Ghyll:Main Page

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Round 2 Spotlights:

See all entries in the Ghyll Index.
Encyclopedant Update: We're lookng for a detailed family tree of the Wallinger, Creame, Sinch, and Smallwood lines, and how they all intermesh. This would be in addition to your regularly scheduled submissions, and with no deadline or formally defined rules. It'd be listed as an official Encyclopedant reference.
... an amazing collaborative improvisational fiction that combines an intoxicating patchouli whiff of fantasy with the reckless driving tanginess of bebop... --lbr

Welcome to the world of Ghyll. The basic idea is that each player takes on the role of a scholar, from before scholarly pursuits became professionalized (or possibly after they ceased to be). You are cranky, opinionated, prejudiced, and eccentric. You are also collaborating with a number of your peers -- the other players -- on the construction of an encyclopedia about Ghyll. Despite the fact that your peers are self-important, narrow-minded dunderheads, they are honest scholars. No matter how strained their interpretations are, their facts are as accurate as historical research can make them. So if you cite an entry, you have to treat its factual content as true! (Though you can argue vociferously with the interpretation and introduce new facts that shade the interpretation.)

  • Round 2 is over! See Round 3 discussion for future Ghyll events.
  • Current events: News and further information about the state of play.
  • FAQ: Questions, answers, and discussion about the game, rules, and related concerns.
  • Round 3 discussion: A discussion of what changes to make after we reach letter Z.

Game Rules

New players may join in at any time. If you have questions, check the FAQ or ask here.
The core of the game is based on Neel Krishnaswami's "Lexicon: an RPG".

  1. Scholars shall dib (reserve), and then write, one entry per turn. Turns loop from A to Z back to A.
  2. Entries shall cite two phantom (unwritten) entries and, after the first turn, one existing entry.
  3. Scholars shall neither cite themselves, nor write phantoms they were the first to cite.
  4. After the first turn, all phantoms for a letter shall be written before new entries are created.
  5. Of your required two phantom citations, only one cited phantom can be newly defined.
  6. The required per-turn citations must not be to entries or phantoms created in the current turn.
  7. Rule of A: During turn A, scholars may write new A entries instead of defining an existing A phantom.
  8. Rule of X: If no turn X phantoms remain, you may write a previous letter's phantom instead.

Example of Play (first turn)

  1. On the first turn, Sean B. Palmer defines his one entry for the letter A: Andelphracian Lights (Rule 1).
  2. In Andelphracian Lights, he creates two phantoms: Bysted Timperton and Quester and Phorrus (Rule 2).
  3. Sean B. Palmer may never define Bysted Timperton and Quester and Phorrus now. (Rule 3).
  4. On the next turn, all phantoms for the letter B (like Bysted Timperton) must be defined (Rule 4).

Example of Play (all other turns)

  1. It's turn 2, letter B, and scholars must first define all phantoms starting with that letter (Rule 4).
  2. Sean B. Palmer wants the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge and commits an edit saying so (Rule 1).
  3. He checks "What links here" on the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge page to see what truths, if any, are known.
  4. He also searches for the expression/term in the "search" box to find any unlinked mention of his entry.
  5. He writes the entry, and cites two phantoms (existing or not) and one previously written entry. (Rule 2).
  6. His citations, however, must not be those he's previously created (Rule 3; see Ghyll Index and FAQ).
  7. His citations must also have been created or defined before the current turn of play. (Rule 5).

How To Participate

You can "go above and beyond" your entries by also updating the Ghyll Index, Ghyll Timeline, Ghyll Who's Who, and Ghyll Where's Where based on your turn. If you don't, no worries - it'll get done eventually.

First, read everything you can! Then create an account and log in. Defining a new entry is as simple as going to its URL or clicking any red links (phantoms). For example, to create "Crab apples", go to, click "edit", and begin typing. More information (creating headers, links, bold, italic, etc.) can be found at Wikipedia:Help:Editing.

In-game discussion about terms should occur at the bottom of each entry. Out-of-game comments should appear on the entry's "discussion" page. Be warned: other scholars may take heated issue with your comments! For an example, see AuroAnthropology and Talk:AuroAnthropology.

Finally, consider writing a brief intro about your scholar (ex. Morbus Iff and Sean B. Palmer). This is NOT a "turn" - this is just you fleshing out your character, much like you'd do before a new tabletop campaign. You should not reference phantom links in your scholar description - just blurb a bio, and if entries happen to be defined later during play (by yourself or someone else), you can retroactively apply links. You may also want to consider adding your scholar to Gerth page as well.