This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. Toprawa and Ralltiir 20:41, December 31, 2010 (UTC)
All three of our status article nomination pages include some sort of stipulation of completeness:
At Wookieepedia:Good article nominations, "An article must… …have significant information, especially a biography for character articles. For articles under 1000 words in length, comprehensive detail is required with all information covered from all sources and appearances. For articles over 1000 words, broad coverage addressing all major aspects of the topic is sufficient.
In short, we require our status articles to be comprehensive. So how should we treat game statistics from RPGs, video games, and card games?
According to Leland Chee, "Game mechanics are designed to try to match continuity to fit the purposes of the game for which they were created. They can serve to provide a scale from which to compare how one character or piece of technology stacks up against another. Because RPGs use dice, there is always the element of random chance involved, which isn't quite applicable to a book.
"But stats themselves aren't created randomly; they are based on what is already known. As such, we can always look to them as a basis when writing books. I often look to RPG stats to see for example, what type of Force powers a character may have. Or if we haven't determined the stats of a particular vehicle, we can look to RPG stats for a basis of comparison.
Should game stat information be allowable in the body of articles, or should it be kept to "Behind the scenes" sections? As an example, would it be fair to use game stats to say a bantha is faster than a nerf? That Lando speaks Bocce? That Lumiya knows how to use the Blahblah power? Or should this information be relegated to BTS unless it appears in a storyline?
Should game stat information be part of considering an article comprehensive (no matter whether it's in the body or the BTS)? Or is there a line of when it's relevant and when it's not? And if so, what is that line?
Hopefully we can come to some agreement on this, as it's been something that's been poorly understood and inconsistently handled on the site for a while. ~ SavageBob 03:25, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
Even though I'm not too hot on the idea of mentioning things like "He was good at defending himself" in the bts, I've always noted concrete, quantifiable things like Force powers and languages spoken in Personality & traits/Powers and abilities. As far as noting game stats in the bts, I doubt if we could all agree enough to come up with a concrete line that determines what's exceptional and/or noteworthy. I feel like it would either be all or nothing (with "all" leading to unfortunate rules necessitating things like "He had the ability to fire a weapon" in the bts). Also, sorry for not creating this thread myself; I definitely wouldn't have been able to put it as succintly as you did. :D Menkooroo 04:03, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
The approach I've always taken is that everything should be considered canonical by default unless there's some kind of obvious continuity mistake or inconsistency that it forces itself into the BTS as non-canon, which I think is the gist of what Chee is trying to say. Other than applying that as a general guideline, I think it's best to interpret everything on a case-by-case basis rather than trying to define some kind of hard-and-fast overarching rule for everything, because none of this RPG stuff has a very easy straightforward answer. All of the examples you've mentioned above should be included into the article where possible. There's no reason to suggest they're somehow illegitimate, since RPG stats are intended to complement the character's personality and traits anyway. The difficulty arises, I find, when we have skills defined by RPG dice parameters, like "Technical repulsorlift repair 5D," or whatever other examples might exist. Never actually having played a SW RPG, I don't really know what that means. Instead, I simply refer to that in the article by saying "John had knowledge or skill in repulsorlift repair," etc., and leave it at that. That being said, I tend to place more value on some WEG stat fields over others. For example, "Knowledge," "Mechanical," "Technical," and "Equipment" stats are usually tangible, definable characteristics that can often easily be transferred into article prose. But stat fields like "Perception," for example, include skills like "con," "hide," "search," "sneak." Does that mean I should write that "John is sneaky" because he has a "sneak 4D" rating? I don't think so. To be very honest, I just ignore those, because, sort of what Menkooroo was getting at, I don't think they're definable characteristics. Toprawa and Ralltiir 04:13, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
As an example, what, if anything, should we glean from a card such as this one for Puko Naga? The card provides only "Attack" and "Defense", which can then be compared to other characters' cards to determine that Naga is a passable fighter and defender but nothing spectacular (he also has a battle card included in his Hasbro action figure, but let's focus on the Sabritas card for now). When I wrote his article, I relegated most of this to BTS. But it sounds like Menk is saying ditch most of it, while Tope is saying include most of it in the bio. In other words, we seem to be advocating three separate approaches! I could see this being translated as a line such as, "Puko Naga was an average fighter, somewhat skilled in both offensive and defensive strategies" or somesuch, or I could see it living in BTS, but I'd be hesitant to ditch it altogether because it is canon information on a character we know virtually nothing about. But it'd be nice to have some idea of how we should consistently do such things. ~ SavageBob 16:23, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
I would probably classify that along with skills that we can't necessarily quantify or define in perfect, straightforward language. Because I don't think those offensive/defensive game ratings necessarily translate into what your example says, Puko Naga was an average fighter, somewhat skilled in both offensive and defensive strategies. Especially since every character card in that game probably has attack/defensive ratings. Do we really need to say "This character had some ability defend himself and attack others" in every single article? I don't think so. I think it would be best to relegate that to the BTS and explain it in OOU terms in relation to the game's overall rating scale. Toprawa and Ralltiir 19:09, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
The only Q.Article I've got under my belt is a Wizards Iconic RPG character. As such, my opinion may be biased or inexperienced, depending on your point of view. I'm generally in favor of flavor over crunch in WP articles. In my case, the fact that Rorworr (Naboo) was iconic meant I was free to rely more heavily on RPG stats than another character might. However, if you intend to work game stats into the narrative of your article, you should probably first consider the complexity of that game system. The d20 system is far deeper than the Star Wars Sabritas card game: a collection of D20 or D6 stats have specific translations, and give you a clearer picture of the overall product. Looking at the card game, I wouldn't be able to tell you if his attack and defense stats are based on the power of the character's weapons and armor, or based on his skill, or his cunning, or even if he was under the effects of PCP during combat. Another thing to consider is that Chee's comment on game stats is specifically in reference to the WEG and WotC RPG-style stats. SinisterSamurai 21:35, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
That's a fair point about ambiguous stats (and I think it's the PCP). To be fair, Chee was specifically asked about "game mechanics (video game or rpg)", not only about WOTC material. And I don't think it's a stretch to assume he would lump CCG stats in there as well. At any rate, CCG stats tend to be more ambiguous anyway, which we all seem to be agreeing don't generally allow us to add much information to bios or P&T sections or P&A sections. Would it be fair to say that we all agree that only concrete game statistics (those for which we have a reasonable idea what they represent, such as firing a blaster or cooking a soufflé) should be integrated into non-BTS sections of the article, but that vaguely defined ones (like generic "Attack" and Defense" values) should be mentioned only in BTS? (I'll save the question of whether they should be mentioned at all for after we've come to consensus on which stats get treated as usable material and which are not.) ~ SavageBob 23:15, November 24, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should add "So and so could fire a blaster" to a bio/p & t/p & a. What if that info came from a book? Would it be necessary to include it then? The same could be argued for cooking ability, and, well, most other stats as well. "So and so could defend themself" could easily come from a book with very little extrapolation on the writer's part, and I wouldn't add it to the bts, or anywhere in the article, in that case. Menkooroo 02:30, November 25, 2010 (UTC)
A little elaboration, 'cause I was in a hurry to leave when I was writing that previous message. Regarding the well-defined ones: I see things like Force powers and languages spoken as well-defined and quantifiable, and definitely at home in p & a/p & t. I don't count "could fire a blaster" as being in that category. I wouldn't say in Han Solo's article "Han Solo could fire a blaster" and source it to A New Hope. Regarding the vaguely-defined ones, I'm not too keen on putting them in the bts, either. I wouldn't write in Han's bts "A New Hope demonstrates that Solo was somewhat skilled at defending himself." Basically, I don't see RPG stats as being any different from identical information that can be gleaned from characters' actions in books, movies, and stuff. Menkooroo 03:19, November 25, 2010 (UTC)
I see the point, but I'm also not sure it wouldn't be worth mentioning, say, that Leia Organa was a pretty good shot with a blaster based on her performance in A New Hope or some game mechanic. But I agree that we should never make some sort of blanket dictum that says if a game or story shows a character doing something, that something must be added to their article as a demonstrated skill or attribute. Where would you draw the line, Menk, on when a skill or trait or whatever becomes notable enough for inclusion? I'm leaning toward significantly high or low values being worth mentioning, like if the average Alliance pilot has "Fly Starship 10" but Luke has "Fly Starship 30" or somesuch. We could then say that Luke was an excellent starfighter jock, more skilled than most other Alliance pilots or something. ~ SavageBob 07:20, November 25, 2010 (UTC)
That's the problem --- there's really no way to define a solid line, which basically precludes the idea of any sort of codified policy. I like the idea of significantly high or low values being noteworthy, but, as Tope said, it's difficult to translate that to the p & t/p & a for something vague like "attack," "defense," or "hide." "Fly starship" or "equipment repair" are more tangible and a bit easier. As far as the bts goes, I would only see something as noteworthy if it were eyebrow-raisingly high. Stating things like "Billy-Bob's defense is slightly higher than other characters" just kinda seems to me like needless filler. Menkooroo 15:17, November 26, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have been clearer: where is your personal line? I'm trying to establish common ground before I get into the other nitty-gritty points you've brought up. What is your own policy on when you include a game state for a fairly straightforward skill or stat in a P&T or P&A section? ~ SavageBob 23:55, November 26, 2010 (UTC)
Case-by-case. I'll consider everything on the card/in the sourcebook profile. If something is definable/quantifiable, like a Force power, language spoken, ability to counter the Tallon Roll, and able to be naturally put into p & t/p & a without being/seeming like an attempt to extrapolate a numbered ranking into prose, I'll put it in. If a ranking like "Starfighter combat" were unnaturally high, I'd do it too, but something like "Aloysius was able to defend himself better than his brethren" is, to me, just weird without any examples to back it up. Menkooroo 06:40, November 27, 2010 (UTC)
"In short, we require our status articles to be comprehensive. So how should we treat game statistics from RPGs, video games, and card games?" ...take them (mostly) like any other information, the ability to breath or walk usually isn't notable to be mentioned, same goes with all info anyway. The non-numerical information transferred to numbers for the game is game mechanics, and should be considered case-by-case: usually if something isn't notably different or otherwise interesting, it can be left unmentioned, but not to be forgotten depending how it plays with other sources? In short: there usually cannot be hard rule, just like with every other sources, except for clear mechanical data I suppose. –Tm_T(Talk) 17:44, November 28, 2010 (UTC)