This has been adapted from The Original Lexicon: The RPG by Neel Krishnaswami. The rules are mostly unchanged - just re-written to help me (Lxndr) get a handle on them. They have been expanded through research on the net, mostly through watching previous Lexicon games being run, and to put in a few minor tweaks for Everway play (the largest change being the Rule of X as a response to the particularities of the Tongue. There are several suggested and/or tested rules variations closer to the bottom of the page).
If you run a LexiconGame on the EverWiki, please make sure to add a link to this page on your front page, and add the Lexicon front page (and only the front page) to List:Lexicons. This page (LexiconGame) is the only non-Lexicon front page to be allowed on ListLexicons. For a list of past and current games, see the List. After a Lexicon Game is over, Lexicon pages revert to generic Wiki status. Additional pages related to the topic of the Lexicon may be added to the appropriate Lexicon List, but may not be added to the lexicon letter pages, which are meant to track what got in each game, for future reference.
The only current LexiconGame on the EverWiki is the BreakwaterLexicon, hosted by Lxndr. Why not start your own?
The basic idea of the LexiconGame is that each player takes on the role of a scholar (probably from the Library of All Worlds in Everway, or working with them, for EverWiki games). You are cranky, opinionated, prejudiced, and eccentric. You are also collaborating with a number of your peers - played by the other players - on the construction of an encyclopaedia describing a particular Sphere, or Realm, or event, or a person, or some other bounded space. Your scholar should have an entry of his own on the Wiki (outside the Lexicon), perhaps even including game statistics, and scholars might very well be played over multiple Lexicon games, either by the same player, or by multiple players.
1. Before the game is started, the player hosting the particular Lexicon should set the general subject - being preferably vague, but giving some guidance so that the players don't start on nothing. "This Lexicon is about the war-torn Sphere of Void Ghost, where rebels seek to establish the Third Republic." Why the Sphere is called Void Ghost, who the rebels are rebelling against, and what happened to the first two republics are all unknown. Also, the host should decide how many days each turn should be (I generally recommend one day, with the exception of counting the weekends as a single "day"). There should then be a short period of time where players can announce their intention to play, and choose an author/scholar to portray. Unless otherwise stated, all EverWiki Lexicon Games use the Tongue.
2. On the first turn, each player writes an entry for the letter 'A'. You come up with the name of the entry, and you write 100-200 words or so on the subject. At the end of the article, you sign the name of the scholar you're taking on, and make two citations to other entries in the encyclopaedia. These entries will be phantoms - their names exist, but their content will get filled in only on the appropriate turn. No letter can have more entries than the number of players, so all citations made on the first turn must start with non-A letters. Feel free to include links to additional Wiki pages, either within the Lexicon or without, but these are the absolute minimum and are the only ones subject to the rules for citations.
On the EverWiki, all entries, when written, must also be added to the appropriate letter List in the ListIndex, the appropriate List for the Lexicon, and any other Lists as appropriate (see the ListList for various lists that exist, or feel free to start a new one). Yes, we EverWiki folk like our lists. Also add a link to all entries, including phantom entries, on the appropriate Lexicon letter page.
3. On the second and subsequent turns, continue to write entries, now for 'B', 'C', 'D', and so on. Now, however, you need to make 3 citations - one must be a reference to an already-written entry, and two more must be to unwritten enemies (either new phantoms, or existing phantoms cited in previous entries). Additional backwards citations are allowed, but you may have no more than two phantom citations, and you must keep in mind that each letter may have no more phantoms than the number of players. On the last turn, you need cite 0 phantom entries, and on the 2nd to last turn you only need to cite one; there won't be enough phantom entries otherwise.
It is an academic sin to cite yourself, so you may never cite an entry you've written, and may never write a phantom entry that you have cited (whether or not you came up with it first). On the other hand, remember that there may be no more citations per letter than there are players, so if you run out of empty spots, you have to pick one of the phantom entries. First come, first serve.
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! (Although you can argue against the interpretation and may introduce new facts to shade the interpretation).
Rule of X
The Tongue is more-or-less English, and there are very few words in the English language that start with X. Rather than turn the X entry into a smorgasbord of nonsense words, the Rule of X has been created for Everway Lexicon games, and is assumed to be in force unless stated otherwise on the main page of the associated page.
Under the Rule of X, on the X turn, as long as there are no X phantoms that you can fill in (either already dibbed, filled in, or cited by you in a previous post), a player may choose to forego his X entry to create an entirely new entry on any other letter, during that turn. This entry must have at least two citations to already-written entries, and may only have one phantom citation, which must be to either Y or Z.
The Rule of X is assumed to be in force for every LexiconGame on the EverWiki unless stated otherwise.
4. A player can call dibs on any one phantom entry in either the current letter, or the next letter in line. This prevents two posters from writing the same entry. Whoever calls dibs first has it. Calling dibs is done by editing the phantom entry's Wiki page, adding the word 'dibs' and the author name. One cannot call 'dibs' on a free entry space, only a phantom entry, and cannot call dibs more than one letter in advance.
5. An author generally belongs to a given player for the entire duration of a Lexicon, and is encouraged to speak with a distinctive voice (there are ways to change writing styles while keeping character continuity). Using the same author amongst multiple Lexicons is not only allowed, it is encouraged! I personally encourage players to share authors, allowing a different user to play the author in a different Lexicon, but this choice is always up to the original creator of the author. Do not abuse this privilege.
On the other hand, a player generally should not switch between authors within a single Lexicon (although the final authority on this matter is the host, who may approve this request if they so desire). Generally, however, if a player wants two or more authors to interact, it is best to ensure that there are enough players willing to play all the authors in question.
Lexicons on other sites have historically been very lax on this last point, allowing players to dance between authors at will, but on the EverWiki this is more strongly enforced - one scholar/author per player, per game. A list of all participating authors can be found on ListAuthors - authors for any given Lexicon game can be found on that game's front page.
Please use the LexiconEntryTemplate and the LexiconAuthorTemplate in order to keep the look-and-feel of the Lexicon pages consistent. Just go to these pages, hit edit, and copy/paste the template.
(check the appropriate Lexicon page to find out if any are being used in a particular game)
Variations of Order
Variations of Type
The variations of Codependency and Credence are by Lxndr and have yet to be tested in the field of battle - that is, in an actual game.
The Visionary Lexicon - A suggestion from markpank
How about an Everway-specific variation on the LexiconGame, which uses the vision cards instead of the alphabet? Here's how it could work...
Before play starts, decide on the set of cards to be used - the vanilla Everway vision cards, the FPG set, cards from the Fortune Deck, a combination of decks or specific cards, a pre-selected subset of cards, etc. If playing a distributed/internet game, the selection of cards chosen should be available to all players.
The host then divides the deck into rounds. This can be done sequentially using the card numbers provided (cards 1-15 in round one, 16-30 in round two, and so on) or randomly, by shuffling the vision cards and dealing out the appropriate number per round. Either way, which cards appears in which round should be decided before play begins.
The division should be even, and there should be at least as many cards per round as there are players. For example, for six players using a deck of 90 cards, the deck could be divided into 15 rounds of 6 cards each, 10 rounds of 9 cards, 9 rounds of 10 cards, etc - depending on the desired length of game (number of rounds) and the amount of freedom you want to give the players (with "spare" cards to increase the choice each round).
As with a standard lexicon game, the host agrees on the central premise of the game (for example, "This lexicon is a study of the sphere of Doughnut and its unusual toroidal topography") which will be the underlying theme of the players' entries.
Play then begins, much like a standard lexicon game. Each turn, each player selects one of the cards which was predetermined for that particular round, on a first-come-first-served basis. They then compose a lexicon entry inspired by the picture/questions on the vision card, somehow tied into the lexicon's theme. If using the fortune deck instead of vision cards, the challenge might be to create a character/realm/etc. which embodies the principle of the chosen card rather than something from the image. If you have "spare" cards, some of the cards will obviously go unused each round - this is fine.
Forward links and phantoms would work slightly differently to a "pure" lex game; since the card already exists, the "phantom" created by a forward reference would be a title the player attaches to the card, which should tie into the image in some way. References alluding to small details rather than the bigger picture shown in the image, like "Hound is the name of the previous owner of the broken femur in the bottom left of the picture", should be avoided where possible - try to stick to the main theme of the image, although there's no reason you can't mention the small details in your entry.
The number of allowed/compulsory forward references per round might change from game to game, to balance the number of "spare" cards per round (perhaps with more distinction between "clean" references to completely blank entries, or "dirty" references to previously-cited but still unwritten entries? For example, in a game with no "spare" cards, perhaps each new entry is allowed three phantoms but only one of them may be "clean". In a game with more "spares" in a round, more "clean" links might be allowed.)
Any thoughts on this?