General Work

Best to start a document that tries to outline consistency in appearance details on the wiki. Up until now, naturally, I've kept these in my head, and often fouled up on them myself only to find myself updating a page later. None of these are intended to be "the right way" or "the wrong way" - only the way I hope we can all just follow so we don't have upteen different formats for every page. Where I see a small bit here or there, I will go in and change (editorial prerogative), but if the members are up for paying attention, the following list (which is likely to get long and detailed) is meant to provide style examples to follow. Not doing these things is not that big a deal; I come from a journalism background, so I am naturally fussy.

If a member has an idea or a point they'd like to add, please point it out and I will confirm it.

  • Please back link every page at the end of the page by making a stand-alone paragraph that says, "See home" . . . without a period on the end.
  • Please use "here . . . there" with spaces between the dots of the ellipses instead of compressing them "here...there" or "here ... there." I know it's a pain, but it is way easier to read.
  • Please put the period in front of a quote, not behind it: "hi," not "hi",
  • I don't use the Oxford comma. I fully expect to be ignored on this point. People put the comma in without thinking about it, and that's fine. It's all good - but if you can arrest yourself from doing it, would be appreciated. (sometimes I goof myself)
  • Please put a space between paragraphs. Please be sure to put a nice wide space between paragraphs and bulleted lists. Please put a space between text and files that can be downloaded or tables.
  • If at all possible, please avoid putting commas in Page Titles/Headers. Use brackets: Poison (ingestive) not Poison, ingestive. Note also, please, content in brackets should be in all small letters, unless the word is a proper noun.
  • When changing the title of a page, please manually fix backlinks rather than relying on the Wiki to redirect. A redirect page remains in the system and sucks memory.


Bestiary Work


Art

  • Look for the most natural, believable images possible for artwork. This means digging around for something that doesn't show the miniature base.
  • Shoot for single persons; avoid groups except in images where a primary figure is complimented by other figures that are further away and less evident. See the Baluchitherium pic.

Description
  • Remember in addition to creating content for biological description, it is also important to suggest some sort of way in which the creature would interact with a party or cause a party to be interested in the creature.

Currently, Byrhtnoth and SimonTVesper are assisting with updating pages in the bestiary. If you'd like to contribute, please contact me so I can divide the work (so we aren't tripping over each other).

Please follow these guidelines when adding or editing bestiary pages:

IMAGES: For each monster that does not exist, I am trying to find a very nice image of a painted miniature. I've been fairly lucky so far, but I suspect there are monsters that have never been made into a miniature or which the miniature looks awful. The image I found for fire beetles, for example, was just disappointing. But these pictures can be improved if another image comes available.

I don't want to use artwork for monsters because the artwork tends to be over-the-top and, at the same time, tends to wildly change the look of the monster from the original image in old monster manual days. I don't want this. I want as much an iconic pic as possible. Miniatures tend to be iconic.

For creatures that actually exist, such as the alpaca, I've decided on artworks over actual photographs. The artworks evoke a stronger, more emotional image.

TABLES: I'm adjusting a lot of the little details on the monsters, such as the amount of damage done, number of attacks (when I think it is too many or too few), movement (which I think is a gut instinct thing) and armor class (when it is too low or too high). I'm also trying to find the height/size and weight of every monster, including those that don't exist, which I usually get by extrapolating from a similar looking creature, expanded in three dimensions to the monster's size. Sometimes, this just doesn't work; you can't extrapolate a D&D dragon from a Komodo dragon; the body shape is too different. But a giant crocodile from a normal sized crocodile? No problem. Just have to remember to calculate your algebraic equation from cube roots and not from just comparing lengths.

But - much of the table for some creatures, actual living creatures, depends on what the internet reveals. I can provide the template for the tables, but I suggest letting me make these.

DESCRIPTION: I am generally copying material directly. Compare the ape (gorilla) page with the gorilla entry on Wikipedia. The goal is to reduce the amount of information on Wikipedia to things that specifically can apply to what players would see and what would help resolve encounters: how many creatures, specifically aggressive behaviours, what composes the groups and how the creatures would react if attacked. If you want to try and tackle some real life creatures this way, I'll look over your work and make adjustments.

If you want to try a D&D monster, I suggest directly stealing the material from the monster manual, a module you have access to, the dragon magazine or anywhere on the internet. Wikipedia also has things about D&D monsters. Don't include any material on alignment and try to stay away from anything that suggests "motivation" for monsters. Just the facts, if possible. Again, if you want to create a file and start filling in, I can fix it later.