Rules

The Feast of Harmon's Fall will be a 'follow the phantoms' style lexicon, dropping the concern about letter balance entirely. The specific rules for it are as follows

The basic idea is that each player takes on the role of a scholar, from before scholarly pursuits became professionalized (or possibly after they ceased to be). You are cranky, opinionated, prejudiced and eccentric. You are also collaborating with a number of your peers — the other players — on the construction of an encyclopedia describing some historical period (possibly of a fantastic world).

The game is played in 7 turns plus as many endgame turns as are necessary (probably two or three)

1. On the first turn, each player writes an entry for a single course served in the Feast of Harmon's Fall. You come up with the name of the entry, and you write 200-400 words on the subject. At the end of the article, you sign your name, and make two citations to other entries in the encyclopedia. These citations will be phantoms — their names exist, but their content will get filled in only on the appropriate turn. The phantom articles you create can be on any subject, and need not be courses in the Feast, although they may be if wanted.

2. On the second through seventh turn, each player picks one of the existing Phantom entries and writes the article to it. In this article, you should make at least three citations to other articles: one to an existing article, one to an existing Phantom entry, and one to a new phantom you create in this article. You may cite additional existing article and existing Phantoms, but may not create more than one new phantom per article.

It's an academic sin to cite yourself, you can never cite an entry you've written. (OOC, this forces the players to intertwingle their entries, so that everybody depends on everyone else's facts.)

3. After the seventh turn, the endgame begins. Endgame turns work just like regular turns except that no more new phantom entries are to be created. Each article should cite at least two other articles or existing phantoms during the endgame.

4. Despite the fact that your peers are self-important, narrow-minded dunderheads, they are honest scholars. No matter how strained their interpretations are, their facts are accurate as historical research can make them. So if you cite an entry, you have to treat its factual content as true! (Though you can argue vociferously with the interpretation and introduce new facts that shade the interpretation.)

5. A player may hold 'dibs' on a single article at a time, announcing an intention to write that article in the next round and marking it in the indices accordingly.

Why These Rules?

I like the 'follow the phantoms' variant because it ensures that all of the 'resources' in the game are distributed equally. The basic game does this for article writing, but not for article naming/phantom creation. In addition to balancing phantom creation among the players, the variant also helps spread that activity outward in time as well, which I think is a positive.

In some forms of Follow the Phantoms players also maintain an overall letter-balance through the game, but I think that that's an unproductive form of restriction there, and can encourage people to over-think the decision of which article to take next if there's a chance of boxing another player in due to those restrictions.

So to replace that lost restriction, I'm adding a very narrow focus for the first round, by having all articles be about courses in the feast, came to me at the same time as the basic theme itself. I hope it will have a good effect.