Forgotten Realms Wiki!

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I am happy to announce that the Forgotten Realms Wiki has created its 12,000th article!

I got involved in the FRW early last year, and eventually became an administrator, and have seen it grow and expand quite impressively. We have a good number of active editors contributing new content and new articles, and several active administrators keeping things tidy and organized and introducing new policies and features while old problems are put behind us. We have ongoing efforts to clean up, organise, and standardise old articles.

In the last few months, we've got a new Main Page (thanks to me!), a Featured Article and Featured Source system (mostly me), and a weekly "Did You Know...?" feature (uh, me again). Over the past year, we've got new and highly developed lore articles from:
* All over the Vast (in progress), including Procampur;
* Across Zakhara;
* A fully developed Wheloon;
* The planes in every cosmology;
* Everything you wanted to know about Larloch the Shadow King but were afraid to ask;
and heaps more! New users are also putting out new articles from Darkwalker on Moonshae, Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, The Gilded Rune, Brimstone Angels: Lesser Evils, and more. So both the classic Realms and the new are being detailed in equal measure.

So with the FRW going well, I wanted to get in contact with the wider Forgotten Realms fandom. What do you think of the Forgotten Realms Wiki? Do you use it? Did you have problems with it in the past or do you have problems with it now? What do you want to see more of, or what would you like to see change? I welcome all reasonable opinions.

Plus of course I invite everyone to head on over to the wiki, to explore the Realms and write up that Realmslore!
3 cheers for the FR wiki!!

 
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Much improved.

I like the different 'featured' sections on the main page and I also like that my web browser doesn't choke up and die on all the active ad space running on each wiki page (something that kept me from opening up multiple wiki pages in the past).

Still I'm not a fan of the ads that feature video game footage and the like: it's hugely distracting. I'm guessing the ads are there to help pay for the site, but if I could view the wiki without them I would in a heartbeat.

One of the challenges I've faced in contributing content to the Realmslore section of the Loremaster.org forums is figuring out how to both summarize and re-write content from one or more sources so that my writing is accurate, but at the same time not blatant, word-for-word copying of the source(s) I'm using.

In some cases this is unavoidable. In other cases, not so much. What's your take on this, BadCatMan?

Before I forget: one of my favorite sections of the wiki is the Forgotten Realms book list. The list of references at the bottom of several articles are also very useful for finding sources that I might have otherwise missed.

Thank you!

The ads and stuff are all from the main Wikia site. We have absolutely no control over them.

I strongly suggest joining Wikia as an editor. Then you can choose the old, cleaner Monobook skin, and you (probably) won't see any ads. I use MB and don't see any ads at all unless I need to switch to compare page layouts. Even if you don't become an active editor on any of Wikia's wikis, it helps if you make small corrections and gives you more options for reading them.

Good point. I should remind everyone now: do not copy out the sourcebooks! It is copyright infringement! We will delete your page and/or rewrite it and take credit for it! Sourcebooks are already encyclopeadic and make it too easy for lazy people to turn them into articles. The FRW had a huge problem with unchecked copying in the past (no one was checking or policing it), and one we're still cleaning up and combating today, rather ruthlessly compared to other wikis (outright deletion, for example).

Accurate, non-plagiarising paraphrasing can be a tricky art and one that takes practice. I'm a scientific editor used to restructuring sentences and changing words while preserving meaning, but still my earliest wiki articles cleaved too closely to the source material, with too-similar phrasing and sentences, so much so that I've been going back and rewriting them.

A big vocabulary or heavy use of a thesaurus helps (e.g., fat, rotund, corpulent, big, large, obese, overweight, portly, tubby, etc.). Consider an alternative way of describing the same thing, or a much shorter way to summarise a lengthier section (we do hope people will still look up the sourcebooks and novels, even if the wiki says everything). Consider alternative ways of structuring a sentence ("Elminster shot Drizzt" (active form) versus "Drizzt was shot by Elminster" (passive form), depending on the focus of the text). Try a different tone: a sourceboook or a novel is very descriptive and personal, and may have a certain point-of-view, while an article is more detached and neutral. But sometimes, the original term or phrase is still the most accurate and nothing else will do, so just use it. Quote it you must.

I guess there's two main approaches:

Read the source material. Close it up. Write your article from memory, as if you're a DM describing it your players (usually from an in-universe POV). Then go back and compare, fix any errors, change anything that's too close.

Or copy the source material (hold on) into wherever you write documents. Then dot-point it all up, assign each line a note for which source it came from, then rearrange the dot-points into the intended structure of your article (say, put all descriptive points together, all the personality points, all the history in chronological order, etc.). Then take each section as it comes. With an eye on what's below, write something new above. There'll be some repetition you can condense, and by changing the order and breaking up the existing sentences, you're already halfway to a properly paraphrased original article. More work, but the most reliable and accurate method, and the one I use.

Compare this:
www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rp/200...
And one of mine:
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Lirela_Dr...
It's restructured to an encyclopaedic wiki format, reordered to a fully chronological order, less emotive, perhaps a little shorter. Though Ed Greenwood's is more entertaining.
Thanks for taking the time to write an informative, useful response and for providing examples. I appreciate it.

I've signed up for the wiki. I'm having a hell of a time navigating and figuring out how to reply to discussions. Will keep at it.

EDIT: just selected the monobook skin. MUCH improved. Thank you.
I'm glad to help. And welcome aboard! :D
Great to have you on board Mr Miscellany. I haven't been over here on the Wizards boards for awhile (not since 4e really) and mostly spend my time at Candlekeep but it is probably time to start posting more over here again.

Hopefully we can drum up more support for the Wiki BadCatMan!
-Excellent. Rise, Lord Eli, newest Hand of Karsus...

Well again!

 

I'd like to proudly report that the Forgotten Realms Wiki is still going strong.

 

Currently, we have 13,834 articles, and our Wikia rankings, seen here] remain high and are rising. Our Main Page is regularly updated, with a Feature Article every month and more on the way, a weekly Did You Know? to present Realmslore from our latest articles, regular featured images, and a daily Today in the Realms to present history, rituals, and festivals. We continue to grow and attract new editors and readers.

 

I'd estimate most of the old unsourced material has been tagged; the copied material has been deleted, tagged, and being rewritten; and the homebrew material has been removed, putting the problems of the past well behind us. Pages are also being thoroughly categorised.

 

I'm confident to say the FRW is now a reliable source for a wide range of Realms topics, and very useful and detailed for a handful of specific topics (according to our editors' interests, at least). If you want to want to research some topic of Realmslore, then the FRW is a great first stop, or even your only stop. Check out the following recent and active projects, as well as related articles:
* The Heralds of Faerûn
* Maerimydra
* Tantras
* Waukeen
* Eshpurta
* Church of Ilmater and Ilmater
5th Edition lore is now coming onto the wiki, with "The Lost Mines of Phandelver", the Neverwinter MMO, and others, but that hasn't stopped the flow of earlier lore, as a variety of classic-era articles show. You can see a list of our most recent new articles here, most quite good or soon polished or tagged for more work by other editors.

 

So, please, go check us out, read some of our fine new articles, make a few corrections to others, or even add new lore. Everyone is made welcome and you can ask any admin for advice and guidance (look for talk pages for BadCatMan, Darkwynters, and Moviesign). Let's explore and detail the whole of the Forgotten Realms together

 

I'll also take the liberty of passing on the happy news that our sister site, the Baldur's Gate Wiki for the Baldur's Gate games has just spawned the Icewind Dale Wiki. There you can get in on the ground floor detailing the Icewind Dale games.

 

What's more, we're currently engaged in a tournament against a rival wiki for the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor video game. They've pitted their player character Talion against Drizzt Do'Urden of all people. They've also challenged the Baldur's Gate Wiki, putting Viconia DeVir against Galadriel. Who would win in a fight? Who's most popular? Follow the link from our main page and vote. (Be warned, it's an advertising gimmick for gaining pre-orders for the game.)

BatCatMan: Could I ask that you guys direct attention to the Moonsea region? Its where the Adventurers League Expeditions scenarios are all based (mostly out of Phlan) and there are a lot of people asking questions on that region (ie whats its like now, as opposed to back in 2e/3e /4e times. )

 

The Blackfist are ex Banites but do not have any informational at all on the wiki (they are the city guard/watch of 5e Phlan)

 

 

Adding content like that requires an editor who really wants to do to the work on it: having the source, doing the research, writing it up. That really depends on an editor's personal interest: people generally write up what they need for their own campaigns or characters or whatever takes their fancy. Something I realised long ago about wikis is that if you want to see more information, you have to add it yourself (which is how I got involved in wiki editing, really).

 

I'll tidy a page up (professional copy-editing, tagging of problem content, adding references) if someone makes a specific request for it. I'll do Moonsea next, in fact.

 

I'll look at adding some kind of requests page.

hmm I see. Well Im going to try to free up some time to help out there then. But probably only going to be using the knowledge Im getting from the background info in the expeditions scenarios.

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