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PathfinderWiki:Naming conventions

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This page is an official policy on the PathfinderWiki.
It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.

In accordance with policy, this page has been protected. You can suggest changes by following the revision procedure or discussing it on the talk page.

This page is a list of guidelines on how to name pages.

An article's name should be simple and precise. In general, the name should be what the majority of fans refer to the subject as, or else simply the name of the subject. In the case of multiple names, it is expected that redirect pages be created for the alternate names.

The primary purpose of these policies is to simplify the process of choosing a name for a new article. When writing an article on any subject, the names, words, and phrases that you think should be linked to further information should be [[bracketed]], so that they form links to new articles.

Remember that like most of our rules, these conventions are not absolute. However, if there is a doubt about how a page should be named, it's best to follow the convention first.

General conventions

  • Lowercase second and subsequent words. Unless the title of the article is a proper noun, all words except the first should be lowercase, not capitalized. (Example: [[Alchemist's fire]], not [[Alchemist's Fire]])
  • Links are case-sensitive. [[Goblin dog]] and [[Goblin Dog]] link to different pages, an additional reason to make sure you are using the preferred capitalization.
    • Exception: The first letter of a link may be lowercase – [[Umbral dragon]] and [[umbral dragon]] link to the same page. Complicated constructs using pipe links are unnecessary in this case.
  • Use singular nouns. Because the wiki engine will allow you to append suffixes after a link, it's best to use the singular form of all words, unless the subject is generally always in the plural form. (Examples: [[economics]], [[goblin]], but not [[goblins]])
  • Use true names. Article names should reflect the native or true name of the subject. For example, [[Scanderig]] not [[Forgefiend]]. If a common or colloquial name for the subject exists, a redirect to the main article should be created ([[Forgefiend]][[Scanderig]], using the previous example)
    • Exception: Default to the most commonly used in-world name for articles whose alternative titles could constitute a spoiler. This gives people who do not know the secret a warning that something they might be playing or reading could be spoiled by continuing to read the article.
  • Be precise. Ambiguously-named articles will likely create confusion for readers. (See also: Disambiguation)
  • Use spelled-out phrases, not acronyms. The only exceptions to this rule would be subjects where the acronym is more well-known than the original meaning, like [[NASA]] or [[RPG]].
  • Don't create subpages. Although the wiki engine accepts the slash ("/") character in article titles, refrain from using it to suggest a hierarchy of articles. A name like [[Absalom/Districts]] would be an example to avoid. (Note that this is not the case when creating new categories.)
  • Avoid reserved characters. There are a number of characters that are not accepted by the MediaWiki engine in article titles. The following characters should not be used:
" # $ * + < > = @ [ ] \ ^ ` { } | ~
  • Use special characters where appropriate. Article names should strive to be as accurate as possible. To that end, article names should include the correct characters, without substitutions. For example, [[China Miéville]], not [[China Mieville]]. For the sake of easy typing, a redirect using an appropriate substitute character should be created ([[China Mieville]][[China Miéville]], using the previous example). In some cases, using a "more correct" character actually causes problems without providing additional meaning. For example, using "’" for a possessive apostrophe instead of the more easily typable "'". In this case, using the special character does not convey any information and should be avoided.

Specific conventions

  • Sourcebook or novel title. If a sourcebook or novel has the same title as the subject it is about, you should disambiguate by adding "(sourcebook)" or "(novel)" to the title. (Example: [[Carrion Hill (module)]])
  • Languages. Languages often share their names with the culture or species that it is native to. In these cases, suffix the language name with the word "language" – but only when necessary. (Examples: [[Orc language]], but [[Elven]])
  • Race names. Always use the name of a monstrous race in singular form (e.g. [[Orc]], not [[Orcs]]).
  • Titles. In most circumstances, it is not necessary to specify a titled person by their full name. Assume they hold no title when naming the article, such that if their title were removed or changed the article could remain the same. (Example: Abrogail Thrune II, not Queen Abrogail II)
  • Lists. For some time the convention for lists was to put "List of XXXs" in front of the article's name. This style is now deprecated and the subject's plural is used. (Example: [[Absalom city districts]]; old: [[List of Absalom city districts]])
  • Magic items and spells. While magic items are capitalized in most game rule text, they should not be in the naming of their articles unless they are a unique item or part of a select and limited set. Rod of lordly might not Rod of Lordly Might and Boots of striding and springing not Boots of Striding and Springing Similarly, spells should not be capitalized unless they contain a proper noun in their title, such as the name of a deity or the spell's creator.
  • Name changes between editions. Articles should generally use the most recent canon name for a subject, which might result in a different name for subjects whose names changed between Pathfinder First Edition and Pathfinder Second Edition. This is particularly relevant for creatures whose names have been updated or retconned in Second Edition, as well as locations, organizations, and characters who have changed names or identities in Pathfinder Lost Omens setting timeline advancements. Articles should:
    • Always incorporate the First Edition name in the lede, with a canon explanation for the change if possible.
    • Always note the alternative name in the 1E-name field of any relevant infoboxes, if both names are considered canon. If a name is used only in First Edition content, flag it with the {{1E name}} template to link it to this policy for context:
| name = Naiad queen
| 1E-name = Nymph{{1E name}}
  • Optionally provide context for edition-specific naming in the article's "References" section.

If you have another specific issue that should be added to this list, please bring it up on the talk page.