Magic: Expanded Multiverse
The Magic: Expanded Multiverse project (M:EM) is a communal writing / expanded universe project, originally started on the official Wizards of the Coast community forums in 2010 by user KeeperofManyNames, intended both to create a large fan-made expanded universe around the settings and rules of the card game Magic: the Gathering as well as preserving nearly-lost early material that made the M:tG early canon.
For information on how to join see: M:EM FAQ.
- 1 History
- 2 The Rules
Before the M:EM group was created, the Flavor and Storylines (F&S) forums of the WotC community contained a long-running and stickied thread called "The Tome of Flavor" created by then-user and Forum Guide skibo_the_first. It collected, posted, and linked numerous official short stories that were posted to Daily MTG, typically in the Savor the Flavor column (then named Taste the Magic), run at the time by Matt Cavotta. Over the years the F&S forums had had numerous short story contests, many works from which had also been posted to the Tome of Flavor. Similar archiving attempts took place on both the MTG Salvation forums (where multiple short stories that had fallen off of the Web were archived, and which features an extensive storyline wiki) and phyrexia.com (the long-deserted original hub for Magic's storyline fans, which featured the Encyclopedia Phyrexania, a precursor to the kind of information stored on Salvation).
The Council and original rules
The original rules went as follows:
There is a Council of at least 5 people, who vote on additions to Project Magic and its internal affairs. Among them there is a Council Leader, an Archivist, and a Speaker.
The Council Leader leads the council, and is responsible for filling the first council and refilling the Council if it ever falls below 5 people. The Council Leader is also responsible for starting the vote against council members who abuse their power or break the rules. The first Council member is Keeper, and if ever he steps down or goes inactive, the Council elects a new Council Leader
The Archivist is responsible for maintaining the Archive thread, where we keep Project Magic and index it to be easily searchable. Since this is a big task and hell to redo, the Archivist can't just step aside. if the Archivist is ever removed from office, the Council elects a new archivist from its own members. If no one is willing to be Archivist, it falls to the Council Leader to find an Archivist.
The Speaker's job is keeping the Council orderly: he or she decides what's being voted on, when votes end, and is responsible for counting the votes and declaring results.
Once it's at its minimum number, the Council votes on adding new members: both yes and no votes have to be very confident and no votes have to give reasons.
The Council votes on all additions to Project Magic's archives. They can vote to accept something, reject it with reasons, or accept it only if certain changes are made.
Characters, planes, and other things introduced in an accepted story don't have to be voted on independently.
You can also ask the Council to allow you to make major changes to a plane, character, or whatnot that's normally Open for use to every contributor of the Project. While getting your proposal approved doesn't mean your work (and thus the changes) will ultimately be accepted, it might tell you if they're going to be rejected off hand before you put the time and effort into writing! it also basically 'checks out' the plane or character to you, warning other writers that something big is going down.
The archives are everything Project Magic creates, and the archivist is in charge of indexing and maintaining them. The index of the archives is marked for your ease of understanding. When you submit something to the project, you can determine a lot of the marks applied to the characters, planes, and other bits in the story that become part of Project Magic's Canon.
Those early rules were much more strict than what they became over time. Only members of the council were allowed to vote on works, and were in charge of major decisions or changes involved in any work. Complications arose over time due to council members becoming busy or drifting away from the forums. As time passed, it became apparent that the council method was not serving the original vision of the Expanded Multiverse.
Disbanding the Council
After a time, the Council became too burdensome a method to sustain the project - there were often not enough council members to come to a complete vote - so it was proposed to disband the council in favor of a more flexible format. The new rules during this time in the M:EM were as follows:
The Magic: Expanded Multiverse (M:EM) Project is open to everyone. All members of the group are allowed and encouraged to voice their opinions on current and past projects, to vote to accept new works into the archive, and to submit their own works to the M:EM.
The M:EM is officially lead by the Overlord, who is responsible for the maintaining the project as a whole and deciding on its short and long term goals. The Overlord also has the power to delegate any of his or her duties to other members of the M:EM by creating new positions for them to fill. If for whatever reason someone is unwilling or incapable of fulfilling the position assigned to them it falls on the Overlord to either perform the duties himself thereby abolishing the position or to find someone new for the position. The position of Overlord is currently held by Barinellos The Great and Terrible.
There are currently three (3) positions created by the Overlord, they are as follows;
1. The Speaker is responsible for the Voting Forum. It is his or her duty to call a start to votes that have been requested in the Vote Request thread, to inform people when a vote has begun, and to declare when the voting has closed. The Speaker will post the results of all completed votes in the Voting results thread, and will move all accepted works into their appropriate section of the archives. The position of Speaker is currently held by Trolljuju Master of the Juju.
2. The Archivist is responsible the compilation and organization of official Magic: The Gathering material to be added to the Apocrypha so that it is not lost forever. He or she is also partially responsible for the general organization and maintenance of the rest of the archives. The position of Archivist is currently held by KeeperofManyNames one of which is Sam.
3. The Works Manager is responsible for the Works in Progress/Up for Discussion/Requests forum. Their duty is to help the members of the M:EM stay focused and complete their projects, and to make sure good ideas don't get abandoned. The position of Works Manager is currently held by Jedi123 Master Prodder.
Three positions were kept from the previous format.
- The Overlord position was kept, as the new name of Council Leader. Except for upkeep related to the Council, which didn't exist under these new rules, the Overlord had many of the same powers and responsibilities as the old Council Leader.
- The Speaker position was kept intact, in charge of voting threads.
- The Archivist position was also kept intact, responsible over the upkeep of the Archives.
In addition, the new position of Works Manager was responsible for keeping the Expanded Multiverse project on-track and ensuring large projects were finished.
These rules eventually became the foundation for the rules used here on NoGoblinsAllowed.
Migration to NoGoblinsAllowed
In late 2013, Wizards of the Coast's official forums underwent a major overhaul. The result was deemed by many users as deplorable and nigh-unusable. One user by the name of miss_bun gathered several users to create a new forum, and let many others across the Wizards community know her plans and intentions.
The new forum software rendered the old group system virtually unusable for the M:EM's intentions, and with collaboration with the admins and moderators, the M:EM received its own subforum to use. With the new format, and a much easier posting system, the Expanded Multiverse found itself a new home with a change in infrastructure needed.
The Basis of the Expanded Multiverse
The Magic: Expanded Multiverse (M:EM) project is open to everyone. All M:EMbers of the group are allowed and encouraged to voice their opinions on current and past projects, to vote to accept new works into the archive, and to submit their own works to the M:EM.
The M:EM has two goals: to create an expanded universe set within the Magic: the Gathering multiverse without contradicting Official material; and to preserve Official material that cannot be found digitally. To that extent, you will find both completely fan-created stories set within the rules of the Magic: the Gathering multiverse, as well as extensions of known material, such as stories based around cards that were never expanded upon in Official materials.
Mature content (explicit violence and sex) within stories will not be immediately deleted, but the more explicit it is, the more you will need to justify it artistically. The rules about what material you include are somewhat looser here, but are by no means totally lifted.
The M:EM is officially lead by the M:EMperor, who is responsible for the maintaining the project as a whole and deciding on its short and long term goals. The M:EMperor also has the power to delegate any of his or her duties to other members of the M:EM by creating new positions for them to fill. If for whatever reason someone is unwilling or incapable of fulfilling the position assigned to them it falls on the M:EMperor to either perform the duties himself thereby abolishing the position or to find someone new for the position. The position of M:EMperor is currently held by M:EMber Barinellos.
As a supplement to the M:EMperor, the Archivist is responsible the compilation, organization, and maintenance of the Archives. This includes adding any newly voted in material to the Archives, adding the appropriate tags, and placing the work in the correct location if applicable. To perform these duties the M:EM Archivist account has been given moderater powers over the M:EM and Art, Flavor & Storylines forums. The M:EM Archivist account information is shared among a select few voting M:EMbers, at the discretion of the Archivist, to ensure the account can be recovered should the current Archivist be unable to perform his/her duties. The position of Archivist is currently held by M:EMber Lord LunaEquie is me (also known as Its_Always_42).
The Archives are everything that the M:EM creates. The index of the Archives should be marked for your ease of understanding. When you submit something to the project, you can determine a lot of the marks applied to the characters, planes, and other bits in the story that become part of the M:EM's Canon.
- Open. Marking something Open effectively gives up ownership of it the M:EM. Open things are things that are free for everyone to use.
- Public, the default mark. Marking something Public means you want other people to use it and build on it, even in ways you might not have intended, but you'd like to retain some creative control over where it goes.
- Private. Marking something Private means you consider it entirely yours, and want the last word on its inclusion in other works, or interactions with it: you retain almost total creative control over Private things. Because you can already veto big changes to Public things, though, remember that you don't have to mark a character as Private just to keep them from being killed off by someone else.
- Active. This thing is being worked on, right now, and isn't going to stay in its current form.
- Contested Canon. This thing steps on other things toes or has had its toes stepped on, or has been made problematic by Wizards. It needs to be considered and might be deleted, changed, or kept as is.
- Dead. This thing no longer exists in the present, though it existed in the past. You might be able to resurrect it somehow, but that would be a Major Change, and would need permission from its author if public or private.
- Planeswalker. This character can travel the planes. Occasionally, this might be used for other things that can travel the planes.
Any poster that has a work in the archive is considered a full M:EMber and has the ability to both vote in and create voting threads for different works and initiatives. Non-voting M:EMbers may request a work be put up for vote in the Vote Request Thread.
Votes pass by simple majority of Yea votes over Nay and Not As Is votes. In the event of a tie the vote passes or fails according to which way the M:EMperor voted.
Not As Is votes are Nay votes that can be changed to Yea votes when the author meets certain criteria, to be listed by the voter.
Authors of works should abstain from voting for their own submissions. However, works created collaboratively by a majority of voting M:EMbers are automatically considered to be endorsed by those M:EMbers, and the piece can be entered in the Archives without a vote if those working on it decide by a majority that the project is finished. While we welcome any voting M:EMbers back from long absences, should a voting M:EMber not be actively a part of the M:EM boards for more than 3 months, they will not be counted when considering majority.
Works submitted for a vote into the Archives are posted on the following Monday, and a reminder pm will be sent out by the M:EM Archivist to voting M:EMbers that a project is up for vote. Voting threads are left open for one week. After 7 days, i.e. the following Monday, it will be reviewed for status; the M:EMperor or M:EM Archivist may decide to extend the voting time if not enough votes have been cast.
A voting thread should include the following information:
- Title of the project
- List of authors involved
- A link to or copy of project
- Note(s) on status of project, should it be accepted (Public, Private, etc.)
- A title with the [Voting] tag, as well as at least one other appropriate tag to identify the project. Such tags can be [Plane], [Character], [Planeswalker], [Story], [Poetry], etc., as well as what character or plane a story ties in to.
Note: A work is assumed to be Public if no other status is specified.
List of Current Voting M:EMbers
- Barinellos(Current M:EMperor)
- HannasAnarion (AKA Icedragon769)
- jedi8187 (AKA jedi)
- Lord LunaEquie is me (AKA Its_Always_42) (current M:EM Archivist)
- Tevish Szat
List of Inactive Voting M:EMbers
- Thrull Champion