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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
The following should always be italicized:
- Spells, powers, spell-like abilities, and psi-like abilities (greater teleport, fireball). Other special abilities or features should not be italicized, even if they mimic spells.
- Names of magic and psionic items, (ring of wizardry II, potion of bear's endurance). In 2.5e, these names are italicized when written in paragraphs, but not when appearing in tables.
- Published works (Dragon Magic, Player's Handbook, Unearthed Arcana)
- Sub-headings under bold inline headings. The lycanthrope’s special qualities section and the rogue’s special abilities section are prime examples of this.
In 2.5e in particular, words are occasionally italicized for emphasis.
When to Capitalize
The following are proper nouns. They should always be capitalized:
- Ability scores (Strength, Constitution, and Wis)
- Skills (Stealth), 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)
- Saves (Fortitude save, Reflex save, and Will save)
- "Armor Class" and "AC"
- "Difficulty Class"
- "Hit Dice"
- One of a kind artifacts (Eye of Vecna)
- Sizes (Small)
- Names of special abilities and class features when they appear in tables1
- Special ability markers (Ex, Sp, Ps, and Su)
- Salient Divine abilities (Divine Creation)
- Planes (Material Plane)
- Domains, but not the trailing word "domain" (War domain)
- From 3e onward: languages (Dwarven and Elven). Prior to 3e, languages were common nouns.
- 3e creature types and subtypes (Aquatic, Humanoid) when used in a stat block. Some earlier statblocks in 3.5e do the same. In later 3.5e content and all editions since, these are always common nouns.
- 4e powers
- 5e class features (Fighting Style, Sneak Attack). Some features, such as spellcasting or a barbarian's rage, may be treated as common nouns when they are not in a table.
- 5e subclasses (Circle of the Land, College of Lore). Cleric domains follow separate rules (Life domain, War domain).
- 5e epic boons
The following are common nouns. They 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, barbarian)
- Magic and psionic items (tome of understanding) except for one of a kind artifacts
- Mundane items (monk's outfit) and their properties (finesse and light armor)
- 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).1 In 3e, these should be capitalized when used in stat blocks.
- 2.5e, 3e, and 3.5e: class special abilities. When used in class tables, these should be treated as proper nouns.2 From 4e onwards, these are almost always treated as proper nouns.
The following should never be capitalized3:
- 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").