This will be a living doc. please check back for updates and feel free to post any questions or comments.
When we launched Justice and Life, we had a dream, to see a collaborative open world where our GMs and Players had the ability to shape the future and craft their own stories. This is still the dream, however, our direction has changed. As SPF stated in his note earlier in 2014, we want to give everyone the chance to play the game they want but we still want to make it easy for our players to communicate with each other and share what they have created.
Originally we attempted this via our own Campaign report system and while it worked, to get things documented, it proved to be lacking in some pretty major features. This was part of why we moved to our partnership with Obsidian Portal. They already had all the campaign management tools we needed for the games, but there was still one feature we were lacking. The ability to crosslink all the events, people, and places from all the games people wanted to see live in the world. This is where the J&L World Book comes in.
As SPF stated before, we want to reward players and GM's for what they contribute to the world but we also want to let you play your own game. We had several players asking for world book information that was not part of Justice and Life. They didn't want to commit to that level of sharing of their games and thats ok. After all "Let them Play" is the new motto. So we created two separate world books.
The first is the Shaintar World Book, it contains everything that partners with the printed and for sale materials. This is for those who want to play the pure unmodified Shaintar experience. This World book will continue to grow with input from SPF himself and his Raven's Flock.
The second is the J&L World Book, it contains everything you should need to play in a J&L game, such as how to build your Obsidian Portal site, to what it means to share your game world and most importantly the World book data, as well from you the players. This World Book data is created by you the players and fans to be compiled as a summary of things, allowing others to easily find what is going on in an area.
So let's address the first question on your minds, then we'll dig into some the details.
How does all this work?
- You play your games as you choose. After all "Let them play". We really can't stress this enough. We are not in ANY way trying to step on your gaming group’s toes or tell you how to play.
- File your reports and character profiles on the Obsidian Portal site in your campaign page. This is where all your details go -- all the personalities, heroic events, and sometimes the slapstick that occurs at a game table. Remember this is considered canon. However, trying to read through every OP page and compile what is happening in every J&L game is nearly an impossible task. So, that's where the next step comes in.
- Go to Shaintar.com and select the "Add Content" button. This will let you choose a Content Type to submit. We have created 5 categories that all entries need to fall into. "Characters, Events, Locations, Organizations, and Other" Pick the one that applies and away you go.
- Submit your entry to the Raven's Flock for review. Remember to keep this as short and simple as you can. Include the most relevant details to the entry. Remember our history books don't usually tell us every swing of a sword just the major turning points in a battle. There is a section at the bottom of every entry to link back to other source materials for more details. This is where you can link back to your Obsidian Portal pages to provide a greater level of detail for those who are interested. And remember to keep game mechanics out of these entries as much as possible. Game mechanics discussions shoudl be kept to the Forums.
- Remember how we said you didn't want to stop you from playing? Here is the magic. Since you are submitting this after the fact and not waiting on us to approve something to continue playing, you are free to go back to your regularly scheduled sessions and continuing playing your games as you see fit. The Raven's Flock will review your entry and let you know if there are any issues, if not it will be approved and posted to the J&L World Book for everyone to enjoy. This is why we are asking for summary information. The more precise your entries are, the faster we, as Raven's Flock, can review and approve them.
Pretty simple really. Now on to the more detailed walkthrough. We're going to look at each section of each entry to provide some direction in how to fill them in and how to help make things easier for everyone.
Fields in common for all the J&L entry types
The following fields you will see on each J&L entry type and are detailed here to help conserve space. All required fields are marked with * on the entry forms.
- Pretty self explanatory really. This is used to sort the entry with others in the index so try not to use "The" before the proper name of the entry.
- This is where the bulk of your entry will be focused. Try to keep it as short and to the point as you can. Remember the longer the entry the longer it will take for a member of the Flock to review/approve the entry. Generally two to four paragraphs is plenty. Images can be added to this section as inline images (be sure to credit the artist).
- This is where you will be able to add links to other more detailed source materials. This will usually be links to your obsidian portal page, character profiles, adventure logs, or campaign wiki pages. You can add additional links if needed. Be sure to include a name and the link so it’s easy to read.
- As anyone using nearly any online social media today can tell you "hashtags" help you find posts that are similar to each other or related. That’s what this is for. There are a LOT of tags we have already entered; feel free to use these or create new ones. Include as many tags as you can (separated by ,). The more you have the more easily others are going to find your entries.
- You can also click on any of these in an entry to see other related articles from both world books.
The J&L Characters entry is for any and all important characters you want to submit. This can be a character profile. Remember this is more about a historical bio on the character so others can potentially include them in their stories. So while a stat block is useful it doesn't always give someone a view of who that person it or why they are important.
- Enter the race of the character here. The site should already be populated with all the races needed, but if you find something missing reach out to a member of the Raven's Flock.
- Enter the primary location for the character, a city or country name is fine. This is to help in narrowing down the relevant location. More detailed information about specific parts of town and relationships can be referenced in the Description and called out in Tags.
The J&L Event entry is for a timeline events. The start of wars, the conquering of a region, the end of a great story, etc. This is where it can be hard to not put in all sorts of messy details, but remember this is a summary and you can add links in the Source sections.
- Enter the primary location of the event; a city or country name is fine. This is to help in narrowing down the relevant location. More detailed information about specific parts of town and relationships can be referenced in the Description and called out in Tags.
- Normally for most J&L games the year will be following along with the current world timeline outlined in the Campaign Bible. However if your event took place in another year be sure to update this to the correct in game year. This is the primary sorting field for Events so make sure this is accurate.
- The month is just that. The Shaintar month the event took place or started. For reference here is the Shaintar Calendar. This field is NOT required so feel free to leave it blank. You can also reference the "season" the event took place in the description.
- The day is just that. The Shaintar day the event took place or started. For reference here is the Shaintar Calendar. This field is NOT required so feel free to leave it blank. You can also reference the "season" the event took place in the description.
The J&L Location entry is where you can add your important locations. This can be villages, towns, keeps, ritual sites, etc where events are taking place in your game.
- Physical Location
- This is where you can outline all the details of how to find this location. Use a top-down approach in your description (i.e. Country, State, County, City, Street, Address, Apt. #). Also be sure to include some of these key words in the "Tags".
- While you can put images inline in the description field, this section is provided to encourage placement of a single image or map to help identify where your location is. For example if you are entering a village as the location entry, use this field to provide a "region" map with your location highlighted. Then put a more detailed map of the village as an inline image in the description field.
The J&L Organization entry is used to highlight the organizations that work in your games. From secret groups, to ruling councils, trade houses, etc., this is for a broader group of people instead of the specific "Character" from other entries.
- Enter the primary location the Organization is based out of. This is to help in narrowing down the relevant location. More detailed information about specific parts of town and relationships can be referenced in the Description and called out in Tags.
The J&L Other Entry is designed as a catch all for anything created that doesn't fall into the other categories. From creating languages or customs and cultures to origin stories. This is not intended for game mechanics discussions, which can be handled in the forums. Also, keep in mind these may take a little longer to approve, depending on the content, as it may take some time to review and discuss options with SPF himself.