Using this Wiki

From Othenar Wiki

Using this wiki is relatively simple; Othenar is a game designed to be user-friendly, and the wiki format allows anyone to make improvements and edits, but there are a number of important things to know. This won't be a guide to using or editing content on MediaWiki; the help link here and on the top navigation bar can walk you through the basics (and complexities) of using MediaWiki.

Othenar Wiki Style[edit]

The general style of Othenar is that setting elements are capitalized if there is any ambiguity as to whether or not they would be capitalized (i.e. Primordials is capitalized, as it refers to a group of beings, but gods is not, since a pantheon of gods is a common concept).

Terms for game mechanics, such as the Action Roll, Traits, and Skills, are also capitalized to avoid their confusion with the normal uses of these terms.

The term "Core content" is used to denote content licensed under the TAL that has been officially approved by Loreshaper Games.

Page status falls into one of four categories: Core, Unearthed, Legacy, and Unlabeled. Core pages are those that are integral to the Othenar game itself, Unearthed pages include third-party or unofficial content, Legacy pages are archived versions of content that has been changed (for instance, with an edition shift) that some players and GMs may still rely on, and Unlabeled pages do not contain game information themselves, but are instead related to the wiki itself (like this page and the Main Page). Each page should have a Page status template at its bottom if it is not an Unlabeled page.

Finally, the word Othenar will direct to the Othenar page only when it is used to describe the setting of Othenar. Uses of Othenar as the name of the game itself should direct to the main wiki page, if they direct anywhere at all.

The TAL, Licensing, and More[edit]

The Tabletop Attribution License (TAL) is a proprietary license designed by Loreshaper Games (and based off of a variety of other sources) to provide a customized high-speed and low-drag license intended to prevent any potential unhappiness with the Wiki format and game content. You are not required to license your content under the TAL to contribute to the Othenar Wiki, but it is a requirement for Core content (and contributions made to pages that contain Core content, to protect us from legal liability).

The TAL is basically meant to do three things:

  1. Keep people from using the content for abhorrent stuff (protect moral rights, which aren't explicitly granted under US law).
  2. Make sure that content provided under the TAL can be used freely forever under the TAL (basically, prevent trolls from revoking the license of content to the project).
  3. Allow everyone to use the content freely, even in works that aren't licensed under the TAL (it is not a viral license).

Note that while the TAL typically excludes trade dress, logos, and product titles, setting elements are fair game to be used. For example, if J.R.R. Tolkein wrote the Lord of the Rings under the TAL, anyone could legally extend upon his works with a story set in the world, including his memorable characters and setting elements that would normally be protected by copyright. If they tried to use the Lord of the Rings name, he could still complain (the TAL allows the creation of a third-party brand; in Othenar's case this is Othenar: Unearthed). If content is found to be objectionable (or if he just thought the novel created by the later writer was too crummy to attach to his novel's title), the license to use the Othenar: Unearthed brand can be revoked, though content and setting text still remains legal (it just can't be formally advertised). If this makes you squeamish, consider licensing your content under something other than the TAL, which will still enable it to be included under the Othenar: Unearthed umbrella and included on this wiki.

Core Content[edit]

Core content is the Othenar created or endorsed by Loreshaper Games. It attempts to reach certain standards of writing quality, balance, and setting-appropriateness, which can be found below. Third-party content may be adopted as Core content with approval.

Here are some standards to consider when dealing with Core content:

Writing Quality[edit]

  1. To the fullest extent possible, Core content is free of grammatical or stylistic errors.
  2. Rules are written in such a manner that game mechanics are unambiguous. This may include simple diagrams or restated explanations.
  3. Where possible, mature rules should have examples given.
  4. Setting content avoids the use of commonly used names and cliches.
  5. Setting content is clear in its time association.
  6. NPCs, game assets (spells, abilities), and other instanced game mechanics are created by using appropriate templates.

Balance[edit]

  1. Othenar allows for characters to pursue multiple Paths. Trait diversity is important.
    1. Traits typically have a monopoly in a certain area of play: Physique for combat, Guile for non-interpersonal skill tests, Charm for interpersonal skill tests, and Magic for the supernatural.
    2. Some Paths and Abilities allow a character to breach traditional Trait associations, such as Priests and Divine Favor, but when this is done it is done with a nonidentical mechanic (Divine Favor being one of the few ways to gain spells with resource limitations is a good example).
  2. When possible, stick with the Balance Guidelines that have been created.
  3. Paths should follow clear design principles, as found at the Path balance page, and be designed either as part of a chain or with a clear point-of-entry (starting character, veteran character, epic character) decided upon.
  4. Abilities and Spells are limited by design to prevent characters from reaching exponential growth. Paths include strict limits to cap this.

Setting-Appropriateness[edit]

  1. Othenar focuses on an epic heroic fantasy setting, which entails three core principles:
    1. The player characters are assumed to be "good guys", and while actual examples of play may unfold differently the rules and setting should not encourage moral corruption in player characters (villainous NPCs are fine, and no mechanic will be added to remove player characters from play due to moral failings).
    2. Characters are intended to be equivalents of epic heroes, like Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Beowulf, or Roland. Although Othenar does not intend to allow for extreme feats (such as defy the laws of physics and magic presented throughout the setting), characters will attempt and regularly succeed at ordeals that would crush most, if not all, mortals.
    3. The core focus is on clever, magical, or mighty heroes. All Paths should reflect a character stepping into greatness and adventure, and even relatively mundane Paths should allow characters to achieve great power.
  2. Othenar's setting is not linked explicitly to one culture from the real world; although much of its cosmology is derived from Greek mythology.
  3. When adding new features or setting elements, it should be considered that the Core content is intended to look at both the most mundane and most exotic elements of Othenar.
  4. Magic follows set physical rules, even though there are multiple ways to access it within Othenar.
    1. Mana is the source of magic. Its flow cannot be stopped, although it occasionally attunes to elements at elemental sites or with the gods at holy sites.
    2. Only the gods and Primordials can access magic that transports characters long distances instantly (outside line of sight), draws spirits out of Anephon (though spirits of the dead that have not proceeded to Anephon may be restored to a mended body), or modifies the flow of magic.
    3. The Kithik are not attuned to mana. They can be impacted normally by spells, but can never cast them.
  5. Worlds outside Othenar exist, such as the source of the Kithik, but are not the core focus of Othenar. They may be created wholesale as Unearthed content.
    1. Worlds other than Othenar can have different rules for magic.
    2. Mortals and divine races of Othenar may exist on other worlds, but are not native to them (though they may have been there long enough to believe that they are native).
    3. The Primordials are not the only planet-creating force in the universe, but they are the most notable one, and they are directly responsible for the creation of other worlds.
    4. Othenar is not centered on a science-fiction setting, but rather a fantasy setting (and perhaps a weird fantasy setting). Core content is unlikely to measure planets' distance to Othenar, relative size, or so forth.
  6. Adventurers (e.g. PCs) do not need to eat or drink, though they do require rest.
  7. While traditional fantasy races are fine, Othenar embraces weirdness.
    1. Beast races are okay, but should be carefully considered. Think Avernum, The Elder Scrolls, or Wizardry.
    2. Mortal races were largely created by the Primordials or by the gods, while divine races have been exclusively created by the gods.
  8. The world of Othenar has no defined ends. It is not a flat world, but it is as large as it needs to be.
    1. Do not bring science into this. Assume horizons drop off at roughly the same rate as our own, and leave numbers out of it. Fantasy. Setting.
    2. Circumnavigating Othenar is impossible as characters will run into exotic locales and impassable barriers before they would return to the known world.
  9. Anephon is based on the underworld from Greek mythology.
    1. Anephon is a literal physical place, and can be accessed by mortals.
    2. The dead find judgment or reward in Anephon, often receiving individual treatment from gods that they have particularly ired or pleased.
    3. The dead can rarely leave Anephon. The guardians of the underworld vary, and include devils (for the damned) and devils (for anyone trying to leave), but unique creatures, especially horrifying and monstrous ones, should be used liberally.
    4. The dead in Anephon eventually turn into shades (described in more detail on the Anephon page), but last indefinitely if they are heroic (major world figures, PCs), are subject to ancestor worship, or are damned to eternal torment.
      1. Shades cannot leave Anephon. They retain exactly as much personality as the story requires, and may or may not have physical form.
      2. The dead who have not become shades can leave Anephon, and have a full physical form. Their spirit must be fully released to Anephon before this can happen.
      3. Spirits who cannot return to Anephon (for instance, as a result of Necromancy) become shades even quicker. Heroic characters or revered ancestors whose bodies are used as the basis for necromancy are aware of their bodies' defilement, though they may or may not have an awareness of what their body is up to.
        1. Even spirits aware of what their reanimated corpses are up to can tune it out at will, barring divine intervention.
  10. Othenar is not always consistent: while the rules of physics and magic are constant, the Oracle of Methoa (to give an example) might be a human woman or a ss'kth man. Anything not explicitly defined in the setting is left up to the GM of any particular group to decide.

Licensing Considerations[edit]

As mentioned multiple other times on this page, EVERYTHING ADDED TO CORE CONTENT PAGES MUST BE LICENSED UNDER THE TAL. Contributions to these pages are assumed to be

When you work on Core content, even if it's a minor change such as grammar corrections, you can add yourself as a contributor. To do so, simply alter the Core template inclusion found at the end of the page.

If nobody else has contributed, this will look something like:
{{Core}}
If John Smith has already contributed before you, this will look like the following:
{{Core|Contributors=John Smith}}
. Simply add the necessary "|Contributors=Your Name" element, or add your name after those of other contributors (keeping chronological order). For example:
{{Core|Contributors=John Smith, You}}

Note that if your contributions are rejected, your name might be removed. Remember that this site is publicly accessible, and anything objectionable may be removed by Loreshaper Games: this goes to both content and contributor names (if your name is deemed to violate standards, your contribution will be removed and your credit will as well). If you do not add to the Contributors section, you might not receive credit for your work.

Creating New Core Content[edit]

Unless you have the explicit permission of Loreshaper Games, new Core content should be created in an alternate form before being merged into other Core content. There are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Create the content on your user page, then notify someone.
  2. Create a new page with a similar title (e.g. "Paths (Alternate)" or "Paths (John Smith)"). Do not include a mention of Unearthed if you want the content to be considered for inclusion into Core content, as while we try to keep an eye on it, we won't know what you're getting at.
  3. Use the Core page's Talk page to suggest a major addition or substantive change.

Unearthed Content Guidelines[edit]

There are a number of requirements for Unearthed content, although it is less strict than the rules for Core content. Some of these rules apply only to this Wiki, while other standing rules may apply for content as a whole.

Wiki-Specific Unearthed Content Requirements[edit]

These rules will apply to any page on this wiki which contains Unearthed content.

  1. Unearthed content should be original: not conversions from other systems or settings, unless you are the original creator of that system or setting.
  2. There is no namespace for Unearthed content; instead, pages should be titled something like "Pagename (Unearthed)". You may create Unearthed content on your personal User page (e.g. User:JSmith) without this caveat. You can also make modifications to the format so long as it is clear that your page is Unearthed content, for instance "Knight (Unearthed Path)" or "Combat (Unearthed: Loreshaper Games)", especially if you need to disambiguate between your Unearthed content and existing Unearthed content.
  3. Unearthed content should be kept PG-13 rated, erring on the side of caution.
    1. Sexually explicit content and abusive language is explicitly forbidden.
    2. If in doubt, cut it out.
  4. Unearthed content should focus on either a generic setting or the Othenar setting. It is permissible to extend Othenar, even in ways that bend official canon, in Unearthed content (for instance, adding a Resurrection spell or a new divine race that dwells on Mount Othe).

General Unearthed Content Requirements[edit]

Note that these requirements are not legally binding, but if I see anything violating them Loreshaper Games will file a request per TAL guidelines to have the Othenar Unearthed branding removed or made less prominent in the product.

  1. Any content that violates any law (in your local jurisdiction and under US law) for any reason is expressly prohibited from using the Unearthed label.
  2. Content with extreme sexual, violent, or otherwise objectionable themes should not use the Unearthed label.
    1. Although approval may be given in some cases (for instance, a horror-themed module pushing the bounds of the normal limit on violence), it is better to ask permission than forgiveness.
  3. The Unearthed logo must be clearly and prominently displayed alongside the Othenar brand. Right now there is no official Othenar trade dress, either for official or Unearthed products, but in the future more specific guidelines will exist.
  4. Content that deviates significantly from the setting of Othenar may not use the Othenar: Unearthed branding as its headline (for instance, a science-fiction setting could not call itself "Othenar Unearthed: Adventures of the UNSF", though "Adventures of the UNSF" with an Othenar Unearthed logo displayed in the "background" of the cover would be acceptable.

Legacy Content Guidelines[edit]

For the most part, ignore any Legacy content. Legacy content will be marked with versioning signs (e.g. "Game Mechanics (Legacy Alpha)") to represent a shift in Othenar. This isn't quite equivalent to other games' shifts between editions: it shows that content that had been made will no longer work with the greater corpus of rules for Othenar. The intent of Legacy pages is to allow people to access old information, even information that has been removed.

Legacy content should not be edited in any way; errors are preserved as lessons to be learned from (especially rule loopholes), and as a record of Othenar's evolution.

Common Templates[edit]

The templates below are hidden by default (they make the page quite large), but you can open them up to look at any of the categories.

Game mechanic templates are used for things like Abilities and Spells, while Licensing templates deal with individual copyright status for pages (Core pages include the OthenarTAL, but Unearthed and other pages may be licensed differently). The Page Status templates below are used to label every page containing game content (but wiki pages like this that relate only to the function of the wiki itself should not be labeled.

All templates have had input fields replaced with the template's name for their input fields, unless otherwise noted, overwriting any default values presented in the template.

To invoke a template, you will put something like the following in:

{{TemplateName|Value=something}}

Note that you do not need to put the triple brackets around values you are assigning to a template.

If you add a new template, please add a link to it in the appropriate section below. Alphabetical order is nice.

Game Mechanics[edit]

The Ability template is used to describe abilities. It is fairly large (one ability can be displayed in an on-screen row at once), and includes a blank text box (AbilityText) as well as a space for the ability's name (AbilityName).

Template:Ability

Example:

{{{AbilityName}}}
{{{AbilityContents}}}
Paths: N/A
{{Ability}}

The Spell template is too complex to describe in full here, but contains a table containing all the elements of a spell in Othenar. It is thin enough that two spells can be displayed side-by-side.

Template:Spell

Example:

{{{SpellName}}}
Power: {{{Power}}} Difficulty: {{{Difficulty}}} Time: {{{Time}}}
Target: {{{Target}}} Range: {{{Range}}} Duration: Instant
Effect: {{{Effect}}}
Domains: {{{Domains}}} Ability Requirements: None
{{Spell|Time={{{Time}}}|Concentration={{{Concentration}}}}}

Licensing[edit]

Each page should have a licensing template on it, whether it's the TAL or a proprietary template.

The OthenarTAL template is a pre-baked version of the TAL template (which needs to be created in earnest) that includes Othenar's basic information already plugged in. It has the Contributors and NonTALElements fields.

Template:OthenarTAL

Example:

Othenar Tabletop Attribution License
The Tabletop Attribution License (TAL) is designed as an alternative to the Creative Commons, Open Gaming License, and other general licenses.

It aims to be comprehensible and include only clauses that apply to designers' and gamers' use cases.

Permission is granted to any legal entity without charge to distribute or create derivative works of the licensed content, assuming that the following conditions are met:

The original creators of the work, Loreshaper Games, and subsequent contributors, {{{Contributors}}}, receive attribution.

The form of attribution provided in the license itself shall be sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

Hyperlinks should be preserved for digital distributions, and human-legible web addresses should be provided in works distributed via print.

Furthermore, this license includes the following clauses:

  1. Logos, trade dress, and titles of products (including trademarked terms) may not be used without securing individual agreements.
    A. The following logos, trade dress, or titles may be utilized without individual agreements (N/A).
    B. The following logos, trade dress, or titles may be utilized with a modification to indicate third-party usage (Othenar [Othenar Unearthed]).
    C. Licenses granted under 1.A. or 1.B. may be revoked at the discretion of the original creators of the work, such as in cases of offensive or substandard content.
  2. The rights for derivative works remain with their creators:
    A. The creation of a derivative work transfers no inherent rights to the original work
    B. the creators of the original work do not receive rights for the derivative work.
  3. The original work may be distributed freely without modification.
  4. The following content in this document, such as visual elements, is not released under the TAL: {{{NonTALElements}}}.
  5. Works and content licensed under the TAL shall remain perpetually licensed under the most recent version of the TAL, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
{{OthenarTAL|Contributors={{{Contributors}}}|NonTALElements={{{NonTALElements}}}}}

The AllRightsReserved template is used to indicate that all rights are reserved. It includes an Author field.

Template:AllRightsReserved

Example:

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The contents of this page have been created by {{{Author}}}, who retains full copyright of the content created therein. Reproduction rights for this content are granted per the licensing terms of the wiki, and does not extend to third-parties.
{{AllRightsReserved|Author={{{Author}}}}}

Please do not add licensing templates on your own.

Page Status[edit]

The Page Status templates include the following:

Core pages, which are always licensed under the TAL and automatically include that license. You can use the same fields (Contributors and NonTALElements) to alter the license template (in the example below, these are replaced by "you" and "your images", respectively.

Template:Core

Example:

CORE CONTENT
This content has been approved by Loreshaper Games, and is part of the official Othenar product line. It is licensed under the Tabletop Attribution License.

Editing this content is allowed, but should be done with restraint (such as fixes to grammar or typos). Creating an alternate page via the guidelines on the Using this Wiki page is preferable if you desire to make large-scale changes.

By altering Core content, you accept that your changes will be licensed under the TAL, an irrevocable open content license.

Othenar Tabletop Attribution License
The Tabletop Attribution License (TAL) is designed as an alternative to the Creative Commons, Open Gaming License, and other general licenses.

It aims to be comprehensible and include only clauses that apply to designers' and gamers' use cases.

Permission is granted to any legal entity without charge to distribute or create derivative works of the licensed content, assuming that the following conditions are met:

The original creators of the work, Loreshaper Games, and subsequent contributors, you, receive attribution.

The form of attribution provided in the license itself shall be sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

Hyperlinks should be preserved for digital distributions, and human-legible web addresses should be provided in works distributed via print.

Furthermore, this license includes the following clauses:

  1. Logos, trade dress, and titles of products (including trademarked terms) may not be used without securing individual agreements.
    A. The following logos, trade dress, or titles may be utilized without individual agreements (N/A).
    B. The following logos, trade dress, or titles may be utilized with a modification to indicate third-party usage (Othenar [Othenar Unearthed]).
    C. Licenses granted under 1.A. or 1.B. may be revoked at the discretion of the original creators of the work, such as in cases of offensive or substandard content.
  2. The rights for derivative works remain with their creators:
    A. The creation of a derivative work transfers no inherent rights to the original work
    B. the creators of the original work do not receive rights for the derivative work.
  3. The original work may be distributed freely without modification.
  4. The following content in this document, such as visual elements, is not released under the TAL: your images.
  5. Works and content licensed under the TAL shall remain perpetually licensed under the most recent version of the TAL, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
{{Core|Contributors=you|NonTALElements=your images}}

Legacy pages, which are always licensed under the TAL and automatically include that license. They function identically to the Core page template, though no values are given in the example below, causing the TAL license to output its default state.

Template:Legacy

Example:

LEGACY CONTENT
This content has been phased out of play for balance reasons, or may represent a deviation from canon. It was, at one point, official Loreshaper Games content, and is released under the Tabletop Attribution License.


Othenar Tabletop Attribution License
The Tabletop Attribution License (TAL) is designed as an alternative to the Creative Commons, Open Gaming License, and other general licenses.

It aims to be comprehensible and include only clauses that apply to designers' and gamers' use cases.

Permission is granted to any legal entity without charge to distribute or create derivative works of the licensed content, assuming that the following conditions are met:

The original creators of the work, Loreshaper Games, and subsequent contributors, N/A, receive attribution.

The form of attribution provided in the license itself shall be sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

Hyperlinks should be preserved for digital distributions, and human-legible web addresses should be provided in works distributed via print.

Furthermore, this license includes the following clauses:

  1. Logos, trade dress, and titles of products (including trademarked terms) may not be used without securing individual agreements.
    A. The following logos, trade dress, or titles may be utilized without individual agreements (N/A).
    B. The following logos, trade dress, or titles may be utilized with a modification to indicate third-party usage (Othenar [Othenar Unearthed]).
    C. Licenses granted under 1.A. or 1.B. may be revoked at the discretion of the original creators of the work, such as in cases of offensive or substandard content.
  2. The rights for derivative works remain with their creators:
    A. The creation of a derivative work transfers no inherent rights to the original work
    B. the creators of the original work do not receive rights for the derivative work.
  3. The original work may be distributed freely without modification.
  4. The following content in this document, such as visual elements, is not released under the TAL: N/A.
  5. Works and content licensed under the TAL shall remain perpetually licensed under the most recent version of the TAL, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
{{Legacy}}

Unearthed pages, for third-party content, allow you to input a custom license. By default, it creates a warning about the page's license being undefined. Here is an example of both an Unearthed page with the value reported, and an Unearthed page calling a particular license:

Template:Unearthed

Example:

UNEARTHED CONTENT
This content has not been approved by Loreshaper games, and may conflict with the balance or lore of the core Othenar game. It may also not be licensed under the Tabletop Attribution License.


{{{License}}}

{{Unearthed|License={{{License}}}}}

Example:

UNEARTHED CONTENT
This content has not been approved by Loreshaper games, and may conflict with the balance or lore of the core Othenar game. It may also not be licensed under the Tabletop Attribution License.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The contents of this page have been created by someone clever, who retains full copyright of the content created therein. Reproduction rights for this content are granted per the licensing terms of the wiki, and does not extend to third-parties.
{{Unearthed|License={{AllRightsReserved|Author=someone clever}}}}