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Editing with Style
So by now you've learned how to make edits. The point of this page is to teach you how to edit and format body text to make it look classy. This page will review some simple English grammar, as well as common mistakes, and how to format certain types of text. For more information see the wiki's standards and formatting guidelines. In fact, the bulk of the material on this page comes directly from that one.
The language used on D&D Wiki is U.S. English. The only exception to this is proper nouns that are spelled in a way to reflect in-game culture. This is not meant to alienate anyone, but is taking standards set forth by WoTC.
Some examples of U.S. English vs. U.K. English: favorite instead of favourite, maneuver instead of manoeuvre, -ize instead of -ise, armor instead of armour, or aluminum instead of aluminium.
For those who do not write in U.S. English but wish to participate and adhere to standards, web browsers like Firefox 3 have built in spell checkers with the ability to install U.S. English dictionaries.
When to Italicize
Spells, powers, spell-like abilities, and psi-like abilities, such as greater teleport, should be italicized. Other special abilities in themselves should not be italicized (even if they mimic a spell of the same name, such as a balor's true seeing ability), but may be italicized if they used as certain type of heading. (See the following paragraph.)
Sub-headings under bold in-line headings (e.g. the individual class feature and special ability headings) should be italicized (and in-line). The lycanthrope’s special qualities section and the rogue’s special abilities section are prime examples of this.
Names of magic and psionic items should be italicized, such as ring of wizardry II, and potion of bear's endurance. Nonmagical and nonpsionic items made out of special materials, such as adamantine breastplate should not be italicized.
Sourcebook names should be italicized (Dragon Magic).
When to Capitalize
The following should always be capitalized:
- Ability scores (Strength, Constitution, and Wis)
- Skills (Spot), but not the subset of skills within the Craft, Knowledge, Perform, Profession skills [Craft (weaponsmithing), Knowledge (arcana), Perform (carnal acts), Profession (the oldest one)]
- Feats (Combat Reflexes)
- Salient Divine abilities (Divine Creation)
- Special ability markers (Ex, Sp, Ps, and Su)
- Saves (Fortitude save, Reflex save, and Will save)
- "Armor Class"
- "Difficulty Class"
- "Hit Dice"
- Languages (Dwarven and Elven)
- Identifiers that occur inside older stat block formats that denote a creature's type and subtypes [Humanoid (Human, Shapechanger)]
- One of a kind artifacts (Eye of Vecna)
- Sizes (Small)
- Domains, but not the trailing word "domain" (War domain)
- Special abilities in the "Special" column of class tables1 (Wild Shape, Uncanny Dodge, Improved Evasion)
- Planes (Material Plane)
The following should always follow the same rules for capitalization as if you were writing a term paper for class (i.e. the beginning of a sentence, titles and headings, proper nouns, acronyms, etc...):
- Alignments (lawful good)
- Spells and powers (mage's disjunction and Mordenkainen’s disjunction)
- Special abilities (energy drain)
- Classes (rogue, monk, and barbarian)
- Magic and psionic items (tome of understanding) except for one of a kind artifacts
- Mundane items (monk's outfit)
- Races (dwarf and elves) and creatures (frost giant)
- Named bonuses (dodge, deflection, and circumstantial)
- Spell schools (necromancy) and subschools (healing)
- Power disciplines (clairsentience) and subdisciplines (scrying)
- Spell and power descriptors (force)
- Types (aberration) and subtypes (goblinoid) outside of older stat block formats and ones inside the new stat block format
The following should never be capitalized2:
- The unit indicating die size (10d6 and d20 System Reference Document)
|lightening (illuminating)||lightning (electricity)|
|mithril (J. R. R. Tolkien)||mithral (Gygax)|
|rouge (a color)||rogue (a scoundrel)|
|diety (weight-lossy)||deity (god[dess])|
Commonly Used Special Characters
|–||–||En dash: literally means "through" (19–20, 1st–9th)|
|—||—||Em dash: used to represent values of N/A or Nil (e.g. a non-ability "Con —")|
|→||→||Right arrow: used for the "Back to" footers|
|‘||‘||Left single quotation mark|
|’||’||Right single quotation mark; also used as an apostrophe|
|“||“||Left double quotation mark|
|”||”||Right double quotation mark|
- The common usage of "affect" is a verb. (This only affects non-living matter.) The common usage of "effect" is a noun. (Living matter is not subject to this effect.)
- An "affect", as a noun, is a physical manifestation of an emotion, such as a frown indicating sadness. To "effect", as a verb, is to put into practice; "to effect a change" is to make that change happen. These uses are somewhat uncommon.
- "Half-elf" and "half-orc" are not subtypes. Half-elves are humanoids with the elf subtype, and half-orcs are humanoids with the orc subtype.
- "Subdual" was a 3.0 term. In 3.5 it's now called "nonlethal."
- Magic/psionic weapons and armor names have the enhancement bonus listed first, such as a +1 flaming longsword. Other magic/psionic items with bonuses in their names list the bonus last, such as bracers of armor +6.
- Dark elves are typically referred to as "drow" or "dark elves," but not "drow elves." The same is true several other races: "gray dwarves" or "duergar," "deep gnomes" or "svirfneblin," "tallfellows" (not "tallfellow halflings"), "blues" (not "blue goblins").