RPGG Guide to Data Entry - Submitting Data for Periodicals
[periodicals] (Magazines, Zines, etc)
The periodical system is setup with the following hierarchy:
[periodical] (i.e. Dragon Magazine, White Dwarf Magazine, Judges Guild Journal, etc.)
- [issue] (i.e. Issue #1 - Spring 1981 or Vol 1, Issue 2 - Apr 1982)
- [article] (i.e. "Paladins and Their Mounts" or "100 Ways to Defeat Dragons")
To create a new periodical, use the Community => Contribute => Periodical menu option. You'll be ask to fill out the following fields:
The name of the periodical. If the periodical has had multiple names, because it has been renamed, select the most recent one, and add a note to your submission noting the other names. They can then be added as alternate names.
The description should be a short description of the magazine and what it attempts to cover. If you know the printing history (for a magazine which has finished it's print run) please include it (i.e. "Magazine covered 21 issues from Jan 1985 through Nov 1987).
The kind of periodical: Either E-Zine, Fanzine, Flyer, Journal, Magazine, Newsletter or Other.
This is for the genre most usually covered by the magazine. So Dragon Magazine may have had articles about Star Frontiers (Sci-Fi) and Boot Hill (Western) but primarily was focused on D&D and the High Fantasy genre. It's only the key genres that should be listed. If the magazine covered a wide gamut of genres on a regular basis, simply link in the Generic/Universal genre.
The RPG Family (or families) that were most usually covered by the magazine. Like with Genres, this list should not include any families that were incidentally covered. If the periodical was not linked to a specific family, leave this field blank.
To add a new Issue to an existing periodical, go to the periodical's page in the database and you will see an Add Issue hyperlink in the "Linked Items" module about halfway down the page. You cannot add an issue to a periodical that has not yet been approved.
Magazine Issue titles should be standardized for consistency within a magazine line (so they look pretty in table format!). In general, this should be: Magazine Title (Issue N - Mon YYYY) or Magazine Title (Volume N, Issue Z - Mon YYYY). "Mon" is the month shortened to the first three letters, and YYYY is the four-digit year. Do not zero pad the issue numbers - each magazine issue has an issue index that can be used for sorting. Please check out existing and well-fleshed out magazine entries in the database (such as Dragon or White Dwarf) and follow the format.
Magazine issues have an Issue Index. This number is used for sorting the issues. Normally it is equal to the issue number. So Dragon Magazine #297 gets an Issue Index of 297. Several other situations exist as well:
- If the issue number is of the form Volume N, Issue Z, then the Issue index is 100*N + Z. So The Imperial Herald Volume 2, Issue #9 gets Issue Index 209.
- Annuals get an Issue Index of 1000 + the annual number. So Annual #1 is 1001. Annual #2 is 1002, etc.
- Special Issues and Best Of/Compilations start at 2000+
If you unsure what the Issue Index for a given issue should be due to e.g. strange numbering, leave it blank and add a note to the submission saying that the issue index should still be set.
With the scheme above, normal issues (starting with issue #1) will sort to the top.
This is the date of publication of (the first version) of the issue. If no precise date is available, but you do know the month/year, you can leave the day field blank, and just enter the month and the year. Likewise, if only a year is given, you can leave the day and month blank, and enter only the year.
Authors, Artists and Producers
A listing of the people that have created the issue. Editors (including assistant editors, editor-in-chief, etc.) are listed as production staff, featured article contributors and other writers as authors. Any graphic artists, cartographers and the cover artist should be listed as artists.
[authors], [artists] and [production staff]
Some periodical issues, just like RPG books, have a slew of people that contributed to them - especially when it comes to the art department. It is critical that you get the designer/authors and artists in place. We also ask that you get production staff as well.
- Designers, writers, authors, developers, creators and additional content providers all go under [authors].
- Artists, graphic designers and cartographers (map makers) go under [artists].
- Producers, production assistance, editors, typography people, managers, art directors, layout people, proof readers, technicians, translators or coordinators go under [production staff].
Playtesters, Consultants or people 'thanked' in a book or issue do not get listed.
Sometimes, issues do not list this information completely. Please be as diligent as possible. If there is nobody credited in the book for one of these fields, please choose "(uncredited)" so the admins don't have to bother trying to track it down.
It is possible that some persons involved in the creation of a periodical issue are not yet listed in the RPGGeek database. In that case, please create the necessary person entries first, e.g. in a separate tab/window. The description for a new person does not need to include all the items they have worked on, as that will already be apparent from the links to items. However, if you add a new person that isn't linked to an item yet, please add a short comment, such as "contributed art for [name of the periodical)". It really helps the content approvers.
You should ALWAYS search for the name before creating a new one. Be creative in your searches, since "David Funnyname" might be listed already as "Dave Funnyname". Search for the most distinctive starting part of the name such as "dav funny" or just "funny". If it is ambiguous whether your "David A. Smith" is the same as a "Dave Smith" entry, take the time to do a little Internet research on other sites to see if they are actually the same person. Also keep in mind that sometimes people's names change, for instance through marriage. If you really really cannot tell, only then enter them as a new person.
The publisher(s) of this issue.
If you cannot identify a specific publishing entity, and the printed edition appears to be available from a print-on-demand website such as lulu.com or DriveThruRPG (OneBookShelf, Lightning Source), please add the publisher as 'self-published'. Some bigger print-on-demand services do have an entry in the database, e.g. lulu.com, but since they only perform printing (and shipping) services, but have no influence over the contents, we prefer to not list printing services as publishers. (They're great info on [version] entries, though!) We prefer to list someone as publisher who is responsible for the contents, even if it's just the generic "self-published".
This should be a list of all the RPGs the issue provides new source material for.
A issue has versions just like an RPG item. See the Specific Field Rules section at RPGG Guide to Data Entry - Submitting Data for RPGs for information how to fill these out.
A short summary of submitting articles (that is, info about the articles, not the full texts themselves) can be found in this post.
Articles are, essentially, a table of contents for the magazine (including any author names and short summaries). All articles for the issue should be included though possibly eliminating really small sections. To add a new Article to an existing Issue, navigate to the Issue and you will see an Add Article hyperlink above the list of articles already in for that issue. The summary of articles will show at the parent [issue] level. We show the page number, the article title and the first 120 characters of the article description.
It is recommended that other issues of the same periodical with articles already entered be used as a guide to consistency in article entry.
An article has the following fields:
The title of the article. If you are dealing with a column that has both a "recurring title" and a "episode title", add both of them, separated by a dash: recurring title - episode title. For example, for some period Dragon Magazine included a column called Bazaar of the Bizarre (the recurring title). For Dragon #227, the contribution in this column was called Dwarven Magical Items (the episode title). So, this article gets the name Bazaar of the Bizarre - Dwarven Magical Items in our database.
A short description of the article. If the Table of Contents of the periodical includes small 'blurbs' for each article, you should use these for the description. If no such blurb is available, we suggest you start the description with the following:
- For an adventure (or module, or scenario) - List the # of players, the levels (if any) and general theme. Example: "Short fantasy adventure adventure for 2-5 players lasting 3 hours".
- For an article, editorial or story - Mention the author and what it's about. Example: "Gary Gygax takes a look at how the Paladin summons his mount"
- For a review - Mention the product being reviewed by name. Example: "Review of Mouseguard RPG by Jan Smith"
If can of course elaborate on the description, but since the first 120 characters are displayed in the summary, we like you to list this short description first.
Start Page No.
The page of the issue on which the article starts. If the issue does not use page numbers, this is not required.
The position of the article in the issue. The first article gets Article Index 1, the second article gets Article Index 2, etc. This is used to sort the articles. Please note that the order of the articles should be as they appear in the magazine itself which is not necessarily the way they are presented in the table of contents. (Also note that you may use a different numbering than 1, 2, 3, etc. As long as each article has a higher index than its predecessor, it is fine. So, for example, if every article started on its own page, you could simply use the page # as the article index. The articles will then sort properly)
The author(s) of the article. Artists/Cartographers do not get listed. See the section on [designers] [artists] and [production staff] above for more information on adding persons to the database. Note: if the article contains reader contributed material (contest winners, fan mail, etc) just use (reader contribution) as the author (i.e. do not add every person that ever wrote into the magazine as a fan, contest winner, etc).
A categorization of the article. Select the most appropriate option:
- Adventure - An article that contains all of the necessary information about an adventure for for a GM to run a group of PCs through that adventure in a particular rules system (or a generic system).
- Art - A piece of art that is presented for the sake of the art itself, not as a comic or as a piece connected to or described within an article.
- Article - An article that addresses game material or meta-game material. This usually includes, but is not limited to, rules discussion, new or additional rules interpretations and discussion, new character options, GM advice, player advice, discussion about etiquette at the table, discussion about player behavior, game theory discussion and interpretation, and discussions comparing existing game mechanics.
- Comic - A cartoon/panel comic or long-form comic.
- Editorial - The opening statement of a magazine that is usually written by the editor-in-chief but can sometimes be written by a guest editorial writer. Editorials often include an explanation for the topic focus in an issue.
- Fiction - A fiction piece submitted to the magazine. Often these fiction pieces are set in a particular game world or contain a specific set of PCs as the main protagonists.
- Game - A game included in the magazine that is a 100% wholly separate game produced and distributed with the magazine.
- Interview - A series of questions and answers, usually the interviewee is a well-known or up-and-comer in the industry.
- Map - Literally a map provided with the magazine, whether presented as a stand-alone article for GM inspiration (with or without details) or stapled to the center and removable or perforated and removable. Often this is a topographical map, but this category also includes dungeon tiles and other battle-map pieces used with miniatures.
- News - Industry news coverage, including convention schedules and news.
- Reader/Fan Mail - Letters to the editor and letters asking for rules clarifications, published along with the answers from an authority. We have a "blanket" person entry (Reader Contribution) to be listed as author for these. Don't list individual letters (unless they're really long and meaty), just create an entry for the section as a whole.
- Review - A review of an existing/new game product, book, video game, or movie.
- Setting - An article that contains the description and statistical information about an adventure setting for for a GM to use in their RPG campaign.
- Zine - An insert that consists of (usually/often) fan-made material that is often focused on a specific piece of content or game and is considered either a separate entity packaged with the magazine or is considered a special insert (the magazine makes the distinction). Additionally, APAs are typically collections of Zines bound together and distributed as a periodical.
If the article matches none of the other categories, it should use the generic Article category.
Our current best line of thinking here is that if the article mentions some spells, equipment, setting material or monster stats but that's not the primary focus of the article - it should not be listed as Setting or Adventure but rather just 'Article'.
If the focus is clearly on setting (setting is a combination of place, time and notable people/creatures), mark it as Setting.
Only mark something as an Adventure if this is clearly an adventure (with beginning, middle, end - or as part of an ongoing series) should it be marked as adventure. For Dragon, these were usually very clearly marked as: "An Introductory Adventure for Characters of Levels 1-3", etc. Adventures published in a magazine would not get their own RPG Item entry here on RPG Geek. However, a full RPG game published as part of a magazine (rare as that may be) would get its own RPG Entry (and the Magazine issue would tie up to it).
When in doubt, mark an entry as an Article.
Finally there are options to link other data to the article:
Add RPG Item
Add RPG Setting
Add RPG Series
If an article deals significantly with a specific RPG item (for instance, it's a review of the item, or it's a list of errata, or is connected to that item in other meaningful ways), then please add a link to that RPG Item. Similarly, if the article is about a specific setting, or creates new content (locations, species, cultures) for this setting in particular, then add that setting link.
Short mentions of settings or RPG Items in an article do not merit the link. The connection to an RPG series is very rare. Many articles need none of these links.
Microbadges for Article Submissions
100 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Copper Article Submitter
250 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Silver Article Submitter
500 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Golden Article Submitter
1000 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Platinum Article Submitter
2000 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Herculean Article Submitter
3000 - Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Ultimate Article Submitter
Microbadges for article submissions are handed out autmatically. To collect a geekgold reward for issues that you've done the article listing for, go to this thread: 2019 & 2020 & 2021 RPGG Article Thread
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