Clarifications by RAWA
A Writer is limited by the fact that countless Ages on the Great Tree will match any given description, and the normal Writer (unlike Yeesha) has no control over which of those "matching" Ages his/her Book will be tied to. So while they will link to an Age with similarities to Myst Island, it won't be close enough to be considered an "instance" in the sense of "instances" that were seen in Uru (where "instances" were, for all intents and purposes, "identical" rather than just being "similar" to one another).
This goes back to the age old question "If two Writers write identical Descriptive Books, will they link to the same Age?" To which the answer was along the lines of "No, since so many Ages on the Great Tree will match any given description, the chance of writing links to the same Age are so small that it is 'impossible' for all practical purposes."
I've changed the wording of this example slightly in attempt to make this distinction clearer.
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- Writer wants to "Write" a link to another instance of Myst Island.
Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #1 (player Writers do not have Yeesha's special abilities to be able to write to other instances of an Age.)
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- Writer wants to "Write" a link to a specific instance of Myst Island.
Verdict: Denied. This would violate Rule #1 (player Writers do not have Yeesha's special abilities to be able to write to specific instances of an Age.)
if I wanted to, say, "discover" a journal in my neighborhood Bevin written by a young D'ni lad living there, that would be alright as long as the journal only revealed information about the author's immediate family and neighborhood. But if I decided I wanted to find an open door in the Bevin and explore the boy's house, that would be a no-no. Correct?
- A journal would be fine, though you're likely only going to be able to provide a translated version of it.
- Revealing what's behind a previously locked door in Bevin would problematic, as that is something that would be likely to be contradicted later. If it were a separate type of neighborhood (i.e. not a Bevin, Kirel, etc. 'hood layout) that would be ok, as there are likely many 'hood layouts that have not been revealed yet.
And a followup question. If someone wants to restore an area of the cavern that's self-contained and can only be reached via the Nexus AND turns out be Faresh's house on Katha Island (a longtime dream of mine), I assume that would be given the big NO as well. Is that right?
- Correct, as those are places that have been mentioned/used in Cyan's games, novels, etc. However, I would personally be OK with you finding an area that might
be Faresh's house, which leaves open the possibility for us to reveal Faresh's "real" house at some point without contradiction. It also leaves open the possibility for others to find places that might
be Faresh's house, as well, so it's not just limited to one person getting to officially "lock down" anything that's been mentioned by Cyan. It would probably be safer, though, to do something like this under the looser guidelines for things that aren't intended to be "official", once those guidelines have been made available.
Thx so much for clearing all this up RAWA!!
One question, if we are not allowed any of yeesha's "powers", does that mean we cannot make relto pages?
SCGreyWolf is correct. Yeesha's Relto pages are off limits. Other collectibles would not be off limits, though the guidelines for props, clothing, etc. do not exist yet, either
So, just to be clear, I could "restore" a section of D'ni itself, but only if it were some self-contained place? Does that mean it cannot have a view of the lake or would that be similar to how we explain why the neighborhoods all see the same spot in the City?
The specifics of these guidelines are still in flux. So I don't have a definitive answer to your question.
But here are my thoughts, in case unofficial comments will help to give an idea of what's currently intended.
The main point of the guidelines is to minimize contradictions as much as is humanly possible. An area of D'ni with a view of the lake is more likely to cause a contradiction than one that doesn't, so my personal preference would be to lean toward areas that don't have a view of the lake.
Part of the Fan Created Art License is that if we make changes that affect your work, you are responsible and required to change your work to match up with the new information. So in this case, if, hypothetically, the Arch of Kerath were destroyed, and you can see the Arch of Kerath from your area, that's going to cause a contradiction, and you're going to be responsible for keeping your area in compliance to that agreement.
So... my initial instinct would be to start with strict rules to minimize potential conflicts, as it is always easier to start with strict rules and loosen them as we go as it is to start with loose rules and try to tighten them as we go.
Does that help, even if it doesn't give a concrete answer?
So, someplace in D'ni, accessable by Nexus, that could be wildly speculated about is ok? Whee!
What about things like items, and people? Fan run characters?
The guidelines in this thread are pretty much limited to answering the questions of "Hey, I want to make a story, can I use <insert name of Cyan character>?" or "Hey, I want to make an Age, can I use <insert name of Cyan Age>?" or "Hey, I want to make a story, can I reveal that the D'ni <insert revelation about the D'ni>?"
The answers to which are: we're trying to provide as much flexibility as we can while trying to maintain continuity as much as possible.
Items - separate guidelines will be created... eventually.
Fan run characters - I don't see these changing much from MOUL. Fans made all kinds of characters and character-oriented stories within the Cavern. You'll still be free to do that.
You see, in my age, I have a linking book to the hood instance of The Great Library in Ae'gura. It is not a custom instance I made myself, it would just lead to the hood instance Ae'gura like the book on your Relto bookshelf in MOUL did. Would this be against the rules because I have it in my age in general, or is it allowed since I didn't make the instance of the age myself (a custom instance)?
So you essentially just found a second copy of the City Book in your Relto? Off the top of my head, it seems like that should be OK.
Are we allowed to put clothing Items in our ages, that will appear in someone's wardrobe?
Can we put a copy of The book of Atrus in a bevin? or would that fall under copyrighted
Clothing - yes. Under separate guidelines, though.
Book of Atrus - no. Copyrighted material.
So I could have an area with a view of the lake, but if there were a contradiction I'd be responsible for changing it to reflect that.
It depends on how strictly the rules are interpreted, which, in turn will depend on how much effort is going to be available for making sure FCA remains in compliance if/when changes are made.
The safest way would be to say "no lake", so that once the area is approved, those approving the areas don't have to worry about contradictions with the lake later. But that's less than ideal. If it's going to be feasible for those approving the areas to make sure that released areas remain in compliance, then maybe things like the lake can be allowed.
I don't know the answer to that at this point.