Request for Feedback: Non-Standard Gain Messages

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Ruinsthirdsmall.png THE STAIRS HAVE YOU NOW (Sets Transformed by Stairs to 10)

Bandagedmansmall.png THE STAIRS HAVE YOU NOW (Increases Haunted by Stairs by 2 CP)

— Quoted from Follow a dusty set of stairs

It's a pattern on thousands of pages across the wiki: an Action increases a quality—either setting it directly to a value or simply adding levels or CP to it—but the increase message is a unique text. It's not a standard "You've gained 1 x [quality name]" or "An occurrence! Your '[quality name]' Quality is now 3!" or anything else common enough to warrant a template option specifically for that message. So we just use {{Gain}} to get the image and categories and set the rest of the message and information outside of it.


While the current method technically works, it has a few drawbacks.


While the examples quoted at the top of the page seems to have won out as the dominant format for this pattern, the lack of a proper standard means there are countless variations. Without going into a comprehensive list here, variations range from the trivial (e.g., whether or not to include a final full stop[1]) to the minor (e.g. the wording to use[2]) to the major (e.g. no textual indication of the quality being changed[3], which is actually a usability issue) to the severe (e.g. having just the image and message, with no textual indication of the quality being changed or the value to which it's being set[4]).


The dominant format is great for readers, making both the flavour and the mechanics as accessible as possible to find, but it creates unnecessary friction for editors. To wiki code to create our first example:


*{{Gain|Transformed by Stairs|Discrete = yes}} ''THE STAIRS HAVE YOU NOW'' (Sets {{IL|Transformed by Stairs}} to 10)

The need to repeat the quality name is an immediate red flag and the extra boilerplate, while too small to warrant a change on its own, still gets in the way of fluid editing and is worth considering among the other concerns.

Discoverability / Changeability

As I can certainly attest after the background of this post, it's not easy to get a list of all actions with these sorts of Gains, let alone to automate a mass edit. Granted, there's not much need to outside of mass edits, so it's sort of circular to bring up as a reason for a mass edit. However, given that it's worth standardising at least the most major variations regardless, it's also worth taking that opportunity to make any possible future changes easier.


I've written up two templates in my user space: {{Gain}} and {{Custom Gain}}. As the names suggest, the former edits functionality into the existing {{Gain}} template while the latter is a new template wrapping {{Gain}} specifically for this purpose. See the template pages for fuller comparisons but, in short, they allow

*{{Gain|Transformed by Stairs|Discrete = yes}} ''THE STAIRS HAVE YOU NOW'' (Sets {{IL|Transformed by Stairs}} to 10)

to be rewritten as either

*{{Gain|Transformed by Stairs|Discrete = yes|message = THE STAIRS HAVE YOU NOW|now = 10}}


*{{Custom Gain|Transformed by Stairs|THE STAIRS HAVE YOU NOW|Discrete = yes|to = 10}}

Requested Feedback

  1. First, the obvious: do folks agree this warrants template support?
  2. Fold it into {{Gain}} or go with the separate wrapper template?
    I like the cleanliness {{Custom Gain}} allows, but I wrote POCs of both because I recognise there's a certain merit to consolidation and having fewer things to update if needed.
  3. Italics or no?
    As far as I can see, most uses of this would an italicised message, so I built that into these templates. However, some uses of this pattern—such as increasing Level Cap qualities[5]—use non-italicised text. Should those cases be using this template at all? Should the default be removed and just expect editors to always italicise it themselves even though it's the common case? Keep the default and use hacks to disable italics if needed? The hack for the {{Custom Gain}} template as written is pretty easy, though maybe confusing: {{Custom Gain|Quality| ''Unitalicised message'' |value}}[6]. {{Gain}} would need to use <nowiki/> to accomplish the same, though, which is bad. An italics parameter could be added (default to yes), but it would be an awkward addition to {{Gain}} and possibly less value to add to {{Custom Gain}} given its simpler hack.
  4. I recognise that I should never name things, so I welcome any suggestions on better parameter and/or template names.
  5. Anything else you want to add.

Separate but related concerns

  1. Whatever is done here, a parallel change should probably be made for {{Loss}}
  2. There are some standard game messages that are currently using similar {{Gain|QualityName}} (message) patterns and probably should get specific template support. Some particulars I've noticed:
    1. Level Cap qualities: Sidebarpersuasivesmall.png Your maximum Persuasive is now 203 ( Persuasive Gains is set to 3)[7]
    2. Ventures: Bohogirl2small.png Begun a new venture! Seduction: Honey-Sipping Heiress[8]
    3. Accomplishments: Chap1small.png An Accomplishment! You are now an Admirer of Art -.[9]


  1. With Read the paper while this goes on (Mr Wines) even showing both variations
  2. Such as Play unpredictably using Increases Renown: the Marvellous to 3 instead of Sets Renown: the Marvellous to 3
  3. Combined with turning the whole game message itself into a link in Consider the one in the feathered robe
  4. As exemplified by Pass through a distracting mirror
  5. Though perhaps they deserve their own template support at this stage; see Separate but related concerns
  6. relying on the fact that positional arguments don't get trimmed
  7. Conclude this interview
  8. Begin your pursuit
  9. Drop hints and wait to be invited back to his studio.