheliax APs assume the other is happening at the same time, though the events of one do not directly affect the other except to provide context of what's going on elsewhere in Cheliax.
I'd say anything that happens off camera, that the PCs can't influence should be fair game. I see no reason why the Stag Lord shouldn't have a page in the future talking about his gang and taking over the fortress.
Thanks, I did not know that, Yoda. Hell's Vengeance and Hell's Rebels might be the exception, as they are supposed to be happening at the same time, i.e. one does not happen after the other. The nation-wide Chelish rebellion in those APs is also big enough that we might want to NOT include it for the same reason we don't include the events in Wrath of the Righteous, et al. As for Kingmaker, I really don't like the idea of including events from APs and modules that aren't explicitly stated to have happened in subsequent APs. This is especially true for Kingmaker, as the AP is designed to take place over a period of years if not decades. Who knows when stuff happens if at all?
I actually agree with Earl on this one. Anything that happens off-screen and which the PCs can't really stop (exposition beyond the scope of the AP's assumed PC influence) should be fine. Otherwise, we wouldn't have anything on the wiki about the Glorious Reclamation, which is a huge gap considering the role it plays in Hell's Vengeance. Even within that AP, the Reclamation's victories and movements in Cheliax beyond the PCs' view are pretty set within the narrative. I don't think there's a problem detailing that on the wiki.

I do agree that characters who interact with the PCs should not have post-interraction details included, as that part of their story is directly up to the PCs do determine. But the PCs have no way of stopping Verik from taking over All the World's Meats, so he can be assumed to have done that in canon. The article should just assume that he took it over and act as though he's still got control of it. Similarly, the PCs can't prevent the plague from breaking out in the following volume, so the plague can be included, just not that it was handled by a bunch of adventurers.

As for dates of when events take place, we can always denote them in relativistic terms. For example, rather than place the events of Kingmaker in 4709 AR, we can simply say that the Stag Lord took control of the fort in the early 48th century AR. Similarly, we can say that Verik took over the butcher's shop on the eve of/in the immediate wake of Eodred Arabasti II's death. Then we're not cementing the AP in a specific time, leaving it up to GMs to place it in the timeline as needed.

The number of instances in which a later AP denotes specific outcomes to events or that the events transpired are very, very few, and are generally called out as such when they appear. I don't think we need to tie our hands for every other instance just because of these rare cases. Even in Shattered Star, it doesn't explicitly talk about Xanesha, Justice Ironbriar, etc. Just that Xin-Shalast had been discovered and there was a resurgence of interest in Thassilonian history. Thus, the entire RotR AP is assumed to have happened, but individual events within that AP are not addressed, leaving their occurrence and outcome strictly out of canon.