Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Kintaro

Policy Talk:Fanon



Sarna's BattleTechWiki (BTW) began in September 2006 with the mission to be about all things BattleTech, including articles on canon subjects, maps, links, real persion biographies and fan-created fiction. Over those five years, the community (currently made up of 1,128 registered users and numerous unregistered ones) has provided policies that brings a consistent level of expectations to each and every page created here. However, fan created fiction (or 'fanon') has not exploded in the same numbers as most every other area of interest; policies created to guide fanon posters are generally followed by the registered caretakers (admins, editors and writers), just so that the overall site itself does not sink into cluttered chaos. It is the impression of some users on BTW that the fanon, being rough, unpolished and not generally held up to any conventional standards of fiction, is only visited by the posters themselves and do not enjoy a reader-base. In other words, the various forms of non-canon fanon (stories, 'Mech TROs, unit and industry articles) are not seen or read by anyone other than the original poster.

With that impression in mind, a number of users have suggested that the fanon be split off of BattleTechWiki and moved to the BattleTech Fanon Wiki, a wikia established in September of 2008 by falconsclaw787. While the site has been inactive for a while, it is the impression that it was competition with BTW that created a lack of interest. BTW Admin Frabby has come up with a plan to transition all fanon over to that site over a period of several months. However, there has to be firm support of interested members (and unregistered posters) for such a move to occur.

BTW Founder Nic Jansma has given permission for a discussion to be held, in order to gauge opinions on this matter. In the end, the final decision will either be to support the transition of fanon material to the BattleTech Fanon Wiki, to not support the move or to delay a decision until a stronger consensus one way of the other.

While details as to how the move will be provided later (if the decision supports), a framework has been suggested by Frabby here.

Below this line, please indicate your opinion and any points you may feel are germaine in support of that opinion. Once discussion has ceased for five days, a judgment by the admins as to the prevailing opinions will be announced.

Definition of Fanon (working)[edit]

Because it is a recurring issue in the discussions, here's an attempt at explaining what we suggest be removed from BTW and what will not be affected:

We seek to migrate (only) original Fanon. "Fanon" is synonymous with "Fan Fiction" in this context.

Fanon/Fan Fiction affected by the move
  • Fan Fiction stories and IC articles with purely fanmade content
  • Custom designs ('Mechs, vehicles, fighters, etc.)
  • Custom rules, House rules, fan-made weapons
  • Custom merc or house units
  • images belonging exclusively to such articles
Not affected

Hope that clears it up a bit. Frabby 14:09, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

The following is an archived discussion regarding the policy change proposal. Please do not modify it.


Do you support or not support the movement of fan-produced fiction and non-canon articles to the BattleTech Fanon Wiki?

  • I support the move. The fanon material does require time of interested members of the community to bring the actual pages (tagging, categorization, etc) up to BTW standards, yet policy does not allow the actual fiction to meet the standard expecations of a written BT story. In other words, non-authors are expending their time to make submissions they have no hand in creating meet framework standards, yet the actual submissions themselves are not being appreciated by the readers of BTW (in my opinion). I'd prefer BTW remain a repository of canon material and allow interested fiction writers to build up a similar community to their standards on the fiction wikia. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:11, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Wiki treatment of the official BT universe and fan fiction do not mesh well, at least not anymore. The infrastructure (a separate Fanon wiki) is already there, we just need to use it. Frabby 15:10, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support to move the fanon content to a separate Fanon wiki.--Doneve 17:01, 27 April 2011 (UTC)s
  • I am pensive about moving the fanon elsewhere. I guess my biggest thought was about just how much time is spent by non-author editors to clean up the work. So far the fanon stuff I have encoutered here is easy to distinguish from canonical items. I guess part of it is distinguishing between types of fanon items. On one hand there are the lengthy narrative items of... uneven character... that may or may not mesh well with the primary body of work on Sarna. On the other hand there are things like house rules and homemade designs that while not canon, have the potential to actually contribute something to people who play the games. While I have been posting and editing some canon items, my original urge to contribute came from sharing some of the house rules and ideas that my players group hashed out twenty years ago. If not for the provision of a place to post such things I probably would not have started contributing to the canon here.
At the same time, I can understand the urge to reduce clutter and keep the demands on editors time for fanon to a minimum. There is much here that is left undone and it is not like there is a veritable army of people contributing to the project. I guess it comes down to whether or not the inclusion of fanon works is enough of a draw of viewers and / or editors to make it's inclusion worth the hassle. If things WERE moved, I think both communities would be well served by a strong interrelation of the two sites. While thorough cross linking back and forth would be a minimum, features like a second search box that indexes the fanon wiki being placed on Sarna would be useful. I also wonder if the work of moving all the content (assuming it wasn't simply deleted) would be substantially greater than the editor time the presence of the fanon here consumes. So, I am unsure of the value of moving the fanon -- LRichardson 17:21, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move, though select fan created reference works (Like Objective Raids 3067) are perfectly acceptable to me, on a case-by-case basis. I believe current policies actually encourage some users to post their fanfic here, and that is a bad thing. Most of us have probably made our own 'mechs, units, etc. I know I have. But I don't think the wiki is the place for them. ClanWolverine101 17:29, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Thing is, looking at the BT Fanon wiki... well... there is not much there at all, official or otherwise. The whole interest in posting such a thing here is that there is other content here that provides a draw for people. I would be far more interested in calving off the fanon content to something like another tab to a sister site here than moving it to the BT Fanon wiki. What about a mode setting or link on the main page that turns fanon on or off, ie, if you don't wish to see the fanon you don't have to? I totally understand the purpose of the wiki being a reference of canon materials and do think that is a useful resource, but outright banishment of non canon items seems heavy handed. I know that if it were removed altogether my enthusiasm for contributing here would be greatly diminished. I also have no interest at all in posting at Fanon BT Wiki since well... there is nothing else there. The thoughts and ideas of players and users are of interest to the BT community as a whole and so long as there is substantial identification and adequate separation of canon and non canon materials I strongly feel that there is not a need to simply shove the fanon out the back door like the barfly who has overstayed his welcome. -- LRichardson 18:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
LRichardson, one thing that isn't clear in this discussion is that Frabby suggested moving all Fanon over to the BTFW. My understanding is that all the stories, etc. would go, but so would every Category:BattleMechsCustom, :Category:AeroSpace FightersCustom|Aerospace Fighter, :Category:Battle ArmorCustom|Battle Armor, and :Category:Combat VehiclesCustom|Combat Vehicle article. Combined with the fiction, that provides 233 articles to start the ball rolling.--Mbear 18:11, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd also support an update to Sarna's main page that provides a link to the BTFW. Nice and big, so people see it.--Mbear 18:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
LRichardson -- I agree with much of what you said... and it emboldens me. People are posting their fanon here because other people have put in the sweat, effort and dedication to produce a quality resource for the entire Battletech community as a whole. It is my belief that very few people come here to read other people's fanon.
Also : Please be honest with me. Read the fanon material on this site. Most of it is VERY poorly written and presented. Most of it does not conform to the policies people have worked hard to build on. And it will never be cleaned up because the posting users obviously don't care, and the editors who do are busy editing actual canon articles. Also - I have no interest in seeing online flame wars between fanon users, arguing over who originally wrote what fanon material. That kind of nonsense wastes the time of our dedicated Admins.
Question : Why would this move make you less likely to come here? If you want fanon, why not go to the new site? Why not do for the new site what others have done here - work to improve it? ClanWolverine101 18:27, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I freely admit that much (most?) of the fanon on the site is of... limited appeal. I also admit I have very little interest in reading virtually any of the narrative type articles there. Then again, I have only a limited interest in reading much of the canonical cultural fluff either. While I certainly did enjoy the role playing universe of BT, frankly it was a wargame first and last for me. When I bought it there was no role playing element to speak of aside from a few sidebars a flavor. If officially published and at least professionally edited cultural fluff has little hold for me, fanfic about the brothels on Hardcore certainly have little interest to me. I also admit that part of my reluctance to bother with the BT Fanon wiki is a bit of snobbishness in not wanting to really associate with oh so much rich effluence.
The fan content that I DO have an interest in reading here is things like house rules, mech designs, technology, scenario's and essays / op ed's about how it all works. These are things that might actually contribute to my, or someone else's enjoyment of the game. The couple of fanon technologies I have posted are things that playtested well and I feel others might enjoy applying to their own play; the fluff I included with one of them was meant to be somewhat toungue-in-cheek and unobtrusive. Similarly some of the fanon tech pages listed I may try out at some point. The appeal in putting it here is that the same people that are looking up official technology and rules might notice (and be interested in) some alternatives. Something tangible that would be lost is the ability to easily link back to canon material in non canon writing. This is why I would be more interested in a clearly separated area of this resource rather than building another from scratch.
That said I also strongly agree that there needs to be clear and significant separation between the two, which is why I list my opinion as pensive rather than disagree. The main thing is I would think it a loss if the only mention of such content here was "oh, BTW, there is this other website out here, kthx bbye." When I look up a rule for movement or an item of kit here it would be nice to see a link to some fan based alternatives or contributions, just clearly marked and separated from official content. Just linking with a banner would be unfortunately "merely adequate". If it were moved (and I presume it will be based on the feedback here) I would strongly hope that existing links here to categories of fanon would be redirected to the new location. I would hope that it would not be totally against the rules here to put a fanon link at the bottom of relevant canon pages. The infrastructure here is quality and suggests a decent audience base. I'm glad the resource is here and am happy to contribute to the canonical side of things in addition to posting some of my own stuff. I simply suspect that if my attention were split between two sites with separate policies, formats and (frankly) audiences, my enthusiasm for both would wane to where I would not bother with either. So ultimately, I guess I just suspect there is in fact a baby in that bathwater.... somewhere... -- LRichardson 19:01, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the (kinda) counter point of view. We need those to keep us honest.
I wish there was a technological method in which we could automagically separate fan-created material from articles on canon subjects. However, many of the posters of the fanon are either unregistered, visit only to edit their materials or both. In my experience, they do not seek out the relevant policies to ensure their posts remain separate from the canon portion of the site and so (as you've acknowledged) regular users do the grunt work of confirming the material is fanon (and not canon) and then tag as appropriate. We will still have to confirm something is canon when created from wholecloth, but now it is a simple delete click away (for admins) or a 'considered for deletion' tag for others.
Valid concerns, too, about washing our hands of fanon. I presume when the policy goes live, it will be a news item (which gives it 3-60+ days of main page exposure) and a hyperlink could be added under the 'Other Items of Note' in the Jump Point part of the page for a considerable period of time. The links page, of course, has had the wikia listed since its inception.
House rules, custom equipment....argh. I AM a fan of these types of articles and have probably been the lead on bringing them in as 'essays'. However, I privately acknowledged that all of those that I have brought in here, as an archive for the most interesting essays on long-gone versions of CBT forums or personal fan sites, are not clearly separate from fanon pages, but neither does it necesaarily make sense to move them to a fanon wikia. LRichardson, maybe you and I can craft some sort of submissions 'council' for essays, home rules (which could incorporate custom equipment), etc., where the submission had to meet a certain minimum standard of involvement (registration, maybe?), storage (on a user page, until approved) and formatting (by the poster). We could fork this process, but work in concert with the team working on the possible fanon transition. Interested?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:27, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I might just be interested in this, it nicely straddles my general focus on things BT. I will put some thought into how such a role would be defined and what it's standards might be and coem back with a proposal. Provided that some means were in place that content such as rule variants, editorials, and essays could be vetted for inclusion here I would state my opinion as agree that fanon material, especially that which could be best described as fan-fiction, ought to be moved to the BT Fanon wiki. -- LRichardson 20:03, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Excellent! May I suggest looking at the essays already posted. There is at least one, I feel, that should not be currently listed, while the others may help you establish a baseline. Contact me on my talk page when you're ready to start throwing around ideas.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 01:06, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move and concur completely with the above poster regarding the details. This is a good place for quick reference of canon material and, frankly, my confidence in it would increase somewhat without the worry about fanon possibly getting mixed in somewhere.Moonsword 17:58, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move, because I'm hesitant to modify someone else's fanon work, even if it's just correcting a typo. Restricting Sarna to canon/apocryphal sources would remove that from my life. I do think there should be no exceptions to this policy: Objective Raids: 3067 is very valuable, but I think it should be referred to as an External Link on the Objective Raids page.--Mbear 17:53, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't recall any policy preventing us from doing editing, but both the fanon tag that discourages it and the sense of most editors that they may be altering a fundamental perspective of a story without the collaboration of the original author definitely affects many who would take action where 'needed'. (I myself constantly have to refrain from fixing apostrophe issues.)
As to Objective Raids: 3067, we don't host it here (as far as I'm aware). However, because it is a metasource and is widely respected by the fanbase as such, it was deemed notable enough to warrant an article. I'm fine with those, as the article actually has an external reference (ORL 3067, itself) to pull upon. The same cannot be said of fanon 'Mech articles or unit/factory pages.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:27, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support moving the fan content to its own wiki. As Revanche stated above, policing fanon content takes time away from tasks that editors could otherwise be doing while adding little of value to the website. I think it's also sometimes difficult to explain why somebody cannot add their custom Atlas variant to the Atlas article when the front page clearly states that fan content is allowed, but we do. In a sense, we have already separated fanon from canon and official content by consensus because the community values the latter much more highly than the former. Really, I think this is just the next logical step in the trajectory the community has been heading. --Scaletail 23:23, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move, though I am aprehensive for the following reasons:
It will take work to move them, time which could have been spent on other interests for whoever moves them.
Articles moved to the BTFW will have embedded BTW links in them, as well as use BTW templates, which we would have to either copy over or hand-edit.
There are some articles currently tagged as Fanon that I would be more than happy to keep here, as they are high-quality and could benefit visitors, such as Objective Raids: 3067. Where do we draw the line?
Technically, games like the MUSEs, Neveron, etc are "Fanon", but I think their articles have a good home here.
Maybe we just have specific categories of Fanon that we disallow: fan-fiction and custom mechs/designs/weapons?
Nicjansma 04:53, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Nic, to address the embedded BTW link issue, we could probably get a new Interwiki shortcut made on the BTFW. Wikia Interwiki overview. Sarna would have to be added to their Interwiki map, but that doesn't look too difficult.--Mbear 12:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Good one Mbear! That solves my biggest (actually, my only) concern. Now I'm really hard pressed to think of reasons against the separation. Frabby 13:07, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Nic, it has been my presumption that notable works by fans deserve articles, describing those works (such as OR:3067). What we're clearing out are pages about fan-created units that exist solely on Sarna and do not exist as a (notable) project outside of BTW. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:50, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
As a followup, Mbear's and Revanche's comments have helped clarify the situation. The only aspect I still have concerns of is the time it will take to move them, thought I think it's still the right thing to do. I fully support this. Nicjansma 04:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move personally though I am in a unique position having written some of the published material that is under 'apocryphal' and wishing to add certain material that enhances it to show the author's (mine) original intent and projected developments for TekTeam Technical Services. I may even contribute material up to novel-length stories as well. I am a bit unwilling to want editing beyond spelling and grammar because this is clearly fanfic and not canon. Contributors to Fanon wiki should be allowed to maintain their artistic style as long as it doesn't border on the extremes of violence and obscenity or are otherwise inappropriate because of controversial comtemporary issues being addressed in an insensitive manner.
Can we perhaps have some means of announcing new fanon submissions in both the regular BattleTech Wiki as well as the Fanon Wiki to increase exposure for the fanon work as well? One problem that I have seen is that fanon works often go under the radar because no one knows that they have been posted. Tekteam26 10:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Tekteam26, maybe Frabby should confirm this, but apocryphal material is not being shed; only fanon. However, if a leadership develops over at BTFW, there is no reason articles located here discussing apocryphal subjects can't also have an External Links section that directs straight to support fanon. Would that meet your expectations?
As for announcing new submissions, I wouldn't close the door on that here and now. We'd have to see how BTFW's members sought to enhance the visability and standards of that site before creating a feature on this site to announce new submissions (which we currently don't even do for our canon material).
Curious: do you think you'll get involved in the leadership over there?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:50, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know yet if I will get involved in the leadership at fanon wiki, certainly not within the next year because I will be deploying overseas this summer. But I would like to have some input into the final form and also how we can properly support quality Battletech fanfic. A lot of times, people don't even know that it exists. On the other hand, there should perhaps be some semblance of vetting a piece of fanfic before it goes it so that this particular fanon site gets the reputation of having material that stands out in its quality rather than having a bunch of munchtech material dumped into it. That would require a lot more 'care and feeding' of course.Tekteam26 10:35, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I wrote to falconclaw (the founder of BTFW) to get his input over here. As to vetting fiction, I don't see myself involved in deciding what is up to standards for another site, but I see the value in what you say. If we did have a committee do that here, I'd recommend to them that the original author be active in the process, at a minimum. Doing so would save us a lot of problems in actually moving an unsupported piece for the author. However, without original author input, I wouldn't feel I had the authority to decide what another site required for standards nor the criteria necessary to represent non-existant standards (for fanon) here. I hear what you're saying, though, Tekteam26. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:29, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move, however, i do have a question about hybrid articles, say if you have a piece of equipment in the canon, and most of the stats are published in the canon, but there is a value that is normally in the canon that has been left out but there is a canon formula for determining the value, what do we do?--Cameron 13:02, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Cameron, that sounds less an issue of fanon and more policy about canon information. I'd recommend you bring it up on that policy's talk page or even at BattleTechWiki:RequestForComment. It sounds very similar to determining BV2, which has been discussed (though I don't recall where). Those two links, however, should lead you in the right direction.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:29, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Material concerning TekTeam Technical Services would be one of those 'hybrid' articles, since it is not only apocryphal having had portions published in BattleTechnology and MechForce Quarterly, but also because I have original material that I wish to include as well as the author of the original TekTeam material. Perhaps for those, there would have to be some sort of annotation that it is original, non-published material or that there would be a link to the fanon wiki site for the new material that is related. Tekteam26 13:43, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

  • I also support the move. The majority of fanon articles I have come across have never seemed, to me, to be up to the rest of our standards - but since they are the purview and original material of individuals, rather than canon, I have never seen it as my place to edit fanon articles. Moving the information to another site, especially one meant as a community for the specific material, would be beneficial for everyone involved. Citizen Erased 05:41, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Point of Order I think this is relevant. The official Classic Battletech Forum page has a section for fan-content material. They also have a section for custom fan-made mechs, etc., etc. In my opinion, this could all go there. ClanWolverine101 14:05, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree with this. While we can definitely suggest the CBT forums as well as the BTFW to future posters, I'm fairly certain anything posted there is for a finite amount of time. The boards are in their fourth iteration since I first joined them and they generally go down/get reformatted every 3-4 years. Additionally, forums by their nature favor recent posts and their forum search engine is far from adequate, while a wiki/wikia presents all articles equally (or favor alphabetically, if you surf via categories). Plus, can you imagine the leadership there realizing a third party was dumping 250+ articles on them because we didn't want them? Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:11, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I don't mean we dump it all there. I'm just saying there are places people can go where their fanon belongs. Your point is made, though. ClanWolverine101 21:27, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Aaah, gotcha. Okay, yeah, I have no problem with suggesting future posters add their fanon there. To be honest, if they want feedback, they're more likely to get it there.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:19, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I also support the move. Mostly due to what I perceive to be the extremely poor quality of most of the Fanon articles resulting in a lot of them being of little interest to anybody except the creator. --Dmon 19:55, 30 April 2011 (UTC) (oops forgot to sign in)
  • I support the move as well. I'm growing concern that some folks who aren't as savy at what is canon and what is not, may mistakenly assume that fanon is infact a canon item. Only thing i'm reserved on is say images. Wikipedia itself uses maps that have been modified images. Thus is the wiggle room in that department? There are maps and symbols/insigna for units have never been colorized before, but are detailed. Also there are canon maps that used to show movement of borders while still using the canon maps. Is possible to have symbols or notices that these canon images have been modified, but still considered canon? -- Wrangler 23:16, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I feel that's not an issue. If you look above, people are discussing plenty of wiggle room for various editors on a number of matters. We are talking about "Fanon". To me, that's a very different thing. ClanWolverine101 00:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move. I am an unregistered user of I come here often looking for cannon info and data because our BattleTech group only allows cannon material. I therefore have little to no use for fanon / fanfic. [UnRegistered User: James]
  • I support the move. The mixing of canon and fanon has always annoyed me. --Neufeld 07:38, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I Support the movie; the meshing of fanon and canon in a single reference source has never sat well with me (look at WoWwiki/WoWpedia for a 'worst-case' scenario of what happens when it's tried) and certainly the uneven quality of the fanon and the oft inconsitent way in which article redirects, naming and such are applied I feel detracts from the overal quality of the wiki. --Deadborder 01:00, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I support the move. Fanon / fanfic, while fun, needs to be separated from canon material to avoid confusion. CungrVanck 02:12, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Consensus Summary: Proposal passes. Proposal discussion closed on 18 May 2011.

The following is an archived discussion regarding the policy change proposal. Please do not modify it.


The proposal to remove fanon has passed with overwhelming support. Frabby proposed a method in which to do this, which I [Revanche] have modified a bit, as shown here:

  • Step 1: Define Fanon, as it applies to this site, in a discussion here.
  • Step 2: Create a Fanon policy page, where the site's definition of fanon is provided, the restrictions announced and the alternatives provided.
  • Step 3: Cross-link the fanon, canon and notability policies, so that readers of one can be directed to the other.
  • Step 4: Announce Fanon purge in x months time, remove Fanon creation templates from front page and Help section
  • Step 5: Create an announcement template and tag all Fanon articles accordingly ("All Fanon content will be moved to...")
  • Step 6: (after a month or two): Copy all Fanon content over to the BattleTech Fanon Wiki (that somebody else already set up, but which - so far - isn't being used)
  • Step 7: (after half a year or so): Delete Fanon content on BTW (mind this will be some 8-10 months after the articles were tagged with a warning in Step 2)

Step 1: Fanon definition[edit]

Frabby proposed a definition for the affected articles to be removed here. The purpose of the following discussion is to form a consensus as to the final policy definition of fanon.

  • I personally support the overall definition, as provided by Frabby, with one exception: "Custom rules, House rules, fan-made weapons".
First off, I acknowledge that including articles with those listed items /will/ muddy the waters, as to canonicity, notability and fanon policy. However, I'd like to propose that there may be some room for essays to remain, as Frabby suggested was a potential 'grey' area. LRichardson (if I may speak for him) and I believe there is a way to regulate via both policy and active review (by a submissions council) essays that incorporate discussion items, such as custom rules and equipment. One quality essay (in my opinion) has already been incorporated into the site (ex: Essay: My Chaos Campaign Track System, by Taharqa) that does a great job discussing the perceived failings of certain official rules and a method to address those problems. While this essay was imported into BTW without the benefit of a review council, I feel it serves as a good baseline for such future submissions.
LRichardson and I have started discussing a policy whereby essays, recognized as being non-canon but informative exceptions to a No Fanon stance, would have to pass a series of wickets in order to be allowed a final posting.
My suggestion and request, therefore, would be to allow for an exception to the proposal to exclude custom rules & equipment when they are presented in a formalized essay that has passed with the approval of an active submissions board (with details to be worked out in the future). I futher suggest that essays be allowed under this new fanon policy, as long as it met the future submissions policy. If such a submission policy cannot be passed or if an active submissions board is found to be unreliable, then the concept of custom rules & equipment would be banned, as a modification of the (currently developing) fanon policy.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:19, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Yup, you can indeed speak for me on the matter.-- LRichardson 02:52, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I support Frabby's definition, 100%. ClanWolverine101 16:23, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree to, 100%.--17:13, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

I have more of a question rather than a comment. Will there be a site out there for fanon that is linked to BattletechWiki that will (hopefully) be known as a location for quality fanon articles. I know that it has been a popular viewpoint that the lack of popularity for BT fanon is because of the low quality of the written material (usually manifested in munchkinish writings of super-Mechs, massive WarShip designs and lost Periphery colonies that start with a few thousand people and end up a hundred years later with a hundred WarShips and scores of Mech regiments) There should be a fanon site that allows the submitted material to be rated as it comes in, perhaps in a one to five stars format, so that people coming to it can know what fanon is great and what is not worth bothering with.Tekteam26 13:48, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Tek - If you read above, I think you will see that a BT-Fanon-Wiki HAS been set up. I am told its kinda sparse now, but its been proposed that's where we move all the designated fanon material. I am certain if a dedicated user such as yourself made a rating system your rallying cry, you could no doubt get that done. As for links to the Wiki, if individual fanon articles linked to individual Wiki articles, I don't think I have a problem. ClanWolverine101 16:19, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I am aware of the BT-Fanon-Wiki. It is certainly sparse, I agree. A rating system for the fanon posted there is something that I believe would add considerably to the credibility of material posted there. There may be some One-Star munchkin material that shows up, but when most of the readership goes to the quality Five-Star postings, it will tend to drive up the quality of what is posted in the long run. Either the readership themselves would do the rating or there would be a panel who would look at each submission and rate it. I think that the fans would be better though as raters. If they feel that they have some say as to what is considered great stuff and what is utter dreck, the readers will be a lot more interested in visiting the site as well. I've got a novel that I am writing a full-length BT novel that is already over halfway completed that could potentially be posted there.Tekteam26 18:12, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Folks, while I'm honored, please don't mistake my quick & dirty attempt at defining Fanon above as gospel. Revanche may actually be closer to the mark with something he said (...of course I can't find it anymore...), something to the effect that BTW should be about BattleTech stuff that was already published elsewhere, as opposed to being a means of publishing stuff. In other words, always ask yourself, "Where is this written down for BattleTech?" (for IC stuff; naturally, this cannot apply to real-world topics like authors, firms, products, etc.) If you can't point to an (official) source then the information is fan fiction and doesn't belong here.
Now there are special cases. Some non-official content is well-known throughout the fanbase and thus notable enough to warrant a mention. Examples are given above. In most cases we're talking meta-sources. Key point here is that these works were published elsewhere, and BTW thus has an article about them.
Then there's something I've personally come to call "Qualified Fanon" - Fanon pertaining to something that was published, from the original author. Case in point, in my opinion, is Tekteam26 who, as an author, created TekTeam Technical Services which got published in an official (if apocryphal) product. I think that, as the original author, his additional thoughts and unpublished points about the unit are "nice to know" even if they are technically just fan fiction. He is the original author, after all.
Finally, Essays. This is really giving me headaches because they may become the fulcrum to break the No Fanon rule. It's not that I would actually expect a contributor to purposefully break rules - the real problem is that it puts the onus on the Admins to decide what passes and what does not. It's very subjective and that is a potential source of conflict among contributors here, something we need to avoid. I have thought long and hard on the subject and I think there is only one workable criterium: OOC content pertaining to real-life is allowed (esp. game rules/house rules), IC content is not. That's my suggestion. Frabby 19:25, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Frabby - I appreciate you saying all of that. I still agree most closely with your original definition, "quick & dirty" though it may have been. I believe there should be flexibility for apocryphal-derived works (like TekTeam's) as well as Essays. To put it another way, I believe in giving editor's the benefit of the doubt on this. ClanWolverine101 15:01, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Concern about essays and house rules being the fine line is something that Revanche and I are fleshing out. Basically it would be a rubric that describes in some detail the characteristics that an "ok" house rule or essay would have and what a "not ok" one would have. It would be something where it would have to pass in all regards to be considered appropriate. This would have separate considerations for things like the style and quality of the writing as well as the content and fit to BTW. A properly designed rubric with some calibration examples tends, academically speaking, to be a lot less subjective than one might expect. As a further note, to date there are a grand total of twelve essay and house rule articles and thirty-nine custom weapon and equipment articles, and of these three of the essays and house rules and five of the custom weapons are items I have authored myself, so, these two exceptions to the Fanon policy represent a very very small portion of the content in question. -- LRichardson 01:14, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I support Frabby's definition. CungrVanck 01:50, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Though I have only posted a few Fanons to this wiki I have found them to be the most fun I have had here. However I realize that this wiki is not about 'what might be cool IF..'; this is a database wiki to aid both old and new players of BattleTech in thier game experience.And Fanon articles, despite their personal emphasis/exuberance in and of BattleTech, are NOT offical cannon and could distract all players from what the game is and more importantly what this wiki is used for. Although I will be copying the templates because I do plan to fix that 'sparesness' Tekteam26 mentioned!Deeppockets 05:22, 12 June 2011 (UTC)


I would humbly submit that we have reached a consensus, and that a decision has been made. Thoughts? ClanWolverine101 10:35, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I believe that is the case. Who would like to do the legwork of removing the fanon to the appropriate destination? --Scaletail 02:11, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
That would be me. :) Though I haven't even completed the migration from InfoBoxBook to InfoBoxProduct yet, which will come first. And regarding the Fanon purge, the next step(s) would be to remove the "Create Custom X" links no the front page, draw up a news item and alter the Fanon tag to say it's all going to be migrated to the BattleTechFanonWiki. I have done a bit in Policy:Fanon and Policy:Canon already, explaining the move. Probably not complete yet. Frabby 08:10, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I'll start working on the following:
  • Re-work the main page to remove references to fanon (done)
  • New (major) newsburst (done)
  • delete Create Custom (type) articles (done)
  • Fanon tag: I may alter existing ones or issue a temporary new one (done)
  • tag all fanon articles (believe done)
  • Personally notify (via talk pages) of the intent to move (done)
My question is to how long before we do this? I propose 3 months, from the 1st of July (so October 1st).
(Note to self: need to point the fanon-type subjects remaining on the mainpage towards the newsburst.) (done)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:52, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
In order to get things moving, I'm setting a purge deadline of 01 October.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
My notification checklist is now complete. The only two things left are the migration team's efforts and the final purge. I would recommend that -generally speaking- nothing get deleted for at least a month and that two months could be seen as fair notification (i.e. early September).--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:39, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Exception to Policy[edit]

In a discussion regarding the validity of properly-written essays on BTW, it was proposed that all non-official materials -including essays- be subject to the migration of fanon to the BTFW. The suggestion developed to redefine the effort of the migration: all fanon is to be removed from the mainspaces (i.e. 'public' parts of the site) and either moved to BTFW or to a user's personal spaces here (i.e. user subpages), which will not be policed by the BTW community, nor supported on the mainspaces. The individual users may choose to create portals on the (main) User Page to their works.

The migration to BTFW will be done by the migration team (currently self-identified as Frabby & Deeppockets), while the migration to a user's subpages will be done by that user. While the process of migration to BTFW has not been developed yet, on the 1st of October, 2011, there will be no fanon left on BTW's mainspaces. Further, no additional fanon may be added to BTW from this time on.

As this discussion was not done on this site, I thought it best to allow for open discussion here, while at the same time beginning the efforts to transition to a no-fanon state. Feel free to raise concerns or opposition here to the two major changes of this consensus policy (removal of essays & allowances to users migrating fanon to their own user subpages), over the next handful of days. Thanks. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:18, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

1st October[edit]

So, the 1st October deadline has been passed. What now? --Neufeld 19:50, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

This is a good question. What now? I think we must revert the date, and change it to 01st January 2012, any thoughts, there to many questions are open.--Doneve 19:55, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Begin to migrate Fanon, i.e. copy the Fanon articles to the BattleTechFanonWiki. Do not delete the articles here yet. Mark those you have copied over with {{fanontransfer}}. Frabby 19:57, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Hy Frabby, i dont delete any Fanon, there really great articles, but how we can handle this?--Doneve 19:59, 5 October 2011 (UTC)