Help:Writing an article about a book

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PathfinderWiki accepts articles about real-world books relevant to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder campaign setting, including sourcebooks, adventures, and fiction.

Information icon.jpg

Summary
Describe the book on its Facts page, then add the {{Badges|real}} and {{Infobox/Book}} templates at the top of the article. Describe who wrote the book and when it was released, and include a summary from the back cover or store listing. Adventures have additional helper templates for categorization. Include {{Book sections}} for a table of contents, and navbox templates at the end to link related product lines and series.

Naming conventions

Articles on books related to Pathfinder are generally named after the book's commonly used title. For example, while the full official title of Absalom, City of Lost Omens is Pathfinder Lost Omens Absalom, City of Lost Omens, the wiki uses only the part of the title unique to that specific book.

Stating facts

Defining different book types

A sourcebook primarily contains rules or setting content. Most hardcover books, like the Player Core and Lost Omens World Guide, and books from older accessory product lines like Pathfinder Player Companion and Pathfinder Campaign Setting, are sourcebooks.

An adventure book tells a story around one or more structured encounters using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules. Pathfinder Adventures and Pathfinder Society scenarios are adventures. Pathfinder Adventure Path issues are considered adventures too, even though they also contain fiction, new rules options and setting details, and other non-adventure content.

A fiction book tells a story through a traditional linear narrative. This includes Pathfinder Tales novels, novellas, ebooks, and web fiction, including the Pathfinder's Journal books compiled from previously released Adventure Path content.

There's one more type of work: an accessory. These are usually non-book products, like map packs and Pathfinder Cards products. See Writing an article about an accessory for more information.

Boxed sets, like the Beginner Box, are a special case. See the Beginner Box article for an example, or as an administrator or the Discord chat for help.

Each book article uses information defined on its Facts page of the same name. For example, the Facts page for Secrets of Magic is located at Facts:Secrets of Magic, and linked to from the "Facts" link at the top of the page alongside "Discussion" and "Meta".

If you're creating a new article for a book, you must create the Facts page. To see if a Facts page already exists, or to create a new one, go to Category:Facts about Books, which includes a box at the top into which you can type the title of the book you want to add.

  • If a Facts page already exists, it appears in a dropdown list below the field. Click the page to select it.
  • If a Facts page doesn't exist, enter the book's short title — the same title that you want for the book's article.

Click "Create/Edit Book" after entering the book's short title to create or edit its Facts page.

Form editing

This opens a form into which you can enter relevant facts about the book.

Enter the relevant information for each field. As you type, the form displays or suggests previously used values to help the wiki organize books consistently by shared facts. Note any instructions or advice to the right of the field.

Some fields, such as Primary author, can accept multiple values as a list. Click a suggested value, or type a semicolon (;); to designate something you've typed as an entry in the list.

If you don't have the information for a field, it's OK to skip it! Leave the field blank and continue; you, or anyone else, can follow up later to add or update any missing, incomplete, or incorrect facts.

After saving the changes, the Facts page displays the content in a table. You can modify those contents again by clicking "Edit with Form". If you're comfortable editing raw wikitext, you can also click "Edit".

For an example of a finished Facts page for a book, see Facts:Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition.

Sections and releases

The top of a Facts page for a book links to two other related Facts subpages: Sections and Releases. (If no page exists, they are Create Sections and Create Releases.)

These subpages are optional but strongly recommended, especially for books that have been released.

  • The Sections page lists facts about each chapter or section in a book, including the page on which it starts and ends, and if known the author for a specific section. This is used for adding a structured table of contents to a book's article. You can list For an example, see Facts:Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition/Sections.
  • The Releases page lists facts about each release of the book, such as the release date, format, ISBN, and price. This includes any Pocket Editions, special or deluxe editions, and separate releases of the same book (such as Free RPG Day or Pathfinder Society specials). This appears in the article's infobox and is used for categorization. For an example, see Facts:Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition/Releases.

Updating related pages

After editing a book's Facts, its product page might not immediately update accordingly. If you don't want to wait to see the result of a Facts change, you can purge the book's Facts page and article.

Writing the article

Opening templates

Start the article with two templates:

  • {{Badges|real}}: This establishes that the article is about a real-world subject.
  • {{Infobox/Book}}: This automatically populates an infobox with the contents from the book's Facts page. Unlike other Infoboxes, you don't need to include any parameters! The template does all that work for you.

Certain books might feature additional badges. For example, books relevant only to Pathfinder First Edition or Pathfinder Second Edition might add the 1E or 2E badges, such as {{Badges|real|1E}} or {{Badges|real|2E}}.

Real-world information, trivia, and overview

Follow the template with any non-content based information about the book. This includes the release date, authors, and any special conditions of publication or release, or if a particular books kicks off or ends a series or trend. For example:

'''''The Divinity Drive''''', an adventure by [[Crystal Frasier]] with supporting articles by [[Adam Daigle]], [[James Jacobs]], [[Greg A. Vaughan]], [[Thurston Hillman]], and [[Will McCardell]] and fiction by [[Amber E. Scott]], was released on January 28, 2015. It is the sixth and final chapter in the [[Iron Gods Adventure Path|Iron Gods]] [[Pathfinder Adventure Path]].

No header is needed for this information, and it will appear above the table of contents to separate it from content-based information. If there is anything further to be said about the book in question, it can be presented here. This might include notable information, such as any reissue details, number of copies sold, whether this is the author's first publication, or anything else that might enhance the article. Remember to provide references where necessary.

You can also include the back-cover copy of the product if it has any. The Community Use Policy allows for the direct quoting of this copy from the Paizo Store page for the product. In case of differing content, the back-cover of the newest printing of the book is preferred over older printings or store pages. The quote should be added to the facts page of the book as blurb and its sister fields. To quote the blurb then simply use, use the {{Quote blurbs}} template.

Remember to link pertinent information in this copy to wiki articles that can provide additional context.

Contents

Many Pathfinder-related books include a table of contents, or at least easily discernible sections. If this is the case, add these sections to the book's Sections subpage of its Facts page and include the {{Book sections}} template. For an example, see Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition, which is generated from Facts:Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition/Sections.

Adventure overview

For books containing one or more adventures or quests, include a section outlining the adventure as its own entity within the book as a whole. Do not create individual pages for each adventure or quest. Use the {{Adventure overview}} template, including as much information as you have available. Simply go to the template's page and copy the text from there, and consult the template's documentation for instructions on how to fill it.

An example might look like this:

== Adventure overview ==

{{Adventure overview
| level1    = 1st
| level2    = 2nd
| level3    = 3rd
| level4    = 4th
| location1 = Absalom
| location2 = Flotsam Graveyard
| location3 = Wise Quarter
...
}}

Below the template, add a brief synopsis of the adventure if not covered by the back-cover quote.

For Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild or Pathfinder Society (second edition) scenarios, quests, bounties, and other adventures, the header should reflect the adventure type. For example, a Society scenario's overview header should use "Scenario overview". The {{Adventure overview}} template also provides a special pfs parameter and optional fields to list related factions.

For an example in use, see Ukuja, The First Wall.

Recurring characters, concepts, and locations

For adventures and Pathfinder Society scenarios in particular, certain subjects appear across multiple works to tell a story about them that unfolds over time. PathfinderWiki includes templates that help track such recurring subjects and lists all other works that have been similarly tagged.

To use these templates, first add {{Recurring}} with no parameters, then on separate lines beneath it add a {{References}} template with the title of each referenced subject's PathfinderWiki article as the parameter. (If the subject doesn't yet have an article, use your best judgment for how an article for that subject might be titled; it can always be updated later.)

An example might look like this:

== Recurring characters, concepts, and locations ==
{{Recurring}}
{{References|Aaqir al'Hakam}}
{{References|Absalom}}
{{References|Flotsam Graveyard}}
...

For an example in use, see The Absalom Initiation.

This section doesn't have to be comprehensive to be useful. Indeed, including trivial mentions might suggest a connection between works that doesn't exist. List subjects that prominently feature, but consider whether a single mention of a subject is truly meaningful in the book's context.

Also, mind the wiki's spoilers policy when listing characters in this section. The presence or "real" name of a character might itself be a spoiler, and while they can be listed, take care to add the spoiled badge to the adventure's article or list the subject's alias instead of their "spoiler" real name if relevant.

Series templates

Most books, at least those released by Paizo Inc., are part of an ongoing series or product line. Include the relevant navbox template at the bottom of the page, below references and external links, to make navigation from product to product easier for other users.

For adventures that take place in a non-contiguous story arc, such as related Pathfinder Society scenarios or Pathfinder Modules, list them beneath the {{Adventure overview}} template. For an example, see how Mists of Mwangi handles the series of scenarios involving the Blakros family and museum.

Categorization

All books should be added to various categories depending on their content.

Automatic categories

Many such categories are automatically added:

Fiction type

Since fiction set in Golarion can take several forms, indicate through categories what format this volume contains, such as Category:Serial fiction or Category:Novels. These categories should be set automatically by {{Infobox/Book}} but can be manually added if necessary.

Unsure about categories?

If you have written an article and are unsure about which categories to apply, or simply want your categories double checked, add Category:Please check categories by including this text at the bottom of your article in this format:

[[Category:Please check categories]]

This flags to others that the article's categories need checking or adding. We hope that, soon thereafter, another wiki member will be along to help.

Multiple books in one article

When a book has multiple editions or printings, each release has its own entry on the book's Releases subpage of its Facts page. Hardcover compilations of other books, such as the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition or Kingmaker Adventure Path (hardcover), have their own standalone articles. Web supplements and errata intended to be used with the published work are also listed on the book's Facts page.

In rare circumstances, however, a single article might list multiple discrete works — each with its own heading and infobox, listing different authors, contents, and releases — all directly related to the same published book. This most frequently happens when a published book is preceded by a related playtest document, such as Mythic Adventures.

Create a separate Facts page for each related document, and in the article add a heading for each related document with targeted {{Infobox/Book}} and {{Book sections}} templatess as needed. For example, the Mythic Adventures Playtest document is described on the Facts:Mythic Adventures Playtest Facts page and included in the Mythic Adventures article as:

== Playtest ==
{{Infobox/Book|Mythic Adventures Playtest}}

The '''''Mythic Adventures Playtest''''' was released on November 14, 2012. The 52-page free PDF download is the largest public playtest ...