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[Mystara Database] Timeline

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:14 am
by Thorf
My own timeline project was a database in Superbase 4, back in the late 80s/early 90s. I still have it, and of course we will be incorporating it into the Database. Here's my idea of how to do it:

mdb_timeline
id
alphatian_year
thyatian_year
description
mdb_source_id @
source_page_reference
mdb_officialness_id @

By including source and officialness, we can input all the various timelines without worrying about continuity.

If we decide to implement a compatibility/continuity field, we can add it too.

It would also be possible to add a tagging system for timeline records, to note their subject, although keyword searches can probably cover this without any tags.

Lastly, we might want to add an "Importance" field (inconsequential, minor, major, world-shaking), to document how important an event is, and to allow for the easy exclusion of certain kinds of events in a query. It would also allow events to be ordered from most important to least important in any output.

Edit: We might want to allow records to have multiple sources, since quite a few are repeated in various sources. In that case, the tables would be rearranged as follows:

mdb_timeline
id
alphatian_year
thyatian_year
description
mdb_officialness_id @

mdb_timeline_source_linkage
id
mdb_timeline_id @
mdb_source_id @
source_page_reference

Another thing to consider: we will probably need month and day added to the table too, to cover Wrath of the Immortals, the Poor Wizard's Almanacs, and indeed the Mystaran Almanacs.

Re: Timeline

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:24 pm
by Andaire
While this would work for Gaz-like timelines, you would lose some information with that structure for more detailed events, à la PWA (or MA...). Like location. Or day, month (sometimes season, as in WotI). Or description vs hidden meaning (or player vs DM info). On that matter, how do you tag "false" events, one that are believed to be true by (players, common man, nationalist history, sages) vs what the Immortals know as True History?

Re: Timeline

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:20 am
by Thorf
Andaire wrote:While this would work for Gaz-like timelines, you would lose some information with that structure for more detailed events, à la PWA (or MA...). Like location. Or day, month (sometimes season, as in WotI). Or description vs hidden meaning (or player vs DM info). On that matter, how do you tag "false" events, one that are believed to be true by (players, common man, nationalist history, sages) vs what the Immortals know as True History?
These are all fields that could easily be added to the simple table I proposed above. Moreover, they can be optional.

So we might want to make the date field a hierarchy (Year -> Season -> Month -> Day).

Similarly, we can add sections like "What the PCs can do".

For the true history thing, we could have a "perspective" field listing whose perspective that entry is written from - Immortals, local knowledge, oral history, etc. Or just a true/false field if we want to keep things simple.